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Good job. I wish the announcers would read this.
Great job. This was well thought out and written. Let's see more pieces like this.
Excellent job. I adored this thought experiment.
Great piece. Thanks.
Great article. Well written and entertaining. Loved the intro and the walk down prospect list lane. This was my favorite piece so far, and I'm not anywhere near a Reds fan.
Thanks man. I saw the movie mentioned in a BP chat the other day and thought about checking it out. No I know to avoid it. That's 90 minutes of my life I can thank you for.
Nice job Zach. I really appreciate the economics class essays.
Great article Zach
In a dynasty league that favors infielders over OF and SP, is Lucroy a better pick for 5 years than Chris Davis, Felix Hernandez or Jay Bruce?
I've read everything on the site by Silver, Sheehan, Goldman, Kharl and Huckabay (who is ludicrously underappreciated).
I'm looking forward to this project Sam. It's a good idea.
It's easy to do this with great modern writers, like Nick Hornby and Junot Diaz. It's harder with some of the older writers, because most of them wrote one or two dreadful pieces. That said, you could also do this with Hemingway, Twain (very ambitious) or Orwell.
This was fantastic. I always appreciate stories about outside-the-box thinkers and how the establishment is threatened by them. Your points were logical and measured. Thank you.
Great article. Thanks man. I loved the research and writing style.
Well done. I think one can never write about confirmation bias enough -- that belief is so ingrained in people. This article feels like a continuation of your essay at the back of the 2013 annual.
Great article Christina. A wonderful story and homage to a brilliant manager. You weaved in some important baseball points in your personal story. We miss you here.
Great article. My favorite one this year. Many thanks.
Nice job. Thanks.
Yeah, this was really good. Please consider finishing it off with a review of all the other stadium songs. You could also focus on songs that players are introduced to.
Awesome video, both as a history of BP and as an example of the randomness of how careers are made and work out.
The comments on the SI article make it hard to be a fan of our species. It's maddening to read the willfully ignorant comments.
Nice work on this Jay.
I've been to 300 games in 35 stadiums over a period of 24 years. I have never gotten a ball. I would like to catch a foul or homerun. I would not give it away. I'm not interested in a player tossing me a ball or getting one in BP. It's actually quite important to me to get one, and is one of my unfullfilled wishes in life.
Any ball after the 1st one, I'd almost certainly give away to a well behaved, deserving looking kid (wearing some team clothes (best would be a non-superstar player), perhaps a glove and certainly totally into the game to that point).
Brutal loss for BP.
You'll be missed Steve. Your writing over the past 14 months was especially outstanding. Pedro-esque. Good luck.
Reminds me of Christian Bale's interior monologue in American Psycho.
I can provide space at Rutgers if you want to come to central New Jersey.
Kevin Maas. Cecil Fielder.
Welcome. Great to have an international perspective.
"while the Yankees began getting competitive again in 2000, it coincided with the launch of YES Network that same year."
The Yankees began getting competitive in 1993 with 88 wins, and then the 90's dynasty happened.
Nice article Larry. The Avengers used to play the West Coast Avengers in an annual baseball game (West Coast Avengers Annual #2; Avengers Annual #16).
2011: The Year that Steven Goldman made his Johan Santana like 2004 leap.
Steven, you've written about a dozen great pieces this year. This one, the one about the dorky guy who you went to HS with, Cabrera's Grapes of Wrath, and a bunch of others. Really, really nice work. You are now the must read on the site.
Very cool that you are on TV. Your multi-media assault begins. I'm looking forward to a time when BBWAA writers cite JAWS on a regular basis.
This was excellent. Please do more takedowns (maybe an unfair word choice) of people who send out brochures? Do agents do this for the end of the year awards? I'd love to see a John Lacky 2011 Cy Young Award brochure.
Is Jim Bowden actually writing for BP at this point, or is this a joke?
The fact that Bowden (or whoever is ghost writing for him) suggests the Cardinals need a "proven closer" is ludicrous. Closers (other than Rivera) can be invented on the spot. BP readers know this, as well as the more astute front offices.
This was excellent. You were a great guest Kevin, and I'd like to read more of your work.
You mixed quantitative and qualitative analysis into your incredible take down of Couch's article.
Great summation Jay. Nice work this year.
