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Thought about doing that but decided "harder hit" is too subjective. But since you asked, what the heck. By my measure, harder-hit ball was:
1. Right (64 percent guessed)
2. Right (75 percent)
3. Right (70 percent)
4. Right (55 percent)
5. Right (43 percent)
6. Left (61 percent)
7. Right (89 percent)
8. Right (59 percent)
9. Right (61 percent)
10. Left (55 percent)
Overall: 63 percent of the guesses correctly identified the "hardest" hit by, by my subjective assessment. The only one that you collective failed to get was the one where both balls were hit exceptionally poorly.
Good question! Will update in the post.
That's why I said "basically"! I had you in mind.
You're missing one! This makes me suspect that you might be one off on all of these and, therefore, will end up getting... half right, like everybody else. (Spoiler: Everybody has been terrible so far, basically)
Ron Cey and Steve Garvey were also drafted that year, in the June Secondary, filling out the total.
The two New York teams got merged in the query. That entire paragraph has been deleted.
Someday, make your way to Death Valley. Some day in early spring, that is. It's the LA-to-Lancaster geography times 2 million.
Wednesday is certainly no. 1. You built a lot of goodwill with me by having Wednesday no. 1. My points of dispute:
Tuesday is worse than Thursday. Thursday sucks for the short schedule but it's often not noticeably short, and it's *always* a well dispersed schedule with early day games. That is, to me, the primary question in ranking days. Tuesday never has day games. Tuesdays the worst, except Mondays, which are only saved by the very occasional wraparound-series getaway day or the rescheduled-rainout day games and the extremely occasional Patriots Day game.
Saturday is worse than Sunday. Saturday might be worse than Thursday, but I acknowledge that's a matter of taste. Saturday is basically the only day of the week in which there are baseball games that I can't watch. This is infuriating. If the Saturday game of the week sucks or turns into a blowout, there is literally no good baseball to watch from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., otherwise known as the three hours of the week when there should by rights be the most good baseball to watch. Furthermore, because of this silliness, teams load their schedules with night games so that, while I'm weeding my garden on a friggin Saturday afternooon, I can't listen to my local team play on the radio. It's just so obvious that this is wrong.
Sunday seems like a flawed day because action ends so early, but the Sunday Night Game is the only game of the week that all of us watch at the same time, which has a lot of charm, and it's usually a great game worth looking forward to. And the incredible flood of 10 a.m. games is so welcome considering how many of our H2H leagues are hinging on that day's action.
Monday the worst.
So I submit:
I got no email!
You got it! I can't imagine DeShields made the connection, but maybe this is the sort of thing that gets mentioned around the batting cages the next day and eventually gets back to DeShields. Unwritten rules so complicated.
As a person who spent years printing out BP articles to read on my lunchbreak, I can understand how some platforms aren't good for GIFs. But I find them useful. Super duper useful, more useful than words can be, both for illustration and for accountability. So GIFs it is. Hopefully there's enough content of all styles on the site for everybody to enjoy.
Yes, at times; No
Geez, my hugest apologies, that's the wrong table. The correct table is now displayed.
Every other person who read this article should be ashamed that they missed this glaring and obvious mistake. For shame, all of you except NYYanks826
Mark Trumbo is probably baseball's best raker
I think he's saying that's high -- that Hanson's 2+ projection for the whole season is very high considering Hanson's recent past. Answer is probably that PECOTA has a fairly long memory and knows that Hanson has been very good in the not-too-distant past, and doesn't know about his specific shoulder.
This is exactly right
Obviously we know that but in the year 3030 they have only confirmed the existence of a small number of animals. In the year 3030, it is believed that skunks were 60 percent of all non-human animal life. Very, very sketchy information is available about the past, of course.
I greatly prefer position appearances by pitchers
He is hitting a lot more ground balls this year than historically. I'm not prepared to give you an explanation yet, but maybe next week.
Right, sorry, didn't mean to suggest that he *is* the problem, much more interested in whether he will be turned into the problem, narrative wise.
Jacoby Ellsbury stole 70 bases in a season while Francona was there, which is the most any AL baserunner has stolen in a season since 1997
yes, ugh duh, curve not a change
And also to @huztlers: The question isn't why are stolen bases going down compared to 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even five years ago. It's why are they going down compared to 20 *games* ago. There hasn't been a sabermetric revolution in the past 20 games.
