CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com
New! Search comments:
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)
If McClelland wanted to "make up" for the second base ump's mistake, as the crew chief he should have gathered umps together and overruled the call, not waited for the chance to even the scales by making an equally lousy call at third.
Am I delusional, or was there a brief moment in time--maybe between the Richie Phillips Massacre and the 2004 World Series--where it looked like umpiring was improving? I remember umps, of their own volition, conferencing on difficult calls and crews being more willing to rectify mistakes, even if it meant "showing someone up."
I'm not objective, and I'm definitely not "ombudsman-like," whatever that means, but I will point out that BP's Playoff Prospectus for this series was for the Phils to win in 4 games (odd coincidence, that), so that's an odd concept of "consensus" that you're sporting.
Personally, I was rooting for the Rockies last night, not because I preferred them in the series or dislike the Phillies, but because I wanted one more night of baseball on the 2009 schedule.
"Twins have no chance to win" is a false premise, but it would probably be the biggest upset since Cards/Mets, 2006. And that was a 7 game series, which makes the upset a little harder.
Those Ks are coming at a cost. Sabathia's burning 19 pitches per inning so far, a rate he won't be able to maintain for long.
You're being too modest. I never did any federal appellate practice, so all my knowledge of that is leftovers from law school and bits of book learnin' I've done along the way.
I'd also like to thank you for pointing out Orin Kerr's analysis on Volokh. I'd seen an article by him on this topic last year, but I didn't know that he'd stuck with it through the en banc arguments and decisions. Highly recommended.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a great seizer.
True. But the real threat to the players and the MLBPA isn't so much official government action--it's extremely unlikely that the feds would pursue a case against the players who weren't on the warrant to begin with--but exposure. And, with the flotilla of lawyers, staff, and assorted others who've gained knowledge of the test results through this litigation, the likelihood of the confidential results staying confidential seems pretty low.
Actually, it wasn't a whole panel. The Ninth Circuit is so big that they have a "limited" en banc procedure, by which 11 of the circuit's 29* active judges are randomly selected to hear the case. So the government could go back for a full en banc decision--although they would do so with nine votes already against them, against five in their favor. I'm not sure about the Supreme Court's track record of granting cert based on limited en banc decisions, so going back to the full court might be necessary before they proceed to the Supremes.
(* According to Wikipedia, there are two empty seats on the circuit; I'm not sure if that leaves a full en banc with 29 or 27 justices.)
Bleargh. I shouldn't write as early as noon :) That should be:
...even though most people consider that a separate specialty rather than a general "chef" skill.
With paragraphs that are more than two sentences long? I think not.
A couple of nitpicks: Keith wasn't there at BP's formation, and Clay's pretty darn good at media (as is Posnanski), although I don't know if that's a skill he had when BP first started or one he developed along the way.
That last bit cuts to the crux of the issue: doing media is a skill that you develop, and not really one that you can develop easily as an outsider. Blogging's made it fairly cheap and easy to develop a writing style by simple hard work: if you write every day, even if you don't have a ton of talent for it, it's likely you'll get better. It's much harder as an outsider to get that same sort of practice at being interviewed by professionals for broadcast. So in that sense, it's a bit unfair that Matt got eliminated based on a skill that's hard to hone outside of belonging to an organization like BP, where you'll get those media opportunities.
On the other hand, this is a little like Top Chef: you will be required to make dessert, even though most people don't consider a separate specialty rather that a general "chef" skill. So if BP does Idol again, contestants should be forewarned to get all experience they can at doing media--bug podcasters and local radio guys to have you on, record yourself talking, whatever it takes to get those skills.
Final note: Funck-Swartz Finale is a great band name.
The entire point of the strike was that the MLBPA couldn't punish the owners "at any time." There was a limited window where a work stoppage would hurt the owners as much as it would the players--once the season was over, the owners were planning a work stoppage of their own, so whatever the Players Association wanted to do at that point was moot.
