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Like it or not, the Phils are in a win-now mode, and probably only have 1-2 seasons left.
If they could sign A. Ramirez for 2-3 years, they should do it.
Dreaming of what could have been: if only Amaro hadn't extended Howard (a move I deplored at the time), they could have allowed Ibanez and Howard to walk, and used the money to make a play for Fielder or Pujols. THAT would have been nice.
On reflection, I was wrong about the Jansen vote, and I thank Messrs Goldman and Pomerantz for helping me to see that. By my own criteria, he is as reasonable a choice for #3 as anyone I might have chosen myself.
And I shouldn't be calling out one of the few voters who agreed with my original premise: that Kimbrel was the wrong choice for #1.
Thanks for the reply, Ken. You make a good point about Kimbrel having a stand-out year vis-a-vis closers.
I would ask, though: if Kimbrel's stat line were the same, except for having a more pedestrian number of saves (say 25), would your ballot have changed? If so, why?
Kenley Jansen? Really?
I'm stunned by the NL RotY vote. I would have expected the BBWAA to be distracted by the shiny object (46 saves), but not BP.
Kimbrel was not even the best rookie on his own team. Yes, his rate stats were flashier than Beachy's, but Beachy pitched nearly twice as many innings, and I cannot believe that Kimbrel could overcome that gap by having higher-leverage innings.
Kimbrel had an excellent season, one good enough to have won in some years, but not this one.
By my count, there are three rookie starters who did more to help their clubs win (Collmenter, Luebke, Beachy), and another starter who seems to have had comparable value (Worley, whom BP staffers somehow managed to ignore completely).
And on the position player side, Kimbrel was not a clearly better choice than Ramos or Espinosa.
Y'all home some explaining to do.
Truly outstanding stuff. One of the best articles I've read all year.
Would love to see a similar article on the Red Sox / Rays wild card chase in the AL...
"But in Kershaw, I'm pretty sure they have an elite-level ace for the next 10 years."
Care to lay odds on that? Over all of baseball history, the list of pitchers able to maintain "elite-level ace" for 10 years is extremely short. Unless, of course, you are defining that term down to a point of absurdity.
And even so, Kershaw pitches in the DH-less NL, and in the pitcher's haven of Dodger Stadium.
There's only so much screen real estate to go around, so at some point you have to decide how many decimal places you are going to show, and round accordingly.
As to showing 0.0% when the true odds are in fact not 0, consider the case where a team makes the playoffs in exactly one run out of the million in the simulation. That teams odds would be 0.0001%. To report it as 0.1%, as you request, overstates the odds by a factor of 1000. It's a hell of a lot closer to 0.0% than it is to 0.1%.
And as to showing odds of 100.0% even when a team has not mathematically clinched, a complementary argument. Suppose a team with a commanding lead but which has not yet clinched wins in 999,900 of the simulated seasons, or 99.99% odds. If we are to round that figure, calling it 100.0% is a lot closer to the truth than calling it 99.9%.
And before you say, "then show more decimal places in the result", be careful about that. There is enough uncertainty around all of the inputs to the simulation that simply adding decimal places gives a false sense of the precision of the results. Given the error bars we would need to put around all of the inputs, I'd be reluctant to even report tenths of a percent as done here.
These odds should only even be considered as estimates.
Not all that surprising, really: in the post season you never need a start from your 5th starter, but over a regular season, even if you try to go with a 4-man or "4-man ish" rotation, you probably still will need 15-20 starts from people not in your top 4.
Depending on scheduling, whether you are able to sweep early round opponents, and a wllingness to go on 3 days rest, a team can sometimes get by with 3 starters in the post season, but no team could ever try that in a regular season.
No, it won't. Even if you call it "Offensive Player of the Year", you still have the debate over whether that means absolute offensive contribution, or contribution relative to position.
But why would it make sense to have the award be based purely on offense? For example, one of Pujols's virtues is that, in most years, he contributes not just with the stick, but also with the leather. And why would we want to cease the "can a pitcher be an MVP argument"?
If it's Joe's web site, *why shouldn't* he name it after himself?
What are the sorting criteria for this report? The sorting for the projected last place teams in the NL look out of whack. (E.g., how the heck does Houston escape the cellar?)