Honestly, not sure this isn't the answer, but it's sooo sudden and there wasn't even a hint of it really last year, and we haven't heard anything about it from players/managers, and it's leaguewide, so it's one heck of a sudden philosophical zig.
Brett Gardner is healthy this year; Jacoby Ellsbury is healthy this year; Carl Crawford is healthy this year; etc, so there are examples that go in both directions.
It's not a bad notion, but we looked at individual players from year to year (so, eliminating the effect of "disappearing" players) and most are stealing less often.
R.J. was only counting the super-secret ones that can be proven only theoretically by mathematicians. We've updated this piece to reflect the more conventional dozen.
(This post has been updated, long after you all stopped coming to read it, to correct the name of the acquiring GM.)
The colors are for the different results -- ball, foul, swinging strike, ball in play (runs), etc. Light blue and green are good, orange, maroon and dark blue are bad
I just grabbed the wrong pitch in the AB, it's fixed now. Thanks, John
Huh. How the heck did I miss that. Give me a few minutes...
First thing that comes to mind is the book Odd Man Out by Matt McCarthy. Part of it is that the players are all competing with each other for the next promotion, so if you feel that the club has more invested in your "competition" than in you...
Trade for the back half of small-market teams' extensions
I think it's in the middle. I don't know it for a fact, but if there are four teams bidding for one star player I would expect it would favor the player somewhat more than five teams bidding for two star players, and more still than six teams bidding for three. But it's debatable.
Thanks, Dave. Appreciate the extra info
I know I said we'll assume for this article that those numbers are real and representative, but if anything surprises you about those tables I would assume for real life that those numbers are not real and representative.
When I have a moment maybe I'll broaden the sample and do an Unfiltered on it
Yeah that was my fault, and now it's fixed.
Really enjoy this grammar correction, thanks again.
Sorry, they are not currently visible to the public. I believe they will be sometime
That's not a nitpick at all!
Like when a small child runs toward the ocean, then sees a wave coming and runs away
There's reason to believe Wynn's arm was sore
I'd argue that he is more famous for his acting role in The Princess Bride, but I'll fix this anyway
I'mma be writing about this
Struck me as low, interestingly enough
That was my assumption but there were indications in news stories that he was actually playing, so I couldn't say conclusively.
This is my wife's theory, too, that I loved baseball first and am just finding the profit in it after the fact. It makes some sense. If you're Type A at all, then you need to justify the all the time you spend and all the things you do as useful. I've found myself mentally spinning many of my entertainments into virtuous pursuits -- this show makes me more socially connected; this magazine makes me smarter; etc..
It was stolen from and unavailable at my local library :(
I had my wife buy me a used copy for Christmas. It was the 1999 edition, with the game-action art on the cover, and I think it cost $48 in good condition. I see now no used copies for less than $70, so it might be that the price fluctuates a bit. It's really, really great, incidentally.
Not for me. This requires research.
A baseball almost hit him, but then it didn't hit him. He laughed for about the rest of the game
Good points! Better way to look at it. Now I can stop thinking about that interaction so much.
It is fixed
An earlier draft mislabeled the Rangers' worst position as DH. It has been fixed.
Just went with the lowest/most negative WARP. No judgment calls were involved.
This has been corrected thanks to @KevinBassStache, who noted that I had Beltran traded a year later than he actually was.
Sample sizes; somewhat blunt categorization of baserunning acts; influence of manager strategy; influence of player's baserunning intelligence as opposed to speed.
Ben wrote about the Nationals' bad baserunning:
At first when I saw that you'd written a rap I was like oh nooooo but then I was like yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Enough, but I'm a thousand years old so just like your grandpa I don't listen to anything new anymore.
Cleveland Fellers is spectacular, though perhaps less so considering that there was a guy in the Indians' team history named Feller.
Came very close!
It should have said "center of the strike zone," which is to say a combination of up down left right away from dead center. My apologies for the typo.
Excluding squeeze situations, there were four or five cases across baseball of two pitchouts being thrown in the same at-bat.
Perhaps. I could go either way, but when talking about such a small, small sample -- from one to 15 throws only per manager -- I lean toward the constant, rather than expecting true catcher ability to appear instantly.
