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I disagree with Tony Petitti. I started off excited about the MLB channel and watched a lot, but by the playoffs I never tuned in.
Having only "insiders" (players and managers) offer opinions delivers a one note performance. The same cliches, the same excuse making, the same enormous absence of the innovative thinking taking over front offices, etc. It was terrible.
Why was the comment about the Yankee payroll buried? Seems a pertinent line of analysis. Teh Yankees are playing a game different from any other professional sports team in America/Canada. Consider:
o The Yankees have the highest paid player in all of baseball at 6 out of 11 positions (SP, RP, 1b, 3b, C, SS, but not DH (second place), 2b, or the 3 OF spots). More than 50% their positions are filled with the highest paid player.
o The Yankees got 48 of their 59 innings (thanks Fangraphs) from guys making $15,285,714, $16,500,000, $15,000,000 and $5,500,000. All 3 starters were 2009 free agent signs. (Numbers from ttp://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/)
o Four of the Top 5 Contracts of all time play for the Yankees (Arod (twice), Jeter, CC, Texeira).
That's bought in a way different from the Phillies, Angels, Dodgers, etc. Those teams compete with one another, but the Yankees compete with no one. Other fans can only hope for more Carl Pavanos, Jason Giambi, Javier Vazquez mistakes or injuries.
Its only my eyes, but Chone Figgins sure looks like a guy whose skills always shrivel in the playoffs. Its not hard to believe some guys can relax and play to their norm, while others get tight and do worse. It happens in war.
But its unlikely you can identify those players by a small sample of post-season statistics. Teams should put pressure & moisture sensors in bats, maybe that'll provide verifiable results.
Its possible that its the notorious BP Red Bias, but I wrote Endowment Bias. Eric predicted Yankees in a chat, that's his prediction, which he made, and no one can take it from him unless they have concrete evidence.
Why do you need "concrete evidence capable" to sway your long-standing prediction?
I doubt the prediction itself is concrete evidenced (since its a prediction), so wouldn't you need a "wrecking ball" of compelling conjecture to "break through" your girder enforced endowment bias?
Just tuned in, did they sit Kubel for Gomez? If he's so bad defensively, why didn't Kubel DH? Is Morales bat that important?
I don't think BP line's up PECOTA up against all other prediction models every year. I'm not sure we have empirical evidence for its supremacy over, say, Chone, BHQ, BJO, or what have you.
Did any one ask Ricciardi about last year's Tampa Bay Rays?
I woud buy a book of Ichiro quotes. Maybe one like thsoe old 2 comics in 1, with Ozzie Guillen the other half.
I love baseball for stuff like this.
You're not the only one who left Camden early: http://www.realclearsports.com/articles/2009/05/david-steele-fired-baltimore-sun-press-box.html
Yes, I would consider Longoria's contemporaries a useful comparable.
But I don't see the usefulness of comparables reaching back generations because of the stark differences. Its fine to say if Longoria doesn't match-up in 2009, Horner and Murcer will be downgraded as comps, but that misses the point that the 2009 projection contained their influence in some proprietary way. In fact, their downgrade or disappearance in 2010 would support the idea that the primary reason for resemblance in the 2008 PECOTA run may be happenstance.
I don't really know the granular aspects, but the conceptual approach (Bob Horner should inform a projection for Evan Longoria) is difficult to accept.
"We can readily recognize that we're at a point in the game's history where playing deep into your thirties isn't all that unusual, assuming a certain skill in the first place."
Besides MLB training/medical staff, elevated compensation permits players to improve conditioning year-round via uber-trainers, nutritionists, therapists and prescriptionists. Plus, superior coaching and specialization at lower levels permits younger players to arrive with habituated skill sets. Fields are better kept (except during football season in Oakland) & defense is much, much better these days.
But don’t these changes undermine the one unique premise of PECOTA? Are Bob Horner and Bobby Murcer comps to Evan Longoria meaningful or merely whimsical?
I love this column. I don't have much input or questions-- just wanted to say that I happily soak it up every week.
You should post the money line, too. A 5 game differential at -170 is entirely different than +105.
I bet Rick Perry makes the team and gets more saves than Zumaya. How much do I bet? Not a lot.
I just stumbled on it and watched the whole thing. That was good fun; Schwartz and Siano (“if the jack, they will slack”) were concise, quick knowledgeable and covered a lot of ground. I prefer “outside” sources like Fantasy or independent web-based commentators because they can bash players (“Bengie Molina is the slowest player in baseball”), while the recycled players and GMs are way too circumspect; even Reynolds said “you guys are hard.”
