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Monday, October 20, 2014

Hitting coaches blamed for lack of offense - Sports - The Boston Globe

Magadan believes batting averages will continue to plummet because hitters won’t make adjustments.

“I tell my guys all the time, you can continue trying to hit into the shift and come back and complain how much the shift is hurting you,” said Magadan, “or you stay inside a slider and take a shot the other way and get on base more.”

Valentin also thinks pitching is getting better. The power arms have made it tough on hitters. He emphasizes swinging at fastballs early in the count so hitters don’t fall behind so much. There are so many called third strikes because of the grind-it-out approach to hitting that the emphasis seems to be shifting to hitting earlier in the count if you get a fastball down the middle of the plate.

Bottom line: Hitting coaches are getting blamed more for things that are out of their control.

“It’s a results business,” Magadan said. “If you don’t get the results, you’re at risk.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2014 at 10:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: coaching, hitting, hitting coaches

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2014

Toledo News-Bee, October 20, 1914:

Garry Herrmann, chairman of the national baseball commission, on Tuesday confirmed reports of a peace pact between the Federals and organized baseball when he declared that negotiations are on for the sale of the Chicago Cubs to Charles Weeghman, president of the Chi-feds.
...
Herrmann said he knew nothing of the reported deal for the taking over of the Brooklyn National league club by Robert Ward, owner of the Brooklyn Federals.

It’s interesting that the basic framework of the Federal League peace treaty was essentially in place a year before it actually happened. As Herrmann suggested was likely to be the case, Weeghman did buy the Cubs and Ward did not buy the Dodgers.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 20, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history


Dealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball

As I have been preaching for what seems like forever – and the data are in accordance – however a pitcher is pitching through X innings in a game, at least as measured by runs allowed, even at the extremes, has absolutely no relevance with regard to how he is expected to pitch in subsequent innings.

If you want to know the most likely result, or the mean expected result at any point in the game, you should completely ignore prior performance in that game and use a credible projection plus a fixed times through the order penalty, which is around .33 runs per 9 the 3rd time through, and another .33 the 4th time through. Of course the batters faced, park, weather, etc. will further dictate the absolute performance of the pitcher in question.

Keep in mind that I have not looked at a more granular approach to determining whether a pitcher has been pitching extremely well or getting shelled, such as hits, walks, strikeouts, and the like. It is possible that such an approach might yield a subset of pitching performance that indeed has some predictive value within a game. For now, however, you should be pretty convinced that run prevention alone during a game has no predictive value in terms of subsequent innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Pitch from Zito helped sell Hudson on Giants | MLB.com

Thank Zito for Hudson.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Calcaterra: So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got?

ROYALS CON:

   Ned Yost is, objectively, not a good manager and sometimes it’s really hard to see people fall into success despite themselves. This could be mitigated against if, as he sort of did during the ALCS, he shows that he’s learning from his mistakes on the fly, but it’s also possible Yost Yosts it up, the Royals nonetheless win and we’re stuck with a winter in which we’re subjected to “Ned Yost: smarter than you think” articles.

I assume folks will tilt hard towards the Royals but I’m going Giants.  Number one reason is that I would like to see Tim Hudson get a ring.  Number two is similar to above.  I hate to see stupidity rewarded. 

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 20, 2014 at 04:29 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

Sunday, October 19, 2014

JAVIER prospect comparison system, now with speed! - Beyond the Box Score

After posting the original articles on JAVIER, I knew I would have to update these values after the season, which would provide an opportunity to build some improvements into the system.

As a refresher, JAVIER is a minor league hitting evaluation system that uses basic statistics and finds comparable players in history. It uses each player’s minor league walk, strikeout, and isolated power numbers and compares them to the league average, turning them into z-scores. These z-scores are then compared across minor league data spanning back to 1978. Read the previous description for a full understanding.

