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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Madden: After coming up aces at trade deadline, Athletics and Tigers look lost at the plate

RBI’s! Fraternization! Smith Wigglesworth’s Plumbers Guide to God! More new old world speak from Bill Madden!

Whereas the Tigers’ decline in offense can be directly traced to injury-riddled Miguel Cabrera’s power outage — three homers since July 1, and just one with eight RBI in August — and the return to earth of J.D. Martinez, who’s dropped 42 points off his batting average since July 13 and has just 10 RBI (three of them in one game) in August, there also seems little doubt the A’s are just not the same without Cespedes providing middle-of-the-order protection for Josh Donaldson (2 HRs, both in the same game, 8 RBI in August) and Brandon Moss (no homers since July 24 and four RBI in August). Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija, for whom Beane traded top shortstop prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs, has lost his last two starts and is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA as an Athletic, while Lester, in his previous two starts before Saturday’s no-decision, failed to get past the sixth inning, with a yield of three earned runs in both. For this, they traded their cleanup hitter?

...—I’m told morale in the Mark Newman Yankee minor league system is at an all-time low as the pitch count and innings limits obsession goes on, with minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson calling the dugouts each night from his compound in Tampa and ordering when pitchers should be pulled from games. A couple of weeks ago at Triple-A Scranton, they ran out of pitchers two straight nights and had to use position players to finish the games! Joe Girardi lost two games Michael Pineda pitched because the rehabbed righty wasn’t prepared to go beyond 70 or 80 pitches. At least neither Scranton nor Double-A Trenton will be in the playoffs so there will be no place to extend the seasons of their better pitchers and further tax their arms. And speaking of morale, I’m also told the players at Trenton were wondering about continually-entitled catcher Gary Sanchez going on a three-day leave to be with his wife who was giving birth — right there in Trenton. “You’d have thought he might have at least come by the ballpark to work out,” grumbled one Trenton insider.

—The announced attendance at Thursday’s Little League World Series game between Illinois and Pennsylvania was 34,128 — or 14,939 more than the Tampa Bay Rays drew the same day against the Tigers in David Price’s return to St. Pete. Maybe Stu Sternberg needs to think about signing Mo’ne Davis. By the way, was that really Price hanging out and playing video games in the Rays clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game? Whatever happened to the fraternization rules in baseball?

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. DCA Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4778051)
A's just took two from the Angels to get back into a tie for the division. It looked dire then, not so much now.

Cespedes is only hitting .230/.237/.446 with the Red Sox, so I don't think he's the missing link.
   2. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4778055)
So I guess Cespedes was responsible for that .181/.223/.286 for Donaldson in June?
   3. Al Kaline Trio Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4778066)
I want addison russell back.
   4. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4778072)
We'll gladly trade you Sonny Gray for him.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4778078)
I’m also told the players at Trenton were wondering about continually-entitled catcher Gary Sanchez going on a three-day leave to be with his wife who was giving birth — right there in Trenton.


Way to maintain journalistic objectivity there. #### that guy for wanting to bond with his newborn. Doesn't he know what's important in life?
   6. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4778080)
By the way, was that really Price hanging out and playing video games in the Rays clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game? Whatever happened to the fraternization rules in baseball?


You mean this one?

3.09
Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform.


Was he playing video games in uniform? Was anyone in uniform? If they weren't in their uniforms, they didn't break any rules. Now where's your criticism of Derek Jeter for talking to people in the stands when he's on deck? That's explicitly against the rules, but I guess it doesn't apply to St. Jeter, right?
   7. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4778088)
Whenever I read people writing about Yoenis Cespedes, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Am I the only one who has noticed that he's not very good?
   8. Shibal Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4778091)
Way to maintain journalistic objectivity there. #### that guy for wanting to bond with his newborn. Doesn't he know what's important in life?


There are few good reasons a guy needs to miss three days of games because of a completely healthy newborn kid if his family lives in the same town as the team. It isn't like he has to show up at the usual time; just come in at the latest possible time so your team isn't screwed over by not having a 2nd catcher. 5 hours tops.
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4778092)
Whenever I read people writing about Yoenis Cespedes, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Am I the only one who has noticed that he's not very good?


