CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com
New! Search comments:
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)
So, on Sept 10th, the Rays lose a game on all three teams chasing them and now have one game leads over two teams and two over a third.
And their playoff odds only dropped by 1.8%
This is great, and should be required reading for any sports journalist
I find it interesting that the Rays still are seen with a 75% chance of the post-season considering that they have 3 teams within 4 games of them. Perhaps each one of those teams has a small chance to catch them, but collectively, I'd ive the field a better than a 1/4 shot
Even if the September races aren't so suspenseful, thanks to last year's new playoffs arrangement we will ALWAYS HAVE 2 PLAY IN DO-OR-DIE GAMES EVERY YEAR!!!! WooHoo!!!
Yay error variance!!!
We read this like 66.8 plus or mminus 6.4. I love this!
Crane is a billionaire who didn't need to go into debt for the Astros, but did to reduce tax burdens. Using "paying down debt" as a reason for a horrific project at historic cheapness is disgusting.
Houston is the #5 metro area in poipulation and the #10 media market. Maybe the Rays can cry poverty, but not Crane. grrrrrr
I'm all for accuracy, but your heart is 2 sizes too small if you would actively want to "eliminate" Santana's no hitter depriving mets fans (who have so little to root for) from their only no-no.
There was a BP piece (by Huckaby?) many years ago that categorized relief appearances into about 12 different categories- and it contained a flow chart and everything. Can't find it in the archives, but it would make a GREAT companion to this piece.
Seemed like a deliberately chosen new strategy for Harvey and the Mets. Now that they are looking to reduce his workload, I think they've decided that he pitch more efficiently, as opposed to maximizing strikeouts. So 9 great innings instead of 7 otherworldly ones.
I guess I missed that- it seemed like you were saying he was predictable because of consistently tipping his pitches- as opposed to simple working through stuff.
From Jason Stark:
HR by Yankees right-handed hitters since May 23 -- two
HR by right-handed hitters on the other 29 teams since May 23 -- 858
Wheeler is pitching exactly like a top prospect pitcher coming up to the majors most often has throughout major league history- some good, some bad, working through the adjustment to the bigs. (see Matt Moore, etc.)
Matt Harvey, along with a few other aberrant recent examples (Kershaw, Strausburg) has tricked us into thinking it is common for top pitching prospects to dominate early.
That all comes out in the wash by the end of a 192 game schedule. Even with interleague play, the most significant difference between the Rays schedule and all other AL East teams is that they play each other.
Agreed. And also consider how they ruined Joba Chamberlain's career. It seems to me Joba would be a perfectly cromulent mid-rotation starter if they hadn't jerked him around so much.
As an industrial psychologist, I often find that many employees/managers/companies, across a range of fields develop a certain amount of skill/competence that gets them to very good job performance.
However, in order to make the leap from "good" to "great" often requires faith that learning new methods, trying new things will be worth it in the long run, even at the expense of short-term performance. Many are unwilling to do this, holding them back.
(for example, some folks can type 25wpm using two-finger huntandpeck, but if they used proper keyboard technique they would suck at typing for a months, but then be able to type 60wpm. Many will not persevere through the month of suckitude, especially if their performance is being tracked and their compensation is based on it.)
I guess this is my long way of suggesting that a player's willingness to make adjustments, refashion swings and pitching motions, and really commit to them despite early setbacks should be really important to their long-term success.
However, it would take a very confident AA player to do this (or an organization that makes it ok for prospects to fail for a while), considering the scrutiny and competition he faces.
Yankees will be open to almost any position, and will take anyone with an expiring contract
God, I was hoping Ike Davis' name would appear in this column...
Would it be possible to look at pitchers from the recent past with hellacious change-ups- Santana, Mussina (I know this is out of your current data set, but would be a cool 6th article)
So, is BP working on reliability/error bar/standard deviation components of its estimates?
If the Reynolds/Johnson WAR were presented something like 0.8(+-.5)/ 0.9(+-.6), it may be more complicated, but a accurate portrayal, leading to less confusion.
My favorite windup was Luis Tiant. I understand why you went with all-time greats for your examples, but can I get a bonus gif?
Fantastic article, by the way.
No no, they would have a "probably" being accepted, not a problem.
I saw both Jose Canseco and Howard Johnson play in independent league games last year!
Reading this article, I couldn't help thinking about the flak Piazza got for not charging Clemens after the bat-throwing incident in the World Series.
But the trend is that the teams really aren't saving money in these extensions anymore. No more Longoria sucker-deals. Guys like Votto and Posey are getting paid as if they will be MVP candidates for the next 8+ seasons.
n/a? No one recorded or timed Cowgill's grand slam?
I'm just grateful the Mets weren't featured in this article
Could MLB just be trying to send a signal to players and the MLBPA by doing this? It seems the easy answer to why they would bother.
Your points are valid, but your comment came off as complaining and pestering our writer because he didn't give you the info you wanted. Thant's why it was dinged.
Oh, and your movie sucked, too ;)
Wither Betances and Banuelos?
Yep, such a shame we don't have elite starting pitching talent for Team USA. Only the #1 and #3 NL CYA vote-getters. For shame.
There's a lot of research by business academics on what corporations do to assist the families of executives who follow that exec to different countries for job assignments.
I see no reason why some of this could not be applied to baseball teams assisting "trailing spouses" with cross-country moves.
We need something like confidence intervals around our stats. If Soriano's defense is rated 7.9 (8.7 - 2.5) it gives better context.
I agree the Mets have a bright future thanks to a young core of pitchers (and that Sandy's building a nice foundation), but the fact is they have not upgraded any position on a roster from last year- a year in which they won 74 games.
Who cares about Santana's ill-feelings to the Mets and/or vice versa.
It is clearly in BOTH of their best initerests that santana be healthy and pitch well. It would help the team (either in team performance or trade value), and would help Santana (if he wants a contract to pitch in 2014 and beyond).
The analogy you make to the unemployed mechanic is apt.
The player or even the manager feels the sample size of 1 reality of the situation
The "stat guy" looks at the larger trend
As such, we should largely care that front offices use the sabr data cirrectly, and worry less if a player or ex-player calls us geeks. (and we are absolutely crushing it in the battle that counts)
It's a 12.2 WARP swing. I don't know what the denominator is, though.
As a stats guy myself (in another field), I cringe when I see error variance attributed to "luck"- and this does happen a lot in sabermetric analysis (and most other walks of life, too).
Error variance is something we failed to predict, some of it is randomness or luck (chance would be a better word than luck, though), but it is mostly due to things we neglected to consider in our model.
I would also love to see more variance built into sabermetric numbers. For example, given that we do (pretty much) know how big a sample we need for certain stats to stabilize) we can build in confidence intervals or something around our stats.
Then we can have a debate on candidate A with 6.2(+-.5) WAR vs. candidate B with 5.9(.3), or with 1 year defense stats, something like 2.0(1.6). We kinda do this with PECTOTA's quartile projections, I'd love to see this with backwards looking stats, too. It would keep us griunded in the fact that stats often have a lot of error built in.
Makes you wonder what a Trout/Harper/Parker/Darvish led team would have done!!!
The bar charts would become OUTRAGEOUSLY AWESOME if there was also a bar represnting some index of effectiveness. This would help us see whether managers are maximizing the highest leverage situations to their BEST relievers, not just their most frequently used.
The trade made a lot of sense for both teams, considering their time horizons (win now vs. get younger/reload) and differing ability to absorb big contracts.
All championship-winning teams are both good and fortunate. Saying this about the Giants is just boilerplate.
Here's my 30 second pitch:
The Giants drafted and developed stud starting pitchers and one of the best young player in baseball. Their deep teams played good defense, pitched well out of the bullpen and had a well-rounded skill set. They made some questionable investments in veterans, but many of these investments paid off. San Francisco provides a great geographic market from which to build a solid financial base and fan support. Great stadium combined with good and stable ownership, front office and on-field management.
Yanks look to have an insanely great bullpen and vey solid starting pitching (hence the solid projection). They better, because the runs won't be so plentiful this year.
The man just iced the world series. He can take as long as he wants
I heart you, Jim baker!
Damaso Garcia's 1984 Stratomatic card was INSANELY GOOD. He was the key to my Blue Jays championship that year.
My wife is a musical theater actress, and it consistently amazes me how skilled she and her colleagues are when it comes to singing, dancing and emoting on cue. My son is a budding gymnast- it is incredible to see what the oldr kids at his gym can do.
It is amazing to see human performance at peak levels. You are right, we fail to appreciate this sometimes.
Duda's really a first baseman, not an OF (blocked by Davis- I know, I know, so put in the OF where he's a butcher)
Lucas Duda for a B list prospect? (OF or P)
Tejada is a perfectly fine placeholder, who is cheap and doesn't suck (actually describes 1/2 the Mets lineup).
I'm more excited about a healthy Ike Davis and am willing to dream on Captain Kirk.
I don't think social network analysis is the right tool here. I might try for surveying teams about the "values" of their clubhouses and then performing multi-group analysis. That's how we lO psychologists get at organizational culture.
Capt Kirk / Cowgill platoon is actually pretty good in CF. I'm more worried about the corners
I'm meh on Bourn
I remember the days of drafting Durazo on mt fantasy team and getting on the "Free Erubiel Durazo" bandwagon. Not good times.
I had never thought of that. This sounds way better than before, or worse yet, during the season
Aura and Mystique, baby!
Was Mike Fast's work not during the past year? If they were- what a snub!
We miss you. Thanks for visiting!
Forgive me about not following this situation more closely, but wasn't napoli signed at 3/$39M? I thought signed contracts meant "no backsies". Was the orgininal contract never finalized?
Can we stop pretending that Jason Bay is a viable option? I have to laugh when he is mentioned as a possible DH.
My guess is only 2 of Morse, Ibanez and Morales play every day. Morse mostly in the OF, the other 2 mostly at DH. Smoak gets the chance to stick at 1B (and Morales or Morse replaces him if he can't handle it), Montero is given every opportunity to be the primary catcher (and he can bump Ibanez as DH if he can't hack it).
That's not to much of a defensive downgrade for some needed pop.
Eduardo Nunez' natural position is DH against lefties. Rotate older players through and Yanks will be fine
Great piece. It would be hard to quantify, but I suspect pitchouts are also intended as deter the opposition from attempting steals.
Dear baseball writers: If you didn't vote for Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell and Raines, you DO NOT KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT BASEBALL TO HAVE AN OPINION THAT MATTERS. God, the stupidity!
I'm with you, lefty. Rebuild, sure, but you need to provide some entertainment value. Also, I don't understand crp's mindset (that is common around here) that if you are not a was contender, you should sell everything off, lose 100+ games, stockpile cash and hope to contend 4 years down the road.
Blanton, Melky, Chavez, Feldman, Ludwick, Pierzinski, Polanco, Soria, Soto and Youklis all signed reasonable 1-2 year deals. I know they're not great, but may make a bad season go down more easily.
Also, Crane/Houston have enough cash to even sign one or two high-price players to keep people interested- kinda like what Baltimore did with Ripken and seattle did with Ichiro during their lean years.
The Rays and Royals may need to pinch pennies. The Astros do not- it is entirely their choice to be cheap, and that is not good for the fans.
So right- Signing a few decent players at reasonable contracts for stopgaps would make the Astros easier to watch for their fans, and would have negligible impact on 2015 payroll.
I dislike perpetually rebuilding teams, too. But at least they avoid the costly errors.
One remaining market inefficiency in baseball is the 2/3 of a good player player. Guys like aj, or cowgirl can do 2/3 of a good job, but if used correctly, provide value as they are undervalued.
Baseball teams should have two goals. To build a winner, and to give fans entertainment in return for their money. There is no excuse for a metro area as big and wealthy as Houston to suffer through such incredible pennypinching. Disgusting
The Jays do look quite good- but there is a lot of injury risk on that roster- Johnson and Reyes have significant injury histories, Dickey and Buehrle have logged a lot of innings, and even returnees like Joey Bats have had significant injury. Let's hope they stay healthy- should be a fun team to watch
Mets fan here:
Heart- I'll miss RA
Head- Great deal
What I take away from this is if he has any decline in bat speed, his performance should drop precipitously. Also, Hamilton's value is largely based on his slg. He is now moving from the #5 ballpark for Lhasa power to the 22nd.
On Clubhouse Confidential, Vince Gennaro reported on a study that showed that Josh hamilton has the biggest split between his numbers against the bottom 1/3 pitchers in the league (who he demolishes like a BarryBondsBabeRuth two-headed monster) and his numbers against the top 1/3 pitchers (against whom he is less than league average against.
Enjoy the next 3 years. The 2018 Angels will be brutal.
Lincecum always went his own way, too
Thanks. What about Law, Jaffe or Sheehan?
Out of curiosity, which BP alumni have votes?
I really appreciate this piece. However, I was hoping for actual examples of how CJ's performance at the major league level either rose or fell because of a specific coach.
Coaching is obviously important, but as most player's performance doesn't seem to fluctuate with coaching changes, it is harder to establish. CJ is in a great position to shed light on this.
This would be harder to do, but comparing year to year within player changes against what would be expected with an aging curve would be the holy grail.
Why not? I'd make it in a heartbeat
Beltran >>>>>>> Hunter, right?
Pettite, Chavez and Jones this past year.
Interesting- I had no idea of the similarities.
I would add that Hunter is a superior fielder (who wouldn't be) and baserunner, giving him more value.
Clubhuse Confidential on the MLB network
Another problem with Northern NJ- the folks in NNJ see themselves as in the suburbs of NYC and as metro-NYers- hence the lack of turnout for the Nets and Devils. This is despite the continued excellence of the Devils.
More evidence- The Nets just quintupled (at least) their fan base by moving to Brooklyn. The best Newark has been able to do in baseball is the independent league Newark Bears. Newark is not a place you travel to. NJ does not have a city that binds a metro area together (NYC and Philly are the binding cities).
NNJ is on top of the list every time I hear about places for expansion, but it really does not make sense. Charlotte and Portland make immesurably more sense.
I find it amazingly impressive that someone with SAD can perform so well knowing his every movement on the mound is visible to 40,000 strangers in the stadium and perhaps millions on TV.
Sabean has smartened up. He let renteria and grrrrwhoisthat3rdbaseman walk after world series heroics last time. No need to make a dig at him
DiPoto maxed out his credit card last season, and is looking to cut payroll. This isn't very hard to understand, right? Harden, Hunter ans Santana all leaving makes room for a Grienke deal.
The contrast with the Giants was stark. SF was very athletic on defense and the base paths, and their one non-svelte guy hit 500 with 3hrs.
Choo to the Mets makes a ton of sense to me
The Giants are certainly the more complete team- good starters, great relievers, great defense, deep lineup, and good baserunning. They hav lots of ways to win, and have shown it in this series.
The Tigers have a top-heavy roster- if their stars don't shine, they have less chance to win. So far, Fileder, Cabrera and Verlander haven't dominated like they often do.
Facing Romo andhis sick slider, which always looks like a strike then dives out of the strike zone, wouldn't taking every slider be a wise course of action?
Also, I get your point about the Tigers hitting compared to the Yankees, but the Tigers have actually made contact, worked counts, and hit several line-drive outs. The yanks basically swung for the fences on pitches way out of the zone, striking out at a crazy rate.
Did it seem odd to anyone else that, with big outs to get in the 7th, leyland pulls the excellent Doug Fister and relies on an inning plaus of rookie lefty Guy er Drew Smyly?
Wouldn't either keeping Fister in or going to Benoit just after Smyly faces the lefties be the preferred approach? Why trust the most important inning of the game (and maybe the series) on Smyly?
The Tiger out on teh pickoff/steal of second would have been saf with a non-sucky slide, as well. Details, Tigers coaching staff, details!
We are really criticizing a runner trying to score when the pitcher throws one to the backstop? especially since he was safe by a considerable margin?
I always found it curious as baseball is the one major sport with a home-field advantage built into the game (as frampton identified), that there is far less hpme field advantage than in football, basketball or hockey. Is there some counterveling force?
In the other sports, emotion and ramping up intensity is almost always a goiod thing. In baseball, it is almost always counter-productive. Maybe the heightened home atmosphere degrades performance? Just a thought.
I'm very happy to see baseball back on the map in both Baltimore and DC. And to see two unexpected teams in the ALDS!
Viva wild-card play-in day!!!
Yeah, because of the whole "ordinary effort" thing
Morneau wasn't even an MVP candidate when he won the MVP. ZING!!!
Did Jaffe take his proprietary database for JAWS with him? or is this something BP can still use?
Basically, a 7 point batting average lead is huge. Trout needs to bat abot 100 points higher than Cabrera the rest of the way
If I magically got to own a baseball team, I'd move heaven and earth to hire Buck as my manager. What he did for a dead Yankees franchise in 1992, and then for the expansion Diamondbacks, and now for the Orioles is simply amazing. I just hope the O's don't fire him 1 year before they win a world series.
All they needed to do was claim "elbow soreness" or "sore calf", and put Strasburg on the 15-day DL twice this year. This would have meant missing 6 starts, which would have kept him below his innings limit.
Did everyone have to clear waivers and then be claimed by the Dodgers?
If so, if I were a GM, I'd stick my nose in and see if I can get one of them to flip me a b prospect for letting the player get through the trade.
For the Mets, I guess it comes down to getting sick of seeing guys with 190 and 206 TAVs suck up at bats. I sure am.
As a NYer, I listen to both Mets and Yanks radio broadcasts. Yankees (Sterling and Waldman) are total homers who stick to narratives, and (especially Sterling) loves goofy catchphrases- as you noted above).
The Mets (Lewin and Cohen) are willing to criticize the team and introduce new information, albeit with a few too many puns (Lewin).
In general, Yanks fans like their broadcasts to be pro-Yankee and triumphalistic, Mets fans want to full story, and even a negative story, so they can kvetch over it. Their broadcasts teams do a good job reflecting this.
They'll probably keep paying him the least they can until Wells, Hunter, etc. are off the books.
Man, Longoria's agent should be exiled- what a terrible job he did.
Yes, that is what I'm saying.
And, are you really saying managing Josh Hamilton is EASY?
As fans, we're really only able to dissect in-game tactics and observe a manager dealing with the press. There is so much that goes on under the surface that, I'm sure, is waaaaaaaay more important to a team winning thanthose two more observable aspects.
I mean, Ron washington made a hash out of the world series with his in-game tactics, but let's see how each of us handles the odd many many people-issues that comes along with the players on that team.
