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Monday, February 25, 2013

Wilt: ESPN The Magazine Cover: “The Orioles Will Finish Last”

ESPN Magazine is sports reporting the way it O!ughtn’t be!

And you wonder why Orioles fans hate the advanced stats folks? Well, here’s why.

In their most recent edition, dubbed the “Analytics Issue”, ESPN The Magazine boldy claims that “the Orioles will finish last” on their March cover. Of course, they’re using the same logic printed by the same folks that kept saying the O’s would fall back to earth through their 162 game lucky run last season.

This year’s prediction comes from the same writers that said the Orioles wouldn’t win more than 70 games last season and defended that argument with a clearly flawed run differential statistic.

You know, every city whines about how the national media dislikes their team. But how many cities have their team ripped on the cover of ESPN The Magazine the year after they won 93 freaking games?

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2013 at 01:36 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles, sabermetrics

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4375690)
Kind of a dick move. Almost every system is going to project the Orioles to finish 5th, so it's not like it's a startling proclamation.
   2. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4375696)
I was imagining a full-page photo of the Orioles' stars grinning at the camera with the headline "The Orioles Will Finish Last". Maybe a conscious emulation of the classic SI Indians prediction. But it's just one sentence amid a bunch of other sentences.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4375698)
Wah. I'm sure ESPN the Magazine is looking to spite the city of Baltimore for no good reason, and isn't using any kind of logic or rationale behind their argument.
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4375703)
Wow. I'm with Crispix, it's not like that line is the focus of the cover or anything close to it.
   5. SG Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4375709)
Do they think that the "advanced stats folks" make adjustments to their models out of spite because they hate the Orioles? Do they realize that the numbers used for this were mostly like ZiPS projections that were created by an Orioles fan?
   6. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4375711)
Do they think that the "advanced stats folks" make adjustments to their models out of spite because they hate the Orioles?

The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012. They entirely resent the fact that the results of actual baseball games trump sabermetrics' pythagorean relationship, and resent the excitement people feel over the results of actual baseball games.
   7. Gamingboy Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4375712)
I presume this was written by the mirror-universe version of Keith Law.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4375714)
Obviously ESPN isn't "conspiring" against anyone, but I still want to see how the hell the Yankees are going to replace Swisher, A-Rod, Granderson, Martin and Soriano, and how Jeter's going to replicate 2012 when he's coming off major surgery. Just because a team's been strong for the last 19 years doesn't been it's some sort of a perpetual motion machine.
   9. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4375716)
The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012. They entirely resent the fact that the results of actual baseball games trump sabermetrics' pythagorean relationship, and resent the excitement people feel over the results of actual baseball games.

You really need to get out of the house more. Talk a nice walk or something. Sheesh.

The 2013 Orioles are entirely unlike to replicate the 2012 Orioles' ridiculous records in both extra inning and 1 run games, which means that they are extremely likely to regress like crazy this year. Pointing that out does not mean that either O's fans should not have enjoyed last year nor that the one pointing that out hates baseball and apple pie and butterflies. Well, maybe butterflies.
   10. escabeche Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4375717)
The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012.


No, they, by which I mean we, don't. I love the Orioles and think they're really no longer a bad team, but they're also not really a GOOD team, and I think a just-OK team could easily finish last in the 2013 AL East.

But if they won 90 again? I'd love every second of it, just like I did last year. All the more so because, thanks to my knowledge of math, I understand that I have no right to expect it.
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4375718)
The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012. They entirely resent the fact that the results of actual baseball games trump sabermetrics' pythagorean relationship, and resent the excitement people feel over the results of actual baseball games.

The best test for that will be when the Red Sox overachieve their projections by as much as the Orioles did last year.

