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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Glasses stolen off Ernie Harwell statue at Comerica Park in Detroit

That ####### Swofford!

Someone has stolen a pair of glasses off a statue of late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell that stands at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Columnist Neal Rubin with The Detroit News reports that the team noticed the vandalism in July and a new pair should be in place by Thursday’s game.

It’s unclear exactly how — or when — the glasses were taken.

The Tigers notified artist Omri Amrany, who oversaw the statue of Harwell, about the theft. Amrany says the glasses are being ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, history, media, memorabilia, television, tigers

New Mexico State University Baseball ‘Hitter’ Mannequin Reported Stolen

Probably by the ACC.

The New Mexico State University baseball team says its “hitter” mannequin has been stolen.

NMSU announced Tuesday that the team reported the mannequin stolen after a player noticed that it was missing.

The six-foot tall black mannequin wearing a gray New York Yankee uniform is modeled after a baseball player holding a bat and standing at home plate. The equipment, paired with a “catcher” mannequin that was not taken, is used for pitching practice.

The hitter mannequin ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 07:52 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: college, memorabilia

ESPN: Szymborski: A staff for the ages (INSIDER)

n December, the Philadelphia Phillies were revealed to be the notorious “mystery team” in the hunt for Cliff Lee, eventually signing the 2008 AL Cy Young winner to a five-year, $120 million contract. With Philly’s rotation already containing Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, the hype surrounding the team’s quartet of starting pitchers reached epic proportions. The hypemakers were wrong—the Phillies’ starters went on to exceed expectations.

After the inking of Lee, we took a look at ...

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, zips

Megdal: RA Dickey: Steal of the Offseason

The Achievement of RA Dickey: A Comprehensive Selection of His Knucklers.

But would it surprise you to know he’s been the second-most valuable pitcher of any who signed last winter, regardless of salary?

Dickey’s been worth 4.6 wins above replacement (WAR) in 2011, good for 16th in all of baseball among starting pitchers. Those pitchers ahead of him: Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee (the only signing of the offseason with more value than Dickey in 2011, but who will make more in ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, mets, sabermetrics

BPP: An interview with Dan Szymborski

You can’t spell ZiPS without…Dan!

How long ago did you come up with ZiPS?

Szymborski: The genesis of it was there’s a [person] who contributes to Baseball Think Factory named Chris Dial, and in the late ’90s, they were talking about how someone could make a projection system that’s very basic and get most of the way there, in a way kind of a primordial version of Marcel which is a tabulator.

Before 2002, I was thinking maybe I should try my hand at a projection system. At that time, ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, media, primate meetups, projections, sabermetrics, site news, zips

Berg: The save stat, nutshelled

Yankees: Let’s all pull together to really suck!

“I couldn’t believe they were cheering me for hitting into a double play,” Swisher said. “I said: ‘Whoa, what’s this? And then I looked at the bullpen and saw Mo coming out and I said: ‘Now I get it!’ This was the greatest double play of my life.”

“Runners at first and second…it was unbelievable,” Rivera said. “I don’t ever want my teammates to do bad so I can pitch, but this time I was happy for the opportunity. ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:11 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

Crashburn Alley: The Myth of Hunter Pence’s Protection

Or as Cowboy Jeff Brantley said the other day…“The reason that Braun fella is having such a big season is because of that big fella hitting behind him…and that’s it”...or something.

You’ve heard it a million times by now: Hunter Pence has given Ryan Howard some much-needed protection in the lineup, that’s why the slugger has posted a .955 OPS in September despite chronic foot problems. The concept of lineup protection has been studied rather extensively and none of the studies have shown ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 01:48 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, sabermetrics

NYBD: Silva: Give Wally Whitehurst His ’96 World Series Ring

King Wally, please.

Wally Whitehurst spent 7 seasons pitching in the big leagues with the Mets, Padres, and Yankees. This past season he was the pitching coach for the Altoona Curve, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Whitehurst made 2 starts for the Yankees in1996, finishing 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. News 12 New Jersey caught up with the former righty in July when Altoona was in Trenton to play the Thunder. Ironically, Derek Jeter was rehabbing for the Trenton that weekend. During ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, mets, yankees

Zettel: Sabermetrics: Movement, Movies, and Documentaries

With pride in our past and confidence in our baseball future, we hereby establish…that you have to scroll down for this.

