Fan’s Guide to Using Statistics to Evaluate Minor League Baseball Players

by Shaun

With all the prospect lists coming out, it’s a good time to discuss how we as fans can and should evaluate prospects.

For the typical avid baseball fan, it’s difficult to actually see even our favorite team’s prospects, much less other top prospects.  But there are ways to eyeball some statistics and get an idea of what your favorite organization, and what Major League Baseball has coming up the pipeline in the way of prospects.

This is not a replacement for watching and scouting, in addition to looking at the statistics.  This is merely a way for fans—who often don’t get to see their team’s minor-league players and the minor-league players everyone is raving about—to eyeball some numbers and get an idea about what their team has in the organization.

Fans can understand what’s so special about that guy that Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein have at the top of their lists.

When evaluating minor-league hitters, unlike major-league hitters, how a guy gets to an impressive slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) is just as important as the slash line itself.  That’s what we sometimes forget and why we overrate certain prospects.

It’s not that how a player gets to a particular slash line in the majors is not important to look at when evaluating him. But how a player got there is not as important when evaluating major-league players versus minor-league players.

If a player can find a way to hit major-league pitching and does it on a consistent basis, he’s usually going to continue to do so. Sure, it’s important to look at things like batting average on balls in play (BABIP), ballpark, age and things of that sort.

But, for the most part, if a hitter can post a good slash line against major-league pitching consistently, that means he can hit major-league pitching.  We often don’t need to go much further than that.

If a hitter can post a good slash line against minor-league pitching, it does not mean he will continue against higher-level pitching and eventually major-league pitching.  It’s more important to look at how he got there.

Can he hit the ball with authority and how much power does the player have? Does he get fooled a lot or does he have good command of the strike zone, as evidenced by his walk totals and walk-to-strikeout ratios?  If he’s swinging and missing a lot, is he still taking his walks, avoiding swinging at bad pitches and hitting for power when he does not strikeout?

When eyeballing the stats of a minor-league hitter, look at the slash line but also look beyond it.  Look at the walk-to-strikeout ratio.  If he’s striking out a lot, is he also walking a lot and hitting for power?

Power hitters probably will strikeout more than other hitters because their swings are quicker.  But how much power does a high-strikeout hitter truly have?  And is he striking out because he’s trying to barrel up and crush good pitches or is he swinging at bad pitches?  Is he walking 50 times a season or 30?

Age and level are important to look at.  If a 27-year-old major-league player goes down to Double-A for an extended period, even if he’s not a great major-league player, he’s probably going to dominate.  If a 27-year-old is stuck in Double-A playing very well but not dominating, his future probably is not all that bright.

If a 19-year-old is holding his own in Double-A, even if he’s not putting up a spectacular performance, that’s probably a very good sign.

We can’t just look at a minor-league player’s slash line and assume he’ll do that in the majors, minus a few points in each category. And that does not even get address the stuff that fails to show up in the stats about a player’s tools, skills and make up, which I would argue is more important in the minors.

There is probably a much wider variant of make ups in the minors than in the majors, especially the lower you go, in terms of level.  Because if a player does not have a certain degree of the make up required to succeed, he’s probably not advancing to the higher levels and certainly he’s not advancing to the majors.

It’s much trickier for us, the typical fan, to know what is going on with a player in terms of make up.  So we are mostly in the dark on this, unless a story comes out that your team’s third-best prospect broke his hand in a bar fight.

Evaluating pitchers is an entirely different animal and is much tougher to do with sheer, raw statistics.  A lot of pitching is not just being able to strikeout hitters, avoid walks, keeping the ball in the park and getting that ground ball double-play.

With a pitcher, it’s about mixing up pitches and having the feel for when to utilize certain pitches.  Also, a pitcher in the minors can get by without having great command of two or three different pitches.  A decent pitcher can perform well in the minors with fastball velocity, good location and decent off-speed stuff, compared to major league pitchers.

It’s much harder to eyeball statistics to evaluate pitching prospects, unless a pitcher is completely dominant throughout his minor league career, at all levels.  Even then, he may not have the ideal grasp of the feel for pitching required to succeed in the majors.

Then you throw in the increased injury risks with pitchers and pitching is difficult to evaluate without watching, solely with the use of statistics.  With pitchers, I would recommend just looking at the basics.  Does he have a high strikeout rate with a good strikeout-to-walk ratio?  Does he keep the ball in the park?  What’s his injury history?

Again this is not a comprehensive, how-to guide to scouting.  This is simply a fan’s guide to evaluating prospects that said fan will not have a chance to see and scout in person.  It’s not going to turn you into your favorite team’s next scouting director.

It’s just advice on how to keep up with the goings-on of the next wave of potential major-league talent.

Twitter:  @PayneBall

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536 Responses to “Fan’s Guide to Using Statistics to Evaluate Minor League Baseball Players”

  1. Raul Says:

    “Power hitters probably will strikeout more than other hitters because their swings are quicker.”

    Pardon?

  2. Cameron Says:

    …Can we just start a drinking game? Every time he says something stupid, take a shot.

  3. Chuck Says:

    I was drunk before I finished reading the article.

  4. Chuck Says:

    LOL, Raul, I knew you’d catch that..I was waiting.

  5. Cameron Says:

    I’d participate, Chuck, but chances are I’d be dead.

  6. Raul Says:

    Dude, I don’t even….I can’t even grasp that concept.

    Was that a typo? I…I really don’t even know what to say.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Slash line is BA/HR/RBI, by the way.

    I know there’s some invisible “saber-slash” line, but most people either don’t know it or don’t use it.

  8. Cameron Says:

    The slash stat line? BA/OBP/SLG I look at it every so often, but it usally correlates with the traditional triple crown line pretty well.

  9. Raul Says:

    When you’re referring to players in the Minor Leagues, typically slash is BA/HR/RBI as Chuck noted.

  10. Cameron Says:

    Right, you even use that as the major league barometer. I was just trying to clear up. There’s the traditional triple crown and the slash-stat triple crown, which I think Chuck was trying to get at with the “saber-slash” line.

  11. Bob Says:

    Guess I will put these two items here.
    1. Will ARod pass Mays this year? Mays 660 ARod 629
    2. Also, BA has their All-American team up on their site for people who follow college baseball.
    3. See you guys tomorrow.

  12. Raul Says:

    Alex Rodriguez won’t catch Mays this year, Bob.

    The man will soon be 37 and I think his 30-homer days are over.

  13. Cameron Says:

    I really can’t make a safe guess. He certainly CAN catch him… Question is will he. It depends on his health, I guess. I’ll reserve judgement until the All-Star break.

  14. Raul Says:

    Alex hasn’t played a full season since 2007. I’d like to give him credit for being the MVP of the league that year, though. It was a historic season.

    My guess is that even if Alex is fully healthy, Girardi would give him 3 off-days a month. That puts him at roughly 144 games. He COULD hit 31 homers in that many games but he’ll have to increase his HR rate from last season.

    I’ll give him 26 homers on the year — provided Bartolo Colon faces him in two series.

  15. Cameron Says:

    I think his best days might be behind him too, but Rodriguez is the kind of guy who loves to prove critics wrong, and usually finds pretty fantastic ways to shut them up. Wasn’t it 2010 when people started to say “Stick a fork in him” and he went 30-100? Again?

  16. Cameron Says:

    Huh, was digging through my closet and found my “Led Zeppelin Live at the BBC” album. DEFINITELY worth a listen.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Wow, it only took 11 comments for this thread to derail.

    Shaun’s been gone since February 1, 2011.

    He comes back and gets ten comments.

    The article reads like it was written by a nine year old after plowing through a two pound bag of M&M’s, but still..

  18. Cameron Says:

    We could try to actually analyze the thread, but I think the initial confusion followed by apathy pretty much summed it up. “What the hell?” followed by “Why am I still reading this?”

  19. Chuck Says:

    Stats don’t matter below Double A.

    If you’re going to take out a second mortgage based on Bryce Harper hitting 17 homers in Low Class A, just remember there are more 17 HR Class A players who never made the majors than there are who became All Stars.

    Shaun’s problem is and always will be an unwavering, almost obsessive fetish with sabermetrics to the point he forgot everything he ever knew about the game.

    It’s like he was kidnapped by aliens when he was 20 and brainwashed, and returned to earth with an empty mind and a handful of Bill James books.

    I’m glad Shaun is back (OK, knowing I’m gone in two weeks helps, but never mind that), but if he thinks for one second I’m wasting one second of my time re-visiting this shit all over again, he’s more fucked up in the head than I thought.

  20. Cameron Says:

    To be fair, the first half of Bill James’ abstract is pretty much all I read. BARELY talks stats and it’s more a historical retrospective of the game. Great read.

  21. Chuck Says:

    The difference between you and Felber?

    When you talk without making a point, you do it in 500 fewer words.

    We all greatly appreciate that.

  22. Cameron Says:

    Thank you, I know no one wants to sift through essays in a comments section.

  23. Raul Says:

    LOL

  24. Mike Felber Says:

    No Cam. You jumped on the insult-a-rama bandwagon to fit in. Though in fairness some never shed this tendency amongst their peers, whatever age.

    Many folks on tons of Web Sites, including sports & baseball, appreciate long & detailed analysis. Like a few long paragraphs. And respectfully engage & differ at similar length. You can fins innumerable examples at this highly successful relaunch, in dozens of threads http://www.highheatstats.com.

    There is just a different & in some ways peculiar, sometimes devolving into adolescent contempt mentality that has often been ascendent here. and when even fewer folks comment, one tone tends to dominate. If there were, say, 3 Kerry types here regularly, that would shift the balance somewhat.

    If you are all good maybe I will bring them to you.

    But I do not mind ribbing. Now the “saber” slash stats & correlation with traditional ones-there is certainly some correlation, but it is not nearly deterministic, there is wide variation in many cases for reasons even i waery of repeating.

    It is somewhat analogous to being, say, 200 lbs. We are the fattest nation on earth. The average man is about 190 lbs. So clearly the vast majority of folks who are 200 lbs. are overweight. But this is not nearly the overwhelming majority. One or more factors of height, bone structure & bone mass make tons of guys lean or not overweight at 200 or sometimes much more.

    Now, if I were only just 200 lbs.! ;-)

  25. Lefty33 Says:

    “Many folks on tons of Web Sites, including sports & baseball, appreciate long & detailed analysis.”

    But not when it’s every single post about every single thing.

    A while back John said something that in a way still rings very true today (and I’m badly paraphrasing here) when he said (to whom I don’t remember) something to the effect of what the fuck is the point of writing a 500 word response about everything when anybody who actually starts to read it will only skim it or stop after maybe reading the first paragraph anyway.

  26. Mike Felber Says:

    Go back & look at the last thread Lefty. Many of my posts were long or longish, many short. I can # them for you, but for some reason my #s are slightly different than yours.

    Not everyone just skims or gives up soon-if it is a topic topic that interests them. It does not take that great an effort, & I enjoy reading the parsing of details of folks like Hoss, who often went point by point, & sometimes wandered afield with interesting digressions.

    And the web site I just referenced is amongst many where folks do enjoy reading posts 500 or more words, & often answering in turn. As some have done here, sometimes. It is largely habit & personal preference. I appreciate attendtion to detail.

  27. Bob Says:

    The Royals have exciresed their 2013 option on Ned Yost

  28. ShaunPayne Says:

    “This is not a replacement for watching and scouting, in addition to looking at the statistics. This is merely a way for fans—who often don’t get to see their team’s minor-league players and the minor-league players everyone is raving about—to eyeball some numbers and get an idea about what their team has in the organization.”

  29. Bob Says:

    Post 28 sounds like a commercial for Baseball America.

  30. Raul Says:

    Yeah,

    But can you please answer Post #1?

  31. Chuck Says:

    “And that does not even get address the stuff that fails to show up in the stats about a player’s tools, skills and make up, which I would argue is more important in the minors.”

  32. ShaunPayne Says:

    Many power hitters strikeout a lot. In many cases, power goes hand-in-hand with strikeouts, at least to a large degree. In order for a player to generate the bat speed required to hit for power, in many cases he’s going to have a lot of swing and miss in his swing. As long as the player is hitting for plenty of power and is not swinging at bad pitches and is still taking walks, it’s shouldn’t be too much of a concern, especially as a player gets into the higher levels, Double-A and Triple-A, with the better pitchers.

  33. Cameron Says:

    That’s not the case with every power hitter, Shaun, but I do agree to a point. When you get guys like Mark Reynolds and Ryan Howard whose power is generated from strength and swing speed alone, then yeah, you do get a strikeout prone power hitter. On the other hand, there’s guys like Albert Pujols and Vlad Guerrero who have good strength, but their power is largely derived from good contact that are a bit of a kink in this analysis.

    If they’re an all-or-nothing hitter, there’s gonna be Ks, but not every power hitter is all-or-nothing.

  34. Raul Says:

    Happy 56th birthday, Dave Dravecky! Dravecky was an all-star in 1983, going 12-5 with a 3.07 ERA in the first half of the season. He’d pitch 8 seasons with the Padres and Giants, accumulating a 64-57 record to go with a 3.13 career ERA. Dravecky wound up with a cancerous tumor in the late ’80s that would end his career, and cost him his left arm and shoulder (they were amputated). He’d go on to be a motivational speaker and wrote a book about his ordeal.

    Happy 42nd birthday, Takashi Saito! Saito did not enter the Majors until he was 36, having spent the first part of his professional career in Japan. But Saito was pretty effective as a reliever upon entering the league. In 6 seasons he’s managed a 2.18 ERA — albeit in just 326 innings (or about 1 season of Phil Niekro).

    Happy 42nd birthday, Kelly Stinnett! Stinnett was a career back-up catcher but a quality one at that. A bit of bad timing for him, he just missed out a World Series title. He was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000, right before they would de-throne the Yankees in a thrilling 7-game series.

    Happy 37th birthday, Damaso Marte! Marte is a hard guy to figure out. At times he could be dominating and other times he’s wildly inconsistent and hittable. He was granted Free Agency this past October after an unsuccessful and injury-filled stint with the Yankees.

  35. Raul Says:

    @32

    Shaun writes:

    “Many power hitters strikeout a lot. In many cases, power goes hand-in-hand with strikeouts, at least to a large degree.”

    I’m with you so far…for the most part…

    “In order for a player to generate the bat speed required to hit for power, in many cases he’s going to have a lot of swing and miss in his swing.”

    Well, it’s more “quickness”, but I’ll follow…

    “As long as the player is hitting for plenty of power and is not swinging at bad pitches and is still taking walks, it’s shouldn’t be too much of a concern,”

    Kind of irrelevant, but ok…
    See, the thing is, I don’t see how batspeed has to do with strikeouts. You see, here’s the thing…there’s something called pitch recognition. And, like…the more batspeed you have, the longer you can afford to wait to recognize the pitch…and therefore, you’re not really fooled as much…and hence, you don’t strike out as much. Strikeouts, by and large, are the result of two things.

    1. Poor approach
    2. Success by the pitcher in changing speeds.

    What you said above isn’t anything I’d really argue with, to be honest. But batspeed has pretty much nothing to do with strikeouts.

    You know why players in their late 30s aren’t as good anymore?
    Because they actually have less batspeed, and are forced to cheat on pitches.

    You’re a smart dude, Shaun.
    But this is like, basic baseball knowledge, brah….

  36. Chuck Says:

    “Many power hitters strikeout a lot. In many cases, power goes hand-in-hand with strikeouts, at least to a large degree”

    The top five all time HR leaders played 111 seasons combined, and had a total of seven 100 strikeout seasons, and of those seven, Ken Griffey Jr. had five of them.

    Striking out a lot is actually a difficult thing to do, bad hitters just make it look easy.

    “In order for a player to generate the bat speed required to hit for power…”

    Bat speed isn’t a requirement to hit for power.

    If you go to the plate 600 times a year and have the same approach, and swing at every pitch the same, you’re going to strikeout a lot, and these excessive totals are not a reflection of good pitching. You’re also bound to run into 35 mistakes a year as well, and those are not a reflection on you being a good hitter.

  37. Bob Says:

    1. The Rays extended Joe Maddon’s contract for 3 more years.
    2. The White Sox signed Kosuke Fokudome for this year, and have a team option for 2013.
    3. The Brewers defeated Jose Veras in arbitration.

