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bhalpern
229 comments | 239 total rating | 1.04 average rating
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Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/28488
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

That's no typo, the Rockies almost scored twice as many runs at home versus on the road. Their pitchers did surprisingly well in comparison, giving up 374 on the road versus 444 at home.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

NL West runs scored on road: LAD 390 (1st in NL, 3rd in MLB) SFG 340 (3/11) ARZ 271 (13/28) SDP 268 (14/29) COL 255 (15/30) at home: COL 500 (1/1 (#2 TOR-387)) ARZ 344 (5/10) LAD 328 (8/15) SFG 325 (9/16) SDP 267 (15/30)

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Maybe true for trying to throw straight and hard up to a point, but not for imparting drastic sideways spin.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

I'd like to hear from someone like Coco Crisp on stealing off a lefty with a good pickoff move.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 5

Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

This. The 'standard' six game suspension for starters is a joke.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

What are you talking about? That's a HOF swing! https://www.google.com/search?q=reggie+jackson+swing&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Iy_iU4uXDtDioASGtYKgBw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=788&bih=259

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

I certainly agree with Eugene Freedman and understand you're just restating others' arguments. My take is even considering the context of the era he's still one of the all-time great hitting catchers. And the pitchfx data shows he did have value as a catcher, if not on the throwing side of things.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Isn't Piazza's only real problem that he has been, inaccurately/unfairly or not, associated with steroids? How could anyone possibly make any argument that Piazza doesn't deserve to be in the hall based on his career performance?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

That's a great point. I wouldn't be surprised if they're hoping he goes on a hot streak so they can then trade him to a contender, maybe as a bonus player in a Cliff Lee trade.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Good luck Ben. You'll be sorely missed.

Jul 11, 2014 7:52 AM on Forever Changes
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

TR is juicing for sure. He was probably in on that biogenesis scheme. #addanasterisk #lackeyisright #honestaberules

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Very interesting, thanks. Any chance we can have a similar analysis on the reborn Jeff Locke?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

'it's "weary"' - Crash Davis

Jun 25, 2014 9:23 AM on Five Hours and Counting
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

"The implosion will come for him, but I don’t think it’s this year." This is unfair. Other than Mariano who does this not apply to?

Jun 24, 2014 11:40 AM on Week 13
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Angel Hernandez continues to be the worst. Note the brooks baseball link shows that Recker also got a bad strike call on the pitch before the one that set him off.

Jun 13, 2014 9:38 AM on Scherzer's First Gem
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

Cruz's big mistake on the steal of home was not getting a much bigger lead before he went. Also, since Abad didn't step off before delivering Chris Davis shouldn't have left the box. He could've tapped Norris on the shoulder with the bat and gotten a catchers interference call.

Jun 09, 2014 9:12 AM on Weekend Wrap-Up, 6/9
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Enjoying this series and looking forward to more. I'm wondering if there might be a supplementary and/or an 'opposite' phenomenon. So if a pitcher throws a close pitch inside and doesn't get the call, is he more likely to get not only the next inside pitch, but also an outside borderline pitch. And if he gets a called strike inside on a close pitch, is he then less likely to get a called strike outside?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Great work as always Ben. I love the idea of TAv+.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Get off my perfectly manicured and intricately decorated lawn. ;-)

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks Ben. Maybe catchers, managers, or pitching coaches. Not sure if this is what you noticed, but I see this group on the slowest lists: Peralta, Balfour, Benoit, Howell, Jackson, Hellickson, Price, Bedard.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

And thanks for bringing up this topic. I can't stand watching games with slow pitchers/hitters. Especially after a foul ball some pitchers take forever to rub up the new ball and get back on the mound, which I think is a big cause of the ever increasing time between pitches in extended at bats. Regardless if it reduces the overall game time by a significant amount, picking up the running pace of play would go a long way towards addressing the generalized perception of baseball as boring.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Comparing the slowest overall pitchers - all relievers - to the fastest - all starters - doesn't give much insight into each list. Can you add the fastest relievers and the slowest starters? And for starters, is overall game time per start available? If so perhaps the correlation between starting pitcher pace and length of game can be analyzed.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Maybe Bubba Starling has a future as a pitcher.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Chris Weinke did it.

Apr 10, 2014 11:36 AM on April 10, 2014
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 4

Great stuff Ben. Thanks.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

But ironically the league went out of their way to specifically allow the neighborhood play, an 'unwritten rule', to continue to be allowed. This under the guise of player safety. They should apply the home plate rule to second base if they are concerned about that. The end result: outs that are not outs and not outs that are outs. Thanks Obama! ;-)

Apr 09, 2014 9:21 AM on You Must Learn Control
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Pitchers may be streakier in general but CC Sabathia's 2008 started horrendously. He's had a few mixed April's over the years but in 08 he was absolutely terrible, going 1-4 while giving up 28 R - all ER - in 32 IP (1.78 WHIP, only 1.94 K/BB). The rest of the season 16-6, 1.97 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 5.19 K/BB.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

For inside the zone, entropy by location seems like it would be a good measure of effectiveness. But I don't think that by itself is a good measure for outside the zone. I'd also want to consider the entropy of distance from the zone. If that entropy is high the pitcher is probably to some extent ineffectively wild, but low entropy may be more indicative of intentionally deceptive/effectively wild. Including that 3rd measure I would hypothesize a possible relationship ranked this way: A: In Strike Zone location entropy: H/L B: Out of Strike Zone location entropy: H/L C: Out of Strike Zone distance entropy: H/L 1: AH/BH/CL 2-3: AH/BH/CH and AH/BL/CL 4-5: AL/BH/CH and AL/BL/CL 6: AL/BL/CH

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I wonder if the difference in reliever usage would be more or less significant when analyzing samples of two consecutive days played before a day off versus similar groups of games not preceding a day off. Also, since we're now in an era where it's already fairly normal to use a reliever for two or less batters almost daily maybe excluding the relatively recent era of this type of reliever usage might show there was a more significant day-off effect in the past.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Weird Will Venable stats from last year: 12 doubles vs 7 homers on the road, but 10 doubles vs 15 homers at Petco. Plus his HR/FB ratio was 13.6% vs career 9.6% (incl 2013). For some perspective Carlos Quentin's career average is 13.3%.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

Why is Orel Hershiser wearing an Orioles cap?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I'm still having trouble letting go of Hank Conger. Interestingly his 2011 stats are eerily similar to Zunino's 2013 numbers.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

If Pedro Alvarez hits 80 HR I will run away with my points based dynasty league. Very psyched.

