Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Keith Law Says There’s Nothing The Orioles Can Do To Convince Him They’re A Good Team

As Sweet Lou Pasteur once said…“Do not let yourself be tainted with an Etchebarren skepticism.”

ESPN’s Keith Law has been catching mad grief from Orioles fans on Twitter. His comments about the O’s have even sparked respected local media personalities to question why the disdain for one of the best stories in baseball.

I’ve never been one to whine about national media member’s biases because I feel that fans create them more than they are actually there. However, Law had nothing good to say about the Orioles in his most recent Baseball Today podcast on ESPN.

“There’s literally nothing that the Orioles can do to convince me that they are a good team,” Law ranted. “They’re like the eighth best team in the American League.”

The eighth best team in the AL is tied for the second best record.

“I can just tell you objectively — are they better than Oakland or the Angels, the Rays, Tigers, the White Sox, the Rangers, the Yankees? No, I don’t think they’re better than any of those clubs. I don’t think they’re better than a healthy Blue Jays club.”

If the Orioles have a better record than the Angels, Rays, Tigers and White Sox, how are they a worse team?

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:48 AM | 146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Champions Table Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4226959)
#heel
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4226967)
I don't know what to think about the Orioles anymore. I am pretty sure they don't give a rat's patootie what Keith Law thinks of them, though.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4226968)
There’s literally nothing that the Orioles can do to convince me that they are a good team


Literally? I wonder if they win 95 games and the world series if he still would not be convinced.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4226979)
Literally? I wonder if they win 95 games and the world series if he still would not be convinced.


I wouldn't be. Good teams don't have trouble outscoring their opponents.
   5. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4226981)
Keith Law is a national media member? Well, I guess he is but if he has biases, which I'm sure he does, I doubt it is because he is part of the national media.
   6. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4226983)
I wouldn't be. Good teams don't have trouble outscoring their opponents.

Well, in 76 games so far this season the Orioles haven't had trouble outscoring their opponents.

5.6 runs scored in wins
1.1 runs allowed in wins
   7. JJ1986 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4226989)
a healthy Blue Jays club


I've never heard of such a thing.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4226995)
I wouldn't be. Good teams don't have trouble outscoring their opponents.


OK. Let's try this again:

Literally? I wonder if they win every single game left in the season by 10 runs and then every playoff game by 15 if he would still not be convinced.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4226998)
I wouldn't be. Good teams don't have trouble outscoring their opponents.


If they win 95 games and the world series but aren't "good" according to you and Keith - that definition of "good" is disconnected from the rest of the world's definition and is ludicrous enough to be useless. That is a "good" that no team is trying to aspire to: some big-sample aggregate outscoring of opponents. I don't think you understand what you are watching.
   10. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4227005)
I think a better question is are the O's good right now? They are a different team than they were the first month of the season. I think looking at Pythag doesn't account for a team's evolution--or devolution in some cases--over a 162 game season.
   11. escabeche Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4227006)
You know what? I'm a hardcore O's fan and I think Law is right, in a sense. But I don't care! If the Orioles are a bad team that beats everybody they play, I'll take it. Do I think Taylor Teagarden is a good hitter? I do not. But he has won games for us. What's awesome about the Orioles is that we are sending out a lineup and starting rotation of seemingly-busted-prospects and other teams' cast-offs week after week, and week after week we are winning. Lew Ford, Nate McClouth, Omar Quintanilla, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, and Zach Britton may or may not be good players but they have gone out there and beat every one of the playoff contenders in the American League.

(And of course there's been a huge amount of turnover on the roster, and the second-half Orioles have outscored their opponents by a healthy margin; not clear why the runs allowed in 62 starts by Hunter, Matusz, and Arrieta should be factored into any assessment of how good the Orioles are right now.)
   12. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4227009)
a healthy Blue Jays club


Yes, and this is where it seems like Law is just acting like an ass because, I don't know, it gets his name out there, or because he still has a boner for the Blue Jays. What's the point of adding this comment about a fictional team that the Orioles are also worse than?
   13. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4227013)
Pythagorean flags fly forever
   14. SG Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4227020)
I think a better question is are the O's good right now?


Right. Pointing to their season-long pythag as a reason why they're not a good team is just lazy and poor analysis. The more interesting question is how good/bad the current roster is, and how good the 25 man roster they'd have in the postseason would be.
   15. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4227023)
1984 Chicago Cubs.

Now then they didn't have the whole getting outscored by their opponent thing but that was a lightning in a bottle team. Not a good team before that season and not a good team after that season but won the games in 1984.
   16. Belfry Bob Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4227024)
The thing about this that doesn't make sense is, Keith is willing to accept Oakland and the White Sox coming out of nowhere, and to still see a flawed Angels and Tigers club as 'better than they are playing', yet can't accept the Orioles and their sudden pitching magic. Why is one impossible to accept while you gladly recognize all the others?
   17. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4227026)
Although Law is kinda being a dick about it, the Orioles probably are the 8th best team in the league. But if they finish 19-6 for a 95-67 record and then win three rounds of playoff games - well, they're a "good" team by any reasonable definition of the word. Not a great team, but certainly a good team - good enough to win a division and 11 playoff games. I don't think any team that ever won the World Series was less than "good." Are there degrees of good? Certainly.
   18. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4227027)
If they win 95 games and the world series but aren't "good" according to you and Keith - that definition of "good" is disconnected from the rest of the world's definition and is ludicrous enough to be useless.

