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Totally agree about Wiley Wiggins ("Dazed and Confused") and Tim Lincecum. Maybe that was Tim Lincecum as a kid and that's where he got his start enjoying herbal substances!
I saw Campos pitch last night and he looked great. His defense let him down in the inning that the other team scored 2 runs. I was surprised to see him go 8 innings and face 30 batters, though. I couldn't find a pitch count for him for the game but facing 30 batters, with 12 strikeouts, I would expect it was up there for a 19-year-old kid in A ball.
The Hall of Fame "jumped the shark" for me 8 years ago with the Bull Durham incident and it will only get increasingly less relevant as the greatest players of the 90s are kept out of the Hall by hypocritical sportswriters over the next 10 years.
WARNING: This links to something that deals with politics and I know people get out of sorts when politics is mentioned in these parts.
Yeah, some of these WAR (WARP?) seem way out there. For example, here are the top five from this article:
Here are FanGraphs' Top Five by WAR:
If you want to play a 5-game series, I know which 5 I'm taking.
I finished 32nd, so I beat Derek. Woo hoo!
I also played in the DFBC Qualifier and got 20th, winning $40. Tim Stauffer had 21 points and I believe he cost about $3000 less than the top pitchers (Felix, Shields).
I've played 9 times at FanDuel this year, starting with a Freeroll promoted at The Hardball Times. It's been fun. So far, I'm ahead.
One thing I did today was check the weather reports and avoided players with games in ugly-looking weather. You have to watch for last-minute lineup changes too.
And Teheran's final line:
4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
5.79 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9
Game on, final combined projection from 31 people:
175.3 IP, 155 H, 77 ER, 81 BB, 172 K
3.95 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9
Using the "wisdom of the crowds" approach, I totaled all the predictions above. There are 30 predictions, producing this total:
170.3 IP, 149 H, 74 ER, 79 BB, 166 K
That's a 3.91 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, and 4.2 BB/9
*Raymond V didn't have anything listed for walks, so I put down 0 for his prediction.
6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Like other commenters, I invented a baseball game. Mine was with a deck of cards and it started out very simply: An Ace was a single, a Two was a double, a Three was a triple, and a Four was a home run. The other cards were assorted types of outs. As I played it more often, I made it more complicated, first changing the outcome based on whether the card was red or black, then incorporating the suits into it.
Then I read an add for APBA in an early-80's Baseball Digest and started playing that card-and-dice game. My favorite team was the Pittsburgh Pirates (We R Fam-A-Lee!), so I re-played every Pittsburgh Pirates season from 1971 to 1983. I kept scoresheets for every game, had single season records, career records, the whole works. When I first started playing whole Pirates' seasons, I made fictional moves, trading players who weren't actually traded in real baseball, or giving much more playing time to players who didn't get that much playing time in real life. Then I switched to trying to re-create seasons, using actual roster moves and attempting to play each player as much as he actually played that season. I even built a little stadium for my game and spent hours sitting on the floor, rolling the dice, marking my scorebook, and totaling up stats. Great memories. Thanks for this article.
Someone should tell Buster that Werth is one month younger than Beltre.
"The sacred number in baseball is still 714, I think."
What happened to 755?
I would have liked to know if he's heard of Pitch F/X, does he look at how his pitches move, his location, etc.?
I'd be more confident in their post-season chances if they could hit better away from home:
Home--.293/.359/.463, 5.5 Runs/game
Away--.255/.320/.379, 4.4 Runs/game
Coco Crisp's career BABIP is .307, so he could fall some from his current .324, but his xBABIP is .322, so he might be right where he should be.
I thought the same thing when I read some of these quotes; with Whitaker being described as more naturally gifted, talented, etc., while Trammell was hard-working, a grinder, smarter. When people think this way, they see Whitaker as a disappointment and Trammell as an over-achiever, whether that is actually the case or not.
Nick Cafardo said:
“As Hall of Fame voters, we dismissed [Whitaker’s] candidacy very quickly and I wish that he had kind of hung around a little bit. I know that he didn’t hit all the home runs, and all that, but he was a very consistent player, a very good defensive player and he hit well."
and Jim Beattie said:
“When I think back to it, Whitaker was kind of like Orlando Hudson; he was a lot-of-energy second baseman. He had speed as part of his game. He had some power, but he was mostly just kind of a slap hitter, trying to put the ball into play, steal a base and try to get the offense ignited that way. You knew he had that pop if you gave him something down and in that he could turn on, but most of the time it was a matter of keeping him off the bases."
