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The most Cage-ian performance of his career has to be in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans."
I would think this means the Nats won't re-sign Laroche. With Werth, Span, and Harper in the OF, Morse will move to 1B.
Even more that getting to bat last, it seems like the home team has an advantage in their familiarity with the field of play and that the roster might have been built with the ballpark dimensions in mind.
After your previous article on Scherzer, I acquired him for the low, low price of Jonathan Broxton. Many of my fellow managers thought I got the short end of the deal at the time, but it's worked out better than I could have ever expected.
I am 100% for allowing players to dump short term assets for a better chance in subsequent seasons. My league keeps 5/year so there isn't a whole lot of "Verlander for Rookie X" kind of trades; it's more likely a star like Verlander goes to a rebuilding team for some closers or SP depth. One high-quality keeper for multiple lower-quality or non-keepers.
The only time this becomes acrimonious is if a team on the bubble - say, a few games out of a playoff spot - sells for next year, but even then, it's that manager's decision and if he or she wants to give up, I'm happy to take advantage of it if I'm a contender.
As for arms races, it's actually pretty fun to see some of the crazy good teams going at it head-to-head with the season on the line.
When you talk about "platoon skill," are you looking at the difference in performance against opposite-handed and same-handed pitching? The opportunity cost part I understand, but it seems like you are suggesting that a left-handed hitter could eventually hit lefties just as well as righties, and we just don't know because of the same size.
This season, I've found myself with four roughly equal lefty OFs (Choo, Heyward, Bruce, Kubel) for three spots and tend to rotate them depending on pitching matchups. I might miss some stats here and there, but feel like I'm getting more of their quality PAs if they're primarily used against RHP.
Because men can't have a sense of good uniform design or know what colors look good together?
I agree that it should be even bigger and flashier. From the video it seems there is some burst of rainbow light at the end, but I agree that it should be even bigger and flashier.
As someone about to get his MFA in studio art, I love anything that brings art to my favorite game. I'm not a huge Red Grooms fan, but anything to keep MLB from becoming overly homogenized and corporate is okay by me. For those of you who think it's garish and gaudy, well, isn't that what professional sports are all about in 2012? This is much less of an eyesore than a giant Budweiser sign.
I don't think I would take Werth over Pence, but I'd rather take Werth a round or two later and not be surprised if the former outperforms the latter.
I'm in a long-running (10 years) H2H keeper league and while we've had some discussion about changing AVG to OBP or OPS, we decided it didn't really matter. It would reflect "true" player values better, but it's still an arbitrary statistic. Fantasy baseball is pretty far removed from real baseball anyway. The only difference it would make is how individual players are valued.
That sounds possible, though urine is normally sterile. If enough flora was present to metabolize to the point that the ratio would be 20:1, I would think there would be other, past instances when the ratio would be over the 4:1 threshold just during the collecting and shipping process. I don't think we'll ever know what happened in those specimen cups.
My guess on the leak would be that somebody had some idea the appeal could be successful due to a break in protocol, didn't think that was fair, and wanted to make sure Braun paid some price for his positive test.
I can understand the desire to put the blame on ESPN, but mostly because it's an easier target than blaming the public. If people didn't want to hear/read the breaking story of a major star failing a drug test, ESPN would never have run it. It obviously has value to the public, just like any number of celebrity gossip magazines. Quinn and Fainaru-Wada grant their sources anonymity because that's the only way they'll get the scoops that ESPN pays them for... because that's what the public pays ESPN for.
Love this series... but hate the formatting. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but the huge, bold questions are distracting. And having an editor re-read these articles would take care of the irritating grammar errors.
It's a piece about two of the worst teams in MLB, why does it have to be rosy? It's only insulting to those with too much emotional investment in a sports team; any realistic fan of these teams knows they are going to lose a lot of games and hopefully has enough of a sense of humor about it to enjoy a pretty funny article.
The Dodgers were the "Dishonorable Mention" for 1B, 2B, and 3B in the "Replacement Level Killers" articles he did recently. Still pretty bad.
Professional baseball is full of agreements that limit employment options of prospective employees, from the lowest levels of the minor leagues to the majors.
Not a big fan of the music analogy, though I have to admit to being a Pavement fan. The first issue is that if you're going to compare Pavement's skills relative to any other person playing music for a living, you also have to compare the "scrappy" player to every guy playing baseball for a living.
The second problem I have is more philosophical. We can look at baseball and "objectively" measure who is better. Art is a totally different thing; you can really only say who you like. Compare a van Gogh painting to a van Eyk and can you really say that one was a Dutch master and one was not? Yep, Pavement can't play the way Satriani does, but Satriani can't play the way Pavement does, much less write that kind of song.
Now, if you want to watch Eckstein play and hate the aesthetics of his playing, that would be an appropriate comparison. "A glissando that doesn't gliss" is a great description of Eckstein making a throw from the hole.
"Do advanced metrics really help us much?"
It seems to me the advanced metrics allow us to separate the 100-120 "identical" players and quantify their contributions on the field.
You seem to have a bunch of arguments here, mostly "things were better back in the day, when players didn't just play for money" (even though they did) and "stats in a pennant race mean more."
Why is having five OFs a bad idea for a rebuilding team, specifically? In the case of the younger guys (Reddick, Taylor, Cowgill), it seems like a good way to see what you have while breaking them into the big leagues more gently by platooning them. Not to mention the depth necessary given Crisp's injury history.
"...he's one of 16 pitchers to reach 3,000 strikeouts, with all of the eligible pitchers in that club already in Cooperstown, and the rest (Clemens, Maddux, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz) almost surely headed there."
Randy Johnson says "Hi."
Makes me wonder how the votes/ballot number changes over time. Do voters tend to vote for roughly the same number of players, regardless of the individual talent available?
Braun hit .332/.397/.597 for a .338 TAv while Reyes hit .337/.384/.493 for a .311 TAv. In other words, Bruan had a much better season at the plate. Factor in the positional difference that VORP takes into account, however, and the distance between the two shrinks. Hitting-wise, Braun was better than a replacement-level LF by the same amount that Reyes was better than a replacement-level SS, making them equally valuable (at least on offense).
Two of his top three seasons by WARP were with the A's, including his best year (2006).
I guess that shows how big a difference it was pitching in the 1980s versus the mid-90s/early-00s.
Jay wrote about Olerud and Whitaker when they were actually on the ballot. They didn't get enough votes to stay on, so he didn't write about them again. Do you really expect him to say something about every player who was on the ballot and isn't anymore?
The complaints about "censorship" and "lack of free speech" on these comments are as tedious as moral outrage over alleged PED speculation and have been going on just as long. Nobody is actually censoring anything. Think of it as a warning saying, "The following comment is likely off-topic, pointless, and/or a waste of your time. Click here to read anyway." If you can find a well-written comment that contributed to the discussion yet was voted below the viewing threshold, I'd love to see it. In the meantime, I'll continue clicking on and reading those "censored" comments for the fantastic unintentional comedy they provide (while simultaneously wondering why anybody would take the time to type such lame crap in the first place).
