Efficiency Not Money Separates Good and Bad Franchises

by Shaun

With the news that the Pittsburgh Pirates extended the contracts of their manager and general manager this past off-season, it’s important to understand what makes for a good baseball front office and what makes for a bad one.  Pirates’ manager John Russell and Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington are taking a lot of heat because their team will more than likely extend their consecutive losing seasons record to 18.  But the new regime that came in in September 2007 (under president Frank Coonelly, Huntington and Russell) have taken the franchise in the right direction.

Too often fans want to put too much emphasis on results, which is understandable, particularly in the case of a team that hasn’t won anything since Boyz II Men topped the charts.  The point is to win, after all.   But, especially in the early going of a new regime taking over a franchise in pitiful shape, we must remember to look more at the philosophical direction of the franchise and what the front office is doing to set the team up for success.

The Pirates weren’t going to win anything with Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson.  If your team isn’t going to win with players who are expensive, will soon be expensive and are in or past their primes (i.e., they aren’t likely to get any better), why not trade those players for youth and/or players with cheaper contracts?

You will hear it often that teams like the Pirates and Royals can’t compete because of money.  But what actually separates good franchises from bad ones is actually payroll and roster efficiency.  The Tampa Bay Rays were in a similar situation to the Pirates and the Royals.   The Rays started to turn things around when they took an approach similar to the current Pirates’ approach.  Tampa Bay traded any tradeable commodities and went younger and cheaper.

It’s true the Rays got some luck along the way.  Many of the players they drafted actually became quality Big Leaguers and some of the players they took fliers on (Carlos Pena) actually exceeded expectations.  But the front office did it’s part to let their youth develop and resisted the temptation to acquire veteran players who are more costly than other players who provide similar production.

The Twins are another example of a team without the resources of the teams in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago yet Minnesota seems to be competitive every season.  They do this by trading players right before or as soon as those players become too expensive relative to their production, and the Twins usually get young and useful players in return.  Minnesota also resists signing those veterans who provide no more production than cheaper players.  Most importantly the Twins trust their scouting and player development.

If we look at teams like the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals, it’s hard to see any particular organizational philosophy, especially not one centered around payroll and roster efficiency.

Baltimore acquired quite a few past-their-prime veterans before the 2004 and 2005 seasons.  Many of these players were still productive but a) the Orioles had nothing else with which to surround those players and b) they weren’t able to sell high on these players.  In their defense, the Orioles seemed to have gotten back on track at least somewhat with some good draft picks and savvy trades for young players.

Kansas City’s roster is filled with the likes of Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt and Rick Ankiel, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth.  Most of these players are past their primes, they aren’t good and they make more than players who couldn’t do any worse.  The Royals are baseball’s poster child for inefficiency.  If the Royals had all the revenue they could ask for and still ran their franchise like they currently do, they would look something like the Orioles of 2004-2007.

Even the Yankees and Red Sox do more than rely on overpaid-for-their-production, veteran acquisitions.  They still trust their player development when they have to and they go out and get players that make less  than others relative to their production (by Yankee and Red Sox standards).  The Yankees and Red Sox have standards of payroll and roster efficiency, even if the threshold of what they can pay is higher.

It is disingenuous to ignore the fact that the Yankees and Red Sox have legit shots at 95-plus wins every season and to pretend that money doesn’t play a roll in that.  But it’s also important to realize that teams can have a measure of success even if they don’t bring in the revenue of a team playing in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, or Philadelphia.  It’s true that it will be tough for the Rays to compete for 15-20 consecutive seasons like the Yankees and Red Sox can, and that’s because of money.  But the money excuse only goes so far.  It’s also true that it would take some luck for Pittsburgh or Kansas City to have a few 95-plus-win seasons somewhere down the road, no matter how good a job their front offices do.  But it’s also true that a few competitive seasons are bound to eventually crop up if Pittsburgh continues to pay a great deal of attention to payroll and roster efficiency and if Kansas City starts to.

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366 Responses to “Efficiency Not Money Separates Good and Bad Franchises”

  1. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “the front office did it’s part to let their youth develop and resisted the temptation to acquire veteran players who are more costly than other players who provide similar production.”

    Because they couldn’t afford the veteran players.

    Shaun: “The Twins are another example of a team without the resources of the teams in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago yet Minnesota seems to be competitive every season.”

    184/8

  2. Lefty33 Says:

    “The Twins are another example of a team without the resources of the teams in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago yet Minnesota seems to be competitive every season.”

    Baloney.

    Carl Polhad had a larger net worth then Steinbrenner or the principal owners of all the teams you mention.

    His sin was that he never spent any of it to field a WS caliber team.

    Yes the Twins won their two WS in ’87 & ’91 but those have nothing to due with the modern economic slant in Baseball.

    While the Twins have been competitive, until Jim Pohlad fixes the mistake that his father made in never going out to get the FA or two that will push the team over top by spending more money the team will always be “competitive” but never a real threat to win a WS.

  3. Shaun Says:

    “Because they couldn’t afford the veteran players.”

    Right. Which is why it was important to resist the temptation to overspend on mediocre vets like the Royals have done recently and like the Orioles did around the middle of the first decade of the 2000’s.

    Lefty33, it often does more harm than good for any team to blow their resources on big-money free agents. It starts with scouting, player development and a front office that makes efficient roster and payroll decisions. Even the Yankees wouldn’t be where they are without these things. Free agency is secondary. Yes, it helps a team to go out and spend whatever on free agents but if that team’s scouting, player development and front office is incompetent, trying to go out and build a WS winner via free agency is going to do more harm than good. The Orioles of the mid-’00’s are a perfect example.

  4. Raul Says:

    So a franchise with little money that finds success is a well-run organization.
    And a team with a lot of money that fails to find success if a poorly-run organization.

    Is that it?

    I’d like to be clear on this…

  5. Shaun Says:

    Raul, success is obviously a big piece of the puzzle. In the end it’s about wins and losses. But the Pirates haven’t quite had success (yet) under their new regime and I firmly believe they are doing the right things. I don’t think the Toronto Blue Jays are all that poorly run (although they probably aren’t run brilliantly either) and they haven’t had much success in a while.

    A front office can do all the right things but outside things play a role. It’s like a pitcher who does all the right things but still doesn’t win because of things beyond his control. I’d say an organization whose major league team continues to be pretty awful and consistently overpays and/or over-commits to players relative to their performances is a poorly-run organization.

  6. Raul Says:

    “Efficacy Not Money Separates Good and Bad Franchises”

    So are the Yankees well-run because of their money, or in spite of it?

    You can’t separate the two, is the point.

  7. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I think you can separate the two to some degree (possibly to a large degree, actually). The Yankees seem to do a lot of good things even within the context of having unlimited resources. They still trust their farm system and their player development. They realize that just trying to outspend everyone alone isn’t going to get it done.

    What separates the Yankees is not that they can outspend every other team. It’s they can outspend everyone on the best free agents. For example, Mark Teixeira was one of the best free agents probably of the free agent era because he was obviously very good but he was also young. Contrast that to what the Orioles did in the mid-’00’s. They just seemed to try to outspend or out-trade every other team on the moderately productive players that were available. But clearly outspending or out-trading doesn’t work if you are going after mediocre players or if you don’t have the scouting and player development to support those players.

    I’m not saying money is irrelevant. I’m saying we can’t just say franchises with money are the good ones and the ones without are the bad ones; at least in regard to evaluating front offices (that includes GMs, scouts, other forms of talent evaluators, etc.). Yes, results depend on money to a large degree. That’s why to some degree we shouldn’t overemphasize results. We should look at what a front office is doing within the context of it’s situation.

    To go back to the Twins and their owner having more money than the Steinbrenners. That’s sort of irrelevant if we are just trying to evaluate the front office. A GM and all the people who help the GM can’t help it if the owner gives them a smaller budget than other teams, regardless of how much that owner has in his bank account. Context is huge when evaluating front offices and organizations, just like it is when we are evaluating anything else.

    Wow. This turned into a ramble. Basically what I guess I’m saying is you have to separate the owner and what owners are willing to put in from what a front office has control over, if you want to evaluate a franchise.

  8. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, it often does more harm than good for any team to blow their resources on big-money free agents.”

    Shaun, the Twins if Mr. Polhad would have chosen, could have gone out and bought rent-a-free agents and that likely would have pushed them over the top to go deeper into the playoffs and maybe the WS instead of not making it or when they do make the playoffs they usually get their asses handed to them by a superior team that did make moves.

    The Twins are different than most smaller teams in that their owner, now son of the late-owner, is extremely well funded via the new stadium and prior to that via billions of dollars in personal wealth.

    Polhad could have done something to better the team but instead he chose to be “just good enough” instead of trying to win it all.

    “trying to go out and build a WS winner via free agency is going to do more harm than good.”

    But Polhad did nothing. And to me if I’m a Twins fan I’m pissed that my Billionaire owner won’t spent a few extra dollars when the chances were presented.

    To me it’s always better to have tried than to have settled. And the Twins did a lot of settling under Carl Polhad.

    “Orioles of the mid-’00’s are a perfect example”

    A perfect example of what? Not of trying to win via FA because clearly they haven’t tried to win in the last fifteen years.

    The Orioles are a re-creation of the Yankees in the ‘80s. It’s what happens when an out of control meddling owner won’t let a team win.

  9. Lefty33 Says:

    “Yes, results depend on money to a large degree.”

    From ‘01 thru ‘09, of the eight teams that made the playoffs at least four every year were in the top 10 in payroll.

  10. Hossrex Says:

    To win at the game of baseball takes a combination of money, luck, and intelligence.

    It’s a lot easier to win with less luck and less intelligence if you have lots of money, than it is to win with less money and less luck but lots of intelligence.

    The smartest person on earth is still beholden to luck regarding free agent signings, and draft options. When that highly intelligent person has a string of bad luck, his team is screwed.

    However a team that’s run less efficiently, but has plenty of money behind it, will be able to recover from the unavoidable, AND the avoidable mistakes.

    Everything Shaun is saying sounds just like the stuff he always says. As if everything in baseball (on and off field) were perfectly quantifiable, and perfectly understood. He’ll be the first to say he DOESN’T think that’s true, but EVERYTHING he EVER says indicates that he does.

    I think Chuck may be a little brash in his statements about Shaun… but I find myself agreeing more often than not.

  11. John Says:

    Spot on lefty.

    Shaun, really look at the impact players that have made the twinkies a powerhouse in the AL Central for the last 8 years. Really look at them: Mauer, Morneau, Santana, Hunter, Radke, Kubel, Koskie, Cuddyer.

    Homegrown scouted talent. Not a lot of tricky signings. Some nice trades along the way: Stewart, Castillo, Cabrera, Pavano, but those guys weren’t the major force.

    The trade of Pierzinski for Joe Nathan was an outstanding move, but out-witting Brian Sabean isn’t exactly something to write home about.

    The twins have been as sucessful as they’ve been through good scouting; I’m not seeing a ton on statistical analysis.

    You’re right about the Orioles Shaun. They had some bad luck…signed a bunch of roiders right around the time testing started.

  12. Lefty33 Says:

    “As if everything in baseball (on and off field) were perfectly quantifiable, and perfectly understood.”

    Exactly Hoss.

    I think he forgets that human beings play the game and that they do irrational things that cannot be quantified.

    On a side bar, here’s a fun little story in USA Today on Tuesday.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/royals/2010-06-21-bannister-ahead-of-tech-curve_N.htm

  13. Hossrex Says:

    I wouldn’t enjoy the game if it were actually the way Shaun seems to think it is.

  14. Hossrex Says:

    I’ve posted this before, but it’s been a couple years:

    (apologies for getting Star Trek all over our baseball)

    Ben Sisko: The rules aren’t important… what’s important is — it’s linear. Every time you throw this ball a hundred different things can happen in the game… he might swing and miss, he might hit it… the point is you never know… you try to anticipate, set a strategy for all the possibilities as best you can… but in the end it all comes down to throwing one pitch after another… and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape…

    Alien Batter: And you have no idea what that shape is until it is completed…

    Ben Sisko: That’s right. In fact, the game wouldn’t be worth playing if we knew what was going to happen.

    Alien Batter: You value your ignorance of what is to come?

    Ben Sisko: That may be the most important thing to understand about humans.

    I’ve always found that to be one of the most concise explanations I’ve ever read on the subject of why I love baseball.

    Why do I love baseball?

    Because I watched Benji Molina hit a homerun, and not be credited with a run scored.

    That’s why I love baseball.

  15. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, apparently you didn’t read my posts about separating ownership from front office. The front office has little-to-no control over how much money the owner wants to put in to the team.

    Hossrex, I think you’ve missed my point and I apologize if I did not make myself clear. Of course money matters. But money and results are somewhat distinct from how good a job a front office does. Of course it would be easier for the Pirates or Royals to contend if they had the Yankees or Red Sox’s resources. You can’t judge a front office necessarily and solely on the basis of wins and losses and money. Yes, obviously wins and losses are vital and that’s the point of the game but, as you say, a team can make all the right moves and run into bad luck.

    The twins have been as sucessful as they’ve been through good scouting; I’m not seeing a ton on statistical analysis.

    When did I say the Twins have used a ton of statistical analysis? Again, my article isn’t about statistical analysis or scouting. My article is about judging organization on payroll and roster efficiency; and by organizations I mean front offices more than owners; and front offices include any and all types of talent evaluators, including scouts.

    I think he forgets that human beings play the game and that they do irrational things that cannot be quantified.

    Where do I say that? Where do I give you that impression? You make these statements but provide nothing to show where I give you that impression.

    Hossrex, your post #14 has nothing to do with my article. We all enjoy the unpredictability of sports. I agree that that’s a key reason why we all love baseball. But the Royals front office should still be criticized for acquiring Jason Kendall instead of going with someone else who could perform just as poorly or much better for probably a third of the price.

    If you just want to wax poetic about the unpredictability of the game, that’s all well and good. I love that the game is unpredictable. But that’s a separate subject from evaluating front offices and players.

  16. Raul Says:

    I’m not saying Jason Kendall was the best signing ever but the dude is like 34, is pretty good behind the plate (despite his offensive play) and makes 2.25 million.

    If that’s the signing that dooms the Royals, you’ve gotta be out of your mind. That seems pretty reasonable for a veteran guy. I don’t know…maybe KC doesn’t have a catcher in their system that can play every day yet.

    The only real outrageous contracts on the Royals are Guillen and Betancourt…and probably Farnsworth.

    But I’m pretty sure if the Royals had big money, they’d be able to lure better players to KC.

  17. Chuck Says:

    What makes the Red Sox successful is Theo Epstein understanding Terry Francona knows alot more about baseball than he does, and Francona understands Epstein to be the business man.

    Epstein doesn’t call the dugout during games telling Francona which pitcher to use no more than Francona calls Epstein’s office saying it’s OK to give Jason Bay 18 million a year.

    Josh Byrnes is a disciple of Epstein.

    He has now, over the past three seasons, ruined the Diamondbacks franchise because he THINKS he’s the manager, which is also the reason why he put a puppet in the dugout.

    Front office and manager have to work together, but have to be smart enough not to merge their respective functions.

    Kansas City needed a veteran catcher because they have a young pitching staff.

    Signing a guy for $500,000 less would have a more negative effect on the team than the money lost on signing him.

  18. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, apparently you didn’t read my posts about separating ownership from front office. The front office has little-to-no control over how much money the owner wants to put in to the team.”

    Sure I did and you’re completely wrong.

    For every Peter Angelos who doesn’t care what his GM or anyone in his organization tells him.

    There is a team like the Phillies who clearly went from Dave Montgomery/Bill Giles being hyper cheap and only having tools for GM’s and managers. To a team where Pat Gillick and now Ruben Amaro (with Gillick still on board as an “advisor”) was given almost carte blanche to get the pieces that he needed to make a winner.

    That’s why the Phillies are now perennially in the top 10, now usually the top 5, in payroll where as a team like Baltimore stays somewhere in the middle to lower third.

    They realized that if you spend you give yourself a much better chance at winning than if you don’t and the numbers don’t lie.

    From ‘01 thru ‘09, of the eight teams that made the playoffs at least four every year were in the top 10 in payroll.

  19. Shaun Says:

    Raul, Kendall was just one example. The problem is not the Kendall signing alone. The problem is the Royals have made lots of similar acquisitions.

    But I’m pretty sure if the Royals had big money, they’d be able to lure better players to KC.

    Me too. But they don’t. And their front office is doing an awful job within the context of what they do have.

    Chuck, no one thinks Epstein calls the dugout during games or that Francona calls Epstein to tell him how much he can or can’t give Jason Bay. Therefore your points have nothing to do with my article.

    Kansas City needed a veteran catcher because they have a young pitching staff.

    Why didn’t they acquire a cheaper veteran catcher who can actually hit? Kendall is really helping their young pitching staff, isn’t he? His handling of pitchers and “veteraness” has really made up for his contract and lack of hitting, huh?

  20. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, please tell me where I disagreed with you.

    You just reiterated that front offices don’t have control over how much money the owner puts into the team.

    A front office can’t be judged on how much money the owner puts into the team and, to a small extent, how often the team wins and losses.

    My article was about judging front offices, not about whether or not money helps a team win. Money obviously does help a team. But the money excuse only goes so far. Teams with less money than others can have a great deal of success but that doesn’t mean money does not matter.

  21. John Says:

    At 2.25 million dollars, Jason Kendall is a bargain. Solid backstop, proven leader, does all the little things to win. I don’t care if his slugging percentage isn’t high.

    C’mon Shaun, we all know efficiency boils down to statistics. Using a small or medium payroll to ensure you’re not overpaying for overrated skill sets. And while every team – even, as it turned out, the Yankees with Gardner – has to live within its means, having extra money is clearly a major factor. It means you can burn 40 million dollars on Carl Pavano and still compete.

    The inefficiency nonsense is what gets me because it all goes back to Billy Beane and the idea that he won divisions because he signed Scott Hatteberg when those acquisitions were just a small part of the bigger picture. Ultimately the A’s scouted and drafted well…3 of the top 10 pitchers in the AL from 00-06, and guys like Chavez, Tejada, and Giambi. You didn’t write the article about Beane, Shaun, but you wrote it about efficiency which is what Beane is supposed to be known for. Of course, he paid 10M to a pitcher with a perpetually strained uterus, so …

  22. Patrick Says:

    John, too funny and too true.

  23. Chuck Says:

    “Therefore your points have nothing to do with my article.”

    Which is OK then, considering your article has no point.

    “C’mon Shaun, we all know efficiency boils down to statistics..”

    And money boils down to efficiency.

  24. Shaun Says:

    At 2.25 million dollars, Jason Kendall is a bargain. Solid backstop, proven leader, does all the little things to win. I don’t care if his slugging percentage isn’t high.

    If you don’t care about any evidence, how can we ever prove or disprove that he is a bargain, a solid backstop, a proven leader and does all the little things to win? Where do you get your assumption that he is all of these things? In the Royals’ remarkable won-loss record? In their remarkable pitching? In their remarkable rate at which they catch baserunners stealing?

    C’mon Shaun, we all know efficiency boils down to statistics. Using a small or medium payroll to ensure you’re not overpaying for overrated skill sets. And while every team – even, as it turned out, the Yankees with Gardner – has to live within its means, having extra money is clearly a major factor. It means you can burn 40 million dollars on Carl Pavano and still compete.

    The Phillies use very few if any statistics and they are efficient with their resources relative to other teams. So this isn’t about statistics or not using statistics.

    And who said having extra money isn’t a major factor? I agree that teams with extra money can burn it on Carl Pavano. But that’s a separate issue from whether or not a team without money can contend and using money as the primary excuse for not contending at least every so often.

    The inefficiency nonsense is what gets me because it all goes back to Billy Beane and the idea that he won divisions because he signed Scott Hatteberg when those acquisitions were just a small part of the bigger picture. Ultimately the A’s scouted and drafted well…3 of the top 10 pitchers in the AL from 00-06, and guys like Chavez, Tejada, and Giambi. You didn’t write the article about Beane, Shaun, but you wrote it about efficiency which is what Beane is supposed to be known for. Of course, he paid 10M to a pitcher with a perpetually strained uterus, so …

    You don’t think drafting those guys and trusting player development and resisting overpaying for “proven leaders that do the little things” instead of going with Chavez, Tejada and Giambi is about efficiency?

    The article isn’t about Beane or the A’s. I have absolutely no problem with pointing out Beane’s bad moves.

    Efficiency doesn’t go back to Billy Beane and it’s not about statistics, per se. Efficiency goes back to the beginnings of professional baseball leagues. Some teams are efficient with payroll and roster spots and some are not. Some think they are being efficient when they are not. More money means a team can be less efficient, but efficiency always matters. And a team that is extremely efficient can make up for less money to a large degree.

  25. Raul Says:

    Shaun writes in reference to Jason Kendall:

    “Why not acquire a cheaper veteran catcher who can actually hit?”

    Maybe because a catcher’s primary responsibilities relate to leadership, defense and pitching?

  26. Shaun Says:

    So, if efficiency boils down to statistics, does that mean a team that doesn’t use statistics can’t or shouldn’t try to be efficient?

    See, this is why trying to turn this into yet another debate over statistics/sabermetrics is misguided. Again, the Phillies reportedly use little to no statistics and I guarantee you they worry about payroll and roster efficiency, and they’ve done a good job with being efficient in those areas.

  27. Shaun Says:

    Maybe because a catcher’s primary responsibilities relate to leadership, defense and pitching?

    And Kendall has really improved the Royals in those areas, huh?

  28. Lefty33 Says:

    “You just reiterated that front offices don’t have control over how much money the owner puts into the team.”

    No

    What I said was that a bad front office has no input and the owner runs the team like a dictator. (That never works. My Angelos example)

    A good front office has the ability and trust of the owner that they can convince him/them to allow extra expenditures to be made if they are justified. (That’s what works) (My Phillies example)

    “A front office can’t be judged on how much money the owner puts into the team”

    Stupidest statement ever.

    The Mets are in the top 5-7 in payroll every year. Omar has been given full fiscal freedom and has blown it. He can be fully judged as a failure.

    Just like Gillick can be judged as a genius. He made smart moves and got Giles and Montgomery to open their purse strings, which is something they had not done in thirty years of owning the team.

  29. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, again nothing you say counters what I’ve been saying, in fact some of what you say reiterates what I’ve been saying.

    I think you are missing my point and misconstruing my arguments. What I’m saying is an owner can be tight and the front office can’t be blamed for that. The front office shouldn’t be judged on how cheap or not-cheap an owner is. A front office should be judged by how much they get out of what the owner gives. This does not necessarily mean we should always judge a front office on how many wins they get out of a team. A front office can make great moves and still not win.

    My point is efficiency with roster and payroll are the key factors in judging a front office. But there are other factors that lead to winning: Efficiency with roster, efficiency with payroll, how much money an owner has or puts into the team and luck. If a franchise is great in one area, it can make up for deficiencies in others. The Yankees have a ton of money and their owner puts money in the franchise so that can make up for a lack of payroll efficiency. The Twins’ owner doesn’t put a lot of money into the team but they make up for it by being very efficient with payroll and roster.

  30. Raul Says:

    Maybe Shaun should be a General Manager.

  31. Chuck Says:

    “I guarantee you they worry about payroll”

    Then you’ll have no trouble explaining the Raul Ibanez/Ryan Howard contracts?

    “And Kendall has really improved the Royals in those areas, huh?”

    Idiot.

  32. Shaun Says:

    Then you’ll have no trouble explaining the Raul Ibanez/Ryan Howard contracts?

    Just because a team worries about payroll and roster efficiency doesn’t mean they are going to be perfectly efficient with every decision they make.

    Idiot.

    Calling me an idiot doesn’t tell everyone how Kendall’s “veteran leadership” has improved the Royals’ pitching and defense or how his leadership has improved the Royals. Just makes you look like a desperate person who has nowhere else to go but name-calling because you know you are wrong about Kendall’s signing being a good move for the Royals. Signing older, mediocre-to-poor players simply because of their names and their “veteran leadership” is a good way to ensure your team will go nowhere.

  33. Raul Says:

    Pretty sure Stephen Strasburg will speak highly of Ivan Rodriguez’s veteran leadership and knowledge…

  34. Shaun Says:

    The Phillies think/thought that they signed Ibanez and Howard for the appropriate amount for their budget. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily right but it means they do take payroll and roster efficiency into account.

    Also, every situation is different. The appropriate question: Is a particular move good or bad for the particular franchise making that move? I’m not saying that’s the case with Ibanez or Howard. They may have been bad moves for the Phillies. But it’s fine for certain teams to take a chance and pay more for an older player that brings risks with him. It’s not so good for other teams to do the same thing. It depends on the team’s payroll and if the team needs that player in order to contend. If a team is not a contender and their payroll budget isn’t large, it’s not good for that team to take chances on risky players.

  35. Raul Says:

    You’re basically saying that you think it’s ok for teams to make signings like the Phillies did for Howard and Ibanez because they have the money.

    So then, ipso facto…..money is a pretty big deal.

  36. Chuck Says:

    No, Shaun, calling you an idiot shows you never checked Kansas City’s pitching stats, you know nothing of their pitching prospects in general, and have no earthly clue on how much a catcher helps his team regardless of offensive production.

