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Ken Arneson
21 comments | 52 total rating | 2.48 average rating
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Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 8

In my case, I mostly think the A's should end up higher than PECOTA because I don't trust PECOTA to project Bob Melvin's platooning skills correctly. A couple of examples: For Derek Norris, PECOTA projects him to hit .165/.268/.242 vs RHPs, and .295/.380/.528 vs LHPs. On the team projections, he is listed as getting 325 PAs for a combined total of .224/.316/.394. In order for those splits to add up to those combined total, Norris would have to hit with a platoon advantage about 45% of the time. But last year, he hit with a platoon advantage about 56% of the time. And then there's Brandon Moss. PECOTA projects him to hit .225/.283/.396 vs LHPs, and .269/.350/.558 vs RHPs. Combined, he's listed as getting 314 PAs for a combined total of .242/.314/.443. I don't get at all how Moss's combined totals add up. He'd have to somehow get more PAs against LHPs than against RHPs for those splits to add up to that combined total; that is, getting the platoon advantage in less than 50% of his PAs. Last year, he hit with a platoon advantage in 82% of his PAs. Well, that's my excuse anyway. Still, I won't deny an optimism bias. I'm human.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 4

"Peköta" is meaningless. Closest thing in Swedish would probably be "Pek kota", which means "pointing vertebra". If that helps at all.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

Maybe I'm just being dense here, but I thought the basis of baseball's antitrust exemption was that the Supreme Court in the 1920s ruled that baseball was not a form of interstate commerce. Except that Congress was free to rule that elements of baseball, such as the reserve clause, were interstate commerce, and it could regulate it if it wished. Which it did with the Curt Flood Act in 1987. Which sounds to me like, unless Congress specifically says it's interstate commerce by passing a law, then it's all intrastate commerce. So why wouldn't state laws apply?

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

The Supreme Court said that federal antitrust overrided state antitrust on the reserve clause. But this isn't about the reserve clause. Why would state antitrust law be overridden because of interstate commerce on an intrastate business move?

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 2

The A's use of Jed Lowrie, Adam Rosales, and Eric Sogard this year seems to indicate that the A's have reached a different conclusion from you. Rosales and Sogard are in a platoon, and Lowrie plays every day. Sogard only plays 2B. Rosales and Lowrie play both SS and 2B. When Rosales starts, he is at SS, and Lowrie plays 2B. But when Rosales comes into the game as a substitute, they leave Lowrie at SS, and put Rosales at 2B. I can't figure out why the A's would do that unless they feel there is some sort of penalty for mid-game position switches.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 5

I heard Bruce Bochy explain a few years ago that he doesn't split up pitchers by type, but by how many innings they tend to throw. He wanted to split up Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito not because they were both left-handed, but because both pitchers will often have games where they use up their pitch count limits early in the game. If they were back-to-back in the rotation, he would tax his bullpen more than if he stuck Matt Cain in between them. Cain's consistency in lasting into the 7th or 8th innings gives his bullpen a chance to rest after one of Sanchez's wild days where he would get knocked out in the 3rd.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 1

Ross' splits give some hope that he can be effective as a reliever. The first time through the order as a starter, his career BABIP against is .289 and his OPS against is .585. Second time through: .354 and .811. Third time through: .432 and 1.137.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 2

One of my favorite baseball memories was sitting in the third deck at the Oakland Coliseum for Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS. I was sitting right straight above and behind the plate, so I could see clearly exactly where the ball crossed the plate. Pedro Martinez' command that night was unbelievable. He consistently painted the black all night. And by painting the black, I mean that 1/3 of the ball would be over the black of the plate, and 2/3 of the ball would be off the plate. It was ridiculous. None of the other pitchers I watched from that angle had anywhere near that kind of consistency towards the edge of the strike zone. You can't do that unless you can repeat your delivery flawlessly.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

Well then I agree that it's really unfair to jump to conclusions about what the data means. How is this different from what makes people like or dislike other people in general? We like people who talk to us over those who don't. We like people who are tall more than who are short. We like people who are good-looking over those who are ugly. We like people who are extroverts more than those who are introverts. None of those things *should* matter in evaluating job performance of any kind, but they do.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 3

"Suppose that a player has worked hard all his life. Everyone around the game knows it and everyone, even people on other teams, admires him for that work ethic." Suppose that a player doesn't speak English very well. How would such a player get to be known by English-speaking broadcasters for his work ethic in order to be praised for it on broadcasts? Can you separate out the linguistic barrier from any other sort of "nativisim" from the data?