Law added in the same podcast that the best teams often don't win the World Series and illustrated his point by saying the '06 Cardinals were the second best team in their division even though they won the WS. He thinks preseason is a crapshoot, more or less. So, even if the O's win 95 games and the WS, it won't change his mind. He says they're bad, so he must be right ;)
   19. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4227030)

Right. Pointing to their season-long pythag as a reason why they're not a good team is just lazy and poor analysis. The more interesting question is how good/bad the current roster is, and how good the 25 man roster they'd have in the postseason would be.


Last 31 games for Baltimore: 21-10. 145 RS 113 RA. Projected record: 19-12. So at this point I'd say they are basically doing what they were projected to do based on pyth.

   20. Flynn Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4227037)
I feel pretty confident in saying they won't win 95 games. They'll have a fluky good season, and good for them. But you can't seriously look at their roster and see a 95 win ball club, or even a 90, or even an 85 win ball club.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4227042)
Right. Pointing to their season-long pythag as a reason why they're not a good team is just lazy and poor analysis. The more interesting question is how good/bad the current roster is, and how good the 25 man roster they'd have in the postseason would be.


Exactly. Even if you thought the underachieving Red Sox were a much better team than the overachieving Orioles (despite trailing them all season long), it would be difficult to argue that the at-this-moment Red Sox are better than the current Orioles, which is far more important as it relates to the next month-plus.

   22. JJ1986 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4227044)
Although Law is kinda being a dick about it, the Orioles probably are the 8th best team in the league.


Maybe, but I think they're more in a group with Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. I'd say they're not a top 3 team.
   23. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4227053)
What's the point of adding this comment about a fictional team that the Orioles are also worse than?

Because it adds to his belief that the Orioles just aren't a burgeoning success story. The Jays were a pretty decent club until the injury dominoes came from everywhere. The Orioles are a clump of quadruple-AAAA parts thrown together with some existing not-blossoming-prospects are they not? Maybe he undercuts the bullpen, I don't know what it's comprised of, or how likely it is to continue success into '13
   24. andrewberg Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4227054)
I have some inkling of a memory that Buck screwed up a team's pythag before by giving up on blowout losses early and going with his scrubs. Is that the case here too?

Actually, the more I think about it, I am thinking that my memory is of the Diamondbacks from about 5 years ago. Must have been 07 when they won 90 games with a -20 run diff.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4227055)
I feel pretty confident in saying they won't win 95 games. They'll have a fluky good season, and good for them. But you can't seriously look at their roster and see a 95 win ball club, or even a 90, or even an 85 win ball club.


But this deep in the season we don't have to limit ourselves to just looking at their roster. I.E. we know for a fact that they only have to go 9-18 to be an "85 win ball club."
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4227061)
I don't think any team that ever won the World Series was less than "good."


The '87 Twins had a losing pythag.
   27. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4227062)
There's nothing Keith Law can do to convince me that he isn't an ass.
   28. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4227066)
As this improbable Orioles run has happened, I keep returning to the same melancholy thought:

I really wish Mike Flanagan were still around for this. It's just unbearably sad that he killed himself over despair about the team, and then a year later this happens.
   29. shoelesjoe Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4227077)
As an Orioles fan I thank Law from the bottom of my heart for his stubborn ignorance. I'm sure Buck has already posted a transcript in the Baltimore clubhouse for the players to see, and their reaction should be worth an additional 3-4 wins, easy.
   30. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4227082)
At least he didn't kill himself over the team.

Hell, I don' think the Yankees are as bad as they're playing, but I'm enjoying the O's and Buck's moment in the sun. Manager's got to get some credit for a team this far over it's Pythag, right?
   31. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4227090)
At least he didn't kill himself over the team.
Um, according to media reports, he did. The other reported cause was unspecified "financial difficulties," but the Baltimore Sun reported that multiple sources said Flanagan had become despondent over the Orioles' performance, feeling that he was responsible for their failure because of the moves made during his tenure as GM, and feeling like he had let down his community and failed the people he was trying to serve.

It's pretty heartbreaking.
   32. TomH Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4227096)
and the 87 Twins were not a very good team. On rare occasions, decent teams win a trophy.

The Orioles are a team that played poorly much of the season, and now are playing very well. Usually this results in a "hey at least we improved" meme when a team finishes 80-82. The O's were fortunate to win close games early on, so now it might (might!) result in a playoff berth to a team that is hot.

Can anyone say "NFL Giants 2011"?
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4227099)
and the 87 Twins were not a very good team.


