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Friday, May 27, 2011

David Cone on Advanced Stats, the End of His Playing Career, and Riding on David Wells’s Motorcycle

Sorta like Monoman retiring after doing 100 OPS+ CC’s...if you will.

Are there certain sites or columnists that you particularly like?

Yeah, I’m a big fan of Fangraphs.com and Dave Cameron. I love reading some of his stuff. Baseball-Reference.com is a tremendous resource, as well. There’s several out there, but my go-to is probably Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. I love Fangraphs and the mountains of data you can get there, especially with hitters’ tendencies and what percentage of pitches they chase outside the strike zone. Across the board, when balls are put in play — you know exactly which guys are groundball hitters, certain tendencies. Some of the defensive metrics are pretty interesting, too, although it’s probably a little bit controversial still. But interesting nonetheless.

How much time do you spend preparing for each game, or each series?

It’s a daily thing for me. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not on Fangraphs or Baseball-Reference.com, or several others, just reading articles or really breaking down data. There’s so much to do, and I like to break down overall team tendencies, especially offensively, and of course pitching-wise as well. I like to compare year to year, too. I’m really interested in some of the Pitch f/x data, and some of the release points, the horizontal and vertical movement, and really comparing this data year to year, and seeing what a guy’s doing differently year to year. Is his breaking ball breaking a little more, or is he throwing more change-ups this year, or is he throwing more sliders? And I think that those tendencies are really valuable, because those are easy to explain to a fan. You know, 30 percent curveballs last year, and he’s only throwing 20 percent this year, and he’s throwing more change-ups. The data doesn’t lie. But I love the Pitch f/x data, and I’m interested in learning more about the HITf/x data. I think how the ball comes off the bat is really interesting.

Repoz Posted: May 27, 2011 at 01:24 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, media, sabermetrics, television, yankees

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   1. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: May 27, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3839204)
I liked this excerpt as well:


Q: Was there a point in your career when you realized [that Cone was past his prime]?
A: It happened quickly for me. I kind of fell on my face in the year 2000 and had a really bad year, and I remember kind of doing a complete reversal, where earlier in my career I was kind of young and arrogant and cocky, and at the end of my career I was almost going to the manager saying, "I feel bad that I'm putting you in the position to have to take me out of the rotation, and that I'm pitching so poorly that I'm making you uncomfortable." I had a much greater sense of awareness at the end of my career than I did early in my career. And sometimes that hurts you. Sometimes I wish I was kind of a little more cocky and arrogant at the end of my career. Maybe I needed that a little more. But at the same time, I became very aware in that short period of time that my skills had diminished quickly.
   2. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3839212)
Cone just became one of my favorite ex-players.
   3. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#3839214)
   4. Russ Posted: May 27, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3839218)
Awesome article. Cone seems like a very thoughtful guy.

EDIT: And, of course, his 1988 Strat card was sick. I hated going up against him in our Commodore 64 league when I played the guy running the Mets. Dude was unhittable.
   5. AROM Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3839225)
I wonder if David posts around here. If he did, I can understand using an alias if he wants to discuss ideas instead of dealing with the "OMG It's really DAVID CONE!" reactions.
   6. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3839235)
Ok, never wanted to admir this but I'm Barack Obama. Now can we just talk baseball?
   7. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3839240)
Admir is president speak for confess
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3839254)
gotta see your birf certificate
   9. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3839266)
This is what I mean when I talk about the enjoyability of YES broadcasts. Singleton, Cone, O'Neill, Flaherty, Leiter are all good contributors in their own way, no matter what you think of Michael Kay.
   10. bunyon Posted: May 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3839267)
I knew Obama was Russian.
   11. rconn23 Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#3839291)
Cone will always be my favorite pitcher. He basically reinvented himself on the mound after the aneurysm. Just a money performer.

I'll never forgive Showalter for having him throw almost 150 pitches in Game 5 of the ALCS.
   12. spike Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3839298)
Ugh - Wells having a taste for vintage Indians means I can't completely despise him. I so had him pegged as a Bourget owner.
   13. andrewberg Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3839309)
Ugh - Wells having a taste for vintage Indians means I can't completely despise him. I so had him pegged as a Bourget owner.


Nah, liking those Indians is like saying that you like steak, and a bone-in ribeye is one of your favorites. Bone-in ribeye is one of EVERYONE'S favorites.
   14. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3839310)
That's a pretty cool article.

Re: the anonymity of the online world -- I once claimed offhandedly on rec.sport.baseball that I was the 1987 International League MVP. I recall being stunned to find that someone out there believed me.
   15. Repoz Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3839311)
This is what I mean when I talk about the enjoyability of YES broadcasts. Singleton, Cone, O'Neill, Flaherty, Leiter are all good contributors in their own way, no matter what you think of Michael Kay.

Much like Ron Darling, whenever Coney drifts near anything of a sabermetric bent. BAM, shot down by Kay/ONeill as with Keith with the Mets.
   16. Bourbon Samurai Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3839317)
Ugh - Wells having a taste for vintage Indians means I can't completely despise him.


