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Saturday, October 29, 2005

L.A. Times: DePodesta on the Way Out

They buried Paul…

On the heels of a fourth-place finish and in the midst of a managerial search, the Dodgers are expected to fire General Manager Paul DePodesta, perhaps as early as this weekend, highly placed sources in the organization said Friday.

Barring a change of heart by Frank McCourt, all that is left is for the Dodger owner to meet with DePodesta and make an announcement. DePodesta did not speak with McCourt as of late Friday, although the owner and his wife, team President Jamie McCourt, were in their offices into the early evening.

Thanks to Bob T

Repoz Posted: October 29, 2005 at 01:02 PM | 285 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   201. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:41 PM (#1710970)
Back to the Dodgers, this is adding to my paranoia that Selig approved of the McCourts because he wanted a flagship large-market team to struggle.
   202. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1710975)
3) My point in bringing up comps in the first place is ONLY to rebut the notion that we somehow know Beltre is going to be a "shitty hitter" for the next four years. I don't think we know that, because history suggests (to me, anyway) that productive 20-year-olds tend to hit better between the ages of 27 and 30.

In general that may be true, but your projections will always be more accurate when using an individual's past history as opposed to making broad generalizations. In Beltre's case, he has a pretty consistent track record, with the exception of one season which looks completely out of line with his career. The safest bet is to assume he will play more like the bad Beltre than the good Beltre going forward.
   203. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1710983)
I don't think we know that, because history suggests (to me, anyway) that productive 20-year-olds tend to hit better between the ages of 27 and 30.

And in most (dare I say a vast majority of) cases, those players show signs of development. Beltre has shown none. His age 23 season was better than his age 25 and age 26 seasons. His second best season was, by far, his age 20 season.
   204. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1710984)
Everyone here seems to forget about Simer's first column about DePo. DePo mentioned he was taking up running to try to lose some weight, so Simers immediately dubbed him "the lightweight GM".

Sounds more like a lightweight writer.
   205. Chinook Arch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1710988)
Who the heck would want this job ? Tying the can to a G.M. after only 2 years is absurd , unless he was caught in bed with the owners wife, how can any sane person justify such a move. This is a reflection of the instant gratification that our society increasingly craves.
   206. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:58 PM (#1710990)
In Beltre's case, he has a pretty consistent track record, with the exception of one season which looks completely out of line with his career. The safest bet is to assume he will play more like the bad Beltre than the good Beltre going forward.

Well, no, as MGL would tell you, the safest bet would be to project that he would play somewhere in between the "bad" and "good" Beltre. You can't just ignore 2004 completely (of course, had you done so, you would have predicted pretty accurately his 2005 numbers, but anyway...). His Marcel projection for 2006 has him at a 114 OPS+.
   207. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1710996)
His Marcel projection for 2006 has him at a 114 OPS+.
And with his contract, that's not what the Mariners thought they would get for their money.
   208. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1710997)
Well, no, as MGL would tell you, the safest bet would be to project that he would play somewhere in between the "bad" and "good" Beltre. You can't just ignore 2004 completely (of course, had you done so, you would have predicted pretty accurately his 2005 numbers, but anyway...). His Marcel projection for 2006 has him at a 114 OPS+.

I don't disagree with this at all. I never said 2004 should be ignored. In fact, we're saying the same thing. I was pointing out that instead of assuming Beltre will perform like the average member of a certain demographic category, better predictions can be made based on his past history, which includes 2004 and a number of very mediocre seasons.
   209. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1711005)
And with his contract, that's not what the Mariners thought they would get for their money.

Oh, that's true, definitely. (On a completely different note, I still think Beltre's contract is going to end up being a better/less crappy deal than Carlos Beltran's). But you can't just assume that Beltre's going to continue to suck.
   210. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1711006)
I was pointing out that instead of assuming Beltre will perform like the average member of a certain demographic category, better predictions can be made based on his past history, which includes 2004 and a number of very mediocre seasons.

Gotcha. We're on the same page.
   211. TenMinds Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1711010)
My early predictions for some changes in Dodger baseball 2006...

Manager - Bobby V
First Base - Paul Konerko
Left Field/bench - Benny Agbayani
Catcher - Kenji Johjima
   212. Adam S Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:17 PM (#1711014)
Well it is certainly true that very few GMs get such a short leash as DePo did. Looked at now, which may change over time obviously but is all the information McCourt has, his transactions scorecard looks something like:

Plusses:
Cheap pickups of Werth and Grabowski, both of whom were decent last year at important points.
Picking up Bradley and Finley last year was key to winning the division.
Letting go Beltre, Finley, Cora and Lima (remember the post season shutout!) at the end of last year.
Signing Kent.
Refusing to trade any of the farm to pursue a small chance of catching the Padres.
The Green trade. Navarro plus c$7mn cost savings looks a pretty good return for one year of an aging, barely better than league-average outfielders.

OK:
Signing Lowe (I hated this at the time, but so results to date have been quite decent even allowing for Dodger Stadium and the poor hitting NL West).
Phillips for Ishii. One useless player for another. think it might have saved a little money for the Dodgers so guess that is a small plus.
Izturis arb buy-out. His defense good enough that it is still decent even knowing in hindsight he got injured.

Minuses:
Lack of thought to gaping immediate holes at third, catcher and in the bullpen last off season (by all means try a couple of flyers in the pen but don't have an entire pen of minor league gambles).
Signing Drew (even if the injury this year was freaky, somehow something always seems to happen to him. Minus to date even though he may well rebound into a decent signing).
The Marlins trade last year. An odd trade where two of the key players (Mota and Penny) have been injured or underperformed.

I may have missed some and you can argue about some of the classifications, but on the knowledge we have now this strikes me as a decent but not spectacular record.

Now if he <u>really</u> can't manage people, that is a different issue. But do we have any evidence for that? Clearly someting went wrong between him and Tracy. But usually GMs are allowed o fire one or two managers before they get blamed for that relationship going wrong. And we have to discount heavily anything we learn from Simers and Plascke. There is the Kent/Bradley stuff, but plenty of GMs have players that don't get on with others without getting blamed for it - everyone is (rightly) lauding kenny W at the moment for taking a cheap chance on AJ.

