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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Royals are not the future of baseball | FOX Sports

The Kansas City Royals might very well win the World Series. That would certainly be wonderful for them, but of course, it will come at a price for the rest of us. There are already pieces about how everyone should be like the Royals, and a World Series win would mean that we’€™d all be treated to another 50 or so of those pieces. There are many commendable things about how the Royals were built and how they play ball, but let’€™s take a look at the evidence and ask the question: Are the Royals the future of baseball?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Hunter Pence responds to Royals fan signs with monster Game 1 | MLB.com

These are still funny. My opinion might change over the next week.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 08:05 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-22-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, October 22, 1914:

When the Athletics take the field next year, it is reported, Connie Mack will not be on the bench directing the attack of the former world’s champions. The veteran, it is said, has obtained control of the Athletic club’s stock, and will soon be elected president instead of Benjamin F. Shibe.
...
The tall manager is 51 years old and is beginning to show the wear and tear of his long career as a team leader. He has made a fortune out of the national game and can well afford to take a rest.
...
Harry Davis, it is reported, will be the actual manager on the bench, with Ira Thomas as his right hand adviser.

Mr. Mack wasn’t quite done managing in 1914. He ran the show for another 36 seasons.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 22, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history

2014 MiLBYs | MiLB.com

It’s the MiLBYs!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, minor league baseball

Pace-Of-Play Initiatives Get Mixed Reviews In AFL - BaseballAmerica.com

Of course, it these rules end up in place, routines will change.

“It’s tough,” Seager said. “You almost feel rushed. It’s not your normal (routine) where you can take your time, get your rhythm. It’s kind of on somebody else’s rhythm. It was a little rushed … getting on and off the field, getting your stuff done in the dugout and in the box mainly because you only have 20 seconds between pitches. You swing and then get right back in—it’s a little weird.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 06:35 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minors, rule changes

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals - Recap - October 21, 2014 - ESPN

Giants draw first blood.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2014 at 06:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, royals, world series

2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 2 OMNICHATTER

The Royals send Yordano Ventura to the hill to try and avoid a 0-2 deficit in the World Series against the Giants, who send Jake Peavy to start. That entire last sentence would not have made sense not that long ago.

8 PM (7:30 pre-game). FOX.

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: October 22, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jerome Williams re-signs with Phils

I don’t mean what I’m about to write to be a swipe at Williams or the Phils.  Here we have a pitcher with 422 IP and an 82 ERA+ from 2012-14.  Sure, the FIP is a bit better, probably close to 90.  The main thing he has going for him is MLB experience (but not any recent success), a willingness to take the mound whenever the manager wants and, after a lot of ups and downs, some durability. 

That’s worth $2.5 M it seems.  Not an obvious overpay as b-r lists his salaries the last two years as $2 M and $2.1 M.

Walt Davis Posted: October 21, 2014 at 09:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: jerome williams, phillies, the value of a healthy pitcher

Mike Scioscia, Matt Williams voted top managers

Mike Scioscia of the Angels and Matt Williams of the Nationals are Sporting News’ 2014 American League and National League Managers of the Year, respectively, as selected by a panel of 22 major league managers. SN has given Manager of the Year awards since 1936.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 21, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, awards and honors, nationals

As Focus Faded and Losses Piled Up, Royals Change Their Game

When Kuntz walked inside the room, he saw a scene that had become all too familiar in recent weeks: a collection of Royals with their heads down, eyes locked on their iPads. The game was called “Clash of Clans,” and for a period of time this summer, its excessive usage by members of this club exasperated the coaching staff.

“At that time, in that situation, it’s really disappointing,” said Kuntz, the team’s first-base coach. He added, “You just got to a point where you go, ‘What’s the priority here? Is this just three hours out of your time, spent away from what you’re actually being interested in?

‘We’ve got to find a way to get this changed, so that the priority is the game, and all this other stuff is secondary.’ ”

Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 21, 2014 at 01:55 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, video games

Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium

Swinging rally towels? Tsk, tsk.

