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The greatest baseball commercial of all time is conspicuous by its absence:
"Maybe use “farmhands” (although agricultural workers can at least be assured of minimum wage)."
Actually, most farmhands are assured that they will NOT receive the minimum wage, as the vast majority of agricural workers are exempt from the minimum wage law. Check it out:
This article represents false equivalency of the highest magnitude.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45435">Adam Jones</a></span> did not say that "everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals," or anything remotely close to what <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=50170">Steve Clevenger</a></span> tweeted.
And I don't know of anyone on the left who has said anything as extreme and callous as "haha shit cracks me up" when someone was shot and killed.
I challenge you to prove me wrong.
I loved <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17826">Kirby Puckett</a></span>, and I believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame. I even named my dog Puckett.
However, for you to cite him as an exemplar of integrity and character is perplexing, at best.
Puckett was not only charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment, but his wife reported continuous threats and domestic violence, as did his mistress of eighteen years. Along with public urination in shopping center parking lots, no less.
Not to mention my personal suspicion, albeit completely unsubstantiated, that he was among the early users of steroids.
But as for the rest, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=29369">Casey Stengel</a></span> would say, "you can look it up" in this S.I. article by Frank Deford, among many others:
Don't you believe that players should be disqualified from any Hall of Fame consideration based on their beliefs?
Shame on you.
Actually, any player who ever had sex with a fat, gnarly, gross chick should also be disqualified based upon his beliefs that it will improve performance, as <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=300">Mark Grace</a></span> explained to Jim Rome:
"A slumpbuster is if a team's in a slump, or if you personally are in a slump, you gotta find the fattest, gnarliest, grossest chick and you just gotta lay the wood to her. And when you do that, you're just gonna have instant success. And it could also be called jumping on a grenade for the team."
Results guaranteed to be much quicker and more effective than steroids, or your money back!
Struggling actors/actresses should be paid a living wage while they are waiting tables.
Even people who are not struggling actors/actresses should be paid a living wage while waiting tables.
Forevermore, you'll have to concede that you've heard someone say it.
Revenue sharing will only contribute towards parity if way is found to mandate that it go to the players on the field or in the farm system, and not be tucked into the owners' pockets.
Maybe teams should effect better nutrition and higher pay for minor league players simply because it it the right thing to do for its employees.
I know that strikes at the very heart of conservative capitalist theory, but what can I say? I believe in capitalism, but exercised in a progressive and responsible way.
Billionaire ownership groups make more than enough that they can afford to push a few crumbs from the table down to their organizational soldiers.
Jayson Heyward? Seriously?
So Yelich 21 stolen bases last year. This year, he has attempted five stolen bases with the season 1/4 complete.
This should be used as evidence to expect that Marlins players attempts will be lower this year? I guess so.
I prefer Bill James' proposal - all four pitch walks result in the batter taking second.
If you can't throw even one ball across the plate, intentional or not, you pay a steep price.
It didn't seem to hurt <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Pedro+Martinez">Pedro Martinez</a></span> to pitch a year in long relief before shifting to starter, did it?
And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=82629">Earl Weaver</a></span> developed a string of solid starters for the Orioles back in their heyday?
I am aware that many people feel they are experts on education simply because they went to school when they were growing up. However, believing that one is an expert simply because he is a parent takes it to a new level of arrogance.
Most schools have seven periods of instruction at 45 minutes each, for a total of 6 hours and fifteen minutes per day in class. Even if you allow five minutes to get settled in and very generous five minutes to prepare to leave, that is still over five hours of devoted classroom time per day.
Meanwhile, passing to a new class six times a day at five minutes each takes 30 minutes of the day, and lunch takes at most 30 minutes more. Moreover, it is ridiculous to assert that a student the age of Drake LaRoche would ever receive any recess, as even elementary students are not allowed much, if any, recess these days.
This just reveals how many people demean the efforts and productivity of teachers, by believing that anyone at home can be well-versed enough in Algebra, English Composition, World History, Biology, and a host of elective courses to be able to teach all of them, and can easily impart that knowledge in 120 minutes or less per day while in the comfort of their own living room.
Maybe a few parents are that capable, but not many. Not many.
But what the heck, you are only insulting teachers, and everyone knows they are any easy target. After all they are nothing but union thugs trying to rip off the public for things like health insurance and a retirement account, while only working, in your view at least, about two hours a day.
Not to mention that Bumgarner was hitting .247 in the first shot of the scoreboard, then plummeted to .059 in the second shot, before stabilizing at .244 by the ninth inning.
Mocking someone for their birth defect reveals how shallow one is.
I remember standing on a back field at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, fascinated as <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=21822">Joe Ferguson</a></span> threw pitch after pitch in the dirt, teaching a young minor leaguer how to block the ball.
After watching <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mike+Piazza">Mike Piazza</a></span> spend a solid hour on his haunches getting beat up that way, I believed that anyone who was that dedicated to learning his craft had a great chance for success. I never regretted drafting Piazza for my APBA team.
I guess your thesis is that "working class white folk" must have a strong desire to increase the wealth of billionaire businessmen and corporations.
Why else would you be so pleased that the free market supposedly exists in America is shackled to deprive world class athletes of their fair value?
Not only was this article beautifully written, but it was spot on tracing the many trips I made from the city of my birth to spend a weekend (and occasionally a full week) enjoying ball games at the closest major league park.
Your comment is a red herring.
The way to check the validity of any predictor is to see if it's past performance was "decent."
While you seem to believe that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59432">Mike Trout</a></span>'s future R, <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RBI" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RBI'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RBI</span></a>, and BA will be totally random, I predict that, barring injury, they will bear at least a "decent" correlation to his numbers in the past. Want to make a bet on that?
Speaking as a Dodgers fan, if you're correct that Roberts "likely won't be any worse than Mattingly was," I'll be very pleased.
The implication of failure s obvious, as you chose against using a much more positive construction: "Roberts will likely be just as good as Mattingly,"
Not too many managers can point to three straight division titles and 90+ win seasons on their resume. Not even the vaunted <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=19258">Bruce Bochy</a></span>.
There is no chance that 200 players a year will get anything more than a cup of coffee.
Most of them won't have a career that amounts to a hill of beans in the big leagues. It would be complete overkill.
The BP staff's energy would be better spent writing about other things.
I totally disagree.
Hosmer was not the winning run, so getting the second out of the inning was extremely meaningful.
Two outs, nobody on is a much, much better situation than having a man on base with only one out. Ia wise man said if they are going to give you a damn out, take it.
The Mets were assured of coming up to bat in the ninth, and had chances to score and win in the tenth and eleventh innings also. The failure of the offense cost them the game.
There is a reason the old saw "play to tie at home and win on the road" has stood the test of time.
How do you do that? When I've tried the radio always arrives about three second before the picture, kind of ruining the suspense.
In the majority of cases free agents are "aging," because the rules dictate a team has six years of control before free agency is granted.
In addition, the team has the option of negotiating a contract that in most cases will keep the player from leaving.
We have seen that these two things are plenty enough to protect a team's interest, although nothing can "ensure" the hopes of the fan base of a poorly run team that they will see their team succeed.
Contrary to your applied assumption, the acquisition of free agents does not "ensure" the signing team's fan base of success, either.
Adding the subjective word "hope" is done to muddy the results so that your concept cannot be held to any measure of accountability.
Your are simply dusting off the discredited rationale that was used to keep the old reserve clause in place for almost a century.
I take your point that these stats may not be the BEST predictors of performance, but you don't think that the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RBI" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RBI'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RBI</span></a> stat is even a DECENT predictor of future RBI?
So, I guess you must believe that although <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Miguel+Cabrera">Miguel Cabrera</a></span> has averaged 121 RBI per 162 games over his 13 year career, and has never had less than 105 RBI in any year since his rookie season (during which he produced 62 RBI in only 87 games) occurred by random chance and could not have been predicted?
I just might have an opening for you in my league!
The solution is incredibly simple. Eliminate all forms of compensation and let the free market operate.
Just as with everyone else in America who is not a professional athlete, after a player has fulfilled his contract he should be free to sign a new one with any employer he chooses, no strings attached.
As a teacher I switched school districts this year to work at one much closer to home. Should my new district have been required to "compensate" my old district? I think everyone would laugh at such a concept, understanding that it is ridiculous on its face.
Back to MLB, should the Dodgers have been required to compensate the Rays for hiring Andrew Friedman? Should the Astros have compensated the Cardinals for hiring Jeff Luhnow, let alone for luring <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/kevin_goldstein">Kevin Goldstein</a> away from Baseball Prospectus?
That the bizarre question of "compensation" even exists today is a remnant of the system when owners had the ability to treat the players as chattel and livestock.
You meant to say without repeating oneself, right, BrewersTT?
"We couldn't have fairly assumed the Royals were going to carry their dominant late-season relief efforts from 2014 not only into 2015, but all the way through it."
That sounds like an admission that you weren't paying much attention last year. Here are the <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a>'s of the Royals big three relievers from March, 2014 through July, 2014:
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=47360">Wade Davis</a></span>, 0.97
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56449">Kelvin Herrera</a></span>, 1.76
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=57708">Greg Holland</a></span>, 1.77
It sure sounds like a facts are twisted to create a false narrative.
As for explaining why no one BP even picked the reigning American League to finish as high as second in their division this year, I think it is best to rely on Occam's Razor: "When you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."
The simplest and best explanation is "We missed on the Royals, and there's no excuse."
"Jessica Mendoza certainly got a treat in her debut with Sunday Night Baseball"
Sunday Night Baseball viewers certainly got a treat, too. How refreshing it was too listen to an analyst who speaks in complete sentences.
I have no clue how ESPN could put <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=323">Curt Schilling</a></span> in the position when he ends virtually every thought with "Ummm, aaaa, ergh..." He is so irritating that I have tried turning off the sound and listening the the radio broadcast, but the time delay makes that problem. I hate hearing about the play three seconds before. I see the action.
Schilling is so incredibly inarticulate that he almost makes me long to have <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Joe+Morgan">Joe Morgan</a></span> back in the role. Almost.
So you believe there is more "value" with a system that encourages catchers' deception by "manipulating the perception of umpires" to get an undeserved strike call, rather than to get the call right?
This disingenuous "genuine human element" is much preferred over a correct call?
Accuracy would make for a "much poorer game?"
I respectfully disagree.
I agree that DeGrom appears to be an excellent pick for next year.
However, I don't understand how it increases his value, to me as an individual owner, that he might fall a few picks later in a snake draft than some of the other comparable starters.
For example, let's say I pick fifth in a 12-team draft. I can choose to draft him with my fifth pick, or wait in hopes of getting him with the 19th pick.
Since he almost certainly won't be available at # 19, my real choice is to draft him fifth or not at all.
I see no increase in value for him that I might have gotten him in the eighth spot, or tenth, of even sixteenth, since none of those are options for me. It's either the fifth spot or nothing.
Can someone explain Ito me if I how I am looking at this wrong? Thank you.
Nathan and Soria were both washed up has-beens with a history of arm troubles. That was the best the Tigers could do?
Relief pitchers in general, including ones who have the tools to become closers, are pretty easily available throughout baseball. Several new closers are minted by other teams every year.
The Tigers' inability to bring order and reasonable proficiency to their bullpen reflects a real lack of imagination and competence on the part of management.
With apologies to all cheeseheads, if I thought I had to leave the center of the known universe to move to Wisconsin, tears would be flowing down my cheeks, too.
I'm really glad that the Dodgers put together this trade instead of selling the farm for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45534">Cole Hamels</a></span>.
Your assumption that actors in the trade market are always rational is no different from the belief that actors in the stock market and real estate market and tulip market are always rational.
We have centuries of proof that such an assumption just isn't true.
Under the previous system, teams tied after a 162 games season settled the matter with a one game play-off.
No one insisted it was "hilariously disrespectful."
So why is a one game play-off to determine which wild card team joins the division series such an atrocity?
Will the <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/column/new_column/">All-Star Game</a> still "count?"
The winner could decide whether the World Series is played in Caracas or in Omaha
It looks like the Red Sox will finish in last place for the third time in Cherington's four seasons in the job.
I was amazed when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013. It just didn't seem that the team had that kind of talent. Now with a longer perspective, it seems more and more like someone must have sold his soul to the devil that year.
"When we discover that players on a team are cheating by taking forbidden performance enhancing drugs, the players are punished. No one says that the Brewers should lose a draft pick for the actions of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Ryan+Braun">Ryan Braun</a></span>."
Maybe teams should be punished for lack of institutional control when their players use PEDs. Probably would clean the game up much faster, don't you agree?
Why should the Brewers (just to name one team, since you brought up Braun) have enjoyed the windfall of post-season money one year and increased ticket sales next year?
"Did Luhnow take proprietary information from the Cardinals? None of us are privy to the contracts signed between the Cards and Luhnow, but potentially, there could be a problem there too."
Implying that Luhnow may have begged for retribution based upon nothing more than ones own creative imagination would be a textbook case of blaming the victim.
Please link to evidence which raises the question so that we don't have to think that is what you did here. Thank you.
If only you had added Pedro Martinez to your Mets comment you would have named everyone from the rotation of my 2001 APBA team.
Can we assume that Rays up-and-coming hard-throwing relief prospect David Harmon is actually named after Aaron Goldsmith's wife, and that Miguel Ostroff and Scott Stanislawski are best friends from his Principia College. Days?
I've followed the career of <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17113">Chip Hale</a></span> pretty closely, as the only ball I ever caught at a game was a foul off his bat. I'm pretty sure he's still managing the D'Backs these days.
I think you meant to say that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59653">David Hale</a></span> will be throwing for the Rockies tonight.
Now you're thinking.!
However, the batter stands pretty close by. The catchers would really have to whisper quietly.
Well, Los Banos might possibly mean "The Bathrooms."
But more likely, the name was intended to signify its alternate interpretation, "The Baths."
Your comment about Dr. Pepper withdrawal reveals that your counters are cumulative for the trip.
Until now I had mistakenly assumed they started fresh each day.
Bill James may not have impacted the decisions that MLB teams made at the time. Nonetheless, he certainly influenced the research going forward, which eventually did lead to the changes we see in the game.
And yet, the Marlins have one two World Series, when other teams haven't even played in any during that same time frame.
You've got it completely ass-backwards.
There never used to be any such thing as "Super 2" players. Arbitration never started until after the third year.
The players union wanted to do something for the younger players. They tried to move the eligibility for arbitration up a year so that everyone finishing work th two years would qualify. The owners fought that, and the current Super 2 rules resulted from a compromise that allowed only some second year players to qualify for arbitration.
Splitting the second year into two different tiers for the purposes of arbitration brought about the unintended consequences we have today. You don't have to be King Solomon to realize that splitting the baby with a sword was not such a bright idea.
But you are dead wrong to claim the union sold out the younger players. Rather, they gained a partial win to help some of the year two players make more, sooner rather than later.
I'm guessing he hit an extra "k" while typing "breaking the single-game record" and auto-correct changed it to "break king."
russell, your drawing looks like the owl from a cartoon I used to watch growing up.
A little kid was supposed to be practicing classical music but was corrupted by Owl Jolson, who taught him to play jazz: "I wanna singa, about the moon-a and a June-a and the spring-a..."
Could you please explain the reason you characterized the Rockies as having a "dismal 2B spot?"
D. J. LeMahieu has played every game but one there and is hitting .315/.372/.396. His <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OPS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OPS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OPS</span></a> is .768 and his WAR is .4, which is currently a bit better than Tulowitski's .740 and .2.
In addition, LeMahieu won the NL Gold Glove at second base last year.
So why do you call his production "dismal?"
You believe that MLB told Luria to run the Marlins into the ground AFTER they got their new stadium? That doesn't make any sense.
If they get that desperate to move Ramirez from of the outfield and bench Napoli, I expect Hanley could at least play first base while Ortiz would continue to DH.
Why screw with the role of both players when they can resolve the issue by making a change with only one of them?
Username49, can you produce even a shred of objective evidence to back up anything you wrote?
You should have read <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mike+Piazza">Mike Piazza</a></span>'s book. It was a number of sleights and powerplays used against him over the years that made him determined never to sign a long term contract with the Dodgers.