Offensively, he's basically Nick Markakis. A solid everyday player, but not an All-Star. But he's got great power and an amazing arm, and that gets into highlights.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4778094)
There are few good reasons a guy needs to miss three days of games because of a completely healthy newborn kid if his family lives in the same town as the team. It isn't like he has to show up at the usual time; just come in at the latest possible time so your team isn't screwed over by not having a 2nd catcher. 5 hours tops.


If the Yankees allowed Trenton to play three games without moving some catchers around and making sure a backup was there they deserve a lot of criticism, not Sanchez.

While I agree Sanchez doesn't "need" to take three days off that should hardly be the end of the world. It sounds to me like Sanchez has a pretty good sense of what is important in life rather than being "entitled."
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4778095)
Cespedes is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I have to say I'm stunned his numbers are that poor since the trade, he's seemed better than that.
   12. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4778097)
Holy christ. People are giving someone crap for taking three days off after the birth of his child? You people are incredible.

In the real world fathers take off more than just 3 days for the birth of their child. But apparently being the 2nd string catcher for a minor league team is vastly more important than anything that happens outside that tiny little bubble that we call the jock world.
   13. Shibal Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4778099)
In the real world fathers take off more than just 3 days for the birth of their child.


What real world do you live in?
   14. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4778100)
The one that apparently you don't live in. Are you a time traveling coal miner from the Appalachians circa 1892?

Taking at least a week off is pretty much the norm nowadays.
   15. Shibal Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4778101)
Sanchez has had attitude problems from the day he signed, including being benched for five games earlier this month. He's undisciplined and lazy, and needlessly missing three games probably isn't a good thing for his career.

Although I'm sure his wife enjoyed him sitting next to her hospital bed 48 hours straight after the kid was born. That's what happened right?
   16. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4778103)
The Boston College Center for Work & Families does an annual survey and they generally look at white collar workers in America. This year they found that the average father takes 2 weeks off for the birth of a child. I can only really find two groups that are providing data for this. The other group is the Fatherhood Project and in their survey from a few years back found that fathers were taking on average 5 days off.
   17. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4778104)
He's undisciplined and lazy, and needlessly missing three games probably isn't a good thing for his career.

Although I'm sure his wife enjoyed him sitting next to her hospital bed 48 hours straight after the kid was born. That's what happened right?


Wow. Who knew the the Guilded Age was still alive and well.
   18. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4778109)
I've found two weeks to be the norm in my experience as well. The last guy in my office to have a kid took at least two weeks off (maybe more).
   19. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4778112)
In 2014, for a lot of white-collar workers (using the term from #16), the lines between work and home are getting increasingly blurred. I am self-employed, with my office at home, and when we had our two girls, it meant that my auto-reply on email was something like "I just had a child, and will be tough to reach for a while. You can send me an email or voice mail if you'd like, and I may be able to reply, but don't be surprised if it takes a week." I was able to do some conference calls, return some emails, etc., but it was done on a vastly reduced schedule, with expectations calibrated to reflect becoming a new father. Everybody was like, "Congrats, and please don't reply to this email. Get back to me when your family is ready." People get it...
   20. jingoist Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4778116)
" The one that apparently you don't live in. Are you a time traveling coal miner from the Appalachians circa 1892?

Taking at least a week off is pretty much the norm nowadays.

And yet, just 44 years ago when my first daughter was born I was strongly advised by my management at IBM that I should not miss more than the day of birth and 1/2 day to take me wife home from the hospital.

This aspect of extended father birth-leave is fairly recent and long overdue.

I would have been thrilled to get even 1 week off.
   21. bobm Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4778117)
At least OAK has not fallen too far behind its divisional rival, unlike DET.

