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You think they haven't been shopping Lugo? Someone called Theo up and said "Lowrie's ready" and Theo said "oh my! we now have too many shortstops! I'll have to DFA Lugo immediately!"
No one is going to pay for Lugo or give anything of real value up. They got something, that something might one day be a decent player, or he might not. Lugo didn't merit a spot on the roster, and the 13 million was a sunk cost.
Ah, good call. He's not subject to arbitration or anything, since he signed as a free agent.
That said, if he's an elite defensive shortstop already, that's still not much of a stretch, money-wise.
How badly do the Jays want to move Wells, though?
They'd give him away for nothing, presumably. If a team was willing to take Wells, how much would they have to give up in exchange for Halladay?
So downside is Adam Everett, upside is, what, Omar Vizquel? 8 million seems like a pretty good investment for that kind of player, even if he just ends up as a utility guy, it's not like that's an insane amount of cash to pay for 4 years of a utility guy.
What a crock.
"The All-Star Game has lost its luster because the game isn’t taken seriously by the people in uniform. Don’t read what they say—watch what they do."
Did you watch the game last year? When Terry Francona hugged Jim Leyland and was moved to tears after the game, he didn't care? When Justin Morneau jumped into the arms of Carlos Quentin (who plays on the team's biggest division rival) after a 15 inning walk-off, he didn't care? Terry Francona was going to have JD Drew (his team's second-most expensive player) pitch!
I don't understand how you get away with this stuff. Why don't you "watch what they do?"
Watch Ichiro gun down Pujols, look at how Cueto reacts to giving up the homer to Drew. Look at Tejada's play at short and McLouth's throw to the plate. Hell, look at Hart's throw on the final play of the game. These aren't plays by players who don't care (compare this game to, say, a Mets game).
I can wait for your next article about how the media ignores the important facts. I'm glad Baseball Prospectus has its own Skip Bayless.
I remember that two balk blown save. He was released the next day. That was brutal.
All bloopers that go for extra bases end up in the Gameday system as line drives. I don't know why this is, but it's very true.
"And no one likes the men who have chosen to represent baseball players as if they were a group of laborers in an industry long dominated by a paternalistic management and covered by an unquestioning press largely bought and paid for by the same."
Except Joe Sheehan, who was made it exceedingly clear, time and time again, that his loyalties lie not with teams, or the league, or the fans, but with the players and their unions.
And who has made a point of bashing the media time and time again despite being firmly entrenched as a member of the media. What a tired act.
You really take exception with the Cubs playing Derrek Lee over Jake Fox? Lee's having a somewhat productive year (and has been locked in as of late) and has a very solid history of putting up good OBPs and playing a solid first base. Jake Fox is a 26 year old career minor leaguer whose career minor league OBP isn't as good as D. Lee's OBP this year.
I don't really think this is a sunk cost issue; I think it's a Jake Fox is a AAAA scrub issue.
The Yankees had hit 9 Red Sox batters by that point, the Red Sox had hit 3 Yankees batters. Of course it was intentional, but the Yankees don't hit 9 batters in 6 games by accident, especially with Bay and Youkilis both get plunked multiple times.
Where does Girardi get off complaining about HBP?
Felix Hernandez; still only 23 and getting better; once he hits a good organization he'll take off.
Yeah, I'm with you. I don't really follow.
Do people still believe that "study?". They took a small sample size of scrubs who were barely good enough to make the majors. They operated under the assumption that all of the players took the same substances for the same amount of they, they assumed they didn't continue use after getting caught, they assumed that a bunch of borderline players were comprable to star-caliber players, etc. The essay doesn't prove anything; it doesn't even suggest anything. I find it a lot less compelling than common sense and anecdotal evidence. I can't believe people still bring it up.
How about voting for Pedroia because he was the most valuable player in the American League last year? Surely that qualifies him as an "all-star." Kinsler's never played a full season, Pedroia's played two. Pedroia is younger than Kinsler, but still has a ROY, and MVP, a gold glove, and a silver slugger. He led the league in three major categories last year. He's in video game commercials. Say what you want, but Pedroia is clearly more of a star than Kinsler.
Some defensive numbers don't pass the common sense test...
So are the Padres heading down that road of not caring at all whether they have a decent team? Anyone who makes 7 figures can be had for next to nothing?
Eh, I'm with you in terms of giving career performance the lion's share of credit, but two other things factor in big for me, as well, which are clutch performance and likability. Even if you think clutch hitting is luck, I think the all-star game is the perfect place for rewarding the sort of things that are fun but not all that important. After all, if that's not a good description of the game itself, nothing is. I'm also not opposed to rewarding a good player on a hot streak, or leaving off players who have missed time/played poorly. Keep out the Scutaros, but also the A-Rods. I'm also partial to players who have always played for the same team. As such:
Halladay should start, but that's up to Maddon.
Swisher is playing very poorly and the Yankees needed the run to tie; I wouldn't have done it, buts it's not really that bad.
You should have asked him about that worm he ate yesterday.
Yeah, I can't really understand why some people are upset about this. His young players haven't matured, his reluctance to play Upton was unforgivable, his obsession with Tony Clark was bizarre, and letting Lyon close all last year was just plain stupid. Maybe it's not all his fault, but he hasn't done much to prove he's much of a manager.
So now Youkilis is a good player? Two months ago his employment was "sentimentality run amok."
I don't know that it's your "never ending pleas" that people object to so much as the meta-journalism that's making up more and more of your output. Most of what you have to say about the media ("they get hysterical over steroids," "they see patterns where there are none") is so typical of media-criticism about all media (as opposed to just baseball media) as to come off as kind of facile. Everyone knows that mainstream media in this and all other countries simplifies the story to the point of parody and appeals to the lowest common denominator. We don't need you (who, I am the first to admit, is a top-notch baseball writer) doing your best Fire Joe Morgan without the wit impression. It just seems like you're banging your head against a wall that your target (and somewhat captive audience) climbed a long time ago.
The rudder of sanity?
Jeeeeeeeeeeesus Christ. There's nothing worse than a fan of a bad team complaining about how their horseshit team never gets talked about.
How many words were written on this site about the Sox - Yankees series last week? Not many, if any. Chill out with this.
I'm wary of how much we can trust official scorers w/r/t line drives, and thus I'm wary of how much we can trust LD%. If balls are struck with the same trajectory and one of them falls for a hit and the other just happens to find a fielders glove, is the former more likely to be called a line drive than the latter? Do scorers tend to call more line drives when a pitcher is getting rocked than when he's doing well? Do some official scorers call more line drives than others? Do fly balls hit off the wall in Fenway end up as line drives where, were they hit in Petco, would go as fly balls?
I know people keep track of "fliners" now, but I don't know that replacing one fuzzy border (line drive to fly ball) with two fuzzy borders (from line drive to fliner and from fliner to fly ball) improves the situation all that much.
You've got a point.
To be fair, though, there's no reason to read the paper/watch Sportscenter if all they say is "well, so far the baseball season is progressing and we can't know anything about anything, yet." I can't really find fault w/ people trying to make storylines out of the first few weeks of baseball, even if it is patently absurd stuff about how Marco Scutaro is on track for the MVP and Kevin Youkilis is going to win the batting title.
