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TOOTBLAN is pure genius. Should be standard usage in all discussions of baserunning.
Jose Cardenal apparently took himself out of the lineup because his eyelids were stuck together. Or they were stuck open and he couldn't close them. Either way, I miss that man....
Make that $20M.
Given that Rollins hit .450/.476/.650/1.126 during the playoffs, I think it's a stretch to conclude that Amaro had him in mind when he made those comments. Not saying Rollins shouldn't take more pitches, of course. Just that there were far guiltier parties, including one who's going to start making $25M next year.
Thanks for this. Better late than never. Mistakes happen. Looking forward to seeing the next round of coverage.
Thanks for your comments here, but the serious question remains: Is anybody in charge? Did somebody take ill? Are zombies afoot?
In the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal, but since we're paying for content here, it's awfully peculiar, to say the least, that whoever *is* in charge hasn't come on and offered an apology and an explanation.
The sound of chirping crickets is getting eerie. I'm starting to think there's been a putsch at BP.
Absolutely agree (and again, with no slight to Jay Jaffe's excellent work). Who's directing the coverage here? BP owes its readers an explanation.
Best. Headline. Ever.
Oops. My brain got thrown out at the plate, by a mile.
I was wondering about that, too. If he's talking about Chooch getting thrown out at the plate, I'd have to respectfully disagree. That took a perfect throw by Rowand and an amazing scoop/trap/whatever by Posey. I'd take that chance every time in that situation, and if he's out I tip my hat to the Giants.
I'm sure a lot of it was. But he's usually able to keep his emotions in check a little better than that. Dealing with an injury with that much on the line had to have affected his mood.
A little surprising that there's no mention of Halladay's groin pull here. He certainly wasn't dominant last night--and didn't seem to have good command of his pitches *before* he strained it in the second. But that he he pitched as well as he did with a strained groin almost defies belief. Certainly explains why he looked so grim, even angry, all night.
"How Jamie Moyer learned to stop worrying and love the bomb" may be the best sub-head ever. Nice piece.
I think the age component of this is spot-on and explains why Halladay would have had a much harder time getting a six- or seven-year contract at Santana or Sabathia rates, though he could certainly have leveraged more money and another year or two from somebody.
Without going back and reading the fine print about WARP1, though, isn't it likely that Santana's slightly better WARP numbers could be attributed to the difference between the AL Central and the East?
Any thoughts on those games when Madson almost exclusively fastballs? Some games he doesn't seem to have command of his changeup and stays with the cheese, and sooner or later gets hit hard. Any data to back up/refute that casual observation?
Wonderfully entertaining, with some nice tongue-in-cheekers (Derek Jeter, "a player who has flown under the radar for so many years"!!!), plausibly choice details ("the decision to use Chamberlain instead of Philip Hughes was inexplicable no matter the outcome"), and of course the attempt to reverse-black-cat the Phils by going all Opposite George on us. ;-P
No matter who wins, I hope reality lives up to the promise of this imagination.
Oops. Make that 23-12. Still pretty overwhelming.
"... the Dodgers, who came into the series as the favorites among a broad consensus of writers, gamblers, simulators, and moral degenerates ... "
Well played, Sir.
Looking at the pitching numbers, what hurt the Dodgers more than the long ball was the walks. 23-9.
Terrific piece. Not sure if this has been addressed elsewhere, but is he throwing roughly the same mix of fastballs, changeups & curves this year? More (mediocre) curves *might* explain some of that higher BABIP, though probably not. So would games when he's having trouble with his changeup. But I guess that would probably show up in the line-drive rate or other numbers....
Ben Francisco is a decent RHB. Manuel may not have wanted to use him then as opposed to later, but it wasn't out of the realm of possibility for him to knock in Ruiz from first. He hit 15 HRs in 405 ABs and slugged .447.
I don't know how terrible this matchup is for the Dodgers. Pedro is the wildest of wild cards right now; he's got to be seriously rusty, and he may not have the velocity to overcome any mistakes. First two innings will be telling.
Of course, Padilla has been a wild card his whole career.
Good stuff, Joe.
Myers looked pretty awful the last time he was used, and given the recent injuries I doubt he's on the verge of decency.
Smart, thoughtful analysis. Hope you're wrong about the final outcome, but can't argue any individual points. I am surprised about Victorino's poor defensive numbers, as he covers a lot of ground and always seems to catch what he gets to (at least when I'm watching), but maybe his GPS malfunctions more than I thought.
Joe doesn't need to say he's wrong about this or any other prediction. He's making predictions based on his analysis, and given the crapshoot nature of the playoffs his analysis could be basically right even if the final results don't bear that out.
Besides, as a Phillies fan I kind of enjoy the Reverse Black Cat effect his predictions have had over the years.
Given that "dysfunctional" is usually used to mean that something doesn't function very well (ask Bob Dole), I'd still say that's an odd choice of words to describe that lineup. It functions very well for what it's supposed to do--produce runs--no matter what the reasons are.
Now, if you said that Rollins is a dysfunctional leadoff hitter, especially this year, I'd agree with you.
Hmmm. The Phillies, who led the league in runs scored, have a "dysfunctional lineup." Curious choice of words....
Seriously, if Rollins hits the way he did the first half of the year, the Phils could indeed be in trouble. But chances are the games will be decided by something weirder, like Jorge de la Rosa's groin.
Joe, love your stuff as you know, and I think it's kind of sweet how you keep sticking up for the Mets in their darkest hours, but I don't think you're applying a very careful eye to your own narratives here.