For single team seasons, For 2014, August (within Months), sorted by smallest tOPS+ for this split

                                                            
Rk        Split Year  G tOPS+  PA   BA  OBP  SLG BAbip sOPS+
1    TOR August 2014 18    70 703 .240 .297 .330  .289    82
2    NYM August 2014 21    71 757 .210 .267 .298  .249    64
3    ARI August 2014 20    78 749 .219 .281 .327  .260    76
4    BOS August 2014 20    80 770 .225 .287 .328  .269    79
5    DET August 2014 21    84 844 .248 .311 .376  .291    99
6    TEX August 2014 19    84 730 .232 .298 .339  .281    85
7    OAK August 2014 20    84 732 .230 .305 .361  .267    93
8    LAA August 2014 20    86 775 .241 .309 .371  .289    97
9    CLE August 2014 19    87 703 .237 .299 .368  .282    93
10   LAD August 2014 21    87 783 .256 .314 .357  .308    95
11   TBR August 2014 20    87 801 .239 .301 .352  .278    89
12   CHW August 2014 19    90 677 .255 .302 .379  .305    97
13   NYY August 2014 19    91 698 .234 .298 .361  .276    91
14   CIN August 2014 21    92 796 .237 .291 .353  .279    86
15   PHI August 2014 19    95 726 .240 .305 .344  .299    89
16   COL August 2014 19    97 733 .268 .324 .438  .323   119
17   CHC August 2014 21    98 793 .239 .292 .384  .305    95
18   PIT August 2014 20   102 755 .264 .321 .413  .320   112
19   ATL August 2014 20   103 782 .249 .320 .375  .316   102
20   MIL August 2014 19   105 696 .252 .314 .427  .288   113
21   HOU August 2014 20   106 769 .256 .317 .401  .303   108
22   MIA August 2014 19   106 719 .248 .331 .389  .309   109
23   WSN August 2014 21   107 805 .263 .329 .399  .309   111
24   SFG August 2014 19   111 736 .276 .322 .406  .334   110
25   BAL August 2014 19   112 706 .264 .308 .473  .297   124
Rk        Split Year  G tOPS+  PA   BA  OBP  SLG BAbip sOPS+
26   STL August 2014 20   113 747 .273 .342 .398  .310   115
27   KCR August 2014 20   114 733 .279 .324 .424  .306   116
28   SEA August 2014 19   114 704 .258 .331 .392  .299   110
29   MIN August 2014 20   125 792 .277 .343 .454  .313   130
30   SDP August 2014 19   126 737 .263 .342 .373  .315   108


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/24/2014.
   22. bobm Posted: August 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4778122)
For single team pitching seasons, For 2014, August (within Months), sorted by greatest tOPS+ for this split

