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Tuesday, August 09, 2011
There’s nowhere to hide in baseball. Your batting average is displayed in three-foot-high digits on the scoreboard before each at-bat. The scouts behind home plate hone in on your every weakness. Each flailing swing is just a few clicks of the Internet away for anyone to see.
When you’re Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox, and you’re hitting .165 with 142 strikeouts on August 9, and you’re in the first year of a four-year $56 million contract, you are past the point of being unable to ...
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 05:57 PM | 24 comment(s)
Chris Jones and Jonah Keri debate the intersection of advanced statistics and sportwriting and whether there is tension between the two.
The question is, can we marry great storytelling with analysis? Yes, I think we can. You talk to people, get to know them, get them to open up about their hopes and dreams and fears. You get them to reveal an injury no one else knew they had, or a messy divorce they kept quiet from the public, or a personal tragedy that threw their world off its axis. There ...
And good luck to ya, Woody Rich!
Which is how the Red Sox list looks like this:
Pedroia: 6.7 fWAR
...Pedroia doesn’t have Gonzalez’s power, or for that matter his batting average.
Pedroia doesn’t have Ellsbury’s power, either. Not this season, anyway.
What Pedroia does have is almost Ellsbury’s power, plus a better stolen-base percentage, other baserunning skills, and a fantastic glove at second base.
The numbers really aren’t precise enough to tell us which ...
Getting past the vast…some good Ralph Kiner-speak.
Kiner also loves to shoot holes in perceived baseball wisdom. “These stolen base hot shots,” he remarked, referring to the fastest runners on both the Braves and Mets. “If they’re so good at stealing bases, just let them steal. I never figured out why it was considered smart for a batter to swing at a pitch he didn’t like in order to ‘protect’ the runner? If the runner is good enough to steal, why does he have to be ‘protected’? They always ...
New Pete Rose Records!
Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com talked with Youkilis about his future in Boston. McDonald writes, “Since teammate Adrian Gonzalez is locked up as the club’s first baseman until 2018, and there’s a highly touted third base prospect in the organization, Will Middlebrooks, Youkilis doesn’t know what his future holds in Boston. His contract expires at the end of 2012 with a club option for 2013, and no matter if he re-signs with Boston or ends up playing for another ...
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 11 comment(s)
(Quickly puts in call to Texarkana Moonlight Murders cold case tipline)
While hanging out in the dugout during last night’s Phillies-Dodgers game, it appears that Roy Oswalt was teaching Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee how to murder someone in a gruesome fashion. Or, something.
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:35 PM | 22 comment(s)
Maybe if Newsweekian wild-eyed David Cone didn’t mention FanGraphs so damn often…we wouldn’t even know of this problem!
Last season, Fangraphs.com, a baseball analysis website, reported the average time between pitches league-wide as 21.5 seconds. The numbers count pickoff attempts as a pitch, but do include timeouts taken by the batter or pitcher in the middle of an at-bat.
“We have a situation in this day and age (where) I’m hard-pressed to (name) any batters that really stay in the box,” ...
Not as bad as that old “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge” headline, but…..
Shane Victorino kept playing, Roy Halladay kept winning and Ryan Howard kept driving in runs.
Halladay became the NL’s first 15-game winner and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Monday night.
...Halladay (15-4) allowed a run and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings and struck out four. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA since his 6-1 loss at Wrigley Field on July 18, when he was forced out after ...
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:38 AM | 169 comment(s)
Ha! More proof of a deadball conspiracy!
Just when Lake County Fielders officials thought their troubled season couldn’t get any worse, they are left trying to explain the early-inning suspension of a home game over claims they provided inferior baseballs for the players.
Friday night’s suspended game against the Calgary Vipers prompted an angry response from Fielders owner Richard Ehrenreich.
Ehrenreich said Monday the baseball-quality gripe originated with the Vipers’ starting pitcher, and ...
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:29 AM | 14 comment(s)
I got an interesting email the other day from the United States Postal Service… they’re unveiling a four-stamp series they’re calling “Major League Baseball All-Star Stamps.”... In the email, they announced the first player is Joe DiMaggio. The other three will be announced at a later date…
it turns out there are limitations when it comes to postage stamps…. No living person shall be honored by portrayal on U.S. Postage… No stamp shall be considered for issuance if one treating the same ...
