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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 4/3/14

This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt… Magnante, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent.

Hey Bill: I just noticed that Baseball Reference now has Mike Trout and Carlos Gomez tied for 2013 WAR leaders at 8.9 each. You show Trout as being nearly twice as valuable as Gomez (40 WS to 21.2). One expects different systems to arrive at somewhat different valuations, but a disagreement of this size strikes me as a bit bizarre. Any thoughts?

Well. ..what do you think? Do you really believe Carlos Gomez is the equal of Mike Trout? I don’t feel that I have a deep need to defend my position, and I don’t see any point in attacking there’s.

Now that baseball has finally crossed the Rubicon and begun embracing replay technology, can automating ball-and-strike calls be far behind?...

... what I have advocated for 20 years: an audible beep that only the home plate umpire hears, telling him whether the ball was or was not in the zone. He can ignore the beep if he chooses to do so; there might be cases where the technology doesn’t work, and a ball bouncing off the catcher’s shinguards will beep to signal a strike. Anything can happen. But in practice, umpires are going to learn to just go along with the beep 99.99% of the time. The game LOOKS the same; it’s the same from the seats. The only difference is, the calls are right.

Bill, from a run production stand point, would you rather have a team full of Ben Revers or a team full of Adam Dunns?

... Revere’s on base percentage the last three years is higher than Dunn’s, so it is power against baserunning. I’m not sure who would win. An odd and relevant fact is that Dunn processes as a better baserunner last year than Revere does. Revere was 11-for-22 going first to third on singles; Dunn was 3-for-27, so Revere is several bases ahead there. Revere was 5-for-8 scoring from second on a single; Dunn was 7-for-17, so Revere is further ahead. Revere was 2-for-5 scoring from first on a double; Dunn was 1-for-7, so another base or two for Revere there. But Dunn did not run into an out on the bases, all year; Revere did it five times. Running into an out is FAR more costly than the benefit of one base, so the balance of these events actually favors Dunn.

You mentioned George Allen recently. To me, he was the original moneyball man. He traded unproven commodities (draft picks) for unproven commodities (players) and won EVERY single year. Do you hav thoughts on him?

At the end of his career he was trading away the future for the present. I don’t think that was smart; I think that was selfish. I think he was a great coach up to a point, but. . .like Andy Reid in Philadelphia. . .when the coach becomes the GM, has the dual responsibility of coaching and selecting players, most often this does not work. I think Allen was a terrific coach, but I don’t think the wholesale trading of future draft picks should be allowed, and I don’t think it reflects well on anyone who does it.

Hey Bill, Baseball Reference 2013 WAR data show Mike Trout as being twice as valuable as Carlos Gomez offensively, but suggest that Gomez was five and a half wins better than Trout defensively, and that Trout’s defense actually cost the Angels a win last year. I am skeptical of that assessment, but that is where the discrepancy lies.

I was assuming that everybody knew that. What I was asking—and am asking—is, do you believe it? I don’t believe it; I think it is silly, so I’m not going to worry about arguing it through, because I don’t think anyone really believes that.


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Joe Namath calls Derek Jeter an ‘angel’

Derek Jeter has been described in a variety of ways during his career.

Joe Namath brought something new Monday.

“Knowing the scrutiny that he’s had over the years,” the Jets Hall of Famer said at Yankees camp, “I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life, it seems.” ...

“Over the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful compliments about him,” Namath said. “And then we get to see him in person or on the television and how he conducts himself away from the game or off the field . . . Many of us fell short with some of that, but you learn to bounce back. It’s human to error, and I know about that. We do our best to come back. Derek hasn’t made many errors that I’ve been able to witness.”

Told of Namath’s “angel” description, Jeter smiled.

“Puts a lot of pressure on me,” he said…

Despite his status as a New York legend, Namath said he cannot relate to Jeter.

“Only if I had a big enough head to try to,” Namath said. “No, he’s special, I can’t relate to him. Some of the things that athletes, people in the public eye [go through], I can relate to a bit. But his career and where he’s been, what he’s done, I can’t relate to all that.

“We accomplished a goal when I was a part of a couple of teams in my career and we won championships. Well, he’s done quite a bit more. So no, I don’t relate to what he’s been able to do.”

The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, football, nfl, religion, yankees

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Northwestern University Football Players Are Attempting To Unionize

Now you know you’re underpaid but the boss says you ain’t;
He speeds up the work ‘til you’re ‘bout to faint.
You may be down and out, but you ain’t beaten,
You can pass out a leaflet and call a meetin’.
Talk it over, speak your mind,
Decide to do somethin’ about it.—Pete Seeger

Northwestern football players have begun the process of applying to the National Labor Relations Board to form a union, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reports.

The players are receiving support from the United Steelworkers and a group called the National College Players Association, which was founded by former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma. Huma says an “overwhelming majority” of the team’s 85 scholarship players signed cards requesting union representation.

eddieot Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:32 PM | 201 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, football, rip pete seeger, union

Friday, January 03, 2014

What big data can teach us about our favorite sports

thought the article was worth reading

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, basketballsucks, bigdata, football, statistics

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bleacher Report: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Selected in MLB Rule 5 Draft by Texas Rangers

The Star-Telegram reporter quoted Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller on why his team decided to draft the QB given his current status in the NFL:

From a baseball standpoint, we feel like if he ever decided he wanted to come back to play again that he’d be a guy we’d want in our system

And presumably from a football standpoint, it would help the Cowboys.

BDC Posted: December 12, 2013 at 04:16 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: football, minor leagues, rangers, rule 5 draft

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

On the Media: Inside NFL Football, the Downfall of Lenny Dykstra, and More

Former baseball player Lenny “Dude” Dykstra has become a seemingly endless fount of stories for sports reporters who cover scandal. He’s been arrested for grand theft auto and drug possession, declared bankruptcy, and been accused of bouncing a check to a prostitute. Philadelphia sports writer Frank Fitzpatrick has been covering Dykstra since before his fall from grace, and in an interview that originally aired in 2011, he talks to Bob about how sports writers can be complicit in the bad behavior of the athletes they cover.

NPR’s best show makes a Thanksgiving episodes all about sports, its broadcasts, and its journalists.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 04, 2013 at 01:23 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, football, jackie robinson, media, npr, phillies

 

 

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