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Monday, September 19, 2011

Q&A: Former A’s Coach Rick Peterson Talks About ‘Moneyball’ Then And Now

Big League Sports: When you were their pitching coach, the A’s were one of the first teams to really embrace analytics. How are we seeing that strategy used today?

Rick Peterson: It’s amazing how quickly technology has advance the game, almost like what people were doing with the first big bulky cell phones and looking at where we are today with smart phones.  What we have today is so user friendly that players can adapt very quickly, because technology is part of their life. They understand, they link data with video and as a result things can be done so much quicker in terms of player analysis. It is not much different from the business world overall, where now technology drives everything.  We may have been the first club in, but ...

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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business

Nicholls: Baseball Brainwashing Gone Wrong

Releasing the Barry Bonds: Empowering Your Children to Think for Themselves!

My son and I love both love the sport of baseball but unfortunately we don’t love it in the same way.

And for me that’s a cause for real grief.

...The problem is my son understands the game, but not its soul. And this is clearly manifested in his approach to statistics.

To my mind, if you want to know if a hitter is any good there are only three stats that really matter: batting average, home runs and runs batted in. For a pitcher, it’s wins and losses, earned run average and strike outs. That’s the way it’s been since the days of Abner Doubleday.

But my son only talks about statistics you need a PhD in physics to understand. We will be watching a game and I ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:47 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, history, sabermetrics

Strauss: Theriot gets a rare start

Theriot actually is a riot given the chance.

“The first thing — almost the only thing I heard when I walked into spring training were questions about defense. It never really stopped,” Theriot said. “You make an error in a spring game and then you hear it even louder. At some point, I stopped thinking about making a great play and became more concerned about making a mistake. That’s not how I play. I’ve never played timid — ever. If I messed up, I’d think about making the next play.”

Theriot has moved from shortstop to second base in each of the last two seasons. That does not mean he is prepared to consider himself a right-side defender.

“I don’t think at this point in my career I see myself as a second baseman,” he said. “That ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, projections, sabermetrics

Keri: Panic Rules In Red Sox Nation

The Extra 2%: First to Worst (90.3% and falling…..)

It could end with one of the worst collapses in baseball history. Or a World Series parade. But however the rest of their season plays out, one thing seems achingly clear: the Red Sox are headed for a hell of an offseason.

...Several other major question marks loom this off-season, including Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract (he’s going year-to-year in arbitration right now, but the Sox will obviously explore signing the man who might be this year’s MVP); right field (can Josh Reddick hit enough to handle a position that demands a big bat?); shortstop (pick up Scutaro’s option, trust Jed Lowrie to stay healthy for longer than 10 minutes, do something crizazlebeans like sign Jose Reyes?!?!); ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Baltimore Sun: Reynolds thinks Angels’ Santana hit him on purpose

First baseman Mark Reynolds was out of the starting lineup Sunday for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the head by Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ervin Santana in the third inning of Saturday night’s game.

Reynolds said Sunday morning that he felt fine except for a sore spot above his left temple. He also left no doubt that he feels Santana hit him intentionally in his first at-bat after he slammed his 34th homer off the Angels right-hander.

“I think he hit me on purpose,’’ Reynolds said. “I don’t think he tried to hit me in the head. I think he hit me on purpose. He threw a first-pitch slider. Why would he throw me a first-pitch slider and then hit me with the next pitch? Why didn’t he just hit me with the first pitch?”

...It ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:05 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2011

San Jose Evening News, September 19, 1911:

Canonsburg, in the Allegany and Washington (Pa.) league, has released to Washington Third Baseman “Scoops” Baedler for a stamped envelope.

...

Canonsburg kicked on Baedler and said he loafed and threw games.  [League President W.B.] McVicker said it was a harsh charge to make and advised that the player be sent elsewhere.  Canonsburg’s management to show its contempt accepted a stamped envelope in payment.

Washington got ripped off.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:07 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, minor leagues

NL Wildcard race: September 18, 2011

ATL 87-66 [7-11 in SEPT]
STL 83-69 [11-5 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)
SFG 83-70 [11-5 in SEPT] (4 GB)

MLB.com: Braves’ magic number at seven with nine to go
MLB.com: Cards pound Phils to gain game on Braves
MLB.com: Giants slug six homers in eighth straight win

NTNgod Posted: September 19, 2011 at 02:37 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps, giants

Carl Crawford diary: ‘Sorry for the year I’ve had’

Crawford, now starring in…“They All Kissed the Bridesmaid”.

image

Now that I am in a Red Sox uniform, I definitely hear the boos when I go back to Tampa, like our recent trip we made there. When I was in left field, I definitely heard heckling there. It was a bunch of haters in left field pretty much. Hey, it’s cool. I understand. The thing is, they’ve got to realize they’ve got to deal with me for another six years. I struggled this year and I’ll give them this year. But I am definitely, definitely going to remember all that has happened when I’m trying to work out and get better in the offseason, those haters will be on my mind—just know they have another six years to deal with me.