  37. Chuck Says:

    Signing Kendall could actually accelerate the Royals next postseason appearance, not slow it down.

  38. Shaun Says:

    Pretty sure Stephen Strasburg will speak highly of Ivan Rodriguez’s veteran leadership and knowledge…

    I’m pretty sure too. What else is he going to say, especially if someone asks about Rodriguez?

    Also, I’m not even saying his knowledge and leadership don’t matter. I’m saying it’s a mistake, for certain franchises especially, to overpay for those things.

    If veteran leadership and knowledge is so important, why not sign Rodriguez or another veteran to a minor league contract and let him be Strasburg’s personal catcher all the way up through the minors, like a Crash Davis? That way he gets training before he gets to the big club and starts possibly affecting pennant races. If veteran leadership and knowledge is so important this is absolutely the way teams should operate. The fact that they rarely do things this way is probably an indication that veteran leadership is overblown.

  39. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    We can all debate and criticize roster moves and all that.

    I just think when we need to be careful sometimes and maybe defer to people who’ve actually worked in a professional organization to explain things a bit.

    I can’t sit here and pretend to know exactly why the Royals signed Jason Kendall and neither can you.

    But I don’t think 2.25 million for a guy that seems to be like-able in the clubhouse, has a good history with pitching staffs and works hard is a bad signing.

  40. Raul Says:

    There’s a lot of contracts in baseball you can pick a bone with…..I really don’t think Jason Kendall is anywhere near the top of the list.

  41. Shaun Says:

    You’re basically saying that you think it’s ok for teams to make signings like the Phillies did for Howard and Ibanez because they have the money.

    So then, ipso facto…..money is a pretty big deal.

    It may be okay in certain situations. And yes, money is “big deal” (depending one what you mean by “big deal”, as I’ve reiterated. But money as an excuse for a team not coming anywhere close to contending for 15-20 years only goes so far. That’s my whole point. If the Royals or Pirates had a decent front office for the last 15-20 years, they would have at least been decent for at least a couple of years within that span.

    No, Shaun, calling you an idiot shows you never checked Kansas City’s pitching stats, you know nothing of their pitching prospects in general, and have no earthly clue on how much a catcher helps his team regardless of offensive production.

    Kansas City’s pitching is either about the same or worse in strikeouts per 9, walks per 9, homers per 9 innings, ERA and runs per game than they were in 2009 when Kendall wasn’t there.

    Since you know that Kendall helps his pitching staff so much, I’m sure you can provide us with loads of evidence, right?

    Also, I realize that Kendall may help the pitchers. But is what Kendall does for the pitching staff significantly better than what they could get out of a cheaper, possibly better, catcher? I doubt it. Otherwise why did he have to resort to signing with the Kansas City Royals at this stage in his career?

    Signing Kendall could actually accelerate the Royals next postseason appearance, not slow it down.

    Maybe. Again, I’m sure you have loads of solid evidence that tells us that Kendall is significantly better at helping pitchers than other cheaper options. You must, since you are so sure of yourself about this. Please enlighten us skeptics.

  42. Raul Says:

    Can you mention a few of these cheaper, better catchers that the Royals so egregiously passed on?

  43. Shaun Says:

    I can’t sit here and pretend to know exactly why the Royals signed Jason Kendall and neither can you.

    But I don’t think 2.25 million for a guy that seems to be like-able in the clubhouse, has a good history with pitching staffs and works hard is a bad signing.

    Right. So why are some so firm about defending the Kendall signing as a good one?

    Do we know how likable he is? Do we know he has a better history than other cheaper options at working with pitching staffs? We do know he’s an awful hitter, Kansas City’s pitching and defense hasn’t improved since last season when they didn’t have Kendall and his leadership hasn’t led them to contention. Based on the information we have, it certainly seems like it was a bad signing. But maybe someone has better information they can provide.

    There’s a lot of contracts in baseball you can pick a bone with…..I really don’t think Jason Kendall is anywhere near the top of the list.

    I didn’t say it was at the top of the list. Kendall was just one example of the many bad contracts and acquisitions for the Royals. If you’d like, we could move on to Podsednik, Meche, Farnsworth… See, the problem is the Royals have made a habit of such signings, which is why their front office is not doing a good job.

  44. Shaun Says:

    Can you mention a few of these cheaper, better catchers that the Royals so egregiously passed on?

    All indications are the Royals wouldn’t be significantly worse with Bryan Pena as their primary catcher.

  45. Shaun Says:

    If I were a Royals fan, I’d rather see them go with Bryan Pena and spend the money they did on Kendall on scouting, player development and a bonus to a quality draft pick. With the current state of the franchise, they don’t need to be spending resources on the likes of Kendall, Meche, Farnsworth, etc. Wait until they are ready to contend with a solid core of good players before you take a chance on veterans than have nothing going for them but a decent resume, and in some cases not even that.

  46. Shaun Says:

    Here’s the issue. Some are arguing Kendall is a decent player because of his leadership and handling of pitchers. That’s all fine and dandy but where do you see that this is true? You expect me to just accept that it is so because you say it is so, when in fact what little we do know seems to indicate Kendall hasn’t done anything special to improve the pitching staff or the team. If anyone can provide what they are going on when they say Kendall is providing outstanding leadership and doing a great job with the pitchers, I will certainly see why the Kendall acquisition was a good one. But so far you are just making baseless claims without providing any reasoning.

  47. Raul Says:

    Ok, Gil Meche. A lot of money but they needed to sign someone and Meche was actually pretty damn good his first 2 years in KC and then got hurt.

    Farnsworth…no real debate there. Could have had him for less than 4.5 million…but they probably thought he could have been effective out of the big lights in New York.

    Podsednik was supposed to be a 4th outfielder who can steal bases…and at 1.6 million, that’s not bad at all.

    If you’re really going to crap on the Royals…you’re better off criticizing their drafting…..which was probably influenced by “sign-ability”…which means…money.

  48. Shaun Says:

    Raul, the problem is not that they signed Podsednik for example at $1.6 million. I agree that’s not an awful signing if we are just looking at the value of the player in a vacuum. The problem is why are the Royals signing a 4th outfielder for that much money when they are such a long way from contention? They can lose with a fourth outfielder making the league minimum, so why lose with a $4.5 million 4th outfielder? Same principal applies to Meche. Yes, Meche was a fine pitcher. In a vacuum it’s not an awful signing. But why would the Royals sign a pitcher to that large a contract when they aren’t close to contention? If you are going to overpay make sure you overpay for a guy or guys that are going to push you over the top.

    Actually, I don’t think the Royals have done a terrible job drafting. They are either doing a terrible job with player development, they are getting unlucky with players becoming busts or they can’t decide what to do with players (see the yo-yo they are playing with Alex Gordon’s career) or a little bit of all of the above.

    And again, I know money is a key factor in building a contending team. But as I’ve said a million times, that excuse only goes so far when teams like the Twins and the Rays and the Reds are contending with low payrolls.

    I’m not saying the low payroll teams can ever build 15-20-year dynasties like the Yankees or Red Sox. But any team should be able to have some semblance of a contending season once or twice every 15-20 years.

  49. Raul Says:

    Ok.

    But they did contend once in the past 15-20 years…and Tony Pena won Manager of the Year.

  50. Shaun Says:

    If your organization doesn’t have money or the owner doesn’t put money into the team, the way to build a contender is not to try to emulate the Yankees and Red Sox on the free agent market. Those teams can afford to blow everyone away for the top free agents and cut ties with the free agents who end up busts. The way to build is to try your best to load up on young, cheap talented players and load up on cheap, solid veterans that can bring in young, cheap, talented players. That way you have a lot of talented, young players that hopefully come to the majors at the same time and you end up with a good player at every position. Obviously this is easier said than done, which is why results aren’t the only thing you look at when you are evaluating the front office of a team like that.

  51. Shaun Says:

    But they did contend once in the past 15-20 years…and Tony Pena won Manager of the Year.

    That year, look at the players they had. Carlos Beltran was their MVP, a homegrown star. Darrell May was their best pitcher and he made under $500,000. The core of that team wasn’t anything like the core of the current team.

  52. Chuck Says:

    “All indications are the Royals wouldn’t be significantly worse with Brayan Pena as their regular catcher”?

    I’m sure you can provide us with loads of evidence, right?

  53. Chuck Says:

    If the Royals had a decent enough catcher in their system, they probably wouldn’t need Jason Kendall.

    The fact they signed him shows not only the fact Kendall would be invaluable to the staff (read:not measurable in dollars) AND TO BRYAN PENA, who obviously wasn’t yet ready to play every day.

  54. Shaun Says:

    I’m sure you can provide us with loads of evidence, right?

    I’m not the one that is so sure of himself that Kendall is making a big enough difference with pitchers and leadership to be worth more money than another catcher.

    The evidence is see is that the Royals are no better than last year at preventing runs and avoiding walks and homers and his leadership isn’t leading them to contention. But if I see some evidence to the contrary, I could be swayed. So let’s see the evidence to the contrary, if it’s out there.

    You won’t allow yourself to be swayed because you are too sure you know it all regarding Kendall’s leadership and handling of pitchers. You’d rather go on what you think you know than actually pay attention to evidence that’s there for all to see.

  55. Chuck Says:

    No, Shaun, it’s because unless you can put a number or measure something, you don’t believe anything exists.

    “If Shaun can’t see it, it isn’t real”

    And 60 games is hardly enough of a sample size. If, after the season there’s no difference, then fine, you win, but not until then.

    And, again, that ain’t what the Royals are paying Kendall for.

    The anticipated return the Royals expect will come long after Kendall is.

  56. John Says:

    Look Shaun, I’m a stat nerd.

    Jason Kendall is a great example of a player that you have to observe to understand how terrific he is. Back when he hit .325 year after year that wasn’t the case but now he’s pretty much near the bottom of the league in OPS.

    At 2.25 million dollars, he’s a bargain, no matter what WAR tells you.

    He’s a proven clubhouse leader; ask basically anyone who has played with him.

    As for the little things? He’s great at blocking balls in the dirt. He works 6,7,8 pitch counts regularly – never an easy out even if he makes outs 2/3 of the time. He’s always down the line backing up first on groundballs, never dogging it.

    He might be a punchline to the SABR crowd, but he probably wouldve been a HOF candidate if not for that freak injury he suffered.

  57. John Says:

    Furthermore, the 9 million total that the Royals have spent on Kendall, Scotty-Po, and Farnsworth simply isn’t the problem; it isn’t handicapping their ability to develop talent. They’ve developed one good pitcher – and no rainclouds that shut off only when Greinke throws. They butchered the Alex Gordon situation. And so on and so forth. Not inefficiency. Idiocy.

  58. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun:

    How do you quantify the difference between Pat Burrell and Jermaine Dye? Their OPS is not far apart, yet, the assumption is Burrell is a streakier hitter than Dye, and Dye was “steadier”. How do you predict that?

    How do you predict or quantify sophomore slumps? How do you be a first round pick like Dave Roberts, hit the hell out of the ball your rookie season (1973) and then flop like a dead fish the next season? Sometimes things just happen without PECOTA. If all of your decisions are based on what you exect, expect to be in last place.

  59. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    Jason Kendall is making $2,250,000 this season. The only other catcher on the roster is Pena, who is making major league minimum, $440,000.

    In 2009, the Royals had as their primary catcher Miguel Olivo, who cashed in $2,700,000, and John Buck, who made MORE than Olivo, $2,900,000. Pena was on the roster for 64 days, so prorating the ML minimum, he picked up $140,000.

    Kendall makes less than BOTH Royals catchers last season, and you’re bitching about the signing an it being not efficient?

  60. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “You can’t judge a front office necessarily and solely on the basis of wins and losses and money. Yes, obviously wins and losses are vital and that’s the point of the game but, as you say, a team can make all the right moves and run into bad luck.”

    Shaun: “If you don’t care about any evidence, how can we ever prove or disprove that he is a bargain, a solid backstop, a proven leader and does all the little things to win? Where do you get your assumption that he is all of these things? In the Royals’ remarkable won-loss record? In their remarkable pitching? In their remarkable rate at which they catch baserunners stealing?”

    And once again… successful results don’t matter when someone else is making a point, but they’re vitally important when Shaun wants them to be.

    This is EVERY post you make Shaun. “Point X doesn’t matter, unless I need it to matter for my point to make sense.”

    You only understand the surface aspects of the game, and this causes you to grossly misunderstand how… just about everything… in the game works.

    I mean… for the love of god… you think offensive power is the most important tool for a catcher. If that were true AT ALL, you’d see more Mike Piazza type players. You’d see the Nationals leaving Harper behind the plate. Any random Adam Dunn type could go out and get fitted for catchers gear. Yet no team would put him behind the plate because… as a multitude of people have said before me… leadership, defense, and the ability to handle a pitching staff matter more. Those tricky little qualities that don’t fit on a baseball card, and thus people who only value that sort of thing assume don’t matter. The type of people who kept the scorebook for their little league team.

  61. Brautigan Says:

    To follow up on Hossrex’s statement:

    That is why guys like Ray Schalk and Rick Ferrell are in the HOF. They sure didn’t get there because of their prowess with the bat.

  62. Raul Says:

    I’m not saying “Whoa, the Royals signed Jason Kendall, that’s awesome!!”

    I just don’t think it’s a bad contract. There are things you can really go to town on that the Royals have done, but this isn’t one of them.

    Getting Betancourt is probably the biggest as far as free agency, and that’s really been covered.

  63. Patrick Says:

    Wow, a lot of great points by the guys who know how to look past using only raw stats and see something valuable that’s largely unquantifiable.

  64. John Says:

    Hoss,

    If it wasn’t for Karros, would Piazza have moved to first with LA?

  65. Hossrex Says:

    John: “If it wasn’t for Karros, would Piazza have moved to first with LA?”

    It’s no secret that Karros is a sentimental favorite of mine, but as far back as 1996ish I was of the opinion that it would probably have been in the best interest of the team to trade Karros for a young major league ready catcher, and move Piazza to first (of course in retrospect, all that would have been necessary is pull up LoDuca early… but we didn’t know that at the time).

    Everyone knew it was something that needed to be done… but the question mark is would Piazza have been happy with the move. It was well known in the southern California area really early that Piazza had his eyes set on the hall of fame on the grounds of being one of the greatest offensive catchers of all time.

    As they stand, Piazza’s numbers really don’t scream hall of fame for a first basemen… but… would they have been better if he’d been able to focus on batting? He certainly would have played more games.

    I guess in short…

    SHOULD Piazza have moved to first in LA? Yes.
    WOULD Piazza have moved to first LA? Probably not.

    For the life of me, I don’t know why a guy would want to play a position that positively wrecks your knees, and requires around a day off per week just to recover from the strain… but that’s what he wanted to do.

    Karros wasn’t good enough with the bat, and Piazza wasn’t good enough behind the plate to keep them where they were.

  66. Lefty33 Says:

    “But any team should be able to have some semblance of a contending season once or twice every 15-20 years.”

    Very true.

    “But as I’ve said a million times, that excuse only goes so far when teams like the Twins and the Rays and the Reds are contending with low payrolls.”

    The Twins now have the 11th highest payroll in Baseball. They are no longer low payroll.

    Define contending in regards to the Reds. The team hasn’t been over .500 since 2000 and I’m still not going to hold my breath on this year yet.

    And the Rays, as previously discussed, got so many #1 picks that they better have been able to contend for a bit.

    But the point is that due to MONEY, the Rays and Reds will never be able to keep their teams together.

    Where as the Twins have the resources and now that they are under new ownership they are finally using those resources.

    “But why would the Royals sign a pitcher to that large a contract when they aren’t close to contention?”

    Because ownership wants to but lipstick on a pig by signing guys who at least have quasi-name value so that they can put a few more butts in the seats.

    Maybe you would rather see Pena play every day but 99% of the people who go to games (AKA the casual fan that Baseball is constantly chasing) either don’t care or would rather the see the person with the name they have heard.

  67. Hossrex Says:

    Lefty: “Maybe you would rather see Pena play every day but 99% of the people who go to games (AKA the casual fan that Baseball is constantly chasing) either don’t care or would rather the see the person with the name they have heard.

    That.

    I think a major part of the equation Shaun is missing is the fact that baseball is (and ALWAYS has been) a business first, and a game second. It’s easy for us fans to just ignore that and enjoy the games, but when you get into the nuts of how teams are managed, it must be considered.

    Is Manny Ramirez worth $25 million dollars as far as his on field performance goes?

    Absolutely not.

    Is Manny Ramirez worth $25 million in expanded ticket sales, knickknacks, chotchkie, crap, and fake dreadlocks sold?

    You bet your sweet aunt Petunia’s patootie.

    Is it smart to overpay for an aging left fielder?

    No.

    Is it smart to overpay for an aging left fielder who brings in enough extra revenue beyond his payroll cost, that you’re able to afford a class “A” free agent during the offseason instead of a class “B” free agent?

    Damn right.

    You’re still not looking at the whole picture Shaun.

  68. Hossrex Says:

    I hate the Dodgers
    I hope the team bus crashes
    They are terrible

    A haiku by Hossrex

  69. Hossrex Says:

    There once was a team from the valley
    Who sucked during even a rally
    Picked off second base
    And lost in the race
    Which gave the loss column a tally

    A limerick by Hossrex

  70. Shaun Says:

    No, Shaun, it’s because unless you can put a number or measure something, you don’t believe anything exists.

    “If Shaun can’t see it, it isn’t real”

    What I’m asking is should a team pay for a catcher’s leadership and game-calling (when there is little else going for him) when there is little-to-no evidence that his leadership and game-calling is any better than someone else who is a lot cheaper and is better or at least not much worse at other aspects of the game?

    If no one can provide anything that tells us that Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is significantly more helpful than say Bryan Pena’s or Jeff Howell’s or Cody Clark’s or some fringe catcher they could get, why use significantly more of your resources on Kendall’s leadership and game-calling versus saving those resources and going with someone else’s? You are basically gambling a few million dollars on something that may very well make a difference over some other catcher but may very well not make much of a difference. And it’s not smart for a franchise like the Royals to take such gambles.

    Also, Chuck, is there anything out there to suggest that the advantages of having Kendall will help in the long run, long after he’s left the Royals? Again, the Royals are taking a gamble that that’s the case when it may very well be and may very well not be.

    Kendall makes less than BOTH Royals catchers last season, and you’re bitching about the signing an it being not efficient?

    Right. That’s the problem. The Royals have a habit of overpaying for what all the evidence suggest is mediocre performance.

    And once again… successful results don’t matter when someone else is making a point, but they’re vitally important when Shaun wants them to be.

    Successful results do matter. We just shouldn’t overrate results (wins and losses) when evaluating a front office, but we should definitely look at them and use them.

  71. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    I’m going to refer you to Patrick’s comment (#63), and the first couple of sentences in Rex’ (#60).

    You keep asking for evidence because YOU don’t understand the game…at all.

    By all accounts, Bryce Harper was a pretty good college catcher, yet the National’s moved him to the OF BEFORE they drafted him…why?

    Because they PAY people alot of money to know Harper’s skill set as a catcher won’t translate from being an amateur to a pro.

    There is TONS

  72. Shaun Says:

    Is Manny Ramirez worth $25 million dollars as far as his on field performance goes?

    Every situation is different, as I’ve said. It was worth it for the Dodgers to acquire Ramirez, or at the very least it wasn’t a bad move. But it wouldn’t be such a good move for a team like the Twins or the Reds or the Pirates. The reality is some teams can afford to have different standards of efficiency but efficiency matters to every team to some degree.

    How do you quantify the difference between Pat Burrell and Jermaine Dye? Their OPS is not far apart, yet, the assumption is Burrell is a streakier hitter than Dye, and Dye was “steadier”. How do you predict that?

    How do you predict or quantify sophomore slumps? How do you be a first round pick like Dave Roberts, hit the hell out of the ball your rookie season (1973) and then flop like a dead fish the next season? Sometimes things just happen without PECOTA. If all of your decisions are based on what you exect, expect to be in last place.

    A front office has to base their decisions on what is likely, whether they are using scouting, statistics or both. Obviously sometimes a front office is going to get it wrong because sometimes what seems likely just doesn’t happen. A front office can’t just randomly draft and sign players without regard to any sort of projections and hope for the unexpected. Whether a front office relies heavily on scouts, statistics, both, they have to go on something. Do you really think a front office’s decisions should be based on what they expect? That’s like playing poker and betting without any regard to the hand you were dealt.

  73. Chuck Says:

    (sorry)

    of evidence in that regard, but, as I said previously, because YOU can’t see it in numbers form, you don’t believe it exists.

    I wrote an article awhile back stating how I believed the Aroldis Chapman signing would set the Reds franchise back five years, you were the leading arguer (as usual) WITHOUT any evidence (again, as usual).

    You write an article about financial efficiency, and the Chapman signing was the big RED FLAG of the season, yet all you wanted was evidence because you aren’t smart enough (in a baseball or business sense) to find it on your own.

  74. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the scouting reports the Nationals use that suggest Harper should be moved from behind the plate is evidence. Hello? They didn’t just assume without any basis for that assumption.

  75. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, it’s not that I don’t believe something like Kendall’s leadership and superior game-calling doesn’t exist. It’s that there is no way to know that Kendall’s leadership and superior game-calling is any better than a cheaper catcher’s who we know is much better at other aspects of the game.

    The difference is you think you know with absolute certainty that Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is worth more dollars to the Royals than all the things another fringe-type catcher may bring to the table. I say there is no way to know that with any certainty, and what little we know seems to suggest that the Royals would have been better off going with a cheaper option. So what I’m asking is why assume that his leadership and game-calling is worth so much more that what a fringe catcher brings to the table? You seem to know with absolute certainty the answer to that question, so please provide it. Stop messing with us and give us the answer, please. We are waiting.

  76. Shaun Says:

    Put yourself in the shoes of a Royals fan. Would you have been jumping for joy at the acquisitions of Kendall, Podsednik, Meche, Farnsworth, Guillen, etc.; or would you be disappointed that the franchise is taking so many risks with what money they do put into the team? Would you have been excited at all the “veteran leadership” the Royals acquired?

  77. Shaun Says:

    I wrote an article awhile back stating how I believed the Aroldis Chapman signing would set the Reds franchise back five years, you were the leading arguer (as usual) WITHOUT any evidence (again, as usual).

    You write an article about financial efficiency, and the Chapman signing was the big RED FLAG of the season, yet all you wanted was evidence because you aren’t smart enough (in a baseball or business sense) to find it on your own.

    I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

    All I know is I would rather the Reds spend their money on a young pitcher with an electric arm than on the likes of Kendall, Farnsworth, Meche, etc.

  78. Chuck Says:

    No one is waiting, Shaun.

    Other than you.

    Everyone else understands already, and have clearly stated their beliefs in their comments.

    Is Harper’s scouting report public knowledge, Shaun?

    The answer is no.

    So for a couch jockey like yourself, there is no evidence.

    And even if Harper’s report was public knowledge, you wouldn’t understand it anyway.

  79. Chuck Says:

    “All I know is I would rather have the Reds spend their money on a young pitcher with an electric arm…”

    So what you’re saying is signing an unproven player for $30 million is a better investment than a fifteen year ML veteran for $2.5?

  80. Shaun Says:

    So what you’re saying is signing an unproven player for $30 million is a better investment than a fifteen year ML veteran for $2.5?

    Yep. If that 15-year vet is no good anymore and your franchise is working with a more limited budget than most.

  81. Shaun Says:

    So what I’m asking is why assume that his leadership and game-calling is worth so much more that what a fringe catcher brings to the table?

    Chuck, no one has answered this question. Everyone has basically just said that they assume Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is worth a lot more than what a fringe catcher could bring to the Royals, and have restated that they assume that. But they haven’t answered why they assume that or why the Royals should assume that.

  82. Patrick Says:

    There is a right way and a wrong way to play this game. John’s example of the little things that Kendall does is a great example of the right way.

    For example, if there is a man on 2B with no outs, Kendall is less likely to get a low outside pitch than say, BJ Upton. Kendall knows this because he knows they know he will hit it on the ground to the right side because that’s the right thing to do, and Kendall always does the right thing. So Kendall adjusts accordingly to the cat and mouse game. Now with BJ, they know he’s still going to step in the bucket and try to jack something to left field so they don’t have to play cat and mouse with BJ, they can play lion and sheep with him.

    Now because BJ has the physical ability to be something special, he gets his name penciled in everyday, but the day is coming soon where that will end if he doesn’t start understanding the mental side.

    My only point is, baseball is a game that is as much mental as it is physical but people who haven’t experienced that, suffer from symptoms similar to The Allegory of the Cave. Because they haven’t seen it, it doesn’t exist.

    Stats are great and I guess you could even call me a stat geek, but there are so many things that make up a successful player that can’t be quantified by stats, as they currently exist.

    Again, for example, when Steinbrenner was the guy who chose the players, the Yanks looked great on the stat sheet but were horrible in the field. After a decade plus of doing that, like the good business man that he ultimately is, he turned the personel decisions over to baseball people and his money started to be invested wisely.

