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People still blaming Machado on this one despite all visual evidence and the reactions from the players actually involved in the play themselves just suggests to me that when it comes to some things, people are going to believe whatever they want no matter what. Trying to discuss this at this point is like trying to play chess with somebody who thinks they are playing checkers - they'll declare victory even though they aren't participating in the same game.
Wonderful. Thank you - great reading during the long dark of the offseason.
Tears of laughter the first time, tears of laughter the second. Great stuff.
The narrative is certainly not the reality... but the narrative between Odor and Bautista certainly made this one compelling for that casual observer.
One of those rare players you want to watch every single night.
Another terrific article. Thanks so much for this, it is always refreshing to see the human element you bring to the game and the site.
Made my morning
Vin freaking Scully folks. Nicely done here.
Been said already but just terrific. Well done.
Voted up all comments but also wanted to say thank you for sharing this.
Look forward to these every time. Wishing you all the best in 2016 and onward.
I feel like I get my money's worth for my subscription just from these game summaries. Thank you.
We'll always have the ridiculous team that was the 2011 Phillies. So long, Rube.
Great article as always, easily one of the best features of my BP subscription.
Always look forward to these.
Happy Birthday, Joshua - I love your work and appreciate the time you put in to sharing your baseball experiences with us!
I jumped in just to add to the comments that your column is one that I always look forward to reading when I see it pop up on my feed. Thanks a ton for writing these, one of my favorite parts of BP.
These are just the best. Absolutely fantastic piece.
Another fantastic story. I always look forward to these when I see them pop up on my feed, thanks so much for sharing them.
Great stuff, thanks for this.
Cherry picking one Magary rant while ignoring all the others he provides for every single city that has a sports team in America is very Cardinals-fan of you. ;)
The point about knowing what your opponent needs is excellent. Never thought about it that way before during the offseason - something I didn't really look at until I identified an asset I wanted from the other team. This is very helpful advice.
Harry Kalas. We knew his Broadcast Above Replacement score was high, but I don't know that we fully appreciated just how high until he was gone and we were left with the sub par broadcasters we have in Philly now.
It was one sided but I enjoyed it.
Bubba Starling smacked a 3 run oppo shot to right field that was one of the biggest dingers I've seen in Wilmington. That is not an easy park to hit home runs in and it was absolutely never in doubt.
The Gardenhire one is the best. A little insight into the theater.
Really look forward to these. I've got a big baseball card collection from my childhood that I still enjoy pulling out and paging through once in a while like I'm sure many other readers here at BP do. Appreciate your unique perspective on how this is symbolic of a player's advancement in their career, but also potentially painful if it doesn't work out. There's a lot to ponder looking at those cards - often I spend a lot of time looking at the numbers on the back, but knowing what it may have meant to these players, I'll spend more time looking at the player on the front in the future.
I think the Phillies' situation this year is a little more nuanced than simply a refusal to recognize it's over.
In the case of Michael Young, it sounded like they weren't happy with the offers they got. They can still wait to see if he clears waivers and move him later, but with the extra wild card and more teams "in the mix", it is harder to get the value you used to if you decide to sell.
Cliff Lee is another case where I simply don't understand what the rush is if you can't get a very good prospect for him. The Phillies were pretty clear on their asking price for Lee and nobody was willing to pay it, and there's nothing saying they can't deal him in the offseason and try to get that value then.
Utley is another unique situation where, if the 2 year deal with 3rd year team option rumors are true, might actually end up being okay for the Phillies.
So while I definitely enjoyed the history lesson here, I think the statement that they are content to "fade away" isn't really accurate. I think Rube doesn't see what the immediate rush is to move these guys before yesterday's deadline and believes he can get more value for them potentially in the offseason, and I'm not sure I disagree with him in this environment with so many teams in the hunt.
Wow - really eye opening stuff. Great job, this will be something really interesting to track this year as we have a real extreme case of lineup protection to observe all 2013 (unless Stanton gets traded).
