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An excellent piece, but I think the concern with baseball specifically, is overblown, thankfully. If you listen to the Statcast podcast, you'll find that the people behind it have these questions of accessibility by the common fan to understanding these new stats very front of mind.
But I've been told that there's more to life than baseball, so it's likely Patrick's insights can be applied elsewhere. :-)
"There's no evidence to suggest his PED suspension will have an impact on his performance."
Which should make us question the necessity of (even more) draconian testing and punishment, no?
Which is great! I was requesting the same from erstwhile commenter Probably Handsome. :-)
Serious love and props for the Pirates Of Penzance riff for Motter.
An alternate title for this could be "<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70613">Joey Gallo</a></span>, left field is calling". (A billion points for getting the reference)
Well, that's what I get for commenting after only listening to the first five minutes.
In the words of Emily Litella: "Never mind" *
* George: Ask your parents. Or Mike.
Another layer to the opening banter about outdated references is that it's not clear whether Albright is referring to George Michael the singer, or the old sports highlight show "The George Michael Sports Machine".
At any rate, Mike, some of us old fogeys in our forties are out there, enjoying your pre-'90s references (RIP Joanie). Us Gen-Xers have to hold on to *something*, you know? :-)*
At least George knows what r.s.bb means, right? Please, dear God, tell me he knows what that means.
* George, think of that as an emoji, and you'll be fine.
If you included the level, I would find it interesting.
And really, what I think is all that matters, right? :-D
Completely agree with the disappointment above. However, there is a nice symmetry in a player that's become a dinosaur partnering up with a company who's product is what dinosaurs become.
<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=100574">Jose Berrios</a></span> threw 8 shutout innings yesterday and never reached a 3 ball count.
Oh look, he clarified that there is no "wrong way". But by all means let's make him the anti-Rich Hill:
Sherri Nichols and Project Scoresheet FTW! :-)
So why, if a 3.5 mph increase seems like a good estimate of the upper bound for improvement for non-PED users, do you then assume that it's the upper bound for PED users? I'm sympathetic to the idea that PEDs would only move a player a "few places ahead" in line (though those few places are worth tens, and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars; you can start to understand why some of the most vociferous objections have come from fellow players), but the basis for the study seems flawed, in that it assumes a magnitude that's likely to be greater in reality.
What will be interesting is in about two decades, after more players get caught and Statcast has been following them both before and after their positive tests.
Hear, hear! I remember finding his books in the library, while looking for the sequels to The White Mountains.
"Player X has been *great* in the clutch this year!"
"Huh. I looked at all his <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PA</span></a> in the game logs, and don't see anything particularly clutch. Was there a particular high-leverage situation you could point me to?"
"Do your homework first, lazybones"
Look, here's the link. Go see for yourself (beyond reading the number of pages off the Scribd widget, that is):
This isn't Shakesville, honey, and I am not here to lend a sympathetic ear when I *know* what you said is bullshit because I *read* the police report you said it was in. Assertions about what's in the police reports should be backed up with...what's in the police reports.
BTW, what's in the report is bad enough: He shoved her! But "Chapman shoves girlfriend" isn't as sexy a headline as "Chapman allegedly chokes girlfriend". Much like the Rolling Stone reporter on UVA, you seem to want this to be the ultimate story of monstrosity that rallies everyone to fight against DV. Sorry to tell you that life isn't that simple.
But you seem to prefer the simple narrative of Chapman being a monster, so you make up an *easily refutable* story:
"Read the police report: Chapman put both his hands around her neck and choked her until she passed out."
(Pasted from four comments above because you seemingly can't be bothered to do research, lazybones)
Well, I had, and it doesn't say that. Seems pretty straightforward: You said something that wasn't true, I called you out on it, you've doubled down. Still doesn't make it true.
Thanks for wasting my time, liar. I could have been doing something more productive, like sleeping.
You're the one who claimed it was in the police report, and I didn't see it. If it is in fact there, feel free to cite the page.
Not coincidentally, I just did read the report thanks to the link above, and it says no such thing. Quite the opposite, in fact. The gf had "no marks or redness on her neck", and she claimed that he put his hands around her neck but she was always able to breathe.
So one thing that has been established here is that you, sir or madam, have lied.
Link to Leibling's apologies? Google has archived those groups.
(As I get older, my crankiness seems to manifest itself in odd ways, and this article and The Great Pop-Up Slide Injustice both make me cantankerously demand actual evidence of what the article asserts. Crazy, I know!)
I personally loved this puzzle, and Zork II in general over Zork, simply because it didn't have a maze that made no directional sense.
Now remembering to feed a dog a cheese sandwich early in a game, lest you get eaten by it later when you travel with a microbial fleet, or trying to kill an assassin while standing on a 1950's rocket ship. *Those* were <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BS" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BS'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BS</span></a>! :-D
Edit: Learn to slide *Yonder*. That's what happens when you compose a comment on an iPhone with dwindling memory through Facebook.
This is quite a strawperson you've constructed, Meg. Is there some sort of link to the grumpiness you've described? Or was that supposed to refer to Alonso's hangdog look for paying the price for not knowing how to slide.
Haven't heard the EW podcast, but let's just say the reason I check out after the 30 team previews is their need for filler. Sometimes entertaining filler, but filler nonetheless.
The premise of this article is empty, a word salad masquerading as depth. From the very beginning, sabermetrics has, as Bill James himself put it, seeked the truth of what really happens in baseball. You seem disturbed by this because...I'm not sure, really. You keep writing "yadda yadda yadda" where it should say "what really happened on the field", as if finding that out was profane, a secret of the ancients not to be revealed to us mere mortals.
Bring on the robot umpires, and learn to slide, Yadier.
There's a kernel of a good point here, but I'm bemused by the premise presented: "Run it by the troglodyte to see if it's going to be accepted"
It's easy to come up with counterexamples outside of sports (or even inside, if you want to count segregation or women reporters) where worrying about Old School sensibilities is trumped because of the inherent unfairness of that standard. It is true that there were, and are, plenty of reactionary responses (Jim Crow, white flight to suburbs, redlining), but surely you wouldn't use those to say "maybe we should ask the reactionaries how we ought to be doing this".
Okay, that may be hyperbolic: With respect to MLB, the only "injustice" is fewer wins. But the example of blocking the plate to establish dominance has a social element beyond safety: Do we want our sport to be about skills, or manifest the sort of intimidation that is frightening substantial portions of our populace (I refer to how minorities feel about Trump rallies)? An example you didn't mention, throwing at the batter, is far more commonplace, and easily more dangerous.
It's also a two-way street. I'm much more inclined to listen to someone like <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=107">John Smoltz</a></span> (great interview on FanGraphs recently) or <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=17155">Orel Hershiser</a></span> who is open to different ways of using players, but has insight into what players are expecting in terms of their usage. If you don't respect my way of thinking, why should I respect yours?
Lastly, I don't know your age, Russel, but I think you'd find going through the rec.sport.baseball archives to be very illuminating. There were a *lot* of battles to get this far, and it wasn't the "stathead" side that was recalcitrant.