  83. Shaun Says:

    Patrick, does Kendall hitting the ball to the right side with a man on second make up for his weaknesses (if he does indeed actually hit the ball the the right side with a man on second with no outs often)? Actually making an out with a man on second is probably going to cost the team more runs than it’s going to add. The runner is already in scoring position. What you need there is a hit. But you are so sure of yourself that Kendall hitting the ball to the right side with a man on second and no outs is much more valuable than a guy who can actually get on base and slug better, so what’s the point of me bringing that up? You already know everything, so why question you?

    And I’m sure the Yankees front office doesn’t use stats, huh? Steinbrenner was the stat geek.

  84. JohnBowen Says:

    “Chuck, no one has answered this question. Everyone has basically just said that they assume Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is worth a lot more than what a fringe catcher could bring to the Royals, and have restated that they assume that. But they haven’t answered why they assume that or why the Royals should assume that.”

    Ok.

    “We saw what Jason Kendall did behind the plate for us … Nine blocks, he controlled the ball in the dirt, and not one runner advanced on the bases. That’s the type of baseball we need to play.”

    -Dayton Moore

  85. Shaun Says:

    “We saw what Jason Kendall did behind the plate for us … Nine blocks, he controlled the ball in the dirt, and not one runner advanced on the bases. That’s the type of baseball we need to play.” – Dayton Moore

    Again, is that type of play any better than what a cheaper fringe-level catcher brings to the table? Do the nine blocks make up for an OPS+ of 70?

    If your favorite team had Jason Kendall and they were in the same position as the Royals, would it excite you, really?

  86. Raul Says:

    Others wrote the following:

    “If Shaun can’t see it, it isn’t real”

    “No, Shaun, it’s because unless you can put a number or measure something, you don’t believe anything exists.”

    Shaun writes:

    “What I’m asking is should a team pay for a catcher’s leadership and game-calling (when there is little else going for him) when there is little-to-no evidence that his leadership and game-calling is any better than someone else who is a lot cheaper and is better or at least not much worse at other aspects of the game?”

    …so..basically they’re right. If you can’t measure it, you don’t think it exists.
    Your response is basically asking Chuck and Lefty and Hossrex to measure “leadership”.

    I don’t know how to really do that for you in clear ways. I’m thinking Jason Kendall’s leadership is 12.647 pounds of pressure per square inch when holding the bat, while Jeter’s a solid 19.902

  87. JohnBowen Says:

    “If your favorite team had Jason Kendall and they were in the same position as the Royals, would it excite you, really?”

    They did, for two years, it did and they made the playoffs for the first time in 2 and a half decades.

  88. Patrick Says:

    Shaun, I’ll give you credit for one thing. You get a lot of people who understand baseball to debate incessantly with someone who doesn’t….One less now though.

  89. Shaun Says:

    Your response is basically asking Chuck and Lefty and Hossrex to measure “leadership”.

    Sort of, Raul. Basically does Jason Kendall’s leadership and game-calling make up for his lack of other things that help a team? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. There is no way to know. So why spend your resources on something that you can’t know. I can understand a Milton Bradley situation where he’s a decent player but you know he’s more trouble than other players and that it’s not worth signing him because of that trouble. But with Kendall, he’s not a good player in many respects and we have know way to know if his leadership or game-calling makes up the difference between him and another cheaper catcher that is better at everything that we can know about.

    They did, for two years, it did and they made the playoffs for the first time in 2 and a half decades.

    For one of those years. In the second year they finished under .500.

  90. Chuck Says:

    “So why spend your resources on something you can’t know”

    Holy shit…

    You just said it was OK for the Reds to spend $30 million on Chapman, yet they did what you just said they shouldn’t, spend money on an unknown.

  91. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I really don’t need anyone to measure leadership and game-calling with great accuracy and precision. I just need someone to show me where they see that Kendall’s leadership and game-calling makes up for his lack of other skills so much so that it was worth paying him more than a fringe-type catcher. I don’t see it, given that the Royals run prevention is worse than it was last year; and when he was in Milwaukee one year they made the playoffs and the next they were under .500 with Kendall both years.

    Also, to get back to the main point, what does everyone see in all the seemingly mediocre vets the Royals signed? Again, is their leadership worth passing on players who could perform just as poorly or maybe even a little better at more favorable contracts?

  92. Shaun Says:

    You just said it was OK for the Reds to spend $30 million on Chapman, yet they did what you just said they shouldn’t, spend money on an unknown.

    Chapman wasn’t an unknown. A scout and other talent evaluators can measure his fastball, can rate his off-speed stuff, can rate his control, can look at his body type, can look at his age, can look at his stats in Cuban baseball and international play, etc. All that stuff is possible to know much more than whether Kendall’s leadership and game-calling makes up for his weaknesses so that it’s worth paying him more than a catcher without Kendall’s weaknesses.

  93. Shaun Says:

    If the Reds had spent $30 million on Chapman even though he showed them nothing as a pitcher but they thought his leadership was worth that much, that would be a problem. To a much lesser degree, that’s what they did with Kendall.

  94. Raul Says:

    I hope Chapman becomes a great pitcher. I really do.
    Sure seems strange that an awful lot of teams with more money than the Reds passed on him though.

  95. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, also it’s about $5.04 million per season for Chapman (plus a $16.25 million bonus paid out over 11 years). So it’s not like they paid $30 million all at once or even in one year.

  96. Chuck Says:

    If what you say about Chapman is true, then why didn’t the Yankees or Red Sox or some other “big money” team sign him?

    “All of that stuff is possible to know much more than whether Kendall’s leadership and game-calling…”

    No, it’s not, and, again, you keep looking for something on paper as proof without acknowledging the fact most things CAN’T be.

    If you can’t hold it in your hand, or touch it, or see it, then it doesn’t exist.

    That’s pretty sad.

  97. Chuck Says:

    Five million a season for an A ball pitcher is twice what the Royals are paying their starting catcher, and you’re OK with that?

  98. Raul Says:

    Mike Leake, who’s college career is well documented, signed with the Reds for 2.7 million dollars.

    Bradley Boxberger, their 2nd selection signed for $867,000.

    Aroldis Chapman, who some speculate the Cuban National Team didn’t care about, signed for 30 million.

  99. Shaun Says:

    If what you say about Chapman is true, then why didn’t the Yankees or Red Sox or some other “big money” team sign him?

    Mainly because Chapman is still somewhat risky. And the Yankees and Red Sox don’t have to take such calculated risks to get a pitcher with the upside of a Chapman.

    No, it’s not, and, again, you keep looking for something on paper as proof without acknowledging the fact most things CAN’T be.

    I’m looking for something anywhere, on paper or not, that tell us whether Kendall’s leadership and game-calling along with his other skills were worth to the Royals the contract the Royals signed him to. I believe his leadership and game-calling exist. I was at a game he caught just last weekend so I know his game-calling exists. He put down fingers before every pitch, so I know his game-calling exists.

  100. Shaun Says:

    Five million a season for an A ball pitcher is twice what the Royals are paying their starting catcher, and you’re OK with that?

    I would rather the Royals had done what the Reds did than sign a poor catcher. The Royals knew they were getting a poor catcher and he is what he is. The upside for Chapman is much higher.

    Aroldis Chapman, who some speculate the Cuban National Team didn’t care about, signed for 30 million.

    Didn’t care about? He was their number one pitcher going in to the 2009 WBC. Maybe you are referring to the government keeping him off the national team during the Bejing Olympics because of his attempt to defect in 2008.

  101. Chuck Says:

    First off, Shaun, the only opinion on whether Kendall’s contract was worth it or not is the Royals…not you, not me, not Raul, just the Royals.

    “And the Yankees and Red Sox don’t have to take such calculated risks…”

    Chapman’s ability doesn’t change based on which teams are interested in him. As a player, his “risks” are the same for everyone.

    His risk is measured, therefore, in how much a team pays him.

    Thirty million is less of a risk for the Yankees than the Reds.

    Would you not agree, Shaun?

    Second, if you think game calling is just putting down fingers, then you really are a moron.

  102. Chuck Says:

    “He was their number one pitcher going into the 2009 WBC.”

    No, he wasn’t.

    The “government” didn’t keep him off the national team because of a previous attempt to defect, and considering he ended up defecting anyway…

    Chapman was kicked off the National team for insubordination, for fighting with his coach and teammates, and for being a certifiable whack job.

    The Cuban Milton Bradley.

    Chapman pitched yesterday in relief…the transformation to 30 million LOOGY has begun.

    Yep, good investment.

  103. Raul Says:

    “I’m looking for something anywhere, on paper or not, that tell us whether Kendall’s leadership and game-calling along with his other skills were worth to the Royals the contract the Royals signed him to. I believe his leadership and game-calling exist. I was at a game he caught just last weekend so I know his game-calling exists. He put down fingers before every pitch, so I know his game-calling exists.”

    Speaking of putting down fingers, does your wife call a good game?
    I’m just kidding Shaun. No offense. But it’s funny to me.

  104. Shaun Says:

    First off, Shaun, the only opinion on whether Kendall’s contract was worth it or not is the Royals…not you, not me, not Raul, just the Royals.

    If that’s the case, I guess you have to say the same thing about Chapman and the Reds. See how that works?

    His risk is measured, therefore, in how much a team pays him.

    Right. But certain teams must take more risks with very young, talented players than other teams if they want to have a chance. Yes, the Yankees and Red Sox can afford the risk more than the Reds but that’s also why the Yankees and Red Sox don’t need to take the risk. The Yankees and Red Sox can acquire less risky pitchers, so there is no need for them to take a risk on a guy like Chapman for anything more than their price.

    Second, if you think game calling is just putting down fingers, then you really are a moron.

    I don’t. You missed the point. I was trying to let you know that I believe game-calling exist, namely because I’ve seen it happen.

    “He was their number one pitcher going into the 2009 WBC.”

    No, he wasn’t.

    Everyone considered him their best pitcher.

    The “government” didn’t keep him off the national team because of a previous attempt to defect, and considering he ended up defecting anyway…

    Chapman was kicked off the National team for insubordination, for fighting with his coach and teammates, and for being a certifiable whack job.

    From a Jorge Arangure Jr. feature on Chapman:

    “I knew that if they didn’t allow me to play anymore, I would leave Cuba immediately,” Chapman says. “I mean, what was I supposed to do? Baseball is the only thing I know.”

    Instead, Chapman got a conditional reprieve. Castro suspended Chapman for the remainder of the National Series season and also kept him off Cuba’s national team for the Beijing Olympics. But surprisingly, Chapman was allowed to return to the National Series this season and rejoin the national team in time for the World Baseball Classic.

    No official reason was given for the decision, though it’s widely believed that Castro, and his brother Fidel — both from Holguin — did not want to weaken their beloved hometown Sabuesos for too long. Also, without Chapman, Cuba’s chances in the WBC seemed dim. So Chapman was brought back.

    Chapman pitched yesterday in relief…the transformation to 30 million LOOGY has begun.

    They are most likely preparing Chapman for a bullpen role this season but long-term he’s going to be given every opportunity to become a starter. Lots of teams put young pitchers in the bullpen to limit their innings. It’s not that unusual. A “scout” should know these things.

  105. Shaun Says:

    Chapman was kicked off the National team for insubordination, for fighting with his coach and teammates, and for being a certifiable whack job.

    I find absolutely no reports of this. You must be thinking of someone else or making up things to make Chapman look bad and advance your argument.

  106. Raul Says:

    Lots of teams DO limit innings for pitchers.

    But not in Cuba. They’re damn near like the Japanese. They pitch, and pitch, and pitch, and pitch.

    With all the concerns about Aroldis Chapman, the absolute last thing should be conditioning.

  107. Shaun Says:

    Raul, Chapman is not in Cuba anymore. The Reds are probably more concern with protecting their investment than the Cuban government was about protecting Chapman.

  108. Cameron Says:

    I can’t believe you guys talked about the Royals so much and didn’t call the actual KC resident once…

  109. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, I take it you are a KC resident? Are you a Royals fan? If so, were you excited when you heard about the signings of Meche, Farnsworth, Kendall, etc.? Did you think, “boy, Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is really going to help the Royals”?

  110. Cameron Says:

    Honestly, I can see where the Royals are coming from with Kendall. While his defense and veteran presence are an asset, we signed him for one reason. Brayan Pena doesn’t have much major league experience and the guys down in the minors still need work. We needed a free agent catcher and were actually pretty closely linked with Pudge Rodriguez (something I was insanely excited about) until he went to Washington.

    We didn’t sign him for leadeship, we signed him because we know what we’re getting instead of having a young guy potentially disappoint us again. Young guys tend to disappoint in KC, so we take the veteran option for the reliability on the most part. It wasn’t dollars, it wasn’t leadership, it was a safe bet. That’s the bottom line.

  111. Cameron Says:

    And feel free to ask about the team for anything else, as bad as some guys can be on ripping on the Royals, no one does it better than someone actually wearing the Royals blue. We love the team, but we’re their harshest critics too.

  112. Cameron Says:

    And as for your other questions, we actually really like Meche here. Even though he’s not the ace we signed him to be he’s still a pretty safe 10-win bet with some injury problems but he really likes the fans here and my old psychiatrist lives across the street from him. He loves it here.

    Farnsworth had some promise because of the gigantic fastball. Soon as the losses started piling on, we turned on him as fast as we could. Guys who don’t live up to their contract are hated here for the most part. That’s why Jose Guillen was reviled here until he finally warmed up to the fans. Now we kinda like him. We still hate his contract though. You can/t move a 3 year/$36 MM contract with nothing to back it up.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, I’m convinced you talk just to hear yourself sometimes.

    There would be 35 comments on this even if it was just you.

    You can’t find things about Chapman because, unlike me, you don’t have access to the information.

    Just like you don’t have access to what goes into calling a game.

    Nice talking to you, I’m joining Patrick in leaving this never-ending headbanger.

  114. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, are Royals fans generally frustrated when they see teams like Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Cincinnati this year contending while the Royals continue to wait? I mean all of those teams built a solid core of young players while the Royals seems to load up on mediocre-to-poor vets who may have had potential at one time or may have been good players at one time.

    Also, what are the thoughts of Royals fans regarding Alex Gordon? I mean, the Royals send him a sign that they think he’s great and call him up without much time in the minors then the don’t give him much of a chance before they send him down again. It’s back-and-fourth and position swapping. They should have either brought him along slowly or gave him the thirdbase job for at least 4-5 months before they decided to send him back-and-forth going on four seasons now.

  115. Cameron Says:

    Tampa really kinda surprised everybody and the success has only been around for 3 years. It’s not really fair to compare. Cincinnati’s just dug itself out of a series of losing seasons, too. The only comparison you have there with any merit is Minnesota, and they actually have MVP-caliber pieces. For the most part, we don’t really care about the vets or the performance. We like the Royals because they’re our team, it’s a great park, great atmosphere, and the games are fun to watch. For a 5 dollar general admission seat, you can have a great afternoon of fun and it’s just a game. We’ve been in our ways for so long, we’d like to keep winning, but we don’t have any delusions about winning year-in and year-out for quite some time.

    As for Gordon, that… Eh. DFA someone like Betancourt (Who BTW, many of you erroneously say was a free agent, we traded for him) and move Aviles back to short, Callaspo to second, and get Gordon back.

    We can say a lot of things about the team… But ultimately, we like it because the team provides us with something to like and something to be proud of. They may be losers, but they’re our losers. …With a really great game experience.

    I’d love to stay and be blasted with more hot air from you big-market guys, but I’ve got a bowl of soup that needs to be made.

  116. Cameron Says:

    And for the record, we do have a core of young guys who are talented, just haven’t had the greatest reults. Greinke, Butler, Hochevar, Bannister, and Soria are the main guys here, the vets just cycle through. We also have guys like Moustakas, Hosmer, Myers, and Ka’ihue in the wings. We have a core, and it’s not the vets. They’re just the ones everybody notices.

  117. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, I think the problem is the Royals don’t have enough young talent and the vets that they do have are either not good enough to bring anything of value to the Royals in a trade or their contracts are such that they aren’t likely to bring anything of value in a trade or both.

    It’s good that you see the Royals as your lovable losers. I’m being serious. A true fan is a fan through thick and thin. But I know if my team were in the shape the Royals were in, I would think they are giving up too much for the wrong players in many cases. I would want them to take an approach more like the one the Pirates have taken over the past 2-3 seasons.

  118. Shaun Says:

    You can’t find things about Chapman because, unlike me, you don’t have access to the information.

    Likely story for someone trying to cover themselves.

    Just like you don’t have access to what goes into calling a game.

    I never said I did. But I know enough and played the game enough to know that a catcher’s leadership and game-calling isn’t going to make up for him stinking in most other important areas.

  119. Chuck Says:

    The quote you provided regarding Chapman is interesting, Shaun.

    It doesn’t, however, mention anything about being removed from the “A” team roster because of a fear of defection.

    It says nothing, period.

    If you actually WATCHED the WBC, you would have seen Chapman pushing and shoving with his catcher in the dugout in between innings.

    Not the first, or even second time.

  120. Chuck Says:

    “But I know enough and played the game enough to know…”

    No, Shaun, you don’t.

    A likely story for someone trying to cover himself, perhaps?

  121. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, it beyond the scope of any possibility to have played the game as long as you claim to have and be as ignorant.

    It’s like you went into a 20 year coma and woke up with no long term memory and the inability to remember anything that happened longer than ten minutes ago.

    If Sigmund Freud were still alive, he’d be in his fucking glory with you.

  122. Chuck Says:

    You know, Shaun, you claim to have “played and know enough” to know that a catcher’s leadership and game calling isn’t going to make up for him stinking in most other areas, yet, in fact, the opposite is true.

  123. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, I’m still waiting on an explanation as to what you are going on that indicates Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is so great that it was worth giving him a bigger contract than someone who was just as good or better at everything else. I’m not getting an answer except basically, “Kendall was worth it because I say so.”

  124. Shaun Says:

    You know, Shaun, you claim to have “played and know enough” to know that a catcher’s leadership and game calling isn’t going to make up for him stinking in most other areas, yet, in fact, the opposite is true.

    So why aren’t teams lining up to sign the superior game-callers and leaders? If a catchers leadership and game-calling is as important as you say (affecting every pitch), why aren’t the superior game-callers and leaders among the highest paid players in the game? Is every team just wrong in the way they value catchers?

  125. Shaun Says:

    Chuck: “Kendall was worth the contract because I say so and I know more than you.”

    Me: “What are you going on as your basis for Kendall being worth the contract the Royals gave him relative to what they could have gotten from a cheaper, just as good or better option?”

    Chuck: “Catchers’ game-calling and leadership is the most important thing and it doesn’t matter if he’s bad at everything else that’s important. I say so and I’m smarter than everyone. I don’t have to provide a basis for that fact.”

  126. Shaun Says:

    Can anyone out there provide any reason to believe that Bryan Pena’s leadership and game-calling is significantly worse than Jason Kendall’s (over $1.8 million worse)? Can anyone out there provide any reason to believe that it was worth it for a franchise like the Royals to pay Kendall $1,822,000 more than someone like Bryan Pena this season? Please be as in-depth and as detailed as you possibly can because I see no reason for it; so I would love to know in detail what the reason is.

  127. Shaun Says:

    If you watched Pena’s starts last season, Kendall’s starts this season and ignored the names on the back of the jersey’s, I would bet my house that you would see little difference, even if you looked at everything in depth.

  128. Brautigan Says:

    Because Shaun, if Pena could provide that leadership and game calling, he would be averaging a lot more than 60 at bats the past 5 seasons. Don’t you think?

  129. Chuck Says:

    #125

    Grow up.

    #126

    Can you answer it?

    “I would bet my house..”

    You’re on.

    Fly out to Phoenix next March. I live next to the Royals spring training facility, we’ll go over and talk to every pitcher in camp.

    One condition: I want to be in the room when you tell your wife she’s now homeless.

    Don’t worry, I’ll cut you a good break on the rent.

  130. Raul Says:

    Cameron may not think Jason Kendall was signed for leadership…but who the hell do you think is going to teach Pena how to lead a pitching staff?

    David DeJesus?
    Sure.

  131. Shaun Says:

    #126

    Can you answer it?

    No, I can’t with any certainty. Which is why I think it’s a bad move for the Royals to pay Kendall $1,822,000 more this season than Pena because I don’t think it’s possible and, based on what I do know with some degree of certainty, Kendall is not worth $1,822,000 more than Bryan Pena.

    But apparently you and some others can answer those questions with certainty, so I’m waiting to read your answers.

  132. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, Brayan Pena has played 150 career games in SIX major league seasons.

    Please, please, please explain to us how, or why, Brayan Pena is a better option for the Royals.

    At any price.

  133. Raul Says:

    I guess catchers hold no value to Shaun…unless they slug .500

  134. Shaun Says:

    Raul, Bryan Pena need to be taught how to lead a pitching staff, don’t overpay a player who is not good at this point in his career. Hire a coach. But Pena is 28, not exactly a young man in baseball terms. And there is no reason to believe he is worth over $1.8 million less than Jason Kendall this season, based on everything that can be known about the two players.

  135. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, first of all Pena is making over $1.8 million less this season than Kendall, so that should be a consideration in whether he is a better option for the Royals.

    Second, Pena was a league average hitter last season (OPS+ of around 100), he’s younger and he’s more versatile than Kendall. Kendall hasn’t approached an OPS+ of 100 since 2004.

    I guess catchers hold no value to Shaun…unless they slug .500

    Not true.

  136. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: What would you have the Royals do? They didn’t re-sign Buck or Olivo, the 4 catchers they have in AAA & AA are Edwin Bellorin (who managed 3 years of AAA ball with Colorado), Cody Clark, Jeff Howell, and a bigger version of Dioner Navarro in Manny Pina. None of these guys are better options than Kendall.

    I think Raul is right, if a catcher doesn’t hit well, they hold no value for you, which is right out of roto world not real world.

  137. JohnBowen Says:

    Shaun: “I do know with some degree of certainty, Kendall is not worth $1,822,000 more than Bryan Pena.”

    No, you don’t know that.

    You know what Shaun? I’m going to use your own weapon against you.

    According to fangraphs, Jason Kendall’s WAR in 2008-2009 equates to a value of 14.6 million dollars; 10.3 in 2008 and 4.3 in 2009. That doesn’t even consider these “irrelevant” factors like leadership, game-calling etc. Oh, and Pena has graded out at like -200 grand for his career and 1.9 million over the last two years. So, really he’s more like 6 million dollars better…ya know, according to the numbers.

    Shaun: “Second, Pena was a league average hitter last season (OPS+ of around 100)”

    You’re a stat-guy, right Shaun? Me too. Us stat-guys believe in a little thing called SAMPLE SPACE. Pena had 183 PA last year. He sucks. He’s had a 150 games in 6 seasons for a reason.

    Shaun: “Again, is that type of play any better than what a cheaper fringe-level catcher brings to the table? Do the nine blocks make up for an OPS+ of 70?”

    Um. Yes.

    Chuck: “Nice talking to you, I’m joining Patrick in leaving this never-ending headbanger.”

    Haha. No you’re not.

    Chuck: “You can’t find things about Chapman because, unlike me, you don’t have access to the information.”

    I’m not sure I want to know how you have inside-information on the Cuba National Team. There’s something borderline illegal about you :D

  138. JohnBowen Says:

    I feel kinda bad that Dugout Central has turned into a massive game of Everyone vs. Shaun, so I’m going to go ahead and point out that David Wright seems to be doing fine through 70 games. He’s leading the league in RBI’s, and is hitting .300/.360/.521 since the notorious 400-post Wright-is-finished article was posted, while the Mets have been raking.

  139. Hossrex Says:

    Shaun: “Every situation is different, as I’ve said. It was worth it for the Dodgers to acquire Ramirez, or at the very least it wasn’t a bad move. But it wouldn’t be such a good move for a team like the Twins or the Reds or the Pirates. The reality is some teams can afford to have different standards of efficiency but efficiency matters to every team to some degree.

    Yeah.

    Please.

    Read that one more time. Here, I’ll help.

    Shaun: “Every situation is different, as I’ve said. It was worth it for the Dodgers to acquire Ramirez, or at the very least it wasn’t a bad move. But it wouldn’t be such a good move for a team like the Twins or the Reds or the Pirates. The reality is some teams can afford to have different standards of efficiency but efficiency matters to every team to some degree.

    Let me summarize.

    Shaun feels that efficiency is more important than money when constructing a Major League Baseball team, but… there are different levels of efficiency, depending on how much money a team has.

    Again… re-read what *I* just said:

    Hossrex: “Shaun feels that efficiency is more important than money when constructing a Major League Baseball team, but… there are different levels of efficiency, depending on how much money a team has.”

    This he says openly.

    Here’s a tip Shaun… you can’t say “efficiency matters more than money”, then the type of efficiency you’re talking about is predicated on the amount of money a team has.

    Shaun.

    Shaun…

    Shaun… Shaun… Shaun…

    You really ARE an idiot.

  140. Lefty33 Says:

    “Can anyone out there provide any reason to believe that it was worth it for a franchise like the Royals to pay Kendall $1,822,000 more than someone like Bryan Pena this season? Please be as in-depth and as detailed as you possibly can because I see no reason for it; so I would love to know in detail what the reason is.”

