There’s so much in that tweet. Not capitalization. There is not capitalization, and there is not a named source, so those are things that are not in that tweet. But otherwise there is so much in that tweet. In that tweet, we learn that:
1. A general manager in the major leagues says that Mike Trout is better than Albert Pujols, right now. Not the more valuable property, or the guy with the brighter future, but is, right now, already better.
2. A general manager says that Mark Trumbo, a player whose flaws you are aware of, is roughly as good as Mike Trout.
3. A general manager says that Mark Trumbo, a player whose flaws you are aware of, is better than Albert Pujols. That the Angels just gave a 10-year contract to a first baseman who is, at best, his team’s second-best first baseman. That Mark Trumbo is better than Albert Pujols.
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While it may be easy to root for certain ballplayers, we have to be open to honest assessments of their abilities.
Ever since I was introduced to Bill James’ works in the mid-'80s, I have wanted to learn as much as possible about baseball so that I can better understand and appreciate it. If you're reading this, you're probably wired the same way. It might be easier to watch without thinking so much, but we don't know how to do that.
I have a similar problem with music. I started playing guitar at the same time I started reading James (correlation does not equal causation), and although I'm a bit of a hack, I've earned enough over the years from my efforts to attract the U.S. government's attention.
Pitching and defense carried the Angels last season and will aid them again in 2012, though a couple new bats might make the difference in the division.
The most famous play of Peter Bourjos’s major-league career to date comes in the bottom of the fourth inning in the Bronx on August 10, 2011, with the Yankees already out to a 5-0 lead. Bourjos is set up in center and just a few steps towards right when New York infielder Eduardo Nuñez is late on a 3-2 fastball and lines it into the right field gap. Both Bourjos and Hunter break for the ball; it’s closer to Hunter, and he dives…inches short. Less than inches short. He’s so close to catching it that it almost looks like he tips it with his glove, but the ball continues on its course untouched.
Good thing, too, because as Hunter extends in mid-air to make a highlight-reel-worthy play on the ball, Bourjos comes streaking out of nowhere behind him and gloves the ball knee-high on the run, stops, plants, and delivers the ball back towards second, where the Angels almost double up a disbelieving Russell Martin. In the three, maybe four seconds between Nuñez making contact with the outside fastball and Bourjos retiring him, the Angels center fielder crossed from medium-deep center to make a play in front of the scoreboard in right and remained on his feet while doing so, allowing him to try for the double play. The putout makes highlight reels across the country; after all, it has a spectacular dive, an out, and a near-collision in the outfield. It’s not really important which of the outfielders was responsible for what.
It's a stroll through Angels history to find those memorable and unmemorable men who manned third base.
Quick: Name 10 men who played third base for the Angels in their first 51 seasons. Troy Glaus is easy. He is the franchise leader in games played at the position and was played there fairly recently. Doug DeCinces logged almost as many games, although you might remember him more as a member of Earl Weaver's Orioles. Jack Howell, who followed DeCinces, ranks third with an even 600 games. ChoneFiggins? Sure, he's another recent guy who ranks fourth in games played at the hot corner. Rounding out the top five is Paul Schaal, whose greatest claims to fame are:
What can Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli tell us about the dangers of valuing backup catchers inappropriately?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Jonathan Bernhardt is a freelance writer born in Baltimore who lives and works in New York City. He is an occasional contributor to the Et tu, Mr. Destructo? blog.
The showdown between East and West is echoed in the junior circuit, but is it power versus power?
Whether due to the simplicity in casual conversations or the attractiveness of identifying the major component of team-wide success, combining several aspects of play into a tidy unit has become fairly commonplace. Most teams, however, are multidimensional, and many instances of such identifications are simply incorrect, based on reputations and not actual facts. Did the Twins really succeed through small ball and the manufacturing of runs, or was it simply assumed that they did based on using Nick Punto and a general lack of familiarity with their roster beyond Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau? And did the Yankees really not execute the little things throughout the season just because they could bop the ball all around the yard? I raise these questions because, for at least the next week, we are going to hear about how different the Angels and Yankees are in terms of their respective styles of play.
With his durability and relative reliability, the only question John Lackey needs to answer is how he'll do facing top offenses in October.
For the last four seasons, John Lackey has been one of the better pitchers in the American League. Nevertheless, you rarely hear his name from the mainstream media, and that's while teammates like Bartolo Colon undeservedly collect some of the praise Lackey's due. However, despite Lackey's consistent success--as measured by both traditional and more advanced pitching statistics--he does have his problems.
With the two LA franchises seemingly moving in opposite directions, Jon Weisman wonders just how divergent those directions are.
This new version of The Odd Couple isn't really going to air (though similarly strange things happen every day), but the narration taps into a common feeling concerning the direction of Los Angeles' two major league baseball teams.
The Dodgers are the Felix Ungers--well-pedigreed, stylish if you don't mind the occasional ascot, but increasingly oblivious of their own flaws. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as they have come to be known with growing acceptance, were the Oscar Madisons--until they somewhat startlingly cleaned the mustard off their plaid sport coats and became winners.
Job battles figure to go down to the wire for the Angels, Cubs and Brewers.
Who's on First (and DH): The Angels may be planning to use Juan Rivera and Jeff DaVanon as a platoon for the DH slot. With Darin Erstad hanging on to first base by way of his Gold Glove and reputation for being a team leader, one wonders what will become of Casey Kotchman. PECOTA projected the following for these four players in 2005: