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Rankings make no sense
Why no love for Prospect X?
KG hates Team Y
As is the scraptastic "The double-play combination of David Eckstein and Aaron Miles scrapped along."
I wonder how the Gonzalez trade affects the Albert Pujols negotiations. Seems that having the Yankees (presumably) and Red Sox (assuming a long-term deal with Gonzalez gets done) out of the picture, the two teams most likely to drive up the market for Pujols are out of play. I suppose the White Sox and Angels still could be players (and there may be others I am not thinking of), but would have to think this makes it more likely that Pujols re-signs with the Cardinals.
I would like to see Edmonds get one final go-around, if for no other reason than to see him get to 400 home runs to increase his chances at the HoF.
When comparing divisions, is it necessary to adjust for the fact that the AL West has only 4 teams while the NL Central has 6 teams? Wouldn't it be more likely that the AL West would be at the top or bottom (either being pulled up or pulled down by a really outstanding or really bad team, respectively), while the NL Central should theoretically be closer to the middle year-over-year? Perhaps the unbalanced schedule mitigates this to some extent, but it seems intuitively (and I could obviously be wrong) that there would be some effect of the difference in divisional sizes.
Not that it really changes the analysis, but when Looper was signed by the Cardinals prior to the 2006 season, he was a relief pitcher and had never started a game in the Majors.
According to Joe's Wikipedia page (who knew?), DeRosa and Sheehan share the same birthday (Feb 26).
As any Cardinals fan could tell you, LaRussa is obsessed with match-ups, often to his and the team's detriment. I agree that carrying 12 pitchers is ridiculous, but LaRussa clearly relishes his match-ups and in-game managing. This is the same guy who carried 13 pitchers for weeks this season, which is similarly hard to justify.
I think he possibly meant to say NL (or it was a bad edit), as suggested by the later quote that says "Now, the question I was asked earlier today on the radio, about whether the Cardinals rather than the Dodgers or Phillies are the best team in the National League, starts to make sense."
Interesting about face on Wainwright (and I'm not playing gotcha here, as the omission was defensible based on PECOTA and him coming off an injury last year), as your omission of him in the Top 60 pitchers fantasy preview certainly engendered a lot of debate in the comments.
Will -- You had previously mentioned that the first week or two back after the All-Star Break would be telling in terms of whether Mark DeRosa's injury would be playable without surgery. Considering he has 4 homers since coming back from the wrist injury, is it safe to say that this is not an Ortiz-style situation where the wrist injury saps power considerably? Or too small of a sample?
Also, let's face it -- most perfect games/no hitters of recent vintage have not exactly come against the 1927 Yankees. Was anyone who did not catch any of the game real-time surprised to hear that Jonathan Sanchez's near-perfect game/no hitter came against the Padres?
Here's a link to that Phillies footage.
"He was running his mouth before the game because he always says he doesn't finish games anymore," Pierzynski said of Buehrle. "I said, 'Well, go out and finish one.' He's like, 'Nah.' I said, 'Go out and throw a no-hitter,' and he said, 'I already got one of those.' I was like, 'Go out and throw a perfect game.'
Makes sense; thanks.
Will -- FYI, DeRosa started for the Cardinals yesterday and today.
While this would not qualify for the study (but comes tantalizingly close if not for a few extra BB), it is interesting when expanded to include two counting stats:
Vinny Castilla (1996): .304/.343/.548/40HR/113RBI
Vinny Castilla (1997): .304/.356/.547/40HR/113RBI
Not to be pedantic, but I believe the plural of labrum is labra.
I watched much of the Nats-Red Sox game last night and, while Smoltz did stink over the first few innings, he seemed to find his groove later, retiring the last 8 batters he faced, including striking out the side in his last inning. So I would say his debut, while not great, showed some promise. He seemed to still be working out the kinks in the early going.
I am guessing dropping on the outfield depth chart (which Mainieri decided to do when Jones reported for spring football practice) helped Jones make up his mind regarding pitching. It makes you wonder what he could be like if he focused on baseball full-time, as Mitchell decided to do this year. Problem is that Mitchell was a more marginal football player, while Jones could be looking at an NFL career as a safety. The fact that Mitchell chose to focus on baseball exclusively this spring really enhanced his development and draft status.