Mar 18, 2014 8:29 AM on Home Runs
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

No challenges after the 6th so that shouldn't be much of an issue.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

Is there any possibility MLB has asked managers to just use the challenge whenever there is a very close play just to exercise the system and possibly work out any kinks in the process? It would make sense for them to do that.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Hamilton will out homer Ben Revere 2-1. Ben goes deep in Milwaukee in July!

Mar 12, 2014 10:25 AM on National League Hitters
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

I don't know what Cespedes meant, but that's certainly what my first thought is on Jackson or Volquez. Lynn and Schmourdja are at least meh+. Maholm is certainly meh-.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

If fully redundant then I agree. But in areas where things are not so clear cut then I see it as the more data the better, especially to be able to confirm analysis of very close plays for reviews. Also, the tech is not exactly cutting edge.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Given the move to a multi-disciplinary approach, perhaps a shortcut to greater functionality and more accurate results is even more diversity of data. Audio (already a staple of human umpiring) and impact sensors in bases would seem to be lower tech solutions (vs being able to read and record higher video resolutions) to establishing the exact moments of runners making contact with bases and balls being caught by fielders.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Park effects are calculated by comparing the home team's stats at home vs on the road.

Mar 03, 2014 8:01 AM on Starting Pitchers
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

The Trop has consistently been pitcher favorable in R and HR, even to the point of being rated as one of the best pitchers parks in some years. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/year/2013

Mar 01, 2014 7:40 AM on Starting Pitchers
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Since all these names are being thrown around, how about Richie Ashburn. He has five of the top ten seasons in putouts for a CF, led the league nine times, 2nd all-time in 15 seasons played.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

I'll bet the A's would be happy to send Jim Johnson, Tommy Milone, Daric Barton, and a PTBNL for Votto. Problem solved.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Those images look significantly different than the ESPN hit tracker. The data points are different and the overlay is in a different proportion, showing all the HRs as being longer versus the park size. The ESPN data looks more realistic to me.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

The rates are created by comparing how the home team hits at home versus how the home team hits on the road. So there's no bias for the talent of the home team.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Select all, copy. Go to app of choice, right click, paste or paste special.

Feb 26, 2014 9:27 AM on First Edition
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

HR Rate H vs R: 2013 2012 2011 2010 Yankee Stadium 1.128 1.143 1.267 1.420 Target Field 0.802 1.031 0.913 0.641 The trend seems pretty convincing. Go to the link below instead to see HRs in Yankee Stadium and add the Target overlay. You'll see the differences caused by to the entire RF fence in NY being a little closer, plus the big cutout in MIN from RC to R taking away a chunk of homers. http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2013_87&type=ballpark I also wouldn't discount the possibility that Hughes has suffered from somewhat of an Eddie Whitson Lite inability to meet expectations in NY.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Tell us what you really think. :-)

Feb 21, 2014 7:09 AM on Outfielders
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

I don't know how to run the numbers, but the plate appearance difference is likely mostly or all a result of where the two bat in the lineup. Over those years Cano has hit all through the lineup, most frequently in the five spot. OTOH Jeter has hit almost exclusively leadoff or 2nd.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

I wonder how much of the difference here is due to bunting. Some number of singles and errors may come from sacrifice bunts, which Cano stopped attempting after his rookie season. Adding to that, any player that attempts bunts for hits with any regularity is going to reach base on balls hit to the infield at higher rates. The dichotomy with Jeter may be especially exacerbated by both these factors.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

Sam, great work as usual. This is very interesting. I wonder if it might be useful to look at this in a slightly different way. Instead of looking at the average of the comp groups as whole, maybe it would be more informative to analyze the comp groups to find the expected likelihood of reaching certain levels of achievement. For example, Brandon Wood has obviously been a huge disappointment with -3.5 WARP vs an average of 6.6 in his comp group. But looking at that group in more detail there's a huge range of performance hiding behind the 6.6 WARP average. Group 1: Cargo 18, Heyward 15.3, Group 2: Soto 12, Kennedy 6.8, Feliz 3 Group 3: Detwiler 1.9 Group X: Nick Adenhart .1 Group 4: Villalona, Antonelli, Brignac, Hu, Marrero, Clement, LaPorta; -6.3 as a group Group 4 makes up half of the comp group. So rather than seeing it as Wood grossly underperformed the group, we might instead say Wood had a 50% chance of turning out just like he did. I wonder if expanding this through the entire sample might reduce or even eliminate the disparity between the fallers and the comps, especially if an increased sample size finds even just a small handful of fallers that went on to find some moderate MLB success.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

He didn't play 3B at any level last year so I guess he's just counted as an OF.

Feb 11, 2014 11:46 AM on Third Basemen
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: -1

If he's looking for a big contract then I think out of baseball is a big loss. Roy Oswalt making $4m+ in 2012 is an example of what you can get without showing your stuff first.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

A solid contributor to Hardy's OBP issues is his tortoise like running ability. I would not be surprised if he's slower to first than Wieters. Also, to paraphrase Crash Davis, it's not chalk. Nobody's full of chalk. Boegarts is chock-full of projection.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: -1

I think the risk of that would far outweigh the benefit. If Halladay gets roughed up in that one start it would hurt him a lot more than a good start would help him.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Some regression, sure I can see that. But this projection brings him up short of his rate and counting stats for 2012 when he played only 139 games. If he was older I might see an argument for that. But for a player entering his age 28 season it seems extremely conservative.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

He annually battles OBP machine Daric Barton in the all-star vote.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Are you suggesting Xander would play SS against RHP and 3B against LHP? I can't imagine the Sox even considering that.

