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Howard is 18 short of 400 homers... if he got a full year in a platoon, it might be doable. Especially at Coors. I know I would be pulling for him.
Get ready for a 2-phase plan!
1. Force the batter to stay in the box between pitches. Not really a rule change, just an enforcement change... umpires should be discouraged from granting timeouts to batters.
2. Levy a dawdling tax. Figure out how long it realistically takes to get the ball back, get a sign, and pitch, e.g., 20 seconds, and then estimate roughly how much a wasted second costs the league. Every time a pitcher takes more than 20 seconds to throw a pitch, charge the pitcher's team a set amount per second.
This will speed up pace of play in the most natural way possible. Teams will take a flexible approach to decide how to reduce the tax (and by how much). For example, once the Yankees find out that a mound visit will cost the team $30,000, maybe ownership asks <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=1602">Jorge Posada</a></span> to keep his mask on. And if he refuses, then great, the Yankees will have to pay that much more into the revenue sharing pool.
Soon enough, teams will take this into consideration when negotiating with free agents, and players will begin to understand that dawdling will affect their earning potential.
And teams will start inculcating minor-leaguers with fast habits.
I have no idea what a wasted second might be worth, but I'm sure there are ways to estimate it based on whatever the correlation between fan interest and game length happens to be. Advertising is already charged on a per-second basis, maybe the correct value of the dawdling tax is similar.
I resent losing the opportunity to heckle/boo the opposing pitcher for being a cowardly dog over the course of four whole pitches.
Liriano forced some horrible swings. He may have been able to match zeroes for a few frames, if it had been necessary.
I am not as horrified by the prospect of holding back one of your good relievers when on the road. Maybe not your best reliever, but somebody who can at least throw strikes under pressure.
That being said, I would abandon the strategy if <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=37512">Ubaldo Jimenez</a></span> were next in line for the ball. I think TBS said he had a ~5.7 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> this year? That high of an ERA with a "great September" mixed in? Yikes. Give it to Britton for six outs, for crying out loud.
Even if you're correct to save Britton for the bottom of the whatever, Gausman, Worley, and Bundy are all better options than Ubaldo (although I don't know if Gausman was available).
Interesting article -- RE the "<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45945">Ian Desmond</a></span> problem" I like the fix. I would add that, in the meantime, Ian Desmond is part of the Ian Desmond problem for assuming incorrectly that he was worth >$15M. If more people took the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=46522">Colby Rasmus</a></span> route (ie correctly recognize that the QO is the best offer), the flaws in the QO system would be less glaring.
In the above .gifs, he seems to keep his head on target when throwing the heat, but peel off toward first when he throws the breaking ball. (I think that's a Posture issue, if my recollection of Doug's report card is correct.)
I wonder if that's a consistent outcome, or if it's enough to tip off hitters that a breaking ball is coming.
if my fantasy team didn't already have a name,I might go with Solemn Yellow Sadness
Instead of a pitch clock, they should just tax each team for exceeding a certain amount of time between pitches. Send the money to the same slush fund that luxury tax dollars go to. $500 per wasted second.
Good pacing habits may take longer to evolve, but the transition would happen more naturally.
I'm particularly excited to see reaction times and route efficiency scores for balls struck directly toward the fielder. These are difficult for a fielder to judge and I'm curious as to the degree it will show up in the new stats.
Route efficiency scoring will be interesting since an 'ideal route' is often not a straight line (despite what we've been told about the shortest distance between two points). For a ball at the margin of your personal fielding range, a straight line is ideal, but for more routine plays, especially with a man on base, your route is designed to optimize the throw rather than the catch. It'll be fun to watch these metrics evolve.
if any one pitch is truly improved, I would expect whiff rates for ALL pitches to increase, not just the improved pitch... e.g., an improved changeup will of course result in awkward early swings at changeups, but will also result in awkward late swings on fastballs, regardless of whether the fastball is itself improved.
I've never seen myself hit a tennis backhand, but I imagine it looks a lot like Mejia's baseball swing.
Pointless throws to first, stalling, nibbling, shaking off, stepping off... "sack" definitely has some quantifiable aspects.
Thoughts on Joe Kelly? From anyone? He gave my fantasy squad a much-needed boost as a mid-season pickup, and I have a chance to keep him.
Sad to say, but in Washington, 'Backup Catcher' typically gets more ABs than Wilson Ramos.
I have the same complaint I made in last year's 2B fantasy forecast... Rickie Weeks is a dependable second tier 2B option! Once Cano is gone, you're crazy to take anybody else!
Guess that's why I'm merely a commenter...
I'm always amazed that these guys hit the DL with blisters... Yes, repetitive frictional activity leads to blisters. But repetitive blisters lead to callouses.
I've got a callous on my right middle finger from using a pencil, and I've got callouses on the tips of the fingers of my left hand from playing guitar. Every callous I have started off as a series of painful blisters. But they haven't hurt in years because I've never stopped using pencils or playing guitar. Josh Beckett never stops throwing baseballs. Why doesn't he have callouses? He must have some seriously soft skin.
I think I remember reading that Smyly hopes to model himself after fellow Arkansan Cliff Lee... I'd sure like to see as many Cliff Lee's in the league as will fit.
The best tip I've ever gotten is to collect a few players from the same team so you can adopt that team and follow your players. Doesn't always lead to wins, but it makes it fun.
When dead-pull sluggers get in a rut, especially lefties, the best thing they could do for themselves is get in the cage and start hitting balls to the opposite field while concentrating on keeping the front shoulder in. Shift or no shift, practicing your 'poke' opposite field swing is the best way to tune up your 'mash' pull field swing. And the existence of defensive shifts makes it all the more important that you work on your 'poke' -- to use it as an ends (singles against the shift) rather than a means to an end (dingers).
So I guess I disagree that "you can't have a shift swing and a regular swing". The best players, during their hottest stretches, tend to "use the whole field".
I'm as astounded as Baumann is that these guys can't take the time to figure out how to beat the shift.
P.S. Is there any evidence that 'hot hitters use the whole field' or am I just mindlessly repeating things?
I love how Darvish stands straight up and levitates his right leg after delivering the ball. (It's more apparent in the second .gif) Not exactly a Maddux-like defensive position, but it looks cool.
Not sure what, if anything, that says about his mechanics.
If the casino knew he was interfering with a contract, yes. that's one of the elements of tortious interference. But it's unlikely that you could find knowledge on the part of a casino if A-Rod walked into a casino and placed a bet through a machine or with a low-level employee -- there's no knowledge on the part of the casino that they're interfering with a contract.
