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"A more lengthy profile may appear later this winter...."
Wow! What a definitive and impressive commitment to timely analysis! To paraphrase the Old Perfessor, "Can't anybody run this here show?"
There's no doubt that Jeff Luhnow is clued into to the new wave of baseball analysis. It occurs to me that perhaps BP is hesitant to profile Luhnow because he has previously linked up with a BP competitor. Back about 2008, Luhnow hired Ron Shandler/Baseball HQ to be advisers to him in his role as St. Louis VP of Baseball Development. Shandler later had some misgivings and backed off after a year or so, as I recall.
The Cubs dug their own hole by neglecting to settle the issue of compensation with the Red Sox before finalizing terms with Theo, but they have also been played by the Sox. Remember when John Henry said he didn't expect Theo to remain the GM forever and that 10 years is a long stint? The implicit message was that the Red Sox expected him to depart in the near future and weren't fussed about the situation. After receiving that signal, the Cubs took the bait and the Sox yanked on the line to set the hook.
Now the Cubs should play hardball: Simply sit back and nurse a few beers through the World Series while ostensibly continuing their search. That will stir the cauldron in Boston to a boil. If the Red Sox reduce their demands, reel in the catch; if not, move on within a week after the Series.
Let's face it: The egg on Cubs faces would ultimately wash off if a competent alternative were selected. Remember, too, that while Theo is attractive, he is also a prima donna. And, there are several metric-conscious assistant GMs who could do a comparable job. One, Rick Hahn, works for the cross-town White Sox. As the job would be a distinct promotion for him, so any complications should be minimal.
"...Teams do not sign players to these deals with the exception of breaking even..."
Should read "expectation of breaking even..."
The Angels will have a crowded and expensive band of OFs in 2012. I believe they are also on the hook for $9 million to Bobby Abreu next year because his option vested recently with the attainment of 1,200 PA in 2010 and 2011 combined. With Trout and Bourjos constituting the OF future, it looks like there will be an expensive OF riding the pine many nights.
Perhaps the owner should consider offering Weaver and Tony Reagins to Toronto for Alex Anthopoulos.
The article is an attack on straw men, cliches and the media and, for this audience, is merely a piece of fluff that might properly have been subtitled The Dumbing-Down of BP.
The teaser line on the home page threw me off with the suggestion that Damon "may be looking at his release papers." The implication being immediate, I said to myself, a Damon owner, "Holy crap, what prompted this out of the blue?"
On reading the article, I soon discovered there is no substantiation or basis in fact for the fatuous teaser line. Do take more care in future, less you cause some arteries to burst.
"...The Pirates are ... 15-6 against the division's two worst teams. The Cardinals ... have been nearly as good against the weaklings: 11-3 in their fourteen games against Chicago and Houston."
Hmmm. So a winning percentage of 78.6 is inferior to 71.4%?
Enough obvious mistakes crop up now and then to make me think that BP is light on editing. As well as commitment to the ideal that a writer should be his own best critic.
For the record, a book title note: The Soul of BASEBALL, subtitled A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America, by Joe Posnanski from William Morrow, 2007.
The manner in which percentages are used creates confusion, not clarity. And the text does little to put the numbers in perspective. The article should not have gotten by an editor. You do have editors, don't you? Sometimes I wonder.
Nieuwenhuis "doesn't steal a tons of bases, but has exceeded double digits in each of his three full campaigns." Which would imply triple digits, or more, in steals each year, would it not? Suggest "reached double digits" will correct the misimpression.
Two weeks ago I ran the PFM for my 8-team mixed 5x5 league that conducts a snake draft and uses the five standard pitching categories and substitutes run production (R + RBI - HR) for RBI in hitting. We have 16 active hitters and 12 active pitchers, with a 6-man bench usually composed of 1 corner, 1 middle, 1 OF and 3 pitchers. We also have minimum innings of 1,600 and minimum at bats of 8,000.
The top 10 hitters, in order, were: Hanley, Albert, Braun, CarGo, Crawford, Kemp, Holliday, Tulo, Votto and Pedroia. All 10 are projected to be double digit in both SB and HR.
Nishioka Tsuyoshi, also projected to be double digit in both categories, ranked 18th overall, one slot ahead of a pitcher named Halladay, two ahead of some 2B named Utley and eight ahead of the new Boston 1B, Adrian Gonazlaez.