  38. ShaunPayne Says:

    There are few exceptions, in this day and age, of hitters who are among the best power hitters and who also don’t strike out that often. Guys like Pujols and Guerrero and Griffey are the best of the best. They combine tremendous power with tremendous strikeout ability. These are the exceptions. If other, more ordinary players consciously tried to significantly cut their strikeouts, they would almost certainly lose some power.

  39. ShaunPayne Says:

    And my argument isn’t that strikeouts necessarily go hand-in-hand with power and vice versa. It’s that they sometimes, perhaps often, do.

    The point is you shouldn’t be all that concerned when someone like Evan Longoria 110 times in a 136-game minor league season, as long as he’s taking his walks, getting on base and hitting for plenty of power.

    However, if you took the view of some, Longoria’s approach was flawed and he shouldn’t have been called up to the big leagues the next season. I guess it’s a good thing most teams accept the fact that a lot of strikeouts, even against minor league pitching, is not always a bad sign, like some folks here.

  40. Cameron Says:

    You know what I find bizarre? With as many bad balls Vlad takes hacks at, he’s never had a 100 K seasons.

  41. ShaunPayne Says:

    It’s hard to know for sure but if every hitter changed their approached to try to be more like Vlad Guerrero, I don’t think all of them would succeed.

    There are hitters who can do the things necessary to hit with enough power to be valuable big league hitters and also can avoid a 100-strikeout season. But there are plenty who can’t.

  42. Cameron Says:

    Oh god no, Shaun. The guys who try to be Vlad Guerrero and swing at everything they think they can hit are MUCH more likely to turn out as Mark Reynolds than Vlad himself. Not a whole lot of players are statistical anomalies, but if you look at Vlad’s strike zone chart compared to his results, you’re left scratching your head.

    Vlad Guerrero is the only guy I’ve seen swing at a ball that bounced off the home plate dirt and take it out of the park.

  43. ShaunPayne Says:

    If you think it’s possible for certain hitters to change their approaches and cut down on their strikeouts while maintaining their power and on-base abilities, that’s where we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  44. Cameron Says:

    Oh, they can change their approach certainly, even successfully. However, you look at guys like Hoawrd and Reynolds. Both their last seasons actually cut down on the strikeouts pretty significantly. I think Reynolds went down from 215 to about 150 or so, but his production fucking tanked.

    I was just bringing up a specific style. If you try to be like Vlad Guerrero, you’ll fail. He avoids strikeouts, but not consciously. If you try to follow his “no strike zone” approach, you’re pretty much gonna be bound to fail because the other guys who try that approach historcially are strikeout machines with nowhere near Vlad’s contact. Roughly the same power, but they put far fewer balls in play.

  45. ShaunPayne Says:

    Cameron, I strongly suspect that certain guys are not able to change their approach, with the purpose of cutting down strikeouts, without their production tanking.

    I think it’s presumptuous to say that in every case, perhaps most cases, a player can change his approach with the purpose of cutting down his strikeouts and still maintain his overall offensive production.

    If you look throughout the course of baseball history, I seriously doubt you would find any evidence of this. I would think you would find some guys who cut their strikeouts who were more productive but plenty of guys who cut their strikeouts who were less productive. I also think you would find guys whose production spiked or declined with no evident pattern in their strikeout rates.

  46. Raul Says:

    I wish I could take Shaun out on a baseball field to show him that strikeouts isn’t really about swinging hard.

    Neither are homeruns, necessarily.

    Take two players from the same team: Darryl Strawberry and Wade Boggs on the Yankees.

    Despite what people might think due to their size, there really wasn’t much difference in the batspeed between them. Don’t believe it? It’s true.

    Yet Boggs hit maybe 8 homers a year, and Strawberry averaged nearly 30. Strawberry struck out more — but it’s not because of batspeed. And he didn’t hit more because of batspeed. It has to do with their prospective approaches.

    Ask anyone…ANYONE who was around the Yankees in the mid-1990s who had the most impressive batting practices and home runs they’d ever seen. Wade Boggs. And it wasn’t even close.

    Guys look at people like Pujols and say “that’s the exception to the rule”. How? Does anyone really think that Pujols has more strength and batspeed than Adam Dunn? Or Ryan Howard? Sure, batspeed matters. But the difference between Pujols and Dunn is a hell of a lot more than “swinging for the fences”.

    Interview some ballplayers. Interview scouts. The best home run hitters will tell you that they never try to hit home runs.

    I’ll put it to you this way, regarding your post @ 43…

    If you think it’s likely that a player like Albert Pujols can change his approach to swing for the fences and that it’ll make him a better player, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  47. ShaunPayne Says:

    Raul, I’m not sure what all that has to do with the fact that we shouldn’t be alarmed if a minor league player (take Evan Longoria, for instance) strikes out 100 times in a season, as long as he’s taking his walks, getting on base and hitting for plenty of power.

    Who said anything about strikeouts or homeruns necessarily and always being about swinging hard?

    There is no doubt in my mind that Strawberry hit more homeruns and struck out more than Boggs because of more than just his bat speed. In other words bat speed wasn’t the difference between these two players, in that regard.

    However, I also think Strawberry struck out more and hit more homeruns because of the things he did to generate enough bat speed to be a productive player. It’s just that Boggs could generate the same bat speed, the bad speed required to be a productive player, and had a different skill set from Strawberry. Boggs had a skill set that also allowed him to strikeout less and made him a less effective homerun hitter but also allowed him to be about as productive.

    You are assuming my position is much less nuanced and complex than it actually is.

  48. ShaunPayne Says:

    Raul, also, just like I think the difference between Boggs and Strawberry at the plate is more complicated and more nuanced than bat speed, alone, I also think it’s more complicated than approach, alone, in the most basic sense of the term approach.

  49. Raul Says:

    So then I have to ask…

    Exactly where are you coming across all these baseball people who only look at strikeouts when evaluating minor leaguers?

  50. Shaun Says:

    Who said I was coming across baseball people who only look at strikeouts?

    My article was just about some statistics that fans can eyeball to get a sense of what their favorite team has in the minors or to get a sense of what kind of player a certain prospect is.

  51. Shaun Says:

    Some on here, Chuck in particular comes to mind, think that lots of strikeouts is necessarily a sign of a bad hitter. He seems to think there are absolutely no exceptions. So, for Chuck, a minor leaguer like Evan Longoria had major problems and was destined to be a poor hitter, as evident by that 110-strikeout year in a 136-game professional season.

  52. Cameron Says:

    If you think Chuck ever thought Evan Longoria was gonna have problems in his career, I have a bridge to sell you… On the moon.

  53. Shaun Says:

    You think I’m overstating it? Here is something Chuck wrote: “Striking out a lot is actually a difficult thing to do, bad hitters just make it look easy.”

    What Chuck fails to recognize is that there are plenty of good, even great, hitters who strike out a lot.

    You look at the K% leaderboard on FanGraphs and you’ll see plenty of players with above average, if not very good, wRC+.

    You look at the wRC+ leaderboard and you’ll find plenty of players with a K% in the 15-20 percent range, or higher.

    Either Chuck isn’t aware of this fact or he thinks that creating runs isn’t the definition of being a good hitter.

  54. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    Chuck (myself included) never said that strikeouts mean you’re a bad player.

    The issue (I’ll speak for myself) is that you think it is not possible to cut down on strikeouts and still be effective or even MORE effective. And I fundamentally disagree.

    The reason you seem to think that a player would be worse if he cuts on his strikeouts, is because you believe strikeouts are tied to swinging hard.

    And they aren’t (by and large).

  55. Cameron Says:

    You can be a good player and K a lot. That’s not that hard to grasp. I defy you to find someone who calls Reggie Jackson a bad hitter.

  56. Raul Says:

    Sorry,

    Meant to respond to Bob earlier…

    Well deserved extension for Joe Maddon.

  57. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, I’m not sure if he did or didn’t think Longoria was going to have problems. If he didn’t think he was destined to have some problems, he’s inconsistent. Because he said himself that bad hitters are the hitters who strikeout a lot.

    Then again Chuck also said the following:

    “Stats don’t matter below Double A.

    “If you’re going to take out a second mortgage based on Bryce Harper hitting 17 homers in Low Class A, just remember there are more 17 HR Class A players who never made the majors than there are who became All Stars.”

    Performance is what matters. Stats are just the measures of performance. So if you’re looking at the wrong stats, the stats that don’t do a very good job in measuring performance (like AVG/HR/RBI), I can see why someone would say stats don’t matter.

    But if you are looking at the right stats, the ones that actually measure performance, stats can give us at least some insight and a sense into what kind of player we’re looking at. Ideally you’ll want to look at the right stats in addition to lots of other information and you’ll want to watch a player play. But, and this was the whole point of the article, many fans don’t have time to watch and scout every single prospect in the minors.

    So, yes, I agree with Chuck that you should place any bets on Harper’s career based on 17 homeruns. But think God we have more stats than the ones Chuck is aware of.

    Harper had 59 BB and 87 SO, with a .297/.392/.501 slash line (the most telling slash line in baseball), with 26 steals and 7 CS as an 18-year-old in A-ball and Double-A. No single bit of information here is enough to tell us what type of player Bryce Harper is or what he might become. But all this information taken together, as a whole, can give you a pretty good idea of who Harper is and what he has a good chance to become.

    But, to Chuck, stats seem to be just AVG/HR/RBI, so therefore they are irrelevant. No wonder he has this notion that stats are irrelevant. I would too if my definition of what is a stat is pretty much limited to AVG/HR/RBI. He apparently doesn’t realize all the stats that are out there and what they measure.

  58. Shaun Says:

    Raul, no. I think it’s not possible for certain players, perhaps most players, to cut down on their strikeouts and remain productive or become more productive. I never said it’s impossible in all cases.

    The reason I believer certain, perhaps most, players would be less productive if they consciously tried to cut down their strikeouts is because I believe that, in those cases, the skills required from that player to generate enough bat speed to hit the ball with enough authority to be a productive hitter also cause the hitter to strikeout at a fairly high rate.

    There are very few guys on the planet that have the skills to generate enough bat speed to hit the ball with enough authority to be productive whose skills also don’t cause them to strikeout much, not in this day and age of baseball.

  59. Raul Says:

    No Shaun.

    It doesn’t matter.
    Zero, none of the stats about Bryce Harper in A-ball matter. If Harper hit .225 in A-ball, it wouldn’t have mattered.

    This isn’t to tear a kid down. He could have stunk up the joint and he’d still be a good prospect. It’s about development. Learning the game. Learning situations and mechanics and approaches and conditioning.

    Your argument is like keeping stats of a little league player and thinking they matter in any way to what he’ll do as a senior in High School. It’s completely irrelevant.

    I mean, you try to make a connection. A worthy effort. But there just isn’t one.

  60. Raul Says:

    Shaun @ 58

    “There are very few guys on the planet that have the skills to generate enough bat speed to hit the ball with enough authority to be productive whose skills also don’t cause them to strikeout much, not in this day and age of baseball.”

    I really think you overestimate the difference in batspeed between major leaguers.

    Ryan Howard would not have to swing any slower to cut down on strikeouts. Do you realize that? Because if you don’t, we aren’t getting anywhere.

  61. Cameron Says:

    Bat speed ain’t everything. Jose Bautista may have the slowest swing in the league. Working well for him.

  62. Shaun Says:

    Raul, performance matters, right, at least to some degree? Organizations know which players to draft not just because of tools but also because of their performances in high school or college, at least to some degree, right? Scouts don’t want to just watch a player practice or workout and judge him purely on what kind of tools he displays. They want to see him perform, in a game, when winning and losing is on the line.

    So if you look at some stats that measure performance and some stats that give you at least some insight into certain tools, those stats can at least be somewhat telling. Sure, they aren’t going to replace having access to stats and also doing in-depth scouting, talking to coaches and parents, looking at family background, looking at medicals, etc. But that stats can give us at least some insight.

    And, if you’re a fan, looking at a player’s minor league stats is going to give you more insight than being completely clueless about a prospect, or hearing his name briefly mentioned by a team’s beat writer or blogger, or just seeing his name ranked 63rd or wherever on Kevin Goldstein’s list or Keith Law’s list or Baseball America’s list.

  63. Shaun Says:

    Raul, I understand Howard may not have to swing slower to cut down his strikeouts. But he doesn’t have to generate a certain amount of bat speed in order to hit the ball with the authority required to get it past or over defenses. And all the skills and the entire package of the swing that causes him to generate that bat speed is what probably also leads to a rather high strikeout rate for someone like Ryan Howard.

    My point is that, yes, maybe it’s not the bat speed alone, per se, that is tied into the strikeouts. It’s the whole package of the swing and all the things he does to be able to barrel up on a pitch with authority.

    If he changed his approach in an attempt to strikeout less, maybe it would cut down on his bat speed but maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe it would do something else to make him less productive. Maybe if he tried to cut down his strikeouts, it wouldn’t change his bat speed but it would cause him to hit more groundball outs. Maybe it would cause him to hit more lazy fly balls. Maybe it would do all sort of other things that would prohibit him from barreling up on the baseball and hitting it with authority that have nothing to do with bat speed.

  64. Raul Says:

    “Raul, performance matters, right, at least to some degree?”

    I agree.

    “Organizations know which players to draft not just because of tools but also because of their performances in high school or college, at least to some degree, right?”

    Yes, to some degree.

    “Scouts don’t want to just watch a player practice or workout and judge him purely on what kind of tools he displays.”

    They don’t want to, but a good scout actually can get a good gauge on you based on watching you practice. I mean, I have no real beef here with that overall argument.

  65. Shaun Says:

    Raul, look at someone like Juan Pierre. His bat speed was fine, or at least it was when he was younger. He was an outstanding contact hitter. However, he didn’t hit the ball with much authority nor did he draw walks at an extremely high rate, therefore he wasn’t an extremely productive offensive player for his era.

    Not to trash Juan Pierre. He was a fine major leaguer for a long time and I would venture to say he was the best baseball player he could be.

  66. Shaun Says:

    Raul, finally. Common ground.

    Basically the whole point of the article is that stats are better than just seeing a name on a prospect list or seeing a name mentioned in a report of the local team’s prospect.

    Of course stats, even the right stats, don’t replace a variety of information that a front office may use: scouting, medicals, talking to coaches and people around the player, stats. But to discount stats because they are merely part of the package and they are not “everything,” or because people look at the wrong stats is just ridiculous to me. It would be like saying that since you can’t know everything you would like to know about a player from a scouting report, that means scouting reports are meaningless or they should be discounted or discarded.

    It seems that if you bring up statistics or write something that is heavy on statistics, some here think you think that statistics are “everything” and they think that since statistics aren’t everything they should then be discounted or discarded.

  67. Raul Says:

    Harper hit 17 homers between A-Ball and AA last year.

    It’s a cute statistic. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty impressive for a 1st year player.

    But it means nothing to me in terms of my feelings about him. He could have hit 5 homers all year last year and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.

    Now let’s say Harper clubs 17 homers in AA this year, and upon being promoted to AAA, hits another 8 in 6 weeks. I think that would tell me a lot more about his abilities.

  68. Chuck Says:

    “I think Reynolds went down from 215 to about 150 or so..”

    He went from 211 to 196. He led the AL and finished second in the majors to Drew Stubbs.

    “He avoids strikeouts, but not consciously.”

    What? Of course it’s conscious.

    “But think God we have more stats than the ones Chuck is aware of.”

    Chuck is keenly aware of the “stats that matter” thank-you. wRC+ isn’t one of them.

    “But, to Chuck, stats seem to be just AVG/HR/RBI..”

    No, I just corrected an editing error in your article. That IS the “true” slash line..always has been, always will be.

    You have the right as an analyst to use whatever stats you want when looking at them, but let’s not confuse reality with the voices in your head.

    “Scouts don’t want to just watch a player practice or workout and judge him purely on what kind of tools he displays. They want to see him perform, in a game, when winning and losing is on the line.”

    Shaun, you realize most strikeouts come on pitches outside the strike zone, right?

    This doesn’t have anything to do with cutting down on one’s swing in an attempt to lower their totals, or being worried about the potential of a corresponding loss of production.

    It’s about not swinging at bad pitches. It’s about having an idea of what the situation calls for you to do BEFORE you step in the batter’s box, and it’s about the having the proper mind frame (“approach” is mental, not physical) to execute.

    Not true.

    I actually thought it was true, until I became a scout myself. I then learned the exact opposite to be true. Scouts don’t have the time to watch games, or the desire. Things have a tendency to get muddled together and you need to be aware of what it is you’re looking for from player to player.

