Prospectus Q&A returns, as Jonah Keri talks to Rangers Assistant General Manager Jon Daniels about the new blood in major league front offices, the challenges of playing in a big hitter’s park, and more.
Jonah Keri pinch-hits for Joe Sheehan, weighing in on Game 1 thoughts from Tony Womack’s bunt to Keith Foulke’s dominance to Hank Greenberg.
The Cardinals punched their ticket in July. The Dodgers, 72 hours ago. Don’t let that fool you: this is a great matchup.
Overwhelmed by the groundswell of warm, reminiscing letters from Expos fans, Jonah Keri shares the best reader recollections, plus two more of his own.
After countless false starts, the Expos look on the brink of finally leaving Montreal. Expo fanatic Jonah Keri bids them a fond farewell, recalling better days at the Big O.
Baseball Prospectus: You’ve worked with some interesting characters over the years. What lessons did you learn from Bobby Valentine when you worked with him in Texas?
Tom House: He’s a perfectionist. He helped me create a preparation base as a pitching coach. One time I’d planned the rotation out to a certain day. He’d say that’s not enough, tell me out to this day; five presentations later he finally gave it his stamp of approval. It was never enough, he was never just satisfied with what he had. His search for perfection and a better way to do things are second to none. He made me a better pitching coach.
A former major league pitcher who gained a boost of fame by catching Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball, Tom House is now a performance analyst and co-owner of the National Pitching Association in San Diego. Under House’s stewardship, NPA has produced graduates such as Barry Zito, Mark Prior and Cole Hamels. Its advisory board includes such luminaries as Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan, as well as medical experts such as Dr. Lewis Yocum and Dr. James Andrews. NPA counts about 125 graduates currently pitching in professional baseball, about three times that number in major U.S. colleges. House recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about the huge advances in sports medicine and technology in the last two decades, the best pitching coaches in the game today, and more.
Two over-30 relative unknowns are putting up huge seasons, seemingly out of the blue. How’d they get here and what can other over-30 breakouts teach us? Jonah Keri takes a look.
In the third and final installment of his Q&A with Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, Jonah Keri asks about evaluating defense, winning on a low payroll, and the grind of being a major league general manager.
In Part II of a three-part Q&A, J.P. Ricciardi talks to Jonah Keri about Carlos Delgado’s tough season, new ways to evaluate pitchers, and more.
After two seasons as a minor league player, J.P. Ricciardi became a coach in the Yankees’ system at age 23. He joined the A’s organization, climbing the ranks from minor league instructor, through multiple scouting positions, to director of player personnel under Billy Beane. Hired by the Blue Jays to be the team’s new general manager in November 2001, he’s now in the midst of a five-year contract extension that takes him through the 2007 season, after being offered the Red Sox job before Theo Epstein took over. Now in his third season with the Jays, Ricciardi has encountered both success (86-76 in ’03) and disappointment (last in the division this year). Ricciardi recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about expectations for young players, picking the right manager, and more.
Mark Cuban made his fortune through the sale of his company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. Rather than push his luck during the frenetic peak of the Internet bubble, Cuban took his cash and fulfilled a dream, buying the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for $280 million in 2000. With a risk-taking approach and a focus on marketing and investing in the product, Cuban has since presided over the Mavericks’ transformation into one of the league’s most successful and high-profile teams. Cuban recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about the role of a good owner, labor relations in pro sports, and more.
Jonah Keri takes a closer look at roster construction, in search of a better way. Bobby Cox, Earl Weaver, Casey Stengel and George Stallings lend a hand.
Jonah Keri breaks down the last 10 years of Mets history. Lots of ill-fated trades, questionable moves and blame to go around, but one man stands above the rest. Read on to find out who.
Jonah Keri launches a new column today with a look at the collapse of the Diamondbacks. Hint: “launching” played a role in their season.
Baseball Prospectus: Looking back on the 2002 draft, for a while people may have been questioning the Twins taking Joe Mauer over Mark Prior. Now, Mauer is up in the majors and doing well. What went into the thought process of drafting Mauer over Prior? How much did Mauer being from Minnesota factor into the decision?
Terry Ryan: A little bit of the hometown aspect went into the selection. And all that’s fine, but it wasn’t the overriding factor. Economics were a part of it too. There were probably a dozen guys in that draft room, and we did our homework, so there were no big question marks. We knew that Prior was a tremendous talent, Teixeira too. We were very equal on Prior and Mauer, with Teixeira a tick behind–he had a broken (leg) at the time. In the end it didn’t matter–both guys will be great players, Prior was a tremendous pick for the Cubs.
We knew more about Mauer than any player in the draft, we’d tracked him since he was 15. We’re a left-handed-oriented organization because of the Metrodome, a lefty-hitting catcher is hard to find, and catching is probably the most difficult position to find, behind maybe only starting pitching.