Sure, but they were a 'good' team right? They had good players - they won games (and including the playoffs they outscored their opponents in aggregate).
   34. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4227103)
My hunch is that anyone who commits suicide over something like job performance probably has other deep-seated issues. But, still a shame.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4227105)
Also a shame that that reporter is named Gerry Sandusky. Oof.
   36. PeteF3 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4227111)
Sandusky is also the Baltimore Ravens' radio announcer, and for awhile was having to preface game broadcasts with an explanation that he was a different guy, due to the negative response the team was getting.
   37. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4227117)
Um, according to media reports, he did.
Well, media report, singular, based solely on anonymous sources. Based on an argument that makes no sense; if Flanagan were killing himself over his disastrous GMing, it seems a little more likely he'd do it around the time he was a disastrous GM, rather than several years later after several years of disastrous GMing by Andy MacFail, when nobody was blaming Flanagan anymore.

Whereas Flanagan's own family said it was financial difficulties.
   38. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4227125)
As for the Orioles, I don't think they're a Good Team, either -- I mean, Nate McClouth? Really? -- and teams whose success are based on journeymen relievers all pitching well don't seem to me to be good candidates for dynasty status, but they're playing very well right now, much better than their early year run differential reflects.
   39. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4227129)
The Orioles are a clump of quadruple-AAAA parts thrown together with some existing not-blossoming-prospects are they not? Maybe he undercuts the bullpen, I don't know what it's comprised of, or how likely it is to continue success into '13

Yes and no. They've obviously had a fair amount of luck this year, but they have a solid young core of Wieters, Jones, Markakis, Hammel, Chen, Britton, Machado, Johnson, and Hardy. Bundy and Gausman might be ready next year, and Matusz and Arrieta might still turn into something.
   40. BDC Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4227131)
Hmn, I saw the Orioles once this year, 8/22 in Arlington, where Tommy Hunter had trouble getting anyone out and Adrian Beltre had trouble not hitting home runs. But by that kind of standard, I also have trouble believing that the 1986 Mets were a good team; the couple of times I saw them, the Phillies owned them. First-place teams are usually beating somebody good.
   41. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4227133)
Sandusky is also the Baltimore Ravens' radio announcer, and for awhile was having to preface game broadcasts with an explanation that he was a different guy, due to the negative response the team was getting.

If you follow his Twitter, he *still* has to explain at times that he just shares a name with a child molester.

As I said before, if the other Dan Szymborski turns out to be a serial killer or a child molester, I'm instantly switching my professional name to D.J. Szymborski, John Szymborski, or J.D. Szymborski (if J.D. Drew can do it, so can I).

I really feel for poor Gerry Sandusky because there's a lot of dumb out there. Jerry Sandusky is in prison and faces a minimum sentence of 60 years. He's not doing Ravens play-by-play from a jail cell for WBAL.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4227136)

Manager's got to get some credit for a team this far over it's Pythag, right?

Maybe he deserves "credit" for it but that doesn't mean it's a good or bad thing for the team. If he's giving up in blowouts and using his scrubs, depressing their run differential, it doesn't mean that Buck got them a higher win total than other managers would have; it just means he got them a lower run differential. It may mean, however, that their actual record may be a better indication of their talent level than their Pythagorean record.
   43. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4227137)
Well, in 76 games so far this season the Orioles haven't had trouble outscoring their opponents.

5.6 runs scored in wins
1.1 runs allowed in wins

That's not right -- it's 5.6 scored and 2.5 allowed.

In losses it's 2.7 scored and 6.9 allowed. What's your point?

Here's another team that's scored 5.9 runs in wins and allowed 2.7. That team is the Astros. Every team looks good when you only look at their wins.

The Orioles are *not* a good team. They're not a *bad* team, but here's what I think the test of whether a team is good or not is:

If you took *this* roster into next season, with the expectation that everyone would have a season not out of line with their past performance, would you expect to be a contender? I have to say that the answer is no. I think it's a .500 team.

*But*, they do not need wholesale changes. They have something that can be built upon, they just don't have something that you can settle on.
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4227145)
Whether or not the Orioles are any good is pretty irrelevant. They've won a whole bunch of games and that's the goal. Getting ahead of things a bit the key for Duquette this off-season is not to let the win/loss record cover up the flaws.

I had this thought several months ago and I'm not sure if it's been studied. Do low run scoring environments lend themselves to more surprise teams than high run scoring environments? It seems to me that when you have a high scoring environment more games will be blowouts or at least decided by multiple runs whereas with a low scoring environment you are going to play more close games that a variety of factors can swing to a less talented team.
   45. andrewberg Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4227152)
(if J.D. Drew can do it, so can I).


My favorite one is Melvin Emmanuel "B.J." Upton. People called his dad Bossman, so they called him Bossman Junior, or B.J. for short. It's a nickname on a nickname on a nickname.
   46. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4227153)
That's not right -- it's 5.6 scored and 2.5 allowed.