    Games DO matter of course, there are things that can only happen during a game but from a skill/tool/makeup standpoint, scouts learn far more from watching practice.

    “And, if you’re a fan, looking at a player’s minor league stats is going to give you more insight than being completely clueless about a prospect..”

    What if you’re clueless to begin with? How will stats help you then?

  69. Raul Says:

    Don’t get me wrong.

    Now and then I’ll look at the leaderboards in the Minors — but only for AA and AAA.

    I did so a few weeks last season when Jesus Montero was playing…

  70. Cameron Says:

    I check it to see how the guys in Omaha and Northwest Arkansas are doing. Hosmer lit that shit up in 2010.

  71. Chuck Says:

    What matters more..Billy Hamilton’s 103 stolen bases in A ball last year, or the fact he got caught 20 times?

  72. Cameron Says:

    I’d say the 103 SB, Chuck. Guy making SB at an 84% clip is pretty good.

  73. Chuck Says:

    I’m sure Shaun would agree with you.

    And you would both be wrong.

  74. Raul Says:

    How many catchers are adept in their mechanics to throw out base stealers in A-ball?

  75. Cameron Says:

    Good point. I’m a bit out of it right now and I thought he got thrown out 20 times against A-ball pitchers. Against actual cathcers, he’s get caught like, what, 40-50 times?

  76. Raul Says:

    Again, 103 steals is an impressive number…but it’s A-ball.

  77. Cameron Says:

    True, but this guy could still be someone who’d be a 60+ threat at the majors easy.

  78. Chuck Says:

    Cameron..his OBP was .340.

    In A ball.

    He’s a leadoff hitter who struck out 133 times.

    In A ball.

    The classifications of minor league baseballs are like a filter, only the best of the best advance.

    You think he’s getting 123 SB attempts in AA?

    You think he’s getting on base at a .340 clip against better pitching in AA?

  79. Raul Says:

    Rickey Henderson stole 95 bases and was caught 22 times as an 18 year old in A-ball back in 1977.

    BUT…

    That was Rickey Henderson, and even then I don’t think anyone would have been going nuts over it. Again, impressive number…but him stealing 44 bases in 71 games at AAA in 1979 was much more telling.

    That, and the fact that Henderson was kind of good at hitting.

  80. Shaun Says:

    Hamilton also struck out 236 times the previous three seasons in 247 games while walking 91 times, with an SLG of only .373.

    The issue with Hamilton is that he hasn’t shown he can hit. Doesn’t matter how many steals he has or how many times he was caught or his stolen base percentage.

  81. John Says:

    Holy shit, I go off the grid for two days and Shaun comes back?!

    Welcome back.

  82. Shaun Says:

    Here’s the irony of the whole strikeout discussion. I actually look at strikeouts and walks for minor leaguers because it gives us a great deal of insight.

    As the article points out, if a guy can get on base and slug consistently in the majors, that’s pretty much all that matters. You don’t need to dig much further. Maybe consider position and ballpark, but that’s pretty much it.

    When evaluating minor leaguers purely on the basis of stats, first of all it’s not a replacement for scouting and second of all, you have to look at a lot more than just OBP and SLG.

  83. Cameron Says:

    If he doesn’t adjust, yeah. The guy could fizz out and not get anywhere at all. However, he still could make the major leagues and be there for a bit making those numbers. Willy Tavares had a job for a few years and couldn’t hit shit.

    I don’t think he’ll be anything special without getting his shit together, but he’ll still be racking up the steals.

  84. John Says:

    Chuck: “Slash line is BA/HR/RBI, by the way.”

    If you’re an idiot.

  85. John Says:

    Remember that Hamilton is in the Reds organization, and that the Reds manager is Dusty Baker, a man who thinks OBP is bullshit.

  86. Chuck Says:

    “Rickey Henderson stole 95 bases and was caught 22 times as an 18 year old in A-ball back in 1977.”

    Henderson was two years younger.

    Henderson walked 104 times against 67 strikeouts.

    Henderson hit .345 with a .466.

    If you look at Henderson’s overall stats from his age 18 minor league season and if you even notice his SB totals, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  87. Chuck Says:

    Nice, John.

    You’re starting to turn into a troll.

    That’s what Bleacher Report is for.

  88. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, Taveras posted somewhat respectable walk rates and BB/K ratios at ages 18-20, compared to Hamilton. Nothing great by any means but better than Hamilton. Hamilton is going to get eaten up by higher level pitching unless he displays some drastic changes.

  89. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, I actually don’t think we disagree on how to use stats to evaluate minor league players. Maybe on how we evaluate power hitters, but I’m not so sure.

  90. Raul Says:

    Dusty Baker made a silly comment about clogging the bases a few years ago.

    I wouldn’t say Baker is an idiot. The guy has had success and he was a pretty good Major League player. He even took a fair amount of walks during his career (averaging about 61 a year).

    What I hope he meant, is that he doesn’t really want his big boppers on the team TRYING to walk when there’s men on base for him to drive in.

    That’s what I hope people who say “clog the bases” really mean. But I’m too lazy to go back and find the actual quote or how the conversation went.

    If I’m wrong, so be it.
    But I’d be shocked if any Major League manager actually came out and said getting on base is stupid.

  91. Cameron Says:

    When I say clog the bases, it usually refers to guys like David Ortiz and Nick Johnson when they’re on base, because they’re such bad baserunners that they block the bases for the guys behind him.

  92. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, I actually don’t think we disagree on how to use stats to evaluate minor league players..”

    There’s probably some truth to that, Shaun.

  93. Chuck Says:

    Jesus Montero’s played FIVE minor league seasons and has had one season of more than 20, and he just barely made that total.

    He can’t pull the ball.

    He uses his hands too much, he has an inside out swing like Jeter and his bat is slow.

    His power comes from being 6′3″, 235 and strong, not because he’s a technically sound hitter.

    None of those thing equate to having “plus power” or an “elite bat”.

    Stats don’t lie.

    Unlike Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein, whose primary job is selling website subscriptions so they’re not collecting food stamps.

    If you disagree with that, I’m all ears.

  94. Raul Says:

    From the rumors page:

    “While early Tuesday reports were that the Chicago Cubs were close to signing Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler, several outlets since then have reported that there is no imminent deal. ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney tweets that not only are the Cubs “not close” to signing Soler, but they have major competition from the New York Yankees.

    Soler, scouts tell Rumor Central, has “mucho upside” and could very well end up a better investment than either Aroldish Chapman or Yoenis Cespedes, who received $30 mill and $36 million guaranteed, respectively.

    Soler is a true prospect, however, which means he’ll sign and then hit the minors to continue his development.”

    ——-

    Soler is 19 years old and described as 6′3 and just over 200 pounds.

    I’ve never heard anything about him though.

  95. Raul Says:

    Montero does have good hands, though.

    But see, here’s the thing. What happens when RHPs start throwing him that 2-seamer? A quality RH bat will put a mistake 2-seamer into the 3rd deck in RF.

    What will Montero do? If he can learn to pull that pitch (what an odd question for a top prospect), he could be quite successful.

  96. Shaun Says:

    Raul, it’s not about wanting hitter to try to walk. It’s about wanting hitters to go up to the plate looking for a pitch they can hit hard somewhere and laying off of everything else so that the results are getting on base at at least a respectable rate and gaining bases at at least a respectable rate.

  97. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    I’m merely saying what I think Dusty Baker meant.

    If Baker really meant that he wants his cleanup hitter to hit the ball with men on base instead of trying to walk — frankly, I don’t have a big problem with that.

    If Baker means that he hates all walks (and I don’t think he feels that way) then I think he’s grossly misguided.

  98. Raul Says:

    Word is that Dmitri Young has looked great in workouts since losing 75 pounds and that he still has great bat speed and agility.

    Unfortunately, there are no takers yet.

  99. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, Montero slugged over .500 in 2009 and 2010. He slugged .467 in 2011. I don’t know if his bat is elite. But I do think he has plus power, and I think he’ll develop into an above average hitter, at least.

  100. Cameron Says:

    I’ve heard about Soler, Raul. Big-time outfield prospect with a lot of upside. I never thought he’d pull Chapman or Cespedes money bcause the guy’s young and he’d be a minor league signing.

  101. Mike Felber Says:

    Some things are getting confused here, & there is some truth in all sides.

    What do we mean by how good a hitter is? It it means fundamental skills, while mlb guys tend to be very good there, they may not always be. Someone like Reynolds & Dunn could likely improve Ks through a better approach, though other power hitters have maxed out there capacity in the power/K balance.

    You must have freakish natural ability in a very particular skill set to hit out 35 “mistakes” a year at the top level. It is akin to a center over 7′: you need some abilities, but the level of athleticism & skill to be an NBA starter is mitigated just by having that size.

    Vlad has an insane natural ability to hit bad balls. That skill will translate for almost none, & even Vlad likely would have been better if he was more selective.

    I can see how stats mean much less at lower levels. Or you need to use them differently, considering what a guy could do against greater competition. That great SB rate & raw #s MAY well be an artifact of the competition-so scouting his actual running tools are important. And while guys tend to step up to a degree/rise to the competition, there is a limit to that, based upon natural & developed skills. a .340 OBP in A ball does not bode so well.

    But if you are no older than around 20, you can expect that there will be more unknowns as per potential.

    Boggs was more an exception amongst high BA guys. If he changed his approach, largely the angle of his swing, he clearly could have hit more dingers. He had enough talent in all aspects of hitting that it is an open question whether he could have been even better with 30 something HRs, more walks & Ks, & a lower average. A Carew or Gwynn clearly used their talents most efficiently.

    What do folks think-could Boggs at least been more productive hitting for power/changing his swing a bit?

  102. Cameron Says:

    Ned Yost is the Royals manger through 2013. I am a very happy fan.

  103. Raul Says:

    Could Boggs have been more productive by hitting for more power?
    Potentially.

    Boggs hit the way he did because his approach would be successful in Fenway. He slugged .527 for his career there. He hit half of his career doubles there.

    The man was on on-base machine and make no mistake, you leave a ball hanging down the middle and Boggs would pull it.

    I mean, really…how much more productive did he need to be? From 1982-1991 he was among the best players in the game.

  104. Chuck Says:

    “You must have freakish natural ability in a very particular skill set to hit out 35 “mistakes” a year at the top level”

    Oh, this should be fun.

    So, what percentage of homers annually do you think don’t come off mistakes?

  105. Chuck Says:

    Dusty Baker’s actual quote;

    “I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time he’s clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.”

  106. Chuck Says:

    When asked by a reporter for an explanation, Baker responded,

    “On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage, clogging up the bases isn’t that great to me. The problem we have to address more than anything is the home run problem.”

  107. John Says:

    In other words, Dusty Baker is still a moron.

    @104, I would say that well over 90% of all home runs hit by players of all ability levels at the Major League level are hit off mistakes.

    Some players – Vladimir Guerrero is a great example – can hit an 0-2 pitch that was basically going to land 59 inches from the rubber, and just whack it 400 feet.

    There’s only one Vlad.

  108. Cameron Says:

    Going to land 59 inches? I’ve seen him hit balls that HAVE hit the dirt at 5.9 inches and still take ‘em for a ride.

  109. Raul Says:

    How is Dusty Baker a moron?

    LOL. The guy’s been in baseball longer than we’ve been alive, dude. I’m not saying he’s a genius, but he’s not a moron.

    I took his quote to mean…”hey, Prince Fielder on 1B…that’s great if he scores, but I’d rather have him batting with Kenny Lofton on base….oh, and we need to hit some more homers”

    I mean, you can look at it however you want, but I really think in context, his statement isn’t really that bad.

  110. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, I’m with Dusty Baker on that one. If a guy like Ortiz or Johnson is on base, he clogs the bases. I don’t care if he got there by a hit or a walk, that fat fuck is only getting across on a homer. Most guys’ triples are their singles.

    Fun Fact: Dusty Baker invented the high five.

  111. John Says:

    For David Ortiz to actually “clog the bases” the bases with a walk, the batter coming up next would have to hit what should be a triple, only to have David Ortiz stop at second.

    How often do you think this happens?

  112. Cameron Says:

    Well, not everyone clogs the bases John. For me to call someone out on that, they have to be a shit baserunner. It’s a rare call for me. Most guys run what they should on a hit, so if they get a hit or a walk, it’s not clogging.

  113. Raul Says:

    Is that your way of deflecting from the idea that maybe what Dusty Baker said wasn’t so crazy after taking context into consideration?

  114. Raul Says:

    We just keep running in circles on this damn website.

    You guys keep acting like others are saying OBP isn’t important. Nobody is saying that. Nobody who runs a baseball team believes that.

    Quit making sh*t up. This isn’t a Republican Debate.

  115. Chuck Says:

    “Fun Fact: Dusty Baker invented the high five.”

    No, he didn’t.

    Glenn Burke did.

  116. Cameron Says:

    Takes two to high-five Chuck, who do you think made contact with Burke when he held his hand up?

  117. Mike Felber Says:

    Maybe 90% HRs off of “mistakes” is correct. Yet it is a matter of degrees, depends how you classify them

    A Dun (before last year) or Reynolds may hit a few more more bad pitches out, at the cost of many more outs & ks. though they will not be as efficient at nailing K zone pitches as a Pujols. My point was that while there are tons of guys who are more disciplined & skilled than high K bruisers, they are so good at what they do, & what they do is important enough, HRs & drawing walks through being pitched carefully (if they are at all selective);

    That they will produce more value than all but a few 100 men on the planet at the plate. Like a Rick Smits, Ralph Samson, type who is good & productive would not be more than a bench player if a foot shorter. And a Wellington/standard Bulls peak era Center would not be in the NBA.

  118. Mike Felber Says:

    Whomever raised his hand 1st & prompted the other guy to do so, even if implicitly, is the high 5 inventor Invention is about intention & the intellectual property rights when not a tangible product. Hence, Burke gets credit. Baker gets in assist, but not as a co-creator.

    Good point re: whether Boggs could have been better Raul. I would guess that his approach was about as good at Fenway, though with another home park, certainly another hitter’s park, more uppercut/power/walks would have made him even more valuable.

  119. Cameron Says:

    I don’t know, I’d argue that they both get credit. It wasn’t an intentional invention. Burke was just running out there with his hands over his head, Baker just kinda slapped it because he didn’t know what to do. It easily could’ve been something else, like a hug or something new like… I dunno, a headbutt or something. They both get credit if you ask me. Burke set it up and Baker finished it.

  120. Raul Says:

    Michael Pineda showed up to Spring Training early.
    Atta boy.

  121. Cameron Says:

    Gotta love it when the kids show up before reporting date.

  122. Raul Says:

    #Linsanity continues.

  123. Cameron Says:

    Jeremy Lin, proof that both scouting AND stats can still miss predicting a player ever breaking out.

  124. Chuck Says:

    “Jeremy Lin, proof that both scouting AND stats can still miss predicting a player ever breaking out.”

    Acne?

  125. Cameron Says:

    Being one of the best points in the league. Even if it’s only for a week or so, no one saw this shit coming.

  126. Chuck Says:

    Hey, I’m a Knicks fan, I think having someone control the ball instead of Carmelo is a good thing, but it’s not going to last.

    If Lin was any good we wouldn’t even be talking about him, and if the Knicks were any good he wouldn’t be on the team to begin with.

  127. Cameron Says:

    I know it’s not gonna last. It’s Jeremy fucking Lin. Dude got cut from two teams this season before landing in New York. But it’s fun to watch.

  128. Cameron Says:

    Also, the only way he could get starter minutes in college was to transfer to Harvard.

  129. Raul Says:

    Jeremy Lin is doing well. I hope it continues.

    They say it’s the system.
    Blah. Systems always help.

    Jerry Rice was a good receiver and all, but if he had to run down the field and out-jump people like Randy Moss did in Minnesota, his career would have been a lot different.

    It’s enjoyable to watch the Knicks play lately. That’s kind of what matters.

  130. Cameron Says:

    How the fuck is the system helping him? They use a point-forward system with Carmelo. The dude’s an afterthought in the New York system.

  131. Raul Says:

    Carmelo isn’t playing yet.

    They say the same offensive system that allowed Steve Nash to flourish is helping Jeremy Lin.

    Maybe it is. But systems help all players.

    The kid put up points against every team he’s played. Credit where credit is due. Because it’s not like many of the other Knicks were doing anything.

