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That pic of Emperor Bud was a cruel tease. I can't believe we can't win it!
Tuffy Rhodes absolutely belongs on this list. Every year at our auction we talk about him, since that was one year we actually drafted *after* opening day. Good times.
This really old school Tues-Mon league owner is sad.
LOL at Latos hitting Bryant. Looks like Reds-Cubs games will have added fun next season.
Next week is too late for most of us. The Parnell replacement will be gone. Can Valverde hold the job?
The other benefit for Trout is he knows where his home is for the next six years. If he goes year to year he never knows where he will be as the Angels may want to trade him if they feel they can't extend him. Most of us reading this have no idea what its like not knowing what city you will call home next week/month/year.
Would party with PECOTA at the Rhino. Would it consider Glitter Gulch replacement level?
Until they "show their work" I am going to assume that they are mostly just making "stuff" up.
What is a fair price for E-Jax in an NL only 11 team league? $5?
I like to play poker myself. Poker is still gambling. Yes, better players win in the long run. It is a better bet than anything else the house runs.
But in the end, is this any different than a horse racing tout sheet that uses past performances and daily workouts?
I guess having society gamble on fantasy sports is still better than the general public wasting their money on state lotteries.
Ah, selling out to gambling. I guess everyone does eventually.
Is the OF situation worse in the NL or AL? I'm in a deep NL league with only 1 OF keeper.
Sadly I am playing for 2015 already in my NL 11 team keeper (Flags Fly Forever?). Which injured pitchers should I target in this auction? Medlen, Corbin, Beachy, in that order?
Monte Kiffin says hi.
It exists in airline pilots. Those working for regional airlines get paid very low salaries.
Can we get the list in a downloadable format?
I have to admit this did send a thrill up my leg.
One way to look at it is that the Braves would have to pay at least what they are going to pay for Simmons if they had to go the free agent route. And there will never be another SS free agent with upside unless the CBA changes.
Since SS is so thin at the upper levels, free agents will be paid a premium and will always be on the decline.
Braves are paying for what they know they have, while hoping for some big upside.
In a shallower league (mixed) you pay for truly elite talent like Trout, because your <$10 players are still decent. In a deep league (Only) you can't afford to have all that money tied up in one player because you are going to have some real dreck on your roster otherwise.
I would agree. There is upside here, just make sure you don't pay full price for the upside.
It's hard to tell satire from typical Yankee Fan hagiography.
One more point about Clemens vs Bonds. Bonds is still liked in SF and Pittsburgh for his contributions to the local teams. Clemens is still liked in Boston and NY for the same reasons. (liked being a relative thing)
So any non-scientific ESPN poll is going to show a large market bias to Clemens vs Bonds.
the data presented, and reiterated in the comments above, is merely that blacks and whites view Bonds differently. Unfortunately, we don't get any analysis as to whether it is because Black fans are giving Bonds a pass for being a jerk or White fans are racist.
"It is impossible to know for certain how much of the racial gap is racism and how much of it is solidarity, but it's generally accepted that the former effect is usually greater than the latter."
His rant is as accurate as the author's speculation until presented with real facts on either side.
But Pablo Sandoval is in the Best Shape of His Life (tm)
Really narrows the 2b field in NL leagues. Guess I'll save my money for OF.
Given the six opt-outs you mentioned, if I were a GM I would be happy to have the players opt out. Seems to me there is a opportunity to negotiate a lower 7 year contract if you put in that three year opt out. Everybody wins, including the player. Security, with the chance for an even bigger payday that is entirely within his control. And the GM gets the best years of the player, letting someone else pay for the decline.
It probably only works for the team if the player is signing with you for the first time as a free agent. The pressure from the fans to resign a successful home grown player who opts out would be overwhelming.
No ranking by #want?
Wow, Yankees are going to have to do some serious horse trading in the next few years. Good thing they have the best young second basemen signed. Oh, never mind.
I was about to make a similar comment. The fundamental question that is unanswered is: Is there such a thing as "clutch" relievers? Or can the same pitcher get a strikeout with the bases empty and up 4 runs as with the winning run on second base?
The "Matt Adams feasted on inferior pitching in September" is a bit of an exaggeration. Looking at his 8 home runs in September, only two came off inferior pitchers, and none on call ups. He hit HRs off of Milwaukee closer Henderson (2), Jordan Zimmerman, Gallardo, Ondrusek (league average),and Alfredo Simon, who pitched pretty well last year. He also hit one off Mike Gonzalez and Carter Capps, who pitched all season but neither was very good. That looks like a cross section of National League pitching to me.
This column will have a little different feel next year if the Astros are equally bad.
Now that all of the AL teams have come through town, you won't see quite the same bump in attendance.
The Bud Selig Victory Tour (tm) will not have the same draw as Mariano Rivera.
Most importantly, the Houston Sports Net is currently in bankruptcy and there is fighting amongst the owners. The big problem: Directv, Dish, AT&T, and Time Warner aren't willing to pay for a channel that no one watches. Since no one in Houston cares enough about the Astros to switch to Comcast, the others won't carry it.
That is the penalty for Houston tanking. They own 47% of the sports network, but the Rockets own 30%. They are trying to compete, paying for Dwight Howard. They need the Astros to be competitive in order to get carriage. The Rockets ownership has got to be angry with the Astros for not even trying and costing the network carriage and revenue.
They will be the least watched team in 2014 if they are just as bad as 2013.
Not enough love in this analysis for Matt Adams. Giving him only 316 PA is a disservice.
I look forward to the induction speech in the next 5 years where the inductee admits to at least trying PED's. I don't know who that is, but I hope it will happen. Because we just don't know.
In Total WAR on the B-Ref website, Glavine has 81.4 vs 79.9 for Schilling. I would call that "demonstrably no-questions-about-it better". He may be better, but it is not a slam dunk. Longevity vs Peak argument.
No such thing as a bad 1 year contract, so a 2 year contract can never be *that* bad.
If he stinks, that's like one bad year of Lincecum.
