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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BPro: 11 Horribly Wrong Predictions We Have Made

I bet we all have a few…

7. Taking Michael Saunders Over Mike Trout in a 2011 Minor-League Draft
No, I never predicted that Michael Saunders would have the better career than Mike Trout. It was the second round of my home league’s farm draft, and the two names at the top of my list were Saunders and Trout. I had already selected Martin Perez with my first pick and didn’t want to add to my risk profile with a prospect as far away as Trout. My initial rankings had Trout ahead of Saunders, but I looked at Trout’s age and blinked. Saunders isn’t a complete zero in fantasy baseball, but, obviously, I’d love to own Mike Trout for the next three years. —Mike Gianella

8. Roy Halladay was Going to Stink Again and Again and Again
Upon discovering Voros McCracken’s (now famous) piece explaining how pitchers had limited control on allowing hits on balls in play, I thought I’d stumbled onto the secret to my bar-gument dominance. Like anyone who only partially understood the underlying theory might do, I gripped onto strikeout rate (K/9 specifically) as a proxy for pitcher quality. A series of unfortunate events prevented me from being “right” about Chien-Ming Wang’s demise, but I was convinced that a declining strikeout rate was the beginning of the end for a young(er) Roy Halladay after 2004… and 2005, and 2006. Boy, is my face red. —Tim Collins

10. Shawn Chacon Turned a Corner with the Yankees
The Yankees were—as they often seem to be—desperate for starters leading up to the 2005 trade deadline. The team had munched its way through the likes of Darrell May and Tim Redding in one start apiece, and general manager Brian Cashman’s starting rotation resembled a badly-sewn patchwork quilt. But in July, lightning struck for the Bombers. Twice. First, Aaron Small emerged from journeyman obscurity to go 10-0 in 15 starts down the stretch, and Cashman dealt for the Rockies’ Shawn Chacon.

If Small was the Yankees’ walking miracle, Chacon was the second coming, hurling 79 innings down the stretch and going 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA (though FIP gives him a much uglier 4.56 mark). As a 14-year-old, I didn’t pay much attention to sabermetrics. If I had, maybe I would have pointed to Chacon’s low strikeout rate and high walk rate as two major red flags that could prevent him from repeating his post-All-Star break performance. Whoops. Instead, I was more than happy to proclaim Cashman a genius and dub Chacon a superb starter who had definitely turned a corner once he was fitted for pinstripes. Sadly, that was not the case; Chacon was consistently bombed in 2006, a Pirate by the trade deadline, and later became more famous for beating up Astros then-general manager Ed Wade in a clubhouse confrontation. —Stephani Bee

11. Chris Carpenter for 2013 Comeback Player of the Year
You don’t have to look long to find one of my worst predictions. In January, I offered Chris Carpenter as a Comeback Player of the Year candidate. Given that Carp had effectively missed four full seasons with injuries (2003, 2007-08 and 2012), it was something of a leap to pencil him in for anything, even a comeback award. His 2013 PECOTA forecast wisely limited him to 50 innings.

So it’s no surprise that just two weeks later, before spring training had even begun, the Cardinals announced their longtime ace would not pitch in 2013. Carpenter had halted his off-season throwing program after the return of numbness in his shoulder, a condition that required surgery in 2012 and kept him out of action for most of the year. Carpenter made an appearance at the Cards’ Florida training complex this week, but as part of a family vacation. After 20 years as a pro, 2,171 major-league innings and nine surgeries, he has earned it. —Jeff Euston

Repoz Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:50 AM | 107 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Greg K Posted: March 20, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4392237)
A series of unfortunate events prevented me from being “right” about Chien-Ming Wang’s demise, but I was convinced that a declining strikeout rate was the beginning of the end for a young(er) Roy Halladay after 2004… and 2005, and 2006. Boy, is my face red. —Tim Collins

He was probably just swayed by his 13.3 K/9 rate in the minors.
   2. Worrierking Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4392288)
It seems like many of these date back to the writers' college and high school days. That's not as interesting as failed predictions from when they were actually writing for b-pro, when you could assume they had better knowledge.
   3. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4392294)
Apparently I haven't read BPro in a while. I've never heard of half of those writers.
   4. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4392319)
My brother and I ran a team in a keeper league in ~1991. We took Danny Tartabull over Barry Bonds in the first round because we were both certain he was going to have a better career, long-term.
   5. TJ Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4392323)
Admission- my first fantasy baseball draft, I needed a backup third baseman. All halfway decent MLB third basemen were gone, so I decided to go with a prospect who would probably get called up. I narrowed it down to two, and I chose Pedro Feliz- instead of Albert Pujols. And yes, it was a keeper league...

I only wish it hads been during my college years- I was in my late 30's at the time, and had written about baseball off and on for a few years beforehand. Doh!

