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That book did not sound good at all. Like some literary dweeb's idea of what ballplayers and baseball are like, but really he's imagining his dweeby friends as ballplayers and using the sport as metaphor instead of depicting what athletes and hardball are really like. I love sports fiction, but I had zero desire to tackle that book.
Editor here, just letting you know that it's "umbrage," not "umbridge." Thanks for an interesting take on this, it's the first I'd heard of it.
It's only an "unnecessary straw man argument" if you haven't heard of it. I would agree with touchstone that it has been the dominant narrative of that trade, and that not only was it a benefit for the Red Sox to dump the contracts, but to get prospects as well is the cherry on top.
No drop off? True, but I would go so far as to say much improved in terms of value provided. Thanks to all the voices involved with their respective scouting information.
I'm thinking that Zach's characterization of that scout's "nice quote about Greene" meant nice in a journalistic sense -- that it was a meaty and revealing quote, and not necessarily that it was complimentary.
I would have liked to have seen how good Chris Snelling would have become.
SSS, but is there a takeaway from TWalker's crazy h/ip and wild bb/ip numbers? There have been quite a few effective, hard to hit pitchers with iffy control, but is that kind of thing mechanical in this case, or a question of harnessing wild stuff?
Coyle sounds like Pedroia lite ... is that about right?
These are the most tiresome complaints in the world. "Keith Law hates the Cardinals!" "Kevin Goldstein is biased!" "Zach Mortimer doesn't like Sean Coyle for some nebulous reason!" It's so trite and mundane and boring. It is the equivalent of the postgame whipped cream pie, which the instigator loves and anyone with any sense of decorum (or humor, or just plain sense) rolls his eyes at.
I'd peg that as 60-grade speeding from Puig -- is that about right?
Does Correa at SS and Fontana at 2B down the road seem a likely, viable or realistic outcome? I see Fontana hasn't spent any time at 2B yet in the minors. Or might Correa be the one more likely to move, presumably to 3B? I know it's super early on both, just wondering what your crystal ball says.
Also, thanks very much for listing the blemishes and the likely hurdles for some of these guys. It's too easy to view prospects and focus only on the bright spots, so it's good to have a governor on the optimism that naturally surrounds these players. That's a welcome change.
Was Gary Brown really can't miss? I seem to remember hearing doubts about his bat, perhaps from Law, around draft time that year.
Is Dahl's treatment typical of how major-league orgs handle prospects? Or how the Rockies handle them, anyway?
Expected to see Tyler Matzek in one of the latter two categories after he walked five and fanned five in four innings yesterday.
I have to disagree with Andrew Koo when he says, "unders are never that fun to cheer for." Au contraire! Just pop for an under or six on the teams you despise the most, or are rivals of your favorites, and they're even MORE fun than overs!
Ben Zobrist is one of the most valuable players in baseball, I'm convinced. Versatility could well be the new undervalued asset, and that an infield-outfield guy like Jordany Valdespin or Grant Green (if their development continues) can make the eight-man bullpen much less onerous, or allow a team to keep a Jason Giambi type of specialist around.
I'd like to say this feature is saving me time by my not having to check spring boxscores, but I find myself doing that anyway. :(
Shocked that no one has mentioned the Red Sox signing Victorino for 3/39. Bradley's going to be ready pretty soon, and Victorino looks like he's ready to fall off a cliff.
As far as your nagging question at the end, Eric, yeah, you left it all out on the field. To take steroids would have been to try to seize something that wasn't really yours in the first place. Some guys did, and that's fine too. But it sounds like you got every last ounce out of your innate skills and abilities. That's a lot more than most people, who just scratch the surface of their talents for their entire lives and careers, or take shortcuts whenever possible.
Thanks for a compelling piece about your journey, and good luck down the road. I look forward to more of your writing.
I'd like to think that about the Indians, but everyone in the rotation is pitching two spots above what he seems to be (i.e. Ubaldo is a #4 masquerading as a #2) and that doesn't seem to be an ingredient for success over the course of a season.
That being said, I guess the bar to become the second wild card is not all that high.
Reading the headline "Why There Probably Are No Next Orioles" kind of felt like reading "Why There Probably Will Be No Christmas This Year."
I heartily disagree with you. They're close, but they're not (or make that shouldn't be) the same.
gel (v.) To form into a gel.
jell (v.) To set or become firmer.
To me it's clear that the first use is much more properly used when referring to chemical processes and physical substances, and the second is almost always the better use when referring to metaphorical descriptions of things like teams or coalescing and strengthening. They may have become synonyms, but they shouldn't have. "Jell" is a more vivid word there, IMO, but maybe that's because I saw my mom make jelly over the stove.
That being said, even as an editor I try not to engage in these kinds of responses because they drag the discussion down and tend to get pedantic, but sometimes corrections are warranted. As I tell overly enthusiastic co-workers, Try not to edit when you're not getting paid for it.
Was it spelled "gel" originally? I see it's "jell" now. Because "gel" is wrong there. And if you're arguing that it should be "gel," you have no idea what you're talking about.