                                                                                  
Rk        Split Year  W  L  ERA GS    IP SO9 SO/W   BA  OBP  SLG BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1    CHW August 2014  6 13 6.05 19 166.2 7.2 2.27 .296 .359 .476  .333   125   141
2    STL August 2014 12  8 4.50 20 176.0 7.5 2.35 .265 .329 .414  .310   120   115
3    CIN August 2014  7 14 4.28 21 187.1 7.9 2.09 .260 .341 .409  .309   118   117
4    MIN August 2014  9 11 4.91 20 176.0 7.0 2.40 .285 .345 .449  .325   113   129
5    TOR August 2014  5 13 5.10 18 164.0 7.1 2.30 .277 .335 .450  .314   111   126
6    NYM August 2014  8 13 3.82 21 190.2 8.0 2.38 .243 .314 .417  .282   108   111
7    OAK August 2014  9 11 3.60 20 175.0 7.0 2.85 .251 .302 .370  .290   107    94
8    COL August 2014  6 13 5.82 19 167.0 6.5 1.70 .277 .349 .459  .304   103   133
9    ATL August 2014 10 10 3.31 20 184.2 6.8 1.99 .246 .320 .370  .283   103   100
10   BOS August 2014  8 12 3.97 20 188.0 6.6 1.63 .253 .335 .396  .287   101   112
11   PIT August 2014  9 11 4.04 20 178.1 7.6 2.08 .257 .335 .367  .310    99   104
12   SFG August 2014 10  9 3.20 19 166.0 7.8 3.51 .233 .287 .386  .272    99    94
13   MIL August 2014 11  8 3.23 19 167.0 7.0 2.83 .248 .304 .384  .285    98    99
14   SDP August 2014 11  8 3.00 19 168.0 7.7 2.42 .230 .305 .343  .281    98    88
15   ARI August 2014  6 14 4.31 20 181.2 8.1 2.65 .268 .332 .403  .329    97   113
16   LAA August 2014 12  8 3.14 20 186.1 7.6 2.62 .244 .305 .330  .294    96    85
17   PHI August 2014  9 10 3.62 19 174.0 7.6 2.81 .263 .319 .380  .314    95   103
18   CHC August 2014 11 10 3.22 21 195.2 6.9 3.04 .233 .287 .375  .269    94    91
19   TEX August 2014  6 13 4.35 19 171.2 7.9 2.50 .263 .333 .420  .311    92   118
20   DET August 2014 10 11 3.77 21 196.0 8.4 2.61 .247 .313 .379  .303    92   100
21   LAD August 2014 11 10 3.38 21 189.0 8.5 3.30 .237 .292 .354  .294    92    87
22   MIA August 2014 11  8 3.58 19 171.0 7.7 2.72 .254 .312 .348  .317    88    92
23   SEA August 2014 13  6 2.05 19 167.0 8.4 3.78 .217 .274 .317  .275    87    72
24   HOU August 2014 11  9 3.77 20 181.2 6.8 3.04 .262 .306 .382  .301    86    99
25   WSN August 2014 15  6 2.60 21 197.0 7.5 3.75 .232 .279 .328  .277    86    76
26   NYY August 2014 10  9 3.71 19 170.0 8.8 4.07 .240 .288 .352  .297    81    85
27   TBR August 2014 10 10 2.51 20 189.2 9.3 3.25 .218 .282 .310  .288    80    72
28   KCR August 2014 16  4 2.95 20 177.0 7.2 3.74 .231 .274 .341  .271    77    78
29   BAL August 2014 13  6 3.04 19 169.0 8.0 3.43 .218 .272 .347  .258    75    79
30   CLE August 2014 11  8 2.57 19 175.0 8.7 3.52 .216 .279 .324  .272    71    75


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/24/2014.
   23. Danny Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4778124)
Offensively, he's basically Nick Markakis. A solid everyday player, but not an All-Star.

Offensively, he's much more similar to Adam Jones than Nick Markakis.
   24. Leroy Kincaid Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4778129)
Red Sox radio guys seem flabbergasted that the A's gave up Cespedes. They've obsessed over how Oakland is scoring 1.5 or whatever runs less per game since the trade, as if it were solely due to losing one guy. Probably just trying to sell the trade to Sox fans.
   25. theboyqueen Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4778132)
Cespedes is only hitting .230/.237/.446 with the Red Sox, so I don't think he's the missing link.


From the above splits, the A's are .230/.305/.361 in August. So yeah some of that power would probably help.

The thing about Cespedes is he never really seems hot or cold; he just is what he is all the time. Moss, Donaldson, Reddick, Gomes -- these guys just can't do a damn thing at the plate for long stretches of time.
   26. theboyqueen Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4778133)
Probably just trying to sell the trade to Sox fans.


Are there any Sox fans that need selling of this trade? Cespedes for a couple months of Lester is a massive haul.
   27. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4778134)
The last 3 years the Oakland As are 231-134 (.633) when Cespedes started for them.

During that same span they have gone 29-49 (.372) when not starting Cespedes.
   28. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4778136)
Sanchez has had attitude problems from the day he signed, including being benched for five games earlier this month. He's undisciplined and lazy, and needlessly missing three games probably isn't a good thing for his career.

Although I'm sure his wife enjoyed him sitting next to her hospital bed 48 hours straight after the kid was born. That's what happened right?


I'm confused. I thought Trenton was a minor league team?
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 24, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4778145)
From the above splits, the A's are .230/.305/.361 in August. So yeah some of that power would probably help.


I submit that it's crazy to sacrifice 70 points of OBP for 100 points of SLG in today's game. The guys who have taken Cespedes' playing time have been mostly Sam Fuld and Stephen Vogt, who have both hit for similar OPSes to Cespedes, with much higher OBPs, over the last few weeks.

