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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dayton Daily News: Trade was risky, but at least Reds are going for it (RR)

Alas, the usually cranky, but entertaining, Hal McCoy appears to be on vacation.  Dunn seems to always give the scoop to McCoy.

[Gary] Majewski is more the swaggering sort and should fit in easily among fellow Texans such as Jason LaRue and Adam Dunn — that is, if Dunn forgives Majewski for arriving here at the cost of Kearns, his best friend.
...
Bottom line: It was a deal that had to be made. A bit of a dice roll maybe, but hey, you wanted the Reds to go for it, and they’re going for it. This isn’t Uncle Carl’s team anymore, and thank goodness for that.
...
Nationally, the deal was generally panned, but many of those doing the panning are fantasy-baseball nitwits who can’t see the wisdom of trading two everyday players for two relievers, neither of whom figures to close games and get saves, at least this season.

But reality, which often runs contrary to the fantasy world, said the Reds needed to do something, and that they couldn’t wait another couple of weeks to see if anything better or less expensive presented itself nearer the trade deadline.

NTNgod Posted: July 15, 2006 at 05:53 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 15, 2006 at 06:48 AM (#2099712)
Yup, only in fantasy-land is it a bad idea to burn money. I love how these newspaper nitwits call all us grad students, professors, and lawyers out here on the internet nitwits. Our brains could wipe the floor with this jerk's.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 15, 2006 at 06:49 AM (#2099713)
And yes, I'm hoping he googles himself and reads that. Come in here and take it like a man, and bring your friend who insinuated the other week that stat-heads #### animals.
   3. Raskolnikov Posted: July 15, 2006 at 07:12 AM (#2099717)
I'm still waiting for the "intangibles" argument - the cliched, last resort of the talking out of my anal sphincter argument.

I'll even start off the next column for Mr. McClellan free of charge:

Many fans, including the fantasy nitwits, are in an uproar over this trade. What they don't seem to get is that this trade was more than just about the numbers. The players the Reds brought in bring a new attitude to the clubhouse, their impact on the team will be something that statistics just can't measure. It's those intangibles that Krivsky is bringing aboard, something that the critics will never understand.
   4. Gaelan Posted: July 15, 2006 at 08:13 AM (#2099726)
I'm waiting for the "see the Reds beat the Rockies because of their bullpen column" that ignores the fact that Majewski gave up a run and the game was saved by guys they already had.
   5. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: July 15, 2006 at 10:59 AM (#2099744)
You can never have too many middling middle relievers... If that's what it took to get em, and you got em for an extra two weeks, then they did very well on this trade.
   6. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 11:14 AM (#2099748)
Every couple of years we get the "they may not be the best of players, but at least our team is showing that they will spend to win" trades or FA signings. These always seem to turn into disasters. Has any of them ever worked out?
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 15, 2006 at 11:30 AM (#2099749)
Does Ivan Rodriguez signing with the Tigers count? (I'm not sure.)
   8. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 15, 2006 at 11:39 AM (#2099750)
Does Ivan Rodriguez signing with the Tigers count?

Ivan Rodriguez signing with the Marlins certainly does.
   9. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 12:32 PM (#2099753)
Pudge was the best catcher available both times. I was thinking more like the David Bell signing years ago or any of the Pirates signings the last ten years or so or the Royals "shopping trip" last offseason.

Like "although there are better players, someone has to overpay the mediocre veterans."
   10. and Posted: July 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2099756)
And yes, I'm hoping he googles himself and reads that. Come in here and take it like a man, and bring your friend who insinuated the other week that stat-heads #### animals.

Hey, why does he let his friend call his sister and mother animals?
   11. Dr Love Posted: July 15, 2006 at 12:50 PM (#2099759)
many of those doing the panning are fantasy-baseball nitwits who can’t see the wisdom of trading two everyday players for two relievers, neither of whom figures to close games and get saves, at least this season.