Whatever the case is, don't be a tool. As a reader and consumer of information (as well as a journalist), I want reporters to gather information and talk to folks and ask tough questions, and I want editors to smooth over the typos and the bad grammar and the holes and the inconsistencies and the headlines and everything else that you have no idea about.
If John Perrotto is worried about dotting Is and crossing Ts to please the likes of you, then he isn't doing the stuff he's good at and should be concerned with. Get a clue.
With this very possibly being the #1 system, their 11-15 prospects would easily make other teams' top 10s. Could you please provide a list of who those guys would be? Thanks.
jashnew, thanks for a response that was a lot more polite than mine was.
As far your ancestors being miners and cowboys, I am also guessing that your ancestors probably never belonged to a race that was seen as less than human and was systematically eradicated with smallpox blankets and constant wars, moved from their lands to reservations, made to ditch their centuries-old lifestyles for ones they had no experience with (and had a hard time adjusting to), and so on. Were your ancestors ever at the bottom of the racial "totem pole" in this country, so to speak, like American Indians were? Can you not see how some members of a race that has been treated so shabbily by the dominant culture in this country might not really care to be "celebrated" by being used as mascots?
You say you don't like political correctness. Well, PC also stands for something else: Plain Courtesy. If a segment of the population says, please, stop ogling us, or stop referring to us with these names, or stop using us as mascots, or treat us as fairly as your own are treated, what you are saying by rejecting their "political correctness" is essentially, "The other groups' thoughts and wishes are not as important as ours." That is what it comes down to. You wouldn't do it if a relative asked you to not use Sue but call her Susan, so why is it less important when a someone from a different race/sexual orientation/gender asks you the same thing? You are operating from a dominant culture perspective where your POV is automatically "correct" and everyone else's is less than that. And members of the other groups aren't necessarily right, but when you reject it out of hand as being PC, you're being dismissive, unfair and, basically, prejudiced. Screeching "PC!" is the lamest, most thoughtless excuse there is for rejecting other people's points of view. You're reacting and not considering or thinking. Other people wouldn't hold their views unless they were important to them, and the views of women or minorities or gays aren't automatically less important or correct because their POV differs from yours, or the dominant culture's.
You say you'd like to talk to an ancestor of an Indian sometime. Ben Lindbergh linked to a great article with points of view from Indians, but perhaps you missed it the first time. It's here, and it has some good opinions worth considering:
I hope you're able to consider other people's points of view a little more seriously and not automatically reject them as being "PC" because they disagree with you. Walk in their shoes sometime. It's very liberating.
This is the most interesting baseball-to-real-life analogy ever.
Someone needs to brush up on his slang.
BTW, if you really consider Chief Wahoo from a "romanticize [sic] period in our history," Mr. Cthulhu above puts it much better than I ever could:
" ... this mascot is an insensitive and a relic of an era of racial intolerance ..."
But I guess I do see how conservatives view those times as "a romanticized period in our history." Remember those days when we didn't have to be considerate of minorities! Sigh ... Another julep, Uncle Tom!
That's awesome. Do you view the antebellum South, with "laborers" toiling away in the fields on plantations in the South, as being a charming and romanticized period in our history as well? Are you one of those clueless (or dishonest, I haven't figured out which) revisionists who thinks the South was merely defending "states' rights" in fighting the Civil War?
There are PLENTY of Indians who are offended by the logo, I assure you. There are also plenty who don't care, but I don't profess to speak for either group. One of the fraudulently paternalistic arguments I see trotted out in these kinds of discussion quite a bit (thankfully not much here) is: "Don't they have bigger things to worry about? It's such a petty thing." And I guess my response is: Who are you to decide what's important to someone when that issue pertains to them? Anyway, "it's just a mascot" ties in with that. How about these mocking logos for the Cleveland Negroes? Is that "just a mascot" to you?
I'll also be damned if I'm going to let someone who has twice posted remarkably, stunningly ignorant nonsense on this thread tell progressives to "realize when they are being racist." Do conservatives only have moronic defenses on this and other issues?
Well, I didn't necessarily mean that 50 years ago these were garden spots and forested regions, but that 50 years ago I imagine one can remember talk of New Jersey being a farm state or Ohio being very woodsy. There's a Forest City lumber/DIY-type national chain that got its start in Ohio the early 1900s.
Only if your sense of history doesn't go back more than, say, 50 years.
As an Indians fan going back to the mid-1970s who also knows that Chief Wahoo should be relegated to the dustbin of history, I must say that there is a part of me that feels some affection for the logo despite his obvious stereotyping. I grew up with Chief Wahoo; he graced the uniform of all sorts of players I rooted for, from scrubs like Veryzer and Duffy to phenoms like Charboneau and Snyder to stars like Sutcliffe and Carter and Belle and Thome. He's the one continuous thread with all of those guys.
I guess the best way I can put it is that, despite the fact that he's embarrassing and the fact that you know you shouldn't be so disposed to him, like a crazy aunt you keep in the attic or an annoying uncle who's obnoxious in public, Chief Wahoo is still seen as family. And it's hard to get rid of that attachment. It's a lot easier to say "ditch the Chief" when you're not a fan of the team.