I noticed over the span of the last five years that discourse about “Sabermetrics” in America almost perfectly mimics recent discourse about “Communism” in America. Due to particular ideological feelings about baseball, in which some “human element” is always upheld and tons of people still maintain “there are things that happen on a baseball diamond that cannot be ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, sabermetrics

Steve Cameron: Lefty Hosmer making impact for Royals

Being fair to Guillen, his move was done “by the book” – you know, that imaginary baseball Bible which dictates that you set up a possible double play AND make a young left-handed hitter produce against Thornton.

Of course we know how it all turned out – Hosmer sent an 0-1 pitch screaming over the head of left-fielder Juan Pierre for a game-winning double.

Anyone who has watched the Royals this season might have predicted that outcome, in part because it was Hosmer’s 12th game-winning ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, sabermetrics

Schoenfield: Ian Kinsler having a great season

Providing he stays within walking distance of Skillman Wok of Arlington. Yes.

Talk about a guy flying under the radar: Ian Kinsler is about to become just the ninth second baseman to hit 30 home runs twice in his career. He’s second in the American League in runs scored. He plays terrific defense, has drawn 82 walks and is 25 for 27 stealing bases.

...Now, is Kinsler really having a better season than Cano? Even though Cano is hitting more than 50 points higher, Kinsler’s ability to draw ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

Bob Ryan: His pitchers decision: They shouldn’t win MVP award

The most daring escapade ever conceived…the Bob Ryan express has just pulled in!

Justin Verlander will win the American League Cy Young Award. If there is any justice, the vote will be unanimous.

But many people, and not just Tigers boosters, want more. They want the whole enchilada. They want Justin Verlander to become the first starting pitcher to win an MVP since Roger Clemens a quarter-century ago.

I hate this. It’s a conversation we should not be having. Pitchers should be content ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 09:38 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, sabermetrics, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2011

Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 20, 1911:

“Long Tom” Hughes of the Washington club has a sure way of proving that he is a good pitcher.  He offers to lick any one who says he is not.

Long Tom wasn’t just making idle threats about fisticuffs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2011 at 09:01 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

eBay: Amarillo Sox Mascot Costume

Baseball-themed nightmare fuel for the low price of $5k, with all proceeds to go to charity.

According to the ad, “The Amarillo Sox are incredibly excited to feature this one-of-a-kind item to the public.”

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:49 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, minor leagues, rangers Kennedy rolls to 20th as D-backs inch closer

Ian Kennedy became the first 20-game winner in the National League as he tossed eight one-hit innings to lead the D-backs past the Pirates, 1-0, on Monday night in front of 24,458 at Chase Field.
Kennedy (20-4) was dominant, with the lone Pirates hit against him being a single to left by opposing pitcher Jeff Karstens in the third inning. Kennedy matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and walked one.

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:21 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, game recaps

Wall Street Journal:  Boston Kids Finally Feel Heartbreak

This letter is for everyone in Boston who’s 10 years old or younger:

Okay, kids, sit down. Pour yourself a nice glass of milk. Eat a delicious Green Monster cookie. Eat two!

Your carefree childhood is on the verge of being rocked.

You may not realize it, but you’ve been spoiled rotten. It’s not your fault. But you’ve been historically lucky, and the cosmic bill is way past overdue….

Do you know what it means to suffer? Have you ever pounded your head against the wall for an entire ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:27 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

AL Wildcard race: September 19, 2011

BOS 88-66 [5-14 in SEPT]
TBR 85-67 [11-6 in SEPT] (2 GB) Sox use rout to increase Wild Card lead Red Sox’s lead in Wild Card trimmed again

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:06 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

Mariners add Joe McIlvaine to front office

Congrats to the mastermind behind the Arnie Gooch deal!

Former major league general manager Joe McIlvaine was hired as a special assistant to Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik on Monday.

The Mariners announced the move in Seattle, shortly after beating the Cleveland Indians 12-6 in a game shortened to seven innings by rain.

The 64-year-old McIlvaine served as general manager of the San Diego Padres and New York Mets during the 1990s. He has been with the Minnesota Twins since 1998, the ...

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

NL Wildcard race: September 19, 2011

ATL 87-67 [7-12 in SEPT]
STL 84-69 [12-5 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)
SFG 83-70 [11-5 in SEPT] (3.5 GB) Braves’ Wild Card lead shrinks after walk-off loss

[Omar] Infante’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Craig Kimbrel gave the Marlins a 6-5 win over the Braves at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night. Berkman helps Lohse, Cards best Halladay

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:04 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps, giants

Monday, September 19, 2011

B-ref Blog: Sports-Reference User Survey

New from Sean’s Place.