Biogenesis, on the other hand: did Bosch know that A-Rod was a professional baseball player? did Bosch know that steroid use was a violation of A-Rod's contract? I think I could convince a jury that the answers are Yes and Yes.
Why would MLB's finances be discoverable in this case?
Why is this such a long shot? Biogenesis is presumably aware that steroids are banned by joint agreement of MLB and MLBPA, and is presumably aware that its customers are ballplayers operating under that agreement. If you believe the evidence, Biogenesis is assisting ballplayers to breach the agreement by taking PEDs. That sounds like tortious interference with a contract to me.
Even if you don't believe the evidence, that's still enough to get to the discovery stage, at which point you have access to pretty much anything under the defendants' control. If I'm an MLB investigator with Ryan Braun in my sights, that sounds pretty good to me.
You laugh about damages, but I don't think there's any doubt that PED use has damaged the game. It's tough to hang a number on something so intangible, but that hasn't stopped plaintiffs in any other business. (And besides, the real prize here is the pre-trial discovery, not the judgment you may or may not get against a PED peddler.)
Finally, this is a civil trial with a low burden of proof. A bunch of scribbling in a notepad might not carry in a criminal case, but we're not dealing with "beyond a reasonable doubt" here. You also can't assume that they won't find additional evidence once the court orders Biogenesis and its owners to throw open their records for inspection.
It's not surprising to me that the northern states are under-represented. I am a Little League coach that canceled practice for this evening due to 35-degree temps and 20mph wind.
I liked the cardboard cutout angle: how a player's positive clubhouse influence must be measured against the positive influence that would replace him if he weren't there.
On the other hand, you might argue that the job of the coaching staff is to make Inge's positive influence unnecessary. The more that a coaching staff fails to provide a positive clubhouse, the more a player like Inge has an opportunity to fill the breach. In other words, a positive clubhouse guy is going to have more impact on a poorly coached team* than on a well-coached team.
*From a human resources perspective, not an in-game tactics perspective.
Every player on the Red Sox has two red socks, so I wouldn't have any problem calling a single player "a Red-Socks" and therefore no problem calling a single player a Red Sox. "Red Sock" makes no sense unless the team signs a one-legged player or stops issuing socks in pairs.
Any all-caps abbreviation with a W in it is automatically problematic because in most fonts, a W is wider than all the other letters. I would write "SOX" for the White Sox.
Jimmy Paredes of the Astros is a Cano copycat... check out his swing if you get a chance. They're both Dominican, so it might be an homage of sorts.
It has always seemed unlikely to me that facing two lefties in a row gave the hitting team any kind of advantage.
To be charitable, you might just look at how the second lefty fares the first time through the order, rather than throughout the game. The informational advantage of the first AB of the game would seem to dominate over any informational advantage gleaned the day before from a different pitcher. If there's any overnight carryover at all, if would probably show up in the first AB.
What about an effect on switch hitters only? Does flipping them back and forth every day make them any less effective?
"Dollar Sign" is only $80 -- used -- on Amazon. Do they still make libraries?
more likely you're persuading the opposing pitcher to throw strikes. nobody wants to walk the lead-off hitter.
I'll take Rickie Darnell #4, right after the top 3. The guy had two bad months last year after years of consistency. Career babip .300+, barely broke .200 in april and may. If you had him from June onward, you were gold at 2B. I'll take him over Kipnis and Phillips, no doubt, and maybe Zobrist as well.
Still scratching my head over the feud with the coaching staff over where he holds his hands during his stance. They do look a little high, but I don't see what difference that makes.
More worrisome to me is that he seems to have the exact same strengths and weaknesses as Utley and Howard. Another lefty in that lineup who can't hurt you if you hit your spots... yeesh. Fastball on the hands, back-foot offspeed, nibble outside, repeat.
I was one of a few dozen people watching Rosenthal in DC during the NLDS saying, "who the hell is this guy?" Electric out of the bullpen. Hitters and fans, frightened and confused.
I'm partial to Name That Tune when the organist is playing arrangements of popular songs. It's not easy when the words are missing.
let us not forget that he sported a pretty neat mustache now and then
Babe Ruth made $20,000 in 1920, $80,000 in 1930. According to an online inflation calculator that comes out to $222k and $1.06M in 2011 dollars.
I'd be curious to know what replacement-level players were making back then.
How many ballplayers could make more than $100k if they weren't playing baseball? How many are currently foregoing a career in law or medicine? Probably not very many (even if you restrict the discussion to American-born players).
I'm guessing the on-the-field product would be fairly comparable in a parallel universe with $100k salaries. Drop it to $50k, then you'd definitely see some changes.
Raul Mondesi's a mayor?? I knew those rookie cards would be worth something someday.
Still not clear who's coming out of the bullpen to face the likes of Freeman, Heyward, Howard, and Utley.
Soriano is the kind of luxury the Nats can afford for the next two years, but they've still got a LOOGy-free bullpen. A playoff team should have two LOOGys, not zero.
Looks like Ortiz had surgery on his left (power) wrist, making his recovery less relevant to Bautista's prognosis. Weeks, Johnson, Fuld, and DeRosa all had injuries to their non-power wrist, just like Bautista.
Definitely worrisome that the injury was the result of a powerful swing. There can't be any doubt that the next powerful swing will rely on the injured tendon.
With a picture like that, I'll definitely keep an eye on Stroman... Even if he doesn't work out at Relief Pitcher, my fantasy league has a Prom King slot.
Parks, let's get some more non-baseball pictures while we're at it. I want to see Matt Smoral in a party hat, Roberto Osuna in a clown suit, etc.
I've been shocked by every contract given out this offseason. Time to recalibrate our salary expectations.
I assume he didn't answer the question?
Gregg Jefferies, 1994! The only stats I knew of as a 12 or 13 year old were the top 20 or so batting averages in the league, as listed in the Lehigh Valley's newspaper of record, the "Morning Call". After seeing Jefferies listed at or near the top once a week for a couple years, it was unbelievable to see him join the Phils.
Reading the 'Sixth Tool' article a week or so ago made me think of coaching... I'm sure that ability to absorb instruction from [good] coaches is a major element of what we refer to as Make-Up. Actually having good coaches is probably another element of what we refer to as Make-Up, despite the fact that it's not actually a characteristic of the prospect, but the prospect's circumstances.
Polanco should get extra points for slapping ground balls while also grimacing* like he's trying to clean and jerk 500lbs. I'm not the only one who's noticed**.