So wait, Jared went to Vegas and *didn't* go to the Pinball Hall Of Fame? What gives?
Podcast died with less than 2 minutes remaining. Now I'll never know how random A's player thinks BP stole from them!
"The new phonebook's here! The new phonebook's here!"
And a thank you to BP Customer Service for emailing me today (in response to my inquiry a few weeks ago) to let me know!
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when Kris Bryant carried you."
I figured there was a misprint, since Kris Bryant would have had a perfect game on 27 strikeouts and 27 pitches (each batter would have forfeited after the first pitch).
Kris Bryant did not hit a home run last night.
He did, however, discover a cure for cancer.
(Well, not "discovered", so much as "informed the general public")
Kris Bryant struck out 3 times over the weekend, which is all that matters.
He also went 4 for 11 with 2 HR, 1 2B and 2 BB for a .400 OBP and 1.000 SLG
On top of that, he's been the *only* offense for his team (they've had a bunch of 1 and 2 run totals this past week), so he's either that far ahead of everyone else, or the Cubs may need to readjust their expectations of their non-Bryant talent at AA.
Any chance we can get an Eyewitness Account of him soon?
Check #KrisBryantFacts on Twitter. Among my favorites:
- Kris Bryant took batting practice yesterday. There were no survivors. (Yes, I know, a retread from MattWeitersFacts, but still tried and true)
- Sharks get together to watch Kris Bryant week.
- Death had a near Kris Bryant experience
Oh, and another fact: He hit his 17th homer tonight. He also struck out once, so clearly he still has something to "learn" at AA
Hear, hear! This focus on strikeouts and home runs, and the matchup between pitcher and batter is an anachronism in the history of baseball. Who can ever forget the classic poem, "Casey Bunts Against The Shift"?
I can't believe we (collectively) are still having these arguments. Baseball is hard. If you do something really successful (hit a home run, get a big strikeout to end a scoring threat), why shouldn't you enjoy it, and why assume that it's in any way directed at you?
I had no problem with Eck pumping his fist twenty years ago.
I had no problem with Reggie admiring his handiwork *forty* years ago.
Someone hitting a home run while you're catching isn't even looking at you, so how does that even translate into "gloating"?
And I don't understand your final comment at all: The batter is in the batter's box; you have your own box, behind the plate. You should stay there.
And he got called up today.
Sure, sure, it's Triple-A and he's 26, and "he's rebuilt his swing" is second only to HITBSOHL for spring training stories, but the reports (and GIFs), seem to bear him out:
I think he has a shot at full-time play. It might take a while, but if he can keep making hard, loud contact it could happen.
What happened to "it's not either/or"?
In any case, if you look at Kris Bryant's blurb, you'll see stats used to describe his progress: Slugging, K% and BB%. Stats don't have to cloud the scouting reports.
Now drafting a player cheaply and letting rooting for him to come up cloud your judgement, as I've done with Bryant, I'll cop to. :-)
A Gashouse Gorillas reference the same week Jose Fernandez unleashes his "slowball". Coincidence, I ask you?
You guys are going to *slay* the retirement home circuit in 30 years, and I'll be in the front row, assuming by movements are regular.
Ever since the 1997 AL WC playoff between the Yankees and Indians I've theorized that one's lineup becomes substantially worse once three bad hitters are at the bottom of it. That series, the Yankee's 7 through 9 hitters were Charlie Hayes, Joe Girardi, and Rey Sanchez.
Your misspelling of "favorite" gives away your bias towards a Canadian team. :-)
That said, I agree with your assessment more than Craig's. While health is a skill, lack of it from so many players on a team in one season is unlikely to be repeated. As for the pitching, I expect Drew Hutchison and Marcus Strohman to contribute significantly, and J. A. Happ to eat innings, which should offset the inevitable Morrow injury and likely render Esmil Rogers unnecessary.
But really, even if they're an 81 win team, their closer will get a good number of saves, so how you view the team's prospects aren't relevant to this article. Still think the Jays are getting short shrift, though.
Derek Dietrich may get play as the Marlin's 3B:
Seems like a better play for a combination of value this year and upside in the future than going with McGehee.
Hooray! We'll see if the cheesesteaks are as good as Philly's Best!
Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can use Adam Dunn as a poster boy of the Three True Outcomes. Our history has become lost to the mists of time and the storage space of Google:
(And yes, that's Christina Kahrl leading the charge)
I've been playing in a realistic stats fantasy league for 16 years now, and it's really not as confusing as you fear: For hitters, walks/hits/XBH good, outs bad; For pitchers, IP/SO good, Runs/BB bad. We use a points formula instead of categories, so that probably helps. We're also not as hands-on as you and most listeners are: lineups every two weeks; instead of a weekly waiver wire, two supplemental drafts at 2 and 4 months into the season.
It actually works really well. I'd be happy to pass along our rules if there's interest.
Chicago! Doesn't have to be a stadium event; I can help set up a Pizza Feed like in the old days.
In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.
Eugene, do these SC rulings also apply to binding arbitration set forth in agreements to use software, apply for credit cards, and (more recently) hiring/retaining agreements?
Heh, I put something very similar to this "what's the rush" argument in the "transparency" thread just below this article, and then read this one. Oops!
I'd just like to reiterate that getting rid of, or altering the 5% minimum rule seems like a better way to go: The clear HOFers will still get in with the 10 vote limit, because they'll be on the ballot for *15 years*, so it's fine as long as the pileup doesn't cause more Lou Whitaker/Kenny Lofton situations.
I think this article is confusing correlation with causation. It's just as likely that the secret ballot group is made up of older, less technically (and sabermetrically) savvy voters who aren't hiding their votes from the disinfectant of sunshine that is public scrutiny, but just can't be bothered with modern doo-dads on the Intertubes. So making their votes public wouldn't change them, it would just give the Snarkverse more sustinance.
IHMO, 15 years is a *really* long time to get to 75%, and the backlog we have right now will take about five years to clear up. I see five guys in the next two years that will get in, four on the first ballot (Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz, Griffey; Sheffield eventually), so only one extra player will be in limbo come 2017, less if Biggio gets in on one of those two ballots.
This looks more like a bulge than a trend, so I think expanding the number of votes beyond 10 will look silly after this wave of extraordinary talent gets in. A legitimate concern is players who would otherwise be considered falling off the ballot because of so many inner circle types getting votes these next few years, so I'd remove the 5% requirement, or shrink it to 1%, or have a review panel decide which players below 5% can stay on (similar to the panel that decides who gets on the ballot in the first place)
Sim Dynasty league, so defense counts. No contracts, you keep players for as long as you like: Bogaerts or Jose Fernandez?
Mayor of Toronto, then? (What, too soon?)
Additionally, as Dave Cameron points out on Fangraphs, the percentage of players from those previous expansion eras that are enshrined in the HOF remain stable (between 1 and 2 percent), while the current cohort of nominees (born in the '60s) is well below 1 percent. Why did previous beneficiaries of expansion not get similarly penalized?
