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Of course the Phillies used analytics under Amaro. He also gave more run to his scouts (see Howard; Young) than other GMs would've. But the only nonhilarious reason for figuring the Phillies didn't use analytics is that it makes you yourself feel superior.
Granted, which is a very, very popular reason.
How dare you say something non-awful about <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Dave+Stewart">Dave Stewart</a></span>?!? Heretic.
This is about the only thing that makes sense to me. In addition to Hanley, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17401">Paul Molitor</a></span> also was terrible in trying to switch from infield to outfield. (yeah, going back a few years there) Switching positions, switching to the tougher league with somewhat unfamiliar pitchers? I'll happily take the under on Pecota here.
Either Smith or Jeffress closing, not Knebel. With Smith perhaps now being a small favorite, Jeffress being a bit banged up.
And minusing sbnirish77?? Jeepers.
No "might", Soler will feel the brunt of this. And Baez is now buried, which with his skills you don't do after a first shaky trial. Heck, the Angels would've traded Trout for 'proven talent' on that basis.
I'm not sour on what Theo has done - other than Zobrist - I just think he's rushed something he didn't have to. The Cubs were set up to be the late-90s Yankees, with a cheap young core giving them the financial room to cover any mid-season injury, sign any free agent, gild the bench, satisfy whatever want or need came up. Now, not so much. Like Captain Queeg, Theo's instead chosen to try to recreate his greatest triumph. Bring a championship to a storied franchise after decades and decades without one. He probably will sometime in the next few years, and so again be a hero. Just this had the makings of a 10-year dynasty. Now, not so much.
Theo has done this bass-ackwards from how it is usually done. Play your ultra-cheap young studs to see what you got, then spend those nice juicy savings where you don't have ultra-cheap young studs. Where the young guys crater, or get hurt, come the All Star break there are always veterans now-available from the disappointing teams.
Heyward I'm alright with, as I don't see a future for Schwarber in the outfield. But Price was the only FA they had real need for. And they could've so easily afforded him. Plus saved $$$ for when it's time to extend the young guys that do come through. And for Harper time.
Where did you find Close's statement?
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=23373">Whitey Herzog</a></span> said back in the 80s that if a player is unwilling to fill the role you have for him, you have to get rid of him pronto, before he poisons the clubhouse. If you accept that, then this is all on Soler. Will he be minimally/acceptably content with 2-3 starts a week?
Well, wasn't controlled for a lot of things, which is fine for a first look at the matter. Fine for a Web site article, as opposed to, say, something for the Annual. Fine given what has been uncovered, something illuminating and robust enough that it would take a whole lotta found counter-caveats to reverse.
Outstanding article, IMO. Well-conceived, and then well-executed. Thank you.
My understanding is that this is already happening. I'd have to cite a competing site for where I read it, and there are ethics regarding competitive site citing. (sorry, I couldn't resist; OK, I'm not sorry) But Lucroy's last year was their clearest example. (evidence went beyond just him, mind you)
Stopped reading after the chart. You used "WAR in the previous year" as a proxy for long-term performance?? That not only doesn't get you into the same neighborhood, it doesn't get you into the same time zone.
Let me rephrase that more clearly. With <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> projections available to you, you used "WAR in the previous year" instead?!
Preller's plan - as with us all - is to keep his job, which may rule out a full-scale teardown. The Padres' plan is to hang onto things of value - Ross, Cashner, Norris - until just one other team gets desperate. As worked with Kimbrel and Benoit. Meanwhile play out your 10% chance of contention into the summer, and if/when the 90% comes up, come the deadline you still will get decent packages for those guys.
And what the "white" guys thing has to do with anything, I don't know. Actually the "guys" part too, for that matter. And you lefties are astounded when we working class white folk exhibit 'false consciousness' and don't vote for your bigoted candidates.
Well, more funny than anything, I guess.
Because it disproves his thesis, of course. Smashes it into smithereens, to be precise.
Does his not yet being a part of the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a> have something to do with it, maybe? (honest question)
Rocker crashed after his comments made him a pariah. Maybe the Reds foresee the same thing re Chapman?
No misunderstanding - of me - as I did think Jeff was speculating about insurance in general, Craig.
As to insuring option years, I'd think that'd be 99% similar to insuring a regular contract year. Just a teensy bit cheaper, since if Ralph opts out and then first gets hurt, you're off the hook there.
As to insuring SOLELY in the event a healthy player opts in? Well, insurers will insure anything if they're confident enough that the premium covers perceived risk. But I don't know that I've ever heard of sports teams insuring merely against lousy player performance
Oh, and one more thing before I forget (again). Does exercising the opt out now result in another money-making opportunity for the agent? Maybe Kusnick could answer that. If so (I can see why it might not be), I think I found one incentive for them.
The way you maximize a negotiation is get your 'opponent' just about right 'there' (while retaining another option), then doing the Columbo 'oh just one more thing'. Boras of course is fantastic at this, in particular likes to get the owner himself involved so as to play off the guy's (often enormous) ego. "Toss in this opt out, then we'll take this (not all that) much less money".
I wonder if that's what's happening with opt outs? We ought to have enough evidence on that by now to look at it. Given age and production, it just 'seems' to me that these opt out contracts just aren't all that much cheaper than you'd think they should be.
More general matters. Behavioral economics can be great fun, but it is far more intellectually problematical than realized. Freakonomics II has a pretty devastating critique of it (book at home rather than here in the office, so I can't cite the actual guy). In short, its empirical foundation is heavily based on experimenting on college students. Which is basically fine really, I mean Pavlov used dogs, Skinner (I think?) pigeons, and those results held up (mostly; Skinner's in general less so) over time. But this guy did figure out ways in which to real-world validate behavioral economics findings, and those findings took a beating. How many behavioral economics findings are just hothouse artifacts? Quite possibly a whole bunch.
Insurance - as the opt out reduces the total outlay for the contract, it'll make insuring it cheaper, too. The effect of the opt out itself? Very little, I'd think. If they opt out and you spend the saved $$$ elsewhere, you'd have just as much incentive to now insure that. And if a player opts out, he's by definition healthy (then), and insurers love insuring healthy people. Especially at rates which when set factored in a possibility of unhealth. Which benefit they now lose. And will factor into their initial price, because man are actuarians razor sharp.
So factoring in that last part, I've little doubt opt-outs raise a club's insurance costs. Just a bit, I'd think.
I do like the article, so please take the following critiques with that in mind:
Intertemporal choice - money, like everything else, has personal diminishing rates of return. So of course my own discount rates should change according to absolute amounts. Especially MLB free agent level amounts. You cite this fine, mind you.
Yes, the forward thinking Yankees gave opt-outs to CC and ARod, then turned around and dumped a greater amount of money on them upon their opting out. Oops.
A place that shall not be named took an early look at opt out results. This early in the opt-out game (I dunno, say 2nd inning?) the players have a pretty nice lead.
No, this is darn close to universal. Just add it in to each category. Bill James alluded to this after having been with the Red Sox for awhile.
And Baez in centerfield, yeah that is hilarious.
Nope. Only you and me.
Yeah, when you have very promising young players you play them, and save the money for where you have need. We saw the supposedly inexhaustible Yankees do it this way, and the long-term wasn't that pretty.
Should've instead signed Price and taken Ellsbury off of the Yankees' hands. And with Baez and Soler giving them cheap production, they would've had more $$$ to spend in the following years, too.
Well, given the salary difference, probably not that much difference in value between the two. Sorta Miller+decent-free-agent-starter vs. Hamels.
Well, there's no such thing as a "team-friendly" player-only option. Just a matter of how unfriendly they are. The Red Sox here take on 7 years of risk in return for only 3 years of payoff. Given Price's age, I don't think it's that unfriendly, either.
But I don't think Price at $30 mill a year is all that friendly, either. Affects their ability to take on bad contracts come August sell-off time, affects their ability to pay Ramirez and/or Sandoval to go way, et.cet. I mean, I'm alright with the contract overall, but yeah the opt out certainly shifts the needle some.
Just like MLB, Baseball Prospectus is in the entertainment business. So as a profit-maximizing entity, needs to publicly reflect its customers' moral views. The strongly held ones, anyway.
So yeah, this is just venting. Well-written venting, I'll grant you. But that is its sole and sufficient business purpose.
Seems to me you do know, honestly. Your last paragraph strikes me as an excellent way of going about it.
Simply the phrase "pedantic legalist" deserves to be minused to the hilt.
The Brewers sure didn't promise 'no down stretches anymore ever!' when they campaigned for their new stadium. I don't see any ethical connection between rebuilding and stadium status.
If the rebuild fails, it'll just be like the Pirates and PNC for all those years. Once the team FINALLY! got good, the fans were fully re-revved up.
To sell more season tickets for '18, they ought to be competent in '17. But once/if the '18 team proves competent, they'll start getting the walkup tickets, along with people enjoying the still-new stadium.
I doubt they'll win anywhere close to 80 games in '17. That's the price of a full commitment to rebuilding. But once the young guys do start showing improvement, enthusiasm rebuilds mighty quickly.
I think the Braves actually have this timed perfectly. Come 2017, when you can expect 'rebuilding fatigue' to set in re the fan base, the spanking-new Stadium itself will sell tickets. By 2018 the team sure ought to be trending upwards, and everyone will be happy with that.
And by 'Decision Time' come October 2014, that team was pretty clearly gone. It happens in pro sports. I actually commend the Braves for recognizing that.
I vote with the king, here. Their core was OK, but nothing more than that.
All the cited article says is 'ownership got involved, too'. If they properly get to sign off on major free agent purchases, I think this is a proper area of involvement for them, also. Absent additional details, I don't see that Friedman has much cause for botherment. (so to speak)
"Likely" the best closer in baseball's 3 next years in terms of a 51% shot at that, or a 20% shot compared to Chapman's 17%, Davis' 14%, the field's 30%, et.cet.? (I very much assume the latter)
Kimbrel's certainly worth more than his salary. 4 prospects' worth more? No way. Dombrowski's simply a traditionalist (no complaints here with that) who just made a traditionalist's mistake.
I wonder if this is indicative of Bill James having a lot more time on his hands than he's had the prior 10 years?
No, it'd be a thought-provoking article in some place like the National Review. Here, man oh man - OK, woman oh woman - is it preaching to the choir.
OK, I will go away now. Promise.
1. Baseball's fan base is not diverse. It's quite white. Y'all lying there. (wanting it to be diverse, "knowing" it could/should be diverse, is not it currently being diverse; difference between future and current tense)
2. Can you say "quota"? Well, not if it'll hurt my jeremiad.
3. Quotas for urban institutions such as police forces and city work crews is one thing. Quotas for things such as university slots is another thing. (granted, they mostly shift opportunities from the Bud Bundys of the world to the Sasha O'Bamas of the world) Quotas for baseball?!? Good gravy.
4. I'll go away now. Y'all welcome.
The key phrase there is "when necessary". You all have an incredibly expansive definition of "necessary".
Well actually, y'all just panicking under pressure like Gibbons is doing. Now Gibbons has actual emotional reason to do so. But he's also getting paid a few million $$$ not to do so. Oh well, it's certainly most all on the players now anyway.
Yep, don't know that there are clutch hitters/pitchers, but there sure are managers that unravel under pressure. Good thing for their teams that, come Game Time, they're at best their 10th Most Important Person on the field. And probably more like 15th.
Of course you need to look at "the average span between managerial changes for new and established GM."
You're supposed to contest his point in an edged voice - well, in edged print, I guess - and so entertain us with a 2-way hissy fit. Man, no wonder they dumped you.
Getting on Harper for not running out the popup was "slightly ... overdoing it".
One problem with the Ichiro! thing is the lies that will now follow for the next year. For political reasons they can't just 'fess up it's for $$$ reasons. So they'll instead go on and on about what a great leader Ichiro is. Rather than merely a 25th man who's bringing in way more money than 25th men otherwise do.
I mean, I am in favor of doing it that way when you can. So long as the guy's like Aaron was in Milwaukee way back when, rather than Griffey sleeping through his final half-year in Seattle. But the accompanying 'clubhouse star' <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BS</span></a> gets irritating.
Heck, somebody's got to defend Papelbon. If Harper had got on Papelbon for some faux pas (say, leaving the mound before the manager actually got there to take him out), Paps had replied 'wanna fight?' and Harper had then grabbed him by the throat, you all would be blaming Papelbon for the 'wanna fight?' part. You all just love/like/are at least OK with Harper, and hate Papelbon's guts.
Players are supposed to police each other in terms of hustling and whatnot. If Paps overdid it there (yeah, I think so too), it was only slightly so. Harper then escalated it bigtime. You challenge a guy in a baseball clubhouse/dugout to fight, you give him no choice but to advance in some fashion.
Hazen is 'Assistant General Manager' in everything but title, no?
OK, have now read that the Phills are picking up the rest of Pap's 2015 salary. Which means there at least are no $$ obstacles to picking up another guy this week if they want to. So I'll upgrade my assessment from 'awful' to plain ol' 'bad'.
Yup, that would do more damage to them than any misbehavior Pap engages in.
Oops, meant 'KRod', of course.
No it's an awful move for the Nats. One Papelbon is not worth, say, FRod and another reliever whom you can then also afford to pick up. Or, Uehara and then an additional guy. Or just 2 not-great-but-good guys, say Benoit and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Will+Smith">Will Smith</a></span>.
Not to devalue relief help, but when you need it you do have options. In this case every other one without a huge freakin' $$$ option for next year, without someone who will scream and stomp his feet about displacing your current guy who's now pitching just as well as he is, without a paycheck that now prevents you from picking up another $$ guy. Just an awful move.
I win, I win! Now to quick scurry away to the emotional cashier before someone posts an 'inquiry'.
Tho' then I really shouldn't have used "rationally" per se in my previous post. Without explaining that they're behaving sensibly once you factor in their (understandable) fear.
Russell's actually the guy ascribing rationality here, that GMs are trying to maximize W/L but goofing because they're miscalculating in these situations. I'm bringing in fear as an extra-rational motivator (and suggesting how you begin to go about then falsifying that hypothesis). Which when you factor that in, GM reluctance regarding intra-division trades makes perfect analytical sense.
GMs are of course thinking very, very rationally. And thus not trading within their division. As just about all rational people like to keep their jobs, even when they're not as great and hard to get as GM ones.
You've identified that GMs don't trade within their own division near as much as they should, from a W/L optimality standpoint. I wholeheartedly agree. Thus, the issue at hand is, what else are they then optimizing? I've just given you the correct answer, no need to thank me. The initial way to falsify it would be to talk - very, very off the record - to current/just former GMs.
Sorta what Sharky said. GMs fear that if they trade within the division, any and every future time Joe Blow has a good moment against your team, people will remember 'our idiot GM actually traded him away!' Then you do get fired the moment your owner has another reason to, because the public wants you out.
So actually what you need here is some type of historical study.
So Cherington's in no danger at all of getting axed? Serious question, as I'm nowhere near Boston. But you make a highly questionable move - throwing tons of money at both Hanley and Sandoval, the former being widely known for his shaky attitude - that blows up on you as badly as it possibly could. In addition to which, nothing else you do for 2 seasons works. How can anyone in that organization preach accountability to any subordinate when Cherington gets that kind of free pass?
So no analysis of whether Harper was justified or not in his bunt attempt?? (my uneducated vote is 'yes')
Maybe he was just sucking up to his players ("gee, we're losing despite how great we are. Must be the press' fault!"). I think it's a poor managerial tactic, but not an uncommon one.
Supposedly Polanco now batting 2nd with Marte 5th. Nice jump for Polanco if so.
Oughta give Belt at least 5% of an outfield slot, I'd think.
Thank you for the adjustment. :-)
Yeah, last I saw in spring games that was definitely NOT the case. BP needs to get those accurately if they want to be of much help here.
Yeah, which if it does come down that way will be huge, especially for a base stealer a la Leonys.
Good stuff, thank you. Arcane such that I can't foresee many comments, but I'm sure there's enough of this type of us in the BP audience to appreciate this.
I enjoyed the writing, too.
Selling low on Castillo unless you really really believe in framing. Which would be a better reason than 'man oh man we really gotta win THIS! year!!' Or 'Ross is a LEADER!'
When you're paying your manager as much as Maddon, you shouldn't pay anything much at all to bring in extra leadership. I mean for goodness' sake, Maddon handled Yunel just fine. Especially since 'leaders' have some history of turning into the biggest whiners when a more talented younger player comes along and takes their job. (see Ray Knight, Luis Gonzalez, Larry Bowa)
Evidence simply does not consist of one undergraduate thesis vetted not by the academic community at large, but by a group of thesis advisors each of which with many, many additional things on his or her plate. Your personal pride is pushing you to badly overstate things.
But fine, I'll change from "you really don't have any" to "you really have very little there at all".
1. "Dude ...", there's a difference between athletic and baseball talent. Bill James noted this regarding Bo way back when he was still Bo-ing.
2. "With ...", ???
Also, you can't copy Simmons' hands. You can't copy Giancarlo's strength. But any additional good ideas Friedman (or Maddon) come up with, they spread to other competitors pretty darn quickly. So they're value is intrinsically regressive, in some important ways.
Actually, I've sure seen longer here. And this was a good one! Thank you for sharing your experience.
Exellent, excellent insight here. Since Wins don't increase, as you add GMs into the value mix you've got to dial everyone else back some.
With regard to baseball players, we're in the tail of the Bell curve. So yes, there the difference between Ralph and Fred can be millions. You're either a transcendent baseball talent or you're not, so the pool is not expandable. Even Bo and Deion were no more than decent MLB talents.
With regard to baseball executive talent we're not in the Bell tail. Because MLB is competing with the NFL, NBA, and every Fortune 500 company out there. So the differences are more nominal. And near-impossible to spot ahead of time, really.
I'm sure you're proud of your Senior Thesis, Lewie. And justifiably so. But if that's what you're citing as evidence, sorry, but you don't really have any.
Unless they know, from watching him all season, that Bogaerts actually is a bust, the Hanley signing otherwise is just insane.
Actually, it is THE! primary goal, beyond discussion. But commendations for handling this exactly right, Mike. Including 'OK, maybe I actually will use "flied out" from now on'. Kudos.
More the opposite, really. Matheny is absurdly loyal to his players, more like a high school baseball coach than a MLB manager. He figured he owed it to Wacha to use him the next chance that came up, and it was that one.
Reads like it was written by Friedman's agent. As noted upfront, we have no idea how much of Tampa's success to ascribe to Friedman, nor that he can again accomplish such in a very different environment. None of the high picks he had to play with in Tampa, many of his best ideas now also poached by his competitors.
Most important of all, looks to me like he again has a small budget that he himself, Andrew Friedman, gets to play with. His 2018 already-sunk budget is $131 Mill, prior to which he has far, far more committed?? And a higher management that reportedly wants to cut costs? (however big a bozo Plaschke plays on cable, he sure the heck is wired in to the LA sports scene) If there were a way to short Andrew Friedman in his current gig, I'd risk that investment.
Ooh, good one. Thank you!
Yeah, this x 10. Each of these moves were actually the sabremetrically sound option. Don't know what in the world they're doing in this article. Not like you couldn't have gone with 7 rather than 9 of the worst.
Yup, agreed, thank you!
Good stuff, good analysis along with it. Thank you.
I sure wouldn't want to be anyone's beard, never mind LaRussa's, unless I was certain it was the only such offer I'd be getting in the next 5 years.
And being way over word budget, I'll go away now.
And yes, as to Billy's trades this season, "though not everyone would agree with you" understates it, actually. It's generally understood small-market teams HAVE! to have low-paid talent to make up for the revenue differential. Billy instead trades his away (the Hammel part of that deal I particularly find indefensible) and Saber people cheer/at least excuse trades which they'd be tsk-tsking if they were made by people like Wren, and excorciating if done by the likes of Amaro or Moore. In part due to way-over-deference to Beane, in part to undue fascination with our 'win curve' toy. Which is just enveloped by way too much uncertainty/randomness to justify those deals. 3 years ago no one envisaged the A's being where they are today, and a mere 2 months ago no one saw the A's falling off this badly. But poop does happen, frequently enough that our 'win curve' analysis just isn't as useful as we like to pretend it is.
What that means, Jeff, is only 25% of Oakland's 40-man roster has been drafted-and-developed. Since Billy's just as responsible for that as he is for the trades, I don't see where that ratio speaks either well or ill of him at all.
So I guess on this site also I'm the only guy who thinks Billy had a horrendous, terrible year? Never mind trading 6 years of way-under-priced Addison Russell for a year-and-a-half of mildly-underpriced Samardzija, he trades his second-best prospect for a half-year of a ho-hum starting pitcher currently on a hot streak in the weaker league. Under the misplaced belief that starting pitching really matters in a post-season filled with off days in which you can go to the bullpen early and always. Just awful work which even appears to have blown up on him immediately, along with the near-guaranteed explosions in the coming years.
'Brain power' has a very short shelf-life in that any bright ideas you throw out there that actually work can be copied immediately by anyone else who wants to. And will be so, first by the more adept GMs and then the following replacements for the other GMs.
Dan Szymborski stated just yesterday that he'd researched it and found that statistically unlikely collapses happen pretty much just as often as they statistically should. For what that's worth to you as an A's fan.
Re Appel, you cannot allow players to whine about something like that. It's regularly done, and none of their darn business, except in that they fear he'll eventually take one of their (or their buddies') jobs. Actually, when you have 'talent' a la the Astros' big league club, you can't let a whining atmosphere emerge period, and poison things for the emerging guys like Springer and Singleton.
To everything there is a season, and right now the Astros need a hard-nose guy to kick tail.
"I was exposed to the club side early"? Anything you can share in this regard? (I understand maybe not)
Excellent stuff. Thank you.
Byrnes got fired because Fowler wanted his own man in. Otherwise you get more than 2 1/2 years.
No real beef with it myself, lots of people deserve trials, which only get generated through frequent turnover. But Byrnes was dead meat however soon Fowler could conceivably dump him.
Yes, this is outstanding in all ways.
One thing that can be accomplished consistent with each value system is the dissemination of the info that pro teams know this, and act accordingly. Dylan, his Dad and his coach want to sacrifice for today's win at inarguable cost to a possible-maybe future? Fine, have at it. Just with full understanding of the trade you're making.
That's d-a-r-n, not d-a-m. Man, they come out looking alike.
You tryin' to ruin my righteous indignation about the Big Club not calling up my fantasy prospect stash?? -----!!!
Oh wait, I can only - other comments. Darn.
I'm also curious about the "club complaints" part, Joshua. Seems to me that, if I have Joe Outfielder in my organization and he's being lazy/partying really heartily/treating his fellow human beings with all the graciousness of Barry Bonds/whatever behavioral problem, I first take it up with him.
Are "club complaints" typically what they think are behavioral problems from one of your clients? Do they sometimes come to you first regarding those, or is it most always "hey, Joe's paying no attention to us, so now you try"?
