CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Vote in the Internet Baseball Awards for a chance at a free copy of Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Voting ends in 16 days and 21 hours

Articles Tagged Randy Johnson 

Search BP Articles

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

04-11

comment icon

9

In A Pickle: Seattle's Past
by
Jason Wojciechowski

11-02

comment icon

15

Raising Aces: The Good Old Days: Randy Johnson
by
Doug Thorburn

06-04

comment icon

13

BP Unfiltered: Pictures of Chris Sale That Make Me Uncomfortable
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-19

comment icon

12

Raising Aces: Downhill from Here
by
Doug Thorburn

03-28

comment icon

12

Research Mailbag: ...Is This Thing On?
by
Bradley Ankrom

03-07

comment icon

43

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part IV: The Designated Hitter Question
by
Jay Jaffe

07-21

comment icon

8

Checking the Numbers: To Subtract or Divide
by
Eric Seidman

07-24

comment icon

0

Prospectus Toolbox: Non-contact, Part One
by
Derek Jacques

05-30

comment icon

0

Prospectus Game of the Week: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers, 5/29/2006
by
Derek Jacques

03-17

comment icon

0

Prospectus Matchups: Those Sinister Duos
by
Jim Baker

07-13

comment icon

0

Prospectus Game of the Week: Cleveland Indians @ New York Yankees, 7/10/05
by
Jonah Keri

03-31

comment icon

0

Preseason Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

07-14

comment icon

0

Mid-Season Baseball Awards
by
Ryan Wilkins

05-19

comment icon

0

Breaking Balls: Perfection
by
Derek Zumsteg

10-26

comment icon

0

Internet Baseball Awards: NL Player of the Year
by
Greg Spira

10-23

comment icon

0

Internet Baseball Awards: Pitcher of the Year
by
Greg Spira

10-01

comment icon

0

Playoff Prospectus: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals
by
Gary Huckabay

03-08

comment icon

0

The Daily Prospectus: Rocky Mountain High
by
Joe Sheehan

11-07

comment icon

0

Staff Ballots
by
Baseball Prospectus

10-25

comment icon

0

World Series Prospectus
by
Joe Sheehan

07-12

comment icon

0

Prospectus Awards Balloting
by
Baseball Prospectus

08-01

comment icon

0

Transaction Analysis: July 27-31, 2000
by
Christina Kahrl

06-13

comment icon

0

Pitcher Abuse Points
by
Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner

11-20

comment icon

0

1999 Internet Baseball Awards Results
by
Greg Spira

07-15

comment icon

0

Individual Ballots
by
Baseball Prospectus

04-16

comment icon

0

Projected 1999 National League Standings
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-31

comment icon

0

Projected 1998 American League Standings
by
Baseball Prospectus

<< Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

April 11, 2013 5:00 am

In A Pickle: Seattle's Past

9

Jason Wojciechowski

A new book looks at the many obstacles along the route to becoming a major-league city.

The history of the business of baseball is filled with at least as many scoundrels and thieves as the history of the game on the field. Google something like "worst owners baseball history" and you'll find reams of blog posts and articles with stories of racism, and rich men laying waste to cities, and incompetents, and all manner of other hoodlums. Of course, team owners never act alone. Cities and counties and states are run by the same power elite that produces the lead dogs of sports franchises, and leagues frequently have help from local politicians in their schemes to build boondoggle stadiums, place expansion franchises, and shift teams from city to city.

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.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

November 2, 2012 6:03 am

Raising Aces: The Good Old Days: Randy Johnson

15

Doug Thorburn

Randy Johnson was one of the most dominant pitchers of his or any era, but his peak wouldn't have been possible without continual mechanical tinkering.

