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This is an excellent comment. I agree completely. Well argued.
"Clearly the baseball gods saw a pitcher with a "P" on his cap and imbued him with amazing powers without checking the back of the uniform."
These gods must have been otherwise occupied for most of this season.
(also, it was 8 shut-out innings, 7 strikeouts for Kendrick)
Earlier this year, there was some work showing that Trout was seeing more fastballs than just about anyone in baseball (whereas Harper was seeing the fewest). I'm about to look this up, but I wonder if that's changed, and if so, by how much... that is, what kinds of adjustments have pitchers attempted with him?
I don't have a horse in this, but I want to suggest that Valentine's experience working as an ESPN analyst, in which role he was simply terrible, should have given us plenty of evidence he'd be horrible working with the media.
Well, you're going to see Brown, for sure. Possibly a lot of Schierholtz. Maybe some Mayberry against lefties... beyond that: presumably you're aware that there will be some free agents on the market?
No, I'm saying it was NOT against Manuel's grain. It was a regular old save situation, not tied on the road. He MADE it a tie game.
Um, Papelbon's blow up was in the 10th, a regular old blown 2-run save. That left rookie Jake Diekman to give up Kemp's inevitable walk-off (though one wonders why Kemp was not intentionally walked there, but no matter).
That's interesting speculation. But regarding Utley, saying anything about his handful of at bats so far this season is surely a bad idea. And he's missed time the last couple of seasons because of his knees, the kind of condition that wouldn't seem to be related to his hip problem.
See, your first paragraph is a reasonable speculation, I think.
Your second is bullshit, in the technical sense of the term.
this accounts for a massive population, does it?
This occurred to me. But surely you'd only have to wait one or two games. Alas.
I get the regular Phillies joke about non-use of Papelbon, I really do, but this wasn't the best example: it was the 8th inning, and he'd pitched the previous day, somewhat laboriously, in blowing a save, and it was the first game of a doubleheader... the odds he would pitch two full innings, for any team, given all that are very slim. Also, the Phillies have Bastardo, who, though not highly paid, has typically been able to hold leads and strike guys out doing so... of course, he'd also pitched the day before, and not well, so he should've had a shorter leash... but still.
Oh, I'm not saying they'll be able to make up enough ground this year. They're pretty far behind. But most of their underlying numbers don't look bad, despite the prevailing narrative. That is, most of the "old" players are position players, aren't they? yet it's the pitching that's been a problem, results-wise anyway, and a lot of that is inconsistent performance from lots of young relievers! But people just see what they want to see, whatever fits their already accepted narrative. Could be the end of a strong run, sure, but the "scout's" comments are bullshit.
I get that the Phillies are kind of old, and that their system has been depleted, and that they're having a terrible season, but I wonder if that "scout" knows where they rank in runs scored on the season, or pitching K/9 & BB/9, not to mention xFIP, SIERA, etc. Doubtful.
He made an offhand remark in a parenthetical aside, and also gave "no evidence"; why should I have to?
"Unfortunately, writing with confidence tends to be more interesting than writing with doubt."
Not sure this is true. (Actually, I'm fairly sure it's not.)
I think phuturephillies is generally right on target in his remarks in this thread, but you're right to highlight the "fleeced other GMs" bit as overblown. Amaro has made a number of high profile deals, trading prospects for established veterans. The first Lee deal was excellent; the Halladay deal a decent trade, though possibly an overpay given Toronto's position; the second Lee deal was questionable; the Oswalt deal was ok; the Pence deal was probably a case where *he* got fleeced, in that its necessity was doubtful and he gave up so much for him. The question is less whether those guys all end up amounting to something or nothing, but that none of them are available for future desired trades.
expressing disagreement is not the same as "getting upset"
No one in this thread is acting butt hurt.
very solid comments, many good points; my only objection would be that a "most likely 'worst case scenario'" for the Phillies is more in the 85-88 wins range, in a scramble for that second WC... after all, the Red Sox missed the playoffs the last two years, and your analysis applies to them, too.
Good writeup on what has been a painful season to watch unfold. The really bad thing about the recent bullpen blowups, and Manuel's bizarre decision-making with respect to them, is that the offense has actually seemed to somewhat turn a corner in the last two weeks or so. Halfway decent bullpennery in even the last week, and they have an additional 3-4 wins. Frustrating.
Why, yes, yes he can. (Can't imagine why someone rated down such an innocuous comment as yours, btw.)
