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Articles Tagged Peter Gammons 

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The notable quotables from the week that was.

THE OBVIOUS AND THE ULTIMATE

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August 12, 2009 11:57 am

Under The Knife: Pain in Pairs

16

Will Carroll

A quintet of injury-afflicted duos, an Indy Tweetup recap, plus a gaggle of Quick Cuts.

So it was a pretty incredible event on Monday night. Peter King might have showed up a bit later (blame the airline), but he stayed for three hours of football and baseball talk, reminding everyone of what a great storyteller he is. Some was off the record, some a bit off-color, but at the end of the day it was like talking sports with a neighbor, that guy you really like and wish you'd hang out with more. Of course, this neighbor is the best in the business and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame just days before. It's pretty amazing that my two writing heroes-Peter King and Peter Gammons-have both been instrumental in my career. It's like I decided to play guitar, and then The Edge and Jack White came over to help. I was lucky enough to see Peter Gammons the day he was told he was going to the Hall; I was walking through the Winter Meetings with Jon Daniels, who'd been in meetings and hadn't heard. When I congratulated Gammons, Daniels had to ask why. Gammons got a sheepish grin and said, "I won the Spink. I got voted to the Hall." When I mentioned that King was newly inducted, he had that same look, that same smile. The other thing they have in common is the same passion for their game. I'll stop with the compliments-King already said that Adam Schefter's honorific in Sports Illustrated made him feel like he was dead-but I won't stop being inspired by their example. Powered by heroes, on to the injuries:

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Everybody's talking about everyone else, say it ain't so Bud and so it shall be, and the Straw stirs.

IT FEELS GOOD TO LAUGH AGAIN

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June 29, 2006 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Variations on a Monetary Theme

0

Dan Fox

Does an evenly balanced payroll put you at the front of the pack? Does it have anything to do with postseason success? Dan takes a look.

As this article goes to press, your humble author will be enjoying his first Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention being held in Seattle. In next week's column I hope to include a full report on some of the more interesting quantitative research presentations, along with a few general takes on the convention itself. I'll also be blogging from the Emerald City, so you'll be able to get a peek at the goings on.

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June 28, 2006 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Get Well Soon

0

Will Carroll

Updates on Kerry Wood, Robinson Cano and others highlight this UTK, but it's a different kind of injury that is at the forefront of Will's mind today.

Powered by Peter Gammons, on to the injuries:

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July 29, 2005 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Heroes

0

Will Carroll

On the eve of Hall of Fame weekend, Will writes about two of the men who shaped his baseball life.

Ryne Sandberg played the position like no one I had ever seen. Spare me your Joe Morgans and Rogers Hornsbys. Maybe if I'd been 14 when they played, I would have a near irrational attachment to them. Maybe if they were on a Nike poster that showed them jumping so high it looked like they might go over the rooftops. Sandberg would show up every day, on my screen or on the box score in USA Today. I followed every game in 1990 from thousands of miles away and somehow I felt like I was there when Sandberg barely beat out Darryl Strawberry for the home-run title. I died a little bit when he walked away unexpectedly, and while he wasn't the same player when he came back, he was enough. We got to see Ryno one more time and revel in his professionalism and talent. Sunday, we'll get the chance to say thank you for all those sun-drenched afternoons of joy and class.

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December 14, 2004 12:00 am

Winter Meetings Diary

0

Baseball Prospectus

Updated Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. PST.

There's plenty more work to be done this winter for every team. The next milestone may be the non-tender date of Dec. 20 and free-agent dominoes are starting to fall. So many teams seem intent on doing...something that they often aren't at a stage where "Plan B" is really in sight. Many still think that everything will fall their way.

I started on Friday listing how "neat" it is to stand in a room with Peter Gammons, a gaggle of general managers, and a hundred other interesting people just as passionate about baseball as I am. I met hundreds of people, shook thousands of hands, and heard millions of rumors in a weekend that included everything but sleep.

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January 14, 2004 12:00 am

Hot Stove, Cool Music

0

Nathan Fox

BOSTON, Mass. -- I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. When I go to a rock show I expect to see someone onstage howling like a banshee and whaling away on the rhythm guitar. I just don't expect that someone to be Peter Gammons. Sunday night's "Hot Stove, Cool Music" show at the Paradise Rock Club featured not just Gammons onstage, but a slew of baseball rockers and an audience full of VIP baseball guests. It was the fourth annual event, but the first for me. I'll admit to being star struck--the following is what I can make of my notes...