I mean, let's face it, small sample size is really goddamn boring.
Also, I do believe that you can tell things from watching players in a small number of at bats. If aging players are late on 89 MPH fastballs, it suggests something that may or may not already be showing up in the stat-line. If Scott Baker gives up 7 homeruns in 8.2 innings so far this year when he only gave up 20 in 170+ last year, it suggests something might be wrong.
The Marlins Win% might be meaningless, but some things become apparent quickly.
Maybe a little over the top there at the end?
Dude, Wang recorded 6 outs, whereas Mussina recorded 11 outs. If Wang pitched like he has been for another 5 outs, he'd give up 19 more hits, or 17 more than Mussina. Mussina turned every batter he faced into Barry Bonds in his prime, Wang turned ever batter he faced into Barry Bonds in a video game.
K rate is very relevant, simply because most good pitchers with low K rates become not-good pitchers a whole lot faster than pitchers who strike guys out.
There's no doubt that Wang's performance so far have been very, very good. However, his low K rate suggests that he may not be able to keep that up over the next few years. If his ability to get groundballs or not walk guys slips at all, the effects are going to be magnified because he can't strike people out.
Maybe he ends up as Bob Forsch, and that's not so bad, but he's not exactly a dependable number 2. But I don't know that you're going to find many guys who strike out 4 guys per 9 innings who had a long career as number 2/3 guys in modern MLB history.
The problem w/ Wang is that he doesn't have any margin for error at all. If you don't strike people out you have to get tons and tons of groundballs and walk very few people. If you start giving up flyballs or walks, you're going to get into a lot of trouble.
Wang reminds me a little bit of Carlos Silva when Silva was young. Silva was never as good at not giving up dingers, but he was better than Wang at not walking guys. While I think that Wang's true talent level is a lot better than an ERA around 30.00, I don't think you can expect him to be your number 2 starter for that much longer. Luckily for the Yankees, they don't really need him to be.
I think Wang's on the decline phase of his career. That's not to say he won't be good for a few more years, but it's tough to think of starters who remained as good as he's been for very long when they K as few batters as he does.
Jeff Francoeur isn't any good, though. It's not like he had anything to return to, he just kinda sucks.
Or I guess that should be "hear hear!"
I cannot tell you how much I love the Pirate Band. I remember David Pauley seemed to hate it.
102 wins for my Red Sox? That is ridiculously awesome. If a team in this year's AL East wins over 100 games, you're talking about probably the best team of the decade. I'd be pretty down w/ that.
He was last year.
Days off, most likely. If you don't play every day, then someone's going to have a day off every so often.
The difference between Johnny Antonelli is not very much?
Well, the same day this article was posted they posted an article about how size affects their projections, so...
Tried to change the constitution by working within the rules set by the constitution which involved a nation-wide vote that Chavez lost by a margin of 51%-49%. When he lost, he didn't change the constitution by decree, he didn't demand a recount, he accepted the loss and moved on. The facts are pretty clear; he has NOT changed the constitution, because he lost the vote to change the election.
Dictators don't lose elections, they fix elections or refuse to abide by the election results. Until Chavez refuses to abide by election results, or sets up an unfair election, I don't see how he is anything other than a democratically elected leader who doesn't like the United States' foreign policy.
Remember, FDR tried to change the constitution to expand the supreme court so that it was just large enough so that his appointees would be a majority. He lost, and he kept governing without overturning the constitution. That doesn't make him a dictator.
The lies people tell about Chavez are infuriating.
Comparing Hitler + Hussein to Chavez is at best misleading and at worst dishonest. He has been elected three times in fair elections, the most recent in 2006. His most egregious actions, in my eyes, were his proposed changes to the constitution back in late 2007, including a proposed end to presidential term limits. He proposed them through the proper channels, and then they were defeated in a national referendum. Despite the headlines that screamed "Chavez Declares Self President For Life," Chavez conceded defeat and says he will not pursue the matter anymore.
As for shutting down one news station, he allowed the station to continue its existence until the end of its contract and then elected not to renew the contract. If Fox News or CNN started publicly calling for the violent removal of the President of the United States, how much longer would CNN and Fox continue to exist? He didn't shut it down after the coup in which he was nearly killed, he allowed it to continue its existence until the agreement between it and the government expired.
Castro is a dictator (former dictator, actually) whereas Chavez is a democratically elected leader of one of the most progressive nations in Latin America who works within the bounds of his constitution. That's more than you can say about some other recent leaders I can think of.
Pretty much my reaction. Jimmy Carter's group, and a UN group certified the original election. There was a recall election, which Chavez won in a landslide, that was also certified as fair by two separate neutral watchdog organizations. Calling him a dictator is an unfair slur, and is disrespectful to the people of Venezuela.
I like them both quite a bit.
Unfiltered, man. Ease up.
Since we're being grammar nerds, from David Foster Wallace's notes to "The Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus," whose command of the English language surely dwarfed... well, pretty much everyone:
[Unique] is one of a class of adjectives, sometimes called uncomparables, that present special problems. Among other uncomparables are precise, exact, correct, whole, accurate, preferable, inevitable, possible, false; there are probably two dozen in all. These adjectives all describe absolute, non-negotiable states: something is either false or it's not; something is either whole or it's not. Many writers, though, get careless and try to modify uncomparables with comparatives like "more" and "less" or intensives like "very." If you really think about them, the core assertions in sentences like "War is becoming increasingly inevitable as Middle East tensions rise," "Their cost estimate was more accurate than the other firms'," and "As a mortician, he has a very unique attitude" make no sense. If something is inevitable, it is bound to happen; it cannot be bound to happen and then somehow even more bound to happen. Unique already means one-of-a-kind, so the adjective phrase very unique is at best redundant and at worst stupid, like audible to the ear or rectangular in shape.
Uncomparable-type boners can be easily fixed— "War is looking increasingly inevitable"; "Their estimate was more nearly accurate"; "He has a unique attitude"—but for writers the hard part is noticing such errors in the first place. You can blame the culture of marketing for some of this difficulty. As the number and rhetorical volume of U.S. ads increase, we become inured to hyperbolic language, which then forces marketers to load superlatives and uncomparables with high-octane modifiers (special→very special→Super-Special!→Mega-Special!!), and so on.
A deeper issue implicit in the problem of uncomparables concerns the dissimilarities between Standard Written English and the language of advertising. Today's "Advertising English," which probably deserves to be studied as its own dialect, operates under very different syntactic rules than SWE, primarily because Advertising English's goals and assumptions are different. Sentences like "We offer a totally unique dining experience, Come on down and receive your free gift, and Save up to fifty percent, and more!" are perfectly OK in Advertising English, but this is because AE is aimed at people who are not paying close attention. If your audience is by definition involuntary, distracted, and numbed, then "free gift" and "totally unique" stand a better chance of penetrating their awareness—and simple penetration is what Advertising English is all about. The goals and assumptions of Standard Written English are obviously far more complex, but one axiom of SWE is that your reader is paying close attention and expects you to have done the same.