   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4392325)
If Small was the Yankees’ walking miracle, Chacon was the second coming, hurling 79 innings down the stretch and going 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA (though FIP gives him a much uglier 4.56 mark). As a 14-year-old, I didn’t pay much attention to sabermetrics. If I had, maybe I would have pointed to Chacon’s low strikeout rate and high walk rate as two major red flags


Gee, we're including mistaken predictions from when we were 14? Was there nothing more recent?

A lot of these are silly.
   7. Gamingboy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4392356)
I bought into the hype over the 1998 "Jurassic Park" Orioles.
   8. Guapo Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4392360)
When I was nine months old, my mom's face suddenly disappeared during a game of "Peek-a-Boo." I naturally assumed she was dead and I would never see her again. Boy, I wish I had that one back again.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4392366)
If Small was the Yankees’ walking miracle, Chacon was the second coming, hurling 79 innings down the stretch and going 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA (though FIP gives him a much uglier 4.56 mark). As a 14-year-old, I didn’t pay much attention to sabermetrics. If I had, maybe I would have pointed to Chacon’s low strikeout rate and high walk rate as two major red flags


Wait, he was 14 years old then? But that JUST HAPPENED! Jeez, I'm getting old.
   10. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4392368)
So this is only bad predictions made at some point by current B-Pro writers, and not predictions of things that actually appeared in B-Pro? Because writing an entire preview of the 2002 AL West (a division with only four teams, mind you), and completely fail to even mention one of the teams, even just to brush them off is pretty bad. It's ESPECIALLY bad when that team, whose chances of winning were so non-existent that they didn't get mentioned in the season preview, goes on to win the World Series. It doesn't help when you follow that up with a column devoted entirely to how that team (the one that won the World Series) has absolutely no chance to be successful.
   11. Shredder Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4392372)
When I was nine months old, my mom's face suddenly disappeared during a game of "Peek-a-Boo." I naturally assumed she was dead and I would never see her again. Boy, I wish I had that one back again.
Just a little egg on your face (maybe literally at that age). All's well that ends well.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4392380)
When I was three years old, I thought Gregg Jefferies was going to be the game's next superstar.
   13. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4392383)
Not baseball-related, but back in '78, in a fanzine review of Talking Heads' second album, I opined that anyone who took the band's cover of "Take Me to the River" as indicating any sort of real interest in funk/soul was living in a fantasy world.

Oops.
   14. Anonymous Observer Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4392388)
I've never heard of half of those writers.


And the ones you have heard of are way past their prime.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4392414)
I bet we all have a few…


"Titanic will tank"

The movie, not the ship. I was right about the ship.
   16. Shibal Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4392430)
I always had problems with 8 times 6 back in third grade. I cringe when I think back to those days, how sadly misinformed I was.

So I know where these Baseball Prospectus writers are coming from.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4392431)
BP should have an article with their top 10 mistaken predictions, and their top 10 great predictions. That would be interesting to read. This "Oh, I once thought the Easter Bunny was real and babies came from storks" stuff for the most part isn't.

Wouldn't be hard to pull a list together. They can have their readers chime in. Any outfit that makes predictions/projections is going to be wrong a fair amount of time, so there's no shame in it.

One of my favorites was when they predicted over and over again that David Wells was about to fall off a cliff.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4392434)

One of my favorites was when they predicted over and over again that David Wells was about to fall off a cliff.


I think people on this site (myself included) have predicted Raul Ibanez to fall off a cliff every year for about 8 years now.
   19. Greg K Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4392436)
If Small was the Yankees’ walking miracle, Chacon was the second coming, hurling 79 innings down the stretch and going 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA (though FIP gives him a much uglier 4.56 mark). As a 14-year-old, I didn’t pay much attention to sabermetrics. If I had, maybe I would have pointed to Chacon’s low strikeout rate and high walk rate as two major red flags

Gee, we're including mistaken predictions from when we were 14? Was there nothing more recent?

Jesus he was 14 when Chacon pitched for the Yankees? Wasn't 2005 like...two years ago?
   20. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4392443)
Predictions of my marriage to Diane Keaton were greatly mistaken.
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4392445)
Having just watched VP candidate Richard Nixon's 1952 "Checkers" speech on TV, my parents turned to each other and breathed a sigh of relief, agreeing that after that disaster, Nixon's political career was over.
   22. billyshears Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4392447)
When I was three years old, I thought Gregg Jefferies was going to be the game's next superstar.


I thought this when I was 12. And 13. And 14.
   23. Boxkutter Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4392453)
... As a 14-year-old, I didn’t pay much attention to sabermetrics...—Stephani Bee


Not only was the writer of the Chacon part only 14, they were a 14 year old girl.
   24. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4392456)
In the spring of 1998, I turned down a straight-up offer of Bobby Abreu for Jon Nunnally.
In the spring of 2003, I turned down Albert Pujols for Adam Dunn and Ramon Ortiz.
In the spring of 2010, I turned down Mike Trout for Mike Carp.