Yes. I'm a Phillies fan, and I agree completely. I think people are expecting to hate Harper, so they hate him and everything he does (him stealing home was labeled as "arrogant" by one fan; as if Chase Utley doing the same thing wouldn't be called "badass"). Hitting Harper smacked of desperation to me, too.
Hamels doesn't have a low GB%; and, no, there isn't a better offensive option.
"Schmidt's great, too, but over A-Rod?"
Oh, god, yes.
The problem with the idea of the tragedy of the commons is it's bullshit.
Interesting article though.
Still an unnecessarily obnoxious comment.
Do phuturephillies comments really read like someone simply unable to "let go"? The answer is, no they do not. They are well thought, well reasoned, very smart. Of course, what he argues could not come to pass, but that doesn't make his arguments little more than wishful thinking.
Actually, the second one, late in the season, was 8 games; it began the game after they clinched the division... the combination of post-clinch easing up a bit, and key guys like Howard sitting out (the lineup was even more patchwork than it will be to start this season). Then they got their act together and won the final four games of the regular season.
Alas, the first two of those eight games were against the Cardinals.
"Domonic Brown has again been farmed out so he can be ritualistically beaten with a sand-filled hose, as has become the custom in that organization"
or so he can work on his defense, which is comically, sub-Ibanez, bad right now
You make some good points, the best one being the Phillies core being older (also, Rollins was not an overpay, but just about right). But it's not clear why the alternative to being the Yankees has to be being outdrawn by the 76ers.
Phuturephillies point was less that the Phillies will be the *Yankees* necessarily, but that they have the resources to not crater.
It remains to be seen how Amaro will do. He's made some smart moves and some not so smart moves.
But, with respect to the rest of your comment, they have also had a strong farm system, which they have also used for trade pieces to supplement their signings. Granted, the system is at a low ebb now, but there's no reason to assume that's permanent. Will the Phillies be as successful in navigating this territory as the Yankees have been? That remains to be seen, but they have the resources to remain competitive.
Galvis is an upgrade on who defensively? Utley? That would be impressive indeed.
alas, the Deadspin appearances have been pale, not so funny, shadows of their former FJM glory
Pitchers hitting is fun.
Precisely the wrong response to have. The reason ballplayers are able to stand up for what ought to be basic rights is because they have a very strong union. Probably strong enough that they could have defeated entirely were it not for the PR problems.
Americans in other occupations have for decades had their right to organize steadily eroded, to the point that now many of us indentify much more strongly with owners than we do with workers.
"It's baseball. If you want to play, pee in the cup and don't take drugs."
If it's only baseball, then why should it matter what's in their pee?
I'm a little confused by the Nationals innings limit for Strasburg. I understand they want to protect him, but I just don't see how limiting him to 160 innings does that. That could mean fewer than 25 starts. Seems to me that limiting his tiring innings during games would be more useful.
I'm a Phillies fan, so it's not like I relish them facing Strasburg, but I don't see how such an extreme limit makes sense.
When did Ed Wade destroy the Phillies?
Did you read the actual article in the link? I'm guessing not.
Amnesiac is clearly their best album.
How do you know it wasn't harder on the players *not* playing in pennant races? The answer is you don't. You just typing a bunch of bullshit, in the technical sense of the term.
Yes. This is well put: "Pavement can't play the way Satriani does, but Satriani can't play the way Pavement does, much less write that kind of song."
I've said above that the metaphor is terrible, but re-reading, I will say that the opening section of the article is fine. This in particular:
"The flip side is that I can't bring myself to enjoy music by a band that everyone thinks is cool just because everyone thinks they're cool. A prime example is Pavement, a band that became popular in certain circles in the '90s. I would love to love them, but I don't know how."
Worrying about what's hip or cool is not interesting. And it's perfectly acceptable to admit that you "would love to love them, but [you] don't know how". Even trying to find out *why* you don't like something others do is noble (see "Let's Talk About Love", Carl Wilson's fantastic book about Celine Dion and her (to him) mysterious popularity; really an excellent book). But using technical skill in a WARP-style metaphor is simply wrong-headed.
Spot on (below, too). The entire metaphor is terrible.
The comparison is completely ridiculous.
"These guys would take themselves out of blowouts"
This is bullshit.
Those guys never once hit meaningless homeruns in games that had already been decided. This is your argument? I don't buy it, not even a little bit.
Consecutive thoughts of yours:
"Actually, not. Individual responsibility, people."
"The sad truth is that a lot of teens become alcoholics today because while smoking is demonized in the media, drinking is glorified. Also, anybody who is anybody has been in rehab. These are truly the new role models."
Do you really not see the blatant contradiction here?