Perhaps your dictionary is broken. (There's a very good essay that DFW wrote about the way in which your dictionary is broken)
Make it a straight tournament, make seeding NCAA style, according to strength of team, and play best of 3 in each round. Maybe 15 games is too much for one team to play, but it's doubtful a champion-level team would really have to play all 3 games in each round. Expand the rosters to 30 players, and allow replacements to be made at any time.
True, but how about Mark Prior, then? He certainly was on Price\'s level (if not above it).
I\'m just saying, if David Price ends up having Chris Carpenter\'s career instead of Johan Santana\'s, it would still be a pretty nice find.
Is it really all that laughable? An awful lot of top, can\'t miss pitchers end up getting hurt, lose their ability to throw strikes, etc., etc. How long ago was it that Phil Hughes and Edwin Jackson were can\'t miss prospects? Yusmiero Petit? Brandon McCarthy? Jeremy Sowers?
See, I\'d say that batting average means a lot more for a minor league player. If you can\'t get hits off of minor league scrubs, you\'re going to have a lot of trouble hitting major leaguers. Adam Dunn hit .300 in the minors. Howard hit .300. Even Jack Cust hit .280.
Also, consider that 1/4 of players actually make it to the majors. If you don\'t make the majors, you can\'t accumulate WARP. Thus, if the average WARP is 4 (over a career), and only 1/4 of players drafted make it to the majors, then the average player to make it to the majors is a 16 WARP career player. Not great, but better than a 4 WARP player. So you\'ve got a 3/4 chance of getting nothing, or a 1/4 chance of getting a decent, useful major leaguer.
I\'d like to see more work done along these lines. Rany\'s chart suggests that in the 50-100 pick range you\'ve got about a 1/4 chance of getting a major league player, and that on average these players are worth about 4 WARP. How much, in dollars, is that chance worth? It seems like it\'s got to be worth something, at least a couple million.
I\'d be interested in seeing an article or two that try to assign monetary value to draft picks. I don\'t really know how someone would go about doing something like that, but I assume major league teams all have their own formula.
That website that you linked to is bonkers. You\'ve got to say you\'re not a law-enforcement agent to look at their sponsors\' websites?
That was awesome. I really love George Thorogood.
So go ask those questions! You write for a website that has one of the top selling books on amazon with blurbs from Bob Costas, Mark Shaprio, and Michael Lewis on the back of the book. Several of your writers are part of the BBWAA. Some of you write for SI and ESPN. The person who wrote this article does dozens of radio interviews a month. Some of you work for major TV stations in addition to writing for Prospectus.
Your readers don\'t have any access to Bud Selig, Joe Nathan, the big, bad, witch-huntin\' media, Mark Shapiro, A-Rod, Mike Schmidt, Joe Morgan, Gene Orza, or anyone else. You guys do. If you\'re so disgusted with the \"witch hunt,\" go talk to the people doing the hunting. Send out a bunch of emails, make some phone calls, and report the quotes back here. Use your clout to go stick some microphones in some people\'s faces. Tell us who answered, who refused to answer, and what everyone said.
Because, \"swear to god,\" right now it just seems like you\'re making excuses for PED users. NFL, witch-hunt, TMZ, CBA, ad nauseum.
I find it really, really hard to believe that you can get upset about the names being leaked and about Bud Selig\'s behavior, but not be upset about Gene Orza aiding players in getting around the league\'s testing policy. At least not upset enough about it to mention in either of your columns on this issue.
Let\'s all never try to predict anything, ever.
Yeah, but it doesn\'t really matter whose fault it is; he\'s still got a messed up arm. It\'s not like all of his old issues go away when he changes teams. Maybe the Yankees can handle him better (although their pitchers don\'t really have a sterling track record of health as of late), but even if they do he\'s still got all of his past issues waiting to pop back up.
That\'s nonsense. It\'s very obvious that this can\'t be proven either way, so the burden\'s not on anyone. If it was on anyone, it would be against the people go against majority opinion; but the idea that there\'s a burden of proof on something that is, by its very nature unprovable, is awfully stupid.
The only studies that have been done re: professional baseball players + steroids have been terribly flawed, because (re: players caught using steroids) there\'s no information about what kind of steroids, how much of these steroids the people have used, how long they\'ve been using, and what percentage of users have been caught.
But the links between performance and steroids in other sports is pretty well-established, some players have said that steroids helped them quite a bit, using steroids directly affects the composition of the human body, whereas amphetamines only offer transient effects.
For me, clandestinely using drugs that are banned in almost every sport and that are assumed by most of the public to be cheating is wrong. Whether or not you can get away with it, or if it\'s been collectively bargained, the spirit of the act of using steroids is the spirit of cheating. There might be legal technicalities, but I\'m not particularly interested in discussing law. There is no doubt in my mind that players using steroids knew that most people would consider it to be cheating, or wrong in a more general sense, and so I find it difficult to forgive people just because they apologized after they got caught.
Furthermore, I find arguments like \"it wasn\'t in the CBA,\" \"Shawn Merrimen was doing it\" \"the NFL doesn\'t care,\" and \"Bud Selig\'s grandstanding is hypocritical\" to be totally beside the point. It should be obvious that there are ethical issues at stake here and that these types of arguments don\'t address those issues; they are attempts to skirt them. At best, these arguments miss the point, and at worse they\'re a type of intellectually dishonest sleight of hand. They\'re a way of avoiding the tough, ethical, even personal questions that steroids in baseball bring up.
By far the most interesting point Joe brings up is \"when should we be satisfied?\"
What Alex Rodriguez did:
-Cheated for at least three years
-Lied about it when asked point blank, and bragged about how baseball was never difficult for him so why would he need steroids?
What Joe says should be enough to make up for it:
-Had an interview with Peter Gammons in which he admitted to something he had been caught doing.
-Held a press conference where he contradicted some of what he said in the interview.
Why in the world would that make up anything?
The CBA isn\'t getting edited. The player, the union, the league the team, and a second team are going to work within the CBA to find a solution that suits everyone. It doesn\'t seem like that big of a deal to me. I can understand why other players wouldn\'t be happy about it, but honestly, I think you can chalk that up to a lack of creativity more than anything else. If, for example, Jason Varitek wanted a similar deal, then he should have talked to his agent, who is plenty creative in his own right.
Furthermore, is anyone in baseball upset about this?
Dude, he\'s 21 years old. It\'s not like he\'s 30 and increasing his number of BB\'s is out of the question. Anyway, Kevin acknowledged the limitation that you\'re complaining about in the very sentence you quoted. And then he goes on to say:
Glass Half Empty: His lack of plate discipline will make him a fourth outfielder.
What is the problem?
So what\'s the reason for their not playing Wood at 1st, and then some combo of Izturis/Figgins @ 3rd, Izturis/Aybar at SS, Wood at 1st, and Morales nowhere?
I mean, short of one of these guys hitting .210, this has got to be better than trotting Morales out there every day.
The thing is, the Marlins have been one of the worst run franchises in baseball for quite some time now. Their unwillingness to spend money while receiving money from revenue-sharing rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Furthermore, it suggests that they either
a) ran in such a way as to make them unable to generate any revenue, or
b) ran by people unwilling to invest any of their own money in the continued health of the company.