Why do you imagine that people forget when their employer drops on them? People surely remember.
If you are sure that you already know the answer, why did you bother to ask the question?
Even with the death penalty for the possession of marijuana, Singapore still has drug users.
The country only has a population of five million, but still whacks about a half dozen of its citizens each year who managed to get caught for drug possession.
Watch Tulowitzki play 149 games this year.
Spread out over 50 years, the Average Annual Value of Arrubarruena's contract starts to become reasonable.
We all make typos and I make more than my share.
The difference being that "ballot" is easily interpreted to be ballot, while the meaning of "roar stays" was truly incomprehensible.
There was really no need to be defensive. Just fix it and move on.
But When you need to lash out I can handle it.
I don't care either.
And if I was coming up on a contract negotiation where tens of millions of dollars were at stake, perhaps even hundreds of millions, I would have used, too.
And for all of you goody-two-shoes who swear you would not get your fingernails dirty even if it might mean tens of millions of dollars to you, I call 99% of you self-deluded liars.
Okay. All of the holier-than-thou moralists can begin bashing me now, but in your hearts you know I speak the truth..
The comments made you uncomfortable enough to claim "it was only analogy." A piss-poor analogy, I might add.
Then your second paragraph totally negates the first one by revealing how committed you are to playing the judgmental card.
Using an ad hominem attack couldn't be more lame.
It is amusing that a logical fallacy is the sharpest tool in your shed. At least you could have maintained a bit of your dignity if you would have admitted here that "I've got nuttin'."
That was not Olney's argument.
His decision to withhold his ballor had nothing to do with the ten players he would vote for.
He did not vote because he wanted to improve the chance of staying on the ballot for players who he did not have room on his ballot to vote for.
It is still a screwy theory and does not make sense. But it is important to at least understand which screwy theory Olney was pushing.
The key is to stop looking at this individually, as in how it affects only Biggio, and begin to look at it globally, as in how Biggio affects everyone else.
When one considers that Biggio will take approximately 75% of the votes away again this year, which could have been used on other deserving players, his failure to win election last year by only two votes may actually become quite significant.
Well, it may be the end of the story once you explain what "roar stays" was supposed to say. Until then, I will be scratching my head in perpetuity.
Your point is dead right on.
And I do believe that Smoltz belongs, too. I wish he had not hung on one more year and might have had the chance to go in with Maddux and Glavine.
Your point is fallacious because the fifteen or so most qualified candidates who are splitting up the vote did not all retire in one year. They retired over a period of thirteen years.
If you convinced as few as 96% of the voters to follow your plan then Pedro, Randy, and Smoltz will all drop off the ballot after this year.
Based on the figures just released, nine players making the average MLB salary last year, just shy of $4 million, would cost about $35 million.
It doesn't take too many stars' salaries to quickly eclipse that figure.
I think Sam is speaking Spanish and you are speaking Italian (or Portuguese or Romanian). There is a slight difference, of course.
But in both cases it is "por ejemplo/exemplo" not "pro."
I don't imagine that signing Ross and trading Castillo will raise the hopes of the ordinary fan. Quite the opposite, I would expect.
"What is happening right now is just overpaying for name-recognition hires."
That is a bold statement to make, yet you make it with such self-assurance that you must have empirical evidence to prove the point. Please share the factual evidence with us.
If the likes of William Shakespeare and Vladimir Nabokov are allowed to invent new words from old ones, so are you.
Now the trick is for it to be assimilated into the general lexicon.
When MLB agrees to give up the ridiculous idea that teams deserve "compensation" in order for (only certain) players to exercise their free market rights to when contracting their services, the sport will become not only more honest and straightforward, but much better all around.
It is well past time for these corporate titans to stop messing with the market.
Grandall only through out 13% of the base stealers last year and 8% the year before.
He did earn himself some black ink, as he led the NL receivers with twelve past balls, despite playing in only 67 games at the position.
The Dodgers' pitchers may face some frustrating moments in 2015.
I'm sorry that I didn't make my point clear enough for you.
The old spare parts I was referring to consist of the new middle infielders who you're so excited about.
I guess Jimmy Rollins does a whole lot more for you than he does me.
But please don't try to paint me as ever a fan of Ned Coletti. The fact that h's been replaced is what has thrilled me the most about the Dodgers off-season!
I'm very happy to have Andrew Friedman in charge, but it's not as if anything brilliant has gone down.
It doesn't exactly take a resident genius to find a couple old spare parts sitting back in the junkyard.
I would have liked it much better if they had stopped dealing after acquiring Heaney.
Brandon Moss was traded to Cleveland today, so I guess your hypothesis wasn't based upon actual evidence. Rather, it was the other alternative after all.
I am curious if you are basing your hypothesis on some actual evidence, or if it just wild speculation from within your own mind?
I am looking forward to the answer, so thank you in advance!
You wrote:"Tomas doesn't really fit in the Cespedes, Puig, Abreu as he's younger than all of them as he enters the league. "
Correction: Puig was 22 when he debuted with the Dodgers. Tomas is already 24.
Sam, I always love how you handle criticism. There isn't an ounce of defensiveness in your bones.
I wish I could be as open to it as you are!
I realize that when you "check the box" for good health you are talking about Lester's arm.
Even still, as my stepson is, similar to Lester, also in remission from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I am well aware that one must remain vigilant, as this disease can unexpectedly come back some years later.
I am thrilled for Lester that he has been in remission for several years and hope that always remains the case for him. He's a good pitcher and seems like a great guy. In our free market system has earned the big contract he is about to sign.
But when ones health history includes cancer, I don't think you can ever "check the box" for good health. There remains some risk involved going forward.
Boston has out-Yankeed New York for the better part of a decade now.
Fenway can be a great place for left handers to hit.
If they can pull to right they are playing up their power. And when they hit to left, they have a short distance to bounce it off the wall. Win-win.
At least, that's what Ted Williams said. And he might have known a thing or two about hitting, especially in Fenway.
Allow me to save you ten seconds. Gose' OPS in 2012 was .622, in 2013 it was .691, and in 2014 it was .604.
I appreciate the dialogue, Mike, so I read the article that you linked to.
Since there is nothing said about pitchers or players, I assume that you are referring to the point "(1.) Actual value of a player to his team that is, strength of offense and defense." Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Of course, a given player's contribution solely on one side of the ball can be greater than another player's contribution on both offense and defense, so I see nothing that precludes pitchers from winning the award.
Moreover, that article links to another in which Jack O'Connell, Secretary/Treasurer of the BBWAA, details the MAP guidelines sent to the voters. He specifically states "The writers must also keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters."
And finally, the proof is in the pudding. Pitchers, both starters and relievers, do win the MVP award from time to time.
Who would have expected that on the whole, BBWAA voters are more progressive and inclusive than Baseball Prospectus staff voters?
Of course, only 10% of the BP voters were so narrow-minded that they willfully left a pitcher off of their ballot for Player of the Year. That means the other 90% should not be tarred by the company they keep.
But the four who invented a fictional rule which skewed the results should reflect on how indefensible it is refuse to recognize that pitcher is also baseball player.
And some years a pitcher is the best player in the league, just as the BBWAA voters decided this time.
Kluber is not a kid. He's 28 years old.
If he couldn't handle the increased work load this year, he would never be able to.
You might be proven right, but it is not an issue I would be worrying about.
Sure, you can cite a few anecdotes and choose to believe that calling the strike zone exactly as according to the rule book would somehow help the hitters.
Just like you can cite a snowstorm in Buffalo and claim that climate change is a hoax 97% of the scientists simply made up.
In either case you will be just as correct.
I read a study that if umpires called the strike zone by the rule book it would be a tremendous help to pitchers. For example, almost nothing above the belt is called a strike these days.
Thus, your suggested "fix" to increase offense would most likely result in a change that is 180 degrees in the opposite direction of your desired outcome.
You don't know who R. J. Anderson voted for down-ballot. He could have easily voted for Kershaw.
However, he was the only one out of 39 voters who found a place anywhere on his ballot for Werth, let alone third over-all, so I'm inviting him to provide his explanation.
I did not call for anyone to be fired for having a different opinion than me. Rather, it takes a lot of arrogance to knowingly skew the results of an award by making up ones own rule as to who is eligible for an award when that rule does not exist.
90% of these voters had Kershaw on their ballot. 10% made up some "rule" that doesn't exist. It couldn't be more clear which group acted professionally and which did not.
I have no more respect for someone who follows a fictional "rule" to leave pitchers off the ballot here than I do for Hall-of-Fame voters who intentionally leave players off the ballot because they don't want to take the chance that anyone ever receives a unanimous vote.
Four voters left Clayton Kershaw completely off the ballot for NL Player of the Year.
They should be fired. Seriously.
R.J. Anderson voted Jayson Werth as the third best player in the NL. I struggle to comprehend that, whether one wants to go by old stats ( .296, 16 HR, 82 RBI), or new (he didn't break the top ten in bWAR or fWAR). I would love to hear Mr. Anderson's explanation for his vote.
Matthew Kory wrote his rationalization as to why Ben Cherington should be the 2014 executive f the year:
"All these deals and non-deals perfectly set the 2013 Red Sox up for success in 2013. They also perfectly ruined the 2014 team."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only way to understand this as an attempt to make a sick joke about the award, right?
Well, the Giants succumbed to the pressure of the World Series by making 4 errors in 2010.
Perhaps being a bit more seasoned, they were credited with only one error in four games in 2012 and two errors in seven games in 2014.
How much would you be willing to bet that they would collapse under the pressure and make a throwing error just when KC needed it the most?
The Royals would have had to bet everything on it.
I guess you're right.
But maybe someday someone will invent a concept called a "pinch-hitter."
Obviously, "World Series pressure" must be contagious enough to increase the odds past the tipping point so that we could naturally expect three or four professionals in a row would ALL succumb to nerves and blow the same play, right?
I was not even aware their was any controversy regarding this play until I read about it the next day, as it was obvious that Gordon needed to stop at third base.
It would have been utterly foolish to surrender in a World Series by hoping that ones opponent can't throw any better than a little leaguer.
The Royals job was to try to win the game, not to excite Nate Silver and others by getting thrown out at the plate by a country mile.
Yes really. The proof is in the pudding.
Owners and general managers are the only ones who count when it comes to hiring managers, and obviously the owners of the Reds were keen to get Dusty on board.
USA today columnists and fans had no power whatsoever to have "jeopardized" his hiring. Not only did you cite the idle speculation that I mentioned, but you used an article which was Published AFTER he had already been hired.
How silly does one have to think that Baker's job prosoects were somehow "jeopardized" when he had already been hired for his next job? Try not to be so gullible.
The season is over now, and every prediction that you questioned here proved to be correct.
Maybe rather than criticize BP writers, you should try learning something from these guys.
Your own analogy disproves your own theory.
The reality of Dusty Baker's subsequent hiring by the Reds serves as a total contradiction to any idle speculation that may have regarded his employment prospects were ever in "jeopardy."
Thus, your thesis was soundly disproven many years before you suggested it in your comment.
They faced different interleague opponents. Without an identical schedule your argument is invalid.
Please watch your tone.
I find it bizarre how so many of you are bursting your blood vessels over something that is never ever going to change. Impossible.
You are just tilting at windmills.
So I suggest an alternative for you: Tune out. Drop out. Chill out. Since you dislike the post-season so much, why not completely ignore it?
Just celebrate your regular season champions and laugh at the rest of us who believe we are still watching baseball games that matter. Go ahead and move on with your life.
After all, you know the post-season is a meaningless farce, so why get sucked in again?.
What's more, you will have two regular league champions to celebrate, taking you back to those traditional days before those greedy owners conspired to concoct a so-called "World Series," in order to lengthen the season and make more money selling tickets and advertising to the great unwashed.
Remember, every time you get your nose bent out of shape over these unnecessary play-off games or heathen wild card teams, the terrorists win.
One really cannot go by a teams' records to determine which is "best," since for some time now there have been unbalanced schedules and interleague play, so they don't face the same teams at all.
The Royals had the best record of any AL team in interleague play. That certainly does not make them the best team in the AL. However, it is an indicator that straight-up-and-down records over 162 games against different opponents might not tell the whole story.
Which is why they play post-season games on the field to determine the champion, right?
You asked the Royals look like when they trail. Well, so far they've been behind in the post-season three times and have won all three of those games.
Obviously it is a ridiculously small sample size, and they can't be expected to continue to be perfect at coming from behind.
But it's not nothing, either. They certainly don't roll over and play dead.
Okay guys, watch this short video.
Keith Olbermann explains, in his entertaining way, why it made perfect sense for Matheny to call on Wacha and leave him in.
You may not agree, but I think after watching it you will at least see that there is another side to the issue and that the decision was entirely defensible:
Take these percentages with a real grain of salt. They don't mean much of anything at all.
You nailed it, 4-1. It was almost too easy.
Sorry, though, wrong team.
The reason there was no question in your mind the Cardinals would win is because your mind was never open. It was closed by your own cocky arrogance.
The Cardinals have been a model franchise with great success, especially recently. Too bad you couldn't accept that good fortune with a modicum of humility, let alone enough sense of security to acknowledge that the Giants were a worthy opponent.
When the series started I was ambivalent about which team to root for until I read your comment. I immediately backed the Giants hoping they would teach you a lesson.
I wonder if you can even recognize that your comments provide a textbook example of the attitude of many Cardinals fans that other baseball fans resent.
Regardless of the outcome of this series, the Cardinals remain a credit to the game and have many first class fans. However, in that you have chosen to unleash your support in such an obnoxious manner, it is a real pleasure to grind your nose into the words that you wrote!
In fact, it is almost too easy.
Natural or not, you were obviously rooting for the Orioles. Thank you for expressing your disappointment. One team had to lose, so why not the O's?
Each hitter has his own strike zone based upon his height and stance. The strike zone can change up to the last instant before the pitch if he adjusts into a final position.
How does Pitchf/x adapt to each hitter in real time? How certain can it be determined that Pitchf/x accurately duplicates each individual strike zone?
"... we have no idea how much of Tampa's success to ascribe to Friedman..."
That is outrageous.
Andrew Friedman is the General Manager. Even if one believes the success of the Rays is due to others working in the front office and on the field, he deserves all the credit because he is the one who decided to employ them.
The leader deserves the credit when he surrounds himself with good people.
I fell forever connected to Chip Hale. He hit the only foul ball I've ever caught.
John Jay started in center for the majority of the season and put up 468 plate appearances, so he is not exactly a new find. Ditto Kolton Wong, who posted 433 PA while playing nowhere else but second base.
While those two already played two-thirds of the season for the Cards, I'll grant you that Randal Grichuk is a recent addition.
It had not struck me how incredibly stabilizing Grichuk's post-season OBP of .208 and SLG of .304 have been for the Cardinals lineup through game two, until you were kind enough to focus our thoughts on him.
Thank you for that insight.
Now I understand why you are convinced that "It will almost be to easy."
Okay, thank you for your explanation.
Maybe you're right. Or maybe it's random noise in a small sample size.
I would suspect the later.
So is it that you are making a statement about how good you think the Giants defense is?
The good news is now that the Cards, with their "on fire offense," has a shutout loss in game one out of the way, all they have to do is win the next four straight to turn you into a major prophet. It will almost be too easy.
Pardon my ignorance, but you can you please explain the significance of whether or not a run is gien up "in-play?" Thank you!
".... mystically able to will their team to victory..."
Seriously, now, dude.
"In a postseason where mysticism is defying analytics..."
There is nothing very mystical about small sample sizes.
I don't even find convincing the underlying assumption in your premise:That striking out eight in nine plate appearances is a "simple" thing. Let alone following you to the next step that whether or not it is simple, 'it "can't" or "shouldn't" be a good reason.
And whileyou assume that your logic is so obvious to readers that there is no need to even finish the sentence (If it wast that simple...), I have to guess at your meaning. Are you implying that your disapproval is so universal that all would agree with you? Well, it's not.
I love a Puig, but he looked clueless out there this week.
And with some exceptions, He has really looked pretty clueless since July. April and May stats just can't be counted on in October.
Now that the season is over, Josh Harrison clearly established himself by earning an All-Star berth, finishing second in the league in batting, and accumulating 5.3 bWAR with an OPS+ of .134, while displaying mad skills whenever he was in a pickle.
Josh Harriason was a major inspiration this season!
Why the gratuitous hit mocking Billy Butler when he is completely irrelevant to this story?
Even if it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, Butler should instead be applauded for risking to extend himsellf to overcome his innate limitations.
After all, bullies always act as if it will get them off the hook if they claim they were "just playing around."
"It might not make a difference in a one-game series, but on the other hand it could also wind up being entirely crucial."
So no matter what happens, the author can claim to have been right. What a masterful waffle!
He's become James Loney. In good years he might show a bit more power, and in down years a bit less average.
But basically, he's become James Loney.
Yes, I apologize, Josh Harrison, of course. Love the guy!
After reading all the way through these comments, the consensus is clearly that most people eventually admit that a hot dog is a sandwich, even if they initially balked at the idea.
Nonetheless, Josh Hamilton's observation that kicked off the article remains true: "if you ask someone to make you a sandwich, they aren't going to make you a hot dog."
We've come full circle.
Pizzas become sandwiches when in the hands of New Yorkers who fold them over to eat, thus creating a crust on both sides.
A agree with Craig, and will take the issue one step further:
Technically speaking, hamburger and hot dogs buns are known in the trade as "sandwich buns." Just read the package and you'll see.
That pretty much settles the argument for everyone except the science deniers, who will never give an inch.
I dunno about your campaign against bread. I do agree that if you put a hot dog between two slices you're doing it wrong.
But if you wrap a heel around the bread that is perfectly acceptable, no? In fact, I believe it is the only approved use for the heels, besides deep-fat frying them to make croutons.
Moreover, I'd be willing to bet that the originator of the hot dog bun was inspired by the heel. The hot dog bun was his way to bake little loafs that were nothing but heels.
As final proof, that is why hot dog buns are sold eight to a package while the hot dogs themselves come iin packs of ten. That is so one has two hot dogs left over to use with the heels that are from that loaf sitting in the bread box.
If Garza doesn't want to get tossed out of the game for twice hitting McCutchen, maybe he should pitch more carefully. Maybe he should pitch better.
Certainly he should stop whining about it.
It makes no difference whether he has one detectable mix of pitches or two detectable mixes of pitches (RISP and no RISP), as the hitter is just as aware of the base situation as the pitcher, and can adjust accordingly.
Thus, the "game theory" hypothesis is not convincing.
Tyler Clippard has been a great strike out pitcher for the Nationals for several years now. Why do they refuse to give him the ball with the game on the line?
Just because Clippard's not a "proven closer" like Soriano?
Tug McGraw, upon signing his free agent contract:
"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably just waste."
Here is the definition of an independent event: "An event whose occurrence or non-occurrence is not in any way influenced by the occurrence or non-occurrence of another event."
Okay, that works for flipping coins, but pitching a baseball game does not result in a series of random outcomes.
Prior events in baseball can easily influence the outcome of subsequent events, for good or for ill. Even the fact that a pitcher eventually tires as he faces more batters can easily have an affect upon upcoming at bats.
Obviously, there are far more outs than hits to go around.
So if the first outcome is a hit, a big hit, a home run even, it's logical that the chances the next batter will make an out increases, not decreases.
Isn't that akin to regression to the mean.?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't be serious, can you? That must be hyperbole.
Seeing how tone of voice is absent from the written word, it always helps to add an emoticon when you are joking like that. :)
It is good to learn that none of the pitchers back in your glory days ever had to quit the game because they had a "tired arm."
If only these young whipper-snappers were real men and learned to stay off your lawn, none of them would ever tear their ulnar collateral ligament again.
The corollary to what you are saying is that the players who "shine in the moment" must be giving up lots of at bats when the game isn't on the line.
That is hardly praise for them. I think they should be trying hard all the time.
Phillies 23, Cubs 22, May 17, 1979.
Both starters were knocked out after having only retired one batter as the score at the end of the first inning was Phillies 7, Cubs 6.
The game featured 11 home runs. Dave Kingman hit three out and Mike Schmidt.had two, including the game winner in the tenth inning.
How can anyone possibly overlook that game?
Check out the box score:
Maybe. But maybe not.
Great minds think alike.
No Dee Gordon?
I loved the Marvin Miller article. Especially when players asked if he could get along with the owners, and he responded that if the owners ever sung his praises he should be fired.
His book was a great read, too.
Could he be a shirt-tail relative from the NY branch of the family, Sam?
This is not the first time.
It seems as if the Yankees won't make a trade any more unless they can get a little juice along with the player.
Au contraire: I find Josh Harrison to be inspiring.
Your distinction between the effect that the winner's curse has concerning the FAAB process vs. the pre-season auction is helpful. Clearly, I was conflating the two.
Thank you for the clarification.
Except at the end game, when other teams' rosters are complete or money is expended to the point that they can only make minimum bids, won't the winner's curse affect every player taken, at least to some degree?
In other words, it is already baked into the cake.
If we go to, say, an estate auction where a few parties are capable of buying up everything of value while the rest go home empty-handed, the winner's curse is certainly at play. The all-or-nothing result amps it up.
However, a Fantasy auction is more of a zero-sum game, because a person who spends heavily for one piece has fewer resources left to spend on the next pieces, resulting in a more level playing field. In other words, in the end everyone has to buy the same number of pieces, even in the same configuration of roles, as the next guy.
Since no one can dominate the spending at very many positions, the top end (where the winner's circle effect is most prominent), is more or less spread across the league. Thus, the effect of the winner's curse becomes by and large muted.
I have no desire to play games by "inventing" a number like you did. Rather, I reject your entire thesis.
I think you"ve got the wrong adversary there, evo.
Would you actually deny that the primary purpose of a labor union is to extract the nest possible working conditions, wages, and benefits from the owner/management of the company or government where the union members work?
Thank you for your response. You explained your calculations perfectly when you wrote:
"I invented this..."
How offensive of you to assume that the problem with people living below the poverty level is their inability to manage money, rather than the fact that they don't have enough money in the first place.
I would submit that paying the rent, feeding the kids, and paying the bills takes an incredible amount of skill when one has very little money to work with. That some can't pull it off is to be expected, considering that there are plenty of middle class and wealthy people who can't keep up with their bills either.
To assume that most people in their 20s have not yet learned how to stay out of trouble and are in need of several years of being broke is utterly ridiculous.
Next, I expect someone to try to pass on the myth that poor people don't work and live the easy life, rather than acknowledging that most work very hard for long hours at difficult jobs for very little pay.
Plucky, where did you come up with the .08 WAR figure? Please explain.
The only thing I see close is the increase of players who contribute 5 WAR from 2.4% to 3.2 %, which is an increase of .8 % of the players, or .08. But that represents .8% PLAYERS, not .8% WAR.
I don't know how many players that would be, do you?
But at $7 million per WAR, each one of those players would add $28 million in value to their team over the ones who contributed only 1 WAR.
At that rate, it the system would need top produce one additional 5 WAR players every 2.8 years to break even. But if it also adds more 1.0 WAR players, the break even number would even would be less than that.
Wow, did you just discover the solution to the crime problem?
Keeping people in poverty will keep them out of trouble.
Thank you for giving a number of reasons that support the need for having a minimum wage, and ultimately, the need for it to be raised significantly.
Including for baseball players, NFL cheerleaders, and many more desirable occupations.
I agree that the vast majority of the benighted "job creators" couldn't care less about how their employees must live.
Spoiled owners! (Thank you for the billion extra credit points, Russell.)
I find it demoralizing that most of these comments focus on whether this would give a team a competitive advantage, and that many believe it would be a pointless waste of money if it does not.
Only one comment comes close to alluding that providing ones employees with a decent living is the right thing to do.
That such corporate greed has become the accepted standard in America today, even among the workers, and across all class lines, speaks to the number one challenge confronting our country.
I've met George Brett.
It's absolutely true that he is dense enough to say something ignorant like that, and mean it.
But he sure could hit, couldn't he?
Exploiting job seekers by marginalizing them as "interns" for free and/or cheap labor is sleazy and immoral in any business, especially one as profitable as Major League Baseball.
Thanks, that works!
I hate to be a complainer, but if I hadn't done so I might have never learned the solution from you.
Why does BP insist on placing the caption directly on the video, which causes 25% of the picture to be lost?
Please consider placing the captions above or below the video. It seems like such a small thing to do and would greatly enhance the content we are trying to view.
I follow baseball pretty closely over the weekend, so it amazes me how much fresh, pertinent, and interesting information you provide to enlarge my view of what occurred.
There was a movie out at the time that described Piazza's stay in Florida - "Six Days and Seven Nights."
The Marlins were extremely motivated to trade him quickly because if they had kept him one more day it would be payday. The last thing the Wayne Huizenga wanted to do was to cut Piazza a check.
Best. Response. Ever.
You should appreciate your youthfulness.
My memory is that of Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock. How could the Cardinals give up such a good pitcher for someone that my seven-year-old brain had never heard of?
Another quibble. By placing text directly on top of the video, about a third of the picture becomes lost to the viewer.
I can see the batter's body, but not his head and face.
Is cyberspace so valuable that the description can't be placed above or below the video?
Obviously, the Astros beg to differ with you regarding how ready he was, since they did in fact call him up.
The EXACT minute that they got cost certainty, no less.
They didn't even try to fake anyone out by making him wait even a day.
And not traded Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagw… umm, no, wait, never mind.
There is another advantage to allowing Cueto to have second while throwing Hamilton out at first.
The pitcher is forced to continue to run the bases, rather than going back to the dugout to rest.
Yes, it upsets me so much when someone like Boros earns a small percentage of the contracts that he negotiates that I prefer to see the best available talent remain on the sidelines, like Drew did. Or perhaps choose to play other sports entirely.
As a baseball fan, the most thrilling aspect of the game for me is to watch billionaire owners' bank accounts grow larger. That is so much more fun than watching double plays or home runs.
In light of all of the above, qualifying offers that suppress or completely eliminate the market for the best players become win-win propositions, don't they? They are the truly best thing that has happened to the game since the introduction of the live ball era.
Let's all hope that baseball never allows for a free market economy that would actually reward players whatever amount of compensation they can command, so that the world's best athletes will choose to play baseball first instead of other sports.
Take that, Scott Boras!
A quality start is appropriately named and has no need to be replaced. When a pitcher throws one, he has given his team a good chance to win the game.
People get hung up over the very most extreme end of a QS, three runs in six innings, while often neglecting that most quality starts have a much better ERA than 4.50. They often forget that even when the starter gives up three runs (or less) he often goes on to pitch additional quality innings, too.
Sure, the definition is a bit arbitrary, but no more so than whatever definition you would decide upon for a "high quality" start. There is no way around that short of making it into a subjective statistic, which would make no sense at all.
Is that why Boston judged Bobby Valentine to be a great "leader of men," the perfect person to inspire its troops?
You certainly do have an idolized view of wealthy people.
Others might question attributing their accumulation of great wealth to business acumen rather than to the opportunities provided by such things as networks of friends formed at elite universities, or family ties, or (could it be true?) profiting on the backs of its low-wage employees while throwing money at lobbyists to gain laws that advantage it through deregulation and tax subsidies.
After all, Wal-mart and McDonald's haven't profited much by paying employees so little that many qualify for food stamps, now do they?
I'm just saying...
"The left-hander zoomed through seven innings of one-run work."
Correction: Kershaw did not allow any runs. He pitched shut out ball, leaving with an 8-0 lead.
Rather, Chris Perez allowed all three Nationals runs in relief.
You're absolutely right. I thought of Vin Scully instantly when reading that part of the article.
Certainly there's a large number of baseball fans who are not Dodgers' fans, but watch Dodgers' games solely to listen to Vinnie call the game and regale them with stories about baseball.
Watch out for the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Your sypuggested change would mean not only more steals, but more walks. Both of which would slow the pace of the game even more.
Plus, whatever unknown consequences the rule change would also bring about.
I would prefer not to find out.
I'm sure the union cares about all of its members.
When I suggested that the union find a different benefit for its newest members to replace the Super Two program, I purposely avoided suggesting raising the minimum salary.
While the amount you suggest looks like a nice bump for now, is there anyone who believes that the minimum won't be far more than that in ten or twelve years, if not sooner?
Trading the permanent benefit that players can receive through Super Two status for an increased minimum salary that will be swallowed up and disappear in a few years would not be something I would agree to if I were running the union.
I am not sure what to suggest (immediate vesting in the pension plan based on days of service rather than years?), but I believe that raising the minimum salary would not be a fair trade-off, nor would it facilitate reaching an agreement between the owners and players.
Actually, eliminating the Super Two designation would only be a loss for some players, but would probably bring about a financial gain for many of the better ones who suffer under the current system.
For example, for Wil Myers the current system was a total loss, as he was arbitrarily held down in the minors when he clearly should have been playing in the majors.
Instead, the system rewarded whichever lesser player took his place on the list of Super Two players last year.
Thus, under the current system weaker players can be rewarded with increased bargaining power at the expense of the better prospects.
I understand why the MLPA does not want to give back bargaining rights that it negotiated for its members.
However, in light of the skewed results, it would behoove the union to offer to end the Super Two system in exchange for some other benefit for its newest players.
Can Bubba Starling still go to college? I understand Nebraska could use a good quarterback.
I never understood why the previous pitcher couldn't issue the intentional walk so that the reliever can start fresh.
Is there any possible logic in ordering the reliever to do it instead?
Don't forget that this "way back" article is from 2006. The affiliations have changed since then.
While the 2001 Mariners lost to the Yankees in the ALCS, they did set the American League record with 116 wins, during a successful stretch of seasons.
That alone demonstrated far more competence than anything the Brewers have done in the past 30 years.
Yes, we learned what a tough guy you think you are when you commented about taking the daughter of a baseball executive to the Dallas Hyatt Regency to give her a golden shower.
That takes a real macho man just like you, Beef.
So one is fine to write about, and the other is not?
Allow me to rephrase your thoughts: You approve of what you gamble on, but not of what others gamble on.
That is a perfect example of why I have always found pushing agendas on the basis of ones superior "morals" to be so silly and hypocritical.
Thank you, Russell. This is very timely.
Thursday morning I have a Skype interview for a counseling position in Mongolia. Fortunately, I learned that the former Head of the International School of Ulaan Bataar just happens to be visiting my city, so tomorrow morning I will meet with her to prep for it.
No lie. Swear to God.
If economic parity does lead to better team chemistry, the Houston Astros will earn a zillion bonus points, since there isn't a highly paid player in the bunch.
Commending Harang for his durrability is sort of like complimenting a restaurant because, even though the food sucks, at least the portions are large.
I was a shirt-tail relative of Claude Brochu for seven years, as he is a second cousin to my second ex-wife.
I always hoped he would invite us to watch an Expos game from the owner's box, but he never did.
Actually, I never even met the man as apparently he refused to come to weddings and funerals. But I can attest to the total dysfunction of the entire extended family.
Nonetheless, if I caught my general manager sleeping with my wife, I would fire the guy, too.
I'm curious. Where did you hear that?
You are now the fourth person who has taken that position, and that is enough for you to proclaim that you are in the majority?
How, pray tell, did you reach that conclusion?
One unmentioned advantage to having redundant talent is that if I have a good player on my bench, no one else can play him.
I have been known to grab a player who I don't really need, just to keep him away from a competitor who has a gaping hole at the position.
Of course, if I can trade him to improve my team, I should. But if I can't conjur up anything enticing, there is no harm in having a good player on my bench in case of an injury.
After 35 years of competition in various formats (APBA, Fantasy), I think only about 10% of the players are willing to imitate someone else's success.
The rest would rather cut off their nose to spite their face. They prefer to dig in their heels to prove that their way of doing things is better, believing that they only lost last year because the other guy got lucky.
I realize it's kind of a sad commentary, but all too true.
I think I remember reading that the Dewan Indicator was thoroughly debunked.
Or am I just imagining that? Someone please help me out here...
Last June 21, I watched Albuquerque shell Ventura in Omaha.
He gave up 8 hits and 6 runs (5 earned) in five innings, along with 3 walks and only 2 strikeouts.