Feb 03, 2014 10:59 AM on Shortstops
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Proven by the 1978 Yankees.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I see Wieters, Saltalamacchia, and Berkman have large BABIP splits. Victorino's is smaller but still somewhat notable. Navarro has a better BABIP from the other side. Maybe this would be an indicator for those who might potentially benefit more from the switch than others. Wieters 264/335 Navarro 276/266 Victorino 291/317 Salty 349/263 Berkman 325/286 I also wonder what an average BABIP split looks like for non-switch hitters.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I think it's more likely we will start to see more frequent and larger team buyout options. So a team might offer a 7/$210 contract with a player opt-out after four years but only if he agrees to give them a $15m buy out after five years and a $10m buy out after six years.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

"Atlanta Braves: Sign Wilson Betemit to compete for a bench job." Who wouldn't like to have that as their most glaring need?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Agree, but I don't think it'll matter. See my reply above.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

1) Not explicitly but personnel moves for example, both pre-game and in-game, carry over to future games. Bullpen use is maybe the most glaring example. 2) I don't think the break-even will matter much in reality. This article makes great points and is based on sound logic, but most managers aren't evaluating in-game decisions in this way. They're going to challenge when it "feels right". It's not like the numbers have stopped Don Mattingly from ordering so many ridiculous sac bunts. 3) I totally agree that's an inherent problem with the challenge system. But working with the challenge system, if we're going to try to introduce a penalty as a deterrent then this seems more simple and to the point. It would directly affect managers who choose to use their challenges in situations where it is not clear that an umpire's call was wrong and may affect their willingness to use the challenge when there's only marginal potential gain. Again, not that they'll consider the numbers involved. But rather only that it will feel less "right" to make the challenge.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

How about we make it more simple. The penalty for a lost challenge is the forfeit of the challenge for the next game.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 5

Re: Davis/Trumbo, isn't BABIP for a hitter (vs non-knuckler pitchers) a repeatable skill? Chris Davis by year starting in 08: 351/324/275/366/335/336, career .335. Trumbo in his three seasons is at 274/316/273, career .286. I wouldn't argue against Crush being due for some regression overall this year, but I also wouldn't expect these BABIP numbers to come close to convergence for any extended period.

Jan 22, 2014 6:46 AM on First Basemen
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

I don't know. When Teixeira went to free agency The Angels maxed out at 8y/160m and then publicly withdrew the offer saying he was asking for too much so they were out of the bidding. The Yanks signed him for 8/180. The Tigers deal with Fielder three years later was for 9/214.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

New SAT question: Corey Hart is to Barry Zito as Mike Napoli is to: A) Kung-Fu Panda B) Jeff Mathis C) Mike Scoscia D) Vernon Wells E) The San Diego Chicken

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 4

To cite the easiest one to come up with, Orel Hershiser gave up 4 runs (all earned) over 82 innings from 8/19/88 to 9/28/88 for .44 RA/9.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

As he averaged only 5.28 IP/start in 2012 and 5.19 over 2+ minor league seasons it would seem to be a valid concern.

Jan 14, 2014 11:03 AM on Smyly Anticipated
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

And walk rate down also. Regular Season: 286 BB / 1283.2 IP 2.01%; 14.3% IBB/BB Post Season: 21 BB / 141 IP = 1.34%; 19.0% IBB/BB

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

"Still, it brings up an interesting point about baseball not having a good name for a guy who can turn a lineup over (and do it well) once, but not twice or thrice." I believe that used to be called a relief pitcher. /rimshot Thanks for these articles, they're great.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Agree. There are still 'advocates' for candidates in the NFL process, but those people have to go into a room and make their argument to the rest of the voters. The group can then debate the merits of the argument.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

I wonder what would happen if the Tejada/Palmeiro rumors turn out to be true and Palmeiro with his 3000/500 is stuck on the outside looking in.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

If you take Glavine's five seasons with the Mets away then the three are much closer to being the same in IP, W/L, and ERA+. But then Glavine is significantly behind in WAR, WARP, and JAWS. So this strikes me as being an old school vs new school issue plus the Maddux/Cox effect described by RAC. Old school voters see three somewhat comparable pitchers and chose the one who has significantly more wins. I'm not sure they care as much about the IP difference. From a sabermetric perspective the extra innings pitched are what allow Glavine to be very similar to MM/CS, rather than not as good as them.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Ken Berry listed one of his strengths as "strike zone". So maybe not. On Maxie's scouting report: "Looks like Pancho Herrera ex Philly 50's." http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/herrepa01.shtml

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 4

I wonder if the inability of the scouts to project Thomas' ability to hit for high average was related to his extremely advanced plate discipline. In 793 PAs in 89/90 he drew 154 walks. Could that would have been interpreted as a huge lack of aggressiveness that would 'hurt' him at the major league level?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 10

Maybe this is due to whether or not he's though of as a pioneer, but Marvin Miller needs to be inducted ASAP. Another mention should be made of HOK Sports/Populous Architecture which has served a major role in developing the modern 'retro' ballpark experience.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 8

And with more career interceptions than touchdowns he's really not even worthy of consideration.

Jan 08, 2014 6:59 AM on The 2014 Results
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I think you're thinking of this guy: http://tinyurl.com/lwty22t

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

If A-Rod can't overturn his suspension and (when) B-Rob gets hurt again then they can be the hobo squatters. Synergy!

Dec 19, 2013 5:52 AM on Musical Closers
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Beltran is 36 now and will be 39 in 3rd year of his new contract.

Dec 08, 2013 7:54 AM on The AL East Rearms
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Comparing Napoli to Moss misses the fact that he was still a fantasy catcher in 2013. That's over now, so he probably won't be rated so high anymore.

Dec 08, 2013 7:50 AM on The AL East Rearms
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

As an Orioles fan I can attest to the insanity of this. Kevin Gregg 2y/10m Mike Gonzalez 2y/12m Dannys Baez 3y/19m Chad Bradford 3y/10.5m Jamie Walker 3y/12m If not for Koji Uehara at 2y/10m (and subsequently traded for Hunter and Crush) they would have nothing to show for all of it.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Also true of 3b.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Curtidor LaRocadez?

