Three years late, the GIF you've been waiting for.
Good friend Bill Hanstock was watching old baseball highlights on YouTube this morning, just like he imagined when he graduated from college, and alerted us to this spectacular tag avoidance from the year 2009, a year most notable for being the year before every single act of human motion was instantly converted into a GIF. (Here is a GIF of a man sleeping.) Watch this baseball player avoid this tag, and then keep reading to find out the awesome twist in the story:
For one night, the Giants' pitching wasn't dominant, but it didn't change a thing, and Detroit dropped its third in a row.
Have you ever had déjà, déjà, déjà, déjà vu? Because it sorta seems as if I've written this recap before. The Tigers’ latest 2-0 loss came against a new starter in a new setting, but the outcome was SSDD—same score, different day—for Detroit. The Tigers, who were shut out just two times during the regular season, have now been shut out two times in their past two games, becoming the first team to fail to score in consecutive World Series games since the 1966 Dodgers (and the first AL team to do it since the 1919 White Sox, who didn’t want to win).
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.
The tater trots for Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, including Pablo Sandoval's three home runs.
After the Giants and Cardinals combined for two home runs over their final three games of the National League Championship Series (with two of those games played in San Francisco), it was a bit hard to predict a home run barrage in Game 1 of the World Series. Especially with the Tigers throwing Justin Verlander.
The Giants finally score some runs, and even the series against the Reds.
There was a pretty good chance the Giants were going to lose on Tuesday. As you’ll recall, they had one hit through nine innings; they drew one walk; they scored because of a passed ball and an error; etc. They could have very, very easily lost on Tuesday. And if they had, Tim Lincecum’s season highlights would have looked like this:
Hustle is usually a subjective term, but it doesn't have to be. Here's how we can decide who really runs hard.
First, an exercise. Get a piece of paper and a pen, or a pencil, or if you can’t find a pencil prick your finger and write with your blood. Or just type it somewhere, but don't get blood all over. Rank the following 10 players by how much you think they hustle:
If you're unlucky enough to have a player injured, why should the pain by compounded by inflexible rosters?
Fair warning: this article is motivated entirely by self-pity. Lucky for you, I’ve decided to keep the crying to a minimum and try to provide as much useful perspective as possible. In the FSIC NL-only expert league that I’m partnered with Michael Street for this year, our team has taken quite the beating from the ol’ injury stick. At present, our roster contains seven players on the disabled list: Jayson Werth, Pablo Sandoval, Chipper Jones, Geovany Soto, Ted Lilly, Marco Estrada, and Jorge de la Rosa. The problem? The league calls for zero DL-specific spots and just five bench spots. One… two… Put your fingers down, you counted right the first time. Yes, we’re presently forced to play two injured players in active roster spots.
This begs the question of how to best structure the rosters in a fantasy league. Should a league have spots reserved for players on the DL and, if so, how many? There’s no standard in the fantasy community and not nearly as much agreement even over the principle of DL spots as you might expect. The default in Yahoo! leagues is two DL spots. LABR and Tout Wars allow unlimited DL spots. Others, like the FSIC, don’t call for any.
Events that have happened already this season after not happening for all of 2011 help explain why we're still hooked on baseball.
There were 2429 major-league games played last season.* Most of the things that can happen in a baseball game happened in one of those. With a few exceptions, teams and players will do all of the same things in 2012 that they did in 2011—they’ll just do them in a difference sequence and more, or less, frequently than they did before. When and how often they do those nearly identical things will determine which teams win divisions and which players win awards. We’re suckers for those things, so another season of the same, reshuffled, is enough to suck us in. But we're not completely content with repetition. We also watch in hopes of seeing something we didn’t see the season before.
*There would have been 2430, but no one felt like seeing another Dodgers-Nationals game in September. That missed game may have deprived us of history: Matt Kemp finished the season one home run away from 40 home runs, and Dee Gordon finished the season one home run away from one home run. For the alternate-history buffs: the man who would have started that game against the Dodgers, had it been played, was Tom Milone. Milone had the fifth-lowest home run rate among Triple-A starters last season, so that extra game might not have made Matt Kemp baseball’s fifth 40-40 man. Then again, that home run rate might not have meant much, since there weren’t many Matt Kemps in the International League. More on Milone a little later.
You never know what you'll see next in the minor leagues, the punk rock version of baseball.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.