    Try posts #66 & #67.

  141. Cameron Says:

    Raul: Cameron may not think Jason Kendall was signed for leadership…but who the hell do you think is going to teach Pena how to lead a pitching staff?

    David DeJesus?
    Sure.

    I’m not saying Kendall isn’t a better leader, he’s in the top 10 of all time for games caught and is a good game-caller, but we signed him because he was our best available option once Pudge fell through. It was that, or hand the ball off to one of our replacement-level guys.

    Personally, I think they’re all stopgaps until we’re ready to give Wil Myers a chance.

  142. Chuck Says:

    “Second, Pena was a league average hitter last season (OPS+ of around 100), he’s younger and he’s more versatile than Kendall. Kendall hasn’t approached an OPS+ of 100 since 2004″

    Pena’s 100 OPS+ came in 183 plate appearances.

    Pena’s 5′11″, 235, Kendall 6′0″ 190.

    You’re not selling the versatility claim either.

  143. Chuck Says:

    “Here’s a tip Shaun… you can’t say “efficiency matters more than money”, then the type of efficiency you’re talking about is predicated on the amount of money a team has.”

    Everyone knows Shaun is an idiot, even before he wrote the article. The reason there’s 140 something comments on here is we all find it entertaining watching him outdo himself with each additional thing he says.

  144. Hossrex Says:

    I want to hear him rationalize the belief that efficiency matters more than money… but that “efficiency” changes depending on how much money the team has.

    That’d be like me saying “money isn’t as important to women as how nice a guy is… but the more money a guy has, the less nice he has to be.”

    Well… fuck… at that point being nice doesn’t fucking matter at all.

  145. Cameron Says:

    To an extent, I agree Hoss. If a guy is nice and broke, it’s about as satisfying as being with a dick who’s got some money. If you’re with a raving jagoff with several million, you don’t care after a while though.

    Efficiency matters relative to money to a point. Even guys like the Phillies who turn homegrown guys into a huge core and keep winning going are efficient with limited resources. The small guys who have a limited payroll are a good team for what they have.

    Guys like the Yankees and Red Sox who can throw as much money as they want at a guy don’t really have the same standards though. They can have all the good prospects they want. If you can replace whatever you want by signing someone, it doesn’t matter how much you maximize your resources. And with twenty million dollar contracts at those they may even be LESS efficient in terms of production.

    In short, a team with a small payroll who gets good returns from a team is efficient.

    A team with a lot of money is just getting a return on the investment. Throw enough dollars at anything and you can fix it.

  146. Hossrex Says:

    Yes. Which means money is more important to creating a successful Major League franchise.

    Just because it can be done without unlimited amounts of money, temporarily, doesn’t mean money isn’t the most important thing.

    Of course efficiency matters (not a single person has said it doesn’t), but if the amount of efficiency required is a sliding scale based on how much money the team has, it’s clear that efficiency isn’t what “separates good and bad franchises.”

  147. Shaun Says:

    I think Raul is right, if a catcher doesn’t hit well, they hold no value for you, which is right out of roto world not real world.

    What matters is what a player contributes in total. If Kendall is among the worst hitters in the league every year, he has to do a lot defensively and with leadership and game-calling to make up for the fact that he is significantly worse than a majority of major league hitters. I would like to see something that indicates he is significantly better than most catchers at defense, baserunning, calling games, leadership but I don’t see it and no one seems to be able to provide anything that indicates that. So therefore, based on everything we have to go on, it seems Kendall is not worth his contract.

    According to fangraphs, Jason Kendall’s WAR in 2008-2009 equates to a value of 14.6 million dollars; 10.3 in 2008 and 4.3 in 2009. That doesn’t even consider these “irrelevant” factors like leadership, game-calling etc. Oh, and Pena has graded out at like -200 grand for his career and 1.9 million over the last two years. So, really he’s more like 6 million dollars better…ya know, according to the numbers.

    Right. But you conveniently ignored this year’s dollars-based-on-WAR for Kendall. Also WAR and WAR converted to dollars aren’t rate stats; i.e., they don’t take playing time into account. If Kendall plays 150 games, even if he doesn’t play all that well, his WAR is going to be better than someone who plays 60 games at basically the same level.

    You’re a stat-guy, right Shaun? Me too. Us stat-guys believe in a little thing called SAMPLE SPACE. Pena had 183 PA last year. He sucks. He’s had a 150 games in 6 seasons for a reason.

    The question is not whether Pena sucks. Kendall sucks too. The question is would you prefer to pay a guy who sucks $1,822,000 more than another guy who sucks.

    Shaun feels that efficiency is more important than money when constructing a Major League Baseball team, but… there are different levels of efficiency, depending on how much money a team has.

    No. I feel efficiency is more important than money when you are trying to evaluate an organization/front office. But even if we are talking about results, efficiency still matters a great deal along with money.

    Here’s a tip Shaun… you can’t say “efficiency matters more than money”, then the type of efficiency you’re talking about is predicated on the amount of money a team has.

    Again, efficiency matters more than money when it comes to evaluating front offices. But efficiency still matters a great deal no matter how much money owners are willing to put into their teams.

  148. Shaun Says:

    Of course efficiency matters (not a single person has said it doesn’t), but if the amount of efficiency required is a sliding scale based on how much money the team has, it’s clear that efficiency isn’t what “separates good and bad franchises.”

    Well, there are and have been teams that pour a great deal of money in and still stink and/or make wrong moves; just like there are teams that are cheap or don’t play in a large market that stink and/or make all the wrong moves.

    Yes, money matters. If you don’t see a connection between winning and money, you’re blind. But efficiency is the key. If money separated good franchises from bad, then the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets would look more like the Phillies the past three seasons. Does anyone think any of those former teams are better franchises than the Phillies over the past three seasons?

  149. Shaun Says:

    Basically, is Brian Cashman and the rest of his crew a better franchise/organization than all the others simply because they have money and they win? Not necessarily. We need something else to go on to determine the best franchises/organizations because a franchise like the Blue Jays can make great moves but still finish 3rd or 4th. Yes, money is a huge reason the Blue Jays can’t win but does money and winning necessarily mean they are doing a bad job as an organization or a franchise? Certainly winning should be part of the evaluation but efficiency is the most important thing when we are trying to determine if the franchise is good or bad. Money should not be a consideration in this regard because usually a front office and the baseball people have little-to-no control over how much money the owner/owners but into the team.

    This is my argument. I honestly don’t see how this is all that controversial.

  150. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    The Yankees spend more on their team than any other in the league. By a lot.
    Under what circumstances would you call them the most efficient team in the league?

  151. Chuck Says:

    “Again, efficiency matters more than money when it comes to evaluating front offices.”

    Subtracting money from the equation, how would you measure it?

  152. Shaun Says:

    The Yankees spend more on their team than any other in the league. By a lot.
    Under what circumstances would you call them the most efficient team in the league?

    This makes my point. We need something else, besides how much money they spend, to go on when trying to measure how good or bad a franchise is (and by franchise I mean front office/baseball decision makers).

    “Again, efficiency matters more than money when it comes to evaluating front offices.”

    Subtracting money from the equation, how would you measure it?

    It’s not a matter of subtracting money from the equation. The argument is against saying money is the key factor separating good and bad franchises (by this I mean how the baseball people run the organization).

  153. Chuck Says:

    Money matters more to baseball because there is no salary cap.

    The Lakers are going to pay their number one pick the same as the Nets. The Lakers team payroll will be the same as the Nets.

    The Lakers ROE is better because they have better players for the same money and it’s reflected in wins and losses.

    Tampa is more efficient than the Yankees because while their win totals over the last three seasons is very similar, Tampa’s done so for a fraction of the cost.

    In baseball, efficiency is money.

    Revenue sharing eliminates the “small market”, the difference between the Kansas City’s and Tampa’s of the world is re-investing their cut of the revenue sharing pie back into the organization.

    Again, it’s a matter of $$

  154. Shaun Says:

    The Yankees spend more on their team than any other in the league. By a lot.
    Under what circumstances would you call them the most efficient team in the league?

    I would say the Yankees are pretty efficient. Efficient is such a loose and relative term that it’s kind of hard to have concrete rankings. But we can look at different factors and tell which franchises are efficient and which are not.

    I say the Yankees are efficient because they don’t seem to give out contracts and roster spots that set them back all that often compared to some other teams. The counter-argument is the Yankees do give out bad contracts and roster spots but nobody notices because they can afford to cut ties with those players and they can buy great players for the rest of their spots. But I would point out that there are examples in the history of the game there are examples of “rich” teams giving out contracts and roster spots that set them back; so it’s not impossible that the Yankees could screw up.

  155. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the argument is not that money does not matter.

    The argument is that just looking at money is not an appropriate way to evaluate a franchise (in terms of the front office and the baseball decisions).

  156. Shaun Says:

    I should say, the argument is not that money does not matter in terms of a team winning and losing.

    The argument is that just looking at money is not an appropriate way to evaluate a franchise (in terms of the front office and the baseball decisions). Of course you need to evaluate based on “bang for the buck” but in the end money is not what matters when you are trying to determine if a franchise is good or bad (i.e., whether their front office and baseball people are doing good things).

  157. Lefty33 Says:

    “We need something else to go on to determine the best franchises/organizations because a franchise like the Blue Jays can make great moves but still finish 3rd or 4th.”

    But since the Blue Jays don’t have the Yankees ability to spend money they can’t truly compete with them.

    Last year when Tex and CC were signed by the Yankees I’m sure that Toronto would have loved to have had both players. But Toronto can’t sign guys like that because they fiscally are unable to offer them the same money the Yankees did and not have AAA filler talent at most positions.

    “Certainly winning should be part of the evaluation but efficiency is the most important thing when we are trying to determine if the franchise is good or bad.”

    But if you don’t win who the hell cares how efficient you are.

    A top flight FA will not sign with a team that can’t offer them top money and a chance a winning.
    When have you ever read on MLB or ESPN that player X signed with a team because they seemed to be the most efficient?

    Do fans pay for tickets to watch teams and think about how great today’s game will be because team X is so efficient?

    Winning matters more than anything.

    To be a consistent winning franchise in today’s MLB requires that you spend money and lots of it.

    Remember Shaun, over the last ten years of the eight teams that have made the playoffs at least four every year, some years five, have been in the top ten in payroll.

    So if an owner can spend the money to put their team in upper-echelon of payroll you have a much better chance at winning and at making the playoffs with a chance at winning the WS than if you don’t.

    “Money should not be a consideration in this regard because usually a front office and the baseball people have little-to-no control over how much money the owner/owners but into the team.”

    That’s total bullshit Shaun. The right GM obviously has lots of pull with an owner.

    Gillick obviously had huge pull with Giles and Montgomery because they have added tremendous amounts of payroll to a team who’s owners had been about as anti-payroll over their first thirty years of owning the team as any owner in Baseball.

    When Stick Michael was the Yankees GM he was able to convince Steinbrenner to stop going after every old fart out their and to try and restock the farm system first.

    For every guy like Brian Sabean who’s a total idiot and tool, there are guys who have a plan and a vision and can have a major say with the owner as to what gets spent.

    Not every owner is Peter Angelos who will only allow his own opinion to be heard.

    “but in the end money is not what matters when you are trying to determine if a franchise is good or bad”

    What matters is winning.

    And as everyone but you has figured out, in today’s MLB you can’t win a WS or really even consistently make the playoffs with out being a top payroll team. And to do that requires spending money and lots of it.

    And don’t bring up your stupid Reds, Twins, and Rays argument either.

    The Twins are 11th in payroll this year and that will only go up since they have a new stadium and now that Polhad’s son is actually spending money to sign people the Twins have entered “big market” baseball type of spending.

    The Reds have not been competitive in a decade and this year they’re not making the playoffs anyway so who cares.

    I can’t imagine that any team other than the Rays has had so many #1 picks in such a short period of time.
    Just about any front office could have been given that bounty and done something with it.

    But because of money, the Rays will not be able to keep the team together so it’s a moot point anyway whether they are efficient or not.

    “The argument is that just looking at money is not an appropriate way to evaluate a franchise”

    Of course it is Shaun.

    You can not win a WS in MLB without being a top payroll team. And if you are not winning a WS then your franchise for that year has failed.

    No real fan gives a fucking shit about how efficient their team is. All they care about is does their team win. And the likelihood is that their team is not winning if they’re not spending money.

    It all ties together Shaun. One is not independent of the other.

  158. Raul Says:

    How would one explain efficiency in baseball in an equation?

    Efficiency = Money/Wins

    At least, that would seem reasonable, no? One would think you’re efficient if you get the most wins for your money.

    Therefore, the amount of money you spend has a direct impact on what you consider to be “efficient”.

    Chuck asked how you would define “Efficiency” if you took Money out of the equation. I don’t think you answered that.

  159. Shaun Says:

    But since the Blue Jays don’t have the Yankees ability to spend money they can’t truly compete with them.

    Hmmm…the Rays did a fine job competing with them in 2008 and have done a fine job so far this season.

    But if you don’t win who the hell cares how efficient you are.

    Good point. The idea is efficiency gets you in the right direction. The Pirates aren’t winning but they’ve been a hell of a lot more efficient than they were before the new regime came in. They are in a better position to win than they were under previous regimes.

    That’s total bullshit Shaun. The right GM obviously has lots of pull with an owner.

    In some cases but most of the time an owner is not going to put into the team more money than he/she wants. If GM’s has that kind of pull, all of them would convince owners to spend like the Yankees and Red Sox.

    What matters is winning.

    Right. But a front office can make all the right moves within their situation and not win. So to evaluate a front office, winning is only part of the equation.

    And as everyone but you has figured out, in today’s MLB you can’t win a WS or really even consistently make the playoffs with out being a top payroll team. And to do that requires spending money and lots of it.

    I agree, you need money to be a consistent playoff team. But a team can win, even win a WS, without spending lots of money. In 2005 the White Sox lowered their payroll after the 2004 season and won the Series.

    But because of money, the Rays will not be able to keep the team together so it’s a moot point anyway whether they are efficient or not.

    But if they continue to compete, who cares if they keep their current team together? The idea is to replace Carl Crawford with a younger, cheaper Crawford, then replace him when he gets too expensive. It’s hard to do but it’s not a hard concept to grasp and it’s quite possible for that to happen.

    Look at the Braves. During their run, did they keep their 1991 team together? How many times did they reload from season-to-season only to keep winning, especially from 2002-2005 after they started losing their pitchers?

    You can not win a WS in MLB without being a top payroll team. And if you are not winning a WS then your franchise for that year has failed.

    Then why don’t the Yankees win the Series every year, if being a top payroll team is so important?

    Efficiency = Money/Wins…Therefore, the amount of money you spend has a direct impact on what you consider to be “efficient”.

    Right. That has little to do with the argument I’m making. The argument is that whether a franchise (by franchise I mean front office and all baseball decision makers) is good or bad is determined by efficiency and not by how much money a team has or spends on payroll.

    Chuck asked how you would define “Efficiency” if you took Money out of the equation. I don’t think you answered that.

    I didn’t answer the question because I’m not asking anyone to take money out of the equation. I’m saying when evaluating a front office, you look at the efficiency side of the equation and not the money or the wins side of the equation. It’s really not that hard to grasp.

    Since we are breaking our arguments into equations, I say

    good franchise = efficiency = money/wins (more or less)

    Some of you seem to be saying a good franchise = wins and money

  160. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, name one example of a front office, baseball related decision that wasn’t based on money.

  161. Shaun Says:

    Shaun, name one example of a front office, baseball related decision that wasn’t based on money.

    All of them are. But what does this have to do with my argument? You are completely misunderstanding my argument.

  162. Chuck Says:

    “The idea is to replace Carl Crawford with a younger, cheaper Crawford, then replace him when he gets too expensive.”

    Which is strictly a money decision.

    What makes it an efficiency decision is if your cheaper option “effectively” replaces the lost production.

    Money determines the decision, how efficient that decision becomes is only determined by the result, not the cost.

  163. Dean M Says:

    Chuck: “If Sigmund Freud were still alive, he’d be in his fucking glory with you.”

    Dr. Freud would have a field day on this forum.

  164. Shaun Says:

    Efficiency is the end result of a good front office. Money is only one aspect of the equation in determining if a front office is efficient.

    The Twins are more efficient than the Mariners, for example, over the last 5 years. So the argument is the Twins are a better franchise over the last 5 years even though the Mariners spend more money. In that respect, money is not what separates the Twins and Mariners. Yes, money is a factor in determining which franchise is more efficient but it’s the efficiency that what separates the franchises. It’s really not that difficult nor controversial.

    I guess the controversy comes in when I essentially say that a team like the Pirates are a good franchise under their new regime because they are being pretty darn efficient, even though they haven’t been good yet nor have they spent a lot of money on players. I think the reason it’s controversial is because the Pirates are going with players that aren’t household names so they get criticized more than a team like the Royals. Some people apparently just underrate prospects and overrate has-beens.

  165. Shaun Says:

    Money determines the decision, how efficient that decision becomes is only determined by the result, not the cost.

    Efficiency not money separates good and bad franchises IS NOT THE SAME as saying money doesn’t matter at all in baseball.

  166. Shaun Says:

    The Rays have had a better run than the Cubs since the start of the 2008 season. How does money matter more than efficiency in those two situations?

  167. Shaun Says:

    I suppose it’s controversial to say the Rays have had a better 3-year run than the Cubs, since the Cubs spend more money on payroll.

  168. Raul Says:

    It’s ok to disagree Shaun.

    But you’ve never worked for a Major League, or Minor League franchise before.
    You didn’t even play Minor League ball to have an idea of how things are run.

    I just think it’s a little ridiculous for you to sit here and tell people about well-run and poorly-run franchises.

  169. Shaun Says:

    Raul, have you ever played in the majors? If not, does that mean you can’t make comments about major league players? Because, by your logic, it does.

  170. Raul Says:

    No. I haven’t.

    But I’ve played and been around a lot of people who have had professional experience. I’ve been in the camps in the Dominican Republic where the Yankees and Reds and White Sox keep their players.

    I have some idea of how things are done. But I’m not preaching about it.

    If all you’re going to do is point to a player and say “this player could do the same or similar for x-fewer dollars” then you’ll be talking shit about every player on every team…….including the teams with a lot of money.

  171. Cameron Says:

    You know, there actually is a measure of efficiency that takes both winning and dollars into account I believe. I got it from playing MLB 2K10. Dollars per win.

    (#of Wins on Season)/($ Spent on payroll)

    Lower the better. Higher payrolls skew the total.

  172. Shaun Says:

    I have some idea of how things are done. But I’m not preaching about it.

    Nor am I. I’m sharing my thoughts and standing up for my arguments when someone argues against them.

    If all you’re going to do is point to a player and say “this player could do the same or similar for x-fewer dollars” then you’ll be talking shit about every player on every team

    Not about players to whom teams give reasonable contracts. And my intention is not to talk junk about Jason Kendall. More power to Kendall and his agent for getting the contract he got from the Royals. I’m more talking junk about the Royals’ decision makers.

  173. Shaun Says:

    (#of Wins on Season)/($ Spent on payroll)

    Lower the better. Higher payrolls skew the total.

    Yep. This is a good way to measure efficiency.

    And you point out the flaw in the formula as well; outliers are going to skew things. To the Yankees, a ridiculous contract to A-Rod isn’t inefficient by their standards of efficiency. And to the Royals or Pirates a relatively low-dollar contract to someone like Jason Kendall is very inefficient.

  174. Chuck Says:

    “I’m sharing my thoughts and standing up for my arguments when someone argues against them.”

    When one person disagrees with you, go ahead and argue and defend your point.

    When 20 disagree with you, it’s a sign you need to change the way you think.

    To keep arguing defeats the purpose, you’re not right, and nothing you say will change that.

  175. Shaun Says:

    To keep arguing defeats the purpose, you’re not right, and nothing you say will change that.

    Well, if I’m not right about Kendall’s contract versus what they Royals are paying Bryan Pena, for instance, why doesn’t anyone provide anything more than basically just, “you’re wrong”? No one has given any reason why one should believe that Kendall is worth over $1.8 million more than Bryan Pena. The answer is game-calling and leadership. Then I ask where you get the impression that Kendall’s game-calling and leadership is worth over $1.8 million more than Pena’s and you basically just call me names.

    Honestly, if you have something, anything, that could give me a sense that Kendall’s game-calling and leadership is worth $1.8 million more than Pena’s or some other fringe catcher’s, I will gladly change my entire view on Kendall’s contract. So far all I’m getting is, “you’re stupid and wrong” instead of anything reasonable and logical.

    What is it about Kendall that you can’t admit that the Royals gave him an unreasonable contract? Is it the fact that he’s a veteran? He’s a big name? Is it his race or skin color compared to Pena’s? Is it that he appears more scrappy? Do you just want to take an opposite view of me because of your dislike for me, facts be damned? It makes no sense.

  176. John Says:

    If you go by Cameron’s formula, then the Royals could win 25 games a year and be more efficent than the Yankees. They could win 33 and still be as efficient as the Red Sox. I think you would have to use a team of replacement level guys as the baseline.

    Shaun, as to the original premise of the article, you are right. But there’s a difference between being defined as good based on success and being well-run. Small market teams can compete, they just have to choose their spots and also minimize mistakes.

    But so much of that is luck. It was good luck that the Marlins got their money’s worth and more out of Pudge in 03…after all, he got hurt the previous 3 years. An injury in 03 and the Marlins blow 1/4 of their payroll and don’t reach the postseason. Meanwhile, it was bad luck that the Orioles got extremely limited production out of a catcher who had just hit 43 dingers and slugged .687. Are the Orioles fundamentally off because Lopez failed to do what Pudge did?

    Now with Kendall…let me offer this. Before hiring him to replace Hillman as manager, the Royals has Ned Yost as a special advisor. Yost was Kendall’s manager in 08 and this last offseason, they signed Kendall. Coincidence?

  177. Brautigan Says:

    Dr. Freud would be doing massive amounts of coke and wanting information about your mother.

    That was SO 1983.

    :)

  178. Shaun Says:

    John, I agree that a lot of luck goes in to winning. This is another reason why wins can’t be the only or perhaps the major criterion for judging front offices/franchises/organizations.

    Regarding Pudge and Lopez, Lopez actually had about as good a year or better in 2003. The problem is the Orioles committed too many years. But even still, I can understand the Orioles thinking and the Lopez signing wasn’t horrible for them. The problem over the next few years after that signing was other signings and the fact that they didn’t get good enough players or develop their own at other spots. For instance they traded for an aging Sammy Sosa whose performance had been in a clear state of decline from 2001-2004.

    The Marlins paid Pudge essentially his market value and signed him for 1 season. Yes, there was a certain degree of luck in that Pudge was healthier than he had been in previous seasons. But it was the type of calculated risk that should be considered a fairly brilliant move because Pudge was still an outstanding player when healthy.

    Now with Kendall…let me offer this. Before hiring him to replace Hillman as manager, the Royals has Ned Yost as a special advisor. Yost was Kendall’s manager in 08 and this last offseason, they signed Kendall. Coincidence?

    I’m not sure what this says. I mean, say Yost recommended Kendall. Why is that any indication that Kendall is worth the contract the Royals gave him?

  179. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, this is YOUR argument.

    It’s up to you to prove Kendall ISN’T worth $1.8 million more than Pena.

    “Facts be damned”

    You have to show facts for them to be damned.

    The only way to get people to stop calling you names is to stop acting like whatever it is they’re calling you.

    The Royals DIDN’T give Kendall an unreasonable contract, and despite all the comments to date on this thread, YOU have yet to offer any proof they did…other than Pena is cheaper.

    They upgraded the position over what they had last season at a much cheaper price.

    Is that your definition of efficiency?

  180. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, where do you see that they upgraded at a much cheaper price?

    Miguel Olivo posted a 103 OPS+. John Buck posted a 103 OPS+. Bryan Pena posted a 100 OPS+. Royals catchers have threw out 25 percent of potential base-stealers. Royals pitchers had 9.4 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 7.3 SO/9, 4.83 ERA, 92 ERA+

    This year Kendall has a 70 OPS+ and Pena has a 47 OPS+. Royals catchers have thrown out 23 percent of potential base-stealers. Royal’s pitchers: 9.4 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, 4.79 ERA, 89 ERA+

    Where do you see that the Royals have improved under Kendall?

  181. Shaun Says:

    All the evidence we have seems to indicate Kendall has added nothing, and actually is hurting the Royals relative to their catching last season. Maybe Kendall is helping the Royals in a hidden way, but if it’s hidden it’s just as likely he’s not helping or hurting the Royals in those hidden ways, too. We just can’t know. So basically the Royals are paying him for possibly helping (we’re just speculating) or he’s not helping and they are overpaying.

  182. Shaun Says:

    They upgraded the position over what they had last season at a much cheaper price.

    Also last season is over. The question is not did they upgrade over last season (though they clearly did not). The question is, was Kendall the best option for this particular franchise. No. I would rather see the Royals with Bryan Pena and his career 75 OPS+ behind the plate for $428,000 than Kendall and his 75 OPS+ since 2005 for $2.25 million.