My question is - does anyone know anything concrete (ie not Plascke invective) to suggest DePo is a bad man manager? Of course, he could be appaling without anyone here having the foggiest idea. But it seems to me some people on here are making 2+2 equal about 17 in some of their assertions.
   213. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1711017)
your projections will always be more accurate when using an individual's past history as opposed to making broad generalizations.

That "always" is misplaced.
Bob Bailey
22-26 27-32 
 95   166
124   111
 83    92
104   136
111   130

Buddy Bell
23-27 28-32
100   142
105   133
114   126
103   109 
109   129


Gary Gaetti
23-26 27-30
93    130
95    141
81    107 
88     88

Doug DeCinces
24-29 30-35
103   128
 93   149
115   126
149   110 
100   105
 98   112

Ken Caminiti
26-30 31-35
 98   123
 71   138
100   173 
127   141
 93   133
   214. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1711019)
My take:

You can't assume that McCourt is crazy. He might be, but in the absence of specific evidence in that regard, you have to assume that there's an underlying rational for the firing above and beyond "Plaschke ########\".

Firing DePo after 2 years isn't inherently nuts. As people have said above, if DePo has demonstrated gross incompentance, then you fire him ASAP. You generally don't fire employees after such a short period of time because 1)no one will want to work for you, since you're a shitty boss 2)you haven't had time to fully evaluate the employee

It's clear that you can't evaluate DePo's baseball acumen yet....but its equally clear that the firing wasn't about baseball; it was about people-skills (or lack thereof). 2 years is enough time to assess that.

And since it seems that the entirety of Major League Baseball hates DePodesta (excepting a few saber-GM's), McCourt's treatment of DePo isn't going to hinder his ability to hire other employees.

Considered from this POV, the firing makes sense.

Moral of the story: Don't Piss off Your Boss.
   215. Bob T Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:24 PM (#1711026)
I wouldn't mind seeing Kenji Jojima in Dodger Blue next year. But will his leg heal enough by then? Can he overcome the language barrier? And why would the Dodgers want to spend a fair amount of money on a catcher when they have two pretty good youngs ones already (Navarro and Martin).

As for Agbayani, he better think about getting out of Japan before a whaler finds hin.
   216. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:26 PM (#1711028)
You can't assume that McCourt is crazy.

If you look at the things he's said in the past three weeks, and then the things he said today, either he's crazy or he caught DePo sleeping with his daughter.
   217. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:28 PM (#1711033)
Tribejacking over some previous comments:

The Tribe thought highly enough of Aaron Boone that they kicked Casey Blake to right field. Unless DePo had a few prospects up his sleeve, Aaron wasn't an option. (Maybe Blake, but we already had Gutierrez so we'd need a RF for Right Now.)

The point of making moves is to sell tickets. Yeah, it's a bad idea to do everything the fans want, but you have to pick your battles.


Just ask Mark Shapiro and Kenny Williams. Er...

The point of making moves is to win more games in the future than you would without the move. Winning games sells tickets. (Usually.) If you're making moves just to sell tickets, then you're the Los Angeles Lakers. And there isn't a Shaq in MLB to carry your team.
   218. Chinook Arch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:31 PM (#1711037)
....or son ? It is L.A. after all.
   219. NoName Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:40 PM (#1711046)
My two cents on whether you can hold J.D. Drew's injury against DePo:

Drew's specific injury has nothing to do with his demonstrated fragility. However, his fragility may have something to do with his inability to return from the wrist injury. When he was first diagnosed after being hit, it was expected he would return in September. His wrsit never got good enough, and when it looked like it was getting there, it got worse. In addition, his shoulder started acting up again, and he eventually had shoulder surgery as well as wrist work done in mid-Sept.

So we can't give DePo a total pass on the gamble he took on Drew's health.
   220. Bob T Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:46 PM (#1711051)
Can we have a moratorium on the discussion of the injury proclivities of JD Drew?

It makes my wrists hurt.
   221. Adam S Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1711055)
You can't assume that McCourt is crazy. He might be, but in the absence of specific evidence in that regard, you have to assume that there's an underlying rational for the firing above and beyond "Plaschke ########\".

Up to a point, but the history of sports team ownership is litteres with examples of owners doing things for pretty terrible reasons.
   222. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1711070)
[Beltre's] second best season was, by far, his age 20 season.

His OPS+ was 116 at age 21, 100 at age 20. His RC/27 was 6.07 at 21, 5.27 at 20.

in most (dare I say a vast majority of) cases, those players show signs of development. Beltre has shown none. His age 23 season was better than his age 25 and age 26 seasons.

Here's a fun comparison: Beltre's OPS+'s from ages 21-26 versus Player X's:
AB     X
116   69  
 93   96
 98  108
 89   97
163  125
 90   89
Who's the better hitter? Who has shown the most "signs of development"? I'd vote Beltre. Player X's age 23 season was better than his age 24 and age 26 seasons.

Who is he? Brooks Robinson. Here's how he turned out:
21-26 27-32
 69   145
 96   124
108   124
 97   125
125   117
 89    92
   223. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:56 PM (#1711071)
It makes my wrists hurt.

The chronic one requiring surgery, or just the HBP one?
   224. Bob T Posted: October 29, 2005 at 11:58 PM (#1711077)
It makes my wrists hurt.

The chronic one requiring surgery, or just the HBP one?


Both, hence, the use of plural.
   225. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:15 AM (#1711093)
McCourt on what qualities he's looking for...

"Leadership is a very important characteristic, no question," McCourt said. "He has to have a keen eye for baseball talent, has to be a good communicator and have the experience to do the job of a GM and be able to work toward a common goal."

Tommy Lasorda on what he wants to see in the next GM..

"He has to know the game, know how to handle people and communicate with people and depend upon people working for him," he said. "That guy would be successful."
   226. Shalimar Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1711095)
Keeping Adrian Beltre doesn't accomplish that.

Neither did letting him go. Completely damned if you do, mostly damned if you don't. Not an easy choice, but I think I take the latter.