Harold tried to get in the spirit of things but was kind of a 5th wheel. Could he at least have prepped on the basic competitive framework of fantasy (he didn’t know about MI & CI))? When Siano said something like, "You're going to tell us about where he hits in the line-up, Harold?" I nearly died laughing. Harold’s lineup thing was a strange leitmotif.
Joey Votto 40 HRs!!!
Looks like the LIMA plan- $68 on pitching (no more than $30 on saves), 1 good SP and a good RP book ending "high skills pitchers at low costs". Next thing you know and you guys will be talking about BaBip, strand rates, and HR/F% as leading indicators of performance. Just teasing.
Your roster also reminds me of why I prefer a shallow-mixed league- messing with guys like Larish and Gallagher is too much for a casual excuse to go to vegas and run some light hearted competition among friends Plus, you'll never see those guys on BBTN.
Thanks for the contributions and clarity. The speculation seems to boil down to physical size and how PECOTA translates their respective leagues and Ramirez's lengthier pro career.
Since the translations aren't disclosed, you kind of have to take it on faith that Wieters would be Piazza to Ramirez's Bob Boone.
Alex Carnevale wants you to stop disparaging Tavarez, who's a inner circle hall of fame contributor to This Week in Quotes.
While I appreciate corporate governance as much as the next guy, I respectfully request transparency and discussion of how that Sausage Factory (PECOTA) saw:
1. Matt Wieters' AA line of 365/460/625 (38/29 k/bb) and spit out 308/391/537; and
2. Max Ramirez had AA line of 354/450/646 (56/37 k/bb) in similar ABs, for .236/325/405.
From very similar input you get a Piazza Peak Year and a Jose Molina Peak Year. Can their home ABs or 1 year difference in age be that important? Does PECOTA hate Latinos? What gives?
I am disappointed at your inability to work in the excommunication of Savronola into the optioning of Nick Stavinoha. A Domincan monk calling Rome's Cardinals "steeped in shameful vices" gets himself banished? No, no material there.
If only Selena Roberts would exhibit the same conscience and apologize for her Duke LaCrosse coverage. That wasn't just wrong, but despicable.
Where can one find said BP pre-season forecasts? Not under the Statistics page.
Dude, what anti-fun, churlish stick-in-the-mud gave me a negative rating? That ain\'t right.
Re Jamie Moyer:
Please keep him in.
Those of us whose decling memory is entirely devoted to memorizing the few baseball players left that are older than ourselves.
Hey, its Gary Huckabay. Say Gary, didn\'t Nate tell you that your presidential run had a 99% collapse rate? And do you still tie an onion to your belt, which was the style at the last time you posted an article?
I apologize, the comparisons on Soto were to the BP Fantasy projection, which is tweaked by BP staff and not entirely PECOTA based. The larger question remains, though: is PECOTA serially over-optimistic on kids with big years in the minors when compared to other projection systems.
Justin Upton OPSed 800 ... in the majors ... as a 20 year old. That is elite, this Weiters guy is a chump.
To complete the \"PECOTA was awesome with rookies last year\" argument, you should look up its projections for Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Lastings Milledge, Michael Bourn, Adam Jones, Justin Upton, Jacoby Ellsbury, etc. 2 ROYs is a small sample size.
For what its worth, ZiPs, CHone and Bill James had better projections for Soto and most of the ones I listed above. In my very limited experience, PECOTA is overly rosy compared to those projection systems on young players like Josh Phelps, Wilson Betemit, Chris Young, Milledge etc.
Lets start a comparative study with Weiters
PECOTA .311/.395/.544 (572 ABs)
Bill James 311/407/526 470 (470)
CHONE .274/352/439 (419)
Oliver 294/373/487 (453)
Baseball Forecaster 341/434/576 (200)
(Had to use Abs instead of PAs).
I\'m actually excited for the thing and will probably attend the LA events. Really good players, playing alongside their countrymen an intense, nationalistic competition in a sport I love? What\'s to grouse about?
Its true we get to see these players on a regular basis but I think the players\' intensity is amped up (Ichiro was nuts last year) and they\'re really trying to win. Playing for country with fellow countrymen, is important.
Not to every player is fired up, of course, and so some sit at home or go to camp. By that elimination we get the players who do care. Besides, fewer teams in the WBC means a good star - scrub ratio. The DR might be better than 1/2 the teams in the NL. The DR – Venezuela game has more stars than Pitt vs Toronto interleague classic.
I\'m more outraged by the lack of an index in BP, The Book. We subscribers pay the bills and should be treated accordingly.
(I kid. Frankly, we don\'t pay nearly enough for the BP products. The book and online subscription are way underpriced; they should cap online subscriptions and auction them.)
