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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Megdal: RA Dickey: Steal of the Offseason

The Achievement of RA Dickey: A Comprehensive Selection of His Knucklers.

But would it surprise you to know he’s been the second-most valuable pitcher of any who signed last winter, regardless of salary?

Dickey’s been worth 4.6 wins above replacement (WAR) in 2011, good for 16th in all of baseball among starting pitchers. Those pitchers ahead of him: Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee (the only signing of the offseason with more value than Dickey in 2011, but who will make more in 2011 than Dickey will make over the life of his contract, even if the Mets pick up the 2013 option), Jered Weaver, CC Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Ricky Romero, James Shields, Ian Kennedy, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, Doug Fister, Jon ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, mets, sabermetrics

BPP: An interview with Dan Szymborski

You can’t spell ZiPS without…Dan!

How long ago did you come up with ZiPS?

Szymborski: The genesis of it was there’s a [person] who contributes to Baseball Think Factory named Chris Dial, and in the late ’90s, they were talking about how someone could make a projection system that’s very basic and get most of the way there, in a way kind of a primordial version of Marcel which is a tabulator.

Before 2002, I was thinking maybe I should try my hand at a projection system. At that time, Voros McCracken’s FIPS research was fairly new, so I wanted to [align my idea.] That’s why I made it rhyme with FIPS, and the Z stands for Szymborski, the second letter of my name. I mean, it’s just a little side thing that started. Then I ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, media, primate meetups, projections, sabermetrics, site news, zips

Berg: The save stat, nutshelled

Yankees: Let’s all pull together to really suck!

“I couldn’t believe they were cheering me for hitting into a double play,” Swisher said. “I said: ‘Whoa, what’s this? And then I looked at the bullpen and saw Mo coming out and I said: ‘Now I get it!’ This was the greatest double play of my life.”

“Runners at first and second…it was unbelievable,” Rivera said. “I don’t ever want my teammates to do bad so I can pitch, but this time I was happy for the opportunity. I’m listening to the fans and I said: ‘Wow, these guys are into it!’”

Madden stink.

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:11 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

Crashburn Alley: The Myth of Hunter Pence’s Protection

Or as Cowboy Jeff Brantley said the other day…“The reason that Braun fella is having such a big season is because of that big fella hitting behind him…and that’s it”...or something.

You’ve heard it a million times by now: Hunter Pence has given Ryan Howard some much-needed protection in the lineup, that’s why the slugger has posted a .955 OPS in September despite chronic foot problems. The concept of lineup protection has been studied rather extensively and none of the studies have shown “protection” to exist in any meaningful fashion. In fact, Baseball Between the Numbers (written by the Baseball Prospectus staff) did the most extensive study I’ve seen yet, concluding, “There’s no evidence that having a superior batter ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 01:48 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, sabermetrics

NYBD: Silva: Give Wally Whitehurst His ’96 World Series Ring

King Wally, please.

Wally Whitehurst spent 7 seasons pitching in the big leagues with the Mets, Padres, and Yankees. This past season he was the pitching coach for the Altoona Curve, the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Whitehurst made 2 starts for the Yankees in1996, finishing 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. News 12 New Jersey caught up with the former righty in July when Altoona was in Trenton to play the Thunder. Ironically, Derek Jeter was rehabbing for the Trenton that weekend. During an interview, Whitehurst revealed that he never received a championship ring from that ’96 season. He was awarded a small World Series share by his teammates, but the only hardware Whitehurst received in 1996 was a ring for winning the ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, mets, yankees

Zettel: Sabermetrics: Movement, Movies, and Documentaries

With pride in our past and confidence in our baseball future, we hereby establish…that you have to scroll down for this.

I noticed over the span of the last five years that discourse about “Sabermetrics” in America almost perfectly mimics recent discourse about “Communism” in America. Due to particular ideological feelings about baseball, in which some “human element” is always upheld and tons of people still maintain “there are things that happen on a baseball diamond that cannot be quantified,” the “Sabermetrics” movement is boiled down to a couple of brief summary points that are not necessarily agreed to by any of the diverse points of view within that movement. The mistake is thinking that there is one “Sabermetrics.” There’s no more ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, sabermetrics

Steve Cameron: Lefty Hosmer making impact for Royals

Being fair to Guillen, his move was done “by the book” – you know, that imaginary baseball Bible which dictates that you set up a possible double play AND make a young left-handed hitter produce against Thornton.