That picture comes from a pretty thoughtful article, by the way. And the comments break down along the typical political lines you would expect, much as they do here.
Honestly, what's the difference between all these logos in terms of stereotyped imagery?
Honestly, if we had a baseball team with the name of the Cleveland Negroes, or the Cleveland Jews, or the Cleveland Banditos, or the Cleveland Chinamen, and a similarly cartoonish and stereotypical logo, people would immediately see how ridiculous, outdated and racist it is. But because it's an Indian, the original doormats of North America as far as Manifest Destiny goes, it's fair game. It's shameful and embarrassing.
I don't know how Dan Snyder sleeps at night, owning a team called the Washington Redskins. Oh, wait, I know -- that guy doesn't have a soul.
Yes, because the Indians you see represent ALL Indians, of course.
I was once a former lay star.
Love this feature. Nice way to get info on guys who might not necessarily fit the underrated/unknown prospect niche that BP and BA love to fill, but who haven't garnered a lot of national prominence and headlines yet either.
Jason, how do you see the very subpar Indians rotation shaking out? I guess there's a glimmer of hope that Ubaldo Jimenez can regain his form, but Brett Myers is no savior -- at best he'll eat 200 innings -- and Justin Masterson still has the crazy-high splits that make him vulnerable to stacked lineups. And each of those guys is pitching about two rotation spots above his ideal level (i.e. Jimenez is a #3 being used as a #1). Outside of Trevor Bauer, beyond these guys is a cast of suspects, retreads and other non-prospects. Is there anything here to get excited about?
No harm. It's too easy to take +/- ratings here seriously (I do it more than I should), like they're any kind of genuine value judgment ... when it's mainly just a gauge of instant emotional reactions. Don't worry about it.
I think it's the extreme self-congratulatory nature of your post that annoyed people, including me. (I've never seen anything quite that one's-own-back-slappingly enthusiastic before, such that you may need to have your rotator cuff examined.)
The value of a scoop is greatly diminished when EVERYONE has a printing press at his or her disposal. So you beat someone by 45 seconds on a scoop? Who can verify that anyway, and does it really matter in this day and age?
I think Zunino gets at least half a season in AAA for reps, plus why start his clock early.
Whither Jed Bradley? Kind of damning when you can't get a mention anywhere in this whole writeup.
Fun stuff. We always think of ourselves and our times as the pinnacle of knowledge, however. I wonder what things we think of now as state of the art and prescient will just seem goofy and out of touch in 40 years. The Verducci effect? Strasburg's kid glove treatment? Our current defensive metrics?
Who knows, maybe batting the pitcher eighth will have become standard practice by then!
I hate to be a grammar nazi, but the proper verb is "whales" -- whaling away on someone, etc. It's just such a wonderful, evocative verb that it deserves proper usage, and not "wails," which conveys pretty much the exact opposite image.
Any hope for the immature and worsening-by-the-minute Jordany Valdespin? Million-dollar talent, ten-cent head.
The "Future Potential" category is ennumerated based on the 2-8 scouting scale, right? Not the typical 1-10, which for most people is what comes to mind first.
Four names I've never seen before -- always nice to be exposed to new talent. Welcome aboard, Jason. Looking forward to more from you.
I will not laugh at Andre Dawson. State Farm's recent ad campaign with any mention of the "discount doublecheck" are the worst commercials on TV, matched perhaps only by Geico's ads with the caveman and NFLer Brian Orakpo. Sadly, Orakpo's season has been ended by injury, but the side benefit is that it seems to have taken his commercials off TV.
Underdog ... you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
The Reds were a slight betting favorite, on the order of 54% or so.
MLU! Welcome back, old friend.
You make some good points, but your certainty and your conceit are remarkably off-putting.
People don't speak like they write, and they can't go back and undo what was said or edit it or soften it. He gave his first reaction, which is completely understandable, and would be my first reaction too. It's not an easy situation to deal with, one game to save your season after playing 162. But apparently all the junior debate experts out there are in force after Romney-Obama I this week.
Wasn't there a piece on BP a month or so ago about baseball's nightmare playoff scenario, which was something like the Yankees and maybe the Rangers being the wild card teams? We're a few hours and a potential AL East tiebreaker game away from that scenario being true. Anyway, I can't find that article -- am I misremembering it? Did it appear someplace else? Thanks, everyone.
I believe this was MLB policy for a while but was yanked before it actually was employed. It's unfair to the two divisional rivals that they're forced into the playoff and the other team gets to skate in when it's no better, so the divisional rivals play to decide the division and then the loser and the other team play. One team shouldn't be automatically eliminated on the basis of being in the same division as another team it's tied with.
And still, Wil Myers sits forlornly by the phone, a single, solitary tear running down his chiseled, tanned cheekbone.
That was awesome. It's so easy to bag on Dusty, and maybe he deserves a lot of it, but this was really nice to read:
And that is how Ted found himself at home plate, with Baker's arm around him and Baker introducing him to the umpires, shaking their hands one-by-one, a big grin on his face. Ted's parents looked on in wonder.
Those comps are priceless.