I suspect that the previous numbers of candidates could be accommodated with a ten player ballot, even with a 150% expansion in total number of players and so, in a sense, that norm parallels what Kevin Goldstein (RIP) calls "being famous": There's been an absolute number of players that fit the notion of "Hall Of Famer", rather than a number proportional to the number of players with a lengthy career. The discussions we're having now may cause us to change that notion (which has really been building up for the last decade or so, with players from the '80s getting the shaft, possibly the flip side of this expansion argument, given the stable number of teams for 16 years)
Really good stuff! If you post another article, could we see a similar table to the RPM/swing rate/GB rate, but using both RPM and MPH as variables? Could indicate what the ideal velocity is for high and low spin pitches.
Cosign touchstone's request. I'm in a 24 team sim league (ibl.org) where the search is for waiver pickups that will turn into useful pieces next year. It can range from young players getting their first shot (Jordy Mercer; Yan Gomes) to post-hype prospects (Tyler Chatwood) to starters going to the bullpen to revive their careers (David Hermandez, Oliver Perez), to "where'd *that* come from?" (Corey Kluber) to complete resurrections from the dead (Ryan Raburn, Marlon Byrd). The ultimate was Jose Bautista, BTW, but that's more a fun fact than any sort of realistic expectation.
So it's more breadth at the Majors/AAA level than depth at the lower levels. Also, am I right in assuming most of these leagues are sim leagues that use defense (IBL, Scoresheet, OOTP)? If so, does that help a guy like Bethancourt stay on the radar, albeit with a dimmer "blip"?
Let's put it this way: There's better evidence that a combination of a juiced ball and not calling the high strike was responsible for the late '90s early '00s spike.
I took a little stroll through the stats of some famous users and non-users, as best we can tell. The problem is that "non-user" gets tainted with the merest whiff of speculation. Nonetheless I think it's safe to say that players who were notoriously apathetic to working out like Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey, Jr. can be put in the "non-user" category: Another trait of the gnashing of teeth about steroids is that it's assumed that you don't need to do anything but take them to receive any benefits, like Popeye eating a can of spinach, when in fact it merely enables you to work out harder and with less recovery time. So players who don't work out either aren't using or won't receive any benefit.
Anyway, you generally see the same trend with the "users" (Bonds, McGwire, Sosa) that you see with the "non-users" (Thomas, Griffey): Increased HR/AB ratios during years that the HR/AB ratio increased leaguewide, and in similar proportions. The exception is Sosa, but his BB rate spiked pretty substantially when his HR rate spiked in '98, so it's hard to say it was purely an athletic improvement when it's clear his approach at the plate changed as well.
Also, I wouldn't say LASIK is risk-free. Inability to make my own tears? I'll stick to my contacts, thanks.
At this point, I'd say Parra has a decent chance to make it into the Hall Of The Very Good.
I've been paying attention to Parra since I took over a team with him on it in a 24 team sim league, so his defense and speed have significant value. I reluctantly traded him away this offseason, but it was so I could get Jean Segura, so it's worked out OK, and I wasn't selling low. Still, I'm gonna miss him.
Level 4: Marlort Level
Rules: Participants will get a bottle of this finest of wormwood liqueur to be consumed in whatever manner the participant is able to use (glass of any size; hands). To be sipped in proportion to one's self loathing. Participant will consume one shot every time the following events occur:
- Yasiel Puig hits six home runs...simultaneously: http://cdn.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/miggy_composite.gif
- Someone talking about Yasiel Puig brings up the strawman argument that Yasiel Puig is downgraded by established analysts because he doesn't draw walks (note: Having a Twitter account does not make you an established analyst)
- Yasiel Puig throws out runners at each base in a single game.
- Yasiel Puig leaks NSA documents that convince Congress to ban all surveilance.
- "Yasiel Puig" are the last words ever uttered by Vin Scully
"If you do not feel that is a realistic projection, ask yourself how high of an average he can hit for walking once for every 10 times he strikes out"
If you don't feel the new HR rate is indicative of his true talent, why would you feel his new SO/BB is?
From 3 weeks ago:
Not sure where you got that O-swing number from; it has gone back up to his typical 38% according to FanGraphs: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/yuniesky-betancourt-hasnt-changed-a-bit/ (yes, the article otherwise agrees with your take).
I hope it's true, and he is actually working on being more selective. It's just a nice story that people can learn to be better.
Clearly, the Cubs need to call up Yog-Sothoth right away.
(I don't know any Chambers references; sue me. :-))
"Dexter Fowler, being neither whale nor bug..."
- "Here's another thing I bet you didn't know: The whale isn't a mammal. It's an insect. And it eats bananas."
- "The whale is an insect? And it eats bananas? I've never heard such nonsense."
- "I know. I made it up."
(Half a billion points for guessing the reference)
Based on your music selections, I would so recommend Kuma's to you if you come to Chicago, but for the fact that they sell giant hamburgers (named after heavy metal bands).
I go with a group of friends every year, and it's so much fun it's criminal; I'd let Arpaio arrest me afterwards. I'm a little surprised you were down on the food, Ian. I'm pretty sure all the parks you went to have stir-fry noodles, and tons of other stuff besides (though mostly appealing to non-vegans, I'll admit). Last year we were at the Reds' facility, and I couldn't believe my eyes -- there was a Mr. Softee ice cream truck!
We'll be in Scottsdale in three weeks, and I can't wait!
So I've had this question about steroids effects on MLB stats running around in my was for a while, and I guess this is as good as any a place to ask it:
The Mitchell Report and yearly testing indicate 5-7% of MLB players have used steroids. (That's from memory; don't recall seeing double-digit numbers, though). Other large swings in HR and runs scored that were system-wide in MLB history were due to changes that applied to everyone: The tightness of the ball and banning of the spitter in 1920; the lowering of the mound in 1969; segregation pre-1947; expansion in various years. Wouldn't this suggest that steroid use *isn't* the reason for increased HR during the "steroid era"? I have in my queue Jay Jaffe's article about the baseballs being different during that period, but haven't read it yet. Still, that seems like a more plausible explanation, since it affects all players, not just 10% or so.
My question aside, a really great piece, Eric. Really glad to have your perspective on what it takes to play professionally.
If he ever faces Roy Halladay, I'd be very pleasantly surprised if they went with "The Doctor vs. The Master".
But I'm not holding my breath.
Does that make a good training staff a cabal of Evil Cerics?
The tumbling...the speeding...the allegedly assisting the Cuban government in kidnapping and torture...the having your hotel room ransacked with an unknown woman tied up and crying for help...seriously, what is *up* with this dude? He might be Chaotic Evil; like, Azmodeus Chaotic Evil.
This is why I tell people I was so nerdy as a child that I had *two* hobbies that used 20-sided dice.
But what are you drinking?
One word: Decoy
Just read this to my wife, who says that you should have taken the ball back and said: "I'm sorry, your mommy and daddy don't want you to have this."
Not at all, I find them hit and miss as well, though even the misses are interesting, so I'm willing to watch them again if the opportunity arises. One thing that I like a lot about the Coen Brothers is that their love of movies comes through in every film they make.
