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Michael
379 comments | 345 total rating | 0.91 average rating
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Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/736
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Matthew wrote: "The pinch-hit penalty is real, but I think numbers tend to overstate it or distort it. I also think the evolution of the game since the last comprehensive study on the topic has probably muted the inherent penalty. More importantly, though, we should definitely see more creative substituting." My understanding from The Book (by Tango / Dolphin / Lichtman) is that the pinch-hit penalty is much larger than is traditionally understood. Until you show that the pinch-hit penalty has substantially decreased, I don't agree with your last sentence in the above quote. Sorry if I'm overly discouraging.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I love that Hurdle and the Pirates had thought enough about the possibility to request that the opposing players be forced to switch gloves.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The number of walks in the Mike Clevinger paragraph looks like a typo.

Aug 09, 2016 9:37 AM on Week 19
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

It's a sign of the increase in home run frequency. It used to be a big deal when a player hits three homers in a game. Now, it's relegated to the three game story and takes a backseat behind the story of Pomeranz' first start for Boston. Interesting.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Who is Sylvia?

Jun 16, 2016 9:51 AM on Who is Sylvia?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I thought the three stage draft strategy was interesting, but not at all groundbreaking. That was about the only takeaway for me for fantasy baseball purposes.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

As a Detroit fan, I want to see our home opener occur early in the season. Schedule 4 out of the first 5 series on the road if you want, but routinely starting the season with three series on the road would be a bummer.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Russell wrote: "I isolated all cases in which a pitcher was facing the ninth batter in the lineup for the second time and then the first batter in the lineup for the third time. To make things fair, neither hitter was allowed to be the pitcher (this essentially limited the sample to games in AL parks), and the hitters needed to be faced in the same inning." I believe you biased the sample quite a bit. Suppose the ninth place hitter makes an out. If it was the third out of the inning, it will be excluded from the sample. Suppose the ninth place hitter reaches base. It will always be included in the sample. Of course, it's possible that I misunderstood the study because I read the article too quickly.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

If you are going to use an abbreviation unfamiliar to much of your audience (e.g. TDGX), please define it the first time you use it.

Feb 04, 2016 9:45 AM on Third Base Prospects
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Alan Schwarz' <span class="bookdef"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312322232/baseballpro07-20/ref=nosim/" target="blank">The Numbers Game</a></span> is highly recommended for those who want a history of baseball statistics.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

You omitted the word "Alfie" from the last paragraph.

Jan 20, 2016 11:02 AM on Flame of Thrown
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Let's acknowledge Craig Wright's excellent article praising <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Mike+Piazza">Mike Piazza</a></span>'s defense in one of the hard copy Hardball Times Annual books. Wright used a with or without your analysis and was the first author I recall who seemed to show that Piazza's defense was quite good.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Excellent article. I was hoping that this column would return after its debut last month.

Jan 04, 2016 6:03 PM on Declaring openWAR
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Regarding <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=60633">J.R. Murphy</a></span>, you wrote "he has shown an ability to hit .270-.280 in the majors." OK, but 2014-15 was only ~240 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AB</span></a> and came with a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> much higher than one would expect based on his lack of power and speed and minor league track record. I question whether Murphy has that ability.

Nov 13, 2015 6:31 AM on Hicks and Yanks
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

On the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=67049">Manny Machado</a></span> comment, he's one of just 11 hitters his age or younger to have 30+ <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> / 20+ <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> in a season, as the link indicates.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

This article's title did make me laugh.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=99880">Richie Shaffer</a></span> or teammate <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31447">James Loney</a></span> in an AL-only 5x5 league? Loney is unexciting but usually dependable, but he has just 1 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> and 0 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SB</span></a> since coming off the DL a bit more than a month ago.

Aug 07, 2015 6:20 AM on Week 18
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Yes, it's probably not a good sign when a scout says a player "looks dead."

Jul 29, 2015 6:36 AM on July 29, 2015
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

"penchant" not "pension" Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Jun 26, 2015 7:25 AM on The World Roster
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 9

Consider moving this article outside of the paywall. That said, you're going to need a better explanation of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PWARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PWARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PWARP</span></a> before an article like this has impact. To say that two factors -- strength of competition and durability -- explains Morris' better than expected DRA isn't going to convince most people that DRA is a better gauge of pitching performance than the versions of WAR are. I know you've tried to explain DRA and the new PWARP, but it's not working for me. I still look at the results and have no idea whether they are correct.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I find it odd that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Frank+Sullivan">Frank Sullivan</a></span>'s 1957 season makes your DRA- leaderboard when his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> total (based on <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a>) for the season is only his 6th best season despite having his third highest <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a> total. Maybe there is a data glitch because his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP-SP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP-SP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP-SP</span></a> + <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP-RP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP-RP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP-RP</span></a> doesn't add up to his total IP.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I'd probably date <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=45595">Jason Vargas</a></span>' turn around to since he came off the disabled list, not starting yesterday. Since the DL stint, Vargas has 11 K / 1 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BB" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BB'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BB</span></a> / 1 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a> in 16 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a>.

Jun 09, 2015 9:24 AM on June 9, 2015
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56806">Steven Souza</a></span> did not come off the disabled list recently. He missed about 4-5 games with a wrist injury.

Jun 02, 2015 5:57 AM on Coming Up Rosales
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Ivan+Rodriguez">Ivan Rodriguez</a></span> has enough steroid rumors surrounding him that I doubt that the BBWAA will elect him as a Hall of Famer. If Pudge has to wait or the veterans committee, then at least one of Morris, Trammell or Whitaker may beat him. I think I'd play it safe and bet on <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Miguel+Cabrera">Miguel Cabrera</a></span> to be the first post-Kaline Tiger to be inducted as a player into Hall of Fame.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Welcome, Greg. Terrific debut article.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

I have an opposing comment. I wish you would post links to the city-specific stuff on the BP home page. I never know where to look for it other than in the first paragraph of this article or similar articles that are cross-posted.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Balfour's spring training was chopped up, with only 5 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=IP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('IP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">IP</span></a>, due to his returning to Australia. It wasn't unreasonable for the Rays to want to give him two more weeks to see if his velocity or control would improve.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Odd that <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=68557">Kevin Gausman</a></span> has been added to so many mixed league teams. I can see holding him but adding him while he is stuck in the bullpen surprises me.

Apr 20, 2015 6:58 AM on Week Three
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

A month later, taking Betances as the second closer looks pretty bad. The skills are there, but <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=49617">Andrew Miller</a></span> posed real competition for the role and the manager never said that Betances was the closer. A slump during spring training and the start of the season has resulted in no saves for Betances so far. Having a firm grip on the closer role is an important ingredient for ranking a reliever so high. On the other hand, I may be making too much of one example.

Apr 20, 2015 6:50 AM on Second Edition, 2015
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Victor+Martinez">Victor Martinez</a></span> also reportedly is having back problems.

Apr 17, 2015 11:31 AM on Rookie Distractions
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Winning the first seven games should be more significant than winning seven consecutive games at some random point in the season because the starting point is fixed. Later in the season, the game before a seven game win streak will be a loss, so almost by definition it's really winning 7 out of 8. Sorry if that's being too picky. There were a lot of posts about the signature significance of a season-beginning win streak when the Royals unexpectedly started 2003 with a winning streak.

Apr 16, 2015 1:30 PM on The Power of Seven?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Joe Maddon's history of not running much was limited to 2013-14. From 2006-2012, Tampa Bay's teams were always in the top three AL teams in steals, sometimes leading the league by a substantial margin.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Thanks!

Apr 12, 2015 8:03 AM on Forever Young
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

There are several pitchers younger than Harper is now, but most are in the American League. For example, Toronto had two very young relievers made its opening day roster.

Apr 09, 2015 10:52 AM on Forever Young
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

No, he has not yet. In particular, <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jose+Fernandez">Jose Fernandez</a></span> in four months older than Harper is.

Apr 09, 2015 5:55 AM on Forever Young
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

I don't have any data either, but my guess is the opposite of backwardgalaxy's guess. I would guess that there is some benefit during a game to having a batter face a pitcher with a different look than the previous pitcher. We know some analogous effects do exist: (1) The "third time through the order" penalty for starting pitchers seems to be due to familiarity most than velocity loss. (2) The starting pitcher the day after a knuckleballer starts reaps an extra benefit. Hence, it seems likely there is an in-game benefit to have a variety of relief pitchers (but certainly smaller than the platoon benefit, which DiPoto wasn't exploiting with no LH relievers at the end of 2014).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

For anyone else who needed a refresher on what "the Wilder scandal" was: http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/dave-wilder-gets-two-year-prison-sentence-for-kickbacks/

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Seems like a low salary for <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=David+Price">David Price</a></span>. I like that foundation for your pitching staff.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Excellent! Best of luck to you.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

This article makes me wonder which coach wants to own up to his March 2014 opinion that "<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=59275">J.D. Martinez</a></span>' new swing won't change the results: he's still the same guy who was lousy last year. Not a problem if we release him." Of course, nobody's perfect and one can't judge an organizational by its most memorable spring training failure. Still, just because the Astros hire smart people doesn't mean that there is any evidence that they are producing better results.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I went to FiveThirtyEight yesterday, clicked on Sports, and didn't see anything baseball related at all. You'll have to have the baseball content easier to find and/or more regularly provided to interest me.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

Thanks for the links. Thumbs up to this feature.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Evan Gattis, Russell Martin, Adam LaRoche, Brandon Moss, Max Scherzer and David Robertson are still listed with their former teams. Presumably there are a bunch of others too. Doesn't taking Dellin Betances as the second AL closer seem a bit too high considering we don't know whether he is the closer yet and he's only had one season with elite skills?

Mar 19, 2015 5:30 AM on Second Edition, 2015
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Terrific stuff, Ben.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The most entertaining nickname in this article is easier to determine: the Beaneaters! Hard to imagine a marketing department today using that name. Maybe the worst logo in this article subjectively is the Phillies 1939-43 logo. After decades with a muddy blue logo when one can't tell at a distance what it is, they redesigned it to come up with a different border but without fixing the problem.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

To be fair to John Dewan, he no longer believes in the Dewan Rule either. This post was published a year ago (after this BP article was originally published): http://www.actasports.com/stats_detail/?StatId=398

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Have first year managers done better or worse than average at helping their teams endure The Grind?

Mar 03, 2015 6:48 AM on The Thirty-Run Manager
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Kevin Youkilis also played two major league games at 2B.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks to both of you for your replies.

Feb 18, 2015 5:40 AM on LABR Mixed Recap
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It seems like drafting Ian Desmond, a second shortstop, hurt you more than your competitors. Would you prefer to have Felix Hernandez & Jhonny Peralta or Ian Desmond and Jered Weaver (not that it would have played out exactly that way)?