Thankfully, McClelland showed us what that wisdom was. Or not.
   12. schuey Posted: July 15, 2006 at 12:57 PM (#2099761)
You could argue the Yankee signings of Wade Boggs and Jimmy Key (8th choice after Maddux, Cone, Bosio, Guzman, Swindell, Drabek, and Smiley) worked. Both got longer contracts than what the market thought they were worth.
   13. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#2099763)
I think Key more than Boggs - a wonderful hitter coming off of a bad year. I believe it was the offseason before that in which they contracted Spike Owen.
   14. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 15, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#2099764)
A bit of a dice roll maybe, but hey, you wanted the Reds to go for it, and they’re going for it.

You know, I've sat here for ten minutes starting and restarting a response to this jackhole, but I can't even function, I'm so frustrated at this drivel.

I haven't read one Cincy writer discuss the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Reds could have landed more than Clayton and friends for the F-Lo + Ears package. The laziness makes my blood boil, and the smugness makes me wish Buckeyes season were here.

If my work was as devoid of analysis and insight, I wouldn't last a week at my job.
   15. and Posted: July 15, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2099765)
The new additions certainly set us all at ease last night. That was an outstanding performance!
   16. CiC Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2099776)
I love how these newspaper nitwits call all us grad students, professors, and lawyers out here on the internet nitwits. Our brains could wipe the floor with this jerk's.

It's loaded sentences like this that allow them to do so. Get the chip off your shoulder and ignore the chip on their shoulder.
   17. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2099777)
I, for one, am both a grad student and a nitwit.
   18. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#2099778)
Dolf, are you usually around? Seems like I haven't seen your handle in awhile.
   19. CiC Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2099783)
I, for one, am both a grad student and a nitwit.

That for one, is the thing that upsets me about the attitude of some people that come around this site. The fact is that you can be both a graduate student/lawyer/doctor/professor and a complete bafoon, especially when it comes to baseball. (Not that you are Erik, and I don't mean to imply anything toward you).

For people who go to school to be brain surgeons or trial lawyers: Fantastic, more power to you, to accomplish something that requires both educational saavy and longevity -- fact is though, it has absolutely nothing to do with your opinions on baseball games, transactions, etc.

I'm embarrased that people around BBTF even still react to the phrases 'fantasy nitwits' and all because it seems like as a community we can't take the idea of not being viewed as innovative geniuses.

The simple fact is that I'm sure there are plenty of people on BBTF with the ability to perform the job of a MLB General Manager, but I've yet to come across anyone posting regularly here who is in that position, and so supposing that your actual occupation owes you an ounce of credibility when it comes to baseball is just proverbially stroking one's own ego without warrant. These types of threads get the most replies in the Newsblog, are generally lambasted based on the perceived crappiness of the writer, and then are shifted off into memory.

So in the end I question if coming to BBTF is actually about discussing baseball, or people's deep-seeded insecurity issues in relation to their hobby. If every writer wrote exactly what you were thinking, or exactly one the majority of this site would prefer to read, would BBTF ceize to exist anymore? I think so.
   20. Honkie Kong Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2099784)
Is namecalling and pandering to parochial stereotyping the new definition of journalism?
why can't a writer sit down and do an honest to goodness analysis instead of pulling stuff out of his ass?

I have been following baseball for 3+ years..and I challenge this writer that I can turn in more informed articles than this hack week in , week out. Set a deadline, I will submit a piece, let him submit his piece, may the best man get published..If he bests me, $500 to him, if he doesn't, he admits his hacktasticness in print.
and reduce sample size issues, lets do it for 4 consecutive deadlines...

and now let me dismount off my high horse
   21. MM1f Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:47 PM (#2099788)
"The simple fact is that I'm sure there are plenty of people on BBTF with the ability to perform the job of a MLB General Manager"

Minus that line I agree with about everything in 19.