"Sign O' The Times"? "If I Was Your Girlfriend"? "U Got the Look"? Etc.
and yet these same people will tell you RBI are more important than OBP
Regarding #4, I disagree with "when it's heard". It seems to me we hear of a HR killing a rally not when it's a leadoff homer (in which case, there as yet has been no rally), but when a team way behind has gotten a few guys on, possibly even scored a run or two, and then someone hits a homer, clearing the bases.... it's the clearing the bases that is seen as killing the rally. (And, I have to admit, there have been times when it's *felt* to me like a bigger rally got killed in this way, but I'd never argue it seriously.)
thank you! I hate when people refer to players who used (or are suspected of having used) PEDs as "cheaters" (or "juicers"); it's always bothered me, but it's difficult to explain why without sounding like an apologist
see, I don't care that Selig was either reactive or late on the PEDs front (primarily because I don't care about them), but I do care that in not admitting complicity, the players are seen as the only culpable parties
so, one fluke season is your obvious proof that steroids were a problem? single years that stick out should be evidence against steroid use
You're right in those particular points, however my point is that the manner in which you made your first comment ("I've often argued the same thing about Curt Schilling and his bloody sock legend") inappropriately places it at the same narrative level as Morris' game, when no one uses it in the same way.
"No active or recently-retired players are included in this roundup"
Not really, though. The bloody sock thing only added to what was already a considerable post-season legacy for Schilling. No one really leans on the sock game as the key point in a narrative supporting Schilling's enshrinement, nor will anyone need to when the time comes.
I agree he was the best available reliever. I'd've kept him over Papelbon. I never thought there was any chance he couldn't "handle" the closer role.
alternatively, you have no idea what actually happened and are just spouting nonsense
I don't buy the scout's view of Madson. Or, rather, I'm sure someone said that, but it strikes me as bullshit. It seems more likely that something went weird in the negotiations with Boras.
This is a good point. This is probably why it doesn't bother me.
regardless of its origins, it does easily fit in with standard-issue American exceptionalism, it just doesn't bother me like other examples do
Oh, of course, the US is still a world power. But the period of U.S. economic dominance was roughly the end of WWII till about 1967-1973, thereabouts. Around the time we went off the gold standard (the end of the Bretton Woods system). Economic decline sets in from then. Political decline is trickier, but suffice it to say that truly powerful countries don't have to engage in the kinds of wars the US has engaged in over the last 25 years. Those are signs of weakness, not strength.
Though obviously this isn't the place to get into the details.
I'm about as unpatriotic as it's possible to be (and recognize anyway the US to have been in massive decline as a power for decades), but I've always found this complaint to be rather silly. So I'm not terribly sympathetic to it.
"World Champion" seems to me to be evolved from "World Series Champion". People may want to ask why it's the "World" Series in the first place, but I don't think we get anywhere interesting with that line of inquiry. Other sports, I imagine, followed baseball's lead.
jessehoffins makes a good point about the existence of a club world championship in soccer, but not baseball.
How weird to say, as if reporting a fact, that America *IS* #1 as a nation", and as if even means anything
I don't think it's right to say that the Rangers "let" Cliff Lee walk. They were all in on him, he just didn't accept their offer.
wow you are an enormous baby
where are all the down-ballot votes for pitchers?
I enjoyed the article, but this passage is probably misleading:
"Even in 1977-78, two of his very best years, spent pitching for a hard-hitting Pirates club that won 96 games and a World Champion Yankees team, he lost a total of 20 games coming out of the pen, and blew 22 saves—in other words, almost one-third of the 129 total games those two teams lost."
How many of his losses were also blown saves?
"Rollins missed 18 games this season with right lower limb problems"
no, the time he missed this season was due to a groin strain; still an injury, but the difference matters
"No one ever calls a curveball a hanger if the person takes it or swings and misses"
sure they do.
The first paragraph has some mismatched players... Furcal and Freese appearing to play defense for the Phillies. (In any event, the Cardinals had baserunners in every inning, so I don't know if it's right to say Hamels was successful in keeping runners off base; he was successful in keeping them from scoring, though, which is nice.)
Re: Ruiz and throwing out runners. It seems none of the Phillies pitchers are good at holding runners on. Ruiz often has no chance whatsoever at throwing them out. Even today's double-steal (by a hobbled Pujols and Berkman of all people!): Pujols beat the throw easily. It's hard to see that as Ruiz's responsibility and not Hamels'.
"any other leftist equalizer"
It seems that according to Heyman's weird logic, a pitcher could win the MVP and not win the Cy Young Award. (He has Kershaw first and Halladay second for the latter, but only Halladay appears anywhere--7th--on the list for the former.)
