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Articles Tagged 1992 

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An amazing music video featuring a World Series game between the Cubs and the A's was unearthed recently.

It was 1992. The Oakland A's, behind Tony La Russa, Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, and the Bash Brothers, were only a year removed from a three-year run in the World Series. The Cubs, meanwhile, had been to the playoffs once in eight years, and Greg Maddux was only just beginning his stretch as the greatest pitcher alive. Away from sports, Garth Brooks had friends in low places, Pearl Jam was destroying the charts, and Uncle Jesse was breaking little girls' hearts all over the world. Not to be forgotten, Chicago Cubs fan Richard Marx was dreaming of a World Series win for the North Siders.

From this early-'90s potpurri, a music video was born. No, it wasn't "Jeremy" or even that silly Beach Boys video that had Uncle Jesse up on stage drumming. Not even close.

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There were two hot tickets for central Virginians in the summer of 1992: the new rock band from Charlottesville that featured both a saxophone and a violin, and the AAA All-Star Game hosted by the Richmond Braves. Seventeen years later, Dave Matthews Band have established themselves as one of the biggest touring bands in the world, and three alumni from the AAA All-Star Game (Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, Bernie Williams) look like strong candidates to make the Hall of Fame.

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March 27, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Reminiscing with SFR

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Dan Fox

Unleashing Simple Fielding Runs on an eleven-year span, from 1988 to 1998.

"He (Ozzie Smith) plays like he's on a mini-trampoline or wearing helium kangaroo shorts."
--Andy Van Slyke

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June 5, 2006 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part 12

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Rany Jazayerli

Rany closes out his epic series, identifying the new inefficiency in the market before tomorrow's Rule 4 draft.

Well, there's no reason to think that change suddenly ground to a halt in 1999, and the data from a decade ago may hold little bearing on the decisions that will be made next Tuesday.

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With the Amateur Draft just around the corner, Rany returns to summarize his findings from his year-long draft study.

Now that we're done, it's safe to bring them out again. Starting from scratch, here is a summary of everything we've covered in the first 10 parts of this series. Consider this your pocket guide to the draft, especially if you happen to be on a conference call next Tuesday afternoon. Feel free to print out, laminate, and place in an attractive wood frame with gold trim.

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May 11, 2006 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Ten

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Rany Jazayerli

The Doctor returns with a look at the draft history of high school and college pitchers, to see if we can learn a few things about pitching value.

Pos Years 1st Rd 2nd Rd 3rd Rd Overall Busts COL LHP 84-91 - 4.4% + 54.7% +133.4% + 21.5% COL LHP 92-99 - 7.3% + 61.1% + 15.0% + 8.0% COL LHP 84-99 - 5.8% + 57.8% + 82.4% + 15.2% Years Biggest Bargains Biggest Busts 84-91 Jim Abbott, Greg Swindell Drew Hall, Kyle Abbott 92-99 Barry Zito, Randy Wolf B.J. Wallace, Jeff Granger Note that the two most valuable draft picks from 1984 to 1991 are not Randy Johnson, who was third on the list. Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, but was not a full-time starting pitcher in the major leagues until four years after he was drafted, and didn't become RANDY JOHNSON until 1993. And of course, along the way he was traded by the team that drafted him, the Montreal Expos, essentially for four months of Mark Langston. The point bears repeating: the sooner a draft pick renders his value, the less likely the team that drafted him will have already given him up for pennies on the dollar.

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June 9, 2005 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Five

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Rany Jazayerli

Measuring the value of drafted hitters and pitchers in an effort to quantify the difference, if any, between the two.

Here are the 15-year WARP lines for all pitchers and all hitters, from 1984 through 1999:

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One of the most enduring concepts in baseball is the "clutch hitter." Despite statistical evidence to the contrary, scouts, fans, and major league front offices continue to believe that some hitters are "clutch" and others are not. This is particularly evident in the playoffs, where the inability of a player with strong regular season statistics to hit in October is offered as evidence that the player is not "clutch," while other players are lauded for a few, well-timed base hits. While there is no statistical evidence for systematic clutch hitting, however, it is still possible that some players do under (or over) perform in the playoffs, due to a tendency for "mistake hitting." Perhaps there are hitters who build their statistics up against bad pitching, but when faced with the quality pitching delivered in the playoffs, the holes in their game are exposed. Likewise, there may be players who do not have spectacular regular season numbers, but who have a solid batting approach that leaves them in an equally good position against low and high quality pitchers. The former type of player might be seen as "choking" in the playoffs, while the latter is seen as turning in a clutch performance.

While there is no statistical evidence for systematic clutch hitting, however, it is still possible that some players do under (or over) perform in the playoffs, due to a tendency for "mistake hitting." Perhaps there are hitters who build their statistics up against bad pitching, but when faced with the quality pitching delivered in the playoffs, the holes in their game are exposed. Likewise, there may be players who do not have spectacular regular season numbers, but who have a solid batting approach that leaves them in an equally good position against low and high quality pitchers. The former type of player might be seen as "choking" in the playoffs, while the latter is seen as turning in a "clutch" performance.

For example, here are scouting reports, taken from CBS Sportsline web site and The Sporting News, for Jeff Conine and Mike Lowell.

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April 16, 2003 12:00 am

Testing the Nexus

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Lee Sinins and Will Carroll

One of the glaring weaknesses in the injury analysis game is the lack of data. As the injury database is built and populated, we are left with spotty research and anecdotal knowledge, especially when it comes to the crossroads of sports medicine and pitcher workloads. Adding to the problem is the lack of data for both minor league and college pitching. Since pitching is pitching, opponents of workload limitations often bring this up. In one of the first systematic studies of early pitching workload, Lee Sinins, creator of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia, studied 135 pitchers who threw 175 innings or more before the age of 22.

In one of the first systematic studies of early pitching workload, Lee Sinins, creator of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia, studied 135 pitchers who threw 175 innings or more before the age of 22. Age 22 is equivalent to the age-point found in Nate Silver's study on pitcher injury and age--the Injury Nexus--but was selected by Lee prior to the publication of Nate's study. Lee selected the pitchers from The Sporting News 1997 Baseball Register, giving us a distant enough perspective on many of the pitchers and allowing objective analysis on the possible effects of heavy workloads at such a young age. Unfortunately, innings thrown in winter leagues or in spring training could not be counted in this study as the data were not available. Innings were not adjusted for level and the totals are a sum for all levels in a season.

There were a few basic theories being tested in this study. First, the injury nexus would be tested. Despite the strong correlations between age and injury found by Nate Silver, real world numbers should match up closely. Second, while somewhat arbitrary, the 175-inning threshold seems to be a point where fatigue sets in for almost all pitchers. Young pitchers usually have not reached this threshold in their careers and the first test of this level often results in injury, massive failure, or a survivor effect.

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