Its hysterical that "grad student" was presented as an impressive occupation
   22. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2099789)
Guys like Goldman and Posnanski and Kaufman and Neyer think largely as we do, and lurk here on occasion. Their columns don't tend to generate the sheer number of comments that "traditional thinking" stuff does, but I think that's because there isn't as much reflexive bile, as exhibited in this thread above.

But I don't think that widespread acceptance of sabermetric principles would mean that BBTF would stop existing - there are a range of opinions from hardcore stathead to anti-stathead that fit under the BBTF umbrella, and lots to discuss.

I know what you're thinking about, Clutch, but I think your conclusion is flawed. Certainly, many of the posts in this website are of an "opinion assertive" variety, and many point out irrelevant personal accomplishments to back it up. But many does not equal all, and I think there is enough else to be had here to keep people coming back.
   23. Honkie Kong Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2099790)
So in the end I question if coming to BBTF is actually about discussing baseball, or people's deep-seeded insecurity issues in relation to their hobby. If every writer wrote exactly what you were thinking, or exactly one the majority of this site would prefer to read, would BBTF ceize to exist anymore? I think so

The fact that irks most denizens of this site is not that their thinking doesn't agree with what we think, but the lousy reason/effort they seem to be putting into their "jobs". None of us here is GM or a national sports writer, and that makes us appreciate what admirable positions those who are , are actually in. When someone then blatantly under-utilises/ mis-uses the forum they have bene granted, it raises the hackles of few people here.

There is barely a consensus opinion here for us to lambast writers just because they have contrarian opinions. It is the thought/reasoning that they put into it which irks us, rather atleast me
   24. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2099795)
why can't a writer sit down and do an honest to goodness analysis instead of pulling stuff out of his ass?

I suspect that you're being rhetorical, but I'll answer anyway:

The authoritative era of newspapermen covering sports has been waning for twenty years, and is almost completely gone. People like you and me can access most of the numbers that journos can.

So what keeps these columnists employed? Sometimes it's sheer inertia. Sometimes (rarely) they are just spectacular writers. But most of the time it's because they think "outside the box" and think about sports in ways that people traditionally don't. This can manifest itself (unfortunately for those of us who like facts) as moralizing and playing psychologist for athletes. The object of publishing these guys isn't to get people to agree with them, but to have people interested enough to read them. Do you think most Ann Coulter readers agree with her completely?
   25. Honkie Kong Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2099802)
The object of publishing these guys isn't to get people to agree with them, but to have people interested enough to read them.

and that has been the aim of papers since time immemorial. The spicier the story, the more likely people are to read it. But do you have to ignore certain facts and resort to name calling to push your angle through? Everytime I stand in a check out line at a grocery store, I see tons of headlines giving me the inside scoop on Angelina Jolie's private and sex life. The journalist there might have an interesting angle, but is there any reason for me to buy that tabloid or parade it on the national stage?
   26. Mr Dashwood Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2099807)
the lousy reason/effort they seem to be putting into their "jobs". None of us here is GM or a national sports writer, and that makes us appreciate what admirable positions those who are , are actually in.

I've not occupied either of those positions, but I am acquainted with sportswriters and sports commentators in the British media, and I can assure you that there's a good chance you don't want to do that work. One is not free to follow one's own opinions. One is under tremendous pressure to produce 'headlines', yet strong libel laws make it a risky business to discuss anything controversial. One can't antagonize the wrong people because one will lose access to the stories. One ends up either with Milquetoasts who toe the general line (ie, you can only attack the same people everyone else is attacking) or self-important Pooh-Bahs who turn themselves into the story. (I had a second-hand brush with the world of football agents, which is hopelessly corrupt, and intersects in places with the journalists in ways one doesn't like to think about.)

American media positions are bound to be even worse, because where the British press is pretty much 'national' (eg, annoy the Chelsea management, and you can still cover one of the games of 19 other Premier League soccer teams), American newspapers are community based. They generally have a booster's mentality. Self-censorship will be even more severe because the effects of having trouble with the ownership of a city's sports team can be fatal to your career. (Only in rare circumstances like DePodesta v Plaschke can one make a career of bashing the home team.)