Might be even better if I drink Nyquil every night but down it 16 to 30 minutes BEFORE we hit record
2016 was a reference to there being almost no doubt about Griffey. You are, of course, right about Ichiro, and I apologize for the unclear wording of that section.
Yeah I think I misfired on the ARod part. At least "higher level." I focused on the offense without really considering the no-duh position-and-defense factor. Sorry all!
What's the rule, if you know it? I didn't see a minimum-length requirement for a pitch but there's got to be something.
Not this year
Also won World Series. Causation proven!
Notably, Weeks' stolen base came on a non-intentional ball in the dirt that would have been a wild pitch had Weeks not been running.
Termites alone outweigh humans 10 to 1!
My dumb mistake sorry!
Yes, I would read all the rounds of this
About a 15-run disagreement about Hunter's defense
ERA+ takes a player's ERA, adjusts for ballpark, league and era, and states it relative to league-average. There are plenty of limitations to it, such as its dependence on ERA instead of a better stat, and I guess what you'd call scaling problems. Quick and easy and not *too* misleading is why I use it.
(I should say "real" as in they were really reported. I naturally have low regard for the actual accuracy of many reported rumors.)
It's not supposed! All the rumors are real and linked to.
Noting here that an earlier version of this story misstated the Red Sox bullpen performance relative to the rest of the league.
Thank you so, so much
Ah, thank you. I limited it to guys making more than $4 million in a year, which is how Meares slipped through the cracks/didn't qualify
Head down and run! Always use two hands! Remember how many outs there are! Etc etc
Yeah I changed my mind and agree with you. Watching Harper run the bases is one of the best parts of baseball right now.
It is a very strange moment for Castro. I give him loads of credit, though, for *acting* like the ball was in his mitt the whole time, as he reaches in as though he needs to take the ball out after the "tag". It's sort of brilliant, if totally unsuccessful.
I'm changing my opinion to this.
Oliver is what we in the BP offices call Randy Choate. It's a long story.
I ran across a column saying everybody should vote for Braun because this season PROVES he wasn't on steroids last year because otherwise he would have gotten worse. I tend toward your read on it, though.
I ran out of time :( but you're invited/welcomed/encouraged to keep going
Because not having Jonathan Sanchez leads to blessings upon blessings upon blessings.
Ben probably just found his topic for tonight
These have been fixed.
I don't believe it's a sports-watching party, though. I meant to get into this, but they are the only two people paying attention to the game, which is obviously already underway. Everybody else is in groups of two or three, usually gender-mixed, which makes me think this is much more a mixer than a sports party.
There are going to be more of these. Fixed.
And now it does, thanks
It's not perfect because it's good; it's terrible! It's perfect because it's exactly mlb.com's kind of terrible. This is really more an exercise in mimicry than art.
Well now that that's done I can get a reasonable night's sleep
An early version listed Trout as having 82 RBIs; he had 83; it's been fixed.
The misspelling was intentional
87 percent "keep"
The order is generated randomly I swear!
I ordered them randomly! I assigned each one a number, then drew numbers from a hat.
In which we make a factually incorrect statement about the extent of Justin Verlander's amateur career.
Totally agree. Can we make this permanent, Ben?
That's not minor at all!
Yeah, that's a derp on my part. It's fixed.
Yes, sorry, question I was answering with each of those was should they have done something more than they did.
Whoa. That's blowing my mind. I need to think about this.
Well sure I know that but there's nothing antique and old-timey about Barry Bonds.
I'm as upset that none of these reporters are writing about David Wright as you are. David Wright is having a great, great season, and he deserves not just MVP consideration but quite possibly the award. Come on, journalists, do your job! It's like that Edwin Starr lyric:
And it's headline news
And it's headline news
A-don't you hear me saying
(Extra extra, read all about it)
You better read about it
(Extra extra, read all about it)
I also spent some of the time I was working on this wondering about the replacement level pitcher. I have nothing to contribute to the question. But, like you, I wondered.
To provide the other side of it, though, Roger Clemens produced something like twice as much value as the rest of the 1983 first round combined. So the Braun/1993 comparison may not be about replacement level definitions at all; it may just be about the relative quality of Ryan Braun and the 1993 pitching prospects.