I do think that what really galls lots of stereotyped statheads is the emphasis placed by fans and the MSM on the results of the postseason. It's an understandable reaction by the statheads, or by fans of teams like the 01 Mariners, but there are times when it just comes off as sour grapes and pettiness.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4375720)
but I still want to see how the hell the Yankees are going to replace Swisher, A-Rod, Granderson, Martin and Soriano


They replaced A-Rod with Youk, and Soriano with Rivera. The other spots.... not so much.
   13. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4375722)
Why would you hate somebody for making a prediction?
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4375723)
Any complaint from O's fans isn't with the advanced stats guys, as the author suggests, but with ESPN the Mag for making that the pullout for the cover of its issue. Yes, it's only one line, but it's intent is to provoke just the reaction it got from this fella.

That said, I'd bet against the O's finishing last this year.
   15. AROM Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4375724)
This year’s prediction comes from the same writers that said the Orioles wouldn’t win more than 70 games last season and defended that argument with a clearly flawed run differential statistic.


So clearly flawed that the same prediction was on the money each of the previous 14 seasons.
   16. SG Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4375729)
They replaced A-Rod with Youk, and Soriano with Rivera. The other spots.... not so much.


Well, in theory they should get more Gardner who will help replace Swisher somewhat even if the shape of his value is different and perhaps less quantifiable.

   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4375731)
but I still want to see how the hell the Yankees are going to replace Swisher, A-Rod, Granderson, Martin and Soriano

They replaced A-Rod with Youk, and Soriano with Rivera. The other spots.... not so much.


Youk is coming off a 99 OPS+ season where he slumped badly in September/October. He's young enough and could wind up being a steal, but he's no A-Rod, not even the 2012 112 OPS+ version.

Mo is Mo, but Mo's also 43 and also coming off major surgery. Soriano put up a 185 ERA+ last year, and if Mo matches that this time around it'll be the most impressive year he'll ever have had.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4375733)
in theory they should get more Gardner who will help replace Swisher somewhat even if the shape of his value is different and perhaps less quantifiable.

My worry about Gardner isn't his value when he's healthy, since his fielding and baserunning bring a lot to the table. My worry about Gardner is that one awkward swing and he could be right back on the DL. But maybe I've just been thinking too much about Nick Johnson.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4375734)

but I still want to see how the hell the Yankees are going to replace Swisher, A-Rod, Granderson, Martin and Soriano


Well the Yanks had a pythag of 95-67, while the O's had a pythag of 82-80, so presumably the Yanks have further to fall for one.

Swapping Youk for A-Rod isn't much of a drop off. Granderson is only out til May. Martin was only a 1.5 WAR player last year, so while that's a drop off, its not a huge one. Soriano is being replaced by Mo, and we'll see how his responds at age 42 or whatever. Also Gardner and Hafner replace Ibanez and Chavez FWIW.

I like the Yanks pitching staff a lot better than the O's. The O's has more upside, but they're a lot less reliable. There's also the possibility the O's awesome bullpen won't be quite as good as last year.

"Last place" also probably sounds worse than it will be. I think the AL East could be squished together with the last place team no more than 15 games behind the first place team.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4375738)
Swapping Youk for A-Rod isn't much of a drop off. Granderson is only out til May. Martin was only a 1.5 WAR player last year, so while that's a drop off, its not a huge one. Soriano is being replaced by Mo, and we'll see how his responds at age 42 or whatever. Also Gardner and Hafner replace Ibanez and Chavez FWIW.

For me the bottom line with the Yanks is that I've never seen so many "ifs" that are all attached to players on the downside of their careers. It's not just three or four players who'll have to reverse the aging process to maintain their previous productivity, it's more like about 80% of the roster.

I like the Yanks pitching staff a lot better than the O's. The O's has more upside, but they're a lot less reliable. There's also the possibility the O's awesome bullpen won't be quite as good as last year.

Again, just look at the ages of those two staffs and ask yourself which one is more likely to break down as the season wears on. I hope I'm wrong, but if the Yanks are still in serious contention in mid-August I'll be shocked and surprised as I haven't been since the days of the '89 O's.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4375739)
Obviously ESPN isn't "conspiring" against anyone, but I still want to see how the hell the Yankees are going to replace Swisher, A-Rod, Granderson, Martin and Soriano, and how Jeter's going to replicate 2012 when he's coming off major surgery.


