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Thanks so much for this well-written essay. While the insight/content is what drives BP, I also have always treasured that content was usually so well-put, so often just flat out good writing. This article keeps that fine tradition alive.
Is Matt Carpenter only a third baseman now? He looks better in this group.
The Cubs better enjoy your keen and wicked prose as much as we have--if they just want you for the brilliant insights they don't deserve you. All the best, Jason!
Would you drop Will Venable for Reddick in a 12 team points-based (pretty much everything counts) league?
OK OK, I'll cut Will Venable.
Fine, I'll extend my subscription right now.
Not to pile on, but...my league drafted this past Sunday. Sure wish these happened sooner.
I, too, loved the Molina foot"race" line. And social progress would come much more quickly if everyone tippled a cocktail of Maker's, dry vermouth, lime juice, Shrub & Co. spicy ginger shrub, with a Kahili ginger blossom as a garnish. (To take your drink of the night to more exotic climes.)
I've always felt "Beauty Queen" is the perfect litmus test for listeners with Bryan Ferry--and if they can't take his magnificently mannered vocal on that one, plus that sustained little Eno non-solo solo, well, they won't like Roxy Music much. And then there seems to be little reason for me to like them.
You just hit Jack Morris--and his supporters, who may or may not be filled with spiders--with a sand-filled hose.
Words fail me but they never failed you--thanks, Steve, for always being a writer first, a baseball writer second, and I mean that as a huge compliment. Onward and bleacherward, I guess. You will be missed, but no doubt my work productivity and that of many others will increase.
P.S. BP, you need to hire a Goldberg so people on chats will still have someone to confuse with Kevin Goldstein....
There's no good way to format the stats into the comments--email me and I'll email you back: email@example.com
FWIW, my staff last year was Scherzer, Morrow, Norris, Liriano, Baker and Latos. I didn't finish in the top 4 overall, and that's with an offense anchored by Kemp, Miggy, and Upton the Younger. This is in a league where pretty much everything counts (it's an involved point system based on the old Bill James Baseball at Stats). So this strategy would make me leery.
One of the places were the musicians:baseball players analogy really breaks down is the issue of influence; sure, maybe Charlie Hough taught R.A. Dickey a knuckleball, but that's not the same as hearing The Fall in Pavement (and seeing it in the album art). And that's just a start--Pavement really began as an avant-garde band, playing around with tape tricks, so to hold them up against "musicianship" is getting to the argument Bryan Ferry made when he kicked Brian Eno out of Roxy Music: "No band can support two non-musicians." And, I would argue, some of Pavement's playfulness goes back to Brian Eno, too.
It's sort of telling that when you did provide some contextual '90s band, you didn't list those that seemed more directly peers (often in sound, too) for Pavement--Sonic Youth, Archers of Loaf, Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, say. All perhaps too arty/sloppy (and what an odd line that is) for your ears, and most people's ears, given how few units they all sold, but still way more valuable than a Willie Bloomquist to many of us, loving echoes of Richard Hell and the Voidoids and other groups that blurred our senses of what pretty can be.
Todd Palin and Jeff Kent.
Maybe Santana can teach some of these guys his change-up? Given we can't expect his shoulder to let him be the Johan-of-old.
Didn't know Steve was Mayan, and boy am I sorry I extended my subscription past 2012.
As a Mets fan, I completely agree with this article, btw--you can't spell box of crap without Wilpon.
Woo-hoo--a Brian Eno "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" shout out.
Oh, there was a baseball game?
How about Mat Latos?
You can't have the stats without the people who make them. And sometimes those people behave like, oh, persons, you know? And while it's impossible to tease out the "which came first, the winning or the good attitude" conundrum, there are stories like this one about Kirk Gibson's influence on Justin Upton, and you have to wonder.
Mentorship works in all sorts of other fields, so why not baseball, too?
Not that Rajai Davis was doing so well, or at least non-streakily well (both in the fast sense and the inconsistent sense), but I assume Rasmus's arrival in the Toronto outfield means he gets a trending down arrow too?
Wonderful essay, Steven. And that someone calls it too political, when you mentioned nary a politician (beyond to reference historical periods of stagflation) or political party, hints at one of our country's deeper problems--that the top 1 percent of earners have Stockholm Syndromed the rest of us into thinking amuck capitalism is what America is all about.
And on a different note, flowers are lovely, so spending $100,000 is far from a throw away. $21 mil for three years of Juan Uribe, now that's tossing cash in the dumpster.
Missed the chance to read this over the weekend, but what about Bud Norris? And would you drop the seemingly unable to get well Brian Matusz to get him?