You're close. Run suppression is half the game. But the pitcher is only one (large) part of run suppression. You could think of it as the batters "stealing" a share of the pitchers' WARP by playing and getting credit for defense.
I love the sound of this crying baby! But, objections noted.
Corrections, Omissions and Errors:
Two umps! That's what really got me. I can sort of buy that there is an ump. But you don't have two umps working a game where a guy in a pageboy hat can just stroll up and declare himself the pitcher.
There is a very, very uncomfortable racial vibe going on in HSM2's baseball game, incidentally
Thanks, these have been fixed
BABIPs don't really (generally) go up much with runners on base. Leaguewide, it's about four or five points difference, and most players' BABIPs with runners on or with bases empty are within a few points after a long enough career. There are some outliers. Howard, of course, but also Omar Vizquel, Miguel Cabrera, Chase Utley. And, of course, it's totally 100 percent possible that Howard is just a fluke of percentages.
I think so! Angels outfield defense ruining Angels' outfielders defensive stats
Not even close. Blind BABIP test had 18, for starters.
Nailed the narratives!
Definitely fascinating, and I trust a Rockies follower more than myself to see these patterns. I can't wait until enough games have passed to try this piece again.
Over a long enough time period a small gain should show up, but probably quite limited. Colin mentioned this in his piece in June, when he pointed out that the extra pinch-hitting appearances would come from the bottom of the bench, not the better pinch-hitters, who were already being used.
This is discussed various places online, such as here,
but I'm still not sure I'm clear on it. It seems that wrought is two things: An archaic (but correct) past participle for work, as listed at dictionary.com: bit.ly/OOGobT
and an incorrect past participle for wreak. Wreaked, not wrought, is the correct past participle for wreak.
Oooh, that's an interesting theory! The flip side, though, is that they might have also assumed that whatever the Red Sox did with Gonzalez would benefit the Red Sox' interests, and that by allowing Gonzalez to go unclaimed they actually gave the Red Sox the flexibility to improve the team outlook.
Don't know. My understanding is the Dodgers could have been "stuck" with Gonzalez and, if indeed there was a claim, Beckett. However, it's possible trade talks had already begun/progressed by the time the claim was put in, and there was an understanding that the Red Sox wouldn't stick the Dodgers with Beckett. That's just me speculating.
Some nights, he looks like an ace. Just, well, just going to leave it at that.
This article has been updated to accurately reflect Ryan Ludwick's TAv ranks since June 1 and July 1.
Good question! It's a curveball.
You are both speaking gibberish!
No, you're right, and it's now been fixed in the article.
In September, he wouldn't be replacing anybody.
This is great
Rangers hit 100% in APRIL!!!
Thanks! I meant to look up Darvish for the piece and just plain forgot
Bunch fewer unearned runs, few more earned runs, useful innings eater.
Not to put words in his mouth, but I believe he is saying this is as good as Kafka, Faulkner and Austin rolled into one.
Everybody: I screwed up and Josh A pointed it out and I changed it but he's no fool.
Argh I hate myself and all that I do
This article has been changed. An earlier version misspelled
We regret the error.
They did! A few minutes later!
Somebody asked similar question about tigers. I personally think the charm of the pit is introduction of gravity, not the brutality that happens inside the pit. Reasonable people will disagree.
Sure, and I'd like a hoverboard, too. But it's only 2012. Let's be realistic!
It was an open-ended question. I think we more or less agreed to your point, by the end.
That's a great highlight.
You're the expert. I watched probably 15 or 20 of his to try to get a read on him and that was the only time I heard "take a good look"
This has now been fixed in the article.
My top three would probably be Sims, Cohen and (by a wide margin) Duane Kuiper. Duane Kuiper's get me revved up like a televangelist.
Thank you. The amount of "Baby" that gets said in these calls just makes me all around uncomfortable.
Yes, ok, thank you.
54.4 percent excluding no. 4
I don't off the top of my head; if I get a chance I'll add 'em up. But three people got seven and nobody did better. Tons of 4s and 5s. Mostly 4s and 5s I think.
Numbers, and which were left and which were right, were essentially random. No clues there.
I'm guessing you mean because Canada doesn't celebrate the 4th, which is a great time for me to mention that, three days ago, this headline ran:
Lawrie Produces Canada Day Fireworks
Yes. Scioscia ejected for arguing.