  132. Cameron Says:

    One problem, Raul. You’re trying to compare Jeremy Lin to Steve Nash.

  133. Mike Felber Says:

    How good he will be/really is = unknown. looking at the videos, he seems smooth & skilled, NBA starter material, but not with the + athleticism (at the highest level) where we can predict that he will find a way dominate if his shooting % breaks down.

    If Burke did not mean his hand to be slapped Cam, then I agree with you each gets equal credit.

  134. Chuck Says:

    Amare’ made D’Antoni’s system work, not Nash.

    When he comes back, maybe Lin can figure out how to work it too.

    One problem.

    Melo.

    Getting him was the worst trade the Knicks ever made.

  135. Cameron Says:

    You finally got that star power you needed. Too bad you got rid of your bench to do it.

  136. Raul Says:

    Stoudemire played tonight for the Knicks.

    He started off 2-9 shooting but eventually got to 8-22 for 21 points.

    Not a great night for him. Big men can’t be shooting 36%.

  137. Cameron Says:

    I don’t usually trust big men to take 22 shots. Not unless they’re posted up, anyway.

  138. Raul Says:

    Well, it was his first night back…

  139. Cameron Says:

    I just mean in general, Raul. I’m not sure what a good number of shots for big men to take are, but 20 seems a bit high to me unless they’re like Kareem or Malone or some shit. Amar’e is best taking it to the rim, not shooting.

  140. Raul Says:

    I meant that it was his first night back so I can see if his shooting wasn’t too great.

  141. Cameron Says:

    Well of course. No one looks good coming off the DL.

  142. Mike Felber Says:

    What is a big man has changed. Used to be a Center, or anyone around 6′ 10″, like Russell & Mikan. But for a while now the average NBA player has been about 6′ 8″. Even in Malone’s time, his being 6′9″, same as Magic & Bird, was a not unusual power forward height.

    Really athletic guys 6′ 8-10″, James to Dwight Howard, have become much more common. True 7′ guys with similar athleticism & fundamentals are still pretty rare. Even Duncan says he is “just” 6′ 10 1/2″.

    Though some like my brother think Garnett is actually 6′ 13″! And lists as 11″ for a psychological advantage. Don’t know about that-again, thin folks look taller & longer.

  143. Cameron Says:

    To be fair Mike, KG has been measured at about 7′ or 7′1″ in shoes. That 6′11″ was a barefoot measurement.

  144. Mike Felber Says:

    I believe that all true measurements are barefoot or in socks. So that would reinforce the idea that Garnett is really what he is listed at, 6′ 11″. Send me a reference & I will show it to my bro!

  145. Cameron Says:

    Here’s the 1995 draft, all heights are listed without shoes. Kevin Garnett is 6′11″ on the chart.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=&year=1995&source=All&sort2=ASC&draft=100&pos=0&sort=2

    I also see a reference on wikipedia stating he’s measured as 7′1″ in shoes, but I can’t verify it as I can’t find an archived copy of that day’s paper. But it’s the 10/3/1997 issue of the St. Paul Pioneer.

  146. Bob Says:

    The issue is out. Kate Upton on the cover. If you guys can discusss basketball, I can discuss women.

  147. Cameron Says:

    NBA basketball and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, two things that haven’t been relevant since the 90s.

  148. Chuck Says:

    “The issue is out. Kate Upton on the cover”

    That explains why we haven’t seen John for a couple of days.

  149. Bob Says:

    @ 147. If NBA basketball has not been “relevant since the 90’s,” why are YOU YOU YOU writing about it.
    The swimsuit edition will always be relevant. Best-selling edition they have. As a matter of fact, let us rank Kate Upton compared to

    1. Kathy Ireland ( My vote)
    2. Elle Macpherson
    3. Christie Brinkley
    4. Carol Alt
    5. Debbie Clemens ( See what I did there?)
    6. I will google the entire list later on. But we do need a poll. Who is the best-looking woman they have ever had?

  150. Cameron Says:

    Actually, Raul started it this time and not me.

  151. Chuck Says:

    “Best-selling edition they have”

    There you go.

    If SI was still relevant, the swimsuit wouldn’t be in the top ten.

  152. Bob Says:

    The point is you continued it. Lin is somewhat of a story right now. He is a relevant sports figure. You were the one who typed that basketball has not been relevant since the 90’s.

  153. Bob Says:

    Chuck, the edition has been their best-selling edition for years. Even when the magazine was “relevant.”

  154. Chuck Says:

    Really wouldn’t know Bob, I haven’t been a SI subscriber for over 30 years now.

    Which should tell you just how long they haven’t been relevant.

  155. Bob Says:

    Damn, I grew up with Time and SI. Hence I subscribe to those two.

  156. Chuck Says:

    SI sucks.

    Seriously.

    It’s like the sports version of the Enquirer.

  157. Shaun Says:

    “I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time he’s clogging up the bases for somebody who can run.”

    I’m not sure if walks are overrated. I think most people realize walks are not as good as hits, certainly not extra-base hits, and are not as good as even singles in many situations. And I think most people realize that it’s better to have someone fast on base than someone slow.

    The problem is a walk is better than an out. Even if there is a slow guy who walks and the next guy is a fast guy who hits one into the gap, that’s still better than the first hitter not getting on base at all. But that’s more an issue of lineup construction.

    It’s better to put the high on-base hitters who are slower in front of power hitters and the faster on-base guys in front of singles hitters, since slower guys are going to score on a homerun, regardless of how slow they are. You want the fast guys in front of the hitters who are good hitters who are contact hitters without much homerun power. That’s where they are most valuable.

    We can debate the problems with a traditional lineup, if anyone would like.

    Besides lineup construction there’s not much a manager can do about “clogging up” the bases. What’s he going to do, tell his slow hitters don’t swing unless they can get an extra-base hit so as not to get walks and singles and clog up the bases?

    Maybe that’s what Baker is saying, maybe he is critiquing the traditional lineup and he’s ahead of his time. He should be putting the slow, high-OBP guys in front of the team’s best power-hitters. Or maybe he just means guys further down in the order that are hitting behind the slower, high-OBP guys should be hitting for more power.

  158. Shaun Says:

    Here’s the thing: High OBP guys are often also a team’s best power hitters, for a variety of reasons. So the middle of most batting orders should be hitting slightly higher and the fast guys who are not outstanding OBP guys should be hitting after the power hitters, maybe around 6th or somewhere around that spot.

  159. Chuck Says:

    What Baker meant, and was explained in his follow up comment, is his team (2004 Cubs) was a small ball team, and needed more speed guys because it took one or two additional hits to score the same amount of runs.

    Hence, base clogging.

    You can’t play small ball with a bunch of station to station runners.

  160. Shaun Says:

    Hmm…Baker’s 2004 Cubs were 11th in the league in OBP and 2nd in the league in SLG. It’s hard to clog up the bases when there isn’t all that many people on base in the first place.

    The problem was that they didn’t have enough runners on base when they were hitting all those homers and they were getting themselves out at a mediocre rate compared to the rest of the league.

    Look at the 2004 Giants. They were an old, slow team that clogged up the bases. Yet, they were one of the best offenses in the NL (2nd in runs per game) because they led the league in OBP and finished 5th in SLG.

    Montreal and Milwaukee were full of players who didn’t clog up the bases, yet they couldn’t score to save their lives.

    Getting on base and slugging is vastly more important than worrying about whether players are clogging up the bases. Not that baserunning isn’t something worth worrying about. It’s just that getting on base was a much bigger issue for the 2004 Cubs than anything to do with baserunning and clogging up the bases.

  161. Shaun Says:

    Baker’s 2004 Cubs hit plenty of homeruns, so if they had gotten more runners on base, it wouldn’t have mattered if they were the slowest team in baseball. They would have scored plenty of runs.

  162. Shaun Says:

    I challenge anyone to find a team who was great in terms of both OBP and SLG that did not finish near the top of their league in runs scored, no matter how fast or slow a team they were.

  163. Chuck Says:

    I think it is kind of silly to be debating what Baker meant, considering the comment is 8 years old and none of us were in the room when he said it, so the context is gone.

  164. Shaun Says:

    I agree. I’m not the one who brought up Baker’s comment. I’m just addressing his specific sentence about walks being overrated and your assertion that the 2004 Cubs were a small ball team, or at least your assertion that that is what Baker thought.

    The 2004 Cubs led the league in homers, finished 4th in doubles and finished 3rd in slugging.

    There problem was not that they were too slow or that they were a small ball team who couldn’t run, though I don’t deny speed would have helped. The major problem with the 2004 Cubs and why they didn’t score 5 runs a game is that they were below average at getting on base.

  165. Chuck Says:

    My apologies…original comment was made on August 24th, 2006, not 2004.

  166. Raul Says:

    Bottom line is Dusty Baker doesn’t pick his ballplayers so whatever. Let’s move on.

  167. Chuck Says:

    I agree.

    Eight years or six, point is the same.

    Too long ago to be relevant today.

  168. Raul Says:

    Reports are that Hanley Ramirez still isn’t embracing his move to 3B.

    Talented as this guy may be, he’s got a history of having a poor attitude and more than once he’s dogged it on the field.

    This isn’t a once-in-a-generation talent we’re talking about. This isn’t Barry Bonds.

    The Marlins should trade him. Wait until mid-May to give Dominguez time to get going, and then bring him up. Whatever offense they lose with Hanley, Dominguez should mitigate with his defense

  169. Bob Says:

    Interesting. He has 3 more years left on his contract. Owed $46.5MM What will the Marlins reel in?

  170. Raul Says:

    Who cares?

    If they can get a good catching prospect with maybe a B-pitching prospect and low-level A-prospect (like that Campos kid Seattle sent to NY), they should probably do it. Especially since a team will be hesitant to give up too much knowing they’ll have to pick up Hanley’s money.

    Miami is going to need all the payroll flexibility they can get with Stanton and Morrison.

    By the way, that cheap deal Tampa did for Evan Longoria? They should attempt it with Mike Stanton — though I doubt Stanton would take it. He knows he’s going to get paid.

  171. Cameron Says:

    Depends on what Hanley they get, Raul. If we get the Hanley on top of his game who’s a 30-30 threat and a batting crown contender, Dominguez ain’t replacing that. If it’s the Hanley who hits .260 and walks to pick up a ball that got hit into shallow left, then maybe. Matt’s had an ice-cold bat for a while now, and while his glove is good, good gloves only get a guy so far in the majors.

  172. Bob Says:

    What teams are looking for a SS?
    1. Possiibly Boston. A team that became frugal due to the new CBA.
    2. The Mets. A team that became frugal as soon as the world learned of Bernie Madoff.
    3. Who am I missing?

  173. Raul Says:

    It doesn’t matter, Cam.

    Teams can’t think they are the Yankees and have an all-star at every position. The Marlins should have plenty of offense to sustain the team from other positions — especially the outfield.

    Granted, this is just me, but I’d take my chances with a great glove at an important defensive position over a player who has the capacity to be great, but at times seems to only care about himself.

    Hanley is 28 years old and he’s 2 years removed from being elite (at least, offensively). I don’t see him being much better in the next few years.

    Three years of team control is a lot to give up, so maybe the Marlins hang on to him through this season, but I think his days are numbered. The future of this team is with Mike Stanton and to the best of my knowledge, Stanton isn’t a complaining, lazy player.

  174. Chuck Says:

    Hanley doesn’t have a no-trade.

    I’d pick up half his money and trade his ass to Pittsburgh.

  175. Cameron Says:

    True, but I’m watching Hanley. Here’s the thing, Philly is getting older, Atlanta’s getting TOO young for their own good, Washington’s green still, and New York is imploding. Miami could very well find a way to walk away with this division. I think if Hanley starts playing for a winner, we might just see these attitude problems of his vanish.

    Face it, even if he was a franchise player, it was for the fucking Marlins. That’s gonna get under anybody’s skin. When you’re getting underpaid for what your talent really is (in your mind, anyway), you can’t compete, and the organization doesn’t give a fuck, what are you really playing for?

  176. Shaun Says:

    Another problem: I suspect most teams realize he’s not a great shortstop and would prefer to move him off the position, just like the Marlins are doing.

  177. Raul Says:

    It’s widely been accepted that Hanley is a pretty bad shortstop. I recall suggestions of him moving to LF years ago (a la Alfonso Soriano).

  178. Chuck Says:

    Robin Yount is in the HOF as an outfielder. If ARod gets into the Hall, it will be as a third baseman. Craig Biggio will go in as a second baseman, not as a catcher or an outfielder.

    Hanley’s 28.

    He’s also stupid.

    He could easily play another ten years as a 3B, and would arguably be better there, which would make him more money, but he’s too dumb to realize it.

    Not only does the team benefit by him moving, but in the long run his wallet, and ultimately his legacy as a player will too.

    What a dope.

  179. Cameron Says:

    It’s a pride thing, I’d assume. Shortstops get valued higher than third basemen. I’m agreeing with you him wanting to stay at short with Reyes there is stupid. That wasn’t the point. The point is I can understand where his attitude is stemming from. If the Marlins weren’t giving a fuck about winning the last five years he’s been there, why should he? It’ll beat a guy in his prime like that down.

  180. Shaun Says:

    I believe that in many respects athletes are too “dumb” to realize lots of things about themselves, especially when it comes to their own play. Maybe “dumb” is not the appropriate or correct word. Maybe “unaware” is better.

    I think it’s natural for someone like Hanley, who has been told how great he was all his life, to have a large ego and not want to move from a higher-profile position, even if it would be helpful. I’m not excusing him for his lack of self-awareness or any attitude issues that affect his team. I’m just pointing out why his view of things, regarding moving from short, is a tiny bit understandable.

  181. Raul Says:

    Happy 64th birthday, Ron Cey! The Penguin was an integral part of the Dodgers’ famed infield of the 1970s and ’80s. A 6-time All Star, Cey was World Series MVP in 1980. Hell, if Tim Raines belongs in the Hall of Fame, Ron Cey probably comes right behind him. LOL.

    Happy 46th birthday, Melido Perez! Perez was like a lesser AJ Burnett. The guy had good stuff and showed flashes of brilliance, followed by extended periods of mediocrity. His brother Pascual would run into drug problems that would help push him out of the game. I thought Melido was an addict but I guess I was confusing them. The brothers each pitched rain-shortened unofficial No-Hitters in the Majors — a fine accomplishment. I suppose it’s noteworthy that Melido Perez gave up Manny Ramirez’s first career home run.

    Happy 38th birthday, Ugueth Urbina. What the hell is wrong with you? In September 2004, Urbina’s mother was kidnapped and a 6 million dollar ransom was demanded. Urbina refused to pay it. Fortunately, she was rescued in a military-style operation. A few years later in 2007, Urbina tried to slice up some farm workers whom he had accused of stealing a gun he owned with a machete and then poured gasoline on them in an attempt to burn them alive. He was convicted of attempted murder and is serving 14 years in prison.

    Happy 29th birthday, Russell Martin! Martin was once a promising offensive power as a catcher in his early years with the Dodgers. No longer a premium threat, he’s still widely regarded as a fantastic defensive catcher and play-caller.

    Happy 26th birthday, Johnny Cueto! Cueto could be in for quite a season in 2012 if his trend of lowering his ERA continues. He’s gone from 4.81 to 4.41 to 3.64 to 2.31 last season. Entering what should be his prime years, Cueto has a chance to cement himself into that upper tier of quality pitchers in the National League.

  182. Shaun Says:

    Raines: 117th in career WAR
    Cey: 228th in career WAR

    Raines: 82nd in career WAR among non-pitchers
    Cey: 157th in career WAR among non-pitchers

    Raines has the 136th best OBP of all-time. Cey doesn’t rank in the top 1,000.

  183. Chuck Says:

    Hanle’s mindset isn’t unusual in the sense it’s a common thought process amongst Latin players.

    It’s not a baseball thing, it’s an environment thing.

    Things are hard to get, and when you do, the last thing you want to do is give it up.

    Realizing it’s in the best interest of the team isn’t even something they would thing about, because they can’t see it.

  184. Shaun Says:

    Plenty of white, American-born players don’t like to move off “their” positions.

    It’s fascinating to me the perception of Michael Young versus someone like Hanley. Young doesn’t want to be moved off shortstop, expresses his preference for a trade, deals with the move because he doesn’t have much of a choice and now he’s seen as an ultimate team player. Hanley acts the same way as Young did and he’s viewed as a selfish player.