Feb 12, 2015 6:51 AM on LABR Mixed Recap
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

OK, you made me curious. Last player with 1 game each at catcher and shortstop: Jake Elmore in 2013. Last player with 20 games each at catcher and shortstop: Dave Roberts in 1980.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks for being willing to both compliment and criticize as appropriate the PFM's performance.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Now I'll be looking for the shrug guy when I receive my copy of the book. You just had to mention him, didn't ya?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 5

Here's the sign of a weak farm system. Your #1 prospect is your most recent first round draft choice who has posted only half a season of disappointing performance. Everyone else has had more opportunity to see his stock fall and has taken advantage of that opportunity.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"Gomes whacked 10 doubles and 11 homers in 16 plate appearances versus southpaws in 2012." That's mathematically impossible. There must be a typo in that clause.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

We'll miss your articles, Lewie, if indeed this is the last one for a while.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

In case others were also curious, here's an explanation of the Rays' outfielders' playing rock/paper/scissors: http://www.draysbay.com/2014/7/9/5883395/the-rays-tank-late-inning-drama

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

One person omitted Kershaw from his/her NL Pitcher of the Year ballot. Epic fail. It does seem like there are many squirrelly votes in the IBA balloting, even though the rankings among the top votegetters usually makes more sense to me than the BBWAA awards do.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 7

I don't understand Matt Sussman's ballot. How could David Price be the #1 AL player of the year, but the #2 AL pitcher of the year? Still, when one averages 39 ballots, these quirks largely become irrelevant.

Nov 10, 2014 5:04 AM on Staff Voting
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

By my count, Cain was 41st in WARP (this website's primary measure of player value) in the AL in 2014 and you mentioned he was 40th in the IBA AL player of the year voting. While there are reasonable arguments that he was more valuable than that, I'd guess there are reasonable arguments he was less valuable. You didn't convince me that he was overlooked.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Presumably you meant 1968 post-season rules. Of course, even then one never had a ratio of 1 post-season opening per 15 teams.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It appears that voting has been extended judging by the banner on the home page.

Oct 17, 2014 10:36 AM on IBA Update: October 16
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

Seems like some of these are managerial decisions that backfired, but not bad decisions. Are we really saying that a managerial decision not to walk the bases full was historically bad? Or that removing Russ Ortiz, never a dominating pitcher, before the 7th inning was horrible?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Terrific work. Thanks.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Measured by the difference in regular season winning percentage, here are the most unexpected sweeps in post-season series of 3 games or longer. [Warning: it was a manual search, so errors are possible] 1954 .091 Pct difference New York Giants over Cleveland Indians 4-0 2008 .085 Pct difference Los Angeles Dodgers over Chicago Cubs 3-0 1990 .074 Pct difference Cincinnati Reds over Oakland Athletics 4-0 2014 .054 Pct difference Kansas City Royals over Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3-0 Obviously, sweep wins by underdogs are more likely to happen in recent years.

Oct 06, 2014 1:08 PM on A Royal Shocker
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Even for this Tiger fan, it is hard to imagine who anyone perceives that Justin Verlander was one of the 5 best AL pitchers in 2014.

Oct 06, 2014 5:31 AM on IBA Update: October 6
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

When considering pitcher performance: - About 29.5% of bequeathed runners score in 2014 in MLB - Corey Kluber had just 2 out of his 20 bequeathed runners score - Felix Hernandez had 7 out of his 13 bequeathed runners - To my knowledge, fWar, b-refWAR and WARP all fail to adjust for this.

Oct 03, 2014 7:49 AM on IBA Update: October 3
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I liked the book in the sense that it delivered what was promised: a lot of information about inside baseball, about what the sharper players are doing during the game. Yes, Kendall's bad-ass attitude was annoying, but it didn't detract from the book too much in my opinion. FYI, Kendall believes in the concept of catchers influencing whether a pitch is called a ball or a strike for some reason doesn't like the description "pitch framing."

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

WAR per 550 Plate Appearances for Jason Kendall: Before injury: 4.2 After injury: 2.1

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Fascinating work, Robert.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Wow, that 2007 article to which you linked was scary. Glad to know you are doing well now.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Joe Smith is not a free-agent-to-be. He signed a 3-year contract with the Angels this past off-season.

Aug 11, 2014 5:12 AM on Cubs Page Turner
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Your comment regarding Bastardo's feat (6 K in 2 IP), made me curious. Steve Kline and Tim Wakefield, within a few days of each other in 1999, each struck out 6 batters in 1.7 IP. Tom Niedenfuer and Tim Stoddard each struck out 7 batters in 2.3 IP outings in 1985 and 1979 respectively.

Aug 06, 2014 5:31 AM on August 6, 2014
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It seems to me that the 13th pitcher to be added to the roster probably shouldn't be scheduled to pitch during the first 9 innings and the starter (Richards in this case) is probably more useful if the game goes into extra innings. I realize the Richards v Rodney decision was mostly a lead-in to your topic, not the real topic, but I thought I'd mention this perspective.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Congratulations, Anthony. Extremely cool coincidence.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Alexei Ramirez does not play for the Detroit Tigers. Entertaining read, except for that nitpick.

Jun 19, 2014 5:47 AM on Another No-No
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Turns out that Jose Abreu made the slow bat leaderboard.

Jun 17, 2014 5:28 AM on The Swing Speedometer
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

For the rest of 2014, who do you like better or fantasy baseball: Bedrosian or Joe Smith? How about for 2015?

Jun 05, 2014 5:21 AM on Cam Bedrosian
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Presumably after this article was written, the Red Sox said that Rubby de la Rosa will be recalled and start on Saturday, not Webster.

May 30, 2014 4:33 AM on Week Nine
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

In regard to the third from last paragraph, I don't see why enforcing a rule that is already on the books have to go through the Players Union.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I recognize that the article made a brief mention of a sample size problem, but it still seemed striking to see a former 2B on top of the 2B leaderboard and a former SS on top of the SS leaderboard.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Congratulations! A terrific career progression for Prof. Pepper's assistant!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Seems like making too trivial a challenge will risk ticking off the umpires, whom one may need to persuade to ask for replay review late in the game when the win probability sometimes is MUCH higher.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

My favorite is teammates touching Adrian Beltre's head after he hits a big home run.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Welcome aboard! I'm a bit concerned that without someone dedicated to analysis, we might see that slip. That would be a huge mistake. Even though BP produces a variety of intelligent baseball writing, I think the analysis articles still create a ton of reader loyalty. For a fine recent example, check out the comments to the Andrew Woo article on the Athletics' flyball hitters. I'm sure BP doesn't intend to de-emphasize baseball analysis, so I'm hoping that the quality we've come to expect continues.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I think there are more groundballers now because (1) umpires are calling more low strikes, (2) pitchers are therefore throwing more low pitches, and (3) low pitches are more likely to produce groundballs. See Jon Roegele's article in the latest Hardball Times annual book. Oh, and excellent article, adding my voice to the chorus.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Hmmm, I don't know about the predictive that the Rays will sign Pierzynski, who has a reputation as a poor defensive catcher. That doesn't seem consistent with what they've looked for recently in a catcher.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 8

Congratulations, Colin, on your new position. We'll miss your contributions to BP, but you've got to pursue your dream job.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Is "movement" defined using the Pitch F/X measurements of horizontal and vertical movement compared to a pitch with no spin? Or are you also factoring in the effects of gravity? Great article, by the way.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Starting Don Kelly instead of Andy Dirks does not give the Tigers their best offensive line-up against right-handed starters.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I have no idea why Austin Jackson was credited for by the MLB headline writer for helping with that win. He was 1 for 4 with three strikeouts, no runs, 1 RBI. The RBI was on a broken bat single that was booted by the right fielder. He's played poorly this series.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

R.J. wrote: "The fallout makes one thing clear: Acquiring reliable pitching means paying big bucks or surrendering top prospects." Maybe. Or maybe pitching is hard to predict under any circumstances.

Sep 26, 2013 5:39 AM on The Angels' Demons
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

A couple folks, including Hardball Times' annual books, used to calculate a Championship Probability Added figure.

 
Michael
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Comment rating: 0

It seems to me that playing well in late season games that impact whether a team makes the playoffs (or wins a division title instead of a wild card slot in the current set-up) is a form of clutch performance and hence it would be rational to weight it. Don't have to include depending on how one perceives "value" but one could include it. However, if one is going to include it then the final outcome (whether the team made the playoffs) is irrelevant but what matters is doing well in theose meaningful late season games. Furthermore, the magnitude of this late-season playoff-influencing clutch performanc has to be fairly modest (so 0.25 - 1 win above replacement, I'd guess) or else one's ballot ends up becoming rather bizarre, such as giving the 2008 AL MVP award to John Danks because of a huge Win Probability Added in game 163 that gave the White Sox a play-off slot. I agree with the first poster: be consistent and show your work. Just using this as a pro-Miguel Cabrera, anti-Mike Trout argument isn't intellectually satisfying at all.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I enjoyed the link to the Thomas Boswell column too.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

FYI, Fangraphs ran an article today on caught stealing rates by selected batteries, mentioning some of the ones in this article. Might be worth reading for those who liked this article.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Seems like ever since Jose Canseco injured himself pitching, teams usually don't bring their star batters to pitch. Checking this out a bit, I see Michael Cuddyer in 2011 and Nick Swisher in 2009 pitched, but for the most part, very few star batters take a turn pitching since about 2001 or so (which is considerably after the Canseco incident).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Hopefully Sonny Gray won't be for a walk.

Aug 21, 2013 9:17 AM on Wednesday, August 21
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

If he doesn't appear in the majors again, Elliot Johnson is in line to end his career with an 0 for 31 streak (all within the same season). That's the longest career ending streak since Erik Pappas' 0 for 33 streak in 1994.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You wrote "Matt Tuiasosopo ... has completely come crashing back down to Earth, hitting .129 and one extra-base hit since the All-Star break." Yes, but it was only 31 at bats. Tuia has now gone 6 for 35 after last night's game, lifting his post all-star average to .171. If his average can vary by 42 points with one game, that's a clue that it's probably too small a sample size to even comment on.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Duffy did walk 4.2 batters per 9 IP in 47 innings pitched at AAA this year. Typically, control & command are skills that take a little longer to return for those recovering from Tommy John Surgery. We might want to temper our short-term expectations for Duffy.

Aug 07, 2013 5:43 AM on Meet Andrew Albers
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Tim Wakefield's MLB K/BB ratio was 1.8 and in the minors it was only 1.5. Chances are that Steven Wright isn't ready to dominate major leaguers yet, but I wouldn't put too much negative emphasis on his AAA K/BB ratio because the standard for a successful knuckleballer (who should be able to post BABIP and HR/IP below league averages) may be a worse K/BB ratio than we hope to see from a more conventional pitcher.

Aug 06, 2013 6:50 AM on Atlanta All Alone
 
Michael
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Comment rating: 0

It is early in Garcia's career but the heavy ground ball tilt is also in his minor league numbers. Maybe GB% can change dramatically as a player ages, but I'd guess that's not the most common outcome.

Aug 02, 2013 10:10 AM on August 1, 2013
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Avisail Garcia hits a ton of grounders, both in the minors and the majors, so I'd keep your power expectations modest unless that changes. Subjectively, the ball does seem to come off his bat hard when he hits it.

Aug 01, 2013 8:11 AM on August 1, 2013
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Omar Infante has had a setback, news of which likely came after this article was drafted.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Brandon Moss had the highest wRC+ during Sept./Oct. 2012 and he has declined this year. There's definitely some noise in that indicator. (Chris Davis was 6th by that same measure.)

Jul 16, 2013 4:59 AM on Corner Infield
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Minor quibble about the White Sox last night: how could Robin Ventura possibly bat Jeff Keppinger 5th and Gordon Beckham 8th? I fail to see how one could conclude that Keppinger is a better batter at this point in time. I know that folks say that batting order doesn't matter much, but it still irks me.