He looked awful. I gave up all hope that he would become the savior the Royals have been waiting for.
Did I just happen to catch Ventura on a bad day? Or should I believe my lying eyes?
Here's the box:
It's interesting that Alex "Chi Chi" Rodriquiz has a floor that is higher than his ceiling.
One of the things on my bucket list is to live to a ripe old age and never see the Cubs in the World Series.
Coming from Omaha, I can assure you that the only certain thing in this article is that the Ricketts family definitely sold its soul.
But I don't think the resulting payoff had anything to do with the Cubs ever being good.
It's not just a zero-sum game in regards to money, but also a zero sum game in regards to wins.
If a team wins ninety games, and you want to credit the general manager with a win, you can't just increase the team's total to 91. You have to subtract a win from the players on the field.
I can't seem to get my mind around how one could accomplish that.
And if the very same players that the GM put on the field are now only credited with 89 wins, that is one less for the team he constructed. Which would seem to negate the very win he was credited for adding.
It seems like crediting the front office with a win is something of a Catch-22. An endless loop of addition and subtraction. A math problem that gives me a headache just thinking about how to provide the teacher with a proof for my work.
I must be looking at this all wrong. Please explain the error of my ways to me...
Bingo, you nailed it!
Ownership isn't going to voluntarily pony up an extra $7 million to pay the GM for that extra win, figuring he already has paid for it through the players' payroll.
And the players are not going to pass a baseball hat amongst themselves to collect donations and give $7 million to the GM for the win that he earned, not them.
I would say that their teammates have a lot more to do with "one having a ring and the other not."
Unless, of course, you are prepared to prove that the Giants bullpen melted down against the Angels in game six because the relievers were all miffed that Bonds didn't hustle enough over the years.
"First basemen are tougher to draft and develop these days..."
I would love to see some empirical evidence supporting that assertion.
First, how many players are drafted as first basemen vs. being moved there if their defense fails to come in at a another position? Has that changed in anyway from the past?
Next, is it really tougher to draft and develop first basemen than it used to be, what, five years ago? Ten years? Maybe twenty? And if so, what could possibly explain why would that be?
Lemme make a wild guess: You're a Cardinals fan, right?
He's already out of baseball. If he gets roughed up, he's back out of baseball again. No change. No downside.
That wouldn't hurt him at all.
Could you rephrase that, please?
The best one came from the a Royals fan, who thought the Rays should send some cash along with Price.
I wonder how many times the Rays sent cash to other teams?
That's the problem today. We seem to justify or say it's ok when people are judgmental. The fact that people think their interpretation of what is right and wrong is the only one possible one says a lot being closed-minded.
What possible justification could be made to take away Glavine's five seasons with the Mets? None.
So why suggest it?
"Stealing" signs is a misnomer, unless you can show me the rule against intelligent observation, and then making signs for your own teammates to see.
Due to tradition it might be considered unsportsmanlike, but "stealing" signs is not against the rules.
Why did you ignore the AL home run champion?
How can you in good conscience be so committed to supporting your own beliefs, that you hope no one might notice how easily you threw out half of baseball just to make such a selective argument?
No, not really.
Because if you bet on the Marlins, the bottom line is exactly the same with either set of odds: You lose.
You mean the odds are much lower for white guys, right?
Please assume that the first hitter which causes the outfielders to swap positions is already in the regular lineup.
So I only need to pinch hit once with an opposite side hitter to have made them run again, and they will have had to cover the length of two football fields before the first pitch is thrown.
At a critical juncture, I am going to send up my right-handed batter and watch your outfielders run 300 feet.
Then I am going to pinch-hit with my lefty and watch them run it again.
I'll even send in opposite-side idle starting pitchers, and then replace them before they see a pitch, if you are committed enough to your plan to take the bait.
And following the September roster expansion, I'll be able to pinch-hit so many times that it will look like your running the relays in the outfield.
Your post is intended to be a joke,mright?
Unless you are pretending that you've never heard of a runner sliding hard (or barrelling) into home attempting to make the fielder drop the ball!
As long as he is going for the base, the runner is NEVER called out for interference.
So why do you think the rule would be any different at third bad?
It's not. There was no "runner's interference."
A popular vote of 51% to 47%, with a margin of 5 million votes, really isn't very close.
Then when you tried to construct how Romney could get to 270 electoral votes, it was clear to an informed observer that the chance of a Republican victory was less than one in five, which beloved BP co-founder and Pecota developer Nate Silver had been saying for quite some time.
Auggie? Auggie? Is that you, Auggie Busch?
Sheesh! So defensive. Don't take everything so seriously.
Thank you for providing Exhibit A as to why some Cardinals fans deserve serious mocking....
You concern is laudable, but your facts are 180 degrees off course.
When the Diamondbacks upset the Yankees back in 20001, they ushered in the golden age of diversity in the World Series.
Since that time we have seen two World Champions who returned to the throne for the first time in over 85 years - the Red Sox and White Sox.
We have seen teams win their first ever championship - the Angels and Diamondbacks.
We have seen teams return after decades on the outside - Giants, Tigers, and Phillies.
We have seen several first time participants - Astros, Rockies, Rays, and Rangers.
We saw the unexpected return of a team that shocked us both times it has won a World Championship, without ever having won a division title - the Marlins.
There is no period in baseball history where you will find more parity among teams with such diverse entries into the World Series as the current era.
That is just looking at the World Series, of course. I correctly predicted that you would not want to deal with the changing structure of the post-season since the expansion era and would try to dismiss the various formats, in order to limit the discussion to whatever fits your argument the best for the moment. Nonetheless, all post-season games count.
Just go ahead and try telling the fans and the players and the owners of the Rays and Pirates that their post-season victories this year were absolutely no better than the losses that the Indians and Reds experienced.
Now, I suppose that you don't have a working memory of all of of the decades that the Senators, Browns, Phillies, and Athletics spent as doormats. Nonethless, they would laugh uproariously to think that your concern about the Pirates 20 year absence from the post-season amounts to anything more than a hill of beans.
This is the most bizarre baseball conversation that I have ever had.
I am used to others telling me how much the Dodgers suck. You are the very first person who has EVER tried to convince me how great they are.
You are truly dealing from a different deck of cards than everyone else!
Do you think you can win every discussion by unlaterally chaging the terms so that you can disregard al of the facts that show you are wrong?
Prior to this year, Dodgers have been in exactly two league championship series since 1988. Meanwhile, the Pirates have been in three, the Rays one, and the A's four, forva grand total of eight.
The Dodgers lost their NLCS matchups both times. in the ALCS, the A's one twice and the Rays did once. That combines for three World Series appearances, compared to none for the Dodgers.
And of course, the A's alone among these four teams have won a World Championship, sweeping the Giants in the earthquake series in 1989.
Heck, just this year the Rays and Pirates won their first round match ups for a total of two advancements, while the Dodgers have advanced once so far.
I'm sure you will try to change the date to avoid having to look at the past quarter century, and will want to pick and choose to which post-season games you are willing to count while disposing of the rest. That is what bullies do.
BTW, it is no secret that you raised the exact same fuss last year, protesting that's the same teams always win (even though the Dodgers weren't one of them then).
Let me suggest to you that if it is your choice to always root for the underdogs, then by definition, far more often than not the teams you root for will lose.
It is quite fun to see how silly you sound when you act offended that the better teams win. OMG!
With all of your bitter and negative posts on BP, it is no surprise that you might very well have most comments on the board that have been buried by your peers because they are voted to be "below the viewing threshold."
You make a very interesting point. I credit you for prompting me to compare how appropriate those suspensions are.
PEDs usage does not injure anyone else, but a bean ball can kill someone. They have certainly ruined a young man's ability to pursue earning his livelihood (Tony Conigliaro)or decimate the career arc one was one (Al Cowens, Dickie Thon, etc.).
I have to agree with you that when considering the severe physical harm that a bean ball can do to other player's bodies, which the use of PEDs cannot do, it is completely inappropriate that the penalty for PEDs would be a suspension that is typically ten times longer.
You need to differentiate between the words team and one-up.
Orel Hershiser put the team on his back and carried them the the pennant and world championship. He had some pretty fair support on the staff, as the team posted a 2.96 ERA that year.
The offensive LINE-UP was not strong, and without the league's MVP it became much weaker.
I can't say that it was the weakest in the history of the World Series, but I can assure that no one would be too pleased have to go into battle with it.
The dodgers have not been to the World Series since 1988.
In fact, I think the argument can be made that the A's, Rays, and even the Pirates have enjoyed more post- season success in the past 25 years than the Dodgers have,
It is 12:30 EDT already, jtc1984. Where is your apology?
Suggest you stop watching, then.
Nobody is in denial? I guess you missed BirdlandPGH's comment. He is surely in denial, claiming that a division series can't determine a thing.
The result of the short game series was identical to the result of the long 162 game regular season, as the Cardinals won the division by three games over the Pirates. It wasn't even especially close.
You seem to want it both ways. Despite losing the division, you're thrilled that a wild card saved the Pirates and allowed them to play a short series. Then you're upset that they lost the short series, too.
The truth is that the Pirates didn't win a thing. They lost both the long season and the short series to the same team.
The Cardinals did it all to prove they are the better team. But you can't handle the truth.
But more likely, it's just that the Cardinals have the better team. I hope you can accept that.
Nope, the "game inning RBI" was abolished several years ago because it was meaningless.
Well, it needs to work both ways.
i don't think there should be any "yellow lies," period. Stadiums shouldn't be built where players can reach over the fence and pull back a home run. The line wasn't too low, the wall was.
Either the ball should be in play, or it's gone.
Not really much of a baseball fan, are you?
There has never been a game between two teams that I haven't been able to enjoy, because I always love baseball!
I am pleased the Dodgers pulled it out, but it was no thanks to Freddie Garcia. Starting him proved to be a good decision by the Braves.
You are neglecting that the Dodgers best regular, Kirk Gibson, was not in the lineup, and managed only one at bat in the series. That did change the calculus considerably.
The great thing about baseball is that no one ever really knows what to expect.
I well remember hearing Bob Costas claim that the Dodgers were fielding the weakest team ever to appear in a World Series, before they went on to destroy the A's juggernaut in five games in '88.
Meanwhile, this year, Freddie Garcia is perfectly capable of throwing the game of his life while Ricky Nolasco could totally blow up. I hope not, but neither one of those outcomes would even feel very strange.
There is no need to get cocky ahead of time. It is better to just wait and watch what happens. There will be plenty of time for the victor to celebrate when the series is over.
"Game Two... was another boat race."
"The conceit in the game one recap was simple"
I wanted to read about a baseball game, not a submission to the Junior Writer's Workshop, straining to show that the author can be too too clever.
It was mentioned on June 5 that Everth Cabrera was facing possible suspension because of Biogenesis. Still, you chose to trade for him five weeks later.
Were you thinking that somehow he was going to skate from the punishment?
You've got no one to blame but yourself that he didn't produce for you.
Copied directly from Baseball Reference, the quote below shows that standing in CF instead of LF for 150 games equals 10 runs towards WAR, before one even begins to calculate such things as "good play" and "bad play" values..
Ten runs = one win = $5 million of salary.
How is that for understanding?
"When one quantifies these differences and also looks at the changes in fielding performance when players move to different positions we can estimate the average differences between positions.
Current values (per 1350 (150*9) innings played) are:
C: +10 runs
SS: +7.5 runs
2B: +3 runs
CF: +2.5 runs
3b: +2 runs
RF: -7.5 runs
LF: -7.5 runs
1B: -10 runs
DH: -15 runs
P: see Pitcher Positional Adjustment"
Ross, it is fine to disagree, but please try not to be so disagreeable when you do.
If it is true that playing 3B boosts Cabrera's DWAR, why isn't it boosted this year? It is the same as when he played at 1B.
Perhaps because it is more difficult to play 3B, so naturally, he won't be as successful making plays? Cabrera sacrificed his defensive numbers by moving to a less comfortable position because his team asked him to do so.
I must admit that I am puzzled to figure out what you mean by "Put them both where they belong." Because it seems that "where they belong" is not objective, and is entirely dependent upon two things:
A). Who their teammates are, and
B). The decisions the manager makes regarding how to deploy his players.
Both of which affect ones DWAR, while both are also outside the control of the individual player.
My point exactly. So thank you for embellishing that for me!
If you examine my comment, you will see that I did not disparage Trout's defense. In fact, I made no comment about it at all.
Nor I comment that playing next to Bourjos improved his numbers, as you did.
In fact, I wrote "The best part is that all of that positional WAR can easily be calculated before the first pitch of the game is ever even thrown."
The boost Trout gets to his WAR comes just from standing in center field, thanks to the fact the Bourjos was hurt. If Bourjos would have been able to play every game so that Trout stayed in left, Trout's DWAR would have been less.
In fact, your suggestion that Trout might catch more balls along the foul line because with Bourjos playing CF he can shade over that way, strengthens the case that DWAR is influenced by who ones teammates are, and is not a purely objective statistic.
You can't change history, Ross. The fact remains that Cabrera was asked by his team to move to 3B before the Tigers decided to sign Fielder, and he agreed to do so.
That you also wish to debate (and discount) Cabrera's value while playing 3B by discussing the value of other players who that allowed into the lineup confirms my contention that WAR is affected by who ones teammates are. Just as RBIs and pitcher's wins are.
Which gives me great pleasure when people mock (rightly so)the traditional stats which are heavily influenced by teammates, but twist and turn in every direction to try and mask that WAR is also influenced by ones teammates.
It would be nice to have an objective statistic that settles all arguments, but we are not there yet.
WAR is certainly useful as a blunt instrument, but it's not a purely objective tool. Far from it.
Your two premises contradict each other. How can you declare that Cabrera "wanted to play 3b" followed by "he went so reluctantly?"
Please make up your mind.
As for me, I will ask you nicely not to put any words in my mouth, as I have no idea whether he "wanted to" or was "reluctant to."
All I know is that his team asked him to, and he so he did.
I plan to give Cabrera "subjective" credit for that forever, because being a team player is a whole lot "cooler" than just about anything else.
Besides, he still can hit a little bit, too.
You forgot that when Bourjos couldn't play, Trout got to stand in centerfield instead of left.
That alone increased Trout's WAR dramatically. Bourjos' injury alone may have added about two points to Trout's WAR for the year.
And since Cabrera agreed to move to third so that Fielder could be his teammate, his WAR probably got knocked down around two points.
The best part is that all of that positional WAR can easily be calculated before the first pitch of the game is ever even thrown. The actual stats achieved during games only serve to tweak DWAR around the margins.
Isn't that super convenient?
Simply add up thir DWAR based upon where they stand, and you'll see thatv2+2=4, making Trout the runaway leader in WAR over Cabrera. And we will claim with a straight face that it was all a totally "objective" calculation.
So, see, WAR can be just like real estate. It's all about location, location, location!
(And if all else fails, everyone can repeat, "Base running counts, too, you know?")
Okay, I'll admit that I simplified it some to make the point, if the rest of you will acknowledge that WAR can be tremendously affected by who ones teammates are.
WAR is very much dependent upon those teammates, in the same sense that RBIs and pitcher's wins stats are. Which, of course, are mocked for that very reason.
How can it be ignored that Cabrera was willing to move from his comfort zone so that Fielder could be added to the team?
Anyone who discounts Cabrera's contributions for doing that reveals an extraordinarily arrow vision that they are using to evaluate his contribution to the team.
His "value added" to the team by moving to third needs to be calculated as an extra bonus, rather than a subtraction, in any discussion of "most valuable."
I am a big believer in Miguel Cabrera, but you are simply wrong.
While Cabrera's injuries did allow Chris Davis to pass him in RBIs, any objective observer would agree that Davis had the home run title locked down a long time before Cabrera performance began to be impacted.
There was no Triple Crown in the cards this year.
Baseball Reference has Carlos Gomez ranked # 1 in WAR, ahead of McCutcheon.
So how can all these statheads possibly let Gomez drop out of the top five in the NL MVP voting?
Many of you are talking the talk but not walking the walk...
I love watching Chris Johnson sprint home only to hide behind the umpire's backside.