Before my prospect system got all fancy and had an official name, it only included walk and strikeout rate. The previous update added the name JAVIER, but more importantly isolated power as a means of differentiating between sluggers and slap hitters. This time I added speed, age adjustment and regression to league average elements. The productive, average, and bust categories still exist, but I instead use an average VORP approach to rank the players.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 05:23 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: projection models, projections, prospects

Sherrington: Jeff Banister’s back story as compelling as any in pro sports | Dallas Morning News

If this Rangers gig doesn’t work out, Jeff Banister should check with central casting to see if anyone’s making another epic about Patton. Or a John Wayne biopic. He fits the type. Tall, erect, barrel chest, lantern jaw, laser gaze. The son of a high school football coach, he used the term “men” 22 times at his introductory news conference. When it was over, I wasn’t sure whether to shake his hand or salute.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 04:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff banister, rangers

Sunday Notes: Tazawa’s Role, Perkins’ Bullets, Butler, Buck, Baseball Americana | FanGraphs Baseball

Some good stuff from David Laurila.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 02:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Dombrowski told that Iglesias ‘will be fine’ for 2015

Their biggest acquisition this off-season already is on the team — shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias is ramping up his baseball activity, president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said during the team’s end-of-the-season news conference Tuesday.

“The doctors tell me he’ll be fine,” Dombrowski said. “He’s going to be ready for spring training, he’s going to be ready to go, and he’s over all of his (injuries).”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

Could the Yankees ever be Royals? Young and athletic K.C. is everything that Bombers are not - NY Daily News

The Yankees are sinking in the standings because they have been applying patches to a problem which requires some dry dock time. It’s not because the game has shifted to benefit fast defenders.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yankees

Josh Byrnes seen as a leader for job under Dodgers president Friedman - CBSSports.com

Like Jed Hoyer in Chicago, would Byrnes really just be an assistant GM with the GM title?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, general managers, josh byrnes


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen’s Hall of Fame induction

Welcome back,
Your dreams were to knock Bill James out.

“Bill James,” Frog said. “That’s how it all started, I think. I’d like to punch him in the face.”

The author, historian, and sabermetrician, James wrote in 1984 that Allen “did more to keep his teams from winning than anyone else who ever played major league baseball.” As far as Frog’s concerned, that single sentence, from so influential a voice, has done more to damage Allen’s chances of induction than anything else. Yet time has hardly softened James’ stance.

“What seems to me to be unarguably true is that Dick Allen was a fantastically powerful disruptive force on the teams that he played for,” James wrote in a recent e-mail interview. “For people who are too young to remember, I think you could describe it as Terrell Owens times three. . . .

“So some ignorant . . . wants to punch me in the face about something I wrote 30 years ago, that’s life in the big city.”

Allen, of course, might change that perception merely by opening up more, but he won’t do it. Frog has talked to him about it. He has gotten nowhere.

It doesn’t bother Frog. It shouldn’t bother anyone, because whether Dick Allen gets into the Hall of Fame or even cares whether he gets into the Hall of Fame, the e-mails and the phone calls and the hours Frog has spent in front of that basement computer come down to something bigger, something everlasting, something more important than an athlete’s likeness immortalized on a bronze museum plaque.

Repoz Posted: October 18, 2014 at 09:32 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, phillies

ESPN: Brian Roberts retires

Second baseman Brian Roberts, who played all but one season of his 14-year major league career with the Baltimore Orioles, confirmed Friday that he is retiring.

Brian Roberts never played a postseason game in his 14-year career, most of which was spent as a second baseman for the Orioles. “It was just kind of my time,” Roberts told the Baltimore Sun. “There were numerous reasons that I felt like I couldn’t play at a level that I was accustomed to and wanted to play at if I continued to play. I always said that I wasn’t going to be the guy that tried to hang on as long as I could.”

Roberts signed with the New York Yankees in 2014, but was released in August after hitting .237 in 91 games. He told the Sun that several teams had expressed interest in signing him, but he decided against a deal.

He still put up 1.5 WAR in that final season with the Yankees. A worthy player, it’s unfortunate that he never got to play in the postseason.