Could you give us a real example of a club that's 'good at fixing players at such-and-such a position'? I'd like to better know exactly what you mean by that, Joshua.
What do you mean by a "club's financial fairness", Joshua? A good initial offer? A prior history of dealing fairly in $$$$ terms with its minor leaguers?
Yes, excellent stuff. Thank you.
At least regarding hitters, I think you need to control for men on/not on base. For instance, how much of Philips' sluggishness is due to Votto so often being on ahead of him?
Yes, given the HUGE! (arfarfarf) data problems presented, you just can't use that data.
It'd be bringing in a %100 subjective factor (gadzooks!), but maybe just ask longtime sportswriters who were the fattest players of each generation, then see how they aged in contrast to their svelter statistical comparables.
No puzzle at all regarding Fowler. They wanted him to play through his injuries, and he said 'no'. Maybe he is a whiner (just like Roberto Clemente definitely was), quite possibly O'Dowd and Weiss (and Kiszla) are "walked 5 miles to school every day! Uphill both ways!!" idiots. Actually, the latter is true regardless. You don't bash a guy who's in all other ways conceded to be a 'good scout', and goodness gracious you sure don't do it while trying to trade him.
Re Stengel vs. Spahn, I recall reading somewhere that Stengel years afterward stated both that, yes he was dead serious about Spahn's gutlessness (and ergo no baseball future) at the time, and that, boy oh boy was he proven wrong.
If rather you're thinking you should've gotten a lot more comments, well, to get those in abundance you either have to say something pejorative, something flat-out wrong, or take an aggressive ThisWAY!!!-or-ThatWAY!!! stance on an issue that's actually open or debatable. The nature of all media, really.
If that was for me (I'm occasionally surprised when someone remembers some very short thing I wrote however far back), this wasn't puffy at all. Your first thing ever at BP (1.5-2 years back now?) read like a short prospectus one would give to prospective clients. This was very informative. Thank you for it.
Well, so much for my confidence that you guys are paying attention this year. I guess I know now not to bother with it the rest of the season, or next.
So the uncertified guys are neither more nor less ethically shaky than ever, but there's just so many more of them now?
Umm, "How/in what ways are things worse today than they were 11 years ago?" Given what you write in your last paragraph and sentence. Are the "(loans, plane tickets, gifts, etc.)" that much worse now than back then? Other things going on now that weren't so much back then?
Any reason my question disappeared? "How/in what ways are things worse today than they were 11 years ago?" Goodness gracious, that wasn't seen as snarky, was it??
Exactamundo. Test #1 is to apply it to past teams. They didn't even bother doing that? Then it's worthless.
Miller again batting 2nd Wednesday night. Everyone add 90 ABs onto his projections, and hitting in front of Cano probably bump his Rs up by 50%.
Red alert! Red alert! Brad Miller hitting 2nd tonight, Ackley batting down at 8th. McClendon showing signs of making Richie a presumptuous bozo. Get ready to adjust that Mariner batting order once again! (sorry)
Thank you for the adjustment! Gives me confidence that you guys are paying attention. :-)
Seems to me like pitchers are much more likely to suffer harm getting hit in the face rather than on the head. Is that factually so? If so, then we are talking mask rather than helmet.
Sure looks like Miller is at least going to start the year off batting at the bottom of the order. Which is where I would expect a dinosaur like McClendon to hit him. Maybe you want to look at and adjust that before any more early (slow) drafts get done, and so minimize the number of Miller owners who will be cussing you guys out come April 1st.
2 simple solutions:
1), once you lose a challenge, you're out of them. The point is to appeal a play you've reason to believe they got wrong, not double check anything you want to.
2), every wrong challenge costs the franchise a thousand bucks, or some amount more if you think that's not enough. Billionaire owners became billionaires in the first place by really really caring about money. No, they're not going to just wave away the onfield manager pissing it away. Everybody's on some kind of budget when it's their money.
ThisThisThisThisThis. A 'challenge' commercial in the NFL just replaces a commercial that would otherwise have been run after a punt. A commercial instead ran during a challenge, now instead they can start up play right away. Baseball you can't do that.
The second replay, I guarantee many casual TV viewers will click away just to avoid it. And a few will then stay with whatever they click to.
This; x 1,000,000.
I'll buy your premise, tho' not your accompanying sermon. I will point out that self-selected polls of this type have very little analytical value.
But yes, I do find it somewhat telling regarding the 3 black/3 white guys. 3 biases tho: ARod is far more current than Rose, McGwire finally came clean where Sosa never has, and Bonds well before steroids was known within all layers of baseball (anyone who has ever known a clubhouse attendant has heard so many horrible stories about Bonds) as an inner-circle Hall of Fame level horse's heinie - the Babe Ruth/Michael Jordan/Wayne Gretzky of buttholes, if you will - where Clemens was more just your regular level jerk.
But yes, I concede your general point.
Members of 'out' groups - which includes most of us, when you factor in how very many ways we group ourselves together (and thus apart) and also the emergence of a 'more persecuted than thou!' ethos over the last 50 years - absolutely circle the wagons around one of their 'own' when she/he is under accusation. Republicans and D'nesh D'Souza, Democrats and Bill Clinton, Christians and Tim Tebow, gays and their Portland mayor a few years back, and on and on and on. If whites disapprove of Clemens in like number to their disapproval of Bonds, that would be a good indicator that the racial discrepancy re Bonds is solidly with minorities defending one of their 'own'.
The 'Godzilla Bellow' after every home run. Now THAT! is inspired!
(of course, who knows how much of a licensing fee they'd charge you)
Wasn't me who dinged it. But looking at your comment, that had to be it.
Heck, I just feel like dinging the name 'Hoot Stromboli'.
I don't put the positive read into 'stop 16' that Sam does. Really, your first day in town and, as a bench guy no less, you screw over the local media? In combination with 'stop 1', I guess it explains to me why Branyan had trouble finding work. If you're going to be a jerk, you better be a real good player first.
"Reading (too) much into this" how?? What's the excess stuff that you see being read into it?
I believe Bill James (maybe Tom Tango, too) has concluded that the extra pitchers do help. Some. There's just plenty of guys who, matched up with the platoon advantage and putting everything they got into a dozen or two pitches, can get hitters out with reasonable effectiveness. Whereas there are just not that many Matt Stairs. Once the knees go, you can't hit well anymore either. So hitting wise, you either hit well enough to play, or you can't hit. No corresponding way to squeeze some type of use out of marginal hitters.
Interesting stuff. Thanks for looking it all up. :-)
Why would Cuban waste any substantive amount of money on a team he wouldn't be running??
Not that I'm suggesting it applies in Pettitte's case. But, the, ummm, 'women' draw voluntarily-retired players back into the carnival.
Hamilton is "close" to earning the 'injury-prone' tag?? What, if he winds up one tube over from the decapitated, upside-down Ted Williams, will that do it?
Regarding Bard, how unusual is it for a reliever to not come in 30% of the time he warms up? Sounds high to me, but has anyone monitored that? I'd think teams would be hesitant to give that info out.
Funny how we laud leakers when we agree with what they're doing ('whistleblower', I believe the term is), and they're the earth's lowest vermin when we don't like what they tell us ('shooting the messenger').
Oh, and for what it's worth (basically nada), it was not a 'chain of custody' issue, but an 'improper handling' one. We know where the sample was at all times, and under what conditions.
"a good-faith effort on the players' part to show their openness to battling the steroid problem" ARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!! Really, you BP guys slay me sometimes!
Horrible coverage of the 'Black Sox' scandal. Terrible. Landis proclaimed that knowledge of a fix or discussion of a fix, unless reported, would be grounds for permanent suspension from Major League Baseball. By which grounds Jackson (Weaver, too) was guilty as sin.
If I knew my co-workers were dipping into the till but kept my mouth shut about it, once that's shown to be so (and not necessarily beyond all reasonable doubt in a court of law) I'd fully expect to be shown the door, too. Very properly so.
By the time Bonds was willing to play for $500,000, I believe he'd been out for longer than Manny now has been. And getting steadily closer to a 'guilty' verdict, with all the lovely PR effects that would've entailed for the ballclub.
I applaud counting in malcontent costs, especially on Sabrery sites like this. But the problem with clubhouse/office malcontents is not when you can easily get rid of them. It's when you can't or don't really want to lose their individual production, so you start making excuses for them. Pretend they're not really affecting those around them, 'who are adults after all, so it's part of their job to put up with stuff'. Manny's full expendability makes this, also, here a very tiny risk.
The financial cost of Manny is however much it costs to house and feed a player in spring training. My understanding is that the As don't owe Manny a cent of his salary unless he makes the team, and then still only once his suspension is complete.
So, see if his bat speed is still there, and if so, flip him. If not, or if he acts up at all, out he goes at a cost of room and board for a few weeks.
So was such 'front-running' illegal? If Wilpon and Katz are shown to have reasonably expected that's how they were getting their investment returns, does that then make them liable?
Oh, and thanks much for this stuff. :-)
It's fun to point out how ('other') people aren't as bright ('as I am').
If I don't have asthma, I personally am at zero risk of dying from it. And if I haven't smoked or have a congenital condition or indulged in some other obvious risk factor, I'm highly unlikely to develop asthma. That's the problem with so many of these cognitive studies showing how 'nonrational' we all are. Often they badly misframe the issue. Often they're 'hothouse artifacts', relying on experimental results which don't and won't translate into real-world behavior.
End of tangential diatribe.
And 84 losses. But then their run and rbi metrics never add up, either. Leadoff hitters who drive in almost as many runs as they score.
Looks like Montero isn't loaded into PFM.
Dudes, what mulligan says. The app is aimed at 13-year-old girls.
If 'bankruptcy equivalency' forces a Wilpon sale, I can't imagine other than a New York-based franchise will create a bidding frenzy.
Yes, very good research. Thank you.
I'm assuming Boras didn't have to answer any questions at the convention as to how in the wide world the deal worked out "great" for Toronto. But then, when your job is advocacy, it's helpful to have the rep that you'll tell any lie, no matter what, no matter how baldfaced, so long as it's helpful to whomever's paying you.
That is no fun at ALL. NOW how am I going to feel smarter than everyone else? (bear in mind that if folks can't see I'm smarter than everyone else, it makes it much less fun)
Myself, I find it funny that the same writers we lambaste for not telling us in the 90s what they certainly knew but couldn't prove, we now lambaste for telling us things they know but can't prove. Not all that hilarious, tho'.
'Listed weights' as evidence of anything?? Now that's worth one heck of a good laugh.
Regarding jtanker33, I believe current research holds that toxic people do more harm than good, they adversely affect the productivity of most all the people around them. Environments free of such people are much productive overall. But I am out of the research biz now, so can't comment as to the extent or reliability of such research.
One job requirement for a backup catcher is that he accept his backup status with some amount of grace. Didn't Mathis scream bloody murder this past season when Scioscia moved Conger ahead of him for awhile?
I've been here long enough to remember the BP writers who railed righteously against those moral reprobates who dared to suggest that Barry was taking steroids. Dudes, you guys are the birthers for pretending it's not a legitimate, eight- or nine-figure issue.
Silly to cite Pujols' age without noting all the doubts about it.
I'm also worried about the notion that they have to sign someone famous in order to 'fill the new ballpark'. New ballparks are supposed to fill themselves the first few years. That's much of the point.
Baffled by the notion that Reyes is a "superstar". Last year he hit way over his previous norm, still played only 126 games, and only got in that many by shutting down his running game down the stretch. (until the very end; talk about a salary drive)
What 'timber' asks. Elijah Dukes has a rap sheet from here to Tacoma. What has Lueke done separate from the "alleged incident" (legally proven to some extent) in "this link"? I haven't looked that hard, but also haven't found anything.
Oh, and "farouche" means 'sullen' or 'fierce' or 'socially inept' according to dictionary.com.
Ever since they invented the telephone, face to face meetings have been overrated. The 'winter meetings,' a la political summits, are mainly free PR for the participants and an excuse for the media to pretend something's going on so please pay attention to our ads.
So how does one scout "makeup"?
People pass along stories of what happens around them, so I'm confident management people in baseball do know how much input Angelos currently gives. And as can be inferred from desirable candidates not even bothering to interview for the position, Angelos continues to offer a whole lot of input.
I believe the middle sentence of your second-last paragraph serves as a no-doubt homer to dead center.
And I can't imagine Angelos would let Duquette fire Showalter.
"Lighten up, Francis!"
Don't think there's any "maybe" regarding it being more likely that the supply of GMs is much larger than the supply of good MLB players. Now that he's in place, Theo will have a far bigger impact on the Cubs' future than Starlin Castro will. But it's not clear that hiring him will be much or even at all more effective than poaching Ben Cherington, or making Hoyer a 'strong' GM, or hiring Kim Ng would have been.
He also understood, somewhat at least, the difference between building knowledge and assisting a decisionmaker. In the latter, no, large sample size is not always better than small sample size. If I'm a manager, I don't much care what Mark Teahen has done in his last 50 ABs against Buehrle. Players change. I much prefer his last 25 ABs. That's too few to get me up to a .90 confidence level? Well, welcome to my world, Sabre Boy. I make some decisions at .51 confidence level before moving on to my next task. You get me up to a .60 confidence level on some things, you've earned your pay for the week.
Much of Bill James' success, I always felt, was his approach. He'd briefly state his conclusion upfront, next show an example of how it worked that way or why it mattered on the actual baseball field, THEN show his work. With the Table up there, he'd show us why Mark Teahen is not a better choice to DH against Mark Buehrle than Billy Butler is.
All predictive work ought to have a baseline from which to proceed.
What is the average hitter performance in each of the 9 zones?
Albert had some legitimate reason to stonewall regarding his calling the hit-and-run. Now that the Rangers know he has authority to do so, they can watch him for it. No reason beforehand to assume TLR grants his players such authority on their own.
Why in the world would anyone think Craig getting thrown out in the 9th was a botched hit-and-run play?? Figuring a groundout DP was more likely than a strike 'em out/throw 'em out DP, Tony sent Craig. It is of course self-evident.
And regarding 'saving' Theriot for later, if he were all that useful a hitter, he'd have been in the game already. Running is probably the one thing he does best now as a baseball player.
Tony took out his best reliever, after two batters, for his worst reliever, in order to get the platoon advantage. Against a hitter who doesn't have a big platoon split.
Yes, it was a blunder. And I'm a TLR fan.
Oh, and of course he should've pinch-run Theriot. You need 1 run to tie or otherwise lose, you put your best runner in there. I'm a TLR fan, and he made two blunders last night. In a game he projects to lose anyway, even making the right moves.
On the chance that they make the playoffs again next year, 'Move #1' is to cut Kotsay. I half-expected Roenicke to have him on the pitching mound for the start of Game 6.
Which, well, wouldn't have worked out that much poorly than things did.
Has Bowden advised any other contender to trade for young guys rather than sign old free agent ones? Was surprised to see that there.
Ummm, 'credible' means 'believable'. You can't believe what you don't know about. So quietly pursuing the alternatives defeats any deleveraging purpose in doing such.
And it doesn't count saying, "hey, I have alternatives too, ya know! I do!! I really do!!!" I mean, don't any of you guys have girlfriends? (me neither, but just pay attention to your coupled friends)
The Red Sox have all the leverage until the Cubs make credible moves in pursuit of an alternative.
The feat of scoring first is more likely to reflect the top of the lineup rather than its depth, I'd think. Even more than that, the starting pitching.
1 out of every 500, then. Thanks, Derek!
Did you control for 0 Ks, Derek?
Striking out 6 while also allowing 27 balls in play likely means you pitched a pretty darn good game. I'd love to see what the mean outcome is when striking out zippo while allowing 25+ balls in play. Which itself features a very flattering selection bias, in that if you get alot of bad outcomes on the early balls in play, they won't let you anywhere near 25 batters faced.
One could easily research the promise of such a hire. How well does previous MLB managing experience, previous minor league managing experience, previous MLB coaching experience, et.al., correlate with subsequent managerial success? I understand it would be time-consuming, and probably professionally stupid given that nobody's asked for it other than me. But it would also be the obvious place to start when seriously addressing the question of whether Ventura is a good hire or not.
Williams' overriding focus was to hire as unOzzie-like a manager as possible. And I sure can't blame him for that. Even though that also mandated hiring someone with no competing cred.
If Roenicke pinch-hits for Greinke in the 5th and the guy succeeds in getting on, then Fielder also gets to hit with men on. And gets Dotel out of there immediately, no way TLR lets him face the lefty Fielder with men on.
Never mind the defense (which also made a few nice plays), Greinke was lousy. 0 Ks??? You let absolutely every batter put the ball in play, bad things are going to happen on some of those.
"Congratulations, ____________; you're the new Orioles manager. Win a World Series, and you'll be astoundingly happy till your acid trip is over. So what are you inheriting? A desktop PC on which you can Google for the Scarecrow's current whereabouts, then chase him down and retrieve the brain he stole from you. Which explains why you took this job."
"Congratulations, ____________; you're the news Angels manager. Win a World Series, and Mike Scioscia will graciously share a bit of the credit with you. So what are you inheriting? A phone line over which Mike will call you when he wants you. The End."
Like all of us, managers enjoy doing stuff far more than they enjoy not doing stuff. So most all tactically overmanage.
You mean like Roenicke had Weeks bunt?? When the force is on at third, a defense playing the bunt aggressively will get the out there quite often. And you've accomplished nothing other than made it more likely you'll lose.
Ummm, readers on a BP website don't generally question Bowden's advice. Isn't there a toddler somewhere in your household you could reason with instead?
BillJohnson, there's no analysis up there whatsoever. Some real nice history which I enjoyed, otherwise just a political jeremiad which you appreciate in accordance with how well your own political prejudices line up with Kevin's.
Dude, the 'Occupy Wall Street!!!' rally is thataway.
Sounds to me like you're arguing the Yankees should've had a starting-caliber 3rd baseman ready and waiting behind Rodriguez. Who are the other backup 3rd basemen on other playoff teams, and how do they compare to Chavez and Nunez? My initial guess would be 'darn similarly'.
McNamara 'fessed up that's why he had Buckner still in there? Wow. I's never heard that.
There's plenty of data waiting to be compiled on whether previous managing experience, previous coaching experience, previous any-of-the-things-Ventura-lacks correlates with managerial success.
However you slice it, Ventura is an astoundingly inexperienced candidate. No one can claim 'knowledge' regarding that till they do or find some of the work mentioned above.
But they're not supposed to form an opinion regarding something unusual?? Ridiculous. In my opinion.
This is very good stuff. Thank you!
Looks like the thread has died out. But still figure I'll point out that The Economist now has an article all about this article. http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2011/09/statistical-research-baseball
Leastwise are very, very likely to.
You understand Kemp and Kershaw can't help but regress some.
And Reyes? If you're going to buy into someone's decline phase, make it your own guy, at least. That Schwartz fellow pretty much proved that.
What Eddie says. Replacement level 1Bs just don't hit all that much better than replacement level 2Bs. Who cares what the average anything is when discussing replacing a starter?
Another "Wow!" vote.
At this stage of his MLB career, saying the Reds should let Edgar Renteria "leave via free agency" is like saying the Reds should let me leave via free agency.
By "mention" of the Yankees, I'd like to know what you mean. Overall topic? Team name mentioned in article? A Yankee player mentioned in article? If it's either of the latter, I don't know that that's significant at all.
Sorry, Derek, but your study buries the question underneath a broader but different one. I doubt Weaver ever figured, "lessee, Ralph's at career .260 versus Fernando, but Fred's at career .265; OK, in goes Fred!"
When an individual matchup shows extreme results in a limited sample, is that predictive? That's the action issue. Looking at non-extreme results detracts from that rather than shines light on it.
Small sample sizes may be useless for sabermetric purposes. As actual decisionmaking aids, they can still be very useful. In a situation of uncertainty, you give me some evidence that A is so rather than B, that's darn useful. Of course Weaver's individual matchup data helped him. Some, certainly.
Regarding the 1st/2nd baseman comparison, I'd prefer some form of Runs Created cumulative stat rather than TAv. Then the proper way to proceed would be with PECOTA. Identify the Replacement Level starters each year, largely the cheap veterans on poor teams. Then see what they do (Melky and Francoeur sure did Replacement Level OF proud this year). But even more importantly see what PECOTA projected for them, as I'd posit that approximated what their teams expected to get out of signing them.
Thanks for the link, Lassaller. But though I found interesting stuff via it, it didn't answer my question. I still don't know what Colin considers replacement level performance to be for a firstbaseman, and why he thinks it's 'there', rather than a bit to the left or the right.
After a (very) cursory search, I was unable to find how you folks define 'replacement level'. But I am confident other web sites define it in a very bogus manner.
James Loney is 'replacement level' at first base. Whatever MLB team punts it next year will start off the year starting him there, or some very close equivalent. Like Lyle Overbay the past few years. And his bat isn't all that much better than, say, Adam Kennedy's.
Any 'replacement level' system that figures 'average starter's performance' in will badly understate the value of slugging first basemen. Because they're well above what's freely available. The performance gap between the 5th and 32nd best firstmen is just much bigger than that between the 5th and 32nd best secondbasemen.
I'll defer to PECOTA regarding it, but my suspicion is that Berkman 2012 is very likely to be closer to Berkman 2010 than Berkman 2011. He'll be an awful signing for whoever wins that bidding contest.
Commenting on these is much less fun when "Bowden's Bold Move" is rock solid.
You seldom extend a guy for 1 year. Just doesn't quiet any rumors, which is the purpose of this type of extension. Since I don't see the Mariners contending next season, I expect Jack Z. will be gone by October of next year.
I think I have Bowden figured out. He can only spell the word 'R-E-B-U-I-L-D' in the most obvious of cases (Cubs, Astros). But then, as wnalyd up there shows, real-life human GMs never really get the chance to rebuild. The vast bulk of the fans get impatient, such that if you don't have them winning by 'Year 3', you get axed, and your successor reaps the benefits while looking great record-wise in comparison to you. Bowden is advising GMs rather than franchises, and doing so pretty rationally.
Looking at it that way, yeah, Jack Z should try his darnedest to sign Fielder. If the Mariners don't compete for a playoff spot next year, he's very likely gone.
Having just read his advice for the Cubs, I guess I'll apologize to Bowden for insulting him here. Although I do still think his Orioles advice is daft.
Interesting that Bowden's advice for the Cubs is massively different than what he offers the Orioles. Due to differing resources, perhaps?
Bowden thinks the Orioles should give up draft choices to sign uber-expensive free agents? I think I can stop reading his portion of these articles.
That's pretty stupid advice from Bowden. Badly overpay for a good-not-great pitcher who still doesn't project to move the team into contention.
And for the sake of elucidation, the "mounting media scrutiny" was in the process of determining that Griffey regularly fell asleep in the clubhouse during games. Which was causing tension between young players questioning it and old veterans defending him, while also revealing what little control Wakamatsu had of the clubhouse.