>>Dante Bichette, Yankees..., hitting .329/.446/.507 in
>>37 games while showing excellent plate discipline and
>>power potential...the spitting image of his father
A Bichette showing plate discipline? Guess he must not have watched many of his old man's games growing up :)
The Maerican version of Fever Pitch was an abomination. The British version was tolerable. Neither even approached the unbelievable fanaticism in Nick Hornsby's original book.
>>Philadelphia: Shane Victorino (3.1)
And yet still Philly area media are pushing the notion that Ryan Howard has been their best position player in the first half.
"The ASG is about who is having the best year to date, not who you would start in game 7 of the WS"
Really? Where did that rule come from?
That is your opinion, not a rule.
Babe Ruth at #18 is just plain silly, but Honus Wagner at #1 had some plausibility. He was a devastating offensive force for the time, and was reputed to be a superlative defender.
I just love the whole notion of putting a number against "intangibles", of course: I do not deny that intangible qualities exist, nor that they can have an impact, but there is a reason why we call them "intangibles" :)
The pro-analysis crowd: forget about this magical closer pixie dust nonsense, and use your best relievers at the moment of highest leverage.
The anti-analysis crowd: manage your bullpen corps so as to maximize the amount of saves recorded by the designated "closer".
And yet, somehow, it is the pro-analysis crowd who allows their view of the game to be distorted by statistics...
Godspeed, David. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, which you and Jonah produced so well.
>>Also, is the author something of a Babylon 5 fan?
Ah, Babylon 5! How I've missed you, even if I never did completely forgive you for the uneven final season :)
I actually see something in that .439/.525/.582 batting line that would make me pause before promoting Hosmer: an isolated power of 0.143. In other words, nice, but not world-beating.
Hosmer is a very special prospect, but I'd like to see him flash a little more power before he gets promoted. Combine that with the potential benefits of not running up his MLB service time too early, and I think you have a solid case.
Godspeed, Christina. I will miss your pieces here, but at least I will know where to find you. I hope that this new opportunity works out well for you.
I do wonder sometimes whether some pitches backed by a very poor defense may actually see some degradation in their "defense dependent" stats.
My thought here is that if you have a crappy defense behind you, you are more likely to have base runners (as more balls in play fall for hits), and if you have a pitcher with a significant loss in effectiveness or command from the stretch as opposed to the wind-up, that might have a toll on K, BB, and/or HR rates.
Probably a minor impact, but has that ever been studied?
As long as we're approximating pi to 3.14, how about some pitchers with records of 22-7?
Some of those late-model Barry Bonds seasons had absurd TTO%s. I mean, come on, the man had some seasons where he had more HRs than singles!
Indeed, and I hope no one has taken my comments to mean I don't think Edmonds was phenomenal. He was a tremendous ballplayer, and the list of players that were better is a short one.
I'm open to getting persuaded that Edmonds had a HoF career, but since I consider Waner and Ashburn to be "mistake" picks, saying that Edmonds belongs because he was better than they doesn't strike me as being a convincing argument.
After all, if we set the qualifying bar for the HoF as "better than the worst HoF member at the same position", then we would need a massive expansion at Cooperstown :)
Prepare a spot for Edmonds (maybe put his plaque next to Harold Baines's) in the Hall of Terrific Careers But Not Quite Hall-of-Fame Caliber.
Edmonds is better than a few Hall of Famers, of course, but the HoF standard should not be based on the mistakes. He was a terrific ballplayer, and it was a joy to watch him play.
It's almost 9 years old, and yet I still think that a plan such as Woolner's deserves some consideration:
Perhaps, but at least on the subject of counting busted H&R as CS, why is it even meaningful to make a distinction? Whether the extra out occurs as a result of a straight steal attempt or as part of a larger tactical move (i.e., the hit & run), it is still an out, and it still leaves the batting team worse off.
The stolen base attempt is nice because it is something that is fairly easily countable, but it is really of a piece with an entire range of baserunning tactics: stealing, H&R, attempting (or declining to attempt) to take an extra base, advancing on ground ball/fly ball outs, etc.
I'm confused: why should we try to normalize SBR so that average = zero when the evidence from Run Expectancy suggests that, on net, teams' actual base stealing attempts hurt more than they help?
Redefining what "zero" means would not change the spread between the best teams and the worst teams, but it would obscure the fact that in general, teams do not do a good job of determining when they should be running.
