Does history give any clues as to how the Mets will perform with a lower payroll?
Late last month, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reported that the Mets are facing the largest one-year payroll cut in major-league history, at least in terms of total dollars. With owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz deprived of the profits they derived from decades of investing with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, and struggling to find minority partners willing to provide a quick infusion of capital, the team is hemorrhaging money and facing a growing mountain of debt. According to general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets lost $70 million last year, and made no real attempt to retain pending free agents Carlos Beltran (who was traded in midseason) or Jose Reyes (who departed for the Marlins in December). Barring even one additional midlevel signing, they could become the first team to drop $50 million in salary from one Opening Day to the next.
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Shrieking over A-Rod revisits not just the question of PED use, it brings us back to the multitude of abuses related to the issue.
And so it continues. Per Selena Roberts and David Epstein of Sports Illustrated, Alex Rodriguez was one of 104 players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. In that year, every player in Major League Baseball was tested, presumably anonymously, in an effort to learn the depth of the PED problem in baseball and weigh the need for a program that would mix random testing with penalties for use.
Who's been really delivering high-leverage set-up work, and what does that mean for the Yankees prospect?
Wednesday's disclosure that the Yankees have decided to shift Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen to start the year didn't exactly qualify as news. Despite off-season denials of such a scenario, several pieces of data pointed to the inevitability of the decision, ranging from Chamberlain's success during last year's stretch run (pre-bug spray, at least), his age (22), his workload capacity based on the Rule of 30 (about 145 innings, based on the time he spent at four stops plus the postseason, though Will Carroll will tell you that only the major league innings count when it comes to parsing injury risk), and the current health status of Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Philip Hughes, and Ian Kennedy.
Since the turn of this century, what have been the best and worst performances with the bases juiced?
Who are your three best friends in the world? I'll tell you who they are-the three guys on your favorite team who find themselves on base simultaneously. When the bags are juiced and the camera pans around the infield showing the three baserunners and the announcer says their names, don't you say to yourself, "Man, I love those guys!"
Revisiting baserunning metrics to see how much credit, if any, should go to runners when a pitcher makes a mistake.
"We don't have a 40 home run guy anymore... We have to reduce mistakes, take advantage of every opportunity we get... We need to improve on moving runners over from second to third and our base running. There can be an eight- to 10-game swing in a season just from base running."
--Syd Thrift, in 2001, when he served as the Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations
Wrapping up the series on the fine art of pitching where the bat ain't, or putting the bat where the ball isn't.
So it's a long road we've traveled over the past month, looking at non-contact results on the diamond. Fortunately, like all good things, it must come to an end. We ended up last time looking at the leaders in swinging strikeout and looking strikeout rate since 1999 (which is as far back as we have comprehensive pitch-by-pitch data). A few things stood out while looking at those two lists:
The effects of last week's appeals-court ruling could go beyond MLB.
No, what transpired last week has to do with test results from 2003 and a United States appeals court. It has to do with the BALCO investigation. It has to do with the MLBPA. It also has to do with the Fourth Amendment and the Bill of Rights. The events of last week could create case law that impacts far more than professional sports and the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. If this ruling is upheld, it has the capacity to determine what is permissible as reasonable search-and-seizure in the electronic domain.
Clay runs the numbers on all the players picked in yesterday's Rule 5 Draft, distinguishing the legitimate major-leaguers from the wannabes.
These are purely statistical impressions from the Rule 5 draft, as we sort out who's where and why. The players' statistics are translated with an eye towards future performance--not nearly as in-depth as PECOTA, but the system in play generally does well, and will help give us a sense as far as what's possible for these guys.
Dan backs up and provides an overview on what this summer's findings tell us about team-level baserunning, and what we can learn about baserunning in general.
When last we were together, we added up the various baserunning metrics we've been formulating all summer to come up with a total number of theoretical runs contributed on the bases for individual players. This included runs from advancing on ground and air outs, advancing on hits, and runs contributed from stolen base attempts (and pickoffs).