If they'd fired Z, they would've had trouble filling the position with any candidate with other options ("so I'm only gonna get 3 years to get it done, hmmm?")
I believe this is reason to keep Reggie Jackson away from my young hitters. Especially the ones with a chance of developing power.
I heard Mark Reynolds did try that adjustment during the first part of this season. And got the payoff we statheads would've predicted, fewer strikeouts and much less power. A very negative payoff.
And really. Continuing the trading spree would be a "bold move"?
On the other hand, the note about waiting till Wilson and Buehrle clear out of the market is the type of expertise a guy with his background can usefully contribute.
I understand he's doing it for the ESPN crowd rather than us. Still. Jim Bowden listed as an author in a BP article. Whoa.
So then there'd be some ongoing inter-league play?
I think most all profesional statheads agree with Joe Morgan that Ripken's teams would've been better off with Cal playing 155 games a year rather than 162.
It wasn't Bill James "thought process" that led him to his conclusion. He researched it, and found a strong correlation between 2nd-half improvers playing better the next year and (equal overall record) 2nd-half deprovers (so to speak) playing worse.
For getting 3 out of 4 inarguably right, elcubano sure got alot of minuses.
Like bflaff1, I'd like to see non-Marlins evidence that other owners (and especially especially GMs) are actually tanking, rather than just 'it fits my theory and some of the facts that they are'.
The Brewers will lose money this year?? According to who?
Another issue re Heyward/Constanza. We all work harder when we think we'll actually be rewarded for successful efforts. So once your team is set, if the low-potential guy is actually outplaying the high-potential guy, he plays so long as that holds. Otherwise you will see the overall effort of your workforce/team go down.
I thought Pie, as a former center fielder, was supposed to be an excellent left fielder. Has he always been a butcher in left?
Closers 'close'. End of argument. A very simple, ergo powerful heuristic, never mind how wrong it is.
SGreenwell, resurrecting a speed receiver's NFL career at age 35 is one heck of an accomplishment. Even for just one year, never mind two.
"little margin for attitude". I like that one. Alot. Thank you!
Ergo what for Cameron Maybin? Amputate? A couple of aspirin and he's back by the weekend? Something in between?
I forget both the specific writer and the exact words, but it roughly went, "if someone wagers you a dollar that he can produce a quarter out of your ear, do not check your ear to make sure no quarter is currently in there, do not check his hand to make sure no quarter is already there, do not check his shirt sleeves to see if they're long enough to conceal a quarter; simply check nothing and do not bet, otherwise you will most assuredly soon be out a dollar".
It was unthinkable that the Rockies would make their young, underpaid ace available. Until they actually did it. Something really, really smelled there. Bad.
Thanks on the Dean Taylor info.
It'd be interesting to categorize the 'Whys??' of the 'they did what?!?' ones. I'd suspect, for small market losing teams, most all fall into 'show the local media we're really trying!' fiasco category. Re Wells, seems to me Scioscia just wanted Napoli out of there. So insisted they trade him once anything of purported big-league use got offered for him.
Milwaukee Brewers' division: Prior to the '91 season, veteran GM Harry Dalton threw $$$ at Teddy Higuera, Ron Robinson, Ed Nunez and Franklin Stubbs, clearly going over-market for the last 3. Stubbs' agent compounding things by telling the local newspaper that Dalton had indeed been bidding against himself. All 4 bombed immediately and big-time, financialy hamstringing the small-market franchise for years.
A few years later GM Sal Bando refused to offer a contract to franchise icon (and still well-playing) Paul Molitor, who really wanted to stay with the Brewers. Then bad-mouthing Molitor after he finally signed with the Blue Jays instead.
The GM after that (I forget who) then gave Jeffrey Hammonds a huge free agent contract based off of one good year in Denver. And yes, everyone was aware of the huge home-park effects in Denver already.
What hotstatrat says. There's been oodles and scads of acquisitions that turned out awful throughout baseball history. Only the ones where everyone else said, "just what in the blue blazes are they thinking there?!?", and everyone else turned out to be right as rain, now those are special. From up above, I only see 5), 6) and 9) as qualifiers.
Further word on Ellsbury (such as "there is/isn't a chance this turns into a DL trip") would've been very nice.
If I recall correctly what an ex injury-guy on this site once wrote, older players don't get injured any more often than younger players. But they do take much longer to come back from those injuries.
Other than catcher - unsurprisingly ex-catcher Mike Scioscia's blind spot - were there any other holes Reagins could have filled? I don't recall any of the Replacement Level Killers being Angels other than Mathis. Their bullpen overall has been solid, too, hasn't it?
So to buff up the Angels' pennant chance, Reagins would have had to bring in a very good player. Which I don't think was even available (no, I do not count Beltran; hitting far better than PECOTA figures he should, and anyone surprised by his now being on the DL hasn't been paying much attention the past few years). And to get him, Reagins would've had to move Trout, or perhaps shred the entire rest of the Angels' farm system.
Reagins has handled the past few months exactly as he should. The off-season, well ...
Who's actually arguing that Thome doesn't belong in the Hall?? I've seen another such article on another 'stat' site and now this one. But neither quotes a single specific 'Ralph Important Guy' as saying that Thome doesn't belong.
Of course guys like Dibble and Wilbon and Kruk and et.cet., et.cet., et.cet., manufacture stories. Complaining about it is like complaining about their showing commercials.
I wasn't asking 'exactly how many games has Napoli caught'? But 'he hasn't really been a starting catcher this year, has he?' Ergo you're reply means 'yup, you're right, Richie'. (I get that a lot)
Granted how awful the Angels' DHs have been, Napoli would've helped there, too. But from what I've read elsewhere, Napoli has little more business being a regular catcher than Prince Fielder has. He's just too awful at it.
How much has Napoli caught in Texas? I haven't followed it that closely, but my half-baked impression was 'not a whole lot'.
There is alot of irrational hatred of LaRussa here, which makes it silly to actually address.
I'm curious as to where it stems from, tho'. On football boards I find an incredible amount of hatred of Peyton Manning, which I fully understand. It's substantially his first name. 'Pay-Tun', which connotes being born very rich. So the same people who used to boo when 'Money Incorporated' entered the wrestling ring hate Peyton Manning, too.
With LaRussa, is it maybe his being a lawyer? Perhaps the Glenn Beck thing figures in some?
Ned is not "scared of going forward in 2012 with" etc., etc. He's properly concerned about the Dodgers going forward/backward/sideways in 2012 without Ned Colletti. If ownership doesn't resolve soon, he's captain of a ship stuck fast in the arctic ice. If it is resolved, he's gone.
I think I kinda agree with raygu1. Yeah the Robinson trade was horrible, but if he can't stick in center he just doesn't project all that highly. And on the positive side, Colletti actually got something for Furcal.
I think Colletti actually does remind me of Sabean. Given a nice but not great base and not all that much of a budget, and told to WIN NOW! Building for the future will do him no good, as he won't be around for it unless he also WINS NOW! So of course he brings in veteran after veteran and hopes/prays. Little else you can do in that situation.
Magowan (sp?) was kind/smart/patient enough to give Sabean another chance after their win-with-Bonds shtick didn't work. And now they have a flag and a good team to show for it. I doubt Colletti will get that chance, and am not arguing he deserves it. But I wonder how much of what you guys blame Colletti for is simply McCourtMcCourtMcCourt.
My understanding is that DePodesta's people skills were lousy. Not just PO'ing some dinosaur sportswriters, but fairly many others as well. Soft soaping players, agents, media, luxury box holders, fellow GMs, not to mention Mr. + Mrs. Owner, if a GM isn't at least decent at those things, he just can't and won't make it as a GM.
What blue-chipper did Wade turn down that any other team wanted to offer for Bourn? You've absolutely no way of knowing that the Braves would've caved and upped their offer. Given that no other team did, Bourn's worth was cleary established.
Now if you want to argue that the Astros might just as well have hung onto Bourn and tried again next trade deadline, well, that I can see, and quite possibly agree with.
Consulting with Daddy is one thing. Having Daddy get in the way of all the professionals is insane. Daddy Rasmus is clearly doing the latter.
I'm sorry if you hate LaRussa. I'm sorry if you have Rasmus on your dynasty fantasy team. Letting that blind you as to Pujols calling Rasmus out (did Albert ever call out Rolen, or Drew, or Edmonds?), or the incredible immaturity of Rasmus - obviously taking after his father there - well ...
Rats. BillJohnson beat me to it. By minutes.
Oh, and did somebody actually defend 'Daddie Dearest'?? Goodness gracious.
Whitey Herzog was renowned for getting rid of players he didn't like. Ted Simmons. Gary Templeton. Keith Hernandez. If you didn't do what he wanted you to do, he was as quick as any manager to point the door out to you.
The Red Sox are a better defensive team than the Mariners???
Oops. Antonetti hasn't been there long enough to be in any trouble, has he?
And agreed that the Buccos are quite likely to make it 19 in a row under .500. At least this way they "tried" coughcough, while being bright enough to give up nothing that will impede their succeeding under actually promising circumstances a few years down the line.
Sounds to me like the Pirates have given up pretty much nothing but some money for Lee and Ludwick. If so, I applaud them. Doing the politically necessary thing while giving up nothing of particular worth personnel-wise.
Baseball Prospectus research has proved that winning just a little puts very few butts in the seats and bucks in their pockets. As Casey would've said, you can look it up.
Myself, these moves only make sense if Shapiro's seat is a lot hotter than he's letting on. A mediocre team is gutting its farm system. A la the Astros, except the Astros were a bit better and closer than these Indians are. And had little in their farm system anyway.
Most 'sport talk' places, when a young player and veteran manager clash, you'll hear people bash the player and defend the manager regardless of the details involved.
Interesting how here it's the opposite. So many just waving away the red flags Rasmus has hanging from this, that and the other pocket. Clashing with a successful manager. Also ignoring the other coaches. Getting called out by Pujols. Demanding a trade all the way back in 2009. Topped off by 'Daddie Dearest'.
My understanding is that the biggest problem with the Trop is that it's a bear to get to, and only a little easier to get away from after the game. Isn't it over a bridge which separates it from where most everybody lives?
Bill James has pointed out that Major League Baseball is actually a very poor environment in which to try to grow up. If a ballplayer is still immature by age 25, it's likely permanent.
He's joking, everybody.
Okie-dokie, given the Hall angle, I can see why you're coming from where you're coming from. Oh, and a note of appreciation for how quickly you respond to comments in your articles. :-)
I'd vote for adding up their yearly WARP totals for the years the duos played together. Seems to me to be what people mostly mean when they talk about who the great keystone combos were. I mean, why should Ripken's 1983 greatness affect how highly we rate Alomar+Ripken 1996?
I've little doubt the VC will put Concepcion in some day. A decent choice with lots of influential ex-teammates and plenty of post-season games. Heck, strikes me as a given.
Bill James has Tinker/Evers rated much higher, as he's confident fielding systems are undervaluing Dead Ball Era defense/overvaluing Dead Ball Era hitting + pitching. I also recall reading somewhere that Tinker and Evers patched things up sometime after their playing careers were over.
Actually, a link coupled with a WARNING: is a darn good way to do it.
When they plexiglass their way back to 5th place next year, and also flounder around the following one, today's good will will disappear justlikethat.
Just find the trade-cheapest 'name' player you can get, announce that you've traded for him "to teach us how to compete in a pennant race", and blather about how sorry you are to lose the greatly promising (non)prospects you dump for his sorry dessicated carcass. That way you address the political issues while suffering the least amount of damage to your actual legitimate long-term prospects.
Logically, since catchers compete with other catchers when it comes to WARP, career prime length ain't got squat (catcher reference) to do with why they seldom lead their team in WARP. Entirely a matter of their reduced playing time, compared to the other hitters. Have fewer at bats in which to climb above Mr. Replacement Player.
If you sell something you don't need today for $9 that you quite possibly could have sold tomorrow for $12, that is not a worthwhile deal.
We'll know what the market really is by the end of it. By which time my guess is we'll see the Royals once again undersold. Can't you pick up a future LOOGy from anyone?
Research about a year ago from Bill James strongly indicated that regular and predictable roles really helped player performance. He never published any followup on that, my guess is that he now owes his research soul to the Red Sox company store.
But have setup men as a group pitched significantly better ever since they became 'eighth inning guys'? If so, then managers are doing it right.
Re Braun, if the Brewers saw the disabled list as a possibility, would they have pinch-hit him last night?
How do you insert half a screw??
Jim Bouton spends the last few chapters of 'Ball Four' on the '69 Astros, as they fade and fall short in a pennant race.
How close do the Brewers' shortstop and 3rd base situations come to winning the booby prize here?
Convicting individuals leads to further information. Guilty individuals nevertheless getting off scot-free leads to the continuation of the whitewash. Really, that's Criminology 101.
If managers don't matter at all, they sure are overpaid then.
The stadium is a huge problem. Not that there aren't others.
Curling! ARFARFARFARFARFARF!! (no one tells me what to laugh at) Is that the one with the broom? A more macho (throwing something bigger) and team version of horseshoes or bocce ball?
A team like the Twins can't spend everywhere. Going cheap at backup catcher makes total sense. If Mauer's out such that you really need his backup, then the Twins aren't contending anyways.
I'd argue the same for #5. A mid-market team just doesn't have the $$$ to stock the bench. They re-signed one starting pitcher and one slugger for the sake of depth. Unless you're one of the big-market boys, that's about the extent of what you can afford.
I think it's an excellent analysis of what's GONE wrong for the Twins. In terms of 'this is what they DID wrong', I don't know that I buy any of it. Seems more like 'the Twins made 5 coin-flip decisions each of which came up tails.' Happens once every 20-30 years, and when it does, that season just goes into the crapper.
He was a disappointing bust because the organization he worked for abused him until he broke down. What, a guy can't be a bust unless it's his own fault??
+1 for Luke, -1 for Diana (my browser won't let me actually do it).
Either there's nothing really wrong with it, and so Harper also gets to do it. Or it is wrong, and you don't 'earn' the right to be an A-hole by being better at something than other people. No more than you earn the right to not run out groundballs or take your turn with the press.
Probably more important team-wise that a star sticks to the rules. Earl Weaver thought so. As Bill James has pointed out, when the guy making the most money starts cutting corners, pretty soon everyone starts cutting those same corners.
Bill James called Napoli an absolutely horrible catcher, though without offering what he based that on. So maybe ScottyB: smart, like Bill James.
Give a man authority, he's going to find reasons for using it.
"Pittsburgh is a great baseball town"??? What I recall, even when good (the Bonds and before then the Stargell years) their attendance was pretty crappy for a contender.
So how do we access it?
There are 2,430 regular-season baseball games played in a year. If an extra ump costs $1,000 per game - and with travel costs, pension, health insurance and so on my guess is that's quite conservative - you're looking at $2.43 million dollars. We'll neglect the actual technology costs just for the sake of simplicity.
No company just yawns at a $2.43 million cost. Never mind whatever fraction that is of their overall expenses. Do any of you people actually work for a living??
What Tarakas says. Both paragraphs.
My observation is that departures from 'rational actor' outcomes are overwhelmingly linked to 'principal-agent' issues. In this case, a GM who zealously sees to the bottom line while losing ballgames by the bushelful may please the owner while also becoming incredibly unpopular with the customer base. And so still be jettisoned in order to appease those customers.
Knowing this, he's gonna try to win at least some ballgames. Quite rationally so.
Great stuff. Thanks!
Next time you make a Bugs Bunny reference, I expect a link, Mister! What do you think interns are for??
Rats. Lost by seconds. My own fault for going with the other post first.
The Cubs offense must actually be quite the juggernaut if it was able to bail out Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly. ;-)
Yes, the very first study that I saw confirming cold weather hurts scoring was done on this very Web site. But I think Nate Silver hid it in his underwear and took it with him when he left.
It's just logically insane to suggest that letting the hitters make contact with the ball can be preferable to not letting them make contact with the ball.
Billy Martin, in his sober moments, hated 'setup pitches', tho' not for reasons related to pitching deeper into the game. There seems to be some rule that, when a pitcher gets the hitter 0-2, the next two pitches have to be thrown nowhere near the plate in order to 'set the hitter up'. Maybe honestly try for a corner on 0-2, understanding that you'll then give up some 0-2 hits? Is this what Halladay does in order to work so deep into games?
Good stuff. Thank you.
As Brewer owner, Bud often spent money. Especially considering team record. He/his GMs just spent it badly.
I believe MLB attendance is down this year, rather significantly. If that persists, we'll be seeing some salary deflation rather than inflation.
I don't get it. You mean they're that 'entertaining' defensively??
What I'm inferring/suggesting/screaming out loud tho' not all that loudly mind you is that "his plight" is dead wrong. Alexi lied and broke the law in return for money, one result of which was some real plights for however many of the people involved. There were actual victims. Alexi simply wasn't one of them, rather played his small part in the victimizing.
I'm all for forgiveness, wiping Alexi's slate clean, and so on. An honest 'Yay!' for all that. But if I were one of the involuntary prostitutes in small part due to his actions, reading here about his "ensnarement" and "plight", I'd feel just a bit revictimized right now.
He "became ensnared in"?? How does that differ from he "took part in and made money from"?
I mean, I'm glad he's doing restitution and all, tho' I'd feel even happier if we heard about that from sources other than his agent (for goodness' sake) and team. But those forced into prostitution and sweat labor were the ones "ensnared in" the trafficking. Not Alexi.
Leo Durocher in his autobiography credited some other Dodger, nondescript such that I forget who, with the "let's all wear it!" quip.
Sigh. They always take the credit away from us small guys.
Oh, and thanks for the other "in progress" guys.
What Waldo says. Now that he's said it.
Given that it's established that free agents that sign with new teams don't do as well as those who stay, I'm curious as to how Boras' leavers compare to leavers in general.
Excellent stuff, Vince. Outstanding stuff. Two questions:
Do you see Tango's point as valid? If so, what will that do regarding 'Boras Outcomes'?
I don't see Zito in that 'Boras Outcomes' table. Put it in there, and that +7.1 goes minusing downward bigtime. Any other 'in process' contracts in addition to Zito?
OK, 3 questions. Lohse's 2008 season (200 IPs with ERA+ of 113) was worth $20.5 million?? Really???
No one has 'changed games' on the base paths since they started keeping clean balls in play. But on this site I guess there's little need to note this.
If you're going to punt Beltran and FRod (for very, very little other than salary relief), do you think the Mets' remaining core justifies holding on to Reyes? Perhaps so, but it sure ain't self-evident.
It plays off a direct and famous quote of Billy Beane's, cpaddock. So no, they're not trying for 'gangsta cool'.
Yes, this is very good stuff.
What Edwin says. 3 recent years in St.Louis, the Cards are an institution there. If Albert is 2-3-however many years older than he claims, indeed signing him to a big bucks long-term contract would represent the huge gamble. Rather than applying the $200+ millions to other uses.
It ain't just you. I thought these things were edited??
Well, again, I don't see anything anti-sabremeticky in BillJ's post either. Again granted I don't know BillJ's history either, and am utterly guileless as to who/what (#6!) is. But whomever, it seems like he's making more fun of those guys than youse guys.
And guys. The longer it takes you to get Bedard in there, the worse it looks.
It ain't just you. Which perhaps means there's at least two of us paying insufficient attention overall.
I likewise would've expected pitchers to show higher risk. Certainly in the '30-days' category.
Don't know what history CRP13 has. But I don't see any such attempted nailing in his particular post here.
Yes! 15-love. "You CAN'T be SER-ious!?!" (trying to sound McEnroe-ish))
Neither Glavine nor Smoltz were HoF locks either while still pitching through their primes. So yeah, I'll put Doc 2011 up there with Smoltz/Glavine 1995.
I'm confident "the rationale behind ... not putting (Bedard) in the skull and crossbones graph" is 'Oops!'
Hitter strikeouts are way less significant than previously realized, Louis. Everything else looks right, tho'.
Maybe the Cardinals are simply seeing what they really, really want to see. With the rest of us not having to deal with that visual handicap. Here, anyways.
Useful once in awhile to find out just how many people can't recognize a joke unless you put the Steve Martin arrow through your head. Up to 7, so far.
Assuming a year of health from Rolen is akin to assuming a year of health from Ted Williams.
Felix Millan. Two 'l's.
And has a GM ever before 'fessed up that 'yeah, the public made me do it'?? Supposed to pretend they're impervious to that type of thing, aren't they?
Oh, and "one" down. And you forgot the period after your second sentence.
And now on to Christina. Optimally ought to put apostrophes around 'Big Apple'. And rather than Anne Boleyn, I would've cited Monty Python eating their minstrels among much rejoicing. You're beginning to date yourself. And I'll need a photograph to help you out with your shortcomings there. Unless you want me to just speculate.
Or perhaps not, I suppose. I guess Cobb retained his bad rep all the way through retirement.
The difference between +10 and 0 is ten runs. One ballgame, basically. Which, as one aspect of one lone player, is pretty significant.
No opinion as to how reliable that +10 and 0 is, though.
What dianagram says. If Bonds behaves himself from here on in, 30 years from now folks will be talking about what an underrated clubhouse presence he was.
Thanks for the historical perspective, BarryR.
How To Keep Your GM Job While Rebuilding The Team
Year 1: "We've signed Famous-Name Hitter (to a 1-year contract) to teach our young guys how to play the game right! Come see us play!"
Year 2: "We've signed Famous-Name Starter (to a 1-year contract) to teach our young pitchers how to win! Come see us play!"
Year 3: "We've signed Veteran Reliever (to a 1-year contract) to keep us in close games and give our young players confidence! Come see us play!"
Year 4: (Ok, time to get serious. If you need one more year, you can throw the manager overboard. But that's your last bullet.)
Werth has all the makings of a 'DISASTER!' contract. 32 years old in May, coming out of a year well above his career norms. He'll start getting hurt again, lose his speed to play the outfield, no longer hit well enough to carry 1st base. In 3-4 years you'll be paying basically a good bench player $18 mill a year. And screaming for the Lerners to 'Spend More Money!' so as to put the team over the top. An awful, awful signing. Worthy of Daniel Snyder.
There's no defense for the Werth contract. No reasonable one. You don't spend $126 million dollars to show the fans 'we want to win!' Like concluding 'well, we perhaps ought to spruce up the bathroom some', and so bringing in a gold-plated toilet.
That "replacement" level is well below 19,000 per game, though. The Marlins are drawing that while on the cusp of contention. It's probably more around what the Marlins drew in their 'mailing it in' years, no more than 15,000 per game.
ARFARFARFARFARF!!! (can't =/-)(some kind of browser issue)
Maybe that's the politically acceptable and therefore optimally practical way to do it. Sign 'Big Names!' to 1-year contracts. Rinse and repeat till your youngsters are quality enough to carry you into contention.