Teams try to do three things:
2. Provide entertainment
3. Make money
(they vary considerably in how they prioritize those three things)
Dealing Felix now hurts 1 and 2 (and probably 3) for this season and probably next, in the hopes of helping 1 a few years down the road.
...insert gratutious Moises Alou reference...
Amazing that Duda has a 262 TAv, and yet sooooo much negative value. He truly is a butcher in right.
Jay- Thanks for still stopping by BP from time to time!
I'm curious. When dealing with established major-league players, how much more information (and what kinds of different information) is gleaned with an in-the-ballpark scout versus looking at their major league stats and watching the game on TV?
From my naive perspective, in-person scouting is vitally important further away from the majors, but less important with established MLBers.
The perception didn't change. The performance did.
The sentence below the link to this article on the main BP page reads "Barry Zito's performance seems to rise and fall along with his performance." well, duh. I bet you meant arm angle or something. ;)
Time of game is directly correlated with the expansion of the time allotted for commercial breaks. In my dad's day, it was 30 seconds. Now, it is 2 minutes. In the pst-season, sometimes more.
I am also a big football and basketball fan, and love seeing a live hockey game. however, my blood boils over when people talk about pro soccer. grrrrrrrrrr.
I've seen both Howard Johnson and Jose Canseco play in the Can-Am indepedent league. As they came to bat, a chorus of "is it really?.... could it possibily be?..... geez it IS him?" went through the crowd.
Player A gets $5M and plays well
Player B gets $5M and plays poorly
Does player B really get a better deal? All else equal, a player would like to play well.
The next pitch should have nailed him in the back
AL/NL split due to batting and baserunning?
Yankee stadium is configured to help lefty pull power hitters 9but is MUCH deeper to center and left field). The Yanks smertly acquire/develop many of these players. This is smart, and not really a problem.
Plus, these past 3 games were at Citifield, not Yankee stadium!
The game was a Citifield, dude. Calm down, we all make mistakes.
David Cone uses sabremetrics on Yankees broadcats. Unfoirtunately, kaye and the others are sooooooo irritating, I watch with the sound off.
More specifically, it is complaining about scoring too many touchdowns on 50 yard completions.
the narrative being that, against elite defenses in the playoffs, they may not be able to do that, and thus will have trouble scoring on long marches down the field.
The Pats' run of success should have quickly dismissed this idea as much as the Yanks' run of success.
Being that it was a Mets/Yankees game that led to this article, you couldn't get a better contrast.
With their good BA and OBP but poor SLG lineup, for the Mets to score, they need multiple hits in the same inning. For the Yanks to score, it takes one swing. Give me the one swing offense anyday.
I'll add that the quality of BP alums' work is not as good at their new outlets (Bisbee, Kahrl, Sheehan, Keri, etc.).
Jay, you were probably my favorite writer at BP. I've been reading all your work at SI and have to say that it doesn't hold up as well- probably due to writing for a different audience. I hope it gets better, but it still stings that you're not at BP very often.
Too bad the rockies don't have the right pitchers for this experiment. they will crash and burn and then no one will try this again for decades (a la Red Sox closer by committee)
The shift is killing Mark Teixeira.
I guess you never watched basketball or soccer if you think that's bad.
This article also gave me some insight as to why Ike Davis has turned into a zombie at the plate. Probably a great counter-example to Harper- a hitter who hasn't been able to adjust to the pitchers' adjustments to him.
Oswalt must really want that ring. It is virtually certain he could have signed for more elsewhere and i gotta believe that many teams were interested.
What he said.
If I can draft and develop a core of solid players AND THEN add a few stars via free-agency or trades, I'd take the guaranteed return of a Kleskopick.
Didn't Scrooge McDuck own the Twins for many years until his passing?
With the Yankees already having the "Evil Empire" monicker, wouldn't Darth Sidious be interested? The Yanks have to cost far less than yet another Death Star. And with the ability to tax the citizenry of 1000 planets, financing would be easy.
I bet he inserted Wright's by mistake.
Darvish's interview answers go back and forth from 1st person to 3rd person, as well.
Basic copy editing, please. I LOOOOOVE BP, but this has been a persistent problem.
Jay, please make good on that promise to keep up a presence at BP. Others have made this promise (*cough Sheehan, Kahrl*) and have not done so.
You have been my favorite writer here for a long time, and I look forward to your filling part of JoPo's void at SI.
...and, o yeah. Say hi to Will carroll for us.
Jay, please make good on that promise to keep up a presence at BP. Others have made this promise (*cough Sheehan, Kahrl*) and have not done so.
You have been my favorite writer here for a long time, and I look forward to your filling part of JoPo's void at SI.
When players (and people) are selected at age 18-21, there's going to be many mistakes. Many good players overlooked. Many bad players over-rated.
Nick Adenhart, JR Richard, Donnie Moore.
On a less morbid note- Don Mattingly was robbed of his opportunity to play for a great team by his balky back, and oh, to have seen Bo Jackson play longer...
Aaah, but most teams don't have as severe a fall-off from their #1 guy to the rest.
This is a great feature.
I look forward to "game-winning-three-run-HR-off-Papelbon-for-his-first-career-hit" Jordany Valdespin's profile soon.
100% agreed with Sam Miller on the awesomeness of the 2nd wild card.
... and to think, the team would still be his if his divorce lawyers didn't screw up simple paperwork.
Bobby was hired to do exactly what he is doing- taking all the heat, deflecting it away from the front office and players.
When Joe Torre was hired by the Yankees (after an ugly firing of Buck Showalter), the NYPost headline was "Clueless Joe"- this was also the general consensus at the time.
Especialy someone like Nickeaus, who can't hit a lick.
Pujols in 4 years = Arod now????
These wins are banked. Even if they regress to their true talent level of, let's say, a .500 team, they still go 9-1 in the first 10 and then maybe .500 (76-76) the rest of the way. This means a 85 win team, as opposed to an 81 win team (.500 al the way). 4 wins is pretty significant, if you ask me.
I don't think we were hoping to dive into how the death penalty incredibly dispropotrtiontely affects blacks and men accused of murder, as compared to whites and women.
what are the astericks for?
or both? ;)
The Kinsler extension looks like a great deal for the Rangers, and a significant missed opportunity by Ian and his agents.
Cano will likely almost double this money a year from now.
If I read this correctly, those with more "9th inning experience" are given more opportunities to pitch the 9th, but are no more successful (by RA) than their less experienced counterparts?
Yes, if it is supposed to be difference in payroll rank from 2011 to 2012, the numbers seem off.
Three notes from watchung this game on YES:
1. Giradi's ungodly overmanaging in that 1st inning- IBB to load the bases in front of Pena- WALKING REAN RODRIGUEZ, WITH YOUR ACE, IN THE FIRST INNING, LOADING THE BASES!!!!!
2. Yankees broadcaster David Cone referenced Mike Fast's work here at BP on catcher framing when discussing Jose Molina and how he got a borderline call for a K against Teixeira
3. Cone also referenced stride distance as a way to increase "effective" pitch speed (which was also a BP article this past year) when discussing David Robertson.
Cone's the best!!!
It seems somewhat rigid thinking for the scout to essentially say "Aceves is good enough to pitch multiple effective innings, but he can't consistently pitch one effective inning"
And it must be damning with faint praise to say "Peralta can be as effective as Farnsworth" 2011 notwithstanding, that's not really a ringing endorsement. ;)
In organizational psychology, this whole phenomenon is predictable.
Renteria/Abreu does not compare his income to a wide variety of "comparison others", he compares himself to people he considers similar to himself and to those who accomplished what he has.
It is only natural and we do the exact same thing in our lives. After all, anyone reading this website is in the 1% if we compare ourselves to the entire world population.
George was truly committed, then, as he had to die to make that happen!
Young looked excellent in last year's first start... in which he got hurt again
LuCroy- considering the state of catching in baseball, locking in an averg-ish player at that salary makes great sense, and has mucho upside.
I agree that it is boring and no fun to pick all obvious favorites to win. With that said:
Yanks, Tigers, Rangers, Rays & Angels. Longoria & Haren
Braves, Brewers, Giants, Reds & Dodgers. Posey & Grienke
Wow, so McCourt buys the Dodgers 8 years ago at $450M of completely borrowed $ (all leverage, virtually none of his own money), accumulates over $600M in debt, raids the company as a private piggy bank, turns the Dodgers into a national joke, and now sells for $2B!!!!! Only in America!!!
(BTW- facts like these means that one should never side with sports owners in labor disputes or public funding of stadiums. the owners will always make their $)
Reyes v. Kimbrel/Vetners really boils down to which is more likely to be injured, one injry-prone position player or one of two HEAVILY worked young relief pitchers. For me, the chances one of the Atlanta RPs misses serious time seem more likely.
The Togers seem to be a top-heavy team. 3 great players, 3 very good, and not that much after. An injury stack could really hurt them, even if they are clearly the best team in the division.
It has always been my belief (not informed by stats, tho), that it was dangerous to constantly flip from one reliever to the next.
I'd rather stick with a relief pitcher pitching well for an additional inning than call on someone else- I already know the first pitcher has good stuff today, but don't know if the same could be said for the second (or the third or the fourth).
I'd love to see a team ditch the "rigid role" mentality and assemble a bullpen of 4 good pitchers who could all go 2 innings at a time.
So, Denver and Arlington good for hitters, San Diego and Seattle bad. Got it.
I knew a scout who once told me: "Beware of players with one and only one killer skill. They lose that, they lose everything." Sounds like Adam Dunn to me.
I always suspected this of Piazza, and am glad to have some data to corroborate!
In volleyball, there's a relatively new position called "Libero". This player cannot spike or block, and cannot set the ball within ten feet of the net. He's the designated digger/defensive player/serve returner. Having a great libero is essential to winning high-level VB.
(as a 5'7'' setter myself, libero will be my position when I slow down a touch)
Crash Davis said it best: "I believe there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."
Next up for the Mets: a plague of locusts
Another way to look at it is that there are still only 8 playoff teams. However, 4 teams have to play a sudden-death game to make the last 2 spots. An added bonus is that the chances of the 2 "wild-card teams" winning it all is cut in half.
Play-in games are the best, but happen relatively infrequently. Having 2 every year is AWESOME!!!
BP must pay like crap. Everyone keeps leaving, but everyone who leaves (except Will Carroll) says it was the best workplace and best coworkers they ever had.
Can we get a Progeustus article written by someone in forensic sciences to give their informed opinions?
This article seemed more of a description of what is known/not known, rather than an analysis piece.
On other platforms, Will Carroll has stated, through what he considers credible sources, that leaving a urine sample lying around for a long time (for example, 48 hours at room temperature) allows "urine flora" (bacteria, etc.) to metabolize, producing a substance that would be detected as synthetic testosterone. He also states that Braun's team replicated this result and that was the key piece of evidence that the arbiter used to make his decision exonerating Braun.
What says BP about this?
I know, like what DID Lady Mary see in Sir Richard, OMG!!!
2 failed PED tests = never getting into the hall. May not be right (although I think it is) but it is reality
I, for one, will always blame him for injuring Carlos Belran! ;)
O My! I'd love to be able to draft:
Tim Hudson at 248
Mat Latos at 151
Tommy Hanson at 169
and Hiroki Kuroda at 240
Lots of value there
I generally agree. BUT the Mets had NO ONE in Jay's recent votices of suck articles, meaning that, while they will be bad, they have no regulars right now who are horrible. (they only have one star-level player in Wright, but Davis, Thole, Tejada, Murphy, Duda or all ok offensive players, at least)
My wife is awesome. My wife is missing the sports gene, utterly and completely. Funny, because her family, both men and women, are totally into sports.
The only sports-related thing she really loves doing is going with our son and me to the local minor-league games because she loves how we buzz off of it and act like little kids.
My wife is awesome.
The Royals and A's are the teams of tomorrow, and always will be!!! ;)
I always though Keith Woolner was really onto something here with relief appearances:
and wish that someone at BP would run these numbers.
No Mets so far!!!
... and while I admire Beane and his approach, the fact that he has been unable to get at least decent production from several spots in his lineup is a big black mark on him in my book.
They tend to be conservative
Wilpons are bad businessmen, but some of their problems are NOT self-inflicted.
They bought out the Doubledays ($135M of debt in 2002), then invested in a new stadium (Shea was a DUMP) to the tune of $470M in 2007-09- city and state chipped in for the rest.
So, that's $600M of debt that is not necessarily bad debt.
But it does mean that they were leveraged pretty far, and needed consistent revenues for about a decade to get to solid footing.
Then, at least $350M in what they thought was $ disappeared with madoff, and they may be on the hook for a lot more. revenues cratered as the local economy, team quality, and fan attendance all crashed.
Short story- it is hard to dig out from a billion in debt without a central bank.
I don't think the Mets could have fielded a team in the past 4 years if they could only have 2 DL slots.
Dwight Evans > Darrell Evans
Also, even the most hardened sabreguy who thinks Morris is very far from a HOFer wouldn't say so to his face...
As someone named Scott, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone called me Steve. It's really quite an amazing phenomenon that only Scotts can fully understand.
I love stuff like Twinsfest. No reason to feel snobbish about men acting like boys in the presence of pro baseball players.
Mike Fast????? nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I still find it hard to believe the Red Sox have such a hard budget that they couldn't wait until after acquiring Oswalt to figure out how to trim some payroll.
Lefty-lefty platoons are rare, but Luke Scott slugs against lefties pretty well, right?
The fact that Axford was found on the scrap heap, makes $440k, and is a GREAT closer makes this whole situation even more puzzling.
I guess the Brewers could salvage some value from KRod with a trade-deadline deal- some team is always looking for short-term relief help down the stretch.
Great article. My guess is Nunez or Betemit, and then perhaps find a better option at the trade deadline.
Bay-Burnett seems like a classic change of scenery trade.
Financially, it makes all the sense in the world for the Mets:
The Mets would shed at least $38 Mill and perhaps as much as $52 mill (Bay's vesting option). and only pick up $33 Mill on Burnett's contract.
Saving $19Mill over 3 years would make Wilpon smile, and the payroll flexibility in 2014 would make Alderson smile (if his soul is not crushed to dust first).
Plenty of important things don't show up in the traditional newspaper boxscore. (They are now included in better databases, however)
While definately dumb, “Slow players who draw walks merely clog up the bases”, has a *very small* kernel of truth. Leading off Jorge Posada, who had a great OBP and was an awful baserunner, is suboptimal, as he doesn't go 1st to 3rd or 1st to ome very well.
- A's to San Jose
- New well-heeled owner for Dodgers
- New well-heeled owner for Mets
everything else is window dressing
Angels in the outfield!
I long for the day we put error variances around our statistics. I bet the confidence intervals around catcher defense would be enormous.
For the record, I would absolutely vote for both Posada and Williams for the HOF, if by some miracle I could have a vote.
One million percent agreed. A one-paragraph unfiltered with "first thoughts on the trade" would suffice.
Good stuff as always larry
(this note is intended for the editoral staff) BUT, isn't BP Unfiltered designed not just for your excellent articles, but really for a quick note on major news of the day???? say a trade between 2 of the top 10 young players/prospects in baseball?
Schilling has the best K/BB ratio of any pitcher since the deadball era.
His postseason numbers are 11-2, 2.2 era, .98 whip.
Schilling IS the pitcher Morris boosters think Morris is.
Sounds like good advice for real GMs, too
I stand corrected. McCarver's second sentence clarifies it.
I'm all for piling on McCarver, but he said "he pitched in the All-Star game" not that he WON the all-star game.
Great article. Enough with the Luke Scott politics, though.
As the LH hitting side of the platoon (who should get 75% of the at bats), Scott can really pay off. He mashes RHP but struggles against LHP. Another really smart move by the Rays.
I wish that were true. But we're talking about RONNY CEDENO!!!!!
I can understand (though not agree) that Bagwell will need a few years to get in, considering the "whispers". But Piazza's HOF case is so overwhelming, I have to believe he'll be in on the first ballot, regardless of "whispers". Or am I just Piazza-biased?
Nope, not joking (I don't read columnists that deny evolution either). It's an admittedly infinitesimal gesture, but if a BP writer gets fewer page hits, BP re-evaluates the author.
Not that BP needs to be the Borg and have groupthink and all that, but if a BP writer cannot look at the very clear data that indicates Raines is an absolute no-doubt-about-it HOFer, I cannot trust that author's judgment on a wider variety of baseball-related topics.
He voted for Raines this year.
In fact one could argue that immediately after a new CBA is as good a time as any!
After reading this article, I'm envisioning "Weekend at Bernie's 3: Weekend at Bud's". Thanks for the chuckle.
I don't get the Ceedno signing. The Mets are bleeding cash, and shuttered a rookie-league affiliate to save $800k, but spend more than that on Cedeno instead of some vet minimum NRI to take that space????
I am assuming you voted for Tim Raines, as there is no valid argument against him, but that you just forgot to write his name in the article.
If not, I will boycott reading your articles for the coming year.
I agree that we'd be much better off with confidence intervals, standard deviations, etc. around our advanced baseball statistics. FRAA 3.2(+-0.9) for example.
However, part of the fun of being a baseball fan is making bold proclamations on limited information!!! ;)
Crisp, Pennington, Sizemore & Barton, no?
Given the inherent uncertainty is draft prospect evaluation, this seems like somewhat unfair criticism.
Weeks put up 3.3 WARP at an up-the-middle position in the majors. That has to count for something relative to the uncertainty of those still in the minors.
Starting OF?- Reddick (rookie $), Cowgill (rookie $), Crisp ($7m). My guess is that Crisp is the least valuable of the three- I'm still shaking my head over this.
Larry, your articles have really made a great contribution to BP
Thanks for the response. I was attepting to make a broader point than just the Pujols/Angels situation, though. He's an exceptional player and his moving $ back does allow them to pay Wilson. I get it.
I just think that backloading contracts, in general, work far worse in practice than they do in theory.
Thanks for this series of articles, Jay!
I can't get to future years. Also, the Mets page has Rauch but not Francisco (I suspect you are catching up on more recent signings). Also, there is no info on arb-eligible or other players fully under team control (presumably because we don't have exact $ amounts right now), but at least they could be listed. It is odd to see teams with 6 or 7 players on their roster.
I know "time value of money" and blah blah blah, but isn't it somewhat counter-intuitive and counter-productive to pay a player MORE when they are LESS productive?