Great work. Nice having you here again, even if it is only a guest spot.
AWESOME introductory story to this article.
Yeah, this was great. What about "negative self-talk" where they yell and scream, or talk into their glove, or destroy stuff in the dugout while shouting?
I'm sorry about your GM, Jay. That is maddening.
Nice article. Some great lines were already mentioned.
At the start, you cited King Felix and Hunter Pence. They are totally different. Felix is young, awesome, under club control for a while and relatively cheap. Pence is not young, is an average RF and will be getting quite expensive soon. It makes sense to hold onto Felix (unless you can get Cano, Montero and 2 Yankee pitchers for him or some other King's ransom) and trade Pence (who is more valuable right now than he will be in the offseason).
Is it against the rules to hit the ball twice during the same swing? If so, why was that rule put in place (and when)?
This was a good take-down. We have to force others to be better through factual criticism.
Another inspired piece Steven. This was excellent.
Great work. Thanks.
Good job. Look forward to more. You are a good replacement for some of the wonderful writers we've lost.
Very good article. To quote Michael Lewis quoting Billy Beane, "Outs are baseballs clock. Bunts are giving outs away."
I can't understand how Girardi is so lauded. Between bunting, handling Jeter/Posada, the 2008-10 Joba fiasco, and horrific handling of the media, he is terrible.
Steve didn't write the 2nd paragraph though. It was a good article on bunting and the ossification of thought.
Thanks for reprinting the text messages.
This was fixed later with the late 80's release of the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe." It classified abilities much better than marvel.com does (with only a range of 1 - 7). The Surfer was at the top of the strength scale.
That said, while Thor is the most powerful Avenger, Cap clearly has the highest VORP.
....I have to go argue on some freak-show message boards now.
Braun had a 9 in strength.
Gary is my all-time favorite BP writer. I hope he starts writing for the public again.
Well done, Mr. Goldman. You've penned two absolute gems this year (Cabrera's Grapes of Wrath being the other). I've always liked your writing, but you took a jump this year with those two pieces.
This was very well done. Should be added to the "BP you must read this" archive.
It became a huge subject in the NFL after Malcolm Gladwell's article in the New Yorker in October of 2009. He compared football to dogfighting. Since then, the mainstream media started noticing, and pro sports teams started pa ying attention. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell
Thanks for this article Jay. I liked the personal touches very much.I spent two hours teaching my students at Rutgers about him (45 minutes of it was from Ken Burn's documentary). He's one of my two great heroes and role models.
I've read you since '98. You will be sorely missed. I always thought of you as a combination of Uatu, Cassandra and Dante's Virgil -- observant, possessing foresight and guiding us all through the inept (and competent) transactions of the baseball world.
I'm thrilled that you were able to dig up a Shaw quote as a way of saying goodbye. That was cool.
Hopefully you'll still do a few BP events. Your brilliance, wit and enthusiasm have always been a bright spot.
If you want to teach (even part-time), you should do the PhD. It sucks that it takes that to be recognized by other academics, but so it goes...
Despite our loss, I am happy for you. Thrilled. I think talent should be recognized, rewarded and given wider audience. This is a good thing for you, baseball and society.
All the best,
I'm looking forward to the TA with Shaw's quotes.
This sounds awesome. I'll be enjoying the cold NJ air though. Christina, you owe us a visit to the East Coast. You used to do all the events out here.
I'm assuming it was Christina who pointed this out.
I love data like this. Glad to see someone is doing in-house research at your own process.
That was the first player I thought of too.
Nice review. Thanks.
This was fabulous. I've missed Joe and Gary's daily jottings on this site, but the way you discussed addiction, great skills, and early retirement while weaving in quotes from Robert Ebert, Damn Yankees, Bill James and A League of Their Own demonstrates excellence in your craft.
I've been a drug & alcohol counselor for eight years (and a professor for three), and I can count on one hand the number of times that a layman or non-recovering alcoholic has understood and communicated the issues surrounding it so well.
There isn't any research on it, but I believe that it is harder for people with money, fame and exceptional skills to get sober than the average human. Money buys outstanding lawyers, pays for bail, allows for multiple stays at swank rehabs and delays the onset of financial catastrophes that so many other people with substance abuse or dependence run into. Fame surrounds stars with sycophants and hangers-on that continually build them up and rarely confront them on their behavior. Possessing exceptional skills affords one multiple opportunities (despite workplace laws, if this were Casey Kotchman, he'd be released with the quickness).