The Yanks are kind of a mess at catcher, and I don't think Ichiro will replace Swisher's production, but the other three you mentioned have replacement in players who weren't on the team last year:

ARod --> Youkilis
Granderson --> Gardner
Soriano ---> Rivera

   22. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4375740)
It's not just three or four players who'll have to reverse the aging process to maintain their previous productivity, it's more like about 80% of the roster.

Fortunately, that's not a problem for the Yankees.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4375742)
So clearly flawed that the same prediction was on the money each of the previous 14 seasons.

So seven percent of the time it's off by Black Swan magnitudes?

In Vegas or the financial markets, that's an excellent recipe for ruin.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4375743)
For me the bottom line with the Yanks is that I've never seen so many "ifs" that are all attached to players on the downside of their careers. It's not just three or four players who'll have to reverse the aging process to maintain their previous productivity, it's more like about 80% of the roster.


Hasn't this been the case for the last 15 years? The Yankees have been an old team for so long that I've stopped predicting age would catch up to them. They've had a magic wand.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4375744)
I hope I'm wrong, but if the Yanks are still in serious contention in mid-August I'll be shocked and surprised as I haven't been since the days of the '89 O's


I don't think they'll be in serious contention at all, I just think the O's are the worst team in that division. The Yanks are probably only a few games better, but I do think they are better.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4375748)
"Last place" also probably sounds worse than it will be. I think the AL East could be squished together with the last place team no more than 15 games behind the first place team.


This several times over. 77 wins could wins up being last place in this division while 90 could win it.
   27. Squash Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4375751)
So seven percent of the time it's off by Black Swan magnitudes?

In Vegas or the financial markets, that's an excellent recipe for ruin.


Actually in Vegas or the stock market, if you're only off by Black Swan magnitudes 7% of the time you're a fricking genius, and every single person in the world would pay you any amount of money you asked for your secrets.
   28. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4375754)
Wait, Kevin Youkilis is on the Yankees? What the ####?
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4375756)
I think the Orioles are an 84-86 win team, but that means they could easily win 75 or 95. And every other team in the division is in a similar place. The blue jays are probably the best team on paper, but 75 wins for them wouldn't be any more surprising than 100.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4375757)
For me the bottom line with the Yanks is that I've never seen so many "ifs" that are all attached to players on the downside of their careers. It's not just three or four players who'll have to reverse the aging process to maintain their previous productivity, it's more like about 80% of the roster.

Hasn't this been the case for the last 15 years? The Yankees have been an old team for so long that I've stopped predicting age would catch up to them. They've had a magic wand.


If this were just a case of A-Rod continuing his downward trend from 2009 through 2012, or Teixeira gradually winding down semi-gracefully, it wouldn't bother me much. But in all those years you're mentioning I've never seen a roster that's been (a) so depleted by attrition, injury and age; and (b) so completely UN-replaced with A-level players, either from free agency, trades or the farm system.

To be blunt, the Yankees' offseason strategy this year has been pretty much like that of a small market team whose main investment has been in a few truckloads of rabbits' feet and rosary beads. That's harsh, but where are the facts that contradict it?
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4375759)
Youk is .... no A-Rod, not even the 2012 112 OPS+ version.


Actually, I think A-Rod's 2012 production sounds eminently plausible for Youkilis (120 games of .355/.430 OBP/SLG). FWIW, the projection systems have him at around that level, too.
   32. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4375762)
The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012. They entirely resent the fact that the results of actual baseball games trump sabermetrics' pythagorean relationship, and resent the excitement people feel over the results of actual baseball games.

Oh come on, even you must know that this is a straw man.

I read plenty of saber articles re: the Orioles last year, and not once did I see an example of this. You dislike saber analysis either generally or in this specific case? Fine, but my personal take is that whenever someone has to start demonizing to make his or her point, someone is probably lacking in actual, substantive reasoning.
So seven percent of the time it's off by Black Swan magnitudes?

In Vegas or the financial markets, that's an excellent recipe for ruin.