This looked very odd for a minute before I realized it was referring to motorcycles.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3839325)
I was thinking cigar store Indians.
   18. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3839328)
I was thinking cigar store Indians.

I was thinking of Gandhi.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3839341)
Cone was one of my favorite players when he was a Met, and remained one of my favorites even when he was a Yankee. The quote in #1 is cool but then again he had a 6.91 ERA that season. It happened pretty suddenly for him and I'm sure he knew it pretty quickly (although to be fair, he started out pretty slow in 1998 as well but came back to win 20 games).
   20. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3839350)
Cone was a part of one of the greatest games that didn't matter that much that I can remember. The Sox were limping to the end of a disappointing season, Cone gutted out 8+ innings and lost to Mussina 1-0. Mussina came within an out of a perfect game. I was driving from Oregon to southern California for my senior year of college, and my brother & I listened to the game on a series of barely audible radio stations between Sacramento and the Grapevine, in that part of the central valley where it's 100 degrees every day in late August. In memory, Everett got that hit just as we crested the mountains into San Fernando, at the last spot north of LA where you can still see the stars at night, though that's probably not true. Still imprinted on my brain, though. That game seemed to typify so much about that season, and my life in those days.
   21. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 27, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3839370)
Ugh - Wells having a taste for vintage Indians means I can't completely despise him.


Now Nortons and Indians and Greeves won't do,
They don't have a soul like a Vincent ‘52
   22. spike Posted: May 27, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3839376)
That sir, is still true enough.
   23. dirk Posted: May 27, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3839504)
My buddy David Wells is a big motorcycle guy, so when I go visit him in San Diego, he takes me out on his bike.


forever, in my darkest hours, i will call upon this image to regain clarity.
   24. Currey Posted: May 27, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3839505)
In college, I took an English class about popular culture so the professor used that Richard Thompson song as an example of a ballad. He had the lyrics printed out for the class, but unfortunately for him, he didn't have a good ear for transcribing lyrics or any knowledge at all about motorcycles. So the line was something like "Now mountains and in the trees won't do.." He seemed relieved when I explained they were motorcycle makes and he wasn't stupid for not understanding that line.
   25. jwb Posted: May 27, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#3839525)
I was thinking having beers with Joe Charboneau.
   26. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 27, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#3839554)
In college, I took an English class about popular culture so the professor used that Richard Thompson song as an example of a ballad. He had the lyrics printed out for the class, but unfortunately for him, he didn't have a good ear for transcribing lyrics or any knowledge at all about motorcycles. So the line was something like "Now mountains and in the trees won't do.." He seemed relieved when I explained they were motorcycle makes and he wasn't stupid for not understanding that line.


That's funny!

If he thought that much of the song (and he should, it's a great song) it's pretty amazing to me that he wouldn't have the CD, which has the lyrics printed in the booklet...
   27. Zach Posted: May 27, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3839585)
I wonder if David posts around here. If he did, I can understand using an alias if he wants to discuss ideas instead of dealing with the "OMG It's really DAVID CONE!" reactions.

Not to put down David Cone, but would he really rate an OMG! at this point? I'd place him at a Neat!, myself.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 27, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3839588)
Cone was a part of one of the greatest games that didn't matter that much that I can remember.


I was at that game and it truly was amazing. Even though it wasn't Cone spinning the perfect game it really was "For The Love of the Game" come to life with the wily veteran pitching brilliantly on a big stage.

I'll never forget in the ninth inning as we stood and cheered my friend asking me "are you cheering for a Sox win or the no hitter?" and I responded "I really don't know." The result, a one hitter and a Red Sox loss, was the worst possible outcome. Either of the other two options would have been great.
   29. joker24 Posted: May 27, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3839595)
When will these guys move out of their mothers' basements.
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 27, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3839601)
Not to put down David Cone, but would he really rate an OMG! at this point? I'd place him at a Neat!, myself.


A Hall of Very Good (at least), Cy Young Award winner and multiple world champion doesn't get an OMG! from you? You're a tough guy to please.

Of course, I get to "Neat!" any time I see Bob Tufts post so I'm probably an easy mark.
   31. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 27, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3839603)
That was a great game, all right. Damn Carl Everett!
   32. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#3839688)
This is what I mean when I talk about the enjoyability of YES broadcasts. Singleton, Cone, O'Neill, Flaherty, Leiter are all good contributors in their own way, no matter what you think of Michael Kay.


I've never had a problem with the guest cast behind Kay - they are great - I happily play YES plenty of time.

Cone comes across as a guy plenty of people here could share a beer or 12 with ...
   33. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3839702)
Michael Kay makes me want to drink Dran-o. The rest of the broadcast team could consist of all the most interesting men in the history of the game, and I'd still keep it on mute.
   34. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: May 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3839707)
Yeah, I’m a big fan of Fangraphs.com and Dave Cameron. I love reading some of his stuff.