  183. Shaun Says:

    But I don’t mean to pick on Kendall. More power to him and his agent for convincing the Royals he was worth $2.25 million to them. Also, it’s not Kendall’s contract alone that’s the problem. It’s their commitment to too many mediocre-to-poor veterans. I think taking a chance that one or two mediocre-to-poor players who will provide “veteran leadership” beyond what shows up in any sort of somewhat obvious way is acceptable. But when your team is full of those type players and you are counting on those players to be catalysts, you are in trouble.

  184. Lefty33 Says:

    “Hmmm…the Rays did a fine job competing with them in 2008 and have done a fine job so far this season.”

    Talk to me in 2012 when the Yankees/Red Sox are in the playoffs and half of the current Rays roster is playing for them while the Rays are sitting in fourth place in the AL East.

    “If GM’s has that kind of pull, all of them would convince owners to spend like the Yankees and Red Sox.”

    No they wouldn’t because most teams don’t have the money to spend like the Yankees and Red Sox.

    “But a front office can make all the right moves within their situation and not win.”

    Name me a team that has made “all the right moves” and have not had improvement and won.

    “In 2005 the White Sox lowered their payroll after the 2004 season and won the Series.”

    So what. The White Sox were still in the upper half that year in payroll.

    “Look at the Braves. During their run, did they keep their 1991 team together? How many times did they reload from season-to-season only to keep winning, especially from 2002-2005 after they started losing their pitchers?”

    But in most of those years the Braves were spending a hell of a lot more on payroll than the Rays have spent, continue to spend, or will spend.

    It’s all about payroll again.

    “Then why don’t the Yankees win the Series every year, if being a top payroll team is so important?”

    Because the better teams can get outplayed by teams with lesser talent in a short series.

    And the Yankees because of what they spend are in the playoffs every year and usually are in a better place than 99% of the teams in Baseball every year to win the WS.

    They spend=They win

  185. Lefty33 Says:

    “Maybe Kendall is helping the Royals in a hidden way”

    It’s called he’s also selling more tickets as a quasi-known name as opposed to a guy that no one has heard of.

    You are truly obtuse Shaun.

  186. Shaun Says:

    Talk to me in 2012 when the Yankees/Red Sox are in the playoffs and half of the current Rays roster is playing for them while the Rays are sitting in fourth place in the AL East.

    There will be a low-payroll team that contends in 2012. If not the Rays, some other team.

    Name me a team that has made “all the right moves” and have not had improvement and won.

    The Pirates over the last 2-3 years.

    Because the better teams can get outplayed by teams with lesser talent in a short series.

    So why don’t the Yankees have the best record in baseball every season?

    They spend=They win

    The point is some teams spend more than others and still win less. Some teams spend less than other and still win more. It’s as simple as that. Money isn’t everything, like you think it is.

    It’s called he’s also selling more tickets as a quasi-known name as opposed to a guy that no one has heard of.

    Royals attendance per game has dropped this year. They’ve moved up in the rankings one spot. They were 12th last year and are 11th this year so far. Wow. Kendall and all those mediocre-to-poor vets with “names” are really bringing in the crowds. You may want to check the facts before typing.

  187. Bob Says:

    In 2012, the Orioles will win the East. Keep this post in the archives.

    Bob O

  188. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    Post #180.

    It appears to me, by the numbers you’ve provided, Royals pitchers, as a staff, are performing better than last season.

    As far as OPS+ goes, who cares?

  189. Chuck Says:

    “The point is some teams spend more than others and still win less. Some teams spend less than others and still win more. It’s as simple as that. Money isn’t everything, like you think it is.”

    And, yet, here you are saying the exact opposite.

    Shaun, efficiency is return on investment, which is money.

    You say the Pirates have made all the right moves over the past 2-3 years yet haven’t won, yet most of the people you’re referring to have been in the organization longer, or are just re-treads from other organizations who won’t even be in the organization the next time the Pirates have a winning season.

    And Pedro Alvarez will be a bust.

  190. Bob Says:

    Wow, a somewhat wild statement about Pedro Alvarez being a bust. A bust or just a mediocre player.

    Bob O

  191. Chuck Says:

    Well, considering his draft status and what the Pirates paid for him, he certainly won’t be as efficient.

  192. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, you’re actually kinda right in the fact that the pitchers are better as a whole. Zack Attack may not be acting like himself (I think it’s his GAD and the pressure of trying to repeat that season that might be doing him in), but other guys are picking up some of the slack.

    And you wanna talk about not spending much and going on rebuilding, talk about someone who’s genuinely fucking up a team with a pedigree of success. The Royals have one hall of famer and one World Series trophy.

    …The Orioles are on pace to match the ‘62 Mets in W-L and they’re trying to be “efficient”.

  193. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “(#of Wins on Season)/($ Spent on payroll)

    Lower the better. Higher payrolls skew the total.

    Shaun: “Yep. This is a good way to measure efficiency.”

    No, actually that’s a pretty terrible way to measure anything.

    The fact that you think it WOULD be a good way to measure efficiency says a lot about how little you understand not only baseball, but economics in general.

    inb4: ohmygodhossrexisrantingabouteconomicsagain

    Fuck yeah.

  194. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: The good news is you have had #193, um er, #194 responses to your article.

    The bad news is, you should have stopped at post #7 when you said “Wow. This turned into a ramble”. You were ahead of the curve at that point.

  195. Raul Says:

    I’m starting to think everyone else is right.

    Shaun must have never really played baseball, and if he did, he certainly didn’t grasp it.

    The absolute last priority a catcher has is hitting.
    Shaun probably thinks Bob Boone, Jim Sundberg and Thurman Munson sucked too.

    Even Bill James has admitted that hitting isn’t as important for a catcher as his defense and staff management. Try reading his Historical Abstract sometime.

    Kendall is good with pitchers, calls a good game, and is durable as fuck. He’s probably the most durable catcher in the entire league. He caught 134 games last year. AT THE AGE OF 34. You know how many catchers caught that many games last year? Five. All of them younger than him by AT LEAST 4 years.

    Want to know who leads the majors in games caught in 2010? Jason Kendall.

    Yeah. Douchebag fucking move by the Royals. That’ll really set them back.

  196. Raul Says:

    Excuse me, at the age of 35. Even better.

  197. Lefty33 Says:

    “Royals attendance per game has dropped this year. They’ve moved up in the rankings one spot. They were 12th last year and are 11th this year so far. Wow. Kendall and all those mediocre-to-poor vets with “names” are really bringing in the crowds. You may want to check the facts before typing.”

    And where do you think they would be with a team of no-name rookies?

    “So why don’t the Yankees have the best record in baseball every season?”

    They usually do or are very close. The way the spend is why they have been over .500 every year since ’92.

    “Some teams spend less than other and still win more. It’s as simple as that.”

    Maybe for one year, but over the long run it’s not even close.

    And if it is explain how half or over half of the playoff teams over the last ten years come from the top ten in payroll?

    “The Pirates over the last 2-3 years.”

    Oh so that’s why the Pirates winning percentage was .414 in ’08, .385 in ’09, and as of today is .347.

    “You may want to check the facts before typing.”

    Please, Shaun.

    You are the biggest non-fact checking tool this site has ever seen.

    “Money isn’t everything, like you think it is.”

    Sure it is it’s just that unlike everyone else who posted in this thread your either too ignorant or just outright too fucking stupid/belligerent to see it.

    Every point of your fucking stupidity I have countered with a real valid answer.

    Keep bringing it big boy.

  198. Raul Says:

    Speaking of catchers…

    Right now Edwin Jackson has a No Hitter going in the 8th inning against Tampa.
    Longoria led off the inning and Montero calls for 2 change ups to open the at-bat.

    Dangerous right-handed batter against a right-handed pitcher, and he chooses 2 change-ups. Gutsy calls but I loved it. The change-ups were both balls but Jackson got Longoria to pop out on a fastball outside.

  199. Raul Says:

    Through 8, Jackson still has the No-No

  200. Hossrex Says:

    I know the silver slugger is a garbage award, but just for the sake of ease, here’s a list of the last five National League silver sluggers at catcher, and their key offensive numbers.

    2009: McCann 21HR, .281BA, .349OBP, .486SLG, 120 OPS+
    2008: McCann 23HR, .301BA, .373OBP, .523SLG, 135 OPS+
    2007: Martin 19HR, .293BA, .374OBP, .469SLG, 116 OPS+
    2006: McCann 24HR, .333BA, .388OBP, .572SLG, 143 OPS+
    2005: Barrett 16HR, .276BA, .345OBP, .479SLG, 110 OPS+

    These are the BEST hitters catchers from each of the last five years.

    It’s like Shaun’s never even WATCHED a baseball game before.

  201. Hossrex Says:

    That’s why I’ve always thought OPS+ should also be positionally dependent.

  202. Raul Says:

    Edwin Jackson with a No Hitter!
    Great job.

  203. Raul Says:

    Miguel Montero called some great pitches.
    And Edwin Jackson threw 149 pitches and still hit 96 MPH in the 9th inning.

    Pitch counts are bullshit.

  204. Cameron Says:

    A fourth no-hitter before the all-star break when we average like, two a year?

    …This is historical precedent. See it? Good, because it just flew out the window.

  205. John Says:

    Raul: “Pitch counts are bullshit”

    Let’s see how Jackson does next start. I’m not saying everyone should have 100 pitch counts or that I would have taken Jackson out if I were Hinch. But there are considerations beyond the game at hand.

    79 strikes, 70 balls. 8 walks. 0 hits.

    Didn’t AJ Burnett throw a game like that with the Marlins?

  206. Dean M Says:

    Chuck: “The only way to get people to stop calling you names is to stop acting like whatever it is they’re calling you.”

    PAGING DR. FREUD!!!!!!!

  207. Chuck Says:

    Was today’s game the last time we Carlos Zambrano in a Cub’s uniform?

    I say yes.

  208. Chuck Says:

    What considerations, John?

  209. John Says:

    Where’s he going?

  210. Raul Says:

    Teams always sign these pitchers that are 6′5 230lbs because they’re big and strong yet hold them to the same stupid bullshit pitch counts and standards as some 5′10 160lbs pitcher and pull them out of the game at 100 pitches.

    We need to see more pitchers getting up around 130 pitches.
    65% of Sabathia is better than 110% of Joba Chamberlain.

  211. Raul Says:

    Zambrano? No idea. But there’s another name that will be linked to Texas.

  212. Chuck Says:

    C’mon John, it’s late.

    You said “there are other considerations at hand.”

    I asked what considerations, and you said, “where’s he going?”

    Kinda doesn’t answer the question….

  213. Chuck Says:

    With what’s left on Zambrano’s contract and The Ranger’s bankruptcy I’m not sure the courts would allow a deal, and, besides, Nolan Ryan wouldn’t put up with his shit.

  214. Hossrex Says:

    I’d guess Zambrano is done as a Cub. At this point he’s not doing much better than the third starter in Iowa anyway, so even if the Cubs have to pay the VAST majority of the contract, at least they’ll get that cancer out of the dugout.

  215. Lefty33 Says:

    “A fourth no-hitter before the all-star break when we average like, two a year?”

    You know Cameron, I think in years to come we are going to see the number of no-hitters thrown go way, way up.

    And it’s not going to be due to better pitching so much as having hundreds and hundreds of Mark Reynolds-type hitters in the league swinging for the fences on every pitch.

  216. John Says:

    Chuck,

    Other considerations like his next start. And the one after that.

    My guess is that Jackson will be fine. But 149 pitches isn’t something I’d have my guys doing day in and day out.

    My “where is he going” line was in regard to Zambrano.

  217. Hossrex Says:

    I’m also an anti-pitch count guy, but while I was watching the special MLBtv coverage tonight, I actually vocalized the thought that “if my team were in contention, and if this were my guy, after that two out walk, and 140+ pitches, I’d bring in my closer.”

    It’s easy to watch a team you don’t care about and say “140 pitches? PSH! LET THE GUY GET THE NO HITTER!”

    Yet if it were MY team… I don’t give a shit about no hitter. I just want to win.

    I’d rather lose ten no-hitters, and win each of those games, than sacrifice even ONE win for ONE no-hitter.

  218. Chuck Says:

    Rex,

    If Shaun ever gets a ML GM job, I’m going to recommend you be his manager.

  219. John Says:

    I call club press secretary.

    “No, no, no. Its a statistic. They aren’t actually at war.”

  220. brautigan Says:

    149 pitches, amazing. Sometimes, you can get so dialed in and your body goes rote, 140 pitches means nothing.

    Sometimes you struggle with your mechanics, your command isn’t there, and 90 pitches feels like you threw 1,000 and your arm feels like it is going to fall off. Pitch counts mean nothing (without the context), and a good coach will recognize this.

    It will be interesting to watch Edwin Jackson’s next start.

  221. Hossrex Says:

    There’s a HUGE difference between feeling good after 140 pitches, and necessarily being fine at that point.

    I’m not saying Jackson will suffer from this outing, but there IS a much higher degree of risk for injury once you get anywhere above a hundred pitches.

    I don’t believe we should be sending out the hook every time an arm gets to the magic number 100 (like SO many managers do today), but to pretend that pitch counts are MEANINGLESS is to swing SO FAR back in the opposite direction that the pendulum runs the risk of beheading you.

    If you don’t think 140 pitches is significant, and worthy of concern… I question your judgment just as I would a person who says “any pitcher, under any circumstance should be pulled after 100 pitches.”

    If you’re not concerned about pitcher who’s made 140+ pitches, who gives up a four pitch walk, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a 1-0 ballgame, you’re fucking stupid.

    The D-bags are buried, so who cares… but if you can HONESTLY look at that situation, and say “FUCK IT! YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!”… you’re fucking stupid.

    Everything else being equal (and by that I mean if there’d been the squib single in the 3rd, and a can of corn in the 7th like most games), there’s no way ANY of us would have left Jackson in that game after that many pitches, after a four pitch walk, in a one to nothing ballgame.

    None of us.

    If you disagree…

    You’re fucking stupid.

  222. Raul Says:

    I hate to quote a Buster Olney blog, but this was written in regards to AJ Hinch.

    “Last year, when I first got this job, I was zeroed in on this 100 to 105 pitch count, almost to a fault,” said Hinch. This year, Hinch has tried to adjust that, looking to get pitchers to aim for 115-pitch outings, because that number will get them an extra inning of work.

    But Hinch is also aware of the inherent pressures that weigh on a manager, as he assesses pitch counts and the possible risk of leaving pitchers in the game too long. “What gets instilled in the managers is how difficult it is to replace pitching,” said Hinch. “With expansion, with the dilution of pitching, it might be a cliff dive to the next wave of pitching available to you.”

    Because of that, managers routinely are conservative in protecting their pitchers. As Friday’s game progressed, however, standard operating procedure went out the window. As that game moved into the last innings, Hinch and Stottlemyre talked about how the Diamondbacks have an off-day coming up, how they could bump back Jackson to give him some extra rest, in the aftermath of this monumental effort.

  223. Chuck Says:

    Comment #221..

    Shaun posting under Rex’ name?

  224. Dean M Says:

    Shaun doesn’t use that kind of language.

  225. brautigan Says:

    According to PAP, Edwin Jackson’s game had 88 abuse points, the most since Livan Hernandez had 125 in 2005. (Verlander had 56 in 2009, Lincecum had 49 in ‘08, DiceK had 34 in ‘07, Livan Hernandez had 42 in ‘06…….all of these were MLB leaders for each year).

    7 walks in the first 3 innings, and still tosses a no-no. Throwback? (Nah, the Diamondbacks have pushed Jackson’s next start back to Friday). (and I better add “wisely” before Hossrex comes back)……

    Hossrex, you’re so amusing when the purple vein on your forehead is ready to burst.

  226. Chuck Says:

    Say it ain’t so, Joe…Braut’s preaching sabermetrics!!

    Jackson to AJ Hinch in the dugout after the seventh inning;

    “I’m not coming out of this game until I give up a hit or a run. I don’t care if you skip my next start, but I’m not coming out.”

    Phil Hughes leads the AL in wins, his regular turn in the rotation was last Thursday, which was an off day for the Yanks.

    Hughes has a legitmate shot at the Cy Young Award, yet, in their infinite wisdom, the Yankees decided to skip his start.

    In his last two starts, AJ Burnett has allowed 16 earned runs in 11.2 innings, yet the Yanks aren’t skipping HIS next start?

  227. Raul Says:

    Like I said.

    What’s the fucking point of jizzing in your pants over a 6′4 230lb pitcher if you’re going to baby his ass?

  228. John Says:

    In my opinion, the 100 pitch limit is a perfect example of people thinking that ballplayers are machines. They hit at a clip of x, get outs at a rate of y, and at 100 pitches, they’re WHIP spikes by a factor of z.

    There are 150 or so starting pitchers in the big leagues, each with different levels of endurance and ability. This idea that 100 pitches is a universal limit is just silly. If we were a binary society, there would be a pitch count of 128 pitches; 100 is completely arbitrary.

    That said, 149 is a boatload of pitches. I’d be very interested to see how Jackson does in his next start…even with the day off.

  229. Raul Says:

    Everyone’s going to look at his next start and if it sucks, it’s going to be blamed on the pitch count.

    Well, it’s not like Edwin Jackson is a great pitcher who hits his spots and avoids walks to begin with.

    If he looks like shit in his next start, it’s because Edwin Jackson isn’t a great pitcher. Plain and simple. He pretty much alternates between 2 good starts and 3 bad ones. That’s his career. It’s not going to change because he threw 149 pitches.

  230. Chuck Says:

    You want to prove to me you don’t know shit about baseball?

    1) Write an article saying efficiency doesn’t have anything to do with money, or;

    2) Believe that pitch counts matter.

  231. Cameron Says:

    I guess I’m really worried around the 120-130 mark, but I don’t think 100 is that bad on some guys.

    A 149 pitch no-hitter… Call me superstitious but if a guy is that hot, even with 8 walks, I’m gonna keep him in. I know it’s stupid, but I don’t wanna yank a guy when he’s hot. I’m with E-Jax in what he said, “I know I’ve been here a long time, but I don’t want out until I give up a hit.”

    Don’t interfere with a good thing. Give him an extra day or two of rest as a compensating measure though. A guy going that long needs it.

  232. Hossrex Says:

    It’s absurd to say pitch count doesn’t matter at all.

    The question is where do you become concerned.

    I’d say 140 is at least close.

  233. Mike Felber Says:

    It seems that there is more strain on the arm & lower success on average after a certain point. It must vary by individual, & size + manner of delivery are factors. And there are unpredictable factors, things like genetic tendencies that are not visible or predictable. If you only start to get concerned, maybe, in the 140’s Hoss, then most all who were not getting rocked would be able to stay in, since then all could justify going to 150, & most games a pitcher could either complete with that, or would be out due to performance only.

    I forgot the level exactly where it has been felt that there is exponentially more strain on the arm, but I think it was right around 115 pitches. A few may not be efficient that far, most can go there, & many others might be fine at 130, & the outliers only at 150. More likely a husky junkballer! It might take both weighing the physical factors, trial & error, & perhaps some hi tech measure of arm/joint stress/lactic acid buildup, imaging during & after the start…to get a good handle on who could go how long efficiently.

    Some suffered from the uniform expectation that starters should pitch many innings in the past, but many thrived. Better we get those who can often throw complete games doing so, & those who would be best ending by 6 innings not pushed beyond that or ruined. Since pitchers vary physically, in delivery, in how much they are power pitchers, what they throw, age, AND since the motion itself is a documentable strain on the arm, a unique one arm power motion that is repeated many times: does it not make sense that it both bears watching & some regulation, & that, say, encompassing essentially the whole “hump” of the Bell Curve, say, out to 2 standard deviations, likely varies by about 50% re: how many pitches can be productively & safely thrown?

    This leaves out whether there are better methods to prepare the arm for said demands.

  234. Raul Says:

    Even Tim Wakefield gets taken out of the game at 100 pitches.
    Give me a fucking break.

  235. eric Says:

    Enough with the F-bombs already. The volume of the language here has become completely inappropriate and reflects poorly on all of us.

  236. Shaun Says:

    Kendall is good with pitchers, calls a good game, and is durable as fuck. He’s probably the most durable catcher in the entire league. He caught 134 games last year. AT THE AGE OF 34. You know how many catchers caught that many games last year? Five. All of them younger than him by AT LEAST 4 years.

    Want to know who leads the majors in games caught in 2010? Jason Kendall.

    What does durability have to do with anything? If a player is one of the worst offensive players in baseball and there is no definitive evidence that his defense, game-calling and leadership are a whole lot better than a fringe-type offensive catcher, it’s not worth running him out there everyday. That just proves that the Royals have either done a bad job trying to acquire someone as bad or better for a lower price, couldn’t find anyone as bad or better for a lower price, are too stupid to realize they have someone as bad or better at a lower price or a little bit of all of the above.

  237. Shaun Says:

    “Royals attendance per game has dropped this year. They’ve moved up in the rankings one spot. They were 12th last year and are 11th this year so far. Wow. Kendall and all those mediocre-to-poor vets with “names” are really bringing in the crowds. You may want to check the facts before typing.”

    And where do you think they would be with a team of no-name rookies?

    It wouldn’t be significantly better or worse, so why not go with what actually helps the franchise in the long run instead of what doesn’t affect attendance and what doesn’t help in the long run.

    “So why don’t the Yankees have the best record in baseball every season?”

    They usually do or are very close. The way the spend is why they have been over .500 every year since ’92.

    No one is denying that money is a big factor. The Yankees are a great example of that. The problem is money is only one factor. Teams can build a contender at least every so often if they are smart; i.e, efficient. (I know some of you wrongly think smart and efficient are code words for sabermetrics but the Phillies and Twins are examples of franchises that are smart and efficient presumably without much help from sabermetrics.)

    “Some teams spend less than other and still win more. It’s as simple as that.”

    Maybe for one year, but over the long run it’s not even close.

    And if it is explain how half or over half of the playoff teams over the last ten years come from the top ten in payroll?

    Right. No one is denying that it’s difficult to build a 15-20-year dynasty without everything going for you–money, a great front office and luck.

    The argument is that the money excuse only goes so far when a franchise finishes last or next to last for 15-20 years, save for maybe a third-place finish in one season.

    “The Pirates over the last 2-3 years.”

    Oh so that’s why the Pirates winning percentage was .414 in ’08, .385 in ’09, and as of today is .347.

    How many times have I said winning should only be a minor part of the evaluation of organizations/front offices, especially when it’s a new regime taking over a previously poorly-run franchise.

    “Money isn’t everything, like you think it is.”

    Sure it is it’s just that unlike everyone else who posted in this thread your either too ignorant or just outright too fucking stupid/belligerent to see it.

    Again, if money is everything how do teams with low payrolls ever win anything or contend? Money clearly isn’t everything because low payroll teams do contend.

    Just because it’s extremely difficult for a team to seriously contend for 15-20 straight seasons without money doesn’t mean money is everything. Money is just a scapegoat for a pathetic organization whose front office doesn’t know what they’re doing or whose owner doesn’t want to let smart people take over the baseball side of things.

    There is absolutely no excuse for a franchise to go 15-20 years without putting itself in a pretty good position to seriously contend for a playoff berth at least one or two seasons. If a franchise doesn’t do that, it means it’s run poorly either by the front office(s) or the owner(s) or both.

  238. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: “Say it ain’t so, Joe…Braut’s preaching sabermetrics!!”

    Let’s face it, I’m a geek that played baseball.

  239. Raul Says:

    Really?

    You really just asked “What does durability have to do with anything?” when talking about a catcher?

    Please Shaun. I’m trying real hard to believe you’re an educated man. Meet me halfway here.

  240. Shaun Says:

    Raul, yes. What does durability have to do with anything when the catcher is not good? Durability is important for good players because obviously you want your best players on the field. But if Kendall wasn’t durable, the Royals wouldn’t be much if any worse off.

  241. Shaun Says:

    Let’s face it, I’m a geek that played baseball.

    You have to choose one or the other. You can’t be an intellectually curious baseball player, according to many who post on this site.

  242. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    You really are basically a statistical mouthpiece. You don’t know anything about the game unless it’s quantified by some statistic.

    Even the face of statistical analysis, Bill James, agrees that a catcher’s primary focus is defensive and pitching staff-related, and that his offensive production is essentially meaningless. And yet you sit here and rank every catcher by their OPS+.

    Mike Matheny and Brad Ausmus, for example, are two of the better catchers of the past 20 years, and you probably think they stink, because of their offensive production.

    The Royals might win 70 games this season. I’m fairly certain if you were their general manager they’d win 7.

    When a catcher’s LOWEST PRIORITY is hitting, lower than even backing up the 1st baseman on throws, and a person cites that as a reason to criticize their contract, you have a person who clearly does not know even the most basic tenets of baseball.

    Pure and simple.

  243. Lefty33 Says:

    “Again, if money is everything how do teams with low payrolls ever win anything or contend?”

    Because if you get as many #1 draft choices as the Rays had in successive years it’s not hard to put out a competitive team eventually.

    And the point Shaun is that without money the Rays or whoever can’t keep it up.

    The Rays by 2012 will be sucking the Yankees and Red Sox tailpipe again and then how long will it be until they can contended again?

    5 years? 7 years? 10 years?

