CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com
New! Search comments:
(NOTE: Relevance, Author, and Article are not applicable for comment searches)
Larry, I wholeheartedly agree. The stop-start, dribbly nature of the beginning the 2012 baseball season seems to have sapped my enthusiasm quite a bit. Normally, I'm jazzed up and thoroughly excited for Opening Day...this year, I find myself simply annoyed as I wait for the games to get going.
Opening Day works best when it's an event: most (if not all) teams starting on the same day, throughout the day. If there was going to be a two-game series in Japan, fine and so be it...but then get everyone else kicking things off on the same day, and no more than a couple days later.
This just kind of sucks, really.
I was never beaned during a baseball game, although I -- ah, shit.
...and I know it wasn't pronounced *that* way, but my friends and I always treasured the baseball cards of Rusty Kuntz...
Triphos, Kevin's detailed write-ups on each of the Top 101 Prospects can be found in the Baseball Prospectus 2012 annual, which is a spectacular value.
Other, less dead sexy write-ups on virtually all of these players can probably be found for free around the web.
> Posada HOF discussions die soon and never are revived. Very > good player. Can't even carry the bags for HOFers.
He's close for me. Part of it is bias; he's one of my favorite players. Another part of it is this feeling I can't shake about rewarding one of the ten best hitting catchers of all-time. Even as I realize his baserunning and pitch framing and ball blocking all chew away at that.
As for the music. Steven! An XTC reference and a "Weird Al" reference (to one of his more obscure parodies!) in an article that kicked off with Jorge Posada!? Is this some sort of weird "Minority Report" technology where the website reads my eyeball and tailors the article specifically for me? Egad, man.
In any case, that entire Dukes of Stratosphear album is fantastic. I only stumbled on it quite by accident after having snagged up all the other proper XTC albums. Bit of a hidden gem.
As a big fan of Mr. Ebert and a big fan of baseball, really enjoyed this piece.
Fully agreed with Denny. IMHO...
BP's thorough, considered analysis tends to be of a very high quality, often with perspectives from multiple people, notably including KG on the prospects.
Their instant analysis tends to be similar to that which can be found anywhere, which is the nature of the beast.
This trade is a perfect example of that dichotomy. Many of the quick-response write-ups I've seen on the deal, including those at notable sabermetrically-inclined websites, have glazed over Noesi and Campos as though they mean nothing in the deal. It's nice for free, but I wouldn't pay for that as I do for BP...
I don't think the author is attempting to downplay Morris' fantastic start...I think the argument goes more like this:
* Jack Morris pitched a fantastic, amazing game, but nearly lost.
* Had the Twins lost that game, Jack Morris probably isn't anywhere near being on the brink of being enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
* Any player for whom a single bounce -- or a single game -- makes that big a difference, is not a Hall of Famer to begin with.
The grand irony, of course, is had Morris lost 1-0, some of these same beat writers would call it "choking on the big stage" while Mother's Basement Spreadsheet Guys would still acknowledge it as a great pitching performance...
Jonathan, this had me enthralled from the get-go all the way through the final sentence. Superbly well-written and argued.
>This is, in a way, the same logic that says, "I lost 9 coin >flips in a row, therefore I'm almost certain to win the >10th".
It's quite different than that. No matter how many times you flip that coin, the chances of winning a given flip is one-half. That one-half is static throughout the trials.
Each time a team wins flipping Buehrle, the probability of a losing flip on the next try goes up, as another year passes and another 200 innings gets tacked on the odometer.
So, I'd argue the logic in nowhere near the same between the two cases.
I really enjoy watching Buehrle and am amazed at how he gets it done year in and year out with so little margin for error. His K-rate sucks, he doesn't get a ton of groundballs, he's pretty average in terms of giving up dingers. It's fun to watch a guy live on the edge like that...but those qualities that have me watching in amazement (and rooting for him) are precisely those that would keep me from throwing $60 million at him. I'm not willing to bet Buehrle can emulate Jamie Moyer for four more years.
...in that one is over four times the other. Such that if a closer really is worth $10 million per season, the Verlanders of the world have a legit case for asking around $40 million per season.
B-b-b-b-baby. Don't forget my number...
I suppose "innocent until proven guilty" has become an antiquated little notion, after all.
Pitchforks and torches for all!
How about the slightly grayer area where you are accused of raping someone? Or does being accused of being a rapist automatically make one a rapist? I'm a little confused on that point, I suppose, but I'm having trouble finding links to his conviction on rape or forced sodomy charges.
This was a blast. Thank you.
Fool-proof? Yeah, surrrreee...
$20 says the first time LaRussa requests "Lima-Yankee-November-November," he gets Jose Lima trotting in from the bullpen.
"Tony, I distinctly heard you say Lima, what are you on about?"
It's a five game series. When a really, really good team gets beat by a really good team in five games, there doesn't need to be a goat. It happens. Of course, bloodthirsty fans and most sportswriters decree a goat there must be. But they are wrong.
Man, even in the best year of his career on a fairytale team, James Shields gets no respect.
Shields prevented runs at better than Sabathia, and threw eleven complete games in the process of topping CC by twelve innings pitched in the same number of starts. All while pitching a (slightly) tougher schedule than the big man.
Very similar K/9, BB/9...Sabathia did a better job preventing dingers, Shields allowed less hits. Virtual tie in VORP (Shields with the miniscule edge). You'd think at the very least, they'd be close. But, nope, Shields got smoked.
Perhaps the BABIP/FIP argument is supposed to give Sabathia the edge? If that's the case, I don't know if I buy it...Sabathia allowed 23% line drives, Shields 18.5%. Shields got about 10% pop-ups, CC around 7%. From the data available, it looks like Shields induced weaker contact than Sabathia, so an argument built around BABIP/FIP doesn't wash. Is Shields getting penalized because he allowed less hard contact?
Allow me to conclude my mini-harangue.
James Shields allowed a lower ERA and WHIP in more innings pitched than CC Sabathia while inducing weaker contact, pitching a slightly tougher schedule, and virtually tying in walk rate. He deserves a slight bonus for pitching eleven complete games versus CC's not-close-to-eleven.
CC Sabathia had a better HR rate and slightly better K rate.
That all being said, I do think you could pick any of the top few pitchers in the league and not be wrong. I consider Verlander, Shields, Weaver, and Sabathia to be in such a tight cluster, that I'd be happy with any of them. I just find it rather frustrating it seems to be a three-horse race for the real hardware, with Shields out of the picture...
You give the edge to Detroit in any length series...Call me Captain Optimistic, but even after reviewing your series preview, I just don't see the clear edge on the Tigers' side.
The Yankees scored 210 more runs than their opponents this season, with nearly half their games coming against the quartet of Tampa (.562 WP), Boston (.556), Toronto (.500), and Baltimore (.426).
The Tigers scored a far less impressive 76 runs more than their opponents this season, with nearly half their games coming against the quartet of Cleveland (.494), Chicago (.488), Kansas City (.438), and Minnesota (.389).
The stark difference in schedules is underscored by the following: Detroit went 50-22 against their own division, but only 45-45 in the rest of their schedule.
The Yankees were clearly a far more impressive team during the regular season, and I don't consider it particularly close. There's a 135-run difference in their run differentials there, and that's including Detroit getting to spend half their year kicking four patsies around (and the Yanks getting unquestionably the toughest division in baseball.)
I understand how a short playoff series changes the calculus, but for me, it doesn't do so nearly enough to flip-flop the teams. It means little in such a sadly, ludicrously short series, but the Yankees are the better team. I forced to slap a percentage shot on it, I'd probably go with 65% Yanks / 35% Tigers.
GENIUS. Perotto > 74 ESPN and BP Predictors
Are those new slacks?
This was brilliant, and had me making a happy face.
Irony: evo34 was the one to whip out a "stay classy" in this thread.
You know, pissing and moaning about tone is unbecoming when you're desperately trying to do a hatchet job, and ignoring facts and context to get the job done.
"In fact, you could have picked *any* team and *any* GM over that same time period, and found the same thing..."
Precisely...except it's not "any GM" berating Scott Cousins ("flash of fame...good as it's going to get...") and openly wishing his career would end. It's Sabean.
The career ending part is especially ironic, seeing as Nate Schierholtz -- who demolished a catcher in a fashion at least as flagrant as that of Cousins -- continues to be employed by the Giants.
If we could find some proof that Sabean has previously been critical of runners slamming into catchers (not just Posey), then I'd cheerfully change my opinion on his hypocrisy.
In short, I personally view the facts of the case this way:
* Cousins levels Posey
* Sabean berates Cousins, hopes his career ends
* Schierholtz levels Not-Posey
* Sabean employs Schierholtz (ie. "Have a career with us!")
* Sabean is silent on other, similar levelings that involve his team
I can see, perhaps, how people would view this all through different lenses. I can't see this being a "hatchet job" or drinking the "kool-aid." There's a strong, val;id case for Sabean being a hypocrite here.
Meh, if I whip out a .386 OBP and .496 SLG for my career and my teammates don't respect my play, they can kindly kiss my ass.
Count me among those that enjoy the Tater Trot Tracker.
Completely agreed, antoine. Teheran came in having never given up a hit in his career to anybody at any level, if I recall correctly.
3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Yah, shame on you Met fans for being thrilled they plucked a guy who might be league-average at a position where they were in desperate need of options, and that they further got him free in a draft that typically yields something less than bupkus.
Hard as hell to get a fair, objective opinion on Emaus. Half the opinions seem auto-generated from dudes who see that he's doughy and aren't willing to look much further.
