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Basketball seems to me like a good choice. The fitness benefits would seem to outweigh the health risks.
It could be worse: in 1858, when Australian cricketers decided they needed an off-season sport to keep fit, they went ahead and invented Aussie Rules Football. You know, the one where they bounce the ball off the ground and then all beat the crap out of eachother. Actually, in some ways, it's awfully similar what I would imagine 'tackle basketball' might look like.
Any speculation if Hanley's 'irregular heartbeat' might be a result of caffeine pills?
I went through a stretch a couple summers ago where I was getting an odd hitch in my heartbeat where it would fire off one soft beat, followed by a pause, then one large THUMP, then back to a normal beat. My doctor indicated that the irregularity was due to an irritated heart muscle that was basically getting very full after making a shortened beat. The THUMP was the sensation of my heart blasting out almost double its usual volume in a beat.
The cause, it turned out, was too many heart irritants in my system. I had been on a long kayaking trip the day before it started and exerted myself greatly at a time when i was in pretty poor shape; I had been drinking a lot of alcohol in the week leading up; and because I was short on sleep from all the alcohol and exercise, i was downing a lot of coffee to get myself up. All three (exertion, alcohol, caffeine) are irritating to the heart and especially in combination. I went a week off coffee and alcohol (getting back in shape? pffff) and was fine, though it has recurred occasionally when i let my habits slide.
I wonder if this might be what's happening with Hanley- a few too many caffeine pills, maybe the August heat, maybe a few too many after the games. There has been a lot of talk about caffeine being the next big PED target...i wonder if anything will come from this.
'Center Field' and the rest of the Bull Durham soundtrack was on regular rotation on the car stereo for the family vacations of my youth. My sister and I would sit in the back seat and sing along, but Fogerty's poor enunciation led us to sing lyrics that went something along the lines of:
Boogie in a roll! I'm ready to play, today
Boogie in a roll! I'm ready to play, today
Look at me, Tennessee, center field...
Our older brother observed that our lyrics were clearly wrong, but no one in the car could ever pin down exactly what the lyrics should be so we just went with it.
I'd bet it would boost attendance for the teams in the mix for the extra playoff spots. The obvious comparison would be to see how attendance figures changed after the addition of the wild card. Similarly, you could look at how playoff expansion has helped the NFL, etc.
Would be great to see a BP article on this question!
oops, now the table's fixed.
It still says 'no data found'...
Great observation on the change in pitch types, Craig; Morrow's curve yesterday was simply filthy. The movement on it was reminiscent of the hard curve K-Rod was throwing in his final seasons in Anaheim. It comes in at 85mph and has a big last-second break on it. He got most of his strikeouts off it.
Molina did a terrific job calling the game; as Morrow hit his rhythm, Molina would make some really bold pitch calls to cross up the hitters. More than once, they'd get an 0-2 or 1-2 count and the hitter would expect the curve in the dirt. Instead, Molina called fastball on the outside corner and the surprised batter was way behind if he swang.
Looking at the pitch speed charts, it looks as if it was basically fastball-curve all night. There are a couple 90mph pitches - presumably sliders - and the 80mph change makes only a couple appearances. I wouldn't be surprised if he sticks to that combo the rest of the year.
Any mechanics guys around want to comment on whether his curve delivery is at all problematic? I remember a lot of concern over K-rod's action on the above-mentioned pitch.
'hot spots' is great. Given that so much of the fantasy GM's time is spent on managing the guys at the fringe of our rosters - that 5th outfielder, the extra starter - these can be a nice help. It's a good place to find that diamond in the rough player who has suddenly had a hot week and won some playing time.
'Hot spots', though, only seems to touch on guys who have recently gained value, though. I'd like to see a bit more coverage on guys who have a sudden decline in value, particularly because they're starting to strike out, or are losing playing time, or whatever.
Otherwise you guys have been great!