The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 18, 2014 at 03:41 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brian roberts, orioles

Angell: Gigantic

Last night also put the quietus to that numbing “small ball” we kept hearing from the game announcers all summer, in a season dominated by enormous heat-radiating relievers and resulting low scores and shrivelled offense. You can win games like this, to be sure, as these Giants had been telling us. They’d scored the winning runs in the previous two Cardinals games without anything knocked out of the infield: on a wild peg by Cardinal reliever Randy Choate, and, a night later, two botched plays by first baseman Matt Adams. Wicked laughter is O.K. but not exactly nourishing, and you could almost hear the “Aw right!”s from the massed San Francisco fist-bumpers when their second baseman Joe Panik delivered a two-run homer in the third, putting them briefly ahead, by 2–1. It was the first Giants home run in two hundred and forty-three plate appearances and only their second in the post.

But I’m leaving out the splendid pitching, I see, and the redemption and the luck and the human interest and more. Onward: we’re entering an irony-free zone.

Good cripple hitter Posted: October 18, 2014 at 01:50 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: nlcs, roger angell, san francisco giants, st louis cardinals

Progressive Pitch Projections | Community – FanGraphs Baseball

I hope MLB releases FIELDf/x so we can see more interesting stuff like this, but for fielding.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Peter Gammons: In the year of the improbable, will the impossible happen? - GammonsDaily.com

The Royals won 89 games.

The success of the Royals has led to considerable speculation that we will see a return to the WhiteyBall style. Herzog was a meticulous master of defensive preparation, with folders of pitcher- and hitter-specific charts. But the study of defense is not new. The Athletics focused on defensive information two years after the Moneyball draft, and so were the Red Sox, Mets and several other teams. These Royals did not have the ballpark or the payroll to afford a bopper lineup, so Dayton Moore built what they could build, and when the regular season ended, they earned a play-in opportunity, leading the American League in team defensive runs saved, well ahead of runners-up Baltimore and Boston. Cardinals players yesterday were asking to not be reminded of their (defensive) failures, they have not forgotten them.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 01:26 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: world series

How long of a season does it take before talent beats chance? - Beyond the Box Score

Regardless of the talent spread of the league, it’s going to take a lot more games than there is time available before we start to see the most talented team winning the regular season. The likelihood that the best team survives the randomness of October and goes on to win the World Series Trophy is even bleaker. While all this randomness may be unsettling, I don’t think anybody is calling for a 20,000 game season, so let us enjoy this great October for what it is: exciting baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

On Paul DePodesta, Craig Wright, and rounding out the Dodgers narrative. | Inside the Dodgers

Craig Wright was a pioneer. It’s not easy being a pioneer.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, sabermetrics

San Francisco Giants save best for last in journey back to World Series | FOX Sports

Please, for the love of baseball, keep the Steve Perrys and Neil Diamonds away from the game broadcasts.

Unlike Peavy, who finally got his long-awaited ring last season with Boston, starter Tim Hudson has waited a teenager’s lifetime to even sniff the World Series.
Now, at 39, he finally gets his chance.

“You go 16 years without being able to experience something like this, you wonder if it’s going to happen,” he said in the locker room. “It’s hard to put into words. It almost feels surreal, like in a dream.”
Barely able to contain his smile, Hudson added, “I can’t believe it’s finally happened.”
With former Journey lead singer Steve Perry on hand to lead the hometown fans in three straight days of late-game karaoke, the Giants never did stop believing. Not when they needed a walk-off bunt in Game 3. Not when they surged ahead thanks to a quirky series of events in Game 4.
And when the homer by Ishikawa, who spent much of the year at Triple-A Fresno, landed in the right-field arcade, high out of the reach of Oscar Taveras’ flailing arms, belief had been replaced by a realization: This team may yet again shock the baseball world.
The Giants have won the pennant. Anarchy is coming to Kansas City.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

Video: AFL Javelinas at Rafters | MLB.com

OK, I watched part of this game last night before falling asleep. Is there any way to watch the game today?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, help

Pedro seems talented in everything he tries. | SportsonEarth.com : Matthew Leach Article

For a neutral observer, it’s great to see the Royals in the World Series. But it’s really a shame that the American League Championship Series is over. Not just because the ball was so good—though it was—but because of Pedro Martinez.