"I bet everything on the Rockies this year," Cone added, as a tear flowed down his cheek and into his blended whisky. "I hope they pull through, otherwise..." His voice trembled with despondency as he spoke these last words, then drank the alcohol in a single gulp. "There's the pension, and I can move in with the kids. Things will be OK." I wondered if Cone believed these words himself as he stared off into the distance.
   35. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: May 27, 2011 at 10:57 PM (#3839722)
Cone would be the damn ideal of the former ballplayer if not for the Cameron affection.

Maybe one of these days he'll read the Cano scouting report on the air.
   36. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM (#3839756)
Yeah, I’m a big fan of Fangraphs.com and Dave Cameron. I love reading some of his stuff.

"I bet everything on the Rockies this year," Cone added, as a tear flowed down his cheek and into his blended whisky. "I hope they pull through, otherwise..." His voice trembled with despondency as he spoke these last words, then drank the alcohol in a single gulp. "There's the pension, and I can move in with the kids. Things will be OK." I wondered if Cone believed these words himself as he stared off into the distance.

Successfully induced a spit take. Well done.
   37. tfbg9 Posted: May 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM (#3839782)
28???:

IIRC, Fenway went bezerko nuts when Everett, the 27th man to bat, dropped a blooper into left to spoil Moose's perfecto. Defiant joy.
   38. Srul Itza Posted: May 28, 2011 at 01:52 AM (#3839880)
The quote in #1 is cool but then again he had a 6.91 ERA that season.


What was really cool was that, with that terrible year, Torre still found a use for him in the series, pulling Neagle with two outs in the bottom of the 5th so Cone could pitch to Piazza.

Cone was a part of one of the greatest games that didn't matter that much that I can remember.


I bet a lot of people here were watching that "game that didn't matter much". It gave me a new reason to hate DinoCarl. If Moose had pulled it off, it would have been the 3rd year in a row that a Yankee had pitched a perfect game, the other two being by David Wells and by David Cone, who pitched his on Yogi Berra day, with Don Larsen in attendance.
   39. bob gee Posted: May 28, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#3839901)
major props to conie.
   40. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 28, 2011 at 03:09 AM (#3839915)
Cone was one of my favorite pitchers when I was a kid and he was with the Mets. He made up for Frank Viola leaving and Doc not being Doc anymore pretty well. My uncle won a chance to meet a Met in 1990 and brought me. He chose Dave Magadan, which was a pretty good choice but I would have totally picked David Cone over Magadan.

Every year I buy the new baseball video game for my console and every year I create myself as a latter day David Cone, throwing ridiculous slop and getting 9 K/IP.
   41. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 28, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3839916)
Coney is just phenomenal. Beyond the fangraphs references, he gave his phone number out on the air and responded to my wife's question of what weapon he'd use to kill zombie Michael Kay in case of zombie apocalypse.

EDIT: and on the air he just mentioned Lookout Landing and Jeff Sullivan by name.
   42. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 28, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3839917)
Granted, I would have picked HoJo over Cone, but that doesn't make as good a comment.
   43. salajander Posted: May 28, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3839920)
it would have been the 3rd year in a row that a Yankee had pitched a perfect game


Nearly! But Wells was 1998, Cone 1999. No Yankee perfect games in 2000, unfortunately.
   44. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 28, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#3839933)
responded to my wife's question of what weapon he'd use to kill zombie Michael Kay in case of zombie apocalypse.


You can't say that and not give us his response.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: May 28, 2011 at 04:13 AM (#3839934)
Cone stood out in a dramatic way as an interview subject back when I'd be in the scrum postgame back in his day.
He's not a genius, but he's smart and curious - and let's just say that not everyone in the lockerroom could have said the same.

I've mentioned Mussina, who IS a genius and struggled with the banal dialogue but tried to be cooperative, from what I saw..
   46. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 28, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3839936)
I was in attendance for his first career win. Didn't think much of it at the time, of course.
   47. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 28, 2011 at 05:09 AM (#3839947)
You can't say that and not give us his response.


Mariano Rivera cutter to Kay's head.
   48. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 28, 2011 at 09:27 AM (#3839966)
I read the book that Roger Angell wrote about him, and was stunned to find that he smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. At the time, it validated my life choices, unfortunately.
   49. Something Other Posted: May 28, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#3840164)
Cone just became one of my favorite ex-players.
Yeah. Fangraphs and BBRef? That's just too good.

You can't say that and not give us his response.


Mariano Rivera cutter to Kay's head.
Perfect.
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: May 28, 2011 at 10:15 PM (#3840187)
But Coney, why don't you have a dance?
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#3840259)
"David Cone, who pitched his on Yogi Berra day, with Don Larsen in attendance.."


And Larsen went to the same high school as...... David Wells.

And America's Cup yachtsman Dennis Conner.

And "Happy Days" actress Marion Ross.

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