Big tough guy, huh?
Maybe you are correct that teams grab on to any port in a storm when they need a replacement.
But maybe a well run franchise plans ahead during the winter and stocks its AAA and AA teams with the sort of replacement players it prefers if the team should run into trouble during the season.
Regardless, it is clear that the formula for determining replacement level cannot help but be based on subjective assumptions, such as those in your comment above.
That is why those who point to the simple WAR or WARP numbers at the end of the season as eliminating any need for discussion regarding value (a la Trout v. Cabrera) are doing a great disservice to the cause.
Misusing the WAR number to serve as an purely objective measure when it is not only makes it more difficult to establish the validity of the measure, since others can often tear apart such "conclusions."
I thought it was cute how Chris Johnson ran in and then hid behind the umpire. Such a tough guy, huh?
I am curious how it is determined how much of the mythical replacement player consists of offensive contributions vs. defensive contributions.
Wouldn't we expect different franchises make different choices? For example, an organization might decide since the offensive contribution is going to be weak anyway, it will "punt" hitting and bring up a defensive wiz who normally would not have found playing time. But a different team might choose to balance offense and defense the best it could.
Isn't it possible, even likely, that would create replacement players of significantly different value, depending on the organization? How are these subjective choces accounted for when establishing what a replacement level player can be expected to produce, on each side of the ball?
Okay, got it:
Elvis Costello and the Attractions. On Armed Forces, 1979.
"(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love, and Understanding."
No one "trades" defense for power.
This is a great example of how terribly abused WAR(P) can be.
I'd love to see how good Jose Fernandez could be if he only he could get rid of that darn "very negative impact of psychology on his performance" that he gets from pitching on Jeff Loria's team.
"Overcoming this and returning to psychological normalcy will probably take a while" for Fernandez.
Especially because of "the effect all this has on young players" like the 21 year old Fernandez.
Someone Kubel's age does not have a "break out season." Rather, it is called a "career year."
Am I correct to assume that you are talking about "The Book: Playing the Perentages in Baseball," by Tom Tango?
I own the Kindle version. My Amazon account states that I purchased it on September 12, 2011.
If it is no longer available electronically, there must be some politics involved. I guess it is up to me to safeguard that version for history.
I have already reached my judgment.
Regardless of whether or not anyone else develops, the Rays won the trade. And handily.
So what you are saying is that Phillies are just not very good, right?
"How many times have you seen it? A guy makes a great play in the field and comes up to lead off the next inning."
The odds tell me I've seen it just about one time in every nine.
But I gotta know, is he any relation to The Bus?
That represents the level of moral development and understanding of justice that my four year old nephew exhibits when he gets angry on the playground.
He's certainly not King Solomon the Wise, and neither are you.
I don't know why you thought that. Pitchers have always thrown at pitchers.
One of the criticisms of the DH rule was that they couldn't throw at a pitcher any more. So AL teams adapted to getting retribution by throwing at his battery mate.
David Jackson's example instantly forced you to turn your "objective" solution into a subjective nightmare of reviews processes, appeals and opinions.
You will continue to defend it, but the rest of us can see that it is a complete failure of logic and justice.
But let's carry your logic forward, and also ask why so many have chewed tobacco?
Fifty years ago it was scientifically proven to be bad for you, yet for decades after many players have continued to use it. Ergo, the ONLY possible explanation is that chewing tobacco must be performance enhancing, too. Right?
I would have hoped that the question raised in the last sentence would have been answered, or at least addressed, rather than left to stand unexamined as the concluding thought.
It had begged to be asked even before reading any of this, and was simply too easy of a way out.
Tricks with numbers. You conveniently added an extra year to bring that average down considerably from the cut off that I conveniently used,
As always, it comes down to lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Nonetheless, Ankiel and Willis didn't sniff even half of nine productive seasons, let alone ten. And Fernando added another good season with San Diego when he was 35.
My point that he cannot be lumped in with those two still stands.
"...please tell me what the liklihood [sic] of a 36-39 year old man hitting 209 home runs."
Hank Aaron hit 159 HR between ages 36-39, his second best four year total, behind only the 163 he hit from ages 35-38. His best home run season ever came at age 37.
Since those numbers are also highly unlikely, I guess you can feel totally confident claiming that's proof enough for you to know Aaron juiced.
As a former investigator, I learned that the one who proclaims his innocence the loudest was often the guilty party.
Which is why I've always suspected Curt Schilling.
Valenzuela went his first nine full seasons with an ERA of 3.22, an ERA+ of 110, and 126 victories. In only one of those nne seasons did he sport an ERA above four.
I think you discount his accomplishments immensely by lumping him in with Rick Ankiel (barely more than one good season) and Dontrelle Willis (four decent to good seasons),
Valenzuela's career WAR is quite a bit closer to the players at the top of that list, Gooden and Oswalt, than to Ankiel and Willis.
So you advocate an absolutist approach, while rejecting any inquiry which might reveal whether the science supports or discredits ones predetermined position.
That sure sounds like the "Reefer Madness" approach to the issue.
Why not just ban it, freak out, and preach that everyone will go crazy and blind? All the while losing any credibility whatsoever?
That sure has been extremely successful in eliminating the use of marijuana in America, correct?
"All told, we're talking about roughly three or four runs for the team all season as the penalty for routinely pushing pitchers to 110 pitches, rather than 100."
One cannot look at this in a vacuum. Ten more pitches thrown by starters means there will be less pitches thrown in the game by relievers.
In the "good old days" relievers were certainly considered to be less effective than starters. With the specialization and shorter workloads in today's game, a fresh reliever might be expected to do better than a fatigued starter.
However, that might be neutralized by the fact that ten extra pitches or so per day will add another 1600 or so per year to the workload of the bullpen.
All in all, there are an awful lot of variables to take into account before it can be determined which plan is best.
Too bad they are only going to remain BJ fantasies...
Thank you for posting the correction.
I've always wondered why BP doesn't add an edit feature for comments, especially now that autocorrect features are so pervasive, and often turn typos into howlers.
Cano's season is text book, showing that everyone around you can fall off a cliff and be replaced by has-beens and never-weres, without it having any effect whatsoever.
Instead of going with the he said/she said meme that "everyone's-opinion-is-equally-valid," which the mainstream media uses in politics in hopes of avoiding any accusations of bias, it would have been more helpful to point out a simple, observable, verifiable, empirical phenomenon:
Lineup protection doesn't matter.
It seems that the very premise of this article should be challenged . Cano's slash lines:
2013: .295/.372/.537 ( as of July 2)
If that is "suffering" rather than just random noise (and barely a whisper at that), I wish all my players were in pain.
I didn't see the play you're referring to, but a "soft looping liner" which is "technically a grounder" sure sounds like a mangled multitude of contradictory terms to me.
“Strasburg is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He has everything you’d want in a starting pitcher from a physical standpoint,” the scout said. “It might be decades before someone comes along with as much natural talent, and he is also a smart kid who really knows how to pitch."
Comments like this slay me.
In my 56 years, I have watched the following pitch:
Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, and even Satchel Paige's last game, but let's not count that one.
Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Juan Marichal.
Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, and NOlan Ryan.
Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinezz and Roger Clemens.
Just to name a few.
For Strasburg to be a 'once-in-lifetime" talent, he would need to be definitely better than every single one of them. Significantly better, one would imagine.
Strasburg has been a fine pitcher, but the odds are still against him that he will post a Hall-of-Fame career.
If he ends up laying claim to being the best pitcher among all currently active players, that in itself would be a major accomplishment.
But is he really better than all the above? It remains to be seen, but count me as highly doubtful.
You make a number of "Even if..." statements in order to imply the previous point has been repudiated. But of course, every single one of them stands as strong today as ever.
No, the effects of steroids cannot be quantified, and you cannot assume they have. Which renders your next five points moot.
It is obvious you really care a lot about this, and that's your perogative. But besides you, and a scattering of others, who cares?
"...54 percent were classified as right-handed, 33 percent as lefties, and a whopping 13 percent were switch-hitters."
I find that the most fascinating factoid concerns those 33% who bat lefty, compared to 10% of the population being southpaws.
I am not convinced that the advantage is that great that that so many more lefties are better hitters than righties, in order to account for such an anomaly in the numbers.
Rather, I wonder how many righties went against their nature to become lefties, and then made a conscious decision never to go back?
Any ideas how this can be investigated?
"If the Marlins sold out every game"
When you try to make a point by starting off in fantasyland, it pretty much completely undermines the point.
I can't stand it when a an owner ASKS for one of my players then proceeds to TELL me all of his flaws in order to lower the price.
Either don't ask, or don't tell.
Academy Award, and Elizabeth Shue!
So, you're saying that reducing or eliminating inaccurate ball/strike calls would "hugely" damage the game of baseball?
"They also have Ian Kinsler, a 30-year-old first baseman who is signed through 2017"
Obviously, you think Kinsler should be a first baseman, but I think we still have to refer to him as a second baseman.
So you really think that Lohse would have been better off leaving $20 million on the table?
I've got a bridge over in Brooklyn I would like you to take a look at, my friend!
Comments from a multitude of fans on numerous web sites and blogs, before have been complaining for months that Lohse didn't accept the qualifying offer and it served him right that no team had signed him.
Much of it focused on his choice of agents because Boras has personally ruined baseball and raised ticket prices, etc.
Here is a typical comment lifted from another site:
"I know his situation is also caused by the draft pick debacle but his asking price and refusal to come down on it reminds me of Latrell Sprewell. 'I got a family to feed!' "
Obviously, the chart you included speaks to the interest in Lohse. Certainly a large chunk of it was not generated by positive supporters and admirers of Lohse and Boras. After all, negativity does sell the news.
I never expected to become a Kyle Lohse fan, but all these bitter naysayers sure have me pulling for him now.
I find jealousy to be the mist disgusting of foul traits.
Has someone proven that the coming into the ninth inning with no one on base automatically deems it to be a high leverage inning? Or is that just an unchallenged assumption here?
If this has already been established please point me to the evidence.
I thought that coming into the seventh inning with one out and men on second and third would make it a much higher leverage inning. Along with many other situations which are far more likely to see a lead overturned than getting to start the ninth inning with a clean plate, which has a known success rate of 95%.
Am I wrong about that?
Yes, great book!
Is there an automatic assumption that because many Dodgers are making high salaries, they aren't good guys or cooperative teammates?
Isn't there a huge difference between paying someone whose poor production makes him an albatross, such as Vernn Wells and Barry Zito, and paying someone who was iinjured on the job giving everything he had for the team?
Regarless of the fact that I despise the Yankees, Derek Jeter is NOT at all a "sunk cost" in the sense of those who no longer can pull there weight. Rather, Jeter is a wounded warrior, injured because he continued playing far longer than he should have on his bum ankle, giving his own body up far the cause of his team. He certainly does not belong in this discussion.
The same can be said for Johan Santana, who literally had his arm sacrificed so the Mets could glory in the first ever no-hitter. Or Chris Carpenter, or any of the others sidelined while suffering injuries on the job.
Maybe some here have the gall to refer to our wounded war veterans as a "sunk cost" on society. But that would only be a comment on who you really are inside, not at all on those service men and women.
i will even include eveyone's favorite whipping boy, A-Rod, as one who suffers now after injury himself in the interests of the game of baseball. What makes fans believe that it is right to sneer and snort like Romans watching the lions devour the Christians, every time they see a ball player's body break down after years of providing entertainment for us?
Not only was the value of the injured players diminished in the service of the team, but in most cases the cost of their contracts are NOT even sunk costs at all.
The teams can recover the salary lost to injuries through insurance they carry. However, If the team chose not to insure its contracts, then it made a calculated decision to save the premium and accept the risk of financial loss in case of injury.
In that case, teams deserve no more sympathy than you or I would if we were greedy to the point of refusing to pay the premium for homeowners insurance while living in the path where hurricanes frequently come.
That is another unk cost.
That is a sunk cost.
Doesn't St. Petersburg, FL count as being on the East Coast? I' m pretty sure it does.
Thanks for the call out to B.F. Skinner.
He is one of my personal heroes, right up there with Bruce Springsteen and Sandy Koufax!
It is eminently clear that you have vowed never to care if the things you say are offensive to others.
What is puzzling is that you can believe that is a point of pride.
I play this one by myself. I usually win, too. But not always.
I don't know what it accomplishes to try to limit your point to a time when India was able to break free from its colonial rulers.
The fact is that India existed long before nation-states were ever developed as a political mechanism, and the idea of "countries" was conceived.
Otherwise, Christopher Columbus would have never set sail for the land called India. Moreover, if India hadn't already existed, the explorers of the "New World" would not mistakenly believed they had come across the real "Indians."
No surprise that Lasorda is the man.
So how much rap do you listen to, Sam?
That doesn't seem like a very big deal.
If it is easier to strike out Justin because one knows how to strike out B.J., that would also be the case even if Justin was still on Arizona.
One certainly doesn't need to be Native American to understand that Chief Wahoo is a highly offensive stereotype, any more than one needs to be African American to know the depictions of "Sambo" and "welfare queens" are also offensive.
That's because our world is not limited to our own narrow perspective, but rather we are imbued with the ability to experience empathy for others.
Your point is that racism doesn't bother those on the right, only those on the left?
I have to grant you that your point is probably well taken.
Not the least bit convincing.
Plus you insult the team to boot, but falsely stating that nobody cares about them.
Ticket prices are completely unrelated to the cost of players' salaries.
When the salaries of high-priced players come off the books, do you see the team's ticket prices go down? Of course not.
The free market dictates that teams will set the price of tickets at whatever they believe the market will bear.
You are challenged to provide evidence, and so you give up.
Thanks, that is all we need to know.
Yes, you do.
I agree with you whole-heartedly.
But, obviously, some writers are dead set against voting anyone into the Hall who is rumored to have had back acne.
Or maybe having the audacity to marry a Playboy Playmate jezebel is sufficient evidence to judge that Piazza is a flawed human being under the "character" clause in the HOF criteria.
"...beat his wife or something."
Or something, no less.
I would never condone beating a woman, or even a man. In fact, used to work as a woman's therapist at a domestic violence shelter. But it sure seems to me that you have jumped the shark here.
Do you believe that Kirby Puckett should be evicted from the Hall of Fame because a woman took out a restraining order against him for pushing her? And because another woman accused him of false imprisonmeent, assault, and fifth degree criminal sexual behavior?
How many people did Ty Cobb beat and stab, for the simple offense of being black? Do you believe Cobb's got to go, too?
Isn't Gaylord Perry in the Hall of Fame?
He "cheated on the clean players in the game! Wow, Do the ends justify the means? Cheat the game, the fans, your fellow players and go into the hall of FAME!"
Then I will go back to my default position:
"If that is the case, then it reveals that the voting system and its voters are fatally flawed and need to be discarded completely."
I have never understood why the process allows players to be on the ballot for 15 years. Five years is certainly enough time for everyone to get past any emotional bias (for example, grief over Thurman Munson's untimely death).
Once a player becomes eligible, he should be on the ballot only one time, with no limit on how many players the elector can vote for. The voters would have to choose whether to vote for him or not. After all, the players career doesn't change from years 5 to 6 to 15.
Voters would no longer be able to rationalize that the player will still have 14 more chances, so what the heck does it matter if they are wrong, paying off a grudge, or just being totally lazy this year?
Each year's ballot becomes extremely important.
This should curtail the foolishness of "punishing" an unpopular but but historically great player, who one expects to vote for eventually. It would also eliminate the nonsensical practice of withholding a vote in the belief that only a few players should ever be first year Hall-of-Famers.
Some might complain that under this method, no one, or very few, would ever get enshrined in Cooperstown. If that is the case, then it reveals that the voting system and its voters are fatally flawed and need to be discarded completely.
I am sure it would not be difficult to come up with a system that eliminates much of the politics and pettiness that is now rampant.
Well, I guess if Reggie Jefferson and one unnamed veteran say so, what more proof could there possibly be??
You've determined Piazza's built his "entire career" upon using steroids and that Biggio is completely innocent? On what credible and empirical basis?
That sort of bias is outrageous, and I, for one, find it disgusting.
I prefer the face Hurdle in his photo on the cover of SI.
