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.
Losing Manny Ramirez for a quarter of the season isn't automatically a death knell. Pedro Martinez has just one good start against a good opponent this year, but that's the scheduler's fault. I'm hardly off the hook for advancing the claim that he won't make it to ten starts, and if losing Martinez was one of my major theories about what would lay hope low in Beantown, losing Ramirez for a month and a half might make you think I'd peg this as the beginning of the end.
Placed OF-R Manny Ramirez on the 15-day DL (fractured finger); purchased the contract of UT-B Bry Nelson from Pawtucket. [5/14]
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A look at how the Tigers snatched Game 3 from the Bronx Bombers
On Sunday, it was Miguel Cabrera, one of the league's best hitters, beatingFreddy Garcia, a back-of-the-rotation survivor. On Monday, it was Brandon Inge, Ramon Santiago, and Don Kelly outlasting CC Sabathia, the Yankees ace, with Delmon Young delivering a late kick to the sternum of the Bronx Bombers' bullpen. By stars and by scrubs, the Tigers have taken a 2-1 lead over the Yankees in the AL Division Series, and they stand one A.J. Burnett start away from knocking the league's number one seed out of the postseason.
Running through some articles you may have missed in a haste to hide your monitor from your boss.
Here at Baseball Prospectus, we are dedicated to providing you with oodles of cutting-edge sabermetric analysis and keeping our finger on the pulse of the baseball world. With a slew of daily articles, it’s easy for one piece to get lost in the shuffle or for you to overlook a post while you’re busy hiding your monitor from your boss. Just in case this happens to be your situation, here’s what you might have missed this week at BP.
Roster expansion and a lack of DL moves make September very difficult to judge the severity of many injuries.
September is going to be an interesting month. In this neck of the woods, September is when I have to really work hard. The DL stops being the "easy way" for teams to deal with injuries, since roster relief isn't needed with the limit expanded from 25 to 40. Teams will stop using the DL altogether, pulling some guys off even though they remain unavailable, and generally twisting and squeezing the 40-man roster as much as they can within the rules to either chase a pennant or build for next year. It makes it very difficult to judge how long players will be out. At times, we'll see a player get shut down, giving someone a chance to show their stuff and at others, teams will rest guys so they will be ready for October, mostly when they have a lead. We'll see the end of minor-league rehabs after this weekend, due to the minor-league regular season ending. It does give teams with affiliates in the playoffs a slight advantage. Just remember that the roster expansion is going to change how teams deal with injuries. You'll see guys benched with no explanation for a couple days. Injury? Rest? I'll do my best to give you guidance, but remember that you have to factor uncertainty into any projection, even when you're just trying to figure out who to put in your fantasy roster. Powered by Bell's Two Hearted Ale, which is good, but not nearly as good as their Oberon, let's get to the injuries:
Another Chipper oblique issue, a Reyes update, Salty's shoulder, and more.
Here's a reminder about the Baltimore event—you will need to have the "BP Package" to attend the Q&A with Andy MacPhail plus several BP writers. Don't miss out on this very cool event by waiting. I'll be in Baltimore most of the week, handling some other business as well, but UTK will be in effect. My phone and iPad will be with me, so don't expect much of a slowdown next week. As the first week has shown us, the injuries never stop, so on to the injuries:
Updates of some of the more fragile arms around the game, but also on scrappers like Ryan Doumit and Jeff Keppinger.
I thought I'd left the days of doing Time Value of Money calculations behind, but the spate of recent low-service, high-dollar contracts is getting me back to the days when my lack of math skills probably cost me some commission. The signings of Evan Longoria, Scott Kazmir, Ryan Braun, and others are turning the way we think about low-service baseball players on its head. These deals go well beyond what former Indians GM John Hart was trying to do in the early '90s, which was mostly centered on achieving cost certainty and avoiding arbitration. Instead, these contracts are more about fairly valuing talent and avoiding distractions with the cost certainty a nice secondary value. I'm sure we'll see more of these deals as they work out far more often than not. The interesting thing is taking a look at the values of these deals versus the MORP calculated by Nate Silver's PECOTA projections. In almost every case, the teams are getting the better end of the deal, though it's not as if becoming a multi-millionaire is ever really a bad outcome:
Another outfielder lands hard, the Reds lose a gamer, and one of the Pirates' few highlights goes dark.
J.D. Drew (5 DXL)
Do we need to outlaw sliding catches? That's hardly the solution, but the seemingly routine sliding catch is getting to be a bit dangerous in the AL East. The Jays have lost Vernon Wells for several weeks, and Drew almost suffered the same fate on a similar play. Drew had imaging done after the game, and it came back negative, leaving him in day-to-day limbo with an injury that's bad enough to quickly swell and be painful, but not serious enough yet to consider placing him on the DL. The Red Sox have plenty of options for filling in if Drew is out for as much as a week, but they are already playing a man down with Julio Lugo's concussion. Drew is expected to miss a game or two, but his grip strength could be an issue after that. I'll be conservative with the DXL in anticipation of some bat-control issues even after a return.
Thursday night was Christina's turn at the keyboard, as the series of Series diaries continues.
8:00 PM: It's the pre-game show, and... do we have a game or no? Me, I wonder if all this Taco Bell talk didn't inspire my decision to cook buffalo-meat tacos-as a former Taco Bell employee, you won't catch me dead in one of the thousands of Casa de Greasepits you'll find hawking its loathsome refried wares on a streetcorner near you.