Has anyone looked at this from a batting perspective? Are some teams more adept at taking advantage of the 3rd time through the order? Are some players? Or is the sample size too small?
But team chemistry under the STL model isn't "let's all go out to dinner together and we'll hit better". It's "work hard at improving your craft."
Reporters mostly report on whether the team likes each other, which may or may not have any impact on whether the team is full of hard workers who are improving their craft (or preventing a erosion of skills).
That hard work may result in better performance, but that should show up in Year over Year improvements in player performance. Probably hard to suss that out of the normal variability in player growth curves.
But in your fantasy drafts next year, you may see an uptick in performance from the guy who got traded to the Cardinals in the offseason.
Yeah, those Arizona D-Backs fans really enjoyed their season.
Further problems with the WS win %.
As of the morning of 9/25, the Royals show a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs, yet somehow have a 0.2% chance of winning the World Series. Hmmmmm.
Why are the Tigers a 22.7% chance to win the WS while the Red Sox are only 13.5%? (as of morning of 9/24)
Red Sox have a better record as of now.
Now it is Sep 3rd and the Rays are only 70%. With 3 other teams vying for that spot. That sounds like a pennant race to me.
I'm curious if any team has tried giving players a *real* day off. If they are supposed to report to the ballpark at 2pm for a 7pm game, let one position player a day report at 5pm. He can sleep in, relax, maybe spend time with the family. That would be the day he would not start, but obviously be in uniform for pinch hitting duties or extra innings. That might result in better recovery.
It comes down to whether Jose can hit a high fastball. Many of these were a pitch up vs a pitch down. If he is good with the high fastball, I got about 70%. If he can't catch up, I'm at 30%. I'll go with 70%.
wait, what? You don't pick your kicker as your last pick?
"You're still getting the better player, and you're getting a pretty good lottery ticket in Alex Rodriguez. "
I read it as he was giving up A Rod in the deal. Did I read it wrong?
Tell that to Luke Gregerson. The fact is, some guys suck and lose their jobs, others suck and keep them.
Love the J. Singleton 40 man roster comment. Oh the hypocrisy!
I think you gave bad advice on the Trout deal.
Trout had a 963 OPS last year and has shown a similar OPS in the smallish sample size 2013 numbers.
Machado has 100 points less OPS with less major league sample size to prove it out.
From a Fantasy prospective, Trout provides more HRs and SBs per plate appearance.
Taveras doesn't really steal bases and has never seen major league pitching. AAA OPS: 831, 130 points less than Trout's major league OPS.
When making trades, take the side with the best player.
The IT department at work is going to be investigating me now...
The baseball coach at my high school was Ben Lefebvre, father of Jim Lefebvre, and credited with inventing the batting tee for learning to hit.
One year he taught the entire team to switch hit. By the end of the season his team had the highest batting average in their league.
At lower levels, switch hitting is easily learned (with a good teacher).
I think in a nutshell Heyman is saying, "let's not talk about WAR when it is not a meaningful number, let's talk about something else"
In May, WAR is more deceptive than helpful vs other metrics.
Baseball needs to take advantage of the huge PR problem NFL has with regard to injuries. Baseball has TJ surgery while the NFL has former players killing themselves due to head injuries. They need to use that somehow.
You forgot to mention "chicks dig the long ball"
I think people are making too big a deal about the position player depth of the Jays. With the DH, you don't need a lot of pinch hitting, so you can run all 9 hitters out there for all 9 innings. If you have an injury to a position player that isn't enough to put him on the DL, invent "forearm tightness" for one of your relievers without options.
Yeah, that's never been done before...
Edinson Volquez - Opening Day Starter, Zero stars. Boy the Padres pitching stinks!
This would have been helpful Friday, as would the Nationals Top 10 prospects list.
Where does Yaisel Puig's power tool stack up against the other prospects?
But if there were enough Knuckleballers, someone would make a pitching machine that threw a good one.
If a concert means turning out the lights at Tropicana Field, that will definitely improve the look of it.
That's better than what they have been in the past, baseball's version of Polaroid, desperately clinging to the good ol' days
When can a team sign Lohse and not forfeit a pick?
We always played that the "winner" had to buy the next round. With the price of beers, you don't want to win.
You should care about salaries because you pay for them. Only partially through ticket prices. Mostly through your basic cable/satellite TV subscription.
Why did the dodgers spend tons of money this year? The same reason the Lakers signed Howard and Nash and kept Gasol. Because each of them were negotiating new TV contracts. You can't hold cable companies and satellite companies for maximum subscription numbers and maximum per subscriber rates unless the product is compelling. Sure the Lakers stink, but the deals were done before you saw the product on the court.
Paying the players less won't make the subscription rates come down, the increased salaries are more of an indication that your rates are going up. Again.
Why doesn't it happen to football players? It does, but they don't play a finesse game. They play a violent game that requires speed and physical strength. Unless the injury affects those two, they will play. They will shoot up with lidocaine and get in the game. Unless it is a QB or a kicker. But those are very small groups, although they have there stories too.
Both balls, but nice pitch framing to get the call.
Plus he should get credit for all those HBP. That is a skill too.
Getting high OBP in the lineup somewhere is vastly more important than where they bat in the lineup.
I don't think Dickey can be traded. Alderson can't trade the reigning Cy Young winner unless he gets truly elite talent, or New Yorkers will come after him with torches and pitchforks.
But nobody is going to risk truly elite talent for a knuckleball pitcher, no matter what kind of numbers he put up. There is just no way to predict the consistency of a knuckleballer.
Phil Niekro followed up his ERA+ season of 159 with 118 (age 35), and his 142 season with a 119 (age 39)
Tim Wakefield followed up his age 35 season that got him a 162 OPS with a 114.
Despite good health, the vagaries of the knuckleball make it difficult to predict repeat outstanding seasons. IMO, no GM will take that chance with their elite prospects.
When your team is owned by Frank McCourt, Jeffrey Loria, or some other lout, you are especially thankful for fantasy baseball.