Very well done. Thank you.
I've never seen so many comments by people with 3 or 4 digits. This article really shows the comic-baseball nerdfest (I prefer studfest) of the early subscribers. I think Nate, Christina and Goldman are (or were) all comic book fans too.
A vulture is a pitcher who gets a "blown-save win." I remember Jeff Nelson called "The Vulture" in 2000 when he had 8 wins for the Yankees (a few in games that he blew the save). A cursory google search found that Jesse Orosco (36) and Mike Timlin (37) are the career leaders in that arcane stat.
The Vulture is a Spiderman villain, but I expect that the pitcher is named after the bird.
Flash Gordon is taken from the sci-fi hero of the same name from the 50's and 60's, not the Barry Allen (or Jay Garrick or Wally West) Flash from the DC Universe.
read up on Pecota. It is a very conservative forecasting system. The player comments in the annual address this with text like "this projection is low," or "barring injury and/or poor management, xxxx will get 500 abs and will blow this projection away."
You guys should do a VH1: Behind the Scenes style article about the 10 greatest BP screw-ups (not the spill) and the internal and external reaction to them. It would be a great read, funny and humble.
Most comments ever on BP?
VORP is great. Disappointed that it is not in there.
Nice article. Thanks.
Yeah, where's the VORP?
I'd attend anywhere in NJ. Princeton may make a lot of sense, as you cater more towards a thinking crowd (although Menlo with Edison...).
I can get you a pretty big space on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus for free, but need 2 weeks notice to do so.
Seriously. I thought that Steven had been coy during his "let me reintroduce ourselves" column and that he wanted to keep Gary's return under wraps. Great article, but a real letdown.
That is just a devastating sentence.
so unless the party just never ends in SoCal, everyone involved is supposed to have consented, entirely on the up and up.
I love this line. Great analysis combined with a funny touch.
This was wonderful. Thank you. I'm missing a lot of the writers that are long gone --- this was a real highlight and a good reason to keep hoping that BP can churn out some more really original articles.
This should go in the mythical BP "must read" file that Goldstein or someone has always been saying should be created on the site.
I look forward to your answer to Bill James, "How We Fixed the Hall of Fame." Get Rock in dude.
I see him pitch everyday. I don't need stats to see that he is good. (Poe's law)
How I Know What Isn't So
Hopefully you'll heal like Bullseye did and return to your assassin-like writing...
I have my BP's lined up too (going back to 2000), but I have my Ultimate Thor action figure next to them instead of Superman.
Because it is easier to find a good 4 (or 5) than a good 2 or 3, I'll take the Tigers. I want the best talents, and the Tigers top 3 are better than any other team's top 3 (in the AL Central).
As a GM, I can improve the Tigers rotation easier than I can the others.
Option 1. You trade him and take back a risky prospect or two. You send a message that this is a new day. Then you cut a picture out of him and put in on your door, so you can look at it before you decide to sign Mike Pelfrey to a 5 year, $82 million deal or before you go 3 for $40 million to David Ortiz. (written in Jay McInrney style 2nd person).
The Yanks-Twins when Girardi brought in Tomko to pitch in a tie game (we were both there, May 2009). This or any other piece on bullpen mismanagement.
The Colon-Santana piece is a must.
Jay should grow a Rollie Fingers mustache.
Obviously, your rankings reflect how you expect they'll perform in 2010. BP readers are not your average baseball fans though; my suggestion is about to make your job much harder.
I play in a 16 man, 55 year keep league where we can keep one player for 5 years (4 for 4 and then the rest of the contracts are for 3, 2 or 1). What about a ranking for the next 3 years (maybe put in in parenthesis, or just do a slapdash top 10 ranking for the next 3 years at the bottom of each positional page)? This would make Sizemore probably more valuable at 2b, Castillo much less so.
how come I can't rate staff members' comments? this should get a plus.
Clemens won Cy Youngs in 86 and 04. That is the most time between awards (I know he won 5 in-between). It all comes down to what you mean by "between awards." Do you mean "nothing in between 2 awards" or "between 2 awards?" If you mean the first, than Glavine does have the longest time. If you mean the 2nd, than it goes to the Rocket.