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 5

I disagree that the kid would rank all those things as a 9. Depends on the kid. My kids have gotten balls tossed to them several times. They were happy at first, but every single time, they had completely misplaced the ball in their rooms by the next day, and forgotten about it. At first, my oldest kid was probably a 3, and my second kid about a 5. By the next day, it's probably about 1 and 2. Now, they barely remember the events. Meanwhile, an adult may not enjoy the initial moment better, but they may hold on to the enjoyment longer. What's more important, the initial peak pleasure of the moment, or the long-term enjoyment? It's not so simple an equation.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 2

Oh, orange-seated Oakland Coliseum, how I don't miss you. But on the other hand, oh, pre-Mount-Davis bleachers, how I do miss you so.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

The act of measuring defense could lead to not just changes in positioning, but also changes in personnel. Seems to me that we've seen a lot more defense-first shortstops in recent years than we did a decade ago.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 3

The A's actually dabbled in computers before Steve Boros, when Billy Martin was still the manager. I recently got my hands on a 1982 Oakland A's media guide. On the first page, they list everybody in the front office, and one of the employees listed is Jay Alves. Alves is now a Rockies executive, but back then, his job in the Oakland front office was "Apple Computer Operator". I have no idea what the Apple Computer was used for, but I suppose one could ask Alves.

Mar 30, 2012 2:07 AM on Moneyball: The Prequel
 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 10

I'm not quite sure what to make of this article, although I have once been beaned during a baseball game.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

The Oakland listing has the area code 415, but Oakland's area code has since changed to 510. Did you dial 415 or 510?

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 3

OK, you made me read the Swedish version. Most of it seems pretty straightforward. A couple of items of note: 1. It contains a pre-sabermetric-era explanation of the various slots in the batting order. The #2 hitter "should be good at bunting or otherwise placing the ball in play, as well as be fast." 2. They call a putout a "bränning", which literally means a "burning." You're not out, you're "burned". This is a term copied over from the Swedish stick-and-ball game "brännboll". 3. I love the Swedish word for batter: "slagman". And beyond that (although this isn't in Wikipedia, but I've seen it elsewhere), I really dig the Swedish term for "batter's box": "slagmansruta".

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 4

I think that possibly this might could be an excellent article, perhaps.

 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

I\'m an A\'s season ticket holder, and I live just a short drive from the Coliseum, so moving to Fremont will certainly inconvenience me. But if I\'m Lew Wolff, the Fremont move is a no-brainer. I\'d do it in a heartbeat. If I can\'t move to San Jose, this is the next best thing. The A\'s probably don\'t care if the crowd is more corporate. In fact, that\'s the whole point of moving to Fremont--it\'s way way closer to where all the corporations are. Basically, what the A\'s are doing is keeping the Alameda County fans, and swapping the Contra Costa County fans for Santa Clara county fans. And when you compare the business revenues between the traded counties, the trade is a no-brainer. Just to take one statistic: In 2003, Santa Clara County businesses generated $55 billion in payroll, while Contra Costa businesses generated just $15 billion. http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/map/03data/06/013.txt http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/map/03data/06/085.txt And that\'s not counting all the venture capital money that lives just across the Dumbarton Bridge in Palo Alto (San Mateo County). I\'ve worked in high tech in all of these counties--met with many of the big businesses and VCs around here, seen the differences in affluence and culture between Silicon Valley and the Oakland/Contra Costa area. To me, it\'s flat-out obvious that the Fremont location will create access to way, way more money than being in Oakland. I won\'t miss the Coliseum, because I already miss it, and have already mourned it. It was a lovely, pleasant stadium before, but Mount Davis was and is a travesty.

Nov 22, 2008 6:33 PM on Our Picks at the Break
 
Ken Arneson
(2371)
Comment rating: 0

The traffic in that area has historically been awful, particularly southbound, because I-880 used to go from four lanes each direction in Fremont down to just two lanes just across the county line in San Jose, so traffic would always back up right around the proposed ballpark area. That whole area just south of the ballpark area has been one big construction project for the last several years, to widen the freeway, improve the overpasses/exchanges, add carpool lanes, etc. That project is almost over now, as the southbound carpool lane just opened up this week. So while traffic has always been awful in the past, it should start improving considerably, oh, just about right now. Also, a vote on a sales tax increase to extend BART to Santa Clara County, which would put a new station a little over a mile from the proposed stadium, looks like it is barely passing. So the news is getting better on the transportation front, just as it\'s getting worse on the funding part.

Nov 20, 2008 3:58 PM on Our Picks at the Break