    Now we have someone basically expressing the view that Latin-born players, in general, aren’t concerned about or aware of what is in the best interests of their teams. Unbelievable, really.

  185. Raul Says:

    I was joking.

    But I didn’t realize HOF candidacies were sorted by WAR and OBP.
    Good to know.

  186. Shaun Says:

    If Hanley was a white guy from SoCal drafted out of UC Santa Barbara, I wonder how people would view him.

  187. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Please realize with the 2004 Giants as your example, that Barry Bond’s 232 walks were 39% of the total team walks. That kind of thing tends to lean towards the far end of the bell curve.

  188. Chuck Says:

    You’ve been gone a long time, Shaun.

    “Tim Raines” is our new official Dugout Central slang for sarcasm.

  189. Raul Says:

    If a SoCal white guy out of UC Santa Barbara consistently got into fights with teammates because they accused him of being lazy and showing poor leadership, and if that white guy kicked a baseball across the infield, I’m fairly sure people would treat his dumb ass the same way they treat Hanley’s dumb ass.

  190. brautigan Says:

    “If Hanley was a white guy from SoCal drafted out of UC Santa Barbara, I wonder how people would view him?”

    He may not be as crooked as Hal Chase, but Hal Chase was a damn good ballplayer, and where Hanley resembles Chase, a damn poor teamate. That’s how I would view Hanley.

  191. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, Hanley’s attitude may be more common amongst latino players, but lazy is lazy. Hanley doesn’t give a shit. While I understand why he thinks like that, I don’t think it’s right. However, I’m watching him closely this year if he stays in Miami. To me, they’re a coin-flip with Philadelphia for the division (pretty much solely because of the lack of Ryan Howard for a bit) and a damn-near guarantee for one of the two wildcards. He starts playing for a winner, he might shape up.

  192. Shaun Says:

    Raul, no. Typically Hall of Famers are sorted out by career value, in terms of doing things that increase a team’s chances to win, in some cases. But in others, a player may have the career value to be considered a Hall of Famer but they aren’t flashy enough or didn’t reach any milestones or didn’t break any records. Sometimes the Hall of Fame is like a beauty contest or a gymnastics competition or a diving competition.

    If Raines had traded some walks for some outs and enough hits to get him to 3,000, he would be a Hall of Famer. Makes no sense.

    Even if you correctly assume hits are more valuable than walks, Raines had 3,935 hits plus walks. So he trades 395 of his 1,330 walks for hits and he’s in.

    I guess to voters 1,330 walks don’t make up for the 395 more hits that they demand for automatic induction.

    If a player had 2,605 hits, 395 more hits and 935 more outs are better, according to Hall of Fame voters, than 1,330 walks and no outs.

  193. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, so the Giants weren’t a slow, old team that clogged the base paths just because Barry Bonds got most of their walks? That sort of emphasizes the point that clogging the base paths isn’t nearly as big a problem as failing to get on base often and failing to slug well. It doesn’t refute that point.

  194. Lefty33 Says:

    “Miami could very well find a way to walk away with this division.”

    Unless Philly has major injury issues to their pitching staff they’re not winning the NL East by anything less than ten games.

  195. Raul Says:

    John…excuse me, Shaun…my mistake…

    You do realize I was joking about the Ron Cey HOF thing, right?

    No need to go into a Mike Felber-esque rant.

    Just LOL and move on, my friend.

  196. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, we’ve had some disagreements in the past on some fundamental things which in the big picture are nothing more than an expressing of an opinion.

    This, however, is a fact.

    You have never stood on a baseball field in the Dominican Republic, or Puerto Rico, or Mexico, and have witnessed exactly what I said.

    So, with all due respect, stop now.

    As far as the Michael Young thing goes…he’s 34 and has willingly moved not once, but twice, and without complaint either time.

    So, not a good example.

  197. Cameron Says:

    Without complaint? What reports were you reading last offseason?

    And Bob, that rotation is still very solid at the top 3. However, I worry about a slump from Worley and your fifth spot is a competition between Blanton and Kendrick, guys who’d have a hard time cracking MY team’s rotation. As for that bullpen, it’s only two real threats, three if Contreras is healthy. Miami doesn’t have BETTER pitching, but it’s better in the back end of the rotation and deeper if you ask me. They can compete.

    Plus, it’s not the pitching I need to worry about injuries from in Philly. If one other key piece goes down (like say, Utley’s hip getting hurt again), you’re kinda hosed.

  198. Cameron Says:

    Lefty, I mean. Need more caffeine.

  199. Bob Says:

    Cameron, I think you meant to respond to Lefty.

  200. Bob Says:

    No problem.

  201. Shaun Says:

    Feb. 2011: “‘I have been manipulated and misled in this process and I’m not going to take it anymore,’ Young told Major League Baseball’s official website.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/08/us-baseball-rangers-young-idUSTRE71737O20110208

  202. Cameron Says:

    You know what’s frustrating me? The Royals have a stacked lineup, a loaded bullpen and they continue to field rotations that are gonna make me nervous every day of the season. Why must they keep doing this to us?

  203. brautigan Says:

    And once Spring Training kicked in, what did Mr. Young say? And Chuck, I have to correct you, Young has been moved three times, not twice.

  204. Cameron Says:

    Guy took his lumps and kept playing, that’s what happened.

  205. Bob Says:

    So then, Billy Butler for A.J Burnett? You do it?

  206. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: I guess it goes without saying, the 2004 Giants tied for the league lead in GIDP. What do stat heads have to say about GIDP?

    I know, “strikeouts are better”.

    My point is, Bonds skewed the data. You remove him from the equation and the Giants are going to be near the bottom in scoring, even with J.T. Snow’s career year.

  207. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 196 – With all due respect Chuck, the Young example was actually a good one seeing as he was demanding a trade before last season due to the Rangers wanting him to be a full time DH and he still wanted to play in the field.

    He was pissed enough that he went public essentially calling Daniels and Ryan liars for leaking things to the media.

  208. Cameron Says:

    Hahahahahahaha… Oh you’re serious?

  209. Cameron Says:

    In all seriousness Bob, fuck no. AJ Burnett is a guy who’s been nothing but toxic for the past two years, Butler is an automatic for .300 and 40 doubles. We already have Felipe Paulino for a guy who throws nothing but heaters and homers, I don’t want another one of them in that rotation.

  210. Chuck Says:

    #192

    You’re right. A couple hundred fewer hits, and Craig Biggio doesn’t sniff the HOF.

    And he was a better player than Raines.

  211. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 203 – True he fell into line, but he hardly went willingly.

  212. Chuck Says:

    Not denying what Young said, Lefty, only that he had a right to be pissed.

    Ramirez doesn’t.

  213. brautigan Says:

    Lefty: There is a difference between not liking the situation and not doing your job (Randy Johnson circa 1998) and not liking the situation and still doing your job. You see the difference? Seattle went from division winners to also rans, whereas Texas went to the world series.

  214. brautigan Says:

    There is a little voice in my had that says if Tim Raines was a better player, he would have come up with those 395 hits.

    But the rational voice says “it is what it is”.

  215. Cameron Says:

    Your little voice is saying “Was a better player”, my little voice said, “Cut back on the blow”.

  216. Bob Says:

    So then, the jury is still out on Hanley. Judge him come May 1st after some games are underway? Is that fair?

  217. Shaun Says:

    Here’s an article from 2009 about Young’s reluctance to move off of shortstop to third base: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3826455

  218. Cameron Says:

    That’s what I’m thinking, Bob. I have a feeling that he’ll pull a Michael Young and get his shit together once it’s on the field and he sees his team is winning games. While they may not be the division winner, this is FAR from a losing team they’re throwing out there.

  219. Chuck Says:

    I know one Latin player who moved for the betterment of his team and didn’t whine like a school girl.

    Alex Rodriguez.

  220. Chuck Says:

    OK, Shaun..you win.

    Michael Young is a whining, spoiled little bitch.

    Still irrelevant to the conversation.

    The question is, would Hanley be acting like a spoiled little bitch if he was white?

    My guess is no.

  221. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, yes. There’s little voice in your head that says Raines should have made 935 more outs and got 395 more hits instead of just drawing 1,330 walks in those 1,330 plate appearances.

    Must be the same moronic voices that said that Jim Rice would have had a better OBP if people had cared about OBP back when he was playing. Of course ignoring the fact that most hitters, especially middle-of-the-order hitters like Jim Rice, almost always tried to avoid outs when they were hitting and ignoring the fact that plenty of Rice’s contemporaries did a better job at getting on base.

  222. Shaun Says:

    “The question is, would Hanley be acting like a spoiled little bitch if he was white?

    “My guess is no.”

    Wow. Just wow.

  223. Raul Says:

    Players know the deal. You let your play do the talking for you.

    If Hanley thinks he belongs at SS, then play better SS.
    The bottom line is that if you have to talk your way into staying someplace, you don’t belong to be there in the first place.

    When the manager comes out to get the ball from the pitcher, all his talking about “one more batter” is useless. If he could have gotten the guy out, he would have done it already.

  224. Lefty33 Says:

    “Plus, it’s not the pitching I need to worry about injuries from in Philly. If one other key piece goes down (like say, Utley’s hip getting hurt again), you’re kinda hosed.”

    Utley’s hip condition is degenerative so he’s got it for life but supposedly he’s “healthy” this year for the first time since early ‘10.

    Howard’s not missing nearly as long as most have predicted.

    What will he be capable of upon his return? Who knows.

    The only two spots where they are vulnerable are at C and 3B.

    “As for that bullpen, it’s only two real threats, three if Contreras is healthy. Miami doesn’t have BETTER pitching, but it’s better in the back end of the rotation and deeper if you ask me. They can compete.”

    You’re short changing Bastardo and the Phillies have a core of kids that are major league ready to pitch now out of the bullpen but Amaro is so bent on only giving chances to guys 30+ so they’ll rot in AAA to start the season.

    When you add in guys like Aumont, Savery, De Fratus, and Schwimer no one in baseball has as much bullpen depth as the Phillies do right now.

    Miami might compete the same way how Atlanta competed last year.

    They hung around for half the year and finished the season thirteen out.

  225. Cameron Says:

    Shaun, did he say anything about making less outs? No, he said getting more hits. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  226. Cameron Says:

    Actually Lefty, Bastardo is that second threat I was talking about.

  227. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty: There is a difference between not liking the situation and not doing your job (Randy Johnson circa 1998) and not liking the situation and still doing your job.”

    Right but that’s not what Chuck said initially.

  228. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, so the argument is that if Raines was a better player he probably would have gotten 3,000 hits? Maybe so. What does that have to do with the fact that Raines is worthy of the Hall of Fame anyway?

  229. brautigan Says:

    @218: What? Are you serious?

    Here is what Hanley said “It’s his (Fredi Gonzalez) team, he can do whatever he fucking wants”.

    Not only did Hanley throw his manager under the bus (“He never played in the big leagues”), but he threw his teamates under the same wheels (“We’ve got a lot of guys on this team that are dogging it and they don’t have to apologize”).

  230. Lefty33 Says:

    “What does that have to do with the fact that Raines is worthy of the Hall of Fame anyway?”

    Thankfully that’s NOT a fact.

  231. Raul Says:

    WE
    ARE
    NOT
    GOING
    TO
    DEBATE
    TIM
    RAINES
    AGAIN
    GOD DAMMIT

  232. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    Please go back and read post #196.

    It’s bad enough you don’t understand the gist of the conversation, which is OK, but if you want to turn this into some racist thing, you’re welcome to leave again.

  233. Bob Says:

    AT LEAST NOT UNTIL NEXT DECEMBER/JANUARY. And I agree with Raul.

  234. Lefty33 Says:

    COME
    ON
    RAUL
    IT’LL
    BE
    FUN
    AS
    WE
    HAVE
    NOT
    DONE
    IT
    YET
    THIS

    YEAR(Whoops)
    MONTH(My bad)
    WEEK(Sorry)
    TODAY(Damn)
    IN THE 4 O’CLOCK HOUR

  235. Shaun Says:

    My point was that it’s ridiculous that Raines needed 3,000 hits in order to make the Hall. The man got on base enough and stole enough bases and avoided outs on the basepaths enough to be Hall of Fame worthy. How much less do you think walks are worth than hits? Certainly Raines made up for any deficit in 3,000 by drawing the 35th most walks all-time, in addition to his baserunning.

    Chuck, If Biggio had just failed to get a couple hundred hits, he would still rank 26th all-time in times on base and he would still be Hall of Fame worthy, no matter what the voters think.

  236. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, you said that you believe it is fact that Latin American players aren’t concerned with what is best for their teams’.

    That is unbelievable and borderline offensive.

    I’ll assert that they are just as concerned or not concerned as any player playing or with a shot at playing professional baseball.

  237. Cameron Says:

    @229

    Well look who his manager is now. He tries that argument again, he’s fucking gone.

  238. Cameron Says:

    Shaun, this debate was done TO DEATH in your absence. The lines have been drawn and no one wants to debate it seriously again. While we bring it up as a running joke, the horse on the Raines debate is well and truly dead. Stop beating it.

  239. Raul Says:

    What I think Chuck was saying, is that Latinos (and I happen to be one) are quite macho and to some degree, can be arrogant when it comes to how they view themselves as ballplayers.

    It’s not really “Hey, I won’t go play there for the betterment of the team”.

    It’s more “I’m a shortstop and I can still play here. If you don’t want me as a shortstop, I’ll find someone who does”.

    Not that it’s excusable in either case, but it’s certainly a notable difference.

  240. Cameron Says:

    Actually Shaun, I think Raines was good enough to get 3,000 on his own. However, the dude was pretty wrecked in those last “hanging on for a ring years”. If he had stayed away from the cocaine, who knows? Might have been healthy enough to keep going and it wouldn’t have been a debate at all.

  241. Cameron Says:

    @239 That and you aren’t raised to be pussies like white kids are. Thank god I actually grew up in a black neighborhood. Gives me an outside look on “normal” white people.

    …I hate ‘em.

  242. Raul Says:

    Take it easy, Cameron.

    You’re about $10,000 in annual salary from a sweater vest and ascot.

  243. brautigan Says:

    This is what Jonathan Swift in a satire had to say about white folk:
    “I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”

    I don’t hate white folk, but they tend to act like spoiled children who mix right from wrong quite frequently.

  244. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I’m 28 grand in annual salary from the poverty line. I’m one BROKE motherfucker.

  245. Chuck Says:

    It’s not Shaun, at least not until much later on.

    I know a guy who signed with Seattle at age 20 and the first thing he bought with his bonus money?

    A pair of Jordans.

    First time in his life he had a new pair of shoes.

    The scout who signed him bought him clothes and a glove and new spikes so he could go to the tryout camp in San Juan.

    Also the first of those items he had new.

    Sorry, man, if you think that’s offensive, that’s on you.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that Latin players who grow up in an environment with nothing who all of a sudden have something, they’re not as likely to give it up, and the ramifications to that decision are irrelevant.

  246. Lefty33 Says:

    “You’re about $10,000 in annual salary from a sweater vest and ascot.”

    Why not just call him Mr. Furley?

  247. Shaun Says:

    Raul, there are plenty of white, American players who are quite macho and arrogant. That’s all I’m saying.

    And I’m not trying to brush aside the problems of Hanley not wanting to move or his attitude. I just hope it doesn’t get overblown, unless we have a little more than hearsay.

    Cameron, with or without the cocaine use, Raines was good enough for the Hall. That’s the issue. The issue shouldn’t be whether or not he got 3,000 hits or whether or not he would have without cocaine use. Was he could enough or not? That’s all that matters.

  248. Cameron Says:

    No, that’s your point, Shaun. I was just bringing up if Raines could’ve gotten to three thousand clean. You’re the one talking about the Hall of Fame.

  249. brautigan Says:

    We need a permanant Tim Raines category so that whenever you want to comment on Rock, you can go there.

    That horse is now called Lazerus IXV.

  250. Raul Says:

    LOL

    I understand, Shaun.

    Where I think there is a bit of a difference is in the crappy player department.

    brown guy = terrible
    white guy = gritty

    :)

  251. Raul Says:

    hahaha @ Braut #249

  252. brautigan Says:

    It’s better in the NBA:

    black guy=amazing talent
    white guy=incredibly smart

    Jimmy the Greek is shaking his head somewhere.