Jul 10, 2013 5:51 AM on Chicago Firepower
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Alex Avila has a habit of dropping his glove after giving the sign to the pitcher and then raising it immediately before catching the ball. Seems like poor pitch framing technique with all that extra motion, but he doesn't show up among the worst catchers.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Ryan Raburn isn't going to make Lloyd McClendon's statistics look any better after 2013 is done, seemingly.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Considering Cleveland finished 29th in attendance last year, I don't think we can merely blame bad 2013 weather for why they are doing equally poorly so far this season.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

We often use "luck" as a shorthand for "outcomes that typically have little or no persistence into the future but may be attributable to luck and/or other factors." That's the way it seems to me anyway.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

In my opinion, Cecil Fielder's caught stealing in this game - http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET198710040.shtml - was more memorable because it might have cost his team a divisional title and an ALCS appearance.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

I don't know what was unusually about the last three months of 1972, but I'd guess the trend was noticed at the time. That next off-season, the American League adopted the Designated Hitter rule.

Apr 25, 2013 1:36 PM on More on Shutouts
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You're probably just waxing poetic with numbers, but in no complete season has Mauer ever had better splits with two strikes than his overall numbers. Once the sample size gets larger, 2013 will very very likely follow the same pattern.

Apr 23, 2013 5:46 AM on Extraordinary Joe
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

The minor to major league equivalencies (they might have been called Davenport Translations back then) were wrong for the season before Wieters' rookie season just for the two particular minor leagues in which Wieters played.

Apr 22, 2013 12:49 PM on Beware of Young Catchers
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -2

The Matt Wieters enthusiasm was largely led by a sky-high PECOTA projection which BP much later admitted was due to programming errors. Criticizing others for overvaluing unproven young catchers seems a bit incongruous (although I realize you personally weren't behind the Wieters projection).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Congratulations. You must be relieved after finishing this stage of such a huge project.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I wonder where the data about bunts comes from. Is it consistent across time so that Steve Garvey really was the best percentage bunter?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

This is good information. In case you're looking for feedback, I'd prefer K/BB data on the starting pitchers where that might indicate a different conclusion than ERA does. For example, Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) had 7 K / 2 BB, which points to a different conclusion than what you wrote. I realize you're trying to keep each comment succinct, but I think there's too little detail in the pitching summaries.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

In the last pitch in this article, setting up outside seemed to work well for Jose Molina when the umpire was set up on with the inside edge of the strike zone.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

I look forward to the sequel about a former BP writer who swims well: "Mike Fast Trout"

Apr 05, 2013 7:24 AM on Mike Trout Fast
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

About time someone tried to verify this "rule." Nice job.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Molitor is perhaps the best example of a position player who went from very injury prone to very durable. The transformation was probably assisted by his becoming a full-time DH.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

There may be a consensus on the most likely World Series winner, but that doesn't mean that the Nationals winning it all is really that likely. The writers have to pick someone and can't just say "bet on the field." The Playoff Odds Report shows a much more diversified look at the question.

Mar 30, 2013 5:53 PM on Staff Picks for 2013
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The samples look interesting, but I can't see reading 108,000 words between now and my fantasy baseball draft day. If you do it again next year, perhaps release it a couple week sooner.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thank you (belatedly).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Issue #2 definitely bugs me. In my opinion, the usage should be that the Nationals finished 34 half games above .500, but that's obviously not the common usage.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Great raw data. Can you help me understand it? When add up both hitters and pitchers, both AL and NL, I get $19,612 of $ and $19,466 of salary. It's possible I made a data entry mistake, so let me ask whether you get the same numbers. If those totals are correct, then that raises some questions. Why are they not the same if you are attributing the value of any roster replacements to the original money spent. If you are not going that, then the $ should be much less than the Salary.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

A.J. Griffin drew a pretty spectacular PECOTA projection. Sounds like you're not buying it fully either based on his placement below pitchers with worse projections.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You're right. The difference is that my AL-only league had 10 teams.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks

Mar 07, 2013 9:20 AM on Not Run Down on Rondon
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I'd guess that Sean Doolittle is not a rookie due to service time. Might be others who lost their rookie status for the same reason.

Mar 07, 2013 9:19 AM on The All-Rookie Roster
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Daniel, where does one find the Tigers' team defensive efficiency on just ground balls?

Mar 05, 2013 9:28 AM on Not Run Down on Rondon
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 5

At least you won't get any complaints about the team essays not being attributed to a specific author this year! I preferred the old team essays too; they were less formulaic. I did like the year of sabermetric developments in review essay though.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"better" not "higher" intended in that last sentence.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Comparing my 5x5 AL-only league (which happens to use OnRoto) to those totals, my league's teams had higher numbers across the board. That surprised me. I wouldn't have been surprised at a different dispersion (more tightly packed or more spread apart) but higher totals for everyone seemed odd. I guess my league's teams tend to fill their roster slots and keep them productive more than other leagues do.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It wouldn't seem like the batting categories would change much from the 5x5 figures to 4x4, because it isn't as if 5x5 players target players who score runs. That's a category that tends to piggyback on the others. For pitching though, it seems like it would make a difference. Adding strikeouts changes the roster construction notably, making medicore starters better than good relievers. I'd suggest that wins is a bit lower in a 4x4 league but that ERA, WHIP and saves are all higher in a 4x4 league.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

So was I. 5.3 WARP and two all-star games for Scott Cooper. b-refWAR likes him less than that.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

As a Tiger fan, I love this report. Thank goodness for weak divisional competition.

Feb 15, 2013 9:22 AM on
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

LeFlore's career path seemed similar to "Gates" Brown, a Tiger outfielder about a dozen years earlier who also was the batting coach during much of LeFlore's time with the Tigers.

Dec 10, 2012 12:20 PM on The Ron LeFlore Story
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

That Top Ten list is still pretty funny.

Nov 28, 2012 9:28 AM on The SPBA's Short Life
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Albom's article reminded me of another series of articles in the mid-1990s. I remember the last time I read a columnist in the USA Today write an article calling fantasy baseball players "geeks." It was odd because the same company published a weekly magazine on baseball that openly catered to that audience. It was odd because the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of the newspaper sold uncommonly well and eventually someone connected the dots and realized that fantasy baseball players were buying like crazy the issues with the weekly statistics in those pre-Internet days. The business guys probably told the stodgy columnists to stop insulting a big chunk of the customer base. So Mitch Albom thinks he could insult all baseball fans who enjoy new statistics? I predict in just a few more years, rather quickly, that these articles will cease. Writers like Mitch will be firmly told that those new wave baseball fans who like baseball analysis also might be buyers of our product and it's incredibly stupid to write screeds insulting a significant portion of the customer base. Oh, by the way, they also see the sun and watch baseball games too.

Nov 19, 2012 5:48 AM on Why Mike Trout Matters
 
Michael
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Comment rating: 0

I actually didn't like that line because it felt like Russell was stooping to Mitch's level, seeing who could craft a clever snide line instead of dealing with the facts. I don't know about in 2012, but in 2011, Miguel Cabrera was one of the leaders in going from first to third. (Remember it's a counting statistic and Victor Martinez in 2011 batted something like .402 with runners on base.)

Nov 19, 2012 5:37 AM on Why Mike Trout Matters
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

Thanks, BP and Dave, for running the Internet Baseball Awards again. I enjoy voting because it makes me think more deeply about who really were the most valuable players.

Nov 14, 2012 7:56 AM on National League
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I think the advanced metrics (fWAR, b-refWAR, WARP, and Win Shares), all of which say that Trout is the AL MVP, don't factor in everything that contributes to being valuable. In my opinion, Cabrera's shift to 3B and his superior performance late in the season help his candidacy although his clutch performance in terms of timing his batting to create more actual runs (measured on Fangraphs) hurts Cabrera's evaluation. Factor that all in, and Mike Trout still was the AL MVP. (I'm a Tiger fan, so I'm definitely not biased against Miggy.) I don't know why one would characterize Trout as merely a stathead candidate. He's also a WebGem candidate. He's also the "check out his team's record when he was in the starting line-up compared to when he wasn't" candidate. Trout also is the unexpected surprise candidate and the more complete player candidate. There may be lots of reasons why the IBA voters preferred Trout on the whole.

Nov 12, 2012 9:51 AM on American League
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Some Blue Jays homer had fun with his/her ballot. The occasional down ballot votes can be pretty nonsensical.

Nov 12, 2012 9:38 AM on American League
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

So you're saying 17% of the readers want to keep Steve Pearce even though he isn't on the Yankees? Perhaps those are the readers who also are in the habit of making anatomically impossible suggestions.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You're right: that still doesn't work. I had seen Cabrera's poor clutch rating in Fangraphs.com but thought if one looked at just total WPA, Cabrera would come out ahead offensively. He doesn't. Trout is first in the AL in WPA and Cabrera is 5th (slightly behind teammate Prince Fielder even).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

It seems to me that value can be measured in at least three ways. (1) Value in producing runs disregarding the context of each plate appearance. bWAR, fWAR and WARP all chose this method. (2) Value in improving teams' probability of winning based on the game context in which players' perform. Win Probability Added is a measure of offensive contributions viewed this way, although there is no comparable metrics for measuring position players' defense this way. (3) Value in improving teams' probability of winning a playoff slot (with a divisional championship worth double a wildcard berth). This isn't widely reported anywhere, but a couple folks especially Dave Studeman have looked at it in the past. The most valuable player viewed through this method will come from a small handful of teams who are in the hunt during the last week. The results of this method don't match anyone's expectations of who an MVP should be, if one really follows the logic and doesn't just give bonus points to hot September performances. I usually use an amalgam of these three perspectives when filling out my Internet Baseball Awards ballot. I tend to see "valuable" and "best" as meaning the same thing: both terms can be interpreted in at least the same three ways.

Oct 02, 2012 9:04 AM on Putting the V in MVP
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

It seems to me that if we regress Trout's defensive valuations because it takes > 1 year's worth of data for us to have much confident in modern defense metrics, then perhaps we ought to first subtract out the value of catching flyballs that otherwise would be homers since they can be readily verified by old-fashioned observation. Those HR-saving catchers seem pretty measurable. I would think a better (presumably still unsuccessful, but better) MVP defense of Cabrera would focus on Win Probability Added. Since Cabrera was in the middle of his line-up the entire season, he was playing in a context that made his batting production more valuable than was true for Trout.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Regarding Hisashi Iwakuma, Derek's pre-season remarks are here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16221 Derek called him a one-star pitcher but said (due to Seattle's defense) that he liked him better than most of the other pitchers in that tier. Iwakuma has been better than that in 2012, although all but the most patient of owners in the deepest of leagues would have dropped him sometime before he began making starts regularly for the Mariners. Still, with his ERA much better than his skills might indicate, it wasn't a bad prediction at all.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Like others, I would give clause 3 little weight and also would interpret it in the context of a "Most Valuable Player" award to apply to only qualities that affect the team's ability to win games or win a playoff slot. By the way, what a mess gramatically. Points 1-3 are phrases and points 4-5 are sentences.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Notice that Raburn is back on the disabled list, so that probably improves Andy Dirks' playing time outlook. (Presumably, it happened after you wrote the article.)