Dag Nabbit at Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:20 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Levine: Kerry Wood out for year, may retire

No pills to fix this.

Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood said he has a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season, and he said if the Cubs aren’t interested in bringing him back next season he’ll retire.

Wood suffered the injury while squatting in the bullpen on Saturday, but he said he was feeling discomfort in the knee all year long.

Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:23 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

FanGraphs New York Meetup

Amity Hall? Wuh…you guys too good for John’s Pizza? (chomp…I’ll probably be heading over…chomp)

On Sunday, September 25th, we’ll blow the horn for FanGraphs East and announce happy hour drinks and our own private space for our particular brand of nerdery. Come to Amity Hall any time after one PM eastern, and we’ll be hanging out, talking baseball and enjoying happy hour prices. And there will be a ton of togetherness because really how much can you hate a Mets fan right now. Oh! Also, come ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcements, community, media, primate meetups, sabermetrics, site news, special topics

Mariano Rivera sets all-time saves record

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tallied his record-breaking 602nd save Monday in New York’s 6-4 win at home against the Twins.

The District Attorney Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:34 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, yankees

Brad Pitt on the Cover of This Week’s Sports Illustrated

Throws Cher.


Brad Pitt, the star of the upcoming movie Moneyball, doffs an Oakland A’s hat and graces the cover of this week’s September 26, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. Pitt joins an exclusive group of non-athletes and non-coaches to be so honored — a list that includes Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, Stephen Colbert, Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, Steve McQueen and Arnold Schwarzenegger in addition to former presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Ronald ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:07 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, sabermetrics

For the Love of Moneyball: The Failure of Sabermetrics In the Absence of Necessary Resources

Or as Chris Welsh said during the Reds broadcast yesterday…“That’s just more Bill James hogwash…there’s no way Ben Zobrist is better than Brandon Phillips!”

So here we are.  Friday, the movie drops its snapshot of perhaps the greatest single achievement of our beloved Athletics franchise.  World Series come and go; the hotter team usually can beat the better team and there’s a champion every season unless it’s 1994 and you’re Bud Selig.  So thank your lucky stars you aren’t him—or, despite his ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 04:58 PM | 142 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, media, projections, sabermetrics

Q&A: Former A’s Coach Rick Peterson Talks About ‘Moneyball’ Then And Now

Big League Sports: When you were their pitching coach, the A’s were one of the first teams to really embrace analytics. How are we seeing that strategy used today?

Rick Peterson: It’s amazing how quickly technology has advance the game, almost like what people were doing with the first big bulky cell phones and looking at where we are today with smart phones.  What we have today is so user friendly that players can adapt very quickly, because technology is part of their life. They ...

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business

Nicholls: Baseball Brainwashing Gone Wrong

Releasing the Barry Bonds: Empowering Your Children to Think for Themselves!

My son and I love both love the sport of baseball but unfortunately we don’t love it in the same way.

And for me that’s a cause for real grief.

...The problem is my son understands the game, but not its soul. And this is clearly manifested in his approach to statistics.

To my mind, if you want to know if a hitter is any good there are only three stats that really matter: batting average, home runs and runs batted ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:47 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, history, sabermetrics

Strauss: Theriot gets a rare start

Theriot actually is a riot given the chance.

“The first thing — almost the only thing I heard when I walked into spring training were questions about defense. It never really stopped,” Theriot said. “You make an error in a spring game and then you hear it even louder. At some point, I stopped thinking about making a great play and became more concerned about making a mistake. That’s not how I play. I’ve never played timid — ever. If I messed up, I’d think about making the next play.”

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, projections, sabermetrics

Keri: Panic Rules In Red Sox Nation

The Extra 2%: First to Worst (90.3% and falling…..)

It could end with one of the worst collapses in baseball history. Or a World Series parade. But however the rest of their season plays out, one thing seems achingly clear: the Red Sox are headed for a hell of an offseason.

...Several other major question marks loom this off-season, including Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract (he’s going year-to-year in arbitration right now, but the Sox will obviously explore signing the man who might be this ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Baltimore Sun: Reynolds thinks Angels’ Santana hit him on purpose

First baseman Mark Reynolds was out of the starting lineup Sunday for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the head by Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ervin Santana in the third inning of Saturday night’s game.

Reynolds said Sunday morning that he felt fine except for a sore spot above his left temple. He also left no doubt that he feels Santana hit him intentionally in his first at-bat after he slammed his 34th homer off the Angels right-hander.

“I think he hit me on purpose,’’ Reynolds ...

Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:05 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, orioles

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