So would you say it's worth cutting Daniel Murphy (Mets cleanup hitter!) to pick up a free agent McGehee? Not as much positional flexibility, I know.
This essay is Joe Posnanski good.
You need to write one about "Hanky Panky Nohow" now.
Say it ain't so, CK! You will be missed, but congratulations, too, of course.
Damn contradictory emotions.
I was sad that it was still a week till pitchers and catchers would report. This article cheered me, then, as I realize in some way they already had.
Yet another exhibit of what makes BP wonderful: Has Fernando Valenzuela been within seven words of "slimmed" his whole life?
Lest we forgot the glories of the Manuel Era too soon, that wasn't just Opening Day starter Mike Jacobs, that was Opening Day clean-up hitter Mike Jacobs.
Kind of fascinating that the Phils adding two ex-Mets (Frenchie and Feliciano) would make them better. Not arguing with it, just saying.
Sandy Alderson has some work to do.
Maybe Kelly Johnson at second with his 4.6 WARP? Big home/road splits, yes, and he cooled some in the second half, but still.
Sure, Johnson doing well isn't as surprising as Jamey Carroll though.
Tim McCarver, I'd guess.
Not an Astros fan, so not so sensitive, but I also award lots of leeway to any writing that can go from the low comedy of point 7 to the high comedy of point 6 so quickly. That's one of the things I most admire about BP--the wide range of reference its writers bring to the table.
Plus, if we can't laugh at our crummy teams--and I say that as a fan of those Mets that Goldman aptly zings in an aside about Hunter Pence (trade you Jason Bay for him, Houston)--then we're just taking the game too seriously.
Sure he's 35, but after his 2010, don't you have to plot out R.A. Dickey?
Great to see the Jonathan Richman shout out, but why not stick with other painters he's written songs about and compare Lee to Vermeer? There's certainly no one like him. Plus it took a long time for people to appreciate Lee (but perhaps it just took him a long time to be worthy of appreciation).
Sorry, but it's illegal to have "Cliff Lee" and "walk" in the same sentence. (Shoot, now I did it too.)
Darn, I'm one generation fan old. At least. I still want to see Rusty Staub get his due.
Would love to see a historical view of this (paging Mr. Goldman), since the dynasty Yankee teams, for example, had the rep of fattening up on the league's dross.
So, with Ian Stewart going on the DL, even with rosters expanding tomorrow, is it worth cutting him (in Yahoo leagues he's got both 2B and 3B eligibility) to make room for the healthy Eric Young Jr.? Four weeks of play for at the best 2?
I'm in a 12-team league that uses practically everything in a custom points system.
The importance of good narrative to the voters is always fascinating, and it's interesting, Christina, that you seem to suggest Hamilton's redemption story is more valued than Cabrera's. It probably is true that people see overcoming drugs as more heroic than overcoming alcoholism. Which tells us way more about our society than it tells us about baseball.
written by Billy Beane
Platooning Ryan Howard, and Other Provocations
Chris Young did get a start in before hitting the DL, so the Pads have used 6 starters, sort of.
If you had to go with one of the following fighting-back-from-an-injury pitchers for the rest of 2010 who'd you pick? Brett Anderson, Erik Bedard, Brandon Webb, Edinson Volquez.
In light of the Volquez comment, if you had to go with one of the following fighting-back-from-an-injury pitchers for the rest of 2010, who'd you pick? Brett Anderson, Bedard, Webb, Volquez
Another Santa Barbaran hoping to make it depending upon the day and time. Since it seems people are heading in from all points, perhaps downtown LA is best? My suggestion:
Has some semi-separate rooms a bunch of people could take over if they wanted (and if they were available--they don't do reservations). Not too expensive, on street parking, good beers, fine sausages of all varieties--traditional, exotic, even vegetarian.
What happened to the wine teaser from the BP homepage that led into this article? In case you're wondering, the Viognier does go perfectly with the pork belly. Not that the pinot noir and syrah weren't wonderful, too.
What wine to serve with a Dayan Viciendo, I'm not sure--perhaps something light but tasty from the Douro?
Since there's no NFL in Los Angeles, come this fall youngsters heading to Chavez Ravine will be able to take part in the Schpunt, Pass, and Kick competition.
Is it fair to figure out a team's W-L based just on accumulated player WARP3? After all, in some cases some teams have produced several strong players at one position--for just one example, who would close for the Dodgers, Soria or Broxton? And if only one did, wouldn't that mess up the WARP3? I guess if a player's good, you find a place for him to play, but....
Offense of Silence and Darkness?
Wow, a Werner Herzog shout-out!