FYI, BP is free this week.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

So You’re About to Pitch to Pablo Sandoval | FanGraphs Baseball

Essentially there is no one good place to pitch him but a bunch of good places to get him out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2014 at 10:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pablo sandoval

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2014

Washington Times, October 21, 1914:

Leslie Mann, of the Boston Braves, returned to [Springfield, Massachusetts] Saturday. Mann has forsaken baseball for the class room. This morning he got out his textbooks and wended his way with other students of Springfield Training School to the recitation room.
...
It is understood that the college boys are planning a formal welcome home for their hero. Next week Mann, with that other brilliant Springfield contribution to the sensational ball club, Walter J. Maranville, will be honored by the fans of this city.
...
Last year [Mann] wanted to play [college football], but Coach Dr. J. H. McCurdy saw there was too much at stake for the athlete to risk in a football game, and discouraged him from playing.

Well, Mann didn’t really forsake baseball. He was just attending (the school that would eventually be known as) Springfield College during the offseason.

I was surprised to learn what a good player Mann was. He spent 16 years in the majors, had a career OPS+ of 110, had 11 seasons with an OPS+ above 100, and from 1921-1923, he hit .341/.405/.529 (147 OPS+).

The defensive metrics I’ve seen appear to hate his glove, and (probably) as a result of shaky defense, he spent about half of his career as a pinch hitter/fourth outfielder.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 21, 2014 at 09:04 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, les mann

DeWitt expects ‘significant’ rise in payroll in coming years : Sports

“We have forecasted increases over the next three to five years that will accommodate what we need to do with the young players we have,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt told The Post-Dispatch this past week. “We knew as younger players matured at the major-league level they would get to arbitration and into free agency. We wouldn’t be able to retain them at the current payroll level, so we’re forecasting fairly significant increases in the next three to five years.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, economics


Baseball’s hardest throwing bullpen - Beyond the Box Score

Giddy up!

The Kansas City Royals trio of relievers has received a lot of attention this postseason. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland all throw some serious cheddar. Also, they have been dominant. All three posted ERAs below 1.50 during the regular season, and in the playoffs they’ve allowed just three runs in 25.2 innings. Herrera owned baseball’s second fastest average fastball at 98.1 miles per hour, and Holland and Davis both fell in the top 15, averaging just under 96 miles per hour.

However, the Royals did not have baseball’s hardest throwing bullpen. That distinction belonged to the Atlanta Braves, whose relievers had an average fastball velocity of 93.9 miles per hour. The Royals checked in at 93.5 miles per hour, in a virtual tie for second with the Cincinnati Reds (think Aroldis Chapman) and the Seattle Mariners.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2014 at 07:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: relievers, sabermetrics

2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 1 OMNICHATTER

IN THIS CORNER, THE VISITING TEAM, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL LEAGUE AND STARTING MADISON BUMGARNER, PLAYING IN THEIR 20TH WORLD SERIES AND THEIR SIXTH IN THE CITY BY THE BAY, THE GUARDIANS OF THE GOLDEN GATE, THE SAN FRANCISCO GIIIIIAAAAAANNNNTS!

AND, IN THIS CORNER, THE HOME TEAM, REPRESENTING THE AL AND STARTING JAMES SHIELDS, PLAYING IN THEIR THIRD WORLD SERIES AND THEIR FIRST IN 29 YEARS, THE FASTEST TEAM ALIVE, AMERICA’S SWEETHEARTS, THE KANSAS CITY ROOOOYYYYAAALLLLLS!

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: October 21, 2014 at 12:07 AM | 603 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sabermetrics in Broadcasting

The Fox Sports 1 alternate broadcast from Game 1 of the NLCS was enjoyable, but had its issues.  This article takes a look at the usage of sabermetrics in broadcasting and tries to establish their proper place in a broadcast.  Mitchel Lichtman and Jon Chelesnik, the CEO of the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America, weigh in on the topic.

Joe Vasile Posted: October 20, 2014 at 07:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, fox sports 1, jabo, mets, sabermetrics

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 | 17 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 | 37 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 | 20 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 | 6 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 | 100 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

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