Wow. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was *that* bad.
Yes, but the LCS losers have to split their pool. WS loser gets it all.
Umpires make a verbal call "Infield fly, if fair" although not all umpires say the "if fair" part.
It is telling that none of these players were on my roster this year (NL only).
I look at it from a different lens, from the company I work for. "We" are successful. Fortune 150 company. Everyone, from a call center employee to the CFO are critical to the company's success. Not necessarily individually, but collectively. If the call center employees are not successful, the company won't be.
Same with a baseball team. If the concessions workers aren't selling enough beer, there isn't enough revenue to put a better team on the field.
In my book, anyone collecting a paycheck from a team can use "We".
But will Comcast SN HOuston get any coverage from anyone other than Comcast? Houston Rockets did not make the playoffs last year and likely won't this year. The astros lost 100 games this year and likely will next year.
Do the astros get money from CSNH regardless of whether carriage contracts are signed?
I'd be interested in knowing the worst saves that weren't three innings or more.
Say the guy comes in during the top of the 8th, up by 1 or 2 runs. Save situation. Gets 3 outs and keeps the lead.
Bottom of the 8th, his team goes nuts, scores a lot.
Top of the 9th, limps along giving up multiple runs, yet team still wins.
He doesn't need an arm. He'll just run the ball in and tag out the runner.
The trend was really set by the Big Ten Network. When they got national coverage by football season in 2008, it told the rest of the nation that more RSNs are viable.
But are they?
The Longhorn Network is looking like a big failure. Verizon FiOS is the only national provider with carriage (and they only reach about 10% of the nation, with only 3m TV customers). Nobody else outside of Texas is coming to the table.
So the question becomes, how viable are multiple RSNs in a city? Los Angeles has two, with Lakers Network coming on board in the fall. Can the Dodgers make it a fourth?
My take is, the baseball teams will need to team up with basketball or hockey in order to have a truly viable RSN. Only a team like the Yankees can go it alone.
Outlier is Hoot. Again, edit would be great :(
There are 3 people who are equal to the hive mind:
The outlier is RA Wagman, who only picked 2 with the Hive. Which means, of course, that he will be the most correct.
And I really wish I could edit my previous post.
33 respondents through Hoot Stromboli:
# of L/# of R
I am very close to the hive mind (8/9). I have been assimilated.
Didn't Carlos Lee have 10/5 rights?
FREE JEDD GYORKO!
I think you are being too nice to Ned Colletti.
Manny had worn out his welcome in Boston, was making 19m per year and had been slipping in performance. Sure he had a fantastic 50 games with LA, but talk about small sample size! So what does Ned do? Gives a 2 year $40m contract to a 37 year old that nobody else wanted. Manny then came back down to earth, as expected by everyone but Ned. I'll even give Ned a pass for not knowing that Manny was on steroids.
So the trade for Manny was good, but overrated due to small sample size. The re-signing was awful.
As for Garland and Lugo, both were future free agent rentals which aren't that big of a deal. Garland was a league average pitcher who got a great benefit moving from AZ to Dodger Stadium.
Jim Thome as a good trade? He doesn't even own a glove and last I checked, the Dodgers were in the National League. They traded for a Pinch Hitter. I would hope they paid nothing.
Those fan bases aren't as huge as you might think. Only maybe 1/3 of the TVHH watch a local RSN over the course of a year. Yet 100% of cable/satellite customers are paying for those RSNs.
A good portion of those customers are very loyal, and would be willing to switch if the channel went dark on one provider. That is how the RSNs can demand high fees.
You probably won't get streaming before ala carte sports, because as long as the teams and networks are getting the outrageous fees, they aren't going to kill the golden goose.
The fans are half the reason the rest of the country hates the Yankees.
And just to show we aren't biased, we hate the Red Sox and their fans too.
Can't wait to see the Trot Time for the Inside the Park by Ryan Roberts!
I will miss him. Every year, without fail, our fantasy league starts singing the Elton John song "Levon" whenever his name is brought up in the auction. Good Times.
Any chance Taveras gets called up before September?
I can answer the first one.
The influence of DVRs has greatly increased time shifting of viewing television. And that time shifting causes ad-skipping and makes some ads viewed worthless (think of the Memorial Day sale ad that you end up seeing in June, or the political ad you see in late November).
One of the few TV shows that can't be time shifted is Sports. People want to watch their sports live. The premium that those ads get increases the value of the broadcasts.
In addition, it is a very loyal audience. Those who watch their team are not afraid to switch TV providers to make sure they don't miss a game. Therefore the Regional Sports Networks can extract high rates, knowing the TV providers don't dare pull the channels, or go dark for an extended period.
With the success of YES network and Big Ten network, every big city team has thoughts of their own RSN. That increases the price the existing RSNs are willing to pay for the product.
In the end, everyone pays through higher pay TV prices.
A-Rod was 25 years old when he signed that contract.
Pujols was 31. HUGE difference.
"Cable TV" subscribership may be eroding, but pay TV subscribership is not.
Satellite and Telco (FiOS, U-Verse) are making up for any losses on the cable side.
There has not been a lot of "cord cutting" up to this point.
How about some love for the LA Dodgers?
Kemp and Kershaw are still in their prime. Ethier is still decent. Dee Gordon progresses.
And they have a boatload of money to spend from old contracts finally rolling off and a new TV contract.
Stealing Signs is NOT cheating. Unless you are going by that unwritten rule book that includes beanings, no stealing in blowouts, etc.
Memories of the end of fantasy drafts:
Owner A: Alex Gonzalez
Owner B: Which one? The bad one or the really bad one?
Owner A: What's the difference?
Free Jed Gyorko!!!
Dodgers. They can afford to pay him and can't afford to trade prospects instead.
Okay, I shouldn't be that lazy. It looks like it was .444
20 hits, 1 error, 8Ks, 4 HRs.
I wonder what the BABIP was for the Mariners in that game. Too lazy to look it up.