Pedro was the breakout star of the 2013 postseason, and he topped himself in 2014. And now we have to do without Pedro on our television screens until 2015.

This is a significant loss. Pedro is as good as it gets in the broadcast booth, much as he was as good as it gets on the mound. As funny and honest as Charles Barkley, as insightful as Cris Collinsworth, as accomplished in his playing career as Shaquille O’Neal, Pedro is practically the perfect broadcaster.

I would like to be as good at one thing in my life as Pedro is at his second career. A career, by the way, which he practices in his second language.

He is, simply, must-watch. Personally, I can stand very little sports talk. I tend not to watch pre- or postgame shows. When Pedro comes on, though, not only do I not turn away. I turn it up.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2014 at 09:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcaster, pedro martinez

Friday, October 17, 2014

Schoenfield: Welcome to the worst World Series ever

Shorter Schoenfield: Don’t confuse “fun” with “awesome.”

So these aren’t great teams. So this is arguably the worst World Series matchup ever, as far as quality of teams. Giants fans can disagree, but if this was a great team, why did the Giants put themselves in the dice roll of a wild-card game? Why couldn’t they beat out the Dodgers for the division title? Royals fans can point out that their team has won eight postseason games in a row, but if the Royals are a great team, why did they put themselves in the dice roll of a wild-card game? Why couldn’t they win two more games and beat out the Tigers for the division title?

In the regular season, the Royals were ninth in the AL in runs scored and fourth in runs allowed. The Giants were fifth in runs scored and sixth in runs allowed. There’s a reason neither team won 90 games.

Now, that said: This should be a fun World Series between two evenly matched teams with intriguing reasons to root for each. The Royals, for so long the hapless Royals, are a likable bunch of young players, speed demons and defensive geniuses with that awesome bullpen that puts the fear into opposing teams and fans. You get the feeling that if you don’t beat them in six innings you’re not going to win. Everybody starts anew in the postseason and the Royals have played some of the most exciting baseball we’ve seen in years in going 8-0 in the playoffs. They overcame a 7-3 deficit to beat the A’s in the wild-card game and then beat the 98-win Angels and 96-win Orioles. They deserve to be here.

JE (Jason) Posted: October 17, 2014 at 09:01 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: kansas city royals, san francisco giants, wild card, world series

Giants, Ishikawa suspend belief in pennant-clinching win

Neshek hung a 1-1 slider, Morse was on it. And …

“It was absolutely pure elation,” said Hunter Pence, Morse’s best friend on the team. “I literally lost 30 seconds of my life. I blacked out. It was chaos.”

Morse raised long gorilla arms and flailed and bounced around the bases, barely touching each one. The crowd noise melted eardrums. When Morse descended into the madness of the Giants dugout, Bruce Bochy had legitimate concerns that hands might be broken.

“It fired us up,” Crawford said. “But he kind of reacts like that when he hits a double with nobody on in the regular season.”

Hitting coach Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens tried to make sense of it all. Then he realized there was no point in it.

“It’s why we put him on the roster,” Meulens said. “We don’t want him to hit a single. That was the moment we needed someone to pop one, he’s got the power to do it and we’ve got to give him a lot of credit for that. That’s one of the toughest right-handed pitchers in the game. He’s only given up two home runs to right-handed batters all year.

“I was thinking, ‘How is he going to get this done?’ And he hung a slider, and he’s all in.”

Morse hit just one home run in August. He had two in June, two in July. But Barry Bonds gave him a pregame tip to make sure to get his front foot down. Morse did, and the results were seismic.

Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 17, 2014 at 08:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nlcs, supervillains

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