Pretty cool that LSU had two BCS Champions on their CWS championship team (and who both had pretty sizable roles in winning the championship, although Mitchell more so). I wonder if that's ever happened before.
Pretty crummy start to the series tonight, huh? Maybe not the prettiest game, but a fun one to watch.
Fun fact on Jacob Turner -- his teammates at Westminster Christian Academy his sophomore year included Todd Worrell's son, Jeremy, and Andy Benes' son, Drew. Todd Worrell is WCA's pitching coach.
"Happily, one recent study links an oft-desired athletic trait (aggressiveness) to a specific, measurable facial feature. The researchers are from Canada (where The Good Face looks like this), so the study naturally involves hockey and seems to indicate that players with higher facial width-to-height ratios tend to spend more time in the penalty box – the study’s proxy for aggressive behavior – than those with lower width-to-height ratios."
I imagine the inclusion of Tie "Pumpkin Head" Domi had the potential to skew the results. I wonder how/if they adjusted for this.
In speaking about Jared Mitchell's potential, it's also worth pointing out that he is a two-sport athlete (he is a WR for LSU's football team) and thus (presumably) has not put in the same amount of time honing his skills and developing that potential as some of his college counterparts who play baseball only.
As noted by another commenter above, Jon Heyman at SI has a story up (link below) that Gene Orza resisted destroying the list because he wanted to prove there were enough false positives to keep the percentage of players testing positive below 5% so that new testing and penalties would not kick in the following year. I imagine the only way you could actually prove false positives would be to know the identities of the players and get them re-tested or use other means to have them clear their names.
I feel that if the feds or state authorities wanted to pursue non-perjury criminal cases against particular athletes for possession, they would have done so by now. It seems that the main targets have been those in charge of production and/or distribution of the controlled substances, and that probably makes sense from an enforcement standpoint. While the government could presumably look to toll any statute of limitations under some ongoing conspiracy theory, my guess is that the ship has sailed (or will soon sail) for prosecution of individual players where we are looking at use in the period up to 2003 due to expiration of statutes of limitations and problems of proof.
Also, not to nitpick, but baseball is not the only industry in the U.S. with an antitrust exemption. It does arguably have the only judicially-created antitrust exemption and arguably has a broader exemption than other industries, but there are a number of statutory exemptions that apply more or less across an entire industry or to certain aspects of industry -- including the insurance business, ocean shipping, agriculture and fishing cooperatives, certain aspects of the newspaper business, certain aspects of the wholesale power industry, etc.
Joe -- where are you getting the nine figure cost estimate for the Bonds persecution? The article below suggests $55MM (which is staggering/shocking/bewildering in of itself) for the taxpayer-funded portion of this; not sure there\'s enough private sector costs to bump that up over $100MM.
I thought Gallardo tore his ACL?
I know there are problems with players taking various legal supplements and not knowing about certain components/ingredients that are banned by MLB, but do players using performance-enhancing drugs that are not available OTC always get what they think they\'re getting? If this stuff is mostly black market, what\'s to keep a dealer from passing off Winstrol as HGH or something else with a shorter detection period?
Looking forward to the Laurila piece; sounds very interesting.
I believe Messi\'s contract with Barcelona runs until 2014.
It is the national football organizations, not FIFA, that pay compensation claims for players injured on international duty. The English FA is currently paying Theo Walcott\'s wages for Arsenal as a result of Walcott being hurt while training for an England match during the club season.
Not to nitpick on an article from 5+ years ago, but Rickey was born into a two-parent home; his father left when Rickey was a toddler.
Don\'t know if you\'re being intentionally sarcastic, but this is a reprint of an article from over five years ago. If you access this through an RSS feed and not the front page, you would miss that context.
I\'m sure this is old hat to those who were following transactions in the early-90s or know a thing or two about baseball history, but in doing some reading just now on Jody Reed turning down the 3 year, $7.8MM contract from the Dodgers (total compensation in 4 MLB seasons after that point, $2.875MM) after the 1993 season, I learned that the Dodgers\' GM, Fred Claire, traded Pedro Martinez to the Expos for Delino DeShields in order to fill the vacant 2B spot opened when Reed turned down that contract.