Either way, if I\'m a city with 400 million dollars to spare, I\'m trying to find somewhere else to spend it where the money would go more directly to job creation, because I don\'t have any reason to believe the Marlins\' ownership has anything other than their own profits in mind. I\'m certainly not going to make any moves without making sure I\'ve got some contingency plans in place.
The chances of Nick Johnson staying healthy are not good, and the chances of Dukes being a sane/healthy person aren\'t great, either. Kearns, Willie Harris, and Da Meat Hook could find themselves in the lineup pretty quickly.
Plus I\'m not sold on the left side of their infield doing what PECOTA says they will. 30 points in OBP for Zimmerman from last year? 90 points of SLG for Guzman over his career average? Color me unconvinced.
I\'m still mad about Flaherty about that. That and this:
Spring training hits, that is.
Alejandro Machado is the Pete Rose of NRI\'s. Mark my words, he\'s going to set a record for hits by a non-roster invitee.
We\'ll see about that once the annual comes.
Or San Antonio!
In a perfect world, Texas has more baseball teams than basketball teams.
Either way you want to fix it is good with me.
Pretty much. Art dealers and baseball owners are some of the biggest scum on the planet, and this guy just so happens to be both.
So no Jeremy Hellickson? I\'ve been really high on him for a while, but I guess his stock fell after his second half last year?
Yeah, you\'re right. Still, it\'s pretty clear that, at this point, Harris is likely to be more productive than Kearns or (UGH) Mo Pena. Kind of a strange career arc for Willie Harris.
While we\'re on the subject of Wily Mo Pena... he\'s probably the best batting practice hitter I\'ve ever seen. I remember, during his Red Sox days, he got a reputation as always swinging at the first pitch. Red Sox management said they were working on getting him to be more selective. For the rest of his Red Sox career, Mo Pena would take the first pitch and swing at the second pitch, no matter what. He was the king of the 0-2 count. Lowest baseball IQ I\'ve ever seen.
Did anyone else read Dirk Hayhurst\'s Non-Prospect diaries for Baseball America? I was very excited when he came up last year, and I remember pointing him out to people who looked at me with nothing but confusion. It\'s sad to see him go, but maybe someone will take a chance on him. I doubt it, he kind of sucks, but his blog was really interesting.
And I can\'t believe that someone would suggest Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena should not take playing time away from Willie Harris... and I really can\'t believe that I agree with the person that suggested that. Willie Harris dismal 2006 with the Red Sox did not lead me to believe he\'d end up as a pretty decent 4th outfielder, or even every day CFer.
The Nationals have kind of an island of misfit toys vibe going.
Don\'t worry, no one\'s suggesting that the Steinbrenners, Michael Kay, and the Free Masons are paying you to write bad things about the Red Sox. I\'m not saying you\'re corrupt. I\'m saying you\'re a homer. You\'re a Yankee fan bashing the Red Sox. Integrity has nothing to do with it.
That said, I take issue with the premise of the article. The Red Sox are one of the few teams that allow beloved free agents to walk (often to your Yankees). Both Ortiz and Youkilis are signed at below-market rates, and Lowell has two years and 25 million left, which is hardly peanuts but isn\'t especially overpriced otherwise.
The combined salaries of these three players is 27 million, less than an awful lot of teams will pay for 1200-1800 PA\'s of the type of production that these three players are likely to put up. All three players are projected by your website to rank in the top half of AL players at their position. Ortiz is projected to be the very best at his position, Youkilis is projected to be third best even with his nonsensical bearish projection (see above). Lowell is projected to be the 6th best, which is nothing to scoff at.
The Red Sox medical staff is widely considered to be among the league\'s best, they have one of the best 1B prospects in the game, a number of band-aids in Pawtucket (Carter, Bailey, Thurston), a ton of good prospects should they need to make a trade, and a good deal of money should they want to take on another team\'s bad contract. I fail to see how this situation is as notable as the Yankee\'s SS situation, or the Rays\' closer situation, or the Blue Jays\' rotation situation, or the O\'s, well, entire pitching staff situation. To me, the Red Sox 1B/3B/DH situation looks pretty good.
I\'m glad other people noticed that. I was going to try to work out some joke about Steven King in the lineup being a more frightening for Nats fans than one of his namesake\'s novels, but this is probably for the best.
Also, Steven writes for the YES Network, and is thus on the Yankees\' payroll. The Yankees are going to run Derek Jeter out at shortstop, pretty much for old times\' sake. Where is his article about that?
I was talking to a buddy of mine last night about that exact thing!
Youkilis is certainly an interesting case.
It\'s noteworthy that, prior to last season PECOTA projected him for the following 2008 line: .265/.368/.458.
As we all know, Youk crushed that line, posting a line of .312/.390/.569.
It seems like a lot of the gain in AVG and SLG came at the expense of isolated patience, as PECOTA expected Youk to walk 79 times, and he only ended up walking 62 times.
For 2009, PECOTA is currently predicting that Youk will improve his walk mark to 70, but lose a large number of hits and homers.
What\'s striking is how similar last year\'s PECOTA\'s prediction for 2009 is to this year\'s PECOTA projection.
Last year\'s projections pegged Youk\'s 2009 for .272/.379/.466. This year, PECOTA says he\'ll put up a line of .267/.360/.480.
That seems very bizarre to me; it seems like PECOTA actually liked Youk better BEFORE his breakout year. Last year, he exceeded his PECOTA projections by 138 points of OPS. Somehow, Youkilis beating his projection by 138 points has led PECOTA to shave 4 points off of his 2009 projection.
It seems like they\'re seeing his drop in walks as real, whereas the batting average increase and big increase in power production are just statistical noise.
Watching him play last year, it really didn\'t seem like his approach had been seriously adjusted. While I\'m not sold that Youkilis will post a .569 SLG next year, I think you can confidently assume that Youkilis will exceed his weighted mean projection for 2009 by a significant amount.
For few decades, I mean back to about the seventies, maybe earlier.
I was watching the original \"The Longest Yard\" (from 1974) and was struck by the number of references to steroids in that film. So it certainly wouldn\'t surprise me to find out they were widespread in baseball at that time.
House has had it in for Aaron for a while, though. I\'ve heard him carp over not getting paid for the 715th homerun ball, which I guess he caught in the bullpen, and then gave to Aaron.
I fully agree that US drug law is contradictory and rife with problems. And I fully agree that the treatment of steroids as equivalent to, say, ketamine, doesn\'t make very much sense. However, if I\'m not too mistaken, the question wasn\'t whether steroids should be controlled substances, it was whether they should be tacked on to the existing controlled substances act or whether they were a different sort of issue that required a separate law altogether. I don\'t have a source for this (though a neutrality-disputed Wikipedia article that, for all anyone knows, you could have edited yourself to prove your point isn\'t much a source), but I don\'t think it\'s really that important of a point.
What\'s important here is that the reasons for controlling anabolic steroids and some other PEDs are very real. It\'s pretty well accepted by most people that steroids can cause cardiovascular problems, liver problems, and it\'s likely that they cause other issues (including changes in heart structure, psychiatric effects, and a whole host of issues in teenagers). You yourself said \"to the extent that they may need to be administered under medical supervision, they should be controlled,\" so it apparently is pretty clear that people with a working brain don\'t think they should be totally legalized.