Sep 14, 2012 5:30 AM on Outfielders for 9/14/12
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

The bizarro world version of this achievement is Mark Hendrickson's debut in 2002. Also pitched a third of an inning with a strikeout, but he threw 30 pitches. Yes, it was an ugly line score with 5 earned runs.

Sep 04, 2012 12:40 PM on Nick Maronde's Debut
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Most likely an insurance company paid the settlement amount.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I don't know whether point #4 in the article is correct. Could a player acquired through this waiver process then be traded? If so, would he have to go through the waiver process again?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks. I agree that the +/- feature in IE8 is fixed.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I'm wondering whether this also fixes the inability to +/- a comment from IE8. I'll find out when I'm back at work on Monday since I use Firefox from home.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It could be that the Mariners value Brendan Ryan more than any trade partners do. Because so much of his value is in his glove, pegging his market value may be especially difficult to do because measuring and projecting defense is hard to do.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Thanks for all the quotes. I especially like reading the ones that cut against the grain, for instance today's Zach Britton quote.

Jul 26, 2012 6:32 AM on The Marlins' Beaching
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Much has been written about how adding the extra wild card slot in each league (and demoting the first wild card entry to play-in game status) has affected the trade market. However, I haven't read much lately on this one. The collective bargaining agreement changed that to get an extra draft pick for a free agent who is offered arbitration, the player has to have been on his team for the whole season. This might lower the chances for example that the Rays trade BJ Upton: the prospects they might receive for him will reflect that the buying team can't get a draft pick anymore, so the Rays are more likely to keep him and get the draft pick upside (and continue to semi-compete for a 2012 play-off slot with Upton).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 5

No one cares about FRA predictions; ERA would be more useful

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I like the different uniforms. It makes the game unique and pretty. I think the league uniforms for the home run derby are articial -- there's no sense of teamness created by them and they are just an excuse to try to hawk more MLB-licensed clothing. I think most of the uncompetitiveness comes from how the games are managed and that can be fixed if the Commissioner wanted to do so.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks a bunch! When I click on the Derek Lowe link, it looks like that the profile at the bottom of his page is for his batting statistics, not his pitching statistics. You might want to check that.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

To make your list complete, you have to list Phil Cavarretta too, the 1945 NL MVP. As explained in the Newhouser comment, no one made the All-Star teams that year because it wasn't played.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I have no idea why WARP thinks that Jim Konstanty was below replacement level in 1950. Looking at his player card, that's because his ERA was 2.66 but his FRA was 4.79 and WARP uses FRA. OK, but that begs the next question why his FRA is so much worse. It'd be great if I could REALLY get a feel for the FRA calculation, but it sure doesn't match my intuition. As complicated as Fangraphs WAR and Baseball-Reference WAR are, I've been able to develop a feel for them due to extensive efforts to communicate how they are computed. Nice data, Ben (and Rob).

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Russell, how long until the nondiclosure covenant expires? Does it expire? It might be nice to know when you are free to write about whatever you like. Of course, by then, we hope that you'll have another baseball consulting gig, if that's your desire.

Jul 10, 2012 9:09 AM on Hire Joe Morgan
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Nice of you to share credit with Andrew and Colin. Classy.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

So Jim Leyland today thinks that making pre-season predictions is foolish? Back in April, he accused those of making pessimistic White Sox predictions as wrong: http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/sox-drawer/post/Who-likes-the-White-Sox-Jim-Leyland-does?blockID=689928&feedID=10338 He's not been very consistent on that score.

Jun 28, 2012 8:51 AM on Picking the All-Stars
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks. I never heard of the Pete Rose corked bat suspicion told in that manner.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Dude is going to have to change his name to OutofcontrolMan if he keeps this up.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I give up: what (according to Vin) does Buster Posey have to do with Zambia?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

In an obviously small sample size (he's a reliever), Frieri has gone from having a large platoon split in 2010-11 to a reverse platoon split in 2012 (especially when looking at skills like K/BB ratio and not just outcomes). Is there a reason why, or is it just random variation? His fastball moves horizontally away from a LHB, but that's not a change from last year.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Inspired by the Lance McCullers comment and armed with baseball-reference.com, I thought I'd look up number of saves in first x games to start one's MLB career. McCullers is tied for second. Salome Barajas in 1982 switched from the Mexican League to the Chicago White Sox and saved the first 5 games in which he appeared for Chicago.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The link no longer is working.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

You wrote "...the highest anyone has hit since 1941 was George Brett’s .390 in 1980." Actually, Tony Gwynn hit .394 in 1994. It's easy to overlook because that season was shortened by a lock-out, so fewer plate appearances would have been needed to qualify for the "batting title." (Also, a shorter season makes it a easier for a batter to have an extreme result.) Sorry if I'm nitpicking. The fact that I knew that off-hand probably says something about the awe that batting .400 still holds. I certainly don't remember Barry Bonds' highest seasonal OBP for example.

May 14, 2012 7:55 AM on On Hitting .400
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Another reason that closers-in-waiting can be poor investments is that even when one can predict which closer will lose the role, there also is a risk that one predicts incorrectly who the manager will tab to be the new closer.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

"You can spend lavishly on a single player (ahem, Tom Hicks with A-Rod), but doing so will almost always diminish your ability to compile the necessary supporting players as your payroll flexibility wanes." The problem with the Rangers was not Alex Rodriguez but rather what they did with the rest of their payroll (ahem, Tom Hicks with Chan Ho Park). During his three years in Texas, A-Rod was the best player in the AL measured by b-refWAR, won an MVP, and didn’t finish lower than 6th in MVP balloting. Then the owner decided to blame the team’s best player for the team’s poor performance and unwisely traded A-Rod. During the ten years of 2001-10 that would have been covered under A-Rod’s Texas contract, A-Rod was the best player in the AL measured by b-refWAR, won three MVPs, and didn’t finish lower than 15th in MVP balloting.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

“'Only one team has allocated as much as 30 percent of their total player payroll to one player and made the World Series,' citing Todd Helton and the Rockies." Of course, we'd need some context whether the correlation (even if we ignore any causation issues) even makes sense. If less than 15 teams have allocated 30%+ of their payroll to a single player, then this would be a positive marker.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I clearly have my Jeff Nelson etiquette wrong. I thought one was obliged to mention Nelson whenever discussion of a "frisbee curve" or "frisbee slider" came up.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

I wouldn't blame Bonilla at all for hurting the Mets franchise. It's completely on management if they decided not to fund for a known future liability or not to invest prudently if they did fund it.

May 10, 2012 9:22 AM on Harping on Harper
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You may have seen this, but Rany has at least temporarily run out of patience as a Royals blogger. His 4/23/2012 post called "Time Out" indicates he's taking a break from it.

May 09, 2012 7:05 AM on The Art of Losing
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I thought they already were getting their data into HarballTimes.com. I wonder if this is a different level of integration.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Stan Musial and (already mentioned twice) John Wockenfuss.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Tangentially, when can we get historical WARP figures? I think Jay Jaffe has them for his JAWS research, but they aren't available to subscribers yet or apparently to this article's author.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Did any reputable person go on the record in 2008 or now and write that it was more likely than not that the Tigers will score at least 1,000 runs during the regular season? I read stuff linked in this article like anonymous message board poster said it, Buster Olney said they could "push" 1,000, Mario Impenda said they "could" score 1,000. I don't know of any actual predictions in 2008 or now where someone thought it likely. The meme seems to be articles ridiculing the 1,000 runs prediction when no one actually clearly makes that prediction to my knowledge.

Apr 16, 2012 12:10 PM on Land of 1,000 Runs
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Bradford wrote: "What confuses me is that I'm not quite sure why the '72 season deserves commemoration. That's not a complaint; that's a hole in my knowledge of White Sox history. I'm hoping one of you will fill it in in the comments section below." It seems that (1) the White Sox plan to honor Dick Allen later in the season (2) As you pointed out, Allen was the 1972 AL MVP and (3) the White Sox probably just wanted one set of throwback uniforms for the whole season. http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120322&content_id=27514164&vkey=pr_cws&c_id=cws

Apr 16, 2012 8:50 AM on Wrigley vs. the Cell
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You might want to correct the spelling of "Vickrey." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickrey_auction

Apr 12, 2012 6:21 AM on Using Enough Aggression
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Is it really fair to say that the Blue Jays have pushed Travis Snider around? It seems to me that they have given him multiple extended chances to produce at the MLB level and so far he has failed to do so.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for the fun article. I've always thought it odd that the most recent Frank Thomas broke the record for lifetime homers by a White Sox player before he broke the record for most MLB homers by someone named "Frank Thomas."

Mar 30, 2012 7:29 AM on ...Is This Thing On?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Who is the all-time career leader in time spent on the MLB disabled list? I thought it was pitcher Steve Ontiveros (who actually was good enough to sneak in an ERA title once). I know he's from before the past ten years, so he won't make the timeframe of your series.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

Thanks for acknowledging the various prior studies on the subject, including mine. To the best of my knowledge, Verducci has never grappled with the numerous critiques of The Year-After Effect or the Verducci Effect. It leads me to believe that he doesn't have any better evidence of the effect than what he has already offered. -- Michael Weddell

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Does this book contain 100% new material? Or does it recycle material that appeared in the original book or on this website?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Welcome, Max. I've enjoyed your writing for quite awhile now. I believe I first read some stuff from a personal blog based on links from The Book Blog, even before you joined Hardball Times. Still, I have to admit that Mike Fast had become my favorite Pitch F/X writer, so you'll have a hard act to follow!

Jan 27, 2012 9:56 AM on Marking My Debut
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Regular season OPS of 873. Given the small post-season sample size and the fact that he's facing superior pitching, a post-season OPS of 761 seems unremarkable to me.

Jan 25, 2012 6:24 AM on Wednesday, January 25
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Ron Shandler used to call BB/K the eye ratio.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

The adjective "glacial" applies more aptly to Selig's handling of Pete Rose than the Oakland / San Jose Athletics. In 1989, Rose signed an agreement that suspended him but gave him the right to apply for reinstatment after a year. He also agreed that he couldn't sue to enforce the agreement. Rose applied for reinstatement in 1992 when Fay Vincent was commissioner, but no action was taken. He applied in 1997 but again no action has been taken yet. Bud Selig can do whatever he likes with the application -- go ahead and deny it and give Rose little hope that you'd ever change your mind, if you think that's appropriate -- but not taking action on it seems unfair to me.

Jan 18, 2012 9:04 AM on Bud Selig's To-Do List
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

It seems to me that Hawkins did much better in save situations than other games during 2000-01, his first stint as closer, but I've not gone through the game logs to show it.

Jan 17, 2012 9:46 AM on Can Anyone Close?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

More than that if you're a Tim Raines fan.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Nolan Ryan is another example of both overrated and a clear HOFer. Some voters might want a 7th category for "May be qualified but steroid use clouds the issue." Obviously you don't agree with the premise behind that category, but I personally would put Raffy Palmeiro in that category.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

It's a small point, but 212 of Dana Eveland's MLB innings pitched have been in the AL.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Add Chris Sale to the list of relievers that may be converting to starters for 2012. Tough to keep track of them all, of course.