Time stamps might be indicative for some pitchers, but you'd have to start with subjective analysis of the pitcher. One pitcher who lacks focus might speed up his delivery while another might slow it down. And when there's a runner on base, variance is a feature, not a bug. Moreover, many a veteran hitter has disrupted a pitcher's rhythm quite deliberately. Time stamps might be the best available data on pitcher focus, but that suggests to me that there's no good data.
Another problem when it comes to measuring focus is that you have to know what the subject of focus is. Golfers talk about 'swing thought' which means focus on a single aspect of your swing to the exclusion of all others. Exclusive focus on one aspect of your delivery (whether a baseball or a golf club) necessarily requires a lack of focus on some other aspect of your delivery. So a predicate question has to be "focus on what"? A pitching coach (or a caddy) might know precisely what a pitcher (or golfer) is or is not succeeding at focusing on, but a scout would need a little inside info to make that judgment.
the curveball has been the better pitch since he came off the DL
I would actually expect a team with a heterogenous bullpen, rather than a uniformly good bullpen, to outperform its pythag. Most managers use their two or three best relievers to protect slim leads, or to keep the other team's lead small. They use the rest of the bullpen to eat innings when the the score isn't so close.
So a relief core that's top-heavy -- two or three great relievers and three or four terrible ones -- would seem to play tough in close games; get landslided if the other team had an big early lead (negative effect on overall run diff); and cough up big leads, turning them into smaller ones (negative effect on overall run diff). Landslide victories would be rare, landslide losses would be occasional, and great relief arms would contribute to a higher W% in close games.
A Dusty Baker leadoff hitter is as safe as a Mike Shanahan running back is unsafe. The former will keep his playing time no matter what his numbers say, and the latter will lose his playing time no matter what his number say.
Hamels v Cueto brings back pleasant memories from the 2010 NLDS, not to be diminished by unpleasant memories from the 2010 NLCS. Alright, slightly diminished. Damn you, Cody Ross.
It would definitely be a nice symbolic win for fans of the playoff-bound Reds...
eight for fourteen. how did he ever get eight. it's a miracle.
maybe if they let the infield go, like the rough at the U.S. Open, fielders will have difficulty finding the baseball, and GB BAs will improve.
And the flip side to that measurement is that getting somebody on base ahead of a dead-pull hitter dramatically increases that hitter's chances of safely reaching first. I think I remember something in BP about Howard, Ortiz, etc. hitting against-the-shift versus not-against-the-shift.
I catch a lot of O's radio broadcast... they really do not like Mark Reynolds. It seems the emphasis on defense has made it all the way up to the booth.
Harper's FB% is even lower if you remove the fastballs that were aimed between the 3 and the 4 on his uniform...
I wonder how many of these HBP were righties that might have gotten out of the way had they not been expecting a wipeout breaking ball
I start every day with BP, reason.com, and coffee, not necessarily in that order. I'm delighted to see Matt Welch in BP, but I don't know what I'll do if I see him in my coffee...
Re: Ike Davis. At least one person I know has been 'scouting' Ike Davis for fantasy purposes. Said scout dropped Davis this very morning because "he can't hit a curve ball." Not sure if there's anything to this, but it's entirely possible that the book is out on Ike Davis. Get ahead and throw offspeed and he can't touch you. Chime in, Mets fans...
here's when that doesn't make sense, though, assuming that you have a better offensive option: (1) when worley or hamels is pitching (low GB%); (2) when the Phillies are playing from behind and need offense.
of course, I'm not sure there's a better offensive option.
Love the pitching analysis by the way. I bought your book and it's already changing how I teach pitching to Little Leaguers.
I realize we're talking about a lot of data that may or may not be available, but wouldn't it be interesting to hold "stuff" constant and see if the height of the release point affects the GB%? The problem is that using pitch type as a proxy for stuff might be inconsistent, since different pitchers' fastballs have different movement. Although it might be useful to observe GB% for fastballs rather than GB% generally.
Another variable that might mute the advantage of downhill plane: Somebody like Roy Oswalt can throw a horizontal laser beam at knee level and get a called strike. Somebody with a much higher release point could through the ball through the exact same bat-impact point (knee height, 5-10" in front of the plate), and the ball would appear to the umpire as a ball, simply because the catcher's glove is that much lower when he receives the pitch. Ball one. The downhill pitcher then has to adjust the pitch location upward in order to get called strikes. So Oswalt can throw a ball through a knee-high impact point and get a called strike, whereas a high-release-point pitcher has to raise the pitch in order to get the same call.
(Not sure if Oswalt is a good example of a low-release point pitcher, but it sure looks that way on TV.)
agreed -- just because Ozzie has freedom of speech doesn't mean the rest of us don't have freedom of association and freedom of contract
I was watching Blue Jays coverage on mlbtv and they caught Lawrie giving a too-enthusiastic fist-bump to Jose Bautista. Bats drew his hand back and scowled at Lawrie and Lawrie made an oops-I'm-sorry face. Funny stuff.
The citizens of FL and/or Miami (don't know the specific details) shoveled a whole lot of money at the new stadium, which makes Ozzie Guillen a quasi-spokesman for the people of Miami, whether he likes it or not. Loria needed a lot of political strings pulled to get a free stadium handed to him, and a lot of the pulling was done by Cuban-American political groups with strong anti-Castro sentiments. It's hardly surprising that the Marlins would be subject to political blowback for the public comments of their employees. Loria fed at the public trough and now he's forced to be responsive to public sentiments, regardless of whether public sentiments are well-thought-out and intelligently articulated.
Second, and more importantly, baseball teams require the allegiance of their customers, and any high-level employee of the club that offends the fans is not doing his job. A suspension is absolutely appropriate. It couldn't matter less what Ozzie said -- the customer is always right. If Ozzie said the sky was blue and the people of South Florida were offended, then his employer would be correct to suspend him, and Ozzie would be correct to stop talking about the sky.
You can argue that Cuban-Americans shouldn't be offended, but you can't argue that an institution that takes a chunk of taxpayer's income to build a stadium and relies on taking another chunk of their income as customers to be profitable couldn't or shouldn't control the relationship of their highest-level employees with the public.
I only saw two ST innings, but I think Cole Hamels may have tightened up his curveball too. Nowhere near as loopy. Well, if it worked for Kershaw...