Sure, though that isn't much of a reply; your language implies that they're talking about it now.
let's not get carried away; no one has said anything about a DL trip for Hamels
alternatively, you could have simply said, "how about running into a wall or another player?"
"Part of the reason the Phillies have been able to stay competitive is because they try to make deadline trades for players who can be part of the future. Oswalt had another year on his contract when acquired, and the Phillies hold a club option on him next for next season, while Pence is under club control through the 2013 season. The Phillies opted not to re-sign Lee after he became a free agent in 2009, as they traded with the Blue Jays for right-hander Roy Halladay. Yet Lee enjoyed the Philadelphia experience so much that he signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies as a free agent last winter despite receiving more lucrative offers from the Yankees and Rangers."
Of course, Lee was not a free agent after 2009. Lee was traded to Seattle.
It's nice to see him getting more attention, but Hamels' name is misspelled in the title.
I can't imagine there was ever any reason to run someone over in an All-Star game.
the quote is not taken out of context; Posnanski summarizes the IBB portion of the podcast, and spends his entire blog post writing about the IBB
fyi, in Valdez's inning, Votto's flyball was to the warning track; Bruce's was essentially a pop-up, to shallow center.
Is the building falling apart? If it's dangerous, then it might be worth moving. If it's in good shape, then it's worth keeping and maintaining. It takes ideas like those propagated for decades by the likes of economists from the University of Chicago to make us think otherwise.
The Phillies won the World Series the year before acquiring Ibanez. They lost the World Series in 2009 with him.
Ok, it's a bad contract, but you should at least try to characterize the player more accurately. Werth is not "coming out of a year well above his career norms"; he's had three straight very good years, of similar quality. And saying "He'll start getting hurt again" implies a long history of injuries, when in fact his major problem was his wrist, which was smashed by an AJ Burnett fastball, and hasn't been a problem in four years. He's not likely to be worth his contract in the later years, but frankly, he strikes me as the kind of player who will age fairly well.
"In Baltimore, the Ravens have been good, but they’re the only other sports franchise in town"
Yeah. I'm a Phillies fan living in Baltimore. The city is positively obsessed with the Ravens.
Yep, all valid quotations.
Fair enough; even so, I don't think using that as a basis for yelling 'CLASSIC BUST!' is justified.
"A 32-year-old free agent coming off one single season head and shoulders above anything he'd done in the previous 5."
In which seasons his home park was where, again?
I give him props for admitting his mistake, but I maintain that you should be able to see that Tim Raines is a slamdunk hall-of-famer, especially if you also happen to be a regular contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
shouldn't need to be persuaded of Tim Raines, either
That's what I was thinking, but Matt's anecdote about his take on Schilling's WS shut-out is what made me bring it up... thanks.
I love this stuff, Matt; thanks.
With respect to BABIP and ground-balls, I found Jamie Moyer's season last year very interesting. There was certainly a difference between those games when he got good results vs. bad. I bring him up because I watched a lot of his games last year and have been trying to figure how to square what I *thought* I saw with what the advanced metrics told us about his value to the Phillies.
We talk about a very low BABIP as being unsustainable, and rightly so, I think, but it seems to me that we make a mistake if we look at a low BABIP and simply conclude "he was wasn't *really* pitching that well". In those games in which Moyer posted the best results last season, he did indeed (somehow) induce a lot of weak contact, weak grounders and flies that are easy to field. Obviously weakly hit balls can find holes and be misplayed too, so luck remains a factor. Still, it seems to me that DIPS theories don't tell us much about any one game, but rather about the persistence of certain tendencies. With a pitcher like Moyer, he needs to have very good command to be successful (and to "get" the outside strike), but when he does have that command he *really* did pitch that well--weak contact matters--but if he's slightly off, he gets hit much harder.
Am I making any sense? If so, is there anything to what I'm suggesting?
I tend to agree. I wouldn't be surprised if they thought about flipping Blanton right away, didn't like what they were offered, then reconsidered. If trading Blanton is needed to clear up payroll (which is what everyone assumes), it's not evident to me how being forced to eat much of his contract would help. Better off keeping him unless he brings actual value back.
I think that was if they are able to finish 4th with Reynolds, then they could probably do so with Bell... i.e., a lot else has to go right.