I am not a good enough mathematician to ever figure this out, so I will just ask it as a question:
However they are calculated, is there enough negative fWAR, WARP, and bWAR, in any given year, to keep the average from going over 81 wins per team? Because just from my cursory observation, that does not seem to be the case.
Sorry, I screwed up the math.
It should be 31 wins per team (above the replacement level of 50 wins) times 30 teams, equals 930 total WAR each season.
My favorite pitching advice:
"Some guy named Maddux used to say to throw strikes when they're taking and throw balls when they're swinging. Just do that."
I have always thought that it is unrealistic to assume that a pitcher would show the same ability throwing from both his wind up and his stretch. The mechanics of each are significantly different.
It is like expecting a switch-hitter to have equal success from both sides of the plate.
While there very well may be some correlation, it is also highly likely that there will be noticeable differences.
Shouldn't this be a zero-sum game?
If one system assigns a player more wins than the otther system, it must assign another player(s) a corresponding amount less, so that all should come out with exactly 2430 wins per season (30 teams x an average of 81 wins each).
Has anyone checked to see if the arithmetic balances correctly in all three systems this way?
Is that supposed to imply some detrimental effect on the outcome of a season? If so, please provide some empirical evidence that shows it.
Every win counts equally, no matter who it was against.
If Hamilton remains healthy, it is a huge upgrade.
The fact that WAR calculations are all over the place shows how much more work needs to be done before it is both proven valid and reliable.
In the meantime, the chance that a 37 year old will repeat the best season of his career are far less than that a 31 year old will. Conparing the two is not even close.
Of course, there is very little evidence to support the "walk year" meme.
That bit of snark was repeated over and over about Adrian Beltre, and look how how well he's done since he walked away from playing in the dead zone known as Safeco Field.
Ummmm, you mean Joe Buck, maybe?
I fail to see how people can view a suspension as hurting a team.
Rather, there can be very little doubt that Cabrera's enhanced play helped the Giants win more games than the suspension cost them. Especially when comparing his WAUM - Wins Above Unjuiced Melky.
I suppose 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 with travel days in between would be the most fair, but it might play hell with my Cristmas shopping.
At any given time there are not quite 400 pitchers in the Majors, and it would be a real stretch to say that even 20 of them, or about 5%, can be called aces.
You are proposing that there are 100 pitchers toiling in the minors who have the skills that 95% of the pitchers in the show can't produce. It simply is not convincing.
Sam says that the home team has won .27 more games, NOT per series, NOR per season, but rather out of 552 games over an 18 year period.
If my stubby little fingers pushed the right buttons on the calculator, that 53.986 post season winning percentage comes out to a record of 298-254.
A 59.936 regular season winning percentage would result in a record of 297.73-253.27.
As a team can't actually win .73 games, it rounds up, and comes out perfectly as predicted by the regular season winning percentage.
That is what is commonly known as a rounding error. It is not "still pretty significant" at all.
Right - during March Madness, there's nothing like a Final Four championship game between the 68th best team and the 67th best team to really make you appreciate today's NCAA basketball.
(Ed. Note: It hasn't happened either, but if it ever should, I personally think it would be awesome.)
For quite a few years, there has already been the potential for a World Series between the fourth best team in one league, and the fourth best team in the other.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that it has actually happened yet, has it?
Regardless, now that it is theoretically possible to replace one or both of those fourth best teams with a fifth best team really doesn't seem to be a shift of seismic proportions.
Much ado about nothing.
My thoughts exactly. I came to make that same comment before seeing yours.
The whole point of keeping track of who led the league in a category for each season is to determine who did better than anyone else THAT PARTICULAR SEASON.
It doesn't mean he had to have the best season ever.
We don't diminish Roger Maris' home run title in '61 just because a couple decades later someone came along and hit more than 61 in a season, do we?
"We round these things. Zero might mean zero, but it might just mean less than 1 in 2,001."
Since zero is absolute, until a team is mathematically eliminated their chances should never be rounded down.
I strongly suggest they always be rounded up to 1% in the future, or at least .0001%.
I think you found a much better way of raising the question than I did: Perhaps the standard used to determine a "replacement level" pitcher is way off?
If one hitter can equal the WAR of an entire class of pitching prospects, it would be foolish to draft any pitchers at all.
But am I wrong to think that would be an absurd idea?
Maybe just not in the first round. Let other teams harvest the Kershaws, Strasburgs, Lincecums, Verlanders, and Halladays.
If WAR assigns very much of the value of run suppression to fielders instead of pitchers, for anything other than exceptional plays, it would seem that the WAR for pitchers is being artificially reduced.
The longer that WAR is with us, the more struck I am out how subjective of a statistic it is, especially concerning run suppression. While it contributes to our understanding, it remains an incredibly blunt tool, albiet one that masquerades as a precise surgical instrument for many observers.
Finally I'm not clear on the reason for dismissing those who have to get past injuries, learn a new pitch, change organizations, or become relievers before they contribute. Why is their ultimate value diminished?
Please enlighten me if I am mistaken about this, but is one wrong to assume that there must be pitcher value (call it WARP if you will), since the game is not all about offense?
Doesn't WARP, by definition, suggest that there must be a whole lot of pitchers above the replacement level?
And if there is, but not much of that value is coming from "prospects," where is it coming from?
I have no doubt that Ichiro is a Hall of Famer.
But then so is Jeff Bagwell. He and Ichiro both played during the steroid era.
Bagwell had Caminiti as a teammate, and Ichiro had Brett Boone, Ryan Frankiln, Mike Morse. Guilt by association? For only one or for both?
Obviously, there isn't a shred of evidence that either one ever used any PEDs. So why would writers vote for one but not the other?
There you go again.
Scherzer has posted good stats for the last 74.1 innings, as you point out. However, his first 100+ innings ths season count, too. Even a little bit more.
It would have been entirely appropriate to point out Scerzer's progress, and his nice season overall, without having to drop a Cy Young bomb to try and justify the point. Some writers just can't seem to resist the urge to go completely over the top.
I could not help but recall our rather lengthy conversation last year when you trotted out a plethora of names to try and push your favored 2011 Cy Young candidate, "ABV." Anybody But Verlander.
100% is not mathematically possible yet.
If nothing else, last season's ending should have taught us that Yogi was right: It ain't over 'til it's over.
Don't forget about the time lost because you can't help staring at the blonde down near the dugout, trying to decide if she is hotter than the brunette sitting two sections over who caught your eye, while hoping to catch a glimpse of either one getting up for a potty break so that you can take in a full body shot of the local color.
All the while acting very casual so your wife doesn't notice...
Gonna miss you around here Kevin, but I'm thrilled for you that you get to live your dream.
Fly so high you touch the sky!
Ortiz is the most popular player in Red Sox Nation, probably since Yaz was around, and is still highly productive.
With all the PR issues the front office has had, who thinks they are willing to take another hit by letting Big Papi go? And just to save a little more salary?
I surely don't.
I think blaming an early call up for a player's disappointing failure is just a hypothesis in search of a subject. In other words, there isn't a shred of empirical evidence to support it.
Some blue chippers take quite a while to develop, think Alex Gordon. Others never do, as in Clint Hurdle.
The timeline has certainly shortened, but Beckham is still young enough that he could work his problems out.
That said, I'll add my own unsupported hypothesis: a change of scenery for Beckham might not hurt.
Why even bother to test, when all we have to do is look at the stats?
Luis Gonzalez wasn't suspected of using PEDs?
You've got to be kidding me.
In answer to the three questions you pose in the first paragraph:
I despise it when some people use advance metrics in an attempt to negate what actually happened, as if their virtual statistical world is more meaningful than the real world.
In particular to deny an award to a pitcher or player because one disputes that they didn't "deserve" such impressive statistics is inane.
It is the same as assigning the World Championship to a team which was bounced out of the playoffs, because on paper it "should" have won.
But with awards season soon upon us, we will see several faux "stat heads" do exactly that. And usually with an air of superiority and a sneering condescension towards anyone who disagrees with them.
I know how difficult it is, and appreciate the attempt. But, ummm, you probably should't quit the day job.
I am a big boy and knew what I was doing in deciding to read this article all the way to the end.
But it reaffirmed the truism that there is nothing less interesting or meaningless than someone else's Fantasy team.
Kind of hard to pin it all on Bobby V. when the Red Sox were already in such a shambles long before he arrived.
I think the Giants should have to forfeit all victories in which Melky played, a la NCAA rules. Agreed?
What I like best about the Jack Cust Experience is remembering this:
Cust represented the tying run, uncontested on his way to an uncovered home plate, and fell down to get tagged out, thus ending the game.
Gotta love Clint Hurdle!
I've been watching him since he first played for the Omaha Royals in '77, but I've never seen him without a smile on his face.
Hurdle's definitely the NL Manager of the Year.
All this talk about good young catchers but no love for Salvador Perez and his career TAv over parts of two seasons.
Let's reserve the title "Great Dodger Manager" for Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston, okay?
What you say is true as far as it goes.
But you've neglected the author's point that a baseball manager does it all with 30,000+ in the stands, several million watching on televsion, and the national sports media critiquing his every move, all on a daily basis.
I don't care how difficult it might be to run a Subway franchise or even a Walmart, they never have to deal with that kind of scrutiny and second-guessing from the public.
Anyone who has attended a game at Kauffman, née Royals Stadium, knows it is a special place.
Kansas City had the wisdom to build separate baseball and football stadiums when all the others were building those multi-use monstrosities in the 70s.
At the time, many accused KC of wasteful, duplicate spending. But when the rest ponied up with more financing for new stadiums costing hundreds of millions each, after only 20-30 years of use, leaders in Kansas City were proven to be quite farsighted.
Kauffman Stadium has stood the test of time and reigns not only as the best, but in fact the only, baseball cathedral built during the 70s, much as Dodger Stadium is the only one built in the 60s to have stood the same test of time.
While neither can offer all of the amenities that were introduced later, both very well might still hear the sacred call of "Play Ball!" when they turn 100 years old, joining Fenway and Wrigley in the inner circle Stadium Hall of Fame.
1 - R
2 - L
3 - L
4 - R
5 - L
6 - R
7 - R
8 - R
9 - R
I disagree, Sam. I think Carlos Gomez was indeed "asking for it."
Cut this shit out, Sam. You almost got me fired.
Teaspoon teaspoon teaspoon
"THE RED SOX SHOULD GET RID OF YOUKILIS, HAVE ONE MASTER JANITOR, AND PAY LOCAL STUDENTS TWO DOLLARS AN HOUR TO PLAY FOR THE TEAM. THE KIDS WOULD ACTUALLY DO WORK; THEY'D HAVE CASH, THEY'D HAVE PRIDE IN THE RED SOX."
"IT'S NOT, YOU KNOW, MAN ON CHILD, MAN ON DOG, MAN ON YOUKILIS, WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE"
"I WILL TELL YOU THAT I HAD A MOTHER LAST NIGHT COME UP TO ME AFTER THE DEBATE. SHE TOLD ME THAT KEVIN YOUKILIS TOOK THAT VACCINE, THAT INJECTION, AND HE SUFFERED FROM MENTAL RETARDATION EVER SINCE."
"THREE GUYS WITH THE RED SOX, WHEN I GET THERE, THAT ARE GONE: KEVIN YOUKILIS, THEO EPSTEIN, AND -- WHO'S THE THIRD ONE THERE? LET'S SEE -- OK. SO YOUKILIS, EPSTEIN AND -- THE THIRD ONE -- YOUKILIS, EPSTEIN, AND -- I CAN'T. SORRY. OOPS."
Florida Rep. Alan West:
"KEVIN YOUKILIS SHOULD GET THE HELL OUT OF THE BOSTON, AND YES I SAID HELL!"
"OK, YOUKILIS. [pause] PRESIDENT OBAMA SUPPORTED THE TRADE, RIGHT? PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED FOR THE REMOVAL OF YOUKILIS. I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME THING BEFORE I SAY, 'YES, I AGREED' OR NO I DIDN'T AGREE.'
I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE WAY OBAMA HANDLED YOUKILIS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON — NOPE, THAT'S A DIFFERENT ONE. [pause] I GOTTA GO BACK AND SEE. I GOT ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT YOUKILIS TWIRLING AROUND IN MY HEAD."
More Herman Cain:
"E-9, E-9, E-9."
"I CAN SEE KEVIN YOUKILIS FROM MY BACK YARD."
"KEVIN YOUKILIS IS ABOUT TO CRATER."
And of course, Mitt Romney:
"I LIKE FIRING KEVIN YOUKILIS."
"You rarely saw Ryan Klesko ground out to second base, then unleash his frustration to the media about Petco’s unfair infield."
Sam Miller continues in his bid to become my favorite BP. writer. Love it!
Todd Hundley hit one home run, with slugging percentages of .299 and .217 in his first two (partial) seasons. He had slugged .375 in the ninors.
When my buddy picked him for his APBA team, I laughed and said "Hundley will never hit for power."
In 1996, Todd Hundley set the season record for most home runs by a catcher, 41.
Oh, by the way, the game was played in Citi Field.
But I guess since there is "no counter" to your post, it makes me "look dumb" to point out that you completely messed up.
I didn't see Swisher's home run, but I watched Cano's go out. It cleared the wall in the deepest part of centerfield by a wide margin.
ESPN reports it went 452 feet:
"Robinson Cano’s 452-foot go-ahead home run versus Miguel Batista in Sunday’s series finale..."
SInce Houston has the deepest center field in MLB at 436 feet, Cano's home run would not have been an out anywhere, let alone in most parks.
You only detract from your point and diminish your credibility through exageration. It is hard to convince people not to believe their lying eyes.
And to order anyone to refrain from diagreement with you, even calling them dumb in advance, is bush league and out of line. You don't get to dictate the conversation here.
"—Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, whose career has been spent largely playing on three different west coast teams."
Yes, Beltre has played for three West Coasts teams: Los Angeles, Seattle, and, and, and, uh, Boston? No. Texas? Not hardly.
Someone help me out here, please...
My brother was always oppositional.
We lived in Nebraska so we were a family of Cornhusker fans. Naturally, he rooted for Oklahoma.
We had no local baseball team, so we were free to pick whoever we wanted to root for.
The Dodgers played the Yankees in the '63 World Series. I fell in love with Koufax, and became a Dodgers fan to this day.
The Cardinals played the Yankees in the '64 World Series. My Dad liked Gibson because he hailed from Omaha.
Of course, my brother managed to piss us both off by rooting for the Yankees.
To this day, even though I've mellowed out a bit due to my advancing years, I still believe my brother is a stupid jerk. :)
I hold Peter O'Malley directly responsible for the fact that Murdoch owned the Dodgers, and indirectly responsible that they were sold to McCourt. I'm glad O'Malley failed in his attempt to regain ownership of the team.
I agree with you completely, Daniel. And although I bleed Dodger blue right along with Tommie, I'm a realist.
While there is no doubt that Vinnie loves the Dodgers, he is the comsumate professional whose first priority is to report the objective truth, rather than ever resort to the home town cheerleading that embarrasses broadcasters like Hawk Harrelson. It is one of the many attributes that makes Scully the greatest, not just to Dodger fans, but to most all fans of baseball.
Before the season I picked the Dodgers to finish ahead of the Padres, and with some luck, maybe the Rockies. They have already had more than their share of luck, so I'll stand by my prediction of a third place finish in the West this year, while continuing to hope for better.
A.J. Ellis has been a pleasant surprise, and Capuano has conjured up a bit of alchemy. But despite the best efforts of Kershaw and Jansen, with the absence of Kemp and the recent regression to the mean for Ethier, the Dodgers just don't send out anyone else out there who can scare you.
I promised myself to enjoy this little run of Dodger magic for as it lasts, which I expect will end sooner rather than later.
I totally agree with you, Richard.
I find it disgusting when I read comments under Christina Karhl's column over at ESPN.com that "girls shouldn't be writing about baseball."
Thank you for your feedback on my comments and I hope that you learned something from them.
Thanks for fixing the article, Ben. And thanks for your common sense comment, Richard.
Most BP writers seem to understand that they are writing for a knowledgeable audience of paid subscribers. They appreciate any corrections and/or input as part of a team effort to get things right and move the ball forward.