If the only way to keep your job is to waste 60 million of your boss's money on a mediocre player for pr purposes, then it's time to find a better job, because the boss is in major need of a cluestick.
   227. Johnny Zen Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1711102)
(Philjacking?) back to Polanco: I remember some rumors at the time about a deal, because Polanco seemed like such a logical fit. I remember hearing at one point about Polanco for Duanar Sanchez and Andy LaRoche, but that was early in the year before LaRoche went insane. Woulda been nice though.
   228. scareduck Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1711127)
You know, just because DePo was a "Moneyball" GM doesn't make him a good GM. I still haven't seen anyone mention a good move he's made. Just a lot of "he had no choice but to do this..." type moves.

Thank you... DePo may have been called a sabermetric GM because of the reputation he gleaned from Moneyball, but the act of selecting him to be a GM was not, in and of itself, sabermetric. This is simply because we have no history of his actions and abilities, as we do of, say, Pat Gillick or Jim Bowden. (Not saying that either are good/bad, but merely that we have records for both.)
   229. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:58 AM (#1711132)
"He has to know the game, know how to handle people and communicate with people and depend upon people working for him," he said. "That guy would be successful."

Making good transactions: optional.
   230. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:04 AM (#1711137)
Who is he? Brooks Robinson.

You found one example. Good for you. Like I said most, perhaps a vast majority, of players that explode at age 27 from mediocrity, show improvement along the way. I didn't say all, so I don't know what point you're trying to prove. If you want to argue for argument's sake, at least argue against a point I made. Of course there are going to be some that have no indication in their history that turn into great hitters. But you have no way of predicting who they are.
   231. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:16 AM (#1711142)
If you're making moves just to sell tickets, then you're the Los Angeles Lakers.

Actually, the Lakers make moves to please Kobe. They traded Butler and Atkins for Brown despite the fact that Brown sucks and Butler was their best player last year.

Back to the Dodgers, this is adding to my paranoia that Selig approved of the McCourts because he wanted a flagship large-market team to struggle.

Strangers, have you been listening to the Joe McDonnel Show.

About Beltre: Beltre in 2004 had bone spurs in his ankle which prevented him from swining at the low and away pitch and helped him to not get in front of the ball. With the bone spurs gone, so is the 2004 production level.
   232. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:22 AM (#1711145)
About Beltre: Beltre in 2004 had bone spurs in his ankle which prevented him from swining at the low and away pitch and helped him to not get in front of the ball. With the bone spurs gone, so is the 2004 production level.

! I knew there was an injury he had in 2004 that affected his swing, but I couldn't remember what it was. This is why I disagree with:

Well, no, as MGL would tell you, the safest bet would be to project that he would play somewhere in between the "bad" and "good" Beltre. You can't just ignore 2004 completely

You can ignore a season if there is something that directly affects a players' ability, whether it be an injury that affects a swing in a good way or one that affects in in a bad way. If scouts determined that bone spurs in his outside ankle affected his swing/pitch selection resulting in him laying off certain pitches and thus made him a better hitter that year, then there's good reason to believe he wouldn't replicate his 2004 season.
   233. The Matador Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:24 AM (#1711149)
Tommy Lasorda on what he wants to see in the next GM..

"He has to know the game, know how to handle people and communicate with people and depend upon people working for him," he said. "That guy would be successful."


I.e., DePo should have listened to Tracy and all the other friends of Tommy in the organisation.
   234. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:57 AM (#1711185)
Just going on record here: Stupid decision, which the Dodgers will regret. Especially if it means more influence for Tommy boy.
   235. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:57 AM (#1711186)
Beltre in 2004 had bone spurs in his ankle which prevented him from swining at the low and away pitch and helped him to not get in front of the ball. With the bone spurs gone, so is the 2004 production level.

For $30 and an aluminum bat, I'll fix Beltre's problem.
   236. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:12 AM (#1711194)
You found one example. Good for you.

I actually found two examples of "players that explode at 27 from mediocrity" -- Brooks and Gaetti -- after looking for approximately seven minutes. And thanks for your words of encouragement!

I didn't say all, so I don't know what point you're trying to prove.

I'm trying to point out -- not "prove" -- that, contra you, projections will not "always be more accurate when using an individual's past history." The past sometimes correlates well with the future; other times (as in all the OPS+ strings of 3Bmen I listed above) people will show a sharp improvement in their 6th or 7th year in the league, and stay there awhile.

If you want to argue for argument's sake, at least argue against a point I made.

Thanks for the advice! The essential "point" you made that I have been arguing against, is that Beltre will be "a shitty hitter ... for the next five years," who will "continue to put up his usual 720-ish OPS and low 90s OPS+ hitting." My point is not that you're wrong, but that we simply can't know for sure, and that there is at least some history of 3Bmen within 10% of the league offensive norm their first 5-6 seasons jacking it up to a new level around their 6th or 7th year.

Of course there are going to be some that have no indication in their history that turn into great hitters. But you have no way of predicting who they are.

Which is why I have made no such prediction on this thread. You, on the other hand, have predicted with utter confidence that Beltre will suck. And Beltre, unlike most of the 3Bmen listed above, actually had some "indication" in his early-career history that he could turn into a great hitter.
   237. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:10 AM (#1711215)
You can ignore a season if there is something that directly affects a players' ability, whether it be an injury that affects a swing in a good way or one that affects in in a bad way.

How about a different hitting coach? The Dodgers fired Jack Clark in early August, 2003. Beltre's pre- and post-August numbers for 2003:
pre  .223/.276/.364, 9 HR
post .268/.306/.527, 14 HR
Beltre had never hit 7 homers in a month before, but as soon as Clark was out of there he hit at least 7 homers in six out of his next seven months. After he left the comfort of Tim Wallach he never hit 7 HR in a month again....
   238. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:29 AM (#1711222)
   239. base ball chick Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:45 AM (#1711229)
well matt honey,

you hit the nail right on the head.

exactly WFT do orel hershiser know about the front office?

but he complaining that that moron depo and his computer hadn't even MET tom lasorda!!!

you can't be hiring crap like that

so lets see if it IS gonna be pat gillick and bobby valentine.....
   240. Sparkles Peterson Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:52 AM (#1711234)
The article I read early today on ESPN mentioned Lowe as one of DePo's pickups that didn't work out. I have to say, he sure looks better on that signing than most of us did. I thought it eclipsed the Milton contract as the stupidest move of the offseason, and Lowe had a solid year. Didn't have the run support to back it up, which is no doubt what the hacks at ESPN were referring to.
   241. AADeuce Posted: October 30, 2005 at 05:49 AM (#1711266)
I think the biggest injustice of it all is that Chuck Lamar got as many years as he did and DePo got two.
   242. Chris Dial Posted: October 30, 2005 at 05:55 AM (#1711269)
Matt,
1. you got Gaetti's career path wrong. It was 130, 101, 147, and then a descent into hell.

