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Alex Gordon Newsbeat

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Midnight magic: Alex Gordon’s blast powers the Royals to another thrilling extra-inning win | The Kansas City Star

The personification of this Royals team is a busted prospect who made himself into a star turning a fastball that catches too much of the plate into a trophy for the right-field seats.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, orioles, playoffs, royals

Monday, September 01, 2014

Heavy rain forces suspension of Royals-Indians game, which will resume Sept. 22 in Cleveland

less pressure on the Royals to perform.

The wind punished the flags hanging high above the outfield walls. A hail of plastic bags and paper napkins whipped through the sky. During a rain delay that postponed what would have been a crushing Royals loss, a sudden storm dispersed the remnants of a capacity crowd and provided imagery that was cruel but fitting.

The game will resume on Sept. 22 with the Royals trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning to the Cleveland Indians. The game will be played at Progressive Field in Cleveland, hours before the start of a three-game series there. The ending on Sunday marked an anticlimactic finish to a deflating night at Kauffman Stadium.

“It’s not over yet,” manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve still got half an inning to play.”

Indeed, but the moment was lost. The energy seeped from the ballpark in stages. As the Royals staggered toward their fourth consecutive loss of a similar vintage, the early optimistic vibes faded into desperation. The crowd appeared exultant when Alex Gordon’s ninth-inning homer tied the game. Yet they departed this park merely disconsolate and soggy, even if the final result is still in doubt.

 

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Maybe moving this game to Cleveland will put less pressure on the Royals to perform.

The wind punished the flags hanging high above the outfield walls. A hail of plastic bags and paper napkins whipped through the sky. During a rain delay that postponed what would have been a crushing Royals loss, a sudden storm dispersed the remnants of a capacity crowd and provided imagery that was cruel but fitting.

The game will resume on Sept. 22 with the Royals trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning to the Cleveland Indians. The game will be played at Progressive Field in Cleveland, hours before the start of a three-game series there. The ending on Sunday marked an anticlimactic finish to a deflating night at Kauffman Stadium.

“It’s not over yet,” manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve still got half an inning to play.”

Indeed, but the moment was lost. The energy seeped from the ballpark in stages. As the Royals staggered toward their fourth consecutive loss of a similar vintage, the early optimistic vibes faded into desperation. The crowd appeared exultant when Alex Gordon’s ninth-inning homer tied the game. Yet they departed this park merely disconsolate and soggy, even if the final result is still in doubt.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 01, 2014 at 08:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, indians, rain, royals

Friday, August 29, 2014

FG (Zimmerman): Alex Gordon, UZR, and Bad Left Field Defense

Duh, but also, thanks, Jeff.

Outfield defense has three components, Range (ability to field balls), Arm and Errors. [Alex] Gordon has a great arm and his LF values since 2011 have ranged from 8 Runs to 11 Runs, so no change there. His Error component has gone from 0 to 2 Runs. Again, not the reason for the jump. The key difference is in his Range value at 14 Runs because his previous high was just 4 Runs…

Here are the league average values for in and out-of-zone values compared to Gordon’s values and the difference.

In Zone
Year: League%, Gordon%, Difference
2010: 87.1%, 91.7%, 4.6%
2011: 90.4%, 92.3%, 1.9%
2012: 89.7%, 91.3%, 1.6%
2013: 90.6%, 91.8%, 1.2%
2014: 88.4%, 91.6%, 3.2%

Out-of-Zone
Year: League Rate, Gordon Rate, Difference
2010: 0.049, 0.043, -0.006
2011: 0.065, 0.057, -0.008
2012: 0.058, 0.062, 0.004
2013: 0.066, 0.081, 0.015
2014: 0.057, 0.082, 0.025

With individual position UZR values, the baseline values can move around quite a bit. There are only 30 inputs into the baseline values, so if just a few players move to a new position or get hurt, the zero value can change… Three of the top eight [fielders by LF range in 2013] haven’t played in the majors this season…

As I’ve noted before, this is one possible area of consideration for the UZR. A potential improvement to the system for the future, and one considered in that linked piece, is a baseline defensive value which is constant from year to year in addition to just UZR… The first 500 words of this article wouldn’t be necessary if [this] metric were available. It could show Gordon’s Range Value is at a +4 Historic Runs (hypothetically speaking) compared to +14 2014 Runs. Maybe each player doesn’t need two values, maybe just a comparison value for the entire season could be available.

