A look at how the early crop of mock drafts are shaping up
If only MVP voting was as straight forward as fantasy baseball drafts and projections. That way, we could all chuckle at seeing a guy that was the 12th highest dollar earner in 15-team 5x5 leagues get a 1st place vote from a writer. As we saw yesterday with the AL MVP vote, and could likely see in the NL vote later today, some agendas can come into play in putting together your top ten players because the voting process is terribly subjective and allows people to do things such as put Michael Young 1st or leave Justin Verlander off a ballot, but fantasy baseball is much more objective. The goal in compiling draft lists is to rank people in order of their projected output totals and who will earn the most money. It may be easy to pencil in Young 1st on a ballot, but the case to draft him over Mike Napoli or Adrian Beltre is much tougher to make.
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A position-by-position analysis of Benjamin Sisko's baseball team from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
As the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees took the field at Qualcomm Stadium for Game 4 of the 1998 World Series, there was another baseball game of some importance being played. That night, the seventh season episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" called "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" aired for the first time. In it, the space station's senior staff (dubbed the "Niners") was challenged to a game by a crew of baseball-playing Vulcans (known as the Logicians) in what one might call a "Worlds' Series".
This premise may seem a bit off-base for the usual "Star Trek" fare, but it was established very early in the series' run (the first episode, in fact) that station captain Benjamin Sisko was a devoted fan of the sport. In the episode, Sisko is tasked with taking his crew and turning them into a fully-functioning ballclub in only two weeks time. The team ends up with 11 players on the roster - only three of whom have ever played the game before (Sisko, his son Jake, and his future-wife Kasidy). The remaining eight players must take those two weeks to learn how to throw a ball, catch a ball, hit a ball, and field a position. They must also learn the rules of the game from scratch, including such complicated concepts as the infield-fly rule and obscure terminology like "bunts" and "Fancy Dan". Everything is made worse when you realize that their opponents are a team of Vulcans, an alien race that is physically stronger and faster than the majority of the Niners. Kasidy tells us, in fact, that "a Vulcan has three-times the strength of a human." It's not exactly a fair match-up.
If you tuned out when the Rangers led 7-5 in the ninth, you missed quite a finish
It was the best worst World Series game—or perhaps the worst best World Series game—I've ever seen. Four and a half hours, 11 innings, 42 players, 19 runs, 23 men left on base, six home runs, five errors, two final-strike comebacks, a handful of bad relief performances, some managerial howlers including a cardinal (not Cardinal) sin… and it all ended with the much-maligned Joe Buck giving a fitting nod to history by emulating one of his father's most famous calls. As David Freese's game-winning blast landed in the grass beyond the center field wall of Busch Stadium, Buck exclaimed, "We'll see you tomorrow night!" Game Six of the 2011 World Series will be remembered as a classic—a Game Six that can sit alongside those of 1975, 1986, and 1991, among maybe a couple others—as the Cardinals staved off elimination to beat the Rangers 10-9, forcing a Game Seven.
Craig Counsell has been in a bit of a slump lately. Okay, maybe that undersells it a little. Counsell is 0 for his last 45 at-bats. His last hit came a couple months back, on June 10. Another hitless at-bat will tie him with Bill Bergen of the 1909 Brooklyn Superbas for the longestknown streak of hitless at-bats by a position player.
Reviewing the best and worst first-half position players on each team.
In the numerical sense, the halfway point of the season arrived about a week ago. However, the All-Star break marks the arbitrary end point of the first half, bringing a few days of festivities and vacations to the forefront. That period of inactivity in games that matter offers a window into the frozen stats for each team, allowing us to see who is leading the charge and who is failing the team so far.
In order to determine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, I’ll enlist the aid of the Wins Above Replacement metric. Next time, we’ll cover the pitchers, but for today, it’s all about the position players.
You have to mash a ton to break into the first-base ranks, but right now, there's only a mish-mash of prospects.
Not so long ago, the minor leagues were stacked with Michelin star level first basemen, prospects with first-division ceilings and middle-of-the-order offensive prowess. The current crop of talent is more pedestrian, looking more like buffet fare than fine dining, but for several involved, the developmental process could still produce a fantastic dish. That’s four food references in the first paragraph, for those scoring at home.
Similar to the process of projecting relief pitchers, projecting first basemen often has a foundation in deficiency; it’s a position that openly welcomes the athletically inferior. However, to enter the position’s warm embrace, the athletically inferior must qualify for the love by showing the requisite offensive mastery. Let’s face it: If you can’t hit, you won’t be manning first at the highest level.
When looking for an infielder or outfielder, what do scouts look for in terms of body, skills, and glove work?
It’s not easy to evaluate defensive tools, especially at the amateur ranks or the lower levels of professional baseball. Good defense is a product of sound fundamentals established through instruction [read: proper instruction], raw physical ability, and refinement through repetition. It takes time to put the total defensive package together, assuming a competent package is even possible. This is what I want to do: I want to look at each position, break down the specific physical attributes that are necessary to excel at each position, and look at the process of projecting those attributes. In part two (you knew that was coming), I want focus on catchers and game-calling, something that I think is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued aspects of the game.
First Base: First base is, first and foremost, an offensive position. The modern game suggests if the bat is above average, the value provided by the glove is gravy. While I agree with the offensive weight attached to the position, I’m of the belief that good defense at first base is more than just gravy, and trust me, I love gravy.
Clay takes the field to get acquainted with the rules and regulations of your great-great-grandaddy's baseball.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Revisit Clay's account of a trip back in time to baseball's formative years, which originally ran on October 26, 2006.
Jose Bautista's turnaround has continued despite doubts, plus other observations from the Bronx.
Twenty-six players have hit at least 50 home runs in a single season. Only nine of them have done it twice, and only five—Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez—have repeated the feat in consecutive seasons. Jose Bautista is not in that group yet, but with an AL-high nine homers through Toronto's first 28 games, he's on pace to hit 52, two shy of the 54 he posted last year, when he stunned the baseball world. Bautista had never hit more than 16 homers in a season during his six-year major-league career, and had totaled just 59 in 575 games to that point while playing for four teams (Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh) prior to Toronto.
Looking at boundary calls, hit-by-pitches, and how to safely reach first base.
Most baseball fans feel they know the rules, but many of them are actually misunderstood, at least their nuances and technical definitions. Even you are fairly well-versed in the rulebook, a primer never hurts, so BP asked the MLB Umpiring Department about 10 of them. Major League Baseball umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford, a 19-year major-league umpire, and Major League Baseball umpire supervisor Larry Young, a 23-year major-league umpire, provided the definitions and clarifications.