If you find that a high percentage of your comments have been voted below the threshold, it might be a good idea to step back, reflect on what you've written, and consider the possibility that maybe it's not WHAT you've been saying, but HOW you've been saying it. To me, that sounds like a better way to rectify the situation than whining about it. The other option is to just not care if four or more people didn't like your comment, this being just an internet message board about baseball. No need to be so thin-skinned about it, you know?
What's your point? So is every other player on that chart other than Mantle and Mathews. I do wonder why Alex Rodriguez isn't on there, though, it being a chart of players with the highest WARP through their age-31 season and all...
Ramirez didn't even lose his job. He's still an everyday position player for the Marlins and not getting paid any differently. It's sort of like a cop going to a new beat; the job description isn't really that different, you're just in a slightly different place.
They are generally more entertaining, after all.
Maybe I missed it, but can you add the rank (1-30) next to each team?
Sorry that this isn't related (great article, though), but I was wondering - and anybody can answer this - if there is anybody I should be watching extra closely at tonight's Salem-Wilmington game?
If baseball made a rule prohibiting the intentional walk, I bet you would just end up seeing a bunch of "unintentional" walks to great hitters with first base open. It wouldn't really change much to get rid of it.
Agreed. Next step is to take the image down, right?
This game was a perfect example of why pitcher wins are not a good measure of pitcher quality, but your frustration about Girardi's ignorance of leverage and Soriano's performance itself don't have much to do with it. You yourself said 104 pitches on a cool night early in the season is "plenty," and Soriano is the second best pitcher in that bullpen. If anything, bringing him in should have made the Yankees more likely to win, even if it was bad 'pen management. The man had a bad day against quality major league hitters and the Twins, with a little luck, took advantage of it. It happens every day. Writing about how you're upset with the outcome of the game makes you sound like a beat writer or even a blogger, not what I expect from BP.
It's generally acknowledged that teams have much better tools for measuring defense than those that are available to the public, right? What if they've been finding out that defense just doesn't matter as much as we thought it did? Then again, tip the balance too far one way, and defense-first players will become more valuable. These things go in cycles.
It makes me wonder if that kind of thing makes teams look to draft more out of the high school ranks, just so they can get these players into their system and start teaching them defense earlier.
Spring Training would be the most Dada time of the baseball calendar, seemingly jovial and carefree, but full of struggles to find the individual's place in the system.
This article is from September, 2003. Nate isn't back writing for BP.
It's still on my To-See list, but a movie about a young Dominican pitcher trying to make it to the major leagues called "Sugar" came out a few years ago that looked pretty good. It looks like it spends a lot of time exploring the cultural adjustments Latin player have to make when they start their pro careers.
When they release the player cards, you'll be able to see more than the weighted means.
There seems to be a lot more "PECOTA is wrong, the projections are too low" this year, but the weighted means are underwhelming EVERY year. If you want a system that spits out just a number - one that's almost assuredly going to be wrong - that you can plug in and play fantasy without thinking, this is probably not for you. PECOTA gets its strength from nuance and it's important to understand how it works to fully use it. Predicting EXACTLY how a player will perform in the future is much harder than people want to believe, bordering on impossible.
I had to re-read that Metrodome reference, too, initially thinking it was a mistake, but he was talking about 2005-2009, when the team was still playing there.
I'd love to hear what he would have to say about moving a few "minor market" teams to the New York area.
Every time I click the Fantasy tab, I see the freshest, most recent fantasy articles. I agree that there could be a better way to organize things within that page, but if you're only seeing stuff from 2010, the problem might be on your end.
This article has nothing to do with baseball and I can't believe BP is going in this direction. If I could go back in time and cancel my subscription I already would have.
Seriously, though, another fun read. Thanks.
I think stating that PECOTA is broken, when all you have is the weighted mean and the top three comparables (out of more than twenty), is kind of hasty. The best thing about PECOTA is that is gives a range of possibilities. It seems ridiculous to me to take the weighted means spreadsheet as anything other than a sneak preview.
I didn't say individuals wouldn't take issue with it, but the level of controversy would likely have been much lower. Sure, you and a few others may have found it too off-topic and inappropriate for BP. I just don't think you'd see as many comments threatening to swear off BP because they've turned into a gay porn site.
I wasn't setting up a strawman argument, because I didn't see the article as being pornographic. It was about an unusual way baseball fandom manifests itself in a time when nearly everything can be shared online. It may have made allusions to sexually explicit material and certainly contained innuendo, but Ms. Span did not write anything pornographic. There aren't even links to the stories she discusses, so it's not like you can say BP is giving you access in any way to pornographic content.
I said nothing about PEDS. However, I remember an article discussing the rise in medical waivers amongst MLB players for the use of Adderol after the ban on amphetamines went into effect.
And this was probably just a Freudian slip on your part, but none of the fantasies Ms. Span researched seemed homophobic. Quite the contrary, actually.
Also, I'd much rather having this stuff floating around the internet than the creepy Harry Potter fan fiction I've seen. At least baseball players are legal adults.
Gambling and drugs (prescription and non) have been, and always will be, a bigger part of baseball for much longer than internet fan fiction. Baseball Prospectus has run numerous articles about both. Were you outraged?
I'm glad somebody finally said this. The only reason this article will probably break the 200-comment barrier is because of the homosexuality. Honestly, I doubt this would have caused this much controversy if it were about players having sex with women.
Athletes are celebrities and generally have a lot of sex appeal. They are young, rich, and usually have impressive physiques. Does it really surprise anybody that people would write fan fiction - straight and gay - about them? The choice of players is often strange and it's unfortunate that fictional stories about real people are being put in public, but this is what fandom is for some people.
I still remember the day when a gay friend I had told me about his crush on Jason Varitek. Thankfully, I'm open-minded enough to see that it's no different from me finding Misty May sexy.
Over-educated? Is that even possible?
I agree. It's a humorous reminder that baseball players are people, something that sabermetric analysts are just as often guilty of forgetting. There sometimes isn't that much difference between this kind of stuff and the obsession that comes with playing fantasy ball.
I think this is a valid point, but wanted to mention the strangeness of including the Reds and Brewers as "teams that can afford Pujols."
It seems like an incomplete list, too. No Twins or Tigers or Angels? No Dodgers or Rockies included as contending teams without great first basemen?
The Red Sox are known for patience, but it's not like the Rays don't emphasize it, too. They led the major leagues in walks last year with 672, while Boston was 5th with 587. The only reason Boston's OBP was higher was because Tampa hit only .247 on the season (the Red Sox were at .268). Anyway, my point is that going from Tampa to Boston is not likely to cause a dramatic increase in Crawford's walk rate, at least not because of an organizational emphasis.
Griffey, Trevor Hoffman, and Billy Wagner all retired during 2010 or after the season and should be in. I can see Thome, Chipper, Manny, Pudge, and Giambi maybe retiring after 2011 and having pretty good chances.