There were many other interesting rankings. Here is but a small sampling: Rajai Davis 50th overall, ARod 57th, Shin-Soo Choo 58th, Chris Coghlan 59th, Longoria 60th, Ka'aihue 66th, Youkilis 74th, Posey 96th, Weeks 100th.
Abreu? 211th, two spots behind Colby Rasmus -- but 3 ahead of Ubaldo Jimenez.
I shall not be relying on the PFM projections this year.
In reply to barosey:
1) You'll need an electron miscroscope to split that hair. My thesaurus defines meaning 1 of the verb "project" as "Forecast, predict, expect, estimate, calculate, reckon."
2) You're right. Unfortunately, I do have to rely on an alternate source that is more plausible than BP, or my own prediction system. That's disappointing and somewhat irritating when the self-congratulatory BP continues to laud its "Deadly Accurate Pecota Projections" without fixing the problem. Robotey is correct: The system is stuck on bearish.
AA gets straight A's.
First he decides to retool and trades his best SP for a young position prospect, but not just any prospect--a Canadian prospect from the West Coast. So, while rebuilding he's also trying to increase the team's marketability, not only in Toronto, but as a TV draw across the country. When you're owned by a cable conglomerate, that's a pretty smart move. Next, he's able to unload the Wells contract on the LAA. Moon shot, if there ever was one.
I'm totally convinced the money will be there for a free-agent acquisition or two, when the time is right. In the meantime, the Jays and Rays will battle for 3-4 in the AL East while both teams retool. It's all good.
The front cover of BP 2011 boasts "Featuring Deadly Accurate PECOTA Projections...." If you aim to achieve that goal and truth in advertising, you will have to scrap this Beta edition and recalibrate your formulae.
To wit, no AL player is projected to score 100 runs and only one (Jose Bautista at 101) is projected to drive in 100. Over in the NL, only two (Sir Albert and CarGo) are predicted to score 100, while only three (Sir Albert, Ryan Braun and Ryan Howard) are predicted to drive in 100. Howard leads your online estimates at 106 r.b.i., which is a regression of 1 from the 107 in the book.
These totals, along with the regression of stats for some rising stars, further tarnish PECOTA's dulled finish. Maybe it really is time to finish off PECOTA and go back to the drawing board.
Wowsa, wowsa, wowsa. In just 115 PA, Edwin Encarnacion is going to hit 28 HR, Slg .485, score 78 R and drive in 83. Which would no doubt be the most productive 115 PA in MLB history, hands down.
And despite this, Toronto is going to finish 5th in AL East and have the fourth-worst record in the league.
Both projections are wacky. Take Pecota back to the garage. And give your proofreaders their unconditional release.
I, too, wondered if the bloom wasn't off the rose, but realized changes were coming and renewed in January to give it another chance. I, too, think it looks promising.
And Mr. Goldman, I'm looking forward to the five Broadsides next week, followed by the name change.
Excuse me now. It's time for my nap.
Let me get this straight, an organization that purports to pride itself on logic and rigorous analysis will now give us the BP Daily Broadside three times per week. Does BP now stand for Baseball Paradox, perchance?
FYI, the most common form of the French expression referenced is, without the proper accents inserted, Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, which translates to The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Why should the Blue Jays be in contention? It's still early, but at this stage it's because the Yankees simply don't have enough starting pitching to do any more than compete with the Jays and others for the AL wildcard.
Firpo. Being a multi-sport fan, when I think of Firpo, I think immediately of Luis Firpo, the Argentinian boxer made famous by a 1923 fight with world heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey. Many still think Firpo was jobbed. In the first round he hit Dempsey so hard the champ was knocked through the ropes and out of the ring. Though Dempsey was outside the ring for 17 seconds, the referee did not end the fight. Dempsey went on to win by knockout in the second round. The referee was given a short suspension for his conduct. Firpo became a bit of a legend as the Wild Bull of the Pampas.
Make that Jake McGee.
Jeff Niemann, Sean Rodriguez and one of Alex Torres/Jake McGree/Matt Moore for one year of Rickety Weeks? My, aren't we generous?
Color me skeptical re the Pads' handling of Latos. Methinks it was an intentional act, with the Pads figuring that by burning his RoY eligibility, they were eliminating the possibility that their future ace would win the award in 2010 and gain more ammunition for a larger increase in his 2011 salary.