Good study. Thank you. I've always wondered if there's SOME-thing to such pronouncements.
Interesting note about the "transients" thing from MW. Which also applies to the Florida teams, to the D-Backs some, perhaps? Has this phenomenon ever been studied? Not sure how you'd go about it, but am sure it could be usefully done.
Well, he's also saying it's his "favorite" thing, not the "most notable" thing, about Spahn. Chass gives us statheads plenty of stuff to ridicule, without also spinning stuff a bit on him.
And some reason to ridicule, given his attitude toward us. But at this point I'm with worldtour. I think we've whacked him around enough for one day, particularly given that he's not that big a target anymore.
To give him his due there, it is about Spahn. He's suggesting Spahn 'pitched to the score' to gain those 91 victories.
So Garland both "up in the zone" and "down in the zone often", too? As opposed to those pitchers who work in the middle of the zone?
Reyes is all-red yet a "moderate" risk??
So Hellickson is all green 'cuz he has no major league injury history?? Dude, something's gotta change there. Some people are just gonna go off of the green-yellow-red.
There are so many problems with Quality Start as a useful measure of anything (run environment, defensive support, 'quality' vs. 'QUALITY!'), I can't see any point to it. Like calling for Ford to restart a line to build 2001 model cars because they're better than the 1991 models you still find out on the road here and there.
Wasn't Cobb huge for his time? Just thinking he at age 18 may have been more rather than less a "refined physical specimen" vis-a-vis Harper.
Yes, territorial rights are BS. Absolute BS. But as ScottyB alludes to, starting up a 3rd team in NYC, or a 2nd team in Philly or New England, would not be an easy thing. They'd have to penetrate the fan base of an established team, always a very difficult thing to do.
Splitting cable and all other local revenue would both be very simple and go a long, long way to evening up resources.
Yessiree, the '4-Day Richie Rotation!!!' (you can tell how good it is by the extra '!'s) Your top 3 throw 45 starts a year averaging 5 IPs per start. (an occasional efficient 6, occasional pulling after 3-4 when they're already down by a decent amount)
If you let the starters go 5 innings rather than 4, they could still get the official 'W'. And with 40+ starts per year, you'd again get 20-game winners. I think that would effectively address the political issues. You'd also transfer some innings from your 5-8 'best' pitchers to your top 4.
I'm a Wisconsin boy, and I do not remember any Packers contraction talk at all. Not one bit.
Maybe it was 'mentioned', and no one here took it the least bit seriously. Understood it was just posturing so as to justify spending taxpayer money. I guarantee no one here was the least bit worried about the Packers being contracted out of existence.
The 'Joba Rules' are an excellent example of why you should never try anything different. If it doesn't work, people will make fun of how stupid you were for years on end.
Nothing remarkable about the number of injuries the Phillies had last year. With a very old lineup, Utley already banged up, the rookie phenom out till May, I'd confidently predict the Phillies will suffer more from injury this year than they did last.
If Utley only cranks out 115 games again, yeah, I'll predict the Phillies score fewer runs than the NL average this year.
PFM looks great. Operates great. Is technologically superb.
And isn't, cannot be, one bit more effective than its underlying data base. In this case, the Depth Charts. Which, for one thing, project that 14 out of 15 last-place Seattle Mariner pitchers will finish with records over .500 That 15th one, the negatively-VORPed Lucas French, it projects for a .500 record.
I'll grant you progress, in that previous year's Depth Charts were often horrible. The current one is OK. But it appears you ignore them unless/until something DRAMATIC! happens, a la with Wainwright. You've still got a few dozen clear errors in them, a la projecting 160 games out of Pablo Sandoval.
Fixing the Depth Charts would accomplish something of substance.
I'm pretty sure the runs scored/allowed are based on schedule, ergo figuring W-L from them would also be.
I agree with Bill and dd; posting fee counts. OK, everyone vote!
So, going topically farther afield, but maybe I can get it answered anyway. Is a 4-Star prospect still worth more than a couple of draft choices? Very curious as to that, given that the question ('trade now' or 'ride out the last year') comes up so regularly.
Not to deify him - I haven't gotten along with him particularly well on his site ("Suh-prize! Suh-prize! Suh-prize!"; my Gomer Pyle imitation) - but James' research is remarkably good at moving from correlation to causation, as he understands that's the whole point. I'm also biased towards the Madden/Zobrist and Stengel/McDougald type of gambits, but his study, granting its intitiality (as it were), was powerful enough to move me from fan to skeptic.
Bill James recently did some research strongly indicating that regular work at one position/task strongly buffs up a baseball player's performance. Very strongly buffs up.
James hasn't followed it up - I hear he has a day job now - but he particularly cited Gil McDougald as a player who, had Casey simply plugged him in at 3rd base, likely would've turned into a Hall of Fame 3rd baseman.
Don't know if this particular part of James' work is in the public domain now. But I thought I'd mention it.
On the surface, it would indeed seem so that there are very few of these players.
And wasn't Carlos Gomez a '5 Star' prospect himself? If so, the Twins just got unlucky (or perhaps scouted poorly?).
They accurately saw that Santana was not worth re-signing for themselves, and did the right thing (one Blue Chip is worth more than a couple of draft choices, isn't it?). They just wound up with 'one year Carlos Gomez centerfielder + one year Carlos Gomez 4th outfielder + one year JJ Hardy shortstop' rather than with 'Jeff Bagwell'. Happens with '5 Star' prospects.
One of your guys (Swartz?) did research showing that teams knew pretty well what they were doing in keeping 'player Fred' while letting 'player Ralph' leave, or trading him. Myself, I find not "little" but lots of reason just in your own article (years-ongoing "communication" issues, "violent delivery", overreliance on a slider which at one time they wanted him to stop throwing to maintain the health of his arm) for jettisoning Liriano while the jettisoning is good.
If the Twins call me to find out if I have any interest in Liriano. my 'Spidey sense' goes off in 4-alarm decibels.
Teams with stud pitchers do not do particularly well in the postseason. That myth's been evidentiarily blasted from here to Katmandu.
To eliminate off-days, you'd have to play the get-away games during the day. Else your players will be zombies by week 2. Then you lose most all the TV/cable money. The networks will pay squat, but little more than that, for daytime sports programming.
Last study I saw was on the Bill James site, which led him to the conclusion that team saves correlate quite nicely with team wins, which surprised him. A greater proportion of a good team's wins will be by 4+ runs than a bad team's, but a much less greater proportion (so to speak) than he had anticipated finding.
Nothing here at all as to how MANY saves we can expect from any guy. For example, I'd much rather have the Boston closer than the KC closer. I believe the latest research has backed up the notion that winning teams generate many more saves.
Also, you sure about Nunez? I'd thought Hensley was closing ahead of him by the end of last season. Am I wrong? Or why do you think they're inclined to flip-flop them back?
My understanding is that these depth chart projections absolutely do NOT! project for a neutral park.
I'll go with PECOTA on the Reds. They had a remarkably healthy season last year, did they not? And just about the whole team had a good year, some W-E-L-L! above anything they'd ever done before or at all recently (Votto, Stubbs, Gomes, Rolen, Hernandez, Rhodes, Hanigan; can add in Arroyo, Cueto and Bruce there, too).
Reds are Plexiglassing back under .500.
OK, I got it. Except that they should drop PA% and go with the misnomer, then. Just looks too silly otherwise. And we all already get the idea that batting higher in the lineup gets you more PAs.
You didn't hear the Angels hired Cal Ripken for conditioning coach? With Victor Conte assisting?
I'm sure PECOTA figures Pierre stinks such that he'll be platooned. But the depth charts PT% are manual, are they not?
The Cardinals are very, very much an institution in St. Louis. So long as they didn't mangle that departure a la what the Packers did with Favre, I'd foresee some but not much short-term damage to the bottom line.
Though now being 3+ years removed from St. Louis, I don't have a finger on the current pulse regarding Pujols.
Bill James concludes that steroids kept players young, I presume through their efficacy in rebuilding muscle tissue, and that they are pretty much out of the game now. (is that what HRT stands for?? never seen the acronym before)
Bill James has reached a set conclusion on why modern players have aged more "gracefully". Figure Pujols won't have access to that anti-aging 'regimen', and you got reason to put those projections down some.
To that add the possibility that he's indeed older than he says, the possibility that of course he could (more likely) get injured in his 30s. Can't see how it makes sense to break the bank for Pujols other than marketing-wise, reap some $$$ benefits as passes various notable milestones. And given how close the Cards already are to 100% attendance, I'm not sure how much they have to gain there, either.
And that doesn't count as self-righteous posturing over self-righteous posturing aimed at self-righteous posturing. 'Cuz I actually let the last 2-3 times pass by without getting ticked enough to posture over it.
I'm part of neither the steroids nor morality "police". But goodness gracious you clowns are doing your best to drive me into it. Can't pass up even one opportunity to take a shot at them, can you guys?
Never seen such consistent self-righteous posturing over other folks' alleged self-righteous posturing.
Lee had to sign with someone, and you knew it would be a contender. Greinke was not definitely going to be moved during the offseason, and no one particularly expected Milwaukee to get him.
PECOTA's first take on Latos was something like 95 IPs. Given how often the young 'uns get hurt, I'd guess closer to that than to a full 190.
Regarding catcher PT%, isn't Flores expected back sometime this season?
Given that PT% adds up to 100% at every position, no I don't see how Zobrist can wind up over 100 worth of PT%. And are you forecasting Zobrist to play every inning of every game? Even if the former is mathematically possible, I'm sure the latter would still have to be a prerequisite for it to actually take place.
Gonzalez is now in the tougher league in its toughest division.
I believe power and patience age relatively poorly, actually. Counterintuitive as it might seem, 20+ years ago Bill James began finding out that speedy players aged well, guys with "old player's skills" did not.
Pitcher W-L records, especially for bad teams, are in dire need of correction. Looks like you may have neglected to factor in their expected run environments, team-wise.
Also perhaps a half-dozen PT% oddities, which I noted in their respective team depth chart comments.
Short 12% on catcher PT%.
D-Backs sign Branyan, according to reports.
Isn't Napoli expected to get some time at first base, too?
Granted forecasting saves here is a mess. But hasn't Farnsworth been publicly assigned setup duties? And isn't Howell expected to get closing duties when he's ready? Granted there that whoever gets it before him will have a shot at keeping it if he pitches well enough.
Overll, PECOTA's hit its outliers pretty well in the past. Like an NFL point spread that just looks wrong, then come the 4th quarter you find out that the line setters once again did know what they were doing.
An article looking in-depth at the outlier predictions would be very interesting, tho'.
Personally, given LaRussa's stubbornness, I'd give Edmonds a bit more playing time at Rasmus's expense.
PT% looks a little high for Smoak. Oh, and about those pitcher W-L records again. Saves, too, this time.
PT% estimates a little too high for Tejada and not so little too high for Sandoval, no?
Seems like alot of innings to EXPECT! out of Latos given his age.
I'm thinking you may want to revisit that playing time estimate for Granderson. Do you really think they're going to platoon him that severely so as to get Andruw Jones into the lineup?
It appears many clubs have their pitchers' won-loss records a bit too high given where they're expected to finish as a team.
As with the Indians, the W-L records here look very far off what you should get with a losing ball club.
I assume the W-L records are goofed up, too? I presume you don't mean to project 11 out of 13 Indian pitchers to wind up with .500 or over records.
Unless he's gotten some Cal Ripken endorsed steroids, I don't think LaPorta going to have 100 PT%. I'm presuming this is a puny error. Do we report those here, or elsewhere?
Bugs still on the fantasy 'points' side. And I'm sure small ones still elsewhere. For example, PECOTA has Latos throwing only 91 innings, and it looks to me like PFM has him somewhere around 200 IP.
JoshT has me convinced. "Mr. Goldman, tear down this chart!" And enter Veeck into it for the Cubs.
I thought Weeks' defense was such that he's not "heavily" better than anybody at 2nd base.
Regarding the Pods' "ridiculous bullpen", aren't bullpens especially volatile? Even more so than defense?
Both 'Plexiglass' and 'Late Season' factors prophesy a huge dropoff for the Padres. I'll put my money on them being right.
Sorta what dREaDS Fan said. Probably best to give us a schedule of inputs and tell us where you are regarding that, rather than even half-promising that you'll get to the end result by such-and-such a time.
While the historical record is daunting and undeniable, I think there are two factors which have changed. First, with the doubling/quadrupling of playoff teams (8 rather than 4 or 2), your pool of possible suckers is much expanded. All you need is one to think 'Pujols WILL! get us into the playoffs then win the World Series for us then happily re-sign with us!!!', and now you got somebody you can hold up.
Second, I think there's more pressure on ownership/management today to win, particularly to grab for the brass ring anytime there looks like there's an actual chance at it. Ergo, I think the Cards will have a better shot at getting SOME-thing of real worth for Pujols than the historical record suggests.
Of course, between the wildcard and a winnable division, I figure on the Cards hanging around at least close enough to contention anyway. And so sensibly keeping Pujols, especially given how 2006 worked out for them.
As to franchise value, this has amazingly little to do with how good the major league team is. Overwhelmingly market size, stadium coming in a far-back second, after which what cable deals already in place, et.cet., et.cet.
Given the ownership egos involved, this makes perfect sense. Anyone with sufficient oodles of cash to secure managing partner for any ownership group will be certain he's great enough to turn around the club no matter what state it's currently in.
The Cards will only want to move Pujols if they clearly fall out of the division/wild card race. In such an event, the player involved always accepts a trade to a contender, so as to 'have a shot at the World Series'.
There was a 4-season gap between Buck's leaving the Rangers and their winning a pennant. Don't see where he deserves any more credit for it than does Frank Lucchesi.
Well, getting the taxpayers to pony up hundreds of millions of dollars for a new stadium helps for a year or three, too. After that they better start winning.
'Promotions' as in 'free stuff people think it'll be cool to have'.
Attendance will jump in Baltimore provided they play as OK as they figure to. Winning draws fans in general, specific promotions draw to that day's game. Nothing else makes a significant difference.
Nishioka is missing altogether, I believe.
What hotstatrat says. Except to add that it's absurdly unreasonable to expect a human being to recognize rather than attempt to fend off that kind of a reality.
No, a 36-year-old Guerrero will not sell any extra tickets. Hardly any, anyways. That hypothetical boat's been empirically sunk ever since Bill James was a baby sabermetrician.
Just because the local media has a (any) story to hype doesn't mean a thing. Media's job is to hype things. More accurately, to HYPE!!! any and every story they can.
Any way of letting PECOTA know that Morrow and CJ Wilson are now starters? Among other things, then getting revised ERA and WHIP estimates for them?
People like Andy Pettitte. At some point either a roidster will make the Hall, or one already in will confess to it. Then Pettitte will be voted in due to voters seeing HGH as much less than roids, due to his postseason record and due to his being liked.
I predict either his last year of eligibility, or his first as a "Veterans' Committee" candidate. Whatever suffices for such a Committee by then.
Will Garcia and Colon actually be keeping two conceivably-ready kids off of the spring training big league squad? I thought those spring training staffs were huge.
"Hi, writer Larry!"
For example, Bill James has concluded that steroids kept the old players young. If so, then PECOTA would overpredict the effectiveness of this coming year's old players based on those previous such seasons which can no longer be so chemically extended (or enhanced).
Of course going from a PED use environment to a PED non-use environment could affect the PECOTAs. Just as going from a dead-ball to live-ball environment could affect them, from 60% turf parks to no turf parks could affect them, and so on.
("active action"?? as opposed to inactive action?)
Well, some non-staffer should welcome him. Welcome!
She's said the opposite of "there's pixie dust there." Rather that she thinks there's something real there, but darned if she can see what it is. Given all the variables that have been examined, and found empirically wanting. So like you, Christina is also expecting some "outperformance".
If we're going to see "many new names" here, does that mean some of the old ones are now gone??
According to Jim Bouton (either Ball Four or his 'managers' book), Houk decided to fire Berra for mismanaging the ballclub when things looked bleak. When the Yankees rallied to win the pennant, Houk just went ahead with his plan anyway.
Perhaps (politically) in part because Keane was available. Reportedly Keane was available because the Cardinals' had planned the exact same. Then tried to backtrack after winning it all. Knowing he'd been thisclose to the chopping block, Keane gave them a Christian version of 'screw you', and went off to manage the Yankees instead. Very much to his regret.
Why are 'catcher intangibles' hard to estimate nowadays?
Way, way back Bill James would track a catcher's ERA allowed and roughly compare it to team ERA. Which left the problems of different pitchers caught, different batting lineups faced, and so on.
Which was too big a data nightmare to sort through back then. But now? Wouldn't it be reasonably/well somewhat simple to estimate a catcher's expected RA given who he caught and who he and his pitchers faced?
Nice comedic try. But like you said, managers are just inherently funnier. GMing has improved much more than managing has, I'm sure in some part because managing is so much a 'people' job. Tho' the 'people' aspects of the GM job are also undernoted.
On a per capita basis, isn't San Pedro far and away the MOST!! baseball talent generating city? Who's in competition with it?
When you're in the entertainment biz, there's no such thing as 'their own time is their own business'. Leastwise the borders thereof come up pretty quick.
This kind of concern is not only premature, it's too premature.
In other words (regarding the draft pick), if a team with a draft pick a bit better than the Yankees had signed Soriano, the Rays would've gotten even a bit better draft pick. If a team with a much better pick than the Yankees (18 and on up) had signed Soriano, the Rays would've gotten a slightly lower pick.
And if someone signed Soriano as their 2nd Type A signee, the Rays would've gotten a still-lower pick. So, overall, the Yankees still didn't help the Rays at all per se. They were getting the pick regardless. It might've been just a little bit higher or just a little bit lower, is all.
Assuming Soriano would've eventually signed with somebody, the Orlando Swamp Rays would've gotten the pick for him anyways. So how does the Yankees signing him as opposed to whomever else signing him affect anything from that end?
If the Cubbies crash while Garza pitches well, they can always re-move Garza. For a not-dissimilar package of prospects.
Which is why I think the 'where are they now on the contention spectrum?' thing is overrated. So long as resources are fungible, just collect resources. Particularly outside of the AL East, where a .500 team can reasonably figure 'a good season may very well get us into the playoffs'.
In the 90s, reporters 'knew' about the steroids, and we now condemn them for being part of the coverup, because they didn't write about it at the time. But they didn't know because they had the BALCO records which they then returned to their rightfully owning company. They didn't know because the players stuck the needles into their butts in between answering questions. The reporters just 'knew' because they had eyes and ears, so darn well did know what was going on.
So now such reporters are coming forward with what they 'know'. And being blasted for it here. Fine. But if you're condemning them for doing now what you also condemn them for not doing back then, well ...
The Yankees have "re-geared ... for a season or two" lately? A la the Rays this off-season? I don't get it.
Lumping all pitchers together hurts/would hurt all relievers, no? It being easier to pitch in short outings/relief, they statistically look better than they are, hence become type A when everybody knows they're really not that valuable.
Another question that Swartz or perhaps Seidman could examine. How much value-per-$$$ have Boras clients returned? Given Boras' expertise with managing the denominator part of that, I'd guess very low. But maybe he's good at identifying then seeking to represent players who figure to age well. Or perhaps that academy of his I hear about is an ongoing asset to his clients, so aids their future performance.
I remember hearing how Steinbrenner wrote off a race track or some such thing against Yankee profits one year. If Beeston is right (I suspect he was hyperbolizing), then there ought to be some more interesting such stories out there.
Not that I have any idea as to how/if you could get at them, or confirm them. But as an accountant, do you know of any baseball-relevant accounting tricks of the type Beeston was alluding to?
So you anticipate Beltre will like hitting in Texas "almost as much" as he did in Fenway? So you expect his 2011 to be more similar to his 2010 (and 2004) than his 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 (and 2003 and 2002 and 2001 and 2000 and 1999)?
I'll be curious to see what PECOTA says. But this contract just has 'CLASSIC BUST!' stamped all over it. Every last element of it. A team not as good as it thinks it is in 'WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO WIN NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW!' mode. With money burning a hole in its pocket. A 32-year-old free agent coming off one single season head and shoulders above anything he'd done in the previous 5.
And a roster with plenty of other holes in it. Outfield depth (Hamilton's fragility and the summer heat), starting pitching, questions at first base, dh and behind the plate.
The Yankees have a huge advantage in that come every July, they're always buyers. Always have plenty of $$$ to buy pricey veterans from disappointing teams for pennies on the dollar in terms of talent exchange. The Rangers could also have put themselves in that position.
Instead, they're far more likely to be peddling Beltre for pennies on the dollar. Maybe next season. Maybe this one.
Would seem to me that the Yankees - given their strengths everywhere else - are the one team that ought to be risk averse regarding the bottom of their rotation. Even mediocrity there would be an improvement on what they got out of it last year. Whereas this year getting two 'tails' flips on all-or-nothing bets might keep them out of the playoffs.
I'm guessing many of us will be curious as to the bottommost (bottommoster?) part of that super-cool 'AIR' chart. A link, perhaps?
Walker's "409 total bases" were not the most since Rice's 406 in 1978. They were moster.
(if that 'Smarter Than a 5th-Grader' show calls for you, hide in the closet)
Not all of us use the site to revel in our intellectual superiority to the great unwashed unfortunately among us. Only most of us so use it.
The preceding was based on the suspicion it was MY SIDE! you were calling stupid. If it was THEM! you were calling stupid, then +++++!
But their Hall of Fame careers are among the dead. As in, over. Unless you figure on their augmenting those prospects thru managing or broadcasting or whatnot. With 'The Onion' now getting into sports, maybe they can find a place for Rickey.
Make Tim and Rickey centerfielders, and you have a darn good match. Probably still just a touch short.
Oh. And I suppose it ought to be 'was' in both cases. Grammar police ruling.
Parity defined as every sports fan other than one trying to frenziedly win an argument point defines it. Varying teams winning, year-in and year-out. If this doesn't fit whatever jargon you're using, then start off your posts with a glossary.
Half of last year's NFL division winners finished last this year. Which isn't that odd, leastwise in terms of record variance. Can you find an NFL observer who thinks revenue equalization doesn't factor in to teams having much more equal shots?
If you want to redefine parity so as to show you're smarter than the remaining 99.48% of us simpletons, feel free. But do so upfront, else I'll figure you're using the same language the great mass of us are using.
That's basketball Bill Russell, of course.
Gambling is less deleterious to the sport than an important rule followed by half and broken by half for the reasons Bill Russell noted 40+ years ago now. You just cannot offer any important player a sum anywhere near enough to making his lone contribution to throwing a game anywhere near a financially reasonable proposition for him. We'd need a very different financial mileiu for gambling to re-emerge as a significant threat.