I mean, the horrible back-loading of Hunter and Wells means that the Halos had to backload Pujols, and this whole "backload the contract because the money we save in the first few years gets invested with Madoff with a 12% return, and we come out a winner" is a large part of the Mets current woes (see Bonilla, Bobby).
Thanks. That explanation really helps me. One of the things I really love about BP is the authors' willingness to engage the commenters. Thanks a lot!
My 2cents as a subscriber- keep the articles in an easy-to-read and download simple format (blackberry app, please!), but make the stats fro easier to sort.
Because it is our best opportunity to comment about BP issues, as opposed to baseball commentary.
Bernie = Mattingly + excellence in mutiple post-seasons + CF over 1B. He would have my vote. (rings don't mean everything, but they are good extra-credit for those who earned them for their teams)
Jay, you kindly responded to my query about defense, DHs, and those playing premier defensive positions (C, CF, SS) in the comments of your excellent Edgar Martinez piece, but could you please indulge me and elaborate more here?
You have Edgar Martinez at -1 FRAA and Bernie Williams at -33 and Dale Murphy at -62. Are you implying that Edgar sitting on a bench was more valuable to his teams' defense than these CFs actually playing defense (if not always so well)?
My non-expert view is that teams gain HUGE dividends from near-elite offensive production from middle-of-the-defense positions, even when coupled with questionable defense (Yankees with Williams, Jeter & Posada, current Rangers with Hamilton, Napoli & Kinsler, an otherwise pedestrian 2000 Mets with only Piazza* & Alfonso, etc). This would make me more inclined to vote for these kinds of players over corner fielders or *gasp* DHs. But these contributions are seemingly not in evidence in JAWS. (Your homie, Brian Kenny on Clubhouse Confidential, makes this argument as well)
*Inserted because I'm still mad about Piazza's 1997 MVP snub when voters ignored offensive environment and positional scarcity and voted Walker instead
BTW- GREAT stragegic leaders, apparently like Joe, do things like this. Aside from the talent added, the type of leadership and decision-making evidenced in adding a high-level advisory board bodes well for the futire directions of BP. Kudos.
This seems a poor excuse for neglecting the subscriber-based website, especially in the offseason. KG is great, and if he is diverting time to those projects, it i up to the editor-in-chief to divert (or acquire) resources from elsewhere to fill in the gaps in content- for example, with more proguestus or wayback articles.
"Glamorous" in the sense of one man's trash is another man's treasure, I guess.
I don't understand the Willingham, Cuddyer or Quentin acquisitions at all- overpaying for utterly replaceable talent
My 2 cents:
It seems odd to knock a poor fielder more than a DH for negative defensive value. Holding don a position has to be worth something (not clogging up the DH, shortening the bench, etc.). This is especially the case for those in more "defensive" positions, like Benrie in CF.
Am I missing something?
Being a blind auction, I don't know how much we could read into this. $50M is an awfully large bluff.
Awesome article!!! (yet again)
A perfectly reasonable contract considering positional scarcity.
But Molina is a decent hitter and AWESONE defensive catcher.
If the Yankees are smart, they make Montero the Victor Martinez/Mike Napoli of their team in the short-term, and see if he can become a Jorge posada in the long-term.
Noesi could start,too
2 years $12 total for Francisco doesn't seem like a big overspend to me
I keep thinking "adequaquacity" is the best term (from a NewsRadio episode). But cheap adequacy, I guess, is a step forward from expensive disaster!
But these are examples of acquiring not-as-overvalued-as usual closers. Isn't that progress?
Only Philly and Miami really went whole-hog on a closer so far, and the more economicial signings/trades of Fransisco, Santos, Nathan, Broxton, Rauch, etc. didn't really break the bank.
At least no one gave Madson or KRod $40mill yet...
It's a shame he got hurt *just* before the Beltran trade, or else he would have had a chance to play every day for the big club for the last 5 weeks of the season.
Considering the payroll issues the Mets have, these moves make great sense. The Mets bullpen was an unmitigated disaster after the correct decision to trade KRod. Torres is a cheaper placeholder for Nuewenhuis (sp), and the Mets now have cheap adequacity at many positions (Tejada at SS, Murphy at 2b, Davis at 1b, Thole at C, Duda in RF) which leaves them in a position to make moves in a few years when (if) finances turn around.
It is actually $111 million. There is a 7th year option which, if the Marlins don't pick it up, they buy him out for another $5 over and above the $106 in slaray for 6 years.
Mets attendance will drop by 25% this year (off an already low figure)
The Mets did the prudent thing in not re-signing Reyes (damn you Wilpon/Madoff), but I'll miss Jose. Good luck and thanks for the exciting moments!
It would be nice if this were available on pre-order on Amazon so I could add it to my wish-list (my extended family compiles wish lists so we can actually buy each other things we'd actually like, insteead of socks and stuff)
Great job, Jay.
My wife's comment- "handsome guy, but he needs to lose the stache"
Are we sure the Yankees will add a big starter? They had the most wins in the AL last year with the same rotation, and will likely get Hughes back healthy and also have Betances ready to contribute. I wouldn't be surprised with them standing pat (unless some bargain slips through)
Hey, has anyone heard about any awards being given out? I see no mention of anything like that at BP
We need to consider who the audience for this show is. If it is just stats for statheads, the show will have a small audience and minimal impact. If the show requires "a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down" then so be it.
My dad is a smart, passionate baseball fan who does not know his sabremetrics. But he likes this show. If the show does this for all our smart dads, then mission accomplished.
So, assuming (yes, I know...) that Davis and Wright (and Murphy and Pagan) are healthy, and that Santana can be at least a percentage of his former self, the Mets improve without having to add players???
and yes, I know I probably posted something to this effect the past 3 years, too. Life as a Mets fan
The show seems awful fast-paced and packed with a lot of segments and info, which in the short-term is good. I fear the show has the potential to burn out and become repetitive over time, espacially as it debuts in the off-season (can the show re-do the 9th inning vs 7-8th inning debate every time a closer signs a new contract?).
For now, I really enjoy the show, think it is 9 steps in the right direction, and think it is short-sighted to criticize it for not taking 10 steps (FIP instead of WHIP, etc.)
The Phillies sure have an interesting off-season approach- strike early to get who you want, even if there are cheaper alternatives if you wait. Papelbon NOW for $50mil, when one of the "proven closers" on the market (Bell, Krod, Cordero, Nathan, etc.) is going to be left begging for a 1-2 year low money deal.
Just like how they jumped at Ibanez when Abreu and Dunn were similarly avaioable (and Abreu was stuck signing a 1-year, make-good deal).
Gotta chill if a pig roast offends you. Jeesh. As for the video, I'd say "mission accomplished"- Cepedes is now one of the most well-known prospects out there, and will probably be looked at a little longer by clubs than he otherwise might.
No, he wants $10 million even, and that's it. ;)
On a related note, would it be possible/useful to have things like standard deviations and/or confidence intervals for some of our more common sabremetric statistics?
The value of Gossage's 100 innings a year should not be compared to Rivera's 65 innings. It should be compared to Rivera's 65 PLUS 35 from inferior pitchers.
and thank you, Jay, for this excellent series of articles.
(I sure hope this series represents a tipping point away from small-ball overmanaging)
No wonder Garcia had trouble if he was throwing an 87 mph fastball and an 84 mph changeup!
This is a really fun series! But you can also make a case it's one of those "I don't want it, you can have it" series, with the Cards blowing two games they should have won and the Rangers blowing this one twice.
As someone who works in statitics, I would like to compliment you on:
1) checking for reliability of your data before diving into validity
2) looking specifically at what your results mean in terms of effect sizes, etc.
3) using good examples to illustrate the emenaingfulness and limitations of your data.
The world would be a better place if more "experts" and reporters did the same in other areas of research/policy.
TLR's been very successful with his very active aproach to bullpen management, so far be it for me to criticize.
However, I always looked at bringing in a new pitcher as a bit of a crapshoot- you never know if that NEXT guy you bring in is not going to have it that day (like hitting on a 13 in blackjack, you may get an 8, but you may get a 10). As a result, I would go with fewer relief pitchers for longer outings each instead of flipping through my entire bullpen for every little platoon advantage. Thoughts?
How about hologram announcers- kinda like what CNN did during election coverage a few years back!
Did anyone have a problem with LaRussa inserting Descalzo for Fresse for defensive purposes in the 8th inning, when Freese was due up in the bottom of the 8th? Curious as to the anticipated gain/loss on that move.
Did that. still doesn't work.
Washington and LaRussa seem to be using the same strategy. They take their average-ish starters out in the middle innings to get his good bullpen arms in. This means the batters face Ogando for the first time instead of say, Harrison for the 3rd. Say, have they been reading BP???
That's the last he will pitch unless they make the WS. Also, Leyland already stated his top 2 relievers were out. The Tigers desperately needed length out of him.
if this were the regular season, i'd agree with you.
If I understand it, identifying managerial success is even harder to do than for any player. As a result, the hall generally enshrines folks who are managers for an entire generation of baseball fans, and have at least a few great moments on national tv. Longevity with some success seems to be what is rewarded. By that precedent, Leyland's probably in. Middle-aged folks remember him as skipper of the successful Pirates, WS champion Marlins, and successful Tigers over a period of 25+ seasons.
In my little league, Babe Ruth, and high school playing days, they awarded a "regular season champion" trophy (which was often perceived as a hollow virtory) and a separate "playoff champion" trophy (which was twice a big, and the trophy everyone wanted). I guess we could do the same in MLB. But could you imagine Nolan Ryan or George Steinbrenner or Jimmy Rollins accpeting the regular season trophy with anything less than disdain?
BTW- this is totally consistent with Gladwell's whole older-for-their-year players' advantage.
If a younger-for-their-year player is good enough to be drafted, overcoming the bias towards older players in terms of quality/quantity of instruction received to that point, they will tend to perform better once the quality of development and instruction becomes equal for all.
Thank you, you better explained what I was stating in a comment about 15 comments above this.
It strikes me that, since most of the value we are attributing to younger players is a result of a handful of them having MASSIVE careers (Griffey, etc), that statistical methods comparing the means among age groupings may not be the best way to qualtify this. Perhaps some logistical regression or some other transformation would smooth out the data (or also conducting some outlier analyses).
That being said, this study is very well-done, and has some important implications. I fear that some implications may be over-stated based on the nature of the data-set (most cases are near zero, with several considerably above the median).
How much does Kotsay's HR make up for the miscues you note above?
If the Cubs win the WS under Theo, he becomes godkingGM, right?
If they let FAs and option players walk, they have about M$35ish or dso coming off the books. Enough to land a FA pitcher or two or a centerpiece offensive FA?
Their payroll is pretty manageable, and treading water only leads to slipping back. They should absolutely go after some FAs this winter (although Worthing, I enjoy your dig at Bowden)
I LOOOOOOVE this feature. Keep up the great work
According to the excellent "Catching Hell" documentary about Steve Bartman (which drew many parallels to the Buckner error of 86), Bill Buckner said he watched video and saw that he used a very floppy, flexible glove, as these are better for snagging errant throws to first. However, as he took a few steps to his left, and suddenly stopped, the momentum of the floppy glove kept the glove moving to the side, so that the glove swung away from the ball, leading to the error.
(great documentary, BTW)
Hughes is still a starting pitcher under contract, right?
What's wrong with: CC, Nova, Hughes, AJ, Betances? (it's not great, but it's not too bad either)
The whole "hanging curveball" thing. No one ever calls a curveball a hanger if the person takes it or swings and misses, and no one calls a curvenball a good one if the hitter hits it well. Seems like letting the outcome determine whether the pitch "hung" or not.
This always bothered me.
It seems like many teams and fans put too much weight in "top prospects" scouting reports. There are plenty of major leaguers who grew into very good players despite middling scouting reports.
The Yankees were uncharacteristically patient with Cano (at least compared to how they handle young pitchers- Hughes, Joba, etc.) and were rewarded for it.
I suspect that with some patience and playing time, many "good not great" prospects would become good major leaguers (e.g., Gaby Sanchez, Ian Kenndedy, Ike Davis- sorry about my NY bias here). Opportunity is a really big factor in performance, not just ability.
The game-changing plays by Granderson are Exhibits A and B (Perralta's bnagative plays may be C and D) of why I give "extra credit" to up-the-middle players on my IBA ballots every year, compared with corner types.
Completely agree on everything except the 1/2 intentional walk of Cabrera. Burnet was already in a 2-0 hole, a walk is probably better than the other probable outcomes in this one specific circumstance.
Decisons regading pinch-hitting for pitchers may be first among the many reasons I prefer National League Baseball. AL managers just don't have to weigh the pros and cons of hitting for a pitcher who is pitching well or losing offense to save a bullpen or ride the hot hand.
Hamilton probably saw the fielders playing back and tried to get on base. Not a bad decision, considering the situation, but poor execution.
Nice article. Considering the collapses of the Red Sox and Braves were, in large part, injury related, how do their injury situations compare to the teams that beat them out?
This was a truly awesome article. Put is next to Mike Fast's in the "Best of 2011 collection"
Internet Baseball Awards??????? I wanna vote, dudes!
Blame the Red Sox top of the 9th- they had 2 on no outs with Ortiz and Gonzalez due up next. Zero runs. No margin for error for the seriously overworked papelbon in the bottom of the frame.
Also, if the Wild-card rules become different, we will get an entirely different set of drama. The difference between 1st and 2nd place would become huge, and the race for the 5t slot could get intense and involve more than just 2 teams. Change can be healthy, dudes.
Does this mean Chicago is off the hook for the remaining year and $ on his contract? If so, they should have been the team sending a prospect to Miami.
Also, how does this compare to the Pinella to rays for Randy Winn trade?
After what they did to Michael Lewis' "Blind Side"- scrapping facts and real drama, adding scenes with cute moppets, shifting the attention from Oher to Sandra Bullock, taking out anything unsavory (what college coaches promised, the fact that the tutor was directed to, and did, help Oher cheat on homeschool exams to get his GPA up, etc.), and making the football scenes unrealistic and unwatchable (Bullock telling Oher to think of the QB as her so his "98th percetile protective instincts" would click in), etc etc etc etc, (I could go on all day)...
...I am very trepidacious of how they would adapt Moneyball. Nothing I've read about it so far has made me change my mind.
Even by the most rudimentary of stats (BUZZ) Reggie was way better than Dunn. I guess I don't see the point of your article.
The tagline after the link to this article is missing a word.
Kemp and Kershaw are amazing, but I bet Braun and Halladay win the awards. They should sue McCourt!
LaRussa was probably thinking "Motte's not doing too bad. If Furcal doesn't f' up, we have 2 outs and no one on." Not an excuse, but an explanation.
If the Angels have any cash left, he'd be a great fit there.
Fast article today rocked!
Jay- I was actually leaning towards renewing anyway- the price is still right. However, this year has been bumpy as BP lost some great writers and the site has trended towards a fantasy baseball and mega-stat-guy audience to the detriment of readers who prefer insightful editorial informed by advanced stats. You have another year to win m over again!!! Glad to be back.
Jay- Thanks to your chat response, I'm re-upping!
This sounds l a lot like the BP over-optimism on how the Padres would be better post-Gonzalez because of defensive upgrades elsewhere on the diamond. I'm with Reggie on this one- sometimes you need the straw to stir the drink.
I know this is an ESPN Insider piece (and part of it was written by short-bus Bowden), but this analysis is really really bad.
If they resign Reyes, the lineup is:
Reyes, Pagan, Wright, Davis, Bay, X, X, Thole, where X could be Murphy, Turner or Tejada at 2nd, Duda or Neuwenhuis or FA in RF.
That's not a bad lineup. If Reyes walks, Tejada tajes over at SS, pagan could slide to leadoff, and the Mets would almost certainly pursue an impact bat for RF.
Angel Pagan, anyone?????
By year 3, the Beltre contract will be a ginormous albatross
Well, Tejada is technically not a prospect, owing to his considerable playing time these past two years. He's the obvious in-house replacement at short, and could even be the 2b (if he wins the Murphy/Turner/Tejada steel cage match) if Reyes is resigned.
Rollins in 2007 was a far cry from the 2007 MVP!!!
If I had a vote, I'd weigh performance at about 80% (and give a hearty boost to up-the-middle players) and context (contention, playoffs) at 20%. I know this is against both orthodoxies, but seems to balance "best" and "valuable".
Kershaw- bc of health and the fact he's proven it in the bigs.
Wilson is just poised to kill a team's payroll for the forseeable future. It will take ace money to get him, and it is very unlikely he will come anywhere close to living up to the deal.
Are we sure that wasn't a babelfish?
I have no idea what some people's problems are on these comment boards. there was absolutely nothing you wrote that was objectionable unless one were looking to get offended by something
Thanks. I suppose a few minutes on the new Cot's pages here at BP could gotten me the answer, too.
BTW- If I'm one of those remaining 4, I probably wait until I hit the FA market or get a crazy stupid offer. Think of the leverage they have.
This kinda goes back to the issue that the cardinal sin for pro athletes is not hustling. As it looks so bad to the fans, who pay for this whole industry, I am happy when managers/organizations make a point to address lackadaisical players.
With so many great young pitchers being signed to long extensions with their original club (King Felix, Weaver, Verlander, etc.), who are left as the top FA pitchers over the next few years? just Lincecum?
2 words: Awe Some!!!!
Some folks have very delibitating migraines, that may cause one to not be able to travel, be near bright lights, etc.
I think this accidnt is called "Hughes and Nova both pitching well, so let's give Garcia some rest"
The only epidural I ever witnessed was with my wife during early labor. One quick shot, and she was out in 20 seconds. I assume these are very different procedures.
"Moneyball" may have perpetuated this. Lewis wrote about hoew the A's look for undervalued assets, such as pitchers under 6 feet tall.
Actually, as it makes it easier for folks to find your website, it makes perfect snse to use your name on a website.
Stupid Harvard University using John Harvard's name on their site!
To win, you've got to be both good and fortunate. After winning it all, the Giants largely stood pat, forgetting that, to even out teh vagaries or fotune, you have to continually get better. With all that said, if Posey doesn't get hurt, they're probably in first.
"Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address"
Can we please ditch this line? I know you mean this humorously, but I don't think any reader believes that y'll were minted bp writers at birth.
I love the guest columns, though. Keep 'em coming
I don't think these are ranked as such. Just a numbered list.