...If Tampa makes a miracle comeback and takes the wild ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 01:42 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, red sox

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yahoo!: Verlander improves to 24-5 with 12th straight win

Justin Verlander won his 12th straight start, pitching three-hit ball over eight innings to become the first pitcher in nine years to reach 24 wins and lead the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 3-0 Sunday.

Verlander (24-5) struck out six and walked three, extending his scoreless streak to 17 innings. He has a 2.28 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 87 innings over his streak, becoming the first pitcher to win a dozen starts in a row since Minnesota’s Johan Santana in 2004, according to STATS LLC.

Verlander has the most wins in a major league season since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2002. With another victory, he would become the winningest pitcher in a season since Oakland’s Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990.
...
Jonah ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 18, 2011 at 11:51 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, game recaps, tigers

AL Wildcard race: September 18, 2011

BOS 87-65 [4-13 in SEPT]
TBR 85-67 [11-6 in SEPT] (2 GB)
LAA 83-69 [10-6 in SEPT] (4 GB)

MLB.com: Rays win series, now two back of Red Sox

For a second consecutive weekend, Tampa Bay got the job done against Boston, taking an 8-5 win Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park to claim three out of four in the series and move within two games of the American League Wild Card leaders.

MLB.com: Aybar’s two-homer day keeps Halos in hunt

NTNgod Posted: September 18, 2011 at 09:46 PM | 169 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rays, red sox

BPro: Carty: Reviewing “Behind the Seams: The Stat Story”

Paging JamesPotocki…

Once we get past this little detour—which is much smaller than I’m sure I’ve made it out to be—“The Stat Story” actually levels off pretty well, attempting to shed a positive light on statistics and telling the story of how statistics have impacted the game of baseball. In fact, after it was all said and done, our Finley/Brock/Lasorda spectacle became much more of an afterthought, almost included to say, “OK, there are still people who don’t agree with all this, but it’s here, it’s undeniable, and here is the impact it’s having on front offices, Hall of Fame and awards voting, and the way fans view the game”. All in all, despite my wariness after the first few minutes, the documentary wound up ...

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Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 08:25 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, sabermetrics, site news, television

Wolfley: Fox baseball broadcast featured criminal intent

Season 21, Episode 3: Stupid Network Behavior #5

Matt Vasgersian and Tim McCarver on the call. Tampa 4, Boston 3, bottom of the ninth. Two outs. Runner on second. Rays’ reliever Joel Peralta with a 2-2 count on Marco Scutaro. Rays chasing the Red Sox for a wild card slot.

So the payoff pitch is about to be delivered. Moments like this are deliciously dramatic and intense and deserving of our full attention. What this moment didn’t deserve was what Fox did to it, which can only be described as mutilation by commercial. It was breathtakingly ill-timed, inappropriate and crass.

Instead of keeping a respectful distance from the moment by remaining silent, Vasgersian read an in-house ad for upcoming programming on Fox! And a graphic was ...

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Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 04:24 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media

NY Times:  Pennington: Ted Williams’s .406 Is More Than a Number

Inside his room at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 27, 1941, Ted Williams was jumpy and impatient. That might have been an apt description of the mercurial Williams at most times, but on this evening he had good cause for his unease.

His batting average stood at .39955 with a season-finale doubleheader to be played the next day at Shibe Park, home of Connie Mack’s Athletics. Since batting averages are rounded to the next decimal, Williams could have sat out the final two games and still officially crested baseball’s imposing .400 barrier.

At the time, Williams said, “If I’m going to be a .400 hitter, I want more than my toenails on the line.”...

¶ His longest hitless stretch was seven at-bats.

¶ He ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 18, 2011 at 02:04 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Joel Sherman: Over past 40 years, Rivera not only greatest closer, but greatest ... period

I believe it was U.S. Representative from New York turned weak philosopher, Socrates N. Sherman, that said…“I know that I know nothing about baseball”

I recognize and accept the validity of these arguments. Yet, over the 40 years that I have been watching baseball — roughly from the tail end of great careers such as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays until now — I believe Rivera has elevated himself into the conversation. He has all the qualities that I want in determining the best player I have seen: He has not just greatness, but sustained greatness without deviation. He has performed best at the most critical times; you can argue he is the best postseason pitcher of all time.

...Lastly, I know my sabermetric friends would downplay the ...

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Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 200 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

eBay: Amarillo Sox Mascot Costume

Baseball-themed nightmare fuel for the low price of $5k, with all proceeds to go to charity.