Good point. I hadn't thought about how 10-5 rights would impact players that are NOT gaining them. Somebody may well tolerate taking on Soriano's salary if nobody else is available.
Great article, Jeff.
The regional rivalries will be there, even if the rival teams aren't playing each other nearly 20(!) times a year. Maybe it's the Twin Cities' relative geographic isolation, but growing up there in the late 80s and early 90s, I felt more of a rivalry with the contending A's than the mostly-mediocre Royals and White Sox teams of the time.
I fully support getting rid of divisions and playing a balanced schedule for fairness' sake. It seems ridiculous that the bar for making the playoffs is so much higher for some teams, just because they happen to be located in a certain region.
"Clubs are more risk-averse than ever, with the average number of hearings per team falling to six for the five-year period from 2006 to 2010. That’s down from an average of seven hearings a year for 2001-05, nearly nine for 1996-2000, nearly 16 for 1991-95, and 23 for 1986-1990."
Teams really averaged 23 hearings each offseason from '86 through '90? Am I reading this correctly? Are players not on the 25-man roster eligible for arbitration?
Who cares if they get "minused?" Does it hurt anyone's feelings if some stranger on an internet message board doesn't like something you've said?
Stewart would have been at 1B or in the OF already if he threw left-handed. I can't imagine trying to play 2B or 3B and not throwing with your right hand.
I don't think many of the writers at BP would definitively say PEDs had no effect, but that we just don't know what that effect might be if it exists, so let's not persecute anybody until we know the facts.
As for PECOTA, I always assumed it went back considerably farther than the late 1990s and that player seasons were adjusted for the league scoring levels at the time.
Looks like poor wording. I had to read it a couple times to realize it should have been: "...with financial heavyweights in the Yankees and Red Sox, and the Rays, who have won the division title two of the last three seasons."
It's the only way the last part of the sentence makes sense.
I agree that he won't be cheaper than Gonzalez; he shouldn't be. I think it just makes it more likely that the choice won't be between staying in STL or taking more money elsewhere.
It will also be interesting to see what effect this has on Prince Fielder's free agency, too.
I was thinking the same thing. The price for Pujols will be lower, which makes it more likely the Cardinals re-sign him. But it also makes it more likely that other teams get involved in the bidding. I can see the Cubs and Rangers (if they don't sign Lee) being players, with the Orioles making a run, too. If the Dodgers and Mets get their finances in order, they could be in it. Maybe even the Mariners.
What specifically do you consider more valuable? Is it being the player who most helps his team win, or being the best player on a playoff team? They don't always overlap.
Why wouldn't the most valuable player also be the best player in every instance? The idea is to win as many games as possible, so a player that accounts for, say, ten wins is more valuable than one that provides nine wins.
Let's say, though, that said nine-win player's team makes it to the playoffs, two games ahead of the next team. He should get the MVP award, right, since he "led his team to the playoffs?" Why does he get the credit, when the winning margin could have just as easily been a three-win player on the roster? How do you determine which individual players are responsible for which discrete wins?
Is that the Detroit metro area? Because the wealthiest people there tend to live in the suburbs, while the wealthiest people in NYC often live in the city itself.
Either way, I'm not sure it has anything to do with the likelihood of Carl Crawford signing to the Tigers. In fact, he's really the only person to know that, so let's stop pretending we might.
I don't understand why the trend of playing "God Bless America" (and treating it like a second national anthem) has lasted this long. Do fans really like it?
Once you get to October, it's kind of a crapshoot, though, right? Anything can happen in a short series.
Besides, I don't think "manager" was one of the Secret Sauce categories.
Meanwhile, it's pretty slim pickings in the AL.
As a Twins fan, I don't feel good about it at all. Baker should be starting instead of Blackburn and I would even consider using Slowey ahead of Duensing, though the latter is probably a better bet in Yankee Stadium.
I don't know who's numbers are next to his name, but Kubel definitely did not hit .322/.381/.392 as the table currently says.
Not many injuries you discuss are all that funny. It would have been nice to hear an ERD on Crawford in your video UTK. At least something more than "Let's not talk about it." Are you squeamish? Can't mention testicles on this site?
Please note that TAv is adjusted for park and league. The Braves and Mets are 9th and 12th, respectively, in TAv in MLB, so it's not like they're great, either. In fact, the Mets seem pretty mediocre and play in a pretty tough park, too. Just saying "they've scored more than you would expect from their park" isn't really analysis. Maybe they've outperformed their underlying stats, maybe they've made up some runs going to Arizona and Colorado so many times. Besides, it's not like I'm saying they're on a Houston/Pittsburgh/Baltimore-level on offense.
There are better stats for that than OPS+. The Padres team TAv is .257 and 21st in MLB (12th in the NL), tied with the White Sox and just behind KC, Oakland, and Arizona.
Why are you all using VORP? It only measures offensive performance.
I found it interesting that it wasn't a bigger story before the season, actually. I didn't even know about the change until a few weeks ago.
Could the change in bat specifications help at all? MLB decreased the maximum barrel diameter from 2.75" to 2.61" over the offseason to keep bats from breaking as much. Perfect games are too random an occurrence for this change to increase the likelihood of one happening, but is there a way to tell if this is having an effect on scoring? Or is there just too much noise in run-scoring levels?
If you haven't seen it, the documentary "Burden of Dreams" - about the filming of "Fitzcarraldo" - is a fascinating look into Herzog's personality.
Again, what if Cleveland had come back to win after that? You can't definitively say "the Tigers will definitely win" until they have, so when Joyce blew that call, it could have had a very real impact on the result of the game. Saying - in hindsight - that it didn't alter who won the game is beside the point.
It didn't alter the outcome in hindsight. If the "base hit" had been the beginning of a rally that allowed Cleveland to tie the game or take the lead, I think it would have been a more unfortunate mistake.
"The Twins have some trouble up the middle with both second basemen on the roster not being second basemen."
What does this mean?
Re: Lost. I agree that the questions were never all going to be answered. It's a show about a magical island where weird stuff happens. I just enjoyed the ride.
Nice Pixies reference.
I've been asking for this for years.
I agree completely. I'd start with calling the rulebook strike zone, since that wouldn't involve changing any rules or equipment.
Rodriguez is actually able to pitch in a non-save situation. Saving him for a possible save is Manuel's decision and at some point should have realized he was risking his best reliever getting hurt, and just put him in the gave, lead or not.
The quote from the anonymous AL general manager about the situation in Texas could use some more context. It doesn't make sense as it is.
Q: "What would your organization have done under those circumstances?"
A: "Absolutely not."
I agree. He's had less than 90 innings total in the minor leagues and maybe they should send him back down for awhile to regain his control (or confidence, if you think that's the problem).
Obviously, enough of the scouts that Goldstein talks to don't see sure-thing star potential. Different prospect writers talk to (and trust) different individual sources, and some of his don't think Castro will live up to the hype.