The District Attorney
Posted: August 09, 2011 at 11:13 AM | 33 comment(s)
Regina Morning Leader, August 9, 1911:
Fandom includes all classes of citizens, and in order to keep them in check the following warnings have been framed by a person who knows something about the unbridled enthusiasm of those who follow the fortunes of their favorite teams:
Don’t shout words of advice to the players.
Don’t roast players for making errors.
Don’t put the lighted end of a cigar into your mouth when your favorite knocks out a four-bagger.
Don’t elbow your neighbor and step ...
How soon we forget the demonic swagger stare of Hammer Hamelin!
“You can see his swagger,” veteran right fielder Torii Hunter said of the 25-year-old rookie who is hitting .261 with a team-leading 22 home runs and 63 runs batted in entering Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees. He walks with a chip on his shoulder. He stares with a chip on his shoulder. It’s a little smirk like, ‘I told you.’
...Trumbo has had his share of critics even though they have been silenced this season as ...
Monday, August 08, 2011
Even though Brown is no longer with us…Stop The Phussing And Phighting! (I know…I hate that too)
ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball has suspended Shane Victorino three games for his role in Friday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the Phillies and Giants in San Francisco. A source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that Victorino plans to appeal.
No word yet if Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez, whose apparent intentional drilling of Victorino triggered the altercation, and Giants catcher ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:54 PM | 6 comment(s)
Tommy Lasorda is dumber than ten dogs high-fiving.
It was the last day of the regular season, and Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker had just gone deep off the Astros’ J.R. Richard. It was Baker’s 30th home run, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four sluggers—Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Reggie Smith—with at least 30 homers each. It was a wild, triumphant moment and a good omen as the Dodgers headed to the playoffs. Burke, waiting on deck, thrust his hand enthusiastically ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:10 PM | 21 comment(s)
The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is dead and baseball has helped kill it: Eighteen meetings a year at four hours each has watered down the product to the point of overkill and taken the starch out of things. These games have become overdone and overblown, almost meaningless.
Where’s the angst, the bitterness, the brushbacks? Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez don’t square off at home plate anymore. The days of Don Zimmer sprinting out of the dugout and bull rushing Pedro Martinez are over…
They’ve reached this point because of hypnotherapist Dr. AlVera Paxson, who is developing quite the reputation for helping the reigning World Series champion Giants kick some nasty, decades-old habits.
Bochy hasn’t touched chewing tobacco since April 14, the night before seeing Paxson during his team’s first road trip to Arizona. Hayes has gone without since Jan. 26. It’s two years down for Murphy. No carrying around those little tobacco cans for these three any longer.
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:49 PM | 22 comment(s)
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Monday will ask a judge in Boston to clear the way for him to pursue a malpractice claim against his former law firm that his attorneys say could be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
As McCourt wages legal battles in California and Delaware in an effort to keep control of the Dodgers, his court fight in Massachusetts is aimed at preserving his right to sue for a nine-figure damage award if he loses the team.
You can’t make this stuff up. They sued him ...Read More...
The Piehole of David Wells
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 32 comment(s)
In praise of the two greatest teams in the universe, and the media explosion which allows the rest of us to ignore them.
People who complain about Red Sox/Yankees games are my new pet peeve:
Oh, great, look: the front page of ESPN.com is all Yankees and Red Sox.
Of course MLB Network is showing Yankees/Red Sox. I wanted to watch [other game].
Yeah, went to read some stories about Craig Counsell’s hitless streak, but everything is all Boston this and New York that. Totally annoying.
Sitting on the bench can’t be the way anyone wanted to see Posada’s 17-year career with the Yankees end. But he’s not being released, presumably to avoid clubhouse drama. And there’s plenty more baseball to be played, including the postseason. Posada was hitting decently against right-handers, with a .263/.340/.438 average and all nine of his home runs. Maybe he has some contributions left to make this season.
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:11 PM | 2 comment(s)
And 200+ congrats to Chris on his 200th article for THT!
6. Best/worst after win No. 200
Remember how Marichal’s record fell off after winning No. 200? That brings up some questions. Who did the best/worst after winning 200? Who had the biggest fall off? Did anyone actually get better in terms of winning percentage?