I'm not sure what Nelson and Herrera can give you that Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen don't. Trading for Nelson and Hererra is more of a quantity upgrade than a quality upgrade. Do you really give up a fourth starter for someone who's going to fill the shoes of Michael Martinez for two weeks? If we're talking about somebody who's a significant improvement on Martinez, then fine, give up Blanton. Otherwise, what's the point?
I like that idea. saves Zimmermann too.
If the Nats have real playoff hopes, and Strasburg has a real innings limit, why don't they hold him out for two months? I'd hate to be in a position where Stras is approaching his limit, and the Nats are a game up in the wild card(s) race. Are they really going to sub in Ross Detwiler at that point? I would hold him out until late May if I was really concerned about his elbow.
Freddy Galvis has been getting reps at 2B and 3B. The Phillies might consider him to be a replacement for Michael Martinez as opposed to Jimmy Rollins. (Seems to fit Galvis's hitting profile a little better when you put it that way.)
hasn't been healthy since '09. speed guy with constant leg injuries, you can understand the concern. But you are correct to point out that the Phillies still treat him like a top-20 farmhand. I guess Goldstein's not convinced to do the same...
Zimmerman has tremendous value as a fielder -- his downside comes on throwing errors. And many of those came in a rash last year as he was returning from the abdominal strain. Moreover, the Nats blame the his throwing motion for the ab strain in the first instance, and they've insisted that he modify his throwing motion to avoid future injuries. So a Zimmerman apologist could plausibly blame the bad metrics on those factors while still insisting that he's a great 3B.
LOVE the blooper .gif and I hope to see more of them. Although I take some issue with the phrase "bad fielder." Having watched Ibanez for the last three years, I think "agonizingly slow fielder" is more precise. He's not clumsy or indecisive as the .gif suggests. And there's more good news: he's not fast enough to collide with your star center fielder on fly ball to the gap, and he doesn't hit the wall hard enough to hurt himself. So he's got that going for him.
I think that nats v marlins is a toss-up. the nats have a question mark at CF and injury questions at corner infield, but they have a better rotation and a better bullpen. I'm also predicting Werth as a better bounceback candidate than Hanley, contra PECOTA -- to the tune of about +.20 in every triple-slash category.
Is Trumbo officially on the trading block? Is he losing value because of the uncertainty?
Maybe I'm just naive, and easily shocked by the cruelty in this world, but I think joshturin is zinging the writer. Boo this man.
whoa whoa whoa. He sat back while Wade destroyed the Phillies for how many years, why should he step in when the tide turns?
Harper's done a good job so far of demonstrating his immaturity with his mouth. He's in the news around here for publicly pledging fealty to the Yankees and Cowboys. *slaps forehead*
He also named his dog "Swag" so there's mounting evidence that Harper might be... a bonehead. If only Jonny Gomes were still around to set a good example...
Livan Hernandez is fun to watch. I'm not a Nats fan, but I do live in Washington, and I can say with certainty that I've been to Nats games for the sole purpose of watching Livan. When he gets somebody out with a 59mph curveball, it's entertaining. When the opposing hitter crushes a 59mph curveball... it's still entertaining. The crowd will ooh and aah every time he throws it, typically as its being delivered. (Yes, the crowd can recognize it before it reaches the plate.)
Agreed. Also not clutch: a lefty slugger who can't hit quality lefty relievers. This is a guy who will inevitably underperform in a high-leverage moment, assuming that (i) the opposing manager can accurately recognize a high-leverage moment, and (ii) he has a LOOGY available.
Apologize for the off-topic crowdsourcing... What's the best fantasy website? I need commissioner tools for running the league the way I want. In particular, I want to be able to adjust each team's salary cap individually and on a daily basis. (Even better, I want 'dead money' still on the cap when you drop a player.)
From a coaching rather than managing standpoint, hit-and-run is a great way to get a pull-happy, trying-to-do-too-much RHB to ease up and get his swing in order. There's no better slump-buster than a sharp grounder the other way.
and is Nolan Ryan going to insist that the wall isn't as high and thick as it actually is
You could see Amaro was going to play hardball since right after the end of the LDS. "I think we have to have a different mind-set or approach... I think we have to rely on having better at-bats, being better with two strikes, and being better situational hitters." He didn't use Rollins's name, but I knew right then Rollins wasn't getting his 5yr deal. The only reason he got 3yr from the Phils was because Philly & Rollins were the only two left when the music stopped. (I wonder where the Giants were during all this...)
rotation problem solved: bring Leiter and Trachsel back! that also solves the problem of red sox/yankees games going too fast. (somebody has to pick up the slack now that posada is gone.)
Verlander was struggling with control from the stretch (i.e. almost the entire bottom of the 1st) whereas CC looked pretty good (doesn't he struggle early if he struggles at all?). I'd guess that the postponement favors the Tigers.
Raspberries for Derek Norris? I checked the AA stats and the BA is definitely down, but the OPS is .809. Is he not coming along defensively?
Is there any team that Prince Fielder would be more valuable to than the Nationals? Morse should definitely be shifted to left, but not necessarily to make room for Adam LaRoche...
ditto for playoff eliminations... I'll root for the guys that vanquished my team's hopes (with certain exceptions).
Not that I don't agree either, but what's the nature of the Dave Duncan magic? Is it mechanical or mental? What's the best speculation available? Are there any counterfactuals to the Duncan/Midas theory?
The Nats seem well-positioned to make a run at Pujols or Fielder in the offseason. Who's on the list of big spenders with holes at 1B? Cubs? Orioles? Mariners? Unloading Marquis and Adam LaRoche (if such a thing is possible) puts them in an even better position to do so.
Might the Mets give Beltran up for nothing just to save themselves $6M? Regardless of their financial situation, they may prefer $6M to put toward a new Reyes contract rather than a prospect.
Re: Phillies relievers. The Padres talk is as much about 2012-2013 as it is 2011. Madson & Lidge are likely gone after this year.
There isn't nearly enough evidence to dismiss the Curse of Abreu as myth. I'm not convinced that it isn't a concern simply because (1) it *could* be explained by regression, and (2) Chipper Jones doesn't worry about it.
The danger arises when a guy who normally hits line drives to all fields (Abreu being a fine example) changes his swing to be high-loft and pull-happy.
A guy like Prince Fielder doesn't need to change his swing to succeed in a derby -- he's going for the fence every time he swings. And let's take a look at the guys who claim that the derby doesn't mess up your swing:
Chipper Jones. 1997, 3HR. 1998, 1HR. 2000, 2HR.
Mark Teixeira. 2005, 2HR.