I remember reading an article as a college student that described how Randy Johnson had made a mechanical adjustment that allowed the large lefty to extend his release point by more than a foot. The sheer thought of the Big Unit getting 12 inches closer to the plate was equal parts terrifying and fascinating, as physics class had taught me about the advantages inherent in decreasing the distance that the ball travels, ranging from increased perceived velocity to a reduced drag effect on the baseball (I would later learn to appreciate the ripple effect on the timing of pitch-break). The story also marked the first time that I heard the name Tom House, as Johnson had mastered his new techniques through Nolan Ryan and his pitching coach with the Texas Rangers, learning from the man who would be my future mentor in my first exposure to real baseball science.

Johnson’s distinguishing characteristic was his exceptional height: at 6’10”, he was one of the tallest pitchers ever to play in the majors. His height gave him an intrinsic advantage on the mound that is often misunderstood in the mainstream. The plot thickens when one watches his delivery, as Johnson's strategy of slinging the ball from an ultra-low arm slot flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which emphasizes downhill plane. His sidewinder approach was decidedly old-school, harkening back to 12-time strikeout king Walter Johnson, who was known as the hardest thrower of his day and a tireless workhorse who personified the true “ace” label. At 6’1”, Walter was a large human for the early 20th century, and his nickname, “The Big Train,” is essentially a century-old analogue of Randy's “Big Unit” epithet.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Chris Sale pitches well once again, and once again looks disgusting doing it.

In four games from last Tuesday through last Saturday, the Mariners scored 45 runs, which was roughly the same number of runs that they'd scored in the previous two seasons combined. Yesterday, the universe acted to restore order, using Chris Sale as its agent. Sale pitched a complete game against the M's in Chicago, limiting them to two runs on two walks and five hits and pulling the string on Hawk Harrelson's back that makes him say "He gone!" on eight separate occasions.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

April 19, 2012 3:00 am

Raising Aces: Downhill from Here

12

Doug Thorburn

How much does pitching on a downhill plane affect a pitcher's ability to get ground balls?

Here we are in the middle of the Information Age, with access to more data than the human mind can possibly process, and yet the dissemination of baseball information has been muted by a language barrier. Baseball fans are becoming increasingly savvy about the nuances of the game, with sophisticated analytical tools at their disposal, but access to the dynamics of play on the field is often clouded by a filter of scout-speak. If we were playing poker, then the dealer would need to remind the scouts in seats eight and nine of the “English only at the table” rule in order to prevent them from trading secrets that fly under the radar of other players. 

There are dozens of entries in the pitching section of the scout-speak dictionary, from “command” and “control” to “arm action.” One of these buzzwords is “downhill plane,” a term that refers to pitch trajectory that has a steep slope on its approach toward the hitter. It seems to follow that pitchers who possess a high release point would induce a higher rate of ground balls. The logic behind the idea is simple enough, as anyone who has thrown a tennis ball against a wall can attest, but the statistical evidence paints a different picture.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

The inaugural edition of the Research Mailbag explores pitchers starting both games of a doubleheader, players with the same name, and Opening Day starting pitchers.

Welcome aboard, and thank you for joining me for the maiden voyage of the Baseball Prospectus Research Mailbag. This week’s mailbag features two reader questions as well as the answer to a topic Kevin Goldstein pondered on Twitter a few days ago. Along the way, we’ll explore long, contrasting days had by Wilbur Wood and Don Newcombe, the baseball card collection I maintained as a child, and the worst starting pitchers deployed by defending World Series champions on Opening Day.

Feel free to send me a note with your research questions (please remember to include your name and hometown) for possible inclusion in future editions.

Read the full article...

Pitchers continue to get injured while batting, so should baseball continue to require NL pitchers to hit?

I'm not known around the Internet as the world's biggest A.J. Burnett fan. During last Wednesday's BP roundtable, I even dusted off an old Simpson's riff: "I'm a well-wisher in that I wish him no specific harm." Now, to set the record straight, any voodoo dolls I may have referenced over the past decade or so for any player exist only in my breathlessly hyperbolic narratives, and I would never actually wish injury on a ballplayer, particularly not such an injury as befell Burnett later that day. The recent trade that sent the enigmatic righty from the Yankees to the Pirates mandates that he practice his hitting and bunting, and unfortunately, a less-than-stellar bit of work on the latter sent a ball into his own face, fracturing his right orbital and necessitating surgery. Fortunately, it does not sound as though he suffered a detached retina, which could have threatened his career.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

July 21, 2010 8:00 am

Checking the Numbers: To Subtract or Divide

8

Eric Seidman

There are major differences between statistics, and it is important not to misuse them.

