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Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Baseball Show with Rany and Joe - 3/5/13

After a few months’ layoff, a new episode.  Subjects:

- Hall of Fame: Shockingly, neither Rany Jazayerli nor Joe Sheehan supports Jack Morris’ candidacy.  They both agree that the PED pile-up has rendered the HOF impossible to predict, and that it’d be nice if the Hall elected some living people.  Joe suggests that no one whose career ended before 1969 should be eligible for election.  (“Michael Bourn, if you just magically transported him back to the 1955 Phillies, would be like a super-pumped Richie Ashburn.  He would be one of the best players in baseball.”)

- Yankees: The two discuss the Yanks’ luxury tap maneuverings and the team’s near-term future.  They agree that the effort to “reset” the luxury tax makes sense, but (even prior to the Mark Teixeira injury) that the team could be ugly this year.  Rany points out that the 2014 Yankees will be spending $77 million of the $189 million soft cap on a non-overwhelming core of Tex/A-Rod/Sabathia/Ichiro, and have a lot more spots to fill.  Yankee fan Joe hopes that, if the 2013 team is indeed going to end up bad, it falls out of the race early, making it plausible to “sell.”

- World Baseball Classic: Joe is a convert to the WBC cause.  Both agree that, regardless of the WBC’s appeal in America (or the success of the U.S. team), the value of the tournament is that it’s a long-term attempt to increase the international appeal of the sport.  Joe suggests that the WBC finals be held in July instead of the All-Star Game.

- Fantasy sleepers: Rany nominates Carl Crawford.  Joe is obnoxious about it.  Joe nominates Rick Porcello and Eric Hosmer.

The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2013 at 08:53 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe sheehan, podcasts, rany jazayerli, sabermetrics

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   1. Shock Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:19 AM (#4383786)
asdadsasdasd
   2. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4383871)
(“Michael Bourn, if you just magically transported him back to the 1955 Phillies, would be like a super-pumped Richie Ashburn.  He would be one of the best players in baseball.”)


This line of reasoning *really* bothers me. I don't doubt for a second that replacement level athleticism is significantly better, but Albert Pujols has basically the same reflexes as Babe Ruth.
   3. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4384039)
This line of reasoning *really* bothers me. I don't doubt for a second that replacement level athleticism is significantly better, but Albert Pujols has basically the same reflexes as Babe Ruth.


But doesn't that suggest that Pujols would have performed at Ruth's levels if he played in Ruth's time? Pujols is good and all, but no one is claiming he is the best athlete ever like they have for Ruth.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 08, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4384048)
Tex/A-Rod/Sabathia/Ichiro


What a random grouping of players. It's neither the highest paid, nor the bad contracts.
   5. cmd600 Posted: March 08, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4384049)

This line of reasoning *really* bothers me. I don't doubt for a second that replacement level athleticism is significantly better, but Albert Pujols has basically the same reflexes as Babe Ruth.


So the best player today would be the equal of probably the best player ever? Doesn't that prove Sheehan's point? If replacement level is higher, and some guy is four or five wins better than that, isn't he something like seven or eight better than a significantly worse replacement level?

Edit: coke to jacksone
   6. The District Attorney Posted: March 08, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4384103)
Tex/A-Rod/Sabathia/Ichiro

What a random grouping of players. It's neither the highest paid, nor the bad contracts.
Well, those literally are the only post-arbitration players they have under contract for 2014. So the current '14 team is those four, plus the few pre-free agency established players they do have (Gardner, Nunez, Pineda, Phelps, Nova, Robertson, the spectacular catching combo...), plus anyone currently in the farm system.

Re: Michael Bourn in 1955: The answer to the hypothetical is irrelevant to the Hall of Fame. I do agree that a higher percentage of deserving pre-1969 players have been elected compared to the percentage of deserving post-1969 players that have been. And, needless to say, I do hope that some of the 15 or so deserving candidates on the upcoming ballot get in. But I don't think a blanket ban on older players is either fair, or would accomplish much. And if I did, it certainly wouldn't be because modern athletes are better. They are better, but that is not the point of the Hall of Fame, which honors the best players of each era.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: March 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4384595)
Ashburn is an odd one to raise in that context -- he had to wait for a VC selection in 1995, 33 years after he stopped playing. Sometime around 2010 we can start whining that some post-69 guy got screwed by the VC. Ashburn is also an odd one to raise because he's got 60 WAR, including 54 oWAR. That's a pretty strong case for deserving the HoF -- he's easily one of the VC's best selections and one of the best players excluded by the BBWAA. Ashburn is pretty much exactly the type of player the VC is supposed to be putting in (or at least coming close to putting in).

But I agree that it's time to kill off some of the VC's. Everybody pre-WW2 has has been picked over for 70 years now. Decide already. If you want, do the same thing as was done with the Negro Leagues and have one final "put em in or live with it" election. Other than Joe and his Super Friends (who had incentive to not elect people), VC's will justify their existence by electing people.

Bourn -- Ashburn is far from a perfect comp. I'm not sure what hey mean by "pumped up" -- Bourn's ISO through age 29 is only 10 points higher than Ashburn's. Meanwhile Ashburn wipes him on BA and OBP. And is replacement level really so much higher that Bourn would have twice his career WAR already? Because that's what he'd need to match Ashburn. Anyway ...

Bourn 26-29: 280/348/378, 12 oWAR, 19 WAR
Ashburn 26-29: 320/416/403, 19 oWAR, 24 WAR

OK, I suppose that's not too extreme -- replacement level is about 2 wins per year higher. So Willie Mays would be only a 110 WAR player today. He might have been pretty good, who knew? :-) That's actually not unreasonable -- Mays = ARod. Aaron somewhere between Chipper and Pujols (projected), Robinson = Edgar, Musial = Chipper, Beltre = Ott and closing in on Schmidt.

Say what?
   8. The District Attorney Posted: March 10, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4385457)
Say what?
Say hey!

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