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

a picture of a low OBP: http://tinyurl.com/q8poja8

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

If we're counting defensive stats, Fisk has plenty of good black ink and I-Rod is at a pornographic level.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

"It doesn’t help that this human aspect typically gets wrapped in tired clichés by lumpen broadcasters." It also doesn't help that about half the time a broadcaster talks about momentum, it's about the momentum shifting. Just like most of the time a player gets a weak hit that is supposed to be the one to end a slump, it isn't. My conclusion is they're not proposing any theory, simple or complex. They're just repeating things with zero regard for accuracy.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Hot hand, change of scenery, and auditioning for 2014: Emilio Bonifacio in 20 games for KC: 286/363/386, 12 for 12 stealing.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

I wondered how much Safeco has hurt Kyle Seager. Apparently a lot. Home: 166g .236/.308/.347 74 OPS+ Away: 166g .283/.349/.462 124 OPS+ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=seageky01&year=Career&t=b#hmvis

Aug 22, 2013 8:20 AM on August 22, 2013
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Hi Mike, I didn't mean my comment to be nasty. Just that I think Johnson deserves more credit than you're giving him. The article states he's not getting "a significant number of opportunities of late." But the save numbers show he's keeping a fine pace of continuing to be among the MLB leaders in saves. On the ranking issue, I count 19 pitchers in tiers one and two which puts the tier three guys at 20 to 25. So regardless of whether they are ranked within the tier you have Johnson as clearly in the bottom half. Regards, Barry

Aug 10, 2013 6:00 AM on Meeting the Criteria
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Johnson has the 2nd most saves (7) in the past 28 days in all of MLB, is tied at 4th (4) with five others in the past 14 days, and tied at 2nd (3) with three others over the past 7 days. He leads the AL in saves this season. He led the AL in saves last season. I know he's a low K guy for a closer and had a horrendous June so I wouldn't put him in the top tier either. But 3rd tier and in the bottom half of closers overall? If I was Jim Johnson I'd be insulted.

Aug 08, 2013 6:59 AM on Meeting the Criteria
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Casey Kotchman, Dan Johnson. The Rays seem to collect these guys.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 3

"You can't teach that."

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 2

Arietta's line may look pretty, but to get through the minimum five he needed 99 pitches with only 55 strikes. His prior start was more of the same: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1ER, 4 BB, 8 K, but 65 strikes out of 116 pitches. This is not a recipe for success in the next level.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

Just making this up, but how about Kendrick to the Tigers for Castellanos (plus others from one or both sides). This gives the Tigers even more infield flexibility if/when Peralta gets suspended. Iglesias is in the midst of a massive BABIP adjustment plus Infante has been having trouble coming back from injury. Plus Infante can play SS when he does return.

Jul 31, 2013 11:02 AM on The A's Add Callaspo
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

And then you'd get something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr2C1O-EvcI

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

I propose a new pitcher metric: Falls off the mound like Mitch Williams. Greg Maddux is 0.000; Mitch Williams is 1.000. This can be abbreviated FOTMLMW and pronounced Fawt-Mole-'Mew. Thielbar looks around a .635.

Jul 15, 2013 1:01 PM on The Season's Best LOOGY
 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

I wonder if the Sox are ready to give up on Beckham. He might be a good candidate for the good ole 'change of scenery'.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 0

It strikes me more as the Jack Morris 'pitches to the score' argument. And we all know how that turned out.

 
bhalpern
(28488)
Comment rating: 1

Note that Adam Dunn came out of spring training with a disasterous new approach detailed well in the article at the link below. Through April 22 he had walked at an abysmal rate of 4.2%. From 4/24 (3 BBs) through today he's walked at a rate of 14.3%. So it would appear he has gone back to his usual ways. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/adam-dunns-failed-experiment/

May 23, 2013 8:23 AM on Walk Don't Walk
 
bhalpern
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Randy Smith: "Catcher Brad Ausmus was involved in five trades by Smith, being acquired three times and twice being traded away." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Smith_(baseball) Plus Smith was an Assistant GM for the Rockies when they drafted Ausmus in the 1992 MLB expansion draft.

May 13, 2013 9:23 AM on The Cubs Keep Rizzo
 
bhalpern
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Thanks for the link. I'm still confused as to how the White Sox DH's at 215/267/477 add up to -0.5 WARP but the O's DH's at 149/248/256 are only at 0.0.

May 11, 2013 7:48 AM on The Sub-Replacements
 
bhalpern
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I'm not sure where to find combined WARP by position but at DH, but there seems to be much worse options than DET (.625 OPS) and CHISOX (.758 OPS). How about HOU at .590 and the O's at .476, ironically BELOW their 2b (.489).

May 10, 2013 8:33 AM on The Sub-Replacements
 
bhalpern
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Oops, missed: 6t. Eddie Murray 315

May 09, 2013 11:13 AM on The Turn of the Two
 
bhalpern
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As long as we're looking at unusual GIDP facts: Top 50 GIDP all-time leaders: 1. Cal Ripken Jr. 350 10t. Brooks Robinson 297 19. Frank Robinson 270 33. Ken Singleton 248 47. Rafael Palmeiro 232 Plus: 9. Harold Baines 298 14. Vlad Guerrero 277 17t. Miguel Tejada 271

May 09, 2013 11:11 AM on The Turn of the Two
 
bhalpern
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Seriously though, the theory that Hamilton would respond positively to being reunited with his good friend and watchdog seems like it was just a lot of rationalization.

 
bhalpern
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Then we need to add Lymon Bostock and Thurman Munson also. There must be others but I can't think of any right away.

 
bhalpern
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Sorry to have to do this but: http://grammar.about.com/od/alightersideofwriting/a/Gibe-And-Jibe.htm

May 01, 2013 12:53 PM on Six Who Clicked
 
bhalpern
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I bet nobody thought a month ago that even if only by the smallest little bit, the Angels would be wishing they still had Vernon Wells.

May 01, 2013 10:22 AM on Cardinals Un-Rzep
 
bhalpern
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How about Steve Busby? By age 25, two-time All-Star, two no-hitters, 56 wins in age 22-25 seasons, 12.6 WAR 74-75. Imagine adding a pitcher of that caliber to the Royals squads of the mid 70's to mid 80's. He could have swung the balance of AL domination from NY to KC for most of those years.

 
bhalpern
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100 PA is not enough to prove you're very good, but it would seem to be plenty to prove you're very bad.

 
bhalpern
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Sorry, sacs already excluded because BABIP uses AB not PA. He must have a shitload of weak contact. But on the bright side he does have weak contact to all fields.

 
bhalpern
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Sounds like Jeane is weary. Not wooly, nobody gets wooly.

Apr 30, 2013 10:23 AM on Segura and Sound
 
bhalpern
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Abyssinian Beltre, Lion Kinsler, and Minskin Moreland can haz double play.

 
bhalpern
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LLLLRLRLRR

 
bhalpern
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Adam Jones almost got caught doing that earlier this week. Although this play had its own funny twists. Jones made a second even worse blunder and got away with both. Then Wieters. http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=26398219&c_id=

 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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There was another article on BP about the huge drop in SB attempts. I wonder if the two are related in some way? Is the number of shutouts part of a larger trend of lower scoring for the month?

