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While I enjoy some of the writing at fangraphs, this article demonstrates my problem - they just take existing stats, add multiple layers of complexity in an effort to extract another decimal point of accuracy, then declare it the be all and end all. No critical thinking about what problem they are trying to solve or what the extra accuracy would mean even if they did achieve it. They're like the Aperture Science of baseball analysis - throwing stats at the wall and seeing what sticks.
I have to admit that I normally have a hard time getting into your writing, Jason, but this article was completely engrossing! Fantastic stuff.
Good work, Colin. I thought we had mostly moved past this nonsense, but I guess some people insist on keeping their heads buried in the sand.
An article like this really makes me wish FJM was still active. Their trademark line by line dissection and ridicule would really brighten my day.
Steven Goldman has been beating this particular drum for a while - it's good to know he's not the only one! As a Yankee fan, it really is incredibly frustrating that the front office goes out of it's way to ignore the prospects they claim to be so proud of.
As far as Cashman goes, I doubt he's worrying about his long term prospects with the team. He's given every indication over the last 9 months that he's fed up with meddling executives and will be jumping ship at the end of his current contract.
it’s just a matter of time before his inability to keep his hands to himself damages the team in an important spot.
Hasn't this already happened? What bothers me about Girardi even more than the bunting or bullpen management is his love of giving games away via the intentional walk. Just about every time he decides a batter is far to dangerous to pitch to, the game ends up going from winnable to a blowout in the space of a few at bats. This happened a few times in last year's ALCS, where Girardi issued 8 IBBs in six games, five to Josh Hamilton alone.
I certainly like the idea of honoring Jackie Robinson, but I pretty much agree that mandating every player in the game to wear his number is a little much. First of all, the argument about diluting the honor does have some merit to it, and beyond that, it can be genuinely confusing while watching the game. I think instead of everyone doing it, there should be one designated honoree per team who gets to wear 42 for the day. In addition to keeping the honor without going overboard, it could allow for additional festivities - teams could choose a player to honor, maybe have a little ceremony before the game. I think this would be an excellent alternative to several hundred players all wearing one number at the same time.
As a Yankee fan, the section on Cole was painful to read. While I would never wish ill on anyone, I really hope he never amounts to anything at the major league level.
Very nice! I thought some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective...
In addition to the books, it should be noted that the original radio shows do exist on CD and are well worth the effort of hunting down if you haven't heard them.
Wonderful job, Mike! This is by far the best article I've seen on BP in a long time.
I'm 100% in the "uniform strike zone for all" camp, though. If the ball passes over any part of the plate between the batters knees and the letters of his uniform, the pitch should be a strike, period. I don't care who the pitcher batter, or catcher is, where they were positioned, or where the pitcher meant to put the ball. Bring on the robo-umps!
I would be curious to see the difference in the MVP analysis if you exclude Bonds from '01-'04. He was just playing on a completely different level, and I think that has to skew the results a bit, maybe enough to account for the difference in MVP and CY luck.
I was in the left field bleachers and *everyone* in our section saw what was coming when Girardi got up to his usual antics, including the Rangers fans sitting next to me. We were far more upset by Girardi's over managing than the actual HR.
I think that's being a little unfair to the current group. Halladay, Santana and Sabathia compare very favorably to Glavine, Smoltz, Schilling and Mussina.
Clemens, Maddux, and Johnson are outliers in any era, and Pedro was for a few years the greatest pitcher that ever lived. What's really amazing is that there were four all time greats pitching at their peaks within such a short span of time.
Great work, Ken. I look forward to seeing more on this subject in the future. I would also point out that it's possible that your estimate of 3 minutes per game added because of replay may actually be on the high side. If a booth umpire can quickly reverse a call that would have otherwise lead to a lengthy argument between the field ump and a manager, it would probably *save* time. I would say the same on home run calls - a booth umpire can make the correct determination a lot more quickly than all 4 field umps who currently have to leave the field to find a replay room.
Your article on Instant Replay from May 29, 2008 is my favorite thing I've ever read on the topic. It makes even more sense in light of the horrific work we saw from umpires in the '09 post season. I'd love to see that article in the book as a starting point for further discussion.
Actually, on Damon liner, the umpires consulted, talked it though, and still got it wrong. If that's not an argument for expanded use of replay, I don't know what is. It would have been quicker to check the replay and get the call right than to have all six of them huddle together and still fail.
It was really only the first half of the season to adjust to the new environment - he had 102 Ks in 101.2 IP post ASB.
A very hearty congratulations to Ken! I've enjoyed most of your work through the last few weeks, but that final article blew me away. I look forward to your regular contributions to BP!
Brian and Tim also did some excellent work as part of the competition, and I hope we haven't seen the last of either them on BP either.
I agree. I didn't have anything against Matt, but I've much more frequently voted for Funck and Kniker over the past seven weeks. I'm glad they're both finalists.
We'll all forget about Wieters anyway after Strasburg throws 30 straight no hitters to begin his big league career :)
White to Randolph to Mattingly to Williams....
Couldn\'t have said it better myself. Roy White was my favorite player while growing up - starting watching Yankee games on TV in 66 or 67, but didn\'t get to my first game there until August 1970, at which Roy White, already my favorite player, hit his one and only career Grand Slam.
Many games at the \"older\" stadium ensued, and countless games at the newer one - as a Sunday season ticket holder for four years (a Christmas present from my family in 2004) I\'ve seen a steady stream of games in recent years. Some of the magic has gone, I think, but I\'ll be back there next year, and every year until they price me out of the ballpark, which probably won\'t be that long.