I was an adult for all these trades. Not a very smart adult, obviously. I've missed some opportunities.

   25. Greg K Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4392457)
At the end of the season I like to pretend I'm Bill James circa 1983 and write little comments for all the players. No one reads it except for myself, but I find it's a good source to refer back and see what I thought of certain players over time.

The 2011-2012 off-season had a couple doozies.

Edwin Encarnacion was off a bit:
"Every year Encarnacion shows just enough power to keep teams interested. Though not enough to justify a spot in the starting nine considering his rather obvious flaws. Encarnacion is a lefty masher with no defensive value whatsoever. In the days of the short bullpen and the long bench that’s a useful player. But quite frankly there just isn’t enough room on a 21st century roster for a player of such narrow skills. I expect he’ll hit 20 HRs and everyone in Toronto will pat themselves on the back for keeping him around."

On Wilson Ramos:
"Ramos is a bit of an over-looked player on a Nationals team with some once (or twice) in a lifetime prospects, but seeing as he’s already a solid player and doesn’t hit free agency until 2016 Ramos should be a core piece of the first contending Nationals team in a couple years."

Kelly Johnson's is painful:
Over the next three or four years I think he has a better chance of being a worthwhile player than Aaron Hill who I think, at his best, is a better player than Johnson, but at his worst, is much, much worse.

Ian Desmond:
He’s a player you keep running out there because there’s a chance he could turn into something. Especially a team like the Nationals who can afford to try and catch lightning in a bottle at the moment. Unfortunately he’s looking like Orlando Cabrera without the glove…which is not a good player.

Drew Stubbs:
As it is, he was merely an average player in a down year. I expect he’ll be a fine player, warts and all, for the foreseeable future.

For Jose Bautista I lifted this quote from somewhere (though for the life of me I cannot recall where)

"Whatever his antecedents he was something wholly other than their sum, nor was there any system by which to divide him back into his origins for he would not go. Whoever would seek out his history through what unraveling of loins and ledgerbooks must stand at last darkened and dumb at the shore of a void without terminus or origin."

And another poem on the subject of Luke Hochevar, which sadly I don't think I can blame anyone other than myself for producing

Hopes were high (though God knows why)
As Hochevar took the mound on Opening Day
That the label “ace” may stick to the first overall pick
But the Royals lost in the regular way, with shoddy baseball play
And the fans doth barely restrain their sick
   26. SandyRiver Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4392463)
Having just watched VP candidate Richard Nixon's 1952 "Checkers" speech on TV, my parents turned to each other and breathed a sigh of relief, agreeing that after that disaster, Nixon's political career was over.


I'd always thought his political career ended with this quote, made after losing the CA gubernatorial race (in 1962):

"You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference"
   27. Squash Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4392465)
The main thing I noticed, given the ages people said they were when these things happened, is that BPro currently employs a lot of people in their very early 20s.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4392473)

At the end of the season I like to pretend I'm Bill James circa 1983 and write little comments for all the players. No one reads it except for myself, but I find it's a good source to refer back and see what I thought of certain players over time.


I do shadow drafts. I thought Kurt Suzuki and JA Happ were worthy of later round picks. I also thought Kenny Baugh and Cesar Carillo were first round picks, and Brad Lincoln was the best pitcher in the 2006 draft over Lincecum and Kershaw.
   29. Swedish Chef Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4392482)
Who the #### would ever want this iPad thing? It's too heavy to bring with you, it's too cramped to use at home. They'll sell a few to fans and gizmo freaks.
   30. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4392487)
I do shadow drafts. I thought Kurt Suzuki and JA Happ were worthy of later round picks. I also thought Kenny Baugh and Cesar Carillo were first round picks, and Brad Lincoln was the best pitcher in the 2006 draft over Lincecum and Kershaw.


I have shadowed Stetson Allie in the top 10 picks, Jack McGeary in the 2nd round and Reese Havens in the first.
   31. The District Attorney Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4392504)
Who wouldn't think Gregg Jefferies would be a star? He destroyed AA ball at age 19, and then had a terrific September-October cup of coffee (including postseason). It was hard not to be excited. And then he did end up being a decent MLB player, really.

I think Prospectus had Andy Marte as the #1 prospect one year. Now that's a complete failure; a guy who did nothing. I don't think prospect projection should really count here, though. No one can do that for any length of time without huge misses. It might be more fair to criticize BP for putting Josh Phelps on the cover.... but I guess putting someone on the cover isn't necessarily equivalent to a claim that the guy is a great player.

The best bad predictions are of course when the predictor is insufferably obnoxious about it, e.g. Dave Cameron on Cano or Mike Morse (and if he finally becomes right about Morse now that Morse is back on the Mariners, it'll be even better.)

