While it may be easy to root for certain ballplayers, we have to be open to honest assessments of their abilities.
Ever since I was introduced to Bill James’ works in the mid-'80s, I have wanted to learn as much as possible about baseball so that I can better understand and appreciate it. If you're reading this, you're probably wired the same way. It might be easier to watch without thinking so much, but we don't know how to do that.
I have a similar problem with music. I started playing guitar at the same time I started reading James (correlation does not equal causation), and although I'm a bit of a hack, I've earned enough over the years from my efforts to attract the U.S. government's attention.
Brian Bogusevic, Alex White, and two Giants infielders make the most of other people's injuries, the Dodgers swap backup catchers, the Snakes switch futilitymen, and the Padres ponder their first base future.
The first supplemental draft of the Scoresheet season is upon us already, and Rob is here to guide you through the weekend.
The early draft date this year makes for some serious guesswork, and some seriously bad concessions of overall talent being bypassed by contenders in need of immediate help. Loading Team Tracker with position players with more than 3.9 offensive runs created per game and more than 19 plate appearances who are owned in fewer than 25 leagues gives this list of suspects:
With Mario Mendoza being the patron saint of bad hitting, who should define replacement level?
Replacement level is something of a slippery concept. Of course, once you’ve gotten a grasp of its meaning and import, it’s not hard to hold on; I suspect that most people reading this article would defend the utility of replacement level to the death, at least until things got violent. Still, one suspects that holdouts might cotton to the concept more quickly if it employed a familiar baseline; the rather abstract nature of the term “replacement level” has been known to provoke a few scoffs from the anti-intellectual set.
Of course, given the elusive nature of “average” in baseball, replacement level better suits the sport for evaluative purposes. As Joe Posnanski wrote recently, “You could pick a really HIGH baseline—you could make your stat read Wins Below Willie Mays (WBWM) or Value Under Albert Pujols (VUAB). But that wouldn’t be much fun to do and would probably tell us more about Willie Mays and Albert Pujols than the players themselves.”
Or, getting used to what Willie Bloomquist can't do.
In 1935, when Casey Stengel was managing with the Dodgers, the best teams in the league was the Cardinals. The Dodgers weren’t nearly in the same class. That winter, Cardinals GM Branch Rickey released two former starting outfielders, Jack Rothrock and Ernie Orsatti. The Dodgers were not deep in outfielders, or ambulatory humans for that matter, and Stengel was asked if his club would try to sign the two free agents.
The Braves' bench looks ugly. The Dodgers make some nifty deals. The Mets inexplicably hand starting jobs to Tyler Yates and Scott Erickson. The Rangers unload Einar Diaz on the Expos. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.