2. Using Brooks as a possible career path is like using Ozzie Smith as a reason Rey Ordonez may blossom as a hitter.

Beltre won't be very good because he can't control teh strike zone.

Sure, he might post an occassional decent season, but his bat is going to be a seious disappointment.

DCW posts Marcel for 06 (114?). It was somethng like 125 for '05. How did that work out?

If you want a string of good comps for Beltre, I suggest you look here

And if you'd like to wager on Beltre's return to stardom for 2006, I think you can find some takers.
   243. Jesse Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:01 AM (#1711276)
Plaschke says Gillick will be the next GM for the Dodgers.

In related news, I feel the need to follow my AL team more closely for the next few years.
   244. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:26 AM (#1711280)
Matt, Beltre has always performed better in the second half. Even in his 2004 MVP-type season he hit better as the season progressed. At the all-star break, he hadn't even played well enough to make the team (actually, he did but Rolen got the fan vote and McKeon chose Lowell). In 2003, maybe Clark moving on was the reason. In 2002, the aquisition of Houston threatened his job. In 2001, he was more recovered from the botched appendectomy. In 2005 he changed leagues. Maybe all these things are the reason that Beltre got better later in the season. However, since he has played better in the second half by significant amounts every single season of his career, I think that it is just his pattern.
   245. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:28 AM (#1711281)
Using Brooks as a possible career path is like using Ozzie Smith as a reason Rey Ordonez may blossom as a hitter.

Or, you can take any mediocre hitter entering their thirties and declare them on the career path of Melvin Mora.
   246. alkeiper Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:14 AM (#1711294)
I'm still firmly on the Dazzy Vance career path myself.
   247. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:16 AM (#1711295)
I believe your analysis is incorrect, expecially as applied to the current situation. Unless you're theory is that DePodesta would have gotten fired even faster if he'd "made moves because of fans", it seems clear that one of the factors that led to him getting dismissed was the unpopularity of his moves among the fan base.

Right. There was just no reason for McCourt to spend another year getting killed by the press by sticking by DePo. His player acquisition was hit and miss, his interpersonal skills were found lacking, and it's not clear the Dodgers are headed in the right direction.
   248. DCW3 Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:35 AM (#1711302)
DCW posts Marcel for 06 (114?). It was somethng like 125 for '05. How did that work out?

Not well.

Maybe there really was something that Beltre did completely differently in 2004 that caused him to post one of the great fluke seasons of all time. Maybe it really was the bone spurs--though I have trouble believing that with the all the coaches, scouts and trainers available to a major league team, they couldn't find a way to replicate whatever it was he was doing.

I don't think he'll ever come close to 2004 again, and I don't think anyone should've expected him to. (I found an old post from February where someone said, "I'll wager a hefty amount that Beltre outproduces Kent by whatever metric (EQA, runs created, Win Shares) you choose by a wide margin," and I thought that was quite foolish even at the time.) But I'm not ready to say that the guy is going to be a 90 OPS+ hitter the rest of his career.
   249. Spivey Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:05 AM (#1711313)
DCW posts Marcel for 06 (114?). It was somethng like 125 for '05. How did that work out?

I agree with Dial here. Marcel projections will always overrate people who have fluke years. Just ask Erstad and Renteria, among many other. The projections are based off means, not the individual player, so it assumes that an improvement is real, and not a fluke.

Beltre is quite likely to post an OPS+ below 114 next year. It's not a given, but it's likely
   250. DCW3 Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:23 AM (#1711315)
The projections are based off means, not the individual player, so it assumes that an improvement is real, and not a fluke.

Well, I hate to quote MGL again, but he would tell you that there's no such thing as a fluke; it's just another data point in a player's performance history. I think it's quite possible that we just notice the players like Erstad who collapse completely more than the guys who have a huge year and then continue at a median level between their "fluke" performance and their previous level of performance. (Javy Lopez is a good example of the second type of player. So is Carlos Guillen--he's only one year removed from his "fluke" year, but then so is Beltre.)

Now, if you have some specific information about something different about a player that caused him to post a season way out of line with a previous performance level, then that's a reason not to trust a Marcel-type projection. A lot of times this applies to guys who have a really bad season rather than a really good one, like Jermaine Dye: he was playing hurt throughout 2003, and his numbers were so unbelievably awful that it severely skewed his projection; his 2004 and 2005 numbers were much closer to his pre-2003 level than to his projections. Maybe Beltre's bone spurs or whatever fall into this category.
   251. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:26 AM (#1711317)
you got Gaetti's career path wrong.

Did he not "explode at 27 from mediocrity"? I don't recall making any claims about what he looked like after age 30.

Using Brooks as a possible career path is like using Ozzie Smith as a reason Rey Ordonez may blossom as a hitter.

No it's not. Taking their first analogous six seasons in the big leagues (ages 24-29), as I did above with Brooks' & Beltre's 21-26, you don't get eerily similar numbers, you get this:
OS  RO
47  62
71  37
62  53
84  66
83  34
96  69
Ordonez was better at age 24, after which Ozzie was one hell of a lot better. Beltre/Brooks are pretty evenly matched, with Beltre being mostly a little bit better & then having the one monster year.

Sure, he might post an occasional decent season, but his bat is going to be a serious disappointment.

I am envious of your omniscience.

And if you'd like to wager on Beltre's return to stardom for 2006, I think you can find some takers.