His absence has not been the problem.
   30. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 24, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4778174)
The decline in the production of the A's lineup started before the trade.
   31. Danny Posted: August 24, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4778176)
The A's have acquired Geovany Soto because they strangely needed a 4th catcher.

They also were awarded a waiver claim for Yunel Escobar, but the Rays can still pull him back.
   32. BDC Posted: August 24, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4778180)
Soto's just chronically hurt, I have no idea why a contending club would want him.

Weirdly enough, I have been to 12 or 13 Rangers games this year and except for one in April caught by Arencibia, I have only seen Robinson Chirinos catch for them. As far as I could tell Chirinos must be like Randy Hundley. I wasn't even aware that Soto had been activated, because I never see the guy.
   33. Danny Posted: August 24, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4778183)
Vogt has a bad foot, Norris has a bad back, and Jaso has a bad glove.

Soto is this year's Kurt Suzuki--which bodes well for a Soto comeback next year.
   34. Danny Posted: August 24, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4778212)
Sounds like Soto is taking Jaso's spot, and Jaso is headed to the concussion DL. Ugghh.
   35. SteveM. Posted: August 24, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4778252)
In the real world fathers take off more than just 3 days for the birth of their child.



What real world do you live in?


I took off a week for the birth of both my children. You do realize child birth takes a lot of the the mother and they need plenty of rest?
   36. The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4778256)
The guys who have taken Cespedes' playing time have been mostly Sam Fuld and Stephen Vogt, who have both hit for similar OPSes to Cespedes, with much higher OBPs, over the last few weeks.
Sam Fuld is not the kind of starting corner outfielder who pushes a contending team closer to the pennant. In fact, he does the exact opposite. And he even started against a lefty the other day, for cryin' out flayven.

Reddick's suckiness is less of a metaphysical certainty -- even after all these years, he's tough to gauge -- but overall, I would not want to put my right field life in his hands either.

I don't disagree that Cespedes isn't a superstar, and I also don't disagree that if Samardzija/Hammel were pitching better and/or if various hitters weren't slumping, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Nonetheless, I maintain that the A's two big moves taken in combination don't make sense, and that it's not Monday-morning quarterbacking to say it. They didn't need three starting pitchers. And as uninspiring as you might find Cespedes, they still didn't have any other decent options. They dealt from a weakness to bolster a strength.
   37. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4778285)
In this economy, I'm surprised they give mothers time off for newborns!
   38. Dale Sams Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4778294)
They dealt from a weakness to bolster a strength.


I think they led the league in runs when the trade was made.
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4778295)
They dont; the US is the only industrialized country with no mandated paid maternal leave.
   40. Dale Sams Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4778297)
Cespedes is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I have to say I'm stunned his numbers are that poor since the trade, he's seemed better than that.


He's the Anti-Nava.
   41. SG Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4778300)
I submit that it's crazy to sacrifice 70 points of OBP for 100 points of SLG in today's game.

In a very low run-scoring environment, the value of getting on base tends to be lower relative to the value of advancing runners than it usually is in a more typical run environment since it's more likely that the following batters will make outs. It also probably depends on the construction of your team, but there may be conditions where you do make such a trade.

I don't know whether today's game meets those conditions.
   42. vivaelpujols Posted: August 24, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4778314)
Harold Reynolds said he didn't like the trade because Cespedes gave the A's lineup swag.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4778329)
I don't know whether today's game meets those conditions.

I suspect there are no conditions where a 70/100 trade makes sense. The SLG/OBP multiplier, when Tango looked at it, was around 1.8 although his analysis might have been limited to the sillyball era. But it's hard to imagine it could drop as low as 1.4.

For 2014 A's, in OPS+ terms, 70 points of OBP is 22 points of OPS+; 100 points of SLG is 26 points ... so it's possible but only if the under-valuing of OBP in OPS+ is completely wiped out by this environment. That is, by Tango's multiplier, 15 points of OBP is worth about 27 points of SLG ... 22 points would be worth nearly 40.
   44. Select Storage Device Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4778340)
Harold Reynolds said he didn't like the trade because Cespedes gave the A's lineup swag.