Even if that's true (and it isn't), this isn't Vegas or the financial markets. It's sports, and I'm reasonably certain that most (if not all) sabermetric types understand the nature of random variance -- in fact, they shout about it from the rooftops every time some nitwit broadcaster suggests pinch hitting for some guy who's lifetime 1 for 7 against some pitcher.
   33. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4375764)
The Orioles made a shitload of in-season roster changes last year, and I'd expect them to do the same again. That might not help a club beat their projections, but I think it does make them more likely to vary from the projection in one direction or the other.
   34. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4375769)
Actually in Vegas or the stock market, if you're only off by Black Swan magnitudes 7% of the time you're a fricking genius, and every single person in the world would pay you any amount of money you asked for your secrets.

So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?
   35. cmd600 Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4375772)
So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?


Reading the twisted analogies and illogical leaps you have to make is, and always will be, hilarious.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4375775)

So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?


That's how Vegas and the stock market work? Jeesh, I've been doing it wrong.
   37. Randy Jones Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4375776)
That's a pretty poor Backlasher impression you have going on lately, SBB. Give it up.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4375777)

The Orioles made a shitload of in-season roster changes last year, and I'd expect them to do the same again. That might not help a club beat their projections, but I think it does make them more likely to vary from the projection in one direction or the other.


I'm really surprised they weren't really aggressive this winter. They won 93 games with a team full of question marks and holes. Seems like they could've found some bargains out there without having to sacrifice the future much. I'd feel a lot better about the O's if they had Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn in LF instead of Nate McLouth, and if they had Brandon McCarthy or Edwin Jackson or even Shaun Marcum in their rotation instead of Jair Jurrjens.
   39. Sonic Youk Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4375782)
I'm going to make a wild guess that Vegas' opinion of the 2012 Orioles was pretty much the same as the sabermetric opinion.
   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4375784)
I'm going to make a wild guess that Vegas' opinion of the 2012 Orioles was pretty much the same as the sabermetric opinion.


Hell, it was the same opinion EVERYBODY had. It's not like there was this big pre-season dispute about the Orioles, they were going to finish last. Stat guys, scout guys, gambling guys, fans, writers, broadcasters...there was a pretty good consensus on what the 2012 Orioles would be. The consensus was wrong but that doesn't mean it didn't exist.
   41. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4375799)
Worth pointing out that a projection system projecting you ro finish last, does not necessarily even mean it thinks you are likely to finish last. All 4 other teams in the ALE have non-trivial odds of finishing last this season.

The best test for that will be when the Red Sox overachieve their projections by as much as the Orioles did last year.

Sweeeeeeet. Pencils in Sox for 110 wins.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4375801)
I think I'm going to start using the great transition from Vegas/Stock Market to pointing a loaded gun at yourself. For example:

Me: So-and-so team was terrible at extra innings games last year?
BBTFer: What? They were 10-1 in extras last year.
Me: So if I give you a gun with 11 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?
   43. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4375803)
I'm going to make a wild guess that Vegas' opinion of the 2012 Orioles was pretty much the same as the sabermetric opinion.

Vegas had them at 69.5.
   44. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4375806)
So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?

No, but then the amount of risk I'm willing to accept regarding, say, my life is rather different than the risk I'll accept over, say, investments, which is different still from the amount of risk I'm willing to accept from baseball analysis.

But hey, don't let me ruin your...whatever the hell it is you're doing, here.
   45. Sonic Youk Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4375815)

Vegas had them at 69.5.
hmm, surely they must be financially ruined then.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4375816)
Sweeeeeeet. Pencils in Sox for 110 wins.


So if I give you a gun with 162 chambers and 52 have bullets, you're comfortable putting it to your head?
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4375818)
I'm going to make a wild guess that Vegas' opinion of the 2012 Orioles was pretty much the same as the sabermetric opinion.



Hell, it was the same opinion EVERYBODY had. It's not like there was this big pre-season dispute about the Orioles, they were going to finish last. Stat guys, scout guys, gambling guys, fans, writers, broadcasters...there was a pretty good consensus on what the 2012 Orioles would be. The consensus was wrong but that doesn't mean it didn't exist.