The other half of the opinions -- perhaps in an overviolent, knee-jerk reaction to the first group? -- are overselling the hell out of him, throwing Uggla's name around, etc.
On the fielding:
For what it's worth, BPro had Emaus' second base FRAA as -5 in 2008, +10 in 2009, and +4 (AA) and -2 (AAA) last season.
TotalZone had him at -2 in 2008 and +8 in 2009.
His range factor per game was above 5 (above average) at all four stops he's made since 2008, with the exception of his 10 games in Las Vegas, where it was 4.80.
Last season, he made 0 errors in 32 games at the position, in 2009 his fielding percentage was .977, and it was .980 in 2008.
I'm not thrilled with defensive metrics in general. But if Emaus truly had "ZERO RANGE," wouldn't it show up somewhere? In something? A little?! The last season he was allowed to play 2B full time, TotalZone, RF/G, and FRAA all agreed he wasn't a negative at all.
Maybe Emaus is the Bizarro Jeter. Nobody thinks Emaus is getting to the balls, but he is. :)
> Optimally ought to put apostrophes around 'Big Apple'.
Optimally ought to take the stick out of your ass.
I heard he was really dedicated to improving himself this offseason. He worked with Acclaimed Hitting Instructor X to fix a flaw in his approach. He lost 40 pounds of fat, gained 50 pounds of muscle, and did thirty minutes of flexibility exercises every hour for the entire month of January.
Nick Blackburn is guaranteed a rotation spot over Scott Baker.
That is fascinating.
Ahem, should be ---> *"switch-hitting catcher"
I would think a prospect should be downgraded if he was smacking witches around.
"Yeah, gotta say it's a bit disingenuous for BP to put Wieters on a failed-to-live-up-to-his-hype list, when it was BP's PECOTA glitch that generated the hype to begin with."
I could be wrong, but I strongly recall Wieters being hyped well before that year's PECOTAs ever came out.
He was drafted fifth overall, and was Baseball America's #1 prospect at catcher before he played a single game in the minor leagues. After his crazy 1053 OPS in 2008 (reminder: as a catcher), Baseball America named him the Minor League Player of the Year.
BA named Wieters their #1 prospect for 2009. So did BP. And Keith Law and John Sickels and Project Prospect.
So, we have a witch-hitting catcher who was drafted top five, went completely bonkers in his first professional season with power and more walks than strikeouts, and was the practically unanimous #1 prospect entering 2009.
To say "scouts definitely liked Wieters after '08" would seem to be one hell of an understatement. That's not all the love he was getting. Wieters PECOTA came after **all of the above**.
Sorry, I can't buy what you're selling here...
There once was a man from Natucket
You can't predict baseball. You just can't. I'd like to meet the man who can. Because you just can't predict it. If you can, then Mister, you're a better man than I.
Just can't predict it, Suzyn.
"Sorry, that's a glaring omission."
From Mr. Goldman, in the intro to this article: "Continuing the rundown of the most disappointing prospects of all time, here, in no particular order, are the next 10 on my list. Once I’ve run through an infamous 50 I will attempt a ranking."
Also worth noting: Rasmus struck out a ton last season...he has no chance of sniffing a .275 batting average again with that many Ks. This is another a reason Rios is the better fantasy pick for 2011.
(Of course, I also quite easily take Rasmus if we're talking real baseball...)
In fantasy baseball, I don't see what's so surprising about saying Rios > Rasmus...
Rios: .284, 21 HR, 34 SB, 88 RBI, 89 Runs
Rasmus: .276, 23 HR, 12 SB, 66 RBI, 85 Runs
What makes Rasmus such a slam-dunk over Rios that you're that surprised by the relative rankings?
Ask Mr. Harang.
"You don't talk about thermodynamics"?
In a standard 5x5, I think 1-star is about the right projection.
In a weekly lineup league especially, especially, Chipper is a giant headache, and has been for several years.
In a league that uses OBP, you could bump him up a tier methinks.
Oh, and All Hail whomever is responsible for the Weird Al reference in the photo caption. Too much.
This can help quench the thirst...
Agghhh...the math tutor in me can't resist:
But fantastic article nonetheless!
Do you think E5 will squeeze his way into 20-ish games at third base this season? Not starts or full games necessarily, just appearances?
In Mr. Calcaterra's defense, Heyman does indeed suck. That's not up for debate. :)
"Enough of this! It's on to one of MANY great baseball web sites. Like FanGraph."
Be careful over there...there's this guy named Carson Cistulli and he often goes off on tangents that have nothing whatsoever to do with baseball. And he doesn't warn you when it's about to happen!
I once read an article of his where he invented a new word -- "obnoxiating" -- and then he spent a paragraph talking about it.
Haven't been to Fangraphs since.
You see I'm the kind of guy...well, let's put it this way: Even if I thoroughly enjoy nearly all of what a place of business has to offer, I will cease to go there if they offer something I do not enjoy.
...and that's why I haven't purchased anything from anybody in over five years. I'm proud of that, though I'm awfully hungry now. And bored. And lonely.
Damn skippy. And if you people start forcing me to listen to "She-Bop," Tipper and I are out of here.
Brandetd and ackbar, how dare you use a word like "ambush." I find it offensive. Please be more careful next time.
And I just inadvertently flagged one of my own comments for moderation, which somehow -- given the kerfuffle over the article -- seems about right.
Well, as long as half the free world is giving their opinion on this, I might as well chime in.
I think the article was hilarious and informative. Thank you, Emma.
Or that offense.
"This also ignores the fact that he was good for 156 games just 2 seasons ago, so the injury angle is overplayed."
I strongly disagree, and think you are proving precisely why PECOTA should hedge on Hamilton.
Hamilton is going into his age-30 season, and you had to stretch back to his age-27 season to find the one time in his four-year career in which he was able to avoid the disabled list and put something close to a full season of work in.
Not putting in full seasons might not be as big a deal if it was simply a matter of minor injuries forcing him out 20-25 games a year. We're instead talking about missing 70+ games in each of two separate seasons. And in one of those (2009), he stunk(.741 OPS).
We should be skeptical of any projection system that *doesn't* ding Hamilton's playing time, and thus his HR/RBI/run totals.
* Division failure on my part. *
"From 2005-2010, Weeks played in 53% of his team's games."
Wrong. Should read:
"From 2005-2010, Weeks played in 65% of his team's games."
Hamilton's projection is in 515 PAs, which partially explains why they look a little low. Also seems pretty fair since he's averaged under 500 PAs the last four seasons, and is heading into his thirties. (Also of note: Hamilton's BABIP of .390(!!) in 2010...)
I'm sure PECOTA's high-end projections for Hamilton are quite good, but the weighted means are gently reminding us that Hamilton has missed nearly 30% of his team's games over the last four seasons.
Kinda similar issue with Weeks. PECOTA is perhaps a bit generous with Weeks, really: If Weeks does indeed notch 17 dingers and 58 RBIs, each would represent the second best total of his entire career, behind only last season. From 2005-2010, Weeks played in 53% of his team's games.
I think Vazquez is precisely the kind of pitcher where you should give PECOTA a lot less say than for other pitchers.
If I recall correctly, PECOTA has no way of knowing that Vaz' velocity dipped significantly last season. The easier park/league will help, but in Rotoland, I am certainly not paying for the 3.79 ERA and ~200 Ks PECOTA is projecting.
This is outstanding.
By the way, Larry, if you happen to see Ferris, let him know we here in Southern California are pulling for him.
"I'm not sure any of his other moves beyond letting Cano develop have been any thing that proves him to be an excellent GM."
Swisher trade. One of the best deals of the last half-decade by any team.
I mean...Wilson Betemit?
"Not a single BP writer would join a fantasy league where one team was allowed to spend 200 million a year the rest less than half that. So let's get real here. If not Duensing who else should they have started? That's how the other half lives."
Ah, yes. The "other half," tiny-market, scrappy, gutty, small-ball, David-to-everyone-else's-Goliath Minnesota Twins who ranked way, way down at ...
... *10th* of the 30 teams in Opening Day payroll this season.
Also note they rank second of the four American League playoff teams in this regard, well ahead of both the Rangers and Rays.
I hereby call on the Minnesota Twins to please think of the children, and stop destroying the sport we all love. Their relentless spending is killing baseball, and helping the terrorists win.
I meant to include a question/comment in there. Something along the lines of: "I suppose this won't help his chances? Though I'll still root for the dude."
I noticed his splits are pretty wacky:
.328/.480/.453 at home. (~300 PAs)
.220/.365/.297 away. (~315 PAs)
It seems Kane County tends to play as a moderate hitters park (2006-2008 data) if I'm reading this right:
Bob Dole appreciates your effort in clearing that up, as Bob Dole was a bit confused for a moment there.
A Rangers article without a Colby Lewis mention is like a day without sunshine. :(
Otherwise, good stuff.
I always love me some Brad Emaus. It's an unhealthy obsession at this point.
Or precisely why it's a perfect example. :)
"The War on Baseball Ignorance"
"Beer and Tacos: Have Both!"
"A Bold Fresh Piece of Sheehan"
<<"In 2010, it's insane that I had to spend time explaining to a world-class athlete that this type of thing isn't a real solution.">>
But Will! Lamar Odom said, "Power Balance is the next level!" Are you claiming that a random basketball player wouldn't have special insight into the optimization of the body’s natural energy flow via hologram technology? The hell you say!
I wonder if I could get some athletes to pay me big bucks for telling them "It's not your fault" over and over again. Actually, that would probably do more good than the hologram...
The 2007 winner was Houston Summers: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/fans/moniker_madness/y2007/moniker_madness.jsp
2008 went to Will Startup:
2009 was the year of Dusty Napoleon:
I must admit, I was crushed when Jorge Poo Tang didn't make the finals in 2007.
There is some very heavy competition, even if we just look at the last few seasons:
Well, he did only have one hit (a solo dinger) on July 22, so I can understand why he didn't crack the list.
Nick Weglarz, "OF", Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI. The 22-year-old is hitting .425/.477/.825 over his last ten games to bring his overall Triple-A line up to .288/.385/.503 in 188 plate appearances. One scout* says his floor rests somewhere between Babe Ruth's peak and what Mickey Mantle would have done had he been sober and completely healthy.
* Special thanks to Nick Weglarz for passing on info from an anonymous scout.
"and more walks walks than strikeouts."
Ummm, and -- uh -- honest I meant to write "walks walks." The stat so nice you say it twice. Yeah, that works.
Some love for my favorite minor leaguer:
Brad Emaus: 2B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas) 2-for-4 2B, RBI, R. Emaus is now hitting .361/.425/.583 since joining Vegas, and is rocking a .394/.474/.636 line in his last ten games. His full-season line split between Double-A and Triple-A sits at .303/.410/.486 and features 8 SBs (against 1 CS) and more walks walks than strikeouts.
Hmmm...Emaus at third base instead of second in AAA so far.
Is this a matter of 2B being jammed up for the 51s? Or is Toronto unhappy with Emaus' defense up the middle? Or some other reason?
"Or loading up on names with Ks in them because maybe that would solve all their problems."
Ah, based on their catcher, I was under the impression they were loading up on guys with forks in them.
The "K" thing explains it just as well, as I also
heard that Mr. Yo-Yo started spelling his name "Aleks Gorkdon," but I had no idea why...until now. I admire the attempt, but he's not getting called up until he cuts out the walks crap. That ain't the Royal Way.
"He would absolutely not be considered the front runner for anything other than best rookie starter on the Reds staff."
Well, that would rest largely on whether ERA is the start and end of the argument. By every other method of comparison I can think of, they're very evenly matched.
One problem is that -1.1 number is comparing the first two months of this season to *all* of last season. His velocity charts from last season seem to make it pretty clear that his average velocity crept up as the year went on.
Mike Napoli's TAv ranks among catchers (minimum 250 PAs as catcher):
2009: 5th of 36 (Jeff Mathis 35th)
2008: 1st of 35 (Jeff Mathis 34th)
2007: 6th of 31 (Mathis missed PA cutoff...if we lower PA to 150, Mathis was 45th of 49)
If Scoscia isn't willing make one of the very best hitting catchers in baseball his primary over one of the very worst, I'm afraid Conger has little shot.
I've read Scoscia believes in CERA (catcher-ERA), so if Hank gets lucky enough to do well on that front, maybe he has a shot.
"Would Scioscia even consider a hit-first catcher?"
Yes, assuming his grit-first catcher breaks a wrist.
Jay's dead-on. I'm only hitting .354/.365/.621 :(
"Seidnotes Idea 1: is it better to give your regulars a day off all at once, or staggered throughout the week? That is, would a team with a lineup of 8 regulars and 1 replacement player 7 days a week out-perform a team of 9 regulars 6 days a week with a lineup of 9 scrubs on the 7th day?"
I've thought a lot about this, especially with regards to the following scenario:
I manage Team X and see that about a week from now, my fifth starter (who is quite scrubby) is up against Tim Lincecum. There are no off days for a week or so after that game. I am seriously considering using that day to rest as many regulars as possible (limited only by how many "bench guys" I have). My reasoning is: our chances of winning that game are about as low as they can possibly be anyway, so why not use it as The Rest Day?
The question: is this a good idea or not?
I personally haven't come to any conclusions on that sort of thing, but it feels like it makes some sense...
Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks, even inside single quotes.
This is not something I care about at all. However, I knew you would care deeply.
Mmmmm, I'm liking the idea that the Angels might deal a catcher whose PECOTA top two comps are Johnny Bench and Gary Carter while sticking with Brad Aus -- beg you pardon, Jeff Mathis. Mike Scoscia: Best Manager in Baseball (TM).
Mmmm...huge fan of the Choo, Hardy and Chamberlain picks at those prices. If Chamberlain winds up starting, it's a steal. If he winds up subbing for Rivera for a few weeks and gets 8-10 saves, it's a steal. If neither happens and he gets 70 innings, it's still not a bad price. All reward, no risk. Lovely.
Ah Choo, I'm perhaps a bit too fanboyish about him. It could have said "Choo 35" up there and I probably would have finagled a way to defend the pick.
"White Brett Myers hit his wife. For which White Brett Myers was excorciated, very definitely including on this site. White Brett Myers was the epitome of evil."
No links? No quotes? No proof?
The Myers incident took place in June of 2006. I searched BP's articles of June and July 2006 to find where he was "very definitely excoriated." Damndest thing...the absolute strongest thing I could find was here:
I'll leave it to readers to decide whether this counts as being very definitely excoriated, let alone being held up as "the epitome of all evil."
(Hint: Nope. Not even close.)
Then again, I suppose it wouldn't have been convenient for your argument to note that its Premise #1 was pulled from your ass.
Marge Simpson: "Eepa." What does that mean?
Comic Book Guy: I believe it was the sound Green Lantern made when Sinestro dropped him in a vat of acid. "Eeeeee-paaaa!"
Age 22 seasons
Everth Cabrera, 2009: .276 EQA
Derek Jeter, 1996: .279 EQA
Jimmy Rollins, 2001: .266 EQA
Hanley Ramirez, 2006: .291 EQA
This is not a defense or robust analysis or anything quite like that. Rather, I found it pretty cool. :)
It is easy to blame Baker, indeed, and it's largely correct to do so, but...
...rarely do people ask, "Where the hell has the entire Reds front office been throughout all of this?" The decision to sign him in the first place was bad enough, but what came after is truly unforgivable.
They had no doubt seen the carnage in Chicago. And *whether we blame Dusty for that or not*, why weren't they proactive in establishing some general guidelines he had to follow...just in case? "Hey Dusty, we have a couple of rules here. You can manage the pitching staff as you see fit, except we absolutely can't X, Y, or Z. Otherwise, it's all yours and we have complete faith in you."
Sure, hindsight, 20/20, and all that but it really is not as though there weren't literally millions of baseball fans and analysts who saw this all coming a mile away.
"Pujols is a lot, lot, more valuable than Miggy."
In real life, he is.
In fantasy, not so much, at least according to PECOTA's projections...as listed above. They've got Pujols a little bit better in each category, except homers where Miggy has three more.
I would agree that Pujols was a lot more valuable than Cabrera last season: batting average very close, then Pujols had edges of 13 homers, 32 RBIs, 28 runs, and 10 steals.
I'd side with PECOTA, though, based on their last three years averaged:
Pujols: .337, 108 runs, 118 RBIs, 39 HRs, 8 SB.
Miggy: .312, 91 runs, 116 RBIs, 35 HRs, 3 SBs
That is to say, Pujols is clearly worth a bit more, but not as much as a "tier jump" at any other position. (I'll take Cabrera and a Tier 1 SS over Pujols and a Tier 2 SS, for example.)
2006-09 IP H UBB K R ER HR RA9 UBB9 K9
Starter 194.1 207 60 145 119 109 11 5.51 2.8 6.7
Reliever 125 126 38 107 55 48 28 3.96 2.7 7.7
For anyone who was wondering, the HR numbers are indeed transposed. Park allowed 11 HR as a reliever, and 28 as a starter.
Very much appreciated, fellow Joe D. You, sir, have a keen eye for humor!
I thought Joe D.'s comment was absolutely hilarious! It tickled my ribs endlessly and left me begging for more!
A completely different Joe D. who happens to have the same user ID.
"There go the Yankees, trying to buy another championship, with a payroll 15% higher than us. They are ruining baseball."
-- Red Sox Nation
"Waaaaah, we're small market compared to the Yankees and Mets!"
-- John Henry
"There go the Red Sox, with the second highest payroll -- 21% more than any of *us* -- bitching about the Yankees again. Can someone slap them, please?"
-- Fans of the 28 other teams
"I think it's disgraceful that Bill Gates doesn't just give like literally 98% of his money to charity. What the hell can one person do with that much dough, after all? His wealth sickens me, personally. How can I compete with a net worth of $40 billion???"
-- Warren Buffett, net worth $37 billion
"JoeD another point, just because something rhymes, does not absolve it from being offensive."
It does however, absolve it from necessarily being:
* "...CLEARLY a play on an Asian accent."
* "blatant racist ignorance"
* directly comparable to any of the examples of racism you cited earlier, including Shaq's idiocy.
...which are all claims you made earlier.
Are you going to apologize to Will Carroll as you expect BP to apologize to you?
Unless of course, you pronounce Wang's name correctly. In which case "Wang" and "Wrong" are a rhyme or ridiculously close to it. Then it becomes painfully apparent it was a play on words, and not a poke on Wang's race.
I could easily see an unfiltered post titled "Wright Wrong" or a similar play on words, if it was similarly about a flaw in his health or mechanics. To posit without question that such a title would never exist is to create a straw man, and one that isn't sturdy at all, to boot.
An article entitled "Long Wrong" or "Vogelsong Wrong" is really that inconceivable to you?
To point out that the article title is potentially offensive because of other, possible meanings/implications is one thing. But you go a few steps further:
I pointed out earlier what I felt was a likely *reason* for the title, never once disagreeing that your interpretation was one some people could take away from it. Based on that one post, you immediately concluded I was completely ignorant, and lived in the silence of my own thoughts.