Of course we know how it all turned out – Hosmer sent an 0-1 pitch screaming over the head of left-fielder Juan Pierre for a game-winning double.

Anyone who has watched the Royals this season might have predicted that outcome, in part because it was Hosmer’s 12th game-winning RBI.

He’s one of those guys who somehow can raise his game in clutch situations.

“You don’t learn that,” manager Ned Yost said. “You’re born with it.”

Thanks to The Not So Great Vorelli.

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, sabermetrics

Schoenfield: Ian Kinsler having a great season

Providing he stays within walking distance of Skillman Wok of Arlington. Yes.

Talk about a guy flying under the radar: Ian Kinsler is about to become just the ninth second baseman to hit 30 home runs twice in his career. He’s second in the American League in runs scored. He plays terrific defense, has drawn 82 walks and is 25 for 27 stealing bases.

...Now, is Kinsler really having a better season than Cano? Even though Cano is hitting more than 50 points higher, Kinsler’s ability to draw walks brings him even in the all-important on-base percentage. Kinsler rates a 13-run advantage in the field according to UZR (seven runs better in Defensive Runs Saved). According to FanGraphs, Kinsler picks up another three-run advantage on the ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

Bob Ryan: His pitchers decision: They shouldn’t win MVP award

The most daring escapade ever conceived…the Bob Ryan express has just pulled in!

Justin Verlander will win the American League Cy Young Award. If there is any justice, the vote will be unanimous.

But many people, and not just Tigers boosters, want more. They want the whole enchilada. They want Justin Verlander to become the first starting pitcher to win an MVP since Roger Clemens a quarter-century ago.

I hate this. It’s a conversation we should not be having. Pitchers should be content with the Cy Young. And I’ll take it a step further. Relievers should not be eligible for the Cy Young. They should be competing for what I would call the Hoyt Wilhelm Award, a special prize for the best reliever of the year. This, by the way, would be ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 09:38 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, sabermetrics, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2011

Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 20, 1911:

“Long Tom” Hughes of the Washington club has a sure way of proving that he is a good pitcher.  He offers to lick any one who says he is not.

Long Tom wasn’t just making idle threats about fisticuffs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2011 at 09:01 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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.”

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 20, 2011 at 05:49 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, minor leagues, rangers

MLB.com: Kennedy rolls to 20th as D-backs inch closer

Ian Kennedy became the first 20-game winner in the National League as he tossed eight one-hit innings to lead the D-backs past the Pirates, 1-0, on Monday night in front of 24,458 at Chase Field.
...
Kennedy (20-4) was dominant, with the lone Pirates hit against him being a single to left by opposing pitcher Jeff Karstens in the third inning. Kennedy matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and walked one.

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:21 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, game recaps

Wall Street Journal:  Boston Kids Finally Feel Heartbreak

This letter is for everyone in Boston who’s 10 years old or younger:

Okay, kids, sit down. Pour yourself a nice glass of milk. Eat a delicious Green Monster cookie. Eat two!

Your carefree childhood is on the verge of being rocked.

You may not realize it, but you’ve been spoiled rotten. It’s not your fault. But you’ve been historically lucky, and the cosmic bill is way past overdue….

Do you know what it means to suffer? Have you ever pounded your head against the wall for an entire off-season?

Have you ever opened a window and shouted out into a darkened street, “WHHYYYYY?”...

Now it’s possible the Red Sox will escape and slip into the playoffs. The Rays have lots of games left with the first-place Yankees. Boston seemingly gets a ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:27 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

AL Wildcard race: September 19, 2011

BOS 88-66 [5-14 in SEPT]
TBR 85-67 [11-6 in SEPT] (2 GB)

MLB.com: Sox use rout to increase Wild Card lead

MLB.com: Red Sox’s lead in Wild Card trimmed again

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 03:06 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

Mariners add Joe McIlvaine to front office

Congrats to the mastermind behind the Arnie Gooch deal!

