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Articles Tagged 2002 NLDS 

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June 8, 2011 9:00 am

The Asian Equation: The Futile Quest for the Next Ichiro

5

Michael Street

In his third column on Japanese-American player movement, Michael looks at the position players who followed in the wake of the unique Ichiro Suzuki.

Thus far in the Asian Equation series, I’ve explained the early history of Japanese-American baseball traffic which lead to the posting system and the signing of Ichiro Suzuki, who is among the most idiosyncratic players in either league. As we discussed in the comments section, the success of one unique player from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) doesn’t mean that all of them can succeed, a logical fallacy that has eluded many baseball executives.

Although the feeding frenzy has declined lately, the last decade was marked by many teams gambling on the next Eastern import, hoping for another Ichiro to take them to the next level. A few players have succeeded, collecting World Series rings and postseason acclaim, but many of them have simply survived—a dream for any player, but not what the general managers were laying out serious cash for.

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January 17, 2007 12:00 am

Player Profile

0

Marc Normandin

Marc takes a closer look at the new Red Sox starting shortstop. Is he a good fit for Fenway?

Julio Cesar Lugo was drafted in the 43rd round of the 1994 amateur draft--with the 1193rd overall selection--by the Houston Astros. In fact, Lugo is the lowest-round draft pick in Houston's history to reach the major leagues. The 19 year old Lugo did not sign until May 17 of the following year, and started his professional career with Auburn of the New York-Penn League as a second baseman and shortstop. He led the team in steals with 17 (71 percent success) but did not do all that much else offensively, hitting .291/.368/.357 with an XBH% of only 15 percent. His walk rate was a nifty 10.2 percent though, and he kept his strikeouts down.

Lugo spent 1996 through 1998 at Single-A Quad-City and Kissimmee, with basically the same results on both clubs. He repeated Kissimmee in 1998 for this reason, listed in Baseball Prospectus 1999:

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Jim digs back and looks at the best starting efforts by the Mets and Cardinals in the era of divisional play.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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October 27, 2004 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Being on the Brink

0

Nate Silver

Like 26 teams before them, the Cardinals find themselves down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series. Just how likely is a comeback?

Scratch that. It was less than a week ago that David Ortiz busted about a 250-pound hole through that particular argument. But to hear the pundits talk, you'd think that the Red Sox had pulled off a one-in-a-million feat.

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June 11, 2003 12:00 am

Littleball

0

Mark Armour

As one might expect, the success of Michael Lewis's great new book, Moneyball, has led to a number criticisms of Oakland Athletics' GM Billy Beane, his staff, and their entire organizational philosophy. These criticisms should not have come as a surprise: Lewis presents Beane as a brilliant visionary operating in an antiquated system peopled, for the most part, with morons. There may be a great deal of truth to this, but the idea that some of Beane's competitors would be defensive is understandable. The most interesting criticism of the Athletics' success is that as impressive as their regular season results have been, their style of play cannot succeed in the playoffs against quality competition. Sure, the Athletics win 100 games every year with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, but if they can't win in the post-season, what good is it? This turns out to be a convenient critique since the A's have lost in the first round of the playoffs for the past three seasons. This criticism is not new, of course. Joe Morgan has been saying similar things for the last year or so: The A's offense, which has relied mainly on reaching base and hitting home runs, is not effective in the post-season facing quality pitching. A team needs to be able to "manufacture runs"--steal bases, bunt, hit behind the runner, etc. The A's do not, or cannot, do these things, so they are doomed to fall short in the playoffs. Or so the argument goes.

The most interesting criticism of the Athletics' success is that as impressive as their regular season results have been, their style of play cannot succeed in the playoffs against quality competition. Sure, the Athletics win 100 games every year with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, but if they can't win in the post-season, what good is it? This turns out to be a convenient critique since the A's have lost in the first round of the playoffs for the past three seasons.

This criticism is not new, of course. Joe Morgan has been saying similar things for the last year or so: The A's offense, which has relied mainly on reaching base and hitting home runs, is not effective in the post-season facing quality pitching. A team needs to be able to "manufacture runs"--steal bases, bunt, hit behind the runner, etc. The A's do not, or cannot, do these things, so they are doomed to fall short in the playoffs. Or so the argument goes.

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There are some obvious storylines specific to the Arizona/St. Louis matchup, as derived from the generic list above. Let's lay those out, and address them one by one: The Diamondbacks would really prefer to have a healthy Luis Gonzalez. The Diamondbacks are backing into the playoffs. The Cardinals are peaking at exactly the right time.

In any given year, at least one or two of the playoff spots wrap up early. Usually, writers from those markets start to madly flail for anything relevant to write about between the time their team clinches a playoff spot, and the time the postseason begins. There's a few stock categories for this type of piece, some of which we've already touched on (excessively), and the rest of which you're painfully familiar with. These topics include, but aren't limited to:

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