Which, of course, is a fantastic example of the sort of knee-jerk, overzealous, reactionary conclusion generation that bigots and racists are typically most guilty of.
"So if Wang were white, are you telling me this article would be titled Wang Wrong?"
Erm, if Wang were white, it's a bit less likely his surname would be Wang. And if indeed he were white and his name was still pronounced "Wong", then sure, the rhyming title would work fine.
"If they did an article on Joel Zumaya's recent injury history, is 'Zumaya Wrong' in play?"
If Zumaya rhymed with "wrong", then sure, I think that would be an option.
"Wang Wrong has everything to do with him being Asian."
It has everything to do with his name being "Wang".
>I figure this thread is as good a place as any for the >following question: How far has BP fallen when it is not one >of *seven* nominees for "Best Sabermetric Research or >Writing Website" in BtB's Sabermetric Writing Awards?
From what I saw, the selection of nominees was pretty good...
For me to poop on.
What!?! But my fantasy draft is in fourteen minutes and if I don't have Luis Valbuena's upside score and top four comparables then BP is useless and I'm going to unsubscribe because this is BS!!!
Ah, it looks like PECOTA finally gave up on Chris Young. Can't say I blame it...
All the tea in China.
One executive on the Tigers' signing of closer Jose Valverde: "I wasn’t so sure they’d contend before they signed him. Now, I think they could."
Um, so for which team is Mrs. Valverde an executive?
Damn skippy. This series of tubes ain't gonna govern itself.
Ok, so three guys walk into a bar. One is a Communist, the second is a Nazi and the third is a starving kid from Angola.
The communist asks the bartender for one of the great unrecognized mixed drinks: A Screaming Nazi. The Nazi finds this completely offensive and uncalled --
"I really don't find joking about Communism and National Socialsim funny."
Oh. Eek, my bad. How awkward. Perhaps some other time.
Post Reply seems to be working for me.
I'm hoping they put Sizemore on the Pedroia/Kinsler plan. Stick him in there opening day and let's see what happens. There a good chance he approximates Polanco's value at the low, low price of bubkes. (And a legit shot that he exceeds that threshold.)
Just wanted to add that this "Let's Look at the Free Agents" miniseries is fantastic, thorough, and well darn done. Excellent work, Mr. Joe.
Are you kidding? The Brewers aren't silly enough to think Gomez's defense could possibly make up for his awful, impotent --
-- Oh, I'm being told this trade happened already.
Belated correction of my own little rant:
"The Cubs have been to *TEN* World Series!"
They've lost eight.
Re: I understand that Yankees fans can't just stop rooting for their team. Go ahead and do it, but shut up. SHUT. UP. You are not sharing the fan experience with the rest of us. You are the best, so go ahead and enjoy it quietly, with taste. It's part of the deal.
Sorry. I am a Yankee fan, and I would like to take this time to apologize to flyingdutchman. You see, it was I who strapped him down in a chair...Propped his eyes open Clockwork Orange style...Forced him to read Yankee fans celebrating their team's victory...Forced him to watch and listen as Yankee fans cheered their team on.
If part of your fan experience is doing your best to make fans of other teams feel guilty for being happy, then I do not wish to share in said fan experience.
If Detroit had won the World Series this season, and flyingdutchman had expressed his joy, I suppose I could have pointed out that the Tigers had the highest opening day payroll in their division by nearly $20 million. I could have said, "Hey nice job beating up on the defenseless Twins, who you outspent by almost $50 million." Imagine what the Twins could buy for $50 million, indeed! Flyingdutchman, I could have said, enjoy your championship, but "SHUT UP." Considering the enormous advantage you have over the Twins, the Royals, the Indians, please "SHUT. UP."
All these things I could have said, though I wouldn't have. Certainly not. You'd have every right to enjoy your championship as you see fit. Sad to hear you aren't able to extend the same courtesy to fans of other teams.
Enjoy your most interesting "fan experience".
The Mets, Cubs, and Indians have all been in the playoffs fairly recently. Should we get on them for "complaining" considering there are many teams who have been non-competitive longer?
Everything is relative, I suppose. However there is considerable hypocrisy in banging on Yankee fans for feeling 9 years is a long time while not acknowledging one's own good fortune.
Who has a right to complain then? I suppose only Pirates fans...but wait! 1979 isn't all that long ago compared to long-suffering Cubs fans...but wait! The Cubs have been to *eight* World Series! Seattle Mariners fans would love some of that action. Oh, woe to the long-suffering Mariners fans. But wait!
Expos fans would certainly trade places with those Seattleites in a heartbeat: the Mariners this decade had one of the winningest baseball teams in history, and made a couple of postseason appearances. The poor, poor Expos only postseason appearance came in 1981 (Goodbye Blue Monday). Their next excellent shot was cut short by a player's strike in 1994. Later flirtations with contention were partially sabotaged when MLB wouldn't call up their minor leaguers because it was too costly. Then their team was ripped from them.
Given the fate of the Expos, perhaps no fans of any of the current teams have a right to bitch about anything?
An Expos fan would read about any drought and think the "complaining" fan should stick it. At least they have a damn team to root for.
It's obviously not this black-and-white. Everything is shades of gray. The problem, adk, is you like the black and white version, and conveniently place the dividing line precisely where it is most comfortable for you and you alone.
Certainly, then, the Phillies fans would have been ashamed to win, then. After all, that's four teams the Phillies are letting have no shot whatsoever, right? That's just wrong.
Congrats to the Phillies on buying their National League Peannant, lol.
Much appreciated! Hopefully one day, your team will have the box office smarts and willingness to spend revenues which allow *them* to also start at the 40m point.
Mock Lord Xenu at your own peril.
I won't be there to help when he freezes you and traps your soul.
I don't know how Red Sox fans can live with themselves given blatant attempts like this one to buy a championship. After all, if Hermida's salary wasn't due to escalate, surely the poor Marlins would keep him and see if he can fulfill that upside potential.
The way Boston is taking advantage of the weaker small-market teams makes me sick.
Yankees Fan who gets a kick out of "Yanks bought the championship"-style rants
I agree with you to some extent. I was surprised he gave Manuel the managing edge going into the series, as:
* Rollins continued to lead off despite a sub-.300 OBP
* Lidge continued to pitch high leverage situations despite a 7+ ERA, 1.8+ WHIP, and 11 blown saves in the regular season
These two blunders were far more egregious and indicative of flawed reasoning than anything Girardi did, including the Molina/Posada nonsense. Even in that case, Girardi consistently got Posada's bat back in there quickly, which at the very least showed some he had some idea of what each of his guys is capable of.
Girardi makes a lot of little mistakes. Errors in being able to tell his, say, 2nd best RP from his 4th best RP. In worrying more about Burnett's comfort zone than Molina's awful bat.
Manuel's mistakes are mind-blowing: with his team tied in the top of the 9th inning at home, goes to a relief pitcher who had one of the absolute worst seasons of all-time.
In an elimination game (last night), when the Phillies desperately needed to stay close, he goes to Chad Durbin, who walked 47 men in 60 innings. Mr. Durbin is expected to hold things against a team that walks their brains out.
I'm with you on this point, Dom.
Hell yeah Will!
Re: "All that said, I still don't see Pettitte's 3.96 in the post-season as a compelling HoF argument."
I mostly agree.
ERA is not perfect, but I don't see park/opponent/team defense adjustments making much of a dent here anyhow. (Aside: Fangraphs has Pettitte at a 4.12 FIP in his postseason career.)
His rate stats in postseason are very similar to his career numbers.
So, he's basically been Andy Pettitte in the postseason -- no more, no less. And that's pretty good, mind you, especially over 230+ innings. And it's probably worth a nudge over the edge for anyone who considers Pettitte to be teetering on the line of deserving HoF induction in the first place.
If that performance is that *starting point* for a discussion of a given pitcher's HoF chances, however, then his regular season body of work is likely not enough to warrant consideration in the first place.
Re: "If Pettite's postseason ERA is indeed smack-dab at average, then he is an _average_ postseason starter. That's kind of the definition of what 'average' means [sic]."
Making the jump from average postseason ERA to average postseason starter continues to ignore something pretty beefy:
In comparing Pettitte to all postseason starters, we're completely ignoring that the NL and AL are different animals.
77% of Pettitte's postseason starts have come against a DH-lineup. For Maddux, it's 10%. We can't simply leave their stats unadjusted and directly compare the two, as the original argument was doing.
If you think Pettitte not facing the Yankees completely overtakes and negates that effect, then fine. The Yanks have met up with equal or superior offenses in the AL playoffs more often than you might realize:
Runs Scored in Reg Season by Yank and AL Playoff Opponents:
1996: Orioles 949, Rangers 928, Yanks 870
1997: Yanks 891, Indians 868
1998: Yanks 965, Rangers 940, Indians 850
1999: Rangers 945, Yanks 900, Red Sox 836
2000: A's 947, Mariners 907, Yanks 871
2001: Mariners 927, A's 884, Yanks 804
2002: Yanks 897, Angels 851
2003: Red Sox 961, Yanks 877, Twins 801
2007: Yanks 968, Indians 811
2009: Yanks 915, Angels 883, Twins 817
Total More Runs than Yanks: 8
Total Less Runs than Yanks: 9
Obviously a very basic quick-and-dirty look...runs are not a perfect measure of an offense, after all. But well enough that the sloppily thrown out there "he didn't have to face the Yankees" argument looks pretty bad, and almost certainly doesn't negate the DH Pettitte had to deal with in the vast majority of his playoff starts.