I think Fargo and A Serious Man are so specific to location and culture that they may be difficult to get into if you don't have a lot of experience with those cultures. I remember two very strong reactions to Fargo when it came out: Two very idealistic sisters thought it denigrated Minnesotans, and the African-American friend of mine that I went to see the movie with, who went to Carleton, couldn't stop laughing during the entire movie, gasping under his breath: "They're...just...like that!"
Having said that, it probably doesn't require very deep knowledge to get the jokes in Fargo: One or two episodes of A Prarie Home Companion should do the trick.
[A Serious Man, btw, was fantastic. Mischeviously philisophical; honest about their experience with Judaism by simultaneously asking deep moral questions, exposing our inability to answer them, and exploring how we handle the lack of answers ("Accept The Mystery")]
I hear Marge Gunderson is extremely underrated. Unimpressive physically, but extremely smart on the fundamentals. Bonus points for playing through a temporary physical condition, which may have surprised some, but not those who have been following her career to this date. Tons and tons of want.
I hear that Kent may have some off the field issues that Knight and Taylor are using...*unusual* methods to curb.
That theory by the British expat in Australia about Conservatism in sports makes sense in the abstract (successful athletes work very hard, and because they're successful they don't see or ponder the advantages they have to get where they are), but there's sort of a contradiction: Generally, the people who think they "earned" their position have some base level of privilege that they don't even think about, whereas an athlete from an underprivileged background is more likely to see their position as much more tenuous (e.g., scholarship revoked; stop and frisk by the police; for Latin players in the minors, the threat of being sent home [people forget that Carlos Guillen *corroborated* what Gary Sheffield said]). I think it's the other way around: The *more* privileged the background of the athlete, the more likely they are to be conservative.
Agree about Major League.
Also: Where's Firefly?
So Rob, none of your responses here or at sbnation detail why we should think Edgar Martinez, specifically, is more likely to have taken steriods than Derek Jeter, specifically. In fact, there have been pretty good arguments why speculation should be more on Jeter than Martinez. Neither was there any explanation in the thread with AstroB (other than a vague "both those things" to "size and production", which doesn't make sense; Edgar was a born DH from the get-go, and it's not hard to believe that not playing the field could help avoid wear and tear, allowing his production to stay at a high level into his late 30s)
So any time you'd like to explain yourself, please feel free.
Not a fan of Red Grooms, I take?
If your answer to that is "who"? You may want to check out his other work (though it's best seen in person) before jumping on the bashing bandwagon based on a flash animation.
Rest In Peace, Greg. I have now fond, but at the time terrifying memories of Greg giving me a ride from Times Square to my mom's house in Brooklyn. God he was a terrible driver. :-)
For those of us who were on r.s.bb in the early '90s, Greg was a pillar of the community. I hadn't heard from him in quite some time, but I assumed he'd always be around. Very sad news.
The question I have is: What were the average rates of not losing a lead in the situations that Gossage was put in? His save rates *sound* low, but even if 6 out save rates were simply Rivera's 90% multiplied by itself, you'd have an 81% rate, which sounds pedestrian, even though it would start with the bases empty.
So yes, an apples and oranges comparison, but not the one Baker had in mind.
"And, there are several metric-conscious assistant GMs who could do a comparable job. One, Rick Hahn, works for the cross-town White Sox. As the job would be a distinct promotion for him, so any complications should be minimal."
Yup. If I'm the Cubs, I quietly start looking at 1A) (Hahn) and others. Could the next steps below work?
- Get a tentative deal with someone else, with an expiration date of one week (3 days?).
- Tell the Red Sox they have that same time frame to make a deal.
The question becomes: Will Hahn (or whomever) accept that they might still not get the job after negotiating terms?
This article could be like the Voros McCracken one that became a touchstone of research for the following five years. Very nicely done.
The chart I'd love to see (and I also commend the presentation) is a pie chart of just first pitches.
Also, I guess we have to now call them the Two And A Half True Outcomes? :-)
I wouldn't be too hard on the Rays for not replacing Howell. It's not like anyone would expect a bust like Wieters to hit a big home run to win a game. :-)
More seriously, this is in line with a concept that can't be said enough times: Present value matters a lot, and overwhelms future value more often than we statheads like to think. A great example is the Trade Value list at FanGraphs, where so much of the list changed between years.
See, I thought comparing a deceitful regime interested in extracting every last bit of capital from a national tragedy with...a deceitful regime interested in extracting every last bit of capital from a national tragedy made perfect sense, and fit well within the bounds of the discussion.
Your second to last paragraph, on the other hand, reads like a spliced-on laundry list of talking points, with no real connection to the topic at hand.
It always amuses me how much unexamined luxury is in the lives of people who insist that discussion of some topic or other be devoid of politics. Here's the thing: If you examine any endeavor by human beings at anything more than the shallowest depth, you will eventually run into politics. More importantly, declaring a topic off limits means that only the current assumptions that exist on that topic get heard, which is the antithesis of what BP has been about, stretching all the way back to it's Usenet origins, where the essential question was "is it true?", and its corollary, "if it's not true, why do people believe that it is?"
The original unifier may have been baseball, but its influence in society and its parallels with larger social issues (I await a demand to keep commemorations of Jackie Robinson "politics free") made it inevitable that intelligent people who are used to asking questions would also ask themselves about larger systems than Major League Baseball, again with the catalytic "is it true?"
I *expect* political discussions to break out on Baseball Prospectus. It would be shocking to me if they didn't, given the curiosity that compels most of its readership, and the level of thoughtfulness that most of them bring to bear. And by no means do I expect BP to agree with me when politics comes up: If you search last year's Jackie Robinson articles, you'll find a pretty lively debate where I and others opposed what a BP writer said. Looking back, a hallmark of this site that informed that debate was a closer adherence to logic and facts than you see in most other corners of the Internet, which is why I'm completely unconcerned about politics cropping up in discussions here.
Blanks is a lefty?
Re being pressured to throw back the ball: If I ever sit in the bleachers at Wrigley, I'm bringing a decoy ball just in case.
What "groundless accusation" was that, that Kevin was being defensive? I doubt Kevin cares one millionth as much as you or anyone who negged the comment. And I don't see how changing "ceased" to "lessened" destroys his factual argument; Sano's errors still went down, just not at as fast a rate, which is clearly what he was saying in the first post.
And you're absolutely right that I only have my soapbox to speak from, so if I may: By severely negging a comment that was clearly contributing to the conversation ("is Sano's defense really that bad? Perhaps not, and here's why"), you're making BP a worse place to visit.
So all4themoney makes a factual argument about a player's error rate, and he gets a -21, being told he's "not contribut[ing] o the discussion"?
That's easily the greatest abuse of the notion of "community standards" that I've seen since this system has been in place.
"No one is arguing Cousins didn't change his course to hit Posey. But that's a completely legal, accepted part of the game and should not be classified as 'malicious'."
Wait, running out of the baseline isn't illegal?