It's all speculation at this point anyway, so let's not get too riled up.
Mauer's 26, otherwise, that's a good debate.
Hey Luke Scott, almost everybody in this country is banned from bringing guns to the workplace. It's a good thing, really.
Depends on the price.
Placido Polanco: Two stars or three?
I wouldn't say I hate tiers because it does break the players down a little more usefully than a strict ranking, but I agree with much of what you said. I think a system where, for example, Pujols gets a score of 100 and everybody else is in relation to that is ideal. Fielder maybe gets a 94, Cabrera a 91, Teixeira an 88, and so on.
Since everybody has a + or - vote, doesn't that make it more democratic than fascist? If you don't want negative ratings, say something insightful or at least funny. Then again, why care so much about it? It's an internet comment section.
I have to admit I agreed with gregorybfoley initially. If you don't know - and I didn't - that Yonder's father actually used the word "escaped," one could easily come to the conclusion that you were editorializing slightly. Even "fled" would be less loaded.
Trevor Hoffman had (has?) a great changeup. Just because his fastball isn't that fast doesn't mean his stuff isn't great.
Anyway, I've heard it mentioned that Street's stuff isn't elite, but that he's got a great mental approach to being a shutdown reliever (for what that's worth).
It's astonishing how many readers are missing the point here. Mr. Goldman is not trying to equate anabolic steroids to aspirin, nor is he wishing things were like they were in the 1920s. He's definitely not advocating suicide.
His point is that every successive generation of players has access to pharmaceutical and medical technology that previous generations couldn't even imagine, and responding to the notion that steroids are where we draw the line regarding athletic enhancement. Maybe the connection to Hollocher could have been made more clear, but the idea is that Votto (and Greinke and any number of other players) used something to stay on the field, something that wasn't available to a player during Hollocher's time. Should the rest of Votto's career have an asterisk? Should we take away the last 338 wins of Roger Clemens' career because he had shoulder surgery in 1985? Why is the line drawn at steroids? Because the federal government says so? Because we don't like how the record book looks?
But how much of that 9.3% gain in muscle mass translates to force applied to the baseball?
Totally agree. I think everybody at this site would love to see a quantitative determination of how PED usage affects the statistical record. If the HoF case against McGwire is built on his steroid usage, how much would they have had to help him that he wouldn't be HoF worthy without them? Even if you attribute 10% of his career homers to PEDs, he's still well over 500.
See Will's remaining questions above. The more details players are willing to share, the better to determine what effects PEDs have on the stats. (It is all about the stats, right? That's why nobody cares when All-Pro linebackers get caught, right?)
I was thirteen when the strike happened, so I don't know much about what the baseball critics were thinking about competitive balance. However, the period between 1996 and 2001 was possibly the least interested I've been in baseball since I can remember, and only part of that was because my favorite team sucked during that time. Mostly I was bored that the same team (NYY) always seemed to be winning. Getting to see new teams play for the championship so often since then has been great. Variety is the spice of life, man.
I know it's not a dramatic step, but a player raising his UBB% by one percent and lowering his K% by three is positive. As a fan of Longoria, I was pretty happy by the progress he made in 2009 and think it bodes well for an even better 2010.
Longoria's walk rate went from 9.3% in 2008 to 11.0% in 2009, and his strikeout rate decreased from 27.2% to 24.0%. Looks like improvement to me.
I usually assume those votes are from writers who knew the player personal and, knowing the player has no chance of getting elected, wanted to give them some kind of thanks for helping them do their job or just as a way to congratulate them on a nice career. Getting even one vote on a HOF ballot is an honor every player - minor-leaguers to recent retirees - would love to have some day.
That assumption keeps me from thinking some writer actually considers them HOF players.
What were the league averages against those pitchers, many of whom are likely the best in baseball? If the league as a whole had a .690 OPS against them, Bay looks pretty good, even if he is declining.
Carl Everett deals strictly in truth? I thought he believed dinosaurs lived with people at one time.
I don't intend this to be snarky at all, but what kind of information makes you change your mind about a player? Is it from being persuaded by other voters/writers? New metrics? The player's career has been over for more than five years and the raw data is not going to change, so what are the subjective measures that cause you to reconsider?
By WARP, he's been the second most valuable starting pitcher in the major leagues over the past ten seasons, just behind Roy Oswalt (47.1 to 47.0). Even his two worst years in that span (2004 and 2007), he was worth 2.3 WARP. He has two seasons above 7.0 and another three above 5.0, so while he's not an ace, he's far from being another LAIM.
There has been a lot written on anti-intellectualism in the U.S. and how it's been a common thread since Europeans started settling here. I don't think it applies to most Americans, but a disconcertingly large number of people in this country equate intelligence with arrogance and elitism. How many people vote for the candidate with whom they'd like to have a beer?
Great article, but now what? What can fans do about this, short of getting rich and buying a team? If people stop going to the games, I assume owners will get even more nervous about staying within budget. If people continue to go to games, the owners feel justified in their behavior.
I agree that the Cubs should be more successful than they are and that Hendry makes a lot of questionable decisions, but I just wanted to point out that Houston is something like the fourth biggest market in the country. If it was just about market size, the Cubs and the Astros should be fighting for the division every year.
Yes, technically it's not a fact that Milton is unable to do all three simultaneously. He might at some point in the future. Joe and Christina are simply pointing out that he has not yet proven that he can, and they have ten seasons' worth of data to back up that assertion.
Providing some actual evidence to support your position instead of arguing about semantics and bitching about BP's supposed groupthink would probably get more people to come around to your point of view.
You'd probably convince more of us if you gave us an example of when he did all three (hit well, play the field, and stay healthy). The only year he's managed to avoid the DL was 2004. He set a career high playing in 141 games (138 in the outfield) for the Dodgers, but only hit .267/.362/.424 - decent, but not up to his career averages. Every other year, he's missed significant time due to injury, been used primarily as a DH, hit well below his established level, or some combination of the above.
Slowey should be back for the Twins. He's better than Pavano and Blackburn and maybe Baker.
I'd rather they first find solutions that don't change the actual rules of the game before imposing arbitrary batters-faced minimums and getting rid of the intentional walk, as some writers have suggested. I'd be fine getting rid of coaches visits (usually a stall to give a reliever more time to warm up) and players stepping out of the box and pitchers stepping off the rubber, but let's not change the game on the field until other options are exhausted. Calling the strike zone as it's defined would help, too.
I'm not convinced that shaving a few minutes off a game is going to bring significantly more fans to baseball. People who don't like baseball find it slow and the games too long, yet will watch 3.5-hour NFL games consisting mostly of guys milling around between plays. Maybe MLB just isn't selling its product as well as it could.
WARP does include defense, which is probably why Jeter was 35th (honorable mention?), between Jim Thome and Chase Utley. He's also hurt by the fact that his prime was right around the end/start of the decade. If the list was 1995-2004, I bet he'd make it.
