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September 16, 2010 8:00 am

Overthinking It: Looking for the Iconic Replacement Player

23

Ben Lindbergh

With Mario Mendoza being the patron saint of bad hitting, who should define replacement level?

Replacement level is something of a slippery concept. Of course, once you’ve gotten a grasp of its meaning and import, it’s not hard to hold on; I suspect that most people reading this article would defend the utility of replacement level to the death, at least until things got violent. Still, one suspects that holdouts might cotton to the concept more quickly if it employed a familiar baseline; the rather abstract nature of the term “replacement level” has been known to provoke a few scoffs from the anti-intellectual set.

Of course, given the elusive nature of “average” in baseball, replacement level better suits the sport for evaluative purposes. As Joe Posnanski wrote recently, “You could pick a really HIGH baseline—you could make your stat read Wins Below Willie Mays (WBWM) or Value Under Albert Pujols (VUAB). But that wouldn’t be much fun to do and would probably tell us more about Willie Mays and Albert Pujols than the players themselves.”

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March 22, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 17-19, 2003

0

Christina Kahrl

The Snakes throw excessive money at a good citizen--again. The Orioles use an injury as the latest excuse to screw with John Stephens. The Tigers' pitching staff could be scary bad. And the Jays need health on their side if they're to benefit from the Wells and Hinske signings.

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Howdy gang, nothing like spending five hours typing up the index for this year's edition of Baseball Prospectus to make me desperately hungry to dive right into playing catch-up on real-time baseball news. Yes, Transaction Analysis is long overdue, and for that I apologize, having spent the intervening time working with our writing team and the incomparably enthusiastic Jonah Keri to get this year's book out the door. If you can forgive me that, you'll also have to forgive me this temporary break from format, as I run down the most-notable moves made over the last couple of months, going by divisional pairs (Easts, Centrals, and Wests) to get caught up and resume your regularly scheduled TA mayhem by next week.

Howdy gang, nothing like spending five hours typing up the index for this year's edition of Baseball Prospectus to make me desperately hungry to dive right into playing catch-up on real-time baseball news. Yes, Transaction Analysis is long overdue, and for that I apologize, having spent the intervening time working with our writing team and the incomparably enthusiastic Jonah Keri to get this year's book out the door. If you can forgive me that, you'll also have to forgive me this temporary break from format, as I run down the most-notable moves made over the last couple of months, going by divisional pairs (Easts, Centrals, and Wests) to get caught up and resume your regularly scheduled TA mayhem by next week.

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ANAHEIM ANGELS Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28] I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.

Recalled RHP Matt Wise from Salt Lake; optioned RHP John Lackey to Salt Lake. [6/25]

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July 2, 2002 12:00 am

The Colon Trade

0

Deric McKamey

Coming into the 2002 season, first-year GM Mark Shapiro was straddling the fence. On one hand, he wanted payroll and roster flexibility, knowing that he was about to embark on a rebuilding process; thus, the trade of Alomar. On the other hand, he still felt the Indians could be competitive in the American League Central, a division with no dominant team. Signing Ricky Gutierrez and Brady Anderson to free-agent contracts and extending the contract of newly-acquired Matt Lawton, all deals that appeared to be well above the players' market value, was made in the effort to stay competitive. All of these moves were questionable at the time; three months into the 2002 season, they look even worse. Anderson has been released, Gutierrez is on the disabled list with a 595 OPS, and Lawton has been a disappointment, hitting .241/.350/.402.

With the Tribe having slipped below .500, Shapiro is acknowledging that the Indians do not have the personnel to compete against the Yankees, Red Sox and Mariners. He has elected to begin what will be a painful and arduous task--setting the framework for the next good Indians team.

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July 1, 2002 7:41 pm

The Week in Quotes: June 24-30, 2002

0

Derek Zumsteg

STRIKE! STRIKE! "If you have kids who might [grow up to] be major league baseball players, we're fighting for your kids, possibly. If I work for your newspaper and you're in the union fighting for your equality and rights, sure I would strike, and so would you..." --Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder

STRIKE! STRIKE!

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(Ed. note: Chris Kahrl is still getting set up in his new D.C. digs, so Keith and Joe share pinch-hitting duties.)

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Optioned RHP Matt Wise to Edmonton; optioned RHPs Elvin Nina and Scot Shields and C Jason Dewey to Erie (Double-A); optioned OF Elpidio Guzman to Lake Elsinore (A); assigned RHP Steve Green and C Shawn Wooten to their minor-league camp. [3/14]

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Sure, any team in the city of Montreal works at some disadvantages. It's part of a province, Quebec, that is linguistically and culturally fractured. Its team operates at an economic disadvantage due to the current monetary exchange rate, and the team's lack of success since 1994 has dimmed interest in baseball in the city.

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ANAHEIM ANGELS

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