    The stat you keep ignoring is that to get to the playoffs in MLB you need to spend money. And while yes the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, and Dodgers have been the poster children for that of late. Most of the other teams that have made a run for a year or two in recent history do it by spending money.

    A huge reason the Braves are no longer the team that they were during their dynasty is because they cut payroll. They used to be in the top 10 regularly and now they are closer to the middle of the pack.

    And it terms of winning, which I and most people would define as winning a WS, low payroll teams don’t win any WS and they almost can’t do it because I don’t care how efficient you are, you can’t out-efficient teams that will just go and out spend you to collect an all-star player at every position.

    You’re example of the White Sox in ’05 is not valid as they were in the upper-half in team payroll in ’05. Even the Twins have figured it out that doing what they were doing wasn’t good enough and that’s why they are 11th in payroll this year and that’s only going to go up.

    “but the Phillies and Twins are examples of franchises that are smart and efficient presumably without much help from sabermetrics”

    But by the end of the year both teams will be in the top 10 in payroll so they are both getting to the playoffs the way I keep telling you teams need to in the current Baseball economic climate, by spending money.

    “How many times have I said winning should only be a minor part of the evaluation of organizations/front offices, especially when it’s a new regime taking over a previously poorly-run franchise.”

    Ludicrous.

    If you don’t win you are out of a job as a coach, manager, GM, or anyone in the front office eventually.

    The Pirates are putting out horrible teams yet John Russell likely will get fired during or after this season for what……not winning.

  244. Shaun Says:

    Even the face of statistical analysis, Bill James, agrees that a catcher’s primary focus is defensive and pitching staff-related, and that his offensive production is essentially meaningless. And yet you sit here and rank every catcher by their OPS+.

    I realize defense and game-calling is of the utmost importance for a catcher. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a threshold of offensive production a catcher must reach to be a legit everyday catcher.

    Also, where is the indication that Kendall’s defense and game-calling is worth what they are paying him? You say defense and game-calling is the primary focus but the Royals are worse than they were last year at run prevention.

    Also, the Cardinals let Mike Matheny walk after a 105-win season. If he was so vital to their success, why let a relatively cheap catcher walk when you clearly have the best team in the league? Why mess that up? Could it be he wasn’t as vital to the team’s success as his reputation and the Cardinals knew that?

  245. Raul Says:

    “Also, where is the indication that Kendall’s defense and game-calling is worth what they are paying him?”

    1. You continue to try to quantify this with a statistic. That’s your problem
    2. The indication comes from the people in the clubhouse and on the team and the coaches and pitchers that deal with him every friggin day.

    What’s the statistical value that says you’re supposed to be making as much as you do at your current job?

    Why don’t you admit you’d be completely lost and clueless about baseball if you didn’t have some graph or set of numbers in front of you?

  246. Chuck Says:

    The Cardinals in 2005 won five less games and didn’t advance as far in the postseason as in the previous season.

    Matheny left voluntarily as a free agent because the Cardinals made it clear they were going to give the job to a rookie who was arguably just as good DEFENSIVELY.

    Matheny took a 50% pay cut to play elsewhere.

    Would have the Cardinals re-signed him at the same rate ($2 million) he ended up getting with the Giants, knowing he would have rode the bench?

    They could have, but they realized that it wouldn’t have been an EFFICIENT use of the MONEY.

  247. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, the Twins are in a position to contend most years and have been that way for a while, even when they weren’t in a new stadium. We’ll see what happens with the Rays. I think there organization is smart enough to avoid going completely in the tank for a while like they were before. But we’ll see.

    Yes, I agree that when a team feels they are ready to make a run, they should up their payroll and fill needs by spending, possibly overspending, on free agents to fill holes. But until that point, a team shouldn’t go out and sign mediocre-to-poor vets simply for leadership thinking they are going to turn the franchise around.

    Also, I agree with your point about low-payroll teams winning World Series. But I’m not necessarily talking about winning a World Series or even division titles. I’m talking about a front office putting its team in a position to contend. That’s all we can judge a front office on, giving the team a chance to contend.

    “How many times have I said winning should only be a minor part of the evaluation of organizations/front offices, especially when it’s a new regime taking over a previously poorly-run franchise.”

    Ludicrous.

    If you don’t win you are out of a job as a coach, manager, GM, or anyone in the front office eventually.

    Right. But how many times to managers, coaches and GM’s get fired that don’t deserve to be, especially managers and coaches.

    I’m not talking about determining who will get fired and who won’t. I’m talking about evaluating front offices.

    But the Pirates GM and manager will not get fired any time soon no matter how bad they are because it’s a relatively new regime. It will likely be another 2-4 years before the powers that be even consider firing their GM because they know what an awful situation he inherited and those powers are smart enough to realize it’s difficult to turn a franchise around overnight.

  248. Chuck Says:

    Shaun knows he’s wrong about Kendall, Raul, but it’s easier for him to keep arguing than admit it.

    He offered to give me his house and has conveniently ignored my taking him up on his offer.

    Unless it really isn’t his house and he’s still living in his mommy’s basement.

  249. Shaun Says:

    1. You continue to try to quantify this with a statistic. That’s your problem

    You don’t have to give me a statistic. I’m looking for anything that gives us any kind of indication that Kendall is worth what they are paying him and/or the Royals are better off paying him what they’re paying him.

    2. The indication comes from the people in the clubhouse and on the team and the coaches and pitchers that deal with him every friggin day.

    So you’ve spoken with all those people? If you have, you trust that they would honestly tell you negative things about a teammate?

    This begs the question, how do you know what the people in the clubhouse, the team, coaches and pitchers really think of Kendall? Also, does this tell us anything about whether he’s worth his contract?

  250. Raul Says:

    Regarding Kendall:

    Royals GM Dayton Moore said on a conference call that the reported terms ($4MM) for Jason Kendall’s deal are about right. The team expects him to mentor young pitchers and catching prospect Wil Myers, Moore said.

  251. Raul Says:

    In regards to post #249….

    How stupid are you?

  252. Shaun Says:

    Matheny took a 50% pay cut to play elsewhere.

    Why? If he was such a great leader and game-calling you think he could make at least, say, 60-70 percent of what he was making as a “great leader and game-caller” on a 105-win team.

    The reason he took a 50 percent pay cut is he couldn’t hit and the Giants realized his leadership and game-calling probably wasn’t worth paying him any more than what they did.

  253. Chuck Says:

    “This begs the question, how do you know what the people in the clubhouse, the team, coaches and pitchers really think of Kendall?’

    I do, which is why I took you up on your bet.

    Fly to Arizona next March. You pay for the plane ticket, I’ll pay for your hotel, there’s a Renaissance Inn and a Holiday Inn Express right across the street from the Royals complex. Take your pick.

    We’ll walk over and talk to every pitcher in camp, from Zack Greinke all the way down to some Class A rook, and to every coach and manager in the system, including Ned Yost, who, by the way, is a former catcher.

    If the majority have favorable things to say about Kendall’s abilities as a catcher, on the field or off, then, yes, genius, he would be worth his contract.

    And you would owe me your house.

    Not that I’m interested in downsizing or moving, so, no worries, you can still live there.

    You’ll just be sending me your mortgage check (plus 15%) every month instead of the bank.

  254. Shaun Says:

    Royals GM Dayton Moore said on a conference call that the reported terms ($4MM) for Jason Kendall’s deal are about right. The team expects him to mentor young pitchers and catching prospect Wil Myers, Moore said.

    Does this necessarily mean Dayton Moore is right about Kendall? If he was looking to sign a mentor, why not sign a coach instead of someone who is no worse on the field than what you could have had or have for less money?

  255. Shaun Says:

    I guess we should trust Dayton Moore just because he’s a major league GM. We shouldn’t question any of his moves because he’s an authority figure.

  256. Chuck Says:

    In regards to post #252

    How stupid are you?

  257. Patrick Says:

    The KC pitchers not named Grienke have improved across the board this year with Kendall calling the game. Last year they were 5.35 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and a .355 winning pct and this year, they are a half run better 4.83 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and a .446 winning pct. This is a better team with Kendall catching and now that Greinke is coming around, who knows?

    Kendall is only 5 RBI behind Mauer and ranks among the top half of AL catchers in most categories.

    About efficiency, the supposed poster child for effieciency, the Rays, have gotten 35 AB’s of nothing out of their non-durable free agent catcher, Kelly Shoppach, and they’ve paid him the EXACT SAME ($2.25M) as the Royals have paid Kendall for his almost 300 AB’s of .265/.330 hitting, leadership and game calling abilities, the latter in part proven by the pitcher’s improvement from last year.

    Lefty, the Rays are already starting to suck the Yanks and Redsox tailpipe. They’ve been bad for a few weeks now and I think you hit the nail on the head. They strike out so much that when a pitcher is on, they run the risk of being no hit.

    Kerry did a nice study on this. He concluded that you would rather have 6 runs every night instead of 10 one night and 2 the other.

  258. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, that’s not going to prove anything because what do you expect Grienke, Yost and every other pitcher and catcher to say? And even if they believe deep down that Kendall is a great game-caller and leader, does that mean it’s true? The heart is deceitful above all things.

    The problem here is a lot of folks on here don’t want to question the beliefs, opinions and comments of players, former players or scouts. I don’t get it, honestly. You have no problem questioning the beliefs of the baseball media, baseball insiders who were never players or scouts yet you take the comments and opinions of players, former players and scouts as gospel. Why? I’m not saying those people intentionally try to lie or deceive but why should we trust them to be objective under all circumstances? Some of you don’t care about objectivity. You care about self-advancement and self-aggrandizement. You could care less about trying to get to the objective truth about anything.

  259. Shaun Says:

    The KC pitchers not named Grienke have improved across the board this year with Kendall calling the game. Last year they were 5.35 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and a .355 winning pct and this year, they are a half run better 4.83 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and a .446 winning pct. This is a better team with Kendall catching and now that Greinke is coming around, who knows?

    How do we know any of this has to do with Kendall? And if we are going to look at those numbers, why exclude Grienke? Unless you don’t care about trying to get at the truth in an objective way.

    Kendall is only 5 RBI behind Mauer and ranks among the top half of AL catchers in most categories.

    RBI are context-dependent. Only two catchers in baseball of the 10 qualifiers for the batting title are worse in OPS. OPS is offense.

    About efficiency, the supposed poster child for effieciency, the Rays, have gotten 35 AB’s of nothing out of their non-durable free agent catcher, Kelly Shoppach, and they’ve paid him the EXACT SAME ($2.25M) as the Royals have paid Kendall for his almost 300 AB’s of .265/.330 hitting, leadership and game calling abilities, the latter in part proven by the pitcher’s improvement from last year.

    First of all, no one is arguing the Shoppach move was a good move. Second of all, the Rays are in a different position from the Royals. It’s more appropriate for a contender to take risks and possibly overspend than it is for a team that is in the dumps and has been for a while.

  260. Brautigan Says:

    Re post #258. “You could care less about trying to get to the objective truth about anything”.

    Shaun, look in the mirror when you say that.

  261. Shaun Says:

    Two reasons you should look at objective evidence, even statistical evidence, over a self-important person incapable of objective analysis:

    1. David Wright’s career is far from over and he is a pretty strong and legit MVP candidate for the first half.

    2. Mike Stanton doesn’t look anything like Jason Heyward.

  262. Raul Says:

    1. David Wright has recently stopped bailing on inside pitches. He’s apparently not afraid of the inside pitch anymore, which was the entire basis of that article.

    2. Mike Stanton has 61 at-bats. Would you like to compare Shane Spencer’s first month in the Majors to Miguel Cabrera’s?

  263. Shaun Says:

    1. David Wright has recently stopped bailing on inside pitches. He’s apparently not afraid of the inside pitch anymore, which was the entire basis of that article.

    Was there any reason to believe he wouldn’t do what he’s doing, if we are objective about it instead of trying to advance ourselves and our own subjective opinions?

    2. Mike Stanton has 61 at-bats. Would you like to compare Shane Spencer’s first month in the Majors to Miguel Cabrera’s?

    Nope. But compare Stanton to Heyward. Again, if you are truly interested in objectivity instead of self-promotion, you’ll see who is the better player with the better future.

  264. Raul Says:

    “Was there any reason to believe he wouldn’t do what he’s doing?”

    Yes. Go back and read the replies.

    “Nope.”
    Good to see you admit you’re being foolish.

    “But compare Stanton to Heyward”
    Again, after 61 at-bats?

    I guess you haven’t learned a thing.

  265. Raul Says:

    David Wright strikeouts in May = 39
    David Wright strikeouts in June = 23

    David Wright has looked pretty good in June….surprise, surprise….

  266. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, the Twins are in a position to contend most years and have been that way for a while, even when they weren’t in a new stadium.”

    But they were never a serious threat to go anywhere in the playoffs or win a WS as evidenced by the ass-kicking the Yankees delivered last to them last year.

    And that’s why they are spending. To get to the playoffs or to contend is nice, but if you have no chance at moving past the DS round or even getting to the playoffs then you need to spend more and the Twins are.

    Over the next three years watch where the Twins go and watch where the Rays go in terms of payroll and in terms of W’s, playoff appearances, and maybe even a WS.

    “But the Pirates GM and manager will not get fired any time soon no matter how bad they are because it’s a relatively new regime.”

    John Russell will not be the Pirates manager a year from now, guaranteed. It’s been proven time and time again, it doesn’t matter the team or the reason if you lose as a manager you will get fired.

    “But until that point, a team shouldn’t go out and sign mediocre-to-poor vets simply for leadership thinking they are going to turn the franchise around.”

    But dude, you got to put at least a quasi-known face on the programs and media guide to give fans something.

    You’re right that logically I suppose it makes sense to do things the way you suggest, but Spock is not a Baseball GM and if you throw a AAA roster out there at the major league level you will sell no season tickets, sponsors will run, and basically all forms of revenue will take a crap.

    That’s why teams don’t do it. They may want to but they can’t.

  267. Patrick Says:

    Grienke is what’s known in scientific circles as an extreme outlier, so you eliminate him to get a more accurate picture of an overall Kendall effect. Plus, Kendall wasn’t brought in to help Grienke get better, Grienke has hit his ceiling. He was brought in to help the rest of the pitchers get better, and they have. They’ve gone from terrible to barely below average. To ignore Kendall’s contribution to that isn’t embracing the truth or statistics, it’s ignoring them both.

    There have been about 80 catchers in the bigs this year. Only 10 have qualified for the OPS title. Kendall is 8th of only 10 guys out of 80 and this is a bad thing? For a bargain basement catcher who has career numbers comparable to some HOF catchers, he’s turned out to be a very efficient signing.

    Plus, the author is the person who said the Rays (Shoppach $2.25M) are smart and efficient and the Royals (Kendall $2.25M) are dumb and inefficient.

    It’s hard to say the Rays are smart except for about 10 bad personel moves. It was never more obvious than when their ex-mate no hit them while Matt Joyce was battling the Mendoza Line down in Durham…..well, I guess it’s more obvious when you look at the league leaders and see Hamilton’s name all over them.

  268. Lefty33 Says:

    “You could care less about trying to get to the objective truth about anything.”

    But don’t forget Shaun, the objective truth on most things discussed here is still very subjective from person to person.

    The truth as I see it is not the truth to you or Raul or Chuck or Rex or Patrick, etc.

    The biggest problem with people on this site, myself included, is that when people are wrong on an argument that person doesn’t stop bitching or just give up the point that they might just be flat out wrong.

  269. Shaun Says:

    Patrick, let’s go with 150 PA as the minimum. That gives us 30 catchers who qualify. Kendall has the 7th-worst OPS of the 30 catchers with at least 150 PA.

    Plus, the author is the person who said the Rays (Shoppach $2.25M) are smart and efficient and the Royals (Kendall $2.25M) are dumb and inefficient.

    a) You can’t measure a front office’s efficiency by one player. The problem is the Royals make a habit of signing mediocre-to-poor players to the types of contracts they gave Kendall. If they had signed Kendall to the same deal and put him in a lineup with cheap youngsters, if wouldn’t look as bad. But it looks bad when combined with the type of moves they’ve been making for several years now.

    b) It’s different for an organization who is already loaded with talent (cheap talent at that) and who is expected to contend to overpay for a player than it is for an organization who is nowhere near contention to overpay for several players.

  270. Raul Says:

    Who gives a damn about a catcher’s OPS?
    It’s the last of his concerns.

    Are you going to start ranking National League pitchers by batting average too?

  271. Shaun Says:

    It’s hard to say the Rays are smart except for about 10 bad personel moves. It was never more obvious than when their ex-mate no hit them while Matt Joyce was battling the Mendoza Line down in Durham…..well, I guess it’s more obvious when you look at the league leaders and see Hamilton’s name all over them.

    What is Edwin Jackson making? $4.6 million

    What is Matt Joyce making? $406,000

    Are they really missing Edwin Jackson? Are they missing him just because he threw a no-hitter in one start this season? Are they missing his 97 ERA+? Are they missing his 11 wild pitches and 3.8 walks per 9 innings? Not for $4.6 million, they’re not. I guarantee you.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about by a lack of objectivity. Your hatred for the Rays and their front office makes you incapable of looking at the big picture and putting things into context. You focused on one start and completely ignored Jackson’s overall season and his contract.

    You also focus on Hamilton’s place among the leaders. You ignore that he was a drug addict and that a team has no clue whether he’s going to clean up his act or whether he’s a ticking time bomb. If one is truly objective, how could anyone blame the Rays for letting Hamilton go?

    You see I’m not a Rays fan nor do I hate them, so I can be objective. Too often sports doesn’t lend itself to objectivity. It brings out the subjective sides of us all too often.

  272. Shaun Says:

    Who gives a damn about a catcher’s OPS?
    It’s the last of his concerns.

    Are you going to start ranking National League pitchers by batting average too?

    Pitchers bat every fifth day. An everyday catcher bats virtually everyday, save 1 or 2 off-days a week.

    But we should absolutely look at what a pitcher does with the bat. We shouldn’t weigh it very heavily because a pitcher doesn’t bat all that often at all relative to most players. But it should matter if we are taking into account his total contributions.

    If a catcher has worked his way up through the minors and is an established major leaguer, generally he’s a pretty good game-caller, otherwise the organization wouldn’t have kept him behind the plate. So the difference between the best and worst game-callers who are more or less everyday catchers isn’t worth several million dollars to a team.

    Also, a pitcher’s performance is more up to the pitcher than the catcher. I just read an article quoting Jake Peavy about the catcher calling pitches but he throws what he wants to throw. A vast majority of what a pitcher does is up to the pitcher not the catcher.

  273. Raul Says:

    “A vast majority of what a pitcher does is up to the pitcher, not the catcher”

    This coming from a guy who’s apparently never sat in on a pre-game discussion between a pitcher and catcher.

    As a guy who’s actually been around a few professionals, I can tell you that catchers primarily go over strategy and get the pitcher to get on board.

    Sorry, I don’t have any stats to prove that for you though.

  274. Patrick Says:

    It’s not one player. It’s about ten. They spent $16M on Burrell because they didn’t recognize that Zobrist was a star even though they got to see him daily. They gave $4M to Troy Percival and nothing but grief in return. They traded Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce. They let Hamilton go for nothing in return. Paid Tim Beckham millions when he should’ve been a second round pick. Signed Shoppach. They waived the AL HR leader in Pena but got lucky and retained him. If Greg Norton doesn’t get hurt the last day of ‘08 spring training, Pena is on another team. They defended their pennant with Gross and Kapler in RF. They misspent on their bullpen last year. Carl Crawford is the face of the franchise but they’re going to let him walk to their rivals. BJ Upton gets plenty of AB’s year after year based on potential instead of production. That’s all off the top of my head.

    The Rays were expected to contend last year and they didn’t because of signings like Percival and Burrell and they’re about to not contend again this year. Let’s not jump to quickly to the idea that this team is going to be a playoff team now or in the near future. It could be that the WS year was their pinnacle.

  275. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, you’re incapable of any kind of analysis, subjective or objective, because you have no clue or understanding of how baseball works, on the field or off.

    You couldn’t recognize talent if it disguised itself as Jessica Biel standing naked in your driveway.

    If someone with a baseball education questioned why I believe Stanton to be “potentially” a better player than Heyward, they would understand my response, even if they ultimately continued to disagree.

    To you, it would be like reading a Chinese phonebook, so there’s no point.

    61 AB’s, huh?

    Your ignorance is boundless.

  276. Shaun Says:

    “Lefty33, the Twins are in a position to contend most years and have been that way for a while, even when they weren’t in a new stadium.”

    But they were never a serious threat to go anywhere in the playoffs or win a WS as evidenced by the ass-kicking the Yankees delivered last to them last year.

    And that’s why they are spending. To get to the playoffs or to contend is nice, but if you have no chance at moving past the DS round or even getting to the playoffs then you need to spend more and the Twins are.

    Over the next three years watch where the Twins go and watch where the Rays go in terms of payroll and in terms of W’s, playoff appearances, and maybe even a WS.

    Again, I’m not talking only about evaluating teams solely on the basis of whether they are winning the World Series. I’m talking about evaluating a front office. The Twins front office had/has little control over how much money the owner puts in. Even if they can convince the owner to spend a little more, the Twins can’t convince the owner to make their payroll anything like the Yankees’, Red Soxs’, the LA teams’ or the NY teams’.

    “But the Pirates GM and manager will not get fired any time soon no matter how bad they are because it’s a relatively new regime.”

    John Russell will not be the Pirates manager a year from now, guaranteed. It’s been proven time and time again, it doesn’t matter the team or the reason if you lose as a manager you will get fired.

    Maybe. The GM certainly will not get fired a year from now. I wouldn’t be surprised either way with John Russell but I think he’s more likely to be their manager than most managers of bad teams. I just think the people in charge know that it’s going to take a while and it’s not Russell’s fault they inherited a horrible situation.

    “But until that point, a team shouldn’t go out and sign mediocre-to-poor vets simply for leadership thinking they are going to turn the franchise around.”

    But dude, you got to put at least a quasi-known face on the programs and media guide to give fans something.

    You’re right that logically I suppose it makes sense to do things the way you suggest, but Spock is not a Baseball GM and if you throw a AAA roster out there at the major league level you will sell no season tickets, sponsors will run, and basically all forms of revenue will take a crap.

    That’s why teams don’t do it. They may want to but they can’t.

    First of all, winning is the most important thing to fans. If a team loses, it doesn’t matter if their roster is full of “names” or “no-names.”

    Second, when a team is down in the dumps, usually the only way they turn it around is by injecting a core of young talent, many of whom casual fans have never heard of or whom the fans don’t expect will lead them anywhere.

    Usually if a good front office is involved, they will indeed take the approach of getting younger and cheaper; if they sign an older player it will be a cheap, good one that they can try to flip for young talent. If a bad owner is too involved, you get what you are talking about: A team worried too much about pleasing sponsors, season ticket holders and casual fans. The irony is eventually the losing will drive the sponsors, season ticket holders and casual fans away. Often times eventually the bad owner comes around to getting a good front office and letting them do what they need to do.

  277. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, you keep bragging about your ability to judge a player by “looking at the right stats”, but if you believe Heyward will be better than Stanton based on what they did in Class A, then it’s again pretty obvious you don’t have a clue what the “right” stats are.

  278. Shaun Says:

    This coming from a guy who’s apparently never sat in on a pre-game discussion between a pitcher and catcher.

    As a guy who’s actually been around a few professionals, I can tell you that catchers primarily go over strategy and get the pitcher to get on board.

    Right. All catchers do that. The point is that the worst catcher that is allowed to get significant playing time at the major league level is going to do this the same as the best catcher that is allowed to get significant playing time at the major league level. And the pitcher is not going to be able to tell a huge difference between the best and the worst, not at the major league level.

  279. Patrick Says:

    Hate is such a strong word. I don’t hate the Rays front office. I just think they’re not very smart baseball people who were dealt a full house. I see people who don’t know the entire story about the Rays front office applaud them as geniuses and I feel the need to point out a the many front office flaws.

    The Rays made their run to the WS with Jackson as the set up man. That’s where he would still be if I were in charge of the Rays. Throwing his 98 mph gas with his dominant slider in the late innings. $406,000 for a minor league player (Joyce) doesn’t sound too efficient to me.

    Also, if the Rays aren’t playing the Yanks, they’re my favorite team. I don’t go sit in their OF to watch them because I hate them.

    Later.

  280. Raul Says:

    So…..Greg Maddux had his personal catcher because he couldn’t tell the difference between a good catcher and a bad one.

    Gotcha.
    I’ll relay that information to AJ Burnett, who’s probably making late-night calls to Jose Molina.

  281. Chuck Says:

    Patrick, compared to the handful of retards pretending to be “efficient” front office personnel in Arizona, the Tampa guys are fucking geniuses.

    Trading Eric Byrnes and agreeing to pay ALL of his remaining contract.

    Picking up Brandon Webb’s option when every doctor and trainer they talked to before his surgery told them it was 50/50 his injury was a career ender.

    Signing Mark Reynolds to a long term deal.

  282. Shaun Says:

    They spent $16M on Burrell because they didn’t recognize that Zobrist was a star even though they got to see him daily.

    Zobrist was a decent player who played over his head for a season. He was a good player and still is, but he’s not a star except for in that one season.