In losses it's 2.7 scored and 6.9 allowed. What's your point?

Here's another team that's scored 5.9 runs in wins and allowed 2.7. That team is the Astros. Every team looks good when you only look at their wins.


And how often did the Astros do that? That's the point. The Orioles outscored their opponents by 3 runs (apparently I was just looking at what a pitcher did when he got a W) in 76 games so far this season.
   47. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4227154)
...but they have a solid young core of Wieters, Jones, Markakis, Hammel, Chen, Britton, Machado, Johnson, and Hardy. Bundy and Gausman might be ready next year, and Matusz and Arrieta might still turn into something.

I was under the impression that Markakis had been regressing from his very good early campaigns, and that all three of the Orioles young starters were befuddling and fizzling. Machado and Bundy I knew were hot-sh!t in the minors though.
   48. greenback calls it soccer Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4227156)
the '06 Cardinals were the second best team in their division even though they won the WS.

I think Law has the 2006 Cardinals confused with the 2011 Cardinals.

Part of the fun of October 2006 was listening to Keith Law continually say the Cardinals weren't a good team as the Cardinals kept winning. He was right, but his point wasn't really what people cared about. It's got to be a weird job, being a baseball analyst like Law. When the work is at its highest profile, he has virtually nothing to offer.
   49. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4227157)
Whether or not the Orioles are any good is pretty irrelevant. They've won a whole bunch of games and that's the goal. Getting ahead of things a bit the key for Duquette this off-season is not to let the win/loss record cover up the flaws.
This is the important thing. It's important that the management not think they're good, but that they're "okay" and got really, really lucky this year. Go out and get another starter or two, a bat in left field, a second baseman and a corner infielder, hope that Markakis and Jones don't regress, that Wieters improves with the bat, and that the bullpen doesn't completely regress, and you've got a good team.
   50. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4227158)
Here's another team that's scored 5.9 runs in wins and allowed 2.7. That team is the Astros. Every team looks good when you only look at their wins.

I don't know, the Astros' BAbip in wins is .312, so they should probably be losing more games that they win than they are.
   51. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4227164)
I don't know, the Astros' BAbip in wins is .312, so they should probably be losing more games that they win than they are.
Their BABIP in losses is probably below what it should be.

Luck plays a significant role in every single game, whether you're good or bad. The Orioles are an okay team that's had amazing luck in games this year. They should not count on it to continue.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4227167)
Luck plays a significant role in every single game, whether you're good or bad. The Orioles are an okay team that's had amazing luck in games this year. They should not count on it to continue.


But is there literally nothing they can do in the next month plus playoffs to convince you that they are better than okay?
   53. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4227174)
Also in losses they've been out-homered 131-57, and in wins they've outhomered their opponents 58-25. That looks like unsustainable clustering. And they almost never lose when they're ahead after nine innings.

[Edit: #50 was supposed to be a joke, but I guess it would only work out loud]
   54. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4227180)
I wonder if he thinks that the 1988 Dodgers were a good team?
   55. Hit by Pitch Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4227185)
Were 1997 Giants, the 2005 Padres or 2007 Diamondbacks good teams?

They are the only 3 (of 136) teams since 1995 (Wild card era) to make the post season with a negative run differential.

The 1997 Giants lost 3-0 to the Marlins and were outscored 15-9.

The 2005 Padres lost 3-0 to the Cardinals and were outscored 21-11.

The 2007 d-backs won 3-0 against the Cubs and outscored them 16-6, they then lost to the Rockies 4-0 and were outscored 18-8, so in total they broke even on run differential at 24-24.

In total these teams were outscored by a margin of 60-44, a record of 3-10( or a .231 winning percenatge ). Their pythag winning percentage was about .350.
   56. Ron J2 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4227187)
The '87 Twins had a losing pythag.


Sure, but they were a team that had a pretty fair chance to over-perform in the playoffs. One very good starting pitcher, a pretty decent #2, an acceptable #3 and unusually bad (particularly for a playoff team) options the rest of the way.

The starters other than Viola, Blyleven and Straker combined for a 6.08 ERA.

And while Reardon and the other guys they used in the playoffs weren't that good, they were much better than the other scrubs (they had a 5.11 bullpen ERA for the season, meaning the guys who didn't pitch in the series were well over 6 -- with the stats to match)

Also, Al Newman played a lot during the regular season and so did Sal Butera. Neither played much in the playoffs and that has to help (even if the regulars at the position weren't much good)
   57. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4227189)
#47, Markakis since All-Star break, when the O's plugged him in as leadoff batter: .350/.404/.515

This team has evolved since Opening Day. Several different starters, Machado has shored up what was a horrible infield defense, Markakis is just what the doctor ordered at leadoff, and everyone is contributing.