Putting it all together, the jump in Alex Gordon‘s total WAR to a league leading value really has nothing to do with Alex Gordon. He is the same defensive player he has been over the past few season. What has happened is the league wide level in talent has fallen off in left field thereby boosting Gordon’s numbers substantially.

The District Attorney Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, defense, royals, sabermetrics

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Posnanski: Alex Gordon and the M-V-P chants

We do need a modern Foster Brooks.

Every time Alex Gordon steps to the plate at Kauffman Stadium these days, fans chant, “M-V-P, M-V-P”... At the moment, Alex Gordon is hitting .281 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. Nothing at all about that looks MVPish… [but] Look around baseball these days… There’s a chance this will be the first full season in baseball history without either a 40-home run hitter or a 20-game winner… There are players – [Jose] Abreu, [Mike] Trout, [Giancarlo] Stanton and Victor Martinez – who are putting up what you would call traditional MVP type numbers. They’re all hitting in the general range of .300, are on pace for 30-plus homers and 100 plus RBIs. But those are the only four, as of right now, who are good bets to get there, which is crazy…

[Gordon] plays spectacular defense in left field (and it really is special defense). He’s also an excellent base runner. We’ve already pointed out that his offensive numbers, in context, are better than they look. When you add it all up WAR style – you get a legitimate MVP candidate.

Or do you? This, to me, becomes a more and more interesting question. I’m working on a piece now about the statistical revolution in baseball, and among the statistical people I’m speaking with there seems to be a growing concern that we as a so called “advanced-statistics community” are beginning to make many of the same leaps of faith and broad generalizations that doomed the old statistics. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but it’s fair to say there’s a growing sense among some that WAR is becoming the advanced version of RBIs or batting average or pitcher wins – that is to say that people, to quote Vin Scully, are using WAR the way a drunk using a lamppost, for support and not illumination. Heck, I might be the Foster Brooks of WAR.

So, I’m not sure of the answer on that one. I’m a huge Alex Gordon fan and have been for some time. I really do believe he has been one of the most underrated players in baseball because he does a lot of things well. I think he SHOULD be an MVP candidate. That said, is his defense in left field SO GOOD that it makes up for the 25 or so more runs that Jose Abreu and Victor Martinez are creating offensively? Can you even BE that good in left field to make up such a gap?

WAR says yes. I want to believe it’s true. So I believe WAR.

That’s definitely support and not illumination.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:14 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, joe posnanski, royals, sabermetrics

Monday, August 25, 2014

Neyer: Alex Gordon, Royal for Life? Let’s just hope for 2016.

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Look, I admire fans who have stuck with the Royals throughout the last 30 years. I mean, really stuck with them. Based on the Royals’ attendance over that span, there really can’t have been many of you. But if you’re one of them, I do admire you. I’m just not exactly like you.

My obsessive passions might have been able to survive my relocation from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest. They might have been able to survive my profession. They might even have been able to survive management’s gross incompetence for some decades. But my obsessive passions could not survive all three.

Okay? You got me. I’m a fair-weather fan who moved away 20 years ago and is supposed to write with some degree of objectivity. Don’t tell me how to enjoy baseball, though. Frankly, my friends, I don’t give a damn what you think about my passions. I love my fiancée, I love my dogs, I love Portland, I love the birds that visit my backyard, I love baseball stirrups … and somewhere, way down deep, it seems I still love the Kansas City Royals, at least a little bit. If that bothers you ... Well, I can’t really say that I’m sorry, because I haven’t done anything wrong. Instead I will ask you, politely, to keep your thoughts to yourself. After nearly 40 years of thinking about the Royals nearly every day, I think I should be allowed to enjoy this little stretch in my own however-foibled way.