Ah, I am giggling. Harold Reynolds: Arbiter of Swag.

Crisp's Kid & WTF cut was worth at least +5 SWAGSOR so this puts them back at swag-neutral for the season.
   45. The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4778365)
They also were awarded a waiver claim for Yunel Escobar, but the Rays can still pull him back.
Not sure what this is about:
"I am very concerned with Yunel having been selected on waivers by Oakland," Escobar's agent, Alex Esteban, told CBSSports.com on Sunday night. "While I believe Oakland is an excellent organization, I don't feel that it is the best organization for him."... "Yunel feels very comfortable with [Rays manager Joe] Maddon," Esteban said. "I think in today's stat-driven game we forget that players are people, and not numbers on a page. Before making a move on a player, clubs would be best served in assuring the player is compatible with their club. I'm not sure that has been done in this case."
   46. Select Storage Device Posted: August 25, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4778372)
No one has played "players are people" and "the numbers game" quite so extreme at each end than the Rays.

It's an eloquent thought. Much ado here -- Yunel ain't going anywhere and his agent knows it.
   47. Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: August 25, 2014 at 01:23 AM (#4778373)
I took two weeks off for the births of both of my daughters, and slept in the world's ****tiest chair in the world's loudest room for three days (both were C-sections), right next to my wife. I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's called loving your family.
   48. Ziggy Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4778397)
If I had to guess what that quote was about, I'd say that his agent is worried about Escobar's playing time. Lowrie is on the DL, so there's probably some playing time available, but Escobar has been below replacement level this year.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4778421)
We had a perfectly normal healthy kid, but it was a C-section for the first son, and my wife had trouble walking the next few days. I understand taking a week off to help you wife eat and get around.
   50. smileyy Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4778485)
I took 6 weeks off. I can't imagine saying "I wish I'd spent less time with my wife and newborn daughter."

Also, I'm pretty sure that 3 days of leave is in his contract. Does the press complain about his entitlement of having the gall to collect his paycheck too?
   51. AROM Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4778495)
I don't disagree that Cespedes isn't a superstar


Nice use of the triple negative, in only 8 words.

In this economy, I'm surprised they give mothers time off for newborns!


Economy would be improved if we gave mothers 5 years off for newborns. Considering the problem is not "how do we produce X,Y, and Z and we need all hands on deck to do it". Problem is how do we employ all these people in an increasingly automated world?
   52. AROM Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4778498)
The last 3 years the Oakland As are 231-134 (.633) when Cespedes started for them.

During that same span they have gone 29-49 (.372) when not starting Cespedes.


Amazing stat. His performance certainly can't explain it. For that to be real he'd have to be the most valuable unofficial coach ever to both pitchers and hitters. Though he certainly hasn't brought those skills to the Red Sox.
   53. Booey Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4778549)
It blows my mind that Miguel Cabrera might not even slug .500 this year.

That is all.
   54. villageidiom Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4778554)
We had a perfectly normal healthy kid, but it was a C-section for the first son, and my wife had trouble walking the next few days. I understand taking a week off to help you wife eat and get around.
Same with us, except it wasn't a C-section, and he was over 10 lbs.

Well, that, and my first son was our second child, and I helped take care of the 3-year-old girl so my wife could focus on the baby.
   55. jingoist Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4778579)
Great article in the September issue of the Atlantic magazine discussing the "Cesarean-Industrial Complex".

As US Cesarean births have increased 6 fold since the mid 1960's the maternal death rate initially dropped 300% by the mid-a980s then began to climb back up 100% over the past 30 years.

Even more striking, the study, by the American Journal of Obstetrics, notes; babies born via C-section versus vaginally have:
1. 22% higher risk of obesity;
2. double the risk of Celiac disease'
3. 20% higher risk of asthma and type 1 diabetes, and finally;
4. 800% higher risk of developing allergen sensitivity.

"Slipping through the microbe-rich birth canal might be a rite of passage for a baby's developing immune system."