You're supposed to take a direct route to the next base; Cousins clearly didn't do that, and the other players in the videos did. They may have turned their bodies in a way to try to dislodge the ball (or in Schierholt'z case, take the baseline that's rightfully theirs: The catcher didn't have the ball and was standing right in the baseline; that's obstruction. A dick move, to be sure, but not illegal in MLB. Olympics/collegiate yes, but not MLB. In fact, I've gotten injured when a catcher took the baseline to make a phantom tag. Our coach made it clear that he shouldn't do that, and that I have every right to the basepath if a fielder doesn't have the ball.)
Re Sandoval/Doumit: Are you kidding me? Sandoval literally ran over the plate making contact with Doumit, and was in foul territory the entire time until he crosses the plate. Not even close to what Cousins did. If Cousins goes where Sandoval goes there isn't anywhere near the collision that occured.
If you want to keep harping on Sabean for saying "malicious", have fun with that, but the core of the article, that what Cousins did is common, doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and isn't coroborrated by the evidence you've presented.
Larry, I've enjoyed most of your stuff here, but I've now wasted 20 minutes of my life going through those videos and rewatching the Posey collision to confirm what I knew I saw the first time: Cousins had a clear path to the plate and went out of his way to fly into Posey like a free safety. Sabean had it exacly right in that article:
"[I]f you watch frame by frame from different angles, he does not take the path to the plate to try to score. He goes after Buster, right shoulder on right shoulder, and to me, that’s malicious.”
Sandoval, Fielder and Schierholtz were all in the basepath when contact occured. None of them moved off the baseline the way Cousins did. Here, you can see for yourself:
(Incidentally, since you went through the trouble of posting three other videos that you claimed were comparable to this one, wouldn't it have made sense to post the video of the incident under discussion as well?)
Cousins made a mistake. He made the decision to run over Posey with about 15 feet to go (freeze it there, and you see his arms come up behind himself in preparation to lauch into Posey) regardless of where Posey was with respect to the plate. I feel like I'm Bizzarro World; I've been waiting for someone to point out that, unlike almost every other play at the plate, Cousins went out of his way to run over Posey, and when it finally gets said the guy is in danger of getting fined by MLB!
Exactly right. I'm being charitable to Clay and assuming he means that Posey *would have* blocked the plate with his shin guard once he got the ball and turned to make the tag. Even so, it doesn't make sense to me when Cousins had a clear path to the plate but *chose* to go out of his way to run Posey over.
Absolutely. Emma, I wouldn't worry about ignoring a statistical argument from a University of Chicago economist; they have a lousy track record of disregarding externalities, or anything else that doesn't fit their preconceived theories. Statistically, you're likely to be right just by ignoring them; God knows the world's economies would be.
BTW, you must have missed the stand selling Victoria (and Pacifico, I believe), and food-wise, the buffalo burgers are pretty good.
It's Monday, and I just heard the part from your Mom about how we should use Israel's actions in Entebbe:
So, Kevin: How'd your mom enjoy this weekend?
You're welcome, John. ;-)
Re clutch: Kevin misstated the stat argument: Players who perform clutch well one year (relative to their normal performance) have a 50-50 chance of not performing well the following year. Even with small sample sizes, if there were an actual effect you'd see stratifications of the population from year to year.
I would have thought Ryan Braun's movie would be obvious: The Hebrew Hammer
Spy magazine? You have no idea how happy that makes me.
Now if I can just find a month or two with nothing else to do...
Yes, matty, CRP13 has clearly stated that he isn't a homophobe: He's a concern troll.
I've never been sure about the salience of having an ID number next to each user's name; it can lead to newbies being denigrated simply for being new.
But rendering user #57831's statement that they've "been a subscriber since the day it became a pay site" the complete and utter bullshit that it so obviously is makes the ID system so very, very worthwhile.
So you equate an article about gay porn involving baseball players to having gay sex with baseball players?
All I want to know is: Did you at least get his autograph?
You four and five-digiters are so adorable.
First off, I'm really impressed with the new blood that's been introduced to us over the last couple of weeks.
Second: What, no "The Machine"?
Third: I think there's some interesting stuff to discuss from this article. For one, I respectfully disagree with Emma about the source of discomfort (at least among het males): It is because it's two dudes, Major Leaguers, no less! That's not meant as a judgement; just not my bag. I think Emma's aware of that, because she presented it as: "Wow! There is some freaky shit out there! Amirite?"
The reason Emma actually gave, that the stories are about actual people, just doesn't hold water. Tons of porn stories are written about actual people, it's just that they're usually celebrities, particularly ones who have sex appeal. It's when the stories are about people who are not known for being sexy that it starts to feel weird.
Think about what that means: If your fantasies don't fit a societally imposed type, you're considered an outcast.
And of course, the Furries have to show up and ruin everything.
Let's just hope they don't get matching tatoos.
"Oh, Zane! Zane!"
And when it's 16 kagillion dollars, look out
What time for the Chicago 3/9 event? Or I suppose I could camp out all day. :-)
Link incorrect. Here's the correct one:
Re Scouting/Art Criticism: It's something I've noticed almost from the start with you guys: There's a priority placed on style, and not just with respect to baseball, which is part of what makes your podcast so wonderful, though a strict interpretation of Jason's notion that one can only be an authority on a subject if one thoroughly studies its history can lead to some strange bedfellows.
(I think that link leads to an interesting question that shouldn't be avoided: If an art historian is clearly full of shit, how do we know if we aren't historians ourselves? Is film too relatively new to require such a depth of knowledge? Does it's compression of story, even its expectation of story, lower the bar for criticism? As another aside: I think I have to agree with White's general assessment that what Ebert does can't really be considered criticism -- "appreciation" would be the kinder term than White's "shill")
Back to baseball: In the case of scouting, I agree with Kevin; put another way, it's the criticism of style that *leads* to substance. However, since it's the results at the MLB level that matter, I think there's still plenty of room for searching for "unpopular" styles that also lead to effectiveness. For example, is Dustin Pedroia's hitting approach instructive in some way that would allow scouts to pick up on a similar player the next time around?
I know things have been getting a little slow baseball-wise, and I know how much you love cooking, so I thought I'd help out with this little bit of awesome from the Intertubes. Gentlemen, I present to you...
Rachel Ray's Late Night Bacon
After reading that recipe, I'm sure you'll have many questions: Why so complicated? What if it's morning? How do I avoid Baconzelbub? All of these questions and more have been answered by Ms. Ray's intrepid commenters, so be sure to read the comments; I promise it will be worth your while.
I think the fairest way would be to penalize Martinez the difference between a replacement level DH and a replacement level 3B (or perhaps average players at each position). By playing DH, Martinez's teams need to play someone else at 3B, which is less advantageous than if Martinez could play the position (possibly even at a below average level).
Any talk of a Chicago event coming up?
Wow, the podcast was full of win this week. A few observations:
- I'm guessing things have changed since I went to Yankee Stadium as a kid in the '80s, because I remember things like people burning the pennants of the opposing team.