UCLA got seeded #2 nationally and has several Junior starters, but no one got in your top 30. Who are your highest rated Bruins and how close did they come to making the cut?
#3 happens to all teams. Developing prospects is always somewhat of a crapshoot. Trade the wrong ones (Paul Konerko - Dodgers) while keeping the wrong ones (Sean Burroughs - Padres) and suddenly your depth is awfully thin.
As a UCLA baseball fan, what do you think the odds are that Giolito suits up for them?
How accurate are the playoff odds? Do you re-run them for previous seasons and prove out that a team with a 75% chance of making the playoffs really makes the playoffs 75% of the time? Or do external factors, such as future injuries, trades, etc. change the real likelihood?
I ask this because I look at the Dodgers, who are now 74% to make the playoffs. In the past 7 days, they went 5-2 while the Giants went 4-3, as did the D-Backs. They put their MVP on the DL, and lost their starting 2b and 3b to the DL. And their odds went up 18.5%.
Curiouser and curiouser.
It tells me that the time of game problems in MLB are all about TV.
I have a philosophical problem with paying for the same content three times. I subscribe, I buy the annual, now when you put the annual out digitally, I have to buy it again.
No thank you.
But as any good gambler knows, you also want to reduce variance. If you have high variance, your risk of ruin is much greater. Unless you need variance to win (say if you are in an expert league and all players are properly priced, and no advantage can be gained through trades), then you are better off reducing your variance by investing in safer players.
How about Drew Bennett? Backup QB at UCLA. Played a little WR on trick plays.
Undrafted in the NFL.
Played 7 years in the NFL, scored 28 touchdowns. As a Wide Receiver.
Interestingly, if Josh Willingham won the rookie of the year in 2006 (he got one vote despite an 852 OPS in 500 ABs and a 2.0 WARP), he would be considered a bust in Bill Parker's column yesterday.
(for entertainment purposes only, of course)
Most importantly, how can I take this to Vegas and make money on the Over/Under!!!
Mark Ellis, MVP? This is fantasy baseball right?
Batting .237, only thing of value he brings to the dodgers are walks (and flukey HBP), which aren't used in 99% of leagues.
Pickings must be really slim.
Josh Timlin's control in a better pitcher = Greg Maddux
I think technology is going to solve "range" for us in the next five years. Body motion technology is available widely. A computer could calculate the time it takes a ball and a theoretical "average" player to meet, and what the result should be. Compare that to actual player fielding and you can determine the impact a player has.
Well his career BABIP was .272 over 1900 innings pitched, so I would think that he has shown an ability to have a lower than average BABIP. Thus it wouldn't be all luck.
It seems like FRA is punishing him (brutally) for not being a high strikeout pitcher. He was a ground ball pitcher who didn't walk guys and kept the ball in the park. I'm not sure FRA is the best measure here.
Put it this way, if you were the General Manager of the Padres in the 70's, would you waive this guy? He's below replacement level...
So the Million Dollar question is, why does the 1976 Randy Jones, who won the Cy Young award, have such egregious FRAs that it makes him a below replacement level pitcher?
I understand that the BBWA gets awards wrong, but I'm pretty sure they've never given a Cy Young award to a below replacement level pitcher.
Something seems off in the WARP for Randy Jones. In 1976, he had an ERA+ (source: baseball reference) of 120, a WHIP of 1.027, and a WAR of 5.1. Yet on his BP card he shows a WARP of -1.3 in 1976. Smells fishy.
Great question. Randomly looking at the A+ Modesto Nuts of 2006 on baseball reference...
Danny Ardoin got 488 PA over 5 seasons in the majors
Jonathan Herrera got 643
Scott Dohmann threw 171 innings in the majors, 5.32 ERA
Franklin Morales 179IP, 4.61 ERA
Ryan Mattheus had 32IP last year and is on the Nats roster now
As for Brandon Wood's teammates (2006 Arkansas Travelers):
Sean Rodriguez is the only batter who has more than a cup of coffee. Now the starting SS for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Rich Thompson is in the back of the bullpen for the Angels
Jose Arredonado is pitching for the Reds
Pickings are pretty slim. It tells me that if you aren't a prospect, you ain't making it.
Edit - St. John's did have hitters in MLB, my browser wasn't showing them. Rich Aurilia - 77% of the MLB AB's from St. John alum.
Interesting, but really doesn't tell you much about a program.
So much value from so few players. Take St. Johns. Frank Viola and John Franco have 70% of the innings pitched from St. John's alum, and they last played for the team in 1981, over 30 years ago (That must have been a good team though). However, no hitters have come to the major leagues from that school.
Same with BYU. Jack Morris and Rick Aguilera represent 89% of the IP in the majors from BYU alum.
Interesting, but in the end really means nothing.
That P.S. is just screaming for abuse. (I didn't unlike you though, but I thought about it)
To Everyone in LA - You do know who is paying McCourt? Us. We will be paying in terms of higher ticket prices, higher concessions, and most importantly, higher cable and satellite bills as "the new media deal" gets pushed down to the subscribers.
This is only a great day in LA if you don't mind the higher price you are going to pay.
Now, it could be said that you were going to pay a higher price no matter who owned the Dodgers, and that may be true. But the future media deal is going to be a huge expense that everyone is going to pay. Right now there are two Regional Sports Networks in L.A. New York has 4. The Lakers network comes next fall. The Dodgers network likely comes Spring 2013. FSN and FSN Prime Ticket (or whatever they are calling it today) aren't going to go away. There will be 4 RSNs in LA and that cost will be passed on to all customers whether they like watching the Dodgers/Angels/Lakers/etc or not.
Anecdotally, I would say players get injured more often fielding than hitting. Why is 2B a short lived position? Who wins in the battle between the wall and an outfielder?
If we are going to take it to extremes, why not talk about a DF - Designated Fielder. He's the slick fielding SS from San Pedro de Macoris who can't hit water if he fell out of a boat. He does what he does best, which is field, just as the pitcher does what he does best, which is pitch. The hitter does what he does best. Pretty soon you are like football, with 11 offensive players and 11 defensive players.