There's definitely room at BP for what Brittany has been trying to do--it's similar to the combination of analysis and mainstream "insider" coverage that John Perrotto has done so well here. You can definitely add value to our coverage with that approach.
That said, I don't know if she was trying to invite comparison to John when she picked the Pirates as her topic for this week, but it didn't do her any favors. Neither did focusing on a trade that had already been analyzed within an inch of its life, here and elsewhere. The field really picked up the pace this week, and I have to admit that, although she's a really good writer, Brittany's article was the only one I never considered voting for this week.
Mark, I know a few people, like Cory Schwartz, who think highly of your research, so when you initially posted a list of four improvements you thought you could make to the system, I thought you might actually want to know that three of your very general suggestions indeed had been previously implemented by Nate. I didn't do that to "shoot down" your ideas or defend the status quo, I did it since you seemed genuinely unaware of the improvements that had been made to the system, particularly ones that were announced in the BP Annuals.
Sadly, your offer of "Apologies if any of these topics have been fully addressed" seems to have been disingenuous, as your increasingly belligerent replies have shown. I am heartened, however, that you finally admitted that there have been improvements to PECOTA every year, even if you're irked that those improvements weren't done exactly to your taste. The only thing I objected to was the implication that the good people in charge of PECOTA were not diligent in their work. As Matt showed above, it's possible to suggest improvements to a system without denigrating the efforts of those who have and continue to work hard to improve it.
The only thing my "pretty sure" proves is that I didn't have my Baseball Prospectus annuals on hand when I replied to your earlier comment. Starter/Reliever adjustment is addressed specifically in Baseball Prospectus 2006, in the front of the book chapter "rearranging PECOTA." Nate's research on these adjustments can be found in various articles on this site--just search for the name Papelbon in the articles that he's authored, and you'll get some of them. Strength of Schedule has been a factor since 2004, as referenced in that year's season preview. The use of a platoon adjustment in PECOTA, which takes into account changes in role and the expected percentage of lefties a team is projected to face, is discussed in the Statistical Introduction to Baseball Prospectus 2008.
The fact that two of your concerns were addressed three and five years ago, respectively, should serve as evidence that Nate has been driving to make PECOTA better pretty darn aggressively. Your other complaints are somewhat ironic, given that you're commenting on a BP Idol thread--a contest where we've "actively solicit[ed] ideas" from our readers--and to an article that shows that readers who have done their homework have great tweaks to offer.
I liked the writing and I liked the fact that Brian tailored his analysis to a specific real-world fantasy league, the NFBC, instead of just giving general fantasy advice. Still, I almost didn't vote for this one because it felt like there was a step missing. "Testing this, I found that each homer usually moves you up and down the rankings by about four places." How did you test it? How did you come to the realization that you had to average 40th place in each category to have a shot at winning the league?
Without those details, the article was a bit like when they use swap-ins in a cooking show: here are all your ingredients, this is a general description of what we're cooking...then boom! the finished fantasy ranking system comes out of the oven, pre-made. I would've liked to see Brian cook.
Criticism #4 was addressed in PECOTA two years ago, and I'm pretty sure that #s 2 and 3 were addressed prior to that. Criticism #1 is interesting, but there are likely issues of having a sufficient body of data for the pre-PitchFX era. While we sometimes lag in updating some of our metrics (most often where the original researchers have gone on to bigger and better things, like Woolner and Click), it's pretty unfair to accuse BP of not being "aggressive enough" in improving PECOTA, given that there have been improvements made to the system just about every off-season since it was first introduced.
Still, I agree with you that Matt did a great job--for my money, the best article of the round.
Well, for those fans who live and pay taxes in New York City...yeah, they literally do owe us. And we've decided not to charge them interest. How do you think they built that new stadium in the first place?
Seriously, you're right, the Yankees could probably jack up prices much higher at the stadium, and make more money this season. But then they'd be playing to a half-full house much of the year, and after months of horrible publicity, come 2010, they'd probably have to rebuild their season ticket holder base virtually from scratch. Back in the early and mid-90s, they worked very hard to build up this base of virtually guaranteed, low-maintenance income, and it's in their self-interest not to have to do that again in this brutal economy. Good capitalists understand the importance of maintaining good relationships with their customers.