From 2007 to 2008 Danks FB/HR % went down from 13.8% to 7.4%, his BABIP went from .318 to .299, and his strand rate went from 70.5% to 76.1%, so he benefited from some change in luck. It\'d be interesting to normalize those and see how much better he really was.
This item illustrates how a team can afford to pay out 3 of the top 6 contracts in 2009 and 5 of the top 10 in 2008. That\'s fine, they\'re entitled to compete under the rules, but fans of the teams that lost their star players in free agency to the Yankees aren\'t going to deliver the sympathy you\'re looking for.
The fans crushed over their team\'s prospects when they lost their stars: Texeira, CC, Chuck Knoblach, Giambi, Carl Pavano, Johnny Damon, Abreu and on and on and on are going to delight in your discomfort and in signings like Kei Ikagaw, Jose Contreras, Pavano, etc.
As an aside, instead of the Yankees, can we call them the \"Hessians\"? A mercenary seems more appropriate than a home grown patriot.
The World Baseball Classic semis & finals are in LA MArch 23 et seq. Might be a good place to visit baseball fans. Please don\'t go to Buca Di Beppo Pepos again.
A couple of these guys seem like reverse Ugueto Effects. PECOTA had Chris Young, Encarnacion, Justin Upton and Milledge outperforming the collective predictions reported at Fangraphs (and ESPN, etc) by a lot. PECOTA is maintaining its overestimation while the reality of 2008\'s poor performance drives down the baseline and makes the break-out so high.
So, you have ordinary players that PECOTA insists are great and as long as that continues, you\'ll get high break out rates.
Where\'s Steve Balboni\'s card?
Christina nails the mark on her preferred targets, but what about \"Aggregate Mediocrity Not Worth the Clubhouse Catering Bill\"?
I nominate Ned COlletti, who brings to Dodger camp: C Brad Ausmus , SS Juan Castro, SP Shawn Estes, SP Charlie Haeger, INF Mark Loretta, RP Guillermo Mota, SP Claudio Vargas, SP Jeff Weaver, SP Randy Wolf.
Get yer tickets now.....
I don\'t share the outrage becasue no rule is being broken and 3 independent & adverse parties are making a deal.
#Arizona says, we\'ll facilitate Cruz\'s signing if we get a player traded to us.
#Cruz says, I\'ll waive my right to block a trade, if Arizona facilitates a trade.
#The third team says, I\'ll pay Cruz and Arizona if I get Cruz\'s services.
All voluntary, all in line with existing rules. The only strecth seems to be that a player hasn\'t waived such rights in a contract, but why shouldn\'t it be a negotiable chip?
\"For expanded commentary on all 100 players and many more, pick up Baseball Prospectus 2009, available at Amazon.com now and in bookstores nationwide.\"
Do you guys get more or less depending on where we buy the book?
This is the first interesting commentary I\'ve read. All the other coverage is trite, predictible and, to borrow a basketball term, fake hustle.
But Michael Phelps is grateful.
I almost asked, \"What kind of league cares about Mark Hendrickson\" but you answered my question. Thanks.
Its not my money, but Darren Oliver for $3.655 million contract seems rich because Scoscia treats him like a 6th inning reliever.
Its moot though, Scoscia loves his walk-less hitters and offense will always drag this team down. His fetish for high average, swing-away type guys reminds me of Gardenhire the manager and Mike Scoscia/Micky Hatcher the players.
I get the feeling the Angels really dislike dealing with Boras, too, which is why they loudly opted out of the Manny derby.
I remember Gene Mauch talking about this when he slotted Brian Downing at leadoff. And foregtting about it when he slotted Gary Pettis there.
Why was Ned COlletti kicking the tires on Varitek? Move Russell Martin to 3rd so he can force another crappy bat into the line-up?
Will the infield of Loney, Blake DeWitt/Loretta, Casey Blake, Russell Martin hit more than 40 Hrs?
You\'re wrong; the beginning, middle and end of the Rays story is its MVP, Jason Bartlett.
Great line about Price and his box.
seconded. When reading in the office, one must print out.
What\'s really awesome about this Dodger run is that it guarantees several more years of whimsical Ned COlletti and cements Torre\'s confidence that he knows what he\'s doing and doesn\'t need to improve his personnel selection or bullpen management.
That\'s awesome if you\'re GM Of the other NL West teams and wondering how you comepete with half the money.
I\'ve been a lifelong Angel fans and was delirious in 2002, but I also new the costs: more Stoneman, long term deals for Ertstad, Kennedy, Anderson; allegience to the Angel way of baseball (i.e., 9 Micky Hatcher hitters), etc.
Dodgers are now infected with that bug, they think Colleti knows what he\'s doing and Torre is more than a guy who scraped 84 wins with twice the budget of his competitors.