Not a bad idea. In 2010, Lee turned down a trade to the Angels because (at least we heard) he didn't want to move his family to the West Coast. Dunno if that still applies.
Gosh this unfiltered has filled me with sorrow.
The pitch after Alexei Ramirez got completely worked over, Wilhelmsen threw the curve again. Ramirez hung in well and hit it.
I am constantly on the lookout for the pitcher who is so nonchalant/confident that he turns away before the pitch reaches the batter. Tom Wilhelmsen didn't quite get there, but somebody will. And I will document it.
I thought so too, but pitchfx don't lie:
Sorry, I should have thought about that!
THESE GUYS SHOULD BOTH SPEND LESS TIME WORRYING ABOUT THE SOX AND MORE TIME WORRYING ABOUT MY STOCKS!
NO RUNS NO HITS NO AYERS
GOATEE? MORE LIKE GO TEA ... PARTY
OBAMA WON'T DO ANYTHING TO STOP KEVIN YOUKILIS IMMIGRATION
SO SICK OF HEARING OBAMA TALKING ABOUT YOUKILIS' CAP AND TRADE
Is it worth pointing out that there are ghosts in the crowd in the first two shots, but they disappear? Ghosts! Nobody seems to even notice them!
I almost made that GIF and included it! Bless your heart for sharing.
Good question. Remember now and don't touch them.
Hmm try now?
If it doesn't work for you, or anybody, here's a direct link:
There was nobody in 2000. That was only as far as I took the search.
The other day I heard an announcer say the pitcher had retired A-Rod, and I just assumed...
... actually, I'm surprised you're the first to catch it.
Er, "a few years in" is, in this case, pre-2009.
A few years in, PECOTA was still projecting Clement to put up 2.5 WARP; same year, projected Tulo for 2.8, Upton for 2.5, and Romero to be sub-replacement level. So it's definitely not like it was outlandish to expect really good things for Clement.
Behind the scenes dialogue --
Wait that wasn't intentional? I liked it. I wouldn't do it for every piece, but in this case I didn't think it looked goofy at all.
Based on Combs' comment, it would have been around 1992
oops, this'll be fixed
I am so grateful for you, friend.
R.J. has correctly pointed out that he looks like a spider, and like the giant mechanical spider in Wild Wild West. There's probably the base for a nickname there.
Yeah, ZiPS has had a crush on Trout since before the 2011 season. If I recall correctly, I think ZiPS projected Trout to be the best Angel in 2011, when he was just 19.
My own opinion: I'm not too worried about Pujols' seemingly accelerated decline, or, at least, I don't think there's a lot of evidence yet to suggest the normal aging curve doesn't apply to him. I think Pujols is probably one of the 10 best players in baseball right now, and Trout is probably one of the 30 best. That also means that if I'm off by just a little for each, then Trout would be, indeed, better than Pujols.
Thank you. Because I shamelessly rip off Grant
This seems like a topic much better suited for a full piece than a stupid throwaway line. Thanks for adding context, both of ya.
Eh, I suppose fixing this would be the right thing to do. Fixed!
I don't need to do a doggone thing.
This is a position I used to hold, and it is a valid position, but no longer one I hold. I don't think those are intended to be nicknames, because they're not descriptive. They're merely affectionate abbreviations. The ARod styling is, I would argue, no more a threat to nicknaming than is the tradition of shortening William to Billy or turning Bob into Bobby.
Ah, sorry for the confusion. Right, the slump didn't go back to the All-Star break; just the lack of walks did. Click on that link in the first sentence and I go into Pujols' second-half swing rate, unintentional-walk rate, etc. Clear change in approach starting around the All-Star break. But, yes, he raked in the second half overall, and I expect he will rake for the rest of this year, too.
He does one of those "ow ow ow ow ow" dances shortly after
This is a wonderful theory!
Thanks, cmac. It has been corrected.
The irony of this post is that I didn't do a very good job of describing what Adam Dunn did. (Clarifying it now.)
Which isn't to say you, evo, to whom I attempted to reply, are wrong or that I even think you are wrong. Walden might be terrible. He was terrible just 80 innings ago!