Someone (might have been Jay Jaffe) wrote a post about when he knew that Yankee fans had become too docile: Some guy ran into a men's bathroom with a Red Sox hat, asking people to help him hide the evidence (I guess he'd stolen it from a Red Sox fan), and noone lifted a finger while security apprehended him.
I know I ought to be mature and say that it's better that Yankee fans treat their opponent's fans with some level of basic decency, but damn those "Boston Sucks"/"Yankees Suck" shout-fests from 1978 were fun. Keep it to words only, no matter how crude?
- I'm so glad you guys went off on "God Bless America" replacing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the 7th inning strech (but only during playoff games and Sundays, for some reason...related directly to television). The most annoying thing about it is that someday, if I have a child, I'll have to somehow explain to them that singing that song during a baseball game is a huge crock of shit, and there's no way to do that without a *ton* of back story, so even if I manage to do it, so many other parents who are irritated by it will probably throw up their hands and just pretend it's OK. And that's how evil wins.
- Although I think the Rangers are pretty clear favorites, there's *way* too many fun things about this Giants team for me to do anything but root hard for them. The drag queen singing GBA for Game 5 was just the icing on the cake. Google "Brian Wilson The Machine" for another one.
- Nonetheless, Elvis Andrus does seem like a good guy, and a wicked talent at SS. As a marketing ploy, might I suggest t-shirts that say "Elvis Is Everywhere", with a picture of Andrus at every position on the diamond? You could also play fielding highlights of him while playing the Mojo Nixon song.
Re Ike Davis: Nice article in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago:
Great quote near the end:
“I understand that there’s going to be some attention on me for that, especially in New York,” he said. “But I’m not trying to be a role model for any religious reasons. I’m trying to be a role model, period, for everyone, by just being a good person, a responsible person who leads the best life he can. That’s for everyone, I think.”
Re taste tests: Not before they test Malort and Cynar (read the second set of comments on that link). I have tried both, which makes me a bigger man than Kevin, Jason and Joel Stein put together. (Not that I give a shit, which is the true mark of being a man. There, see? Now you don't have to wait until 2012 to read Stein's book.)
Michael Lewis may have gone overboard in Moneyball (which is why I'm guessing you're not interested in him as a guest), but I think he'd make an interesting guest overall. This article did a fantastic job of explaining why CDOs were so pervasive during the mortgage boom.
This article was very helpful in getting to the nitty-gritty on the odds ratio:
It's a little concerning that there's not really a mathematical basis for the formula, and that "it just works". One possibility is that p/q, the ratio that is at the heart of the equation, is the average number of sucesses of a Bernoulli trial with success p before one failure.
"Your math is right, if this is a randomly selected pitch. It isn't, though - we picked this pitch because the Pitch F/X location and the umpire's call disagreed. That affects the error bars (at least the shape of them)"
Can you explain this further, please? If you're deferring to the umpire's call to determine whether the pitch is a ball or a strike to begin with, it seems like the article becomes tautological. It would have been less interesting, but you could have saved a lot of words by simply writing "because Wendelstedt said so".
BTW, as mentioned above, Gardenhire spoke to Mauer before arguing, who had no parallax issues.
An amusing apologia, but isn't the parallax effect for the umpire *more* extreme than the camera angle in center field?
Also, I'd be curious to see what pitches in a simlar area from that pitch were called by the HP umpire for that game. That would nullify any claims of decalibration.
(Apologies for the length)
OK, as you already know, I love you guys, and love the podcast, so please take what I'm about to say in the way it's intended -- with great love and affection:
That had to be the most low-information discussion about Walmart that I've ever heard. Granted, I tend to avoid watching CNN, but even they'd be hard-pressed to come up with a quarter hour of discussion that was as fact-free as what you guys ended up with.
For my money, this article in the Chicago Reader summed up the issues nicely: A retail business that took advantage of logistical efficiencies and global markets was bound to happen, but Walmart goes out of its way to screw over it's employees to a scale that hadn't been tried before the '80s.
However, the complaints about manufacturing leaving the US are unfounded. As bonddad over at your former math overlord's site writes:
The "jobless recovery" is in fact a realignment of the US labor force. Fewer and fewer employees are needed to produce durable goods. As this situation has progressed, the durable goods workforce has decreased as well. This does not mean the US manufacturing base is in decline. If this were the case, we would see a drop in both manufacturing output and productivity. Instead both of those metrics have increased smartly over the last two decades, indicating that instead of being in decline, US manufacturing is simply doing more with less.
So I won't step into a Walmart if I can avoid it, either, but it's because they poorly treat the employees in retail that they actually have, not the unemployed in manufacturing that they don't.
Finally, since you've been offering a primer on middlebrow periodcals (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Economist), I'd like to recommend to you both The New York Review Of Books. Instead of basking in perverse contrarianism (The Atlantic), or presenting reasoned discussions of current crises that always end up with "and that's why we should listen to the Republicans/Tories/George W. Bush" (The Economist), NYRB presents its point of view free of rhetorical flourishes and full of interesting, compelling information.
Wow, thanks for the shout-out, Kevin! I told my wife about it, and she replied: "That's great! Too bad no one's listening to it." Ah, marriage.
I wasn't going to continue the film conversation, but the discussion of Wes Anderson got me thinking about other director's films that set up characters or moods instead of plots, and you mentioned in passing the one that I think does it well, yet engenders more scorn than Anderson ever gets: Sofia Coppola. The distinction is that Coppola's films invite you into the inner circle of a small group's relationships, and sets the rest of the world apart, while Anderson shows us a clique that refuses to let anyone else in, including us.
Re Casual US fans: I think "forced nationalism" is an incredibly inaccurate (and inappropriately negative) phrase. "Reflexive" is the adjective I'd use: You don't feel forced into rooting for your country, you do it because they're your guys, much as many sports fans reflexively root for their home city's teams. There's nothing wrong with that, especially for an international event, or do you expect people watching the Olympics to understand the nuances of water polo or half pipe snowbording, or whatever else they may watch during those two weeks?
OK, that's a little unfair: The World Cup is most definitely not the same as water polo, and living a mile from Wrigley Field I can agree that ignorant fans of a sport I love can be extremely annoying. But fandom has to start somewhere, no matter where you live, and it makes sense that it starts with an affinity for the home team, and grows out from there, which I think it is in the US with respect to soccer.
OK, I finished listening, and a few things:
- Who exactly has been complaining about draftees not taking walks? I just finished listening to the statingest stat podcast in all of Stattingham (I'm looking at you, Fangraphs), and didn't hear a peep about it there.
In any case, this guy going to the Giants: So the upside is Mike Cameron Glove, Randy Winn bat? That certainly has value, but is that really a 1st round pick? I simply don't know the answer to that, but it would have been a better use of your time looking at that question than going to town on what appears to be a strawman.
Although it did get that gem from Keith Law: "If you like walks, you'll love The Two Towers"
- So you shit all over John Cusak movies (which isn't too far off the mark*, but you also misinterpret High Fidelity, where the point of the movie is that he needs to quit whining and Become A Grownup) because he's a Whiny Special Kid like Holden Caufield, but Wes Anderson movies get a complete pass? Every single one of his movies scream "I'm Special Because I'm Special, And If You Don't Get It You're Not Cool". It's like trying to play a game of Calvinball, and under those circumstances "the only way to win is not to play."