People can ##### about injuries, but Reimold has been out almost all season, Hammel has been out 2 months after being one of the AL's best starters and Markakis missed some time. You play with the hand you are dealt, and the O's have been getting it done. They are on fire, and have been beating teams like CWS, TB and the yankees. They are for real, whether they got bombed by the Rangers and Angels or not.
   58. DKDC Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4227193)
I was under the impression that Markakis had been regressing from his very good early campaigns, and that all three of the Orioles young starters were befuddling and fizzling. Machado and Bundy I knew were hot-sh!t in the minors though.


The Orioles starters have been befuddling, but they’ve been mostly pretty good. Britton (24), Chen (26), Hammel (29) , Tillman (24) , and Arrieta (26) have all been above average starting pitchers this year according to the advanced metrics (Arrieta has been terrible according to ERA and every other metric). Plus they have some pretty decent depth beyond these guys with Saunders, Gonzalez, and Johnson.

Their medium-term outlook isn’t nearly as bad as you might think, especially if Bundy/Machado/Gausman produce, and the Orioles can trade some of that pitching depth for help in the lineup. I think this is a +/- .500 true talent team right now, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see Duquette piece together a legit 2013 wild card contender that won’t need to rely on a ton of luck to make some noise.

Not bad for the organization that Fangraphs ranked (probably deservedly) dead last in their rankings this preseason.

#30org
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4227199)
The Baltimore Orioles for most of 2012 have not been a particularly good team.

But the team has been playing much better the last month-plus. They haven't been lucking into a good record, as they did earlier, they have actually been playing good baseball.

Nothing they do from here on out can change the fact that the April-June unit wasn't very good. But, if they perform well through the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs, where their performance mathces their results, they should be able to convince just about anyone that the end-of-season Orioles were a good team. Keith seems to be ruling even that possibility out (perhaps just a case of good-old fashioned, media hyperbole), which is what Nate and others rightfully object to.



   60. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4227202)
But is there literally nothing they can do in the next month plus playoffs to convince you that they are better than okay?


If you remove the ridiculous from the possibilities (e.g. a 25-2 finish) I wouldn't think there was much that could happen in one month that should make you change your opinion too dramatically about a team's quality. Certainly you add it to the collection of data when you think about the team but unless they go bananas or fall apart over the next month I doubt there is anything we would know about the "quality" of the 2012 Orioles on October 5th that we don't already know.
   61. Greg K Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4227209)
If I'm an Orioles fan my response is: "Why should I care if it's a good team or not? I only care if they win."

   62. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4227211)
I was under the impression that Markakis had been regressing from his very good early campaigns, and that all three of the Orioles young starters were befuddling and fizzling. Machado and Bundy I knew were hot-sh!t in the minors though.

He's been up and down over the last few years after he appeared to be head for stardom, but this year he seems to have returned to form. He's not a great player, but he's still only 28 and signed for several more years.

   63. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4227214)
If I'm an Orioles fan my response is: "Why should I care if it's a good team or not? I only care if they win."

Right. And while I agree as a general matter that Duquette and Showalter shouldn't assume this will be a very good team next year and stand pat in the offseason, I'm not sure why that matters right now.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4227215)
I doubt there is anything we would know about the "quality" of the 2012 Orioles on October 5th that we don't already know.


That assumes a static quality to teams, which we know is simply not true.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4227222)
Certainly you add it to the collection of data when you think about the team but unless they go bananas or fall apart over the next month I doubt there is anything we would know about the "quality" of the 2012 Orioles on October 5th that we don't already know.


I think this is exactly the kind of team about whom we can learn more than the usual amount from the next month and playoffs.
   66. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4227236)
I doubt there is anything we would know about the "quality" of the 2012 Orioles on October 5th that we don't already know.

That assumes a static quality to teams, which we know is simply not true.
Does it actually assume that? Or does it simply define the quality of the team to be the quality of the team over the whole year, as opposed to the quality of the team at the end of the year?
   67. Champions Table Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4227238)
If I'm an Orioles fan my response is: "Why should I care if it's a good team or not? I only care if they win."


This gets to something I've been thinking a lot about lately. More and more, I'm seeing similarities between pro wrestling's Internet "smarks" and baseball's BTF/BP/Fangraphs contingent. Each group makes valid points from time to time, but I wouldn't want to see either sport (that's right, I called pro wrestling a sport) through their eyes all the time. Maybe Ryback can't "work." Maybe the Orioles aren't a Good Team. But they both are fun to watch.

And that's really all I'm in this for.
   68. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4227247)
If they win 95 games and the world series but aren't "good" according to you and Keith - that definition of "good" is disconnected from the rest of the world's definition and is ludicrous enough to be useless. That is a "good" that no team is trying to aspire to: some big-sample aggregate outscoring of opponents. I don't think you understand what you are watching.

A team should aspire to be good because it means it's more likely that they'll win games. They could also win games through luck, like the Orioles, and that's just as desirable an outcome, but less likely.
   69. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4227283)
He thinks preseason is a crapshoot


Well, no kidding. No one really cares about the spring training standings, do they?
   70. escabeche Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4227289)
Or does it simply define the quality of the team to be the quality of the team over the whole year, as opposed to the quality of the team at the end of the year?