So then, Mountainhawk, are you accusing Boras or any of the other top agents of being scumbags? If so, on what basis?
I don't know any of these guys personally, and given that press accounts are prone to not presenting all of the relevant facts, I should think that none of us are in a position to judge the character of any of the top agents.
They seem to be good at their jobs, which is simply representing their clients' interests in business negotiations. That is a valuable skill to have.
For anyone inclined to direct vitriol at Boras (or any other agent), it would be helpful to remember that no one ever *forced* a club to sign a contract with one of his clients.
No team is ever coerced into signing a contract with a player it does not want, or with terms it cannot accept.
Yes, getting a lot of help (or, alternatively, a lot of kerosene) from the firemen in the bullpen can have an impact on a pitcher's stats.
BP's Support Neutral stats for starters takes that into account: the "support neutral" refers to averaging out both the offensive support and the bullpen support.
In any event, claiming that ERA is preferable to RA because it helps smooth out differences in defensive support when comparing pitchers on different teams is just nonsense: since errors is a very unreliable stat for evaluating fielding performance, it is not at all clear that tracking "unearned runs" separately from "earned runs" tells us anything useful.
"Top 1%er" seems like a rather stringent standard.
Applied literally, that seems to suggest that you'd have roughly one future Hall of Famer for every four teams in MLB.
Some technical questions about MLB's arbitration process:
1) In the unlikely event that the two sides submit equal figures, does a hearing even take place, assuming the team and player do not sign a contract before the hearing date?
2) How about in the even more unlikely event that the club's request is greater than the player's request?
3) Suppose a hearing occurs, and is decided for the player. Following the hearing, the team offers the player a long-term deal which the player wants to accept, albeit with a lower salary specified for the coming season than the arbitration award. (Perhaps the contract is heavily backloaded.) Can the player repudiate the arbitration award in favor of this contract?
Thank you for a very insightful explanation of a topic that, from press accounts, seemed pretty straightforward, but turns out to be anything but!
I see Raines as a victim of poor timing: he had the singular misfortune of being Rickey Henderson's contemporary.
Fairly or not, I think too many of the voters look at Henderson and Raines, and think "Hm, two guys, similar skill sets, Henderson was better", and then stop their analysis. Somehow, they take the true statement "Henderson was better than Raines" to necessarily also mean "Raines was not an elite ballplayer". Utter nonsense, of course.
As for Dale Murphy, I think he is a guy who should be treasured, but not inducted. Back in the day, Dale Stephenson used Dale Murphy as the borderline guy for a player who should get HoF consideration based on peak value alone. In my own personal HoF I have no problem with making a case for a guy based on peak value, but said player must also have something to contribute outside of that peak. Murphy just doesn't have it. Had he aged a little better, he might have had a solid case.
"It's an .857 Magnum. They made it special for him. It shoots through schools."
It would probably be money poorly spent :)
Of course, the Marlins were one of the teams that the MLBPA complained about in terms of pocketing revenue sharing money and not investing it back into the team, and so going after a mid-level free agent may be one way to shake the pressure there.
OK, I will admit that I am over-selling the Ibanez stuff. I should have doublechecked before posting; indeed, I was surpirsed to see that his 2010 WARP was as high as it was.
Even so, I think Ibanez's performance the past two years has been better than the Phillies had any right to expect ex ante, and was not projectable.
That same offseason, the Angels signed Bobby Abreu to a one-year deal for $5 MM base (up to $8 MM with incentives). Knowing only what you could have known in Feb 2009, what would you have thought was a better deal: the Abreu contract, or the Ibanez contract?
Also that same offseason, the Nats signed Adam Dunn to a 2-year, $20 MM deal. Knowing only what you could have known in Feb 2009, what would you have thought was a better deal: the Dunn contract, or the Ibanez contract?
Bottom line is, Amaro misread the market that offseason, and was in too much of a rush to make a signing. Even if he wanted Ibanez all along--and given Ibanez's actual results, I have to admit he can be forgiven for that--he could have, and should have, secured more advantageous terms fo his team.
I agree that Werth will probably find *some team* to give him a 4-year deal. And whomever does accomplish that will eventually develop buyer's regret.
Even so, it is difficult to evaluate the Ibanez contract as anything other than a negative. Laying aside the Werth decision for the nonce, Ibanez's presence is ignificantly hampering the Phillies's flexibility on all personnel decisions.