What about their performances suggests that Tex & Larry modified their mentality/mechanics in order to succeed during the derby? Abreu had more homers in one derby than Tex & Larry had *swings*, *combined*, in their *careers*. The fact that Tex took 12 (mostly unsuccessful) HR swings and it didn't mess up his stroke doesn't prove that the 70+ (mostly successful) swings the Abreu took didn't mess up his.
Another notable distinction that seems to go unnoticed: the Curse of Abreu, properly understood, is not a claim about the entire second half. It's much humbler than that. In fact, August of 2005 was Abreu's second best of the season (.320/.419/.510). His worst month of the '05 season? July (.214/.319/.316). In the 75 homerless PAs that followed the derby (July 14-Aug 3), Abreu had only 3 XBHs.
In 8+ seasons in the middle of the Phillies lineup, July '05 was easily his worst month. His only other month below .700 was July of '06 amidst a swirl of trade rumors (still .030 of OPS better than July of '05). Of course this doesn't prove the Curse of Abreu. But let’s not pretend that the curse can be disproven by a couple of quotes from two guys who never even succeeded in the derby, let alone adjusted their swings in order to do so.
raw power - that's why Dmitri Young used to call him "Gorill-y Mo"
Finally, prs130 (Yahoo! 0%, ESPN 0%, CBS 0%) has been acknowledged in a BP fantasy column!
I was lucky enough to pick up Moustakas (dropped Rolen). Now I'm wondering, should I cut loose Casey McGehee or store him on the bench? His LD% is way down compared to '09 and '10.
When they start counting TAv in fantasy leagues, let me know and I'll give LaPorta a fresh look. Right now, he's a top-20 1B in exactly one category (HRs, T-15th).
He's got low BA and SB and he's batting seventh (for Cleveland, which may or may not be in the midst of a rude awakening, having gone 4-9 with 2.15 runs per game in the last four series).
the article is about bunting, not Yankees
I think this is true, and I also think it's somewhat justified in mid-May. If I have a young player with a ton of speed, I think I'm justified in giving him the bunt signal early in the season, even if he is 10/23. It's possible that (a) 23 attempts is a small sample and 10 successful bunts is not a true indicator of Gardner's skill, (b) Gardner's skill can be improved.
PNC is beautiful, and I look forward to the day when meaningful games are played there.
I'm glad somebody brought up pitching rotations. I beat the drum for the 5-game series being the standard. Not only does it even out the schedule, it allows home team fans to see great starters from other teams when they come through town.
I can't beat on Cashman too hard either. Somebody needs to play bad-cop when an aging veteran can't manage to sidle toward the exits. Girardi's shown that he's not gonna do it.
As far as going to the media being bad form... If ownership is going to undercut his authority as a GM, what exactly is the proper counter-strategy? Smile big and pretend to be pleased? "Dear Diary, I'm really disappointed that the Steinbrenners pretended to give me all the powers of a real-life baseball GM and then dictated which free agents would be signed. But I'll be sure to wear a happy face at the press conference."
Airing his Posada grievances during a live telecast might be going too far, but otherwise I'll give Cashman the benefit of the doubt.
Although he's obviously much classier than Gary Sheffield, I would asterisk the "class act" designation for Posada. I've never seen a catcher who's whinier about balls and strikes.
You could debate whether this is a matter of class. I just can't get over the '09 WS where AJ Burnett was getting strikes called 6 inches outside and then Posada with a bat in his hands has the stones to glare at the plate umpire.
I love looking at stats for first-time through, second-time through, third-time through, especially for developing pitchers.
why is the Louisville squad called the Bats? Was Sluggers taken?
I hate looking through nets. There are some paying customers who prefer to assume the risk.
There's no need for top-down regulation. Decisions like this can be made stadium-by-stadium, seat-by-seat, customer-by-customer. If you want perfect safety, sit in the outfield. Or better yet, stay at home, clutching your fire extinguisher. As for myself, I'll take an unobstructed view and a one in a million* chance of getting struck by something.
I hope you're right. But my going assumption is that Dom will be back well before Utley is. If you send Orr down, and Valdez is still the (futility) starter, you have exactly one guy on the bench (Martinez) who will be the only available backup at three different positions: 2B, SS, and 3B.
One IF backup and three OF backups? I wouldn't be able to resist the platoon advantages, but Manuel might feel differently.
They could alternatively send a reliever down, although the injury to Contreras makes that a tricky proposition.
DBacks will lead the league this year in at least one critical stat thanks to Kirk Gibson: most painful-looking walk to the pitcher's mound. Maybe we can all pitch in and get a Segway for the skipper?
I'm hoping that Guillen gets fired... so that somebody from the NL can hire him.
When Domonic Brown gets back, the Phils will have three lefty outfielders and two righty outfielders, all of whom have platoon issues. I would love to see Brown/Ibanez against righties and Mayberry/Francisco against lefties. Meaning it will never happen. Probably because Mayberry will get sent down when (if) Dom comes up.
The first player I can remember that annoyed that crap out of me was Otis Nixon
people get very hung up on names of pitches, going so far as to argue about what a guy's throwing. I was watching the SD broadcast of the Phils-Padres, and the SD color guy was calling Halladay's change-up a "splitter." The Phillies broadcasters call it a change-up. Fact is it's both: one name refers to the grip, the other the effect on the pitch.
Halladay's "change-up" (split grip with big horizontal movement) and Hamels's "change-up" (circle grip with mostly vertical movement) are two completely different animals. But according to Rich Dubee, they're both change-ups.
The NBA playoffs are the perfect example of overexpansion. 6 or 7 teams with a legitimate shot at winning (max), and 16 in the playoffs. regular season games don't matter. The Indiana Pacers finished TWENTY FIVE games behind the Chicago Bulls. So what's the value of a marginal regular season win in the NBA? nil.
I think a good approach would be to take some of the data on marginal win $ value that I've seen on this site, and compare it to other major sports leagues. If the value of a regular season win diminishes beyond a certain point, it affects the quality of regular season games. Anybody who's every watched an NBA regular season game can tell you how that turns out.
I watched cards/nats game last night... Boggs is definitely not afraid to throw strikes, but he got tagged for a hard single by ian desmond, and his strikeout came against w ramos on a questionable call.
eduardo sanchez pitched the 7th and 8th and looked unhittable while mowing through the 8-9-1-2-3-4 hitters in order (granted its the nats). I have boggs on my fantasy team, so i hope he keeps the job, but i'm not sure he's the best man for the job.
Nats fans must be wondering: if Saltalamacchia continues to struggle, what might be had in return for Pudge or Jesus Flores?