I could be wrong, but I believe the end of year awards are largely handed out to local beat writers who cover a specific team.
Joe Posnanski called. He wants his headline back.
(Kidding aside, it\'s just such an obvious/easy one as to almost write itself without thinking. Looks like both you and Joe are late to the party, though (although I\'m sure Caple wasn\'t the first one either):
I believe that ownership of a minor league team basically means you own the stadium and the team name (and merchandising rights), but not much more. The players are not controlled by or paid for by the owner of a minor league team, they are controlled by and paid for by the MLB team, and I believe the on-field staff and personnel folks all answer to the MLB team and not the ownership of the minor league team. So there\'s no real conflict of interest.
I see now that apparently Wright and Upton played together for some time; the perils of going off of info based on the high school from which they graduated, I suppose.
Although I can\'t find anything definitive, it looks like Murray was a 1B in high school in any event. Interestingly enough, in looking into his history, I read that Eddie Murray did not pick up switch hitting until he was in Double A(!).
Wright, Zimmerman and the Uptons all played at different high schools but on the same AAU team. I think it has to be Murray and Smith, at Locke High School in L.A.
If anyone runs into Rich Campbell, of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, who left Ryan Howard off of his ballot altogether, buy that man a beer.
(Not that I endorse everything in his rationale, but the man at least put some thought into it and is willing to back it up.)
While Piece has the advantage of having some pretty decent house brews by the pitcher and the space to accommodate a larger group, Coal Fire on Grand near Kevin\'s old neighborhood does a really good East Coast-style (not New Haven, but not NT style either) pizza that I prefer to Piece.
Correction \"bad\" = \"bat\" for purposes of the last sentence
Joe -- Just curious about Brett Wallace in particular, as KG and others have previously stated that he likely would not be able to stick at 3B. Has there been a change in the consensus? And should the \"he won\'t hurt you over there\" be interpreted as \"he will be about average defensively\" or \"with that bad, you can live with his below average defense at 3B\"?
Here\'s Joe Morgan\'s take from his stint as guest analyst on Ebert & Roeper:
\"Moneyball, based on the book of the same name by Billy Beane, is the story of having fat, slow guys clog up the bases and stand around waiting for a three run homer instead of manufacturing runs the old fashioned way with speed, timely bunts, and productive outs. Two thumbs down.\"
The umpiring has been talked about seriously in other columns; this is from Joe\'s 10/24 column after Game 2:
\"As mentioned in passing already, Kerwin Danley did not have a good night. He signaled a called third strike on Rocco Baldelli in the second, then sent Baldelli to first base as if he’d walked. In the grand tradition of Doug Eddings, Danley dissembled, claiming that he was waving Baldelli to first base. Which had been relocated to a spot 15 feet above Danley, if you believe his gesture.
In the ninth, Danley missed Price’s fastball catching Rollins’ left sleeve. It would have been a weak hit-by-pitch, but by rule Rollins was hit and should have been on first base, which would have brought the tying run to the plate with no one out in the ninth.
Danley turned an out into a baserunner and the Rays scored. He turned a baserunner into, eventually, an out, and the Phillies’ rally fell short. If the perfectly-umpired game is that one where you never notice the crew, Danley may have umped the diametric opposite last night.\"
I agree that Utley is underrated (particularly considering the perception of many that he\'s the second or third most valuable position player on his team), but the man has started the past 3 All Star games, so it\'s not like he\'s toiling in obscurity. (The best player in the NL, on the other hand, has taken a back seat to Lance Berkman and Prince Fielder the past two years in the 1B voting). Perhaps that says more about lack of depth at Utley\'s position in the NL, though, and I believe the underrated aspect of this (and what Joe is probably getting at) is that Utley is an outstanding player -- one of the best in baseball -- by any measure (and more particularly in light of his playing an up-the-middle position), rather than just \"pretty good for a second baseman.\"
I don\'t think the Rays are underrating Utley, and Maddon certainly seems to have done his research and knows who is the more dangerous hitter in the middle of the Phillies line-up (and where the L/R splits stand) -- as the Rays chose to walk Utley in the 9th last night with a man on second and one out and then bring in the lefty to face Howard (who, unsurprisingly, struck out).