As you allude to in your final sentence, of course steroids helped the using players. They build strength, a very useful baseball attribute, and repair fatigued muscles, again very useful (especially for relief pitchers). Seriously arguing "gee, we don't if steroids helped much" is factually akin to saying cigarettes are good for you.
Of course more revenue sharing would lead to more parity. Feel free to make whatever other arguments against it you want. But of course a hard cap (and floor) a la the NFL would lead MLB in the direction of NFL-style parity.
ARod was not acquired in-season.
So how much hand-wringing is properly wrought, Christina?
If you believe flat-out known steroid use is entirely irrelevant re the Hall, just say so.
If you believe known steroid use matters some (how much, then?) re the Hall, but suspicion of steroid use is entirely irrelevant, just say so.
If you're only against witch hunts, what level of evidence do you see as rising to justifiable? Confessed? (Bonds, ARod) Formally implicated? (Mitchell Report) Expert implicated? (Canseco saying "So-and-so did 'em, too!") "Everybody figures so ... " implicated? (Bret Boone; Clemens prior to his legal self-implosion)
Or put another way, it's OK when I and people thinking like me character assassinate. Because we've accurately picked out the appropriately bad characters. So therefore it's not really assassinating.
To take my own advice and be more specific, I read 15 paragraphs telling me why you stand where you stand. But I have only a vague idea of exactly where it is that you stand.
Your literary style of writing does not lend itself to all things and purposes, Christina. I think this article is supposed to tell me 'What Christina Believes Re Steroids and the Hall of Fame'. But I still don't have much of an idea on what you specifically do.
Theoretically, I suspect this means that defensive replacement level value may not be set low enough. Or perhaps it just has difficulty with the non-linearity of value concerning baseball 'events'.
I'll also defend Killebrew. Billy Martin, as able a baseball man as there ever was in his sober moments, played Harmon at 3rd base extensively as late as 1969. Ergo he was able to field bunts, get to balls, throw to first et.cet., well enough so as to get the job done. For a very good team that had other options.
I recognize that Edgar having 57.7 WARP compared to a similarly-WARPed 'Joe HoF 3BMan' means Edgar hit better than Joe did. But given that 8.5 out of 9 hitters also have to play the field, ability to do so even at replacement value has more than zero value. If you take up that DH spot due to defensive inability, that has some negative value, not zero value. Not much, I'd think. But there's some there.
Then why do we even have "Avg HoF 3B", "Avg HoF CInf", and so on, garsonf? If it's all just normalized to one WARP and/or JAWS, then defensive position should be meaningless. Anyways, in his 2nd paragraph above Jay calls JAWS position "dependent", not independent.
Who cares what '3rd baseman' or '1st baseman' or 'corner infielder' or 'hitter' (thereby including catchers and shortstops, for goodness' sake) standards Edgar meets? He was a DH. He's got to exceed those standards, and by a goodly amount.
I understand you all like Edgar, and maybe want to show how cool and smart you are by appreciating an underappreciated. But he quite simply has to exceed regular standards. Make an argument for 'how much', then show that he meets that 'how much'.
I understand that Edgar will get in someday, due to everyone liking him. Which is fine with me, as I'm all for rewarding congeniality. But all SABR articles on Edgar come across as slightly sophisticated fan-club paeans to him.
San Diego will be irrelevant. Unless Kyle Blanks whacks 25 homers, Harang makes 25 starts, and the bullpen hardly regresses at all. More likely none of the 3 happen than all do.
Very good stuff, Scartore. Thanks for sharing it!
Hill's and Lind's years were not particularly bad, excepting for their (fluke?) 2009 seasons. So no, I don't expect that much improvement from those 2. Certainly less than I would expect Wells and Batista to backtrack.
I agree that the best one can reasonably hope for from the Jays is that they finish 3rd if either the Yanks or Rays really go down. Which is not the 'post-season contention' level the article posits. Which would keep an effective Dotel closing for the Jays.
The 'Plexiglass Principle' suggests the Blue Jays will go back down, not way up. They traded a starting pitcher for a rookie who's not a Heyward-type immediate prospect. Wells and Batista were IMMENSELY! over their heads last year.
And why would you even use the phrase "at this stage" regarding the Yankees? Between now and August 1st they're the one team guaranteed to be firing alot more $$$$ at each and every problem they have or that injuries bring up.
With Showalter now mending the Orioles, the Jays are far more likely to finish last than 2nd in that division.
Ummm, why should the Blue Jays be in contention? I don't see it at all.
I'll cheerfully wager on Dotel losing the job, either due to age- or homer-induced ineffectiveness, or to being traded when the Jays fall out of contention.
Especially given Webb's ground-ball tendencies, wasn't bare Defensive Efficiency half-irrelevant regarding the D-Backs defensive impact on Webb? What was their groundball DER?
I've also heard that extreme sinkerball pitchers age very, very poorly. Mr. Seidman?
Not that Spitgate (I'd guess the more recent allegations played a bigger role) didn't cost Alomar immediate election. But as shown by how far he falls short of the first-tier HoF 2nd basemen, there was legitimate reason to not make him a first-ballot guy.
And for those of you who want to "Har-RUMPHHH! Har-RUMPHHH!" about the heinous immorality of using the 1st ballot in such a way, I don't care.
This read like an ESPN article. Sorry it was so hard for you to find a positon at which the Braves will drop off, but I can help you there.
Gonzalez will be a bit worse. Prado will be a bit worse, and without supersub Infante to cover, there will most certainly be an overall dropoff at those two spots.
Hudson will fall off some. Lowe will fall off some. Kimbrel, even if he does hold the job, will certainly not be as good as Wagner was. Given the volatility of bullpens, the bullpen as a whole can reliably be forecast to fall off some.
Jurrjens is a medical risk, will undoubtedly miss some starts, at which time you're counting on TWO? rookies to reliably fill into the rotation?
The As ought to be on the cusp of contention for the next 5 years, in that division. I doubt that Beltre will ever return $13 mil for any of those 5 seasons. And will likely be a total millstone in 2 of those.
Make do early on, then put that money to good use IF you're in contention come the time 1/3 to 1/2 the teams are trying to dump salary. Then get a Blake or Aramis or even an Uribe at a fraction of Beltre's cost.
I also don't understand the thinking re Matsui and Cust. With no need for pinch-hitters or double-switch guys, why can't you carry a platoon DH? Aren't we always (properly) railing against teams carrying 12 pitchers? A right-handed batter from whom you need nothing but hitting against left-handers ought to come very cheap.
Signing Beltre today means not signing someone else tomorrow. Like, say, extending Anderson. No way Beltre is worth anywhere near what you guys are suggesting. At this time a year ago, would anyone have been shocked by Kouzmanoff having a better offensive season than Beltre?
"Poetic license" has no place in history. Nor in journalism, unless so clearly labeled ahead of time.
I've been reading these pieces, and defending them to others. But this is puffery along the lines of "How dare you say George Washington didn't cut down that cherry tree?? You inhuman monster, you!" So I'll skip 'em from now on. And yes, I'll keep the door from hitting me on the rear on my way out.
Looks to me like there's enough there to conclude that multi-year contracts for relievers are a bad, bad idea.
Well, I guess I'll throw some water on all this.
If it was the "American thing to do" to join the military, then why did they bother with a draft? Military historians I've read state that Americans were much more patriotic in World War I. Pearl Harbor or no, come WWII, most who enlisted did so on the grounds that they were getting drafted anyway, so they might as well pick what they were going to go into.
Many, many athletes and actors did go into USO units. The military itself encouraged it. Jimmy Stewart had to fight tooth and nail time and time again to get assigned to an actual combat unit (bomber squadron). John Wayne, for one, was quite happy not to go into service, Feller's example or no.
Oh, and Eddie Waitkus was "lured" to the hotel room through the expectation of having sex with a groupie.
I count one 'sure thing' for the Twins (Morneau+Liriano with injury questions), the White Sox with nobody the level of Miggy and Verlander. But then, saying a projected 85-win team looks more like a .500 bunch to you is akin to saying a projected 9-7 NFL team in a weak division actually strikes you as more an 8-8 one. Not really that big a difference of opinion there.
Silly to argue that the union "grew" the game. Leastwise to state such as if it's self-evident. It didn't destroy the game as the owners way back caterwauled it would. But no more reason to see that union/growth correlation as causal than as associative.
Marvin's an angry old man who certainly merits induction. But the more he grouses about it, the less sorry I feel for him.
So where are the numbers on how long "incredible BB/9" guys last?
Fine. How long do incredible "BB/9" rate guys generally last?
Given how good Red Sox pitching has been and that obviously all those were road games, not sure how poor .275/.301/.406 actually is. Particularly since they're including his 'wet behind the ears' years.
Nor was Glavine's control anything THAT! special. I don't get those two 'most comparables' at all. Just look up the absolute 'best control' guys, and project from that.
The pertinent phrase is called "Winner's Curse". See Wikipedia.
I don't see why Lee should be particularly hard to project. How long do incredible control pitchers stay great? Maddux and Wells lasted forever, but how many similar guys are there that are now forgotten because they didn't?
And glancing at Goltz's career ... man, it sure don't look all that comparable.
If I'm an owner, darn right I don't want to let in another owner who projects to spend extra resources on acquiring players. Attacks my bottom line in two ways; more competition in my own signing players, and fewer wins (ergo $$$) for me if he's successful.
No point in whining about agents within a system doing exactly what that system rewards. If you care, address the system. However. And good luck with that.
So why do they seem (even) less likely to approve Jamie? I've found the uber-rich to be quite sexist; are you suggesting that's the case here with the MLB owners? Or are you just inclined to back away from that quick assertion? feel free to, if you want.
I don't want to stop reading this and thereby maybe miss an interesting quote. But no, I also don't want to wade through the PR garbage from agents and GMs I can get plenty of in the local media. What law says there has to be a quota on quotes?? If there are only 3-4 actually interesting ones, fine, do a 3-4 quote 'This Week in Quotes'.
Maybe it's just me. But even given the sparse off-season pickings, I'd rather not wade through pabulum from player agents and GMs talking about how great their new signings are. Not even when such stuff is given witty headlines.
Or maybe you could segregate that type of stuff somehow? So I know not to go through there looking for actual good stuff?
I've no doubt that Jeter truly believes he is a 'Gold Glove' shortstop. If he was, then by Yankees standards he would be worth 6yrs./150 mill. Cashman, on the other hand, is bright enough to know that Jeter always has been and is a hacker in the field.
My prediction is that Jeter will get a contract somehow overstating what the Yankees do give him. If they can do that in baseball.
I suspect that "toxic attitude" correlates with 'reduce his projection', and I know that "poor work ethic" sure the heck does. So either one in my opinion would be very much a projected 'performance' reason to move Upton.
I know you're not a historian (specialist, anyway), but isn't it very odd to publicly mention you'll entertain offers for your young stud? (could Goldman weigh in on that?) I mean, they can mention it to other GMs without going public about it. Or perhaps with the internet news phenomenon now, they figure it'll go from the one mileiu to the other in a pixel heartbeat anyway, so might as well be upfront about it in the first place nowadays. Who's your journalism expert on the site?
I'll bring in the Big-Gun-Guru. 'Those who think the team's winning/losing should have absolutely nothing to do with it are ding-dongs' Bill James (paraphrasing lightly)
This is a bit silly, as many posters have noted. Agent007's post being the clearest explanation of 'why'. You can't give Votto .6 and Pujols .4, so if you accept that 'playing for a post-season qualifier' ought to carry some weight, than Votto clearly is the better choice. And so gets the whole vote.
If you want to argue against 'team actually wins' counting, than do so.
Love that last story.
Guidry's peak is that low??
Oh, and wasn't Guidry still pitching alright when he retired? Ungently nudged by Steinbrenner into retirement 'cuz George saw no place for him in the Yankee rotation, but sure didn't want Guidry in anyone else's uniform either. What I recall, anyways.
The $$$ issue is not the inelasticity of demand for Yankee tickets, but the inelasticity of the Yankee budget. They can afford to pay Jeter whatever they want and have $$$ left over for whomever else they want, too. Now if all the Oldies fall over the cliff, then yes, even the Yankees will not have enough to buy their way out of that. But Jeter's salary will only be a part of it all, then.
The problem for the Yankees will simply be playing a replacement-level shortstop for the next however many years. Until their fan base will politically allow them to bench Jeter. Which so long as his BA is above-average for a shortstop, won't take place.
I'd suggest that, due to the fishbowl they live in (or that can be reconstructed), we actually know quite a bit about these people. Now, if you wanna say "there but for the grace of God go I", or "walk a mile in his shoes first", or something along those lines, that I'd go for.
Well, I think it's established that Earl Weaver's disattributes as a human being went beyond 'not cuddly'. Bill James once wrote that most all highly successful managers were kinda rotten at the human being part. Helped them manipulate and, when needed, discard people.
Not that I'm sure what this has to do with quietly confident or cacophonously nonconfident Orioles. But just for the record.
What's horrible about the writing?? And they're just interesting stories about past teams and events, nothing more than that.
I agree they're very unlike past BP articles. Just don't read them, if you don't want to.
Tho' Tarakas has nailed them historically. And NPB, thanks for the 'bag of leaves' anecdote. :-)
Making this free content would suggest that it's fairly typical of the stuff published on here, ergo subscribe. It's way better, which isn't a slight at anything else. But this isn't a humor site.
There are probably a dozen small, non-intrusive things baseball could do to speed up the game. (just send IBB hitters right to first, only one free pickoff/step off attempt per runner, no 'fake' pickoff to 2nd or 3rd without throwing, along with all you mention) Baseball clearly doesn't want to. So the problem isn't "what to do", but "convince baseball to do the friggin' obvious".
I always figured hidebound 'tradition' was at fault. It just never occurred to me how much more baseball makes off of concessions the longer they keep us there. I think you may have nailed it.
What chris says. Absolutely the way to go.
What azy said, only stronger. Jurrjens possibly, who's nowhere near as productive as Fielder in the immediate term. The other 5 guys, might just as well try petitioning Commissioner Bud to give his home-town team 4 outs an inning.
Well, if we 'can check whether harder-throwing pitchers have more arm injuries', what do results show?
Good read, Bob. Thanks.
Regarding the Bench strikeout, tho'. What I recall reading was that the strike pitch was knee-high on the outside corner. Bench wasn't fooled, at all, but chose not to offer at a pitch that he wasn't going to do anything with anyway, and thought might be a ball.
I mean, how often at 3-and-2 do you then decide to intentionally walk a hitter? Ever?
Agreed re Sanchez. And are the Twins really truly crying "we can't afford our players!" after just one year of their new ballpark???
The GM is a very public position. Of course how he'll be perceived matters some.
How 'bout one of the numbers guys gives us a probability on that 18-57? Given the Yankees' excellence, I'm guessing random chance is still a strong candidate.
And all you saying "the NL's no longer that inferior grumblegrumble", how about some (nonanecdotal, please) evidence for that assertion? Hmmm???
Thanks again for another year of the 'Hit List'!
The other bad thing some people have said about Junior is that he's a bit on the petulant side. Just for balance.
No one argued that 'Torre is the best manager there is, ergo give him the most money'. It'd be like arguing that a 45-year-old Randy Johnson deserves the highest contract for a pitcher, and offering a pay cut instead is insulting to him.
Any of you 'insult to Torre' guys arguing that Jeter's next contract should just replicate his last? Because of what he did in past years?
My bad. I was assuming the Giants needed to win regardless to clinch a berth. Which is how it turned out in the end, so I guess I was more prophetic than wrong.
The Giants will be every bit as motivated as the Pods and Braves. Or if not, 99.999% motivated to their 100%
I'm assuming that all the numbers save ERA are park-adjusted.
I would like to know what the park adjustments are, tho'. I recall that Bill James a few weeks back for this season had Yankee at 1.2 and Qwest at .8, a humongous difference which for James had CC just barely behind Felix, with Lester actually a smidge in front of both.
Closers for quite some time now have (almost) always come in with the lead. When with 2 or 3-run leads, probably most of their possible 'stolen base attempts allowed' turn into 'defensive indifference'.
To look at this would take quite some detailed work.
Will the above changes take yet more 'fore' out of the forecasting?
Carter is completely ready or incompletely ready according to what other options the As have. In other words, he's completely ready.
Well, rather than get mad, I think a simple "no I'm looking at the decision rather than explaining the result" would've sufficed just about perfectly.
You ought to explain what "butterfly effect-y" means. Except that I know, and believe it's basically garbage. So personally I'd just as soon you don't.
Saying 'changing the starting pitchers might have affected the offense' is similar to contending that 'wearing their home blacks rather than whites might have affected the offense'. If you want to examine Cox's decision, fine. Then what the offense wound up doing is irrelevant to the extent to which it wasn't forseeable. But looking at it in retrospect, yes of course the offense killed them such that the starting pitcher choices hardly mattered. So it certainly turned out well that Cox didn't rejigger his rotation.
If you're the one unfitting in, it can be darn well underrated.
With the frigid weather deadening fly balls, I'd suspect the Twins' lack of speed in left + right field could hurt them somewhere along the line. Oh, and thanks much for the head's up regarding the Minnesota weather thus far, Mike M.
Man, those October night games are likely to be something, aren't they?
Home-field advantage in the playoffs has been pretty unimportant. See 'Sauce, Secret'. So even going in the Braves weren't really competing with the Phillies. But with the Giants/Pods/Rockies. Only against one of them might it have been worth it to jiggle with your starting rotation.
Not saying Pujols is overrated. You wanna call him the 2nd best 1B of all time and gaining on Lou, I'd tend to agree.
I'd also agree the quality of competition is higher now than back in the 30s. But I'm interested in a full examination of that, and you folks just very badly want to assert that Pujols'/our current time is so much much very very better than Gehrig's lily-white time. Such that you wave away any and all factors that militate against that. Like they're evil because they move us away some from the incredibly desired conclusion.
The present is not much better incentivized for the choosing of professional baseball. It's been a massively attractive way to try to make a living for about a century now. Maybe more. Probably overall a little less incentivized, given that other $$$ sports compete directly for that same incredibly narrow talent pool in a much larger way than they did way back.
Ignored countervariable #2: League(s) size. Conceding that demand creates supply, I don't see this as particularly significant. But again, it factors in some.
Not disagreeing with a single one of those observations. Wait, lemme check. ... OK, not one.
But in everyone's rush to exalt our time over theirs', you're all ignoring countervariables. The biggest being, just about all great US athletes of the 20s took up baseball for a profession. Now, what? 20%? I suspect less? Given that we're still the biggest player-producing market, that's a whole lot.
I don't differ with the idea that the quality of play is higher than ever. But through citing all the reasons why and no reasons why not, I believe it's being badly overstated here.
Like jesse, if forced to bet on '30/over 30', I'd wager the over.
If you accept the argument that baseball up until 1939 got just about all the best athletes, which subsequently got increasingly sopped up by football/basketball/golf (yes, I'm serious on that one)/etc., then that evens out era adjustments significantly. Just worth noting, I'm saying.
What klipzls guy says. If they swith to 4-man rotations with starters going 5-6 innings per start, if medical advances extend careers into the 40s, if knuckleballing comes back into vogue, all ifs just off the top of the head with who knows how many more possible ones. And some of which WILL come true.
Eric, it's just historically silly to talk about 'unbreakable' career records. By which I mean the most casual historical perusal of the topic will uncover so many once-unbreakable broken records.
1) Plenty of smart people in government. You just never read about them. In Governance/Politics as in all things, good decisions don't make the news. Only bad ones that blow up do. As Andy Rooney once happily observed, good news simply isn't "news". It's reasonably expected.
2) Letting only the 'smart, informed' people decide things has been the basis of history's most heinous left-wing dictatorships.
3) Soooo, how many of you guys are voluntarily queuing up in the 'stupid, uninformed' line?
Dutchman, the guy's written professionally for decades now. I'd ask what in the world's wrong with that paragraph, but I'm uninterested in whatever you'd conjure up.
Wags, these guys aren't interested in growing or learning. They just mis-see a chance to elevate themselves by tearing somebody else down.
If any of you can point out any methodological difference between Bob and either Perotto or Sheehan, someone might be interested in whatever creativity you exhibit in doing so. Not me, tho'. I'm joining Peter.
Wagman is dead-on. Bob's stuff is stat-informed rather than stat-driven. You can use that to decide not to read it, just like I don't read Perotto's stuff. Without blathering about how Perotto's stuff isn't worthy of the 'great ME!'.
And if that 'BP staff' designation means you're officially back, Joe, officially welcome back. :-)
Actually, Will does call using the 'replacement rule' on Rollins an "extreme" step. I thought it was just that, any guy on your 40-man roster starts 'hurt' coughcoughcough, you can replace him even with a guy not on the 40-man roster. And that if a guy gets or proves (e.g., Rollins) hurt, you can then replace him for the next series while granted he's then gone for the whole playoffs.
What do I have wrong or missing here? If I gots it right, what is extreme re Rollins and the above?
The CBA can be amended/ignored in a heartbeat if both parties say "let's". Given that Marvin Millerism no longer rules the players' union ("the owners are E-V-I-L!!! so don't do anything they want without negotiating 1,000 hours on it first"; and, actually, I am a Marvin Miller fan), I would think prohibiting maple bats could be done very quickly.
The reason the WC isn't going anywhere is 'cuz it does make $$$ for the owners. And players. Hype's got nothing to do with it.
Oh, and you misspelled 'pseudo'. You casual speller, you.
What's "extreme" about the "replacement rule"?
What's the largest percentage of a contract ever swallowed so as to facilitate moving the player?
I agree Dunn will someday willingly DH. Just a lot of posters here speculating about his going to AL teams right now so he could start doing it some right now.
If TLR has lined up his best pitchers for the good teams, wouldn't he have also seen to it that his best position players also made those games? While then resting then some against the Astros of the world? Just wonderin'.
Hasn't Dunn made it clear he's not going to DH?
The split is in part fluke. Random chance picking him this year. Mostly so, I'd guess.
Seems like an easily researchable question. I'm going to presume the 'Secret Sauce' guys looked at it, and apparently found no relationship to postseason success.
"furball on the carpet" Darn good writin! Thanks.
Thanks for keeping track of this, Eric. I've been enjoying it.
No, it's not 'people' guessing the weight of an ox, but common farmers with some expertise in the matter. But it's time to drop this. As much as I enjoy getting negatived by the many Dwight Schrutes and Lisa Simpsons of the BP subscriber world.
What and how many sycophants does Pete Rose have in the press? The coverage I've seen has been overwhelmingly negative. As Bill James has observed.
No, 'wisdom of the crowd' is not the idea that WAGs are equally likely to be high as low, therefore when accumulated will still get you near the correct answer. It was first exhibited with regard to agriculture, not silly jelly beans. See Wikipedia. Re the book itself, tho'. Not the self-congratulatory entry on the concept itself.
Two issues here. The one Bob Hertzel addresses, 'I think Pete Rose ought to go into the Hall of Fame now that this much time has elapsed'. I tend to disagree with this sentiment.