Sunday night's "Hot Stove, Cool Music" show at the Paradise Rock Club featured not just Gammons onstage, but a slew of baseball rockers and an audience full of VIP baseball guests. It was the fourth annual event, but the first for me. I'll admit to being star struck--the following is what I can make of my notes:

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April 29, 2003 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Applying the Lessons

0

Will Carroll

Thanks to everyone who emailed their congratulations on the one-year anniversary. As I told many of you, what makes this fun for me is meeting readers--both in and outside of baseball--and getting to know them. There are great people in baseball: People who love the game like Peter Gammons and Rob Neyer (who has a kicking new Modesty Panel website); people like Alex Belth, Lee Sinins, and Jamey Newberg; people like the guys at BP that I've read for years, not to mention new friends like Nate Silver and Ryan Wilkins. People like...well, I can't name the various players, trainers, and doctors I've gotten to know, but you know who you are and I know you're reading. So thanks to you...each one of you. I said yesterday that people were reading this column, but I said nothing about everyone being able to learn the lessons. Jack McDowell certainly doesn't get it, and we've known for a while that Jeff Torborg and Brad Arnsberg don't get it either. I'll say it again: There are certain factors that make a pitcher more likely to get injured, and when a pitcher exhibits signs of injury or overuse, it is the responsibility of the manager and pitching coach to use that pitcher in a manner which will keep him healthy while retaining the maximum amount of value. That said, it seems quite apparent that both Torborg and Arnsberg knew that one of their players was injured, but rode him hard nonetheless. This is absolutely inexcusable, and both men are--flat out--to blame for the loss of A.J. Burnett. Scalies fans, your manager and pitching coach just cost you at least two wins in 2003 (per his PECOTA projection) and a staff ace for the better portion of two years. For a team with serious financial issues this is simply untenable, and if anyone in that front office has the remotest of clues, that person needs to fire both men. Do it now, before Josh Beckett or Brad Penny gets badly hurt. Burnett looks like he's headed for Tommy John surgery, though the final determination won't be made until Jim Andrews has his elbow open. Count A.J. out for the year.

  • I said yesterday that people were reading this column, but I said nothing about everyone being able to learn the lessons. Jack McDowell certainly doesn't get it, and we've known for a while that Jeff Torborg and Brad Arnsberg don't get it either. I'll say it again: There are certain factors that make a pitcher more likely to get injured, and when a pitcher exhibits signs of injury or overuse, it is the responsibility of the manager and pitching coach to use that pitcher in a manner which will keep him healthy while retaining the maximum amount of value.
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    January 29, 2003 4:24 pm

    Breaking Out

    0

    Nate Silver

    PECOTA

    Last week, I provided a list of position player breakout candidates as identified by a Peter Gammons survey of major league scouts and executives, and evaluated them by means of our new projection system, PECOTA, which uses comparable player data to provide an objective estimate of the probability of a marked improvement in a player's performance.

    In this article, I'll do the same thing for the pitchers that made the Gammons list. I've put the pitchers second for a good reason: It is much more difficult to isolate components of a pitcher's statistical record that imply that a breakout is likely. Certainly, pitchers can and do improve dramatically at almost any age throughout their 20s (Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson are two prominent examples), but they don't follow the same dependable age-related patterns of growth that hitters do, and the precursors that predict improvement are much more difficult to detect.

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    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead. If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year.

    In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead.

    If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup's version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year. That list includes roughly equal representation of the good (Alfonso Soriano and Derek Lowe), the bad (J.D. Drew), and the ugly (Juan Uribe), as well as four players whose performances were so impressive that they made repeat appearances on this year's list.

    Now, none of this is meant to be a knock on Gammons, or the lists he has compiled. Everybody likes to talk about breakout candidates this time of year, ourselves included (Eddie Yarnall, anyone?). Having formerly moonlighted as a daily team correspondent for another baseball website, I can attest to the fact that virtually every player provides at least some excuse each winter for gushing commentary, delusions of grandeur, or other forms of irrational exuberance.

    As it happens, however, we're unrolling a new forecasting system at BP this year--one that is also preoccupied with the question of breakout candidates. The PECOTA system--short for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm--seeks to identify potential breakouts by comparing a player against a database of his historical peers. In so doing, it comes up with an objective estimate of the probability that a player will display marked improvement in the upcoming season (defined as an increase of at least 20% in his Equivalent Runs per plate appearance, or a decrease of at least 20% in his PERA, relative to a weighted average of his previous three years of performance). We refer to this estimate as a player's Breakout score. Readers interested in a more extensive treatment of the PECOTA system will find it in this year's book, and in the PECOTA glossary provided here.

    One brief caveat: the PECOTA system is new technology. That doesn't mean that we stole it from the Raelians, or that we haven’t tested it thoroughly. But sometimes PECOTA provides us with definitive and unexpected answers, and we need to work backwards to try and explain why they came about. That's a bastardization of the scientific method, and I'll ask that you'll excuse me as I run through the hitters on Gammons' list.

    Rank on Gammons List, Player, PECOTA Breakout Score

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    December 10, 2001 12:00 am

    HACKING MASS Results

    0

    Baseball Prospectus

    We've tabulated this year's HACKING MASS results, and we've got ourselves a winner. Keith Lindahl led his imaginatively named squad to a fantastic 371.76 ESPN to easily capture the 2001 HACKING MASS title. Keith's winning team is a smorgasboard of stiffness:

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