The upside to having all thse kids play and develop is that many of them will at least pan out enough to be cheap, non-awful players until Houston gets turned around. (wait a sec, tat's not very much upside at all!)
In a 2 wild card, play-in scenario, RedSox/Yanks would mean an awful lot!
You whippersnappers get off my lawn...
Well, they sifted through Eamus and Lu before using Turner and Murphy.
Wright and Davis got hurt on the same day earlier this year!
well, there are many more opportunities for game-used balls going into the stands in baseball than the equivalent in any other sport.
One example I can think of is Brett Favre slding down to allow Michael Strahan to set the single-season sack record (no one did that for Gastinuea)
2008 was pretty bad too
My only solace in this lost Mets year, as opposed to the last few, is that we at least got to see what we have in several young players. Guys like Gee, Turner, Tejada, Murphy, Duda, Thole, Beato, Niese and Parnell all at least got an opportunity to show that they are major league players (of varying quality but certainly each has uses) and in most cases, most of the year to develop at the major league level.
This is far better than trotting out Tatis and Santos instead of letting the kids play.
(this situatio would have been better if Neuwenheis (sp?) didn't have shoulder surgery RIGHT before the Beltran trade. This would have given him a nice 2-month opportunity.
The joys of being a Mets fan.
From espn: Manager Terrry Collins said on Sunday that he'd never been around a team that has dealt with more significant injuries to key players.
"I've never seen it," Collins said. "There might be a time which I went through in Anaheim in 1999 where we lost some guys for a long period of time. ... But nothing like this."
The best solution for Dunn is a buyout. give him half the $ he's owed is he retires today. he looks so dejected he just might take it.
LI? Forgive my ignorance, but what does this mean?
Great article! I loved the Bible/George Michael reference!
6th inning offense = good at hitting fatiguing starters? Good at driving up pitch counts?
...and just think, they fired DePodesta and replacd him with Neddy-boy.
100% agreed, amazin'
I bet Steve puts them in the middle- not quite a winner, not quite a loser. I bet most of BP would have wanted them to trade Reyes, however.
I like O'Neill, too. It's just that NYers, it seems like brash, fiery guys (Swisher, Reyes, Rex Ryan, etc.) over calm guys.
Nice article. Z-scores are fun and easy to calculate, and would be the best way to measure seattle's futility.
Runs per game
MLB mean 4.216
seattle zscore -1.750121557
Perhaps someone could calculate these for other hapless offensive teams?
(data from: http://www.teamrankings.com/mlb/stats/?stat=runs-per-game)
...or have a big contract
As a Mets fan, I always appreciated Beltran, although I wish he wasn't injured so frequently. He was a classy, calm guy, and many NY idiots took his demeanor as nonchalance and "lack of O'Neill-like fire". Mostly, I think Beltran's reputation suffers because of the Mets' post-season and late-season disappointments in light of the Yankees' succes over the same time period. That a team with peak or near-peak Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Santana and Delgado didn't make the post-season is a disappointment.
Also, I remember that Cardinals-Astros NLCS so vividly, it was like Beltran and Pujols were playing "can you top this?"
There is NO EXCUSE, NONE!!!! to go small-market with a Houston franchise. (isn't over-leveraging a wonderful thing!!!)
As a native Staten Islander, I always loved the ferry. My frinds and I would take it most weekends to have unstructured days exploring Manhattan. Passing the statue of Liberty and then getting the best view of lower Manhattan and the Twin Towers always took my breath away.
Any insight on the pending Beltran/Wheeler deal. Seems like a win-win to me
I LOVE this quote.
"Punting the opportunity to push a team that might be good for 90 wins even higher because of a worry over the extra dollars Jennings' status might cost following the 2013 season is just silly; you're wasting prime seasons in the careers of David Price, James Shields, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce, and many others, and if you think it's hard competing on a $40 million payroll in 2011, just wait until that nucleus is occupying a bigger chunk of payroll while the fans in Tampa Bay grow even more listless."
I fear the Rays have gotten into "permanent sell-off mode" as opposed to "trying to win mode".
We wouldn't have situations like this if Lugo did the right thing and just tried to RUN THE CATCHER OVER!!!!!! ;)
Actually 2011 real stats are listed. Just not at the top of the page. This is new this year, IIRC
Real stats are misleading. BP only lists projected stats on the player pages. What should happen/should have happened is more important than what did happen!!!!! (I say this with love for BP, but this has bothered me, too- it makes me go to baseball reference)
Something is wrong with JAWS if Jeter and Reese have the same score, and Jeter is well behind Concepcion, Trammell and Whitaker.
I'm not a Jete fanboy, but despite the D, he is absolutely better than Reese et al.
When you have a disater of a season like this, the least you can hope for is that you are developing some good young players. The time developing Ackley, Pineda & Smoak is about the only silver lining I can see. Any other bright spots?
I don't understand what the Rays are doing. Upton is only arb-eligible and Shields will only cost them $5M more than the buy-out in 2012. Maybe the 2011 wildcard is out of reach (6 games back), but they have as good a chance as amyone in 2012 with only $20M in 2012 payroll commitments (all $ from Cot's).
I don't understand what the Rays are doing. Upton is only arb-eligible and Shields will only cost them $5M more than the buy-out in 2012. Maybe the 2011 wildcard is out of reach (6 games back), but they have as good a chance as amyone in 2012 with only $20M in 2012 payroll commitments (all $ from Cot's).
"Beltran is said to prefer the Mets and the Giants as potential trade destinations" wha?
I particularly like the "linkened to" quips at the end of each player description.
Rob, thank you for being my "gateway drug" to the world of sabremetrics and BP.
You make a good point that we sometimes forget that teams shouldn't just be in the business of trying to win a world series- they also need to provide an entertaining, watchable product day in and day out. My guess is that the Mets decision to not trade Reyes this year comes fom the same motivation you describe for the Pirates.
I was recently at my local minor league team's game with my 6 year old son, who REALLY wanted a ball. None came right near us, but the few times a ball got even remotely near our section a HORDE of 11-year old boys crashed through people to try to grab it. This group also spend the entire game haranging the visiting team's players to give them balls after between-inning warmups.
I sometimes shudder at the parenting skills of those around me.
I immeditaely smiled upon seeing Jim Baker's name!
To the scout who commented on Rzepczynski: just type RZ and then do find and replace at the end of the document to substitute the full name. ;)
Rizzuto's fame is really more for his announing work than his play, isn't it? "Holy Cow! That's a homerun, no caught by the shortstop. Where's my cannoli, you huckleberry. Happy Birthday Carmela. Holy Cow"
It is also interesting that, since only the best relievers are typically able/used in 80x80, even with their performance drop-off, they are still better than other relieving options. Just don't over-pay.
I vividly remember the Yankees game you reference here. In the first week of the season, was it really unwise to push your ace (who is signed for 5 more seasons) well beyond 104 pitches? Was it realy wise to not use 41- year old Rivera if you could avoid it?
I enjoyed the article, agree with your overall point, and love your use of Burke, but the specific case doesn't quite illustrate it as well as you maintain.
Is defensive value set at zero for DH's? If so, I submit Dunn's atrocious WARP is actually overstated.
...and holy mancrush on Josh Willingham, Jay!!!
My best guess is the recognition that there is nothing as overpriced in baseball as eastblished free-agent pitchers.
Even big-market teams (e.g., Boston) recognize that the best bang for the buck is drafting and developing young pitchers like Lester, Bucholtz, and Masterson (who they flipped for VMart).
Call it the Tampa Bay Rays effect if you want (or the A's effect, as Mulder, Zito & Hudson were all cheap and effective for the A's in pre-FA days, and then only 1 of 3 were effective post-FA), but I think it was more a consequence of how young players are paid under-market for 6 years before being paid above market.
Sad about Ike Davis- with the way the Mets role players have stepped up, it would have been great to see them play alongside Wright and Davis to see if they could get into the wild-card race.
Great article!!! could you write a continuation piece for the incredible Mike Scott 1986 NLCS, too?
If you've ever played OutOfThePark Baseball (ootp.com), 1993 Tony Phillips is perhaps the most frequently chosen player/season.
As a Mets fan, I'd settle for a case of new baseballs.
This was a very fun list. I'd love to see more like this (avclub.com rocks, too!)
Buhner will be remembered through the re-runs of Seinfeld!!!
If the Mets changes KRod's role, a union grievance would quickly follow. It would not just be awkward, the Mets would probably be out the $ either way.
Good deal for both teams.
I'm speechless. Give props to AA for continuing to shed what semed to be completely sunk costs
Obviously ARod > Jeter, but they are two first-ballot HOFers whose careers almost perfectly overlap, each with a different blend of strengths.
Alas, if only "develop young players" DePodesta were still the GM there instead of "I only trust proven veterans" Colletti.
Um, Edna Ferber is perhaps the greatest female novelist in US history, a giant of literature. Her novels have been turned into some of the greatest broadway musicals (Showboat) and movies of all-time (Giant). She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table!!!! Yes, I'm a lit geek and all, but Ferber is nowhere near obscure.
This being said, I get your overall point and enjoyed your column!
From what I can infer from this and other articles about these two uber-prospects, Trout is the surer thing and harper has more variance in his projection (both higher and lower). Hopefully, we'll have a Jeter/Arod-like career comparison on these two guys 15 years down the road.
Nothing wrong with this article, but another writer (Carig) wrote about this exact topic 4 days ago. This is the second instance of repeated topics in close succession here at BP in the past 2 weeks. Just an observation and not a criticism of your work.
The Mets broadcast team is pretty awesome- Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling & Gary Cohen are smart, funny, and, while they don't make specific reference to sabrestats, they clearly appreciate them.
FWIW- I looove the "rumors and rumblings" and "scout's takes" parts of this column. I only read the main column if it is about a team I'm particularly interested in.
Yes, but I'm sure the number of deferred maintenance projects has creeped slowly upwards for 7 years now.
Cool feature. This can tide me over on the looooong weekends with no new BP content (BTW- I got a Sheehan article about the 2008 Marlins wild-card chances)
Great article. Once the storyline on a player gets solidified, it is awful hard to flip the narrative.
The Dodgers took out a huge loan against their future concessions income in order to buy the team. So, essentially, they make no money on cancessions anyway- I'm not suprised they shut down early.
It would be interesting, though, if someone who was not well-versed in the mcCourt fiasco had a similar impression of the stadium.
I heart Joe and all, but he's way off about 3 divisions and the wild card. Also, I've been to 12 major league parks (although not San Diego) and never had the PA and between-inning cheesy stuff impair my ability to watch and enjoy the game.
I do agree with him about the all-star game- and about most other things he writes about.
Player #9 is #4 in VORP with a 1.33 whip????????? Something is amiss
I love the clam pearl mascot!!!
McCourt also took loans out against almost all sources of revenue (e.g., concessions) just to buy the team. That means the Dodgers get 0 for hot dog sales for many years in return for the up-front cash he used to purchase the club. He also agreed not to build his own regional sports network to appease the Fox Dodger-sellers at the time of purchase. This deal stunk fro the get-go.
Only taking 2 AL 1st basemen? Mark Tiexiera would like a word with you
Commercial breaks are now 2:30, used to be 1:00
Simmons and Klosterman are sufficiently respectful of the sabremetric approach. The fact that this other writer isn't doesn't damn all of Grantland.
They said this about the Mets signing of Pedro... and we know how well THAT turned out
Great to read you again, Christina. However, this article treads the exact same topic as Jay's article from two weeks ago:
There are at least 12 parks in which a 385-foot shot to center field would not be a home run.
McCourt is closer to Koslowski from Tyco who was fired, sued and jailed (now serving an 8-15 year sentence) for his spending of company funds for private use. Look it up!
I'm very happy DePo is the Mets #2 guy right now. Let Sandy catch all the flak and let DePo build the farm system through draft and development. His "be the house' speech about decision-making processes is required reading for the management classes I teach.
She's hardly written anything at ESPN either
Sorry for pointing out that, although BP is a fantastic site, its most obvious correctable flaw is copy editing. sheesh.
Copy editors can be hired rather cheaply
About E5- sabre-slanting fantasy sites always tout him as a "sleeper" or breakout candidate, and he always disappoints. I got burned a few years back and since then, he's been on my "do not touch with a 10-foot pole" list
I think you forgot to mention that the Mets still exist... ;)
Forgive me if I have this wrong, but both Ortiz and Sosa were once projected as major power hitters in their prospect days. Isn't it true that virtually no one saw Bautista as anything more than a potentially adequate player?
or, you know, a bag of balls or something. Anything to keep Terry Collins from triggering KRod's option!!!!
His transition to Boston and from scrub to star was the same year he was implicated in MLB's "let's keep it anonymous" PED testing. Just sayin'...
I thought you were going to lead with all 3 members of "Generation K" (I guess Izzy wouldn't qualify for your list, though)
I meant jaking it by going against the recommendation to rehab in hopes of coming back more quickly rather than having surgery and missing at least 80% of the rest of his MLB career.
I would love to be smart like Bill James!!!!!!
1. Great article! (me= smart like Sam Miller)
2. Something can be true but so hard to measure because of noise, but even a VERY small effect in this case would be meaningful
3. Scoscia was probably an outlier in his playing days- he was one of the rare catchers that made a difference. Napoli is likely an outlier the other way. Maybe there are no differences in the general population, but there is at the extremes.
I know I'm a jerk for even suggesting this, but since DiceK's surgery likely ends his MLB career, could this be a rare instance of someone jaking it?
Um, dude, you need to get your sarcam meter checked- that was clearly an attempt at humor.
(great article, Larry!)
Maybe you can "tease" us by writing half the article and forcing us to download the rest from iTunes,like a certain SI columnist just did
This brightened my day- I love 9and missed) Jim Baker's insightful and funny writing
I'm really just sad that JoPo is slowly following Bill Simmons into the "write less", "podcast more" model.
Maybe umps think that high knuckleballs dip down into the strikezone late?
Great sentence: "I will not conclude that the intangible aspects of the relationship are insignificant based on insufficient evidence"
Intangibles cannot be measured well by current statistical tools. It does not mean they don't exist.
I over-stated my initial post. Yes, he has sprinked in BABIP and Zone rating- but Michael Kay, et al., often quickly diminish these contributions by stating "zone rating doesn't tell you what your eyes can see" or some other pablum. Coney is also the one Yanks broadcaster who will say anything approaching a criticism of a Yankee. (I like the Yankees better, but the Mets broadcast team is infinitely better)
Too bad Cone never injects any of these numbers into YES broadcasts. He's about the only decent announcer they have.
I'd love to see a companion piece examining whether staying with a reliever who looks great 8th vs. going to a closer for the 9th.
The article clearly deals only with close games ("save situations")
Great article, Neil. As a long time NY baseball fan, I need Wilpon out of my life!!!!!
Agreed. But the Indians are NOT for real in that very weak division.
Agreed. Play the hand you are dealt and win enough games to get in. No whining!
...The Mets, who won that wild-card, had to play the Yankees 6 games that year...
Perpetual rebuilding seems to be BPs mantra. Teams are both trying to win and to provide entertainment. You can't forget about that.
A few observations about the New Yorker article:
1) It seems like Wilpon was far more lucky than smart in his initial forays into real estate. The article states he made a good first investment, and then bought up low-end properties as a way to lose money and reduce his tax burden. These properties turned into an unexpected gold mine. His lack of actual acumen would catch up with him with Madoff
2) Wilpon exhibits classic "when good things happen, it is because of my actions", "when bad things happen, I was the victim" thinking that many undeservedly successful people evidence.
3) He bought the Mets in 1979 for $21.1 Million, and only put up $650k himself!!! Amazin'
4) The cruelest note in the article comes from Madoff himself, “Fred was not [at] all stock market savvy and Saul was not really either. They were strictly Real Estate people. Although I explained the Strategy to them they were not sophisticated enough to evaluate it properly"
5) They actually placed more $ with Madoff AFTER news of Madoff's arrest. Clueless
6) Everyone goes on and on about how nice and gentlemanly Wilpon is, but gentlemen don't throw employees under the bus.
7) Wilpon calls the Mets cursed and snakebitten. Not true. They just have a bad owner and a history of bad management.
It seems to me that, as unstable as defensive stats are, thet their importance in overall calculations like WAR is often overstated, and that we should be more conservative in giving major pluses and minuses to players based on them.
I remember catching in my little league days, and this one team had a strategy where it had its worst hitters intentionally try to hit my (and the catchers' of other teams) mitts during their swing to get cheap CIs. It got so bad, our league had to suspend the CI rule.
I doubt Crawford, et al are doing it for the same reasons, but it seems odd to reward a batter for hitting the catcher's mitt.
Hi Tom- Not really a sabremetric question, but rather something that has always bugged me.
The Phillies are currently 27-17, which is called 10 games over .500
The Mets are currently 22-22, which is .500
Yet the Mets are considered only 5 games behind the Phillies.
Why do we interpret team's relative standings two different ways?
It's really simple:
If a manager does something out of the ordinary and it does not work, he gets criticized heavily.
If a manager does the expected and it does not work, people criticize the player, not the manager.
If something works, no one makes note of it.
I remember as a young kid, entering the "name the Yankee mascot" contest. I was absolutely sure my entry, "Yankenstein" would win. I can't believe they picked "dandy" instead.
Yeah, and he looks only 10" tall in that picture!
If Jeter can give me a .355 on-base %, and play something better than excrutiating defense, that's good enough for me (and for the Yankees)
Why are we relying on anonymous sources for innocuous statements about defense and how great Cabrera is? Anonymous sources when dealing with state secrets or national defense is one thing...
Panda and Guerrero see very few strikes because they swing at everything. Very different than Cabrera and Ramirez.
Wow! I mistook a joke headline for a typo, got it clarified by the BP editor, and then admitted my mistake. Didn't think this merited -17.
I stand corrected. Thanks for the response. (BTW- you know what they say about when you have to explain something was meant as a joke...)
Is the 10" in the headline supposed to be a joke, or was it supposed to read 5'10"? Yet another recent glaring error in headlines at BP.
You hold out for Sanchez plus goodies or Matt Cain t this point.
I'd also recommend Rosetta Stone Spanish language discs (and possily Japanese or Chinese)
I'd recommend Jim Collins' "From Good to Great" and "How the Mighty Fall" which provide a framework and numerous examples of how "good" companies were able to slowly and surely build momentum to be great, and then how some of these very same companies lost that momentum. i assign these in my college management classes.