The funny thing is, Whitaker out-homered Trammell 244 to 185 and out-slugged him .426 to .415.
Just a guess, maybe Bill Russell and Davey Lopes? Dave Concepcion and Joe Morgan? Tinkers and Evers?
I'll nominate Bob Dylan in the "most incomprehensible singer ever" category. I remember an SNL skit on Dylan.
"Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, a fantastic Weekend Update skit in which Bob Dylan (Dana Carvey) has a deep discussion with Tom Petty (Spade). This conversation, mostly in gibberish and outlandish incoherent phrases, is hysterical. Carvey’s impression of Dylan is dead on and Spade doesn’t back down as weirdo Tom Petty."
I've been starting Morrow at home and avoiding him on the road:
7-1, 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9 at home
2-5, 6.44 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 5.7 BB/9 on the road
Jay, thanks for using just one decimal place when pointing out a relievers' WXRL. The stat is "wins added over a replacement level pitcher" and I always thought it was ridiculous when Christina would use it in a column and it was carried out to 3 or 4 decimal places. I don't mean this as a criticism of Christina, I just found it silly to carry a "wins added" stat to so many decimal places. The idea of .001 wins is really silly.
This article opens with "What happened to the Rockies?"
Well, they went on the road, where they stink, and faced three good teams and lost 9 of 11.
The Reds are 33-23 at home (.589)
The Malrins are 28-27 at home (.509)
The Phillies are 34-18 at home (.654)
Despite the humidor, some key Rockies' hitters have been terrible outside of Coors Field this year, Carlos Gonzalez among them:
Home: .380/.420/.719, 1.139 OPS
Away: .262/.279/.385, .663 OPS
For all the hype Car-Go gets, his career batting line away from home is .255/.299/.389 in 134 games.
Van Slyke wasn't so flawless against left-handed pitchers, but he was one of my favorites back when the Pirates were good in the early 90's. I'll never forget him sitting in center field after Francisco Cabrera's bottom-of-the-9th, two-out, two-run, game-winning hit that put the Braves in the World Series over the Pirates. That was agony.
I was at Nolan Ryan's last game. It was in the Kingdome. He gave up a grand slam to Dan Howitt. Ryan actually started to pitch to the next hitter, but was removed mid-batter. He had walked the three previous hitters before giving up the salami to Howitt, so I wonder if his elbow popped even before that hit and he was just trying to fight through it. It was sad to see such a legendary pitcher walk off like that. I'm guessing that grand slam was the highlight of Dan Howitt's career, as he was a lifetime .149/.243/.326 hitter.
I think another potential reason for offense being down is better defensive positioning. Teams have so much data on where hitters hit the ball that they can position their players better than they did in the past.
I'm wondering why Meek is always mentioned ahead of Hanrahan. The majority of Hanrahan's appearances have come in the 8th inning this year. For Meek, it's been the 7th (with a good amount of 8th inning appearances also). Why wouldn't the guy used most in the 8th move up to closer if Dotel is traded?
"The Rockies are the only unabashedly run-scoring team in the division, and their scoreboard onslaught begins with a quintet of talented outfielders."
I respectfully disagree with "unabashedly run-scoring team" and "their scoreboard onslaught."
They are a run-scoring team at home:
270 runs (1st in NL)
.299/.370/.484, .854 OPS
On the road, away from Coors, they are NOT an "unabashedly run-scoring team":
160 runs (14th in NL)
.235/.309/.369, .679 OPS
Their offense, away from Coors, is one of the NL's worst.
In actuality, their pitching has nearly the same ERA at home (4.06) as on the road (4.03), despite pitching their home games at Coors Field.
The Rockies are 31-16 at home and 18-23 on the road, but their "road woes" are due to a lack of hitting, not pitching.
It's strange that we should have to do a Google search to find these articles. It would seem like Baseball Prospectus would want to keep us on their site when looking for a past article, perhaps by having an easy-to-use archives feature.
Marc, what about Carlos Pena versus Troy Glaus from here on out?
I'm really surprised at the negative remarks about Smoak in the comments. Another Casey Kotchman? Really?
Smoak was a 5-star prospect in the pre-season, same as Montero. Smoak was #17 on Kevin's Top-100, Montero was #4. Kevin had this to say about Smoak in the Rangers Top 11:
The Good: Smoak projects as a middle-of-the-order run producer who can score and drive in 100 runs annually. He has the best plate discipline in the organization, and among the best in baseball, with plus raw power from both sides. He has good instincts for the game and is a solid to plus defender at first.