Apr 24, 2013 12:40 PM on More on Shutouts
 
bhalpern
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He meant a deuce, like a runner in the night. Common mistake.

 
bhalpern
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I know what Cole Hamels would do to prevent it.

 
bhalpern
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To quote Nick Bakay: "Push"

 
bhalpern
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latinum 1m Diamond 10m http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_certification#RIAA_Diamond_certifications_as_of_October_5.2C_2012

 
bhalpern
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Darn. I was looking forward to the Mike Morse vs. Chris Davis battle for the AL Triple Crown.

Apr 05, 2013 7:27 AM on Simmer. Down. Now.
 
bhalpern
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I wouldn't call that pitch not an eephus.

 
bhalpern
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Even if Stanton has a Bonds type season you're looking more at an Andre Dawson 1987 type situation. The Cubs won 76 games, but MVP Dawson had only 7 IBB. There was simply no reason to pitch around him except in rare circumstances.

 
bhalpern
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Or in the 1st with the bases empty and at least one run scored.

 
bhalpern
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I would propose an alternative system with three regular starters(A-C). Then two pairs who pitch regularly once each time through but are also available in relief on the opposite side of the rotation(D-G). These guys would pitch 2-4 innings each depending on how they're doing. Five regular relievers(H-L) available all games. So it's a relatively normal 12 man staff. Something like this. 1 - A, HIJKL & F/G 2 - D/E, HIJKL & F/G 3 - B, HIJKL 4 - F/G, HIJKL & D/E 5 - C, HIJKL & D/E The IP totals would be along the lines of 220, 200, 180, 120x4, 70x5. The arbitrage roster moves for L would still be available for blow outs and extra innings. One additional need would be to try to reduce wasting a lot of middle relief appearances by facing only one or two batters in low to moderate leverage situations and shoot for more 1+ inning stints.

 
bhalpern
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As a famous Russian once said, "There are no small coincidences and big coincidences, only coincidences."

 
bhalpern
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From imdb: "Trivia: Father was William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, 1952-1987."

 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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But if the pundits were paying attention they'd know he does the same thing every year. He only hits in spring training and Aug - Oct. For his career: Pre-ASB: .215/.273/.367 in 762 ab Post-ASB: .295/.346/.488 in 811 ab

 
bhalpern
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I see your Bill Monbouquette and raise you a Kurt Bevacqua.

 
bhalpern
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No discussion of effectively wild can be complete without the best ever example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SH715tr6ek

 
bhalpern
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Just one of those weird coincidences but Cecil Cooper was traded for from the Red Sox to the Brew Crew for George Scott and Bernie Carbo.

Jan 16, 2013 10:50 AM on Zeroes and Ones
 
bhalpern
(28488)
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I guess this gives us another little nugget of information as to why Scioscia was so obsessed with giving Jeff Mathis at bats at the expense of Napoli. And no, I'm never going to be able to let it go.

 
bhalpern
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It was 19 for Andino, Davis, and Reynolds combined. Reynolds was 1 for 4, Davis 2-5, and Andino 5-10. What's amazing is in Arizona Reynolds stole 42 bases with only 15 caught.

 
bhalpern
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Can we take this as confirmation that our hopes and dreams for a Cycling Prospectus have come to nought?

Jan 09, 2013 1:14 PM on Casting Our Ballots
 
bhalpern
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Am I wrong in recalling that Edgar was more or less an average fielder at 3B, but kept getting hurt. That's not much better but seems like it should be less of a strike against him than if he couldn't play in the field because of ineptness.

Jan 09, 2013 12:05 PM on Casting Our Ballots
 
bhalpern
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At the very least the Tigers should be finally done with tentatively handing the 2B job to Ryan Rayburn and watching him hover around the Mendoza line for two months.

 
bhalpern
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Ha. I actually know someone who's a frequent traveller in his field (unrelated to baseball) and once sat next to Sandy Alomar on a flight. And since my friend had a few knee surgeries himself they had something to talk about.

Jan 09, 2013 10:29 AM on Casting Our Ballots
 
bhalpern
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Good points. Not the first time this kind of thing has come up though. If you haven't read it before you should check out Bill James's book on the HOF: http://www.amazon.com/Whatever-Happened-Hall-Fame-James/dp/0684800888 It's considerably out of date but still a worthwhile read.

Jan 09, 2013 10:15 AM on Casting Our Ballots
 
bhalpern
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This. I also can't stand this 'I don't think he deserves to get elected in his first year' garbage. You either think he deserves to be in or not. Sure, a voter can change his/her mind. But it's nobody's job to enforce their perfect vision of a player's legacy.

Jan 09, 2013 9:54 AM on Casting Our Ballots
 
bhalpern
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I read Choo, notably a Scott Boras client, will definitely be going the free agent route after 2013. So I would guess he will be seeking a Jayson Werth type contract also and if he has a good year in 2013 would be a lot more likely to come close to it than Swisher ever was.

 
bhalpern
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Agreed. Wondering if that implies the M's could complete their new outfield by adding the old bald guy from The Benny Hill Show. He's dead but that can't make him much worse in the field than Ibanez.

 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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He's just 24 in March (if that can be believed) and in 2012 for some reason hit only 240/276/422 at home while going 273/326/467 on the road. My concern would be his 225/271/380 against RHP in 410 career plate appearances.

Dec 13, 2012 9:15 AM on 11 Potential Trades
 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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Ryan Klesko hit .105/.105/.105 for his career against Omar Daal. DAAL for the HAAL!!!

 
bhalpern
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Swisher at 1B would make a lot of sense for the O's. Push Davis to DH and Betemit to the bench. Plenty of positional flexibility and injury protection that way. Reimold in LF, or McLouth if they sign him.

Nov 21, 2012 12:00 PM on AL Shopping Lists
 
bhalpern
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Chicks don't dig home runs; chicks dig "the long ball".

 
bhalpern
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Josh Collementer please.