"In 2007, the Mets didn't have Billy Wagner for a couple of key games and lost the division because of that."
Wow. Have you forgotten that in 2007 the Phils lost Freddy Garcia for almost the whole season (once he finally admitted his shoulder was bothering him); that their first closer, Tom Gordon, was out for a number of weeks (can't find the exact numbers); that Chase Utley was out for over a month with a broken hand; that Myers (their final closer) missed 55 games with a shoulder injury? There's more, but you get the point. All that, but the only injury that mattered was Billy Wagner missing "a couple of key games"?
I agree that nothing was inevitable about 2007 and 2008. You could argue that the Phils were smart not to sign Wagner to a four-year contract when they strongly suspected he'd break down a lot sooner, but signing Gordon to three years wasn't exactly a stroke of genius, either. So they certainly got some good luck along the way, as most winning teams do.
But let's not get carried away. The Mets didn't face any more adversity in 2007 than the Phillies did. If anything, they faced less. They just didn't recognize their own weaknesses in time.
Maybe, but the fact that he hit all those dingers on the road suggests that he was just flat-out hot. He was hitting them in San Diego and Citi Field and everywhere else. Will he continue doing so at that rate when he comes off the DL? No. But to attribute that power surge entirely, or even mostly, to the "easier park in the easier league" just seems facile.
"Thanks to a perfect storm—moving to the easier park in the easier league and getting some favorable weather—Ibañez is second in the league in homers"
Um, 13 HRs away vs. 9 at home. Yeah, must be the park factor. As for the easier league, the NL East is certainly easier than the AL East when it comes to pitching. But last I looked, Seattle played most of its games against the West and Central.
Park hasn't been in the Phillies' rotation for a week. He's been replaced by Happ, who's looked pretty good in his one start against the Yankees (and earlier relief stints).
"Hey, if you have problems at Penn, just tell them you'd be willing to be booted for Joe Paterno or some other university legend, but not for Dumpster divers. That should get a reaction you like."
Um, you've confused Penn State with Penn (University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia). Nobody cares about Joe Paterno at Penn.
I was at the Philly event and much enjoyed the presentation and back-and-forth with Steven and Jay. The bookstore could have been a little more gracious and flexible about ending the event, or at the very least should have told whoever was organizing the event for BP that they had something scheduled at 6. It ended kind of like the first part of Game 5 of the Series, with everyone going "Huh? WTF!"
The above is for Burrell, btw.
I\'d offer a sort of Multi-Year Lite contract--three years, with the first two for $25-27 million, the third having a base salary of maybe $5 million, but with generous incentives that could bring it up to three times that much if he\'s playing regularly, slugging over .500 and getting on base a lot.
I mildly disagree with johnpark99\'s description of his defense as \"shoddy\"--he looks like he\'s running through snowdrifts out there (1.61 RF, .873 ZR), but his glove is pretty decent (.991 fielding percentage in \'08) and his arm (12 assists) is above average.
Amazing piece, Joe. That kind of lyricism has even more power coming from someone with your analytical skills. (Not sure how you figured out how that brunette cried 15 years ago, but you sure nailed the joyful redemption aspect.) Thanks and enjoy the AFL.
Right after posting the above, I read John Perrotto\'s piece that talks about Howard and grooves. Oh well. As long as he\'s getting his groove back, I\'m willing to be redundant.
\"That Howard later ran into one off of Miller in the eighth doesn\'t mean a thing in terms of the fourth-inning decision.\"
When Howard gets in a groove, he can hit anybody, very much including lefthanders. I\'ll let someone define the statistical parameters of a groove, and I\'ll concede that that maybe hitting the bomb off Sonnanstine helped him get into one, since grooves are always made up of several parts confidence. And there\'s no question that, on the whole, he hits righties better than lefties, especially when he\'s struggling (when he\'s god-awful). But describing a shot like that off Miller as \"running into one\" sounds more like a dyspeptic Billy Wagner than Joe Sheehan.
I love Joe\'s writing, and he\'s written plenty of thoughtful, smart things about the Phils over the last few weeks, but the whole \"Howard can\'t play for my team and is only a platoon player\" sentiment ignores what a transformational player he can be, IMHO. I\'d be interested to hear what some of the smarter GMs have to say about that.
\"Despite a well-rested bullpen, though, Manuel sent Moyer to the mound for the seventh, and left him in after Moyer made a high-effort play on the leadoff man, diving to the ground in a failed attempt to retire Carl Crawford. At that point, Moyer could have been excused.\"
Replays clearly showed that Crawford was out. If the ump doesn\'t blow the call, and there\'s one out and nobody on, should Manuel pull Moyer?
Good stuff. I remember reading an article about the 1915 Series by (or As Told By) Pete Alexander in some old baseball anthology, and that he had a sore shoulder during the Series that prevented him from snapping off his curve. Something like that, anyway. Steven, do you know anything about that?
Two keys to the game for the Phillies: Myers and Moyer. If Myers brings his A game and pitches the way he did after being sent down to the minors, the Phils could conceivably go back to Philly up 2-0. If Bad Brett shows up, duck.
If Moyer\'s getting squeezed by the home-plate ump, or the Rays are just very, very patient, he\'ll probably get hammered. If he\'s still pitching by the 5th I\'ll be very relieved.
Of course, no prediction survives first contact with the enemy. Or something.
BTW, I hope caliphornian is being ironic. Otherwise, make some rational arguments to counter Joe\'s rational arguments, which are pretty compelling (and, I hope, wrong).