  253. Cameron Says:

    Wasn’t even 4:30 by my clock before we stopped giving fucks. We’re ahead of schedule today.

  254. Cameron Says:

    And don’t forget.

    Asian Guy = The fuck is he doing here?

  255. Chuck Says:

    LOL @#254

  256. Chuck Says:

    You know what I think would be a great topic of conversation?

    Using stats to evaluate minor leaguers.

  257. Cameron Says:

    Aw, look at Chuck expecting a comment thread on the internet to be relevant to the actual topic. He’s such an old man.

  258. Chuck Says:

    Silly me, I know.

  259. John Says:

    “By the way, that cheap deal Tampa did for Evan Longoria? They should attempt it with Mike Stanton — though I doubt Stanton would take it. ”

    Exactly. Remember, Longo’s career was 8 days old when that contact was signed. Matt Moore has a similar deal after like 3 career starts.

    I think the Marlins could probably sign Stanton long term for less than he’ll be worth but he would still be looking at a 50-75 million deal given what he’s already produced as a 20 and 21 year old.

  260. John Says:

    “As far as the Michael Young thing goes…he’s 34 and has willingly moved not once, but twice, and without complaint either time.”

    WITHOUT A COMPLAINT?!?!?!

    HE DEMANDED TO BE TRADED TWICE!!!!

    I..I..HE DEMANDED TO BE TRADED. TWICE.

    The comparison with Hanley and Young breaks down because Young’s conflicts have strictly been with upper management – and, as far as I can tell, he doesn’t have personal altercations with his teammates/manager, nor does he find himself no hustling on the field. Unlike Ramirez.

    But how people can just say that Hanley Ramirez is an asshole for wanting to stay at his position, but give Michael Young a free pass for demanding PUBLICLY to be TRADED is beyond me.

  261. Cameron Says:

    If he’ll take 10/75 now, I’m gonna print that contract so fast it’ll make the office secretary’s head spin.

  262. John Says:

    Oh well yeah. I was thinking like 6/65 or something. Still a bargain, still buys out free agency years, and he might take it because he’d become a free agent again after his age 27 season.

  263. Cameron Says:

    Silly John, you think such short term. When going for extensions on young guys, pile on as many years as you can. Open with 10, you’ll be likely to end up with 6 or 7. Don’t set that bar low.

  264. John Says:

    @178, Yount’s in as an OFer?

    He played more games at SS, and as far as all-time ranks go, he’s probably a top-5 all-time SS (even with only playing 10ish years though) and probably not even a top-10 CF (with Mays, Cobb, Griffey etc).

  265. John Says:

    @178, Yount’s in as an OFer?

    He played more games at SS, and as far as all-time ranks go, he’s probably a top-5 all-time SS (even with only playing 10ish years though) and probably not even a top-10 CF (with Mays, Cobb, Griffey etc).

  266. John Says:

    http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/members/searchable-data?order=field_hof_primary_position_value&sort=asc

    He’s in as a SS.

  267. John Says:

    “Silly John, you think such short term. When going for extensions on young guys, pile on as many years as you can. Open with 10, you’ll be likely to end up with 6 or 7. Don’t set that bar low.”

    I don’t think it’s wise for a team with Miami’s uncertainty should want to offer a 10-year deal, and I think Stanton wants to hit free agency before he turns 32.

    I mean, if it was 10/75, obviously, but no way in hell he signs for that low. 10/100? Maybe…but I think if I’m Stanton, I take less money and hit free agency at a more optimum time.

  268. Cameron Says:

    Something hilarious in that chart there. Tony Gwynn is listed as one of the three outfielders without a primary position. Let’s break down his games played by OF position.

    LF – 51
    CF – 157
    RF – 2,145

    …Well of course he’s in as an outfielder. An overwhelming 11% of his games came outside of right field. Such versatility!

  269. Cameron Says:

    John, if he wants 10/100, I’ll offer it to him if I backload it and make the last 3 years club/mutual options. Still think he could take that. Give him incentive to make 40-50 million on those option years. Create a set of artificial walk years to light a fire under his ass.

  270. Chuck Says:

    Damn, I could have sworn he played more games as an OF.

    Maybe not enough to make a difference, but more nonetheless.

    http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/members/searchable-data?lname=&cat=All&negro=All&pos=SS&team=&state=All&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Byear%5D=&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Bmonth%5D=0&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Bday%5D=0&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Bhour%5D=0&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Bminute%5D=0&class%5Bvalue%5D%5Bsecond%5D=0

  271. Chuck Says:

    If the Marlins approached Stanton now about a Longoria-ish contract, he’d fall down laughing.

    New stadium, additional revenue streams, more season ticket holders, better players around him…

    Wouldn’t even discuss it.

    Ship sailed.

  272. Raul Says:

    The Yankees were hoping they could bring back Bobby Abreu to be their designated hitter by swapping A.J. Burnett to the Angels, but the righthander would not waive his no-trade rights, according to two baseball executives with knowledge of the talks.

    So rather than having their winter business concluded and a DH in place, the Yankees Wednesday were still working on sending Burnett to the Pirates for two marginal prospects, one of the executives said. The executive said the trade could be consummated by the weekend — Burnett is slated to report to Yankees spring camp Sunday.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/a-burnett-balks-trade-send-yankees-angels-bobby-abreu-article-1.1023423#ixzz1mY7LAaxj

  273. Raul Says:

    Happy 60th birthday, Jerry Hairston Sr.! Senior played parts of 14 seasons in The Bigs. Granted, he was a part-time player and not very good, but how many of you would trade your nine-to-fives for that? All of you? Many are aware of the Boone baseball family. I suspect a lot fewer are aware of the Hairston baseball family. Sam Hairston played just 4 games as a Major Leaguer for the White Sox in 1951, but he was a Major Leaguer nonetheless. Jerry played 14 in the 70s and 80s. Jerry Hairston Jr. has also played 14 seasons thusfar – the most successful of which was an 80-game stint with the Reds in 2008. And Scott Hairston has 8 years under his belt — his last season having been spent with the Mets.

    Granted, it’s not exactly a family of superstars, but I’d take it.

  274. Chuck Says:

    LOL..Bobby Abreu…who’s next, Milton Bradley?

  275. Lefty33 Says:

    Maybe they dangle something attractive to Houston for Jack Cust?

    I hear Kingman has kept in good shape….

  276. Raul Says:

    Word is that Carl Crawford won’t be ready to go for Opening Day.

    The Sox are moving slowly with his wrist injury.

  277. Raul Says:

    Also,

    The Marlins appear to have dropped out of the Jorge Soler bidding.

  278. Cameron Says:

    A baffling move considering their center field depth at just about every level. Coghlan isn’t the player that won Rookie of the Year and all Scott Cousins will ever be famous for is breaking Buster Posey’s leg.

    …Wait, who’s in center now? Emilio Bonafacio?

    Fuck, they’re making my point for me.

  279. Raul Says:

    Didn’t know this…

    Career leader in batting average in a single World Series?
    Billy Hatcher in 1990 hit .750 in 15 PAs.

    Third? Hideki Matsui hit .615 in 14 PAs IN 2009.

    FOURTH??? RICKY LEDEE HIT .600 IN 13 PAs in 1998.

    But perhaps this one tops them all…

    In 1919, some guy named Ivey Wingo hit .571 in 11 PAs.

  280. Bob Says:

    Of the seven cases that went to arbitration, teams won 5.
    1. Brewers over Jose Veras.
    2. Nationals over John Lannan.
    3. Orioles over Brad Bergenson.
    4. Pirates over Garrett Jones.
    5. Rays over Jeff Niemann.

    The Marlins lost their two cases. One was against Anibal Sanchez and the other player was Emilio Bonifacio.

  281. brautigan Says:

    John: Not everyone can be “locked” up like Evan Longoria. For each Longroria, there are 10 Matt Bush type players out there.

  282. brautigan Says:

    In 1939, The St. Louis Cardinals Jimmy Brown was 6th in the MVP voting and did not make the all star team. In 1941, Brown was 4th in the MVP voting and again, did not make the all star team. In 1942, Brown made his first and only all star appearance.

    Could someone please explain to me the greatness of Jimmy Brown that his numbers don’t show?

    (Hint: I know, I’m just wondering if the stat heads are paying attention).

  283. Cameron Says:

    Because all the good players in 1942 were stationed overseas?

  284. brautigan Says:

    Well, the question really isn’t why he didn’t make the all star team, but why was he rated higher than fellow teamates Johnny Mize and Enos Slaughter in 1941? What was it about Brown that made him so valuable to baseball in the late 30’s. I mean, Johnny Mize, a base clogger if I have ever seen one, had four stolen bases to Brown’s two that year!

  285. Bob Says:

    Raul, our beloved Dolphins signed Jerome Messam, a running back from the CFL. Hope he works out.

  286. Cameron Says:

    A 1,000 yard CFL rusher… Well, he looks to be a package guy. Somehow Reggie Bush turned into an every-down back for you guys and is a total beast. Count your blessings.

  287. Bob Says:

    I was reminded of thet tragic story of David Overstreet with this signing.

  288. Cameron Says:

    Still, could be worse. You could be looking to this guy as your go-to. Thank god for Reggie Bush, huh?

    Oh, you’re a Dolphins fan, you should get a chuckle out of this. Ricky Williams retired. Again.

  289. Raul Says:

    Any time you’re getting a guy from the CFL, it’s a bad sign.

    Lest this kid prove to be the Warren Moon of running backs.

  290. Chuck Says:

    Which statement has more significance?

    The Knicks are 6-0 with Jeremy Lin.

    The Knicks are 6-0 without Carmelo Anthony.

    I vote B

  291. Bob Says:

    Cameron Wake has been solid for the Dolphins. A very heavily underresearched list.
    1. Moon
    2. Flutie
    3. Holy shit, this is bad.

  292. Shaun Says:

    The better question is why did the MVP voters overrate Jimmy Brown?

    Probably his versatility, his batting average (which was king in those days, the equivalent of what OBP is to most of us today) and the fact that he was reliable and in the lineup most days. Also, I’m sure it didn’t hurt him to have 50+ RBI often from the leadoff spot.

    Actually, in 1941, he really did have a decent season, posting a 110 OPS+.

  293. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: I think you’re on the right track.

    To me, it is the intangibles that go into winning games that you don’t see in the box scores. Was he over rated? His numbers suggest “yes”. But, we don’t see how his day to day play affects the scores of each game. There was something about his game that influenced the voters, perhaps he was the Brooks Robinson of his day, who knows? Even though Bill James called out Sparky Anderson on Enos Cabell, he didn’t on Jimmy Brown.

    Also, note Johnny Bassler of Detorit in the early 20’s. He was a decent hitting catcher, and he drew a lot of walks. But what about his game that for three years straight had him in the top 7 of MVP voting? He was ahead of Urban Shocker, Bob Meusel and Harry Heilmann!

  294. Raul Says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-brown_dominican_republic_dave_valle_esperanza_021312

  295. Raul Says:

    Regarding Jeremy Lin…

    The kid is playing well. Is he a superstar?
    No.

    But if nothing else, he’s playing well and has energized the franchise.

    People need to stop throwing their arms up every time the media hypes up some player in New York — as if people weren’t aware that the NY Media does that. I mean it’s only been happening since — forever.

  296. Shaun Says:

    Were the voters’ perceptions incorrect or was there actually something there? We know people are often not very good at observation. We also know that the stats, at least the right stats used in the appropriate manner, are an actual record of what happened. I would tend to trust the stats a more than voter perception of Jimmy Brown.

    Look at someone like Jack Morris. The perception of many is that he’s Hall of Fame worthy. Yet, aside from Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Morris was basically Dennis Martinez.

    It comes down to why should we trust a person’s perception over a numerical record of what actually happened? I don’t deny that both are valuable to get a sense of what a player was and was not. But eyewitness testimony is not always the best thing to go on simply because human beings often suck at observation.

  297. brautigan Says:

    Raul: Thanks for the link. Without hope, life is cruel.

    Interesting to note Dave Valle. I have never met a bigger jerk than Dave Valle around 1992 or 1993. Then I ran into him again about 9 or 10 years later and I almost didn’t recognize him. Oh, he looked the same alright, but there was something very different about him. He was a changed person. Who knows if he found God or what (actually, most players who are “Christian” tend to be the biggest jerks and very “un-Christian like”), but he was a person with compassion and heart. Blame it on his wife maybe, but he is certainly one of the good guys and I wish him well with this endeavor.

  298. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: I tend to trust the people that watch the players day in and day out. If Brown (or Bassler) had just one year of getting a high MVP vote, then we now it is an outlier. But to do it consistently for 3 years, no, that tells me this guy was a player.

    If guys like Jack Morris get into the hall, then we do need to re-evaluate someone like Wes Ferrell. Ferrell had a career ERA over 4, but remember, this guy was done by age 30 and he was an all time great during the 20’s and 30’s.

  299. Shaun Says:

    Last year during a stretch when Jordan Schafer was playing regularly for the Braves, Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves’ coaching staff though Schafer had one of the highest OBPs on the team.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110718&content_id=21957526&notebook_id=21958470&vkey=notebook_atl&c_id=atl&partnerId=rss_atl

    DENVER — As he and his coaches gathered in the clubhouse long before the start of Monday’s series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked who had the highest on-base percentage among Jordan Schafer, Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward.

    When his coaches quickly responded, “Schafer,” Gonzalez chuckled because he had held the same belief before he opted to look at the stats on this humid afternoon in Denver. This proved to be a case where the numbers didn’t match what these coaches felt they had seen over the past couple months.

    “Their [numbers are] all about the same,” Gonzalez said. “But you feel like Schafer is doing so much more.”

    That is a staff that watched the team every day. Yet, they weren’t aware of what was actually happening. It’s not any specific problem with that staff. It’s that human being suck at observation, even if they are watching day in and day out.

    Are we really so arrogant as to pretend our observation skills (or lack thereof) never deceive us? I guess many of us are that arrogant.

  300. Shaun Says:

    “But to do it consistently for 3 years, no, that tells me this guy was a player.”

    Not necessarily. All it tells you is that the voters thought he was “a player.”

  301. Raul Says:

    You’re constantly talking about Stats vs Watching, Shaun.

    And then you complain when someone calls you out on it.

  302. Shaun Says:

    Raul, it’s not a question of stats versus watching. Watching has value. It’s about using stats to confirm or refute what you think you observed because you aren’t so arrogant to think that your observation is always reliable.

  303. Raul Says:

    And you’re always talking about it.

  304. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: What else is in that story? Which coaches? Was it Larry Parrish? OR was it Roger McDowell? Or was it Carlos Tosca or Eddie Perez?

    The other thing, Schafer was hitting slightly better than both Heyward and McLouth at the time, so what? Heyward was driving the Braves coaches crazy by watching strikes at the plate instead of swinging (and he needs to change that or become the next Ben Grieve in short order) so of course they are not going to say Heyward is leading the team in OBP.

    No Shaun, what is worse is to take a weak example and make it your argument and then to assume arrogance on the part of others.

  305. Chuck Says:

    Jimmy Brown led the NL twice in outs made.

    Sabermetrically, he was the worst player in the league.

    The four times leading in AB/SO notwithstanding.

  306. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, wrong. Sabermetrically, outs made doesn’t tell us much. What if a player led the league in plate appearances and outs made, yet still got on base at a high rate and also hit for plenty of power? I would think you have a better understanding of sabermetrics. Maybe that’s why you are so critical, a fundamental misunderstanding of sabermetrics.

  307. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, right. Maybe it’s a lack of awareness. Perhaps many of us just don’t realize how unreliable our own observations are in many cases. And perhaps for some it is indeed arrogance (my observation is better than statistical records of what actually happened).

    Chuck, Jimmy Brown wasn’t a very good hitter most years because he made outs too often. Simply looking at outs made doesn’t tell us how often a hitter makes outs.

  308. Chuck Says:

    You’re biggest argument against any player has always been “out avoidance.”

    If it didn’t tell you much, you’d never mention it.

    Right?

    But you’re right, outs in general don’t matter.

    The “kind of outs” means everything.

  309. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, total outs made doesn’t tell us if a hitter is good at avoiding outs.

    Kinsler and Ellsbury were both top 10 in the majors in outs made. Both players were pretty good at avoiding outs compared to other players. They made more total outs because they racked up more playing time than players inferior at avoiding outs.

  310. Raul Says:

    I hate the expression “avoiding outs”. As if any player tries to “avoid outs” as much as he tries to hit the goddamn baseball.