Oct 26, 2012 7:21 AM on Pitchology, Final Exam
 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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Memorable quotes for "Friends" The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS (1998) Rachel: Maybe Joey's right. Maybe all good deeds are selfish. Phoebe: I will find a selfless good deed. 'Cause I just gave birth to three children and I will not let them be raised in a world where Joey is right. -------------------------------- Phoebe: [on phone] I have found a selfless good deed. I went to the park and let a bee sting me. Joey Tribbiani: How is that a selfless good deed? Phoebe: It makes the bee look tough in front of his bee friends. The bee's happy and I am definitely not. Joey Tribbiani: Uh, Pheebs, you know the bee probably died after it stung you? Phoebe: [stares blankly] ...Dammit. [hangs up]

 
bhalpern
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I agree there is no way to make the all-star game mean anything in its current format. The only solution would be two all-star games. Eff it, double-header baby! Have the fan voting and the usual game with the circus atmosphere they have now. Play the game just about how it's played now. Expand the rosters by a few more players and you'll have plenty to go around. Have a few more pitchers throw 2+ innings, especially starters pitching in relief. Then Game 2, this one COUNTS! Same managers and coaching staffs but they get to pick a 25 man roster of whomever they feel are the very best players. Pick the 25 man roster when announcing the pitching staffs. Use of bench and bullpen should approximate any normal Yankees-Red Sox game. So expect a close game at 4+ hours with benches used. If Verlander and Cain start, for example, they should be expected to pitch a normal 7-8 innings as they normally would. MLB pays travel expenses and TBD bonus (negotiated with union) for being on the 25 man roster. No contract bonuses allowed. Not allowed to skip the game unless a valid injury occurs. Playing in the game if selected part of the standard player contract.

 
bhalpern
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We've certainly come a long way from MLB shutting down (trying or did? can't remember) C.J. Nitkowski's web site.

 
bhalpern
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IIRC the O's were one of the last teams still in the running when he signed with Houston.

 
bhalpern
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The Angels analysis reminds me of how much several BP analysts used to consistently bash Garret Anderson. Truly a microcosm on the team analysis.

Jun 22, 2012 8:44 AM on The Hate List, Part III
 
bhalpern
(28488)
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There was a minor league team in the 90's, can't remember who, that used a rotation of paired pitchers who each threw 3-5 innings on their start day. This would maximize the 'times through the order' affect,allow a buffer if one starter gets bombed and has to come out, and brings some structure to all the bullpen innings that are going to be needed. I wonder if something like that wouldn't be a better idea.

 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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I'm rooting for you to be right. I guess this means they have to fire Buck after 2014?

 
bhalpern
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Is the data any different if you split those 410 up by age groups? Maybe try through age 30 in year 3, 31-35 in year 3, and 36+ in year 3.

Jun 14, 2012 10:21 AM on Ignoring the Trend Line
 
bhalpern
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No Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers?

Jun 12, 2012 9:21 AM on Friday Power Rankings
 
bhalpern
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Baseball has a long way to go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutter_family

 
bhalpern
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Norfolk Tides without Jamie Moyer, average age = 28.27. Adding Moyer without removing anyone brings the average to 28.94. Baltimore Orioles average age = 29.01.

 
bhalpern
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IIRC Carlos Pena bunts a lot against the shift. And Reynolds laid down a perfect bunt later in the game last night (although not against a shift). I'd like to see him do more of that against the shift, especially if he's going to keep slugging <400.

 
bhalpern
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I watch almost all the Orioles games. Gary Thorne has reached the point where he states whether or not The Shift is on or off for almost every hitter, or at least it seems that way in retrospect. The Orioles are definitly using altered defensive alignments much more frequently than last year. My anecdotal opinion is this is also true in varying degrees for their opponents. We have seen a healthy dose of the Rays already so it's possible I've been somewhat jaded by that.

 
bhalpern
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[images of shift types]? And the colored girls go doo do doo do doo do do doo.

 
bhalpern
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If the O's really start playing well for an extended period of time it will be telling to see how much the Nats affect their ability to move up the payroll ladder.

 
bhalpern
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Don't jinx it ;-). Seriously though if Jones settles in at ~.250 ISO it's a great deal. Where else on the free agent market or in their own system are they going to get the chance to get anywhere close to that package? Especially, as you astutely point out, without committing to a player's mid-to-late 30's seasons. Plus they're paying the current year going rate for that kind of performance for 2-6 years into the future (2013 would have been a arb year).

 
bhalpern
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And DFW also has a higher median income. OTOH the Rangers have more competition for each sports dollar spent. And while the Rangers' extended geographic fanbase covers a larger geographic area, it looks to me like the Astros' has a population density advantage. Either way it's a complex situation.

 
bhalpern
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You made me remember Joel Youngblood. Damn you!

May 29, 2012 8:50 AM on No No-No, No Cry
 
bhalpern
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That's wildly different. Sure, maybe there are a few birthers hiding under rocks. But most of them have been presented with the evidence and refuse to budge. Not to mention there is an entire industry of people who know it's a complete myth but do whatever they can to perpetuate the situation for various personal and professional reasons.

May 24, 2012 1:19 PM on A Shocking Bit of Truth
 
bhalpern
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One of my favorite almosts that happily turned out OK: In both of his last two starts in 1988 Dave Stieb had no-hitters broken up with two outs and two strikes in the 9th. He did later pitch a no-hitter though. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1988/B09240CLE1988.htm http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1988/B09300TOR1988.htm

May 24, 2012 6:41 AM on 10 Mr. Almosts
 
bhalpern
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On the question of value of pitch set-up this seeems to be relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-paper-scissors#Strategies

 
bhalpern
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About that, what's up with this? http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/18877561/different-glove-different-results-for-orioles-brian-matusz

May 15, 2012 9:01 AM on Orange Crush(ers)
 
bhalpern
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Scott Podsednik must really love baseball: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Dergan_Podsednik.

May 14, 2012 7:48 AM on Vlad to Be There
 
bhalpern
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Tom Brady was pick 199 in 2000. Undrafted NFL players from the past 20 years: Kurt Warner, Antonio Gates, Priest Holmes, Brian Waters, Tony Romo, Adam Vinatieri, Josh Cribbs, James Harrison, Jeff Garcia, Willie Parker, and to bring it back around: Wes Welker!