Nice turnabout! For in fact, I am not predicting Beltre's "return to stardom," I am suggesting that all y'all who have written him off completely are doing so in the face of historical evidence that suggests a bit more caution.

And as a matter of fact I have offered a wager here that Beltre would average 30 more games per year than J.D. Drew over the length of their contracts, but strangely none of the "Drew's injury was a fluke" caucus has taken me up on it.

Beltre won't be very good because he can't control teh strike zone.

Brooks Robinson, who looked worse before his age-27 season than Beltre, was a "very good" offensive player from 27-31, and he controlled the strike zone slightly worse than Adrian. Ken Caminiti didn't walk once per 10 at bats until his age-31 year; Beltre did it twice before age 22. Beltre's walk rate before age 27 was almost exactly the same as a guy named George Brett. It was better than Harvey Kuenn's about the same as Home Run Baker's.

The truth is you don't know whether Beltre's control of the strike zone will prevent him from being "very good." You just don't.
   252. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1711402)
Nice turnabout! For in fact, I am not predicting Beltre's "return to stardom," I am suggesting that all y'all who have written him off completely are doing so in the face of historical evidence that suggests a bit more caution.

Do you see a problem with selectively choosing a single HoF player as "historical evidence" that Beltre could end up being good?

FWIW, PECOTA does a better job with similar players than BBRef. Their most similar to Beltre are:

RankHitter        YearScoreRankHitter        YearScore
1Miguel Tejada20025311Toby Harrah197536
2Ernie Banks19574912Jim Ray Hart196836
3Willie Jones19514613Tony Conigliaro197135
4Jeff Kent19944014Davey Johnson196934
5Tony Batista20003915Gary Sheffield199534
6Bret Boone19953916Gil McDougald195434
7Brooks Robinson19633917Paul Blair197034
8Jerry Adair19633818Jorge Orta197734
9Magglio Ordonez20003819George Hendrick197633
10Bobby Thomson19503620Travis Fryman199533


Despite some of the great players on this list, PECOTA projects continued stagnation from Beltre.

<u>EQA</u>
Year     75%     50%     25% Wtd Mean   
2005.303.287.272.290
2006.308.284.264.286
2007.307.287.267.286
2008.300.280.267.284
2009.305.284.264.285
   253. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1711403)
whoa. big discrepancy between the live preview and what was posted. sorry about the unreadable tables.
   254. Kyle S Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1711412)
you have to use spaces, not tabs.
   255. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1711413)
I'll try this again...

Rank  Hitter           Year   Score   Rank  Hitter           Year  Score
1     Miguel Tejada    2002   53      11    Toby Harrah      1975  36
2     Ernie Banks      1957   49      12    Jim Ray Hart     1968  36
3     Willie Jones     1951   46      13    Tony Conigliaro  1971  35
4     Jeff Kent        1994   40      14    Davey Johnson    1969  34
5     Tony Batista     2000   39      15    Gary Sheffield   1995  34
6     Bret Boone       1995   39      16    Gil McDougald    1954  34
7     Brooks Robinson  1963   39      17    Paul Blair       1970  34
8     Jerry Adair      1963   38      18    Jorge Orta       1977  34
9     Magglio Ordonez  2000   38      19    George Hendrick  1976  33
10    Bobby Thomson    1950   36      20    Travis Fryman    1995  33



Despite some of the great players on this list, PECOTA projects continued stagnation from Beltre.

<u>EQA</u>
Year     75%   50%   25%   Wtd Mean   
2005    .303  .287  .272   .290
2006    .308  .284  .264   .286
2007    .307  .287  .267   .286
2008    .300  .280  .267   .284
2009    .305  .284  .264   .285


Of note is that for most of his similar players, for the years noted, only two showed a positive trend (Harrah & Sheffield), six showed a negative trend (Robinson, Adair, Thomson, Blair, Orta, & Fryman), and the remaining 12 showed a stable trend. Probably why, despite having good comps, PECOTA sees Beltre staying around the same level for the next 5 years.
   256. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1711417)
I just realized the numbers posted above were apparently generated BEFORE the 2005 season. Beltre's .259 EqA will certainly bring down his projections going forward and change his list of comparable players. That .259 was below BP's 25th% estimate. If immediately following his monster season PECOTA didn't put him on a more favorable career path, I imagine that next year's projections will look much worse.
   257. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1711424)
I'm trying to point out -- not "prove" -- that, contra you, projections will not "always be more accurate when using an individual's past history."

Which I have already acknowledged. I don't need it spelled out.

My point is not that you're wrong, but that we simply can't know for sure, and that there is at least some history of 3Bmen within 10% of the league offensive norm their first 5-6 seasons jacking it up to a new level around their 6th or 7th year.


Again, I've already said as much. I just don't feel that Beltre will be one of those players. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But let's wait until after he does or doesn't do it before we start telling me how wrong I am.
   258. CONservative governMENt Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1711437)
Sounds to me like on a baseball level the only things DePo has going for him are 1) passed on re-signing some players and 2) its too soon to fire him.

Is there any reason to say he did a good job? (Did he adequately replace the players he was smart not bring back? Is the team better-positioned for the future?)

To me the best thing he did was to leave alone the minor league guru who was there when he started.

If your boss calls you in and the only things you can point to are moves you didn't make and "it's too soon to know if the 22-game drop in the standings is my fault" then being a smug jerk might not be the best approach if you want to keep your job.
   259. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:17 PM (#1711443)
Sounds to me like on a baseball level the only things DePo has going for him are 1) passed on re-signing some players and 2) its too soon to fire him.

I can't speak for all Dodger fans, but for me, it's not that they fired DePo, but the way it happened. It just screams incompetence. To do a 180 in three weeks in October, cave into mediot demands, and apparently let Tommy Lasorda call the shots... it's embarassing. Frank McCourt does not have a long term plan, and there is no apparent understandible reason for him to have fired DePodesta at this point in time.
   260. Adam S Posted: October 30, 2005 at 05:36 PM (#1711508)
Sounds to me like on a baseball level the only things DePo has going for him are 1) passed on re-signing some players and 2) its too soon to fire him.