Note -- I suppose ideally the postseason starts could be further broken down. In particular, in the World Series. Did the pitcher face a DH or no in his starts?
It turns out that out of Pettitte's 12 World Series starts, 6 were against the DH and 6 were not.
So, 30 of Andy Pettitte's 39 starts (77%) came against a lineup with a DH. Definitely a higher percentage than the average postseason starter has faced.
(1996 - 1 DH start, 1 Non-DH; 1998 - Non-DH; 1999 - DH; 2000 - 1 of each; 2001 - 2 Non DH; 2003 - 2 DH; 2005 - DH; 2009 - Non-DH)
By the by, I don't think Pettitte is a Hall of Famer.
I do think ignoring 243 innings the guy has pitched is ridiculous, since that could have eaten into his career, for all we know.
Some have made the argument that it's not fair, for example, to Roy Halladay that we consider Pettitte's postseason. I don't buy that. It's more unfair to Pettitte if we completely disregard 243 high-pressure innings he threw. He didn't throw them for the hell of it, he pretty much had to.
I don't see the big deal in judging each on their own merits. Halladay (whenever the time comes) on everything he did during his career, and Pettitte likewise.
A couple of issues/questions here:
Minor: According to Baseball Reference, Pettitte's cumulative postseason ERA is 3.88, not 3.96. And, that 3.88 includes Andy's 6.00 ERA performance lst night against the Phillies.
More Important: Comparing Pettitte to all postseason starters is a bit unfair, since the majority of his career (and thus the majority of his postseason starts) have been spent in the American League.
Of Pettitte's 39 postseason starts, 24 were in the ALCS or ALDS against the DH. And, for most of Andy's career, against the stronger league.
With that in mind, if Pettitte's postseason ERA is indeed smack-dab at average, or a tiny notch above or below it, then he's been a better than average postseason starter.
Thirded. Yankees fan who was overjoyed at the time of the Swisher deal, both because I thought he'd bounce back and I flat-out enjoyed watching the guy.
Thrilled he's provided such excellent value this season, and looks to be an important cog for several more years.
David Eckstein? Can we have our luxury tax money back, please?
Including 2009, Forty World Series will have been played in the Bronx...that's 38% of all World Series. Perhaps that was what Joe was referring to, with a bit of poetic license. Perhaps he wasn't jumping up and down yelling "Go Yankees Phillies Suck! HAHAHAHA! All you Yankee haters can kiss my ass!"
Though I could be wrong. I *did* turn off my paranoid self-delusional moron switch this morning.
(Six days later)
Yep, thoroughly unwatchable.
Three absolute nail-biters out of five games, and only one blowout.
I'm guessing declaring the entire series unwatchable early in the second game was jumping the gun just a tad.
...and we move into game 6 tonight.
Re: "You have to mention that Guerrero's game-tying grounder was a routine play for most shortstops. "
Perhaps most shortstops in most situations. The Yankees at the time had Jeter positioned in such a way that nobody aside from perhaps Ozzie Smith gets glove on that ball, let alone gets a runner out.
I don't care if you have to put Randy Wolf or Hong-Chih Kuo in the field, not getting Jim Thome and his approximately .380/.500 against righties in there against Madson in the 8th is a travesty.
That the chances of it making a difference in the end result were slim doesn't excuse Torre in this case.
Oh, and I would have had Broxton in there pitching the 8th/9th, too. I want my best in there, regardless of the score.
Again, likely difference maker? No, not by a long shot. But this is the end of my season, and I'll be damned if I don't throw everything I possibly can against the wall to keep it from being so.
Great game reference, Jay. Also a dual Dodger/Yankee fan (emphasis on the Yankee), and remember watching Lima shut down the opposition with my mouth hanging open wide in disbelief the entire time.
Re: "Also, in the NFL, plenty of teams that were great one year are bad the next, or visa versa. This very rarely happens in baseball."
Yes, drastic changes occur very rarely in baseball between seasons:
From '03 to '04:
Toronto, 86 wins to 67. (-19)
KC, 83 wins to 58. (-25)
Detroit, 43 wins to 72. (+29)
LA Angels, 77 wins to 92. (+15) *Made Playoffs
Texas, 71 wins to 89. (+18)
Seattle, 93 wins to 63. (-30)
St. Louis, 85 wins to 105. (+20) *Made Playoffs
Arizona, 84 wins to 51. (-33)
San Diego, 64 wins to 87. (+23)
From '04 to '05:
Chicago White Sox, 83 wins to 99. (+16) *Won WS
LA Dodgers, 93 wins to 71. (-22)
Arizona, 51 wins to 77. (+26)
San Francisco, 91 wins to 75. (-16)
From '05 to '06:
Cleveland, 93 wins to 78. (-15)
Detroit, 71 wins to 95. (+24) * Made WS
St. Louis, 100 wins to 83. (-17) * Won WS
LA Dodgers, 71 wins to 88. (+17) * Made Playoffs
From '06 to '07:
Chicago White Sox, 90 wins to 72. (-18)
Minnesota, 96 wins to 79. (-17)
Cleveland, 78 wins to 96. (+18) * Made ALCS
Oakland, 93 wins to 76. (-17)
Chicago Cubs, 66 wins to 85. (+17) * Made Playoffs
From '07 to '08:
Tampa Bay, 66 wins to 97. (+31) * Made WS
Chicago White Sox, 72 wins to 89. (+17) * Made Playoffs
Cleveland, 96 wins to 81. (-15)
Seattle, 88 wins to 61. (-27)
Colorado, 90 wins to 74. (-16)
San Diego, 89 wins to 63. (-26)
From '08 to '09:
Cleveland, 81 wins to 65. (-16)
Seattle, 61 wins to 85. (+24)
NY Mets, 89 wins to 70. (-19)
Colorado, 74 wins to 92. (+18) * Made Playoffs
San Francisco, 72 wins to 88. (+16)
Aside from those 33 examples of drastic 15+ win swings in the last six seasons -- an average of 5.5 big swings per season -- I can see what you mean. :)
Re: "Your stats about the playoffs naturally ignores the fact that the NFL has 50% more playoff teams every year so obviously more teams can make the playoffs at a higher frequency."
Except that I explicitly stated that very fact. One would think that would make for greater variety of champions, not less.
Further, you decried that in baseball "when you can fairly safely say that 2-3 teams are going to make the playoffs most years, there's a real problem." More playoff teams makes your scenario more likely, not less. Why is this a problem for you in baseball but not football?
In baseball, about 27% of teams make the playoffs. In football, it's about 38%. I don't see that as a staggering enough difference to consider say, the Yankees and Red Sox bad for the sport while not applying similar reasoning to the Patriots, Colts, and Seahawks.
Re: "I think the most evident case of lack of balance is that the NY Yankees have 16 winning seasons in a row(and Boston 11), while the longest such streaks in the NFL are 9 and 8."
The number of games per season in the NFL is less than 10% than the number of games per season in baseball. Far smaller sample sizes lead to far greater fluctuation in record, even if the team talent holds perfectly steady. The greater in-season flux in the NFL leads to less consistent season-to-season results.
This is not a good way to compare competitive balance of the two sports. Your points could simply be a function of the different schedules.
Else, we could simply make the argument that there have been many NFL teams that have finished the season with an .850+ winning percentage, while no MLB team has topped .765. Boom: baseball would win, but it's not a sounds argument.
Re: "And of course let's not forget the Yankees 27 world series titles, or approxiamately 1 in 4 since they started playing world series. The NFL highest are the packers at about 1 championship in every 7 years."
Except that we're discussing competitive balance now, not throughout history. The Yankees' dominant 1920's and 1950's teams, for example, have nothing to do with the discussion. (Perhaps except to ironically note that baseball was the most popular sport at the time.)
Plus, unless I'm reading something wrong here...the Steelers (and others) lead the Packers, no?
Using Super Bowl I as a starting point: the Steelers have won 6 of 43 Super Bowls (14% of all Bowls), followed by the Cowboys and 49ers (11.6% each), then five teams who have won 3 (7%) each.
Now baseball all-time starting with the first modern World Series: Yankees have won 26 (not 27) of 103 (25.2%), then the Cardinals (9.7%), Athletics (8.7%), Red Sox (6.8%), Dodgers (5.8%), and three teams at 5% each.
Under your criterion (championships, all-time), that the NFL has been far more competitively balanced is highly debatable. Though the #1 team has won a greater share in baseball, it also a dead ringer for the top two teams combined in football. Beyond that, the spread is quite similar through the top eight teams.
Is there really that much value to be had in the vast majority of fans saying "Damn Steelers and Cowboys" rather than "Damn Yankees"?
On the flipside, 15 current NFL teams have never won a Super Bowl, and five have never been to one.
8 current MLB teams have never won the whole enchilada, and three have never been to one.
Between this and the earlier points made in the discussion we've seen a lot of evidence that competitive balance between the NFL and MLB is roughly even or tilted in MLB's favor, but certainly none that show the NFL has the lead in that regard.
Perhaps a more thorough examination taking into account the differing number of teams each season (varying era of expansion), and a criteria other than championships won or competed in might do the trick? (Investigating the gap between worst and best over a sufficiently long timespan, perhaps?)
But you've offered none of that, and the points you have made didn't support your conclusions.
Instead, it's been the usual knee-jerk "football is more competitively balanced" story with nothing backing it up that props up when the Yankees do well.
On that note, if anyone has seen a good, thorough study of competitive balance that properly takes into account the major differences* between the two sports, I'd love the link for that sucker.