Former major league general manager Joe McIlvaine was hired as a special assistant to Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik on Monday.

The Mariners announced the move in Seattle, shortly after beating the Cleveland Indians 12-6 in a game shortened to seven innings by rain.

The 64-year-old McIlvaine served as general manager of the San Diego Padres and New York Mets during the 1990s. He has been with the Minnesota Twins since 1998, the last 11 years as a special assistant.

“Joe has had success as a general manager, a scouting director (including internationally), a front office executive and in the role of special assistant,” Zduriencik said in a release issued by the team. “He is a ...

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Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

NL Wildcard race: September 19, 2011

ATL 87-67 [7-12 in SEPT]
STL 84-69 [12-5 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)
SFG 83-70 [11-5 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)

MLB.com: Braves’ Wild Card lead shrinks after walk-off loss

[Omar] Infante’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Craig Kimbrel gave the Marlins a 6-5 win over the Braves at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night.

MLB.com: Berkman helps Lohse, Cards best Halladay

NTNgod Posted: September 20, 2011 at 02:04 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps, giants

Monday, September 19, 2011

B-ref Blog: Sports-Reference User Survey

New from Sean’s Place.

Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 19, 2011 at 11:20 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Levine: Kerry Wood out for year, may retire

No pills to fix this.

Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood said he has a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season, and he said if the Cubs aren’t interested in bringing him back next season he’ll retire.

Wood suffered the injury while squatting in the bullpen on Saturday, but he said he was feeling discomfort in the knee all year long.

Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: September 19, 2011 at 10:23 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

FanGraphs New York Meetup

Amity Hall? Wuh…you guys too good for John’s Pizza? (chomp…I’ll probably be heading over…chomp)

On Sunday, September 25th, we’ll blow the horn for FanGraphs East and announce happy hour drinks and our own private space for our particular brand of nerdery. Come to Amity Hall any time after one PM eastern, and we’ll be hanging out, talking baseball and enjoying happy hour prices. And there will be a ton of togetherness because really how much can you hate a Mets fan right now. Oh! Also, come downstairs. We’ve got the downstairs bar.

And this is who will be hanging out:

David Appelman, FanGraphs Dark Overlord, so dark
Mike Podhorzer, Serious about (fantasy) baseball, RotoGraphs
Eno Sarris, Fan of Graphs, Fan, Not and Roto
Amanda ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcements, community, media, primate meetups, sabermetrics, site news, special topics

Mariano Rivera sets all-time saves record

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tallied his record-breaking 602nd save Monday in New York’s 6-4 win at home against the Twins.

The District Attorney Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:34 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, yankees

Brad Pitt on the Cover of This Week’s Sports Illustrated

Throws Cher.

image

Brad Pitt, the star of the upcoming movie Moneyball, doffs an Oakland A’s hat and graces the cover of this week’s September 26, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. Pitt joins an exclusive group of non-athletes and non-coaches to be so honored — a list that includes Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, Stephen Colbert, Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, Steve McQueen and Arnold Schwarzenegger in addition to former presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (appearances on the 11/26/84 and 2/16/87 covers) and Bill Clinton.

...Pitt’s background (or lack thereof) in baseball: “It’s shameful how little I know about baseball…. I’m amazed they let me do this movie…. Baseball and I didn’t ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 08:07 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, media, sabermetrics

For the Love of Moneyball: The Failure of Sabermetrics In the Absence of Necessary Resources

Or as Chris Welsh said during the Reds broadcast yesterday…“That’s just more Bill James hogwash…there’s no way Ben Zobrist is better than Brandon Phillips!”

So here we are.  Friday, the movie drops its snapshot of perhaps the greatest single achievement of our beloved Athletics franchise.  World Series come and go; the hotter team usually can beat the better team and there’s a champion every season unless it’s 1994 and you’re Bud Selig.  So thank your lucky stars you aren’t him—or, despite his best efforts, the Montreal Expos—and instead revel in the idea that what happened in late August and early September of 2002 will in all likelihood never happen again.  I say The Streak is the A’s single greatest accomplishment as a franchise ...

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Repoz Posted: September 19, 2011 at 04:58 PM | 142 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, media, projections, sabermetrics

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

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