Is there any reason to say he did a good job? (Did he adequately replace the players he was smart not bring back? Is the team better-positioned for the future?)


I've said my piece above in #212. But overall when you look at the things we can measure he has done a solid if unspectacular job. He won their first divisional race since god knows when (making some helpful shrewd pickups). The major league team is less burdened by bad contracts than when he took over, even allowing for the likelihood of more Drew injuries. The farm system, which was bare at the top levels when he got there, is better than it was. I'd say the team is better positioned for the future. It's not orders of magnitudes better, but judging by the parts of his job that we can see he doesn't deserve to be fired.

On the part we can't see, both sides are likely to be leaking furiously to the press over the next few days. It will be interesting to see what specific allegations surface, if any, about poor management. You can bet that anyone who feels wronged by DePo will be getting it off their chest one way or the other.
   261. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:57 PM (#1711590)
Do you see a problem with selectively choosing a single HoF player as "historical evidence" that Beltre could end up being good?

Yes. Which is why I also included Bailey, Bell, Gaetti, DeCinces and Caminiti.

And FWIW, those comps don't look half bad.
   262. Chris Dial Posted: October 30, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1711672)
And FWIW, those comps don't look half bad

Yes, they do. If the Mariners get the rest of Gary Gaetti's career, the contract will be a disaster. And you got Gaetti's career path wrong - you mistyped teh numbers. Did he not "explode at 27 from mediocrity"? No, he didn't. He was still mediocre, but had a fluke season (I don't care what MGL says about it - he may not understand teh use of the term).

The truth is you don't know whether Beltre's control of the strike zone will prevent him from being "very good." You just don't.

Well, because you are having serious "literal" issues. I am overwhelmingly confident that Beltre will NOT be a star. It is a poor idea to think that he will based on his ability to control the strike zomne coupled with his low batting average.

At this point, Beltre's MLB career outweighs his pre-development career. I had these arguments last year. You are , apparently, arguimng a nebulous *pointless* argument that "no one knows what the future holds"; well, no ####, Sherlock. Most of us operate with that understanding without having to state, "It is my opinion that the likelihood of ..." If you are posting on this board, you should learn to understand *that* is to be understood.

y'all who have written him off completely are doing so in the face of historical evidence that suggests a bit more caution.

No, it doesn't. For starters we aren't "completely writing him off". We're saying he's a bad bet - with a huge contract. He SHOULD NOT have been re-signed by the Dodgers for the money teh M's paid. Do you agree with that? If not, are you saying the odds of Beltre becoming Brooks vs Gaetti is worth that money?

but strangely none of the "Drew's injury was a fluke" caucus has taken me up on it.

And? So? That means they think *the odds* aren't good. And I'm not one of them. If you bother to read my posts, you'll see I criticized DePo for not making sure Drew had adequate backup - if Drew didn't get hit in the hand, the *odds were* that he'd have strained a hammy or abdominal muscle. And so you don't act silly, no, I don't "know" that - but his history indicates that was likely.

So, Matt, what do you think is Beltre's *LIKELY* career path from here on out?
   263. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 30, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1711678)
And FWIW, those comps don't look half bad.

As I mentioned previously and as can be seen in the tables I posted, those comps are player years not player careers. And based on the comps for the years listed, most of them (18/20) either got worse or stayed the same the following year.
   264. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:05 PM (#1711778)
If the Mariners get the rest of Gary Gaetti's career, the contract will be a disaster.

The "comps" I was referring to were Narb's PECOTA dealies, not Gaetti, and now I see even those weren't the bees' knees. But if Beltre does what Gaetti did between the ages of 27 and 30 -- OPS+'s of 130, 101, 147 and 88 -- the contract (in my opinion) wouldn't be a "disaster."

you mistyped teh numbers

Which ones?

Well, because you are having serious "literal" issues. I am overwhelmingly confident that Beltre will NOT be a star. It is a poor idea to think that he will based on his ability to control the strike zomne coupled with his low batting average.

If you want, I won't take you literally from now on. I have no idea if Beltre will be a star, but the existence of third basemen with similar pre-27 low batting averages and poor strike zone judgment who did have some star-like seasons from 27-30 make me less sure than you.

At this point, Beltre's MLB career outweighs his pre-development career.

Which you could have also said about Bailey, Bell, Brooks, Caminiti, DeCinces and plenty of other people, is all I'm saying, though since you seem to be so irritated, I'll stop saying it.

You are , apparently, arguimng a nebulous *pointless* argument that "no one knows what the future holds"; well, no ####, Sherlock. Most of us operate with that understanding without having to state, "It is my opinion that the likelihood of ..." If you are posting on this board, you should learn to understand *that* is to be understood.

So, if I say something like "J.D. Drew will be a shitty signing because he'll be too injured the next four years," can I infer that your Primer Etiquette Guide will prevent you from suggesting that other outcomes are possible? Or is it just that it's somehow my duty to argue that Beltre will become a star, or keep my historical counter-examples to myself? I've only been posting here for 17 months, so I obviously don't know everything I "should learn to understand."

For starters we aren't "completely writing him off".

I dunno, "Beltre won't be very good," seems like writing him off; as does "his bat is going to be a serious disappointment." And "a shitty hitter ... for the next five years" who will "continue to put up his usual 720-ish OPS and low 90s OPS+ hitting." But I'll take your word for it.

We're saying he's a bad bet - with a huge contract. He SHOULD NOT have been re-signed by the Dodgers for the money teh M's paid. Do you agree with that? If not, are you saying the odds of Beltre becoming Brooks vs Gaetti is worth that money?

I don't agree with that, but I see nothing at all wrong with your reasoning, and, as you said above, "I had these arguments last year." I recognize that my ideas about roster construction are weird, and this thread has gone on long enough without me trying to defend my over-valuation of 3B defense, roster stability, and guys who could hit at age 20.

So, Matt, what do you think is Beltre's *LIKELY* career path from here on out?

I honestly don't know! He's a freakin' puzzle. I'd love to interview all his hitting coaches, since he really does seem to have a single stone-obvious problem -- chasing sliders in the dirt a foot outside -- and when he looks great seems to correlate perfectly with when he knocks that off. The only other explanation I can grasp at is that he's a severe warm-weather hitter, who made a terrible choice moving north.