Perfect World Projection: The same as before: a switch-hitting Justin Morneau.
Smoak has had 275 PA with a .238 BABIP and now people want to write him off as Casey Kotchman all of a sudden. That doesn't make sense. Meanwhile, Montero isn't exactly lighting up AAA, with his .253/.329/.408 line.
I was hoping someone would mention the Lawless bat flip. Classic.
"I've done sports content as a business for 15 years. By any standard I'm one of a small number of people to do it successfully outside the mainstream, I've played most of the roles one can play and holy god I'm sick of listening to you act as if you've had 1% of the success the people you criticize have had. How about you grant that I might know what I'm talking about, given that sports content has been my career, without me having to make a business case to someone with no standing to ask for one?"
I can think of a plethora of major league managers and GMs who could have said something similar to this to Joe Sheehan after many of his columns in the past.
Seriously, Joe, how dare you criticize, for example, Dusty Baker (in past columns) when you haven't had 1% of the success as a major league manager that he's had? How about you grant that he knew what he was doing, given that managing has been his career?
Do you get what I'm saying here? Do you see the irony?
"His career BABIP is an amazingly low .250, but he's been “unlucky” even by that standard (.234 BABIP this year). It's probably time for yours truly to give up on the idea of him being a “plus” batting average player (since it doesn't appear that the BABIP will ever normalize)"
I would say that, after 1478 career at-bats, Carlos Quentin's BABIP has "normalized" at his career .250 mark. It's not like pitcher's BABIP, where most pitchers are in the .290 to .300 range and if they are way below that or way above it, we can expect them to regress back to that range.
Hitters have vastly different BABIP abilities. Ichiro's career BABIP is .358. Quentin's appears to be in the .250 range, so it's not going to "normalize" to something closer to .300.
Sandberg was 1 for 6 in 1981, then went 0 for 19 to start out 1982 before he started to hit.
He mentions a "24-man club." Do they have 24-man rosters in AAA?
If marijuana were legalized in this country, do you think MLB would remove it from the banned substances list? It has already been de-criminalized in some metropolitan areas and the trend appears to be heading toward legalization in different parts of the country (particularly in California, a state that could help their finances by taxing it). I don't imagine it has any performance-enhancing capabilities.
When I was a kid, I played APBA, similar to Strat-O-Matic. For some reason, I replayed the 1924 season as the Pittsburgh Pirates and I remember Fournier having a great hitting card when my Pirates played the Dodgers. Until this, that was pretty much all I knew about him, so thanks for all of the background info.
The Mariners have two Designated Huggers in Sweeney and Griffey.
What do you think of Rajai Davis and Michael Bourn? Are they worth a roster spot and playing time?
Everything you wrote about Pittsburgh is probably true, but it would crush me to have my lifelong favorite team be contracted or moved. There's no way I can be rational about this, I realize, but as a Pirates fan I can't imagine anything worse that MLB could do than eliminate my team.
What does SIERA have to say about JB? Projections other than PECOTA have him for an ERA in the 4.20 range and a 1.32-ish WHIP. I would think you'd give us the SIERA numbers in an article like this.
I live in Seattle and I'm a die-hard baseball fan. I have a brother who lives in LA who isn't much of a baseball fan at all--he had never gone to a Dodgers game. He was given tickets to that game and called me on his cell around the 3rd inning, then again in the 5th, and again in the 8th. With the Dodgers losing, he was considering leaving early. I (jokingly) told him I would dis-own him as my brother if he left a game early--it's just not done as far as I'm concerned, you stay until the last out. He stayed and got to see the whole damn thing. I kind of wish he would have left early so I'd be able to tease him about it for then next 40 years.
Are the Angels swapping Abreu and Rivera? Last year, Abreu played mostly RF and Rivera was mostly in LF. Did they announce a switch?
I'm surprised that xFIP did so poorly in both same-season and next-season. I had it in my mind that xFIP would be better than FIP.
Ahh, Doug Frobel. For 60 at-bats in 1983, Frobel hit .283/.328/.533. When I got my APBA cards the following spring, I played him full time and wondered why Chuck Tanner hadn't done the same. My baseball intelligence has grown since then.