In addition to being underrated by more traditional stats, Vazquez has been incredibly healthy.
I've been trying to think who I would have put on this list in 1999. Vlad Guerrero, Andruw Jones, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, J.D. Drew, Eric Chavez, and Nomar are all guys who could have been locks for a list like this. Edgardo Alfonso, anybody?
Wasn't he the closer for a while?
Top WARP, 2000-2009:
1. Albert Pujols - 82.8
2. Alex Rodriguez - 72.1
3. Barry Bonds - 66.5
4. Mariano Rivera - 57.8
5. Lance Berkman - 53.9
6. Carlos Beltran - 53.6
7. Chipper Jones - 51.7
8. Jim Edmonds - 50.8
9. Scott Rolen - 50.5
10. Jeff Kent - 49.9
11. Bobby Abreu - 47.1
12. Roy Oswalt - 47.1
13. Javier Vazquez - 47.0
14. Todd Helton - 46.5
15. Jorge Posada - 45.9
16. Miguel Tejada - 45.8
17. Johan Santana - 45.2
18. Manny Ramirez - 44.9
19. Ichiro Suzuki - 44.6
20. Roy Halladay - 44.3
Now, how many of those would you have guessed? And how many do you think anybody could have guessed in 1999? I mean, the best player of the decade had just been picked in the 13th round that spring.
It's a fun topic to think about, but why get so defensive about who's where?
Any ideas as to how the Twins should go about obtaining a second baseman, third baseman, and left fielder? Free agency? If they trade Nathan, to whom do they trade him and who could they get in return? I like this series, but some of the entries are a little vague.
I agree with you on this on principle, but how is LA not a big market?
Funny that Bill Simmons was cited, since he might represent this principle even better than Dave Matthews. He started out pretty decent, but soon everybody thought he was brilliant.
Maybe he always was terrible (like Matthews) and it just took the constant references to make me realize it.
You're kind of right. The new millennium started January 1st, 2001. But the decade began January 1st, 2000. Unless you consider 1990 part of the '80s, 1980 part of the '70s, etc.
I see seven seasons in which he had at least 140 games: 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2002. A .295/.371/.444 line in 9057 PA over 19 seasons from a shortstop is really good. Good enough for 86.2 WARP3.
They were all in a row until the Angels "moved" to Los Angeles from Anaheim.
Marquis was third in MLB in GB/FB ratio (2.03) in 2009, behind only Pineiro and Lowe. For his career, he's at 1.57, which isn't spectacular, but certainly qualifies as "groundball tendencies." I remember him being considered a groundball pitcher when he was in St. Louis.
In the rankings, Fields is fourth and Satterwhite is seventh. In the "Under 25," Fields is seventh and Satterwhite is tenth.
Gonzalez OR Soriano? Why not both? How about Bay, Lackey, and Figgins, too?
I will second this. Using simple OPS-against or BABIP-against is somewhat misleading, as Lincecum and Wainwright didn't face the same hitters in the same parks. Lincecum's opponents combined for a .724 OPS in 2009; Wainwright's were at .733, and while that might not seem like much, over 900+ plate appearances it adds up. This is why we have stats like SNLVAR.
For the record, I think Lincecum was the right choice, but I don't think Will made any egregious errors here. He made a concerted effort to get as much information as possible from as many angles as he could on short notice and weighed it as he thought appropriate. If only all the voters put that much effort into it and shared their process with the public.
Agreed. I just didn't think you can completely dismiss the views of the player because he didn't face Lincecum. Hitters all talk to each other and if this guy "felt" Lincecum was more hittable, it was probably because other hitters told him they felt more comfortable facing him.
Maybe he watches video? Maybe he was on the bench the day Lincecum pitched against his team? Maybe he talks to other players?
9.76 K/9 (including his stint in Chicago) is really good, but doesn't seem elite necessarily.
Yes, I've been asking about this for years, it seems.
Redmond is a free agent, so that trade would be even dumber for Baltimore.
I think Brandon Backe was an infielder at one point.
I don't think parity - as determined by how many teams win the championship or make the playoffs - is the right way to look at this. I like the idea that a championship can be built with good player development and roster construction, not just because the team has an economic advantage from being located in the biggest city. Teams can still make their own decisions on how much to spend, but if the revenue is distributed in a way that makes it possible for every team to keep the stars they develop or sign that key free agent, it makes the sport as a whole that much more interesting.
I think his .394 career OBP gives him at least two dimensions. If having the 11th highest career OPS in history doesn't get one into the Hall, we might be expecting too much.
You could wait until your morning coffee break to read yesterday's articles.
Maybe. What I don't understand is why none of the other umpires saw it. Even more inexplicably, why didn't Napoli or Figgins argue until McLelland at least conferred with the rest of the crew? I'd be livid if I was Napoli.
There is a good reason for those pitching changes: trying to win the game. I'm fine with cutting down on visits to the mound or batters calling time, but putting somewhat arbitrary restrictions on bullpen usage removes some of the strategy from the game. As it is, the average MLB game is shorter than the average NFL game, so why do we only hear about baseball being too long?
I agree. I'm not usually one to nitpick, but it's distracting and not hard to fix.
8.3% is the odds of the Angels winning the World Series. If you look closely, you'll notice two columns. The first is the ALCS odds, the second is the WS odds.
Sort of off topic, but why are the Angels considered even a mid-market team? I realize they technically play in Anaheim and not the city of Los Angeles, but that's still a huge market.
PECOTA had Kendall's 2000 season as the third best comp for Mauer going into this year, so it's not a bad comparison. But the similarity score was only 25, so it's not a great one either.
I think you'd have to look at pre-injury Kendall to see the similarities, but he never had a season anywhere near Mauer's 2009. Kendall's highest WARP3? 6.7, and Mauer's topped that three times already.
You were right the first time. Game two was in New York.
I was joking later that night about how MLB/TBS would prefer the Yankees to advance because it would mean higher ratings and more money. Joking is all the farther I'm willing to take it right now, but it was one of the more suspicious calls I've ever seen in baseball.
I wonder if Cuzzi needed to see the replay to see that he was wrong or if he knew it before that. I can envision a scenario in which he was so sure it was going to be foul while in the air that he made the call in his mind prematurely and was too proud/scared to reverse it. It's too bad nobody on the Twins argued or asked the umps to convene.
I'm not implying that Mauer would hit better at 1B or that he'd be a better fielder there than Pujols. I'm just trying to articulate why his being a good defensive catcher puts him in the discussion. There is no comparing their bats, but Mauer's ability to play a position that Pujols likely could not play even at a low minor-league level makes it an interesting question.
Mauer didn't hit many HR in the minors, but it seemed like everybody assumed he eventually would, given his size and age. He was definitely a power hitter in high school, but you can probably say that about most ML players. I wouldn't take him first overall, either, but when you're discussing possible "best all-around player," it's not going out on a limb to include him in the discussion.