\"While opponents go out of their way to pitch around Howard, who hits in the cleanup spot directly behind Utley in the Phillies\' batting order, the Rays\' advance scouts let manager Joe Maddon know that Utley can be just as dangerous. \'If you look at the overall breakdown, Utley hit righties and lefties pretty much the same,\' Maddon said. \'Coming into the series, I go off what I read and off video, because I don\'t see them enough to have a strong opinion. Howard can put them in the stands, and so can Utley. He\'s got a good approach. They\'re both very good, so pick your poison.\'\"
Maddon clearly is not just paying lip service to this, as he chose to leave in Balfour (a righty) in to intentionally walk Utley last night in the ninth with a man on second and 1 out, then bring in the lefty Miller to pitch to Howard, with the result a strikeout.
There are certainly examples of inferior teams\' aces not coming through and those teams nonetheless winning post season series. The 2006 NLCS comes to mind, where Carpenter was 0-1 with a no decision (although the Cardinals did win that game) in two starts. The other Cardinals starters were Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan, and Anthony Reyes, not exactly a collection of fear-inducing pitchers. Similarly, the Rays lost both of the games in the ALCS that Shields started, but pulled off two games where the match-ups were not in their favor (the two Lester starts). These are just examples and I\'m sure there are a ton of counterexamples, but it puts the lie to Joe\'s statement that \"the Phillies cannot win the World Series unless they win tonight\'s game.\" I think if Hamels loses the game tonight, it certainly will be difficult for the Phillies to win, but stranger things have happened.
[Second \"was so low\" should have been deleted. A preview option for comments would be nice.]
Will -- I agree that Duncan has a system and that Reyes didn\'t fit it, but if that was the case, they should have realized it earlier on and tried to move Reyes when he had more value. Instead, they jerked him around (AAA/MLB, pen/rotation, etc,) and got him to the point where (a) his perceived value was so low, and (b) other teams rightly discerned that he was held in very low regard by Cardinals\' management was so low, that the Cardinals ended up giving up a pretty cheap, more-or-less MLB-ready starter (albeit a 4 or 5) for a 24 year-old reliever who has not progressed above AA. I cant help but think he could have brought back more in return a few years ago (either as part of a package or in a one-for-one).
The way Reyes was treated by the Cardinals organization (and I say this as a Cardinals fan) was shameful. LaRussa and Duncan had a problem with Reyes from more or less day one, whether it be his approach (pitching up with the four seamer instead of pitching \"to contact\" low in the zone) or his \"attitude\" (Tony supposedly felt that Reyes had a sense of entitlement about him). Their usage of him, the yo-yoing between the minors and majors, and trying to shoehorn him into a pitching approach for which he was not particularly well-suited all served to destroy any trade value he had. I hope he does well in Cleveland and ends up having a decent career.
I assume if the Sox go for Teixiera, they would have to move Lowell, and I\'m not sure who wants to take on the next two years of that deal at $12.5MM per. And moving Youkilis back to third (over Lowell) and having Teixiera take over at first potentially makes the Red Sox worse off defensively on the whole.
Not that VORP should be the end-all and be-all for assessing value, but Blackburn was 11th in AL rookie pitchers in VORP (behind the aforementioned Chamberlain, Galarraga, Ziegler, and Smith, and Justin Masterson, James Johnson, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Jose Arredondo, Jesse Carlson, and Joey Devine).
I suspect that Joe\'s votes will actually match up with the BBWAA\'s votes in 5 or so of the categories (AL Cy, AL ROY, AL MOY, NL ROY and (possibly) NL MVP). I just don\'t think the voters will go for a pitcher as the MVP (if Pedro could not win in 1999, I don\'t see Lee doing it this year -- but perhaps George King doesn\'t have an MVP vote this year, so who knows). I think Lincecum will win the NL Cy. I think Piniella will win the NL MOY. I hope (but am not overly optimistic) that Pujols will win the NL MVP, notwithstanding Howard\'s HR and RBI numbers. I hope that John Heyman does not have an AL or NL MVP vote.