Something to consider whenever your doctor wants your wife to get a C-section due to a scheduling conflict between her due date and his/her planned golf trip/vacation.
   56. Ziggy Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4778585)
If the reason is a golf outing, yeah, that's a problem. But the figures look like they sure could be the result of a selection effect; if you are having a C-section, there's probably something wrong somewhere, and whatever is going wrong that makes the C-section advisable may also be causing those problems. (Of course I don't know that it is, but the implied causal claim in #55 seems... forgive me... premature.)
   57. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4778588)
It blows my mind that Miguel Cabrera might not even slug .500 this year.

That is all.


He got his contract, he stopped taking steroids.

KIDDING.
   58. GregD Posted: August 25, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4778708)
Ziggy, I agree that comparing c-section babies to other babies has a big selection bias problem. There are studies that try to control and to weed out infants with other problems and problematic pregnancies. But no study can control for every variable.

If you're interested, the really intriguing data is on the US compared to other countries. Our C-section rates are not just growing relative to the past but--in dramatic terms--relative to comparable nations. And our outcomes are generally getting worse relative to those comparable nations. That doesn't of course mean that C-sections are the cause of us falling behind--we are behind on most measures of maternal and infant heallth--but it does suggest at least the possibility that non-medical factors are at play in our increase, since clinicians elsewhere don't follow the US model and do very well.

The factors include:
1) relative payments of insurance reimbursements
2) a preference for scheduling on the mother's part
3) a spillover effect where having a first C-section makes you hugely more likely to require one on future deliveries
4) the way that painkillers are used in the US that makes C-sections more likely
5) hospital policies that seem to nudge toward C-sections

I would put golf games down the list of reasons since most OBs work in groups and split up call, so they aren't inherently going to be called off the course when a particular patient goes into labor. And my sense is that many OBs are working all through the afternoons in part to make up for increased malpractice insurance for OBs.

Some pregnancies undoubtedly should be in C-section. It's clearly a life saver for both mother and baby. Some pregnancies are close calls. Some have no medical reason to be a C-section. The question is whether the US system is nudging all the close calls and some of the no-ways into C-sections in a way that doesn't help--and actualyl does seem to hurt--the mother and the baby.
   59. Danny Posted: August 25, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4778723)
And as uninspiring as you might find Cespedes, they still didn't have any other decent options. They dealt from a weakness to bolster a strength.

They have Moss/Gomes in LF, Crisp/Fuld in CF, and Reddick/Gentry in RF (and Vogt/Freiman at 1B). Outfield depth isn't really a problem.

The bigger problem was the middle infield, which is now in much worse shape with Lowrie and Punto the DL. A starting infield that includes Callaspo, Parrino, and Sogard (which is what they fielded yesterday) isn't going to cut it.
   60. alilisd Posted: August 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4778728)
Whenever I read people writing about Yoenis Cespedes, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Am I the only one who has noticed that he's not very good?


This seems like a pretty extreme view. He had a fine "rookie" season at 3.9 WAR, 139 OPS+, and 16 of 20 SB. He had a poor second season, but also suffered some injuries, IIRC. This year his bat is not as impressive as 2012, and he's not running much, but DRS has him at +12, so he's been good for 3.8 WAR so far. That's pretty good, at least, I'd be inclined to go with very good. :-)
   61. theboyqueen Posted: August 25, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4778744)
This seems like a pretty extreme view.
.

It's a wrong view. To believe that Cespedes isn't very good is really to believe that OBP is the only stat that matters. Cespedes is good to excellent at everything else.
   62. theboyqueen Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4778753)
As a physician who does obstetrics I can say that c-section rates vary widely from one setting to another in ways that cannot be explained by medical factors alone. In our small region we have hospitals with rates ranging from about 15% to close to 40& and they serve essentially the same patient population. There is no evidence that outcomes for either mom or baby are better in the facilities with higher c-section rates (and when one looks at breastfeeding rates, recovery time, and surgical complications there is plenty of evidence the outcomes are worse). Most good evidence suggests a c-section rate much greater than about 12% is not defensible, however nobody can agree on which of the remaining 20% are unneccessary.

It's mainly defensive medicine that in the end harms women primarily. I am not aware that anybody has ever been sued for an unneccessary c-section but plenty have been sued (and lost) for vaginal deliveries with bad outcomes where the begged question that a c-section would have prevented such outcome is accepted (for whatever reason).
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4778767)
Cespedes is good to excellent at everything else.

