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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.


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Last Great Call (ESPN)

[bq]What this really was, when you think it through, was the Last Great Umpiring Call (or Calls) of the Pre-Instant Replay Era, the technology which—beginning in 2014—will permeate the lives of every umpire who ever sets foot on a major league field from now on.

Never again will six men in blue work a World Series game, or any other game, knowing there is no replay machine, no technological wizardry, hovering in the background to serve as their safety net.

Never again will there be quite the same pressure on these men to make life-changing, season-defining, history-altering calls in intense, real-time moments.[/bq]

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:25 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, obstruction, red sox, umpires, world series

Thursday, November 14, 2013

MLB approves expanded replay for 2014

Ron Washington just got a new way to mess up games.

The biggest change from the expanded replay system that was originally unveiled at the last owners’ meetings in August at Cooperstown, N.Y., is that managers will get a maximum of two challenges that can be used at any point in the game. The original plans was to allow managers one challenge in the first six innings and two more from the seventh through the end of the game.

MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred said a final decisions of whether managers get one or two challenges has not been made and will be part of the negotiations with the players and umpires.

The rest of the plan remains basically unchanged, including a manager retaining the challenge if he wins his appeal.

That will likely end most manager/umpire arguments because if a manager disagrees with a reviewable call, his only recourse would be to use a challenge. Managers would not be able to argue a reviewable call in a bid to get it overturned without the use of replay.

About the only situation where a manager could still argue would in situations not open to review, such as defending a player or questioning an improper substitution.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 14, 2013 at 02:36 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, instant replay, umpires

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Under Pressure: for World Series umpires failure is seized upon, success is ignored | HardballTalk

A nice piece about Jim Joyce by Craig Calcaterra.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2013 at 02:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jim joyce, umpires, world series

 

 

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