That's what it does. The question is, is that what it SHOULD do?

Let's say the Orioles sign nobody in the off-season and their 2013 squad looks like:

OF: Jones, Markakis, Reimold
1B/DH: Davis/Reynolds
2B: corpse of Roberts / Andino
SS: Hardy
3B: Machado
C: Wieters

SP: Hammel, Chen, Gonzalez, Tillman, Bundy
RP: Johnson, Strop, Ayala, O'Day, etc.

This could be a lineup with seven above-average hitters and an excellent rotation and bullpen, but which might not have any single player get an MVP vote. Would it be a good team? I'm really not sure. But what I do know is that the question of whether this is a good team does not have a lot to do with the Orioles' run differential in the first half of 2012 with a substantially different roster.
   71. ecwcat Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4227307)
Hey Champions Table, I'm with you re: smarks. Would also like to throw in comic book fanboys into the mix as well. I detest the condescending reality distortion. In baseball, Bill James is to blame. In pro wrestling, it's Dave Meltzer. In comics, I gotta say that 1990s Wizard opened the door for CBR and IGN to push the style of certain "hot" artists and writers.

It's a shame these types have so much influence over the products.

Keith Law is a great symbol for guys who believe that pythag record > actual wins and that the post-season is an unfair crapshoot.

Seriously, I think of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when I read stuff like that here.


   72. cardsfanboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4227311)
I think a better question is are the O's good right now?


Right. Pointing to their season-long pythag as a reason why they're not a good team is just lazy and poor analysis. The more interesting question is how good/bad the current roster is, and how good the 25 man roster they'd have in the postseason would be.


That is par for the course for Law. He looks only at season long data at makes conclusions from that. He's horrible in season analyst as he seems to focus only on the total numbers for the entire season, and maybe include pre-seasons projections in the mix.

Law added in the same podcast that the best teams often don't win the World Series and illustrated his point by saying the '06 Cardinals were the second best team in their division even though they won the WS. He thinks preseason is a crapshoot, more or less. So, even if the O's win 95 games and the WS, it won't change his mind. He says they're bad, so he must be right ;)


Which is more evidence of his poor analysis ability. Over the course of the season for 2006, the Cardinals were a poor team(not really but no need to harp on that at this point in time) but the team going into the post season, was not the same team that played for the entire season. On top of that, none of the teams they played were a true representative of the quality that they had for the season(the Mets notably were effectively missing two of their starting pitchers)
   73. Bob T Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4227322)
Did Keith Law become the king of Twitter through an elective or deliberative process or did he take the title by force? Or was it something like a Gilded Age senatorial election?
   74. cardsfanboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4227324)
Part of the fun of October 2006 was listening to Keith Law continually say the Cardinals weren't a good team as the Cardinals kept winning. He was right, but his point wasn't really what people cared about. It's got to be a weird job, being a baseball analyst like Law. When the work is at its highest profile, he has virtually nothing to offer.


I thought the fun of it was that it was so clear that he didn't give a rats behind about actually doing an analyst job and was just throwing #### out there because his pet team wasn't in it. (his entire analysis consisted of looking at the two teams records, doing a mental adjustment for strength of schedule and picking out the team with the best record) ......His predictions Padres in three (in a five game series) Mets in three over the Cardinals(in a seven game series) Tigers in four(in a seven game series) (I might have the Mets and Tigers backwards
   75. Kurt Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4227334)
If I'm an Orioles fan my response is: "Why should I care if it's a good team or not? I only care if they win

Yep. I've been through this twice in the last five years as a (football) Giants fan. At this point I care only a little bit about whether they're a Good Team, and not at all about whether other people think they're a Good Team.
   76. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4227336)
As a continuation from the other thread about team rankings, one possible improvement on Pythag could be a game by game pythag where you dole it a portion of wins and losses based on the final score of the game (and possibly based on extra innings too).

However you would need a new formula so that when they all added up, they would be the best fit for the actual season total pythag for everyone. A particularly unusual distribution of game margins could cause this differ somewhat from the full season pythag for a single team. I believe I have done this before, but never really tested it for baseball.

I don't know if this would actually produce "better" results than the total pythag, but it at least would produce additional interesting fodder. I don't know how the Orioles current season would be affected by this alternate method.

   77. Belfry Bob Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4227343)
I was thinking the other day how it would have been back in '89 if sabermetrics would have been as prevelent if that would have taken some on the fun out of the 'Why Not?' season. I have to say, yeah, it probably would have.

Sorry, Keith. Though, like others here, I hope that the Orioles aren't fooled into thinking they are really really good (I don't think there's a danger there), but otherwise, I am just enjoying the ride and especially watching a winning club.