Being a traveller on that road, I appreciate Hamilton's sense of vulnerability. If that clubhouse is as tight as the Newberg Report periodically suggests, then perhaps we will see a welcome sign of groundbreaking solidarity in the form of a non-alcoholic shower. Ginger ale, everyone? Better yet, as Sean Doyle suggests, skip the spray altogether.
You can justify Goldstein's comment only on the basis of their playing ability in 2010. And, yes, I'm sure Adam Jones, born in 1985, is superior to Willie Mays, born in 1931.
If either Votto or Pujols wins the Triple Crown, it will certainly be accompanied by the MVP award. In fact, if either wins two of the triple slash categories, that could create enough separation in the minds of the voters.
Barring either of those situations, I, too, can see support for A-Gonz. Hitting in that home hell-hole and the team's success will both impress voters.
The only way I can see a pitcher winnning is if one top starter emerges by finishing strong while the others fade.
I can't see McCann at all. Traditional stats still impress and his numbers don't. As well, credit for Atlanta's success will also flow freely to Bobby Cox, while Martin Prado and Jason Heyward will share in the plaudits.
I don't live in Chi Town, but I thought the thrust of the Morrissey article was on target: Let's face it, Big Zee has a big problem and seems incapable of addressing it. Where I had a problem was that he beat the subject to death.
Wigginton is actually a good selection. Markakis has been quite ordinary this year with 6 HR and 3 SB. If someone has to go from Baltimore, you might as well make the choice that will give you some positional flexibility and Wiggy can play 1B, 2B, 3B and, in a pinch, an OF corner.
Oops. make that "lasts the entire year."
I agree with Edwincnelson. Those teams haven't been offensive slouches. And I watched the rainstorm game, ever fearful that my fantasy ace would suffer an injury like a groin strain.
I, too, would like to see a SIERA analysis of Gibson in 1968. And what about the season Whitey Ford went 25-4 with an ERA of 3.21, if my memory is correct? I think it was the year Maris broke the HR record, which would make it 1961.
Essentially, I think that although it is probably rare, a player or pitcher can have a "lucky" season that basically lacks the entire year.
The three most irritable things in this interview are repetition, repetition, repetition. Fourth is cliches. The piece is memorable only in a negative way.
Christina's just a couple decades ahead of time. North To Alaska will be a popular theme when global warming really sets in. You know, the last Frontier, and above water, too, which will be attractive with coastal areas submerging.
Later. Get it right first. No need to mess with two sets of projections and any attendant confusion. Time is still on our side.
Keep doing the rankings for mixed leagues as that is what the majority play these days, but do put them in tiers, which is most useful when considering overall draft rankings.
Each person is entitled to his/her opinion, but it's disheartening when an informative website proffers a seasoned reporter who can't exhibit the objective ability to distinguish clearly between individuals in this group of HoF candidates. I wholeheartedly agree with all those readers who support Raines.
IMO, Blyleven and Alomar certainly belong. I would also countenance Trammell and Larkin, two standouts at shortstop. And I do agree with the writer that ground should be broken with the admission of Edgar Martinez, reasoning that DH is a legal position and the practitioners should be judged only on their offensive contributions, which is all their position requires of them.
"Relic of the past" and "foreshadowing of the future" indeed! Where else to turn but Baseball Prospectus for a tasty turn of tautology? Fortunately, it's not a "new record".
Three cheers for tiers! Agree that's the way to go. It's particularly useful when you're trying to settle on overall rankings.
Agree that traditonal stats, though not as informative about a player's abilities, are the reality in the majority of fantasy/roto leagues. As such, they are useful--no, vital--to each person's fantasy rankings.
That story of a successful lawsuit against Winnebago is a hoax that has been circulating on the Internet for a number of years, apparently in an attempt to generate support for tort reform. The details are on snopes.com at: http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.asp.
Consider the history and perhaps the existence of "media outrage" will be more understandable.
The culprits during the Steroid Era devalued both the performance of their 'clean' competitors and important baseball records, both single-season and career. The cheaters were protected by the MLBPA and tolerated by Commissioner Bud and the owners.
The media was not vigorous in its scrutiny of this hallowed sports institution, despite obvious physical signs and major deviations from historical performance patterns as players age. But seeing and suspecting are quite a different thing from proving, which has certainly been difficult in this case. In fact, there may well still be juiced players whose providers remain ahead of the anti-doping community.