The other being 'how dare a BP writer propose such a horrible terrible immensely immoral thing?' I reallyreallyreally disagree with this sentiment.
'Conventional wisdom' is only worthless if you have ego issues about how oh so much smarter I am than all the idiots out there. Otherwise it's a quite good initial default setting. See 'Crowd, Wisdom of the'.
This is a 'culture war' issue on this site. Pete Rose is the most hated human being on it, and I do not (intentionally) exaggerate.
As houstonuser's post shows, it goes far beyond gambling on baseball. People here have set Rose up as emblematic of the type of human being they hate. Ergo, even a writer writing 'maybe we should stop hating in this one way' is committing rank heresy, and needs to be shouted down as forwarding pure evil.
No, I'd say the onus is on you as part of this site to offer evidence that the wild card hasn't goosed September attendance some. Youse gots the resources, not lil' ol' me. Bill James is on record as saying certainly it has. It's also the conventional wisdom.
And saying territorial waiving is "much less likely to happen"? If by that you mean .1% vs. .4%, I suppose I wouldn't quibble. Each is as likely as Lady Gaga going out with me. From which I derive great comfort.
I used to peruse a chat site where many, many chatters absolutely hated/detested/abhorred/wanted to boil in oil Peyton Manning. I eventually figured out that they saw 'PEY-TON' as the rich kid who got the really pretty girl they had a crush on back in school.
Dudes, Rose is not the tough kid who beat up on us all back in 6th grade. Heck, when younger he may have bore no resemblance whatsoever to Nelson Muntz. Even if you just viscerally hate blue-collar white guys in general, let go of it a little bit.
Gosh you people hate Pete Rose around here. "How dare someone suggest Rose's sentence be commuted?!? He must hate Giamatti! EVIL!!! EVIL!!!"
And why in the world you'd put 'contract two teams' in front of 'let any team who wants move to New Jersey/Long Island/Connecticut/San Jose/etc.' is beyond me.
I believe the evidence is overwhelming that the wildcard has added on to September attendance. Anyone saying otherwise, I'd love to see your non-anecdotal evidence.
I'm a bit on Lincoln's side on this one.
It was an internal email, not a public release. Bucking up your employees via 'us vs. them' is a long-used tactic. I personally don't care for it, but so what about that aspect of it. And I don't see anything in that email that suggests 'our win-loss record is the press' fault, not ours'.
Oh, and sportswriters and everyone else knows that PED use helps you build strength and also shortens recovery time, such that you can play sooner and better than the poor schleps who aren't shrinking their testicles.
I think I've figured this out. You guys had a meeting, and you volunteered to keep the Sheehanites portion of the customer base happy. By telling them how much smarter they are than some of those jerks actually running baseball teams.
Financial risk can be easily priced. Win-loss record risk, well, I don't know. Over any time frame.
Safe in the sense that no one will shoot you if he doesn't. Myself sure wouldn't suspect it's safe in any other way.
1st time I ever noticed, how come we can't negatively rate BP staff comments? Obviously the democratic way to do it, and if any of you ever did get negativized out of site (pun intended) you could just fiddle with the numbers to get back in, and we'd be none the wiser. You should always go the democratic way whenever you can finagle things to your liking anyways. Just proper form.
Unless he is linked with 'roids, he'll be 1st-ballot. A 'clean' 600-homer guy? To be honest, strikes me as a bit ridiculous to think otherwise.
A little context regarding the OPS would be nice. OPS+ would make for much fairer comparisons, and I dont understand why yu didn't use that instead.
Still, thanks for the article. :-)
There were windbags back in the day, too. Who cares if some of them said "No one will ever break Ruth's 60-homer record, harrumph, harrumph!" That was always clearly under threat, by Greenberg, Kiner. So what if some writers/announcers tried to sell ads by proclaiming "It's not! It's not!" Same with Johnson's strikeout record. No one would've been surprised if Feller had broken it.
I guess the simplest observation to make is that Steve feels free to offend 20% of his customers with his political analysis of Glenn Beck, while declaring Pujols incompetent of assessing what's good for his own self due to his doing the exact same.
Which works fine if, in so doing, you make 30-40% of your fan base really, really happy due to their sharing of the prejudice in question. Which pretty clearly applies here, and I'd suggest does so for Pujols, too. I posit that Glenn Beck fans are far more likely to buy baseball jerseys than amnesty/open border believers are, while also generally outnumbering them by some amount.
You have touched on a part of it, Smokey. (accidentally??) A number of Christopher Hitchens fans on this site, including among the writers. Nate Silver was a big one.
How many pro jocks have publicly come out against the proposed Arizona 'check arrestees for immigration status' law? Soooo, where on this site can I find an article advising those players that they should clam up?
"Given recent public appearances, Pujols can’t be counted on to know what’s in his best interest"??? This is highly insulting, to Albert Pujols.
tkoegel, the reference is to the Glenn Beck rally. Goldman and many of the comment raters found it very, very offensive.
Teams also win games by playing through fatigue, soreness and 'small hurts'. There's a line there, which if you stay well short of it, yes, you do win fewer ballgames.
And probably don't make the big leagues, individually speaking. I think you expect a clubhouse full of 'gamers', and in fact do want it so. It's the manager's job to keep that sentiment channeled productively rather than counterproductively. Granting Francona's other strengths, he doesn't at all strike me as that kind of a forceful leader.
Hadn't even noticed the inference, but you're right. There in the third paragraph.
This is, needless to say, not a 'Tea Party'-friendly zone. BP's political preaching is irritating, but seldom strident. Just something to put up with, I've figured.
I don't recall hearing Albert ever call out a teammate before. Nor sucking up to his manager, either.
LaRussa I'm willing to perceive as getting old and cranky. Albert's weighing in, that sounds off a loud alarm for me regarding Rasmus.
I believe the Players' Union has disagreed with distributing revenues more equally. Allowing teams to keep every penny they generate puts more value on acquiring players to help them do so. So long as the weakling franchises aren't thus put out of business.
Good stuff, thank you!
Those middle 60s-era Dodger teams weren't that weak-hitting. Dodger Stadium killed their hitting stats while puffing up their pitching ones. On the road they scored a good number of runs.
Only one year in there that their offense didn't score runs, if I recall.
Excellent data on Ortiz, thanks for it.
Still utterly speculative that it was self-confidence, tho'. Other 'clutch' performers have later talked about being motivated by extreme fear (Bill Russell being the one I remember for sure, tho' Whitey Ford too, I believe), Mariano Rivera's long exceptional playoff performance associated with extreme calm, others stoicism. Ascribing one emotion with any degree of certainty says far more about yourself than it does about the subject.
Better to remain silent and have people suspect the worst rather than speak out and remove all doubt.
This makes me wonder if the 'Shift' should be applied against many more lefthanded hitters. Not just the ones who often send the ball over the fence.
Thought we were gonna get some math showing exactly where Pujols', Votto's and Cabrera's chances stand. This is kinda ESPNish.
If I recall the research, Carlton actually got a good deal of run support that season. The Phillies' offense just happened to score alot of runs in his starts, and very few for the other guys. Which anomaly almost exactly reversed the following year.
bcmurph, you're list isn't very enlightening without noting just where all those guys were drafted. If you're a highly-sought after college football recruit who gets 5th-round drafted in baseball and chooses baseball instead, yes that's something. If you're a 1st-round baseball draftee who accepts a college football scholarship instead, yes that's something.
How many of those 'somethings' are on your lists? I'd predict darn close to zero. Players choose whatever sport they're best at. Almost none are top prospects at both. Unless you very, very creatively redesign 'top'.
Unless he misses VERY! significant time, Hamilton 2010 = Gibson 1988. The 'traditionalists' will all vote for Hamilton, unless maybe Miggy C does reach a Triple Crown.
Even then, I'd still wager on Hamilton.
I thought Brown already has been linked to 'roids. Wasn't he?
It's been shown that having the very first pick in the amateur draft is an enormous advantage. With a free market system, yes the Yankees would have that very first pick every single year.
A free market really, really benefits those with the capital, those with money. Fine, if money floats your boat.
Oh, and a free market is very, very economically efficient. In case anyone thinks I'm a commie.
"If you want examples of active players that could have ditched the MLB for football, just look at Arod and Mauer."
Super. You name 2 examples in the last 15 years. Neither recent.
"How many players that get drafted have the potential to play another sport professionally? (A sizable minority, but certainly not a majority.)"
This is more accurate, except that it's a very UNsizeable minority. Jordan thought he was a baseball prospect. Yeah, right.
A Bo or Deion comes around maybe once a decade. Neither of whom, even in their cases, amounted to all that much of a baseball player.
"Kevin, this is your Mother posting. Don't be yourself. Trust me on this one. Mothers know."
Tejada, Ludwick and Torrealba bring a "history of success"?? Empirically meaning what, based on what?
How much is Safeco depressing run-scoring this year? I know not near so much as to explain things, but I'm still curious.
I should think you'd want to control for record. If teams sold average, say, 77-85, would you then expect them to raise payroll as they revert to the 81-81 mean? I understand your sold/unsold comparison may account for this somewhat.
You read often of teams shedding payroll prior to being sold. I've always suspected this is some accounting value thing. But is there some type of effect here? Do teams for sale have payrolls lower than you'd expect given their other characteristics? If so, might this account for near all the effect you find regarding subsequently raising payroll?
Why do you come to BP looking for emotion-laden arguments?? For goodness' sake, that's pretty much the opposite of what they try to be about.
Teams with unreasonably unreasonable expectations of themselves are great candidates to competitively then emotionally crash, and subsequently lose boatloads of games. In all sports.
Joe really, really likes Barry Bonds. As he 'fesses up to in his second last paragraph, BECAUSE of the way he treats other human beings. In part, anyway.
Given Joe's long years here, why is this news to anyone??
Did Magglio produce at a level commensurate with a $15 million-a-year corner outfielder? I'd like to see the numbers confirming that.
Simple to get evidence, I'd think. Look at what position players have been traded for in-season and out-season, then compare the at-time value.
Epistemological beef: You have a theory. Players are way more valuable come pennant race time. It is a theory. Nothing more than a theory, no matter how much it ought to be true, until empirically researched and validated.
Doug Melvin's been doing this for a living for a good long time, now. If he says the market for position players is generally actually better come December, I'm not necessarily going to believe that. But you give me no data to contest that, only premise-based logic. And you seem to proceed as if that's all you need to pronounce on this issue. I disagree with that.
Two adult criticisms. First, on your theory itself. I feel you divorce it from the basic fact that everything has its worth. If no one gives you what it's worth to you, you hang onto it.
You're the first person I remember who likes what the Astros got in return for Oswalt+Berkman. What I recall reading everywhere else is 'man, Houston got just zip for those guys'. It seems you feel players like them have near-zero worth for a team in the Astros' position. When you value a type of player way much lower than most everybody else does, I'd like to see a good amount of evidence defending that.
Back again. What got me really irritated was the intended insult embedded in the "casual fan" remark. I charge, try and find you GUILTY! there, but I do typically find very few snarks in your writing. So I shall mention it no more forever.
Oh, and I normally really really enjoy your work. Just not this. And much more pomposity regarding "casual fans", well ...
Last one: "Teams A-M should be buyers and teams N-Z should be sellers." No, an individual's/firm's price is set according to its prognosticated expected value for the good. That is then compared to Whatever The Current Price Actually Is. You've absolutely ignored that last half of the equation throughout all this.
Onward: "The Nats should trade Adam Dunn (apparently for friggin' whatever) because they're unlikely to contend next year".
How unlikely? So long as you're not in the AL East, you have a shot at contention next year unless you're the saddest of sacks. This year's Padres are not that much of an anomaly. Did you go through the 'Playoff Odds' this site's put up before each of the last however many seasons to inform such an opinion?
If the Nats don't contend next year, obviously they can then try to trade Dunn again. Why is it at all important to instead trade him now for a disappointing package?
Oh, and as to your smug "casual fans" snark, ...
Poor analysis, startlingly poor coming from Swartz.
"You can get more for a player during a pennant race." Brewer GM Doug Melvin believes yes for pitchers, no for hitters/fielders. The fielding part being the key there, come off-season many teams can dream about contending. Therefore the market for, say, a 1st basemen is bigger than come July, when the Seattles of the world find out, "wow, we sure ain't".
Forget your blackboard theory. Where's your data that field players return more in July than January? And, when an instance comes along where that field player just isn't returning much in July, you should go ahead and trade him anyway because July is the theoretically best time to do so???
Also, paragraph #5 missing a sentence or two at its end.
How will Chipper be like Jim Rice re HoF voting???
The political aspects of these sorts of things are often ignored. In part because they're unavailable to us. But DiPoto may well have been under orders to "get SOME-thing of immediate use back so as to help sell a couple extra tickets for next year". And thus 'over-valued' Saunders. My understanding of multi-millionaire owner types is that they do give such orders alot more often than we realize.
I concur with Goldman. But no one else should care that I do. A Swartz-like study of this question would be great.
Very-well written and reasoned, Eric. Thank you.
Also not to pick on Buster Olney in particular, but "well informed" and "gets it" are two separable things.
This analysis sounds spot-on to me. Thanks, Marc.
I recall Ron Santo jumping up and 'clicking his heels' after each victory. Not that Selma didn't also, but who would much notice a guy doing that coming out of the bullpen area at the end of a game?
George McFly, dude.
How many managers walk away on their own accord?
I do not at all see where the "day to day grind" of managing damaged Billy Martin. It probably kept him alive. The last thing alcoholics need is free time. They need structure, and above all a purpose.
Billy Martin was very, very good at managing, knew it, and took pride in it. Without it, my guess is he'd have been in the gutter very quickly. Being a successful baseball manager was the one good thing in his life.
Bill James explained Billy's 5 hirings/firings in light of his 4 hirings/firings by Minnesota/Detroit/Texas/Oakland, and I know I'm leaving a couple more out. Billy was a great manager whose immaturity and alcoholism rendered him unemployable over the long haul of things. Each of the 5 times George hired Billy it made great on-field sense, and each time he fired Billy it made great on-field sense.
Again with the 'Cliff Lee will really help them come playoff time!' shtick.
Nate Silver's research showed there's nothing/nothing/nothing special about starting pitching in the postseason. At all. No different than adding a big bat to the team, or filling any position player hole.
Really, if your very own research hadn't debunked this, I'd stop haranguing about it. Which I'll stop now anyway. The end.
What Bergstrom said/replied.
Will, you're entertaining as all get-out when you're simply packaged properly. With Jen very, very close to you. Preferably directly between the camera and you.
In what ways did George "manipulate" Billy Martin?
The cycle of 'hire, fire, rehire', my understanding is that that's now seen as sensible. Billy was perhaps the most talented short-run manager ever. But his alcoholism and emotional immaturity just rendered him unemployable over any longer haul. Ergo his great immediate success and quick exits from everywhere else he managed, too.
So did George manipulate Billy in other ways? I'm just honestly curious.
Why is it unfair to compare a baseball owner to a president? I mean, I disagree with the comparison, but silly to say it's "unfair!"
I was wondering about Sheets. Eric, how did your query miss him? Maybe you need to fix it and rerun it??
He'll have a Chipper-like career if he thickens a bit and thereby becomes a bad defensive player like Chipper.
"Ahhh, no, it's only rock 'n roll. But I like it!"
Sorry, Will and Jeff dudes. But my Mom doesn't care a whit about 'win odds', and she's the discretionary consumer ESPN is after. Never mind the networks. Mick Jagger understands the average consumer, you guys don't. I'm sure your/our niche is expandable, but the mass market understandably just wants to be entertained.
Given the so-so postseason performance of ace starters, can we at least on this site stop with the 'oh this really helps them for the postseason!!' crapola? It's like you folks open up that jar of Nate Silver's 'Secret Sauce' every October, and the other 11 months forget that it's sitting there in the cupboard, big as life.
Who cares what Bill Letson's work shows. Unless that can be validated via another method or two, it's of little value.
A best-ever rate thrown to a catcher who's supposedly bad at that type of thing? Very, very historically unlikely. Far more likely Johnson's now getting that job done, or that the effects of pitch-framing are wildly exaggerated.
Doug Melvin was quoted recently in the local paper as saying that the market for position players is typically much better in the off-season than in-season.
You posit otherwise, give reasons why it ought to be so, but then offer no empirical followup. What have in-season trades of Fielder-like players returned in the past?
Short of you showing me something, the Brewers ought to take a final shot with Fielder next year, then take the draft choices.
Who cares what starting pitchers you face in a short playoff series? Hasn't Nate Silver's 'Secret Sauce' debunked that entirely? Just looking at 'the Big 4 of Recent Yore', I believe Pedro, Rocket, Unit and Maddux each have one whole playoff championship a piece, do they not?
I haven't read one person saying 'put Strasberg in the Hall of Fame already!' Talk about a 'straw man' argument.
Just watch the kid pitch, for goodness' sake. As he's done for a couple of years now. Doesn't mean he won't blow out his arm, though we're far more aware of such risks now. Doesn't mean he won't get hit by a piano. But we do have an otherworldly talent right in front of us.
That should be "Shpupendous!" Stay within the lines here.
Good stuff, Lindbergh. Anyone know what's Russian for 'Ben'?
Very interesting. Thank you!
Very good stuff. Very well-written, too. Thanks!
Interesting question on Pierzynski. But my guess is that there's almost no data on that (who in the public cared about the draft back then?), and any there might be has zero chance of leaving the Twins' in-house.
How in the world could the managerial change go disastrously bad?? What, they win 17% of their games the rest of the way in rather than 27%?
So that's why I had difficulty sleeping last night. And here I thought it was the lasagna.
Very, very good stuff. Thanks Marc.
To be honest, I don't know that many people at all see it as "insane" to let a functioning alcoholic function, while getting rid of nonfunctioning ones. For goodness' sake, factories used to let workers drink on the job. Which factories still managed to build America. And as noted, drunken, high and hungover ballplayers have made a go of it for years.
As 'reasonably Honest Abe' said about US Grant, "A drunkard? Find out what he's drinking, then send a case of it to all the rest of my generals".
I'd think "Make-up" is more an anti-tool. Not that much difference between 'great' and 'alright', and hard to distinguish between those two anyway. Clearly bad make-up (see HARPER, BRYCE) properly raises a flag.
Speaking of which, wouldn't Dave Kingman have been considered an uber-prospect back in his day a la Bryce Harper now?
Do the Mets have the $3 mill to sign Washburn?
I'd think the Mets could get somebody to take Ollie off their hands (Royals, I'd wager) if they swallow 80-95% of his salary. Hold such a reverse auction, send him off to that lowest bidder, and save a few bucks at least.
I understand the "not my job" perspective. But couldn't SOME-body on staff here mention to John that he's now 26 HOURS LATE FOR HIS CHAT?!?!? I mean, some word on what happened with it is perhaps just a teeny bit overdue. Ya think?
Just great stuff.
Umm, what did they think you'd intended with "Arrogance: The Joe Sheehan Collection"???
Likewise, best of luck with the book. And let a marketing person title it.
A guy being overmatched by league-average RH fastballs with an alarming frequency would not be hitting as well as Wright overall is hitting. Oh, and he's bailing out on inside-directed breaking pitches also? Yet somehow hitting as well as he is? This is silly.
re De Rosa, the medical staff signed off on a guy who actually wasn't ready to go. Of course the first logical reaction to that is 'so they goofed, huh?' You can point out that multiple staffs saw things the same way (ergo problem is with current thinking on subject), but I don't see the justification in getting snippy about it.
I thought Will Carroll reported that observers feel Quentin is still bothered by his feet.
Oops. I think it was the 'old guy' thing that got me. Think 1920s, automatically think 'AB' rather 'PA'.
Not possible to hit "exactly .400" in 39 PAs. Otherwise, good stuff, and thank you.
More good stuff, and very-well reasoned. Thanks.
I don't understand whatever point you're making re "critics (who) talk about the need for a salary cap".
Laughable that it will save time. Managers argue calls to 'show that they care', 'support the player', and so on. Replay/no replay has nothing to do with continuing to allow that or not.
As to extra umps, they ain't cheap. Don't see any of you folks arguing on other fora for higher ticket prices.
Matt's article is certainly better, but Joe's isn't a rant. And they're not THAT far apart on the contract. Matt approximately gives it a '4', and Joe a '1' or '2'.
I would like for Joe to show us a Howard-type player who was platooned back in the day of '15-hitter rosters'. Probably only a few very rare occasions where a superb hitting platoon partner just happened to be there already. I think Matt's got that part of it dead-on.
You can't quantity the effects of A-holes in the business world anymore than you can in baseball. Yet businesses avoid hiring them like the plague. And quickly show them the door when it's time to cut workers.
Baseball players are together in close quarters 6-7 days a week from February into October. Attitude will rub off from one to another. Don't know how much being a jerk adversely affects those around you. But certainly it does.
The issue in the article itself isn't about his becoming Adam Dunn. It's about his winding up with an Adam Dunn type body. In which event Adam Dunn isn't his floor, it's his ceiling.
As well as Boras plays the media, my guess is the Nats will be too spooked to gamble on Harper really not wanting to go back to JC ball.
Arrogance coupled with his body type would worry me. Makes it much more likely that he turns into Adam Dunn rather than Joe Mauer. "Watch my weight?!? How far did that last homer go? F' yourself!!!"
One of those "can't 'Post Reply'" guys here.
OK, I'll acknowledge the baseball angle.
But NONE of the infrastructure is in place for inner-city baseball. Space: Goodness you need alot. Much better trying this in a rural black area. Capital: Baseball's very expensive. Expending the same amount of $$$, you can reach and affect far, far, far more inner-city kids spending it in 100-and-1 different ways.
I'm a white guy who's spent alot of time in inner cities. This 'baseball' idea is so out of touch. I just can't believe you guys have any current inner-city experience at all. If so, you wouldn't necessarily give this idea up. But at least you'd be acknowledging the incredible obstacles in the way of doing this effectively.
Don't see why both can't be true.
Scout: "Boy, Wagner sure looks good!"
Brave GM: "He does? Good! We sure like experienced guys around here. I'll make sure I outbid everyone else!"
(Colby Lewis is in the NL???)
No moral or logical reason to care that black teenagers massively prefer basketball to baseball. And 99.99% of teenagers of ANY color do NOT need to be encouraged to aspire to being a sports hero when they grow up. Every penny that goes into a 'Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities' initiative ought to be stripped from it and instead put into libraries, or reading programs, or a 'Young Engineers' initiative, or something with an ounce of actual value in it.
Maybe the attitude he expresses here has a little bit to do with Hudson's relative looklessness.
I'm of the opinion that blacks do get penalized more for malcontentedness. But if that played out all that much re MLB rosters, then Dukes would've been exiled for good long, long ago.