That's an overbid too.

His value is all over the place. He's had one excellent hitting year, and two mediocre ones. He's had one bad fielding season, and two good ones.

Per B-Ref he's been worth 8.6 WAR in his MLB career. Per Fangraphs he's a t 7.9.

That's a good solid regular, but not a star.
   64. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4778785)
A year and two months of Cespedes for two months of Lester, especially given that the Sox have plenty of prospects at the upper levels of the system they have to sort through, and given that Boston hopes to be competitive in 2015, is a fine return. I have not heard many Red Sox fans that are upset with the return for Lester (or Lackey, or Miller, or Peavy, or etc.) over the past month.

Cespedes is an power-hitting outfielder, one of the two places the minor-league system is not positioned to help in the near future (first base is the other position). He is not a franchise player...or else the A's would never have traded him. But he is an above-average player with skills the Red Sox lack, and he is affordable. He is also fun to watch.

The Red Sox did this trade deadline the right way. They blew it up, and got much more than I expected, on balance, for what they traded. They also did it creatively, putting them in a position to compete in 2015, while making 2014 interesting to watch for the fans. Just because Cespedes isn't Mike Trout doesn't mean he isn't a good player!
   65. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4778794)
Cespedes is good to excellent at everything else.


This isn't true. He has two tools: power, and arm. His range is only okay, in an easy field. He doesn't hit for average. He doesn't stay healthy.

"Isn't very good" is a fairly mild form of condemnation. And he's not.
   66. Poster Nutbag Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4778804)
This isn't true. He has two tools: power, and arm. His range is only okay, in an easy field. He doesn't hit for average. He doesn't stay healthy.


This about nails it. His Power and Arm are off the charts at times, for sure. He's streaky with that power though, and the rest of the package ranges from (maybe) Average to Above-Average. He's taken horrible routes to balls at times, fumbled balls around in the OF, goes through spells of swinging wildly at everything even near the zone and often chases some really bad pitches. He's a fine player, no doubt. Not a Superstar though. I'd take, say, Alex Gordon (just off the top of my head, without looking at WAR or anything else) over him any day.

I say all this as a big fan of Cespedes. His was the first A's jersey I bought with a name on it in a few seasons.
   67. villageidiom Posted: August 25, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4778958)
He's taken horrible routes to balls at times, fumbled balls around in the OF, goes through spells of swinging wildly at everything even near the zone and often chases some really bad pitches.
The Sunday Astros/Red Sox game I went to featured a fly ball to left that landed at the base of the wall. For the first couple seconds after the ball was hit Cespedes behaved like someone who was completely unaware there was a baseball game going on, let alone that he was in it. He just stood there.

He turned an easy flyout into a hit. It was an all-around infuriating day for Red Sox fans, and that was just one part of it. But it was a pretty big part.
   68. Walt Davis Posted: August 25, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4778961)
Ahhh ..."isn't very good"

Taken literally it contains the possibility of "good, just not very good."

But the modern American brain parses that as "not good" and possibly even "bad".

Also, "Cespedes is good return for Lester" and "Cespedes is not a star" are not mutually exclusive. But "A's 97 games over with Cespedes in the lineup, 20 games under without" and "Cespedes is not a star" are ... well obviously not mutually exclusive but a hard one to reconcile.
   69. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 25, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4778962)
Adding to #67's comment, in Sunday's loss to Seattle, it was a one-run game in the top of the 9th inning, and Ackley was able to score from first on a wall ball because Cespedes couldn't have played the wall ball worse if he tried. He backs up to the wall, clearly is not going to be able to catch it, then turns really late to try to get the carom, and it goes over his head. Luckily, Betts is behind him to track it down as it bounces toward the infield, but everybody in the park knew it was going off the wall except for Cespedes. If you play that correctly, Ackley definitely stays at third, and it might be one of those "doubles-oops-singles", especially with Cespedes' arm. Maybe that just takes getting used to the wall...maybe. It was not impressive.

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