This is happening at media everywhere. It costs a lot of money to hire editors (disclaimer, I am one). And yet, you see plenty of subscribers to this site who vehemently complain and are totally resistant to the idea of having ads running down the side of the page, not interfering with the content, yowling that it's ruining their BP experience. Well, guess what, folks: You can't have it both ways.
The effort to keep these going is appreciated. Thanks.
One thing I noticed, and it is not meant as a slight or a criticism as much as something I'm missing from Kevin's articles, is that he threw quite a few scouting notes into these pieces, things like noting that Tyler Cloyd in one of his early season outings was a bit short on stuff, and noting a few months later that he had excellent pitchability.
I don't necessarily expect everyone at BP to have those kinds of contacts. Everyone will do these things differently and Bradley may grow into the role, someone else may pick them up, or something else may happen. I may be missing or underrating the scouting notes that are here. But I thought it was worth mentioning from a personal standpoint.
Thank you, BP webmaster, for fixing it.
Wow. It's like losing a friend to marriage or something, or like someone else said, a great new job across the country. You will be missed more than we can say, but you can't turn this down, so we must say farewell. Good luck with the Astros!
Agreed. Would people stop doing stupid and unnecessary stuff like NOOOO to the 23rd power that blows this out and makes it unreadable?
Classy. People who hold themselves up as moral and upstanding citizens, applauding an act that was basically evil. But, you know, it was manly.
Something made me google the beaning incident earlier this year and I read some articles, almost exclusively about Molina's struggles (not the legal ones) just trying to come back from surgery and find a steady career. The articles generally had nothing more than a sentence about Christensen, mostly saying things to the effect of "whereabouts unknown."
It does sadden me, the way this story has turned and the revelations that Christensen has a pretty nice life going on after all. He shouldn't be forced to live with it for the rest of his life, but Ben Christensen really did do something so despicable and heinous and malicious in its effect on someone else that it is, essentially, unforgivable.
And now, if the charges are correct, Anthony Molina has done the same thing. That is tragic all around.
It's a complicated issue. At first, Mike Rizzo sounds like an unimaginative guy. It's just startling that in the languid pace of a 162-game season, that you wouldn't debate this stuff and consider alternatives, or would consider a plan of "running him out there till he's done" to be your best strategy. In a 16-game football season, sure -- you don't really have a ton of time to switch horses in midstream. But baseball? Come on.
At the same time, maybe this is an effective way of boxing themselves in and enforcing that innings limit. Had they shortened Strasburg's outings, given him more rest, moved him to the bullpen or in some other way enabled him to get to the end of September with 160 innings, then what? That's a much harder time to be saying, "nope, not gonna do it."
I guess when you have such a once-in-a-generation pitching prospect, maybe it's best not to try to squeeze every last drop out of him so early, and sticking to "the plan" is the safest course of all. Maybe not the most creative or effective, but the safest. With a pitcher like Strasburg, that's really not such a bad course to choose.
That would be the 280-pound version of Bartolo Colon, not the 230-pound version.
Not Kevin, but I'd say a weaker #2, a #3, or an excellent #4. I think of guys like Harang, Garland, Blanton and Colon when this category comes up.
It's also less wear and tear on his (surgically repaired) arm.
Re Soler, don't all people who are sprinting stay on the balls of their feet? Heel striking is unnatural for running, only good for walking, and to run flat footed is to increase resistance because maximizing surface contact with the ground increases drag (if we wanted to design cars to maximize gas mileage, automobile tires would be the width of bicycle tires). Perhaps it's because he's a relatively big player, possibly with decent speed for his size, that makes his stride look different? I don't mean to question your judgment here, just wondering aloud.
It wasn't that funny the first time, and when you have to label it as as joke, well ...
I thought making a comp to a player of a different race was not allowed in the canon of amateur scouting analysis.
Do you really want to wait two more weeks for this information for the privilege of reading it on dead trees?
J'accuse! Who cares what the truth may be?
And to do all of that without tipping off the batter that something different is about to occur, or maintaining control while doing something slightly different from muscle memory. It makes the multiple-angle guys like Marichal seem all the more odd and unique -- why don't we see much of that anymore?
Holy christ, don't you remember Anthony Rizzo falling flat on his face last year with the Padres? It happens!
I sure hope you mean 100k and not 100m.
Interview with Bettis that just came out:
There was a baseball novel called Screwballs from a couple of decades ago where the centerfielder was so fast, and had such a noodle arm, that it was faster for him to run the ball in than throw it.
Why is awarding HFA in the World Series through the All-Star Game any worse than the complete alternating randomness of previous seasons? This completely baffles me.
In our sim league we voted to base HFA on three factors -- how the leagues did in interleague, All-Star Game result, and best overall W-L between the two participants. That's great for a group of 30 involved owners, not so much for a population of 30 million baseball fans. Simple is better there. And to me, almost anything is better than random.
I know he has a Twitter account but it was remarkably devoid of real news or updates. He's largely been shut down since spring training; only recently (in the last couple of months) did he begin soft-tossing, and he was supposed to throw from the mound sometime in the past few weeks. Very disappointing setback for someone who looked like he had a good chance to contribute to the Rockies late this season after a great 2011.