Really enjoyed this - the example of 10% to chance to win $101 on $10 is excellent.
Love the WBC - I would watch it even if no MLB players participated.
Fantastic work. I think this type of analysis is the next step for sabermetrics - there is a "pretty good" handle on a lot of the regular season stuff, but when certain types of teams that we don't think of as "sabermetric friendly" are constantly advancing deep into the playoffs, it might be time to start evaluating whether these organizations are simply insanely lucky OR there is something wrong with our assumptions regarding playoff baseball being an extension of the regular season.
Is it unpredictability, or are there factors that we have yet to discover?
Terrific article - once again the type of "let's take a step back here because maybe we don't know what we're talking about" article that made BP great and will continue to make it great.
The greatest living sports announcer.
If I won a WS trophy I'm pretty sure I'd bring it up every chance I had.
Great article - the rant of "the only award is winning" kind of has a weird poetry to it.
Literally the only time I hate reading articles on BP is when they talk about the All Star Game because I actually, I dunno, ENJOY it. Thanks for a sane article.
I disagree with the premise that Cano being booed was bad for baseball. Personally I thought it was hilarious, but beyond that it was at least a storyline and like you said, those are what make the HR Derby interesting. What's not to like about KC reacting to a perceived snub to their hometown guy? Some of the best parts of baseball are narratives conjured from nothing, and this was one of them.
I realize it is a lousy situation to put Cano in, but frankly, so what? And my impression of the KC fans was that they did exactly what I would have done in their situation. Good on them I say. Cano had a really easy way out of the situation from the beginning and he chose a different route.
Really enjoyed this. Important to continue to emphasize this type of thing as the sabermetric way of thinking moves from having to be defended at every step to the now accepted mainstream - it's a big win but it doesn't mean we are correct about everything yet.
I'm really rooting for Cheslor Cuthbert just because his name is so awesome.
Bravo. Bottom line is we don't have a large enough behavioral sample size to draw any conclusions yet.
Wilmington is a surprisingly fun place - I've lived here for years now after moving from Philadelphia and love it. Love the Blue Rocks too.
This was a great story. If you plan on going to see the Blue Rocks (and hopefully lots of Mr. Celery) this weekend my wife and I will probably be there!
Married a die hard Cubs fan. Nobody is perfect I guess.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Brilliant. Thank you for all of it.
I am icky as I do tend to root for a team in my division if things go badly for my own side. My thought there is that victory for a team in my own division lends credence to the "my team plays in a tough division" argument.
You can set your watch to the annual "Joe hates the All Star game" article on BP.
Sensational. One of the finest pieces of baseball writing I've ever had the pleasure to consume.
Kudos to all involved on the improvements. This tool gets more useful every season.
Man, baseball is just the best.
Cheers to BP for another great year of coverage.
At the risk of being glib - no.
Another fantastic article by IMO the most important guy at BP right now.
Keep it up, Mr. Swartz.
Another terrific analysis Matt. More than ever I am beginning to think that your voice is one of the most important at BP because it doesn't take any school of thought at face value. Sabermetrics is about questioning things, not adhering to one particular system like PECOTA and calling the matter closed.
Gave me a good morning chuckle, well done.
This series was fantastic, absolutely love the way you are taking a fresh approach to certain statistics and ideas that BP and its readers have taken for granted for awhile. Definitely looking forward to more like this - we need fresh looks at some of the assumptions the new school of analysis has made lest we quickly become the old school!
Really, really exciting stuff guys. Looking forward to part 3.
The only thing I don't like about the All Star game is all the pundits making a stink every year about everything that is wrong with the All Star game.
The game itself is a total blast every year.
I loved the WBC last time and am looking forward to it again this year. I don\'t get why everybody is so down on it - if the event gets enough publicity and pulls in enough viewers, in the future more players will want to participate.
I like the idea of rescheduling the WBC for after the World Series of course.
News Flash: BP hates mainstream baseball coverage.