Dec 06, 2011 10:19 AM on Increasing Workload
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 8

You wrote "Juan Gonzalez was a horrible defender." Wow, you must have failed reading comprehension. Didn't you learn that he had a higher fielding percentage than Mays, DiMaggio, and Clemente? Fun article: thanks.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 10

It seems odd for a BP writer to complain about Kershaw's landslide victory given the results of your advanced metric: Kershaw - 7.3 WARP Lee - 6.2 WARP Halladay - 4.8 WARP Of course, it's unlikely than more than a small fraction of the 32 NL Cy Young voters looked at WARP, but it doesn't make sense to me that you omitted it from this article.

Nov 21, 2011 6:27 AM on Voting Outrage
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 10

You wrote: "There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for this disgraceful result. I challenge anyone to give me a single reason why Nova is a better choice for Rookie of the Year than Pineda. Just one." Ivan Nova had a slightly lower ERA than Pineda despite pitching in front of a worse defense in a home ballpark that doesn't help him as much as Pineda's ballpark does. It is reasonable for writers to believe that the awards should be about past results, not demonstrated skills such as SIERA is designed to indicate.

Nov 21, 2011 6:22 AM on Voting Outrage
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Our knowledge for evaluating one year of a manager's performance are so rudimentary that it's hard to get excited about the Manager of the Year awards. I voted for Maddon first and Leyland second, for what little it's worth and (as you can guess from my handle) I'm a Tigers fan.

Nov 18, 2011 10:17 AM on American League
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You might want to change the crawl on the subscriber home page for this article: "Not ready for publication until Jason's bit is added ..." Not that I mind. It's kind of fun to peek inside the kitchen occasionally to see the chefs at work.

Nov 18, 2011 8:52 AM on Ricky Nolasco
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Any idea when the IBA results for 2011 will be announced? I vaguely recall that is usually is done shortly before the BBWAA awards are announced. Given that the BBWAA Rookie of the Year awards were announced today, I thought I'd inquire.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 7

Thanks for the follow-up article, Kevin.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Not that it matters much, but the ranking of the 9 & 10 prospects is internally inconsistent in the article.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

That is home runs on contact. Probably something like (HR / (PA - SO - BB - HBP)) times 100 to express it as a percent.

Nov 03, 2011 6:29 AM on Midwest Rumbles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Did the White Sox interview any managerial candidates? It would be rather ironic if Kenny Williams was fined for not actively considering any minority candidates.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I find it hard to criticize a manager for NOT walking the bases full and moving an additional runner into scoring position.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

So, if SNLVAR was redundant, then where is a seasonal measure of a pitcher's performance that adjusts for sequencing & clustering, quality of batters faced, and park effects?

Oct 04, 2011 9:40 AM on 2011 Stats are Live
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I believe all four division series, not "both," are on TBS or TNT.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Monday's column by Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh answered my question: "Major League Baseball has been asking teams to place players on the disabled list if they’re injured and out for the season in order to compile more accurate injury statistics."

Sep 26, 2011 9:12 AM on An All-Missouri Edition
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I'm taking about September transactions only (perhaps obviously).

Sep 23, 2011 12:39 PM on An All-Missouri Edition
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Does anyone know what incentive an MLB club has to place a player on the 15-day DL if the team is not going to make the playoffs? I can't figure it out, but I see those transactions often this year.

Sep 23, 2011 12:38 PM on An All-Missouri Edition
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Rany's blog is still very good if you have the time to read his long entries.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Is Verlander so much better than any other pitcher in the American League? Fangraphs' version of WAR shows Sabathia barely ahead of Verlander today (I don't believe it either). If we look at all runs, not just earned runs, Jered Weaver is just barely behind Verlander in RA.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 9

You might want to take this article from behind the paywall. When I tried a month ago, it was hard to find with Google the current BBWAA ballot instructions for the MVP voting. You might get a fair number of hits with this article. I know, subscribers don't usually argue to make stuff free.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Darn, I just had to lower my opinion of Johnny Carson.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Sorry, someone else beat me to the same comment.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

What does TCF stand for in this article? No clue offered here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TCF

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Seems like a lot of work for what it's worth. I suppose it's easy enough to discontinue next year if the hits to it trail off. Others' mileage may vary.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Sorry in advance if I'm nitpicking. You wrote: "Giavotella ... has struggled in his first go-around in the majors and could use some seasoning in the minors before once again assuming a starting role in 2012." However, Giavotella had 500 PA in AAA, performing quite well, so I don't think lack of seasoning is the problem. Furthermore, except for the Arizona Fall League, I'm not sure where you expect him to get that seasoning between now and when he might assume a starting role in 2012. Maybe he's in a slump, maybe it's just a small sample size in the majors, maybe his skills won't translate (or won't translate immediately) to the majors, but I don't think lack of seasoning in the minors is the problem.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Two questions (assuming that anyone is still reading these comments): 1) Is there a way to statistically infer the maximum % of the time that a pitcher is throwing at a batter. Those might have different statistical markers than unintentional HBP. 2) Why does Carlos Quentin get hit by such a large % of inside the box pitches? Is he just not very mobile?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Kotchman posted a -13.7 VORP last year for Seattle. Not even Kotchman could have post a -137.7 VORP!

Aug 03, 2011 9:50 AM on The Magic of Kotch
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I think part of the Dave Duncan alleged magic is getting pitchers to work down in the strike zone, inducing more grounders.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"... the Rangers never really took a liking to [Chris] Davis and never gave him a chance to really establish himself." In 2011 alone, that's a true statement. However, he has 953 MLB plate appearances for a WARP of 0.1, so the criticism of the Rangers here seems a little harsh. Davis has mashed at AAA but frequently struck out too often in the majors, letting Mitch Moreland leapfrog him on the depth chart. In any case, it's nice to see Davis get a chance elsewhere.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Write about any baseball-related topic that inspires you. It's still good reading. Joe Posnanski writes about the Royals a lot. It doesn't bother me either.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Hard to balance (1) using a large data set to test the differences against (2) not using the data set used as input to develop formulas to test whether the formulas works.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

If you are going to venture into broader social issues (and please do), then please recognize that your assumptions became more controversial and you therefore need to take greater care that they are sound. You wrote “relative to the economy, most Americans have either made the same amount of money or gone backwards since the 1970s.” I would like to see a source for that statement. I couldn’t readily find median individual income, but median household income has risen since the 1970s after adjusting for inflation: http://www.davemanuel.com/median-household-income.php. Furthermore, most academics in the field believe that the cost of living index during most of this period overestimated inflation, so that the rise in real income is understated. There has been an increase in income disparity among Americans during the past three decades. However, most economists would agree that a larger problem is that the long-term growth rate of our country’s gross domestic product seems to have slowed during the 1970s from about 3% annually to 2% annually. This makes it much more difficult for a rising tide to lift all boats, to use your metaphor.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Two items regarding Rajai Davis might be of interest to anyone reading comments on this article: His 2011 stolen base splits by base are odd: 8 for 14 stealing 2B 10 for 10 stealing 3B 0 for 2 stealing home [hat tip to http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/davisra01-bat.shtml] Also, it might be worth noting that Travis Snider is occasionally playing CF for AAA Las Vegas, so there may be more competition than just Corey Patterson for playing time soon. I know, it's hard to envision Snider as a real center fielder.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"... the average age of skippers in the NL East is 6." Should be 65, as your next sentence makes clear. Tough to proofread numbers. Love the Luis Tiant reference!

Jun 27, 2011 7:07 AM on Adrian as Advertised
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for the fun article. There also has been some interesting research on catcher defense using a "With or Without You" approach. Check out the Hardball Times Annuals over the last 3-4 years and the Fielding Bible II.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

While I am concerned about the turnover at BP (did Eric Seidman get a send off?), I am much more impressed by the additions during the last year. I'm thinking of Mike Fast, Jeremy Greenhouse and a few others as well as Larry Granillo's lighter content. I've got other complaints, but you have heard them before.

May 31, 2011 11:02 AM on The Evolving Prospectus
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Steven wrote: "Parenthetically, Connie's fog makes it harder to take seriously the theory that we can credit or debit a manager's account for the over- or underachievement of his teams as wins or losses in excess of projection ..." I disagree. One season's worth of data can't prove or disprove any such theory on its own. Furthermore, if I recall correctly from Chris Jaffe's fine book on evaluating managers, if one looks at a variety of indicators, Connie Mack's last several years did show underachievement. Thanks for the article, despite my disagreement with one parenthetical (literally) point.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I realize that modern defensive metrics take quite a while to stabilize, so maybe I'm reading more into this than it's worth but what the heck happened to Ryan Langerhans? He has been regarded as a good defender. From 2006-10, the Fielding Bible / John Dewan / BIS ratings rate him as 14 runs better than average as an outfielder, which is pretty good especially considering he's been a part-time player. In 2011, he is rated as 8 runs below averge. Yikes!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I sense a bit of inconsistency in the Alex White comment. If he is an emergency starter, then you're expecting him to be sent back to the minors soon. If you think Cleveland is intentionally starting his arbitration clock now, then that implies that you think that Cleveland management expects him to stick in the majors.

May 03, 2011 8:28 AM on Opportunity Knocks
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Sorry, meant April 17

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Carlos Perez also had a nice game for the Rome Braves on April 11. 19K versus 5BB for the year now.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I like the Desmond Jennings pick up. That could be a shrewd move.

Apr 12, 2011 6:16 AM on Tout Wars FAAB Update
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I like the written chat transcripts, which are easily printed out, on the other software. Didn't know if you were looking for feedback.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Given that the Red Sox' five-game winning streak is from the beginning of the current season to now, dismissing factoids based on that as "Fun with Selective Endpoints" seems like a misplaced criticism. The problem is (1) too small a sample size and (2) ignoring all other available information about the team when comparing it to other teams that started 0-5.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I know the White Sox have had a better than expected track record at injury prevention. Perhaps that is one of the possible variables that PECOTA doesn't fully capture.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I'd vote for Mantle over Mays until Mantle's death. I probably favor peak production over career value and actual production over gut impressions in that debate. It's certainly a close call anyway. Assuming we can safely call Barry Bonds retired, it seems to me he is the greatest living ballplayer now. He's arguably the second (to Ruth) best player in history, depending on one's view of steroid use and relatively few team accomplishments compared to the other elite players on this list.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Accurate data reporting prevents us from honoring those who ended their careers weighing 314 pounds.

Mar 14, 2011 6:45 AM on Happy Pi (π) Day!
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

I don't mind the advertisements too much, but can you please omit them when one goes into printer friendly format? We're subscribers, so we shouldn't have to spend our color printer ink on advertisements. (Sorry if this was mentioned before.)

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Apparently more than one person's keyboard was broken!

Mar 02, 2011 4:09 AM on The Genuine Articles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I would have guessed that Woolner's article on catchers' defense would have made the list.

Mar 01, 2011 1:50 PM on The Genuine Articles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Ben, Thanks for the reply (and I did enjoy today's article, which was fun in a nostalgic way). My perception differs from yours. A year ago, during one of the long comment threads after Joe Sheehan left, Kevin Goldstein was quite clearly bragging that BP was going to drown its readers with a fire hose. The metaphor came from Kevin. There seems to be an intentional focus at increasing quantity. Anyway, as I said originally, I'm confident that I'm in the minority, so certainly no need to react to my feedback if it is isolated. Furthermore, many of the newer writers seem like excellent additions to me based on prior writing at other websites that I've read.