In fairness to the backlash, the divergence in opinion in question was about the Orioles after they won a bunch of games.
   48. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4375824)
So if I give you a gun with 162 chambers and 52 have bullets, you're comfortable putting it to your head?


I suppose the thing would be bigger than a Gatling gun.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4375827)
... or use mini-bullets
   50. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4375836)
So if I give you a gun with 162 chambers and 52 have bullets, you're comfortable putting it to your head?

I'm a Cub fan so ... yeah.
   51. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4375847)
Wah. I'm sure ESPN the Magazine is looking to spite the city of Baltimore for no good reason, and isn't using any kind of logic or rationale behind their argument.


Indeed. The other headlines on the cover: "Stephen Curry is the NBA's greatest shooter ever" and "Andrew Luck has better legs than RG3"
   52. AROM Posted: February 25, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4375855)
So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?


You're just being silly. Using the same analogy, betting on the Orioles to make the playoffs over the last 15 years would be the equivalent of putting a gun with 15 chambers and 14 bullets to your head.
   53. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4375894)
The advanced stats folks may not hate the Orioles, but they hate stories like the Orioles and results like the Orioles put up in 2012. They entirely resent the fact that the results of actual baseball games trump sabermetrics' pythagorean relationship, and resent the excitement people feel over the results of actual baseball games.

As someone who considers himself an advanced stat folk (and has posted a statistical article here), and who spent last season posting lengthy daily writeups of the preceding day's most exciting baseball game in the Dugout thread (many of which prominently featured the Orioles)... I think you may be painting with a rather broad brush here.

Also, I know better than to touch the trigger of a gun that I'm aiming at my own head.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4375895)
You're just being silly. Using the same analogy, betting on the Orioles to make the playoffs over the last 15 years would be the equivalent of putting a gun with 15 chambers and 14 bullets to your head.

Well, what the hell do you think Orioles' fans have felt like for 14 out of the last 15 years?
   55. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4375900)
... or use mini-bullets


That would look just too cute for words.
   56. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 25, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4375918)
Also, I know better than to touch the trigger of a gun that I'm aiming at my own head.

And I know better than to aim a damn gun at my own head in the first place.
   57. Curse of the Andino Posted: February 25, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4375954)
I'd feel a lot better about the O's if they had Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn in LF instead of Nate McLouth, and if they had Brandon McCarthy or Edwin Jackson or even Shaun Marcum in their rotation instead of Jair Jurrjens.


McLouth is the 4th OF, if Reimold's healthy (big if. Huge if.) Rotation is Arietta, Chen, Hammel, probably Gonzales, and then 10 guys competing to hold the fifth slot until Dylan Bundy's midseason call-up. Duquette loves himself some pitching depth, but didn't want to give BMac $10 million (not that I wouldn't enjoy in-game interviews with Mrs. McCarthy on a regular basis).

Baltimore's biggest question (aside from the health of Reimold) is at 2b, where Roberts? Really? But even there, Schoop might be ready for a midseason call-up. I agree the O's are probably an 85-win-ish team, and could do better if Machado really improves at 3rd, or worse if Reimold and Markakis go down again.

Figure the bullpen will regress, but the starters will be better than last year, so pitching overall should stay about the same. Also, the O's are a good-to-excellent defensive team, and I don't think you can say that about the Yankees or Red Sox quite as easily.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: February 25, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4376004)

I love the 2013 AL East.
I don't like the Red Sox or the Orioles and maybe not the Yankees, either, but the possibility of the Blue Jays winning and a NYY/BOS team OR the 2012 BAL playoff team finishing last is intriguing.

When is the last time this might have been the most interesting division top to bottom?

   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4376009)
Mo is Mo, but Mo's also 43 and also coming off major surgery. Soriano put up a 185 ERA+ last year, and if Mo matches that this time around it'll be the most impressive year he'll ever have had.