One team has to have the home-field advantage, right? Isn't this at least a little more interesting than the sheer randomness of awarding the HFA to each league in alternating years? Honestly, it is being blown way out of proportion.
Honestly, is HFA in the World Series really that big a deal when the series rarely goes to seven games anyway? (Four times in the 17 Series since the strike.)
I mean, sure, it's an edge to have the first two games, but people get all up in arms about it like the All-Star Game result was spotting the winning league a 1-0 lead in the Series or something.
And I thought this was going to be about Bruce Rondon hitting 102 on the gun.
Who do we think the White Sox smartass is? Any guesses from the peanut gallery?
Anyone who's played a simulation baseball game like Strat-O-Matic or Diamond Mind and tried to manage a roster can tell you that a six-position guy, especially one who can hit, is immensely valuable. Think of a better-hitting Bruntlett or Bloomquist -- Phillips is an interesting comp. Start him 2-3 days a week, bring him off the bench almost anywhere the rest of the time, you get bit a little on defense but don't lose anything on offense and save a roster spot or two for a specialist reliever (a ROOGY) or pinch-hitter (Giambi).
Oakland is the home of Moneyball, after all -- perhaps versatility is the new undervalued asset.
Every team should have a Bloomquist/Bruntlett type who can play 5-6 positions. Hopefully they hit a little better than that, but such players can easily free up a spot for a Giambi-like bench bat or a specialty reliever.
If you ran this article over at ESPN, the comments field would be filled immediately with NL fans steadfastly proclaiming the Senior Circuit the stronger league by virtue of having won more World Series lately. It's astonishing how many people think seven games in October outweighs 252 games over the course of the season.
It's not that interesting.
Recent reports say Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig is in the process of establishing residency in Mexico in order to become a free agent before July 2. Any reports on his potential?
I cannot recall any reports from people saying they think he can stick, which is not the same as saying he can't, but I wouldn't be optimistic.
Um, that would be Mark Hamill. A forgotten actor even within his bright shining moment.
And paying a top prospect the minimum who's probably going to contribute just as much if not more on the field than Andrus does. No slight against Andrus, but what's so great about him? Andrus has posted a nice early third of the 2012 season, but let's see if it's really a new level of performance or just a hot two months.
Yeah, unless he can play second or short, there's no room at the inn.
The economy does a lot better when money is in the hands of ballplayers and not sitting in the bank accounts of owners.
And Roger Kieschnick, not Rogers, for the Giants.
WATG = What About This Guy.
Kevin, is Sandy Leon any kind of prospect? While the sprained ankle in his first MLB game is a drag, at least he'll make $150,000 or so getting the minimum while on the DL, right? That's a bit of a salve.
Is a career ascent like this generally a harbinger of further good things to come, or is it a question of the faster they rise, the faster they flame out? I know it would be difficult to put together a list like this from past seasons without the benefit of hindsight, so it's probably not something easily pigeonholed. Just wondering if you can glean anything from pattern recognition with these types of guys. Thanks for the interesting read.
"I'm arguing he isn't all that interesting."
"Interesting" means different things to different people. The heroes of stories are interesting because of their faults and weaknesses. Superheroes wouldn't be interesting if Superman et al weren't flawed or didn't have serious, life-threatening vulnerabilities. That's what drama means.
Frankly, what's all that interesting about Mike Trout? I don't think there's anything from a dramatic standpoint; the guy's gonna be great (yawns). Big deal. There's absolutely nothing to write about there.
But feel free to keep telling people what they should find interesting. I hope you don't plan on writing a screenplay.
You don't move Youk or Gonzalez for Will Middlebrooks. You move Will Middlebrooks for them.
That would be the River Cats. There isn't tons of talent on the Grizzlies (Giants AAA) squad right now, I assure you.
Because scouts are visual creatures. Isn't that patently obvious?
Is Dee Gordon not in this discussion?
I'm sure decisions like this are made with the knowledge that a few shrinking violets will drop their accounts. It's a risk-reward scenario, and since BP provides exclusive content that can't be obtained anyplace else, the decisions are made knowing that this gives them a little more leeway with ads. If the local metro newspaper provides grossly offensive advertising that is debilitating to the reader experience, there are other places people can go, but where are you going to go from here? Bleacher Report? Good luck with that.
So don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
I'm not the one whining here.
Toughen up a little, Jane.
Everyone wants lots of content at the most minimal cost. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. That ad is a small price to pay -- you didn't pay anything additional outside your subscription fee, in fact -- to read this story.
Content is free to consume but extremely expensive to produce -- at least, if you want decent, insightful copy that's more than what the content farms like Bleacher Report churn out.
I share reader complaints about noisy ads, about ads that obscure the type, about ads that move and jump around and flash. This does none of those, and frankly I have zero empathy for those who cry, "My poor eyes!" This is pretty mild as far as ads go, and if this bothers you I hesitate to ask where you do actually get your real news.
I think kowloon was being sarcastic.
Where do the three-star orgs start? More seriously, are there clear tiers here for you?
Nothing on Michael Schwimer? His blog entries on the art of pitching were both fascinating and educational.
Any sign of Kentrail Davis, or is his career doomed to run on the side of a milk carton?