    It’s like saying “generally speaking, Wilt Chamberlain was amazing at avoiding pregnancy”

  311. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, if you are going to look at total outs, you need to look also at plate appearance or hits plus walks or times on base or something else in order to get an idea how good a hitter is at avoiding outs.

    Ellsbury was 8th in the majors in times on base last year. He was 9th in outs made. How could he possibly be on both list, as one a guy who made lots of outs and avoided lots of outs? Because he finished 2nd in the majors in plate appearances.

    The more telling stats on a basic level were his .376 OBP and .552 SLG. Essentially offense is about avoiding outs and gaining bases. These tell you, in a rate or ratio form, how good a player was about avoiding outs and gaining bases.

  312. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Be careful of your audience when you start preaching.

    In 1979, I had a course in Psycholgy of perception. One afternoon, the prof was in the midst of a long lecture when 8 people burst in the room. They created quite a disturbance and as quickly as it began, it ended and they left the room. The teacher went back to his lecture. Again, after about 30 minutes, he stopped and asked each student to write down exactly what they observed during the interruption. Needless to say, there were 35 students in that class and we had 28 different versions of what we all saw.

    Stats will tell you that Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns was a great player. He hit 39 homeruns in 1922. Perspective will tell you that he was not so great……..32 of his 39 homeruns were hit in the Brownies little league right field and even though he cranked 39 homeruns, he did not get one MVP vote.

  313. brautigan Says:

    Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out of an NBA game. That record was more important to him than winning a game. And that is coming from a huge Chamberlain fan.

    Wilt was amazing at avoiding pregnancy……..I don’t know how else to say it!

  314. Shaun Says:

    Raul, so you hate it simply because a player isn’t really trying to avoid outs, per se? But a player should absolutely be judged on whether he is good at avoiding outs, whether he would put what he’s doing in those terms or not. It’s a fundamental part of being a good hitter.

  315. Raul Says:

    Shaun,

    If you’re Bill Gates, would you say you’re a successful business man who made money? Or a guy who avoided homelessness better than anyone?

    Thanks.

  316. Cameron Says:

    Allen Iverson, no doubt one of the better players I’ve seen come around and a future Hall of Famer is currently broke.

    …He’s 36 and made $154 million. Kids, save your money. Don’t be an Iverson.

  317. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, so your psychology class basically pointed to what I’m explaining: that humans suck as observing.

    Oh, the stats will also tell you that Ken Williams posted a .389 OBP and .452 SLG on the road that season, that none of Williams’ teammates who had the same home-field advantage hit more than 13 homeruns and that Williams posted a 164 OPS+, which is stat that is park-adjusted.

    Stats will also tell you that in no other season with the Browns did he hit more than 29 homers and he averaged 28 homers per 162 games played with the Browns.

    The voters probably took into account his home/road homerun splits too much. He was a fine hitter on the road that season as well, but the voters ignored that. But if you trust voters’ observations over what actually happened, you won’t see that.

  318. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, if you are going to look at total outs, you need to look also at plate appearance..”

    You are making progress.

    Two years ago, you were arguing the exact opposite.

  319. brautigan Says:

    See Shaun, I kind of set you up for that one. He didn’t get any MVP votes because back then, you can only vote for one player on a team and Sisler got those votes.

    Again Shaun, my point was that I am quite aware of our powers of observation and the pitfalls of eyewitness accounts (Recall I am a trained investigator and that is something they simply pound into your head). I am also aware of the psychology of our own perceptions and how they slide into our ability to make clear judgements of what we observed. Just as your own bias towards sabremetrics skews your ability see the forest through the trees, but you’re convinced you’ve seen the light and we’re just not enlighted enough to get there on our own.

  320. Chuck Says:

    “a fundamental misunderstanding of sabermetrics.”

    As opposed to your fundamental misunderstanding of baseball?

  321. Raul Says:

    @ 316

    (Chris Rock voice)

    …buy some rims…and they spinnin, dude, they spinnin…they spinnin, dude, they spinnin….THEY SPINNIN, DUDE, THEY SPINNIN!!!!!

  322. Shaun Says:

    Raul, fundamentally, no one measures monetary or business success by avoiding homelessness, per se. In fact, there is not definitive metric for avoiding homelessness.

    There is a measure of how often a baseball player avoids outs. And avoiding outs is the most fundamental part of being a good hitter. Now, a hitter needs to do more than that, but that’s where it starts.

    And I also used the phrase “avoiding outs” in response to Chuck, who bought up total outs made and tried to equate that with how well a player avoids outs. So I’m not the one who brought up the term. I used it as a response to someone else who first used it.

    But I don’t mind using the phrase because many of us don’t always think of OBP in terms of out avoidance. Many just think of it in terms of walks or getting on base and possibly being stranded and want to discount it and blame the individual player for getting on base and not scoring. But it’s a measure of a player doing his part to keep the offensive inning going. It’s not an individual player’s fault if he does it well and his teammates suck at getting him in.

    Many on here want to blame individual players because they get on base and can’t force their teammates by sheer will to knock them in. Or they want to blame individual players for doing everything in their power to drive in runners and can’t force their teammate by sheer will to be on base so that they rack up high RBI totals.

    I’m sorry I wasn’t around to hear MVP discussions on here. I’m sure Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera didn’t get their proper due because they didn’t have overwhelming RBI totals. I’m sure doing better than other hitters at the things that would lead to an overwhelmingly high RBI total, if their teammates had been on base more often, wasn’t good enough for some. Those player should have force their teammates to get on by their sheer will, in order to ensure high RBI totals and MVP awards.

  323. Cameron Says:

    People say they’d be surprised to see the Yankees sign Jorge Soler. …I wouldn’t. The Yankees have, far and away, the biggest and most well-maintained international scouting presence in baseball and what team sounds better for some young kid out of the DR to sign with than the one with the most rings and most money? Not saying it will happen, but seeing them as an outside candidate just seems like a joke to me.

  324. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, I’ve never argued that outs made means more than on-base percentage. Nice try.

  325. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, I’ve never argued that outs made means more than on-base percentage. Nice try.”

    Borrowing from Keith Law..

    “You have the reading comprehension of a hamster.”

  326. Raul Says:

    LOL

    Yeah it’s too bad you weren’t here.

    Because I actually argued Miguel Cabrera should have won.

    Perhaps unlike you, though, I wasn’t going to mention Cabrera’s VORP and EQA.

  327. Chuck Says:

    “But I don’t mind using the phrase because many of us don’t always think of OBP in terms of out avoidance.”

    Kind of hard to get on base AND make an out at the same time, isn’t it?

  328. Chuck Says:

    “Because I actually argued Miguel Cabrera should have won.”

    Me, too.

  329. Shaun Says:

    You said two years ago I was arguing that you should not look at total outs with plate appearances which is the opposite of “if you are going to look at total outs, you need to look also at plate appearance.”

    I’ve never argued the opposite of that.

  330. brautigan Says:

    “There is a measure of how often a baseball player avoids outs. And avoiding outs is the most fundamental part of being a good hitter. Now, a hitter needs to do more than that, but that’s where it starts.”

    Shaun, did you ever play the game of baseball?

    Not once in my life did a hitting coach ever teach me about “out avoidance”. I was taught things like hand spacing, feet placement, stride, timing, pitch recognition, no one ever said to me “you’re not avoiding outs”. I was taught to go with the pitch, to drive it to all fields (and if you can’t focus, then try to hit the pitcher in the face with a line drive). You learn things like turning on a pitch. You learn things like expecting a pitch so you don’t get fooled.

    C’mon, you’re just sounding silly now.

  331. Shaun Says:

    Right. But many of you will discount getting on base if it doesn’t result in a run scored or an RBI for an individual hitter. Many of you don’t realize that an individual player doing his part to keep the inning going and to create opportunities for his team to score is actually in his control to a fairly large degree, while how many teammates are on base when the player is up to bat or whether teammates can drive a player in when he’s on base is outside of that player’s control. To many of you an individual player avoiding outs says nothing about the individual player unless it results in a run. To many of you a high OBP player is worse than a player that is worse in OBP and other areas, if the latter player has more runs scored or RBI.

  332. Cameron Says:

    I played baseball ages ago. …I sucked. I got outs all the time because I never hit the ball because I always swung for the fences. I wasn’t bad at avoiding outs. I was bad at playing baseball.

    …But now I pitch and bat lefty, so hey, shit happens I guess.

  333. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, so because our coaches didn’t use the term “out avoidance,” out avoidance in baseball doesn’t matter and we must be prohibited from using the term “out avoidance”?

    I don’t know that I ever had a coach talk much, if at all, about OBP or SLG or (for you people in the Dark Ages) RBI. Does that mean we should prohibit ourselves from using those terms?

    I was taught things like hand spacing, feet placement, stride, timing, pitch recognition, no one ever said to me “you’re not avoiding outs”. I was taught to go with the pitch, to drive it to all fields (and if you can’t focus, then try to hit the pitcher in the face with a line drive). You learn things like turning on a pitch. You learn things like expecting a pitch so you don’t get fooled.

    Funny. In these sentences, I didn’t read the words AVG/HR/RBI, Triple Crown, etc. I guess we are limited to only terms coaches used when we are discussing baseball, or else the baseball word police are going to come and get us!

  334. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, it’s not a coincidence the higher you are on the plate appearance list the higher you are on the outs made list.

    They go hand in hand.

  335. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, whether we want to put it in those terms or not, if a hitter is bad at avoiding outs, he’s a bad hitter. You can avoid using that term if you’d like. But that’s just semantics. And it’s pretty obvious to most baseball fans by now. If a hitter is bad at avoiding outs, he’s a bad hitter. If you don’t want to put it in those terms, fine. But that’s the truth. Whether you want to put it in those terms or some other terms that meant your standards for not sounding “silly.”

  336. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, right. That’s my whole point. ding! ding! Players who are good at getting on base, avoiding outs (whichever term you find less “silly”) but who rack up lots of plate appearances are likely to also rack up outs made. Therefore just looking at outs made alone doesn’t tell us how good a player is at avoiding outs/getting on base (again, whichever term you find less “silly”).

    Finally, I’ve gotten through. That’s why you look at OBP instead of just outs made.

    And if you are going to look at outs made instead of OBP, you need to look at it along with plate appearances or times on base.

  337. Cameron Says:

    Shaun, it really doesn’t matter. You can try to avoid as many outs as you can, but on average, a guy gets beaten by the pitcher about 70% of the time anyway. To me, baseball isn’t measured so much in how many times he doesn’t get beat, but by how good he is when he does get something right. In a game where everyone’s set up to fail a majority of the time, you don’t look at mitigating failure, but at degrees of success.

  338. Chuck Says:

    #331

    Unbelievable.

  339. Chuck Says:

    I got to tell you Shaun, if the archives ever become available again, you’ll need surgery to remove your foot from your throat.

  340. brautigan Says:

    Shaun, again, it is perception. I’m not sure if “many” of us discount getting on base, I just think “many” of us think OBP is slightly exaggerated in the scheme of things.

    Let me use Ben Grieve as a poster child for that thinking. Grieve had one of the prettiest swings I ever saw, and I thought he was going to be a great hitter. Look at his numbers. They’re pretty darn good. Guess what? Those numbers lie. Grieve was a terrible player in the sense he was not good on the base paths nor did he have good defensive skills. He got too deep with the batting eye and let alot of good pitches go by.

    You consistently make the comment about out avoidance. When I played, the coach had us looking at how many outs the other team has to make. In a 9 inning game, there were 27 outs, and we would tick them off each time we made an out. It did two things, one, it kept us focused in the field and it kept us loose at the plate. The one problem I have with “out avoidance” is that you play a player who is good at out avoidance, but is not good at getting the other guys out. Which is also a pretty darn important aspect to baseball.

  341. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, yes, we do need to look at was a hitter does when he gets something right. But you also need to look at how many times he fundamentally succeeds and fails. Just because hitters fail most of the time doesn’t mean how many times they succeeds is irrelevant. That’s an odd way to look at the game.

    It’s a fact that teams that get on base and slug better than the others are going to score more runs. All teams are going to get on base less than 40 percent of the time. But it’s very relevant if one team is getting on base at a .340 clip and another is getting on at a .310 clip. Just because both teams are failing, in the most fundamental baseball sense, most of the time doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a big impact on which offense is better and that you shouldn’t look at how often they are succeeding.

  342. Cameron Says:

    You know who out avoidance is bad for? Pitchers. If pitchers are good at avoiding outs, they’re bad at pitching.

    That’s one thing that gets on my ass about sabermetrics, it’s so focused on hitters. Hitters are only half the game and they seem to be 99% of what sabermetrics talk about.

  343. Chuck Says:

    “Finally, I’ve gotten through”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  344. Raul Says:

    If you’re Manny Ramirez…why the hell is it taking so long to sign?

    I mean you’re dying to get in the game, just take the league minimum and sign with Oakland. At this point it can’t be about anything but the chance to play.

  345. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, I would love for you to find and point out where I’ve used outs made without using it in conjunction with OBP, plate appearances or times on base.

    brautigan, you look at Ben Grieve’s stats and you see a couple of decent seasons, a lot of mediocre seasons and a lot of poor seasons. But that’s only if you look at the right stats and you’re using the stats appropriately. If you are completely careless with the stats, you might see what you are seeing, which are pretty darn good numbers out of Ben Grieve.

    You look at Grieve’s career OPS+ of 113, you look at a career as a corner-outfielder without much defensive value if any, you look at all the seasons where he struggled to post OPS+ of over 100 and quite a few barely over or under 100 and you see a dime-a-dozen-type player that has little value to a team. Only the wrong numbers lie or using the numbers inappropriately lie.

    I like that last paragraph you wrote quite a bit. I think people should look at offense in terms of defense. When your team is in the field, you might hear an opposing player called a “tough out.” Yet, some think it’s overrated to be a tough out, i.e., a player good at getting on base.

    The one problem with your last paragraph is that I’ve never said anything about playing a player who is not good at getting outs. Pitchers and defensive players who can get outs are just as valuable as hitters who can avoid them. I don’t disagree with you there.

  346. Raul Says:

    Gary Carter is dead.

  347. Chuck Says:

    Shit..

  348. Cameron Says:

    …That just knocked all the wind out of me.

  349. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, if you think sabermetrics is focused on hitters, where have you been? There are plenty of what most would call sabermetric stats and concepts that relate to defense.

  350. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, the concept of defense-independent pitching, BABIP, Defensive Runs Saved, etc.?

    I think the thing is there is not much disagreement between the more sabermetrically inclined and the more traditionalist as far as evaluating pitchers and defense. Every now and then you might find a few. But even traditionalist realize Jeter is probably not a very good shortstop, especially at this point in his career.

  351. Shaun Says:

    Cameron, there is just more controversy in measuring offense. For instance, sabermetrically inclined don’t want to look at RBI at all while the more traditional approach says that RBI are important if not of vital importance for middle of the order hitters. So there is more to discuss there and more controversy there.

  352. brautigan Says:

    Sorry about Carter, but it’s not like we didn’t see this coming. When the tumors re-emerged after the chemo, the writing was on the wall.

  353. Bob Says:

    R.I.P.

  354. Raul Says:

    WHEN HAVE YOU EVER, EVER ON THIS SITE SEEN ANYONE BASE A PLAYER’S GREATNESS ON RBI?

    WHEN?

    I literally have never f*cking seen it on this site. Ever.

  355. Raul Says:

    Sorry.

    Really.

    I got carried away.

  356. brautigan Says:

    Tommy Davis 1962.

    Now you have Raul.

    :)

  357. brautigan Says:

    I have two favorites:

    A) Brook Jacoby hits 32 homeruns for the Indians. He has 69 RBI to show for it.
    B) In his 1971 rookie season, Enzo Hernandez has over 600 total plate appearances and collects 12 RBI. Wes Ferrell had over 12 RBI’s in a seaon 9 times.

  358. brautigan Says:

    *season*

  359. Chuck Says:

    “But even traditionalist realize Jeter is probably not a very good shortstop..”

    But a traditionalist can tell you why.

  360. Raul Says:

    Not much of a fan of ESPN writing but Tim Kurkjian wrote a nice piece on Gary Carter.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7520886/hall-fame-catcher-gary-carter-was-ferocious-competitor

  361. Cameron Says:

    Derek Jeter is one of the greatest shortstops of all time. …Well, let me rephrase that. He’s one of the greatest players of all-time who happened to play shortstop.