(*i.e. 32 teams vs 30, 12 playoff teams vs 8, 16 games vs 162, 1 game playoff vs 5-7 game series).
Otherwise my strong hunch is that the extra teams, extra playoff teams, short schedule, and one-game playoff series give us the illusion of greater parity in football. What we're probably seeing is what happens when smaller sample-sizes and playoff dilution can do for "competitiveness".
Perhaps baseball will wise up and let 38% of the league in the playoffs. Or do football just a wee bit better and let everyone in. Then we'd really see some parity.
And finally, hyprvypr, I did grow up a Yankee fan, and started following them closely when I was about 11 or 12 in '89/'90 or so. Not that I care for or worry about the cock-waving TrueFan! balderdash that many supposed fans engage in. Unfortunately, I suppose I'm not immune to the feeling I need to defend my credentials.
I'm arguing *against* playing several innings ahead.
Robertson wouldn't have come out for the 14th (I disagree he was overstretched already, but 33 is up against his normal limit). Gaudin would have entered in the 14th, by which time the Yankees would have had many, many chances to win the game. Gaudin would have then pitched until the game's conclusion, come hell or high water, and I am fine with that. If somehow, the game gets into the 17th or 18th and Gaudin is tiring then oh well.
Worrying about a potential but ridiculously highly unlikely 15th inning or higher in the 7th or 8th is precisely how not to manage a playoff game.
"No one should like the favorite, but it seems plenty of bonehead, selfish fans do exactly that."
I'm a bonehead, selfish fan because I'm rooting for my favorite team?
And when someone is a fan of any favorite, they should switch sides and root for the underdog, or else they are boneheaded and selfish?
Re: "Baseball's lack of some kind of competetive balance is what keeps it from being as popular as the NFL..."
In the last ten completed seasons, there have been 10 World Series featuring 15 different teams and 8 different champions.
In the last ten completed seasons, there have been 10 Super Bowls featuring 14 different teams 7 different champions.
In the last decade, baseball has had the wider variety of teams both competing for and winning the championship. By a slight margin.
However, this is *despite* the NFL allowing a full four more teams into the playoffs than baseball does (12 teams versus 8 teams). So baseball's parity record -- with regard to titles and title games at least -- is very much superior to that of the NFL.
Re: "...when you can fairly safely say that 2-3 teams are going to make the playoffs most years, there's a real problem."
The Colts have made the playoffs 6 times in a row entering this season.
The Patriots and Seahawks have made the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years.
The Steelers, Chargers, Giants, and Eagles have made 4 of the last 6.
Absolutely. Playing several innings ahead is a great way to potentially lose now, and thus never get to "later".
Joe Torre and Jeff Weaver can attest to this.
It was quite the Merry-Go-Round, but I was proud of Girardi's bullpen usage in this one.
Explanation and rule reference located here:
Particularly when Aybar was clearly on the bag for each of the three earlier double plays.
On the one in question, he was doing the Mexican Hat Dance around the bag without coming into contact with it a single time.
3-run difference in game one. Tie game in the 7th in game two. Yep, this is one hell of a blowout so far.
Cheers for recognizing Choo in your MVP voting.
Nonsense. Victorino is clocking Rollins in OBP since the all-star break (.337 to .285) and Rollins is clocking Victorino in slugging in the same timespan (.500 to .415).
On the year, Victorino's .362 OBP absolutely pummels a .286 from Rollins. That's an incredible difference.
That Rollins has been the leadoff guy in the past is no reason the Phillies shouldn't optimize their lineup come playoff time. "We're going to do it that way because that's the way we used to do it" is a crappy reason to give away runs in the postseason. Slide Rollins down, take advantage of his above-average power, and reduce the effect of his total lack of patience.
When one desperately wants to read alternate meanings into something, they will always find what they seek.
Heck, Sweet Lou may be on to something there! Having a regular, fun/goofy promotion for each different team that comes to town would be pretty nifty. Marlins coming to town? Add fishsticks to the concession stand. Cubs? All fans get a free bear claw. Pirates? All concession snacks at $4.99 or below for "under 500" night! Mets? Free check-ups from the stadium nurse!
Superb all-around "On the Beat" and extra thanks for the beefed-up helping of Scout's Views.
Hmmmm...this battle of wits is making me crave some midget basketball action on ESPN8: "The Ocho."
Oh Noes! Eric didn't triple-run a Fildergraad Regression Analysis! I'm jumping ship!
A similar argument in the opposite direction would look like this: It's the 2009 All-STAR Game, not the 2009 All-Really-Nifty-Three-Months Game.
I can understand both sides of the issue, and it's not a huge deal to me simply because the game itself isn't. I do tend to side with Joe, though. I've always thought of the game's purpose as allowing us to see the best players in baseball all on one field. I adore what Zobrist has done, but I'm a long ways off from calling him more deserving of that moniker than, say, A-Rod.
Joe, you missed the boat on Marquis. Marquis obviously does a wonderful job of getting his offense to score runs, so he belongs on the squad.
I am completely sick of BP's bias myself. The Padres are 2-0 when playing under a full moon. The Yankees are 0-1. How in hell are the Yankees ranked 25 spots ahead?
Obviously, the run differentials are biased towards better teams, and I'm sick of it.
Of all the people who would use the phrase "hands of fate," I thought for sure Ken would be the one to provide us a link to one of the greatest film of all time:
"Manos: The Hands of Fate"
Aside from this unfortunate and disappointing oversight, I very much enjoyed this one. I'll be giving it the thumbs up, even at the risk of angering Manos.
Ken Funck seems to be the guy who consistently drives the biggest wedge between my opinions and those of the judges.
I agree that the metric in question didn't *quite* capture what Ken wanted it to. While Yogi Berra embodies the LBM concept (as stated) very well, I don't think Jimmy Wynn or Mel Ott do at all. Both had enough value tied up in their walks that saying they were less reliant on them than power rings a bit hollow.
I also would have preferred a structure that didn't feel like a subway ride, making too-frequent stops and not lingering at any of them long enough to enjoy the scenery.
With that having been said, I absolutely loved the article. It's odd -- I don't think I'd ever argue it was the best piece, but it's clearly my favorite. I have a hunch many of my fellow Funcksters are in the same boat.
Easy thumbs up. I want this guy writing for BP long term, no doubt about it.
I think it's quite the opposite. Given his recent performance, I absolutely don't want him to lose this nice little head of steam he's got going.
The comments section simply isn't adequate to address/correct the confusion in our argument, but I'll take a whack at it.
Lefko: "I wasn't the one who made that list. Nor would I. But you can't make his argument for him. All I'm saying is that PEDs are, most likely, not a misnomer."
And that's fine. You'd get little argument from anyone that PEDs may well enhance performance, because most of us realize that's a fair statement, and enhance is a weak word. Enhance encompasses everything from massive differences to so-miniscule-as-to-be-completely-unnoticeable improvements.
My issue is with those who point at a few players, call "Steroids," and then walk away. This is quite clearly what was going on in the original post to which I responded. You might disagree, in which case I wonder what you think the point of the original post was.
Lefko: "Your first purpose is exactly what my analogy aimed to disprove. Listing steroid users who stink doesn't discredit the opinion that steroids enhance performance in the same way that listing bad pitchers who throw 95+ doesn't discredit the opinion that throwing 95+ helps some pitchers be successful."
I'm railing against the Roids = Homers crowd. There's none of your nuance there, or in the original post. I'm attacking the extreme position embodied by the original post, and you are telling me I didn't properly discredit a more nuanced, rational position. Of course I didn't. As I stated, that wasn't my intention.
Joe D:The point being that a laundry list of no-names and scrubs proves exactly as much as a one that includes only sluggers: Doodley-Squat.
Lefko: "contradicted by your previous statement: 'It almost kinda sorta seems like taking steroids *doesn't* guarantee a player will bash his way into copious crushed clouts. I may have to rethink this thing.'
You can't make a list and infer that steroids don't enhance performance and then later say that your list proves nothing."
Sounds pretty Straw-Man-y to me...Of course not, since I never made such a list. In fact, I stated my intention clearly right in the quote you provided. I said that steroids don't guarantee a slew of home runs. Pretty specific. You've taken that and turned it into "steroids don't enhance performance." I never said that, nor do I think I inferred it.
Lefko, you're the one that first mentioned a lack of proof, and then cast it aside so casually. That *is* disconcerting.
I was never arguing PED's don't help in some way. The extent to which they do (or have) is certainly up for debate -- we don't know and we'll probably never know.
I was attacking what I viewed as an extreme argument on the issue. You are attacking things I never said, nor implied.
In a way, so do I, because the vast majority of those 102 names would further destroy your argument.
Your missing the point here, Joe. When someone posts a list of big boppers who took steroids and says "Be a believer," they may as well be flat-out yelling, "See! See! Steroids do make you hit home runs!"
The enormous list of mediocre-to-awful players who were "named" serves two purposes. First, it undercuts those who would be naive enough to give us the Roids = Homers argument. Second, it reminds us that there is a wide distribution of talent levels of players who took PEDs. Whether it's a perfectly normal or random distribution, I'm not sure, but there certainly seems to be enough mediocrity to make that likely.
The point being that a laundry list of no-names and scrubs proves exactly as much as a one that includes only sluggers: Doodley-Squat.
Besides, neither myself nor BP is trying to "convince" you of anything. You are free to generate your opinions, even as your cheerful dismissal of a complete lack of proof to back them up is a bit disconcerting.
lurgee21 said: "...with the Sox 8-0 against the team that hasn't been great for 5 years..."
Oh, you wacky Yankee haters. It's okay to put them down without resorting to outright lying! Really, it's OK!
