Umpires shouldn't settle for "close enough" when it comes to perfection.
The Weekend Takeaway
Did he go? That was the question percolating through every baseball fan’s mind after the White Sox’ Philip Humber threw the 21st perfect game in major-league history against the Mariners on Saturday afternoon.
Brendan Ryan, who pinch-hit for Munenori Kawasaki, worked the count full, fouled off Humber’s first payoff pitch, and then either swung or did not swing at a slider that broke well off the plate outside. But did he go?
Questions answered for the Rays and Nationals bullpens, and new ones asked about the White Sox.
Here at Value Picks HQ, we’re back in the swing of things with identifying undervalued assets who are available in 80 percent (or more) of leagues for you to pick up. Of course, if I do my job well, the list here will constantly be shuffling as ownership levels and player performances rise and fall. To that end, our list is split into three sections: guys from the previous week that we’ll be moving on from, guys who are staying with us, and brand new additions. Let’s get started.
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Day Three featured two lopsided victories. Live in Puerto Rico, Derek passes on what caught his attention.
It was a strange feeling being in Puerto Rico, watching baseball on Super Bowl Sunday. It felt like being a rebel leader in exile, biding my time, keeping the faith, and trying to secure foreign support while waiting for the current despots-the NFL-to slip up, so that the people can be liberated from football once and for all.
Until the glorious day the anti-football revolution comes, people in America will be unfamiliar with the workings of the Caribbean Series, and it will be incumbent upon us to educate them. Saturday's Day Two action left us with two undefeated teams, and two winless ones. The Dominicans pounded Mexico, 9-0, with Tony Batista again proving the offensive catalyst, adding two more homers to the one he hit in the opening game. In the nightcap, the home team beat the Venezuelans in a much closer match, 6-3. So on Sunday, the two winless teams played each other in the afternoon, leaving the two undefeateds to joust in the evening. In other words, after the day's action we would finally have a clear, unbeaten front-runner, as well as one 0-3 team that will be virtually out of contention for the crown.
Jim's matchups focus on an almost gratuitous interleague pairing, a series of bad moves in Minnesota, and a suggestion that we adopt a Brazilian style of referring to certain players.
Back when interleague play was just a bad idea floating around the ether, the most popular argument in its favor went like this: "Could you imagine what a Mets-Yankees series would be like?" My favorite counter-argument was always specifically this: "OK, but what about Houston-Minnesota--who'd care about that?" I wasn't picking on these teams, just singling out two clubs that would have only the most obscure reasons for wanting to meet anywhere but in the World Series. (It could have been any one of 200 other combinations.) And now, my counter-argument of 1991 has become reality, as here they are, clashing on very equal terms in 2006.
Sunday's Arizona/Atlanta game featured an unlikely hero and a likely goat.
A week ago, this matchup looked much more even. The Braves were 27-23, three and a half games behind the Mets. They come into Sunday's matchup a .500 team. The Braves have been a top offensive team so far this season, scoring 296 runs, good for second in the league, despite a lackluster .262 team EqA--seventh in the NL. So far, the Braves have outperformed their expected offensive performance--that is, what you'd expect they'd score based on the hits, walks, etc. that they have collected--by 20 runs, the most of any team in baseball.
It's not getting much attention, but Adam Dunn's unwilling quest to shatter Bobby Bonds' single-season record for batter strikeouts of 189 (1970) is going to be close enough that Dave Miley is going to have to think about whether he joins the wussy Jeff Torborgs and Al Pedriques of the world and actively interferes with pursuit of a milestone for no good reason. With 12 games to go, Dunn trails Bonds by 14. It will be tight, but four of the Reds' remaining games come against Cubs flamethrowers. Prior, Wood, do your stuff, lads! GRADE: C-
Alex Rodriguez's trade to the Yankees has elicited plenty of spirited debate on several related topics, notably what to do with Derek Jeter and his matador defense at short. Reader Mark Shirk had this to say: With an nearly imminent A-Rod to the Yankees trade, I got to thinking about how a move to 3B would affect the value of Derek Jeter. I figured out, using Clay Davenport's equations, that a move to 3B would mean that Jeter's RARP would drop about 4 runs over the course of a full season or roughly 154 games. However since Jeter is such a bad defensive player (-22.5 FRAA per 154 games from 2001-2003) the move might actually benefit him. Is it unreasonable to think that Jeter would be 15 runs below average as a 3B? I don't think it is even out of the realm of potability for him to be only 10 runs below average. All told that is an 8-run gain in value for Jeter, a pretty significant sum. Am I wrong in thinking this?