The beauty of baseball is everyone hits, fields, and throws. If you are weak at one of those, it will be exposed and teams will take advantage of it. And if you have a pitcher who is a good hitter (or good runner) that is a tactical advantage.
Will it really reduce the number of "Game 163". Statistically, aren't you just as likely to have two teams tied for 4th place in a league as you are for two teams tied for 5th place? Maybe even more, since I would assume that the win curve is bell shaped.
Unless they are going to have tiebreakers (League WL, head to head, etc.) determine wild cards (like the NFL does), I think you will still have those issues.
If MLB does not fire someone over the leak, I believe that it shows MLB is complicit in the leak.
Politicians leak stuff all the time, to take the temperature of the electorate. It wouldn't surprise me if MLB allowed a leak for their own purposes. Maybe they wanted to show that they could catch another big fish, that their system "worked", whatever.
If someone at my company knowingly leaks company information without authorization, they get fired. Period.
I wouldn't necessarily say "low risk". If he cranks out 190 IP at 4.90 ERA and 1.49 WHIP (two numbers not far from his PECOTA), he will definitely be negative value.
Nah, ballplayers want their kid born in mid march so they can get out of spring training for a week!
I loved this column 8 years ago and it still resonates with me. It kind of boggles the mind that a player doesn't get to choose where he gets to work until potentially 7 years after he signs his first contract. That's gotta stink. By that time, they probably really are looking forward to some stability.
You lost me when you mandated the DH in the NL. For Shame!
It would also explain the low strikeout rates of Knuckleball pitchers. The randomness of the movement isn't often enough to miss the ball entirely, just enough to mishit it.
Don't shed too many tears for the Astros. Houston is the number 10 media market, not too far behind Dallas (17% fewer TVHH). They'll get their bite at the apple. This is also the market where the Houston Rockets are launching their own Regional Sports Network.
With Lincecum as a comp, it looks like Kershaw will be a slam dunk winner.
Good article on what he's been doing in the offseason:
Wouldn't Lincecum's contracts be a good comparison for Kershaw?
Perhaps we should ask Joe Torre why he still played Girardi instead of Posada when Posada could hit circles around him. Probably because Torre could see what a terrible defensive catcher he was.
Move the A's to New Jersey. Someone there will build them a stadium.
Whatever happened to Jarrod Parker?
I'd love to know what their playoff odds were by day for the month of July. I bet it sucked.
As I was watching the highlights last night, they showed Thome's first home run. He wasn't the beefy guy he is today. It shows the fallacy of looking at body type changes and assuming the player is on PEDs.
I grew up in L.A. in the 1970's, Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey. They did a poll of little leaguers back then (asking each one when they came to bat) who was their favorite Dodger. Vin Scully won in a landslide.
IMO, Rizzuto should be in the broadcasters wing. He was good, but not a hall of famer. 7th lowest JAWS among HoF SS. The average JAWS for a SS is 91, and Scooter is around a 72.
One great year (where he gets 20% of his WARP) does not qualify for inclusion. The fact that he got to play with WS winners led by Dimaggio does not make him a HoFer.
He is a weak pick.
NC is still only 3% of the US population, and its largest metro area is only 33rd in the country. You'll have to stick to college basketball.
Does Venable have any chance of playing time, since Hawpe is reportedly a terrible defensive outfielder?
Furthermore, Posey originally set up with his left foot on the foul line. The throw caused him to pull it forward a bit, but then he turned right back into the play with his whole body.
I disagree that this was Cousins fault. Posey starts out in front of the plate (between home and the mound). But when the throw comes in, he turns toward the runner (although without the ball). He is then between the runner and the plate. 1:25 into the video posted by Scartore. There is no way a hook slide gets around him.
No "mows my lawn" T-Shirts in the South Bronx because there are no lawns in the South Bronx!
What I'd really like to do is donate to the Stow family's legal fund where they sue the pants off the Dodgers.
Last section: "Ruling: The proper mechanic is for the umpire to call the runner safe, indicating he beat the play. If the defense appeals by tagging the runner (or base) and appealing that the runner missed first base before the runner returns to first base, the batter/runner would be declared out. "
Why would the defense need to appeal? If the batter/runner ran down the first base line and stepped over the base without touching it and THEN the throw gets to first base, isn't the defense effectively making an appeal by possessing the ball while touching first base? Why would they then have to touch first base AGAIN?
Any info on when PFM will be updated? Lots of drafts this weekend.
Sean Burroughs ought to make the list of most disappointing prospects!
I agree completely with your assessment. I wish I had that 5 minutes of my life back that I wasted on this column. And the 1 minute for commenting on it.
The "deadline" has the effect of telling the Cards to put their best offer on the table before Spring Training, and not drag this thing out. Sure he will accept a great deal after the deadline, but the Cards won't offer him one because they will have already offered as much as they are willing to spend.
I see several problems. For one, using the Fans Scouting report, where the standard deviation is 20, seems to make the data VERY suspect. And while graders are not supposed to take into account position the person plays, because the player is only seen performing certain throws automatically biases the data. For example, I watch Y. Molina throw to second base and then I see Jason LaRue throw to 2b, I can evaluate those two. But when Pujols rarely throws more than 90 feet and usually from a standing position to start with, the average fan (even good fans) can't accurately compare them, IMO.
Second, there are obvious flaws with FRAA, but trying to compare the TOOLS of fielding when comparing different positions is problematic. Is Pujols REALLY have MUCH better fielding tools than Jose Reyes? I don't buy it.
Not exactly true about the expectation of sex with a groupie. Here is the note he got:
Mr. Watkins, It is extremely important that I see you as soon as possible. We're not acquainted, but I have something of importance to speak to you about. I think it would be to your advantage to let me explain this to you as I am leaving the hotel the day after tomorrow. I realize this is out of the ordinary, but as I say, it is extremely important.
