At what point do expectations cease mattering? And why is Tom Koehler part of this story?
Let me first say that I don’t know which advertising conglomerate came up with the idea that explains the omnipresent hand-wringing over Michael Pineda, and I wouldn’t thank them if I did—their actual intended result is so breathtakingly insulting to the intelligence of the general public that it cancels out any value of this incidental discovery. Nonetheless, a bit of wisdom is glinting off the surface of the cultural eyesore they brought into our world, so we might as well use it.
Surely, you’ve seen them. The commercials. There is apparently only one way to reinvigorate an automobile manufacturer’s brand, and that is to record a bunch of “normal people”—aka bad actors—acting very surprised that a car that meets the standards of their 30-second inspection could possibly be created by a brand they implicitly thought to be a terrible manufacturer of cars.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Traded from the Reds to the Marlins, Dan Straily is an example of how new pitching data can help change a repertoire.
For nerdy baseball fans, the worst trade of the offseason was the Reds’ swap of Dan Straily to the Marlins. That’s not because there was an especially egregious mismatch in value in the deal; it was because the move separated Straily from the Reds’ beat reporters.
Just before being dealt, Straily spent almost an hour on a podcast with Zach Buchanan, one of the Reds writers for the Cincinnati Enquirer (and author of the Reds chapter in this year's Baseball Prospectus Annual). It was a delightful listening experience: wide-ranging but detailed, relaxed, smart. They talked about hunting and (ironically) what it’s like to be blindsided by a trade. My favorite discussion centered on the trip to Driveline Baseball from which Straily had returned just before the interview.
Jeffrey Loria, as you may have heard, is selling the Miami Marlins. Nothing’s finalized, but it appears that one of baseball’s most, um, notable owners is going to receive $1.6 billion for a team that cost him $158 million in 2002. (I know, it didn’t really cost him that. Hang on, I’m getting there.)
Kenley Jansen may be the key to the Marlins' plans for 2017, but do they have a fallback option in place?
The 2016 Marlins faced one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory, as the sudden death of Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident left a scar on the team, the city, and all of baseball.
In the wake of Fernandez's death on September 25, the future of the Marlins' rotation was on no one's mind and rightfully so. In those moments we must remember that baseball is simply a game, a sport, a job, a hobby. It's comprised of human beings who have a purpose, a story, and a life beyond the diamond. No one should have been asking baseball questions.
Miami will never forget Jose Fernandez, but they could take steps to ensure his name is forever linked to the team.
Dee Gordonprovided the best tribute to Jose Fernandez we’re going to see in 2016, and for that matter, the best moment of 2016 in MLB, with his performance on Monday night. It wasn’t so much that he hit his first home run of a trying season on his first swing since Fernandez’s death, but the way he then ran the bases, fighting back tears for a moment, then letting them flow. It was the way he wiped his eyes and pointed to the sky, the way he then hugged so many of his coaches and teammates, none of them jubilant, none giddy, all just overcome and leaning on each other because the alternative (as it has been since Sunday morning, for so many inside and outside the Marlins organization) seemed to be to physically fall down under the weight of it all.
That moment was terrible and beautiful, everything we ask sports to be. Often, even when we ask that much of sports, they don’t provide it. Sports aren’t designed to comfort the grieving or to unite the divided or to inspire the desperate. Every so often, though, when the right people end up in the middle of sports’ peculiar dramas, those people can make sports really substantial. Gordon and his teammates (and in a less obvious way, the gracious Mets) did some of that heavy lifting Monday.
Becoming fans of Jose Fernandez linked a daughter and mother, in life and in death.
Jose Fernandez wasn’t just a great pitcher, he was a symbol that held so much meaning, not just to everyone in baseball, but to many people in the Miami community and around the world. We didn’t just lose a star athlete too soon, we lost an all-encompassing asset to all our lives. Fernandez helped us see parts of ourselves, he reflected parts of us--such as our love for the game--that for some, has gotten lost in the translation of adulthood, and he has opened our eyes to ways in which we can improve our quality of life through pride, joy, innocence, and selflessness.
My awareness of Fernandez as anything more than a Cuban rookie pitcher who was taking the National League by storm was minimal in 2013. The intriguing young star piqued my interest for the very first time after this incident, Fernandez’s first big -eague home run, and what followed.