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Jonah Keri Newsbeat

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Keri: The BestCoolest MLB Teams (I’ve Ever Seen)

Last year, I unveiled my rankings of the BestCoolest Player I’ve Ever Seen, pitchers and hitters editions. As with most other Grantland baseball fare, there was some level of objectivity to the rankings, since we can do a pretty good of evaluating the best players from the past 30-plus years. “Coolest” is an entirely different matter, though. Should steroids guys count? How is Rickey not no. 1? And what the hell should we do with Bo Jackson? While unanimity was impossible, you could still find a wide swath of baseball fans who’d stump for Rickey, Bo, or Pedro, because of their incredible combination of raw skills and off-the-charts entertainment value.

Today, we’re rolling out the BestCoolest Teams I’ve Ever Seen — a much tougher proposition. Baseball fans — like fans of every other sport — can be provincial, to the point of becoming irrational. A Yankees fan might have a tough time crediting a great Red Sox team. Can a Cubs diehard really be expected to fully appreciate a loaded and exciting Cardinals squad? As someone whose only major rooting interest lies with a team that no longer exists, this isn’t a major problem. Still, you’re going to get some highly subjective arguments, and you’re going to get pissed off about them. (Please send all complaints to RanyJazayerliWillAnswerAllMyHateMail@grantland.gov.)

Here are the rules for our little exercise, modeled after the template for BestCoolest Players:

• “Best” remains the most important criterion here — you won’t find a non-elite team in the bunch. We’ll lean on objective metrics as we always do to go beyond mere wins and losses. But there’ll be some subjectivity too. I’m not above giving bonus points for flair. So if a certain team had goofy handshakes, delightfully, earnestly unironic/terrible/foreign-language songs, or commercials, more power to them.

• To be eligible, teams had to have played at a time when I was old enough to watch and appreciate baseball. That’s anything from 1981 on. Sorry, 1899 Cleveland Spiders.

Got all that? Let’s go.

Good cripple hitter Posted: June 14, 2014 at 03:00 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: history, jonah keri, not a slideshow

Friday, May 30, 2014

Even A Team’s Fifth Starting Pitcher Matters When Trying to Make the Playoffs

New study shows statistical evidence that anybody throwing 170 innings is important to a teams’ won-loss record. Groundbreaking discovery!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 30, 2014 at 03:45 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: jonah keri

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Exposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A

INSTREAM: Going back to the 1969 Staub trade, on Page 27 you talk about how Manager Gene Mauch “Went to meet with the Astros, leveraging contacts he had within the organization.” How difficult do you think it is for a GM or president to trade with other ballclubs in the absence of deep relationships? From 1976 to 1991, the Expos and Cincinnati Reds exchanged a total of 32 players. I know it’s 15 years and there’s a few GMs in there, but that’s a lot of trades.

JONAH KERI: That practice was rampant then, since we were years away from scouting staffs becoming more sophisticated, and particularly far away from using technology (both by generating reports on players via computers, or even having ease of communication like text). Thing is, though, teams STILL make more trades with other teams/GMs with whom they feel most comfortable. It’s just human nature.

djordan Posted: April 16, 2014 at 10:22 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, jonah keri, mlb network

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Keri/Grantland: Baseball’s Worst Contracts

A little schadenfreude is good for everyone.

Bad deals are inescapable in sports and pop culture. Endless, exorbitant, ridiculous contracts can destroy a team’s future, ensnare a rising young star, or cripple a major studio. Also, they’re hilarious. In honor of these horrible agreements, we present a look at some of the most egregious in their respective fields. Welcome to Worst Contracts Week.

Chris Fluit Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, alex rodriguez, angels, contracts, grantland, jonah keri, yankees

 

 

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