Conventional wisdom would say that the Yanks will not hit as many HRs (a) in large parks (without the RF corner that is more shallow than my HS field was), and (b) against elite pitchers. It is probably too early to carve the data out, but as the season develop, i'd be interested in seeing splits like these.
There was a FANTASTIC ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on this, called "Silly Little Game". well worth a watch.
Very well said. 2 WC teams, 1 play-in game. Then proceed as usual. This would be awesome!!!!
To me, there's almost nothing we could do that is too much in terms of honoring Robinson
Great ideas for a second set of articles!
Mr. Young is being naive if he does not believe that neighborhood plays and a new wider, shorter strike zone are really in effect. He's saying what's in the book, not what is called in MLB.
By comparison, Mr. Relaford is giving pretty complete information on the rule and how it is interpreted by umps- and is much more informative.
Yep. You posit a linear relationship carried through the entire range, while I posited a linear relationship that slopes upward at the higher end. You have data to support your hypothesis, and I just have an educated guess, so you're probably right.
Pendleton looked awesome in 3 shotout innings tonight. Even if this is a fluke, it is nice to see a minor-league lifer (with a TJ surgery under his belt) to make such a great major league debut!
This article sees to tie in with yeaterday's on up-the-middle players.
IMO- it seems it is harder to find/develop/pay for good up-the-middle players and starting pitchers, and comparatively easier to fill in with others around them. Hence teams with these more rare strengths should also tend to be the better teams.
I assume you speak from more knowledge than I have, but it does seem odd. It seems like:
decent pitcher gets X
good pitcher gets 2X
very good pitcher 3X
ace pitcher 5 or 6X
Again, I don't have the numbers, so I defer.
Mike Pelfrey was the opening day starter for the Mets. Dickey pitched the home opener in game 4 of the season.
Forgive my ignorance.
It seems to me that player value (in terms of $) relative to player value on the field is not linear. Rather, after a certain point, teams pay a premium for premium talent. So maybe $ to WAR is linear up until a point in which WAR is high enough to warrant (in most teams' minds) an even higher contract?
jg- i actually only read about the Fuld "cycle" at SBnation and didn't see it. I took the article as factual, but now I see they streeeeeeeetched the story a little.
Manny was absolutely one of the best hitter I've ever seen, and I LOVED the whoile Manny being manny schtick until is started becoming unhinged and kinda menacing in the last 4 years of his career. I'm no h8ter
I like Fuld because he had the opportunity for a cycle- had previously doubled, homeredand tripled, and in his last at-bat strecthed a single into a double, escewing the cycle to help the team!
This series of articles is a "state of the nation" updates for each division. You shouldn't expect groundbreaking stat crunching here. There are increasingly many more flovors of BP articles- I think this is a good development
The balk rules still confuse me. I think Andy Pettite broke every one of them every time.
GREAT idea for a series of articles!!!!
I fear JoePo will follow the Bill Simmons model of shifting away from actually writing and towards more and more podcasting
Duda's defense was also really exposed in these first few weeks. I'm not sure he could ever be a NL regular.
The Mets bullpen is an absolute mess
I'm not sure why the fact that I do not like Ramirez is such an intolerable idea to you. I admire Ty Cobb's achievements and not the person, as well. Why is this hypocritical?
Actually, have you heard of Roger Clemens, mark McGwire or Jeff Bagwell?
Also, I think there is a big difference among:
-Suspected with no evidence against them: Bagwell, Piazza
-Those with evidence against them: Sosa, Bonds, Sheffield, Pettite
-Those who failed post-2004 drug tests: Palmeiro, Ramirez
It is a perfectly legitimate position to say that the last category can have its PED use used against them for HOF purposes, while not holding the others to the same penalty.
I'll happily occupy the tower with JoePo anyday. http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/04/08/the-retirement-of-mannybmanny/#more-7201
One can admire his achievements but not like the man. i see no disconnect.
Very clearly Manny was one of the greatest hitters.
if the author meant unique, eccentric or noteworthy, he could have written that.
One of the game's GREATEST personalities????????? How about worst.
I undertstand the whole "time value of money" concept. However, it seems that too many organizations (ahem, Mets, Dodgers, D'Backs) use this as a "buy now, pay later" approach to circumvent good financial discipline.
Stand and cheer, man!!!!
My favorite sporting events I ever went to was Cornell Big Red NCAA Hockey. Our home crowd ("the Lynah faithful") would stand for the entire game, sitting only between periods. Our visitors section always did the opposite and we basically called them lame-os all night.
Both matter. 3-2 with 2 outs means runners run as soon as the pitch is thrown. As opposed to 2 outs- run as soon as ball is hit or 3-2 less than 2 outs in which one can use different strategies depending on the situation.
Someone has got to start plunking the hitter after Ortiz.
I always thougt this as well. An extra 1.5 minutes 20 or so times in a game equals 30 minutes. This is easy picking if they REALLY wanted to speed up the games. I also heard somewhere that playoff games get 2.5 minute commercial breaks, ading another chunk of time to already over-long Yankee/Red Sox games.
This is a local utility company hoping people don't digin their yards and crack open their gas or sewer line. Sounds more like a PSA than a corporate sponsorship.
David Wright hit 29 home runs last year. His 90% Pecota projection is for 24, and his mean projection is for 21. Que?
Flags fly forever.
I'd rather root for a team that goes for it from time to time (and will sometimes crash and burn becaus of that) than one that perpetually rebuilds (Cleveland, Oakland, Pittsburgh, etc.)
I would pay a LOT of money to have Murray Chass write a proguestus article!!!
The Cubs best argument isn't anything about the Cubs- it's the rest of the division: the putrid astros and Pirates and the vulnerable Cardinals, Reds and Brewers. That being said, I'd be suprised if it's not the Reds again this year.
While the Hirsh and Chass nonsense is mostly just nonsense, the only kernel of truth they do find (like the proverbial blind squirrel) is this:
Many who rely on statistical analysis treat unexplained or error variance as attributable to "luck", as opposed to factors that were not considered in the analysis.
BP is moving away from this, as SIERA, for example, is trying to find out why certain pitchers may consistently under- or over-perform their FIP or the typical BABIP. But for a long time, it was, "pitcher X has an era of 3.50, but should have had a 4.0, he was lucky". This looseness of stats can be legitimately criticized, but the Chasses of the world go way overboard.
The injury history information is spectacular.
Your presentation of historical and past stats is much improved.
On down. One to go (Ollie)
I live in NY and play in a fantasy league with mostly NY to Boston fans. I make a conscious effort to avoid NY and Boston players, unless they really fall in drafts, because:
a) I don't trust my own biases towards players I see play regularly
b) I believe most of my opponents will over-rate players from these teams, giving me a small advantage to get value with players from other teams.
I think it is interesting in a country that lionizes CEOs, that we also believe that ousting a CEO and not really replacingf him is no big deal. Which one is it?
Those 1700+ days lost the past few years were truly something to behold. They used 8 shortstops two years ago. Amazin!!!!!
"You kids get off my lawn" -Murray Chass
"And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!" -Murray Chass
GREAT article (I was worried after your first one, but your articles since have really been a major highlight of this site!!!!)
To piggy-back on Lefkowitz's comment- what distinguishes between a skull & bones, bones, and bone? Is it something like 50% likelihood, 25%, 10% or less? this is not defined, and needs to be defined up front.
I do rather like the format.
If I were making the decision (and presuming Harper is healthy and effective as we all think):
2011: A ball, advancing to AA, cup of coffee at the end of the season
2012: AA, advancing to AAA, cup of coffee at end of season
2013: compete for spot on MLB roster
Cool feature. What does DMPI mean?
Certain NFL and NBA teams build amazing training complexes, hire double the coaching and training staffs of other teams- all in an effort to "spend" above the salary cap, for example.
I was soooooooooo worried when Will left BP, but am very pleased with Corey's and Marc's work. Keep it going, guys!
What happens when starter #1 gets bombed in the second inning? You can't use the other 7 starters or your "closer". I guess you also propose having 2 mop-up men on your staff? Seems a shame to use your worst pitcher in the second inning down 4-0, effectively giving up the game.
Excuse me, but just where would we put another baseball team in/near NYC? It would cost a new owner/MLB/taxpayers at least $750M to build a stadium in or around NYC, and where could it go without a decade-long eminent-domain battle (see Brooklyn Nets).
I think we forget how the fixed costs of operating a franchise in NYC or other worldlevel cities when we think about team expenses and ease of ownership.
This article, I think, illustrates how MLB as a whole is so much better in personnel decision-making so that there are fewer and fewer "market inefficiencies".
this week's great article = 2 comments (so far)
Last week's disaster > 300 comments
Can you produce the full list of 2010 best players? that would be interesting to see
How do you think Tejada's lack of fielding ability will impact Cain this year?
As an academic researcher myself (in a completely unrelated field), we are, in most cases correctly, biased towards research that is:
published for no monetary compensation, and
given wide free access
and against research that is:
only self-or editorially reviewed
when both the author and reviewer know who each other are
authors are compensated, and
readers pay for content
In baseball analysis/statistics, however, the field is truly defined by excellent work in the latter category and lesser research in the prior one. However, I'm not suprised the authors of this book chose to only include research that fit the first description.
This is just semantics. Our (excellent) author is only counting the team that wins the "wild-card game" as the wild-card team. I would consider both wildcard teams, well, wild card teams, and thus the extra elimination game, when viewed this way, is a significant disadvantage.
The Mets numbers are skewed by their incredibly poor team health combined with atrocious major league depth, leading to youngin's like Tejada, etc. to be forced into duty.
Actually, if there are two "wild-card" teams who play a one game play-in game, one of them is eliminated immediately, resulting in a 0% chance of winning the WS. The other, as you correctly state, faces just one more minor hurdle(burning a pitcher, perhaps a crazy two travel days) once they win the play-in game. But to calculate percentages, you are reducing the chance of each wildcard team's winning the WS by ever-so-slightly more than half.
for some readers, this may be new information
Re: concussions. It seems like baseball takes its concussions seriously, and we see players like Cuddyer, Morneau and Bay take months to return to play. In football, we see players come back the next week. Is there something particular about baseball as an activity or the training that medical staffs get that can explain this (beyond football not caring about head injuries until a little attention this year)?
The freakonomics authors and Malcolm Gladwell are frequently wrong, as well. This book seems to be in the same vein.
Chipper's better than a 1 star performer. When he is healthy, he'll hit. When he's hurt, you play someone else.
Great article. I also love HBT- it's kinda like the "tabloid" cousin of BP.
So interesting that the Yanks are flush with catchers and starting pitchers, but little else from other positions.
I stand corrected, but remember him being hired as a team architect during the two-year ramp up to their debut
Thanx! Great article BTW
IIRC, pitching guru Rick Peterson preached that pitches in the lower 1/3 of the strike zone have far lower BABIP than mid or high strikes. Does PitchF/X have any data on questions like this?
Furcal's just an older Reyes, right?
No Buck Showalter for the Diamondbacks? or was he not GM during their pre-playing days?
The lack of palatable alternatives for the Mets is probably the biggest reason they'll resign him- if they have any $ left. Remember that a lot of payroll (Perez, castillo, Beltran, KRod, Reyes) comes off the books next year, it is a question of whether the Mets will just keep the savings or not.
Really good article.
Quick question (something that's been bugging me for a while). This piece is on the BP Unfiltered blog, yet is long and meaty enough to have been a full-fledged article. That's true of about 1/2 of what I wee on unfiltered. Why the distinction?
PECOTA tends to hedge its bets and rarely projects outstanding performances. Thus, it hits its mean projections very well, at the expense of missing outliers.
This reminds me of the classic job interview question- "So, tell me what is your greatest weakness?" Everyone always answers some version of I care too much or I'm too much of a perfectionist or I work too hard.
Seeing how Cain and Lincecum are 26, just missing the cutoff, the picture probably is a little brighter than depicted.
.330 seems like an awful arbitrary (and awfully high) cutoff number to me.
Excellent post vtadave.
There are plenty of non-hypocritical non-homophobic BP readers who didn't like this article, but are not furious about it or anything. Your post captures this sentiment well.
Yes, this comment of mine was so inappropriate it had to be minused by other readers. Geez.
I am a big BP fan and a long-time subscriber. I like a lot of the articles and authors here and look forward to reading many of the new authors. I happened not to like this article, and did the only thing I could do to alert the editors that I didn't like it- by making a mild criticism in the comments section. One should be able to do so without being minused or being called a closet case.
Unfortunately, BP will look at the number of comments and conclude that bad articles like this one will drive traffic to their site and, therefore, publish more of it.
Many pay a premium for reliability. Many fantasy players have been burned by prospects and rookies before and will discount the accordingly. Therefore, the difference in average draft position
great feature. I hope this is a regular one
Great move by the Rangers. the money is bargain for someone of Hamilton's talent, and there's little long-term commitment in case injury or addition problems surface
Does signing Vladi help the O's? yes
Did they pay him too much? yes
Did they pay him so much that it prevents other moves? no
Is it my money? no
Do I care if Angelos pockets an extra $6M or spends it? no
therefore, I like the signing
It is interesting how the Rangers' valuation of Young changed so drasically in three years time. He was paid as a team anchor, perrenial all-star and "gold-glove" shortstop just three years ago and now is viewed as a utility player (although still paid as the former). Quite a fall, and I'm not suprised Young is taking it personally.
You haven't watched Ike Davis mash or been to cavernous Citifield, have you?
I hear (and agree with) you main thesis, but would like to ask...
the costs of doing business, say in NYC, are sooooooo much higher than in, say Milwalkee, right? I mean, the cheapest you could possibly build a stadium in or around NYC is $500M+, non-player salaries (asiatnt marketing director, ticket sales, groundskeepers, doctors, etc.) may need to be twice as high, advertising costs, etc.
these cost differences have to have at least a little to blunt the differences on the revenue side, right?
You'll get far fewer New Jersians to show up after knocking the state in the headline. ;)
My guess (based on no insider info at all, so take it for what it's worth (not a lot)) is that Sandy and company knew there may be some small fallout from, but nothing like this.
Sandy also probably looked at the current situation and the $60M+ coming off the books next year (Beltran, Perez, Castillo, KRod (I hope), Reyes), and saw this as a year to stuff the front office full of great assistants (DePodesta, Krivinsky), fix the scouting and development systems and make only minor moves. This would then set up making a few big signings next year.
It looks increasingly like the Mets will now probably take the savings at the end of the year and keep it, instead of reinvesting it. blurg.
How did they beat the Mets in the NLCS??????
The big question is the $ of the settlement. If it is close to the $300M to repay their false profits, the Mets should be able to sell a minority stake and be generally ok.
If the deal includes a punitive component that jacks the amount up near $1B, then they need to liquidate like Tom Hicks did.
Nice bunch of owners Bud has assembled, huh?
I'm suprised that both Joe Sheehan and Rob Neyer support Petitte for the HOF.
Sheehan's reasoning is very solid. Basically HOF voters have unrealistic expectations for starting pitchers in this modern era, as evidenced by Blyleven's struggle to get elected, and the fact that he's the 1st SP elected since Nolan Ryan.
BTW- Pettite in the Hall would actually help for the eventual inclusion of the "steriod generation" players. Say he gets elected in 2020 in his 5th year on the ballot. At that point, voters and/or a veterans committee will have to look at the better players of his generation not in and, with the benefit of time and voter turnover, elect Clemens, et al.
I sometimes considered- but never did- a strategy in which I only had inactive pitchers on my roster. That way, I win ERA and WHIP and can max out on hitting categories- punting wins, saves, and Ks.
Just wanted to say I enjoyed SABR day at Foley's over the weekend. Will there be some sort of recap article/blog post about it?
I live in NYS and do a reverse commute out to NJ. The state taxes pretty much cancel each other out on April 15th. As Eric wrote, most states give you credit for state taxes paid to other states. NYC has its own city tax, but not being a NYC resident, I don't know the exact ramifications.
I presume both the A's and Giants are both readily available on Bay-area cable and radio, right? This being the case, I don't really see too many fans changing allegiances.
I mean, if the Mets moved to Long Island, would NJ-based Mets fans really switch to being Yankee fans?
New Orleans is, sadly, a very poor city- and have you ever been there in the summer? It makes Houtson's weather seem like Alaska's.
I guess we can't bring up the decline in Manny's performance after his PED suspenson as a potential red flag, right?
I read somewhere that the Angels will be paying almost $50Mil this year for three centerfielders (Wells, Hunter, Matthews), none of whom will play CF this year.
and, yes, Wells has been put on waivers more than once.
In the immortal words of Bart Scott: "Can't Wait!!!!!"
Didn't Kenji Jojima (sp?), the Mariner's overpaid Japanese catcher, retire and leave a lot of money on the table?
Yes, but the number has bounced from 93-97 percent through baseball history.
Joe Poznaski wrote on this topic about 2 weeks ago and showed that the % of games teams won after leading close in the 7th and 8th innings have barely budged from the "pre-closer days" to the "modern closer days". For example, "Teams held 95.5% of their ninth-inning leads in 2010. Teams held 95.5% of their ninth-inning leads in 1952."
I think Piazza's case will be different from Bagwell's as Piazza is CLEARLY the best C of his time (based on traditional and advanced), while Bagwell's traditional stats are only among the best 1B of his time.
Not to beat a dead horse, because I see the humor in your post, but... if more people moved out of even Bushwick than would be replaced by people who wanted to move there, prices would go down.
Thank you, Eric. One of the things I love about BP is how responsive you are to the readers. A few other readers and I made a few comments about this topic in a BP article about two weeks ago, and thought it would make for a good article. Thanks to you, it did!
That's just the price you pay for living in/near the greatest city in the world. There's a reason it costs more than almost anywhere else- supply (finite) and demand (huge).
And, yes, I admit I'm an obnoxious NYer
To play devil's advocate (though I largely agree with you): What is better for baseball- a small market team with tiny local revenues in Montreal or a team in Washington DC?
why? It would be awesome to watch Albert every day (at least the first 4 years...)
The real reason they need Pettite is that, as currently constituted, their rotation is: CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova, and ???? (Mosely and mutre are currently unsigned). Even a league-average starter would help them ginormously
I hear the ghost of Will Carroll saying: "Health is a skill". These guys don't have it.
WooHoo!!! See you there!
Yes, but Prior's not getting $27 million anytime soon
Eric- perhaps you or Jeff could write an article about the tax implications of contracts- states, deferrals, etc. This would be interesting, and also would help sports fans better understand an important part of contracts.