Jake Arietta has some great stuff - the fastball has a tail and the breaking ball is awesome. He can carve you up the the first two times through the order. After that, look out. Last night against the Yanks, 6.0IP, 90 pitches, 5Ks, 1BB, 3ER. Lots of GBs early, but when the ball starts getting air under it, have the hook ready.
PHI: Victorino, Rollins, Howard all seem to have a more contact-oriented approach this year. Rollins in particular is being very patient. Victorino showed a willingness to take a soft-away Derek Lowe pitch to the opposite field for a table-setting single (contra 2010). Lowe came inside next AB and Victorino took him deep.
ATL: McLouth hitting #2 is killing the offense. Chipper looks great. Heyward has some adapting to do... right now, everybody seems to know that you can work him inside. Freeman looks awesome at first.
A better starting point than Fear & Loathing would be "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." Great article, Jason.
he doesn't have 20ABs yet, but the Nats fans I know are just as excited about Wilson Ramos (.412/.474/.471). The Nats have made it clear that Ramos will be phased in as Pudge is phased out, possibly ending in a deadline deal for the veteran catcher, and a full-time job for Ramos.
I guess what I'm trying to say is... he might not be getting the PAs once his potential platoon mate (who is coincidentally an elite prospect) gets off the DL.
Ben Francisco CAN NOT HIT A CURVEBALL. He can hit lefties and righties who groove a fastball. Here's his season so far:
Notice hits against the like of Aneury Rodriguez and Jeff Fulchino and 0fers against every half-decent righty: 0/3 v Brett Myers, 0/3 v Chris Young, 0/2 v Mike Pelfrey.
i want to read that article
I'm not qualified to condemn the Twins offense as a whole, but Nishioka has looked terrible. A totally powerless swing that also managed to be contactless. I dropped him from my fantasy team after watching 2 PAs. The 3 PAs I've seen since haven't led me to regret it...
My baseball career ended after 10 ABs on the JV squad as a freshman. I was told I had "bilateral patello-femoral syndrome" which sounded a lot like the above description when it was described to me. It started to bother me after four weeks of running the stairs every morning (damn you, Coach Schive). Specifically, I was told that my hamstrings were unnaturally tight and the patella was sliding outside of the normal groove, causing the back of it to wear out.
The pain was correlated to knee bend. When I first entered rehab, I'd fall to the floor if I was anything but straight-legged. As my quads built up and my hamstrings loosened, I was able to bend my knee more and more without collapsing. It was a slow, perfectly linear process that got set back every time I exerted myself.
Apart from the pain, there's seems to be a lack of traction beyond a certain point... so it's not a matter of 'toughing it out' Rocky Balboa style. You cross a certain threshold of knee-bend and your knee gives out, plain and simple.
As a Phillies fan, I hope they rest him and get by with Valdez & Castillo until mid-summer. With that pitching staff, they should be able to make the playoffs no matter who is playing 2B.
one more factor... the discount rate! revenue now > an equal amount of revenue later. The cost of declining two star-level years on the ML roster (beginning now) is not worth the benefit of two star-level years (beginning at the end of club control). The only question is whether Harper is at star-level beginning in 2011.
I've been wondering the same thing... if the answer is "no, the clock doesn't start ticking until he's on the 25", then what exactly is a major league contract, and why does somebody in Harper's position want it?
didn't glavine go from an outside guy to a both-sides-of-the-plate type pitcher? I seem to remember him attributing a career resurgence to throwing inside.
Wow... Frank Wren bringing the man's wife into it. Stopped short of calling him a p**** which is what a less professional GM might be tempted to do.
That would be great! Too bad the Phillies don't have a current 3B with experience at 2B, and they could just switch positions. Hey, wait a minute...
But seriously folks, consider the stress on one right knee when standing and throwing to one's immediate left, i.e. from a 2B fielding position to first base. It's pretty cramped here in my mom's basement, but I can feel a serious twist and push off in my right knee when I replicate that motion. Remember when Utley suddenly forgot how to throw to first? I wonder how his knee was feeling that week. Throwing from third is harder on the torso, but easier on the legs.
Benny Fresh has had his moments, and he's tearing it up in spring training. But when he pinch hit in big spots last year, he had a look on his face like Jeanette MacDonald right before she got thrown into the active volcano (at least, as I remember it).
As the homer once said about the bad pinch hitter: "maybe he just needs to play every day."
I was having this problem too... I did a mock draft to see if PFM was working for me and ended up with 7 OF and zero pitchers after 10 rounds
It always strikes me as funny that Anonymous Scout can't keep his opinions to himself, even though he knows he shouldn't be saying anything. I guess baseball talk is just fun.
If Rollins actually REALIZES that he won't regain his speed or power, it may actually help him... He needs to approach hitting like the 5'8", 180lb dude he actually is, as opposed to the 6'3", 240lb dude he wishes he was. The last couple years have been a lot of weak grounders and 330-foot stares at the right field porch. Back up the middle, Jimmy! I'm beggin ya!
P.S. Uncle Cholly will tell you the same thing.
RAJ is trying to create the Yankees of the NL... he wants a "Phillie mystique" and Utley is the closest thing we have to a "true Phillie". Going forward, I see RAJ taking care of his core players.
Moving Utley and snagging a righty 3B might be savvy, but it doesn't jibe with the RAJ narrative.
Granted I only saw about 19 Mets games this year, but Pagan looked better than a 4th-outfielder. His bat might not blow you away if you assume he's playing a corner outfield position, but with that big park, I would think his CF-caliber defense would be a plus.
I'd plug Pagan into right and then move him to center if you can get something/anything for Beltran at the trading deadline. I'd think about taking a flyer on Javier Vazquez or Derek Lowe rather than Scott Kazmir.
I thought it was because of Lopez' dominance of Utley/Howard in game 1. we'll see what cholly's thinking.
Utley's a natural 2-hitter. Everyone says Polanco's a great hitter with men on base - and he is - but doesn't batting third give you a better shot to hit with men on base than batting second? I think the decision to switch Utley & Polanco is so "canny" it should have been done on opening day.
P.S. when Howard is going good, he's laying off breaking balls out of the zone, and vice-versa. And he was laying off on Sunday. (The strikeout came on a fortuitously placed fastball. I say fortuitous b/c if it's 2" further inside, it's ball four, and if it's 2" more over the plate, it gets crushed.)