2.87 FIP, 3.15 xFIP are better than seven of the past 10 closers in the World Series.
I'll give you three minutes for your fantasy team if you let me tell you about every hand of Texas Hold 'em I have ever played
Super reasonable points
If you go to our stats page, we have up through 2011 under 'batter plate discipline'
Email I got this morning: "Thorburn is a warlock." So awesome at what he does.
Oh my gosh this is worse than I thought.
Correction: It's not!
It's brand new!
Blame me, not Matt, and thanks to those who have pointed them out so we could fix them.
Long Beach library system doesn't have it, either. Sadly, I tried to buy it when it was only $40 or $50 a year or so ago and figured I'd wait for one that was cheaper. And it just goes up and up and up.
Wow, it does. Either that or he's grimacing, expecting to be called out. Interesting.
"She tore a piece of sod from the field, brought it home, and kept it in a shoebox on the porch, watering and tending to it daily."
This single sentence has more plot than most mumblecore films.
Helpfully, Miss Manners has addressed this topic:
I eat it like a beaver working on a big tree: gnaw on the middle and work upward. I think what's notable about Sweeney is that he uses both hands. Most people don't use their free hand to support the banana. Mike Sweeney does.
So it is. Thank you.
Excellent nits. Very glad you clarified.
It was actually originally used for the broadcasters for two seasons before Boros got there. Based on the reports at the time, it doesn't sound like it was used by Martin.
Yeah, basically, and some other days, too.
I almost picked Listach, but discarded him for the reason you allude to.
Now that you mention it, the first time I heard 'em was when they were opening for Elliott Smith, so you're probably right.
It has come to my attention that, as of about nine months ago, robots can catch balls. The world is terrifying now.
I don't quite know why that comment made me think of this:
This is a valid point! I considered eliminating this game for that very reason, but ultimately I decided that home runs are no more exciting than the alternatives: long rallies, which are exciting because the values of a hit or an out go way up; or outs, which are exciting because they keep the game closer. But just because I decided that doesn't mean I'm not totally wrong.
The quote, in the context of the speech:
"We get to the hearing and Beeston and Gillick both presented us with an offer, and Caudill signed for $8 million for five years and made him sixth-highest-paid player in the league, and the deal worked out for everybody. Forty or 50 reporters were taking pictures when we left the room..."
Specifically, we added Boras' clarifying comments about the statement "the deal worked out great for everybody." An eminently fair point of clarification.
I wondered if that was the case. But Steve Boros wasn't just some ex-player like Scott Boras; he had managed the Oakland A's in 1984, which would have made them hard to confuse.
Just learned that Colon is Ben Sheets' No. 2 PECOTA comp this year
I don't know for sure, but we might have! I was trying to think of the most similar players to each of these guys, and Sheets definitely fits for Colon. Maybe Yusmeiro Petit. Eric Hurley, though he might have earned a lineout. Anthony Reyes. Less likely the better.
Tom Petty has some fine hand-clapping, too. American Girl, for instance.
I already had a hard enough time watching baseball without thinking of my grandparents doin' it.
The last word that comes to mind when I read this is 'insider'
I think it's pretty fair to call it a cheap shot at an easy target. I considered not writing about it at all, for that reason.
It's very rare. I've never seen one. I asked some other guys who have been around longer, and I heard that there was a guy who used to send stuff out pushing Dale Murphy, and a group supporting Ron Santo, though I think those materials were more modest.
It could be!
I can't take credit for making it up --
Would have been my number 4 in ROY
My spam filter will make a note of this change.
The crazy thing is how close Bonds came to that line a couple times. Obviously not the slugging, but otherwise, wow.
Very nice piece.
Why would you count all "save opportunities," including seventh and eighth inning ones? Those only get counted as opportunities if they get blown -- if Arredondo comes in w/ a one-run lead in the seventh and leaves with a one-run lead, then it doesn't get recorded as a save opp at all. It's not really a save opportunity because it can't possibly become a save.
Small correction -- Torre batted ARod eighth in the 2006 playoffs, so it couldn\'t have been subsequent to a 2007 magazine article.
Editorial review doesn\'t mean a whole lot. Editors at most regional papers don\'t know the subject matter as well as the reporter does, and they assume factual accuracy. An editor these days mostly reads for clarity and grammar, then posts the story.