Regardless, the media has taken a lot of heat for turning a blind eye to the tainted pursuit of records. While the media people certainly weren't anti-doping crusaders, they don't believe they were part of a conspiracy. But they do believe they have been tarred with the same brush as those who are responsible.
Thus, many in the media are resentful--and determined to punish the culprits, witness the HoF vote totals of certain players in the past few years.
See also a determination to make damn sure the media isn't going to get caught in that vice again, witness the treatment of Manny and others.
I would expect this sour taste to flavor media offerings for some time to come.
Fehr's single-minded intransigence and Selig's weakness combined to produce the Steriods Era that tarnished many power statistics and records, tainting the sport in the process. This shortsighted man didn't give a damn for the integrity of the sport. He reminds me of the UAW and CAW leadership which stubbornly resisted much-needed change.
Good riddance, I say. Wish Bud would join him.
As an environmental scan, this exercise is good as far as it goes, but it does not represent the complete picture, particularly retirements and those returning from injuries. The Yankees, for example, lost Mussina and his unexpected 22 wins, but regain Wang. And the Jays offense is likely to be better than projected, with developing OF Adam Lind playing all year, the arrival of OF/DH Travis Snider, the return of Aaron Hill and possibly increased PT for Vernon Wells. Unfortunately for the Jays, their decimated pitching is likely to suck.
I like the 12-team concept and qualifying process, but the tournament is just pure fluff and not worth holding--unless each country can put forward its best players, including pitchers. Otherwise, teams drawing from a deep pool of accomplished players have a huge advantage. Canada, for instance, suffered greatly this year from the absence of its best pitchers.
The only way to accomplish this is to hold the tournament during the regular MLB season. Start the season a week earlier, do not play an All-Star game that season and break for three weeks starting in late June. Mandate that teams cannot hold back pitchers unless on the DL. Have MLB cover the insurance costs of its players.
Do this once every four or six years. Only then would the tournament be a true world classic. Only then would comparisons to the World Cup have real meaning.
I can't imagine a $10.9-million squad winning 49 games on any sort of regular basis; the pitching, in particular, would not hold up. But, beyond that, the entire concept is flawed and the results irrelevant. Neither a $10.9M payroll nor 49 wins is a feasible approach on which to base or maintain a successful MLB franchise. Marginal dollars per marginal wins might have some use as an indicator if the bar were set at the average wins and average payroll of those teams below .500.
Me, too, for the top 200 list. 't would be grand.
Since counting stats are important in my mixed 5x5 league, I believe Abreu and Ordonez are seriously underrated. Ichiro is low, too, but not by as much.
I have trouble placing Ludwick, Bradley and Dukes that high. I'm not convinced Dukes has the maturity yet.
It\'s not difficult to conclude that Donald Fehr and Gene Orza protected the illegal activities of union members. The tyranny of the union brotherhood is a factor here. Bud Selig tolerated those illegal activities while it served his purposes. The upshot is that many of the game\'s hallowed records have been debased.
I feel, too, that Joe has two major problems: he\'s in denial about the impact of performance-enhancing drugs and he\'s got a hate on for the media.
I agree with jtwranch: Let\'s move on--but in such a way that the health of the players and the integrity of the sport are protected.
Great feature and some great posts. I particularly like the idea of a player who is a recovering alcoholi, and also Billy Beane.
I would add Iron Mike Marshall, who I believe is now a kinesiologist, and would like to hear his views on pitching and injury prevention. Other names that appeal are Bill James and Bill (Spaceman) Lee.
Born in 1948 in Canada. Became a newspaper sportswriter in 1968. Covered Expos first home game. No matter the sport, in that era it was all about what you saw and the perspective you could supply. Counting stats were prized, as was recall of stats, what we would call trivia today, which helped provide perspective. The Triple Crown categories were BA, HR and RBI. They still are, but, if we were starting over in this era of statistical analysis, you can bet you butt that BA and RBI would not be chosen, and HR might not be either.
Is it really all that surprising that writers of different generations have different perspectives and use different tools? I think not. Eventually, the vast majority of writers will be stats savvy and the HoF elections will reflect that fact. Hell, we might even see an expansion of voter eligibility as statheads gain a greater degree of respect throughout the industry.