The Ibanez contract is a real millstone, as any thinking person could have predicted when he was first signed. It wasn't the average salary per year; rtaher it was the length of the deal that was the killer. If he had been inked to a one or two year deal, it would have been fine. There is no chance the Phillies would be able to ship him to another team unless they agree to eat a ton of salary.
Ibanez was Amaro's biggest mistake, in my opinion. In what turned out to be a buyer's market for outfielders, Amaro handed Ibanez a contract that was (a) overpriced and (b) longer than it needed to have been. Meanwhile, as that offseason progressed, several comparable or better players were signed at terms more advantageous to the signing teams.
If Ibanez were off the books now, the Phillies could put that money toward trying to sign Werth for a 2-3 year deal (might or might not work, of course), and have Brown take over Ibanez's slot.
Also overlooked is the Howard contract. Howard is a fine player, but not a special player, home run totals be damned. The Phillies will come to regret the contract they signed him to.
>>There is an argument to be made that Jayson Werth is a better free agent acquisition than Crawford...
I imagine that would be an extremely weak argument. I love Werth, and think he's been underrated by baseball fandom at large, but Crawford is (a) a better player right now and (b) is a much better bet to retain his value than Werth, thanks to relative youth and athleticism.
For the love of all that's holy, please, no more rounds of playoffs. 162 games is a truly wonderful sorting mechanism, and adding extra teams to the mix serves to devalue it. If there were 40 teams, fine, but 8 / 30 seems a good mix to me.
There are also matters of equity: unless we are doubling the size of the playoffs, some teams will have to get byes. With the current unbalanced schedule, teams from weak divisions may get unfairly favored. It would also call attention again to the unfairness of how the interleague schedules may impact races.
I would rather see MLB do the following:
1) Consider moving opening day back a couple of days
2) Schedule a few doubleheaders into the season, maybe ~3 per team
3) Eliminate the non-travel off-days within post season series
The Ibanez signing is haunting Amaro and the Phillies. The dollars-per-year was higher than it needed to be in what turned out that off-season to be a buyers' markey for outfielders, but what is really killing them is the length of the deal.
Had it been for one year plus an option, it would have been a good signing: non-tender Ibanez; put Brown in left; with Ibanez's salary coming off the books, try to re-ink Werth to a 2-3 year deal.
Ibanez is effectively untradable unless the Phillies eat a lot of salary.
Game 6 of the '86 World Series remains etched in my memory.
Since I've lived in the greater Philadelphia region for almost 20 years now, I have switched my allegiances to the Phillies, but I grew up a Mets fan, and 1984-86 was a magical run for me.
I was watching the game, even though it was running very late, and I had to be up at 5:00 the next morning to get to work by 6:00. When the Sox took that lead, I picked up the remote with disgust, started to form the words "it's over", but stopped myself.
A short while I was rewarded by being able to see that improbable comeback.
(For the record, Red Sox Nation, please let Buckner off the hook. His manager let HIM down by not putting in a defensive replacement to start the inning.)
The long breaks between innings are a huge part of this, and I don't see any eagerness on MLB's part to shorten that, as that will negatively impact TV revenue.
I'm also a proponent of requiring relivers to face 2 batters, with exceptions for injury and always allowing a new pitcher to start an inning. (Thus, you could bring in a reliever to get the third out of an inning, and then start the next inning with a new guy.)
I hate all these post-season off-days!
In any event, Manuel made the obvious choice. However, it wouldn't have been all *that* bad to use Blanton, if he had to. Blanton's full-season stats are ugly, but the past 6 weeks or so he has pitched decently.
Godspeed, Will. Your writings on injuries helped open up a whole new window onto the game for non-medheads, and made a huge contribution to how fans can understand the game and its players.
While part of me might selfishly wish that you would stay, it was a thrill following you so far, and I wish you nothing but the best for the future.
A couple of years back, when Nate described his process for cranking out the PECOTAs, I offered my assistance in trying to optimize the macros in return for a free subscription. Nate seemed interested, and said he'd get back to me, but he never did.
Based on Dave's recounting above, I am really, really glad Nate never got back in touch :)
IMHO, forget about making sure to get a premier match-up against the Phillies. Cox's goal should have been to maximize the innings he could get from his best starters in the remaining games.
Did Cox's actual usage further that goal, or not?