When safe and effective PEDs are commonplace, we can revisit this discussion. By that time, if Super Baseball 2020 is anything to go to, most human baseball players will be replaced by unreliable robots anyway.
As for my moralizing high horse or whatever, I don\'t really know how to respond to that attack. Frankly I don\'t see how two people could have a reasonable conversation about issues of ethics and right/wrong without \"moralizing,\" and that frankly the whole thing is sort of an ad hominem attack. Even if I am totally coming from an obnoxious \"I\'m better than everyone else\" place (which I\'m not, but how could I prove that to a complete stranger?), it doesn\'t make what I\'m saying any less valid.
There\'s a couple things about this that kind of bug me.
First of all, the idea that there are \"immense pressures\" for people to use steroids because there are millions of dollars at stake. That\'s not an excuse for other criminal actions, so I don\'t see how it can be an excuse for this. If I go out and commit a crime so that I can live more comfortably, \"I really wanted the money\" wouldn\'t be an acceptable answer. There are all sorts of professions and situations where breaking the law can be beneficial. I don\'t see how baseball is any different. In fact, since baseball has been granted an anti-trust exception and even the worst major leaguers make much more than the vast majority of anyone else in the world, it\'s probably a worse excuse for major leaguers than it is for regular people.
Second, I don\'t understand all of the hand-wringing about the private lists being released. The only reason the tests were anonymous in the first place was because the players union (and by extension, the players) were fighting as hard as they could to make testing impossible. The use of illegal drugs to gain an unfair advantage was very widespread (apparently 104 players in the majors at the VERY least), and the players didn\'t want their dirty secrets to be exposed.
I find this to be a difficult position with which to sympathize. To me, it seems like a lot of people are arguing for the players\' rights to use illegal drugs to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding players in secret. Mandatory drug testing was long overdue in 2003, and I don\'t really buy that mandatory drug testing needed to be collectively bargained with a corrupt for a publicly backed institution with a drug problem. A-Rod is going to make half a billion dollars in his career. There is considerable sentiment on this website that someone who may end up a billionaire in his lifetime if he makes wise investments should sue someone who is presumably a low- or mid-level government employee. Because that person, who will not make 1% of what A-Rod makes in his lifetime, told the truth about someone who lied to the people who pay to watch him play a game.
I\'m not suggesting the person who leaked this is some kind of a hero, but A-Rod, and the rest of the major leaguers who took steroids or know people who did, have been part of a massive cover-up designed to defraud the people who support their lifestyles. It\'s fine to not care about the use of steroids in baseball. But it\'s also fine *to* care about the use of steroids in baseball.
I, for one, want to try to figure out what went wrong, and how to make sense of the last few decades of baseball. I\'d like to know which of the athletes tried to gain an unfair advantage by using illegal drugs that are banned in international athletics. I realize I\'ll never know anything, but I want to get as many pieces of the puzzle as possible. I keep hearing people who comment on this site and who write for this site say \"we need to turn the page\" or \"you\'ll never know anything for sure.\" To me, that attitude is antithetical to the reasoned, inquisitive approach that Baseball Prospectus, Sabermetrics, and democratic and intellectually curious people in general purport to stand for.
I said this in the unfiltered thread, but it bears repeating. Just because you can\'t know everything doesn\'t mean you shouldn\'t know anything. To quote the (brilliant) David Foster Wallace \"There are babies in that bathwater, dude.\"
The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 made it illegal, I think.
What does that matter? Why would you even say that?
Because something was tolerated before, it has to be tolerated now? By that logic, no news laws would get made, ever.
Do you really not see the hypocrisy in accusing other people of alarmism when you\'re throwing around hyperbolic terms like \"neo-McCarthyism.\" Hundreds of people went to jail during the Red Scare, and probably tens of thousands lost their jobs.
It doesn\'t seem like this should have to be stated explicitly, but I suppose it bears repeating:
There are many good reasons to want to get rid of steroids in baseball. Unless you totally legalize every performance-enhancing drugs and allow any player who so desires to use them, then performance-enhancing drugs can provide an unfair advantage. Since, for reasons that should be self-evident to any person with a working brain, steroids and other PEDs should not be totally legalized, then baseball needs to find a way to limit the use and spread of steroids. Part of this is to make them harder to get, part of this is to make the clubhouses more transparent, and part of it is punishing the people who have broken the laws of the country, the implicit rules of international athletic competition, and the explicit rules of baseball.
Also, for anyone who enjoys the lore and history of the game of baseball, knowing who had and who didn\'t have an unfair advantage (i.e., who broke the country\'s laws to perform better at a million-dollar game). Obviously we will never know anything for sure, but that doesn\'t mean we shouldn\'t try to know as much as possible. If we took the \"you can\'t know anything for sure\" approach to everything, we\'d still be dying from polio. To quote David Foster Wallace, \"there\'s babies in that bathwater, dude.\"
This is crazy, to me. That\'s one of the worst arguments I\'ve ever heard.
First of all, the existence of one Canadian team doesn\'t mean there are less laws to follow, it means there are more laws to follow. If Justin Upton gets caught drinking after a game in San Francisco, he\'s still under the legal age, despite the fact that Canada\'s law permits him to drink. The fact that Upton (and, by extension, A-Rod) works for an international company doesn\'t make him exempt from the laws of the United States. Furthermore, it\'s not like Primobolan is any more legal in Canada than it is in the United States! And it\'s not like it\'s other international athletic organizations allow the use of anabolic steroids.
I don\'t understand the logic behind \"it wasn\'t collectively bargained, so it\'s fine for people to have used it.\" Unless you think that the sole entity who can make determinations of ethical issues for MLB is the MLB, then you\'ve got to open it to other people like a) the written law, b) public opinion, and c) precedent/common law. Since using steroids are pretty obviously against a, most of b, and c (in terms of other international athletic organizations), I think you can reasonably state that taking steroids is unethical.
Furthermore, since the CBA and most player contracts have a conduct policy, you can probably make the case that any illegal behavior is implicitly disallowed in the CBA.
Okay, so steroids were technically allowed because there was an absence of any enforceable rules, because the players union and the league didn\'t collectively bargain the rules into place. Of course, many of these substances were illegal to possess and use under US law.
So, the league officially stated that they didn\'t want players using these substances, the United States government had banned some of these substances, but because the union blocked any enforceable rules and the league looked the other way, the players are off the hook for doing something that pretty much everyone agreed was wrong and was at times against the law?
Come on! I agree that there is a witch-huntish aspect to this whole thing, but the players union actively tried to prevent any rules against steroids from being put into place! Are you really suggesting that it was fine for the players to use steroids because the players hadn\'t let it be against the rules yet? They\'ve been illegal in world athletics since the 70\'s. They\'ve been illegal in the US since 1990. But because it wasn\'t \"collectively bargained\" that they were against the rules of baseball, it\'s okay for baseball athletes to have used them? My goodness!
Well, it doesn\'t look like we\'re clear of steroid talk for the next few years. If the rest of this list does come out, it\'s going to hang over the whole next season, and maybe longer.