I don;t know why the re-emergence of Markakis, the great defense of Manny and Reynolds at first, Jones solid season, Chris Davis actually providing an offensive threat, and the lights-out performances by all six starters over the past six weeks, can't equal a 'good ball club.'
   78. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4227348)
I think Duquette's almost daily tinkering with the roster is pretty solid evidence that he's not the type to sit back and assume things will work out.
   79. bunyon Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4227363)
Orioles: There is literally nothing Keith Law can do to convince us he's a good analyst.
   80. Gamingboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4227392)
Nothing? So the Orioles could be piling up on top of each other in victory and he'd still say they weren't a good team?
   81. TDF, situational idiot Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4227402)
This is all of the ammo that the Maury Chasses of the world need.

Of course they're a good team; this late in the season, the only thing that matters is the standings. The Orioles are currently tied for the division league with the Yankees, and 1 1/2 games up for the 2nd wildcard slot with just 27 games to go.

But for some in this community, that isn't enough. They need to be a good team on paper, or else their accomplishments must be denigrated.

As long as there are people like Law spouting this stuff in public, and people like those in this thread supporting his views, the "dinosaurs" will continue to laugh about the "nerds in their parents' basement, noses stuck in a spreadsheet". Because the game isn't played on a spreadsheet, it's played on the field and right now the Orioles are winning on the field.

   82. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4227410)
Now, if we can only convince Keith Law to visit an Olive Garden.
   83. base ball chick Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4227467)
so he's not convinced

so what

if the orioles win the WS he'll be going on and on about it - how they didn't "deserve" to win and/or "got lucky" like the 87 twins.

sometimes you're good, sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're good n lucky. AND, fact is it IS baseball and the one thing you know is youneverknow
   84. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4227480)
His predictions Padres in three (in a five game series) Mets in three over the Cardinals(in a seven game series) Tigers in four(in a seven game series) (I might have the Mets and Tigers backwards


"Tigers in three" was Bob Nightengale, not Keith law (Law had tigers in 5).

I can't believe those articles are still up...

   85. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4227498)
If I'm an Orioles fan my response is: "Why should I care if it's a good team or not? I only care if they win
Well, you should care if they're a good team because winning yesterday only does so much for you. Winning tomorrow is what matters. If after the season they've won the World Series, or even, taking preseason expectations into consideration, just made the playoffs, you can look back and not care that they weren't actually a good team.

One thing I figured out several years ago is that not being the best team in baseball is not particularly important. When the 2006 Cardinals won the World Series, a lot of people said that they were the best team in baseball. They weren't. But they were the World Champions, which is vastly more important than being the best team in baseball.

Being the best team -- being good at all -- is just a way to make it more likely that you'll win the World Series. If you don't win the World Series, it doesn't matter how good you were. If you win the World Series, it doesn't matter that there were better teams than you.
   86. depletion Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4227507)
Law added in the same podcast that the best teams often don't win the World Series and illustrated his point by saying the '06 Cardinals were the second best team in their division even though they won the WS.

Well, even the Hall of Famer Joe Morgan has stated the team that wins the World Series isn't necessarily the "best" team, but the "hottest" team. So this is nothing new. This garbage about "run differential = God" is just hilarious. No one can know, over the course of many more games, whether the O's run differential would improve, or their W-L record would decline. Also, an estimation of the probability of winning is NOT the same as the true probability of winning.
Please have him ask one of the members of the Yankees if the O's are really good, or just lucky.
   87. depletion Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4227513)
Larry said it very well.
   88. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4227526)
But they were the World Champions, which is vastly more important than being the best team in baseball.


Fans of the 1997 Orioles (or Yankees, if you're into that) agree. Sadly. VERY sadly.
   89. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4227529)
Sorry, Keith. Though, like others here, I hope that the Orioles aren't fooled into thinking they are really really good (I don't think there's a danger there), but otherwise, I am just enjoying the ride and especially watching a winning club.


Yeah, you could maybe worry that Duquette is now gonna go ahead and make a Glenn Davis (or Erik Bedard) type of blockbuster, overestimating the team's true talent level and assuming the club is just one piece away, but, hell, they didn't even trade for Headley, figuring it was better to bring up Machado and stick him at third.

To be honest, I'm liking this new GM guy.

   90. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4227535)
The playoffs would be sweet but AFAIC they're playing with house money as this season has already surpassed even the most optimistic expectations. Winning meaningful games at Yankee Stadium, and now a piece of first place, in September? I couldn't even remember how that felt. It feels good.


Fans of the 1997 Orioles (or Yankees, if you're into that) agree. Sadly. VERY sadly.


I do remember how that felt.
   91. cardsfanboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4227549)
Yeah, you could maybe worry that Duquette is now gonna go ahead and make a Glenn Davis (or Erik Bedard) type of blockbuster, overestimating the team's true talent level and assuming the club is just one piece away, but, hell, they didn't even trade for Headley, figuring it was better to bring up Machado and stick him at third.

To be honest, I'm liking this new GM guy.