I am not saying I agree with rehabilitating Rose, of course :)
BillJohnson, BP is not the Borg. Individual BP writers are capable of having differing opinions on a subject. There is also no indication that the opinions in this column are also the official position of BP.
re: Manny's dreads...
Perhaps Reinsdorf has seen "Homer at the Bat" a few too many times. "Mattingly, trim those sideburns!"
Here's a salute to Hamilton. His troubles may have been of his own making, but it was also up to him to start and maintain his recovery. Starting on, and keeping on, the road to recovery is far more difficult than anything I have ever had to do. Godspeed, Josh.
"The TTO players strangely tend to have a number of common characteristics. Few are fleet afoot; [...] Few, if any, play permissible defense"
Barry Bonds makes for an interesting case. The last few years of his career he was a TTO powerhouse. By then he was neither fleet of foot nor commendable with the leather, although earlier in his career he was both.
Consider also that for the first two years of Cy Young's career, the pitcher's distance was still 55'6", and not the current 60'6".
Some of those counting-stat based pitching records from the early part of MLB history may as well be for a different sport.
Who says it ever left?
More people watch baseball now than ever before. Back in those days teams--even those New York juggernauts--routinely struggled to draw 1 MM to the ballparks in a season. Nowadays, only a handful of straggler teams fail to draw 1 MM.
Add to that the TV, radio, and Internet audiences, and there is no comparison.
Also, before the Dodgers and Giants moved out West, St. Louis was both the western-most and southern-most MLB city. Think on that for a moment, and then re-evaluate this supposed national love affair with a sport whose major leagues were confined to the Northeast and eastern portion of the Midwest.
I'm convinced that Raines's biggest problem is that he had the misfortune to be Rickey Henderson's contemporary. Raines did well in every facet of the game, but then Rickey seemed to be just a bit better than Raines at everything but defense.
To me, Raines should be a no-brainer selection for the Hall, but I guess it's tough when you have to go up against someone with basically the same skill set who did it better than you did.
I would love to see more advanced metrics get play in the MSM, but let's be realistic: part of why batting avg and ERA are so widely accepted is because normal humans can literally calculate them on the back of an envelope. That is simply not possible for most of the advanced metrics.
Now, MSM can take some baby steps in that direction. For example, for all its faults, OPS is still a good quick and dirty hitting assessment, and we have seen OPS mentioned much, much more in MSM over the past few years. That is a Good Thing.
On the other side of the ball, DE should not be a difficult concept to explain, and it passes the "envelope test". For the pitchers, hmm...
Yes, but it is such a rarity that ignoring it does not violence to analysis.
Given how teams basically suck at the public teat (i.e., rely on the massive subsidy represented in a tax-payer-funded stadium), how exactly does one go about separating baseball and politics?
It's not just a political matter, either. A significant fraction of MLB's on-field talent feels strongly about this, so this is a labor relations issue, and to the extent that MLB's fan base is concerned, it is most certainly a primary business issue.
I'm not saying MLB should definitely move the All Star Game, but I'm not saying they shouldn't, either.
On a less pessimistic note, while Beltran perhaps can tolerate the pain long enough to play a few more years, is it possible that his days or roaming center field are essentially over?
Both, really. In extended spring training, anything goes in terms of the "games" that they play. I use the quotes not to say that people aren't expending effort--they are. The quotes are used to indicate that these are not normal baseball games as played by pros.
For example, if the Phillies want Rollins to bat every inning, then he simply bats every inning. If they want him to work on something with people on base, then they simply put people on base for him.
And of course, the Phillies would keep a close eye on Rollins's participation level.
Well, what happened to Pronk just isn't much of a mystery: he got old, and with his body type and skill set he was a bad bet to age gracefully. Anyway, of the last three seasons, 2007 wasn't bad, and 2009 showed he still has his uses as a part-timer, although 2008 was an unmitigated disaster.
Of course, if we put both NL and AL champs into the competition, we have the possibility of a fun outcome like the World Series loser finishing ahead of the World Series winner :)
The idea of some sort of series is intriguing in the abstract, but the logistics of it are very difficult, and the risk on injury (I would guess that the pitchers would see the biggest change in risk) would make this extremely difficult to implement.
During Gaylord Perry's entire career, the spitball was against the rules.
During McGwire's career, use of HGH, steroids, andro, etc was not against the rules.