Mar 01, 2011 1:48 PM on The Genuine Articles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Perhaps a 14-day (or other multiple of 7 days) rolling average would make the graph more smooth given that the weekend sees fewer articles throughout the website's history.

Mar 01, 2011 8:58 AM on The Genuine Articles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I don't love the volume. Turn off the fire hose is my feedback. That's plenty of quantity on the Internet at large. I'm looking for the best content here, although I'm starting to figure out which authors' articles I can safely skip.

Mar 01, 2011 8:57 AM on The Genuine Articles
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Phil Regan may or may not have been the first reliever nicknamed the Vulture, but he certainly was a long time before Jeff Nelson.

Feb 15, 2011 7:40 AM on Baseball's Superheroes
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I was thinking that Dale Murphy should have been nicknamed "Captain America." He wasn't but I did find one 1987 article that made the comparison in passing: http://articles.latimes.com/1987-03-24/sports/sp-89_1

Feb 14, 2011 7:01 AM on Baseball's Superheroes
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks for keeping us informed. Sounds like the right call.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

If you want to see what the format will look like approximately, you can see last season's spreadsheet by Click on Fantasy in the menu at the top of this page Find a box with a blue header in the right column Click on PECOTA Weighted Means Spreadsheet

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Oh, I feel that Colin's involvement is a good thing. On the other hand, last year was supposed to be better due to Clay's increased involvement, and that didn't turn out too well.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

My apology in advance for reacting to last year's PECOTA problems. If Monday's release is intended to have a lot of errors, please label it "Beta" and give us an estimate of when the "Beta" label will be removed. On the other hand, if it is intended to be the real thing with minimal errors, then don't claim afterward that it should have been labeled "Beta" and that subscribers shouldn't have expected it to be accurate.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 5

Free Roberto Petagine! (Hey, if you guys can run a way back column, we can chime in with way back comments.) ;-)

Feb 03, 2011 7:31 AM on Baseball's Y2K1 Bugs
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I especially look forward to reading Jeremy's work over here. Adding Dan and Sky exceeds expectations for me. Is anyone leaving (or writing less often)?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It seems to me that the perceived knock on Billy Martin is that he was so focused on winning in the short run that he managed in a manner that may have harmed his teams' long run performance. Piling on complete games on a young Oakland rotation was the most prominent example. Is that perception correct or not? The data about his teams improving in his first full year is essential, but I knew that already.

Nov 22, 2010 9:18 AM on Billy and George
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I think this post indicates why Tiger fans aren't objecting to the signing: it's unclear what the opportunity cost was. The Tigers gave up nothing in trade and no draft picks and it's hard to say exactly how much overpaying a very capable reliever will cost them. Probably Schlereth becomes their top lefty, so he'll still be pitching occasionally in the eighth inning, with Phil Coke slated to try to move into the starting rotation.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I'd guess the projection systems would tell us the Tigers overpaid because pitchers with such a spotty track record (in terms of both health and effectiveness) don't usually change permanently. Just because he was so effective in 2010 doesn't mean on average we should expect him to be close to that in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Subjectively as a Tiger fan, I'm not that disappointed. At least we didn't overpay for past saves. He throws hard and was really really good in 2010. Let's not buy too many middle relievers as opposed to growing our own though.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I don't know whether this currently is the final tally (check out the October 24 date at the top of the file), but vote totals are at this link: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/other/iba2010/iba_results.txt

Nov 10, 2010 11:06 AM on American League
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

No mention of the non-player candidates?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You wrote: "In the unlikely event Derek Jeter leaves as a free agent, the Yankees plan to fill their shortstop hole internally with Eduardo Nunez." The Yankees front office sources may claim that that's what would happen, but it sure seems unlikely to me. Nunez just slugged .380 in AAA. If the Yankees were unable to agree on a contract with Jeter, the chances that they would compound that disaster by letting a no-name light-hitting rookie replace Jeter are very remote. They would almost have to come up with a plan more acceptable to their fans.

Nov 01, 2010 6:32 AM on Dealing with the DH
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I looked pretty thoroughly, but without an electronic search. Eddie Lopat and Larry Shepard were pitching coaches who became a manager. Mel Harder, a long-time pitching coach, was 3-0 as a manager. That barely counts. Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons had an odd career path: active major league player, major league manager, GM for a professional football team, and then pitching coach. That's not what you're looking for, but it was odd enough to mention. Ted Lyons is another guy who was a pitching coach after he managed. Joe Maddon was a bullpen coach, then a bench coach, then a manager.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

It seems to me that Bert Campaneris should have been suspended for the World Series based on his bat throwing incident in the ALCS. Looking at his poor batting line for the World Series, it doesn't seem likely that he made the difference between winning and losing for the Athletics.

Oct 13, 2010 7:53 AM on The 1972 World Series
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

We'll enjoy your post-season coverage, Joe.

Oct 11, 2010 5:44 AM on Rain Delay
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I don't know about before, but Price is listed now.

Oct 08, 2010 12:29 PM on Internet Baseball Awards
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Congratulations, Clay. Very impressive win.

Oct 05, 2010 11:43 AM on BP: LABR Champions
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks, Dave, for filling us in.

Sep 29, 2010 9:17 AM on After The Knife
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 6

Thanks for the extra month on my premium subscription. Thanks even more for the candor. I do have a quibble though. Late PECOTA projections last spring was a major problem. However, an even bigger problem was poor communications with subscribers about (i) when various PECOTA related projects were going to be released or fixed and (ii) what the quality problems were. Just admitting that you should have put the word "BETA" on the projections for a couple months doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the problems. You may consider this ancient history, but I read today's article and I question whether the miscommunication and noncommunication lessons were learned.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Congratulations on recanting. It's not easy to do what's right. I would hope though that the recanting isn't just due to 4 years' worth of post-season series but also some suspicion that the original research was a bit suspect.

Sep 27, 2010 6:39 AM on Retiring the Sauce
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Also under the "What Went Right" category: it was a terrific year for Royals prospects, something that KG has mentioned before.

Sep 16, 2010 12:58 PM on Kansas City Royals
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Welcome, Charles, to BaseballProspectus.com! Please introduce yourself a bit when you get a chance.

Sep 15, 2010 6:50 AM on Rules Matter
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for the response, Mike.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Is there a list of home ballpark adjustments that ought to be made to the Pitch F/X data? E.g. 2010 Kansas City should have velocity reduced by 1 mph, etc.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Great graph, making a very solid case for the expanded playoffs from a business perspective. Thanks!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Just to be clear then, the 2002 Francisco Rodriguez / Steve Green transaction was legal, not just overlooked, even though on August 31 of that season Rodrigez was an Angels minor league player but not on the 40-man roster. Is that right?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Was there some recent BP drama that I missed?

Aug 27, 2010 1:55 PM on Surgery for Strasburg
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Yes, I figured that was just the luck of the draw. Based on YTD performance, thanks for NOT recommending Jeanmar Gomez. ;) Enjoy the weekend.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Hmmm, not much to see here for AL-only players.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

This pair of articles are one of my favorites. Wyrm22 is correct -- the comments feature was added later.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

SIERA doesn't stabilize in just 14 MLB innings, so claiming it as evidence that Daniel Hudson is "legitimately this good" seems premature. I'd guess that he's pitching over his head in those 14 innings, but to what degree he is doing so is the interesting debate.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Not that it would budge the data, but I believe that R.A. Dickey began primarily relying on the knuckleball from 2006 onward. He had a more traditional pitch selection before that.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The Tigers were in contention in 2009, playing a 163rd game to determine who got the playoff slot, despite Aubrey Huff's poor performance. That data point contradicts the overly simplisitic "I'll do better if a team is in contention" meme.

Aug 18, 2010 12:47 PM on Aubrey Huff
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Congratulations on the new column. I look forward to reading more of them from Christina, you, and others.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I wouldn't call his years with the Rays a success, but it's not a black mark on his record either. The team's record improved 7.5 games when Lou arrived and declined by 6 games when he left.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 10

Sometimes there is value in stating the obvious. Please program enhancements to the fantasy baseball projection and forecasting software using the prior year's data now. That way the software should be ready to use as soon as the projection work is done. Don't tell us software is ready to use when it isn't. Please provide more frequent updates when there problems are known. Don't continue to label software as "beta" for an extended time period -- at some point it becomes an excuse for issuing error-prone work.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I know it's on a subscription website, but, Matt, you should see if you can read a recent article on Bill James' website. He disagrees that the extra home field advantage for the second game of a series is statistically significant.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Nice observation. Thanks, Matt.

Jun 20, 2010 11:44 AM on Walking Justin Morneau
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

What percentage of fantasy leagues count holds in their scoring system? Seems like it is a minority but you seem to rely on that, such as today's comment on Fernando Rodney.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"... just about any semi-rational court would treat baseball the same as the other leagues ..." No, I think that semi-rational courts would follow a Supreme Court precedent that is directly on point even if it is from the early 1970s. I wouldn't dismiss MLB's court-established anti-trust exemption so readily. Subsequent Congressional actions, including trimming the scope of baseball's anti-trust exemption, make it unlikely that courts would change their rationale.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I liked the headline too. Kind of a snarky shot here though: "... since the world has moved on from Win Shares..." In case you hadn't noticed, the world also has moved on from WARP and its prior generation of fielding metrics. Most baseball analysts are using WAR in various incarnations.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

When one clicks on "Awesome" what is the name of the person in the photo?

Jun 01, 2010 9:33 AM on Tuesday Update
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Alex Gordon has a 1290 OPS in AAA Omaha according to baseball-reference.com today, so I would think that translates into something better than a .230 tAV. In any case, he is learning LF, so he may not factor into the Royals balance of the year infield playint time projections unless you think they'll change their minds again.

May 18, 2010 12:14 PM on Fantasy Today
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Must be a HBP or something else that got the Wright/Penny match-up up to 25 plate appearances. None of these match-ups in the top or bottom 5 ended up at more than 35 plate appearances, suggesting that as a match gets more plate appearances, one sees the extreme outliers regress more toward the norm. In general, based on research in The Book by Tango, Dolphin, and Lichtman, I don't believe that this data is predictive of future outcomes. I do believe that MLB managers use this match-up data, but there's not a good theoretical justification for doing so.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Any discussion about whether Don Kelly or Danny Worth could capably handle 2B at the major league level?

May 18, 2010 6:20 AM on Changing their Stripes
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 9

I like the scouts' quotes at the end of these articles. However, the quotes nearly always seem to be positive when a player's performance spikes and negative when there are performance problems. It would be more helpful if you can find quotes that contrast with the recent performance.

May 17, 2010 9:35 AM on Monday Update
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for keeping us informed.

May 10, 2010 8:28 AM on Sundays
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"Sean Smith" not "Seth Smith" designed the Total Zone fielding metric.

May 05, 2010 8:56 AM on Not Least, the AL East
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 9

I've really enjoyed your BP articles, Russell. Good luck with your future endeavors.

May 03, 2010 3:51 AM on Why Are Games So Long?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

There was also this brief interview of Virgil Trucks earlier this off-season: http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-sports/2009/12/5_questions_former_major_leagu.html Let me clarify too that my earlier post wasn't disagreeing with Tommy's comment really because he was just quoting from the article.