I think Wood faltered because of one monster year and a bunch of okay ones from inflated hitting environments, making him look a lot better than he really was. One excellent rule of thumb (again, not definitive, but works more often than it fails) is to discount Angels hitting prospects a little bit and bump up their pitching prospects because of the offensive environment they play in in the minor leagues.
If he were younger, there's a pretty good chance Josh Collmenter would not even be in the Top 20 25 and under.
-- Guessing the 3-star prospects run a ways down that 12+ list?
-- Four of the six pitchers (all them other than Moore and Guerrieri) on the Rays' Top 11 are listed as possibly being in flux in terms of role. Is this some kind of organizational flexibility, a case of talents who haven't yet hit their strides, random chance, pitchers who seem currently miscast or nothing that can be characterized across a number of different players?
-- Is there anything on Matt Bush's makeup? Have failure and disappointment tempered him somewhat and gotten him to mature?
Completely inappropriate and doesn't belong on these threads.
Bully for you. I meant "credential" in a professional sense rather than an academic one.
I also know a TON of J-grads whom I wouldn't hire to keep the coffee pot filled. If a degree is your top credential, you have some work to do.
It's Wojciechowski. Also, I don't think Zack Cox, Ronald Torreyes and Rich Poythress are going to cut it as hurlers.
Nice cherry picking.
It's easy to take shots. It's a hell of a lot harder to produce. So produce. Please, share with the world your infinite wisdom and prospect knowledge.
In addition, it's the bottom half of the list. Did you expect the success rate there to be the same as the top half? If so, that's idiotic. The top 20 are the blue chips, 20-50 are solid prospects, 50-100 are a lot more flyers and speculative stocks. The success rate there is supposed to be lower. If it's higher than the rest of the list, then that list has a lot bigger problems than the one you cite.
It sounds like your expectations are a wee bit out of whack.
Unfortunately LaRussa is no longer the manager or he might be more willing to give Carpenter a shot at 2B, considering his history of trying guys like Schumaker there.
If they have nothing in common, then why bring them up? That's the most facile, ridiculous comparison ever.
Ceiling is by far the biggest consideration. Hector Sanchez is the Domino's guy at your door, Tommy Joseph is the promise of excellent pizza, but you have to wait 90 minutes.
Reminds me of what Bill James said once, that players named Black are usually white and players named White are usually black.
Of course this is possible. If it can happen in any profession on earth, there's no reason it can't happen here as well. The front office can feud with the manager, who won't play the GM's pick; the manager can feud with the player and bury him on the bench; as in Belt's case, the needs of the team can outweigh his chances to play, grow and develop; an organization may not be particularly good at developing pitchers or hitters ... the list goes on and on.
If Joseph forces himself into the picture, it seems pretty evident that the Giants would not be reluctant to move Posey out from behind the plate at least part of the time, which would then leave them with a surplus of 1B types. But Pill is a bench type and Belt might be able to handle LF. Bochy isn't interested in overworking his backstops.
Where do the 1-star prospects start?
They weren't there before. My excerpt was a direct quote, so that's kind of unfair to throw that in without acknowledging the edit.
Shouldn't that be "a lack of" confidence in Michael Taylor at #12?
"12. Michael Taylor, OF: He made some improvements in 2011, but the A's showed confidence in Taylor by acquiring Reddick and re-signing Crisp."
As far as ethnic stereotyping goes, I've seen a lot worse, and of more recent vintage. Hell, it's Baseball Digest, I'd have been surprised if that stuff wasn't in there.
Before looking at deadheadbrewer's response, as soon as I saw the 300 PAs in 2012, my first reaction was that 100 would have been a more accurate over-under number.
Dude ... are you autistic or something?
"The BP political correctness squad"? Yeah, it's everyone else's problem, not yours. Did you ever realize that all of your dissatisfying relationships have one thing in common? When you figure out what that is, get back to us.
Yeah, never mind the propaganda that tobacco companies fed smokers for decades. Asbestos filters, conspiracies to hide damaging scientific reports, and the entire advertising and entertainment industry's campaign to paint smokers as cool. Anyone who thinks that health campaigns to point out the damage of secondhand smoke are worse has not been paying attention, or is devoted to the principle of industry and profit above all.
No one's infringing on your rights and saying you can't smoke. You just can't smoke here.
Fat is overrated as a dietary no-no. Carbs are much worse for you.
Is Mike Carp much more valuable than Kyle Seager? Has Seager's role or ceiling changed? Sure seems like the guy can really hit.
There was an article some years ago from some froufrou NYC food writer who wanted to get closer to the sources of her food, so she went to the Amazon or somewhere and caught a fish, and they cooked it for her at the (undoubtedly four-star) hotel restaurant, and then she couldn't eat it -- the idea of it made her sick. I don't think it gets any more sanitized and disconnected than that. AND SHE WROTE ABOUT FOOD FOR A LIVING. Unreal.
The video is still available at Deadspin:
I noticed these pieces in the newsletter and wanted to say I really enjoy them. More than once I've finished it and thought, that guy really captured what I was thinking (like about Mark Cuban being an owner to fear). It's like the trend toward short mini-columns in newspapers; not everything needs to be stretched out to 20 column inches, and some things are handled really well and even better in half that length. Keep up the good work.