I've seen more attention paid to K/BB ratio on Jays broadcasts - when they numbers come up for a new pitcher, the broadcasters have been good about saying that you want at least a 2:1 ratio to be successful, and saying that pitchers below that will have trouble keeping control of the game, while guys with higher ratios can really dominate.
They don't go much into the specifics of DIPS, but I think the average fan can see how, especially when there's runners on, K/BB matters.
I have no doubt, actually, that plenty of broadcasters have no problem understanding advanced statistics, and could find ways to explain them. I think the problem is that they're very wary of the 'flavor of the week' nature of a lot of advanced metrics, and are afraid they'll be explaining some brand new stat before too long and simply alienate viewers.
some handy insight on LaRoche, Craig. Thanks! He's always a guy i look to snag off the waiver wire on June 1.
You might want to check your spelling of Kouzmanoff's name...though to be fair, i would expect a person to make a mistake on his last name, not his first!
noticed it a bit on sunday that the site was slow but it really wasn't that bad; thanks BP for being there through three fantasy drafts this weekend, the PFM really helped me stay on top of my drafts and reminded me about key guys that i wanted to target!
Presumably sunday would be the busiest fantasy draft day of the year so you guys should be fine from here on in. Thanks again BP for getting me through another draft season!
Baseball Organization Overview of Bodily Owies Output
- The BOOBOO reports.
I'd like to see the Cot's data integrated in a way similar to what the terrific website nhlnumbers.com has done in displaying hockey contracts. The ease of reading on that site is phenomenal.
More fantasy content!
You guys do some decent stuff - Marc Normandin's season previews and reviews are getting markedly more insightful. UTK, of course is a unique resource for fantasy players, as it's impossible to get so much detail on injuries anywhere else online.
Nevertheless, I feel like BP is not a major part of my fantasy baseball resources in-season. Once I've processed the PECOTA ranks, I have to look elsewhere for fantasy news, especially stuff like:
-Upcoming playing time changes. Has a certain platoon outfielder become a good pickup target because he's just graduated to a full-time job? Is another platoon player ok to cut because another guy is about to come off the DL? Is that young starter going to get another turn or is he about to be sent down? Knowing this stuff even hours ahead of the opposition can be a huge advantage in a daily league.
-Changing Bullpen roles. In the same vein, BP seems a good place for intelligent speculation on who's getting more late-inning work and who's only in there because the top guys needed a night off. Other sites are so inaccurate and uninformed in their speculations I find I have to work off boxscores to research this stuff, but I know most fantasy players don't have time to do all the research. We trust BP to be the best-informed and researched of all our baseball sources online - there's no reason why they shouldn't be dominating the fantasy baseball news market. Frankly, I think you'd have no problem signing up readers for 'FantasyBaseballProspectus', simply because the Prospectus brand is one we've learned to trust.
-More strategy articles. You guys have some neat articles about scoresheet leagues, sim leagues etc, but the fact is (i suspect) most BP fantasy players are in 12-team vanilla leagues. I would like to read more stuff on mainstream fantasy content.
To conclude: I'm a pretty die-hard fantasy player and a die-hard BP reader. I subscribe to BP because your work on real baseball stuff is unparalleled. I don't subscribe to any fantasy-only sites because I feel like none of them offer anything more than the Fantasy 411 guys can offer me for free. I feel as if BP could actually sell a lot of subscriptions with increased fantasy coverage. I'd be willing to pay another $5-10 a year for smart, DAILY (it has to be daily to be timely) fantasy writing. I suspect BP Fantasy subscribers would be willing to pay $15-20/year for a fantasy-only subscription if more articles were added.
I'm not sure who I'd suggest as a writer, because Cory Schwartz is already busy. You could always hire me!
great article, and a fascinating guy to read about - particularly because bench coaches rarely get much attention from the press.
As Butterfield was saying, it was one great question after another. Thanks!
marc, well done overall.