It isn't just Jay. My brother also got an extremely conciliatory phone call and better offer, after rejecting a package in the very last row of the upper deck. I suspect a lot of people turned down that first offer, and after years of capacity crowds, I think that the ticket sales folks had forgotten what the word "no" sounded like. Probably a very rude awakening for them.
I'm a Kindle novice but I suspect that the formatting of the player comments would be difficult to put on a Kindle screen. On the Kindle for iPhone App, it would be kind of ridiculous. Still, if you really want it, there is a link on the Amazon purchase page where you can request that the book be Kindlized (Kindled? Kindlin'? I like Diana's term best).
The Mexican Francisco Rodriguez, by the way, has a motion that\'s extremely similar to the Venezuelan one (y\'know, the guy who holds the single-season saves record), enough so you might do a double-take if you see him on the mound in Spring Training. Sadly, while his fastball\'s really nice, he doesn\'t have K-Rod\'s super dippy breaking ball.
Both committed serious offenses against this nation and both are being persecuted to the extent of the law, but yet in your shallow minded eyes Bonds is somehow \"singled out\"?
Not taking sides, just pointing out the Freudian slip.
I understand your concerns and don\'t want to trivialize them, but there are three issues with what you\'re saying. First, while the possession of various controlled substances without a proper prescription is a crime, use typically isn\'t, and evidence of past use is seldom sufficient to sustain a possession charge. In addition, we can\'t assume that every positive test resulted from illegal possession: there are a number of jurisdictions where steroids banned in the U.S. are sold over the counter--you can\'t know where a user obtained and possessed drugs based on a test. Add in issues of statutes of limitations and the way this evidence was seized, and it\'s extremely unlikely that Alex Rodriguez should be worried about going to jail.
Second, if you\'re worried about the \"drug ring\" implications of these steroid revelations, you might be relieved to know that none of this is new. Amphetamines have long been controlled substances, and ballplayers have openly and notoriously used them for decades. Very few people objected to this illegal activity at the time it was publicized in the early \'70s, no action was taken against the practice when the league cracked down on the abuse of recreational drugs in the 1980s, and the whole issue was specifically omitted from the Mitchell Report. Were you screaming for Pete Rose and other Phillies linked to amphetamines to be jailed in the early 80s? Were you calling for Jim Bouton to go to jail after reading Ball Four?
Finally, you can\'t divorce the \"cheating\" aspect of PED use to its illegality, because the people who make the laws haven\'t. The controlled substance schedule most steroids are now on used to be reserved for drugs that had major risk of physical addiction. Congress put anabolic steroids--which medically don\'t fit that description--on that schedule largely because of its abuse in sports (and to get headlines on the sports pages).
Joe\'s partly right on both counts.
1) Although the government isn\'t bound by the 2002 Joint Drug Agreements\' confidentiality provision, they are bound by a court order that held the information the Feds got from the the Quest raid under seal, as the MLBPA is still challenging the government\'s right to raid the labs, and to seize information relating to anyone but the 10 BALCO-related players for whose tests the feds had a warrant.
2) The authorities\' seizure of the non-BALCO 2003 tests was a little more than \"serendipitous.\" A search warrant is supposed to be very specific, limiting the authorities to only searching for and/or seizing specific items they have probable cause to believe may be evidence of a crime. The IRS search warrant related to baseball players connected to BALCO, and since BALCO was allegedly dealing in PEDs, they had probable cause to think that MLB\'s survey testing of the players in question would turn up evidence that the players in question were using steroids, possibly sold to them by BALCO. The Feds should have only grabbed the results of those ten players, but they instead wound up seizing the test results for all the more than 1,000 players tested. This was convenient, since they\'d requested all the results in a subpoena that the two laboratories were fighting at the time the IRS raided their offices. It\'s a long story that\'s still pending appeal.