Maybe he’d have loved the Royals all this time if they put a bird on it.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:44 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, fair-weather fans, portland, rob neyer, royals

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Even as his value rises, Royals’ Alex Gordon says he’ll delay free-agency

His agent has redirected all his bookmarks to FanGraphs…

[Alex Gordon] can become a free agent after next season, as long as he declines his $13.25 million player option for 2016… Gordon indicated he plans on picking up his 2016 option and delaying his free-agency…

The Star polled a group of big-league executives and talent evaluators to measure Gordon’s value. The consensus was he could command a five-year deal after 2015 worth somewhere between $75 million and $95 million…

Gordon himself is still coming to grips with his placement among the game’s elite. When a reporter mentioned certain metrics now considered Gordon as the most valuable player in baseball, he could not contain his smile.

“For you to say that just kind of shocks me,” he said.

“I think the whole MVP talks that I’ve heard in the last day is because we’re winning. That’s why it happens. If we were on a losing team, there’s no reason I would be in that kind of consideration, or anything like that. That’s what winning does. It brings accolades and all the good things with it.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2014 at 06:36 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, free agency, royals

Monday, August 18, 2014

Neyer: Grains of salt

Get that dunce cap off your head and put it on Pedro Guerrero’s!

If I gave you a choice of any non-Kershaw major leaguer for the rest of the season, who would you choose?

Right: Mike Trout. Get that dunce cap off your head and move a little closer to my desk, right this minute.

And your second choice?

I’m not going to make you put the dunce cap back on if you don’t immediately think of Alex Gordon. But by this measure, he’s actually been the best player in the major leagues this season... [but] There’s no functional difference between 5.7 fWAR and 5.6 fWAR. Better to say those two have been the two best in the majors this season…

this is where I caution everyone, quite carefully: None of this means that the people at FanGraphs believe Alex Gordon is one of the two best players in the majors, or is as valuable as Mike Trout.

Every method has limitations, and we’re simply looking for the method with the fewest limitations. Wins Above Replacement is really good. But this version, anyway, seems to overrate really good corner outfielders like Alex Gordon and Jason Heyward. I think Gordon’s a great player. I’m just not sure he’s this great.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, angels, mike trout, rob neyer, royals, sabermetrics

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alex Gordon: The Eugene Cernan of the 2014 MLB All Star Game

Full disclosure, this writer works for me on another site. Also full disclosure: Alex Gordon is my favorite player, and Eugene Cernan is my favorite astronaut.

Alex Gordon, on the other hand, is a little bit more like Eugene Cernan, the 24th—and last—man to walk on the moon. Maybe you’ve heard of him, but probably not. “The 24th Man to Walk on the Moon” doesn’t have much musicality to it. His achievement is far from being as historical as Armstrong’s, but still, he’s been to the ####### moon ... and you haven’t. Similarly, Gordon isn’t a record-breaking super-deity like Trout or Cabrera, but he is one of the best players in the game….

Most of Gordon’s value comes from his seemingly unethical arm strength and his superb range in left field. Maybe that’s a knock on his All-Star credentials to some, since the metrics that inflate the defensive hemisphere of WAR are volatile. Is it more volatile than the BABIP-tethered merits of batting average, or the number of times a ball lands on the other side of a fence? Maybe, maybe not. The volatility of those metrics tends to average out over the span of a few years, and since Gordon began seeing regular playing time in left field in 2011, only Trout, Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Robinson Cano, and Ben Zobrist have produced more wins according to FanGraphs. Like Gordon, most of Zobrist’s value comes from defensive metrics. In fact, the two players are almost indiscernible, yet Gordon doesn’t have quite the same ironically notorious reputation for being underrated.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, mike trout, royals, war

 

 

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