That doesn't sound to me like a proposal for sex.
Easy answer: Frank McCourt!
You know how 300 wins can be broken? When a gutsy manager and pitcher decide that on a pitcher's "throw day", he'll throw 2 innings of middle relief. Probably vulture 3-4 wins that way.
Teams go through a lot of baseballs. Almost anytime the ball hits the dirt, it is taken out of play. Ball boys deliver 4-6 balls at a time to the ump.
It wouldn't be perfect, but you could bring the dry balls to the ump between innings when the home team is up and have a definite advantage.
"Donnie Baseball" will never be heard uttered from my mouth.
I may have to become a Padres fan for a while.
But let's hope that Chipper returns and produces positive WARP because he loves playing the game and can contribute to a winning team.
IMO, it doesn't matter if he is in decline and not producing at his prior level (although I understand he may not want that). It is not up to the fans to decide when a player should quit, simply because they don't want the image of their heroes tarnished. It is up to baseball GMs and the player.
6 games left against the Dodgers, that smells like a winning streak to me!
Let me rephrase that, permanent means permanent.
+1 on the opinion that this piece was a ABG hit job.
And in my book, lifetime means lifetime.
SD's ballpark would really suit him well.
California is a big state. If his home is in the Bay Area, LA doesn't provide that much of a benefit. If his home is in Fresno, there is no benefit.
Pretty much, yeah.
36% on his first ballot.
For perspective, Andre Dawson got in on his 9th try, and got 45% on his first ballot. Certainly possible, but a long, long road for Martinez.
He was a very good hitter, and a very valuable player. But IMO he will never make the hall because of his lack of home runs.
Post 1960 players who are in the hall with fewer HRs:
Rickey Henderson, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett. Middle infielders, Thirdbasemen, and Kirby Puckett. Voters will want more from their DH. They want Jim Thome.
And Baseball-reference.com just gets better and better. I could waste all day sorting through that stuff!
New Book Title - "Buy My Book or I'll Become a Male Model"
Edgar martinez is a poor example. He is not in the hall because while he was a DH, he only hit 309 home runs. If you are going to be a DH, you better hit HRs. Yes, he had a good OPS, but that doesn't matter to the majority of HoF voters.
I am very wary of these simulations. While I don't know the math, it appears to me that the simulations don't properly account for the extreme variations in performance on a week to week basis.
Looking at the Playoff Odds simulations, mid year you have a team with 90% likelihood to make the playoffs. 10 days later they are 40%. It seems to me they weren't 90% to begin with if they are going to be 40% in just a short period of time.
same goes for this. Lots of players get hot. Just glancing at my fantasy baseball league, Hunter Pence (?!?) hit 435 with 2 HR and 10 RBI in a week (Tuesday-Monday). Stanton, Tulo, Heyward, Howard, all hit 3 Home Runs. Corey Hart hit 4! Utley had 11 RBIs. There is just too much variation to put any stock in these simulations, imo.
Didn't you hear? In an effort to increase revenues, Selig announced the World Series going to a best of 9 games. "We're honoring baseball's past" he said in the press conference.
So do moderates. And this moderate (and registered Democrat) refused to buy 2009 BP because of the Olberman intro. Sometimes it does matter.
I think the principle he is applying is not "leaving the bench" but participating. In other words, only the pitcher and batter fight, the other 8 players on the field get suspended if they get involved. The problem you have is the catcher will ALWAYS get involved, so you automatically have a two on one.
Us out of towners will need a You Tube of this...
Why couldn't they play Independent League teams? Is there a rule against playing against a professional team?
I read the article, but I don't understand the "hero" comment.
Saturday I took a tour of Petco Park (highly recommended for baseball fans, $7) and we got to sit in the dugouts. As I was sitting on the top shelf, where most of the players sit, your head is just above the railing that protects the dugout. They sit there so they can see, but of course if you aren't paying 100% attention, you have no chance to get out of the way. I'm surprised they don't get hit more often.
Adelanto, CA is not on a mountain top but in the Mojave Desert that stretches from the base of the San Bernadino Mountains to Nevada. Las Vegas is at 2,000 feet and part of that same desert.
I'm sorry, but you used "gork" twice in the same paragraph. Please replace with "flair" or "blooper" or we may have to take away your keyboard.
I do appreciate the use of "dying quail" later on though.
Given that a couple of prospective buyers cannot buy this year due to ownership issues, (Dodgers, Rangers), and some aren't big ticket buyers due to low revenue (Reds, Padres, Rays?), does that radically change the supply demand ratio and reduce return for the sellers?
Weaver on Strategy - paperback, 1982
what would be interesting would be what was the combined signing bonus cost for the US team. You can't look at just major league minimum as the cost for these prospects.
Has anyone done an analysis as to how much time the NFL uses on replay reviews in a typical game?
Make the 5th umpire the official scorer while you're at it. It will give him something to do the other 99% of the time when he doesn't have to review a lazy fly ball or routine grounder.
Does that make him a soccer version of Tony LaRussa?
MLB is playing with fire with the Maple bats. Next time a fan gets injured, the lawyers are going to be all over them showing the bat glove video. It will cost the league a lot of money.
What's the outlook for UCLA in the CWS?
I wish MLB players were more like golfers when it comes to rulings and reviews. A few weeks ago a golfer called a penalty on himself on the last hole that may have cost him a win. No one else saw it. If the Baltimore players thought it was a home run, it would have been great if they had told the umpire to check the video. I don't expect a player to say, "yep, he tagged me before I got to the bag", but on a reviewable home run, it either is or it isn't and the umpire has the opportunity to get the call right.
Cable can't go a la carte until Congress makes them because most "big" networks like ESPN require carriage in the most common programming package and don't allow a la carte sales. So sure they could sell Home Shopping Network a la carte but anything anybody wants would not be available.