The issue of who leaked them, and whether it\'s good or bad that the names are (probably) going to become public is kind of tough. One one hand, I don\'t think people should be taking steroids, and it adds a degree of uncertainty over records/MVP\'s/World Series Wins, etc. Since I take all that stuff pretty serious (arguably too seriously), I want to know all of the circumstances behind that. If someone puts up big numbers in Coors, I want to know that, and I guess I want to know if they were juicing as well. On the other hand, all of these players are just people who voluntarily submitted to what they thought was private, secret tests, and now those tests are going to be used to drag some names through the mud.
It\'s pretty ugly, but probably necessary in the long run.
Anyone remember the White Sox collectively refusing to submit to testing in order to have their tests all be default positives, which would help push the number of positives over 5 percent and trigger mandatory testing? Do those count as positives in the 104?
The Yankees were the 7th best offense in baseball last year, and they lost their second and third best hitters. Big Texy makes up for some of that, but I\'m not sure if he propels them to having an offense that is \"better than any other team\'s.\" They\'ll probably be around average again, next year.
I don\'t know much about college baseball, so I appreciate your going into more detail about this.
When Voros McCracken published his big essay on defense + pitching, I remember something he found, and a lot of the people who wrote related articles during the heyday of the \"do-pitchers-control-whether-a-ball-hit-into-play-is-an-out\" discussion found as well:
Pitchers in lower levels *are* able to significantly influence whether or not a ball hit into play is converted into an out. And it gets more extreme the further down the ladder you go. Good pitchers in AAA have better BABIP compared to the league than good pitchers in the MLB. In AA, the effects are even greater, and they\'re greater in single A, and in rookie ball. All the way down to college ball.
The reason most people suggested was that all major leaguers can hit major-league hitting, or they don\'t stick around very long. However, prospects, organizational fodder, and college players may have any ability to hit good pitching, so they can get totally overpowered, flail at balls, and hit a very high percentage of pop-ups or soft hit grounders.
I\'m worried that this is showing up in your numbers. If, for example, Duke has some really good pitchers, with hard fastballs or good breaking stuff or very good location or some combination of those qualities, then they may be creating a high percentage of pop-ups and easy ground balls, thus providing a higher percentage of easy plays for their defense. Within a league where there is such a large range of talent-levels, I\'m not sure DER really has much more to tell us about defensive skill than FPct. Or ERA, for that matter.
I\'m willing to be convinced, though.
Jonathan Papelbon doesn\'t exactly strike me as the managing type.
Millar signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays a few days ago, didn\'t he?
Maybe you can get Sean Casey to come out of retirement.
But it\'s not like the players are signing for that type of salary. The Dodgers offered Manny 50 million over two years during one of the worst financial climates in post-war history. Manny just turned down a 1-year, 25 million dollar contract. How much of a bargain does he really offer?
I read that Dunn wanted 4 years, 15 million. Again, where is the bargain?
The weirdest part is the only thing MLB network seems to advertise is other MLB network shows.
Everyone pay attention, this is probably the only time you\'ll even hear \"Alfredo Simon\" and \"dominance\" included in the same sentence.
Thank God televised baseball is back, though.
The O\'s are kind of filled with young pitchers, though.
Anyway, Cabrera\'s been a disaster, especially last year. Maybe he\'ll get it, but it\'s doubtful. I wouldn\'t worry too much.
Also, it\'s not likely that his stock is going to rise, no matter how crazy he went. Is he going to put up a 10 WARP season? Is he going to win a gold glove? He crushed the ball last year, and it\'s unlikely he\'ll do any better than that next year. His earning potential at 38 isn\'t going to be any higher than age 37, even if the nation\'s depression turns out to be less severe than Greinke\'s.
The city has a 17 percent unemployment rate, and reportedly can\'t afford to plow and salt the roads during snow storms.
And for the record, I like pickled herring quite a bit, and apples make my gums itch.
It\'s not my contention that the more RBI than Mickey Mantle means anything about Kent\'s actual value in comparison to Mickey Mantle\'s value (because you\'d have to be a lunatic to suggest that Kent comes anywhere near Mantle).
What I\'m saying is that, for a large portion of baseball fans, AVG, HR, and RBI are the most important statistics a player can have. And, by that standard, Kent not only is above where he needs to be, but he\'s way, way above where he needs to be. For an awful lot of people, Kent is a slam-dunk hall of famer. My argument is that traditional, less nuanced statistics have a bigger place in the hall of fame because they reflect the perception of most baseball fans better than a lot of the more advanced statistics.
Did he just cite Alex Gonzalez as a power source?
More RBI than Mickey Mantle, more HR, RBI, and doubles than any other second baseman, and he\'s only a borderline Hall of Famer?
Maybe you\'re squinting a little too hard. The Hall of Fame isn\'t just for us prospectus types. In the eyes of most baseball fans, Jeff Kent\'s traditional numbers don\'t just make him a hall of famer, they make him a slam dunk hall of famer. If he was a little bit more gregarious, he\'d probably get Henderson-like numbers his first year. Either way, he\'ll be in on the first ballot, as he should.
I don\'t mind the unanimous thing. After all, since the Hall of Fame doesn\'t have any set rules (i.e., \"the Hall of Fame will honor the 30 best players of each decade,\" all the voters have to go on is precedent. Precedent is what Jay bases his JAWS system on, it\'s what makes people so upset about the Jim Rice induction, and it\'s what forms any and all logical reasons for voting/not voting someone into the hall.
Since no one has been unanimously elected into the Hall as of yet, I think it\'s fine that the voters should wait for someone with absolutely no flaws before making him a unanimous decision (I\'m thinking of Maddux, but maybe people want to wait for someone who dominated, had a long career with one team, stayed away from off-field issues, and was a consummate sportsman. That\'s fine by me.)
Oh no, politics I don\'t agree with! GASP!
*sticks fingers in ears*
Can we please be adults about this? The occasional political aside from Nate or Christina or whoever doesn\'t make the baseball analysis any worse. If you don\'t agree with it, then you don\'t agree with it. Does hearing the liberal or conservative ideas hurt your delicate ears so much that it\'s worth making such a fuss about?
I really can\'t wrap my head around people asking that politics be completely absent from the writers\' commentary. Does it really offend people so much? Its not like there are political articles on here, just little occasional toss-off lines, and now a few pages by a former Sportscenter commentator in a 700 page book.
That\'s the first time I\'ve ever heard the phrase \"throng of Brendan Harris fans\" but I\'ve always kind of liked him, so I guess you can count me in, as well.
So in every case but one, you think the arbiter will rule against the team? I don\'t know what to make of that. Historically, what percentage of cases go in favor of the player, and what percentage go in favor of the team?
A lot of vitriol towards Olbermann. I wasn\'t aware he was such a polarizing figure.
It\'s the foreward. He\'s not going to be writing player commentary, or ranking the prospects, or anything. He\'s not going to grandstand about politics or weigh in about the Al Franken/Norm Coleman situation. He\'s not going to offer his opinion on the Remembrance of Things Past vs. In Search of Lost Time title debate. He\'s going to say \"In the last decade, Baseball Prospectus has emerged as a leader in cutting age baseball statistics. Front office executives and casual fans agree yadda yadda yadda.\"
There is nothing to get hysterical about. The book will still be freaking awesome.