Anybody who says the playoff no-hitter against the Reds "wasn't even Halladay's best game of the year" is rigidly applying a [ perfect game > no-hitter ] rule. Roy was getting some calls in the Marlins game (I agree with terryspen), and he was getting squared up pretty good late in the game when he threw strikes. The start against the Reds was the best pitching performance I've ever seen. The cutter was devastating.
watching Greg Dobbs hit is like watching your dog pee. You don't want to watch, but you do, because there's nothing else to do in the meantime. please put Dom on the roster.
Beachy only gave up one ER, but he was getting hammered. He got like 4 or 5 line-drive outs. The error by Heyward was on a gapper that knuckled in the wind. Cox had Beachy on a very short leach - I doubt we'll see him in a meaningful game again this year.
I would look into how many of these pop-ups are on high heat. I would guess that pitchers who are most willing to try to put somebody away with an elevated fastball are more likely to have a repeatably high POP%.
Thanks to whoever selected the "Sassy David" picture for the front page.
Davey Lopes does the analysis...
...but it looks like you need to reach first base before he'll share his data. Try not to get tasered.
Davey's stopwatch data is (I'm guessing) pitcher-handedness-independent. I'm assuming he starts the stopwatch when it becomes clear that the pitcher is going to the plate, and stops it when the catcher receives it. If you get data on the Lopes Time for every pitcher and control for it, you could probably do a pretty good job of assessing the catcher in terms of attempts/attempt opportunities and SBs/attempt.
you get a little more time to see a pitch if you're willing to hit it the other way. If slower response time is a symptom of aging, I could definitely see opposite-field tendencies correlating to graceful aging.
The bigger concern for me is the LHP splits. A *good* LHP *with a slider/curve* fillets Ryan Howard every single time. Witness 0/3 with RISP last night against Jonathan Sanchez. If I was in the NL East, I'd get one reliever who fits that description and stop worrying about Ryan Howard.
Kendrick has always been good against righties, and he's reputedly developed a new pitch to show lefties. Given the aforementioned Phillies offense, he's at least worth keeping an eye on, especially if he's starting against a team that leans right.
no dryness? that's my fear. (that and getting a flap cut in my eyeball.)
I nominate "arbel(s)" as the new shorthand for "arbitration-eligible player(s)". That way anybody who prints out BP articles to read in the john at work can save some trees.
He was back-footing every pitch the whole season... like Matt Stairs without the patience. I think that unless his approach has changed, the second half was a fluke. I invite anyone who knows how to sort BABIP stats by month to confirm/rebuke me.
People are interested in BA because they have an ingrained basis for comparison: they know that .300 is good and that .230 is bad.
OPS is far more relatable once you understand that 750 is average and 1000 is good. Broadcasters should pound the spectrum into people's heads until it's second nature for them.
To me the most relatable fact about OPS is that Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth are the only ones to break 1300 for a season. People remember Bonds and watched him play, so they can relate to that. And Babe Ruth is a traditional figure, so when people see a 'new-fangled' stat attached to his name, they're forced to come to terms with the fact that OPS is just a way of talking about baseball.
"whether it will be beneficial THIS TIME" - quite true. He might have been 21/21 if he'd played more games against Yadier... As a Phillies fan, I start with the assumption that Utley is godlike and omniscient, and conclude that he just so happened to get precisely 23 opportunities to successfully steal a base last year, no more and no less.
With a near-average bullpen, the Nats might actually think about pulling Lannan when he's, ya know, completely spent. That'll help his ERA too.
I agree. And you can't argue that budget makes no difference and then bemoan a "salary dump." Guess who's not dumping salary? The Yankees, who just so happen to have the highest revenue. "...an ownership group that wants to win is a fan's best friend." But Vazquez's checking account isn't going to be filled by George Steinbrenner's desire to win.
The article seems to be saying that the gap between a high-revenue club and a low-revenue club can be closed by a 'motivated' ownership. But I can think of only two ways that ownership's desire to win can manifest itself:  meddling in high-profile personnel decisions; and  adjusting the budget. And the number one question when you're forming a budget is... what's the expected revenue?
With regard to , meddling is usually a bad thing - just ask a Redskins fan this week. (Or don't ask... they'll probably tell you anyway.) It's also something that corporate ownership is far less likely to engage in.
With regard to , I suppose the point of this article is that corporate owners, relative to individual owners that "want to win," will reinvest a smaller percentage of last year's revenue into this year's team. This would make for an interesting analysis, depending on how much data is available. I'm sure that a corporate ownership is more likely to tie expenditures directly to revenue, and to leave a healthy margin in case revenue comes in under projection. I can see how this would be frustrating to a fan that would gladly exchange $15M of Liberty Media's profit margin for a pennant. On the other hand, corporate ownership insulates you from things like Becky Moores' divorce attorney. I bet Padres fans would love to have had 'something called "Liberty Media"' at the helm for 2008-2009, scare quotes or not.
Overall I think you could have three different discussions about  whether Liberty Media makes the Braves worse off,  whether corporate ownership of any given team necessarily makes that team worse off, and  whether corporate ownership in general necessarily makes MLB worse off. I think this article is flawed in that it conflates  and . In assessing , it ignores the Pirates and Royals, which are individually owned, and far more blighted than the Braves. It also pays short shrift to revenue inequity, which is the real difference, like it or not, between the Yankees and the Braves.
not sure where you're getting your numbers. Schneider $2.75M/2y. Gload $2.60M/2y. Polanco $18M/3y. for 2010 alone, that's $1.25 + $1.3 + $5M = $7.5M. Subtract the cost of three replacement-level contracts and you get around $6M. Certainly within sniffing distance of what it takes to get Lee for 2010. So antoine6, settling for minor league bench players instead of washed-up vets may not get you a year's worth of a Cy Young winner, but it gets you within $3M. At that point, you can pass the hat if you need to...
any entity that receives public money (state or federal) should be subject to a public audit.
100% agreement. Like you couldn't have found someone for league minimum to do what Schneider and Gload are going to do? You're going to ship out a great/elite pitcher to restock a farm system in the hope that one day five years from now, Phillipe Aumont will be a great/elite pitcher?
I love Polanco, but I'd rather have Dobbs hacking away and Lee still on the payroll...