Cable may be inelastic, but it is competitive. Telcos are going after the high end customer by building out fiber in high revenue areas. Satellite has local channels in HD in over 90% of US households. So almost all of the country has 3 viable competitors, one of which likes to be a low price leader (Dish Network). And 50% of the country has a fourth provider, driving down phone/internet/TV bundle prices. Cable continues to raise prices, but they are also losing market share every quarter. They still make 65% programming margins, on their big packages, so 65% of $60 per month is still better than 90% of $30 per month. The cost to serve a customer isn't that variable with revenue, so the goal is to get as much programming margin (and ancillary margin from fees) out of the home as possible. A la carte doesn't get them there.
One big error in your column is with regard to operators passing along fees to customers. That is like saying Team Owners don't care about player salaries because they will just pass it along in the form of higher ticket prices.
Cable and satellite charge what the market will bear in terms of packaging. If ESPN raises its rates, the cable guys eat the cost. Cable and satellite raise programming prices every year regardless of which cable networks have rate increases. And what holds down prices is the competition between cable, Directv, and Dish Network.
The rate battle between networks and Multichannel Video Providers is a game of chicken. Networks ask for big rate increases, MVP threaten to take down the channel. Or the network threatens to pull the channel if the higher rates aren't paid. That is the only leverage that the parties have against each other. Observe the recent Versus/Directv battle. Versus (an upstart 15 years ago) was looking for a big increase in the rates it was getting. Directv said no, and Versus pulled their signal. It took almost 7 months for them to come to an agreement.
So what does this mean for MLB Network? It all depends on ratings. Can MLB get in the hearts and minds of cable/satellite customers, so much so that the MVP can't pull the channel? You either need a broad base of support or a smaller but fiercely loyal support group (fans that will switch providers if you don't carry their channel) in order to have sway over the providers. That is why ESPN costs $4 per customer. People will switch if ESPN is not carried.
As for Dish Network, MLB is not NFL. The fan base for baseball is smaller than football. Dish does not need MLB, they've never had the baseball fan who would switch to a different provider over a baseball channel (unless MLB pulls a ton of programming off the local Regional Sports Networks that carry the local games). So it is not in Dish Network's best interest to pay $3 million dollars a month out of its profits to MLB. And MLB can't cut the price to Dish, because all the other providers have MFN agreements (standard industry practice). So IMO, MLB is not coming to Dish in the next few years.
san diego link goes to the yankees article
For what it's worth, Colin Cowherd mentioned Wins Above Replacement this morning in a discussion of Howard's new contract. And he used it in a good way. slowly, the mainstream media is coming around.
Will, Is Chris Johnson really injured?
As I was going through my fantasy draft, anecdotally it seemed like more teams were going the route of having minor league veterans populate their starting lineups. I think a lot of the smart teams have finally grasped the concept of replacement level players, and the market for mid-level veterans will continue to be poor.
Is it worth it to spend $3-5m on a player when you can get similar production for $450,000? Do that a couple times, and you can afford an upgrade that will really make a difference.
Dish has ceded the Sports Fan to Directv. They don't even try anymore. They will not add more cost to their platform by adding MLB TV.
Is there a book you would recommend about Ichiro? I need a book to read on my upcoming vacation.
killing trees while printing this, ugh.
But the info is great. Thanks.
Typo in the Ian Kennedy section: should be "NL-only league"
Some major differences between NFL and MLB
1) The ball is frickin' small. Tough to see a baseball on a tiny screen, should be easier to see a football.
2) Football is MUCH more popular than baseball. Look at how much directv is paying for NFL Sunday Ticket. Nobody was willing to pay even close to that much for exclusive MLB EI. Most carriers didn't want to have to pay for MLB channel to even get access to MLB EI
3) Look-ins are much more interesting in football. 70% of the time, a player makes an out. A "Scoring Position" channel would be rather boring.
It falls apart because the gap between Howard's value and Pujols' value is only going to be greater, yet Howard is going to ask for almost as much as Pujols, and Pujols is just as embedded in the St. Louis community as Howard, maybe more so, and thus you could get a "hometown discount" from Pujols as well.
Ryan Howard has David Ortiz and Mo Vaughn in his Pecota comparables. Do you want him long term?
Or to quote Crash Davis, "Hit the mascot"
I would expect it would be ~1 in 1000 players with a triple rounded slash score (10% x 10% x 10%). What were the number of player seasons in each cohort?
What jumped out to me was the AM ranking almost perfectly showing large markets in rank order. Obvious exceptions are the St. Louis Pujols and the NY Mets (whose AM's were all injured).
Giants, Angels, and Phillies were out of place, both west coast teams needing to spend less money to be competitive in a less competitive division.
Poor and smart and you can still make the playoffs occasionally (San Diego). Poor and stupid and you are toast (Pittsburgh, KC, Cincy, Milwaukee).
Rich and stupid (Chicago) and you can make the playoffs too. You just can't win it all.
Having George Will on the committee is about as ridiculous as having Keith Olbermann writing the forward of a Baseball book.
So here is a question.
Has anyone looked back at the last 10 division series and see how many pitchers pitched on each team? That might tell you if you actually use 10 pitchers or not.
The only reason Liberty owns the Braves is because it helped make a bigger deal tax free. They have no interest in the Braves and will sell them as soon as they can do it with a tax free transaction.
Last night the "slow" Pujols stole 2nd in the ninth inning and scored the go ahead run. I love this guy. Whatever needs to be done to win, he does it.
Other than Juan Pierre, this year's contracts are pretty good. Loney, Kemp, Ethier and Martin are products of the minor league system and thus a good value. Hudson a valuable piece of the puzzle. The fact that they don't have to pay a fortune for a limited value closer makes them even more efficient.
Now if they can just find a GM to believe in the Juan Pierre pixie dust...
Arrggghhh! That is my biggest pet peeve of the playoffs. I'm a National League guy, but in the playoffs I watch both leagues. So here are a bunch of players I'm not very familiar with, and you show me what he's done for the last two days? How am I supposed to know if the guy is any good? If he's a power guy or a speed guy or a glove man?