Get rid of the all-star game, extend the allstar break for a week, and play qualifiers every year. During the championship year, extend the allstar break even further, shave 8 games off of the major league schedule, and make it a big event. Mandate participation from healthy players, but limit the number of players that can go from each major league team.
From what I understand, there has been more suspicions surrounding Ergopharm prior to Romero. Patrick Arnold seems like he\'s been in the Fed\'s crosshairs for sometime.
And my house is not the same as a pharmaceutical company\'s office. That\'s a strawman of the silliest variety. I don\'t manufacture drugs and conduct business in my home. And no one lives in the Ergopharm offices.
If the company is suspected of breaking the law, then it is reasonable to expect them to be searched, right?
\"Rice’s honor isn’t about him. Rice’s honor is about late baby boomer sportswriters a little bit fazed, a litte bit daunted, by the objectivist revolution in baseball validating their own youth, their own memories, their own relevance.\"
\"I think I\'m a normally reasonable person, but at this point I\'m thinking they should raze the Hall\'s standards to the ground and then rebuild them using competent standards.\"
\"He will be announced as a new menber of the HOF in 20 minutes or so only, solely, singularly, and in this day and age I shall include the term disgustingly, for one reason and one reason only. He played for Boston.......\"
\"I wonder what tarnishes the hall more: this or Rose, McGwire, eventually Bonds, not getting in?\"
\"He doesn\'t deserve it, but he\'s in, and now maybe we can focus on actual worthy candidates.\"
And that\'s just in these comments alone.
Open questions to anyone who wants to answer:
Is/should the the Hall of Fame (be) about honoring the best baseball players of all time? Is that all it should be about? Sheehan says \"The hagiographers, the storytellers, the mythmakers\" have won, suggesting that stories and myths, very much a part of what makes baseball so fun, aren\'t a part of his criteria for hall of fame induction. Does everyone agree with this?
I\'m a little shocked at the outcry against Rice. First of all, it\'s an awful lot of venom and energy expended towards keeping someone out of the hall, which strikes me as kind of ugly, disrespectful, and ultimately somewhat distasteful.
I\'m also struck by the way that an awful lot of people here assume that objective analysis of baseball (which I am obviously a very big fan of, or why would I be here?) should be extended into hall of fame consideration. Considering that the Hall of Fame is a)a museum and b)the keeper of baseball history, to me it doesn\'t seem so inappropriate that simplistic, occasionally goofy little maxims (\"he was the most feared hitter of the era,\" for example), should have a place in the consideration for inclusion in the hall.
I get the feeling that a lot of people here are more interested in compiling a list of the most objectively valuable players in baseball history (using some of the best stats available for that purpose), and then having that list, rather than the players, enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In fact, it seems like this isn\'t about the players, or the stats, or the history, at all, but getting their dogma established as the primary dogma (which I fully acknowledge is my dogma as well). Thus, a borderline hall of famer\'s inclusion in the hall is viewed not as honoring a player who may not be as worthy as others, but as a personal affront to everyone who loves Bill James and Prospectus and THT and FireJoeMorgan and Rich Lederer and Rob Neyer and Tom Tango.
It\'s not, though, is the thing. It\'s about Jim Rice\'s accomplishments, not vindication or negation of any particular baseball ideologies. There\'s no doubt in my mind that a team with Raines is going to win more games than a team with Rice. But that\'s not the point. There are different ways to enjoy baseball. There are reasons to like players other than their objective value to a team. In a different way of enjoying baseball, Rice is one of the best. He was strong, he was mean, and yes, he was feared. For some people, that\'s all that matter. Possibly for most people, that\'s what matters. And the people to whom that matters like baseball just as much as any of us.
Because he GOT CAUGHT CHEATING
Are you seriously equating Raines with Gehrig?
I guess I just mean that there is some sensible reason behind it. Looking back, there aren\'t many years where similar players from the same era got elected. Maybe Boggs and Sandberg, but they\'re certainly not as comparable as Rickey and Tim.
Again, I\'m not saying I wouldn\'t have voted for Tim, or that I would have voted for Rice (I would have voted for Rickey, Tim, Bert, and Trammell. I wouldn\'t have voted for Rice, MacGwire, or Dawson.)
Raines support fell because of Henderson. They\'ll be up next year. I think a lot of voters would only want to vote for one OBP/Speed leadoff hitting corner outfielder, which is kind of reasonable.
Raines and Blyleven are both more deserving than Rice, but Rice got in because it was the last chance the writers had to put him in. If Blyleven and Raines get to that point, they\'ll get in, too.
Honestly, it\'s not like Jim Rice is that bad of a choice. He is a great player, if not really as great as some people would want you to believe. For some reason, he\'s become kind of an anti-Blyleven, a guy for a lot of us in the saber-metrics community (for lack of a better term) want to rally against. There are a lot of worse players in the hall of fame. Yes, he doesn\'t fare well by a lot of advanced metrics, yes he doesn\'t field or run well (which we\'re willing to forgive MacGwire for), yes his offensive production is inflated by his home ballpark, but you\'re all acting like they elected Mo Vaughn (or Greg Vaughn) into the hall. If you\'re electing someone in the neighborhood of Ralph Kiner and Lou Brock, you could do a lot better, but you could really do a whole lot worse.
Please, prospectus community, don\'t jump off any cliffs. Given the choice between him and Gossage or Sutter, any GM with a head on his shoulder would go with Rice. It\'s not a great choice, but it\'s not going to open the doors for Trot Nixon.
Albert Belle got caught cheating...
This is one of those cases where you\'re going to have to do better than UZR or FRAA... Bay\'s nothing special, but he\'s an awful lot better than Manny.
Any suggestions on how to fix the WBC? It seems like for baseball to thrive on the international level, a good worldwide competition with the World\'s best would be necessary. Do pitchers make this impossible? Should it take place after the season? Should the season be shortened once every four years? Should the WBC be held in lieu of the allstar game?
Last year I made a three year bet with a friend that, over the 08, 09, and 2010 seasons, the Pirates would win more games than the Reds. It\'s moves like this that make me feel good about this bet.
Fast on the draw, huh?
One of them must be that \"incredible\" slider we heard so much about.
That John Farrell quote is about Dice-K, not Tazawa:
...and Matsuzaka, who has small hands, has had some problems with commanding certain pitches, so much so that Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell says, \"We eventually had to eliminate two of his pitches because of the differences in the balls. Of course, what compounds the problem is that every major league team in Japan manufactures their own baseballs.\"...
Frampton, huh? Is that Peter or Hollis?
That is hysterical. You can\'t play baseball there!
Rose and Jackson? Really?
I second The Echoing Green, I\'m not sure if it came out this year or not, but if you haven\'t read it, you should. It\'s sprawling, and not infrequently poetic.
Also, it\'s not baseball-related but I\'d be remiss if I didn\'t mention Roberto Bolano\'s 2666, which is being hailed as the first great novel of the century by more than a few big-time literature people. I\'m inclined to agree with them.
McGwire is suspected of something that would affect his performance. Puckett isn\'t. Is it really that shocking to you?
Putting all non-performance issues aside, is McGwire really good enough to get into the hall?