But at the same time I can't quite bring myself to believe that a guy will be better at 20 and 21 than he will from 27-30, unless there is a debilitating injury of some sort, and I don't think he's had one. So, here's my wild guess about his next four years' OPS+'s:

2007: 110
2008: 135
2009: 120
2010: 90

You?
   265. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1711800)
2007: 110
2008: 135
2009: 120
2010: 90


2007: 98
2008: 91
2009: 94
2010: 89

Beltre's career has been, consistently, improvement immediately followed by regression, immediately followed by improvement: 74 (in 214 PA) 100, 116, 93, 98, 89, 163, 90.
   266. PerroX Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:35 PM (#1711807)
I didn't care for DePo, it's true, I think he failed at managing the people side of his job, but based upon factors leading up to Tracy's dismissal, giving him one more year would have been justified...

... if he was on the same page as McCourt and the organization as a whole. Hiring Terry Collins as manager would have been a dreadful move, and if DePo said it was Collins or else, then he should have been removed.

As I said, I would have liked to have seen that trainwreck.
   267. TenMinds Posted: October 30, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1711884)
Now if he really can't manage people, that is a different issue. But do we have any evidence for that? Clearly someting went wrong between him and Tracy. But usually GMs are allowed o fire one or two managers before they get blamed for that relationship going wrong. And we have to discount heavily anything we learn from Simers and Plascke. There is the Kent/Bradley stuff, but plenty of GMs have players that don't get on with others without getting blamed for it - everyone is (rightly) lauding kenny W at the moment for taking a cheap chance on AJ.

My question is - does anyone know anything concrete (ie not Plascke invective) to suggest DePo is a bad man manager?


I think the evidence for him not being able to manage people is the fact that it appears there is a faction of upper management, his office, that is pushing for a manager he doesn't want. He named his candidates, and a group of his people rebeled, insisting on someone with Dodger ties. If he had support within his own offices, it's not likely that he would be fired so soon.
   268. TenMinds Posted: October 30, 2005 at 11:52 PM (#1711895)
Regarding Drew and his injury. One thing that gets lost in talking about his wrist is that he came to L.A. with a bum knee. 5 years for 55 million is a lot to pay for a player who is so unsure of his knee that he doesn't want to play right field because he's worried about his knee holding up when he goes to field balls in the corner. When he made his deal with Milton to share time in center field, you had to worry that either this guy was damaged goods, or he was a bit of a prima donna. Either way it wasn't good. Hopefully he goes on to shine for 4 years.
   269. Dr Love Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1711909)
When he made his deal with Milton to share time in center field, you had to worry that either this guy was damaged goods, or he was a bit of a prima donna.

Drew a prima donna? He doesn't even have a personality.
   270. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1711922)
5 years for 55 million is a lot to pay for a player who is so unsure of his knee that he doesn't want to play right field because he's worried about his knee holding up when he goes to field balls in the corner.

It's also a lot when you factor in that if Drew was completely healthy and dominated, he was given the option of voiding his contract for a better deal elsewhere.

Doesn't seem like an issue now, but giving contracts where the team has no possibility of getting a bargain is asinine and desperate.
   271. Matt Welch Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1711927)
There were also chronic, surgery-requiring conditions in his wrist and shoulder.
   272. Voros M. Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1711986)
Just to chime in with a little. One of the keys to getting projections a little bit more accurate than usual is to be able to understand whether certain sets of stats tend to go together.

So that: guys who strike out a lot hit more home runs and vice-versa. Guys who run well tend to have a decent batting average on balls in play. Certain stats are more consistent than others (walks, strikeouts, homers, steals are reasonably consistent, the rest tend to fluctuate more).

And then once you have a system that can account for these sorts of things, you tend to improve your projections a little bit.

Still, the whole "fluke" thing is a lot easier to tell after the fact. Luis Gonzalez' 1999 looked for all the world like a fluke, but he followed up with 4 more years every bit as good. After the 2000 season Ben Grieve looked to be a consistently good hitting young player, and then one disappointing season was followed by another and another and... (Carlos Baerga sympathizes)

Let's have a show of hands who thought Melvin Mora would return to earth after 2003?

This is not easy work, but it has to be done, whether you use a statistical formula or intuition or scouts or some combination of the three. You can't just wing it.

Anyone who _knew_ Beltre would return to earth is full of it, and anyone who knew Beltre would put up another monster season was obviously proven wrong. Any reasonable analysis concedes either was a possibility going in. The only difference is what percentages you put on each. Sometimes splitting the difference in such a situation is as sensible a move as any other.
   273. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 04:46 AM (#1712214)
matt,
you wrote Gaetti's career as:
Gary Gaetti
23-26 27-30
93    130
95    141
81    107 
88     88


which looks like Gaetti had a small peak, when he really went 130, 101, 147, 88, with two bounces, and otherwise was terrible.

So, if I say something like "J.D. Drew will be a shitty signing because he'll be too injured the next four years," can I infer that your Primer Etiquette Guide will prevent you from suggesting that other outcomes are possible?

No. At least, the clarification about what is likely. I certainly wouldn't say "you don't *know* that". Because of course we don't. It's not that you say something else might happen - it's the insistence that someone doesn't "know". Of course not - we are expressing what we interpret the previous pattern to subsequently yield and what we feel is *likely* to occur.

I dunno, "Beltre won't be very good," seems like writing him off; as does "his bat is going to be a serious disappointment." And "a shitty hitter ... for the next five years" who will "continue to put up his usual 720-ish OPS and low 90s OPS+ hitting." But I'll take your word for it.

What you should read is "Beltre isn't likely to be very good" And "his bat is likely to be a serious disappointment", (I think) he's likely to be a shitty hitter for the next five years..etc.

Okay, it's a little sloppy on the language, but as long as we are all operating in the real world we are operating with the baseline that none of us knows the future - thus all comments are an opinion based on what we perceive the likelihood to be.

I don't agree with that

You think Beltre earned his pay in '05? IIRC, according to Studes calculations, Beltre has to generate 23 Win Shares every season. How many did he have in 05?