They realize that while mistakes will surely happen, these are not really an embarrassment or a big deal. Just acknowledge the mistake, correct things and move on.
Perhaps are inclined to become defensive at times, and perhaps even lash out at a subscriber.
There are lots of different personalities here, but BP is a great place to come.
I waited to allow you some time to change your qualifier in the article so that it is correct, Jason, and I am disappointed that you failed to do so.
Accuracy has certainly never been a strength of yours, as we have discussed previously. However, once you have become aware of a mistake the right thing to do is to fix it, as other BP writers often do.
Many readers will only see the article and not the comments, so without correcting the mistake you will have knowingly misled them.
I prefer going with the Earl Weaver plan.
Use a four man rotation, like Plamer, McNally, Cuellar, and Dobson, and allow each of them to win 20 games. Case closed.
I'll bet $10,000 that Rany Jazayerli didn't write that article.
Thank you for the clarification.
"BrooksBaseball shows that Dickey has thrown his knuckleball 78 percent of the time throughout his career... This season, he has spiked his knuckleball usage to 86 percent"
Dickey did not begin throwing the knuckleball in the majors until his one appearance in 2006. Thus, it is misleading to try to make a point by contrasting this year to his career totals dating back to 2001, as it completely takes things out of context.
Of course, by definition Dickey MUST throw the knuckleball more now than than throughout his career, since he hasn't thrown it throughout his entire career.
I predict that during the off-season many pitchers may decide to climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro to breath its rarefied air.
You are correct that even Mike Marshall didn't pitch every day. But in the 70's, it was commonplace for many good relievers to throw 100-120 innings.
Even if today's relievers are expected to throw harder to get more strikouts, I can't seem to grasp how using one for 75% or so of the previous workloads constitutes pitcher abuse.
Can someone help explain it to me?
So is the headline writer British? I didn't know there were any baseball fans from there.
You just cursed my man Kershaw. Please do me a favor, and never say anything nice about the Dodgers again, okay?
Much obliged! :)
A 5.56 "team" ERA isn't horrible? Really, Mike?
Whatcha been smoking?
It is certainly disingenuous to try and blame this willful ignorance on President Obama when the polls show how the Republican primary voters choose to think, even after he released his long form birth certificate:
"-In Tennessee only 33% of GOP primary voters think Barack Obama was born in the United States, while 45% do not.
-In Georgia 40% of Republican primary voters think Obama was born in the United States, while 38% do not.
-In Ohio 42% of Republican primary voters think Obama was born in the United States, while 37% do not."
So, you write that the Rangers are 99.2% likely to win the AL West, but according to your chart, they are only 98.8% likely to make the playoffs?
Garbage in, garbage out.
I doubt very much that home runs hit in bunches will prove to be as speculative as clutch hitting or pitching to the score is. It would be extremely premature to make such an assumption at this point.
However, until someone gives it some serious study, I guess that none of us know.
I think that study will definitely need to deal with longer periods of time, probably up to one month. One game just seems too limited. It is barely more revealing than trying to determine the answer by looking at how often home runs in consecutive at bats.
BTW, sure, it is anecdotal, but Giancarlo Stanton now has raised his OPS from .598 to .840 at this moment, by hitting six home runs in his last nine games. That's a bunch.
And Matt Kemp is now oh-for-May.
I just lost a lot of respect for Hamels.
BTW, I always thought a beaning, or beanball, was aimed at the head, the old bean, you know. Something that headhunters do. Not a pitch thrown at ones back.
n. the head.
I got a bump right here on my bean.
to hit someone on the head. (See also beanball.) : The lady beaned me with her umbrella.
a pitched baseball that strikes the batter on the head, usually by accident. (Baseball.) : He got hit by a beanball and went after the pitcher with a bat.
Through April 28, in his forst 20 games Giancarlo Stanton had zero home runs and was sporting a pathetic OPS of .598.
Six games later Stanton has four home runs and has raised his OPS to .804.
That is hitting home runs in bunches. But there was not even a single multiple home run game in the "bunch."
Others have touched on this, but in a million years it would have never have occurred to me that when a player says he hits home runs in bunches, it meant in the SAME GAME.
The same home stand, the same week, the same month, okay. But not the same game. Talk about a small sample size.
I'm not the least bit surprised that the analysis discovered basically nothing. A lot of effort por nada.
However, coming up with a column named "Overthinking It" has now been revealed to have been a perfect exercise in thought! :)
I would be REALLY careful about a guy who is playing poorly after coming back from a serious injury.
I questioned why everyone assumed that Adam Wainwright would step right in as the Wainwright of 2010. Sure, lots of guys come back fine from Tommy john surgery, but certainly not everyone. See Francisco Liriano as Exhibit A.
Even if they do come back, sometimes it takes guys two years instead of just one. If you pay for the Wainwright of old, odds are good that you might be overpaying by a lot.
Zito 6 IP, 1 run.
King Kaufman wrote: "I think you don't know what a judgment call is, because "how far did forward momentum take the ball carrier" is not one, and neither is false start/offsides. They go look at replay to determine EXACTLY how far the ball carrier's forward momentum took him, or when the QB began his throwing motion."
I hope that was written in sarcasm. Officials rarely look at replay on offsides calls. and even if they did, the entire premise of the NFL is based on judgment calls fraught with human error, to wit:
-Where a kick went out-of-bounds
-Where to mark the ball down
-Where to mark the ball down again when bringing it back from an incomplete pass
-Where to spot the chains on the sidelines on first down
For example, how often does that guy in the chain gang set the chain down within a tolerance of, say 2-3 cm, from where it is spotted on the hashmark 70 feet, 9 inches away, based solely on his line of sight?
Almost EVERY decision in the NFL is based on line of sight being extropolated out by the referees. If that isn't the epitome of using human "judgment" to make the call, I don't know what is.
As a young boy, I remember how my uncle, a professional surveyor, laughed when they brought the chains out for a fourth down measurement. He compared it to leisurely pacing off a mile, then carefully using a ruler to gage the last 12 inches, and trying to claim that one had therefore measured an "exact" mile.
That comment stuck with me all these years. And I hope it sticcks with you, too.
"The Royals are bound to win sometime soon, and Lowe is bound to endure a severe regression, considering that he’s recorded just three strikeouts in 18 innings to date. Might those two birds be killed with one stone tonight?"
Nope. Lowe pitched a good game.
Sounds like it's safe to bet the farm on the Giants and Zito. And Choo is sure to take the collar.
I've got no dog in this fight, but that photo shows clearly that it was a strike.
In his youth, Pierre was an accomplished fly-chaser, but he never could throw worth a damn. A likeable guy, though.
Sort of like Johnny-Damon-light, but without the ability to hit.
Okay. I agree with you. And Schilling remains a gasbag.
Oh, come on Woody.
Clearly, not everyone who gets on base a lot can or will steal. But regardless of how well someone can or will steal, if they don't get on base they won't.
That is the extremely obvious point the writer is making.
Excellent call, SaigonSam.
All I can say is don't read "Watching the Worst Game of 2011" at work. I almost got myself fired when everyone heard me snort coffee through my nose after seeing this:
"Entertaining Moment No. 5: Umpire being scared as all get out that Don Kelly’s going to let a pitch smack him in the thing."
Of course, Barry Zito threw a complete game shut out, allowing only four singles and no walks.
Let's see: The Mets won. The Yankees won. And the Red Sox won, with their bullpen throwing four scoreless innings. Not to mention that Ryan Braun went 2-4 with a double and a walk.
Daniel, would you mind talking smack about my beloved Dodgers and all of my fantasy players? I'd be much obliged! :)
In the meantime, Chris Sale pitched well. Nice call!
And further meanwhile, Pujols went 0-3 against Chen. Oops.
Your column is entertaining, but I hope you have really thick skin, because you're likely to be wrong a lot.
As Jos Garagiola wrote, Baseball is a Funny game.
I'm watching the Sabathia/Shields match up as I read this article, and there has beens tons of offense and lots of home runs.
You NEVER know what is going to happen in baseball. Gotta love it.
As Yogi allegedly said, predictions are hard, especially about the future.
I'm sure that somewhere there must be a key to explain what all of those columns on the Daily Hit List represent, but I rummaged around BP a bit and can't seem to find it. Can anyone help me out?
Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to put the key at the bottom of the page so that unfamiliar readers can figure what the numbers mean?
I've read here and elsewhere that Blanks is heading to the DL.
But on Thursday he had a pinch hit single, and Friday he played LF and went 3-4 with a double.
What is up with that? Miraculous recovery?
I had a good chuckle when I read that Jake Odorizzi is 40 years old. You might want to check that.
As a Dodger fan, I wish that Coletti had let Loney walk.
LA might as well man first base with Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, or Juan Valdez the Colombian coffee farmer, for all the difference it will make this season.
Phil "The Vulture: Regan, 1966:
7th in the voting for MVP
Can you explain how using stats month-by-month has any distinct validity? It doesn't seem long enough to overcome small sample size issues.
How is it of any more use than, say, 13 day blocks of time or 46 day blocks of time?
Correct me if I am wrong, but using the cycle of the moon, plus or minus a couple days, just seems like a completely arbitrary unit of measure.
Great! Now, can you whip up the same fantasy for my Dodgers?
After all, they had 95 wins and captured their division as recently as 2009...
Normal attrition is to be expected, but the brain drain here has become enormous.
I dunno, but perhaps BP needs to pay its people better so they'll stay? Anyway, something should be changed.
Good luck Steven. You'll be missed.
P.S. Please get rid of all of those annoying slideshows at Bleacher Report. They take forever to load! When I am tricked by an interesting headline into opening one up, I immediately shut it right back down.
You almost got Gordon's nickname right. Back in Nebraska we called him A-Gor.
It sounds a little more fearsome than A-Gord, no?
"Manager Bruce Bochy raised concerns about Sandoval’s weight a couple weeks ago, not coincidentally right about the time Sandoval signed a three-year, $17 million contract."
"If I'm understanding correctly he's not arguing that he didn't use,"
Since Braun has said repeatedly from day one that he is completely innocent, how do you get off saying that "he's not arguing he didn't use?"
Incredible. Perhaps English is not your mother tongue?
DodgerKen, please feel free to apologize to BP readers for making things up to fit your agenda. Your .00001% guess is ridiculous. Try 12.5%.
"For every seven executions since 1976, one other prisoner on death row has been found innocent."
Moreover, the state of Illinois released more convicted murderers (13) due to DNA evidence than it executed (12) which led to the Republican governor placing a moratorium on executions.
In total, 289 convictions have been overturned by DNA evidence.
There is zero evidence that Braun gave "a urine sample filled with a banned substance."
Since the sample was improperly handled, there is no way to say how any substance got into it.
The team always has the option of paying off its contract obligation and releasing the player, right? Corporations do it for executives all the time when they believe it is in their best interest.
Neither a corporate executive nor a baseball player has any obligation whatsoever to his employer to help it "save" his salary, or trade for a prospect.
The A's are great at developing pitching, but no offense.
With their ongoing stadium issues in Oakland, maybe the A's can return to KC and be merge their pitching with the Royals offense?
"That’s Oswalt, as far as I can tell: he’s 34, he pitched very well in 2011... with a 3.59 ERA in 69.2 innings."
Correction, Oswalt pitched 139 innings in 2011. That's a significant difference.
And I thought the "Worst Man in the World" award had been retired in honor of Bill O'Reilly.
Florida Hailstorm Trivia:
Jason, I think the hailstorm you are talking about occurred on March 25, 1992. I recall it vividly because I used the insurance proceeds to finance my divorce that year, while choosing to drive a dented car for the next five years.
I don't recall a similar hailstorm coming along in 1994. An internet search revealed some hail up by Bushnell that year, but not throughout the Orlando area.
The '92 storm across Central Florida was the costliest ever in Florida history, estimated to have caused over $60 million in damages. It made the list of the top hailstorms ever:
Who says ballplayers aren't role models?
That Popeye stuff sure worked on me. I was the only kid I knew who loved to eat spinach.
In fact, it is many years later now, but just two hours ago I enjoyed a delicious spinach salad for dinner.
It appears the Dodgers and Giants are trying to corner the market.
Sabean v. Coletti, his protege. The rivalry lives!
Don't forget that George H. W. Bush played first base at Yale. And he was certainly more prudent than his son.
Jay Jaffe, I enjoyed reading your comment on Carlos Delgado.
You sincerely presented a serious case which demonstrated Delgado's gravitas. Great job!
Carl Everett for president. I love it!
The Ron Paul of baseball players.
"The same quick reads and solid speed that helped Drew reach most fly balls with ease led to questions about a lack of Web Gems and memorable plays."
Players don't have to do an Ozzie Smith back flip on the way to the ball to be a good defender.
If Drew has been an average defender instead of an extremely good one, he would not receive such a middling comment.
13. “He was a clean player competing in the steroid era, so imagine what his numbers might have been.”
Corollary: If a player was outspoken against steroids, that proves he must have been clean.*
Which completely ignores Rafael Palmiero's testimony and subsequent drug test. Not to mention all of the ministers who condemned gays and then had their cover blown (Ted Haggard, et al). And politicians who sponsored laws against child porn (Mark Foley). Etc., etc., ad nauseum.
I could go on and on listing all those who condemn others to distract attention from the demons hiding within themselves. And so can you.
*Usually applied to Curt Schilling.
"Victor last year hit almost .400 over 220+ at bats with runners in scoring position. This was the HEART of Detroits success from an offensive standpoint."
Gotta Love Clutchiness!
“You can’t know how good he was unless you saw him play.”
Which is usually uttered by armchair baseball fans, who only saw a player two or three times a season on Saturday's "Game of the Week," back when it was the only game in town.
Somehow I ended up with an embarrassment of riches at third base.
I would love to do some crowd sourcing. Going forward for many years to come, which two to keep, which two to trade? Listed alphabetically:
In essence, it is simply a math problem.
When we understand that, the idea that there could possibly be 100 “top” prospects is silly.
One needs to take into account that the are only 30 teams, which at most have only about 17 players with a regular job. The other eight spots (or more)come and go between backups, hopefuls, and fringers.
That means there are only 500 or so regular players in all of baseball. Of course, not all regulars are good, let alone All-Stars.
Even still, we get a new list of 100 “top” prospects every year. But there is just no way that anywhere close to 20% of the regulars will lose their jobs to make room for these 100 rookies.
Publications have to create these “top” prospect lists in order to justify their existence and sell copies or gain subscribers.
I've learned you best not to try and take Jason Collette's writing seriously.
It is best to to read Jason Collette's articles the same way you would listen to Joe Morgan's analysis. Solely for kicks and giggles.
"I do worry about Jensen's extreme fly all rate... Jensen should at least have been on the 1st table but appears to have been a victim of a large table edit that I made to it before submission."
Jason, is it someone named Jensen, as you just spelled it twice, or Jansen, who lesmash asked you about in his post?
And you have the chutzpah to claim that "Jensen" is a "victim" of editing - an edit which you admit that you made all by yourself.
Don't you ever get embarrassed by all of these constant mistakes and excuses?
What is the prognosis for Ike Davis? Thanks!
"I don't follow baseball to drag myself down with hypotheticals and other impossible comparisons to an ideal that never existed (or to dwell in the sanctimony of those who do)."
Whenever someone rails on sanctimoniously about Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemons, et.al., I just wonder if they actually believe that everyone they have rooted for was a candidate for sainthood.
Everyone seems so sure that Wainwright will come back without missing a beat.
Maybe he will, but it isn't quite guaranteed to always work out that way.
Even if he had never been injured, it would be difficult enough to duplicate his 2010 career year.
Everyone seems sure that Wainwright will come back without missing a beat.
Maybe he will, but it isn't quite guaranteed to always work out that way.
Even if he had never been injured, it would be difficult enough to duplicate his 2010 career year.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Poor kid hasn't even started and this is already enough of a whisper campaign to deny him Hall of Fame votes.
I get no souund either.
Of course, The biggest risk with any pitcher is injury.
I'm a Dodger fan, and it's not even close. Give me Ike Davis any day.
Well, now it is November 16. The Cy Young results are in and Verlander is the unanimous winner. Weaver finished second and Shields finished third.
