Allen Barra has written for numerous publications since the late-1970s, including The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, and currently The New York Times. In 2002, Barra authored Clearing the Bases: The Greatest Baseball Debates of the Last Century, which took a refreshing look at some of baseball’s most argued topics. Recently, BP correspondent Alex Belth caught up with Barra to discuss his early days as a writer, the influence of Bill James on his work, and Major League Baseball’s marketing department.
Jamie Moyer is an acquired taste. His fastball couldn’t catch a Ford Festiva at top speed; his curve is good, but it doesn’t have jaw-droppingly sharp movement; he has a unremarkable mound presence, generally stoic and composed; and is listed–ever-so-generously–at six feet, 175 pounds. Watching Moyer face one batter, you’re probably not going to be impressed at all. After two, though, you start to notice exactly how slow he’s throwing, how the change-up hangs up for what seems like entire seconds. Through a game, you’ll see him work location and speeds and most likely come out of the game having pitched well, and probably not notice that he racked up five, six, or maybe even eight strikeouts–each of them on a pitch that you’d expect to see hit in the minors.
Prospectus Triple Play breaks down the effects of the Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett trades in Chicago, looks at St. Louis and teams past with five All-Stars and pedestrian records, and examines the trade market for Texas and Rafael Palmeiro.
At some point, you just have to laugh.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fading into oblivion, unable to put together much in the way of an inning, never mind an entire game. They’ve scored 14 runs in their last eight contests, or as many as the Diamondbacks tallied in the last five innings of their win on Monday night. They might not reach 300 runs by the All-Star break, a feat I didn’t think was possible in the modern era of late-March starts and league RAs in the mid-4.00s, and they’re on pace to be the first NL team since 1993 to not score 600 runs.
I’ve watched almost every inning of Dodger baseball in July, and I have to say, I deserve something for that. For the past week, the Dodgers have been just as bad as the Tigers–who might be The Worst Team in 40 Years–were back in April…