Thus, I fail to see how McGwire is said to have cheated, while Perry was just a lovable rascal.
If we are going to condemn McGwire ex post facto, then when are we going to toss out the 50's, 60's, and 70's stars for things like using 'greenies'?
With respect, you cannot prove a single thing about the efficacy of PEDs by looking at one player's career. There is no way to know what the non-juiced Bonds would have looked like without having a time machine and way to prevent him from using "the cream" and "the clear" in the first place.
To tease out the effects of *anything*, including PEDs, you need reasonable sample sizes.
Alomar's stats may not look overpowering now, but relative to 2B they were phenomenal, and also the overall level of offense is higher now than it was then (although Alomar still played in an offense-friendly era). After making adjustments for position and overall offensive level, Alomar was a very dominant player.
I wouldn't say that the statheads are tearing into Dawson. From what I've seen, even the Dawson detractors say that he was a fine ballplayer, even if he didn't make the HoF cut.
Saying "Player X is over-rated" is **not** the same thing as saying "Player X is not good".
While I think that Dawson is somewhat over-rated, I also think that he was a fine ballplayer. To me, he was not a sure HoF pick, but on a good day you could possibly persuade me to support him.
In any event, he was a far better pick than Jim Rice. I sure hope that that does not become the new bar: if the new rule is "if you're better than Rice, you're in", then we will have a big HoF indeed...)
I understand that he doesn't make the top list for free agents what with his not having played last year, but any indications yet on whether Ben Sheets is drawing interest? He seems like a good candidate for a smallish guarantee/incentive-laden 1-year deal...
While I will miss Joe's writing, BP will survive, and I am confident it will remain the best site out there for baseball. Something we should all remember is that BP has had a lot of turnover throughout the years but has kept up--nay, improved--its quality continuously because the team has always been great at bringing new talent into the camp.
Also, as per prior comments, none of us should assume that this came about due to any kind of dispute, or from lack of interest from Prospectus Entertainment Ventures in retaining Joe. For all we know, Joe may be moving on to a terrific opportunity, or perhaps Joe just wanted to change gears.
Joe, thanks for generating consistently interesting content. I did not always agree with you, but even when I disagreed, I typically enjoyed reading your columns. Should things work out that way, I'll be glad to see you back in the BP fold. If not, then I wish you every success, and I hope that I'll get the pleasure of reading you again soon.
With respect, how is the ownership structure of Prospectus Entertainment Ventures any of our business?
If it were a public company, then the ownership structure would be a matter of public record, and you could peruse the 10-K at will.
However, it is a privately held firm, and while I guess it is not out of line for us to inquire about the ownership, they are not really required to reply.
As I see it, we "vote" on the quality of the organization every time we decide to purchase a book or premium subscription, and every time we read an article.
"If Chase Utley cured cancer, he probably still wouldn’t be recognized. And Ryan Howard would win the Nobel Prize for medicine for putting a Band-Aid on Jimmy Rollins' paper cut."
Priceless! I try to tell my fellow Phillies fans that it is a travesty that Howard finished ahead of Utley in MVP voting AGAIN, and they look at me like I just sprouted a second head.
I'm with you on Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, and McGwire.
Dawson and Martinez are borderline candidates; I have not completely sorted out where I fall with them. (If Martinez had shown any competence at all with the leather, his would be an easy choice. He is still a better choice than Jim Rice, but we should not set the bar based on the "mistakes".)
I just cannot agree with you on Mattingly and Parker. I guess that if Jim Rice is a HOFer than Parker should be too, but I still maintain tha Rice was a terrible pick.
And like so many above, I am very, very puzzled that you left out Raines. Do you really, truly believe that it was better to have Mattingly, Parker, and TWO UNUSED SLOTS on your ballot than to include Raines? Raines was a phenomenal ballplayer; the only thing keeping people from realizing that is that he had the misfortune to be in Rickey's shadow.
My own ballot, if I had one, in alpha order:
Guys who miss the cut, but whom I could possibly consider adding: Dawson, McGriff
I was quite surprised that in 65 previous comments, only 2 or so actually considered various changes/updates that could be considered, with the rest basically panning the composition of the committee.