    They gave $4M to Troy Percival and nothing but grief in return.

    Percival was a relatively cheap risk that could have either payed off big or brought them something in a trade if some team had been desperate for a closer.

    They traded Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce.

    Because they knew Jackson would soon be overpaid relative to his skills and they got a player back who showed some promise in the minors.

    They let Hamilton go for nothing in return.

    He was a drug addict. They let him go in the Rule 5 draft because they rostered players who weren’t in danger of drug dependency. He cleaned up his act and all baseball fans are glad. But hindsight’s 20/20. If we are going to criticize the Rays for Hamilton, we have to criticize the Mets for letting Gooden walk after 1994 and getting nothing.

    Paid Tim Beckham millions when he should’ve been a second round pick.

    Virtually no one had him as a second-round pick that season. Sometimes draft picks, especially high school draft picks, don’t work out. Hindsight’s 20/20. Oh, and Beckham is only 20. You act as if he’s some 26-year-old languishing in Double-A.

    Signed Shoppach.

    Are you aware that Shoppach has a 105 career OPS+? He’s at 117 this season. He’s an underrated player and he’s relatively cheap. If the Royals had signed Shoppach, they would look a lot better. Kendall’s OPS+ hasn’t been above 88 since 2004. Oh, yeah. Offense doesn’t matter for catchers, even though an everyday catcher may get around 20-25 PA a week.

    They waived the AL HR leader in Pena but got lucky and retained him.

    They waived him and no one else claimed him, right? Why are you blaming the Rays for getting lucky when every other team had a shot at him?

    Or maybe you are talking about August waivers where he was claimed and the Rays pulled him back, which happens every year to every player in the majors.

    If Greg Norton doesn’t get hurt the last day of ‘08 spring training, Pena is on another team.

    That was in 2007, before anyone knew Pena would lead the league in homers. And again, every team had a shot at him and didn’t want him.

    They defended their pennant with Gross and Kapler in RF.

    Neither player gave any indication that they would be awful.

    They misspent on their bullpen last year.

    I’d have to look into this more.

    Carl Crawford is the face of the franchise but they’re going to let him walk to their rivals.

    I don’t know where he’s going. But some team will pay him much more relative to his production than it is worth the Rays to pay for that kind of production over the length of his next contract. Crawford is a fine player but he’s also generally overrated, slightly. If any team besides the Yankees or Red Sox signs him, mark my words, that deal is going to look awful in 3-4 years. Even if the Yankees sign him, in 3-4 years we are going to be wondering what happened to the best-leadoff-hitter-in-the-game Crawford.

    BJ Upton gets plenty of AB’s year after year based on potential instead of production.

    Upton is a centerfield with a 99 career OPS+ and a .348 career on-base, and is only 25.

  283. Shaun Says:

    The Rays made their run to the WS with Jackson as the set up man. That’s where he would still be if I were in charge of the Rays. Throwing his 98 mph gas with his dominant slider in the late innings. $406,000 for a minor league player (Joyce) doesn’t sound too efficient to me.

    Again, completely ignoring Jackson’s contract plus his wildness. You want a guy that wild throwing in late and close situations?

  284. Raul Says:

    No.
    It’s not about hindsight being 20/20.

    The Rays stuck by Hamilton as he was rehabilitating and getting his life back. When they Rays let him go, he was clean. The Rays did the honorable thing in sticking by him but let him go before they could reap the benefits.

    If anyone thinks the Rays are contenders now, imagine what they could do in a lineup that might have potentially fielded Evan Longoria, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford and Desmond Jennings…all of them, presumably, for several years.

    Now THAT would have been efficient and a hell of a job by Rays management.

  285. Shaun Says:

    Trading Eric Byrnes and agreeing to pay ALL of his remaining contract.

    They released Byrnes to clear up the roster spot.

    Picking up Brandon Webb’s option when every doctor and trainer they talked to before his surgery told them it was 50/50 his injury was a career ender.

    They would have had to pay him a $2 million buyout. And without Webb, they knew they wouldn’t contend so why not pay him and take the risk?

    Signing Mark Reynolds to a long term deal.

    Reynolds is 26 with a career OPS+ of 109. They bought out his arbitration years and he’s relatively cheap compared to other solid thirdbasemen. I know, I know, getting on base and slugging doesn’t matter as much as how often a player makes an out in a particular way.

  286. Raul Says:

    They weren’t going to contend even with Brandon Webb. They knew it was a complete long shot. It wasn’t 50/50 that Webb would pitch this year. IT WAS 50/50 HE MIGHT NEVER PITCH AGAIN.

    That’s a complete waste of 2 million dollars, and virtually the same argument you made AGAINST Jason Kendall.

    The difference is, Kendall is a valuable teacher and manager for younger players. And he’s actually playing.

    Good lord. Who taught you about baseball?

  287. Shaun Says:

    The Rays stuck by Hamilton as he was rehabilitating and getting his life back. When they Rays let him go, he was clean. The Rays did the honorable thing in sticking by him but let him go before they could reap the benefits.

    They didn’t just let him go. They stuck by him basically for as long as baseball service time and roster rules would allow. But they were forced to make a choice at that time. And they chose not to take a chance on a drug addict. I don’t even think Hamilton would blame the Rays for doing that.

  288. Raul Says:

    ….but he wasn’t a drug addict at the time he was let go.
    That’s the point.

  289. Shaun Says:

    Raul, the Diamondbacks’ offense is among the leaders in runs per game. A healthy Webb and Haren pitching like Haren would have gone a long way. It’s not the same as Kendall because the Royals had no chance to contend.

    The difference is, Kendall is a valuable teacher and manager for younger players. And he’s actually playing.

    There is no indication that Kendall is teaching and managing(?) younger players or that he is doing any better than a cheaper option could have done or a coach could have done. Again, if the Royals are paying for a teacher, why not sign a coach. They come much cheaper and they don’t cost you runs if they can’t hit.

  290. Shaun Says:

    ….but he wasn’t a drug addict at the time he was let go.
    That’s the point.

    You are aware that an addict is always an addict, whether he’s clean or not?

  291. Shaun Says:

    Raul, talk to any addict. No matter how long they’re clean, they always consider themselves addicts.

  292. Raul Says:

    Ok Shaun

  293. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, why Troy Percival a “relatively” cheap risk at $4 million, and Jason Kendall a bad contract at $2 million?

    “They let him go in the Rule V draft because they rostered players who were in no danger of drug dependency”

    Elijah Dukes?

    “They released Byrnes to clear up a roster spot”

    For Gerardo Parra? So, now they’re paying Gerardo Parra $11 million, while Eric Byrnes is the highest paid on-air employee at MLBNetwork.

    Fucking brilliant.

    “They would have had to pay him a $2 million buy-out”

    Which is $6.75 million less than they’re paying him now, for the same result.

    Efficiency, Shaun, efficiency.

  294. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck: Are you looking Parra up on fangraphs or something? No way Parra makes that much this year.

  295. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty, the Rays are already starting to suck the Yanks and Redsox tailpipe. They’ve been bad for a few weeks now and I think you hit the nail on the head. They strike out so much that when a pitcher is on, they run the risk of being no hit.”

    @ Patrick – Has there been any update on the new stadium for the Rays?

    I’ve got some family in the Sarasota area and they tell me that it’s still held up on the issue of the owner wanting the stadium on the waterfront and Pinellas County only will allow the stadium to be built downtown.

    Aside of the obvious financing issues.

    To me if The Rays can’t get the stadium and if people don’t go to their games after that then they are going to be the AL East version of the Pirates.

    Or they might as well move or disband the team.

  296. Bob Says:

    And with the injuries the Sox just endured, they are going to suck the Yanks tailpipe.

    Bob O

  297. Hossrex Says:

    http://www.stilettosetsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/tackle.jpg

    Shaun is number 34 (rule 34?).

    This thread is so disappointing.

    I can’t help but be reminded of a bunch of kids picking on the retarded kid too far gone to realize he should just shut up and walk away.

    Post #249 to me is particularly sad. He literally asked to be shown tangible evidence for intangible qualities.

    Remember how Rainman was like a supergenius when it came to math, numbers, and rote memorization… but he couldn’t tell you how much a candy bar cost?

    Yeah.

  298. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck: Are you looking Parra up on fangraphs or something? No way Parra makes that much this year.”

    No, the DBacks are paying Eric Byrnes $11 million not to play, or Parra to play in his place.

  299. Patrick Says:

    Lefty, nothing new on the stadium but Tampa landing the Republican Convention in the Msyan calendar’s last year tells me we may be in line for an economic boost.

    Chuck, yes the Dbacks are worse by a mile. Maybe BJ is their kind of guy. Actually, they should take a shot at him, Maybe his kid brother will get him on track because he has a ton of ability minus his mental approach. It’s not that hard of a game to understand, maybe he’ll catch on before he’s old.

    Raul, right on.

    Shaun, after a slow start, Zobrist is 20th in the league in Out-Avoidance. He’s a star, even Fangraphs agrees. If you ever watched him you would understand that. He’s just not as good as Pujols.

    As far as set up men in the major leagues, do you know how many could pitch a 149 pitch no hitter? Zero. Jackson would’ve been dominant out of the pen, a role he was willing to embrace for the Rays. A work horse. All of us who witnessed him in the pen during the playoffs saw how great he could be. If he were on last years Rays they probably make the playoffs.

    What they truly lacked was a dominant arm at the back of the pen because they pinned their hopes on Percival, a guy who was 2 years retired but momentarily regained his arm strength in time to pen a 2 year deal worth over 4 million! What??? Was Percival going to stay as a High School assistant coach unless he gets $4 million? $400,000 couldn’t entice him?

    Do you think Joe Maddon would hesitate to replace Matt Joyce with Edwin Jackson?….. Not a second.

  300. John Says:

    I’m on a smattphone, so there’s no way I’m copying and pasting individual quotes. I’ll just make some points:

    Looking at Jason Kendall:
    Shaun, you want to know why Kendall is worth due to his gamecalling? WAR says he was worth a deal. Ned Yost (probably) said he was worth the deal. People who’ve seen the gentleman play say he’s worth the deal. The only thing you’re seeing is OPS+. Which, by the way, is a terrific stat…probably my personal favorite. But it doesn’t come close to quantifying the value of a catcher. Also, RBIs may be context dependent, but you’re ignoring the context…he plays for the Royals. He probably sees half as many RBI chances as Mauer.

    Chuck, what’s no atrocious about the Reynolds deal? I mean, his defense sucks and he could definitely cut down his strikeouts while remaining productive – but all in all, its not a ton of money for a guy with that much power. All in all though, the dbacks have been a laughing stock – and Eric Byrnes the MLB Network analyst is borderline insane.

    I don’t see how pitch counts can be irrelevant. Dusty Baker basically ended Mark Prior’s career by ignoring pitch count. I think we can all agree (even Shaun?) that 100 pitches is dumb and arbitrary…but let’s just say I wouldn’t be thrilled about my pitcher throwing 149 pitches in back-to-back starts. These guys are often investments for teams and as much as you want to win today, you can’t just ignore five days from now or five days from then.

    I saw David Wright at Miller Park in early June. I don’t pretend to be an expert hitting analyst, but he certainly didn’t look like he was bailin

  301. John Says:

    …bailing out on inside pitches, and he turned one around for a base-hit. And the dude has been raking against the AL for the last couple weeks.

    I will note that him hitting .300/.370/.522 is more useful to his team than before when he was hitting .250/.420/.500, regardless of OPS.

    Lastly lol@ Raul’s comment about pitchers being juddged by OPS. Michah Owings has been getting screwed out of Cy Young awards for 3 years!

  302. Patrick Says:

    John said; “I will note that him hitting .300/.370/.522 is more useful to his team than before when he was hitting .250/.420/.500, regardless of OPS.”

    AMEN.

  303. Chuck Says:

    “I’m on a smattphone”

    Hopefully it’s easier to use than spell.

    :)

  304. Chuck Says:

    Dusty Baker didn’t have anything to do with ending Mark Prior’s career.

    Bad mechanics ended Mark Prior’s career.

  305. Chuck Says:

    “I can’t help but be reminded of a bunch of kids picking on the retarded kid too far gone to realize he should just shut up and walk away.”

    However, the retarded kid, no matter how “far gone”, is probably still a minor and there’s some feeling of sympathy for him.

    Shaun, no matter how “far gone”, is old enough to know better, so if he’s going to keep coming back and acting the way he does, I have no sympathy for him.

    If you take a person with average intelligence and put him in a room with a dozen PHD’s, one could assume a year later he’d come out alot smarter than he went in. Shaun’s been on this website a year now and honestly hasn’t learned a fucking thing, which, quiter frankly, is mindboggling to me.

  306. Shaun Says:

    Shaun, you want to know why Kendall is worth due to his gamecalling? WAR says he was worth a deal. Ned Yost (probably) said he was worth the deal. People who’ve seen the gentleman play say he’s worth the deal. The only thing you’re seeing is OPS+. Which, by the way, is a terrific stat…probably my personal favorite. But it doesn’t come close to quantifying the value of a catcher. Also, RBIs may be context dependent, but you’re ignoring the context…he plays for the Royals. He probably sees half as many RBI chances as Mauer.

    The question is not simply whether he was worth the deal. Was he worth it for the Royals? WAR doesn’t take into account a team’s market nor their situation as far as whether they are likely to contend. If you are going to lose a lot of games anyway, why do it by overpaying for a poor player? Yes, maybe the deal is fine for the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Angels, Dodgers or even a team like the Twins who knew they had a legit shot to contend coming in to the season. But it wasn’t a good deal for the Royals, a team that should have known they would lose a lot and shouldn’t be using their resources on a poor player. If I was a Royals fan, I could even take it if they had just given this sort of contract to a player like Kendall. The problem is that Kendall is just one example of a player on their team with this type of contract. Teams are going to make mistakes and take risks with contracts. I’m fine with that. But it’s bad for a poor team to take as many risks with players that they should have expected to be poor-to-mediocre players.

    The counter-argument is that he’s not actually a poor player because of his game-calling and leadership; that his game-calling and leadership overshadow his awful hitting and that the Royals pitching and defense actually don’t reflect Kendall’s true value. But there is absolutely nothing to support this argument except hearsay from players, coaches and people within the Royals organization? What do you expect the players and coaches supposed to say? “Yeah, we got Kendall but I wish we hadn’t.” And the GM and rest of the front office, we already know, think it was a good deal. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question it.

    Also, I can deal with some of you saying that maybe the Royals know something we don’t and Kendall’s leadership and game-calling is better than we think. But most of you aren’t throwing a “maybe” in there. You are just so sure of yourselves and think you are smarter than everyone else that you can’t bring yourself to admit that maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t the smartest deal for the Royals.

    All I know is that I see no reason to believe it was a smart deal for the Royals. Maybe I’m wrong. But I’ve done my best to give you why I believe it wasn’t the smartest deal for the Royals. All of you on the other side of the debate have given nothing except basically “I blindly trust the Royals and trust everything the players and coaches have to say about Kendall” and “I’m smarter than anyone who says maybe this deal wasn’t such a good one for the Royals.” If you have some true insight into why this deal was good for the Royals (besides blind trust in the Royals and the idea that you think you are smarter than everyone on this), please provide it. (Hints: You can’t say it was a good deal because the GM said it was a good deal because the GM may or may not know what he’s doing. You can’t say it was a good deal because Kendall’s teammates say good things about him because they obviously aren’t objective on the matter. You can’t say you know it’s a good deal because you’re smart and everyone who disagrees is dumb unless you have something to go on besides quoting Royals.)

  307. Raul Says:

    It’s like a dog chasing his own tail.

    Shaun wants statistical proof that Jason Kendall is good with a pitching staff and can help young players.

    No statistical proof? No value.

    The only way I can explain it is if Shaun said he slept with his wife last night and it wasn’t too great. It was average. And then Chuck and everyone else in this article asked him if he could get the same quality lovin’ from the ugly low-maintenance girl in the back of the classroom.

    At this point I’d actually love for you to go Phoenix with Chuck and interview the Royals players. So you can see what THEY say about Jason Kendall.

  308. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: You are now arguing for VORP (in regards to Kendall). Stick with that, because IT does make sense.

  309. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I want any reason to believe that Kendall’s game-calling and leadership is worth, to the Royals, the contract the Royals gave him. I’m not asking for statistical proof, necessarily. I’m just looking for any reason to believe. I would love to see a reason because Kendall seems like a good guy and a guy who works hard and wants to win, so I would likely nothing more than to believe Kendall’s game-calling and leadership are actually worth his contract to a team in the Royals’ situation. The problem is I’m objective so what I want to believe and what is there are often different things. I want to believe I can throw 98 mph but what I want to believe and what is there are different things.

    Regarding interviewing Royals players, that’s not a good way to approach this. Again, what do you expect Royals players to say, Kendall stinks? Why don’t we try asking other GM’s, front office folks, scouts and other baseball insiders that don’t have a connection to Kendall or the Royals to evaluate the deal? You see, when you’re trying to get to the truth it’s good to try to get the most objective views possible.

  310. Raul Says:

    You’ve been given proof all over with the replies to this article, and you have the word of dozens of Major Leaguers, coaches and even the General Manager of the Royals himself.

    Apparently that’s not good enough for you.
    Fine.
    Move on.

  311. Chuck Says:

    “Maybe I’m wrong.”

    No maybe about it Shaun, and we’ve been telling you for a week.

    “But I’ve done my best to give you why I believe it wasn’t the best for the Royals..”

    All you gave was a who gives a shit stat and his salary.

    You don’t think the pitchers who throw to him and work with him everyday aren’t a better evaluator/

    Stats are a reflection of something that’s already happened, and there are so manu “unmeasureables” that go into each stat that the numbers can just as easily give a false or misleading opinion as positive.

    The opinion of Zach Greinke or Kyle Davies is more important than his OPS+

  312. Shaun Says:

    You’ve been given proof all over with the replies to this article, and you have the word of dozens of Major Leaguers, coaches and even the General Manager of the Royals himself.

    Where is the proof from the word of dozens of major leaguers that can be objective about this?

    And again, the Royals GM’s word doesn’t mean much because basically it’s his view of Kendall that I am arguing is misguided. It’s like arguing I’m correct because I say so (which, come to think of it, is about all many of you are offering).

    You don’t think the pitchers who throw to him and work with him everyday aren’t a better evaluator

    They could be but their judgment could very well be clouded because they aren’t going to say anything bad about a teammate.

    Stats are a reflection of something that’s already happened, and there are so manu “unmeasureables” that go into each stat that the numbers can just as easily give a false or misleading opinion as positive.

    The opinion of Zach Greinke or Kyle Davies is more important than his OPS+

    Give me the opinion of someone that has no reason to be bias and subjective about Jason Kendall. Grienke and Davies aren’t going to say anything bad about a teammate.

  313. Raul Says:

    Anyone else around here notice that Shaun is never wrong?

  314. Shaun Says:

    I’m not necessarily saying Kendall’s leadership and game-calling are or aren’t worth the contract to the Royals. They could be, for all I know. I’m just saying I see no obvious reason to believe that they are. And why pay someone for skills that may or may not be any better than another cheaper option when you don’t know for sure and there is no reason to believe those skills are better than the cheaper option’s skills?

    Would you assume that one players skills are significantly better than another without reason if the supposedly better player wasn’t a veteran and didn’t seem “scrappy”?

    Because it seems that this is all about the fact that Jason Kendall is a veteran who seems scrappy, and that’s what the Royals are paying for instead of what they can verify is actually paying for skills that they can verify are actually better than the skills of cheaper options.

  315. Shaun Says:

    Anyone else around here notice that Shaun is never wrong?

    Really? Seems to me I’ve admitted I don’t know whether I’m wrong or right about this Kendall discussion. The issue is that everyone else thinks they know with absolute certainty that they are right without any solid reason. So basically it’s a skeptic arguing with people who think they are right though they have no reason to believe they are right.

  316. Chuck Says:

    “Greinke or Davies isn’t going to say anything bad about a teammate.”

    OK, then we won’t talk to his current teammates.

    We’ll go to Milwaukee’s camp and Oakland’s camp and talk to his FORMER teammates.

    How’s that work?

    Shaun, you keep going back to what we’ve known and told you, if you can’t touch something, it doesn’t exist.

    If you’re boss comes up to you and asks you to do something, do you do it without question because he’s got more experiene than you, or do you ask him to print up something off an Excel spreadsheet first?

  317. Raul Says:

    Shaun, there’s no doubt about this for you to be skeptical.

    You’re wrong. You simply refuse to admit that you’re wrong.

    Chuck has decades of experience that supercedes what you think you know by reading ESPN and looking at a salary chart. He’s stated that he’s personally aware of the impact Jason Kendall has and is aware of players who can speak to his impact. And you still claim to be “skeptical”.

    Short of Bill James calling you himself to tell you that Jason Kendall has value, you will keep replying with your ignorant nonsense.

    Good lord. You really sit there and claim that players would never be honest about a teammate? It was no secret that the entire Yankees organization hated Carl Pavano and pitied Chuck Knoblauch. The Cleveland Indians did not like Albert Belle. Jeff Kent loathed Barry Bonds.

    There are hundreds of instances where teammates have been honest about their teammates, and their ability.

    Don’t come in here and tell us we aren’t supposed to believe Zack Greinke or Kyle Davies.

    You’re wrong on Kendall and you know it.
    You’ve been given dozens of reasons why Kendall is a good sign and refuse to acknowledge any of it.

    Do you even know what a catcher’s job is?
    Good lord, what position did you play in baseball? Left Bench? Were you the guy who kept the book?

  318. Raul Says:

    300 responses in on this article.

    Nobody here is defending the Guillen contract or the Farnsworth contract.
    Those aren’t great moves for the Royals.

    But when you have 300 responses surrounding Jason Kendall, that ought to tell you something.

  319. Chuck Says:

    “It’s like arguing I’m correct because I say so…”

    Shaun, that is EXACTLY what you are doing.

    You have offered LESS substantive proof to your claim than any of us have offered in rebuttale.

    And to make matters worse, YOU wrote the fucking article.

  320. Shaun Says:

    We’ll go to Milwaukee’s camp and Oakland’s camp and talk to his FORMER teammates.

    How’s that work?

    Well, they probably aren’t going to be objective either because baseball players are a tight-knit fraternity. The best thing to do would be to ask scouts and other talent evaluators who have no connection to Kendall what he would be worth if there team was in a situation like the Royals.

    You have offered LESS substantive proof to your claim than any of us have offered in rebuttale.

    What claim? I’m not making a claim. I’m saying I don’t know if Kendall’s game-calling and leadership are worth the contract to the Royals. Basically I’m asking the question, is it worth it? All I’m basically getting is maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It seems to me like it probably isn’t. But others are arguing with absolute certainty that it is. So I’m asking the side that seems absolutely certain that it is worth it to provide something to show why they are so sure of themselves. Because I’m not so sure. The answers I get are the GM says so, his teammates say so, his former teammates say so and “I know so because I’m smarter than you and anyone else who thinks Kendall isn’t a good player.” So basically the Royals are paying for skills that may or may not be any better than those same skills in a cheaper player. Why do that when you are merely speculating that Kendall’s game-calling and leadership are more helpful than what you’d get out of a cheaper option? It’s fine to speculate on such things when you have a greater budget or are closer to contending and maybe Kendall’s leadership and game-calling could make a difference between contention and not.

  321. Raul Says:

    “Well, they probably aren’t going to be objective either because baseball players are a tight-knit fraternity”

    Holy *****ing sh***

    Your ignorance truly knows no bounds.
    You can’t even ask a baseball player’s COLLEAGUES if he has any impact on the game.

    I can’t say this any differently.

    Shaun, you’re a fucking moron.

  322. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Have you even talked to a major league player? Try it some day, it is an enlightening experience, one I think you need before you come in here and argue a losing proposition all day long……………….

    So, let’s move on, k?

  323. Chuck Says:

    Looks like the Rangers have a deal in place to pick up Benjie Molina from the Giants.

    For his OPS+?

  324. Cameron Says:

    For the fact he’s hitting fifty points better than a platoon of like, 4 guys. Has a good glove too, and if he could hit 20 homers in San Fran, Texas is gonna be a godsend for Bengie.

  325. Hossrex Says:

    Is Shaun really arguing that players never say anything bad about each other in the same week that a player was “indefinitely” suspended for fighting with each other in the dugout on worldwide television?

    Shaun, you’re fucking stupid. Just stop.

  326. Shaun Says:

    Shaun: Have you even talked to a major league player? Try it some day, it is an enlightening experience, one I think you need before you come in here and argue a losing proposition all day long……………….

    I’ve actually talked to a pitcher whose name has come up, during his rookie season, after a good outing. He said nothing about the catcher, as a matter of fact. Doesn’t mean the catcher’s game-calling and leadership wasn’t important. Just means I have no clue how important a catcher’s game-calling and leadership is relative to other catchers and neither does anyone else because if they did they would be able to point to some reason why they believe a catcher like Kendall is so much more valuable than any other halfway decent major league catcher who may command a lesser contract.

    Looks like the Rangers have a deal in place to pick up Benjie Molina from the Giants.

    For his OPS+?