Four major league managers who were longtime starters (Bud Black, Mike Scioscia, Joe Girardi, and Ozzie Guillen) made between $10-25 million in their playing careers. Now, that may seem like chickenfeed by the current pay scale, but what\'s the point when players make too much money that they no longer are interested in managing?
So that\'s it for the Dominicans in Caribbean Series 2009. They can\'t match Venezuela\'s four wins, and now can only play spoiler for the remaining contender, Mexico (if it comes to that).
On to the Bob Costas/Joe Torre interview, which based on the promos looks like it will be a solid hour of Costas asking variations on the question \"You sure you don\'t regret writing the book?\" followed by Torre answering variations on \"No.\"
I guess I should have given a spoiler warning before writing that.
I know it ties in with the MLB Network\'s upcoming replays of high-strikeout games, but they\'re recycling the graphic (and the conversation, almost word-for-word) of the high-strikeout games for players from the four Caribbean Series countries.
It\'s strange, but before he went to the Yankees, Jason Giambi was considered a leader; and some press folks in New York went on and on about his leadership skills when he spoke to Verducci for the A-Rod hatchet job SI published just before the 2006 playoffs.
He\'d have a hard time getting a coaching/managing job because of the steroids; but then again, Giambi\'s also the only major leaguer who\'s really done any penance for his PED use, so this might not be as crazy an idea as it sounds.
Ronny Paulino--the Dominican cleanup hitter--hit the two-run jack. It was a monster shot.
Manny\'s too easy an answer, I guess. Although, I\'ll admit, I\'d love to see him try. Could you imagine mound conferences with Manny? Manny enforcing a dress code? Manny giving hitting tips?
I see what you\'re saying about Ozzie Guillen, but during his playing days he was a vocal (oh, my was he vocal!) clubhouse leader, and he was pretty clear about his ambition to manage after his career was over.
At least anyone playing under Dukes would be motivated to win. Two-error game? The Skipper texts you a picture of one of his guns.
It\'s best overall record at the end of the round robin. In the event of a tie, they\'ll play on Sunday to crown a champion.
If the alternative is more ads for erectile dysfunction meds and Barack Obama collectible coins/plates/towels, then I must admit I don\'t mind.
The lesson? If you have Fernando Martinez, you play Fernando Martinez. That is all.
Odd choice in the middle of the fifth, going directly to commercial as soon as the last out was recorded, even though PR\'s starter was crumpled on the ground after getting hit by a comebacker. Is he OK? Who cares! Gotta pay the bills...
In response to Benny, yeah, Licey\'s picked a bad moment to forget how to hit. Offerman played off yesterday\'s loss in the Dominican press as the team being rusty due to a long layoff. That excuse only words once.
Mota just led off the broadcast saying that the early matchup of winless teams, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico featured \"powerhouses, perhaps teams that came into this tournament as favorites.\"
Who exactly considered Puerto Rico a powerhouse or a favorite, coming into this tourney? When did this happen?
1. I have to admit, I don\'t know. In the past I\'ve been told that the series absolutely cannot go past seven days, but a four-way tie would require three games minimum to anoint a champion. I\'ll see if I can get an answer to that question sometime this week.
2. I know that MLB\'s announcers were in Puerto Rico in 2007 and I\'m pretty sure they were there in 2008. It would be surprising if they weren\'t there now that MLB has a network. The production has been a bit of a mystery in that it\'s been very bare bones (no radar gun, there doesn\'t seem to be a ton of coordination between the booth and the cameras). As for the substitutions, they\'re frequently not announced in the stadium, for reasons I can\'t comprehend. Last year, Gameday was a better indicator of substitutions than the scoreboard or the announcer.
3. Mota actually had decent walk rate in the minors, but true, the Dominicans were swinging like they had a bus to catch.
There\'s always a delay due to the gala opening ceremonies--even where, as here, the game ended in plenty of time to set up and get things going on time. The first game was a pitching duel they finished in 2:46.
So Brock\'s the only one watching Brad Knox get pulled out of a no-hitter just now, with one out in the seventh? Just me and Brock?
