Paul and Jason take you from Homer Bailey to A.J. Griffin, with 38 other pitchers in between.
The Baseball Prospectus fantasy team has been rolling out its positional rankings over the past couple of weeks, and this edition concludes the process. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player’s specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
What can we learn about pitching from FOX Game-of-the-Week scouting reports?
The third time I got caught stealing classified documents out of the National Archives, the judge said enough was enough. He and the prosecutor hatched up a plan to send me away to prison for 20 years so I’d learn my lesson. But there were plenty of things I’d stolen that the authorities didn’t know about (money things), so I used some of that loot and hired myself the best counsel in the city. He found a loophole in the law and convinced the judge that first he had to give me another option: I could learn my lesson by teaching young toughs about important life skills, in a structured and competitive environment. The judge looked through his binder full of ragamuffin teams in need and asked,"What about baseball? Can you coach baseball?” I nodded, because of how much codeine I had had that morning, and he interpreted my head movement as assent. That’s how I became the coach of the 12U GoldenTee baseball squad, and that’s how I found myself living a storybook season that ended with … well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
“Pitching and defense wins” is what I knew about baseball, and I found out quickly that the boys (and girl) on the GoldenTees didn’t know squat about pitching. Lot of throwers on that team. Big kids, some mustaches and learner’s permits, and real strong arms; my glove hand was blue by the end of practice just warming up with them. It didn’t surprise me to learn that they had won the championship the previous season, and that most of the league was afraid to hit against them. But they weren’t doing it the right way, and I could tell them a thing or two about where life takes you when you don’t do it the right way. It takes you to a battered ballfield with a bunch of kids you don't even know, when you could be home sucking whippets and watching DVDs of Monk season four.
It's a jam-packed week for two-start pitchers in this week's Planner.
There are usually questions about most, if not all, of the guys I don’t do any write-ups for each week, so let’s try something new and do a little something on every “start” and “consider.” I’ll still do a little something on the group of sits, but those are generally rather self-explanatory.
Reader requests Harrison and Santana mingle with Kuroda and Dan Hudson in this week's Keeper Reaper
I was looking at the list of available free agent starters today, and man, is it barren out there if you're still hunting for starters. Other than Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson, your best bet is… Zach Duke? Jeff Francis? Kevin Millwood? It's like the Island of Misfit Toys out there. Let's get started on this week's Reaper with two user requests, and as always, I'm happy to take other suggestions in the comments.
While anticlimactic after Game Six, the final game of the World Series capped off one of the most exciting postseasons in recent memory
That Game Seven of the 2011 World Series couldn't match the drama of Game Six was almost a given even before the first pitch was thrown. We don't talk about the finales of the 1975 or 1986 World Series in the same reverential tones as we do their penultimate contests, great though they may have been on their own merits. So unsurprisingly, we were not treated to a Jack Morris-level performance or an extra-inning walk-off win to complete the neat historical parallel provided by the Buck family’s "We'll see you tomorrow night!" calls following game-winning homers. Nonetheless, the first Game Seven in nine years required one more come-from-behind effort—down 2-0 before their starter had retired a single hitter—as well as heroics from some familiar names for the Cardinals to complete one of the most unlikely comebacks in baseball history en route to winning their 11th world championship via a 6-2 win over the Rangers.
With or without Wilson, Texas should have enough to make another World Series run
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.
On the back of the playoff inexperienced Adrian Beltre, the Rangers topple the Rays
When folks discuss Game 4 of the Rays/Rangers Divisional Series in 10 years, the three main points of discussion will be, in some order: 1) the Rangers advancing to their second-straight Championship Series with a victory, 2) Adrian Beltre hitting three home runs, and 3) Matt Harrison borrowing Cliff Lee’s strikeout rate.
Tampa is tapping a rookie to start the first game, but will the risk pay off in a short series?
Why the Rangers Will Win Not only did Texas finish the season tied with Boston for the best TAv in the majors, but they also held the second-best Defensive Efficiency, behind—you guessed it—the Rays. Jon Daniels building a bullpen so strong and deep that even Ron Washington cannot manage himself into a corner is just icing on the cake. Texas is a serious threat to return to the World Series.