May 14, 2012 7:31 AM on The One They Missed
 
bhalpern
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That's what I was so unartfully trying to say. Santana's move looks least like a move to 3B and most like an actual pitch (closest to a balk).

 
bhalpern
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Fun article but isn't the quality of the fake to 3B irrelevant as the whole idea is to catch the runner on first breaking for 2B on what he assumes is a pitch? I thought the fake to 3B isn't to fool the base runner, but only to avoid a balk call. In this way the Santana move is really the best because it's closest to being a balk.

 
bhalpern
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All with no out: Inn Score RoB Outcome 5/11 b11 2-2 1-- Smalley IBB; Wynegar DP (0 runs) L 3-4 6/5 b1 0-3 12- Winfield single; Gamble DP (1 run) L 4-5 6/14 t2 0-2 12- Griffey SF; Foli FO (1 run) W 12-11 6/15 b9 1-2 1-- Winfield K; Gamble BB; Baylor FO (0 runs) L 1-2 6/23 t10 4-4 1-- Baylor IBB; Winfield K; Kemp GO (0 runs) W 5-4 9/3 b1 0-0 12- Winfield IBB; Kemp K; Griffey GO (0 runs) W 2-0 9/17 b8 7-7 12- Winfield IBB; Baylor single; Griffey HR; Wynegar FO; Harrah FO (5 runs) W 12-7

May 11, 2012 9:28 AM on Donnie Buntball
 
bhalpern
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"I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub. I just want to give it my best shot and good lord willing things'll work out."

May 10, 2012 7:44 AM on Harping on Harper
 
bhalpern
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This list reminded me of the tragedy of Lymon Bostock's death.

 
bhalpern
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The O's could certainly use Trumbo at 1B if the Halos want to deal.

 
bhalpern
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If he wanted to walk, he’d go by McCann, Thomas.

 
bhalpern
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Hanley Ramirez seems to be a serial slow trotter.

May 07, 2012 7:44 AM on Trot Times for May 5
 
bhalpern
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Interesting there are zero busts for starting pitchers. Impressive list: AL: Righetti, Verlander; NL: Sutcliffe, Valenzuela, Gooden, Nomo, Wood, Willis.

 
bhalpern
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Holy coincidence Batman! Just stumbled upon this instant classic: http://tinyurl.com/6m2qdr6

 
bhalpern
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Oops, missed prior mention of JW. Another one that comes to mind is Oscar Gamble with his huge 'fro and deep crouch.

 
bhalpern
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Best stance/name combination ever: Johnny Wockenfuss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckw7V7U2eMs

 
bhalpern
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Good point. I'm incredulous that the same writers who at the time had to have a pretty good idea this was going on (or at least very likely) voted for all these guys for Cy Young and MVP year after year. But now that it's public they're so holier than thou about it.

 
bhalpern
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Ryne Sandberg will soon have to kiss that distinction goodbye: "After his father asked Lasorda to select Piazza as a favor, the Miami-Dade Community College student was drafted by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft as the 1,390th player picked overall in the draft." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Piazza#Major_league_career

 
bhalpern
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Checked out Eduardo Rodriguez's milb.com page and noticed something odd going on. Runs/Eearned Runs 2010: 26/17 2011: 20/12 2012: 4/2 What's up with that?

Apr 19, 2012 7:40 AM on Young Pitching Edition
 
bhalpern
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I don't think that's right. If they're a ~.500 team they'd still be expected to have groups of games where they play above and below that level for small sample sizes. This is probably just one of those streaks, coming as expected against weaker opponents. At best maybe they experienced some random luck that allowed them to win one or two extra close games and if that doesn't happen again for the rest of the season they'd win 82 or 83 games instead of 81.

Apr 18, 2012 1:31 PM on Sizzling Starts
 
bhalpern
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More info on McGwire: http://bit.ly/IlxJcN 1978 White Rat / Jim Rice: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=uZlJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fgwNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1883,1987979&dq=four-outfielders&hl=en 1969 "McCovey Shift": http://bit.ly/IRzO24 1969 Frank Robinson: http://bit.ly/I8XQEO

 
bhalpern
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On the subject of batter vs. pitcher matchups, one of my favorite stats ever is Randy Velarde career vs. Randy Johnson: 19 for 46 .452/.500/.548

 
bhalpern
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Better get this young star signed to a long-term extension before he becomes arbitration eligible!

 
bhalpern
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This is going back to a five game series but how about the 1980 NLCS? Phillies won Game 1 in a 3-1 comeback and 2-5 all went extras.

 
bhalpern
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For fun, multiple stints playing under the same manager: Charlie Manual CLE 2000-02 & PHI 2007 Don Wakamatsu SEA 2009 & 2010 (CLE in between) Eric Wedge CLE 2004 & 2007 Ned Yost MIL 2004-06 & 2008

 
bhalpern
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http://www.royalsauthority.com/?p=3763

 
bhalpern
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Go O's hon! Seriously though, this is absolutely their best team since Davey Johnson was shown the door. I'm finally looking forward to having fun watching the Orioles.

Mar 09, 2011 8:48 AM on A New Day in Baltimore
 
bhalpern
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So would I if my team had any realistic chance of making the playoffs. For the O's taking a chance on Lee makes a lot more sense, along with the good job of addition by subtraction they made at SS. If the young pitching continues to develop and they can actually get above .500 for the first time this century then maybe it'll make sense to consider some multi-year deals for some real difference makers.

Jan 28, 2011 9:29 AM on The Vortices of Suck
 
bhalpern
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$3 for 2010 with $1 deferred to 2011, but that's just me being pedantic.

Jan 11, 2011 12:14 PM on Bartlett's Price Quote
 
bhalpern
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Wow, just this pays me back for my BP subscription fee.

 
bhalpern
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Maybe some day though: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/08/03/rick-ankiel-thinks-about-pitching-again/

 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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Great article, thanks. Here's a little supplementary history brought to us by Rob Neyer and Bill James: http://books.google.com/books?id=7FfRLE6I5EEC&pg=PA45&dq=rob+neyer+forkball&hl=en&ei=KC4BTZn6L4WglAeh6uTcCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=rob%20neyer%20forkball&f=false

Dec 09, 2010 11:31 AM on The Forkball
 
bhalpern
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Sorry if this is meant to be sarcastic and I'm missing it, but it was Martin who said that about Reggie (the liar) and George (the convicted). That specifically led to one of his firings if I remember correctly.

Nov 30, 2010 12:14 PM on Billy and George
 
bhalpern
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Best. Footnote. Ever.