Count me amongst the "the games does not need fixing" camp, but even so, I would like to see serious consideration of requiring pitchers to face two batters rather than one. The constant parade of relief specialists has become an unnecessary drag on the game. It may make the LOOGY's job a little less secure, but if it contributes to a switch back to a 10-man pitching staff (or at most an 11-man staff) and putting the brakes on this 12-man-ism that has taken hold of too many teams, then that in my opinion would be very salutary.
All a salary cap will accomplish is a transfer of wealth from the players to the owners.
Have the NFL, NBA, and NHL salary caps really and truly contributed to enhanced competitive balance or a better product on the field/court/rink? Not in my opinion.
Money does have something to do with it. The Phillies are trying to stick to $140MM for payroll.
jdtk99 asks, "Joe, how would this system work?"
I've always been a fan of the approach Woolner described here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1432
It may not be perfect, but it's a great place to start the discussion.
I agree with most of the comments above: I get annoyed by all the sanctimonious hand-wringing over steroids even while greater evils like DUIs and domestic violence are treated as non-events.
PLUS: even if we stipulate that McGwire took steroids, for nearly all of his career MLB had no rule against using them. How can you be a "cheater" if you cannot point to a specific rule that he broke?
Single-season park factors bounce around a lot because you are talking about small sample sizes. The schedule only calls for 81 games in each park, and that number is small enough that flukey weather, advantageous pitching match-ups, or just plain dumb luck can have an impact on the result.
Spreading park factors over 2-3 seasons probably makes more sense, but then it's problematic for stadiums that had some sort of significant change over that interval.
From the good on Strasburg: "He's arguably the best pitching prospect in draft history". Understanding that this is bumped up by enthusiasm and hype, how does he compare to the last "arguably the best pitching prospect in draft history", Mark Prior?
No fair applying what we learned about Prior after Prior was drafted--just a straight up Strasburg now vs what we knew about Prior at a comparable time.
"It's no surprise then, that we often overrate players based on their home-run totals."
The poster child: Ryan Howard. I live near Philly, and I was rooting for the Phils, but it still dumbfounds me that somehow Howard got 12 1st place votes for MVP and was 2nd overall. He was arguably no higher than the 4th best player *on his own team*...
The Yanks have no basis for voiding the contract. ARod\'s use came while he was with Texas, and that contract no longer exists: ARod exercised his opt out clause, and the Yanks signed him to a new deal. There are no allegations that ARod used any banned substances since signing that new contract, and even if he had, the penalties in the CBA would apply, and those do not include voiding contracts...
Even if the Ms have insurance, would that insurance cover injures during the WBC? Does the putative policy contain language about injuries from doing things like inserting Ichiro as a pitcher not be covered?
It would not shock me at all if, after the Canseco pitching debacle a few years back, insurers started including \"no use as a pitcher\" language or the like into the contracts...
\"the time to do this was the day they got ARod\"
Right on! ARod was still one of the better SS goves in the game, Jeter was very clearly inferior at SS, and even if he were slightly below average in CF he would have been leaps and bounds better than Bernie Williams. The Yanks could have gotten significant defensive upgrades at two key up the middle positions. And it would have had the pleasant side effect of maybe nudging Bernie Williams into honorable retirement sooner.
Sorry all, should have read:
\"Yes, the team that enters the post-season at 108-54 has a bigger chance of winning the WS than the team that enters the post-season at 83-79.\"
Yay Zumsteg Plan!
Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to look it up. I wonder how well it would hold up if updated with more recent economic figures...
Keep in mind that qualifier: \"in broad strokes\".
Yes, the team that enters the post-season has a bigger chance of winning the WS than the team that enters the post-season at 83-79. However, the edge the former has is surprisingly small when compared against the yawning gap in regular season records.
Look at Clay\'s PS odds from last year (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/postseasonodds.php):
---------- October 1 ---------------------
Win DS Win CS Win WS Yesterday
LAA 45.9791 25.6393 12.5129
TB 51.5756 25.4336 12.8452
CWS 48.4244 15.3718 5.4360
BOS 54.0209 33.5553 19.4431
CHC 71.8831 53.4287 32.2881
PHI 45.2256 13.8896 5.0166
LAD 28.1169 14.0216 4.9657
MIL 54.7744 18.6601 7.4924
The Cubs only looked that good because of the relative weakness of the NL: they were the only really good team in NL, so their path to get to the WS should have been easier.
Assuming the AL and NL had been a bit more balanced, Shawn\'s statement would have been pretty accurate.