A low payroll and thin farm system do not bode well for the opening of a new ballpark
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade -- whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
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Jason examines the state of Tout Wars AL and suggests a course of action for owners who are falling out of contention.
Some teams played their 82nd game of the 2011 season last night, meaning we are now officially in the unofficial (but mathematically accurate) second half of the season since people seem to cling onto the All-Star Break being the equal divider between the two halves. The 14th of 26 fantasy scoring periods begins for most leagues this Monday, giving us just 12 scoring periods to make up ground in the standings in order to win the league. Yes, I said win because second place is still just the first loser as far as I am concerned.
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.
Special for Opening Day, Jay delivers the first (and always the most controversial) ranking of the 30 clubs.
If it's Opening Day, it's time for the first edition of the Hit List. Few things in baseball generate as much controversy as preseason predictions, particularly when they contrast with what happened the season before. Player movement, the aging process, and regression to the mean can make last year's glory look like this year's pie in the sky, and when it does, some fans get cranky about that. Nonetheless, we here at Baseball Prospectus are determined to put our best foot forward when it comes to predicting the 2007 season, and the foundation of our
predictions is PECOTA. Once we've taken Nate Silver's basic projections (continually refined), our staff adjusts for expected playing time, and then Clay Davenport runs the revised numbers through his his Postseason Odds Report thingamajig.
The rankings you see below are based on Clay's odds, which is why a projected .529 team like the Angels can outrank stronger teams in other divisions. Also, if you note a disconnect between the projected winning percentage and the Average Won-Loss record, don't adjust your screen--the average wins and losses are derived from Clay running a million seasons for the team, while the winning percentage is a club's projected third-order winning percentage. Keep in mind that not every last-minute development--Kenny Rogers' injury, for example--is reflected in these odds. Soon enough, these teams will put their money where their mouths are, and the rankings will reflect what's actually happening on the field--it's a whole new ballgame.
Eric Byrnes and Bill Lee are strange birds, Jeffrey Maier (remember him?) is in the news again, and MLB has quickly renounced Forbes' most recent financial figures.
"That really stuck out and bothered me. To hear that something that happened when you are 12 would be the highlight of your life seems a little bit harsh. While I won't say that was the sole motivation shaping who I am today, I will say that it did sort of get to me. One more stick. One more stick to throw into the fire. It kind of pushed me into a competitive nature." --Wesleyan student Jeff Maier, who turned a fly ball into a home run in 1996 for the Yankees, on Tony Kornheiser saying that his life had peaked at 12 (Boston Globe)
The Bay Area sparked conversation this week, from greatness on one side to ugliness on the other.
"Only two guys had 700, and he's the third? An amazing feat...I'll never be able to imagine 700 home runs. I used to think Tiger Woods was the most mentally tough athlete I've ever seen, but playing with Barry, I'd put him right there with Tiger. I don't think I'll be alive to see another player as good as him."
--Dustan Mohr, Giants outfielder, on Bonds (San Francisco Chronicle)
Take a quick trip around the game with Dayn Perry, including a look at Brandon Phillips, a diagnosis on Sammy Sosa, and a salute to Ray Lankford.
The hitch is that I'm actually talking about noted cipher J.T. Snow and not he who has turned the sublime into the banal (who is hitting a tidy .316/.545/.709 himself since that stunningly lame evening in Houston). But Snow's not the only Giant in aberrant rarified air of late.
Lots of mail pursuant to the Game Scores 2.0 piece...
Yesterday Kerry Wood shutout the Mets who fielded a lineup that was major league only because the players were allowed to wear Mets uniforms. Shouldn't the game scores somehow represent the lineup a pitcher faces. A Pedro or Mulder shutout of the Yanks full-strength lineup simply can't have the same game score as Wood's "masterpiece" yesterday. BTW, the PCL champion Sacramento Rivercats (Crosby, Koonce, Grabowski, German, Edwards, et. al.) fielded a better lineup than the Mets yesterday. Check the Cats' MEQs.
Ideally, H.W., there would such a variable, but that would just about 86 any ease-of-calculation appeal game scores might have. But the idea is certainly correct: not all outings, be they gems or disaster starts, are created equal. (For instance, take a gander at the cast of forgettables Eric Milton mowed down in his 1999 no-hitter.) It's not quite germane to game scores, but Keith Woolner's Pitcher's Quality of Batters Faced reports are highly instructive in this regard.