The two Davids conduct a humorous dialogue on all the hot stove happenings.
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.
David Raposa writes about music for Pitchfork and other places. He used to write about baseball for the blog formerly known as Yard Work. He occasionally blogs for himself, and he also tweets way too much.
Monday is chock full of news, including updates on the injury stack that has hit the Yankees, as well as the status of Jose Reyes and David Ortiz.
It's amazing. When I started doing this, there was one other site--heck, one other writer, Rick Wilton--who did anything like what I wanted to do: expand beyond discussing the injuries to getting to the reasons behind them. I looked at pitching mechanics, performance enhancers, nutrition and the psychology of the game. Both here and at Baseball Prospectus Radio, I've gone where my curiosity took me.
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Whlie Roger Clemens is in the news about his alleged off-field antics, Dan talks to Jonathan Mayo, author of a new book about Clemens' on-field success.
"No athlete goes through what Roger Clemens has put himself through in terms of conditioning and hard work not to win. Whatever your opinion of Clemens, there's never been any doubt about his competitive nature. --from the Introduction to Facing Clemens by Jonathan Mayo
Yesterday's mayhem on Capitol Hill had one exciting development, but a lot of empty posturing and unasked questions.
There's nothing to feed human cynicism quite like watching Congress at work. So please pardon me if I get some of it out of my system at the outset: the big lesson that comes from yesterday's spectacle is that, if Congress is upset with you, they'll be much, much, calmer and conciliatory if the next time you come to them, you show up with a former member of congress on your side, after having reportedly backed up a truckload of money to his law firm. That seems to be the difference between congresspersons scolding you well into the evening hours on the one hand, and them hailing you as an outstanding American who gets to go home in time for an early supper on the other.
Forget the 20 months spent investigating and creating the 400-page Mitchell Report; yesterday's hearing was where George Mitchell really earned his fees. Unlike most everyone else involved in the hearing-Bud Selig, Don Fehr, even the members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform-Mitchell was absolutely smooth in his presentation and his responses to questions. He conducted himself with the confidence of a political alpha dog, the kind of guy who can make legislative in-jokes ("Amnesty is a loaded word in politics…") when he's not busy reminiscing about the Irish peace process.
Reviewing the ballot, the after-effects of the Mitchell Report, and rumors around the game.
Sports Illustrated used to run television commercials at this time of year touting the magazine as the "gift that keeps on giving." That description, at least as far as baseball writers are concerned during this holiday season, applies to the Mitchell Report. Though 10 days have passed since the former Senate Majority Leader released his report, commissioned by Major League Baseball, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs, it is still generating plenty of copy.
Derek tackles a Sheets-Harang duel, and one pitcher gets the better of it in the return of Prospectus Game of the Week.
The Reds, who lead the wild card race and are within scratching distance of the Cardinals for the lead in the NL Central, started off the major trading by dealing their starting shortstop (Felipe Lopez) and their starting rightfielder (Austin Kearns) to the Washington Nationals for a gift basket of middle relievers--Gary Majewski, Bill Bray, and Darryl Thompson--along with infielders Royce Clayton and Brendan Harris. The big trade was an acknowledgment of the weakness of the Reds bullpen--even now, with their new, improved bullpen, the Reds are still tenth in the league in WXRL, and fifteenth in Adjusted Runs Prevented--and a decision to emphasize defense. Still, that doesn't change the fact that the Reds surrendered two youngish full-time position players, one of whom was an All-Star last year, for three no-name relievers and a couple of role players.
Will shares his thoughts on asterisks and history before getting into the down and dirty of what's under the bandages.
As Barry Bonds hits a milestone home run, people keep throwing punches at him. Most are spiteful, most are speculative at best, and some are downright libelous. Patrick Hruby was at least entertaining in his recent Page 2 story, attempting to find some formula that would quantify the tainted home runs and keep Bonds down on the list of slugging greats. Hruby's piece wasn't informed by the work of Nate Silver in Baseball Between The Numbers or Jay Jaffe in The Juice. Hruby stayed with the mainstream Cartesian syllogism of "j'emploie, donc je corromps." It's a perfect example of confirmation bias, and one that is as specious as it is speculative. I won't deny that the preponderance of evidence shows that Bonds used performance enhancers or that there was likely some effect. I also understand why some people want to keep the legends of the game above someone who they have an active dislike for. It's much easier to do so with fact than with fiction, however.
MLB and the MLBPA announced the latest new rules governing performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. Is this finally it?
The question now is, is this it? Have we finally reached a denouement, at least as far as the rulebook goes? Initial documents, including those dug up by Maury Brown of SABR, show that while many will consider this a big step, there are as many questions as answers.