Mar 31, 2010 7:15 AM on Return to Sender
 
bhalpern
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Well to be fair his '06 season was about the same as his '03 season. And this is what the Baseball Prospectus annual had to say about him before that '06 campaign: "Lost in a generally disappointing season was that Wells continued to work on his plate discipline, with career highs in walks, walk rate and pitches seen per PA. The rest of his decline was part a fluctuation in his batting average, part a loss in power caused by hitting the ball on the ground more. Look for him to get back to his '03 swing and surpass even that year's stellar performance. His next three seasons are going to be huge." The contract is now obviously a big mistake, but who would have predicted at the time that he not only would be unable to match the performance of either the '03 or '06 season but would also be unable to get anywhere close to his less successful '04/'05 seasons in two of three tries since they gave him that contract. Given the information to work with at the time, locking up Wells for seven years in the Great White North did seem like a good move even if it was apparent they were overpaying a little bit to hold on to him.

Mar 30, 2010 8:45 AM on Toronto Blue Jays
 
bhalpern
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For the sake of argument that may all be a given, but it says nothing about whether that training is sufficient to help avoid injuries. It makes some sense that some kind of cross-training to strengthen the surrounding musculature and tendons that are only partially used during normal pitching would help to avoid injuries, especially when those high stress pitches and innings occur. I'd like to see MLB pursue all of this through scientifically rigorous medical studies rather then letting it all play out through trial and error. There are millions of healthy college students who would be happy to partake in throwing studies for some small stipend as long as MLB would cover their medical costs if they develop injuries. I would think that would cost significantly less than $500 million and provide a large database to work from.

 
bhalpern
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Is it possible that we're seeing a natural stabilizing factor at work in settlement that offsets the opposing incentives that influence the arbitration offers by teams and players? For instance, did both Tallet and Camp choose high numbers because they thought the Jays would go low but the team didn't do that? Consequently Tallet and Camp would have been reasonably sure they would lose in arbitration and were forced to settle around 20%. And did the inverse occur in the one case >75%? That seems to be a likely path for Lincecum to follow as others above have noted. He could push the Giants all the way to arbitration. But if the Giants were to offer him $12m at this point I would be surprised for Lincecum to risk that much guaranteed for even a very small risk of getting stuck at $8m. An arbitration question also: Could a team's (or player's) compromise offer be used in any way at arbitration? Since the arbitrators can't pick a mid-point salary, an arbitrator's knowledge that the team offered the player something very close to that mid-point might make it more likely the arbitrator would side with the team.

 
bhalpern
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Cute. Just for the fun of it, Bengie Molina's full stats for the year were 85 steals out of 110 attempts. So Lincecum's sb numbers are right in line with the average for his catcher.

Jan 19, 2010 7:58 AM on Freakonomics
 
bhalpern
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From the NYT on December 29, 2006: "The Rangers extended a six-year, $84 million offer to Zito and recently added a $15 million vesting option for a seventh year, according to the executive, who did not want to be named because the deal with the Giants was not official. The Mariners visited Zito in Southern California, as did the Mets, who were considered the favorites to land him but declined to budge from a five-year offer worth about $75 million."

Jan 19, 2010 7:42 AM on Freakonomics
 
bhalpern
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Ludlum would rhyme it: The Regression Progression.

Jan 08, 2010 1:37 PM on AL Re-Gifting
 
bhalpern
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But also remember that's not an apples-to-apples comparison. In any given year Edgar only needed to be better than at most 13 other DH's. To be considered the best OF you're being compared to a peer group of about 80 players.

 
bhalpern
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Yes, the scale is worse for the Red Sox than for the 2nd richest teams in the other five divisions. But at the same time the Red Sox are the richest of any of the other 2nd richest teams and a few of the 1st richest teams (by division). So while you are correct that it is possible to understate the difficulty the Red Sox face in dealing with the Yankees, it's also possible to overstate that problem given Boston's advantage over most other teams. So in the end it's all a matter of perspective. You'll have to forgive people like me (Go O's Hon) for not feeling bad for the Red Sox.

Jan 06, 2010 8:06 AM on New Year Update
 
bhalpern
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Forget for a while that you (and I too) like Kevin Appier and tell me if the following information would lead you to consider looking further at this pitcher as a potential Hall of Famer: (All data from baseball-reference.com.) Top 10 Cy Young votes: 1993 - 3rd All-Star appearances: 1995 Black Ink 4 (461), Avg HOF P ≈ 40 Gray Ink 104 (198), Avg HOF P ≈ 185 HoF Monitor 32 (410), Likely HOF P ≈ 100 HoF Standards 24 (213), Avg HOF P ≈ 50 Top 10 Career Similarity Scores with lifetime HOF votes: 1. Andy Benes (951) 0 2. Frank Viola (940) 2 3. Al Leiter (940) 0 4. Rick Sutcliffe (937) 9 5. Dave Stewart (936) 38,23 6. Jim Lonborg (934) 3,3 7. Bob Forsch (933) 2 8. Doug Drabek (933) 2 9. Dave Stieb (931) 7 10. Bob Buhl (927) 0

 
bhalpern
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That's technically true, but Mattingly played the latter part of his career hampered by chronic back pain. I don't think that's any reason to put him in the hall but it was a definite contributing factor to his inability to maintain his high level of performance after the 80's.

Dec 28, 2009 9:10 AM on Weekend Update
 
bhalpern
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bhalpern
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I don't know how to find the stats, but I wonder how the run expectation might change with the batter having an 0-2 count, and Jeter specifically at an 0-2 count in 2009 and for his career.

Oct 30, 2009 11:05 AM on Some Guys We Missed
 
bhalpern
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But is that any more true of Halladay than every pitcher the Rangers already have?

 
bhalpern
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Did you ever see Rickey Henderson? Because he is "the greatest" hot dog ever.

May 13, 2009 6:21 PM on Feeling Byrnes'd
 
bhalpern
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Matt Wieters has a zero.

Mar 20, 2009 7:14 PM on Peerless Prodigies
 
bhalpern
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A glaring flaw in this logic is the focus on a single season. There have been plenty of players that have hit for more power later in their careers. Two players that come to mind quickly are Frank White and Brian Downing. HRs at ages 24-28 and ages 34-38: Phillips 27/73 (1:2.70) White 31/71 (1:2.29) Downing 33/108 (1:3.27) HRs pre-31 versus post-30: Phillips 33/127 (1:3.85) White 48/112 (1:2.33) Downing 56/219 (1:3.89) Note also that Phillips played in Oakland through his age 30 season but afterward mostly in much better parks for hitters.