In Rotisserie league, I released Barry Bonds as a rookie. This guy is hitting .220; that sucks! (It didn't even make sense for that one year; his steals and homers were still very valuable in Roto. Damn Chadwick Ratio.) I also saw Albert Pujols fall to 24th in a 24-team rookie draft -- i.e., the best team got him -- while I picked Luis Rivas 8th. But again, that's the prospect thing.

In fantasy basketball, I traded Steve Nash for Radoslav Nesterovic.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4392513)
The best bad predictions are of course when the predictor is insufferably obnoxious about it, e.g. Dave Cameron on Cano or Mike Morse (and if Morse stinks for the Mariners while John Jaso is good for the A's, that'll be especially great.)


My favorite bad predictions are when the predictor is almost immediately proved wrong (Cameron on the 2010 Rockies, moments before they went in the tank for the remainder of the season or Bernie Miklasz later in the year on the Reds being done after getting swept by the Cards in the Kickin' Cueto series).

   33. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4392535)
I thought keeping Jay Payton rather than trading him for Sheffield was the right move. Ugh. At least I didn't have to cheer for Gary Sheffield. Except, wait, I did. #### me.
   34. Ron J2 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4392564)
#5 I've had Albert Pujols for his entire career in my strat league. But he was a consolation prize. I actually wanted Adam Dunn but could not persuade the owner of the first pick to swap.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4392572)
(Cameron on the 2010 Rockies, moments before they went in the tank for the remainder of the season


That was actually the 2011 Rockies. The 2010 Rockies were in contention till the last two weeks of the season.
   36. McCoy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4392592)
I thought Jim Edmonds would stink up the joint for the Cubs after he got traded to the team.

And that is about it on things that can be proven one way or another.
   37. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4392609)
Base ball will never be more popular than cricket, you blackguard!
   38. Hack Wilson Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4392619)
I was sure George McGovern would win the 1972 election since everybody I knew was voting for him. Of course Fox News viewers were sure Mitt would win overwhelmingly last year (damn ACORN).
   39. Chris Needham Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4392627)
I think my all-time favorite was the write-up of Brendan Harris that basically said he had a chance of being the next Barry Bonds.
   40. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4392628)
Ian Desmond:
He’s a player you keep running out there because there’s a chance he could turn into something. Especially a team like the Nationals who can afford to try and catch lightning in a bottle at the moment. Unfortunately he’s looking like Orlando Cabrera without the glove…which is not a good player.
i was listening to some guy named rubin on the local sports radio station last night, and he claimed that desmond was going to be the MVP this year. i had kind of a stroke sometime after i heard him say that, but i think his reasoning was something along the lines of "he hit .250 with 8 homeruns two years ago and he hit .290 with 25 homeruns last year, so if he continues to improve at that rate, he'll be the best player by a mile".

   41. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4392629)
One night, I thought a Marlins game would be a nice way to spend the evening.
   42. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4392632)
Bitter early '90s fantasy owner that I am, I cite Bill James' confident predictions of Cy Youngs for Arthur Rhodes & MVPs for Marc Newfield fairly often.
   43. Hack Wilson Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4392661)
I think my all-time favorite was the write-up of Brendan Harris that basically said he had a chance of being the next Barry Bonds.


Well Bonds is now out of baseball, but Brendan had an OPS of .914 last year, at last BP is proven correct. (I will also never forget that "prediction" even at the time it was made it seemed absurd.)
   44. Tuque Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4392674)
This thread is making me feel a lot better about my brothers and I refusing to trade Matt Wieters for Mike Trout in our keeper league last offseason.

Not that much better though. That was easily the most phenomenally stupid decision we've made with that team.
   45. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4392677)
I still don't understand how Jackie Rexrode keeps getting stiffed every. single. year. when it comes time to announce the MVP award.
   46. The District Attorney Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4392682)
I thought Harris was compared to Pujols (both minor-league 3B), and that it was at least prefaced by a "don't get us wrong, we're not saying he's as GOOD as Pujols, but..." disclaimer. Can we get the quote here?
   47. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4392697)
It was definitely Albert. My memory is that it was basically "no one is likely to be Pujols in 2002, but if anyone has a shot, it's Harris."
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4392706)
For Jose Bautista I lifted this quote from somewhere (though for the life of me I cannot recall where)


It's from Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
   49. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4392708)
Easily this one:
So very close.
   50. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4392710)
One of the first things I ever posted on this site, in the old Transaction Oracle, was the opinion that the Pirates didn't do all that badly in the recent Jason Schmidt trade.
   51. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4392713)
Probably the two biggest mistakes that I've made:

1. JJ Hardy was a poor defensive SS.
2. Kentrail Davis would have been a good early round draft choice for the Pirates.

Although I'm sure if you search the archives you will find others.