When looking at the players, i'd like to see some sort of risk score. When i see how Davis, for example, turned into a real bust, I think the risk warning would be appropriate. At the outset of the season, pretty much everyone was aware that Davis had enough power to hit 35+ bombs, but could also easily top 200 strikeouts for the season. As a younger player, there's always the risk that he starts off in a slump and gets benched, platooned, sent down, or at least moved down in the order. On the flip side his upside would be something more like what Nelson Cruz ended up doing.
There's something to be said in favor of, say, Justin Morneau, if he starts the season in a slump, he's going to get the benefit of the doubt and he'll stay in the cleanup spot and will at least get some counting numbers. Even though Davis may project for a PECOTA line comparable in value to Morneau's, the fact that Morneau has more of a guarantee of playing time.
Injuries aside, I wouldn't mind seeing an upside/downside figure on ABs for hitters. This is particularly handy when thinking about outfielders - it can be tempting to snag a good hitter like Hideki Matsui or JD Drew and forget that they might be limited to 400 ABs because they get platooned. In a lot of leagues (and of course you have to adjust for format) i might prefer to just take a David DeJesus, who i think might get more playing time, and provide similar value at a lower price:
Here's 5x5 stats for those 3 this year:
Drew 84 24 68 2 .279
Matsui 62 28 90 0 .274
DeJesus 74 13 71 4 .281
Jay, if you feel like making it more complicated...
For the Yankees problem (ie, voters are reluctant to vote for players who have multiple excellent teammates), why not introduce a penalty for players in the system with a teammate (or two) who also score above a certain point level?
Another thought--i'd be curious to see if, in a close mvp race, voters are more likely to give votes to a guy who narrowly missed out on winning the award in a recent year...so give some bonus for second-through-fifth place finishes in the past three years maybe?
Great analysis! This was a pleasure to read.
A-Rod partying late? It's one thing if he's in good health and has the following day off. But if he's expected to play at 5pm the next day and is expected to be rested on a full night's sleep, I'd say he's counteracting the benefits of the team trying to give him a day off. The intention is for rest and healing, not for him to have some fun. Heck, my boss gets pissed when I show up to work hungover, and I'm sure not being paid over $100,000 per day of work.
Ok, looks like a player i should go pick up!
Oops, he's already rostered in every single fantasy league I play in. Thanks for the sharp fantasy advice, Marc!
i could see this being a neat draw for the team but if memory serves me right, gallagher pointed out in the book that if a GM were to try it today the commisioner would be pretty quick to invoke the 'best interests of baseball' rule to block an attempt to make an obvious mockery of the rules. At the same time, of course, i'm sure the exclusion of a little person would open them up to a lawsuit. Perhaps the best counter would be to amend the strike-zone rule to say that the zone extends from top of knee to armpit or 30 inches up from top of knee, whichever is larger.
ya i just have to say i can't stand the salt & pepper despite the fact that I love every other kind of kettle chips.
I've come around to this way of thinking as well. Like many readers of this site, I started to get into fantasy 5-8 years ago with the availability of free only leagues on yahoo and other sites. 2004, the first year I won my league, was also the first year I was checking boxscores online on a daily basis. This allowed me to pick up both Brad Lidge (27 saves), Joe Nathan (44 saves) and Tim Worrell (19 saves) off waivers because I was a little quicker on the trigger than my leaguemates. I was also lucky that in that particular season, the closers that took over jobs were also great in other categories.
In subsequent seasons I became more and more attached to the Matt Berry approach: "Don't pay for saves!" I would draft middling closers and raid the waiver wire expecting to find a Joe Nathan every year.
Last season, I drafted only Matt Capps and BJ Ryan late as my closers. Yes, they delivered some value; combined with a few waiver-wire dalliances I ended up finishing 8th in my league in saves and fell short of winning the league. Times have changed; now, every GM in my league checks his roster daily at work and watches games on MLB.tv. I can no longer get closers by being the first guy to the waiver wire; in my league, like many, a team's new closer is usually picked up before the incumbent loses the job. If not, my leaguemates will add the new guy the second they see him warming up when the closer has loaded the bases and they show the concerned manager on the bench.