In Rivera We Trust. No worries.
   60. McCoy Posted: February 25, 2013 at 09:32 PM (#4376014)
So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?

Single greatest poorly thought out example in the history of BTF. This phrase should have its own page on our wiki.
   61. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4376016)
Again, just look at the ages of those two staffs . . .

This was covered the other day:
The Yankees have been old always. And they have won always. They will win long after you are old and I am gone.

What kind of person doubts Bill James and Ernest Hemingway?

To get back to the Orioles, I won't be surprised to see them finish ahead of the Red Sox.
   62. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: February 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4376031)
I think random draw would work as well as a projection system in the AL East this year. Hell, the only bets among all 30 teams that I'd make this season are the Astros finishing last in the AL West and the Phillies finishing 3rd in the NL East.
   63. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4376043)
and Ernest Hemingway?


Speaking of people who put guns in the vicinity of their heads & didn't have much more to say after that.
   64. Curse of the Andino Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4376052)
Speaking of people who put guns in the vicinity of their heads & didn't have much more to say after that.


Too soon.
   65. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4376070)
Would Kyle Lohse help out the Orioles? I guess they don't want to sign because of the draft pick but I think it'd be a decent pickup for them.

The Orioles run-differential was a lot better as the season progressed, FWIW.
   66. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4376075)
I don't know *everyone* that works for the magazine, but I don't know of any committed O's haters there.
   67. donlock Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:21 AM (#4376104)
ESPN says the Orioles will finish last and in response, this turns into a Yankees thread. Argh!!!!
   68. RollingWave Posted: February 26, 2013 at 04:00 AM (#4376122)
Someone's gotta finish last this year, the AL East is really becoming insane, it's a division with no bad teams , I can easily see any of the 5 team finish in any order (though obviously some more likely than others.) .

Of course the Yankees' probably going to be their worst since 08 or even 00, and the Red Sox isn't exactly looking that much better, so the other O's Jays better make good of this window of opportunity (though with the contract situation of those two, that window may be pretty wide.)

   69. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:52 AM (#4376129)
I've been to Hemingway's house in Key West and spoken to the six-toed cats who live there. They inform me that Hemingway was a drunk and they actually wrote all those books. Meow.
   70. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4376146)
So if I give you a gun with 15 chambers and one has a bullet, you're comfortable putting it to your head?

Has anyone noticed that SBB has been absent from the thread since he posted this? You don't think...?
   71. SG Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4376168)
ESPN says the Orioles will finish last and in response, this turns into a Yankees thread. Argh!!!!


# of times the word Orioles appears in this thread: 59
# of times the word Yankees appears in this thread: 19
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4376212)
Dan, is the front-page line on the magazine even accurate? Are the Orioles predicted to finish last, or are they just the most likely team to finish last among the five in the AL East? If they're not better than a 50 percent chance to finish last, then "will finish last" is not correct (not that statheads would be to blame).

   73. TerpNats Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4376267)
To be blunt, the Yankees' offseason strategy this year has been pretty much like that of a small market team whose main investment has been in a few truckloads of rabbits' feet and rosary beads. That's harsh, but where are the facts that contradict it?
It's short-term pain for long-term gain. If the Yankees can avoid the financial penalty now, that can pay off later when the revised CBA changes the financial rules of the game. I think even if George Steinbrenner were still with us, he would see the value of what Cashman is doing. I believe just about any GM in the game -- Rizzo, Daniels, Wren, Coletti, Hoyer -- would do likewise were they in that situation.
   74. jdennis Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4376333)
run differential: luck or coaching?
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4376339)
run differential: luck or coaching?


Mostly luck, with perhaps a little bit of talent distribution factored in (such as a front-loaded bullpen, one that's equally good at preserving narrow leads and turning small deficits into large ones).

   76. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4376342)
Speaking of people who put guns in the vicinity of their heads & didn't have much more to say after that.