May 02, 2010 4:54 AM on Against the Fence
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

You wrote: "Would you believe [Virgil Trucks] is the only player to have more postseason than regular season wins in the same year?" No I would not believe that. My first guess was correct. Francisco Rodriguez in 2002 and no wins in the regular season and five in the post season.

May 01, 2010 11:06 PM on Against the Fence
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Smitty, Be aware that there have been a fair number of independent analyses that have failed to detect a Verducci Effect once one compares the injury rates or loss of effectiveness rates with a controlled group.

Apr 30, 2010 11:09 AM on In A Bad Spot
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

In particular, while pitchers have little persistent control over their BABIP, BABIP varies quite a bit for batters.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Edit needed: Justin Masterson is not currently a member of the Boston Red Sox.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

"The ball is supposed to travel better in Target Field..." Most of the speculation that I've read is that the outdoor weather should make it more of a pitchers' park than the Metrodome was. It'll take quite awhile to know what happens.

Apr 14, 2010 7:29 AM on Hot Spots: Outfield
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Welcome to the baseball side of the website. Nice first article.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

"... for a ninth inning man to lose his position based on his performance in less than a full week of games… That has to be some kind of record." Hard to say. In 2009, Brandon Lyon (then with Detroit) blew a save on opening day, which ended his run as closer. However, Lyon perhaps wasn't designated as the closer as clearly as Frank Francisco was this year.

Apr 12, 2010 8:54 AM on Fading Francisco
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

You wrote: "If, because of injury, a player selected in the Rule 5 draft spends less than 90 days on the active major-league roster, he must also remain on the major-league roster the next season until he earns 90 days of service. Otherwise, he must be put on waivers and offered back to his original club." I don't recall reading that before. What's the source for this rule and is the source publicly available? How long has that rule been in place?

Apr 08, 2010 9:33 AM on Rule 5 Update
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Steven, No comments enabled on chat transcripts, so I'll add my comment here instead, figuring you'll find it. I've bought the annual book for over a decade. I confess that I never did read the back of the book essays from the 2009 book. I think that it has to do with what time of the year the book is released. I love the essays in the Hardball Times Annual (and find their recaps of the season to be dull) because I'm ready for deeper reflection in December or January. By the time I receive the Baseball Prospectus book in early March or so, I'm gearing up for fantasy baseball drafts and it's the player comments that grab my attention. When I have time, the regular season has started and who wants to go back to read off-season analysis then?

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The Tigers are now down to 26 players. Nate Robertson was traded to the Marlins. That puts Dontrelle Willis on the roster and most likely in the rotation too. I would guess that Don Kelly will beat out Clete Thomas for the last bench spot due to versatility and health, but your guess is reasonable.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Holding publicly-traded company stock is often a minority, passive interest. That's different. I don't know the answer but 2 minutes of Google searching led me to http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=469&invol=490. In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the NLRB's determination that close relatives of owners should be excluded from the collective bargaining unit. What the current position of the NLRB and the courts is, I don't know. I wouldn't assume that a 1984 decision is still good law. I'm just saying that it is a worthy issue to raise, whether federal labor law would prohibit someone in the collective bargaining unit from becoming an owner. Maybe if that happened, the employee's vote would just be excluded from any union elections.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I thought (but this is not my expertise) that federal labor law prohibits an employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement to also have an ownership interest.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Should be "Paula Abdul" not "Paul Abdul" unless I'm behind on my popular culture. If you stick to my obscure references, we won't know when there are typos! Joaquin Arias' ship just sailed into the night without him even being mentioned by name apparantly. Sniff.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Did Gary Skoog really originally develop run expectancy statistics? I thought it was the Mills brothers and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that someone earlier had the idea.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/events/?date=d3-18-2010 If you click on events, scan through the calendar, then click on March 18, it would take you to that link.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I hope you got a terrific early retirement or severance package from the weather forecasting job, Clay. We're lucky to have you full-time now!

Mar 01, 2010 1:59 PM on Planning the Miracle
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Recognizing the playing time changes will continue, are the rest of the projections stable yet? Is it safe to start using them to plan for fantasy drafts and auctions? Or do you have other things on your to do list such as "investigate excessive stolen base projections" previously was on your to do list?

Feb 26, 2010 9:42 AM on DiSars Update
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Great news, Marc. Any idea what this means for John's and Rob's contributions to HardballTimes.com? I've enjoyed their writing over there too.

Feb 25, 2010 7:20 AM on June 11-12, 2002
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

Thanks for responding to the prior comments regarding xFIP versus FIP. I have no problem with making the correction through an unfiltered post. I've got to run to help smallflowers find his missing ears now. ;-)

Feb 23, 2010 11:35 AM on Barry's World
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

Very entertaining column, thanks. I've always thought that for batters runs created per game (RC/G) would convey a lot of information to viewers using a scale that can be easily understood, a scale only slightly different from the familiar ERA.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 7

Will, You wrote in this unfiltered post "I found it, years later." It sounded to me like you said you independently did an analysis that led to the same Verducci Effect. Apparently that's not what you meant?

Feb 16, 2010 2:27 PM on June 6-8, 2002
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Maybe I'm recalling it wrong, but I don't believe the first PECOTA release was labeled "beta." If that's right, then the criticisms that there were bugs was fair. Furthermore, the criticism that there still seem to be bugs is fair too.

Feb 14, 2010 5:48 PM on June 4-5, 2002
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 6

This explanation -- that we should now use the 75th percentile projections for pitchers -- doesn't make sense to me. Let us know we all the bugs are worked out of the PFM so we can start treating the data as reliable. This does NOT seem like a permanent solution yet.

Feb 14, 2010 4:38 PM on June 4-5, 2002
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I had the same thought as BobbyRoberto above. Also, is there a publicly available formula for tRA? I don't remember reading that before.

Feb 12, 2010 6:20 AM on Part 4
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I'm glad Joe is writing a book, if that's what he wants to do. That being said, given that that book's purpose is to "expand on and update a few dozen signature pieces Joe wrote for BP over the years," I'm unlikely to buy it. I've already read nearly 100% of the columns when they first appeared on the website and I'm seldom inclined to explore the archives to reread his columns, so I doubt I'd buy a book with expanded, updated versions of the same articles. The original content / recycled content ratio doesn't sound very high. For what it's worth, I buy most of the BP baseball books.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

http://www.wezen-ball.com/2009-articles/may/forget-non-pitchers-pitching-how-about-pitchers-playing-the-field.html That's another blog post on this topic.

Feb 08, 2010 10:47 PM on Why Not Two Pitchers?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

If one is going to whine about the pitch count nellies, let's at least give them (us?) their due and quote Verlander's 2009 regular season pitch count, noting that it is 300 or so pitches above the 2nd place guy. He truly did throw a lot of pitches last year.

Feb 06, 2010 1:02 AM on AL Moves
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

I'm not defending Baseball Prospectus' particular set of predictions. However, it is certainly reasonable to predict that no specific named team will finish with > 86 wins or < 94 wins even though the chances of that actually happening for the league as a whole are quite slim. Even if the predictions accurately pegged each team's true talent level, we will expect each team's actual win totals to be dispersed around their true talent levels so that the actual outcomes will be more extreme than 100% accurate predictions of what their expected wins would be. I hope I'm writing that in a manner that can be understood.

Jan 31, 2010 1:32 PM on Wet Horsehide
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

I'd pay $10 more annually to get rid of the more obnoxious advertisements. Unobtrusive banner ads that are not on the print friendy formats, which is what this website once had, are fine: they help keep down the subscription fees perhaps. Ads that waste my printer ink, rollover ads that cover up what I'm trying to read, those cartoony things that leap into the middle of my monitor: I shouldn't have to tolerate those things from a subscription website. I miss Joe Sheehan's writing and would pay more for his columns to return. On the other hand, if you had asked me months ago would I pay more to receive weekly columns from the best baseball analysts available who cut their teeth at Statistically Speaking and Beyond the Box Score etc. but now are writing exclusively for BP, I would have said that I'd be willing to pay more for that too. You've made some nice additions recently.

Jan 26, 2010 9:46 AM on Juice
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I understand that, for example, teams managed by Bob Geren historically have attempted 66% more steals than the 2003-09 average after controlling for the speed of the runner and other variables. However, can we do better than that in shaping our expectation going forward. He's got a smaller sample size than someone who managed through 2003-09, so we should expect he's got a greater chance to be an underlier in either direction than some of the others. Can you look at persistancy of the manager's tendency and then determine how to regress it to average to better show our best estimates of each manager's true tendency? Second comment: I've had the impression that first year managers call for more steals on average than other managers. Is this true? Third comment: Is there a tendency for some managers to steal more but only with their fastest players while other managers order my steal attempts throughout the line-up? I've thought that Ozzie Guillen steals a lot with just certain players for example but that Mike Scioscia will steal with guys throughout the line-up. Can you identify (or disprove) that tendency with your statistics? Fourth comment: Is there a point of diminishing returns where ordering too many steals leads to lower SB% success? I would guess maybe, but it'd be an awfully weak relationship. Excellent research, by the way.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

How confident are you that we can measure a player's speed through inferring it from statistics? That's always a difficult problem.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Interesting stuff. I'm not sure it's right to base how well the GM did using entirely third order wins with no weight on actual wins. For example, if Mark Shapiro insists on keeping Eric Wedge as his manager despite the fact that Wedge has knack for delivering fewer actual wins than expected, doesn't that eventually reflect on Shapiro too? It does seem like the model was not work well with the Yankees, who are an extreme case. Given that they made the playoffs 9 out of 10 years in the decade, I'd be hesitant to call them the second least efficient team of the decade.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I would have guessed Luis Tiant would be near the top of eligible starting pitchers. Jay already told us that Frank Tanana was next behind Blyleven and Reushel.

Jan 15, 2010 12:40 PM on 10 Men Out
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Did you control for home ballpark effects? Sure, they'd be weak but it seems that in a high offense environment, the pitcher will come to bat more often, the pitcher fares worse than average and (perhaps) the pitcher is left to face more opposition batters than in a low offense ballpark. If that's the case, then there's be some correlation not causation if we don't control for ballpark effects.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 3

John Perrotto's discussion in today's (January 6) column of Jason Bay's fielding is completely different. Perhaps he reacted to my comment above but in any case I should acknowledge that his use of fielding statistics to evaluate Bay's defense was much improved.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 4

Steven, That's not what happens in practice regarding fielding metrics. In analytical baseball stories elsewhere on the internet, too often there is a tendency to site just one source as authoritative. However, the better articles acknowledge that play by play fielding metrics are better but that there still is considerable uncertainty and to avoid measurement errors one should consider multiple years of data when possible. At BP, the default is to use FRAA. Sunday's John Perrotto column contains this example: Jason "Bay, despite getting knocked for his fielding, finished with -1 [FRAA] in left [field]." No mention that UZR has him at -13 for 2009 or that Fielding Bible agrees and has him at -1 for 2009. No mention that FRAA, UZR, and Fielding Bible all had Bay as significant worse than average with the glove in 2007 and 2008. No mention of the difficult of evaluting leftfielders in Fenway Park. Perotto cites FRAA and implies that those who knock Bay's fielding are uninformed.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 12

I thought Joe was the best writer here. Joe has a distinctive voice, something that takes quite awhile sometimes to develop. I may learn more from other articles, but on the days that Joe posted, I generally read his article first. I'm pessimistic about new statistics being developed within the closed BP community. The baserunning statistics developed by Dan Fox and housed here are the best on the Internet, but that tends to be the exception. Much more typical is that writers quote FRAA five years after play-by-play fielding metrics are available elsewhere. Surely, Russell, Eric, Colin, Tommy etc. are aware of this. Kevin wrote: "Our goal is to overwhelm you with information, and keep you returning to the site several times throughout the day." Ugh. I'd rather visit the site once a day and be able to print or read all the new content quickly without having to check a series of blog entries that don't print right. I want quality analysis, not to be overwhelmed with information. Whether I'm in the majority or minority of your readers in this regard, I don't know. My sense is that John does not replace Joe. His writing is competent but I don't think he resonates that well with your readership. He certainly doesn't seem to draw as many chat questions, and his writing seems similar to what I can get for free elsewhere. Anyway, even though I'm grumpy hearing about Joe's departure, there is plenty I do like about BaseballProspectus.com. I've been a subscriber since you switched to that back in 2003 or so and hope that I keep finding it worthwhile to renew. Please make the most of my time and don't just deluge me with more articles written for ESPN.com readers.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Dennis Eckersley was another conceivable starter that the Oakland A's collected during the same time period. There's a very presicent comment in the Bill James 1987 Abstract commenting on the key for the A's will be whether Tony LaRussa can pick the right starting pitchers to stay in the rotation and not be fickle swapping all of the candidates in and out of the rotation.