Last 5 years:
2004: 101-61, best record in AL, first place in AL East. Run differential +89 (3rd best in league).
2005: 95-67, tie for 2nd best record in AL, tie for first place in AL East. Run differential +102 (fourth best in league).
2006: 97-65, best record in AL, first place in AL East. Run differential +163 (best in league).
2007: 94-68, tie for 3rd best record in AL, second place in AL East. Run differential +191 (2nd best in league).
2008: Definitely not "great".
A reasonable argument for "great" can be made for 2004 since garnering the best record in the league is a pretty big deal. Some wouldn't agree they were great, and I'd be cool with that.
A reasonable argument for "not great" can certainly *not* be made for 2006, since pairing the best record in the league with the best run differential is pretty much a slam-dunk.
The nearly +200 run differential in 2007 should certainly qualify that Yankees squad as "great" as well, even as they slipped to 2nd place.
Last five years, in summary:
One (1) no doubt about it "great" team. (2006).
Two (2) arguable but likely "great" teams (2004, 2007).
One (1) arguable but not likely "great" team (2005).
One (1) no doubt about it "not great" team (2008).
Of course, this is just one man's opinion. Then again, it's one man's opinion based on facts rather than a hastily thrown together sound bite. In any event, your mileage may vary. But it shouldn't. Thanks!
I'm with ya man! Roids = Homers, period! Say, just to back up our argument, we should let everyone know where Jeremy Giambi, Marvin Benard, Bobby Estalella, Chad Allen, Mike Bell, Gary Bennett, Alex Sanchez, Mark Carreon, Howie Clark, Hal Morris, Matt Franco, Nook Logan, Chris Donnels, and Phil Hiatt rank among the big HR hitters. I bet they're all way up there, no?
These guys used and abused and their ridiculous HR totals should be stricken from -- huh? Wait a sec, I'm getting word that these guys weren't way up the list. Hmmm. Well, I still know that it's all about the Steroids, baby! To prove my case, check out THIS list:
Adam Piatt, Todd Pratt, Adam Riggs, F.P. Santangelo, Fernando Vina, Gregg Zaun, Manny Alexander, Jorge Piedra, Jamal Strong, Mike Morse, Neifi Perez, Robert Machado, Jon Nunnally, Tom Evans!
Ah ha! So NOW you see that the vast majority of -- hold on a second. Damn it all to hell, I'm being told none of these guys hit many dingers, either. *Sigh*. Give me a second here....
Darnell McDonald! No, wait, he has zero big league dingers.
Luis Ugueto! One. Never mind.
Ah ha! Here we are, Yamid Haad! Nope, zero for him, too. Okay, scratch him.
Geez. Poring through all these names, it seems like there are an awful lot of players who were caught or accused of using who didn't hit many dingers at all.
It almost kinda sorta seems like taking steroids *doesn't* guarantee a player will bash his way into copious crushed clouts. I may have to rethink this thing.
You, sir, owe an apology to Mr. Peanut.
Freedom of speech allows him to blast whoever he wants, regardless of his performance on a baseball diamond. You sound like one of the caricatures in Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" for whom BA and ERA determines whose opinions are valid.
I continue to very much enjoy Ken's work. For the most part, I like Ken's humor, though I can see how some people might be distracted by it.
Very Minor Quibble / Perhaps Helpful Suggestion: I didn't keep count, but "but" led off too many sentences. There are so many wonderful ways to to start a sentence off, and the vast majority of the time, "but" isn't one of them. That -- rather than the humor -- was the minor distraction for me.
All in all, it was a great read, though. Ken took a player I wouldn't normally be driven to read about, and pointed out precisely what's interesting about his particular case.
Big Thumb Up from me.
By the way, I suppose what made him a true guilty pleasure: I was fascinated by watching him and rooting for him long after his all-too-brief flirtation with usefulness. From ineffective starting in Montreal to sixteen sloppy saves with Texas in 2002. Couldn't very well watch him when he returned to Japan, but I followed him on the web!
My guilty pleasure was Hideki Irabu. He looked like a big, goofy Teddy Bear or cherub, and I always thought he got a bum rap from Yankee fans. No, he wasn't very good in general, but his first couple months of 1998 were outstanding, and a key reason the Yanks posted an incredible record that season. As late as June 16th, Irabu held a 1.68 ERA in eleven starts. After a start on August 10th, it sat at 3.07. He mostly got clobbered after that, except for back-to-back, eight inning, no earned run performances in mid-September.
Irabu was especially fun that season because he had plenty of dominant outings, and lots of awful ones. He gave up one or zero earned runs in eleven of his 28 starts (39.3%). Meanwhile, 25% of his starts were stinkers in which he gave up five or more earned runs.
There wasn't much of a meaty middle with Hideki, and he rivaled Oliver Perez' rather infamous 2008 for sheer variability of results. Last season, Perez allowed one or less earned runs in 12 of 34 starts (35.3%), and five or more in eight starts (23.5%).
By that (admittedly quick, dirty, and somewhat arbitrary) measure, Irabu was a bit more extreme than Ollie. Hell, that's what him so fun. I'd tune in (or settle in my navy blue seat) for an Irabu start, and know one way or another it was going to be a hell of a ride.
Found by searching phrase "Phil Hughes", author Will Carroll, and sorting by date. Worked pretty well in this instance. :)
Definition number five according to Dictionary.com:
5. not typical; unusual: She has a very unique smile.
Also backed up by Merriam-Webster.
"One of a kind" is not the only legitimate definition of the word unique. Will's usage here is perfectly acceptable, especially since he set the injury up as "one of the most unusual pitching injuries possible" earlier in the paragraph.
This week's theme -- "Below the Big Leagues" -- pretty clearly includes the minor leagues. You say you would have voted for his piece if it appeared at Baseball America (presumably because they focus on the minors?), but not here. I simply don't get it, and am curious as to your reasoning.
I understand everyone can have different reasons for their votes. Mine is pretty simple: "Did I like it?" with a side of "Did it relate to the theme?" Insofar as I read Baseball Prospectus, I want to read about baseball, and anything under that (admittedly wide) umbrella I consider fair game. If Tyler had penned an analysis of the 2009 Atlanta Chili Cook-Off, I'd agree with your reticence in granting him the thumbs-up.
Otherwise, I remain flummoxed. It was an article about minor leaguers...which you enjoyed...on a week when minor leaguers was an appropriate topic choice. What's not to like?
Veering Off The Main Gist, Feel Free to Ignore:
Perhaps I'm just getting annoyed by the number of comments I see that in some cases betray a misunderstanding of what BP is all about (and in other cases a certain odd arrogance). There have been a flood of comments of the form: "This is more of an [.....] article," with the blankety-blank replaced by ESPN, Baseball Weekly, Baseball America, CBS Sportsline, etc. And I'm thinking, "And...?"
It would be better to simply comment on your issues with the article rather than throw a name out there as an explain-all which ultimately explains little.
Is there a requisite minimum level of inaccessibility for Baseball Prospectus articles? Given the fine work in particular of Carroll, Goldman, and Sheehan, I'd certainly hope not. Perhaps some readers are bothered if a contestant doesn't name-check a certain number of heavy-duty acronyms or sabermetric deities. Will this contest be somehow considered a failure if the ultimate victor couldn't tell a spreadsheet from a bedsheet?
The simple answer is no, though that person would have a deservedly and decidedly uphill climb. So be it, then.
Jaffe included Strasburg (and only Strasburg) in a separate article on "The 500-Win Club." Jay claims no non-Strasburg player has more than a zero percent shot, but estimates the young phenom's chances as "about fourteen googolplex percent."
Yes it is.
Everyone's doing player forecasting now -- even pet supply stores.
I wam thoroughly looking forward to the forthcoming Ken Funck article on The World Whiffleball Championship (http://www.whiffleball.org/rightside.html)...
"...I acknowledge lists aren't really writing, but don't think basing an article around a list should disqualify it in this contest."
I would agree. The problem in this case was that it wasn't an "article [based] around a list" but a list with a smidgen of article.
I agree that the information presented was useful, but submitting something so list-y was a dramatic miscalculation on Jeff's part. I am very sad to see him ago, but am not at all surprised his article led to such a low vote this particular week....
Re: The "Who cares?" comment.
You're right, Ira. I'm not sure who would be interested in this sort of thing. I mean, really, this East Coast Bias has gotten ridiculous. Besides Yankee fans, Red Sox fans, Rays fans, Blue Jays fans, Joe Sheehan fans, Joba Chamberlain fans, fantasy baseball players of all stripes, those interested in pitcher usage patterns, those interested in tracking young potential-stud pitchers, those who find the disconnect between mainstream media opinion and proper evaluation fascinating, and people who simply enjoy good baseball analysis and writing regardless of the topic, I can probably only think of several million people who would possibly care.
Mr. Sheehan, I hope you take this to heart. Please stop writing about things that appeal to so many people. I'd be fully in support of an expansive website spin-off of Baseball Prospectus called, "What Irablum Wants to Read About." I'm sure it would be a cash cow for Prospectus Ventures.
Hey, to sweeten the pot, I'll volunteer to write the very first article: "Improving Irablum's Roster in His 5X5 18-owner AL-/NL Keeper League: Backup Corner Infielder Analysis." Bah, I probably shouldn't get everyone all excited about reading such a fantastic piece without a little taste of what I've got so far:
"...and so Praise be to Irablum as per usual, but Ramiro Pena is simply not worth the roster spot at this juncture..."
"...like a bag of moldy tangerines! Instead, Irablum in his infinite wisdom will likely snap Diamondback Josh Whitesell up off the free..."