According to the ad, “The Amarillo Sox are incredibly excited to feature this one-of-a-kind item to the public.”


MLB.com: Giants gain ground with seventh straight win

The Giants rallied late on a chilly Saturday night at Coors Field, as Brett Pill’s big night led the way in a 6-5 win over the Rockies.

It was the seventh straight win for the Giants, who trail the National League West-leading D-backs—who lost to the Padres, 3-1, on Saturday—by five games with 10 to play. The Giants also trail the Braves by five games in the NL Wild Card race.

NTNgod Posted: September 18, 2011 at 04:27 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, giants

NYBD: Silva: Why I Applaud Keith Law’s Evolution

Law Abiding Citizen: How do you stop a blogger who is already behind Insider?

I can identify with Law because I see some what he is going through in me. I have grown since I started covering baseball in March of 2007. Before that I was just another fan who watched the game as a fan and listened to talk radio. By no means do I have the front office experience or analytical background of Keith Law, but I think I know baseball pretty well and can hold my own with the big boys, sometimes.That’s not my point. The point is interacting with people from all different backgrounds, experiences, and writing styles has made me well-rounded. It’s made me a better writer, radio host, and analyst of the game. The best part is how the learning ...

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Repoz Posted: September 18, 2011 at 04:14 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, sabermetrics, site news, special topics

Yahoo!: Royals pound White Sox for 7th straight win

Mike Moustakas hit his third home run in four games and Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run homer and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3 Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.

The winning streak is the Royals’ longest since winning seven consecutive Sept. 13-18, 2008. The White Sox have lost seven in a row, matching their longest losing streak of the year.

“I think our fans can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, a trio of highly regarded rookies, combined to go 7 for 14 with two RBIs and scored five runs.

 

NTNgod Posted: September 18, 2011 at 04:00 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, royals

OSN: Baseball’s Annual Awards: 2011 Edition

The Onion looks at the 2011 Awards:

AL Cy Young: Adam Dunn—Dunn’s historic performance this season did more for American League pitching than anyone who actually took the mound

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi—His team has the best record, therefore he is the best manager. Why do people need to vote on this again?

And more!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 18, 2011 at 03:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Philly.com: Phillies win NL East with defeat of Cardinals

The Phillies clinched the NL East for the fifth straight season with a 9-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

With six runs in the eighth inning, the Phillies opened up a seven run lead capped by Raul Ibanez’s grand slam.

NTNgod Posted: September 18, 2011 at 02:17 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, phillies

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AL Wildcard race: September 17, 2011

BOS 87-64 [4-12 in SEPT]
TBR 84-67 [10-6 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: Rays edge Sox to trim Wild Card deficit

Tampa Bay scored early en route to a 4-3 win over Boston on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

By winning, the Rays (84-67) moved to within three games of the American League Wild Card-leading Red Sox (87-64) with one game remaining against their AL East rival and 11 games remaining in the season.

Ben Zobrist got the Rays’ offense started with a two-run homer off Jon Lester in the first for a 2-0 lead.

Going by a rough criteria of 4 GB or less at this stage, no AL West or NL Wildcard (both 4.5 GB) threads today.

NTNgod Posted: September 17, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

CStB: A Banksy-ian Tribute To Brian Wilson

Orange and Black Crate Art

image

Ever wanted to wake up one morning to see Giants closer Brian Wilson tagging an “SF” logo on the side of your house?  I didn’t think so, but one San Francisco homeowner tells Bernalwood’s Todd Lappin that having previously seen the above Wilson stencil appearing on the city’s streets, he couldn’t resist commissioning one for his own abode,.

I suggested Get Up tag the open, south facing wall of my house (which faces a small empty lot).  The next thing you know, he says as long as it’s ok with me he’d love to!

My only stipulation was that he do it as if it were a real tag – wherever he wanted to, and by the dark of night.  I left him a can of housepaint to touch up the wall at his request.  ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 09:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

MLB.com: Rivera ties Hoffman as Yanks rally past Jays

Mariano Rivera closed out the Yankees’ 7-6 win against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Saturday, giving him 601 career saves and tying him with Hoffman for first place on the all-time list.
...
Rivera, who hadn’t pitched since reaching the exclusive 600-save club on Tuesday, already has a record 42 postseason saves and sports a career regular-season ERA of 2.22. Now he needs just one more save to be the all-time leader, and if he doesn’t do so on Sunday, he’ll have eight chances to get the record at Yankee Stadium.

NTNgod Posted: September 17, 2011 at 09:32 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Joe Posnanski: A Moneyball Point

Oooooh, Poz, you’re something sort of grandish!