Drug use has been mentioned above, but that can't be the reason for leaving Raines off the ballot if Parker is on it. Parker had just as high profile drug problems as Raines. The baseball drug trials were held in Pittsburgh and Parker was one of seven players who were suspended for a full season. They avoided the suspensions by agreeing to donate a small percentage of their 1986 salaries to a drug program and do community service work.
I have to commend you for having Bert Blyleven on your ballot, but I also have to agree with most of the posters above that leaving Raines off your ballot is ridiculous.
R.A.Wagman showed the numbers, but I'll just add a few more:
Tim Raines got on base more times than Tony Gwynn.
Tim Raines scored more runs than Tony Gwynn.
Tim Raines had more runs+RBI than Tony Gwynn.
And Gwynn was a slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer (97.6% of the vote).
Mattingly played 14 seasons. I don't see how he's even in the conversation. Raines got on base 1,000 more times than Mattingly and scored 500 more runs.
Also, I'm a huge Pittsburgh Pirates fan, going back to the We R Fam-A-Lee Pirates of 1979, so I'm a big fan of Dave Parker, but there's no way he should be in the Hall of Fame ahead of Tim Raines.
This may be off-topic a bit, but I once thought through and wrote about MLB players who were easy for me to mix up.
This was a few years ago, but as an example, if my team had Ty Wigginton one day and Shea Hillenbrand showed up the next day, it would be easy to not notice much difference.
Others who were interchangeable in my mind at the time:
~Jose Mesa and Antonio Alfonseca (when they were both ex-closers)
~Octavio Dotel and Guillermo Mota (when they were both setup guys)
~Joe Borowski and Ryan Dempster (when they were both bad closers)
~Todd Jones and Bob Wickman (when they were both fat, bad closers)
~Geoff Blum and Mike Lamb (in 2004, the Astros switched from Blum to Lamb)
What?! Talk of spitballs in the playoffs? I thought the Cardinals were eliminated! Oh wait, Dave Duncan specializes in the "scuff" ball, not the spitball.
I agree with MIDAS. I was looking for Torre to pinch hit for Wolf with two on and two out in the top of the 6th, then turn it over to the pen for the bottom of the 6th. Instead, he let hit Wolf, didn't add on any runs, then got just one more out from Wolf, while he allowed a run and two baserunners. At the time of the at-bat, I wondered how short Wolf's leash was if he got into trouble. If it's short, pinch-hit for him there and try to add on some runs.
"Buddy Biancalana: I had a zone experience playing in the World Series, back in 1985, where everything just slowed down for me. It was a wonderful experience, and one that is not uncommon for athletes in any sport; mine just happened to come at the most critical moment of my career, the World Series. Basically, everything just really slowed down and I hit 73 points higher than my career average, and I played errorless ball at shortstop for the entire series."
Buddy's career average was .205. He hit .278 in the 1985 World Series. He was 5 for 18. If he had gone 4 for 18, he would have hit .222. Basically, one extra hit meant he was "in the zone."
Ahh, Benny Distefano. I remember his amazing APBA card in 1988 when he hit .345/.394/.621. Of course, it was in 33 PA, but it sure looked nice.
About Ichiro: "From the more traditional perspective, he's likely to end this season with a nine-year run of 200-hit/100-run/.300 seasons.."
Unfortunately, Ichiro is on pace for 94 runs at the moment, so he might not get to 100, which would really be a bummer because it certainly wouldn't be his fault, as he has a .395 OBP.
According to wikipedia, 18 MLB teams use the 1st-base dugout at home. It's weird. I thought the home team traditionally sat in the 3rd-base dugout, but it looks like that's not true these days.
Regarding Mark Buehrle, after his perfect game, he faced the Twins in Minnesota, where they average 5.4 runs/game, then the Yankees in Chicago, and the Yankees average 5.5 runs/game on the road, so it could just be that he faced two good offenses.
Thoughts on David Ortiz versus Jason Kubel for the rest of the year in a league that uses OBP and SLG in place of AVG?
This is interesting stuff, but I do wonder if there would be a difference if you used xFIP. After reading articles at The Hardball Times and FanGraphs, I've been convinced that xFIP is a better predictor than FIP.
Thanks for your responses in the comments. I do appreciate having in-season PECOTAs and I think it's a great addition even if I'm not convinced that they are as accurate as they could be. You mentioned above the offensive levels of the league and park factors as being part of the translated PECOTA projections. I looked at the offensive levels of the leagues and offense is basically the same in the AL and slightly down in the NL this year:
2008 AL .268/.336/.420, .756 OPS, 4.78 R/G
2009 AL .263/.334/.425, .759 OPS, 4.77 R/G
2008 NL .260/.331/.413, .744 OPS, 4.54 R/G
2009 NL .257/.330/.405, .735 OPS, 4.42 R/G
So would that suggest that park factors play a bigger part in some of the projections that seem a little extreme? And would those be solely this year's park factors, so based on a half-season's worth of data?