Sorry, just got up ... obviously that's "When you've got to fill the maw of a beast that's never FULL."
To me this article is a perfect example of the difference between daily journalism and reflective, non-deadline sites like BP. Not defending Couch's point of view, the angle he took or the correctness of his pronouncements, which I think are seriously flawed, but the guy probably has to file three or maybe even four columns a week -- a pace I'd never want to operate at. When you've got to fill the maw of a beast that's never hungry, you're going to go oftentimes for the column that generates the most reaction while also being the easiest to file -- call the loquacious Gossage, do a little research, spend a couple of hours over the keyboard letting beads of blood form on your forehead (was that Red Smith's quote?), and that's one column down. Of the three that your job requires that week.
That being said, those columns should be taken apart (as was done most excellently here), if only to correct the record and add a dissenting view in the marketplace of ideas. I don't like that newspapers and websites demand so much of their columnists. But I think it does mitigate the situation somewhat to understand what those guys are up against, and take these things with a grain of salt.
You are assuming here that moving the fences is being done for strategic reasons. My reading of this situation is that moving the fences in is being done to generate offense ... and therefore put people in the seats. 7-6 ballgames are, according to the planners, more attractive than 3-2 games. They may or may not be correct, I don't know, but I think that on-field concerns are not at the top of the list of reasons for doing this. They may cite Wright's power or whatever, but that's just mouthing the words.
Not to be that guy, but it's Mickey Owen, not Owens.
The NFL player you mention is named Mike Tolbert, not Matt, the Twins infielder.
It's because you're being uppity, Steven. You should know your place, according to how some people think.
I'm curious how you jibe your statement "never go against the popular opinion" with your later position that Goldman's statements are sure to "piss off half his readership."
Take away the thumbs-down then, and just count the way the comments are distributed. But you won't do that, because it's another shot in your bow, and you can't stand what that tells you. Because your illusion is your reality. Have a good weekend.
I would say that posting such a rant on ESPN would be pissing off half the readership, if not more. Just check how the the reader thumbs-up and thumbs-down are distributed on this article alone at Baseball Prospectus, a site that caters to a more sophisticated audience.
I usually try to be more delicate about this subject, but the latest stories of the audience at the Florida debate ("let him die!") and Rick Perry proudly proclaiming himself to be the anti-intellectual candidate tell me that, to put it not so delicately, intelligence corresponds with a more nuanced view of the way the world works, and a lack of intelligence (or perhaps just a brain chemistry that embraces fear before compassion) corresponds with conservatism. You can dislike it, you can thumbs down me, you can look me up and send me nasty notes. I don't care. The reader response to this article alone and its comments is proof enough to me that "half of his readership" being conservative, at this site, anyway, is an enormous lie. Perhaps you should ask yourself why this is, and why people like you cling so desperately to that illusion.
You didn't have to read it. It's like people are ashamed of having the flaws in their politics pointed out. If you can't stand having a little light shined on your POV here, how are you going to defend it in a public sphere? By singing "God Bless America" at the top of your lungs and shouting naysayers down?
Shouldn't Charlie Culberson be in this discussion?
Jason Grey in his ESPN column today said the Diamondbacks want to keep Parker's innings around 125 as he comes back from TJ, and he's at 121 and change now.
Is snarky klaw posting under your name?
Andy Oliver ... is that 17.7 pitches per inning?
Now that is an injury stack, almost epic in its breadth. Expect to see some (or a whole lot) of Dan Runzler, Eric Surkamp, Miguel Tejada, Emmanuel Burriss and Darren Ford in the coming days and weeks.
It's an EPIC place to hit. Along with High Desert, those are the two California League parks that come to mind as being especially favorable bandboxes.
Or Jimmy Piersall?
Do you really think anything's changed that much in two weeks?
That was exactly my first thought.
You might disagree with the prevailing community standards, but all the say you get is your little corner of it. That's the definition of "community standards."
all4themoney also chose to make groundless accusations and admitted he made a bad choice of words, basically destroying his "factual argument."
Other than that, your points are just peachy.
I don't get the feeling it's roids as much as stimulants -- greenies and ADD drugs like Ritalin to sharpen focus and get guys through the dog days.
Vlad is a bad comp for any free swinger (outside of Pablo Sandoval) in the same way that Jamie Moyer is a bad comp for soft-tossing lefties or Greg Maddux is a bad comp for righties with pinpoint control. Outliers are just that, and tools matter. I just don't see how a bad-bodied, unathletic guy compares to Vlad in any way. Adams' and Guerrero's statistics might be superficially similar, but when you factor in body type and tools, the stats become a lot less meaningful IMO. Nobody had the plate coverage Vlad did, and to ask that of an unathletic dumptruck seems wildly optimistic.
If there's a very close debate over who's the No. 1 prospect in the minors, and Trout started the year ahead of Harper in terms of experience and level, there's no way 10-1 was close. I would have made it 50-50 or Trout a very slight fave.