...or, his arm falls apart in year 4, and he gets $0 once his contract runs out
My wife is a theater actress. When she was on national tour, she had to file income tax in every state in which she performed (and hire an accountant to keep it all straight). Very complex. There are virtually no states that do not soak out-of-state workers, as they have no effective way to represent themselves to a state legislature.
In baseball, this whole state tax thing is very overstated- perhaps Mr. Lauria could interview an accountant about it.
I'll take robo-pitcher for $5 mill with a 1 year commitment
Is Garland the closest we have to Robo-pitcher?
Can't divulge how I know, but I know some about the McCourt purchase of the Dodgers. Basically, they got Fox (who they were buying the team from) to finance much of the deal, in exchange for not creating a regional sports network (like NESN or YES) and in order to thumb their nose at the Disney-owned (at the time) Angels. The McCourts' purchase was the most highly-leveraged ownership deal in pro sports history. If they have even one year of poor revenues, this team is toast, financially (a la tom Hicks and the Rangers).
I dunno if this situation is as bleak as you report. A team like the Mets, with no payroll flexibility to do anything big, but with serious depth issues could gobble up 3-4 bullpen arms, a good platoon OF in Diaz, and take a low-risk gamble on Martin. (I can see the Rays making some moves for this group, too)
Most WS winning teams are both REALLY GOOD and a bit lucky.
It seems as if this pattern holds or most MVPs and CYs, too
This is just an excellent post
I was on a tenure committee, and we voted for a junior faculty to get tenure on a 5-2 basis. However, all five yes voters were very on the fence, and the two voting against were adament "no" votes. But we just have a yes or no choice. Thus, the person got tenure.
If the voting system had proportional voting, and 5 voted 60% yes, 40% no, and the two voted 0% yes, 100% no, this person would have been denied tenure, on a 300 points for 400 votes against basis.
This same phenomenon probably explains the Votto landslide. With proporotional voting, most voters would probably vote 60% Votto, 40% Pujols, leading to a closer decision. However, these 60/40 Votto voters had to vote Votto #1, leading to the landslide.
This happens all the time in baseball awards.
Good discussion of the Lee situation, but I'd like to hear more about how you would fill out the rest of the roster.
Well, Cy Young is for the BEST pitcher, and MVP is for MOST VALUABLE player. Cabrera and Hamilton are close enough in context-removed value that other issues like winning, intangibles, etc. could legitimately factor in, IMO.
Feliciano is a big beneficiary of Benoit's shiny new 3-year deal, and should get about the same money and years
3 years for anyone other than THE BEST NO BRAINER relief pitchers is a bad move. RPs are just too variable from year to year.
Doubtful that Bell could net you Shields and Brignac, but otherwise a really good analysis
The most detailed "GM for a Day" article so far. Great job.
and the vote totals?????
I'll take Rauch and Benoit for the price of Wood, thanks!
Yay!!!! Yet again BP says that a really bad As team is actually really good and needs only the most minor of changes. An incredible blind spot for such a group of smart people.
As were 10th of 14 in the AL in OPS last year, yet no significant offensive additions?
I can understand if one had certain finaial constraints, but in a "what if" scenario like this, give the A's something!!!!!
Sandy's first order of business was to actually LOWER ticket prices. I think the man gets it.
I hate hate hate the whole "we can't compete next year, so let's tear everything down" philosophy.
The Astros have some financial resources and have, IMO, an obligation to provide some entertainment to their fans. Obviously, they should make no short-term moves that jeopardize long-term strategy, but there's no reason they couldn't:
- have slightly-above-average starting pitching with mostly the same crew
- patch together a bunch of live arms and churn their way to a decent bullpen
- go SF Giants and sign a bunch of relatively cheap vets who may or may not bounce back, only giving 1-2 year commitments
all while they draft and develop their prospects, and save some cash for 2013 FA signings.
the astros have enough resources to get decent
Molina makes more than $400k. Perhaps this is just what the Rangers are paying him?
Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez & baungardner for about the price of Zito. Wow!
Giants' Formula for success:
- Draft develop a good core
- Get lucky with a few lower level FA signings
- Hide expensive mistakes (Rawand, Zito) on the bench
Interesting guy. I always had problems with the Big Bang Theory myself.
Having Ron Washington as you manager in a 7 game series essentially means you have to "win" 5 of the 7 games to actually win 4, because he is going to blow one.
Against the Yanks, it came out OK because girardi was just as bad. But something tells me Bochy won't be as generous.
Contracting a decent copy-editor in this economy is really inexpensive. Please consider.
Great article(s). Goldman's was especially poignant.
My 1986 memory- I was 14, and a Mets fan from birth. I was so sad during the latter stages of game 6, and it was past my bedtime with school in the morning. So, I got up and told my Dad I was going to bed. He told me, "Son, you stayed with this team all season when things were good, you owe it to them to stay with them now". I stayed up, learned a lesson about loyalty, and boy was I rewarded!!!
writtn by BP's editor, too. Who edits the editor?
Trading Shields or Garza for a cheap but good bat (and sliding Hellickson into the rotation) seems the most obvious move to me. It will be interesting to see how they retool.
Thank you, Jay, for your replies!!!!
...and I also commented on Christina's article:
Methinks ye second-guess too much.
Knowing you have games the next two days, why burn Rivera in the 9th down two runs? He has not pitched 3 straight days all season, and you may eed him in games 4 and 5. Logan is one BP writer's selection for LOOGY of the year (sorry I forget who wrote that great article), and Robertson has been very good. It's not like Girardi went all Mosley on us.
Rob Neyer had a good take on this today, as well.
Re: Pettite and HOF- Pettite was also a PED user. If McGwire can't get in, neither can Andy.
Methinks ye second-guess too much.
Knowing you have games the next two days, why burn Rivera in the 9th down two runs? He has not pitched 3 straight days all season, and you may eed him in games 4 and 5. Logan is one BP writer's selection for LOOGY of the year (sorry I forget who wrote that great article), and Robertson has been very good. It's not like Girardi went all Mosley on us.
Re: Feliz pitching up 8-0 in the 9th. I guess you could argue either way, but Feliz is like 20, so can probably pitch 3 innings in 3 days if needed- and he has not been called upon for 4+ out saves this year. Also, he got to close out a WS game in Yankee Stadium with a 123 inning that probably did increase his confidence.
As Rob Neyer stated today- pitching Rivera and not pitching Feliz makes sense in a computer game, but these decisions all made sense when taking people into account.
Thank you Christina for lauding a team that "goes for it" (as opposed to grimly going with young cheap players forever and them trading them off). Flags fly forever, after all.
Perhaps writing as often as Mr. Perrotto does AND editing the site is too big a job for any one person.
The game really came down to the Twins leaving 7 on base in the 6-8th innings.
" $1.1 million. That's the entirety of salary obligations the Padres have for next season as of this writing"
Didn'y you just say Gonzalez makes $6mill next year.
I would have serious regrets if I were in a league with someone like you.
Put more simply- PECOTA seems to miss very high, very low, or totally nail player performance. Can't this be mostly attributed to unexpectedly low or high amounts of playing time (due to injury or promotion/demotion)?
Forgive me if this is naive, but isn't the trimodal distribution we see in Tango's chart above (and implied in Colin's in the article) perfectly explainable?
Those in the first hump (players who vastly underperfromed their projections) are those who missed significant playing time due to unanticipated injury or got sent to the minors.
The second hump are those PECOTA nailed really well.
The third hump are those who got unexpected playing time (non-top-prospects who got a lot of ABs or IP- like Thole or Leake; those who overcame past injuries to play a whole season).
Average these together, and PECTOA comes up roses.
Colin, others, what say you?
Thanks for all the great information, Will. We'll miss you here. Please be sure to pop up somewhere else soon!
Dear BP- gotta find a new kick-ass injury expert!!!!
Wouldn't it be best to compare the stolen base numbers against a team's closer versus the rest of the staff. For example, is Posada/Rivera worse than Posada/BurnettCCHughes/et al?
I guess I don't understand why managers need to be drug-tested (in a broader sense).
The intro seems to me very close to an admission Will is outa here after the season. Say it aint so!
Oh, if this- "If you want to express opinions, you owe it to yourself and the people you argue with -- you owe it to the argument itself -- to become informed."- could be madated in political discourse...
Does the home team control the flow of baseballs? or is this smething the umpires handle? I don't know enogh about the process to even know if this accusation is a possibility or not.
Great, but giving us even one example of how this adjusts one player's numbers would help us undersand it better.
Aaah, but Yankees-Rays can be MLB's October top billing. Without the wild-card, that couldn't happen as an inferior team from a different time zone effectively takes the spot of the 2nd best team in baseball...
Why are Neise and Gee confined to the "back end" of the rotation?
And, at least playing kids at 1b, c, and 2-3 rotation slots keeps the Mets from spending money foolishly in those spots (i.e., Jacobs, Barajas, Perez) the next few years.
My 65 year old Dad, who is in fantastic shae and plays competitive tennis 4x a week, was diagnised with Plantar fasicitis, but was only told to lay off palying tennis for a while. Three weeks later, he's playing his full schedule with no pain.
I guess the effects of PF vary greatly fom person to person and severity of the injury.
the longer he plays the worse his HR/PA ratio gets, right? So, it's hard to say his HR/PA rate over the next 9 years is 18.2.
Are there only 3 slots on a ROY ballot? If so, it seems the top 3 are clear (the order can be argued). however, if there's room for more, may I interest you in a 4th place vote for Jonathan Niese?
Comparing based on % of team VORP, instead of total VORP, from the two sources would make a cleaner analysis.
Re; Mejia- wasn't this a smart way to limit his innings and get him some MLB experience as he matures?
Believe me (I watch this team every day), the Mets do A LOT of stupid things, but their handling of Mejia isn't one of them.
Good analysis, but we have to look at player socio-economic situations, as well. In general, (apologies for generalizing) many college basketball and football recruits come from poorer backgrounds, and the allure of immediate money has to be more enticing than it is for someone growing up with more means.
I'd say Larry Walker's (9.0 WAR, 174 OPS+)win over Piazza's all-time greatest season for a catcher (9.3 WAR, 185 OPS+!!!) shows that sometimes Rockies are NOT penalized for park effects.
100000% agreed. Managers should be and are typically held to a higher standard than players, and owners moreso than that (recall Titans owner's insanely high fine for flipping off fans?)
If I were starting a baseball team from scratch I'd hire Showalter and DePodesta, give them a fat budget, and let them work magic.
Luke- right on.
I consider myself an informed non-expert in sabremetrics, and do not have the time or inclination to really become an expert, with all the work that would entail.
However, I do LOVE reading, evaluating the work of experts and knowing enough to have a not-completely-dumbass opinion on these matters. That's why I subscribe to BP rather than entering BP Idol.
jerrykenny- that's a different question.
As for this year, I'd rather have both the Yanks and Rays (the two best teams in baseball) BOTH in the playoffs rather than have one of them miss out while clearly inferior teams play on.
Sparkling cider would make sense
I'd rather miss out on a pennant race here or there than have a deserving team- like the 103-win Giants- miss the post-season because of geography.
So, O's win a series from the Yanks and their HitListFactor goes down (from an already super-low point)? Seems odd.
It seems to me (as a Mets fan) that Santana "pitches to the park" very well, in that he pitches in a VERY spacious Citifield with generally good outfield defense behind him and he's letting hitters hit fly balls against him- leading to lower K rate and higher HR rates, but probably fewer pitches per inning and fewer baserunners (I haven't checked the numbers on these, however).
I'm suprised to see no discussion of RBI Opportunities and % of success in RBI opportunities in this column.
Isn't the simple answer that Loney bats behind good hitters and is a good hitter (albeit not a HR hitter) himself...
I guess EVEN NOW????? no one at BP can comment...
About strength of schedule- aside from different inter-league opponents, isn't the Reds' schedule the same as the Cards? Does this mean that random fluctuations like certain opponents sitting key players accounts for the difference in quality of opponent? There has to be something else...
Is it safe to start believing that Will is sticking around fo a while...
TTO players are DEFINED by their common characteristics, so it's really not unusual that they share some of these...
The #1 reason Jeter will get PAYYYYYED- He is still the guy on the poster on the wall of every 8-year old Yankee fan.
Not an objection, but that title won't grab anyone who does not already know your work, IMO
As a Yankee fan who gave a relatively high contract amount- it is because I've seen the Yanks eat huge money in dead contract weight (Pavano, etc.) in the recent past, and see little that would indicate they'd play hardball with Jeter's upcoming contract.
GREAT ARTICLE- one of the things I MOSt love about BP is your willingness to question your results.
Of course PECOTA is just a fomula and does not know or care how decisions are made- it can only process the data it is given.
However, nothing is really ever 100% objective. By quantifying a process, you eliminate a lot of subjectivity, but subjectivity is still introduced in the system by the initial decisons of the people who created the PECTOA program. Great job by you in at least identitfying and trying to measure this effect.
If you are not giving Bud credit for raising several revenue sources, at least you should give him credit for not screwing them up or for not getting in the way.
Al Leiter takes offense at being omitted:
290 K's in 610 PA
.085/.142/.102, with a OPS+ of -34!
Joe and Will are/were by far my favoite authors at BP. What if they wrote a newsletter together...
On si.com, Sheehan had a good take on this issue- tying revenue sharing to "potential revue" of a market vs. actual revenues.
Very interesting. There's going to be a lot of "noise" in measuring this, as cakuffner states. I would like to see how Johan Santana and Josh Johnson fare when your numbers are complete.
If the Mets don't want to trigger the ridiculous $17.5M in 2012, just assign him to be the "stopper" and not the "closer", as he triggers this $ if he FINISHES 100 games combined between 2010 and 2011.
Well, Hamilton is the best player on a team that is making the playoffs, and wasn't expected to. Regardless of his rehabbed life, that's enough for most MVP voters.
Could people hold Beltre's injuring of two teammates against him? Surely their injuries are a big reason why the Sox are not really in a playoff hunt.
I always thought that accounting for sequencing of events, as opposed to evaluating outcomes in a vaccum was the unattainable holy grail of pitching evaluation. This article is a great 1st step towards potentially getting there.
I'd love to see all MLB teams ranked by Payroll+ and Payroll/Revenue +. Maybe a future article ( or just a handy chart?)
Re: "hero" and Will's use of quotation marks to indicate irony. BaseballTonight on ESPN had Gibbons (who hit a HR last night after being out of the bigs for a few years) listed as one of their "unsung heroes of the night".
I presume Will is pointing out the hypocrisy that great players who used PEd are pilloried, but marginal players have not faced such scrutiny.
Thanks for the reply. However, the main learning I got out of this blogpost is that the Marlin model looks smarter and smarter (from a business standpoint, however distasteful from a baseball standpoint)- you can save $30M over 6 years by switching concession vendors just as easily as signing players to "go for it"
Teams gain $30 million over 5 years for making the playoffs? That's it? If that's the case, teams would NOT be incented to acquire more expensive talent to get them over the hump, right?
Re: Rangers & Lee. I remember how the 2001 Mariners, who won 116 games without an ace stood pat at the deadline and then lost in the the playoffs. I wonder if the Rangers remember this, too.
Awesome. Kinda a non-knuckleball knuckleball.
I think part of the problem in "finding" clutch is that the 99.9999% of mere mortals who would fold under the pressure of 40k fans in a stadium screaming their heads off and knowing there were potentially millions watching on tv during a critical at-bat have already been removed from ever being in that situation. Therefore the variance on the "clutch" variable is VERY small.
In little league, or even college ball, the variance for how people would handle the pressure is far wider, and thus, we can more readily see clutch (and choking) when it occurs.
Ken- this was an awesome mini-series of articles. I visualize you as the BP version of Crash Davis getting the BP version of Susan sarandon to say 'oh my!"
#22- This sums up my only quibble with BP. SOOOOOOOO many times, an author will run a regression to explain something and attribute all "unexplained variance" to "luck" as opposed to the intangible elements like chemistry, clutch, etc that you mention here. Thank you for articulating this point so well.
#33- some have estimated that up to half of MLBers used PED at some point in the 90s. If this is even within an order of magnitude of being correct, I do not see how someone could ding a "suspected cheater" or even a confirmed cheater (prior to league-wide testing in 2004) by not voting him for the HoF. Now, someone like Manny Ramirez who actually failed an on-the-books PED test, is another matter; I think one could legitimately hold his PED use against him.
#36- The acting in Doubt was fantastic, although the cinematography and editing was amateurish and heavy-handed, taking me out of many scenes. The ending is supposed to be uncertain. While the movie was very good, the play on Broadway, on which it is based, was markedly better.
#42- Neyer was the gateway drug for a lot of us. I was lucky enough to shake his hand once to thank him.
#40- the way I always saw it, if I bring in a relief pitcher and he's pitching well, I want to keep him in regardless of handedness or other factors. Every time you put in a new pitcher, you never know exactly what you are going to get out of them that day (good day or bad day). For example, while it worked out in 1996, I was creaming at the tv whenever Torre would lift Rivera (who had just mowed down 5 batters on 11 pitches) for Wetteland just because it bacame a save situation...
I always thought it should be the "Don't ask, Dotel" era
Buck could manage or GM my team any day.
jlister is right: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tfJWfaPG4VXbDyBscIZf1MQ&output=html
all data taken from BP's own Jeff Euston's Cot's Baseball Contracts.
This is a pretty big error.
#5- this is why people are more critical of baseball's flaws than footballs or basketball's (e.g., steriods)
#8- I'm with Crash Davis on the DH rule
#10- I like interleague. I think "balanced scheduling" is over-rated. Over 162 games if you miss the playoffs and blame unfair interleague schedules, you're just being a crybaby.
#11- regression to the mean will kick in soon. Inception was GREAT but cannot be rated higher than Memento!
#17- right on! I drive a lot at night for work, and there's nothing better than settling into a ballgame.
I'll echo these criticisms: A run prevented = a run scored, right?
For example, placing 95th percentile ranges around such stats as MORP would be informative. Hypothetically, Ben Sheets may have a $6M Morp with a WIDE range while, oh... Mike Pelfrey may have a similar morp with low variance.
YAY!!!!!!! I've long thought that more sports analysis need to include some sort of margin for error or measure of variance. Thank you for doing so (it warms this academic researcher's heart!)