If you do Princeton or New Brunswick, I'll bring cupcakes that are better than last year's rice crispie treats. With some lipitor on the side, of course.
Your disparagement of Cheers was for more inflammatory that Obama's knock on Vegas.
Mr. Sheehan educated his audience the way that writers dream about. His loss is huge. I agree with earlier posters: losing Rany, Gary, Nate and now Joe has been a huge talent loss (and despite some additions, it hasn't evened out (the best comparison is the late 90's Indians (Gary as Belle, Nate as Ramirez and Joe as Thome)) and what they are now.
I'll keep the subscription, but only because of Christina, Kevin, Steven (where has he been?), Jay and to a lesser degree, Marc (and the fact that I have disposable cash).
Christian makes references to Moltke the Elder and creates words like "wishcasting." Lots of contributions from her all around.
If you are complaining about the money the Yankees spend, I hope that you are intellectually consistent and support higher taxes for the wealthy & businesses, as well as national health care. Lots of hypocrisy abounds here as many chant "the Yankees have too much money" but they don't feel that way when asked to help other humans.
Stengel would have platooned Howard.
Who were the "2 or 3 best free agents" they bought in 2005? 06? 07?
I think the pros of having CC throw on Sunday outweigh the cons.
(1) Stronger starter in game 6
(2) If the series goes 7 and he pitches on Monday, it makes him less available for the WS
(1) Don't have him for game 1 of the WS (but they can't throw him 1-4-7 without starting on 3 days rest twice).
Can we call them "high school peakers?"
The great shafts (doesn't sound good, does it?) of the last 20 years:
87: Dawson over Ozzie Smith
95: Vaughn over Belle
96: Gonzalez over Arod
99: Pudge over Jeter
01: Ichiro over Giambi
05: Colon over Santana & Rivera
06: Morneau over Mauer, Santana & Jeter
06: Howard over Pujols
I'm all for the Mariano lifetime acheivement Cy Young. It worked for Al Pacino & Paul Newman.
Every objective measure I've seen puts Rivera as the unquestionable greatest reliever of all time.
I'll tell Matt what I was told by a union guy during a summer job 11 years ago: "slow down, this is a union job...you'll make the rest of us look bad."
I love your writing: "Sesame Street level logic." Brilliant.
"The fundamental error in the free-agent market, going back 30 years, is paying players for the year they just had as if it represents their level of performance going forward, when even a cursory look at the evidence will tell you otherwise."
Joe: Please do an article about all the baseball moves in the past 33 years where this "fundamental error" happens (you can have your interns or BP IDOL rejects do the research). You can start by closely examining Hendry, Wade, Syd Thrift, Littlefield, Bonifay and whoever paid Nick Esasky. This readership loves to see voluminous data.
How and when they are asked to join the union. What is the process? Can they say no? How many have said no?
Two Captain Marvel links. I'm not going to try and find Freddie Freeman.
I hope Rob and Rany get a change to read this and chime in.
I often respond to people by suggesting that the Mets should put Santana into the middle innings role so that he can pitch 3 out of every 5 days.
"Release the lions."
Awesome quote. Just spectacular.
I'd like Goldstein to weigh in on this.
g-unt nailed it.
Young guys (much less likely to get injured -- although Porcello, 20, is in the injury nexus right now) with lots of break-out potential.
Next year I'll bring cupcakes, extra buttery, of course.
You should never underestimate the immense drawing power of the Garden State -- DOGMA
Done. But I only want to talk about A-Rod and steroids, and I\'ll get annoyed with the audience if they break off of that topic.
What, Nate Silver doesn\'t make BP appearances anymore? Nightmare.
Fantastic that you\'ll be in New Brunswick. I might have my girlfriend make rice crispy treats.
Welcome to the team, Shawn. This puts you on the BP map.
A Few Seconds of Panic by Stefan Fatsis (a book about a 43 year old journalist who kicks for the Denver Broncos). He wrote Word Freak (competitive Scrabble) several years ago.
Yankees 6/161, 11/26
I laughed out loud.
Yanks: Cano for CF (Kemp?). Sign O Hudson. Sign Tex. Give CC, Sheets or Burnett a Jason Schmidt-LA deal. Keep Kennedy & Hughes. Gag Hank. Fire Girardi.