Hurts massively come post-career time. Best of luck to Bradley and Sheffield in finding baseball employment post-career (not that they'll have any $$$ need to). If Larry Bowa were black, I can't imagine him getting even a first sniff at employment on a MLB team. As is, he's got a job somewhere so long as he wants one. Black malcontents are 'bad actors'. White malcontents eventually become 'guys whose only sin was wanting to win too much'.
Good, well-reasoned, very well-researched article. Thanks Matt.
Of course, if you had been more histrionic and off-the-cuff, you'd be getting alot more 'comments'. Customer discrimination, if you will.
The '97 Cubs finished 68-94, not 68-49.
So what types of off-field revenue do minor leaguers have access to? Approximately how much? How do you solicit it?
As Bill James (cue chorale music) has written, it's not just $$$, but loyalty too. Not keeping the Pirates there for old times' sake, but because there is a base there that's committed to 'their' team. A base which does spend money, and which isn't in place in (say) San Antonio. So San Antonio has to have a lot more $$$ there than Pittsburgh in order to be a ready substitute for Pittsburgh.
Given how awful the Pirates have been for how long, I don't see grounds for reading rites over Pittsburgh. Milwaukee's smaller than Pittsburgh, has the lake directly to the east and the Cubbies and Sox to the south. Yet is now drawing very well, after one measly playoff appearance (and quick washout). And it's not like the Pirates can move into Brooklyn or Long Island or Malibu. For the foreseeable future they are and ought to be committed to Pittsburgh.
Any yes-or-no question to which one of the two answers is unimaginable is either soporific or just stupid. How about, "Anything new you're doing health-wise, Mr. Rolen?"
Re Rolen, what's unprintable about "what kind of idiot are you to ask me that question?!?" (sample answer: 'No, person I don't know, I don't think I can stay healthy this season')
Actually, what I'm suggesting is that you don't call people "cowards". Don't see that you're converting anyone or successfully selling anything by doing so.
Actually, Eli has quite a point there. How does insulting somebody from the stands differ from insulting folks in a blog?
'teams demand new stadia', not "new stadium". Tsk, tsk.
Other than that, bravo! Bravo! But then I'm in favor of the estate tax with a million $$$ deduction, which I guess makes me a commie.
"As Bradley gets older, no one will be more aware of this than him"
I doubt that Bradley is so aware, I doubt that he much cares about that aspect of it, and I octuple doubt that both together apply.
First point: Bradley's had difficulties with teammates, too. Managers. GMs. If it was just fans, well ... I've read authors who state that players in general mildly look down on fans. Or not so mildly. Whenever Bradly goes, it won't be the fans who'll have driven him out.
Point #2: Whenever Bradley goes, he'll be taking millions and millions of dollars with him. Compared to every last person he grew up with, Milton's already a massive career success. Why should he ever reflect back on supposed wasted potential in a job he didn't much care for, all things considered? If he washes out tomorrow after punching out 4 fans, 3 umps, 2 teammates and the owner's mistress, by $$$ standards he'll have been one huge honkin' success.
Steve, I think you're doing a whole lot of projection with regard to your psychoanalysis of Milton Bradley.
Actually, I half-recall reading something that teams moving into new ballparks do lose some of their homefield advantage that first year. Often do better overall, with extra $$$ to spend on players. But typically have a smaller spread between home/road record.
Are you also monitoring lineup slots? For instance, with Rasmus? 2-or-5 is a pretty big difference. And is 6 still a possibility with him?
Oh. I see you're doing this through a separate "Unfiltered". My bad for reading these things from back to front.
Oh. I see you're doing this through a separate "Unfiltered". My bad for reading this things from back to front.
How tough could it be to tell us upfront what changes have occurred since the last update?
I've stopped wading through the rosters and lineups. It's just not worth it going through all of them to find the one or two changes.
What BurrRutledge suggests. What BurrRutledge suggests. What BurrRutledge suggests.
How tough could doing this be?
I've stopped wading through the rosters and lineups. It's just not worth it going through all of them to find the one or two changes.
If it's "industry-wide", I can understand your call for standardization.
But of course it will cost some $$. Unless you think their coders ought to work for free.
"How can I possibly write about anything beyond my own experiences?"??? What do you think every other writer on this baseball site does?
You have no idea how agents in general do things?
ScottyB has nailed it. Writing (a la what Glanville does re players) on 'issues agents face' and how they in general (differently or not)face them would be a great addition to the site. I understand why I get little-to-no details regarding actual negotiations. But this is like reading your professional diary. I have no idea how unique or common anything you do is to agenting in general.
So they're supposed to shell out $$ to 'fix' the column order on PFM??
How about you insert an extra column into your established cheat sheets, then just cut and paste SB from the one side of RBI to the other?
I'm getting a whole lot of what it's like to be 'Josh Kusnick, Agent', and very little on agents in general. What they do, how they do it. What difference they make.
'This Agent's Take' would be far more accurate. Which is fine, I just think you should be more upfront about it.
One thing that would be very helpful is to mention at the very beginning what's changed since the last update.
Good stuff, John. Thanks!
Will there be continuing updates here? When will these changes be updated to the Depth Charts?
From looking at spring box scores, Rasmus hasn't hit second once for the Cards. Always behind the big boppers.
Another "can't 'Post Reply'-er" here.
Ummm. What was odd about my comment thread?? Since none of you other doofuses ask for general roto research, it'd be a waste of you guys' valuable time to provide it. Never mind how useful it'd actually be.
Ergo you shouldn't and ergo ergo thus won't. Ergo ergo ergo I do have zero chance of getting my request answered. Understandably.
Good stuff, John. Thanks much!
I vote for general research (just how much cold weather affects hitters, how many run and rbi opportunities average for each batting slot, about how many more SB opportunities are there for leadoff as opposed to 'batting 2nd' hitters, and so on).
But then I'm an oddball that way. And roto in the shark tank, the national challenge games, rather than the weenie local leagues all you guys play in. And have zero chance of getting this request answered anyway. Oh well.
What other "blind spots" do you think are actually out there in baseball?
"American individualism" is mostly a cliche. Including re sports. When Americans at the Olympics (or sports bars watching such) are chanting "USA! USA!", we're being very tribalistic. As Seinfeld would observe, we're rooting for our laundry to beat their laundry. Nothing individualistic about that at all. Favre got (lightly) booed at Lambeau this year. When a hometown star willingly chooses to move on, he often becomes quite the villain. No fan allegiance there to the individual at all.
When judging why a team/organization wins/succeeds, well, it's just so much easier to pick out an individual. The quarterback, starting pitcher, driver, CEO. Rather than "OK, let's break out how many successful ABs each guy had, make a WAG about how good Penske's engineer assistant is compared to Foyt's, internally estimate how much HR is contributing to things." Not really individualism at work there, just (probably unavoidable) intellectual sloppiness.
Most all other cultures are also just as hero-driven as ours' is. In 3rd World political marches, people carry pictures of their political heroes.
I could go on, but I mercifully won't.
One thing going on. Things are backed up because they badly underestimated how difficult and time-consuming it would be to switch over from Excel to whatever platform they've chosen. They've said this already.
Second thing. The reason the PECOTA cards have gone to the Beta testers is that, so far as BP knows they are now ready to go. First they'll see whatever (hopefully minor, data misentry type) things might be wrong with them.
In such a case, their runs and RBI projections are then useless.
Yep. I don't care for most of the questions. They could all be answered with 'see PECOTA, you illiterate!' But this is the venue for such.
I think I can explain the race angle perfectly for you.
White Brett Myers hit his wife. For which White Brett Myers was excorciated, very definitely including on this site. White Brett Myers was the epitome of evil.
If you hit the "off-field troubles" link above you will see what Black Elijah Dukes did. All that he's done. Wow. Wow wow wow.
And poor Black Elijah Dukes' difficulties are due to a racist America, a racist Major League Baseball, a racist Washington Nationals clubhouse. Gee golly, we just need to find a racially nurturing environment for the poor fellow.
Yes, there is plenty of racial bigotry on display here. From you folks. This race angle is all your very own.
For fantasy purposes, I don't really care who's played themselves into a platoon, or winning the 5th starter job.
Position in lineup, along with players immediately in front of and behind you, is enormous for fantasy players. Simply shifting from 6th to 5th gets you 15 additional ABs over the year, and also batting closer to the better hitters. I know that stuff's fluid, but then so is the 5th starter position and platoon roles.
The pertinent fantasy question for Boston has nothing to do with Lawrie, Howell, Hall or Reddick. Rather, is Ellsbury hitting 1st (yes) or 9th? For Milwaukee, Escobar batting at the top (looks like it) or bottom? St. Louis, Rasmus 2nd right in front of Pujols + Holliday (zowie!), or 6th behind Ludwick (kinda looks like).
Info on this stuff is what's most useful.
No such thing as a control pitcher who misses corners. Unless you're studying rookie league washouts.
Then, I'm not clear if PECOTA figures that in all that well, anyway. It has Stephen Drew correctly batting leadoff. But it also then projects him for 71 RBIs (alot for a NL leadoff man, no?) and 77 runs (sounds ridiculously low, doesn't it?). In the old days PECOTA didn't factor in lineup position or surrounding batters at all. Mechanically, how does it do so now?
Why do you expect "no playing time adjustments" to match the 50th percentile? One being a mean and the other a median, I expect they wouldn't match.
I also don't see why your percentiles calculation should match up with the mean. Unless you figured out percentiles 1-100.
My beef is with the poor lineups. (Ellsbury is leading off, Zaun sure ain't batting 2nd, stopped looking soon after those two teams) Though if they have that fixed after their next update, I'd be fine with that. They better be, tho', as the difference between Ellsbury hitting 1st or 9th is over 100 ABs.
Where's the update re Reyes? Doesn't Will have him out for most of April?
The Pirates paid the Yankees money?!?
Tho' on the other hand, I suppose that may be who they got it from in the 1st place.
Julio Lugo?? I thought that was Tony Dungy playing for the Red Sox.
Good stuff. Thanks, Matt.
I will make one suggestion. Either:
A), get those projected records down somehow; or,
B), put up a message box stating that you know they don't add up and you're working on that.
It just looks awful, putting such an obvious error out there for all to see.
Re Beltre, how does a $1 million buyout on a PLAYER option work? If Beltre doesn't exercise it, he owes the Red Sox a million? Or the Sox owe him the mill even tho' he's leaving?
Mine neither. :-(((
Likewise, much much thanks, Dianagram!
Hey, if I can - shhhhjustamomentbosswalkingby - OK, if I can respond when at work, I expect the same from youse folks, dadgumit!
So exactly what does PIPP think about the DH keeping previously-unhealthy players up and swinging? Darned pertinent to valuing Vladdy for this upcoming season.
Dianagram, while you're feeling ambitious, maybe a points system? 100 points for #1 Strasburg, 99 for #2 Heyward, and so on.
Yes, I'm too lazy to do stuff on my own.
I suppose one thing you should've given us is, did the old dudes regain their power, or how much. If they did, then we can deductively figure the younger Wright ought to also.
Likewise, if the 3-years guys did, that would be a plus. Also so for the similarly-aged 2-years guys.
The modern example is Gary Gaetti. Given that he's still fresh in many minds, I'm more curious as to what happens when you relax the 'years' criteria. I'd certainly think "3 years of boppin' followed by a cliff dive" is similar enough to merit extrapolation from. What happens then? Even 2 might be worth a look-see while including an age qualifier.
Double agreed. Outstanding questions, great and well thought-out answers. Thanks much!
I'll be a wet blanket.
I can get fantasy opinions anywhere and everywhere. Now I can get more opinions here, too. Fine. But no big deal.
What BP, as a premier sabrmetric site, particularly could offer is research. What's the typical performance value of home field? Of the platoon advantage? What does 40-degree weather do to offense? 60-degree weather? (do I want to play Kyle Blanks this April or Matt LaPorta?) How many SBs can I expect from a lead-off hitter (2nd base usually unoccupied when he's on) as opposed to a guy batting second? (will find leadoff hitter on 2nd in front of him much more often) How strongly do saves correlate with wins? With run environment?
Goodness knows how many other useful questions you folks could research and answer. (thinking of and typing these took me @ 10 minutes) This is where you could offer fantasy value to me, not particularly offering opinions which I value less than what I get from PECOTA.
If Damon's ABs come entirely at the expense of Raburn - and my guess is they will - have the Tigers actually gained a blessed thing?
Are you sure there's no 'plexiglass' principle in play here? That is, teams typically offer multi-year deals only to players coming off good years, who then naturally regress Year 1, and bounce back some Year 2.
I'd also be curious to see how much of Year 1 regression was injury-related. That is, a player has a good year in part by playing alot, signs his multi-year deal, wears out in Year 1 in part 'cuz of previous wear-and-tear, then regains some health for Year 2.
Escobar currently slated to bat at the bottom of the lineup, rather than the top.
No system forecast Morales for a big year last year.
It's not an 'Under the Knife' article, is all. Has nothing to do with injuries.
I'm happy to read Will write about something else. It just seems silly to label it something it's not. Like if Goldstein wrote something about Cliff Lee while titling it 'Mariners Top 11'.
Ummm. So this is 'Under the Knife' how?
I think maybe perhaps you were looking to see if a loss of velocity suggested injury. But found out it suggested nothing clearly. And so then expanded your article, point-wise.
Feel free to write about additional things, Will. But don't label them 'UTK' if there's no actual knife in there anywhere.
Unless they won't let you or demand 'X' amount of 'Under the Knife's per season. Then I'll approve of your creative labeling.
Not sure this logically holds up. You should send the runner when it's a sure thing, when he has a 73.2% chance of making it, and all instances in between. If those are randomly distributed within that spectrum, wouldn't that then make the optimum success rate 86.6%?
Which still means that they're too conservative, but not by all that much.
"(H)is Cubs teammates didn't have much bad to say about him"?? I thought I recall reading that the clubhouse applauded when his suspension was announced. (do I have that wrong?)
People don't publicly badmouth colleagues. Well, only in industries where any publicity is good publicity. Heck, then you get fake fights. If Bradley's suspension was publicly applauded in the clubhouse, that's an incredible statement of how disliked he was.
A bit of sloppy writing in most of today's articles. Is the site editor hungover this morning??
Way, way, way too early to start plotting out September starts for pitchers. Never mind against which teams.
Don't see where 'handedness' should play into the comp. This isn't the Sporting News here.
Upon having said that, I do wonder if a Similarity Scores type comparison might show John as actually more comparable than Blyleven. Which then would just go to show how much a 'Magic Number' (300 wins) and playing for really good teams rather than mediocre ones holds water with BBWA HOF voters.
As Vertumnus shows, Edgar really wasn't all that comparable to Frank even based on peak, never mind longevity. All this 'Edgar for HOF' talk strikes me as mostly an intellectual conceit, 'shows how more sophisticated WE! are because we value him more than you yahoos'. Sorta a 21st Century Rizzuto for sabrmetric eggheads.
Duke Dude's question is the real one. Who cares when marginal pros peak? What's the rate for the guys who do get offered multiple-year contracts? And according to Bill James, you then better adjust for the now-gone aging-delaying aspects of the 'roidster era. Tho' your BP colleagues would burn you at the stake for that.
That "The Cost" section is getting pretty repetitive. "If the so-and-sos had no injuries they could've solved such-and-such problem by being able to afford Joe Shlabotnik". Soapboxes shift from boring to annoying when the next day's message is always so similar.
Thanks, Shawn. Very good to know how much faith I can put in the Forbes stuff. Some.
(can't 'Post Reply' so it goes here)
Go with the technical school since it's a 'Labor' Day game. Palm notes, as it's cool watching somebody trying to read with their hand in their face. DH, unless you drink heavily during the game and so have to pee all the time. Then Pitcher ABs help out there.
Kirk, of course. And many TV baseball watching fans are elderly, and appreciate a McCarver who's also been around forever.
Glad I could settle these things for ya. Anything additional you need, lemme know.
Joe actually stopped doing sabermetric research some time ago. Now he just speaks/rants spoke/ranted for people here. Which is/was fine.
But if Joe did want $$$ such that would mandate dropping a couple other writers, I'll cast my vote for the extra other writers.
I believe Whitey Herzog did this too.
Face was a pitcher, Will. Maz was a better defensive player than Clemente. Perhaps not much better, but better.
Even Aaron, Face recalls something about his defensive game rather than any of his humongously many hits, homers or ribbies.
Just 'cuz we's remembers 'em, don't mean we's remembers 'em right. I mean, they.
The system needs further tinkering. The Pirates coming out as the 5th-best run franchise of the 90s just looks, smells, sounds and feels SO wrong;
or the system needs further explanation as to what it's measuring and what it's NOT measuring. Seems to me all it's doing is estimating how well teams managed payroll without affecting the won-loss record too adversely. In the very short run. Only one aspect of general managing a baseball team.
Understand what you're saying here, but I'm not sure many non-Economics majors will.
Also to be factored in is the wear-and-tear of base stealing. If you only go a couple of times a week (factoring in foul balls, balls hit in play, ball four), how much that amounts to, I don't know. But I'm sure it pushes the real break-even point up some.
The farther away the two parties are, the less inclined either should be to just 'split the difference', I should think. (Researchable, is it not??) Yet most do, pretty much. I'd suggest this shows the arbitration structure force is stronger.
That Leo was some guy, eh? Almost as good a friend as a father!
You'll have to balance this for yourselves. From our standpoint, a clearly-labeled Beta version is absolutely best. People are antsy about PECOTA as is, if you wait till you're 100% sure of things, you'll have some grumpy subscribers.
As far as the outside world is concerned, though. There are now however many people in Baltimore with the understanding that 'BP is predicting our Orioles to win 79 games!!!' Your later (presumed) correction will not get to all of those. If/when the Orioles fall well short of that, you've given a number of people a reason to not look into this BP thing. 'Man, look how bad they botched the Orioles this year! Like they're worth my time.'
Not that many would anyway, not that you might luck into a premature-winding-up-being-correct-orojection anyway. But for branding/marketing purposes, not putting bad information out there in the first place hand's down beats later correcting it.
All fixed. Rats. I guess Oakland won't be leading me to the fantasy promised land.
Don't know if I'd much trust those depth charts yet. Garrett Atkins is projected to hit .283 playing in the AL East? Really??
Dudes, who cares about what you'd do with a robot pitcher? The real question addressed is what's the value of mediocre innings from a starting pitcher? 'RoboPitcher' has to do with 'ideal type' intellectual constructs and all. Since Suppans and Livans are out there, your team can probably sign one if they want. So should they? How much if any value do they actually have? That's what's being asked and looked at here.
Don't know that I'd trust your data set much prior to seeing it run on a multi-year basis. If managers bounced up and down alot on it from year to year, that would suggest something else is determining things, like availability.
Given the relative unimportance of starting pitching in the 'Secret Sauce', isn't it about time you folks stop writing about how losing Lee really hurts the Phillies' chances in post-season? You've got a boatload of research stating it really doesn't. Or are you going to stop hyping the 'Secret Sauce' come October?
Can I steal that, philosofool? Please? (oh wait, asking defeats the purpose of stealing)
I'm guessing you're intentionally riling people up so as to fill in for Sheehan. I think you'll find the 'how dare they make Sabean GM rather than me?!?' crowd to be alot larger than the 'I took steroids too so bring on the "just like aspirin!" arguments!!!' crowd. It's not just a matter of immense hyperbole.
This was awful. Just awful. Not the story, which was fine. But saying Hollocher somehow shows that illegal steroids are/were OK is logically amazing, and not good amazing. And you're using this to insult Harold Reynolds?
Silly to argue that 29 other teams 'resisted the Zito signing'. The Giants were in a bidding war for the free agent Zito with however many other teams, and they wound up with the best bid. Nothing more to it than that. It's unlikely they were that much higher than whatever the 2nd-highest bid was.
Myself personally, I don't see why the players "ought" to be behind this plan. Until a Lincecum is inclined to play in Japan as a Suzuki is to play in MLB, the two leagues just aren't comparable. We import their biggest stars, they get our Dan Johnsons. I thought I once read on this site that the NPB (what's that stand for?) was considered marginally superior to AAA ball here.
If I were the highest-paid player on a WS champ, I wouldn't want to extend the season that long for any amount of money. For just about any other starter, I'd want a huge, huge chunk of money. Such that the $$$ begin to break down for the owners.
Are there set statistical guidelines for arbitrators as far determining who are and aren't comparables? If an arbitrator personally sees a star relief pitcher as more comparable to a starter than star hitters are, can't he go ahead and compare to his heart's content?
If the Cubs start losing, the no-trade-clause veterans will be happy to waive those clauses if traded to contenders. If the Cubs are winning, they'll want to hang onto those players.
Nothing wrong with the $125 million figure. That's probably about what it should be, behind the two bigger-market franchises, Yankees and Red Sox.
Maybe the bad contracts - which as a group don't strike me as all that awful, if two out of Soriano, Zambrano and Fukudome bounce back this year no one will be surprised - maybe they move the Cubs behind the Cards in terms of ability to take on salary. But if both the Cubs and the Brewers are contending come July, of course the Cubs will be more able to take on salary.
Which has never happened or even come within a light year or two of happening, but never mind.
I'll agree with hotstatrat. Ellsbury's speed seems like it'll be a defensive waste for 81 games next year.
Not that I disagree with starting him there, given the low $$$ he's making. He enables them to add on salary come time when this season's hopefuls-turned-alsorans start dumping it. But unless he hits in his upper-range, I don't see where he'll be other than a below-average leftfielder in Fenway. And I'm not sure the 2nd-richest team in baseball ought to settle for that.
Why in tarnation are people negative rating Bergstrom's post???
My unsolicited 2 cents. Some structural editing would be useful. Briefly mention your conclusion upfront, then statistically how and why you arrived at it, then finish with why the conclusion matters. It's easy for the guy who did all the research to shortchange the front and back parts. An editor can and ought to provide a useful check on that. Style editors are plagues. Structure editors return great value.
A certain percentage of your readers are angry that Brian Sabean is GMing the Giants and they're not. Joe fed into that anger pretty well. Those readers loved it when Joe ranted and raved about idiot baseball management, he spoke for them. I personally can do without that, very well, thank you. But if I were runnning PEV, I suppose I'd be looking at serving that part of my customer base, and refilling that emotional void somehow.
Money is fungible. Perfectly so, almost. The money given to Gonzalez could've been banked and used 2 years hence. Now it can't be. This should be startlingly obvious.
Personally, I think the Marlins experience provides the possible counterargument. No, spending money on Gonzalezes won't bring many extra fans to the ballpark. But does doing nothing of the sort destroy the fan base? Ballclubs themselves seem to act that way.
How extensively this could be researched, I don't know. But I think the possibility has to be acknowledged, so long as actual ballclub managements believe it.
To quote the Slapshot goalie, "who own the team"???
I had figured BP was an employee-owned entity. So is it? Do investors own it? Some rich broad's tax write-off? What kind of business operation am I buying from here?