All that said, I now feel a lot safer with two reliable closers on my roster on draft day. They don't have to be elite; they need to be guys you trust to hold the job and deliver. After that I'll try to grab a third once I've addressed most of the rest of my roster. You can't expect to find two stud closers on waivers in an active league these days; Besides, if you somehow do get a surplus of closers, it's always easy to trade away an extra closer. Like Cory likes to say, it's a zero-sum game: a surplus of saves on your roster is a deficit on someone else's. Meanwhile, it's absolutely true that you can always find depth at SP or 1B with so many talented youngsters getting called up over the summer.
David Purcey is having a great spring and is a gigantic left-hander...
Mark Teahen is hitting .514 with 5 homers this spring! he'll be 2b-eligible soon as well if he gets the job (his competition is willie bloomquist). I got to see him play a couple games down in arizona and he looks comfortable turning the double play. he went for just $3 in LABR...
there was that manny guy wearing 99 for a while...
Any clues from the algorithm as to WHY martin rates as green? I'm surprised by it too...
In the same vein, Marc, it seems as if your articles lately have focused on some very fringy fantasy players. I love your analyses but would love to see more discussion focused on guys like the aforementioned Javier Vazquez who are more on the radar for us mixed-league players. In particular, I\'m curious to hear what you expect of some of the middle-class FA pitchers that moved this year, such as Lowe and Hoffman. Thanks!
matt wieters sits 6th in projected vorp...hitting .311/.395/.544!
aren\'t they unfair to their union workers, though? I\'m pretty sure they don\'t recognize staff rights to celebrate new holidays.
Like, say, his famous quote while CEO of Wal-Mart?
\"You and I, perhaps, might define children differently\"
I think John S. Mill was a genius. So there.
dianagram, i think there\'s more than enough evidence that most pitchers are too competitive to ask out of a game when they\'re getting tired, unless they feel a specific PAIN in their arm. The excitement of the game hides any damage they may be doing to themselves...also tissue and ligament damage will hurt when it occurs but the discomfort doesn\'t peak until hours later.
If Lincecum is healthy for his next start, I don\'t see him being shut down. If the giants will leave him in to get a shutout, you\'ve got to assume they\'ll let him pitch to go for the cy young. Though webb is 20-7, lincecum has him beat by 70 k\'s and 85 points of ERA. He also has only three losses. I don\'t think you can give webb that big of an advantage just yet. Four of the last 8 Cy Young races have been won by starters who didn\'t lead their league in wins (Sabathia \'07, Carpenter \'05, Clemens \'04, Santana \'04). Two years ago writers were lamenting the demise of the 20-game winner, but we\'ve had a few in the last few years and somehow i think Cliff Lee\'s accomplishment may take the luster off the 20-wins thing.
Joe, the BJ Ryan balk is allowed because other umpires have allowed him to get away with it. He does stop in theory, but the time he stops for is so tiny that it really shouldn\'t be allowed. It\'s unfair to the runners but because he doesn\'t get called for it, he continues to do it.
When he got called for it May 6, he lost it, Gibbons got thrown out, but Ryan managed to get the save. I don\'t know if it gives him an advantage, though.
Marc, good analysis on Rios.
One thing to add: A big thing Cito\'s been pushing since coming on was getting the Jays to swing early in the count. Rios has been hitting first and second pitches with authority since then. A lot of his problem early on this year was that he would work a deep count, and then switch to a defensive swing, resulting in grounders.
Though the management is sabermetric, the lineup is actually more a group of Angels-style contact hitters. They hit singles and doubles; there\'s not enough power hitters on the team to work walks.
I agree that Snider\'s not ready yet but bringing him up for september isn\'t any kind of risk when the AAA season is over.
I expect he\'ll need another year in AAA to get his plate discipline polished. Using up a month of his service time is really not that big a deal at this point.