Dec 18, 2009 9:43 AM on Swinging Role Reversals
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I thought the balloting was done by two voters from each AL city. Is that right? Were you one of the Chicago voters? Did the Chicago BBWAA chapter have the discretion to choose to let you vote? Did you feel obligated to discuss your views with other Chicago BBWAA chapter members? I would have had a harder time discarding Brett Anderson from the top candidates but I have no real quibbles with your ballot. I leaned toward Bailey because, even though he was just a reliever and didn't have has as many plate appearances because of that, he was at least at a star level. However, there are plenty of solid arguments for Andrus.

Nov 17, 2009 1:21 PM on AL Rookie of the Year
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

I checked at baseball-reference.com and there were no Dodger pitchers who received IBBs during 1961-63.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks Christina!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Maybe Christina is off her game this one time or maybe I'm just cranky but don't Rich Hill's latest surgury and the possibility of Sean Rodriguez playing 2B for the Rays both merit some mention when reviewing these transactions? On the other hand, since I knew about them, I shouldn't mind that they were omitted!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Tremendous research, Eric. Does something like runs per 100 fastballs correlate better with perceived velocity instead of the Pitch F/X measured velocity? It's probably impossible to say given just 9 pitchers, but it might be worth a peak just to encourage you to measure more pitchers. It doesn't sound like just using height as a proxy for explaining the difference between actual and perceived velocity will work. Any idea why the 6'5" Verlander has a negative difference between perceived and actual velocity given that he's taller than average?

Sep 23, 2009 8:48 AM on Perceived Velocity
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Sorry, there are a couple typos in that last post. I need an "edit post" function!

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

Is there an impact where a player who is new to a team (say Mark Teixeira this year, although the best example might be Kirk Gibson in 1988 or whenever he who the MVP with the Dodgers) has an advantage in the balloting because if the team does well then his addition becomes part of the storyline that might lead to MVP votes? Also, Jay, for years you have been semi-apologizing for having your own last name in the JAWS name but yet you just duplicate the same thing with JUMP. It seems apparent to me that you like including your name in this acronyms so you can drop the bashful routine. :-)

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

It's a tacky article. You can politely say that you are building on the work of your predecessors, which both acknowledges your intellectual debt while obviously implying that you intend to make an improvement. When you know that a writer (a) died prematurely and (b) had a loyal following, you ought to think twice before writing that one of his better-known formulas "failed even the simplest laugh test." Just do your own work without running down others' work. Maybe it just rubbed me the wrong way: it doesn't look like anyone else commented on it.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I voted for 2 out of 3. I'm confident that I'm in the minority. It just seemed to me that's where the line fell if I was trying to differentiate the quality of the final 3 submissions.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

The best topic & research but yet the article that was hardest to follow. It's a tough decision for me.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I feel bad for Royals fans who read this article. That's some pretty grim news for their front line prospects.

Jul 09, 2009 9:55 AM on Big Steps Backwards
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 2

I would think that Sabathia is the best pitcher in baseball. He was definitely the best in both 2007 and 2008 and in opinion, even before giving him extra credit for pitching the Brewers to a playoff slot last year often on short rest. A 3.56 ERA in the third of a season since then isn't enough to lose the title to me. I enjoyed the article but it does seem like you give much less weight to current year performance when evaluating potential all-stars than you did here.

Jun 11, 2009 2:53 PM on Nominating the Best
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Good job, contestants. I didn't think the topic would appeal to me, but I ended up giving a "thumbs up" vote to 6 out of the 8 articles.

Jun 10, 2009 5:48 AM on Second in a Series
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

If you had counter offered by phone then you could have tried to correct the small stuff and, if that was unsuccessful, still probably gone back to the original offer and closed the deal within that same phone call. In other words, while you drew the lesson of "don't sweat the plus" a different lesson to draw might be "if you might want to close the deal ASAP, then talk to your trading partner instead of relying on slower less immediate forms of communication."

Jun 01, 2009 12:31 PM on Fantastic?
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Robicl, It's good to see you'll be posting and writing articles for BP. I remember you well from we were both "regular guys" posting often on another baseball forum a few years ago. Looking at some team statistics at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/teams/ It looks like Oakland's low runs allowed total is due more to luck or defense or home ballpark than to pitching. K/BB for the staff is below normal. DER, HR/Fly, LOB% are all a little better than normal so maybe the cumulative effect is influencing their runs allowed total. In any case, I'm not convinced yet that it's mostly pitching that is responsible for the Athletics low runs allowed total.

May 18, 2009 10:49 AM on Riding the Horses
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Nice interview indeed. Joe Nelson sounds very modest and appreciative. I agree that it was Danny Patterson who threw the Vulcan splitter.

Apr 27, 2009 4:24 AM on Joe Nelson
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Longoria came up in your discussion of Matt Wieters. I believe that Longoria earned a full year of MLB service time in 2008. He was in the minors for only 17 days of the regular season and one earns a full year of service if < 20 days are spent in the minors. Hence, he\'s not a good example of a player kept in the minors to minimize MLB service time -- the contract he signed made it a moot point anyway.

Jan 26, 2009 12:05 PM on Orioles Top 11 Prospects
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

How about an interview from someone who used to work for Scott Boras. Tell us what he\'s like, what it\'s like working for him, how he avoids conflicts of interest when he represents multiple free agents. I\'ve found baseball agents more interesting since reading Licensed to Deal a couple years ago.

Jan 19, 2009 11:25 AM on The Debate Continues
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 6

I don\'t know who you got into trouble with last month for calling the Marlins \"a blight ...\" but you shouldn\'t get in trouble for that. You\'re a baseball columnist, Joe, so it\'s your job to express opinions about baseball matters as long as you do so in a entertaining, persuasive and informed manner. I enjoy your columns but that doesn\'t mean that I or other readers should agree with 100% of your opinions. Keep up the good work.

Jan 05, 2009 11:39 AM on Too Much Sun
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

A writer like James Click or Dan Fox who can frequently teach us things about baseball that we don\'t already know. We don\'t really have someone filling that void.

Jan 01, 2009 5:46 AM on July 23-30
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 1

I think the most interesting teams to do are those for whom it is unclear whether they should go for the gold or rebuild. In the AL, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit and (if we didn\'t already see their direction) Oakland are the best candidates for this kind of column, in my opinion.

Dec 01, 2008 12:51 PM on Dodgers
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: -1

Joe wrote: \"That\'s the difference between a number one starter and a number two starter, not just in one season, but in every season for 17 years.\" That\'s not being fair to Morris. Morris was a number one starter for a long time, earning a slew of opening day assignments. A better statement would be \"That\'s the difference between being merely a number one starter and a top-drawer number one starter who should readily enter the Hall of Fame. Also, is there any better explanation between the discrepancy between Morris having a career ERA+ over 100 but negative pitching runs above average. Do BP\'s stats gurus really think that Morris benefitted from that much fielding support over his career? I can buy the argument that Morris was not a Hall of Famer but you\'ll have to work harder than that to convince me that he was below average.

Nov 24, 2008 12:32 PM on Moose Tracks
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Blyleven got over 60% of the writers\' votes for the Hall of Fame. No black hole sucked up his chances. Blyleven is a near-lock to enter the HOF. The only suspense is whether the writers will do the job before their 15-year election period expires or whether a future veterans committee will do it instead.

Nov 24, 2008 12:26 PM on Moose Tracks
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

If you don\'t like the column, just skip it. There are a ton of articles for the dollar on this website. It seems to me that Huff has always hit too many groundballs to profile as a key who can keep hitting 30 or so homers. I\'m not so confident that he can hold as much of his 2008 production as the article seems to indicate. Yes, he cut down on GB/BIP in 2008 but his career as a whole says that it\'ll get worse again.

Nov 23, 2008 5:18 PM on Aubrey Huff
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Indians, 6/130, 12/7

Nov 10, 2008 1:28 PM on July 2-8
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

The unbalanced schedule started in 2001. It\'ll be harder for seasons beginning in 2001 or later to veer further away from .500 than those seasons before then. Given that, we can more confidently place the 2008 AL East division\'s strength ahead of the 1998 AL East division. Expressing the same thought differently, if we ranked divisions only by their records where the teams played opponents from outside of the division, the 2008 AL East division\'s winning percentage would exceed the 1998 AL East division\'s winning percentage.

Nov 07, 2008 9:51 AM on Divisionology
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Is anyone from Baseball Prospectus going to comment on this story?: mvn.com/mlb-stats/2008/10/15/world-famous-statspeak-roundtable-october-15/ It\'s kind of tacky that I learned about it reading The Book blog instead of seeing an announcement here.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Regarding \"Mark Lee\" it\'s sometimes amusing how hyperlinks for players\' names are filled in even when the author doesn\'t intend them to be so.

Oct 13, 2008 12:35 PM on Temperature and OPS
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I sure don\'t recall that the immediate consensus to the McCarthy / Danks trade is that the Rangers won the trade. As best as I can refresh my memory through a Google search, there were mixed opinions but most observers thought Danks was a more valuable player than McCarthy.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Now that\'s confusing. Kala and Kila Ka\'aihue are brothers who both play firstbase. Kala is a year younger but seems to be less of a prospect right now that Kila (the guy called up by the Royals) is.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Health is Burnett\'s problem. If one ignores health, then yes he\'s one of the top 10 AL starters. He had an ERA under 4.00 for four straight years and won\'t miss by too much in 2008. He has a rare combination of high strikeout frequency and high groundball frequency, although his groundball frequency on balls in play for 2008 isn\'t as specatular as it\'s been in the past.

 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

Why does Baltimore use the 15-day disabled list during September? I think they\'ve used it four times and I don\'t see the point.

Sep 23, 2008 9:57 AM on UTK Interactive
 
Michael
(736)
Comment rating: 0

I clicked on the \"there are 10 of them\" link to see the AL rookie pitchers. Is Joba Chamberlain really eligible for Rookie of the Year? It sure seems like he spent much of last season on the major league roster.