-- MWE

PS I want to see Dial's list, too :)
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4392714)
Easily this one:
So very close.


In this discussion, Rany said:

When I got to the Brendan Harris write-up and looked at his numbers carefully, a strange sensation came over me. (Go ahead, Derek--make an Aussie crack; it's good to get it out of your system.) I checked the numbers, and lo and behold...well, look it up yourself:

Brendan Harris, 2002 = Albert Pujols, 2000

There are some differences--notably that Harris was a classification higher than Pujols--but the raw numbers are eerily similar. Harris is the biggest sleeper prospect in the game, and I was compelled to move him into our Top 20.

   53. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4392715)
Okay, that's good too.
   54. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4392717)
One of the first things I ever posted on this site, in the old Transaction Oracle, was the opinion that the Pirates didn't do all that badly in the recent Jason Schmidt trade.


They did acquire a future All-Star.
   55. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4392718)
Memory tells me that very few Primates who had anything to say about the matter thought it was a good idea for their respective teams to get rid of future UPS* like Wily Mo Pena & Lastings Milledge.

*Useless pieces of ####
   56. Greg K Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4392732)
I don't think I have any written evidence, but I remember thinking, Jose Bautista for Robinzon Diaz? Sure the odds are long that Diaz will never make it...but he is still 24. I'm pretty sure Bautista's already had his shot and we know he's not a major league player.
   57. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4392765)
My favorite bad predictions are when the predictor is almost immediately proved wrong (Cameron on the 2010 Rockies, moments before they went in the tank for the remainder of the season or Bernie Miklasz later in the year on the Reds being done after getting swept by the Cards in the Kickin' Cueto series).


Ideally, I think you want a combination of immediately being proved wrong and hilarious arrogance. If you gets someone sounding off about how ridiculous other people are, and then they're instantly smacked down by reality, that's the best. Like that podcast jsut before the 2008 Super Bowl where Bill Simmons and Aaron Schatz assured the world that anyone who picked against the Patriots was just doing it as a joke or something. Hubris, immediately corrected, is always funny.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4392783)
Memory tells me that very few Primates who had anything to say about the matter thought it was a good idea for their respective teams to get rid of future UPS* like Wily Mo Pena & Lastings Milledge.


Man, I practically did cartwheels when the Red Sox traded Bronson Arroyo for WMP. I can't think of a reaction to a trade/FA signing I've had that I was more wrong about than that one.

I was also shamefully excited about Matt Young.
   59. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4392801)
i had kind of a stroke sometime after i heard him say that, but i think his reasoning was something along the lines of "he hit .250 with 8 homeruns two years ago and he hit .290 with 25 homeruns last year, so if he continues to improve at that rate, he'll be the best player by a mile".


Bizzarely, I managed to see about 23 of Desmond's 25 home runs last year. Seems like every time I turned on the TV he was smashing one. So if I just double my viewing, he's down for 50 home runs.
   60. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4392814)
Memory tells me that very few Primates who had anything to say about the matter thought it was a good idea for their respective teams to get rid of future UPS* like Wily Mo Pena & Lastings Milledge.

*Useless pieces of ####


Milledge wasn't a useless piece of #### in Pittsburgh. He was a nice kid, fun to watch and enthusiastic about the game. He didn't play particularly well, admittedly, but he wasn't even close to the worst guy on those Pirates teams, either.
   61. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4392827)
Who the #### would ever want this iPad thing? It's too heavy to bring with you, it's too cramped to use at home. They'll sell a few to fans and gizmo freaks.


The finest moment in the history of Slashdot occurred on October 23, 2001, when an editor prefaced the story "Apple releases iPod" with this observation: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

One of the first things I ever posted on this site, in the old Transaction Oracle, was the opinion that the Pirates didn't do all that badly in the recent Jason Schmidt trade.


When the Braves traded Jason Schmidt and Ron Wright to the Pirates for Denny Neagle, I was convinced that the Pirates would win the trade because Wright was going to hit 400+ home runs in the majors. Alas, his back exploded and his career consisted of one game of 3 ABs that resulted in 6 outs.
   62. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4392849)
Hmmm ... whaddya know, I've never been wrong about anything. My cursive sucks though.

Long ago, a friend pointed out to me that, while I occasionally will admit it, I almost always say "you're right" not "I'm wrong." :-)

I got Arroyo for Pena right. That was one that somebody got colossally wrong, I think it was someone at BPro, who was so awed by Pena's power that they found some stat he shared with Babe Ruth. In fact I think that was the start of my "ahem, he strikes out all the time" crusade. And that "everybody needs 6 starters."