There should be a law against showing playoff stats in baseball. Somebody call Congress, maybe they can do some good in their next circus hearings.
WRT Mujica on the Padres, I was looking at him as a fantasy player and he's only got 6 k's in his last 17-1/3 innings, dating back to the beginning of June. Has the league caught up to him?
No comments on Nolasco?
Isn't that what Derrick Rose and Robert Dozier did (allegedly)?
It happens all the time. I don't blame them for trying to cheat the SATs, they weren't allowed to play in the NBA, no one had gone to Europe yet out of high school, so college was the only way. too dumb to pass on their own, they got someone else to take their tests. And they have to face the consequences. Dozier's consequence was he had to go to a prep school for a year.
But there were no consequences in the 90s. Nobody was tested, so of course they did it. The only risk is legal, and there isn't a lot of prosecution for taking steroids without a prescription, and probably not illegal in the Dominican.
Juan Pierre says Hi!
In today's world, if she truly has the skills to play, she will find a place to play. If she just has the skills to make the team, then she won't find a place to play because they will use that roster spot on a boy who has improvement potential.
Read the book, "Andy Roddick Beat Me With A Frying Pan". One of the chapters addresses women vs men. This is a tired discussion that has been beaten to death. There is maybe one woman in a 10 million that might have the inherent skills to compete with the very best men in baseball (Major Leaguers). But that woman will have to have been playing baseball for a lot of years to be able to make it. She will also be a great female athlete in a variety of women's sports, so she will make a lot more money away from baseball, thus that one in 10 million athlete will never sniff a baseball field.
I really don't get the thrill of saving an old ballpark. The amount of money it would take to keep it from falling apart would be ridiculous. And yes, people would pay to see Ebbets field...once. Unless it is part of a Hall of Fame, or something else, it will gather dust and be a sinkhole for money.
Better to demolish it and put a park and community field there. It is almost as silly to spend public funds to keep an old ballfield intact as it is to use public funds to build a new stadium.
PSeudoephedrine is a banned substance? That's in Claritin-D, right?
Whoo hoo, I'm a juicer!
I will vote thumbs up on any contestant that talks about one of the three players on my fantasy minor league roster. Of course, I'm not telling who they are ;)
Gonna be a good week.
This is fantastic. I look forward to reading this. Beats the heck out of those warblers my wife makes me listen to.
Tuning in to show MLB that fantasy matters only if you are a Nielsen household. If you aren't a Nielsen household, your viewing isn't measured.
While "cutting commercials" makes a good headline, it isn't really what drives distribution.
Eyeballs and ratings drive distribution, followed by the size of the core market (the group of people who must have the channel).
Until the core market expands, cable companies and Dish Network will not carry MLB TV. Viewers aren't leaving cable and Dish to watch MLB TV (they may be leaving for other reasons however). Until they do, there is no compelling reason to add MLB TV to an Expanded Cable channel lineup.
Cutting commercials will not make MLBTV a must have for consumers. No one have come up with broad reaching, compelling baseball content beyond Baseball Tonight and actual ballgames. And dropping commercials from a Baseball Tonight type of show is not a killer app that will make MLBTV a must have.
They need to continue to fool fans into believing that the team is part of the community and not just another business. Demand would never outstrip supply if it was just people watching good baseball players play. The teams need fans to be emotionally invested or the house of cards that is demand falls apart. So while they don't OWE fans anything, they need to keep the fans interests in mind.
20 years ago Wayne Gretzky came to the Los Angeles Kings. During that offseason the Kings raised season tickets twice, once right after the end of the season and once after they made the gretzky trade. I told them they could have their season tickets. I have been to one kings game since then, and those were on a corporation's tickets.
I went to 40 Kings games a year. I loved hockey. But I'm not a sheep to be fleeced every year.
Someday, everyday fans will come to the same conclusion. Maybe not in NY or Boston but in places like Denver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles were there are a lot of other things to do outside most of the year.
Professional sports are turning into TV shows with a live studio audience (NFL), and I choose not to be their patsy anymore.
I\'m pretty sure you can watch 8 games of MLB Extra Innings on Directv using their Game Mix channel.
and you can watch it on a big HD TV instead of a little monitor.
Of course we know that Nate is a liberal. We don\'t mind it when he talks baseball, but we also see a few jabs thrown in various columns that we feel are inflammatory. We comment about it, but it doesn\'t stop us from subscribing to the site. In other words, Nate gets away with it.
Same with getting Olbermann to do the Forward. George Will has done at least one book about baseball, but i don\'t think he is the sort who would be picked to do the Forward (both because he\'s conservative and he\'s more \"old school).
But Olbermann is beyond Will. He is EXTREMELY polarizing. He is adored by the far left because he says all the things the far left is thinking, but won\'t say because it is very offensive to the right wing. It would be the equivalent of putting Ann Coulter in the Foreward, if Coulter were a SABR member. The left would be screaming bloody murder.
So the left leaning BP gets a far left pal to write the forward. We love BP enough that we will still buy it. Nate gets away with it again.
Angels 5/125 12/23
It may not show up in the long term numbers, but watching last night\'s dodger game showed the situations where protection helps. 2nd inning, bases loaded and two outs. Zambrano was missing the plate and went 3-1 to martin. Do you have martin swing away or take a pitch hoping for the walk with Manny behind him. Zambrano is already down 2-0, he can\'t afford to go down 3-0 with a walk AND still have to face manny, so he has to throw a strike here. He put it right down the middle and Martin took it to the wall, clearing the bases. If Angel Berroa is up next, you might not put it right down the middle, because you don\'t fear the next hitter.
Again, it doesn\'t matter most of the time, but it does matter in key situations. Those key situations may not happen often enough to show up in general statistics, but those key moments (runners on base) are the times when runs are scored and games are won and lost.
Keep tilting at those windmills, Joe. We hear you, but you\'re preaching to the choir here.
How does Sheets have three scheduled starts left with only 11 days left in the season? Are they planning to bring him back on short rest since this outing was only 2 innings?