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The outcomes are probably still similar, but Click's data must be taken with somewhat of a grain of salt, as the offensive environment in the years leading up to 2004 was a bit different than it is today. As scoring decreases, the value of sacrifices go up. I don't think it changes this situation at all, but we should definitely be cognizant that situations where sacrifices are useful have expanded.
Out of curiosity: in the top image Hanson's pitching from the left side to a lefty, while in the bottom he's pitching from the right side to a righty. I've seen pitchers shift on the rubber depending on batter-handedness, is this also part of what Hanson is doing here?
To heck with the Reese/Ripken debate. Can somebody join me in some righteous indignation that Edgar Martinez gets the nod over the Big Hurt?
Schmidt's great, too, but over A-Rod?
And what of the recent suggestion that Piazza was one of the best game-callers of all-time? Surely he can get some love here.
Interestingly, usually when these discussions happen, the prism through which we look at the contract is a "is this good for the team" perspective. Should we assume here that it's good for the player? Would an agent do this deal in a heartbeat? Most probably would, but I'd be curious if Boras would ever agree to a deal like this without the player opt-out clause that seems to be increasingly common.
As a further tangent, I think there comes a point where player and agent interests dovetail. An agreement like this (20 years) might be good for an individual player because it is *rationally* risk averse, whereas an agent can handle these risk pools to maximize contract values because the agent has a large number of clients. The agent and players are faced with different calculations when it comes to Prospect Theory. It's important to note that an economist would consider risk-averse Prospect Theory behavior irrational more in the context of repeated play than as a one-time proposition. Collectively, an agent's risk exposure for trying to maximize value of each contract is lower than for the players for whom he's negotiating the contracts. In this sense, Boras' advice to a player to sit out a year (Drew, Hochevar, etc), or sign a shorter deal (Madson) may be and at times has been better for the agent than the player.
Relatedly, I think if we really delve into all the "risks" associated with this type of contract that might make it more or less reasonable, beyond interest and injury (discussed), two things come to mind:
Insurance: I know some MLB teams take out insurance for injury on contracts, and I would have to assume that an insurance policy on a 20 year contract would be significantly more expensive.
Risk/Reward of restructure/labor issues: the labor history of sports suggests that there's at least a decent chance that at some point during this contract, something happens in a labor deal that would have an impact on its value (work stoppage, hard salary cap, what have you). Restructure has tended to happen with longer contracts (see: Magic Johnson, A-Rod almost twice). There's a definite chance if ANY player signs a 20 year deal and becomes a mega-star, that player becomes disgruntled at some and holds out for a more beneficial deal. In that sense, the possible upside of a 20 year contract is probably limited: if it tilts too far in favor of the team, don't expect it to stay that way.
"No baseball team (or professional sports team for that matter) would give 20 years of guaranteed money to an athlete"
The only exception to Glenn's assertion that no professional sports team would do this would seem to be Magic Johnson, who signed for 25 years (though it got restructured). Hockey contracts edge up there, but that has more to do, I believe, with their CBA creating incentives for teams to sign players to longer contracts.
I like the article a lot, and the increased focus of BP on the business side of things.
One minor thing, "'discipline for just cause' is likely fuzzy enough to keep all but the most outspoken from trying to test the boundaries of the policy." I think this is true assuming players/team employees are rational, but as we've seen in other sports, it will get tested. The most outspoken were likely the only people to test the boundary anyway, and they probably still will.
In terms of the passed ball/wild pitch calculation, you mention a discount for knuckleballers, what I was wondering was, could the discount be extended to wild pitches/passed balls as a percentage of overall balls outside the strike zone thrown by a pitcher? So, if a catcher is catching a less accurate staff, one would assume there would be more passed balls/wild pitches. I wonder how well this correlation holds generally, and/or if it would be useful/productive to add into a passed ball/wild pitch metric.
I was thinking about this every time I saw an article about Cain and his inevitable regression. This article is why I love BP: amazing use of a statistical scalpel when many others are using hammers.
I'm curious what other types of starters have high strand rates, and how well they've been able to maintain it over longer periods. Al Leiter comes to mind as a potential candidate.
I meant consecutive games, not full season. my post was wordy and confusing, sorry. single season is easy to find, consecutive games striking out was hard to find. Davis is at 21 now, I learned Teahan holds the Royals record at 23, but i couldn't find the league record for consecutive games with at least 1 strikeout for a batter. the record can't be too high, can it?
I did some preliminary poking around, and couldn't find the answer immediately, but it all started in being fascinated with Chris Davis' current paces (47 HR, and 260 K) through 31 games...
When I stumbled upon Davis' game log, I found he's K'd in 20 consecutive games, which made me think...this is pretty prolific, no? (moreover, if you ignore a pinch-hitting appearance, the streak jumps to 28). I was wondering at what point Davis begins to threaten any sort of record, if he isn't already...maybe the unfiltered guys would be able to help?
one thing that sticks out though, is that in october, the fastball velocity appears stable, whereas you see the dropoff for Beckett pretty clearly on 4/7, despite the increased velocity just by running an eyeball regression on it. Is this/might this fatigue be an issue? Do we see a change in pitching motion?