Of course not. Here’s my point: There’s a lot of talk about WAR going on. There’s a lot of talk about the pressure of being in contention. There’s a lot of talk about the MVP award and what it means. There’s a lot of talk about advanced stats and old stats and how people should watch and enjoy baseball. The Granderson for MVP supporters point out he’s having a great year (and he is), that he leads the league in runs scored AND RBIs, that he has been the Yankees most consistent force, that he plays an all-around game, that his hits have mattered more and that. The opposition party might say that Jose Bautista is having a better year or that Justin Verlander has been a force of nature or point ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 09:21 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, books, media, sabermetrics, yankees

Carig: CC Sabathia quickly becoming a cause for concern

Someone sent this over last night…but it turns out Sabathia is at .255 (anyway you look at it…CCymmetry ruined)

 BAA
.257 - CC Sabathia
.257 - Ivan Nova 
.257 - Bartolo Colon 
.257 - A.J. Burnett 

The Yankees have seen this show plenty of times in the past six weeks, though nobody can figure out why, which could be a problem. The start of the playoffs is less than two weeks away and the Yankees are all but guaranteed a spot. But something has gone wrong with their ace, who has labored in almost all of his outings since Aug. 1.

“He just hasn’t been quite as sharp,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

...In nine starts since Aug. 1, Sabathia has a 4.26 ERA. During that span, he has pitched with an extra days’ rest seven times, a ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Strauss: Motte gets an endorsement as closer

It’s time to reconsider Mottel 6 ERA!

If Cardinals management approaches him later this month about Jason Motte’s readiness to close games for the club in 2012, bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist has a ready answer: Absolutely.

Having witnessed Motte’s evolution from almost solely a four-seam pitcher into a talent who commands a sinker and a cut fastball, Lilliquist offered his emphatic endorsement before Friday’s series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. “I don’t have to think about it. I’ve got my answer,” he said.

Motte entered the weekend as the National League’s most dominant reliever since the All-Star break. His 0.32 ERA since the break leads both leagues, and his 1.56 season ERA ranks fourth among league relievers. Motte has ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 01:28 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, projections, sabermetrics

Dutton: Team has to figure out what it will do with Melky Cabrera

Malted Melk, Malted Melk, try’n to drive my Royals blues away.

The Royals have three basic alternatives with Cabrera:

•Seek to trade him for a much-needed boost to their rotation. They made Cabrera available in July before the nonwaiver trade deadline but couldn’t find anyone willing to meet their price of a bankable No. 3 starter.

•Offer arbitration and brace for a significant increase from his $1.25 million salary. That keeps the club’s options open, limits its commitment and, frankly, diminishes the chance of Cabrera becoming satisfied and lapsing into his 2010 form.

•Try to work out a multiyear extension as they did with right fielder Jeff Francoeur. A two-year extension for Cabrera, which is what Francoeur got, ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 01:08 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: business, projections, royals, sabermetrics

When White Sox season ends, Adam Dunn will try to forget it

Operation Mincedonkeymeat: The Season That Never Was.

Get your questions in now to Adam Dunn about his horrible season of a lifetime. When it’s over in 11 days, the subject will be closed.

“I want to take this season for what it’s worth, finish this out, go home and somehow erase this, pretend this never even happened,’’ Dunn told the Sun-Times on Friday. “That will be hard, but once the last out is made, I’m never going to talk about it again. Not during the offseason, not next season. Never again.’’

...“It’s something I realize I don’t like doing, that’s for sure,’’ he said of sitting on the bench. “I ain’t built for this. Sure, I understand it. I know I’ve done it to myself. This is the first time ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 12:41 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: history, white sox

English: Journalists don’t belong in game

I agree…although BaseballGB does occasionally have some neat stuff.

(Richard) Griffin is the Toronto chapter president of the BBWAA. In that role he chooses the eight local baseball writers who will vote on this year’s awards. He was on the road with the Jays this week and I wasn’t able to talk to him.

I did discuss this with sports editor Jon Filson and columnist Cathal Kelly. Both defended the tradition, making the strong case that the voting process is transparent — players, other journalists and readers can learn who each journalist voted for following the vote.

“There is no one who doesn’t take this seriously. Your professional reputation is on the line. If you gave your MVP vote to someone who didn’t deserve it, you ...

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Repoz Posted: September 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, business, media, special topics

MLB.com: Fister leads the way as Tigers clinch Central

The Tigers can start making their postseason plans.

Detroit captured the American League Central crown Friday night by beating the Oakland A’s, 3-1, as right-hander Doug Fister—who came to Detroit from Seattle in a July 30 trade—turned in another brilliant start, winning his fifth straight game.

The Tigers won a division title for the first time since 1987, when they were in the AL East, and first time since joining the AL Central in 1998.

NTNgod Posted: September 17, 2011 at 05:06 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

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