If not, does anyone else think that Diaz should have had a hit on the grounder he smoked toward Ugueto?
According to this Unfiltered post, Harang\'s throw day was actually the day prior to his four-inning relief appearance, not the day of. Even if it had been Harang\'s throw day, managers who are willing to put their starters out there on their throw days usually will let them pitch an inning or maybe two in a game, not the extended outing Harang made.
You\'re right that Dusty\'s players (at least the ones who stay in his good graces) love playing for him. But then, maybe that\'s the problem. Dusty manages like a player, and that builds clubhouse camaraderie--just sometimes at great cost to his team and players. So the team learns that Dusty sticks by his veterans through thick and thin, but at the price of Corey Patterson getting almost 400 plate appearances. Maybe that earns him some loyalty, but does it benefit the ballclub?
In any business, a manager\'s job is to keep in mind a bigger picture than the people working under him. In baseball, that means the players focus on winning tonight\'s game while the manager has to balance that interest against success in the season overall, and possibly future seasons, as well. As a player, I\'d have a hard time forgiving a manager who didn\'t give it his all to win a game that the team worked so hard to stay in; at the same time, on May 25 the Reds needed someone in that dugout who would look at the big picture, think \"Am I willing to risk the team\'s top two pitchers to beat the Padres in May? Is that smart?\" and manage accordingly. Everyone here knows the players aren\'t strat cards, but what\'s the value of all the rapport Dusty builds with his players if it doesn\'t give him the latitude to make tough decisions?
Also, your criticism of saving long relievers for extra innings only works if a) every game the team plays is a close game, and b) you save the same long reliever for every close game. Otherwise, not so much.
A single logical reason? Nope, but then again, I don\'t see the argument for anyone voting against Rickey Henderson. Sadly, it\'s a virtual lock that someone will leave Maddux off, if only to get the national attention that comes from being the contrarian.
Nobody asked them to \"air their dirty laundry\"--they brought it up, unbidden. While I don\'t expect a miniseries based on \"Lords of the Realm,\" or encomiums to Marvin Miller, it\'s strange to hear someone trying to spin a 20-year-old fight. Even the most extreme political partisans don\'t waste their time trying to defend Watergate these days--they know that to do so would cost them their credibility, right off the bat.
If this were HR\'s first job after ESPN sacked him, or even his first major assignment, maybe it\'d be worth mentioning. But he\'s worked for MLB.com and TBS since then, and given the prominent place they\'ve given him on the new network, it appears that MLB has confidence that he won\'t embarass them.
As Jack points out, it\'s not \"characterized\" as collusion by anyone. It was repeatedly ruled to be collusion by arbitrators in legal proceedings. Oh, and it lasted three years, not two.
There\'s nothing wrong with \"basic financial sanity,\" so long as you don\'t violate labor law and your own CBA to get there. We often take owners to task for wasting their resources on players who are bad bets to repeat their performances, and we often encourage the promotion of younger, less experienced and cheaper players. That\'s self-restraint and smart management. It\'s the part where you engage in conspiracy, bad-faith dealing and perjury to keep prices down that gets folks in trouble.
krissbeth: I don\'t know how Hiroshima and Dresden got into this conversation, but I didn\'t make the argument you\'ve set up as a straw man here. I was simply responding to the idea that MLB could unilaterally declare itself to have had a steroids policy before 2002 because \"the laws of the U.S. are inherently the rules of baseball.\" In my view, MLB\'s conduct with regard to amphetamines kills the idea that there were ever any \"inherent\" rules in place, except perhaps a rule of convenience. By turning a blind eye to amphetamine use, baseball sent a clear signal to the players that (so far as MLB was concerned) they were allowed to use performance enhancers, regardless of legality, if they helped the guys do their job on the field. Having sent that signal, no one should have been surprised when players graduated to other illegal or semi-legal performance enhancers, like steroids. The onus was on the league to make it clear what was allowed and what was banned, since the laws of the U.S. obviously weren\'t a sufficient guide.