He only really played had 9, maybe 10 hall-worthy seasons, he had a career .263 batting average, the second-worst of players on the ballot, below even Matt Williams, and only ahead of Greg Vaughn, who isn\'t (I know, not an especially good measurement, but still, below Matt Williams?!?!) He was an bad fielder, and an awful baserunner.
That said, he could rake, that\'s for damn sure. But is he the hitter that Frank Thomas is? Manny Ramirez? Albert Pujols? A-Rod? Not to mention Barry Bonds?
He didn\'t do much other than hit... I don\'t know, his performance is borderline, to me. If it wasn\'t for the steroid stuff, I\'d probably support his case. However, he\'s not a shoe-in, so I\'m not sure I\'d vote for him, if I had a vote.
A buddy of mine told me about a park he played at in New York (Division III college ball, but still) that didn\'t have a fence in left field. Someone hit a ball that might have been an inside the park home run, but a passerby picked up the ball and tossed it to the outfielder.
On the same trip he played at a field with a downward hill in right so severe that \"you could only see the right fielder\'s hat.\"
Are you serious?
Brett Myers hit his wife in front of a crowd of people, but Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell are bad character guys?
Why would Detroit trade Granderson?
Find a four million dollar guy like... who? David Riske makes more than that. Dannys Baez makes more than that. Jamie Walker makes about that. You want your highest leverage innings pitched by Jamie Walker? Braden Looper?
The Mets bullpen sucked, it killed them for the second year in a row, and you want them to have Braden Looper pitching their 60 highest leverage innings?
What makes them clowns? Their ethnicity? There are over a billion people in India. Is it really \"crazy\" to believe that one or two of them might be able to throw a baseball?
I detect some really ugly sentiment here.
Well, they tried to trade Graffanino for Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley but for some reason the damn Phillies were being pig-headed.
I\'m pretty happy about this, but I probably would have voted for Youkilis.
I\'m wondering if anyone could crunch these numbers for me:
When Mike Lowell went down, Youk slid over to third and played very good third base defense, allowing the Red Sox to play Sean Casey (and later Mark Kotsay) everyday. In most cases, if your third baseman goes down, you can\'t plug in a first base-type. If Youk had been a normal third baseman, the Red Sox would have had to play Alex Cora full-time. If you gave Youkilis the credit for the difference between half a season of Cora\'s at bats and half a season of Casey/Kotsay, anyone have any idea how that would affect his numbers?
I keep hearing this example, but it\'s not at all applicable to CC being strongarmed into taking the most expensive deal. A-Rod was trying to renegotiate an existing deal; that\'s very different from choosing which deal to sign. The issue in renegotiation (especially renegotiating for less money) is that it sets a precedent that owners could take advantage of with players less accomplished than A-Rod.
Pretty good episode of Steve Harvey, though. That Cedric is pretty zany!
It\'s pretty telling, I think, that you use the phrase \"artificial construct\" to describe humanization. I would argue that, since humans (with, gasp, emotions) play the game, trying to dehumanize it and chalk YET ANOTHER incredible upset in the past 5 years at the hands of the Red Sox to nothing but random variance strikes me as the artificial construct.
Yes, we know that random variation is a huge part of baseball. But these people aren\'t dice or playing cards, they are people, and surely inexperience and nervousness in front of 30,000 screaming people might have something to do with Longoria botching a throw, Gross misplaying a ball and making a poor throw. (By the way, these 30,000 people are the same people that make up the home field advantage that seems to rise and fall with fan attendance [see: Tampa\'s home record with different attendance numbers; they do much better when they have more fans. That\'s not random variance.][Also, see the Astros playing at a Cubs surrogate homefield after their houses and the houses of their friends were destroyed in a natural disaster; humans can be affected by context])
When the stat-crowd devolves into zealotry to this level, it is no different to the smallball, grit&hustle idealouges that make up the crowd that the FireJoeMorgan boys have made look so foolish. You\'re sticking to the belief that context has no effect on humans playing a hugely stressful game. You\'re no longer being more rational than Joe Morgan and his ilk, you\'re simply being irrational in an opposite, reactionary way. I mean, my goodness, you called the humanization of humans an artificial construct!
Why would anyone give up Duchscherer, Kemp or Cain for all four of those players, much less two or three?
I mean, Cano is expensive, lazy, and bad, Melky is nothing more than a fourth outfielder, Kennedy is nothing more than a fifth starter (at that!). The only one with any real value is Hughes, and his stock is pretty low right now. No one is going to give up a young player who could be in the top 10 on a championship roster for players who are unlikely to be anything more than a spare part (no matter how many spare parts you offer).
The Red Sox did not sign many international prospects this year.
This is exactly what people said about free agency, and parity has increased, not decreased in the free agency era.
What is with all the love for Cashman? He sort of reminds me of JP Richardi with a whole lot more money. He\'s had 200 million to play with for the last four years and hasn\'t made it out of the first round of the playoffs. This year he\'s got the biggest payroll in baseball history, and he\'s going to finish in fourth.
Good to know.
Still, one would assume concession and souvenir revenue would be through the roof. Anyone know where to get those numbers?
There\'s also the HUGE benefit of the possibility of the team making more money by having extra playoff games at their home stadium.
If last year\'s Red Sox won the World Series in the same number of games, but not had home field advantage, they would have played two less home games. That\'s 72,000 tickets sold at god-knows-how-much a pop. What\'s average face-value on playoff tickets? Over 100, one would assume. So it\'s 7 million dollars, or the price to pay a Boras-represented first round draft pick. And that\'s not even counting concession.
I\'d imagine home-field advantage gave the Red Sox at least an extra 10 million. Not exactly chump change.
I totally agree with your second paragraph. \"You are much more likely to perform at the level of your talent with minor fluctuations based on luck.\" - words to live by.
However, I don\'t believe all fluctuations are luck. In boxing, if a fighter gets hit hard once, he\'s much more likely to get hit hard again because the first hit left him dazed. The first event improved the likelyhood of the second event. In football, the longer a defense is on the field for the first three quarters, the more likely they are to make mistakes, play lethargic, etc., during the 4th quarter. In basketball (especially the NBA), home court advantage is massive. All of these don\'t seem like fluctuations based on luck, at least to me; they seem like people getting wore down or fired up.
It\'s harder to think of concrete examples in baseball because in baseball events are so seperate from each other, and it\'s easier to pick up patterns in a flow than in hundreds of isolated points of data, but I\'ve got to suspect that the existence of paterns in the more flow-based sports would suggest similar paterns exist in baseball.
I\'m not sure I can buy into the whole \"there is no momentum in baseball\" thing. Certainly its overstated most of the time, but I have trouble buying that last years Rockies run, Joe Dimaggio\'s hit streak, etc., were random variation. The people who play this game are human beings, and it doesn\'t seem too crazy to say that a game may affect their emotions, and that their emotions may affect their future games.
I mean, sure, winning three in a row doesn\'t mean you should bet for (or against) the same team the next day, because most of the time it won\'t mean anything. But let\'s not go overboard and say momentum doesn\'t mean anything. You clearly see it in boxing, basketball, soccer, football, etc. Why not baseball?