I was one of the people predicting Glavine's demise for about 10 straight years. Took me a while but I was right in the end!
   63. Sonic Youk Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4392853)
This one never gets enough love

http://www.ussmariner.com/2005/12/29/papelbon-and-lester/
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4392866)
When I was trying to find my piece of Schmidt-Vogelsong idiocy (which appears to have vanished into the ether), I stumbled across a good one from you, Walt:

the Ramirez/Lofton trade was perfectly reasonable


Link
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4392868)
Alas, his back exploded and his career consisted of one game of 3 ABs that resulted in 6 outs.


It's even worse than that. While Wright was having an operation to correct the back problem, the surgeon accidentally severed one of the major nerves in his leg. It's a miracle that he made it to the majors at all.
   66. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4392916)

http://www.ussmariner.com/2005/12/29/papelbon-and-lester/


The best part is that down in the comments, there's this, and I think it's from Dave Cameron, although I could be wrong:

Lester isn’t even the best LHP prospect this year. I’d rather have Francisco Liriano or Scott Olsen, and it’s not particularly close. Claiming he’s the best left handed pitching prospect in the past ten years is a total joke and shoots down any credibility you were hoping to establish.
   67. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4392935)
Well, if anybody knows about having your credibility shot down as a result of something you wrote on USS Mariner, it's Cameron.
   68. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4392951)
The one that sticks out for me is the fit I had about the Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria trade. Marte was going to be our David Wright!
   69. zachtoma Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4392976)
Ideally, I think you want a combination of immediately being proved wrong and hilarious arrogance. If you gets someone sounding off about how ridiculous other people are, and then they're instantly smacked down by reality, that's the best. Like that podcast jsut before the 2008 Super Bowl where Bill Simmons and Aaron Schatz assured the world that anyone who picked against the Patriots was just doing it as a joke or something. Hubris, immediately corrected, is always funny.


I think this explains the long lifespan of #6org
   70. Nasty Nate Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4392990)
Writer Ron Borges on the NE Patriots' 2001 draft:

"If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Jets sent Bill Belichick north to destroy the Patriots from within. On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson..they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 1/2 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon."
   71. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4393002)
I think this explains the long lifespan of #6org


Also, Cameron's reasoning at the time was as disingenuous as possible. The Mariners got a boost for playing in a division with 4 teams that didn't apply to anyone else.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4393013)
"If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Jets sent Bill Belichick north to destroy the Patriots from within. On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson..they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 1/2 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon."


So....for those of us who have never heard of any of those names, what happened?
   73. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4393024)
So....for those of us who have never heard of any of those names, what happened?


Seymour played in 5 straight Pro Bowls (as both a tackle and a defensive end), Light played in two, and both were contributors from the start of their careers. Robinson had one good year, Terrell and Ferguson did very little. And of course Belichick destroyed the Patriots so thoroughly that they won three Super Bowls and have been a contender almost every year since he got there.
   74. JJ1986 Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4393027)
So....for those of us who have never heard of any of those names, what happened?


Seymour was one of the best players in the league, Light was a top-10 left tackle for a long time, Koren had a few very good years but was always a disappoint compared to his draft position, Terrell and Ferguson were never impact players.

edit: coke to Fernigal.
   75. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4393028)

One of the first things I ever posted on this site, in the old Transaction Oracle, was the opinion that the Pirates didn't do all that badly in the recent Jason Schmidt trade.


I think I was the lone dissenter in the Josh Hamilton/Edinson Volquez trade. "He's got a history of drugs, he's got a history of being injured, he's probably a flash in the pan that we'll never hear from again. Meanwhile Volquez was part of DVD!!!!"

I also remember a long Posnanski article lamenting how the Royals could trade a sweet swing like Michael Tucker for a guy that swung at everything like Jermaine Dye.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4393032)
Thank you, I had just finished googling all those names. Absolutely hilarious find. None of the players he is touting had a noticeable career(except for one guy was an all pro punt returner one year.)
   77. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4393035)
I think I was the lone dissenter in the Josh Hamilton/Edinson Volquez trade. "He's got a history of drugs, he's got a history of being injured, he's probably a flash in the pan that we'll never hear from again. Meanwhile Volquez was part of DVD!!!!"


I don't know if I was vocal, but I would have joined you on that tirade. There was nothing to suggest that what Hamilton did was repeatable, in my opinion. Trade him while his value was at it's highest.
   78. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4393041)
Richard Seymour is a Hall of Fame defensive end, Matt Light was an All Pro offensive lineman. The two other guys were total busts.

Coke to the others.
   79. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 20, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4393060)
It's a very simple thing: if you're in the player evaluation business and you've never been severely wrong about a player, you're either lying or haven't evaluated many players.
   80. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 20, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4393082)
I believe I've mentioned this before, but in 2000, after Jeff Cirillo went to the Colorado Rockies, one of the Mazeroski/Sporting News-type preview issues said that "it wouldn't be at all surprising" for Cirillo to bat .400. Reading that, I couldn't help feeling it would be a little bit surprising.
   81. Greg K Posted: March 20, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4393084)
Is there a place to get the Mazeroski books from the early to mid-90s?