"I'm gonna give you some good advice, Brian Clough. No matter how good you think you are or how clever, how many fancy new friends you make on the telly, the reality of footballing life is this:
"The chairman is the boss, then comes the directors, then the secretary, then the fans, then the players, and then finally, last of all, bottom of the heap, the lowest of the low, comes the one, who in the end, we can all do without -- the f---ing manager." -- Sam Longson, "The Damned United"
I thought Harry was being sarcastic at first.
"The case for:"
Arquimedes Caminero is almost as great a name as Arquimedez Pozo.
David Lough ... is that pronounced Luff, Low, Lock or something else?
Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Sabean.
I did get it, and I think the audience at MCC would too, but they know Grant's work and his byline.
Know your audience. This ain't McCovey Cove Chronicles.
Your points of view aren't being censored by BP because they're edgy and controversial. Your points of view are being screened by fellow readers because your posts are stupid, indulgent and obnoxious. Perhaps one day you'll learn the difference.
You know what else was happening 100 years ago in sports? Dozens of football players were dying every season from the brutality on the field. Teddy Roosevelt -- perhaps the manliest president ever -- threatened to ban football if the game was not made safer, and among the changes were the invention of the forward pass, a ban on gang tackling and increasing the yardage needed for a first down from 5 to 10. If testosterone-fueled Teddy Roosevelt can advocate for safer football, I'd think you could do the same. Baseball is better when better catchers are on the field.
Part of me likes those kinds of collisions, and part of me sees them as completely unnecessary. But in the end, it's difficult enough standing in against a 95-mph fastball. Catchers and baserunners don't need to prove their toughness to me. I feel sad for you, hyprvypr, that they need to prove themselves to you.
It's not that rational people don't have emotions. It's that the emotional people redline easily and let those feelings guide their actions, as opposed to calmly thinking through things. It's why anger management was invented.
It did strike me as a bit of a gratuitous comment (and I am a Buchholz owner), but what I find really interesting is the difference between Buchholz and Mike Leake in the magnitude of their offenses and the disproportionate attention paid to them. I guess the takeaways are:
-- If you're going to steal something, make it something really big, not something really small, and
-- If you're going to get caught, do it before you make your way into the spotlight.
There are two kinds of people in the world, rational people and emotional people, and Nyjer Morgan pretty clearly seems to fit in the latter group. Even his greetings for people he knows are extreme, as Perrotto relates. He thrives on intensity and adrenaline, and it becomes very easy to see baseball games as an us-vs.-them war (as per McCutchen's quote about loving him as a teammate and hating him as a rival), as opposed to a friendly corporate-sponsored competition where it's not necessary to hurt anyone to try to win. If he was in a frat he'd be egging the house across the street; if he was in a gang, he'd have your back. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it until it gets out of hand, but emotional people tend to have short fuses, and it seems to be a pretty safe bet that he'll blow up again at some point, because it's all he knows. He could use some help managing his anger and emotions (remember the play where he went to catch a deep fly, thought he knocked it over the fence, and erupted angrily, throwing a fist in the air while the ball rolled a few feet away). Of course, that could also diminish his fuel as an athlete. It'll be interesting to see what happens next. Or maybe not so much, really.
I'm an Indians fan, but's hard for me to take rankings seriously that have the Tribe atop the pile. No one would take them seriously as an AL contender, you'd be hard-pressed to find them favored to beat many teams in a head-to-head game ... or are these just meant to show who had the best previous week or two? I'm not saying I expect these to have predictive significance necessarily, but who really believes the Indians are the best team in the American League?
Bill Bene, anyone?
Horse odds get below even money all the time, like with extreme favorites who are 2/5 ... betting $5 to win $2 ($7 payoff, $5 stake plus $2 winnings). Your explanation is flawed, and while Kevin has the right to post any numbers he wants (and they don't have to make real sense), I'd prefer that his rabid supporters not defend those numbers with inconsistent, poorly thought out or flat-out wrong logic.
Actually, the stake is not (should not be) counted in the odds listing. 2-1 odds means you get three back when you bet one. 1-1 is even money. 1-2 would be a -200 fave, betting two to win one (but getting three back).
113 pitches over nine innings is a heck of a lot different than 113 pitches over five or six.
I can think of three possible reasons:
-- Emaus is just having a subpar spring.
-- Major league camp is essentially a room full of beauty queens, and Emaus looks deficient in comparison, as just about any woman would when you evaluate on traditional metrics.
-- Expectations have changed, just as one has different expectations for a relationship prospect versus taking on a spouse. Maybe a boyfriend's charms (enjoys a drink or five, raffish, cool and independent and unafraid to proclaim so) look a lot less appealing once you start to consider the prospect of marriage. None of those positive comments that xnumberoneson mentioned seem to be all that out of the ordinary for a prospect (and two are really not all that glowing), but once you're considering marrying your team to him, you start looking at the flaws and faults a lot more closely than you did when you were thinking, hmm, this person might be relationship material and these positive qualities are why.
Now, undoubtedly the point of scouting should be to grade each person individually, but I suspect that biases and comparisons inevitably creep in. I tip my hat to anyone who finds their significant other to be just as appealing in a room of beauty queens and The Most Interesting Men in the World.