* To be fair, it's that, as Chuck Klosterman pointed out, most people equate John Cusak with Lloyd Dobler, regardless of the movie. Some of his movies are pretty fun, like Grosse Point Blank. Frankly, the character that's irredeemable in High Fidelity is Jack Black's: Hipster Douchebag par exemplar
So do you mean "the" lineup, or "this" lineup?
Thought there might be another tweak to lineup construction that's been discoverd.
And, in case you haven't already seen this:
Don't forget Mike's! Tasty, tasty, syrupy/bubbly Mike's!
Or, for that matter, frozen margaritas. From a machine! Perhaps I'm revealing my ignorance, but where can you get a frozen margarita that's *not* from a machine?
I love the league I'm in (13th year in existence), and would love to see our format used more often:
Points-based (forumula for hitting similar to Runs Created, formula for pitching somewhat like Game Score [5 points is really good for a start, Kerry Wood's 20 K game was about 13 points]). You fill position slots every two weeks (all 8 fielding positions + DH, 4 Starting Pitchers, 1 Reliever (no saves), 1 Closer (saves included)) from a 25 man roster, position eligibility is pretty tough: 27+ games from last year, 1/6th of games played this year.
Here's the kicker: You fill the lineup slots retroactively, so your entire roster is in play every two week period. This encourages depth, but still makes positional surplus/scarcity meaningful. It's worked really well for us, and allows for a casual experience (no scouring for two start starters or matchups) that still has a good level of involvement (you have to look every two weeks to see how all your players have done).
Any word on Evan Grills? (Whitby represent, yo! That's how we do things in tha' 905!)
Similarly to Stanek's story, I was told he was making an effort to hit 90. How common is it for potential draftees to do that, and what are the implications for injury, draftability, and future success? Does being able to add a couple of mph in a few months for a few starts mean you can learn to throw harder, or do players drafted higher based on those gun readings regress after the draft?
Ken, you forgot to mention that you can get The Hidden Game Of Baseball at something called "your local bookstore".
Okay, no minus from me, but you're in desperate need of a Clue Phone.
I hear some day they may even be installed in cars!
What's your take on Berkman? He's getting challenged with more fastballs and not doing much with them.
Happened to see this yesterday after reading this article. The warmest welcome to Delmon Young, via Bat-Girl in Minnesota:
"I appreciate the comment, but please remember the distinction I made between discrimination and prejudice. If one makes inferences based on observed statistical tendencies, that is statistical discrimination but it is based on information even if it's a biased sample."
There's a large disconnect between the level of thought used by the people in your hypothetical and the actual level of thought used by real people when dealing with people of other races/cultures, but let's put that aside for the moment: Even if people take statistical samples, you're implying a perfect level of conscientious behavior that many people don't have when using statistics. That is, they use statistical samples that have obvious bias to rationalize their prejudices. Think "The Bell Curve".
Moreover, it's not just that people categorize based on observations, it's that they weight observations based on which ones favor their point of view. As such, it's hard to imagine "statistical discrimination" as you describe it done by the general public (i.e., the baseball customers c. 1947 in your example).
If you need to hang your hat on free entry and a nearly infinite number of companies for "the magic of the marketplace" to work quickly, then it truly is magic in as much as it, like magic, doesn't exist in the real world. Don't get me wrong, I agree that models are useful, but it's also important to revise the model when it fails to capture reality.
The second half of the article was very strong, but I think the first half's discussion of the differences between prejudice and discrimination are misleading. The example of the white racist car owner is used to represent a case where there's discrimination ("treating two groups differently") without prejudice ("an adverse opinion without reason or logic"), but it's clear that, as a racist, he *is* using prejudice to make his decisions about who to hire.
I also dispute the description of how the market corrects for these issues. When you write "the [racist] competition would drop like flies", it implies that the "magic of the marketplace" makes these systemic problems melt away, or even that they can't exist in the first place (e.g., the joke about how a young economist sees a $100 bill on the street and tells the older economist he's walking with. The old economist says to him: "Nonsense. If there really were a $100 bill on the sidewalk, someone would have already picked it up"). The dominance of the NL over the AL after the color barrier was broken occured in the '60s, nearly 20 years later, not exactly "dropping like flies".
Further, while it opened the door to superstar talent (Robinson, Mays, Aaron), it's an open question whether there's prejudice involved in selecting the end of the bench. (This was mentioned in "When It Was A Game III": Aaron talks about how the black players were very few, but they were all superstars and expected to produce like them.) I remember the discussions on r.s.bb and early Prospectus about why Warren Newsom couldn't get a regular job when he was clearly more qualified than the people ahead of him, and the theory was positied that, when it comes to the last spots on the bench, racial bias might be a factor.
Re statistical discrimination: You state "If certain traits are seen as more common in one race and are believed to affect productivity...", but that it's without prejudice. Two things: 1) If they're only "seen as more common", then it's an opinion without quantifiable evidence, and thereby a candidate to have been driven by prejudice. 2) Even if there is a measureable difference, those differences may be a result of prejudice from other parameters that effect the subjects. This type of discrimination becomes particularly nefarious because it can be used to rationalize prejudice (as with (1)), or pretend that prejudice isn't an underlying cause for the discrepancy (as with (2)).
I definitely agree with you in the case of Dye, though. Hudson himself is a bit of a quandary; both of the last two offseasons I've been scratching my head as to why teams were so lackadaisical in giving him a look.
As bokosox13 points out, baseball is more individualistic by design (offense doesn't handle the ball, so coordination of offensive players, and therefore teamwork, is practically non-existent), and is therefore a poor example of culture trumping reality.
It certainly works for football (O-Line incredibly important, but rarely recognized) and basketball (more isolation plays than passing halfcourt offenses), but I guess this would be the wrong site for those observatiions.
Boston has 7 million people? How do they stand each other?
So you're comparing adults who can do things in their chosen profession that less than 1,000 other people in the entire world can do to children? That's very telling.
Except for moving the signing date to mid-July, the only other thing that seems "broken" about the process is the cheapness and managerial incompetence of perrenially losing teams.
To answer the front office person from Part I that asked what it says about Washington balking about picking Strasburg with the #1 pick, I'd say: That it doesn't know a bargain when it sees one.
I didn't know if I should go with an 'Utz' reference or 'Nutz', but both were lame ideas
So when he hits a triple, you'll be able to resist?
Fun fact: Holmes proclaims he must forget what Watson has just explained to him: That the Earth revolves around the Sun.
I never thought I'd be defending them, but I don't see how TMZ has lowered the standards of sourcing. From what I've seen on their show and heard about from their scoops, they deal *exclusively* with primary sources (e.g., Mel Gibson's arrest report, video footage at airports/outside of parties). Now, their editorial comments within their reporting are usually inane, but you can't argue that what they're reporting didn't happen, since they show you the footage.