He was just betting on his statistical age projection like they do in Vegas and Wall Street.
   77. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4376354)
BPro has them last in the ALEast, 13th overall in the AL, 26th in MLB.
RLYW has them last in the ALEast, 12th in the AL, 23rd in MLB

Anyone see Brian Roberts smack 2 doubles yesterday?
   78. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4376367)
Single greatest poorly thought out example in the history of BTF.

The weakness of a model with a 7% risk of ruin wasn't really coming across, so it seemed apt to use a zesty example.

For all the veinpopping handwringing around here, you'd think I said the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth or something.
   79. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4376388)
Dan, is the front-page line on the magazine even accurate? Are the Orioles predicted to finish last, or are they just the most likely team to finish last among the five in the AL East? If they're not better than a 50 percent chance to finish last, then "will finish last" is not correct (not that statheads would be to blame).


It's actually just a reference to a little PECOTA infographic in the middle that has the O's at 74-88. At that record, PECOTA may very well have the O's as >50% to finish in the cellar.

ZiPS has them around .500 and much closer to the rest of the pack (and less than 50%) but the ZiPS stuff (except for some fantasy ODDIBE stuff in this issue) will be in the official Baseball Preview issue. Still sorting out what ZiPS stuff will be in the magazine and what will be on the site.

The focus in this issue is more of an overview over what stats are being used in different sports, Miller breaking down what WAR is (you guys all know it, but the vast majority of the public does not know how it's calculated), and some tidbits here and there, plus some info on the MIT/Sloan conference.
   80. Matt Garza smells it deep (Mr. Tapeworm) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4376394)
For all the veinpopping handwringing around here, you'd think I said the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth or something.


So if I give John Wilkes Booth a gun with 15 chambers, and they each have a bullet, you're comfortable sitting in a crowded theater?


   81. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4376400)
<dupe>
   82. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4376458)

The weakness of a model with a 7% risk of ruin wasn't really coming across, so it seemed apt to use a zesty example.

But (a) does it actually have a 7% "risk of ruin"? You can't just look at the results of one team to determine the accuracy of the model, you have to look at all 30 teams. (b) Would 7% be any worse than other models? Who got the Orioles right last year?
   83. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4376464)

But (a) does it actually have a 7% "risk of ruin"? You can't just look at the results of one team to determine the accuracy of the model, you have to look at all 30 teams. (b) Would 7% be any worse than other models? Who got the Orioles right last year?


The 7% risk of ruin argument doesn't make much sense - even with *perfect* knowledge of how good a team "truly" is, you'd still *expect* to still be horribly off a good percentage of the time. And perfect knowledge could hardly be called a ruinous model.
   84. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4376512)
Why would you hate somebody for making a prediction?
Because fans make predictions based on what they want to be true; therefore, if you make a negative prediction, it must be because you want the team to do badly. Orioles fans are convinced that Keith Law hates the Orioles because he often says negative things about their moves.
   85. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4376532)
Orioles fans are convinced that Keith Law hates the Orioles because he often says negative things about their moves.


Yes, but Keith Law actually does hate the Orioles :)

-- MWE
   86. SG Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4376534)
To be fair, I think Keith Law generally hates most things.
   87. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4376573)
The weakness of a model with a 7% risk of ruin wasn't really coming across, so it seemed apt to use a zesty example.

I picked the Orioles to miss the playoffs last year, and am still alive. I think your example may have a bit too much zest.
   88. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4376580)
To be fair, I think Keith Law generally hates most things.

Keith Law molests collies.
   89. Dan Posted: February 26, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4376609)
Of course the Yankees' probably going to be their worst since 08 or even 00, and the Red Sox isn't exactly looking that much better, so the other O's Jays better make good of this window of opportunity (though with the contract situation of those two, that window may be pretty wide.)


"Contract situation of those two"? The Red Sox certainly have plenty of issues, but too much money in long term contracts isn't even close to being an issue since The Punto Trade. The Red Sox have two players with guaranteed contracts for 2015: Buchholz at $12.5M and Victorino at $13M.
   90. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4376663)
Still sorting out what ZiPS stuff will be in the magazine and what will be on the site.

Will you be posting a spreadsheet of the projections?

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