I don't necessarily disagree, but your analysis should be done with Kazmir, not Saunders. Sabathia is the best starter in this series, but I'd take Weaver over Burnett. Kazmir and Pettitte are a wash, but because the Angels have a bunch of lefty-killers in their lineup, Pettitte could have a tough time in this series.
The argument is not whether Mauer is better than Pujols, but that Mauer should be considered in the discussion for best player in the game. Hypothetically, if you're building a team from scratch and can choose any player, Mauer would be one of the top three, right?
Instead of putting Mauer at first and comparing his stats, put Pujols behind the plate. Even if Albert's numbers stay better than Mauer's, he'd likely lose a ton of value by being a terrible defensive catcher.
But he does play behind the plate. The fact that he can play the most demanding defensive position - and play it very well - while hitting as well as he does, puts him at least in the discussion.
A thirty-second replay a few times a game is enough to make you so bored you give up on baseball? Especially when the short delay is to make sure the correct call is made?
Baseball is entertainment, but it's based on the idea of fair play. Replay helps ensure that. Football games last longer on average than baseball games and their replay system didn't send bored fans away in droves.
I thought about this article in the top of the 11th inning of the MIN-NYY game. Then again, a blown foul ball call in extra innings might not have mattered if Chuck Merriweather's strike zone wasn't as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle.
The snow predicted for the Twin Cities this weekend should have a few people with the team thinking maybe a retractable roof IS a good idea.
I apologize as well. It took me a few moments to figure it out, but I understand that formatting sometimes has a life of its own. Just trying to make a joke, nothing personal.
Four sacrifices in one inning has to be a record, right?
Torre did that at least once this year. Ironically, maybe he's they guy that will have success with that in the playoffs and wake a few other teams up.
Being responsible for some of the best pop music of the past decade isn't enough? Tough crowd...
Given that Will probably filed this on Sunday night and the stress fracture wasn't discovered until Monday, I'm willing to cut him some slack. Unless he has sources from the future.
Is that how Pittsburgh got an event?
Since the all-star break isn't at the exact middle of the season, these should probably be rate stats. Or taken from games 1-81 and 82-162. I'd expect them to be roughly equal and the perception that there have been more beanings a result of some high-profile players getting hit. It does seem like a lot of guys getting hit in the head, though.
On the other hand, it's much harder to find a catcher who can hit than a first baseman who can. I think teams are more likely to keep good-hitting catchers behind the plate until they prove they can't play there because it's normally such an offense-deficient position. See Martinez, Victor.
This is a great question. If performance-enhancing drugs are "bad" because they aren't natural, why isn't LASIK or ligament-replacement surgery or even a cortisone shot on the same level?
Maybe I'm a little confused, but if Beltran will be playing without a brace, wouldn't that mean there has been no change to the geometry of the knee? Or is it just because they even mentioned a brace that there is concern?
The only reason I commented in the first place was because it was the first time I'd seen somebody say Hudson would be in the rotation. My question was less about whether or not that was fact, but wondering what the Braves do with six qualified starters, especially because their decision could impact not only this year, but the future of their pitching staff.
If the authors wanted you to take everything they say as gospel, they never would have allowed comments. Fans who take every incorrect analysis as a conspiracy against their team are making them regret that decision.
So you're speculating that Will is speculating?
I was just trying to see if he had further information and could elaborate. I've read about a number of possibilities, including the ones you mention. It doesn't mean anybody is wrong yet, so why get so snarky about it?
If Hudson is going back into the Braves rotation, who will be coming out of it? Is this how Atlanta will manage Hanson's innings?
What you're saying about the bouncy ball and silly putty is true, but the analogy isn't very suitable. The ball isn't the variable, the door is. Start with two identical balls traveling at identical velocities, but vary the composition of the door and you'll get different results. The force is the same, but depending on the structure of the door or even the orientation of the door, the amount of force absorbed by the door is different. To use an extreme example, if one door is made of steel and another is made of glass, you're going to end up with one door intact and the other broken. Kuroda's head might not be significantly stronger than anybody else's, but maybe it was oriented in a way where it was able to transfer more force back to the ball instead of absorbing it. Think of a ball hitting a door locked in place at a forty-five-degree angle, compared to the same ball hitting a door at ninety degrees.
What do you think the Braves will do when Hudson comes back? Move Hanson to the pen to limit his innings? I assume they won't go to a six-man rotation.
I'd love to see an article about the development of waiver rules in "You Could Look it Up."
How about a look into the first few weeks or months of a Latin-born player's minor league career? It's one thing for an American kid straight out of high school, but how about an 18-year-old from the Dominican? Not only are they likely living on their own for the first time, but in a different country.
The Twins have been saying for a while now that the line drive that hit him last September aggravated a previously existing bone chip in his wrist. Sure, that doesn't explain where the chip originally came from or how he was able to pitch half of this season before it became a problem, but it doesn't sound like the comebacker did nothing at all.
Isn't that the same thing, though? If X% of the population is of one race/ethnicity, X% of the best athletes would be of that race/ethnicity. Otherwise, you're really close to saying certain races are better athletes.
I think Ryan Frankin's beard looks awesome. More ridiculous facial hair, please.
I'd guess Cleveland fans would less likely to go out to the ballpark or watch the games on television if he's not playing.
Agreed. I don't have to click the link, sure, but my point was that it's unprofessional at the very least and adds nothing to the story other than saying, "Check out the babes I know!" There are literally billions of pictures of hot chicks on the internet, so I don't think it's too much to ask that they be kept off a baseball analysis site. I don't mind the occasional aside into music, books, film, etc, but linking to pictures of your friends because of how they look somehow seems beneath BP.
How many of us want to see pictures of any of his friends? I'm not saying these women aren't attractive, but it comes off like gloating and objectification. I have to assume Will would post a link if it had been an ugly friend of his in that story?
Still love the column, though, Will. Keep it up.
Okay, I should have looked it up. However, I had this notion that it was a name for an inguinal hernia - caused by athletic activity - and not a slightly different condition with a misleading name. I wasn't looking for a lengthy description, just what the distinction was. In fact, it probably would have taken just as long to write as the above comment. Anyway, my apologies.
Will, can you explain what exactly a sports hernia is? I've heard the term used quite a bit in the past few years and wonder how it differs from any other kind of hernia.
Will Carroll - like any other journalist - does not have access to medical reports for major league players, so he has to rely on sources for information. These sources are anonymous because they would likely face some ramifications for talking to the press. I'm sure Will tries to get confirmation on everything he writes and if he's wrong, he usually admits it, and if a source continues to give him bad information, he stops using them.
Injury information isn't always precise and expecting somebody to be right every time is asking a bit much. Personally, I'm just happy to get a more in-depth analysis, as Will generally explains what happened, what we might expect, and a loose time line. Does any other site provide the level of detail you get here?
I'd like to hear about MLB's involvement in China as well.
Wouldn't having to take the mask off render the prescription shield pointless as well?
Nevermind, I see what happened there.
Escobar, not Beckham.
Except Texas doesn't play in the NL.