Was he the guy who dealt for Von Hayes?
Any word on Bedard?
Slowey better than Baker? I'm skeptical.
1988 set: John Franco vs. Pete O' Brien: 3-11. :-)
Someone really needs to do a documentary about Star Tournaments. We've had Scrabble, and heck, even the Pillbury Bake Offs, get their moment in the sun, why not us? We're easily comparable in quirkiness.
We haven't seen spring yet here in Chicago, either (though that's par for the course), but she is on my Facebook, and she asked me to pass this along:
While I think Schilling is a pompous ass of the first order, I think the Sock game is a huge plus in his favor, but not because of the Sock itself.
In Game 2, Schilling got hammered, and it seems to me it was because he couldn't get any velocity on his pitches, most likely because he couldn't push off the mound. Whether the blood was dry or not, Schilling had his velocity in Game 6, so it seems (to me, at least), that Schilling was pushing off the mound, which means he was fighting off a lot of pain in order to be effective. Terrible idea in the regular season, heroic in an elimination game.
"Schilling was something of a polarizing figure at times, outspoken in a way we're not always comfortable with when it comes to athletes, and perhaps particularly baseball players."
I dunno, I think if you compare the relative lack of an uproar over Schilling -- er -- shilling for Bush in 2004 and the caterwauling about Carlos Delgado's reticence at being a good little soldier with respect to the National Anthem, and it doesn't seem like he was really that polarizing.
He ought to be polarizing, with his seemingly limitless ability to proudly flaunt his ignorance: More recently with his public dislike of Manny Ramirez' work ethic, despite Manny's countless hours in the batting cage, but most egregiously with his unquestioning support of our invasion of Iraq despite his constant claims to being a war history buff!
No, Schilling's type of "outspokenness" is more than welcome by most of the public. Contrast this with the "playing the race card" reaction to Gary Sheffield's remarks about how Latinos are preferred by management over African-Americans, which Carlos Guillen completely corroborated. "Truth to power", Schlling ain't.
The "outspokenness" that baseball people in general are comfortable with, and is Schilling's specialty, is calling out other people for noncomformity. And, if we're honest, especially calling out noncomformity of non-whites. Doesn't Carlton Fisk seem a little ridiculous in hindsight for yelling at Deion Sanders for not running out a foul popup?
Since New Haven style was mentioned above, might I suggest Piece in Wicker Park as a locale? It might even make it easier for Nate to get away from his TV appearances. :-)
BTW, Christina, I hope you watched the Colbert Report last night: Sacramento Mayor-Elect Kevin Johnson was the guest.
Later With Bob Costas was a real treat, but I\'m sorry to say that Costas in the last 10 years or so has devolved into a reactionary \"get off my lawn\" kind of guy.
I realize that Costas would probably lump this in with the \"inane abuse that has nothing to do with anything that a reasonable person would pay any attention to\", but in the spirit of BP, here are two examples to back it up:
- In his introduction to his 2000 book \"Fair Ball\", he imagines a Twins fan who will never see his team be successful. Great timing!
- In his now infamous segment on Costas Now with Will Leitch from Deadspin, he argued that mainstream press access was necessary to do good journalism, claiming that \"Woodward and Bernstein had access\".
To misunderstand that Woodward and Bernstein began their Watergate investigation with absolutely *no* access, that they were handed the story while working at the police blotter beat, only to discover its implications by poring over thousands of publicly available documents (in other words, that they got to the heart of the story through analysis, not access) and to state the opposite of that truth with such certainty, undoubtedly in part because He\'s Bob Costas, so he can\'t be wrong about something this basic, is a perfect example of what\'s wrong with \"mainstream\" journalism and reveals Costas to be part of its problems.
Can anyone explain to me why Gross was left in to bat against Romero in the top of the 9th with 1 out?
He did couch it by saying, \"[w]hen you\'re facing better pitching\".
Of course, that means he\'s calling Brett Myers \"better pitching\", so yeah, you can take the coach out of the Angels...
Still, I can\'t shake the feeling that Maddon understands his players abilities exceptionally well, and understands the value of the power/speed/patience combinations that he has at his disposal, so I\'m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt before worrying that he\'s going to turn into Leyland c. 1990.
Bad night for the 1st Base umpire. Not only did he mess up with the balk no-call, he should have called Burell out for interference on the Pena bobble (he was running in fair territory).
You really ought to leave out Upton\'s second double play in this discussion. I\'m pretty sure that by the time Upton uncoiled himself after his swing, Feliz was already throwing the ball to Utley. Heck, the play was so fast Utley might have even been throwing it to Howard.
On a related note, has Upton always been swinging this hard, or is the left shoulder causing him to have less control on his follow-through?
I think Game 5 forced Maddon to change his deployment, and he should get a huge amount of credit for being willing to do so in a Game 7. I can\'t think of another manager that wouldn\'t simply \"stick to his guns\".
Does it appear that Wheeler\'s about to turn back into a pumpkin? I didn\'t see his pitching in Game 2, just the debacle in Game 5 and the almost-debacle in Game 7.
Also, I think we have an answer about Trever Miller\'s absence in Game 5: He didn\'t come in to face Ortiz for one AB in Game 7 either, with Maddon preferring to burn Howell (more of a two-way pitcher) instead. In other words, Miller\'s box reads YCNEGREME EMERTXE FO ESAC NI, and requires two keys to open.
Except when they showed the PitchTrax, where it was dead center, which makes me wonder: Why don\'t they use that angle all the time?
Frankly, if you\'re going to allow Balfour to pitch to Ortiz with a 6 run lead, why would you remove him after one bad pitch?
That lack of location was the theme of the Rays bullpen, combined with a couple of \"almost\" plays by Upton and Longoria. Were these chokes, or just bad luck? If I may break the pitching down:
Balfour: Bad luck. Should have stayed in the game.
Wheeler: Looked to me like a choke. Couldn\'t locate anything but his 91 mph fastball up to Crisp; was too worried about walking him to try anything else.
Howell: Went from throwing one dive-bombing breaking ball after another to Youkilis to placing the ball on a silver platter to Drew on 3-0 and 3-1.
It makes sense to me that pitching is the one area in baseball that might have a greater psychological element, since the pitcher is the one player that initiates action, rather than reacts.
Certainly much closer to being right than the idiots that destroyed his suit.
\"Exactly\" was too strong, but I remember when this incident occured. At the time, what I heard was that Park was upset at having his clothes destroyed, replaced with a clown suit, and that Piazza acted like this was no big deal. From that information, it sounded to me like Park was completely in the right, and that Piazza was an asshole. I admit that the details of Park\'s reaction make him seem pretty immature, but that\'s nothing compared to a culture that finds it amusing to destroy someone\'s property, and acts offended when that person objects. That\'s pretty screwed up, if you ask me, so when I heard that Park stood up and objected, I thought: \"Good for him!\"
As an aside, I react similarly to the sophomoric antics reported gleefully each year, where rookies are forced to dress in embarrassing fashion as the team travels from location to location. It\'s childish and demeaning and beneath everyone involved.