Agreed... Let's say for the sake of argument that Halladay has full confidence in his health lasting through until December of 2014. He gets a brand new free agent contract while CC is still getting paid in 2008 dollars. If his arm falls off between now and the day the 2014 option vests, then it is true that he left as much money on the table as Joe suggests. Otherwise, it will have been something significantly less. How much was an elite 30+ FA pitcher going for in, say, 2004? Assuming the he's healthy, would he prefer to be a FA now, or would he prefer to locked in for 2010-2012 at his current per annum? If Halladay is confident that his arm will hold up, he could rationally be expecting to do better than Sabathia $wise in the long run.
i don't see it as incontrovertible either - the ball clearly bounced, but it was impossible to see whether the webbing was under the ball when it bounced.
I throw a boogerball. Catchers describe it as "gross."
totally agree... I've long felt that Al Michaels should have a striped shirt and a walkie-talkie.
agree with nowhereman... extra days allow for MORE pitching changes, not fewer, because everyone is always fresh. I like the idea of wearing down an opposing bullpen early in a series and reaping the profits in the later games. (For the same reason, I also advocate 5-game series during the regular season. Plus, every team gets to see every starter.)
no doubt... personal theory: of the ~25 HBPs this year for Utley, quite a few are breaking balls that have gone off the inside of his back (left) foot. That's his front foot when he throws, and if it's unstable, we might have our explanation.
but to answer the question, Elbert's on the roster to pitch the eleventh inning, when there's nobody else left.
giving in with a fastball was the mistake... girlfriend as my witness, I predicted a hit as soon as the '1' went down.
I haven't watched Padilla since he was a Phillie. I distinctly remember him looking like Roger Clemens right up until somebody got on base... then he started throwing to first and making weird faces and getting shelled. That's just my recollection - can't say if the splits back it up.
Madson made one bad pitch (to Torrealba). If Giambi can fist one into left field, well, fine, that's baseball. And the bad pitch to Torrealba came after some serious squeezing from the HPU. Cliff Lee started Fowler off with three strikes, and was rewarded with a 3-0 count. Madson got squeezed a couple times and the 'mistake' to Torrealba has to be considered in context.
I thought Cliff Lee finally figured out Carlos Gonzalez in their last encounter... first pitch at chin, second pitch at outside corner, repeat. And I haven't seen him hit a decent curveball either.
I'd also like to add that the commentators were terrible. They were slobbering all over Hammel, who got shelled the first time through the order. Everyone but Rollins, Victorino & Happ hit rockets, but that didn't keep TBS from calling him 'sharp' over and over. I knew he'd get rocked the second time through, and he did...
Beimel got burned in the 5th inning after Utley walked with 2 outs. He threw only two pitches to Howard and popped him up.
Tracy pulled him for Contreras, presumably because Contreras dominated Werth (and Feliz) in Game 2. Contreras didn't have the same command. I thought Beimel would stay in to face Werth and Ibanez (who hurt Contreras). Hats off to Charlie for putting Werth between the two lefties.
Feliz had a terrible AB with the bases loaded, tapping a 1-1 offering back to a pitcher who was struggling badly. Greg Dobbs also had a terrible AB.
Jimmy Rollins batting leadoff is killing the Phils at least as bad as any decision Jim Tracy is making. I hope Manuel can cash in those loyalty points for a 2010 championship, because Lidge should be off the roster, and Rollins should be batting 8th.
This may be neither here nor there, but as a Phillies fan, I can attest to the fact that when Brad Lidge wastes a pitch, he really wastes a pitch. If he's ahead 0-2, a slider three feet outside and in the dirt is a virtual certainty. He'll often throw two in a row.
That being said, the fastball is definitely the problem. It's slower, and it's all over the place. When Lidge is pitching, I just watch Ruiz glove. The guy has problems with his back knee... Cholly needs to rest him more often, and with Myers coming back, hopefully Lidge will get the rest.
The chart is kind of silly... nobody is trying to get Halladay for the purpose of making the playoffs. As a Phillie fan, I want that second bullet specifically for the postseason. I'm pretty confident (79.7% sounds about right) that the Phils can outslug mediocre opponents for the next two months and win a weak division. What I really want is that second bullet to use against the Dodgers & Cards.
As a Phillies fan and Gameday Audio subscriber during a couple of mediocre seasons, I particularly remember Harry calling Kevin Millwood's no-hitter.
The one Kalas trademark I've internalized even more than 'outta here'... 'popped him up' followed by a pause (while the ball comes down) and then '[one/two] away.' I still say it, out loud, virtually every time somebody gets under one. (Harry and I both got plenty of practice during the Burrell years.)
i think MLB Tonight needs to drop the matching sweatsuits for Reynolds/Larkin/Casey. Either that or complete the ensemble with some Nikes and phenobarbitol.
Bud Selig is a disaster. One good thing that happened on his watch is the wild card, but he's screwed up enough of the other things that I'm happy to believe that somebody else came up with his good ideas.
STEROIDS - go ahead and complain about the PA, Bud, but don't act like they had you by the balls. If you paint the PA as pro-steroids, as the only hurdle to comprehensive testing, they won't get very far in the court of public opinion. If Selig had called a press conference in the mid-90s and publicly demanded that the PA submit to immediate olympic-style testing, the PA would have caved. Maybe not immediately, but he had the moral high ground and an unequivocal public. He could have at least given testing a patina of inevitably that would have undoubtedly discouraged a lot of cheaters, and parlayed that into a testing system.
MLB NETWORK - gee whiz, you finally rolled it out like two years after NFL managed to? Congrats. How many points awarded for 'better late than never'?
PETER ANGELOS - you're really going to bribe this clown so that you can put an orphan club in the most obvious destination?
WASHINGTON NATIONALS - and then you're going to let the DC council jerk you around?
FLORIDA MARLINS - the yearly talent liquidations are disgusting. find a real owner.
DIVISION ASYMMETRY - there's no way to slice it so we have 5 teams in each division?
08 WS GAME 5 - disaster averted somehow, despite the Bud-bungling that everybody knew was going to happen.
ALL STAR GAMES - if you're going to make them count (which admittedly I like), find a way to make them end after nine innings.
absolutely agree that it favors the offense... McCarver (during the broadcast) and Vina (on B.T.) both said it favors the \"pitcher\", which sounds ridiculous to me. Hamels was out on the mound for 15 minutes waiting for the inning to start; Pena and Longoria were sitting in a warm dugout. You\'re telling me a cold, wet pitcher has an advantage over a hitter because (to quote McCarver) the ball is dry and the bat is wet? Who cares if the bat is wet? And even if the pitcher does have an advantage, he still relies on his defense for everything but Ks, and they were clearly having a tough time... Bud Selig = idiot; Time McCarver = idiot; Phillies = would much rather have a one-run lead through 5 than no lead through 5 and a half.