If you want the liberty to say what's on your mind, your best bet in the US is going to be the Internet or a small-circulation national magazine. Don't expect much of the city-based media, because they can't afford to be fearlessly independent.
   27. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2099813)
King Kaufman writes like he does because a)his columns are rarely source dependent since they are analytical rather than trying to get the inside scoop and b) a low percentage of the Salon.com reader base cares that much about sports.
   28. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2099815)
King Kaufman writes like he does because a)his columns are rarely source dependent since they are analytical rather than trying to get the inside scoop and b) a low percentage of the Salon.com reader base cares that much about sports.

Having said that, he's my favorite sports writer.
   29. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#2099817)
Dammit, I thought I had stopped that first post before it sent the information to the server. Oh well.
   30. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2099833)
I thought we were talking about columnists. How many of Lupica's columns are source-dependent?
   31. JPWF13 Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2099835)
This is teh scraiest post I've ever made:

Do you think most Ann Coulter readers agree with her completely?


YES
   32. Honkie Kong Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2099839)
I think we are confusing issues here. Taking a strong stance against a team/player as opposed to taking an intelligent stance are significantly different. If the writer does want to spin this trade as move which has to be made, there are many facets of it he can stress on ( arb years coming up, denorfia, freel being freed up, last year might be a fluke et al)
And really, how dependent are national sports writers on the individual goodwill of players? Isn't that the bane of beat writers?
I am speaking from ignorance here..how big is the difference?
   33. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2099841)
And really, how dependent are national sports writers on the individual goodwill of players? Isn't that the bane of beat writers?
I am speaking from ignorance here..how big is the difference?


National writers can still have players and teams refuse to talk to them for bad coverage. I realize that having someone like Kent Merker refuse to talk to you is much less an issue for a national writer, but many of them try to have all available sources open (Gammons, et al)
   34. Mister High Standards Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#2099850)
Lets get away from the meta comments.

Serious question - when is it OK to take less value in a trade than you could get in a vaccum if it:

1) Fills your needs.
2) Generates a lot of positive PR.
3) Potentially increases your chances at the playoffs.

I agree that number 3 is debatable, but Krinsky certainly believes it and I'm not too far away from believing it.

I'd also stipulate that a playoff appearence nets the Reds an 20m in additional future revenue, plus additional community goodwill?
   35. Dolf Lucky Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2099855)
Dolf, are you usually around? Seems like I haven't seen your handle in awhile.

Time constraints have reduced me to the occasional lurk, and even rarer post. I even had to quit contributing to the Hall of Merit.
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#2099861)
Godot,

While we all can appreciate the great things the city has given us (Guided By Voices, the Wright Brothers), I'm not sure I would call Hal McCoy's understudy at the Dayton Daily News a national writer. And this really isn't an analysis piece, more of a story on the reaction to their arrival, with a couple of lines about fantasy (not SABR) nitwits tossed in.
   37. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 15, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2099869)
Majewski is more the swaggering sort

I'm reading Peter Morris' new book and thus a lot of 19th Century baseball prose, and that turn of phrase strikes me as very quaint.
   38. Ross(UPN + WB) Posted: July 15, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#2099913)
There is a difference between "fantasy nitwits" and saber-types. I'm sure many of you know some of these "fantasy nitwits" who rely on rate stats 'n such for their baseball "analysis". They often want the real-life GM of their team to make a trade because "Chone Figgins steals a lot of bases" or "We need to trade for Bob Wickman because he can get a lot of saves". I'm not a stathead, but I respect their contributions. I have no respect for the "fantasy nitwits". Nothing is more aggravating than listening to fantasy sports segments on talk radio: "Yeah, who should I start this week - Rudi Johnson or Kevin Jones?" Listen, jerk, I don't care. Isn't the point of fantasy sports to be your own GM? Why ask for advice? Doesn't that ruin the point of the game itself?