But there's a BIG difference between a 10 win player and an 8 win player. The argument being made is if you have two more or less 8 win players, and on what basis to choose between them. At some point, subjectivity of some kind is going to have to come into it, unless we simply want a computer to spit out an award. But part of the value of the award is that it is recognition. With better stats, recognition can be distributed more fairly, but you can never remove subjectivity from it.
this comment literally makes no sense
Chase Utley seems the most glaring missing player to me.
who the hell votes for those things?
I guess it's unlikely, but god it would make me unaccountably happy if Lee signs elsewhere; it would have anyway, but especially now that the Yankees are so in need of starting pitching...
I suppose I should explain what I meant. First, I love baseball stories, sabr-oriented or not. What bothers me about these articles from Bob is that they are ill-conceived as topics/arguments (not all of them are intended to argue something), as noted at length in the thread accompanying the Pete Rose article, and as noted below by others wrt to this article. The poor conception seems to me directly related to the writing, which is, yes, clunky, as you note, but more to the point goes nowhere.
For example, the anecdotes he presents about these two games are actually fairly entertaining. I liked knowing about them. But he begins the piece talking about Chuck Tanner and ends, rather abruptly, attempting to humorously suggest that the Pirates won the division that year because of those two games. The connection between the two appears to be some vague notion that Tanner was "unorthodox", and therefore successful with this loveable gang of guys. But, ignoring the drug issue handled capably by other readers, there is ample data showing how shitty a manager Chuck Tanner was. Is this meant to be contrarian, then? Typically, he doesn't say, or even acknowledge that Tanner is not highly regarded. I expect a bit more from BP, advanced metrics or not.
What is the point of these articles? I don't mind that they lack BP-style analysis, but I do mind that the writing is awful.
well, I wouldn't have sent him, but in any event, that was in the previous game
what was the baserunning mistake made by the Phillies last night?
I'd think the apparent defense of Blanton versus the relatively negative writeup of Bumgarner is because people such as yourself are assuming the matchup clearly favors Bumgarner when it does not.
Surely he could be both "one of the best 4th starters in baseball" while also being "not even the best 4th starter pitching tonight", no? The latter is debatable in any event.
I love this series of articles. My mine problem with the recent sabremetric work is the overconfidence in this kind of observed data.
On the strike zone, the truth is, even when you think you're correcting for the apparent angle of the camera, you're likely still way off. This was brought home to me yet again with some of the alternate views made available in the division series, plus the occasional pitch tracking graphic.
Actually, I think you can. But only because it calls into question the value (or purpose) of the combined list.
Here's what I mean; maybe I'm overthinking it. You quote Colin as saying this (I've made the home/road correction):
"When you compare records and stats between clubs from the two leagues, it is seriously as if the AL gets to play all their games at home and the NL has to play all their games on the road. That's seriously the magnitude of that difference. It's a lot tougher to win ballgames in the junior circuit."
But it's not a lot tougher for an AL team to win games in the AL than it is for an NL team to win games in the NL. They are different evironments. NL teams are built to win in the NL first. That they don't play well in interleague play doesn't really tell us much (and the World Series still ends up being fairly random). Sure, if you dropped an NL team into the AL immediately, I'm sure they'd have trouble winning consistently that first season or so (would the Pirates lose 120 games? would the Phillies only win 85? dunno). But pretty soon they'd be have to be responding to that competitive environment, wouldn't they? They'd be an AL team.
Interleague play is awful for a variety of reasons, not least is the havoc it plays with the schedule. Teams play different numbers of them, teams play different opposite-league teams, teams play different qualities of opposite-league teams, etc... It makes no sense for the Phillies, for example, to play Boston six times in a season, when they only play San Francisco six times. In any event, the NL teams are not set up to maximize their wins in the 15-18 games they have to play against seemingly random AL teams every year. So comparing their relative strength seems kind of pointless.
I know a lot of people complained about the new split format for the hit list for the regular season, but I thought it made more sense.
is the league adjustment based entirely on interleague play?
I admit I think people lean a little too heavily on it as evidence of the AL's superiority, though I also admit I can't think of a statistical way of countering it...
I seem to recall some analysis from earlier in the season suggesting he'd radically changed his approach. Now to go see if I can find it.
(BTW, I really wish we had batted ball data for Barry Bonds' whole career; it seemed to me his approach was radically different post-2000, not to mention his patience. The data inconveniently stops at 2002 or so.)
I'm confused by your 2nd-order explanation. Do you mean the Phillies should have allowed about 30 runs MORE, while scoring 10 fewer? Otherwise, it's not clear to me how "a huge chunk of their run differential is prone to regression".
He didn't start the season 0-5. He was 5-1 before losing 5 decisions in a row; then came the 15-game winning streak.