Or "The Bill James Baseball" Books. I have either the 1990 or 1991 edition. How many did he do?
   82. zonk Posted: March 20, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4393094)
I traded FOR the NL flavor of Eric Milton... twice... in 2005 - it cost me the title... I recalculated the standings after the season and discovered that I would have won the league if I replaced Milton with exactly nothing, never mind that I traded Rickie Weeks for him.

Then, because I'm a degenerate gambler who figures you should throw good money after bad because your number is DUE, dammit, DUE -- I traded FOR him again in 2007... at least that year, he mercifully hurt himself and missed most of the season after 2 starts.... so I "won" the second time.

   83. Swedish Chef Posted: March 20, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4393096)
It's a very simple thing: if you're in the player evaluation business and you've never been severely wrong about a player, you're either lying or haven't evaluated many players.

Or you're awesome at hedging your bets, like market commentators and astrologers.
   84. Howie Menckel Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4393172)

I stopped reading this site almost 10 years ago precisely because of their insufferable nature, so the headline had me almost ready to forgive and forget.

Then I read the article.

#pass

   85. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4393186)
I am prohibited from 'shorting' in my employ, but I would've shorted Google at its IPO and shortly thereafter.
   86. villageidiom Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM (#4393218)
Memory tells me that very few Primates who had anything to say about the matter thought it was a good idea for their respective teams to get rid of future UPS* like Wily Mo Pena & Lastings Milledge.
FREE ERUBIEL DURAZO!
   87. zonk Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4393224)
BBTF would have absolutely no trouble constructing a Roberto Petagine all-star team...
   88. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4393226)
I've made lots of dumb predictions, mostly about small stuff. One that makes me laugh: Chris Lubanski might lead the bigs in triples some day. A strange prediction and wrong in many ways...
I made fun of tablets too. I'm likely to finally buy one this weekend.
   89. zonk Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4393230)
Cashing out and then spending my entire 401k on hookers and blow last December 20 probably counts as a dumb prediction... but they were good hookers and it was quality blow.
   90. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4393231)
Cashing out and then spending my entire 401k on hookers and blow last December 20 probably counts as a dumb prediction... but they were good hookers and it was quality blow.

that's not a prediction--that's a feature
   91. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: March 20, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4393237)
Not baseball-related, but back in '78, in a fanzine review of Talking Heads' second album, I opined that anyone who took the band's cover of "Take Me to the River" as indicating any sort of real interest in funk/soul was living in a fantasy world.


Funny, I never listen to the radio, but had it on the other day trying to figure out weather/traffic, and that song came on... which naturally made me find "Remain in Light" (their 4th album) on my iPod and play it straight through. It made navigating the mid-March snow storm much more bearable.
   92. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4393245)
the Ramirez/Lofton trade was perfectly reasonable

Like I said, never wrong! :-)

It was reasonable in the context of the times. A total salary dump that looked like pretty much every other salary dump going down at the time (or now for that matter). I don't think you'll ever find me saying that it was a good trade for the Pirates just that it's what you expect in a deadline deal for an expensive, average player.

To that point in his career, Ramirez was a below-average 3B, 25, and not at all clear he was going to live up to his potential. He was already signed for the following season for $6 M (which was kinda big money in the Pirates' eyes). Lofton was on a 1-year contract and designed to be shifted at the deadline -- as I recall, Pirates fans were pretty annoyed that Sanders and Stairs weren't also shipped out. The Pirates got back a regarded (although fading) prospect in Bobby Hill and a pitcher.

One week after that trade, the Reds traded Aaron Boone -- a league average 3B albeit older than Ramirez -- costing about the same as Ramirez (hard to say as he would have been going to arb if he hadn't gotten hurt) and got back the fading prospect Brandon Claussen who gave 300 innings of 86 ERA+.

A couple of days before the Pirates traded Mike Williams for Frank Brooks. The day after that they traded Gonzalez and Sauerbeck for Brandon Lyon (which then all got turned back around). Two days later the White Sox traded some minor-leaguers (incl Frank Francisco) for Carl Everett. The Yanks traded Mondesi to the DBacks for David Delucci (lucky to get that much), the Mets traded Rey Sanchez for nothing. The DBacks traded Finley and Mayne for ... basically Koyie Hill. The Yanks traded Ventura for Crosby and Proctor. The Reds were able to trade Guillen to the A's for Harang although Harang didn't become good until 2005. And the year before the Sox had traded Lofton for a couple minors guys who never did anything.

It's probably too early to judge recent deadline trades but guys shifted for not obviously good return last year include Dempster, Soto, Broxton, Pence, Victorino, Liriano, Greinke, Scutaro, Hanley, Wandy, Infante and Sanchez, Myers and Happ and Lyon.