Longevity seems to be the #1 criterion for managers in the Hall. (of course, you have to be at least a ecent manager to hang around long enough, but still)
Wow, to downgrade from Haren & Scherezererzerzer to Jackson and Saunders. eeek
The question really is- couldn't 20 teams have made a better offer??!!
Really poor job by the rookie interim GM. I suppose the only way to justify it is if management forced him to cut x amount of payroll by y date.
DiPoto is shaping up to be as good a GM as he was player.
Didn't I read this article on cnnsi.com yesterday? (Joe Posnanski) http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/07/19/diary-of-a-losing-team-batting-champs/
This is true, but I guess the injury-prone would get injured first, replaced by replacement-level-injury players, who are less likely than the first group to be injured. of course, the non-injury-prone can play the entire year.
There's probably a way to look at the defensive metrics of his 2B, SS, and 3B and see if there are fewer throwing errors and/or higher assist rates when Davis is in vs. Smoak or whomever else...
as an analogy...if someone told me 77% of the times that high school kids got sent home happened before lunch, I would conclude that the bad kids got sent home early and weren't around to cause trouble later...
Will, could it also be that pitchers injured in the 1st half aren't around to get injured again in the second half?
As a somewhat rational Mets fan, even I have to admit the sky almost certainly fell this week, with Jose on the bench...
...and not to mention they started the year with Mike Jacobs at 1B (batting cleanup!) and had Maine and Perez in the rotation.
Talk about stars and scrubs
As a Mets fan, it has been killing me (and their lineup) with their offensive voids at 2B, C, and RF. Throw in the pitcher, and there's 4 easy outs that don't even raise opponents pitch counts.
they may have the moxie but they don't have the cash
Will, what most Mets fans are upset about is that, after first straining his oblique, Reyes was allowed to play hurt and only hit right-handed (even against right-handers) instead of the Mets being cautious with him after the initial injury. No one is upset that the Mets are being cautious now.
and, as you properly state, "average runs per game" in these cases mean very little. Someone scores a run or doesn't. Unless you are looking long-term (like over a full season), these .25 run metrics have very little meaning
The Braves went into this season with several known injury risks- Chipper, Glaus, Hudson, Wagner, etc. So far, only Chipper's lost time.
Gotta be good and lucky to win. So far Braves have (and the Philles haven't had the health luck they had the past 2 years)
Bay's 2010 is like Wrights 2009, IMO
IIRC, Grienke says he tracks FIP and it helps him to calm down and stay focused after giving up a bloop hit- he realizes he can only do so much to prevent those, and this is reassuring.
Some baby steps are being made...
Most televised ballgames I see list the OB% for each batter, along with the triple-crown stats (I'd like to have sluggin and/or OPS, too). When a pitcher enters a game, they usually list w-l, era, innings, hits, k, and walks. When I see this, I quickly calculate a whip in my head.
On the big-screens at ballparks, they often have OB% and SLG listed the first time a player bats. (in SF, I saw the Giants vs. Angels- IIRC, NO ONE on the Giants had an OB% higher than 320, and NO ONE on the Angels had lower than this)
KG referred to Smoak as a 5-star prospect and a potential "switch-hitting Justin Morneau" before the season (his perfect world projection in the Top 11 prospects series). This analysis seems far less positive. Has a togh month in the bigs changed his projection THAT much?
Reyes wasn't the "final vote". He was in before Votto won the "final vote" contest.
You refer to players, like Arkins, not in your charts... is this an oversight?
So, KG, who do you think gets him? This article is very interesting, but has no conclusion...
I greatly appreciate your openness to feedback.
The presentation of the blogs is sub-standard. Laying it out like this would be more user friendly and take up less space:
Also, are the blogs *still* in beta mode after all these months.
Most importantly, I really miss the day-to-day articles, like Joe's Prospectus Today, that will analyze/criticize moves and decisions based on something that happened in the last 48 hours. It was appaling that the ONLY all-star coverage we got was your "one man's ballot" article, with no detailed stat analysis either before or after the fact.
Oh, one last thing. Please keep the layout clear and uncompliucated. I don't need videos etc popping up all the time, and I'm glad y'all don't do this.
"Dessert topping or floor wax?" reference???
great to have you back, btw
Interesting that teams 1, 2, 7 & 8 would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
THANK YOU for using "incented" instead of the non-word "incentivized"
To be fair, Boston fans and media wanted Papi benched/cut after April.
The 93 Giants are the best argument for the wild-card. I'll take improved fairness over "pennant fever" anyday
Guillen's always been a favorite of mine ever since, during his early tenure with Seattle, he played in for a few innings in a beer-softball game with some of my friends. By all accounts, he was a super-nice guy, and my friends report that seeing him hit/field confirmed just how freaky-outlier-athletic professional athletes are compared to mere mortals.
Bay didn't fall over 1B as much as he collided with the 1st baseman while legging out an infield single. Either way, the injury semed like no big deal.
Not running hard to first is like a tennis player not running back to ready position BEFORE his opponent hits the ball back- it is not the equivalent of notrunning aftera ball you can't get to once it is hit.
Fielders bobble balls and make bad throws- not running to first makes these contingencies irrelevant.
Unexplained variance (error variance) does NOT mean luck.
Great article. I love BP, but bristle when I see things that imply that player performance not in line with DIPS or BABIP is simply attributable to luck. This article does a good job in reminding us that variations from these process statistics can be caused by many factors that are either difficult or impossible to add into a regression equation.
I am a true-blue BP advanced-stat guy. But I also watch a LOT of Mets games. Wright is not right. It really seems like everytime he's up against a good or better pitcher he takes called strikes, and then expands his zone and swings at balls. He seems to hardly ever get a hit when the Mets need it (like last night in the 9th inning). I'm having a hard time rectifying these two beliefs.
Manny Ramirez for Cliff Lee!!!
I'm putting this comment in Jay's article today as well:
Manny Ramirez for Cliff Lee
This why I love BOTH BP and more traditional baseball reporting. BP gives us the big picture, non-obvious analysis, and context. Traditional outlets give us the/one version of "the story". To me, its like chocolate and peanut butter.
It is truly a shame how a single decision made about someone when he is 17 or 18, can influence so many subsequent decisions about that person.
PS- as someone who was somewhat critical of your earlier articles, I thought this one was EXCELLENT!!!!
I sympathize with Garrett Jones- that happened to me. A piece of food got stuck in the bottom of the esophasgus (as sometimes happens to those with acid-reflux). You can still breathe, but you can't get the food to dislodge (so no more eating...). The ER doctor told me this is very common and is usually treated with muscle relaxers or a quick poke with an arthroscope (down the nose to the esophagus). The condition is called Esophageal Food Impaction.
Stepwise regression is not the best tool for this analysis. Look up Johnson's (2000) Relative Weights Analysis procedure or Budescu's (1993) dominance analysis.
One major missing variable- nationally televised game vs. not nationally televised. There are about 30% more commercials in nationally televised games.
All this being said- great article!!!
Re: the Mets tickets decline.
-Poorly received off-season by fans
-"1st year lets-see-the-new-place" ticket bump no longer a factor
This was looking like a disaster.
I bet the Mets sold A LOT more tix based on their recent 9-1 homestand that puts them (temporarily) in 1st place
Also, regarding NY in general. I have a friend in SF who is a HUGE Yankees fan, and he buys <$50 TREMENDOUS seats at As games when the Yanks come to town. $50 home Yankees tix is upper deck OF. I refuse to pay that more than once a year.
Thank you Matt. Great article- "The reality is that Howard falls somewhere between these two extremes" hits it right on the head.
IMO, this signing also illustrates some aspects of Amaro/Phillies decision-making:
1) He does not wait for the market to fully develop- as in contracts for Ibanez and Polanco. This risks overpayment, but he gets his man.
2) This deal almost certainly prohibits re-signing Werth- as in how they shipped out Lee when they acquired Halladay.
Thanks for another great article.
Look under Mets, 2009
Excellent article, yet again!!!
When playing in deep leagues, I like to think of the 20-24 players on my roster as "churn and burn". I will often pick up a mediocre player hot hand and drop one of my mediocre players who is not playing well, and then try to package the "hot player" in a trade. This has worked a few times, including last year, in which Emilio Bonifacio helped me acquire Jered Weaver.
Perhaps more feasibly, we can get more updates 2-3 times during the season, including their stats and translated minor-league stats.
Great article!!!! (I just wish the Mets would play their kids already!!!!)
Yay!!! Keep on keepin on with articles like these that translate the legalese of many baseball rules into things we as fans can truly understand.
I still love ya, BP, despite the increasing niche-ness of your articles. We need someone to resume a "Prospectus Today"-type column, and I'm back to 100% happy (instead of the 95% happy I am now)
I live in NY, but travel a lot. I get $12 OF seats at places like SF, but have to shell out $40 for worse seats at Citifield.
Very thought-provoking article. Nicely done.
Hi Jay. I love your work. I love BP. I've been a paying subscriber for as long as you've had them, and I cannot see a time in which I will not continue to subscribe.
I know you know all about statistical analyses, so this is nothing new to you.
However, ANY projection system will tend to have less than fully 100% non-skewed results.
Take the case of multiple regression. We apportion the sums of squares of the dependent variable among the independent variables in the model. The remainder is called "error" which is generally assumed to be randomly distributed. However, it hardly ever is.
"Error" truly means variance in the dependent variable that cannot be attributed to the independent variables you have built into the model. I presume PECOTA has many (and all of the most important) variables specified in your model. However, it cannot account for everything.
My best guess is this- the factors not in the model, such as manager, precision around injuries, "intangibles", "chemistry", etc.- all have small, usually inconsistent effects, but not zero effects. This results in "error" that most attribute to luck, randomness or noise, that could more accurately be portrayed as "unexpalined variance". Most of the time, unexplained variance, even in the best models, is not fully random.
I do not accuse BP of intentional bias. However, it is clear that PECOTA tends to highly rate some teams that make decisions in a manner consstent with BPs approach and tends to underrate some teams that take differing approaches. The reason is the "unexplained variance".
Take the A's prediction with a HUGE boulder of salt. BP's models tend to overrate the A's and Indians and underrate the Twins and Angels. (all models have small biases, this just happens to be BP's)
Before you -1 this comment out of existence, please consider the A's are consistently picked at or near the top of the AL West every year at BP and have finished, on average 18 games out of 1st place the past 3 years.
Perhaps to build on this piece of valid feedback. Doug Glanville has a blog/column on NYTimes.com in which he discusses sports from a player's perspective.
He obviously most heavily uses his OWN experience, but will most often create a linkage from his own experience to that of other players, players in general, or to a broad topic within baseball.
In this series, I get a LOT of good and interesting information on Joshua Kusnick's experiences and perspective. I'd like the articles even better if they used your experiences as a launching pad to discuss issues common to agents, to up-and-coming baseball players or to other baseball-realted matters.
Pinch hitfor Punto with Thome in the mid-late innings, replace with Harris.
White Sox, Royals and As look like anemic lineups to me.
How dare you criticize BP's love for Oakland!!! Quick, give him -15!!!!
I was going to ask about Turner, as well. KG, any thoughts?
Awesome article. I'll be using some of this material in a cross-cultural management class I teach.
LA and AZ represent all that is wrong with the "financially smart" decisions to defer money. It may help today, but handcuffs you tomorrow.
Dude, it's a blog post, not a full article.
This is well-said: "But whether you believe he's providing honest insight or a blend of truth and sales-pitch, this series is still insightful into what it's like to be an agent". Absolutely, I've enjoyed these articles very much
I simply stated that I would prefer more of the former and less of the latter.
IMO, statements like, "I have lived up to every promise I have made to all three of these men", "I will never close myself off to any of my clients. They all know me from top to bottom. They know my strengths and faults. I give them my heart and soul and the only thing I ask in return is that they do everything in their power to take advantage of their tremendous opportunity to play professional baseball" cross from first-person narrative to obvious self-promotion.
What do you want the manager to say- "I guess we're screwed this season"?????
50% really good interesting insights
As a reader, I'm half satisfied, half feel like I'm being used.
Gary Sheffield ot $14Mill from the Tigers while playing for the Mets last year. He's not as good a player as the OF you listed, but he was certainly the "most paid by his former team"
A LOT of ifs have to come through, but here goes:
1. Beltran and Reyes only miss the first month
2. 2008 David Wright shows up
3. Bay produces
4. Murphy goes .300/.360/.430 (or gets replaced by ROY Ike Davis)
5. Santana has a Cy Young kind of year
6. Maine stays healthy
7. Perez channels his two good seasons
8. Pelfrey meets expectations
9. No more strange health issues- ebola outbreaks, etc.
Paula Abdul's evil twin brother for President!!!!
I recall an old baseball poem about a pitcher needing to be "inconsistently inconsistent" to keep the hitters guessing
YAY!!!! Great article. It is nice to see an article here that actually shows "conventional wisdom" actually contains some wisdom.
Since it seems like 2010 will be a washout, too (who knows when Reyes and Beltran will be back and if they can stay healthy), I'd feel much better if the Mets let the kids play now. I'm more interested in seeing:
FMartinez, Thole, Davis, Mejia & Tejada than
Pagan, Barajas, Murphy, Kalero & Cora.
I loved this passage:
"Good players the organization did manage to acquire or develop were inevitably traded for more young players in a merry-go-round that quickly lost its purpose—if you’re never going to stop and consolidate then the team is never going to improve, but will function only to spin off player after player in an ever-widening cycle of diminishing returns"
Too many MLB teams, even well-run ones, having been doing this far too long.
I've been trying to articulate this thought for a long time, and then, BAM, you wrote it perfectly.
Just curious- considering that era and whip from closers is far less important than for starters, and that saves are king (in most FLB leagues), did your rankings account for this?
This would make a good sorting exercise- place all MLB franchises into a 3x3 grid
stupid, medium, smart
poor, medium, rich
...and a fun article.
John- are you the one collecting feedback for the new bp blog format?
I love having more "quick-hit" content, but may I suggest you organize this info differently. For example:
by Jay Jaffe
most recent post
next most recent post
and so on...
by (I'm sorry I forget)
most recent post
next most recent post
and so on...
These PECOTAs make me tremble about how the Mets will do this season.
This is all potentially true, but there's an awful lot of "what ifs?" in play here.
Health- Chipper, Glaus and Hudson (Jurjjens has had an elbow exam already, too)
Reliance on youth- Hanson and Heyward look like studs, but even great young players sometimes struggle.
I agree that the Braves should be good, but I'd expect a high variance around any prediction of their team performance. They could be great, good, or have the season slip away.
BTW- It's really a shame they traded Vazquez. In the near term, this is a huge loss- enough to keep them out of the playoffs, I fear.
Rays- too much of a good thing? They've had to unload good players for little return just to keep their best players rostered.
The Yankees graduated Joba, Hughes, Aceves, Robertson, et al in the past few years, flipped Jackson for Granderson and gave up picks from signing CC, Burnett, Teiexera. Sounds like they've done a GREAT job with their farm system to me.
Just use "compatability view" in recent versions of Explorer
Please tell me Pagan plays CF instead of Matthews until (if)Beltran comes back!!!!!
Also, I checked the cards for Mets prospects Davis and Thole, and the cards say there are no articles that mention them. This is not true, as they are mentioned in Goldtein's top 11 Mets Prospects article. Both players also DECLINE every year from the present, which is hard to believe for decent prospects under the age of 23.
BIG PROBLEM. I'm really suprised.
Imagine if the Twins got ANY value in return for Santana.
Omar Minaya once wisely said (and then did not take his own advice) that you don't build a rotation of 5 starters, you build a rotation of 8 or 9 for the long season.
That "Runs is the most important stat" article was ridicuolous, but it could have been great if they looked at it slightly differently. Obviously, runs scored and prevented ON A TEAM LEVEL are the most important stats. However, they way we attribute them to specific individuals is flawed.
Intangibles exist. They just can't yet be reliably measured and entered into formulas. What is "left over" after running a statistical analysis is called ERROR VARIANCE and is NOT LUCK. Too many BPers chalk up anything they can't measure to luck or chance. They should instead chalk it up to "things I can't yet reliably measure (like defense 8 years ago)"
Another great article, Russell. Excuse my snark, but could we have one article without you referencing your academic credentials/teaching? We profs get a bad enough reputation for self-puffery as it is (I have a colleague who lists 11 letters after his name!!!!)
I'm sure I'd feel differently if I weren't a Mets fan, but I can't stand the man and the last lame start he had for us in 07
Interesting thought experiment and good article.
However, as much as we prefer context-independent stats, it seems to strain credibility to equate Thomas and Edgar.
Martinez: 309hr 1219r 1261rbi
Thomas: 521hr 1494r 1704rbi
Edgar would have to add SOOOOOOOO much more to the table than Thomas to be within shouting distance.
Will, could you explain the Days Lost number. Is this simply how many DL days that Mets 25-man roster guys logged, or is it limited to "starting" players? And it is days, not games, right?
Jackson good. Scherzer better.
I can't get "Arrensted Development" out of my head after reading about Brad Holt!!!
I've been looking forward to this piece since the series began to get your read on FMartinez, Mejia, Thole, Niese and Davis. Thanks!!!!
Perhaps this section of the text could be interpreted based on $$$ lost to injury over something like- the average team, some "replacement level" injury level, etc. (kinda like a team of replacemenet players would win 40 wins and we base marginal wins from that)
He was the mole-GM for the Celtics. and was great at it...
Gee, Hicks overpaid in a bout of irrational exuberance? How Texas of him.
Sheets- $10 million
Bedard- $1.5 million
What do the *'s signify in the Rays section?
David, sorry if I was harsh. You do a great job on this site and I always read your stuff.
(sorry to pile on here) David does a great job getting interesting interviews, but I couldn't get the voice of Chris Farley out of my head when reading this one: "Remember when you were a good hitter? That was awesome"
I'd love to see a piece about the psychological meaning of money to pro athletes and how it can alter decisions like the ones you've discussed. It definately is their way of keeping score and determining relative worth/status.
They probably use the data at hand (the player and team offer) and agree to a mid-point like number for year 1 and an estimate of what a year +1 arb salary would be for year 2, etc etc until FA years where there's a significant raise.
This tactic is increasingly popular (at least it seems like it is) and is a GREAT way teams can retain homegrown talent (DWright, ELongoria, etc.). It also skews the current FA market by taking a lot of the best players off it- meaning the resulting FA signings look worse than they would be if teams didn't work out multi-year deals with arb and pre-arb players.