Wasn't the real point of Pyth record to show the quality of teams and point out that teams who overperformed their pyth reverted back the next year because they didn't realize how poor their team really was and didn't make the necessary changes? I would be surprised if the trends that Bill James found 20-30 years ago, still exist in todays game, as teams are becoming much better informed on what makes a winner.
   92. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4227568)
Yeah, you could maybe worry that Duquette is now gonna go ahead and make a Glenn Davis (or Erik Bedard) type of blockbuster, overestimating the team's true talent level and assuming the club is just one piece away, but, hell, they didn't even trade for Headley, figuring it was better to bring up Machado and stick him at third.

To be honest, I'm liking this new GM guy.


The worry's not so much Duquette, but Angelos.
   93. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4227583)
The worry's not so much Duquette, but Angelos.


Yeah, pretty much.

   94. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4227586)
Yeah, you could maybe worry that Duquette is now gonna go ahead and make a Glenn Davis (or Erik Bedard) type of blockbuster, overestimating the team's true talent level and assuming the club is just one piece away, but, hell, they didn't even trade for Headley, figuring it was better to bring up Machado and stick him at third.


There's a possibility that it shakes out that they are one piece away. If he had known in July that the standings today would be as they are, would he have been more willing to make a trade for a short-term benefit?
   95. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4227605)
But for some in this community, that isn't enough. They need to be a good team on paper, or else their accomplishments must be denigrated.

As long as there are people like Law spouting this stuff in public, and people like those in this thread supporting his views, the "dinosaurs" will continue to laugh about the "nerds in their parents' basement, noses stuck in a spreadsheet". Because the game isn't played on a spreadsheet, it's played on the field and right now the Orioles are winning on the field.


As noted several times heretofore, it remains literally true that many saber-types, including influential ones, care more about the numbers in the spreadsheets than the games on the field and, worse, find the spreadsheets more weighty and "real."

This is merely the latest utterly embarrassing example.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4227613)
If the O's play around .500 in the remaining games and finish with 90 wins, I'm sure I will read around here (or from KLAW) that they weren't a '90-win team' despite them literally being a 90-win team.
   97. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: September 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4227615)
That is par for the course for Law. He looks only at season long data at makes conclusions from that. He's horrible in season analyst as he seems to focus only on the total numbers for the entire season, and maybe include pre-seasons projections in the mix.

Overall, I agree with this. Law only looks at season long data and most likely includes pre-season projections. Once the season starts, he's pretty much unwilling to change his opinion from what I can tell. I say this because every June or July, he answers on a question on the podcast asking if team X is for real and he always no because average or poor teams can have good starts but "true" talent level that we thought the team had at the beginning of the season will usually right itself. That said, I don't think it's good analysis to use small sample sizes to predict or measure how good a team is now. Yes, the O's are a different team now versus April and their recent performance is strong, but I'm not comfortable looking at a month's worth of data to make conclusions about team quality.
   98. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: September 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4227619)
If the O's play around .500 in the remaining games and finish with 90 wins, I'm sure I will read around here (or from KLAW) that they weren't a '90-win team' despite them literally being a 90-win team.

And all he or they are saying is that they're not a 90 win team once you attempt, however flawed, to strip away away random variation or luck.
   99. Belfry Bob Posted: September 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4227620)
There's a possibility that it shakes out that they are one piece away. If he had known in July that the standings today would be as they are, would he have been more willing to make a trade for a short-term benefit?


Possibly, but what I like about what they did (or didn't do) was realistically assess where they were at the time. The concept of 'let's see if we can catch some magic with the last dregs of Jim Thome, but otherwise dance with the ones that brung us' was perfectly okay with me.

Obviously, they could use a LF or 2B that could hit, but I'm not sure how many more wins filling one of those slots gets you, anyway.

It's all good that they are still letting the chips fall where they may. CoolStandings says they need 89 or 90 wins, and they will fall a game short.

If so, that's going to be a heck of a ride. I'm going Friday night, and to all of the Tampa games next week. Unless they tailspin, it's going to be a great week on the field and off.
   100. Nasty Nate Posted: September 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4227624)
flip
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAP sources: Umpires, MLB reach 5-year agreement
(3 - 5:48am, Dec 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(155 - 4:58am, Dec 21)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(23 - 4:00am, Dec 21)
Last: The TVerik of Lordly Might

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(762 - 3:19am, Dec 21)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(18 - 3:12am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9189 - 1:38am, Dec 21)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(12 - 1:09am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5140 - 1:05am, Dec 21)
Last: GordonShumway

NewsblogGiants acquire McGehee to fill third-base spot
(4 - 1:03am, Dec 21)
Last: Cargo Cultist

Newsblog2014 Disabled List Information and So Much More – The Hardball Times
(4 - 12:59am, Dec 21)
Last: Batman

NewsblogDodgers biggest spenders in payroll
(7 - 12:42am, Dec 21)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(35 - 12:16am, Dec 21)
Last: John Northey

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(105 - 11:14pm, Dec 20)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(94 - 10:35pm, Dec 20)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(11 - 9:31pm, Dec 20)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.8177 seconds
48 querie(s) executed