Now if you want to say salary dump trades are a bad idea, be my guest. Or you want to say you should never trade a major-leaguer under 27 be my guest. Heck, if you want to say that was at the lower end of the return you would expect in such a trade, be my guest. Or you want to say Littlefield should have been able to squeeze the desperate Cubs for more, be my guest. But the fact is that's the kind of return you would expect to get in trade for Aramis Ramirez then and it's about the kind of return you would expect to get in return for that version of Aramis Ramirez today -- a decent prospect and a piece (and Jose Hernandez to hold the fort for the rest of the season). Granted, sometimes you see trades like Swisher for Gio Gonzalez plus but sometimes you see trades like Swisher for Betemit.

Through age 25, ARam was at 263/312/441, 92 OPS+ in 2500 PA, good for 1.1 WAR. From 23-25 he was 270/319/466, 100 OPS+ in 1900 PA, good for 4.1 WAR including just 1.7 at age 25. He was a generally poor baserunner but had wrestled his way up to average defensively. Obviously he still had growth potential but nobody at that point would have projected him to put up a 129 OPS+ and 27 WAR over the next 9 seasons. And the Pirates only had (I think) one year of control left anyway. There were a number of folks (probably including Vlad) who felt ARam had been jerked around by the Pirates, played hurt, etc. and they were right about that but at the end of the day he was below-average, disappointing and "expensive."

The really weird thing about that trade is that apparently the Pirates didn't actually want either player. They tried to sneak Bruback off the 40-man and failed and they buried Hill in the minors (perhaps partly because they ended up with Freddy Sanchez after the Gonzalez-Lyon debacle).

Anyway, not my fault the 2003 Pirates considered $6 M a lot of money and traded away a guy who turned into a good player.

   93. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4393253)
It's a very simple thing: if you're in the player evaluation business and you've never been severely wrong about a player, you're either lying or haven't evaluated many players.


I get that, but it's pretty funny when you're severely wrong about a player while insisting that anyone with an opinion different from yours is a complete idiot.
   94. cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4393260)
I made fun of tablets too. I'm likely to finally buy one this weekend.


I did too, and have been on the edge ready to get me a Nexus 7. But to be fair... 1. Bill Gates was touting tablets over a decade ago and it was during a period where I didn't trust Microsoft to ever do anything right. 2.The first windows tablets were junk. 3. The original concept was a mis step. Instead of concentrating on the user interface, they were concentrating on incorporating windows into a smaller computer which of course is already done with laptops.

   95. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4393268)
It's a hard line to straddle though. If I and another person have a substantial disagreement on the value of a player, at some point the question becomes "by what process did each of us come to that conclusion?" And when the disagreement veers into the territory of elevating your favored process above the favored process of others, it's real easy for things to get personal if you're not careful.
   96. Dan Evensen Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4393303)
I'd say this is the 6th best article I've read today.

Whoops -- sorry. Getting my "bad prediction" memes mixed up.
   97. Dan Evensen Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4393304)
And another poem on the subject of Luke Hochevar, which sadly I don't think I can blame anyone other than myself for producing

Hopes were high (though God knows why)
As Hochevar took the mound on Opening Day
That the label “ace” may stick to the first overall pick
But the Royals lost in the regular way, with shoddy baseball play
And the fans doth barely restrain their sick


Primey!

Takes me back to the days when The Score Bard would post here regularly. That was around the time BBPro wrote the AL West preview Shredder links to in #10.
   98. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4393306)
This article should have just been the words "Pete Rose" repeated 11 times.
   99. bigglou115 Posted: March 21, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4393310)
This article should have just been the words "Pete Rose" repeated 11 times.


Nah, the name of that article is why Will Carrol was fired. I don't know if he was actually canned or if he left, but that incident clearly broke the relationship between him and BPro to an irreparable extent. Particularly the way Kahrl went to bat for Will, the only way he was staying after that was if he 1) was right, or 2) outed his source and his source was someone he should have trusted.

I give BPro a pass. Carrol had been important to them up until that point, his UTK articles gave people a reason to show up besides the stats and he was one of the big 3 that interacted with the regular media. The decision to make support of him the company line only really seems silly in retrospect.

edit: also, half those guys weren't there when Carrol was, and the ones who were weren't exactly the heavy hitters. Back then there was an entirely different crew running the show. Sheehan and Carrol are basically bloggers now. KG is with the Astros. Silver is doing his thing. Kahrl is with ESPN, right?
   100. vivaelpujols Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4393321)
My worst predictions since I started getting serious about baseball - Cargo will suck, Rasmus will be an all star, oh and I used to like Tony LaRussa.

Best predictions are that Ubaldo was gonna suck soon (made during that ridiculously good year he had) and Alex Gordon was gonna be great (after everyone was down on him the firs couple of years).
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