(Great article BTW)
What about cases in which the player and team settle, but not on a one-year deal, but with a multi-year deal?
I know you're not the type to play "catchya" on interviews, but this was kinda a fluff interview... what about asking him what went wrong these past 3 years or what's going on with the Indiands and an org.
Wow! Figgins, Ichiro, Damon (in some order) at the top of a lineup would be really fun to watch.
Thanks, all. I also think the Yanks are better, but not by as much as most people think.
Out: Matsui, Damon, Cabrera, Joba as starter instead of pen
In: Johnson, Granderson, Winn, Vazquez
Which is better and why? discuss.
Awesome article!!!!!!!! Glad to have you aboard
Sheets won't be traded after his arm falls off in June (and I can't imagine this contract is insured)
Several years ago Nate or Jay did a GREAT article on new statistics for relief pitchers based on when they were used. In additions to saves and holds, they included categories for "keeping game close down 1-2 runs" "successful mop-ups (3+ innings in blowouts)" etc. I searched the archhives for the article but couldn't find it. Anyone remember this? It seems relevant for this article
I'd rather just have great articles and a vanilla website for the current price than pricey and flashy new features.
FWIW, PH walks correlates at .70 with PH plate appearances
No Mets!!!!??? Wow
The key to my good fantasy season was drafting Kershaw, Weaver & Jurjjens in the last 5 rounds of the draft
Hot Stove U is aseries of ESPN Insider articles that will run until spring training. I agree it's best to steer clear
Consider this an exploratory case study. I think that's all Will intended this as.
Gee, a null result in a study with an n of 12. How on earth did this get published??? (FWIW- I'm an academic researcher in a different field and could never get away with bad science like that)
That's good to hear. As much as getting 5 articles about niche topics (pitchers who both start and relieve, free agency years 1-3, etc.) is interesting, I love the bigger picture articles.
When a relief pitcher throws more than 1/3 of the innings of a typical starter, I'll support this.
There is NO WAY Lee Smith et al should be even NEAR the HoF.
Jay, do articles like this mean that you'll be doing at least some of the "Prospectus Today"-type articles Joe used to do? If so, this is a great start.
Re: King Felix. There was a recent batch of articles at BP saying how virtually all FA signings worked out poorly.
One explanation for this is signings like this. The Ms just took Felix off the market for his first 3 years as a potential FA (probably his best ones from a performance standpoint). While this doesn't "count" as an FA signing, in effect, it is.
Direct relief international is also a worth and very effeicient charity that has a long history of work in Haiti.
Yele is a Haitian humanitarian organization that may have the best local expertise.
More college players as a percentage of MLB players?????
A great quote (from an admittedly bad baseball broadcaster/radio host): "Sorry doesn't fix the lamp"
I'd vote for him for the HOF anyway, but let's please not praise his courage for admitting something 10 years later when he has every incentive now to fess up.
PS- I'll never understand why Pettite gets a pass
BP is awesome at everything except being on-time for chats.
Gosh, let's hope Bay's not like McReynolds. Mac was famous in NY for begging out of games after his last at-bat so he could beat the traffic home.
I was merely observing that Christina and the majority of BP readers/commenters seem to be applauding the Holliday signing while citicizing the Bay signing.
I understand that Holliday is better than Bay, but I don't think that difference is large enough to justify taking on Holliday's 2015-17 seasons at $17M+ each while Bay would be off the Mets' books by then.
Add to this the fact that Holliday's biggest piece of leverage (the Mets' available LF slot) had evaporated the week before. Who exactly were the Cards bidding against?
And, Louis, thanks for the feedback.
Please explain to me why Holliday at 8 years, $136M (yes, he will earn his vesting option) is THAT MUCH BETTER than Bay at 5 years, $83M (yes, he will earn his vesting option, too).
aaaaah. i'm having nightmares of cameron and beltran colliding again!!!!!!!
Flash of Genius is a good movie- well worth the $1
I get that the Red Sox have significantly upgraded defensively. I get that they are getting Cameron and Beltre in '10 for the cost of Bay in '10, plus all of the payroll flexibility that comes with 1 and 2 year deals versus a 4-5 year deal. So, all in all, the Sox are probably significantly better off from an organizational-resources point of view.
Are they a better team in '10 losing Bay's bat? I think not.
BP reader thought-police are at it again!
I'll take Bay's .290s EQAs for the next 4 seasons, even with below average defense. Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Beltran, Bay, Francoeur, TBD, TBD, Pitcher is not elite, but it'll do.
I've you've never seen them in action, go see Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh- the greatest volleyball team of all time. Two-time gold medalists (went undefeated for 2008 in the US pro tour, the world tour and the Olympics).
It's funny but I bet Matt Treanor, journeyman catcher makes far more than his wife, the greatest her sport has ever seen.
I always thought the same thing, but the MBA=types would call this the opposite of "net-present-value analysis" and call it a bad deal.
Also, getting what you want NOW and paying for it LATER has unfortunately, been the American way for a while (and led us into the economic mess we're in now).
The Dodgers and Mets are apparently on very shaky financial ground and thus are more susceptible to backloading of contracts.
Really good article!!!
I suppose one secondary reason for the majority of FA signings not going to plan is- teams have gotten smarter about signing younger players to contracts (e.g., Wright, Longoria, Santana) that take them through their early FA years.
It is predictable that BP readers reflexively defend the As even when they don't deserve it. And it is predictable that someone will make a contrary comment and then get negative ratings. (I loved Moneyball, too, but Beane's grace period is expiring soon)
The As finished 22 out this year, 24 out last year and 18 out the year before.
Well, Mulder became a package of prospects including Haren. Haren was then traded for a package of prospects including Carlos Gonzalez, who was then traded...
You all are pretty predictable. Is there anything factually incorrect with my statement?
A note on the Dodger offseason. The divorce is clearly hampering the finances, but even without that, McCourt was BY FAR the most highly leveraged owner in MLB (hence all the deferred contracts, borrowed capital, etc.). The Dodgers were precaiously financed to begin with and the divorce may just break them.
Meh. They'll all be traded as soon as they are arb-eligible for some more prospects, who will then be traded when they become arb-eligible. The Oakland A's- "the team of the future, and they always will be"
harderj- same specialty- OB/HR, with some emerging interest in sustainability. interesting...
Advertising is only one subset of marketing activities. Marketing alsoincludes customer relations, market research, cross-promotion, fan experience.
Garfinkel was using imprecise language when he eauted advertising with marketing. The Pads may advertise less, but they are definately marketing (albeit in a considerably different way).
As for reinveting in the team- I'll believe it when I see it.
I'm sold on hanson and Jurjjens, but relying on Hudson, Kawakami & Lowe????? This move will come back to haunt the Braves, big time.
Cashman stated on several ocassions that Torre was told in no uncertain terms how to limit Joba's innings in 2008.
As a b-school professor, I LOVED this interview. It is refreshing to read about such enlightened and responsible management/leadership. The M's are in good hands.
Just a question- in your experience, how many front offices/management teams in baseball would you consider functional or high-performance? From my outsider's view, I would think only about a third.
I'm reminded of the Tigers of a few years ago.
They were horrible, but signed a few good FAs.
That got them to "good"
Then with some player development and a few more moves, got them to the World Series the next year.
It is hard to add 35 wins in one off-season.
This analysis about the perils of signing FAs when you are not in the winning phase of the success cycle is often on point. However...
It seems like it often leads to the following: If you are not contending this year, give up and play to win a few years from now. This leads to "constantly rebuilding organizations" like the As, who NEVER seem to go for it. This makes for very demoralized fan bases. Give me the Mariners of the past 3 years versus the As of the past 3 years anyday- one team is gearing up to go for it, the other is gearing up to contend in 4 years, every year.
What is the line between the "miracles of modern medicine/pharma" and illegal performance enhancement?
What's the deal with...
hyperbaric (sp?) chambers (a la Ronnie Lott)?
What's the right age (or other factors) to begin...
throwing breaking balls?
Re: Milton Bradley
990 OPS as DH
790 OPS as OF
Joe and Christina are right about him
First off over-rated does not equal bad. Cameron's at 106 OPS+ for his career as a hitter. career OB% of ~340. Yes, he has (mostly) been a plus (not elite) defender, and has speed and power. Again- he's a good, even very good player, but he is over-rated by the folks around here.
Finally- BP is awesome. But even BP fans can acknowledge that their statistical models, like any other, have biases and flaws built into them. This is why some teams are consistently over-rated (Indians) and others under-rated (Angels)- it isn't "luck" when a team outperforms a model, it is "error variance', which means the MODEL does not contain the correct information to have predicted the outcome.
The Angels have been shedding talent for two years now (Tex, KRod, Figgins, Vlad, Lackey) and at some point, they won't be as competitive.
I really don't get the hype around the Rangers- they have too many holes in their lineup (1B, LF, RF, DH) and are relying on Harden, Feldman, etc.
The Mariners' time is now. Now with Lee and Figgins on board, one big bat (Bay, Holliday) puts them in a commanding position.
Why on earth would this be blotted out by negative votes. get a grip, thought police!
Cameron is the player equivalent of the Indians or A's here at BP. Vastly over-rated by BP every year.
As a Mets fan, I would hope Bay comes to NY. But if I were looking at it from Bay's point of view, I would choose Seattle if the money is even remotely close. The Mets organization is well... not good... and there may be sweeping chnages made in the next year or two. The media is relentless and the fans boo anyone who goes 0 for 8. Then again, there's nothing like living in NYC!!!!
If I were Sweet Lou, I'd have thrown a tantrum that the M's did not make any trades to get an ace starter for the playoffs. Being the "team of the decade" is small consolation without a ring.
$80 million worth of stuff!!!!!
Halladay's older than CC or Santana, so getting 7-8 years was not realistic. But 5 at $20M per would still be a great deal for the Phillies. Halladay instead opted for 2010 at ~$15M (under his current contract- Santana had the Mets rip up his existing contract), and then 2011-13 at $20M per, with performance incentives that could guarantee him $20M in 2014. So, e is guaranteed $75M over 4 years, with a good chance for $95M over 5. A discount, but not to the extent Joe contends.
Why not have 7-8 starters you can use? Tazawa and Bowden could use AAA seasoning, Wakefield can be a long man out of the pen. Maybe one of the top guys gets injured.
More like a bell curve cut in half. You're looking at the median through the right-tail.
A related question is- which high-payroll team needs aq closer? Yanks, RedSox, Mets, Dodgers all nope.
Ichiro's uncanny ability to "place" his batted balls (which foxes PECOTA) is perfect for shooting ground balls through the 1B hole when the defense is holding a runner on.
Aaah! the dulcet tones of BP over-rating the Indians and A's (which cuts through this, and so many other otherwise excellent analyses here at BP)
First off, great interview!!!!
Second- how could a coach be prohibited from giving "instructional communication" to players. I can see restricting her from the locker room or something, but restricting the content of what she could say is appalling.
Keep up the good fight, Justine!
I don't get it.
That's not the correct definition of the halo effect. Halo effect occurs when we over-rate all aspects of a person based on one outstanbding characteristic (e.g., someone who is a great speaker may also be perceived to be smarter, more competent, etc.). This may relate to a guy like Sean casey, who was a good fielder and good teammate, but a bad hitter. His bad hitting was actually over-rated by many because they were blinded by their positive impression of his other characteristics.
I bet it is Joe's birthday, too. (I originally thought he was implying DeRosa's birthday was the 4th of July)
IMO people should only minus out offensive or *really* dumb comments (or those who make niggling grammatical corrections- I HATE those people).
Too many times people minus out comments they simply disagree with. It does get out of hand.
Listing your top 20, and simply mentioning when one tier ends and another begins, would be helpful.
Also, could you report projected "standard fantasy" categories like R, HR, RBI, SB, BA for those of us (probably the vast majority) who do not play in leagues with "advanced stats". Pena's 360 OBP doesn't help most of us if he bats 230.
Thanks, and keep up the great work.
Indians got fleeced for Lee
One could make an excellent (and I think correct) argument for Carpenter over Haren. However, I bet none of your hatemailers could even do so.
You can definately make the case that the Bravos are one bat away from being a legit contender, and LF has been a problem for them.
Joe- I have a Q's about the IBA's. Are these just BP subscribers voting, or is it a larger pool?
FWIW- I think all of our "pet issues" come out in the downballot voting- you really went heavy with pitchers and defense, while I didn't do so, but all your picks and reasoning are solid.
Second that. A comparison between some metric of expected time lost due to injury compared to actual would be awesome (probably impossible to cobble together, but awesome nonetheless).
Here's somthing interesting- 162 game season, 25-man roster.
If all players are hurt all year, that's 4050 days lost due to injury. The Mets total of 1415 days lost equals 38% of this total.
He's like that short kid in little league who can't hit, so his coach tells him to crouch down and swing at nothing!!!!!
Just curious, Will and fellow BP readers- What percentage of team health is attributable to the medical staff, to the players and to luck?
I know another anonymous attorney who's worked with the McCourts, and the amount of money and property that's being discussed is simply astonishing. Divorce is always sad, but some of these details and demands are amazing.
With Baltimore and (up next0 Boston, I'd bet the pattern is all AL teams by city alphabetical order, then all NL teams in same order.
Not to pick nits (yours are excellent articles), but about 68% of pitchers would be within 1 stdev, not just 34%.
Yes. Perhaps I didn't write clearly enough. What I meant to say is that he had a greater proportion of unearned runs in 2008 than in 2009. This is probably random noise but it is noise that led to a lower era in 08 than 09.
Could part of it be as simple as the fact he gave up 9 unearned runs last year and only 2 this year? If my calculations are right, that's about a .35 difference in ERA.
However, all his BP scouting reports contain mention of incoinsistency and being very good when good but allowing things to snowball when bad. 2 more snowballs over a course of a season could alter his stats.
Re: -- ARod's sanctimonious attitude after misleading the public for years about his 'roid use.
Arod's attitude??? What about Pettite, Giambi, Bonds, Manny, LoDuca, Lawton, Vina, etc etc etc etc.
I'm sick of Arod being singled out for criticism.
Pitchers should certainly be pinch-runners.
The goal of most teams, unfortunately, is to turn a profit. The Steinbrenners may be the least rich owners in MLB
Christina has been touched by his noodly appendage!!!
Take all people. Put them on a big stage. Measure the differences in how much nervousness affects them. Probably a HUGE variance.
Take all Tony-award winning actors. Put them on a big stage. Measure the differences in how much nervousness affects them. Probably very little.
Too bad it takes the disaster of the 1st 2 rounds of the playoffs to motivate baseball and the unps to get things right. In this series so far, the umps missed a few bang-bang calls, but have not made an egregious error and have consulted each other and talked through two calls to ensure they got things right. I have no problem with any upiring in these 1st two games.
You gotta win the game in front of you. Bring on CC
After the ARod walk, the Yankees needed at least two good things (walk, hit- even with lefty lefty facing lefty) or one great thing (HR) to happen to tie or win the game.
As it turned out they got a walk and a HBP and still didn't score.
I don't hate the move, but it is debatable.
This also gets to the futility of having Guzman (or Cervelli) on the roster instead of Hinske, who would have been a good choice to pinch-hit for Swisher
By walking ARod, you take the possibility of a tying HR off the table. With this greatly decreased chance of of HR, NY now needs two (albeit good) lefty hitters both to do something positive against a (decent, not great- but certainly your best) lefty reliever to tie or win the game.
I agree that IBBs are typically over-used, but this is a case where it made sense.
Well, one generally roots for the team they grow up geographically closest too, unless their dad is a big fan of some other team, so it is not Yankke fan's fault they are Yankees fans
Agreed- good luck winning 4 of 5 vs the Yankees
Runner gets one base from where they are when the ball leaves the field of play. The ump *could* have given Aybar home plate if he felt he had already gotten to 3rd (which may have been the case). Umps can also give the baserunner on 1st 3 bases on a ground-rule double, too, but you never see it called.
I thought the double-clutch came when he thought about getting the lead runner at 3rd before deciding to go for 2
Is it REALLY suprising that a baseball loses some velocity during flight? Anyone who took a rudimentary science class would know this. It is great that we are tracking things like this now, but it is really no suprise. I guess I do not know what the big deal is.
The cld weather and/or shifting seasonal wind patterns have really affected this series- there were at least 3 balls hit so far that would have been HRs during the summer that were caught at or in front of the warning track.
The only flaw I see in PECOTA is that it doesn't work well for players in somewhat unique circumstances- like Ichiro or Cuban defectors.
Joe- it's interesting to see Jay kill Torre for the two decisions that you (IMO correctly) support- Kershaw v. Howard and Sherrill v. Ibanez
Sooooo, Torre uses lefties in two situations (Kershaw vs. Howard, instead of going to a VERY unproven youngster or a starter; and Sherrill vs. Ibanez, instead of stretching Kuo beyond what he has done all year or going to a righty) but gets burned each time.
Normally, BPers would be singing his praises for correct decisions regardless of how they turn out. jay, I'm disappointed in judging the correctness of the decision by the outcome.
How about Booing McNabb on draft day.
Or booing Santa Claus?
The BP method of analysis (which I think is superior and for which I happily pay a subsciption fee to read), like any other perspective, has blind spots. BP tends to over-rate the A's and the Indians and under-rate the Angels and the Phillies. They do not do this out of spite, but because there is no perfect machine.
Mo is the exception that proves the rule. If you have a RH relief pitcher who is not as good as Mariano, then you use a lefty.
Is their collapse worse than the Mets two years back? (I'd like to pass that onus on to some other fanbase)
Bobby Abreu is the new baseball Jesus????
Using your backup backstop as a personal catcher during the season makes A LOT of sense, as it gives rest to your #1 guy throughout the season (especially important with a 37-year old like Posada or a stud like Mauer who can also DH). However, with the days off built into the playoffs, it is silly
What a great way to get others to generate ideas for you while not really looking at any new candidates.
ok. versus 6 decent opponents each year
Will, this is actually important stuff. Thanks for the disclosure.
First off, Holtz is one of the all-time great college coaches, so he's knows a little bit of what he's talking about when analyzing college football.
One of the things I heart about BP is that they are the only site I know of that actually does what you criticize them for not doing. Every year, they line PECOTA up against all other prediction models to determine if they are doing a good job. Joe ran a series this past offseason in which he went through (I think) every team and looked at what they did versus what he compared them to do. Didn't he do something at the AS break with this too?