I think Beltre will have another good season. Maybe 110, 130, 110, 90.....If the only get that out of Beltran, I'll be ill.
   274. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1712217)
the whole "fluke" thing is a lot easier to tell after the fact.

Well, sure. It always possible a player is establishing a new level. But when a player generates an OPS+ 3 SDs from his previous three (or four) years aerage, it's pretty fluky - particularly when his following season hits his previous career average on teh nose.

Anyone who _knew_ Beltre would return to earth is full of it,

Color me full of it. I wagered on it, researched it, and laughed my butt off about it all season. Okay, I didn't "know", but I was pretty cocksure.
   275. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: October 31, 2005 at 06:56 AM (#1712320)
As said before, NO ONE should be fired from GM unless:
1) They've displayed gross incompetence.
2) They've had several years for the roster to turn over.
3) There's an opportunity to get someone who has more experience, success and a greater probability for future success.

1) and 2) aren't applicable except, as some have said, Depo may have displayed some incompetence not visible from where we are standing.

3) Remains to be seen.

I don't like the firing, but I'll reserve judgement until I see who is rehired.

I would give up eating horsemeat forever if they did the God awesome move of promoting Kim Ng, but if they were going to do that, they should have just promoted her a year and a half ago.

For those saying that there's no good moves to point to, what about Kent and Bradley? Those were pretty good.
   276. Matt Welch Posted: October 31, 2005 at 07:19 AM (#1712329)
You think Beltre earned his pay in '05?

Not at all, no. More than Jose Valentin, though. (ducks)

And I see the Gaetti error; my bad.
   277. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: October 31, 2005 at 07:30 AM (#1712334)
If he had support within his own offices, it's not likely that he would be fired so soon.

Not really a reflection on DePodesta, mind you. The Dodger organization is one of the deepest and most traditional in all of baseball. Putting DePodesta in charge of them in the first place, intimating that there was no one competent inside the organization to run the team, was waving a red flag at them.

Why should they support him? Other than the Boy Scout B.S. about how you salute the uniform and not the man. He was an outsider, Not A Dodger, and he was the perfect person to turn on when things went bad. That's business.
   278. Voros M. Posted: October 31, 2005 at 07:36 AM (#1712339)
Well, sure. It always possible a player is establishing a new level. But when a player generates an OPS+ 3 SDs from his previous three (or four) years aerage, it's pretty fluky - particularly when his following season hits his previous career average on teh nose.

And yet Melvin Mora hit 29 points higher the year after his "fluky" season. Mora went into 2003 as a 31 year old with a .249 lifetime average in close to 1500 at bats and then proceeded to hit .311, .340 and .283.

Of course it's fluky, but you really don't know what exactly it means, until after. Most guys who have such seasons regress. No doubt about that. But the extent of the regression is a very hard thing to know.

It was obviously wise to bet against him hitting .330 again, but what about .320 or .310 or .300 or .290 or .280? Was it really a foregone conclusion that he was going to go all the way back down to .255? My bet would have probably been at around .285 (maybe .290 before the switch in leagues and park) but I'd allow for the fact that he could reasonably be expected to hit 35 points on either side of that even if I somehow knew my projection was perfect in terms of ability. Tony Gwynn was one of the most consistent average hitters of his generation and his AVG still frequently swung 40 points or more between seasons.

What specifically was the bet you made on Beltre? Curious.
   279. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 31, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1712398)
Color me full of it. I wagered on it, researched it, and laughed my butt off about it all season. Okay, I didn't "know", but I was pretty cocksure.

Count me amongst those who was also damn sure that Beltre would return to his pre-2004 levels. I remember a discussion with Treder before the season where I guessed Sosa would do better than Beltre in 05 and he argued the opposite. I guess Treder was right, although I don't think many people would be proud of being right .259 to .244 (EqA).
   280. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1712407)
What specifically was the bet you made on Beltre? Curious.

I bet Beltre would post an OPS+ below his career mark (which, after a HUGE 165 jumped to 109).

Joe Dimino owes me all my drinking at SABR...

My research (see the linked article above) indicated tehre was little chance he would drop that far, but he did. There were quite a few rants about how Beltre's career was going down. If you also look at the Transaction Analysis of the Beltre signing, there are more specifics.

Beltre, from what I have seen, just isn't a disciplined enough hitter, and he can't hit for enough average to not have better ISO OBP.
   281. AROM Posted: October 31, 2005 at 04:00 PM (#1712481)
The article I read early today on ESPN mentioned Lowe as one of DePo's pickups that didn't work out. I have to say, he sure looks better on that signing than most of us did.

Look at his unearned runs. He's not very good, and certainly not worth 9 million.
   282. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: October 31, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1712749)
I think the Lowe, O. Perez business should only turn into partial points off. There's only a couple GMs in baseball that can dig up starting pitchers from nowhere. He already acquired one through trade. Where were these other pitchers supposed to come from?
   283. Voros M. Posted: October 31, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1713065)
Joe Dimino owes me all my drinking at SABR...

Dear Lord! Joe's going to need a second mortgage to pay off that one.

:)

I still expect an improvement from Beltre next year. Not a huge one, but a better year.

In hindsight you wonder exactly how much the botched appendicitis in the Dominican after the 2000 season did and did not affect his performance after. At the time I thought it's effects were huge, but now I'm not so sure.
   284. AROM Posted: October 31, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1713190)
I've got Beltre down for some improvement next year. Pretty much any projection system has to do that, go for something in the middle. You'd need scouting info to make any other call on him.

I don't buy the ankle injury forcing him into better habits at the plate. That's just somebody trying to rationalize improvement that's tough to explain, and I doubt recreating the injury with a bat to the foot would help him now.

Could he have tried some steroids, then stopped when 1) he got paid 2) the league started testing and 3) he worried about his long term health?

I'm not usually a steroid freak, but I think the question has to be considered.

Beltre is a good defender, around +10 per season, so he doesn't have to improve that much on offense to be a good overall player. Playing in a pitcher's park, if he can hit .280/.340/.525 he's probably earning his 12 million.
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