Chris Young would be another example, though, and whoever ends up playing center in Washington (Dukes or Milledge).
I envision a combination reference library and a "suggested further reading" with links to websites that BP writers/staff use for research or just enjoy reading. The link you posted for pitch/fx data is an example of something that could be in there, along with other useful statistical databases, especially ones that are mentioned frequently, like Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference. Other links could go to sites/blogs that have a similar take on baseball analysis, including sites to which BP writers also contribute.
It would be cool to have all that information in one place, especially for new users looking to catch up. I've been reading since BP was totally free, but for a new reader, I would think additional background information about the methods and data used here would be very helpful.
Would BP ever consider a reference page with links to these kinds of things?
"This leads into the ongoing debate of whether or not the officially determined pitch titles matter more than their appearance when classifying them. If Santana swears he throws a curveball but it moves exactly like a slider, should the pitch be classified based on how it appears to the hitter, or based on the pitcher's self-perception?"
I don't know what kind of further study this merits, but I found this an interesting aside. Ultimately, I suppose it only matters how effective the pitch is at getting a hitter out, but it's something to think about.
JayhawkBill, you're right that in extreme cases, a small sample size is not necessarily a detriment to using the binomial theorem. I think we all (including the Yankees) agree that something is wrong, which is why Wang is currently at extended spring training. In the absence of more information, however, 45 data points are not quite enough to convince me it's more than a statistical anomaly, no matter how bad those PA's turned out for Wang. He just has too long of a track record - even if you look only at his road numbers - for me to dismiss based on three starts.
My point is that if the Marlins truly are a .444 team, as the sample size increases, they will approach .444, which would require them to play worse than that. If they play .444 ball over the rest of the season, wouldn't that make them a .475 team?
Right, but I'm looking at all 162 flips, not just 148 with 11-3 tacked on at the beginning. The 11-3 start does makes it more likely that your coin flips will end up at 85-77, but as you increase the sample size, the ratio of heads to tails will even out, necessitating more tails than heads as you get closer to 162. True, it might not happen, but the ratio will approach 1:1. It doesn't matter how you get there.
11 wins in 14 games (out of 162) isn't THAT unusual and says very little about the Marlins being better or worse than a .444 team.
Can we get a statistician to weigh in on this? It's been nearly ten years since I had to think about this kind of problem.
Actually, if the Marlins are a .444 team, they would play worse than .444 to end up at that number. Think of it like a coin flip. You could flip 11 heads and 3 tails in the first 14 flips, but by the time you get to flip 162, you're likely to be closer to 81-81 than 85-77.
No, Wang is not even close to Mussina or Sabathia. He's been a slightly above league-average pitcher for his career, though, and while it would be rare for a pitcher of his quality to pitch this badly over this many batters faced, it's still possible. It's been a while since I took a formal stats class, but doesn't your confidence level go up as you get more data? Of course something is wrong right now, but three really brutal starts doesn't tell us what it is and they don't say you should change your expectations about Wang.
I mean, J.J. Hardy currently has an OPS of .403 in 46 plate appearances, which is pretty terrible for a guy who is at .765 over the course of his 1879-plate-appearance career. Nobody's getting all worked up about that, but when a guy who has faced 2656 batters in his career and allowed a BAA of .271 has six meltdown innings, we assume the worst. Maybe he throws a 4-hit shutout next time. The point is, anything can happen in a small number of plate appearances.
I like these quotes articles, but every week there is at least one quote where the context is nearly impossible to figure out. Please, Mr. Carnevale, more context!
Over 45 (Wang) or 59 (Mussina) batters faced, the difference is actually not that significant. The whole point of this column is to stop freaking out over data with such a small sample size. Wang's BA against will never be that close to Mussina, but he has a long track record of being an above-average major league pitcher.
I've seen two walkoff wins at the Metrodome this season alone already. It's a terrible stadium, but it was where I grew up watching baseball and I have some great memories of it.
He drew an unintentional walk in his first game.
Yeah, you do have it reversed. Left-handed pitchers generally do better against left-handed batters. Same with righties against righties. If Leyland is in the habit of replacing his left handers with righties when a lefty is up, then he shouldn't be managing.
That's what I figured initially, but then noticed you had included minor league players with no major league service time. Thanks for the response and keep up the good work.
Unless I'm missing him, Kenshin Kawakami is not in the players available for the Team Tracker.
I assume you're talking about Ellsbury? Nitpicking, but his SLG was .394, not .413. Not a huge difference, but it's significant and could help explain why people were more down on him than you think they should have been.
Good, then we won't have to read your obnoxious rants. I don't completely agree with the rankings and I don't agree with the list you posted above either. I can make my own valuations, but it's good to get as many different opinions. I found the original OF articles much more useful than the list above and the PECOTA cards even more so. This site is about more than fantasy, though, so if you're just looking for lists of players, yeah, you're probably better off looking elsewhere.
As a Twins fan, I saw Balfour when he came up with them. He had shoulder problems, I believe, with surgery at some point. It took him a few years to get back to the majors.
Don't be ridiculous. My point is that these rankings are not the final word. Instead of getting upset because you disagree with the number in front of a player, read what Marc wrote about him and treat the whole thing as a starting point.
Or you could, you know, put him in where you think he should be yourself.
Nick Punto talks about how yoga has helped him stay healthier over the past few seasons. Not that that helps the Twins much.
The principle remains the same, though, no matter who the closer is. You want your best pitcher pitching in the highest leverage situations. Would you rather have Rivera come in with bases loaded, no outs in the seventh with a one run lead, or to start the ninth up by three?
Could it be that while the decline may be just as rapid for knuckleballers, it doesn't start until later?
Roughly speaking, PECOTA works by comparing a player's recent history with all the players in its historical database and finding the most similar players at that age, then creating a probabilistic range of outcomes based on what those players did the following season. In the case of Gonzalez, it looks at his statistics over the past few years and finds a bunch of left-handed relievers with similar stats. It sees that he doesn't have a ton of games pitched and likely compares him to some injured guys. His PECOTA card has a playing time adjustment that shows a more appropriate amount of saves. He had 14 saves last year and in the database, there probably aren't an overwhelming number of guys who go from 14 saves to 35-40 the next season.
Just keep in mind that PECOTA doesn't know some of these guys are closers, at least in the numbers Marc is using. Look at the rate stats, bump up the number of innings if it seems appropriate, and try not to predict raw save totals.
Check out some of the chats Marc has done. You'll see that he's more partial to the Red Sox and the Padres, I believe.
That's not to say all four of those Reds pitchers should be where they are, but they're his rankings, not yours.
Are we all just looking at the lists and not actually reading the article?
From the end of Marc's third paragraph: "Also, there will be one unified outfield list, but I'm going to cover each position individually first."
Do you mean Bobby Crosby?
Are those numbers from 2008 or projected for 2009?
Let\'s also not pretend the Red Sox are a model of fiscal restraint, either. I\'m a Yankee-hater, but compared to much of MLB, the Red Sox are nearly as bad.