All joking aside, I hope BP understands the vast potential revenue involved in zeroing in on a target demographic of one. The Irablum Radio Hour, The Irablum BP Annual (stripped of all those pesky players Irablum doesn't care about), the possibilities here are endless and I, for two, would like to see BP take the industry initiative on this one.
I understand and can appreciate the appeal of Brian's work: he's thoughtful, intelligent, and usually winds up making me want to learn more. I had the same issue, though, with the very first paragraph that you did, to the extent that I stopped after the intro, and only went back to complete the article later.
Upon doing so, I looked more favorably upon his work, but still could not bring myself to offer the thumbs-up. Perhaps next week.
Little to add here, but had to say: Excellent.
I'm usually not a grammar freak, as a mistake here or there is simply not that big a deal. When people complained about scattered typos in the BP annual in past years, I simply shrugged: they just didn't bother me, as they were few and far between in relation to the massive size of the books.
That being said, I won't be reading past the introduction on this one. It is a flood of errors and awkward phrases that add up quickly and make it hell to get through. Simply put, if the author can't be bothered to ensure a minimum level of readability in his very first paragraph, then I have little interest in giving him a chance. Sorry.
I was going to say, "Hello Billy Jo Part Deux," but at least Billy Jo Robidoux had two walks in his first start.
Outstanding, Joe. You might be selling Wieters a bit short, but entertaining nonetheless. Hell, the last time PECOTA was this enthusiastic about a rookie, Alex Gordon trounced the league in 2007! Ah, I remember that season well -- I couldn't decide whether to be more impressed by Gordon's .385 batting average or the 60+ doubles he mashed.
"Matt Wieters took batting practice yesterday. There were no survivors."
We have to keep in mind that there was an introductory phase as well. Those articles probably had a significant impact on who was read this time around.
For example, I know my very first article read this round was Ken Funck, simply because I enjoyed his initial piece. I then went (roughly) in order of who I wanted to read based on my enjoyment of their introductory pieces. I did get around to all the entries eventually, but I could just as easily not got around to all ten.
Much respect to Byron on his work here. It's quite good. Still, there seems to be an awful lot of hand-wringing over a contestant who couldn't get 1 out of every five readers of his article to give him the thumbs up.
Hogwash! It counts far more than any other. The Cubs losing streak is at 35.
"Arguably the best hitter in the league not named Albert Pujols..."
Yes: very, very, very arguably. It's gonna take more than a month of power to convince me he deserves to have even a sniff at being called the second best hitter in baseball.
Excellent hitter? Second-best in baseball? No. Perhaps one day, but not yet.
More fodder for Steroid-happy hack sportswriters:
Manny leaves Boston.
The very next season, David Ortiz has no power.
I'll be voting for Manny because I think he's one of the top three outfielders in the National League. I'm "rewarding" him with my All-Star vote based on his insane second half last season, his status as one of the best hitters in baseball, and his slam-dunk Hall-of-Fame career.
Different strokes, etc etc.
He didn't deserve it.
That was a simple one. :)
I agree with Joe's method of choosing All-Stars: eight weeks doesn't mean much in the face of full seasons worth of evidence.
Ibanez is a decent OF with a sparkling two months here in 2009. I don't think he's AS-worthy.
I was wondering the same thing. A co-worked of mine has been out since January with recurring vertigo due to that very issue...
Ah, so nothing has changed and all is right with the world.
Re: "These have been the two most successful franchises of the post-strike era by any measure."
I dunno if it's quite that clear cut -- if someone wanted to argue for the braves over the Red Sox by a nose, I wouldn't think they were insane.
Hi Will...With regards to Andrew Miller: Were the Marlins aware he was in pain the past few weeks and if so, was letting him pitch through a perhaps dangerous move that could have led to cascade injuries? Just wondering.
It's not about people's reactions to racism. It's about people's reactions to drinking and driving as some sort of minor infraction for which a slap on the wrist is entirely appropriate. Wharton was pointing out the horrifying difference of reaction to the two situations described, and not engaging in partisan hackery. I'm among the most "liberal" people I know, and I immediately identified with his point.
Only when someone dies at the hands of a drunk driver do we get the hand-wringing and head-bowing that should have been present all along.
This country's punishment for those who would drive a ton of metal through public streets while unable to do so safely has long has long been deplorable, let alone inadequate. Now another death can be attributed to it. It's incredibly sad every time it happens, and it's incredibly sad now.
I can only hope that this horrific tragedy somehow causes people to realize the reforms needed, so that something vaguely positive can from it.
Here is the link for Jay's article:
He shows Schilling above the benchmark per JAWS.
Nice looking team, Clay.
Cha-Seung Baek is an absolute steal there, and I'm amazed no one was willing to pony up a buck for the guy. I think he and Schierholtz are my favorite "value picks" on your squad.
No love for Timbuktu AGAIN this year. *sigh*
The ages don\'t quite tell the whole story in this case. I\'ll take Lowe\'s contract over the Perez deal. Oliver\'s best season in the last four was less valuable than Lowe\'s worst season over the same timeframe.
When simply staring at his age, Perez certainly seems young. After all, he\'s going into the magic year -- age 27. But Perez\' \"27\" doesn\'t tell enough of the story.
The problem in this case is Perez has 1,000 innings (spread over seven seasons!) under his belt and still hasn\'t learned much. There doesn\'t seem to be a general trend of improvement in any of his skills, and all 1,000 of those innings have been chock full of walks (528 of \'em), with more of the same in his most recent campaign (105 in 194 innings).
I suppose I can see the argument that you\'d rather go with the upside play. Problem is, we\'re getting to the point where a significant jump in ability (eg: suddenly not walking a truckload of guys) is very unlikely. Perez -- very likely now -- am who he am.
If we\'re picking a guy to help us contend over the next three to four seasons, I\'d have to agree with Christina and go with Lowe.
Just wanted to note to the BP staff themselves that I eagerly await the annual as per usual. I thoroughly enjoy the book every year, and always come away feeling I\'ve gotten a huge bargain.
I\'m not a fan (nor a detractor) of Keith Olbermann, but I look forward to the foreword nonetheless. I suspect I\'ll enjoy it.
On a completely unrelated note, I absolutely loved the movie The Godfather. But then I found out that one of extras in the movie is pro-choice. I immediately burned the DVD and refuse to purchase any further Godfather related materials until they digitally retroactively remove the extra from the film.
Keep up the excellent work, BP. Both the annuals and the website continue to be excellent deals for me, even as The Big EconoCrunch (TM) saps evermore money from my meager wallet. Thanks for all you do.
Joe D. (Olinkapo)
And a Southern California suggestion. I very much enjoy pastrami at \"The Hat\", and always pick up a side of Chili Fries. They\'re up to about ten locations including the fabulous Upland one which is often jammed up.
Unfortunately, my area -- Rancho/Upland -- is a haven for crap chains. Honestly, who wants to eat at a place called \"The Cheesecake Factory\", or \"The Old Spaghetti Factory\", or the \"Taco Factory\"? Who comes up with this crap? Making it sound as if the food is squirted out onto an assembly line does not make it more appetizing.
And of course the pizza here sucks.
Except San Biagio\'s in Upland. Pretty solid.
Best Americanized Chinese Food in New York City is at 17 Mott Street in Manhattan. The downstairs Wo Hop, NOT the upstairs Wo Hop. Yes, they are different. No, I don\'t know why two Wo Hops are on top of each other.
You may have to wait on long line to get if you go during lunch time.
The place is a bit of a dumphole with pictures of non-celebrities plastered all over the walls. The waiters dress in pale blue uniforms, and will certainly not smile you to death like most restaurants nowadays.
All of which is fantastic set-up for a let-down, and makes it all the more surprising when the absolutely amazing (and cheap!) food comes out and blows you away.
I swear by that little dingy pit.
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, ALL YEAR. They don\'t screw around.
Odd assumptions are being made here about attendace figures for the upcoming season, especially considering gas prices have dropped like a rock since the summer of 2008.
Bah, Joe fixed it while I was typing up my Sheehan-defense. Well, there ya have it.
BABIP, General: Not the problem.
BABIP, Men in Scoring Position: Problem!
Regarding Randy\'s 2006 with the Yankees:
I think Joe misspoke. He saw that Randy\'s 5.00 ERA didn\'t match up with the peripherals, and automatically blamed BABIP...a fairly understandable reflex.
As noted above, the BABIP wasn\'t a problem.
The real reason for the odd gap between Randy\'s actual performance and ERA in 2006 was awful luck with runners on base. Check out the left-on-base percentage (LOB%) numbers for 2006 compared with the rest of Randy\'s career. It was way, way down and very fluky. Less guys were left on base, and more guys scored, leaving Randy\'s ERA at 5.00 when something a bit better than league average would have normally been expected.
I\'d guess this is a confluence of luck with a not-insignificant assist from the Yankees shoddy defense.
Yankees fans would not let it happen, but I\'d love to have Randy back on a one-year deal with a team option for a second year. Beats the heck out of betting on Sabathia for more than half a decade.
I thought perhaps one of the scariest things about Sunday was Corey Hart batting leadoff -- twice! Hart has a scarcely above .300 OBP for the season (.312), *and* is in the middle of a horrible slump.
I\'m a big fan of Corey, but there\'s no way he should be batting leadoff -- in both ends of a twin-bill -- in the middle of a hard-fought race, where precisely these sorts of mind-boggling decisions can mean the difference between a big win and a crushing loss.
That decision alone is not reason enough to can the dude, but the flawed thought process behind it probably is.