In this day and age, baseball players are defined by their statistical attributes much more than they were a few decades ago. That isn’t to say that stats rule all by any means, but rather that teams are starting to be built with more of an eye toward numbers than in the past or at least with an eye toward numbers that provide more information. We have witnessed the defensive revolution. This past offseason, not only did the Red Sox make a conscious effort to bring aboard the darlings of fielding metrics—Mike Cameron, Marco Scutaro, and Adrian Beltre—but teams shied away from the likes of Jermaine Dye, who averaged 33 home runs and a .279/.347/.528 line over the last four seasons, because his overall contributions were not in line with his asking price. And last offseason, the glut of hard-hitting but poor-fielding corner outfielders suffered financially; it’s hard to imagine players with skill sets similar to those of Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu being offered so little even just a few years ago.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Measuring the rate at which a pitcher strikes batters out is an important part of the toolbox.

Statheads and strikeouts…it's an age-old romance. For pitchers, we'll tell you that strikeouts are the biggest predictor of a hurler's future success. When batters go down, though, while we acknowledge that the whiff is an out--a negative result--it's an out we put on a pedestal as one of the Three True Outcomes (along with the walk and the homer). A noble out, I guess.

Read the full article...

The first Game of the Week of the 2006 season features a pair of AL ace starters with warts, on opposite ends of their careers.

Today, we're watching the top two teams in the land, as per the Prospectus Hit List: the Tigers and Yankees, at lovely Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit was roasting yesterday, 93 degrees on a sunny Memorial Day afternoon. Coming into this week's four-game series against New York, Detroit is in first place in the NL Central, two and a half games ahead of the White Sox. Prior to being shut out by Cleveland the day before, the Tigers had won eight in a row.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Premium article. To read it, sign up for Premium today!

March 17, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Those Sinister Duos

0

Jim Baker

With Francisco Liriano and Johan Santana set to become Minnesota's two finest pitchers, Jim wonders about the dominance of other lefty tandems in recent baseball history.

Speaking of Santana, the Twins have it within their grasp to piece together one of the finest one-two lefthanded punches of recent memory. Francisco Liriano, currently on the roster of the Dominican Republic and one of the more promising arms in the world, has a shot to make Minnesota's rotation. Whether the Twins choose him or Scott Baker at this juncture, there is no doubt he will be in the picture in the near future. If Minnesota brings him along as carefully as they did Santana, that future might be a bit delayed.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Jonah witnesses the Randy Johnson of old turning into the Randy Johnson who's just old.

Time and again during Sunday's tilt between the Indians and Yankees, Johnson got into trouble. The Indians started each of the first five innings with a runner on base. Johnson's fastball kept catching the middle of the plate, leading to several booming hits into the gaps. But just when the Tribe looked ready to blow the game open, they'd blow it by hacking at fastballs up and out of the zone, the only kind Johnson could throw by anyone. That impatience, along with Johnson's still-lethal slider, some Indians base-running blunders and some Yankee luck, combined to keep the Bombers in a game they should have lost early on. Here's what transpired:

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Twelve BP authors kick off the new season with their 2005 AL predictions.

Our authors, august worthies every one, wrap up the offseason with their predictions for 2005. Come Sunday, we will no longer need the future tense, as we'll have actual baseball to discuss.

In part one of this two-part series, we focus on the American League, concentrating on the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year). Tomorrow we'll conclude with the National League predictions, along with the staff picks for the World Series representatives.

Read the full article...

<< Previous Tag Entries No More Tag Entries