In order to become more right, we have to be wrong. But we also have to acknowledge that we're wrong and attempt to figure out why.
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.
It took several years for Frank McCourt to run the Dodgers into the ground, but Joe foresaw hard times ahead in LA back in 2005.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
"...the long-term prospects for this organization are terrible, and it's McCourt's fault." Those words could have been written yesterday, but Joe wrote them right here in a "Prospectus Today" column on November 3, 2005.
A look at the course of action teams from the junior circuit are considering this offseason, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
The hot stove season really began to heat up this week during the general manager's meetings in Orlando and figures to only get warmer by the time executives return to the Magic Kingdom on December 6 for the winter meetings. Here is a look at what each of the American League teams might do between now and the start of spring training:
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Choosing who to play remains the Dodgers' basic problem, but will Ned Colletti pick the other people's players and field his best team?
The Dodgers have overcome a slow start thanks to a friendly turn of the schedule, a ten-day stretch of games against the Rockies and Marlins that they converted for an 8-1 run that pushed them within shouting distance of the Diamondbacks. A 5-1 win last night over the Mets has them within three games of Arizona in the division, and, as silly as this notion is on May 6, tied for the theoretical wild-card slot.
With the two LA franchises seemingly moving in opposite directions, Jon Weisman wonders just how divergent those directions are.
This new version of The Odd Couple isn't really going to air (though similarly strange things happen every day), but the narration taps into a common feeling concerning the direction of Los Angeles' two major league baseball teams.
The Dodgers are the Felix Ungers--well-pedigreed, stylish if you don't mind the occasional ascot, but increasingly oblivious of their own flaws. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as they have come to be known with growing acceptance, were the Oscar Madisons--until they somewhat startlingly cleaned the mustard off their plaid sport coats and became winners.
Two of the better GMs in the game are free agents today, to the discredit of the organizations that lost their services.
Usually, the immediate aftermath of a World Series--especially a short one that leaves an open weekend--is a good time to take a little break. As a fan, I was disappointed by the four-game World Series, but as a guy who had to fly to New York for the weekend, I was a tad relieved to be done with the postseason, able to concentrate on three days of fun in the Big Apple. (Recommended: "Wicked" and Havana Central on 46th.)
Dodger GM Paul DePodesta is taking a lot of heat for the team's struggles. But what effects have his moves actually had? Dayn's got the scoop.
It's a stretch to say that the recent failures have made DePodesta a lightning rod for criticism; after all, he was a lightning rod from the moment he was hired to replace Dan Evans. The L.A. print media was skeptical of DePodesta, not because of any nuanced understanding of his management style, but rather because of his prominent role in that bete noir of the mainstream, the Oakland A's front office. When DePodesta jettisoned beloved catcher Paul Lo Duca as part of the trade that landed Brad Penny and Hee Seop Choi, the animus toward his decidedly non-humanist lever-pulling increased. In the coming months, Shawn Green was traded away and Adrian Beltre was allowed to walk after the team made only a perfunctory effort to re-sign him. Suffice it say, many among the print media haven't warmed to, as they see it, DePo's treating the franchise like his personal erector set.
Getting the Dodgers to the postseason this year was the easy part. Dayn Perry looks at the challenges ahead for L.A. GM Paul DePodesta.
If Paul DePodesta's executive mettle hasn't already been sufficiently tested, it's about to be. His Dodgers are coming off their first division title since 1995 and their first post-season win since 1988. But despite the success of the Dodgers in DePodesta's first season at the switch, this winter is going to be brutal and vital for him.
The Indians look to take a big step forward, even if much it can be chalked up to the fabled "Ugueto Effect." The Dodgers biggest off-season acquisition didn't come on the field, it came in the front office. And the Mariners enter 2004 with a checklist a mile long. All this and much more news from Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Seattle in your Friday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
"Back up in your ass with the resurrection..." The Tigers might have gotten all the attention in 2003 for struggling through one of the most pathetic seasons of the past century, but it should be noted that the Cleveland Indians didn't exactly set the world on fire, either. Thanks to a combined 1,900 ABs of below replacement-level production at the plate from the likes of Josh Bard, Coco Crisp, Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Phillips, John McDonald, and Brandon Phillips (yes, he was so bad we're naming him twice), the Tribe scored fewer than 700 runs in a full season for the first time since 1992, on their way to 68 wins in the easiest division in the game.
Rick Peterson: The goal is for every pitcher to master the delivery. We have a comprehensive program based on drills and throwing programs to teach that. The core of efficient delivery theory comes from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) lab of Dr. James Andrews. Last year, we had Tim Hudson and Barry Zito down to work with Dr. Andrews.
Rick Peterson has melded biomechanical research, psychological principles and Eastern philosophy during his five-year tenure as pitching coach of the Oakland A's. Under his guidance the A's have developed All-Star pitchers Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder, acquired and polished hidden gems like Chad Bradford and implemented a minor league regimen that's yielded several promising pitching prospects. He recently chatted with BP about organizational communication, the virtue of empty-headedness on the mound, and the all-mighty data.
I want to thank everyone who spent the time and effort to create and share
this material. Some people really spent a lot of time carefully considering
actions--either how exactly Allard Baird should be exiled/jailed/sterilized,
or how an organization like the Royals should deal with what are likely to
be persistent challenges. More than 500 people sent in plans of one sort or
another. Thanks, and I'm sorry if I didn't have time to respond privately.