I've been looking at these updated projections and I have to say I'm really surprised at some of them. I've compared them to the pre-season PECOTAs and I find it hard to believe that some of these players can be expected to do as well as PECOTA is projecting based on a half-season worth of data added to what they did previously.
For example, Jason Bartlett (pre-season PECOTAs from the 3/21 PFM)--
Pre-season: .257/.311/.346, .657 OPS
Rest-of-season: .307/.356/.440, .796 OPS (difference of .139)
Pre-season: .307/.388/.436, .824 OPS
Rest-of-season: .328/.416/.504, .920 OPS (difference of .096)
Pre-season: .290/.357/.487, .844 OPS
Rest-of-season: .301/.367/.573, .940 OPS (difference of .096)
In the case of Jason Bartlett, he came into this season with 1702 PA and a triple slash line of .276/.337/.362, for a .699 OPS. Is it realistic to think that 300 PA with a .903 OPS has changed his projection that much, that from this point to the end of the season he's a .796 OPS hitter? In fact, I looked at what he's done since June 1--.288/.344/.396 or since July 1--.232/.338/.321, and it looks like Jason Bartlett has gone back to being Jason Bartlett after a hot first couple months.
These are the extreme examples in a favorable direction, but there are just as extreme examples in the negative direction (Kelly Johnson, .839 OPS to .707 OPS), and the pitching projections have similar extremes.
Pre-season: 4.01 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Rest-of-season: 2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
(Since June 1: 3.61 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Joe Sheehan often writes about the dangers of small sample size. It looks to me like PECOTA needs to read some Joe Sheehan.
It took a few paragraphs, but I ended up really being impressed by this article. I live in the Seattle area and I always buy tickets at the Mariners Team Store located at the mall closest to where I live for the simple reason that I can get them at face value, and not have to pay the extra charges that are added when ordering online.
Do we have access to PECOTA in-season projections?
I saw that call and if he's calling a pitch that far outside a strike nearly 9% of the time (32/373), then he needs to find a new line of work. I don't think that's an acceptable rate. Of course, I don't know what other umpires are calling on similar pitches, so maybe I'm wrong.
Another thing about Randy Johnson going back out to pitch after injuring his shoulder on the swing--he had to make a tough throw after fielding a tapper; he ended up throwing it into right field. That could have caused some damage as well.
The best part about the All-Star break is it gives me three days to figure out how to get my fantasy team out of the cellar in the second half.
Just to clarify, it's Scott Richmond, not Scott Thompson.
You know what's cool about links? You don't have to click on them. So if RobDeerCoverCred and Patrick don't want to see a picture of a girl Will is linking to, they don't have to click on the link. Ta da!
The most surprising thing I saw was back in the early 1980's when Morganna "The Kissing Bandit" came out of the stands at the Kingdome to plant one on Steve Yeager. It looked like she was smuggling beachballs.
The Mariners in those days had some great guilty pleasure players, such as Jack Perconte and the outfield-playing version of Perconte--Johnny Moses. Why they needed both is beyond me. I also liked Domingo Ramos and Orlando Mercado for reasons unknown, it might have been their names.
Manny hit .305/.409/.547 from 4/1/06 to 7/31/08. When was the last time the Dodgers had someone hit like that? Even "injured and/or disinterested" he hit better than anyone the Dodgers have had in years.
Shouldn't Hermida be in right and Ross in left?
For the record, I\'m way beyond ready to move on from this issue, but I thought I\'d point this out.
When they show the Katie Couric interview with A-Rod, in which he denies using steroids, only to have this new information come out, doesn\'t it make Mark McGwire look better when he said simply, \"I\'m not here to talk about the past.\" At least he didn\'t lie. I think there\'s something admirable about that.
I\'m with jdankosky2, nothing substantial to add, just that I LOVED the Pirates, including their early-to-mid 80\'s teams. I played APBA and Doug Frobel had a terrific 1983 card, when he hit .283/.328/.533. Of course, it was in just 60 at-bats.
Being \"down 0-2 in a 3-game series\" should affect the psyche of the team--they would be eliminated and headed for home.