Do we know enough about Sheets\' injuries to consider him a candidate for the bullpen, a la Kerry Wood?
How does Fernando Rodney look? With Zumaya and Lyon both risky, Rodney could be just as important, though I\'d guess \"red\" on him as well.
The Cincinnati Team Health Report was on the site yesterday and Harang was green. That might answer your question.
You\'ll be waiting for longer than you think. The Vikings will be playing in the \'Dome for the indefinite future.
Where do you draw the line, then? Cortisone shots? Over-the-counter painkillers? Maybe we should get rid of Tommy John surgery and let pitchers take their torn ligaments like men?
Maybe we should make anything not available in 1900 against the rules?
You\'re right, I did read that wrong. Thanks for the catch.
By your logic, his numbers would then be better at the less-demanding position (CF) and wouldn\'t have that particular .300/.363/.408 line.
Show me the research and I\'m with you. Isn\'t that what BP is about, after all? Until I see definitive evidence either way, I\'m not going to come to any conclusions. So much of the medical science seems to suggest they do enhance performance in baseball, just not the way we normally think about (ie, sluggers hitting more home runs).
I think this exercise also reinforces how little value is returned on free-agent investments as a whole.
FWIW, Will Carroll has repeatedly written on how we don\'t know the effect PEDs had/have on the game of baseball. Most of them seem to assist in recovery time, but do they help hit home runs or throw a fastball? Nobody has shown conclusively either way.
You just answered your own question. Buchholz has shown the ability to stay reasonably healthy (134.2 IP last season, 148 IP in 2007), while Hughes has not (69.2 IP last season, 110.1 in 2007). PECOTA says pitchers that have had similar workloads and results at the same age as Buchholz have thrown more innings the following year, while pitchers with Hughes\' profile throw less, whether that\'s because of injury or because the system sees them as relievers.
Just out of curiosity, why the first Saturday in February? Actually, I\'d like to hear the rationale from anybody with a draft before March. This year especially, with so many players still unsigned and the looming WBC. Plus, there are always players battling for jobs and the possibility of a big spring training injury that could ruin your season before it starts.
His work with Whiskeytown went straight into the alt-country cannon and his early solo stuff is also fantastic (Heartbreaker is an amazing album). Since then he\'s diluted his legacy with too much mediocre product and recent albums with the Cardinals are pretty blah, IMO. He recently said he\'s retiring, but we\'ll see if that actually happens.
Unless you really can\'t afford the two dollars or so you save by buying the book at Amazon.com (and my apologies if you can\'t), why not pick the book up at your local bookstore AND stop at your local coffee shop for that mocha? Shopping locally keeps your money in the community you live in (those businesses pay the taxes that pay for city services) and ensures the continued employment of the people who also live there. I suppose not a lot of people feel similarly, but there is also something to be said about a good independent bookstore (or record shop or hardware store or restaurant) that just can\'t be quantified or simulated by the internet/big box stores.
I have to say this particular comment section is making me wish BP hadn\'t added comments in the first place and I wasn\'t going to add anything else, but I feel strongly enough about this issue to say something. If anything, the search for the lowest possible price at any cost IS what\'s hurting this country\'s economy. The big companies in search of lower overhead to pass on to the customer are the ones sending jobs overseas, after all. Voters will support candidates for their views on small business but how many of us support those same small businesses over going to Home Depot or Walmart or Best Buy?
Sounds like most of us need some baseball, and soon. (That is if the entire sport hasn\'t been ruined by Keith Olbermann\'s forward in the annual.)
It has a negative rating because it adds nothing to the debate. The \"thumbs up to Olbermann!\" comment has a negative rating, too, you know.
\"What is the point of the comment ratings?\"
Probably to keep the level of banality found on other sites\' comments sections to a minimum and hopefully discourage the kind of ignorant discourse that stands in direct opposition to BP\'s way of doing things.
\"All of that crap\" is one of the reasons I enjoy reading BP so much and was a factor in my purchasing a subscription every year. There are plenty of sites with pages of numbers and charts and analysis, but how much fun is that to read? I\'m not into video games, either, but I do have the ability to skip past a few lines and not let it bother me that somebody else is. Besides, you never know what you might learn.
Too bad Grain Belt isn\'t even close to the best Minnesota beer.
It\'s in the endnote: \"Baldelli (should he be re-signed) and Ruggiano are looking at something that might be bigger than a strict platoon role, but I wouldn\'t envision either winning the job barring a Joyce disaster on the scale of Exiles this spring.\"
I don\'t know when they were added, but they are there now. My wish now is for the sortable stats to be able to show more than one year at a time.
The full question was if Maddux was by far superior or if the drugs just didn\'t matter in Clemens\' case. I think Will would agree with you that there is no real way to answer his question.
True. But a bad example doesn\'t negate the premise.
That\'s the MLBPA\'s job, to get as much money for their dues-paying members as possible. But it was ultimately up to Sabathia to decide where he wanted to play.
I will say, though, that I normally enjoy Mr. Perrotto\'s work. It\'s different side of the game than the more analytical take normally offered by BP, and John does it with the best of them. However, in a column that uses plenty of advanced metrics (WARP3, PRAA, FRAR, etc.), the PED comment really stuck out. Simply saying Maddux pitched in a era of inflated offense would have been fine.
\"Home run totals reached new levels because of performance-enhancing drugs...\"
I find this comment a little disappointing, considering the amount of work other BP writers have done to show that there is not necessarily a connection between PED usage and actual performance.
And because if Matsui does well, the Giants would have the opportunity to flip him for prospects mid-season, and probably better ones than Winn would bring, considering their respective track records.
In the abstract, it wouldn\'t. But for the White Sox it might be worth looking at, especially if 2008 was more of an abberration than 2006. Unless they are planning to deal for a CF or sign a free agent at the position, Lillibridge might be preferrable to Brian Anderson, Jerry Owens, and/or Dewayne Wise. And even if he\'s not starting, having a utility guy who can play center and the left side of the infield is worth a try.
The Twins came within one game of the playoffs (and won more games than the Dodgers in a tougher division). That\'s a pretty tough definition of \"bad\" you have there.
Is there still talk of making Lillibridge a CF, as the Braves were thinking about a year or two ago? That would seem to make a better fit with the White Sox.
\"He might have the highest production to appearances in UTK ratio in history.\"
Seems like Chipper Jones, not Lowell, would have a claim to this.
While I understand the general idea behind the \"Verducci Effect,\" that young pitchers who exceed the previous year\'s IP by a certain amount are more succeptible to injury or diminished effectiveness the following year, why is it based only on major league innings? Shouldn\'t minor league innings be considered, even if they are less stressful by nature? As an example, I\'ve heard Kevin Slowey be mentioned as a candidate for regression based on his major league IP jumping from 66.2 last year to 156.2 (and counting), despite throwing a total of 200.1 last season when his AAA numbers are included.