The front page of the Dayton Daily News sports sections showed a few blurbs from different sources. Such sources include: Christina (Chris) Kahrl, Aaron Gleeman and Jonah Keri. All panned the trade. I personally thought the Reds could've gotten more back for Kearns (Lopez isn't that good), but they helped their team now. I would rather the Reds attempt to win a playoff berth as opposed to winning a trade. I'm more peeved about Gleeman getting any sort of attention. He should join the likes of Will Carroll on a quarantined island of baseball "journalists".
   39. bibigon Posted: July 15, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#2099948)
I'm more peeved about Gleeman getting any sort of attention.

I think you're in for a bad time of it then, because guys like Gleeman are the future. Those who know just enough to sound like they know what they're talking about, and will intersperse saber stats instead of saves and RBIs in their colums, seemingly without understanding what they're actually doing, or which stats to use for what situation. Not that I could do better, just that I know enough to realize that that sort of analysis doesn't really have much validity.

The saber revolution in sports journalism doesn't look like its going to take the shape of a real revolution, but rather a shifting of which numbers are being misapplied by the writers. Maybe I'm generalizing here, but all I can think of when I read Gleeman's articles(which are entertaining, witty, and well written) is "so what?" Why is this the "right" way to do this sort of analysis. Yes, maybe we'll move away from hacks, but I don't think we're in for some sort of new age either.
   40. Mister High Standards Posted: July 15, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2099960)
Monkey - I'm not exactly unbiased, but mentioned Aaron and Carroll in the same sentence isn't exactly fair to Aaron.

Aaron does what he does very well and sticks to it... plus he's a great ####### guy.
   41. JPWF13 Posted: July 15, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#2099986)
Monkey - I'm not exactly unbiased, but mentioned Aaron and Carroll in the same sentence isn't exactly fair to Aaron.


I've notice dthat- teh animosity you have towards Carroll seems.. personal- is there a story there?
   42. Boots Day Posted: July 16, 2006 at 01:07 AM (#2100372)
Our brains could wipe the floor with this jerk's.

I wonder if he knows that the White Sox have a better pitching staff than the Braves.
   43. Boots Day Posted: July 16, 2006 at 01:10 AM (#2100376)
Our brains could wipe the floor with this jerk's.

I wonder if he knows that the White Sox have a better pitching staff than the Braves.
   44. Boots Day Posted: July 16, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2100380)
Our brains could wipe the floor with this jerk's.

I wonder if he knows that the White Sox have a better pitching staff than the Braves.
   45. Gaelan Posted: July 16, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2100388)
I personally thought the Reds could've gotten more back for Kearns (Lopez isn't that good), but they helped their team now. I would rather the Reds attempt to win a playoff berth as opposed to winning a trade.


See there's the rub. If they actually improved the team for this season it wouldn't have been panned so much. But there's now way they improved the team. They are a much worse team than they were before the trade. The only way this works out in the short term is if Majewski and Bray turn into ace quality relievers overnight. Who is willing to bet on that?
   46. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2006 at 10:26 AM (#2100583)
Majewski is more the swaggering sort

SWAGGER ALERT!!

Anyway, if Majewski and Bray were having dominant seasons and had dominant careers ... maybe. But reliever ERAs in the 3.50-4.00 range, while a major improvement for the Reds, are not that impressive....especially given they were pitching in RFK.

Bray looks unimpressive -- just 47 IP of unimpressive minor league ball, mediocre K and K/BB rates in the majors so far. I haven't seen the scouting reports, maybe they think he's a tall Billy Wagner and he is a former 1st round draft pick. But that's an awful lot to give up for a guy who has never pitched 60 IP in a season (even in college).

Majewski looks about the same with a really nice HR rate (probably somewhat park-deflated) and he has regularly pitched 70-80+ innings.

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