Let’s limit this to people with more than 50 decisions after their 200th win, or else the answer will be someone like Charlie Root, who went 1-0 between his 200th win and ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:49 PM | 1 comment(s)
Now, with all due sensitivity and discretion, bearing in mind the scope of the situation… I can’t help but think the Hospital for Special Surgery bears some responsibility to compensate the other, still living “victim” of this horrendous, horrendous tragedy.
Hobbling, and then writhing, in pain on the outfield grass just beyond second base, Daniel Murphy just wanted someone to help him get off the field.
Murphy was beyond upset after suffering what a source confirmed Sunday night is a Grade 2 ...
The District Attorney
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:34 PM | 103 comment(s)
Juan gone to the Money Store!
If you want to know why more than 450 city park workers are about to be laid off or why the Parks Department has imposed outrageous fee increases, just take a look at the new Mets and Yankees ballparks… Deals the Bloomberg administration negotiated in 2006 have stripped some $30 million in annual revenue the Parks Department once generated from Shea Stadium and the old Yankee Stadium…
Shea and the old Yankee Stadium - both of which sat on park land and were owned ...
Long said the team’s research had shown that Teixeira was losing 15 to 20 points off his average because of would-be hits that were swallowed up by the shift, making it a primary reason for Teixeira’s declining average (he hit .256 in 2010)....
Teixeira is an unusual case, too, in that he is a switch-hitter who does not have nearly the same tendencies batting right-handed as he does from the left side….
As a right-handed hitter, Teixeira has a more even distribution in terms of the ...
The Piehole of David Wells
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
West Ham begins its journey back to the Premiership with their opening fixture vs. Cardiff! Currently listed at 6/4 for promotion, 9/2 to win the league. Go On Boys!
Oh, and I suppose there’s some other stuff as well…new US National Team coach, EPL season starting, etc. etc
Wrong HOL, Buster!
Yesterday on Twitter, Buster Olney had some thoughts on WAR, and specifically, the way it values middle-of-the-diamond players compared to first baseman. A few selections from his comments:
#1: “Love advanced metrics,but anybody find something a little skewed to 2B/SS/CF? Ben Zobrist No. 6 overall, ahead of all first basemen, McCann?”
#2: “Zobrist, Victorino, Howie Kendrick and Yunel Escobar all ahead of Prince Fielder in WAR. You do wonder if positional ...
He Was Expendable.
The John Wayne Side: This is the most debatable side of Hawk Harrelson. I was in attendance for Hawk Harrelson Night during his 25th anniversary celebration and one thing became apparent to me; people love The Hawk. It’s hard to understand but it’s true. There is something endearing about him. Maybe it’s his folksy charm? Or his deep passion for the White Sox? Or perhaps the silver comb-over thing on his head? I don’t know. But he is the kind of guy you will tell ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:59 AM | 140 comment(s)
I’d say bring in Joel Hanrahan and ask him…but it’s not a save the organization situation.
Some of that simply must be fatigue, as others in the organization will attest. But dig deeper with some advanced metrics, and it’s easy to see there is an element of the Pirates’ pitchers having been due some serious comeuppance:
• Through July 25, opponents had a .289 batting average on all balls put in play (BABIP), a statistic that distinguishes how much help a pitcher gets from his defense or ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:10 AM | 12 comment(s)
For now, the Yankees are holding off on summoning Jesus Montero. He is hot at Triple-A (.333 with seven extra-base hits in his past 13 games). However, there remains infighting among Yankees decision-makers if it is the wrong message to promote Montero when he has not dominated Triple-A and at times projects indifference about being there. Nevertheless, if the new DH structure does not work, Montero will be called up; yet another sign the Yankees are in a DH phase of anyone but ...
Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:58 AM | 43 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 8, 1911:
From all accounts the baseball game between Glassport and Coal Valley, played on the grounds of the latter team last Saturday afternoon, will long be remembered in the Monongahela valley. Some people declare it wasn’t a baseball game but a battle royal on a large scale.
[Constable Houseman] made a valiant effort to stop the fight, but not having 400 or 500 pairs of handcuffs and a machine gun with him, gave up the job and took to cover.
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