That argument has nothing really to do with hypocrisy by Hall of Fame voters--much less \"all people who argue against drug performance enhancement\" (is anyone here arguing for drug performance enhancement?)--and everything to do with hypocrisy within the game. Nonetheless, since you bring it up, it does seem unfair for the writers to retroactively impose steroid rules on baseball, at a time when it had none. Everyone who voted for the Hall of Fame last year was a member of the BWAA during the 1998 season, and almost all of them were part of the collective yawn that greeted the news of McGwire\'s possession and use of androstenedione that year. That\'s an awkward position from which to get on your high horse ten years later.
If it was against the law of the United States, then it was inherently against the rules of baseball, no? Just because it wasn\'t implicit in the CBA, doesn\'t mitigate the illegality of it.
No, and the argument is no less wrong because Fay Vincent made it. There\'s a good shot that a team can discipline a player after a criminal conviction (not accusation) under the various morals clauses in the CBA and the uniform player contract, but short of that, any specific conduct that would generate discipline or other sanction must be collectively bargained.
Using the \"laws of U.S. = rules of baseball\" reasoning, all the players who\'ve used amphetamines--a controlled substance, and by anyone\'s definition a PED--would be cheaters. Since amphetamines were in use, openly and notoriously, for at least thirty years before MLB bothered to make any attempt to test for them or curtail their use, you\'d have to think that MLB doesn\'t follow your logic.
I agree on your first point, although genuine security interests and shameless profiteering aren\'t mutually exclusive. At one point while I was waiting to get in the Stadium yesterday the police came by with what looked like a giant geiger counter to sweep over the crowd--that\'s not the kind of thing you do as a cynical ploy, and the effort is appreciated.
On the second point, there\'s no conflict between saying that teams should focus on putting the best team possible on the field, and saying that maximum pricing is not necessarily in the best interests of fans, teams, or the sport in general. Yankee Stadium is in no danger of failing to sell out next year--the Stadium\'s novelty will see to that, if nothing else--but if the team\'s fortunes continue to decline, it\'s not hard to envision them missing some of the hardcore fans that they\'re currently pricing out.
My memories of Fenway were that the personnel was competent but unfriendly; if this is something that has changed in the John Henry era, it\'s welcome. Yankee Stadium\'s personnel is actually much more courteous than it was in the mid-80s and early 90s, but it varies immensely from person to person that you deal with.
The Yankee Stadium security is similarly inconsistent. At any given gate into the Stadium, you\'ll find one line manned by someone intent to pat down every package and every person queued up, right next to a line where the security check is a stern look delivered from three or more feet away, then you get waved right through. So, even though umbrellas are \"banned\", you\'ll see plenty of people open up theirs inside of Yankee Stadium during any rain delay, because some people enforce the rules and others don\'t. That\'s not even getting into the nonsensical inconsistencies within the rules, such as women can bring in backpacks of any size, but men can\'t bring anything but a clear plastic bag.
But those faults are matters of policy--higher-ups decide what you can bring into Yankee Stadium, and supervisors should be in charge of seeing that the rules are applied consistently. Many of the people who work at Yankee Stadium are very polite and helpful, including one security guard who assisted us getting to the First Aid station when my brother got a migraine shortly before game time. For those people, it\'s not their fault they\'re ordered to carry out policies that are sometimes stupid.
Bob\'s right on this one. Appendix A of the CBA specifies that in terms of Grievance Arbitrations \"There shall be no oral communication by a Party with the Panel Chair in connection with arbitration cases unless the other Party or his representative is present.\" So under the CBA rules (which trump the AAA\'s rules) the arbitrator can\'t accept ex parte communications.
In my experience, it\'s not that rare for arbitrators to try and switch hats and mediate, even in non-hybrid proceedings (I\'ve never had any experience with hybrid proceedings). But labor grievances usually aren\'t a good forum for mediation, and are approached with greater formality than commercial arbitrations. Since someone is accusing the other party of breaking the rules, you\'re typically going to need an adjudication on the facts.