None of my business whether Joe thinks he's worth more than the owners think he is, or if Joe is being reticent for some reason about an MLB job he's about got lined up, or if Joe's been voted off the island.
But I don't think it's out of line to ask what is the ownership structure of BP.
There's a psychological aspect at play in here, too. We value a real dollar today significantly more than a hypothetical dollar next year, even totally separate from discount rates, expected inflation, and so on. Just a part of human nature.
And don't agents get their total 10% (or whatever) upfront? Sounds odd, but I thought I heard somewhere that that is the common practice. In which instance, agents would want to backload as much as possible in return for a greater raw dollar figure.
I also consider it doubtful that Holliday would sign for 5/$90 mil, and I have no doubt at all that Boras would extend negotiations on and on and on in hopes of increasing one or both sides of that equation. Meaning that in the end the Mets might face a choice of playing Pagan full-time, or playing and paying Holliday. Which of course is the situation Boras tries to create.
One conceptual problem. Teams don't sign players, GMs do. So the rule oughta be, GMs with multiple years left to them shouldn't sign free agents, GMs who have to win or git this year should. How much does this rule hold? I'd like to see.
The Nationals regret signing Dunn? Really?
And playing off of what SaberTJ says. I find it hard to believe that the Braves didn't shop Vazquez and Soriano around. You'd think they must have.
If so, why then didn't SOMEone better the way below-market offers for Soriano and Vazquez? I mean, aren't all those teams then acting Liberty-Mediaish also? Either Wren is incompetent in this particular way, or else just about all the teams are cost-watching not all that differently than Liberty Media is.
I agree with tooci4. Is the Braves' market temporarily jaded, such that playoff appearances return significantly less money there than elsewhere? Don't see any reason why that couldn't be possible.
Player valuations are becoming less different across teams, thanks to you guys, and guys like you guys.
There are also more close substitutes than I think you account for.
What I'd like to see is a study of pre-season activity regarding signing free agents, and season-ticket sales. I understand only winning moves overall ticket sales significantly. But does being active/inactive in the off-season player flesh market affect season ticket sales? Has this been studied?
Aaah, don't worry all that about the hypercompetitiveness, Joe. You've got much worse traits.
(I just slay me)
Q) Do you really want to be called "the guru of baseball injuries"? If so, we can start a campaign.
Oh, and we'll capitalize "Guru", of course.
And somebody tell Scott D. Simon to get back to work, dadgumit!
You've suggested that a player coming back quickly from an earlier injury/surgery is/may be predictive of how quickly/slowly he'll come back from a current one. You have data for that, or are just anecdotally speculating?
Grammar policeman, grammar policeman! You want to be pushed 'over the top', not 'over the edge'. Over top good, over edge bad.
So Cliff Lee is worth Blanton, Durbin and 3 prospects? I want to see what Pecota has to say about that.
And if you're suggesting that Halladay could've expected a 3-year, $90 million contract at the end of this year ... well, then I don't think much of whatever data you're inputting to wind up there.
Halladay left a signigicant chunk o' change on the table, just nothing the likes of what Joes contends. The New York teams had an obsession with Santana + CC, so overpaid accordingly. No one would've given that kind of money to Halladay, who at his more advanced age would've merited less in the first place.
This is arcane, but we can start a decade anytime we want. Same way as we decide 10 years is more telling than 9 or 11, we can decide that 3rd digit in the year determines which decade it is.
A decade is a human construct, ergo is what we say it is. As a group human construct, if most everybody calls 2000-2009 a decade, then decade it is.
Baseball playing ability is normally distributed, with professionally capable players making up the far right end. Ergo one ARod for every 5 Burnetts for every 25 Jose Molinas (he's the bad Molina, right??) for every 125 single A league minors capable players for every 600 guys like us. The athletic usses. For every 3000 of you wuss types.
I take full credit for getting ElAngelo's rating back up to viewing range. I am 'The Rating Rescue Man'!*
*(cape not included)
Pretty amazing the things that get zapped by so many of you folks. A guy points out that the last time Seattle tried to do this it didn't work out too good. And enough of you are offended by that to wipe out his comment??? Goodness gracious.
'The Principal Agent Problem' creates $$$ for the likes of Kendall and Lyons. I'm GM of a lousy team. The media and the casual fan base expect me to at least make them somewhat less lousy. Starting now.
I can put $$$ into the minor league system, pay down debt, etc., do all sorts of useful things with the money coming in. And leave a nicer foundation for my successor, who will replace me after the media and fan base force my firing after a couple of seasons. Even if the owner's in my corner, a deteriorating bottom line will still force him to bring in a 'new face' so as to sell season tickets, radio + cable + local TV, and so on.
Or I can try to catch lightning in a bottle. Fill the gaping holes with guys who will come here provided I give them a few extra bucks. If not sell a few extra tickets and ads doing so, at least stem the financial bleeding. And hope that a whole bunch of guys have good years.
And of course most guys ultra-rich enough to own ball teams think their genius will enable them to turn it around right quick anyways. So odds are the ego-monster owner won't be in my corner, won't hire me unless I promise him I can show results pretty quickly.
I quite properly have a short-term time span. Getting lucky is the only way I can personally succeed. So I sign Kendall/Lyons/so on and hope.
I don't get the criticism of the Tigers. "It's a good trade, but bad because it doesn't address their needs." Because they can't find anyone stupid enough to take the $$$$ albatrosses off their hands, they're otherwise not supposed to make trades? I don't see the point there at all.
Agreed with Josh. Unless the DBacks know something about Scherzer none of the rest of us do, trading him just seems insane. For that package???
Can't reply to posts, so this has got to go here. Why would acting in accord with 'fairness' rather than maximizing your utility cause you to lose faith in humanity? Not that I'm counseling you have all that much of it, mind you. Just strikes me as a pretty different perspective.
Data shows that who starts has very little impact on how many people show up for the game. We've had that data for years and years now.
Giving up on a season, however. That certainly does affect how many season tickets you'll sell. Even granting that first paragraph, it probably makes financial sense to hang on to Halladay unless you do get full value for him. At least until the trading deadline, maybe then you take the best you can get for him.
The IRod signing does amaze me. But given the toll catching takes, if IRod even takes as many as half the games away from Flores, would that really be a bad thing? Given that the Nationals don't figure on doing much of anything the next few years anyway? Would give 'em a less-banged up Flores come 2012, when they might be ready to do something.
"The Phillies wanted the market to treat those guys as third basemen?" Umm, I would think the Phillies just wanted a 3rd baseman and figured Polanco would do. Doubt that 'moving the market' played into their thinking at all.
Oh, and the replacement level for Polanco wasn't Dobbs. It was hanging onto Pedro Feliz instead.
My guess is Amaro does really believe in 'productive outs'. He's old school, isn't he? you can have a silly, glaring blind spot and still get your job done. I suspect most of us do.
Well-done article, Matt. Thank you.
I understand that teams are willing to spend bucco $$$ for free agent closers. But is there much of a flesh trade market for them? What are top relievers bringing back in trade? My impression was, not much. But I could be wrong. So, am I?
Ditto on Jeter and Rivera. No way on God's green earth do they ask them to take pay cuts. No way. Unless they stink next year.
"Handed"?? Didn't Sabean draft all those guys? Any other GM gets credit for drafting well.
"I want to know why one of the smartest, most accomplished, most economically-literate men in baseball won't embrace a real solution."
Ummm, 'cuz the problem benefits him big-time?
Joe, this is a little silly. Why in the world should John Henry want KC to compete with him for a wild-card slot? No one makes enough money to buy a baseball team through selflessness. The system as is benefits the Yankees over him, and him over the remaining 28 teams. You expect him to embrace a solution to that?
Feel free to condemn self-interest. Feel free to point out when it's pretty darn transparent. But don't be shocked when you see it.
Wouldn't there be a higher expectation of Matsui staying healthy if he DHs full-time? A much higher? I assume this has been studied?
Come to think of it, 'I just wanna win/he just wants to win' quotes get pretty old too. OK, you had a real S-L-O-W week to work with here.
That would be an interesting study of the issue. But adjusting for externalities - the injuries you mention, money spent there and on the roster as a whole, so on - that would be a bear.
I know it's a slow part of the baseball year. But isn't it time we stopped including quotes from lousy players' agents about how their lousy clients really are valuable in esoteric ways? You know they're going to say that, it's their job to say that, and if you think it's still funny reading such for the eighthundredumpteenth time, well, maybe you should go someplace and play with blocks.
Now if a sportswriter buys into it in print, well, maybe that's fair game then.
I wish people would stop saying 'such-and-such teams only got such-and-such production out of their DH slots' when some of those such-and-such teams consciously chose not to have a full-time DH.
There are benefits to not filling the slot. Semi-rest your regulars, shake some rust off your irregulars' bats. Probably save some money that can then be used elsewhere. I don't know what the opportunity cost of a full-time DH is. But I don't like analysts analyzing as if there isn't.
Very well written. Good, too. So that's not a backhanded slap. But very well written.
Oh, and Sherri Nichols stole that from Bob Uecker, if unknowingly. The Ueck observed that in his 1982 'Catcher in the Wry', and I believe stated it well before then.
No one goes to the ballpark because Shane Victorino is playing centerfield. This is not an opinion, this has been researched and documented beyond argumentation.
Now, guys who don't hustle such that they get booed, maybe they chase a fan or two away. But as Bill James noted, free stuff and winning brings in the fans.
'We' do so for ARod in part because of the Yankee thing, as well as the ginormous contract and the roids and the lying. A rhetorical 'we', in that I got nothing against ARod. But also don't consider myself morally/intellectually superior to anyone who does dislike him. Yeah, I'm weird that way.
Griffey definitely got his share of negative national press in his Cincy days. Was called a head case, some suggestions he was lazy.
Very good stuff. Thank you.
Darn good question there. But I halfway recall you considering it in the original article?? I think?
You BPers would make good network announcers. You don't let facts stand in the way of your pre-set beliefs.
Rodriguez will not win Series MVP hitting .222. Even by the 'good' measurements, Damon, Jeter, CC and Mo are better candidates.
The "3 days' rest" stats your interns came up with last week were pretty bad. If either AJ or CC had tossed a gem on 3 days' rest, you'd be crowing about that. AJ's start doesn't prove anything, but why pretend it's not the clearly bad single data point that it is?
If "clutch/unclutch" does exist in post-season play, I'm of the closed opinion that it's both very rare and explains little anyway.
But you guys should stop pretending you've amassed evidence showing there's no such critter. You've amassed no such thing, as you've not systematically studied the issue. You just cite things anecdotally to support your opinion contrary to the popular TV guys opinion.
Which would be fine, so long as you're open about that being what you're doing. Which openness you don't always exhibit.
"(T)hose left standing to point a finger at him for being somehow unclutch are completely out of ammunition now."
The one hit does that? Meaning that if he'd made out there, you clowns would've then conceded the issue from your end, or even said that maybe it was possible he was indeed unclutch?
You guys are pathetic enough on your hot-button issues that, even though I agree with your side of most of them, it's painfully uncomfortable to be alongside you.
Halladay is a silly comparison. If he pitches as long as Pettitte - or even close - of course he'll get in.
Joe says Pettitte's ERA is good by post-season standards, Lyford says it's average. The first one to actually give us the average ERA number wins the argument.
We're (me, at least) not appealing to authority. We're conceding Girardi has information we don't. I KNOW he knows stuff we don't. Doesn't mean he's right, doesn't mean we can't literarily 'raise an eyebrow' (like that phrase). Even both, if you like. Doesn't mean we (including me) can't conclude he's probably wrong. But we can't go beyond probably.
And you guys are accusing him of "idiocy", calling him a "bad manager", "damned lazy". Since when did this morph into Fox Cable News or a Michael Moore film?
Another vote for laff, Mont and Wags. This is starting to resemble the ESPN comments section. 'The BP Post-Season 3H Club: Hy-STER!-ics, Histri-ON!-ics and Hy-PER!-bole.'
Tho' my suspicion is Joe's hyperventilating (hey, a 4th H!) on purpose, so as to sell subscriptions.
The speculative stuff by Joe gets all the debating comments - including an occasional one of mine - but this is the type of thing I pay money for. Again, thank you!
Very, very good stuff. Thanks Jay, Eric and Dan!
Sorry, Joe, but Bergstrom's material outdoes yours'.
Oh, and your last two paragraphs are just unbelievable. Rest is pretty good, tho'. Just not Bergstromian.
Well done, and very well-written, too. Thanks!
Very good article, Matt. Very well done. Thank you.
So each squad is carrying 12 pitchers? No comment on the idiocy of that?
Thanks for the '3-days-rest' data for starting pitchers, Jay. For anyone who thinks 86 starts is insufficient data for telling us anything, perhaps your local community college provides a 'Statistics 101' course.
Jim Thome slugged a whopping .429 against left-handed pitchers this year. For that you pinch-hit him for Blake??? ARFARFARFARFARF!!
Even for Martin, you're just not gaining much at all. That's what Thome is now, against left-handers. Who cares how many home runs he hit back when I had more hair? Except where you can spot him against a righthander, he's no longer really worth anything.
Agreed. Fantastic look at the issue. Thank you.
I believe that if not for the money put into the game by the casual fan, this web site and business would not exist anywhere near as it is. It plays off of baseball's prosperity. MLB has decided that slowing the game down more than it is will drive away many casual fans, and erode that prosperity. I've certainly seen nothing in this endless line of discussion to suggest to me that MLB has that wrong and you guys got it right.
If you want to usefully contribute to a relevant discussion, think about how to do replay swiftly. If you instead want to pontificate self-righteously, well, keep up the good work.
Kershaw vs. Howard was a mistake. He'd thrown a gazillion pitches in the inning by then, had just lost Utley, and as a BP colleague said (agreeing with earlier post by me; coincidence? I THINK NOT!), why is Elbert on the roster then if not for right there?
Other than facing Howard, is Elbert even usable compared to the other top relievers the Dodgers have? Would you really rather have Elbert face Utley, rather than have one of their many good righthander RPs face him?
So the best team in the AL is playing the 3rd-best team in the AL, and is almost a 3/1 favorite?? Boy, that sounds high to me. Have you guys backtracked this to see if it actually does explain past results accurately?
Be a bit more careful here, John. As pfrduke notes above, Scioscia didn't make the knee-jerk closer move in game 2. And Torre also has used Broxton 'setup' and then Sherrill 'closing' twice that I know of.
Actually, I'm surprised the editor let that slip by, too.
Baseball is an entertainment medium. I don't see where it should be anything beyond that, but if you do, super.
If you slow the game down any MORE, myself and millions of other folks will get bored enough so as to up and leave. Taking our $$$ with us, which the owners and players quite understandably don't want to see happen.
So if you want to show you're cognoscenti and we're not, go ahead and talk about adding replay to the game. Indulge yourself. But till you figure a way to make replays work quickly, understand all the rest of us will be properly ignoring you on that.
Good one. :-)
You mentioned the weather factor in one place in the article. How much can we figure on the cold suppressing offense, and power hitting in particular? Or is Nate Silver still enforcing his patent on that information/study?
How about you show us the data, then from that posit how it entails not nearly enough? If there's so little of it, then it shouldn't take an intern very long to get it together.
Not trying to be snarky. To me, it just seems self-evident to put out here what data is out there.
In the 5-man rotation era, we have a number of starters who've gone on 3-days' rest in the post-season. Would seem to me that an article like this darn well ought to include research on how they've done.
Really, the whole point of talking about momentum is first to give a talking head SOME-thing to talk about, and second to tell people to WATCH THIS SHOW! because it's important stuff, due to, ahhh, momentum! Yeah, that's it! Momentum is being created. Momentum!
I'm confident it's a small sample size, but it's still good to know. Thanks much, rweiler!
Thank you for the Giant expertise, rweiler. It's very helpful.
Regarding Lewis' alleged failure at accumulating RBIs, has he hit poorly in his few such situations? Not that I consider that predictive going forward, but we ought to glance at it before blaming his low RBIs entirely on the guys hitting in front of him.
"sports-radio mongrels and the beer-swilling casual fans" S-I-G-H-H-H
Maybe you are hopeless. But I hope not.
Until we establish how quickly relievers can regularly warm up, rushing them in whenever a 'key' situation develops is a theory eminently shatterable upon collision with actual reality.
If closers: a), pitched 8th + 9th innings; b), weren't wasted on 3-run leads; c) of COURSE! came into tie games, and possibly even top-of-the-9th down-a-run situations, I would consider that to be self-evident and considerable improvement, and possibly darn close to optimal. And isn't that roughly how Sparky Andersen used Mike Henneman? Goldman, get on that!
When you have 2-3 roughly equal relievers, insisting on anointing one of them 'CLOSER!' is certainly darn silly.
Teams seem to understand that closers aren't all that valuable. What did Sherrill return to the Os in trade?
I think it was mentioned last time by a commenter. Since 99% of us have no idea if "Signed: 35 of 49" is good, bad or ugly, why even give us the number unless you're gonna tell us what it means?
"(C)hange the league financial structure to penalize success"?? How about 'change the league financial structure to oh-so-slightly mitigate that big fat monopoly market we've granted the New York teams, the LA teams, Boston/New England, and so on'. I believe the basic and traditional practice is 2 teams' splitting the gate, with the visitors having the expense of travel, and the hosts the expense of putting on the game. How about we go back to that financial structure?
I actually do approve of capitalism, and don't obsess about uneven playing fields, as that's life. But the pomposity of you people does irk me, enough to blather about it every now and then. Not that anyone should care about what irks me, other than then having to put up with my blathering about it every now and then.
There was apparently a very ugly incident earlier in the year, where Percival immediately post-game screamed at a fan who had gone after a foul ball in the 2nd row of the stands, keeping Longoria from catching it. It became a reasonably-sized local news story. The clubhouse all backed him up on it, while I guess upper management pretended nothing had happened, nothing to see here folks so everybody just move along, OK? OK?
Did the attendance trend backtrack at all around that point? Did the Rays get less of a 'summer bump' than such franchises usually see?
The only fair way to judge the decision itself is to go off of expected WARP, rather than what Anderson and Dunn wound up doing. That might make a decision to sign Dunn look pretty awful, financially.
Given the economy last off-season, I'm not going to haul off on a team signing/trading-and-paying-for only Lowe+Vazquez, rather than Lowe+Vazquez+Dunn.
"For playoff teams, you're going to see a lot of players getting rested and rotations juggled. Don't panic when this happens, OK?" You're telling a Fantasy Team Owner not to panic?? I paid 30 bucks for this team! What kind of fool are you?!?!?
So you're suggesting I do actual work at work instead?? A responsible chat rescheduler would provide a labor-avoiding excuse for use, along with the notice. I mean, 'tis the season.
The 'Secret Sauce' does not label strong closers "necessities". Teams have won the whole schlemiel conjuring up a closer come October. Their importance increases with the extra off days, evenly-matched teams and colder weather (limiting scoring and so making closer games more likely). But they don't become THAT much more important.
Hmmm. When teams have been on the road for a night or two, they play a bit worse. As if they're more tired. Hmmm. Why, why, why. A different sport, but maybe Wilt the Stilt could've shed some light on that.
From everything you read and hear about ballclubs and ballplayers, I actually do think that might be enough to explain a 2% difference. Factoring in the very late nights that typically accompany such pursuits.
Ryne has a very good point. Much bigger difference between good-hitting and the many weak-hitting catchers. I would think. Maybe I should run that by McCarver first. Anyhoo, a very interesting article, but Ryne's possibility sure seems quite possible.
You sure about that? He's yet to show up for his Friday 1pm ET chat. He might be with Clint Hurdle on that park bench Clint frequents when life's got him low.
Joe's just said wins are irrelevant to him, meaningless. I think that means he's ready to ignore any differential.
Granted. But you can't call 5-1 "fading".
Nothing speculative about Will's Braves/Hudson language at all. "The Braves think", "He'll have", "then he will". These are all assertions. Journalistically, there's a world of difference between 'the Braves tell me ...' and 'I think the Braves will ...'. Not that the latter can't often prove more accurate than the former. But it ought to be clear which one a journalist's doing.
For who knows what reasons I cannot reply to comments nor +/- them, so this has got to go here. What in the world's wrong with gtgator's comment? If Will's got a source, let him say 'yup, I got a source'. If Will's speculating, he can say so, nothing wrong with that. A touch snarky, yeah, but gtgator's comment is also very sensible and well-reasoned.
Any company that did accidentally put 'roids, HGH or some masking agent in their supplement without so listing it on the bottle; they'd be sued into bankruptcy with the first failed MLB drug test.
Actually, it just kinda suggests that all those folks who say "gee, I musta got it in a supplement gosh golly!" are BSing their mouths off.
Not that Moyer has any right to a spot in the rotation. But the Phillies could just as easily send Pedro to the 'pen as Moyer. Yes, Pedro is now starting ahead of Moyer.
(nope it didn't; can't reply to anyone else's posts)
(testing; will this go where it's supposed to?)
I thought the 'Secret Sauce' flatout proved Halladay-type starters don't have any heightened utility in post-season series, no more so than comparably-gifted position players.
Houston is all of 2 games back. You confident the Cubbies are finally going to blow the doors off the Central before Berkie gets back?
Even managers got to have cool names back then! 'Wild Bill', 'Kaiser'. Cool stuff!
And didn't "gruff Burt Shotton" become 'Kindly Old Burt Shotton' with the Dodgers? (per 'Boys of Summer', I believe it was)
Sorry, but the Senators went to the Series in 1924 and 1925.
Good article. Thanks!
Interesting stuff (even for this non-Royal fan), great writing and outstanding analysis. Thanks for the good work!
A manager with Acta's record has to get fired. If you're going to drill accountability for results into the players - which you darn well ought to - it's very difficult to teach that lesson while just (even accurately) saying "we know the manager's a really smart guy, so for him the results don't matter".
Re Derby vs. Futures, the All-Star game draws the very casual fan. The very casual fan couldn't care less about any Futures guy who's not with his/her franchise, but does have some interest in homers, particularly by a guy or two he/she's actually heard of. The simplicity of the contest also makes it more graspable for them, while boring us cognoscenti.
What I do is vote a '+' to such. Not that that does much good.
Actually an accurate comment. Said from a perspective of one who figures that's what Fehr's job properly was. But this site and Joe in particular are massively pro-militant-union. Nothing illegal or immoral about their taking that stance. So why pretend they're not?
One very silly part. Fehr is the public face of the '94 strike and Selig isn't?!?
Bud has always caught blame for that strike. Massive blame. Silly to suggest otherwise, imply otherwise or even vaguely hint at otherwise.
Didn't Pedro pitch like absolute garbage last year? Now one year later and older, he's supposed to be better?
This is a dismissal I'd pretty easily dismiss. If money's not an object, why hasn't he signed with one of a number of teams then? I'd heard he wanted a whole lot of it.