    His OPS+ over the last several years is not quite as awful as Kendall’s. And I think it is more for defense, which is not necessarily the same as leadership and game-calling.

    Is Shaun really arguing that players never say anything bad about each other in the same week that a player was “indefinitely” suspended for fighting with each other in the dugout on worldwide television?

    No. I’m arguing that if you ask players about other players they may not be objective. If you are trying to get to the truth about the value of a player and if he’s worth the contract a team gave him, other players close to him or who have been close to him probably aren’t the best people to go to for an objective opinion on the player’s value and his contract. And it works both ways. Maybe the players say overly great things about the player in question, maybe they point out flaws because they have a personal beef with him or maybe they withhold information one way or the other because they don’t want to give away too much personal information one way or the other.

  327. Raul Says:

    Shaun’s just going in circles.

    You can’t ask players about other players because apparently players can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

    This is what Shaun wrote in Post #320:

    “The best thing to do would be to ask scouts and other talent evaluators who have no connection to Kendall what he would be worth if there team was in a situation like the Royals.”

    Chuck is a scout. Chuck said Kendall is worth the contract. But not even that is good enough.

    Pretty soon you won’t be able to ask scouts about a player because scouts aren’t financial analysts and they can’t speak about contracts.

    Shaun’s just a moron, incapable of admitting he’s wrong, or both.

  328. Shaun Says:

    You can’t ask players about other players because apparently players can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

    That’s right. It’s not that a player may be deceptive on purpose. But his view of another player who may be a friend or a foe may be clouded by the players being so close to each other. Or not even that; it a player may withhold important info that could be very telling about another player’s value simply because he wants to keep what goes on in the clubhouse or on the field within those places.

    Chuck is a scout. Chuck said Kendall is worth the contract. But not even that is good enough.

    Right because Chuck is one scout. And for all I know, Jason Kendall is his best friend. Plus Chuck’s way of looking at things may be entirely different from another scout’s or another baseball evaluator’s. I’m not saying Chuck is necessarily wrong about Kendall, I’m saying we can’t know by just basing everything on Chuck’s views.

    Shaun’s just a moron, incapable of admitting he’s wrong, or both.

    I am actually doing my best to keep who’s right and who’s wrong out of this. Chuck and others are the one’s who are making judgments about who’s right and who’s wrong; because they are so sure of themselves as to think they are right. I’m saying I have no clue if I’m right about Kendall and his game-calling, his leadership and his contract. And others have given no legitimate and logical reason for anyone to believe why we should be so certain that Kendall was worth the contract because of his game-calling and leadership. The truth seems to be that no one can know for sure, but some pretend they know so that they seem smarter than everyone. It’s all about who is more secure. Who can admit their own ignorance. I’m fine admitting I have no clue whether Kendall’s game-calling and leadership is significantly better than cheaper options’ game-calling and leadership. It seems to me they are not any better but I’m perfectly open to seeing the reasons and the evidence why people believe so strongly that they are better. I just wish people who believe so strongly would clue us who are not so certain in to what they are going on. So far they haven’t.

  329. Chuck Says:

    “I’ve actually talked to a pitcher whose name has come up, during his rookie season, after a good outing. He said nothing about the catcher, as a matter of fact.”

    Because you didn’t ask?

  330. Raul Says:

    The simple fact that you’re unable to tell the difference between a catcher who is able to connect with pitchers, have a good rapport with them, lead the pitching staff and play solid defense — with one who isn’t good at those things, shows that you, Shaun, don’t know even the most basic principles of baseball.

    That, is crystal clear.

    Not only are you not willing to admit you’re wrong about Jason Kendall. You can’t even provide what it would take to convince you that you’re wrong.

    Is Jason Kendall a good leader and communicator with pitchers? Can’t ask his teammates, according to you.

    Can’t ask scouts, according to you. Chuck is a scout, yet somehow you think it’s in the realm of possibility that Chuck and Jason Kendall are godfather to each other’s first born. So you can’t believe Chuck. That’s amazing.

    What does Shaun want?
    He wants a statistic that shows that Jason Kendall is good at his job. Because you can’t trust the word of anyone associated with him.

    I’d like to know exactly what Shaun needs to believe Jason Kendall is good at his job and worth 2 million dollars. Exactly. Spell it out, Shaun.

    Don’t say “I want some proof that he’s better than X-minor leaguer”. Be clear and direct. Exactly what proof are you looking for? What statistic for you, will quantify Jason Kendall’s value?

    Shaun wrote IN HIS ARTICLE, mind you:

    “Kansas City’s roster is filled with the likes of Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt and Rick Ankiel, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth. Most of these players are past their primes, they aren’t good and they make more than players who couldn’t do any worse. The Royals are baseball’s poster child for inefficiency. If the Royals had all the revenue they could ask for and still ran their franchise like they currently do, they would look something like the Orioles of 2004-2007.”

    He literally said that Jason Kendall isn’t good.

    Now take a look at Shaun’s post #328:

    “I am actually doing my best to keep who’s right and who’s wrong out of this.”

    SO YOU JUST CALLED JASON KENDALL A PLAYER WHO ISN’T GOOD —IN YOUR OWN ARTICLE— AND THEN GO ON TO SAY YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INTO BEING RIGHT OR WRONG ABOUT THAT COMMENT.

    Can we trade you for Jimmy Scott?

  331. Shaun Says:

    Not only are you not willing to admit you’re wrong about Jason Kendall. You can’t even provide what it would take to convince you that you’re wrong.

    Is Jason Kendall a good leader and communicator with pitchers? Can’t ask his teammates, according to you.

    Can’t ask scouts, according to you. Chuck is a scout, yet somehow you think it’s in the realm of possibility that Chuck and Jason Kendall are godfather to each other’s first born. So you can’t believe Chuck. That’s amazing.

    What does Shaun want?
    He wants a statistic that shows that Jason Kendall is good at his job. Because you can’t trust the word of anyone associated with him.

    Here’s what I’m asking: Get opinions from a variety of scouts, GM’s, front office personnel and any other kind of talent evaluators. If a majority say it was appropriate for the Royals to give Kendall that contract given their situation and other contracts on their books, then I would be amazed.

    Or…if you can show me something that groups together the meaningful statistics of every pitcher Kendall has worked with and show that a majority of them improved during or after they worked with Kendall, that would help.

    He literally said that Jason Kendall isn’t good.

    Yes, based on the information I see, he isn’t. I see nothing that convinces me he is any better overall than cheaper options and based on all the information that is there, he appears to be much worse. He’s not a good hitter by any means, his game-calling and defense doesn’t seem to have improved the Royals, when he was with the Brewers they were good one year and not so good the next, the Pirates were never a great at run prevention during and after Kendall’s time there. But I’m perfectly willing to admit I’m wrong if someone can provide the counter-evidence.

  332. Raul Says:

    So Shaun can say Jason Kendall doesn’t do diddly with any pitchers DESPITE WHAT THOSE SAME PITCHERS, COACHES, TRAINERS, MANAGERS, GENERAL MANAGERS, OPPOSING PLAYERS, EX-PLAYERS, ANNOUNCERS AND SCOUTS MIGHT SAY.

    And the only way to prove otherwise is to get a CONVENTION OF SCOUTS WHO HAVE NO TIES TO HIM WHATSOEVER, PROFESSIONAL OR CASUAL, to say otherwise.

    ……

    As John Stewart might say:
    Go fuck yourself.

  333. Shaun Says:

    Kansas City’s roster is filled with the likes of Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt and Rick Ankiel, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth.

    Funny how the focus is all on Jason Kendall. Everyone completely ignores the other players, probably because all indications are those players are indeed not good and not worth to the Royals what the Royals are paying them or what they gave up to get them. But if you are going to argue about Kendall, why not say they signed Scott Podsednik, Yuniesky Betancourt and Rick Ankiel, Gil Meche and Kyle Farnsworth for something vague like leadership. When you use vague terms like “game-calling” and “leadership” it works for you because you don’t have to provide any logic or reasoning behind why you believe their game-calling and leadership is any better than anyone else’s. You can just say something like, “I know because I’m a scout and I’m smarter than you” or “I know because the Royals GM says so and God knows the Royals GM is a genius” or “I know because people he has to spend 7-8 months with say so and God knows they have no reason to cast their teammate in the best light possible.”

  334. Shaun Says:

    So Shaun can say Jason Kendall doesn’t do diddly with any pitchers DESPITE WHAT THOSE SAME PITCHERS, COACHES, TRAINERS, MANAGERS, GENERAL MANAGERS, OPPOSING PLAYERS, EX-PLAYERS, ANNOUNCERS AND SCOUTS MIGHT SAY.

    All the information we have is what says Kendall isn’t good. It has nothing to do with what I say. It’s the info that’s there for all to see. Kendall’s poor performance at the plate for going on six years now has nothing to do with what I say. The fact that the Royals run prevention hasn’t improved has nothing to do with what I say. The fact that the Brewers were pretty good one year with Kendall and pretty bad the next with Kendall has nothing to do with what I say. The fact that the Pirates run prevention was never particularly good with Kendall nor after he left has nothing to do with what I say.

    This isn’t about what I say or what coaches, players, etc. say. This has to do with the info that’s out there for all to see. Based on all the info, indications are Kendall is not good.

    Don’t trust what I say or what Chuck says or what anyone says. Look at the information available. And if you are going to make a claim or believe something that’s counter to the information, you better have a darn good reason for it. So far no one has given a darn good reason for it.

  335. Raul Says:

    You’re nothing but a data monkey.

    For the love of the game, get off your ass and away from the computer and go watch a baseball game. Go speak to people. Try to actually learn about baseball.

    It’s very sad and frustrating that in all your years of living, your understanding of baseball is relegated to numbers on a screen.

    I realize I go too far with the insults and language a lot here. And honestly, I really do apologize for that, Shaun. Seriously.

    But with each post it’s becoming clearer that you virtually epitomize all of the negative baggage that has come with the “sabermetric revolution”.

  336. Bob Says:

    Shaun, I have avoided this thread until now. On post 331 you say you need opinions from scouts and GM’s of other teams. News for you: Theo and Cashman and Nolan Ryan etc. are not in the business of bad-mouthing their counterparts. On the contrary, most GM’s praise their counterparts. How many GM’s thought what the Phillies did with Howard was moronic? Probably 29. How many will admit it? None

    Bob O

  337. Shaun Says:

    Theo and Cashman and Nolan Ryan etc. are not in the business of bad-mouthing their counterparts. On the contrary, most GM’s praise their counterparts. How many GM’s thought what the Phillies did with Howard was moronic? Probably 29. How many will admit it? None

    Great point, Bob. A bigger reason to trust information that’s available and not the word of GM’s about the contracts their counterparts give out. They are going to be objective and for good reason. The opinions of several anonymous scouts outside the Royals organization is probably the place to go to try to get an objective opinion as to whether what Kendall brings to the table is significantly better than cheaper options at this stage in his career.

    It’s very sad and frustrating that in all your years of living, your understanding of baseball is relegated to numbers on a screen.

    Though you don’t believe it, I watch a lot of baseball and listen very carefully when people within the game speak. But I see nothing and hear nothing that indicates that Kendall was worth his contract to the particular team that signed him to that contract. I have absolutely nothing to gain by thinking that Kendall’s contract was a bad one for the Royals. If I could find any ounce of a reason to believe Kendall’s contract was a decent one for the Royals, I would gladly admit it. (In fact, I am perfectly willing to admit it wasn’t a horrible deal in and of itself; but it is bad in the context of a perennially bad team giving out several contracts in which they pay too much for what they are getting.)

    The only reasons I can see why the Royals gave this contract is that Kendall is “scrappy” and he’s a veteran catcher. It seems like the contract is based more on these things than his actual performance on a baseball field.

  338. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    Comment # 331.

    I offered to do that for you, but you chose to decline, for one of two reasons;

    1) You know you’d be proven wrong and are trying to save face,

    2) Would prefer not to be homeless.

    Before you attempt a reply, understand those are the ONLY two possible reasons.

    And as far as the information you see regarding the before and after performance of pitchers and Kendall, that’s easy to find.

    That’s my biggest pet peeve with you, even moreso than your ignorance.

    You always are asking people to prove things to you, easy to find things my 8 year old would find in less than two minutes.

    Just like there’s no excuse for being ignorant, there’s no excuse for being lazy either.

    “All the information we have is what says Jason Kendall isn’t good….Kendall’s poor performance at the plate the past six years has nothing to do with what I say.”

    Isn’t that proof enough, Shaun?

    Isn’t that proof enough that Kendall is a valued commodity at $2.5 million despite a 70 OPS+

    He sucks at the plate for the past six years, yet he’s still a starting catcher in the major leagues?

    What the fuck else do you want?

  339. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, you offered to question Kendall’s teammates and/or former teammates. That’s not gathering objective information about Kendall, therefore it doesn’t get to what we need to know.

    And as far as the information you see regarding the before and after performance of pitchers and Kendall, that’s easy to find.

    It’s not so easy to gather all that information. Why don’t you try it and see how long it takes? Get every single pitcher Kendall threw to over his career. Look at something like their ERA or ERA+ or whatever you’d like before they pitched to Kendall, when they pitched to Kendall and after Kendall had left their team.

    Isn’t that proof enough that Kendall is a valued commodity at $2.5 million despite a 70 OPS+

    He sucks at the plate for the past six years, yet he’s still a starting catcher in the major leagues?

    That doesn’t tell us anything about whether he’s worth $2.5 million to a team like the Royals. Just because he’s a valued commodity doesn’t mean he’s worth $2.5 million to the 2010 Kansas City Royals. There are lots of players who are valued commodities that wouldn’t be good acquisitions for specific teams.

  340. Chuck Says:

    Ever hear of Baseball Reference, Shaun? For a pretty reasonable membership, you could find out what Jason Kendall had for breakfast.

  341. Raul Says:

    This whole article is basically about VORP and WAR, if you dissect it. The only thing Shaun can ever talk about has to be stats-related.

    He probably doesn’t know how to take a proper lead off first base.

  342. Bob Says:

    Raul, I am sure all of us here have at least gotten to 2nd base!!!

    Bob O

  343. Raul Says:

    Are you talking in regards to a Kardashian?

  344. Bob Says:

    No, I am Bob O, not Lamar O.

  345. Raul Says:

    Touche.

  346. Shaun Says:

    This whole article is basically about VORP and WAR, if you dissect it. The only thing Shaun can ever talk about has to be stats-related.

    If I were writing an article about VORP and WAR, I would use “VORP” and “WAR” in the article. I can’t seem to find where I used those in the article. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe you can point it out to me.

  347. Raul Says:

    “Maybe you can point it out to me”

    It turns out Shaun doesn’t know how to interpret WAR and VORP either…

  348. Chuck Says:

    Shaun.

    It was 112 in Phoenix today, but because there is no humidity here, it probably didn’t feel as uncomfortable as 85 with 90 humidity does in Atlanta.

    Are you going to take my word for it, or are you going to head over to Atlanta Airport and interview 100 people with “unbiased” opinions getting off incoming flights from Phoenix?

  349. John Says:

    Raul,

    If this whole article was about WAR, then the Kendall signing would be praised. Fangraphs’s sweet little formula, developed by Carla Figgins and Nikki Zobrist, valued Kendall at 14 M over the last two years, or 7M per season – during which time, I might add, his OPS+ was like 72. I might add, Shaun, that since Kendall makes a third of that, and since KC’s payroll is well more than 1/3 of the average mlb payroll, signing Kendall is worth it, FOR THE ROYALS. If you trust WAR. Which I don’t, but I trust in Kendall’s ability to lead a pitching staff.

    The article is about the economics of baseball, pure and simple. Jason Kendall is a small detail…but surely we can agree that Farnsworth, Guillen, Betancourt and Ankiel have been less than worthwhile signings considering that their services could be replaced for cheap and the money saved could go toward revamping the farm system. At least in theory.

    At the very least, can we acknowledge that, while Jason Kendall is actually a decent deal, that the Royals long-term strategy has produced virtually nothing for 15 years, save a Cy Young and ROY? You don’t have to have worked in the big leagues to realize that persistent failure means something.

    Especially when teams with smaller payrolls continue to compete. Not every year like the yanks, but not never either, like the Royals.

  350. Shaun Says:

    It was 112 in Phoenix today, but because there is no humidity here, it probably didn’t feel as uncomfortable as 85 with 90 humidity does in Atlanta.

    Are you going to take my word for it, or are you going to head over to Atlanta Airport and interview 100 people with “unbiased” opinions getting off incoming flights from Phoenix?

    No because you have no reason to be biased about the weather in Phoenix. Teammates and people who know Kendall have reason to be biased about his worth, whether they want to be objective or not. I’m sure if someone asked a teammate or former teammate about Kendall, they think they are being objective and will try to be objective but that doesn’t mean biases wouldn’t come through. Everyone has biases that come through no matter how hard we try to overcome them.

    If this whole article was about WAR, then the Kendall signing would be praised.

    Well, it would be a fine signing in a vacuum. But every situation is different. The Royals’ situation is different from the Yankees’ situation or even the Twins’ situation. Also, WAR is about past value. As you said, you looked up what he was worth OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS. That tells us very little about his likely worth to a team like the Royals over the length of that contract. As you know, I think WAR and VORP are extremely useful, but every stat needs context. If you are using WAR to validate the Kendall signing, you are missing out not only on the Royals financial situation but also where they are as a franchise and where they have been over the past several years.

    The article is about the economics of baseball, pure and simple. Jason Kendall is a small detail…but surely we can agree that Farnsworth, Guillen, Betancourt and Ankiel have been less than worthwhile signings considering that their services could be replaced for cheap and the money saved could go toward revamping the farm system. At least in theory.

    At the very least, can we acknowledge that, while Jason Kendall is actually a decent deal, that the Royals long-term strategy has produced virtually nothing for 15 years, save a Cy Young and ROY? You don’t have to have worked in the big leagues to realize that persistent failure means something.

    Yes, economics is a big part of my argument. Money matters but the point is that money is not the primary reason why the Royals haven’t had close to a contending season in the last several (save for maybe 2003).

    And I certainly agree that the Kendall signing wasn’t the absolute worst signing the Royals have done over the last 5-6 years. I would even say that if they had signed Kendall after building a cheap and younger team with players close to as good as or better than Fransworth, Guillen, etc. I wouldn’t have nearly as big a problem with it. Again, a players contract should not only depend on how good he is but it also should depend on the team’s situation, both financially and where they are in terms of contention or not contending.

    Let’s look at the way the Pirates currently do things. They spent money on a player like Ryan Church. It’s not that Church is a great player. But he’s fairly young, he could bring back something in a trade if a contender needs a 4th outfielder/platoon option and the core of their team is young and not a lot of Ryan Church type players.

    The Royals on the other hand could have a young core but they are all in the minors. Instead they are going with basically a major league core of Ryan Church types. Ka’aihue and Gordon are 26. At this point, you aren’t going to hinder their development by putting them in the majors. Why not go into the season with both of those players as the starters at whatever position you decide to put them? Give them at least 3 months to succeed or fail. What do the Royals have to lose? Why not do that instead of sign all those mediocre-to-poor veteran players? Do they really think they have a better chance to win by signing all those mediocre-to-poor vets instead of inserting Ka’aihue and Gordon into the lineup everyday and seeing what they can do?

  351. Dean M Says:

    Well, I see the “f” words are flying once again (although Chuck never even attempted to tone them down). Shaun, can’t you see you will never get the evidence you seek? Their arguments are by and large about “intangibles” and cannot be quantified. This is such a silly argument to have about something which in the end is totally subjective.

  352. Chuck Says:

    Why the fuck should I, Dean?

  353. Dean M Says:

    As an article writer on this site, I would think you would want to have higher standards than you exhibit.

  354. Chuck Says:

    Because I have higher standards is why that language sometimes comes out.

    If you read the thread chain, you’d understand what I mean.

  355. Cameron Says:

    Guys, why are you still on this Kendall kick? As I’ve said if ACTUAL royals fans couldn’t give less than two fucks about this how are you going on this for like two weeks? Do you realize how sad you look Shaun for beating a dead horse of an argument?

    And the rest of you guys are just as guilty. When a guy is going on this long holding an argument we youngsters refer to one of our biggest message board rules, “Don’t feed the troll”. For you older guys, that means a guy giving you this much grief for this long is only going on because you keep talking to him. There’s other articles on this site, comment on those for a change.

  356. Chuck Says:

    “And the rest of you guys are just as guilty.”

    Yes, we are.

  357. Hossrex Says:

    How about this.

    Shaun.

    Lets pretend that the owners of the Diamondbacks saw you playing Stratomatic at the local chess club hangout. They’re so impressed with your ability to read baseball cards, that they immediately hire you to fill the DM void in Arizona.

    The first task they set you to is to find a good, but affordable catcher.

    What do you look for? What priorities do you set? Which aspects do you set aside as less important?

    Assuming you had enough depth to arrange for any trade, for any catcher (so long as he fits your budget, making *around* three million), whom do you choose, and why?

  358. Cameron Says:

    Stick with Montero and Snyder, even an idiot could see that’s a good platoon for what they make.

  359. Shaun Says:

    What do you look for? What priorities do you set? Which aspects do you set aside as less important?

    Assuming you had enough depth to arrange for any trade, for any catcher (so long as he fits your budget, making *around* three million), whom do you choose, and why?

    I agree with Chuck, for once. Montero and Snyder are just fine.

    But if I’m in charge of a team and looking for a good but affordable catcher, I’m looking for one that could hit fairly well and one that my scouts like.

    It’s not that Kendall was/is a horrible option. It’s that he’s not a good option for the Royals when they’ve already overpaid at several other positions and are not likely to contend by overpaying at all those positions.

    It’s just like the Podsednik signing and the Farnsworth signing were not awful…in a vacuum…if we ignore context.

  360. Chuck Says:

    “I agree with Chuck, for once. Montero and Snyder are just fine.”

    My initial thoughts were; “about effin’ (like that better, Dean?) time, or “better late than never”, then realized the coment wasn’t mine.

    The Montero/Snyder duo is a pretty good one, although at more than five million, Snyder’s contract isn’t very EFFICIENT.

    There are a few teams out there looking for catching help, the chances of Snyder being a DBack on August first are nil.

  361. Shaun Says:

    Oops. I saw the “C” and thought it was Chuck. Instead it was Cameron.

    Snyder’s contract isn’t bad. But it’s definitely time for the Diamondbacks to trade him while his value is at its peak.

  362. Eric Says:

    This thread started with propositions on the efficiency of winning baseball organizations. In an odd twist the Pittsburgh Pirates, are a model of an efficient baseball business. While it is easy to think of them as knuckleheads for 18 years of losing, you have to give them credit for making millions per year in profits and for getting the taxpayers to dessentially donate a baseball-only stadium for them (source Pittsburgh Post Gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10235/1082040-63.stm).

    It looks like they are following the Florida Marlins and Tamba Bay Rays path of investing in the draft and player development. If they get lucky and capture lightning in a bottle, they may get superstar players while controlling payroll costs. It can’t be easy to suck year after year, but the city of Pittsburgh do get to watch baseball and the owners do get to make money.

    Though the use of revenue-sharing money to post profits has got to royally piss off the up market teams.

  363. Shaun Says:

    Eric, This from the AP story:

    “To cut payroll, the Pirates have shed former All-Stars Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Nate McLouth and Jack Wilson in trades, along with nearly every other player who was arbitration eligible — or close to it — or free agency: Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell, John Grabow, Xavier Nady, Adam LaRoche, Damaso Marte, Nyjer Morgan, Ronny Paulino and Sean Burnett.”

    Really? Technically all these players are former All-Stars but if a different franchise had shed these players, it would be viewed differently. All of these players are mediocre veterans.

    There is a striking lack of context here, for those who want to read into the Pirates making profits while losing. A new regime took over the Pirates in 2007, inheriting an awful situation. The Pirates were loaded with veteran players who weren’t very good, who were making too much for their contributions to the team and who weren’t going to be around the next time the Pirates are ready to contend. So the new regime shed those contracts that weighed down the organization. Now they are capable of building a solid core of young players and they can pay to keep the best ones. Plus once they are ready to contend or near ready, they can go out and sign a free agent or two or three that will get them over the hump.

  364. Lefty33 Says:

    “But the Pirates GM and manager will not get fired any time soon no matter how bad they are because it’s a relatively new regime. It will likely be another 2-4 years before the powers that be even consider firing their GM because they know what an awful situation he inherited and those powers are smart enough to realize it’s difficult to turn a franchise around overnight.”

    Hey Shaun,

    If you’re still out there, and I’m sure you are, you still feel confident that you know what you’re talking about when you wrote that little gem of wisdom on June 28th?

    New regimes don’t mean a thing.

    If you underperform you will eventually be held accountable.

    Russell got it today and Huntington is next if the Pirates can’t figure it out within another year or two. I don’t care how stocked their farm system is, if they lose another 100 games next year Huntington will be out just like Russell.

    (And if you read comment #243, I told you that Russell would get canned.)

  365. Chuck Says:

    LOL…

    Jerry Manuel and Ken Macha got canned for the same reason..not enough W’s.

  366. JohnBowen Says:

    Also, Ken Macha wasn’t very good at his job.

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