Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Friday, March 14, 2014
I’ll read my annuals with the pork and beans…
Assume MLB never expanded but it continued to recruit players as it has, roughly halving the size of the MLB pool: are there players we now consider to be at the star/solid regular level who would be sitting on the bench? IOW, which position is so full of stars/solid regulars now that the 17th best player would surprise people?
There are no such players. Expansion put pressure on the organizations to find more players, leading to larger minors, much more aggressive international scouting. Without expansion the quality would be exactly what it is now, or less. .. probably less, because whatever does not grow tends to die.
Bill, Grady Sizemore is making a comeback after missing several years. I can’t think of other position players who came back after missing several seasons due to injury. It seems more common for pitchers to miss several years with sore arms, or for players to miss time while fighting in wars. Are there other position players who have missed several years in a row due to injury, and how well have they done in their comebacks?
I think Jim Eisenreich might be the closest parallel in the last 30-40 years.
Bill, regarding platoon differentials: is it true, as my intuition tells me, that lefty pitchers do better against lefty hitters than righty pitchers do against rightyhitters? If so, do you have a theory as to why?
It is more untrue than true. There is SOME such effect, which I think is not genuinely difficult to understand, but in general, the effect is more the same than it is different.
What makes you think [Bryce] Harper’s platoon splits aren’t normal? For him anyway.
Because, in reality, almost every player has essentially the same platoon differential, not as an absolute rule, of course, but in general. People think of the platoon differential as an individual characteristic, different for each player. The reality is that it is not an individual characteristic of each player; it is a general feature of the game itself, which, over time, tends to have the same effect on every player. With a few exceptions, of course.
Having read about how you started your research while working as a night watchman, just wondering if you ever had a “eureka” moment, and what it was that convinced you to start this as a career?
There were probably several Eureka moments, but in the spring of 1977, when the spring annuals hit the newsstands, I bought several of them, as I usually did, and started working my way through them (on my shift as a night watchman.) After about a half hour I realized that I knew far more about the subject than the people writing the magazines did. It’s a normal kind of maturity moment, I think; as a child you assume that others are experts, that people who write books and people who write for magazines have some sort of magical insight that makes them better qualified than you to write these things. At some point—I would assume no matter what it is that you are interested in, stamp collecting or martial arts—at some point you realize that the people who have been educating you so far are running on empty, and it’s your turn to talk.
Have you ever looked at the most inexplicable performances in MVP voting? I stumbled across the case of Phil Marchildon today. Pitcher for the A’s in the 40s, only things he ever led the league in were losses, walks, HBP, and wild pitches. But he received MVP votes in three different seasons, including the year he led the league in losses.
Marchildon in 1942 was 17-14, but with a team that was solidly in last place, 55-99; they were 38-85 when he wasn’t the pitcher of record. He was 6 or 7 games better than the team. In 1946 he was 13-16, same team, but the team was 49-105, meaning they were 36-89 when he wasn’t on the pitcher of record, so he was still about 4 games better than the team. In 1947 he was 19-9; the A’s were 78-76, but that means they were 59-67 without him, so he’s still 5 to 6 games better than the team. (Paragraph/warning that I am telling you this from memory, hence could be wrong.) Marchildon was a Prisoner of War during World War II, and it is possible that there was some sympathy voting for him or attention effect voting for him. But also. ..his won-lost records on the teams he pitched for are extremely good, and I would suspect that the won-lost records explain most of the voting.
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger tweets protesters should be treated 'like animals'
(445 - 11:44pm, Sep 26)Last:
: OMNICHATTER 9-26-16
(56 - 11:40pm, Sep 26)
Last: There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerowNewsblog
: OTP 2016 Sep 26: A single for Donald Trump - He doesn’t have to hit a home run to send Hillary to the showers
(505 - 11:35pm, Sep 26)Last:
What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?Newsblog
: OT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(588 - 11:33pm, Sep 26)Last:
: Why 2016 is the Year of the Home Run
(3 - 11:23pm, Sep 26)
Last: SoSHially UnacceptableNewsblog
: Carlos Beltran might struggle to make the Hall of Fame
(139 - 10:54pm, Sep 26)Last:
Eric J can SABER all he wants toNewsblog
: Jose Fernandez Dies In Boating Accident - MLB Trade Rumors
(222 - 10:34pm, Sep 26)Last:
Joe Bivens, Floundering PumpkinNewsblog
: What can the Cardinals learn from the Cubs' rise? - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN
(23 - 9:29pm, Sep 26)
: Fire Joe Morgan and the Moneyball revolution.
(30 - 8:24pm, Sep 26)
: Sportswriters Love Marriotts More Than You Love Anything
(22 - 7:11pm, Sep 26)
Last: Rickey! Filipino Diving Team Newsblog
: Tangotiger Blog:Fans Scouting Report: best fielders in baseball
(12 - 6:49pm, Sep 26)
: We've got everything you need to see and hear from Vin Scully's final home game | MLB.com
(8 - 6:44pm, Sep 26)
: Israel Defeats Great Britain to Advance to WBC
(3 - 5:34pm, Sep 26)
Last: RMc's Got a Lot of Trouble at StakeNewsblog
: OTP 2016 Sep 19 - Race for the White House: The Greatest Circus on Earth
(1706 - 5:15pm, Sep 26)Last:
David Nieporent (now, with children)Newsblog
: Twins To Hire Derek Falvey To Oversee Baseball Operations
(1 - 5:03pm, Sep 26)
Last: DL from MN