"(come to think of it, it would be nice to get a second shot at a lot of things, but let’s just stick with Keller for now)"
What a graceful way to say so much. Hang in there, and all the best for your dad.
A bit scary there's a pop up ad before even getting to this note. I know you folks have to make money, but....
Does Soto still count as a "young" catcher at 27? Doesn't that make him at least "middle-aged" for a catcher, any possible Fisk-iness excepted?
Justin Upton and Matt Kemp both yellow? Tell me it's just a youth thing since I'm freezing them both.
While it's great to see the Dr. Terwiliker shout out in the title, why 10,000 and not 5,000? No doubt most of these arms will turn out to be do-mi-do duds....
Investment Banking Banditry Ballpark--just brilliant. I hereby start the campaign to always call CitiField "IBBB."
Comparing baseball to other revenue-making enterprises just doesn't work, especially in the case of MGM and UA. Film production and distribution hasn't been defended as a monopoly since 1948 and has since had to take on an ever-changing media world (TV, video, internet) chipping away at what it did best--make movies.
It's particularly hard to achieve dominance in an industry when the basics of the industry keep changing. You can't say that about baseball.
Running with the Golan-Globus thing, while the movies generally stunk they did allow for some Award-caliber scenery chewing. One of Morgan Freeman's best early roles was as a nasty pimp in "Street Smart" and then there's "Runaway Train," which, as somebody wrote at the time, features a moment where you can tell Eric Roberts stares at Jon Voight in awe--Roberts has actually been out over-acted by Voight.
Does this say hopeful things for Haeger?
You can add Kelly Johnson to the DL list.
"GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is having the last laugh over that much-criticized three-year, $31.5 million contract he gave the 37-year-old free agent last winter."
It's just 4 months into that 3-year contract, so at best it's a first laugh, no?
Despite how dominant he could be, Benitez will always be remembered for his big spotlight failures--the Jeffrey Maier "homer," nailing Tino Martinez in the back and challenging the Yanks to a fight in 1998, JT Snow's homer in the playoffs in 2000 (OK, the Mets did win that game), blowing Game 1 of the World Series to the Yanks in 2000, blowing a save to the Mets in 2007 when he balked twice (thank you Mr. Reyes).
While clutch may not exist, Benitez certainly made a loud, lonely argument for it in closers.
"nice little very tall"
Did you just go Clare Quilty on us?
Well if you want to go Zin get him something from Turley--oddly enough perhaps their best is from Ueberroth Vineyards, yes, that Ueberroth. The wine is perfectly balanced but they don't sell a zin under 15.5% alcohol. So Clay won't feel the pain of all the changes too much.
A Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain made by Tom Seaver (GTS Vineyards).
Oliver Perez is actually Mr. Inconsistency when it comes to what teams he pitches against, too. For instance, over the past 3 years he's 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA against the Yanks, but 2-3 with a 6.69 ERA against the Nats (smallish sample sizes apply, of course). Ultimately, you just never know with Oh-Pea.
Here\'s hoping for John Danks\' wife that Brett Myers isn\'t a close comp in every way.
Do we really know what \"market value\" is right now? If Burrell is 2 years at $16 mil, there could be actual value.
Not to mention one assumes the Angels would like to do more than just win their division, or that the Twins might not want to start every season in a huge hole they might or might not dig out of.
\"the most bitter, vitriolic, and polarizing media figure around\"
More than Michael Savage, who told a gay caller to get AIDS and die? More than Ann Coulter, who \"joked\" about blowing up the New York Times building and belittled the 9/11 widows?
If you\'re buying the book for the forward in the first place, you\'ve got problems. Just skip those pages--they won\'t give you liberal cooties.
I\'m pretty sure Old Bay is available pretty widely--you can get it here in southern CA too.
Now Utz Old Bay potato chips...they need to make it out west.
Dodgers 3/93 12/12
Will, I know you\'re focusing on the playoffs for obvious reasons, but what\'s the story behind this story?
Maybe a reason the K\'s have been down?
\"a scar from a rat bite\"
Well, that pretty much sums up being a Mets fan, so what better way to close out Shea?
Mets finish gutting their farm system. Fernando Martinez, Mike Carp, and Wilmer Flores (add bonus arm if necessary) to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavey.
Will, what\'s the word on John Maine? Sounds like he\'s going to be activated, but will he be able to help the Mets bullpen that surely needs the help?
Any word on Gallardo? Yahoo says both: \"Yovani Gallardo (knee) threw a simulated game Tuesday, Sept. 16, and could rejoin the team this weekend. If he does return it will be in a bullpen role\" AND \"The team is unsure if he will be able to return at the end of the regular season or if he will be able to help the team if they make a postseason run.\"