Sabathia had a good season, but the voters got it exactly right.
Chris Davis is only 25 years old as we speak, so how do you lump him in with guys in their late 20s? Time will tell, but you would be foolish to write him off already.
No, Nolasco's not an enigma.
It is easy to figure him out: He's just not very good.
"Hiroki Kuroda... Now, he would seem perhaps a better fit than C.J. Wilson because he would cost much less in years and dollars."
Since when has "cost less" ever been relevant to how a player would fit with the Yankees?
Thanks for the clarification, Rany. I find it helpful when state it that way.
One important point was never addressed in the article, which is that lots of guys will never have an opportunity to be a young draft pick.
If you are born in October and start school at age 5, you are by definition going to HAVE to be an old draft pick. But that certainly wouldn't mean that no one born in October can ever be a great ballplayer.
I remember reading years ago in one of Bill James' baseball Abstracts that the great ones make it to the majors when they are young. They might not set the league on fire at first, but they make it there young.
Mantle, Yount, Bonds, Griffey, etc.
So Hosmer may have been an "old" draft pick, but he made it young to the big leagues, and acquitted himself quite well. My hunch is that the latter be much more predictive of his career path than the former.
I get what you are saying, but you don't get what I am saying. I'll try to be more clear by approaching this from another direction.
If Hamilton, Beltre, and Cruz had each been able to play 150 games, they would have combined for an additional 347 PA, based on what their average PA per game.
Now I'm not a sabermetrician, and I don't know where to access how many men would have been on base for those 347 PA. Regardless, since you are the one positing how "scary" the Rangers would be if these guys hadn't been injured, the onus is on you to support your point with some kind of evidence.
So please find out how to estimate how many runners were on base who did not score during the 347 PA they missed.
In the meantime, let's run some numbers to get a feel for how great the possibilities could be.
If by knocking in 18.1% of the runners instead of the league average of 14%, and the bases were loaded for every single PA they missed, an extra 42.7 runs would have been scored on the season.
Of course, that is a ridiculous assumption, but it does set the highest ceiling possible: 42.7 runs, and we know that typically would gain about four extra wins, right?
Now, if there was even one runner on base for every single PA they missed, an extra 14 runs would have scored on the season (347 runners times 4.1%). Fourteen runs should deliver 1.4 wins per season.
I may be dead wrong on this, but averaging one runner on base at all times still seems kind of high doesn't it?
So what if the average was one base runner 2/3 of the time? A gain of 9.5 runs, or one win over the course of the season.
50% of the time? Seven more runs.
Pretty f'ing scary, eh?
Proves your point?
"Michael Young led the American League, driving in 21.1 percent of the runners on base in front of him. Speaking of Texas, Young, Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Nelson Cruz all drove in at least 18.1 percent of the batters on base when they were hitting; now imagine how scary the Rangers’ offensive numbers would have been this season had the latter three hitters not each spent time on the disabled list."
Your last statement seems like quite a leap.
Seeing how injuries cause the batting order to be changed, isn't it more likely that when one player is out, say Beltre, the new lineup compensates by giving another player more RBI opportunities than he otherwise would have had?
For example, Cruz moved up to hit behind Young's OBP of .380, instead of Beltre's OBP of .331.
So basically, it looks much more like a zero sum game, with the same amount of RBI opportunities spread between players with roughly the same propensity to drive them in.
In order for there to be any significant amount of more total RBI for the team, the Rangers would pretty much need to put more men on base, wouldn't they?
I should have went back and read your actual vote first instead of assuming from your comment that you were trying to justify voting for Sabathia. Now I see that you did vote for Verlander, and were simply trying to come up with a rationalization for someone else's vote.
I admit was wrong, I was harsh, and I apologize.
Your questionable vote actually turned terrible when "supported" by a truly foolish explanation.
When you typed out those stat lines, didn't you wince when you noticed that Sabathia has less than twice as many innings, but exactly THREE times the hits and earned runs?
Matusz pitched against tough competition and got clobbered, too. Based on your logic, it seems that he also deserves to be on your ballot.
Sorry to have to be so harsh, but you really should resign from BP and find work more suitable to your talents.
Beltre is only the poster child for the "Walk Year Phenomena" for those who don't pay attention to the facts.
I would say Beltre is having a pretty darn good season in 2011, which is not a walk year, especially compared to his wretched season in 2009 with the Mariners, which actually was a walk year.
Actually, Beltre is really the poster child for "Seattle is a Terrible Place for a Hitter to Go Phenomena."
Or should that be Chone Figgins, too?
Oh, okay then. Thanks for the correction.
I am the king of typos so I can easily forgive them.
I thought you were saying you would vote for a starter with 60 innings, but not a reliever.
I know it sounded crazy, but then you've written some crazy stuff lately, such as "What I don't value is wins, winning percentage, or any other total that comes from throwing a lot of pitches."
Since innings pitched it the primary statistic that comes from throwing a lot of pitches, it sure soundedlike you could care less about that stat. Which is why I felt I had to question.
So now I see that "throwing a lot of pitches," at least in regards to more than 60 innings, DOES matter to you after all. See, we are closer in our opinions than you thought!
Of course, if the writing had been more clear initially, such as "10-15 more innings doesn't matter much to me," we would have known that from the start.
But I took your exageration literally, assuming that you had some overarching point that I was just too dim to grasp.
Heck, to be generous, let's make it any starter with less than 100 innings who deserved to be voted the Cy Young as the best pitcher in the league that year, okay?
Okay, I'll bite. Let's continue with that larger discussion.
Please name the starting pitchers who only threw 60 innings (give-or-take) who you would have voted first place on your Cy Young ballot over the years.
There is no restrictions concerning what year they came from, so that gives you a lot of latitiude to come up with at least 2-3 Cy Young worthy names.
Strike years should be reduced proportionately, of course.
I agree that the 10-15 innings difference between Verlander and Sabathia don't mean much, but that isn't what you wrote, is it? Check for youirself:
"What I don't value is wins, winning percentage, or any other total that comes from throwing a lot of pitches."
My response was "You don't seriously mean that. You would not support someone with 40 innings, or even 120 innings, for the Cy Young Award."
You completely ignored the examples I gave to dispute your assertion. We can easily assume is because you would have to admit that I am right.
You wouldn't vote for someone with only 40 innings for the Cy Yong Award, would you?
Now I will respectively suggest that if you work at toning down this defensiveness, along with your propensity for exaggeration in your writing, you will become much better at your craft.
Why would anyone in his right mind not want to appreciate Derek Jeter???
I HATE the Yankees, but I love Derek Jeter. He has been a truly GREAT ball player - a slam dunk, inner circle, first ballot Hall-of-Famer.
He plays the game the way it should be played, and enjoys a full and fascinating life without a hint of scandal.
Jeter even has a great sense of humor, and never let his head grow big despite all of his success.
He is the type of man I hope my own son grows up to be.
Derek Jeter has got it all, everything anyone could ever hope for, except just one thing. The guy's got no range.
He can't field worth a crap.
Yes sir, Wiley Mo Pena. That's the ticket!
It's nonsense like this that gives statheads a bad name.
No love for Blanks? The big guy looks to have 30-40 HR potential.
"What I don't value is wins, winning percentage, or any other total that comes from throwing a lot of pitches."
You don't seriously mean that. You would not support someone with 40 innings, or even 120 innings, for the Cy Young Award.
"Throwing lots of pitches" doesn't decide who gets the award, but yes, it matters.
This type of hyperbole is not necessary, and actually distracts from making your point, as readers will discount what you are trying to say.
If you had originally written that Sabathia belongs in the "discussion" for the Cy Young (meaning second or third on the ballot, not first), as you wrote in your follow up, there would have never been an issue here.
But saying that he "deserves it as much as Verlander does" diminished your praise of Sabathia's excellent season, as your readers immediate reaction is to shake their heads, knowing that is just not the case.
If you try toning it down just a bit in the future, it will elevate your writing.
I'm pleased you hate the Yankees, but I'm sure we both agree that should have nothing to do with this discussion.
Verlander 2011 League Ranks:
• 1st in AL in W (23)
• 1st in AL in IP (236.0)
• 1st in AL in SO (238)
• 1st in AL in ERA (2.36)
• 1st in AL in WHIP (0.92)
• 1st in AL in W% (.821)
Sabathia 2011 League Ranks:
• 2nd in AL in W (19)
• 3rd in AL in IP (224.1)
• 2nd in AL in SO (216)
• 5th in AL in ERA (2.93)
• 5th in AL in W% (.704)
Sorry that I couldn't locate all of the metrics you used, but let's update the ones I could find and add a bit more:
• Verlander 27 according to this BP site, not 22
• Sabathia 21 acccording to this BP site, not 23
• Verlander 2.36/2.96
• Sabathia 2.93/2.83
• Verlander 51.5
• Sabathia 50.0
• Verlander 5.7
• Sabathia 5.0
• Verlander 2.02
• Sabathia 2.21
• Verlander 9.08
• Sabathia 8.67
• Verlander 0.84
• Sabathia 0.60
• Verlander 4.63
• Sabathia 3.79
It seems that you must only value FIP, SNWP, and HR rate, and that you discount everything else.
Because other than those three categories, Verlander easily beats Sabathia across the board.
Sabathia , of course, is one of the top pitchers in the league.
But when it comes to the Cy Young Award, any suggestion that he "deserves it as much as Verlander does this season" is just plain silly.
It really calls into question the credibility of the writer.
I had no idea that as the rule.
Picking up Trayvon Robinson was a good move, especially considering that all Ned Colletti asked for him was a crust of day old bread.
I expect that Casper Wells will also prove to be a useful player.
I would have to disagree that ones best reliever should always go in first in any close game. And I bet that when you think about it you would probably agree with me.
Like you, I would also like to see a pitcher like Mariano Rivera used in a high leverage situation earlier than the 9th inning. But to bring him on a regular basis at the start of the 6th or 7th inning of a tie game doesn't make any sense either.
I'll stress again that the key is "high leverage."
If the tying and winning runners get on base, it makes a lot of sense to bring him in, whether in the 7th, 9th or 11th. But to use hime to start the 7th or 11th innings really doesn't make any more sense than to always have him start off the 9th.
It is okay both to use your best reliever earlier, or when your other pitchers are mowing guys down, to save him for later.
So we really aren't that far apart in our view. I just think it is unfair for you and Rob Neyer to bash Clint Hurdle mercilessly for his decision.
Reasonable people can disagree, and Hurdle's managing was well within the realm of reason.
Yes, I am talking about that game specifically.
I will grant you that Hanrahan is a better pitcher than McCutcheon.
So if you were to write the exact same reply but substituted the words "6th inning" with any of these: "1st inning" or "2nd inning" or "3rd inning" or "4th inning" or "5th inning," your comment would remain equally as true.
It would have been every bit as "appropriate" to bring Hanrahan in earlier.
The reality is that if you had brought Hanrahan in at any of those points and he threw an inning or two before being removed, you would have still had a tie game later. It wouldn't have made any difference at all until the 19th inning.
So your entire argument about McCutcheon's 6th inning rests upon knowing during that game that he would throw shutout ball for five innings and then would then need to be replaced.
Exactly then, and no earlier, or you would have realized no gain from bringing in Hanrahan. And you can ONLY know any of that in hindsight.
Acting as if McCutcheon "seeing the mound" is of any value itself is where your logic runs off the tracks. Knowing which inning is the high leverage inning is the key.
You cannot look at the 19th inning in isolation. You have to compare it to all the other opportunities to have brought in Hanrahan and explain why you would have rejected those, but pulled the trigger in the 19th.
Of course, there is no way you can argue with a straight face that you would have known to save him for the 19th because it was more important than the earlier innings.
If you can recognize that limitation to your argument it would be much more fair. But then, you would have to admit that when to bring Hanrahan in was a guessing game rather than a decision based on pure logic. Which causes your point to lose its punch.
So to bash Hurdle because he did not know then (like you know now) that the 19th was the key inning is irresponsible, and would fail as a valid argument in Logic 101.
"Forget the conventional “closer” business, which often leads to disasters like Clint Hurdle refusing to use Joel Hanrahan through 19 innings simply because the Pirates never had a lead to hand him."
I am shocked to keep reading such nonsense from supposedly intelligent baseball pundits.
Hurdle's choice of relievers held the opponent without a run until the 19th inning, for Chrissake. How much more can you ask than that?
If Hanrahan had been the one to hold them scoreless in, say, the 10th, 11th, and 12th, instead of the pitchers who did, would that have made any difference in the outcome?
Not the slightest little bit. Not at all.
Yogi said making predictions is hard, especially about the future. It would have been pretty hard for any of these geniuses to guess in advance which of the 19 innings was going to be the most crucial.
Instead, in retrospect, these jokers act as if they would have known to keep Hanrahan on the bench the whole time the game was tied.
And they are all sure they would have had the foresight at just the exact right moment to guess that a run was going to score in the 19th, at which point they would have brought Hanrahan in to save the day.
What a crock.
I meant to post the above Casper Wells comment under the Mariners-Tigers thread. Clueless how it ended up here. Sorry!
Don't ignore Casper Wells, who could be the sleeper in this deal. Some power, some patience, some speed, some defense.
The Mariners would be wise to give Wells a chance to play everyday, as he just may become an extremely useful ballplayer. They have nothing to lose this year while finding out.
"...the offense should be enough to make him an everyday player, and possibly an above-average one at a position where there are arguably less than 30 players who fit that bill."
I'll grant you that it is a poorly constructed sentence which lacks clarity. I had to read twice in order to gain comprehension.
But I am pretty sure that what Goldstein meant is that Beckham can possibly be an above-average shortstop at a position where their are arguably less than 30 everyday players.
It makes sense when read that way, right? BP just needs a good editor to straighten up things like this.
@69wildcat "Instead they have to make these decisions on the fly, usually while running full speed or while moving to catch an inaccurately thrown ball. Collisions under these circumstances are inevitable'
Football players have to make these decisions "on the fly" all the time. Sure there are still collisions, but just imagine how many more there would be if pass interference and roughing the passer and kicker were legal?
Professionals can adapt to the rules.
Sabado Gigante. ¡Que bueno!
"We talked about no excuses early on in camp, about how we were not going to make any excuses in any situation."
As Mattingly points out, "We've had the lineup we had coming out of spring training together for just two games all season."
Hey, Donnie Ballgame, that sounds like an excuse to me.
I live in Hong Kong.
I don't even know where you are, but I can promise you that it's pretty far.
Frenchy Francouer? You're fired.
First "Manager of the Day" who made any sense. Christina, you're hired.
The article cited says, in part: "In fact, aliens from outer space, who had placed wagers on the Yankee's opponents, may have chosen that instant to attack and annihilate Yankee stadium."
I can't refute the soundness of the logic that if Washington had only put in a different reliever, aliens may have somehow changed the outcome of the game. But seeing how well the Rangers hit over the course of the entire series, I rather doubt it would have helped.
Unless, of course, the aliens were on Texas' 25 man roster and could pinch hit...
The point is it did NOT affect the outcome of the game, so the criticism is just howling at the moon. Beat up the hitters if you must, but quit beating up Washington, because the Rangers lost regardless of who he put in to pitch in the eigth.
I realize that all of the analysts have to write something to justify their salaries, but this critique of Wahington is pretty meaningless.
Reliever selection means very little when your team is already behind and can only muster three singles and a double, regardless of who is batting seventh.
Anyone have a breakdown of all the teams records when they only get four hits? My guess is they lose aroound 90% of the time.
An even more telling statistic is that they lose 100% when they score zero runs.
So you believe thatJake Westbrook, Kevin Millwood, and Jeremy Bonderman are the answer?
Good thing your GM job only lasted one day.
You're fired, John.
@diryn1 - The third palyer that Charley Finley sold was Vida Blue.
"You're pitching next Tuesday".
Sorry, Dianagram, but you messed up the punch line. It is supposed to be:
"You're pitching AGAINST us next Tuesday."
No one has ever blamed Billy Wagner of faking his injury. He sacrificed his body for the team, yet you have the gall blame him for "forcing" the Mets to use lesser relievers. Sheehan, you are an ass.