  362. brautigan Says:

    @359: observation will tell you why Jeter was not considered a good shortstop. But we cannot trust what we see until the distant point when some nasal sounding dweeb(picture heavy glasses on the sphenoidal cavity) explains the QZIT defensive metric.

    Which makes me wonder if the nasal sounding dweeb puts a right handed glove on his right hand?

  363. John Says:

    “But you’re right, outs in general don’t matter.

    The “kind of outs” means everything.”

    Holy shiiii….

  364. Mike Felber Says:

    This board has been very active. The speech was usually more restrained & circumspect, & citing an average race difference that is related to culture is not offensive. Besides not using a sexist term like bitch for a whiner, things are going well overall. And for the record, a calm & detailed argument is not a “rant”.

    The saber stats used properly overwhelmingly tell a good story of value. Some talk is mere differences in terms or what angle things are looked at. Avoiding outs is clearly very important, even though it is talked about as getting on base & techniques that help this. Inside out or vice versa, amounts to the same thing.

    I think most all can say why Jeter is not a good SS. But traditionalists TENDED to notice less his now very limited range. And his skill at routine plays, & flash/style on moderate difficulty ones, would lend one who only relied on eyes to tend to not fully notice how many outs he makes compared to opportunities.

    Though still an HOF man. As is C.B. & T.R. Long may they Reign!

  365. Raul Says:

    But traditionalists TENDED to notice less his now very limited range.

    You make this statement with literally no way to back that up whatsoever.

  366. John Says:

    @362, anyone whose ever watched Jeter play no he struggles at going to his left.

    The fact that he, year in and year out, gets to fewer balls than any other full-time shortstop is a simple statistical reflection of his shortcomings in the field.

    Still a great player, but it’s amazing that people have tied his bat to his glove, as if they’re intrinsically linked. It’d be like saying that Pedro Martinez was a dominant hitter.

  367. John Says:

    *knows

  368. Raul Says:

    It’s prime douchebaggery that saberheads ALWAYS feel the need to mention Jeter’s defense when talking about him.

    Something they conveniently overlooked when they were sucking everyone’s dicks to get Jim Rice elected.

  369. Chuck Says:

    “The fact that he, year in and year out, gets to fewer balls than any other full-time shortstop is a simple statistical reflection of his shortcomings in the field”

    Why?

  370. Chuck Says:

    Miguel Montero led all ML catchers last year in throwing out runners at 46%.

    Jesus Montero’s two best seasons TOGETHER is 39%

  371. Raul Says:

    Miguel Montero’s got a pretty good bat, too.

  372. Chuck Says:

    One of the afternoon hosts on the Phoenix ESPN affiliate was an Expos fan and became a Mets fan after the trade of Carter.

    The guy was crying on the air talking about the Kid.

  373. brautigan Says:

    I nitpick on Jeter’s defense for one reason and one reason only:

    Stratomatic has given Jeter a “1″ or a “2″ forever when he has never deserved those ratings. Even getting a “3″ this year was a gift. So basically Stratomatic is saying Jeter is a better fielding shortstop than Ronny Cedeno.

    Ok, I’m done on Jeter.

  374. brautigan Says:

    I get it. I cried in 1985 when Maris died. I still have this scrapbook from Cub Scouts with a pictue of Roger Maris and next to it in my handwriting is “MY HERO: ROGER MARIS”.

  375. John Says:

    “It’s prime douchebaggery that saberheads ALWAYS feel the need to mention Jeter’s defense when talking about him.

    Something they conveniently overlooked when they were sucking everyone’s dicks to get Jim Rice elected.”

    No saberhead wanted Rice elected.

  376. Raul Says:

    The Carter death is going to sting for a lot of people.
    Sad.

  377. John Says:

    Gary Carter’s the kind of guy you tell your son to model your game after.

    RIP.

  378. John Says:

    In 1975, Gary Carter finished 2nd for the ROY – interestingly, he primarily played RF that season.

  379. Chuck Says:

    “I cried in 1985 when Maris died.”

    For me it was Bobby Murcer.

    Bob Allison was tough, Bobby Bonds was tough, so was Killebrew and a few other guys, but when Murcer died, I popped in the “Munson game” and just watched.

  380. Mike Felber Says:

    What are you talking about Raul? Your chronically POed default state has made your inner analyzinator (sic) go berserker.

    Saber guys are virtually unanimous in being opposed to the election of Rice. Bill James famously wrote about it years ago in his Baseball Abstract, including how adding up total contributions & the little things, underrated Roy White was more valuable & better over a career.

    We all, & i at great length a few years ago here,wrote about how his home/road splits inflated his value, the powerhouse raw #s made him seem better than he was, that even at his peak he did not approach the best years of those of his generation. Part of it was mediocre fielding, no base running contributions, a terrible rate of GIDP, & largely few walks/relatively low OBP. Which relates to out made. He was good overall, but his 128 OBP & not disproportionate
    peak for a corner outfielder whose only virtue was offense does not exactly scream HOF.

  381. Mike Felber Says:

    It is not mean to note Jeter’s defensive lapses, especially when we also describe him a a legitimate HOF man. You complain that SM guys note this, yet really believe that traditional guys are equally aware & critical of his deficit?

    Here & elsewhere those who are dismissive of SM, & especially modern fielding metrics, minimize his range problems. Though I did not claim that many are also not more or less aware of it. I am talking about strong tendencies.

  382. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant to note how his very strong lineups around him & park inflated Rice’s raw #s substantially. But anyone thinking Saber guys trumpeted him does not understand well how they consider context, & the the overall true value of players.

  383. Cameron Says:

    ““I cried in 1985 when Maris died.”

    For me it was Bobby Murcer.”

    Hasn’t happened to me yet, but if I ever hear the news about Greg Maddux, I’m gonna be a trainwreck.

  384. Chuck Says:

    I think Raul meant Bert Blyleven.

    It cracks me up no end when I hear some stat junkie giving (or taking) sabermetrics credit for him finally getting elected.

    Biggest load of crap since OWS.

  385. Chuck Says:

    “Biggest load of crap since OWS.”

    Sorry, I meant “modern fielding metrics”.

  386. Lefty33 Says:

    NY Post is reporting that the Burnett saga will likely end today or tomorrow with the Pirates absorbing 13-15 million of the 33 million owed to Burnett.

    After that deal is done the Yankees will then finally sign Raul Ibanez to be the other half of their DH platoon.

  387. Cameron Says:

    So… I remember when I saw that Curt Chilling had created a video game company. He employed a famous fantasy novelist to write story and the illustrator for several art-heavy comics to be the artist.

    …I have seen their finished product. It… Is really good. I had my doubts considering the head of the production, but I guess baseball makes you good at making video games. Who knew?

  388. Chuck Says:

    First day with Brewers is Feb 25th..check in day.

    Signed a MLB issed “non-disclosure” form which basically prohibits all communication to be through “official team channels” and bans blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    So, looks like I’m on vacation from the internet for six weeks.

    Like John said…”off the grid” for awhile.

  389. Raul Says:

    Congratulations Chuck.

  390. Cameron Says:

    Congrats, Chuck. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of interesting stories when you come back if you’re allowed to tell ‘em. If not, well… Have fun anyway, man.

  391. Chuck Says:

    Meh….

    I don’t know, other than Saturday and Sunday I probably won’t have much player interaction.

    Once the games start I’ll be in the ballpark in some capacity but won’t know from day to day what I’ll be doing.

    When I was interviewed I said I didn’t want to be stuck doing one thing all the time, which they seemed OK with considering my experiences, so we’ll see.

    Getting paid to watch baseball?

    Now that I’m down with.

  392. brautigan Says:

    If the equipment manager from USC is still there, please tell him “GO DUCKS” for me. I am sure he will appreciate it.

  393. Bob Says:

    Chuck, congrats.

  394. Bob Says:

    Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement today.

  395. Bob Says:

    Hideki Okajima failed his physical, allowing the Yanks to void his contract.

  396. Chuck Says:

    Royals report on Tuesday.

    I’m off on Tuesday.

    Any guesses to where I’ll be?

  397. Bob Says:

    Will you SURPRISE us with the answer?

  398. John Says:

    Congrats Chuck! I would literally give a testicle to be you right now.

  399. Chuck Says:

    Good one, Bob.

  400. Bob Says:

    Thank you.

  401. John Says:

    Bert Blyleven started out at 17.5%, got as low as 14.1%, and still wasn’t getting in against guys like Rice, Gossage, and Sutter.

    It’s pretty obvious that the numbers voters were looking at in 1998 were 288-250, and the numbers people were looking at in 2011 were 90.1 and 3701.

  402. Chuck Says:

    Sabermetrics have been “en vogue” for longer than Blyleven was on the ballot, if they had anything to do with it he’d have been in the HOF ten years ago.

    Don’t EVEN go there.

  403. Shaun Says:

    The thought that the sabermetric community wanted Jim Rice in the Hall of Fame shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the sabermetric community.

    “But even traditionalist realize Jeter is probably not a very good shortstop..”

    But a traditionalist can tell you why.

    Sabermetricians don’t claim they are telling you why, in most cases. They are telling you what is based on the evidence.

    observation will tell you why Jeter was not considered a good shortstop. But we cannot trust what we see until the distant point when some nasal sounding dweeb(picture heavy glasses on the sphenoidal cavity) explains the QZIT defensive metric.

    No. You shouldn’t completely trust what you see in all cases until you have some sort of evidence to go on outside of your own observation or outside of some other person’s observations. Has nothing to do with listening to a “dweeb.” It has to do with paying attention to evidence in addition to your observation.

  404. Cameron Says:

    Go Royals! And for all the kids called into ST, PLEASE play your fucking hearts out. At this point, I don’t care if you’re rushed or not. I can’t spend another year crossing my fingers for Luke Hochevar to somehow be awesome.

  405. Cameron Says:

    Also, only two #1 overall picks (Steve Chilcott and Brien Taylor) have retired without playing a day in the majors. Looking at Matt Bush and Tim Beckham… Could it be 4 soon?

  406. Shaun Says:

    Blyleven got in because eventually the truth will trump the deception of looking at the wrong statistics and the deception of our own limited understanding.

    The truth is bigger than some stat that tradition alone has told us is important and the truth is bigger than our limited perspective and limited ability to observe and understand things.

    You get enough people striving for truth and eventually it will be uncovered.

  407. Chuck Says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Bubba Starling, although I probably won’t be able to.

  408. Shaun Says:

    If Tim Beckham can remain at short, I think he can at least be a fringe major leaguer. If he develops any power and he is capable of playing shortstop, I think he could be a second-division everyday player.

  409. Cameron Says:

    I dunno, Chuck. He might be in for workouts, just not see any game time.

  410. Chuck Says:

    Unless the Royals play a minor league game in Maryvale.

  411. Cameron Says:

    I dunno. Knowing the Royals, they may give him a non-roster invite to ST, have him work out and talk with the scouts and guys like Brett who show up to camp to talk to the guys to give them tips. Might spend a couple weeks in the major league camp in workouts before getting optioned down.

  412. Chuck Says:

    Um, no.

    Brett DOES spend a lot of time with the minor leaguers, so I’m sure that conversation will happen, but the only time Starling will spend in major league camp is if he takes a wrong turn walking out of the clubhouse.

  413. Cameron Says:

    Probably.

  414. John Says:

    “Sabermetrics have been “en vogue” for longer than Blyleven was on the ballot, if they had anything to do with it he’d have been in the HOF ten years ago.”

    But because old-ass writers (roughly 50 years behind the times) with no clue how to evaluate baseball players have and still gotten to vote on the HOF, they weighed down Blyleven’s percentage.

    As those guys died off and smart writers got votes, Blyleven’s numbers rose.

  415. Raul Says:

    “It’s pretty obvious that the numbers voters were looking at in 1998 were 288-250, and the numbers people were looking at in 2011 were 90.1 and 3701.”

    Right. That HAD to be it. Because you have no way of showing otherwise.

  416. Chuck Says:

    “They are telling you what is based on the evidence.”

    Can you read Chinese, John?

    If someone handed you a book in Chinese, all you could say with 100% certainty is you’re holding a book.

    But you can’t explain what the book says.

    That’s what happens when you try and explain baseball using just sabermetrics, because they might as well be Chinese.

    There’s no stat, traditional or otherwise, that can tell us why Jeter sucks going to his left, that’s why observation is more important..without it, the stats have no context.

    I think it was Bill James who said stats don’t end arguments, they just start them.

  417. Lefty33 Says:

    As those guys died off and smart writers got votes, Blyleven’s numbers rose.”

    Not exactly.

    What really helped Blyleven was when he shut his pie hole and stopped politicking for induction both on the air and when making public appearances.

    Not a good idea to show up the very people he was hoping to induct him.

    That’s what played a huge part in him getting inducted.

    As simplistic as it sounds what certain people on this site need to remember is that the voters are HUMAN and what that comes flaws, biases, and personal feelings.

    While that sucks it’s perfectly allowable and as much as some of us think that’s unscientific, not fair, or what ever other term you want to use, it’s also what makes the HOF vote in Baseball the most interesting in sports.

    Take that element out and far fewer people would give a damn about the process or the induction. It’s the controversy, like posting this in February for no reason, that guarantees that nothing will never change.

  418. John Says:

    “There’s no stat, traditional or otherwise, that can tell us why Jeter sucks going to his left”

    You’re right, there’s not.

    What we are able to roughly approximate is that

    a) He gets to fewer balls than an average shortstop, year-in and year-out
    b) How that deficiency affects his overall standing as a ballplayer.

    And in case you were wondering about (b), he’s still one of the very best shortstops ever. Happy?

  419. John Says:

    I guess Lefty makes a decent point in 417. Blyleven came off as a real tool – but he was doing that even later in his candidacy, when Dawson and Rice and company were getting inducted.

    He wasn’t heavily advertising himself when he first hit the ballot, and he was looking at less than 20%. Absolutely ridiculous.

  420. Chuck Says:

    “What we are able to roughly approximate is that.”

    Fail.

  421. Raul Says:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees have agreed to a trade that would send right-hander A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh and were awaiting approval from the commissioner’s office Friday, sources said.

    The Pirates will send right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones to New York in return, sources said. Moreno, a 25-year-old from Venezuela, has split the last two seasons between Class A and Double-A minor league teams, while Cayones, who is 20, spent 2011 in Class A.

    The approval of the commissioner’s office is needed because of the money involved. The Pirates will pay $13 million of the $31.1 million remaining on Burnett’s contract, sources said. (Burnett is on a year-round contract and has already been paid $1.9 million in 2012.)

    As a Yankee the past three seasons, Burnett is 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA. He is 121-111 with a 4.10 ERA in 13 seasons with the Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins.

    As soon as the Burnett deal is done, the Yankees will begin the aggressive pursuit of a veteran designated hitter, sources said.

    Sources said that there is a good deal of sentiment within the Yankees organization to go after Raul Ibanez — who wants to play for the team — to be their designated hitter against right-handers, partly because they believe he can give them some days of outfield play.

    Although Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are also available, they are generally regarded as unplayable defensively, sources said.

  422. John Says:

    “Although Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are also available, they are generally regarded as unplayable defensively, sources said.”

    That’s fair.

    “Sources said that there is a good deal of sentiment within the Yankees organization to go after Raul Ibanez — who wants to play for the team — to be their designated hitter against right-handers, partly because they believe he can give them some days of outfield play.”

    Wait…what?

    I mean, Damon’s got a wussy little arm and everything, but is Ibanez really viewed as a more viable occasional outfield option than Damon is?

    I think that’s absurd.

  423. Cameron Says:

    Not really, John. Considering the wear and tear Damon’s gotten on his legs now, he’s only about a step or so faster than Ibanez in the field and Raul has a better arm. Guy’s also still got a little bit of pop compared to Damon’s lack of. Raul’s the better option to me too.

    …That said, why haven’t they called Vlad Guerrero? Sure he’s not a lefty, but he’s a better option than either of them if you ask me.

  424. Bob Says:

    Brandon Inge will be given a chance to be the Tigers 2nd baseman. It appears the Tigers are hellbent at keeping Cabrera in the field at all costs. Although I remember when Torey Lovullo, Chris Pittaro and Howard Johnson were all going to supplant Tom Brookens. Then Sparky remembered defense counts at the hot corner by May 1st.
    Wonder if Leyaland is similar to Sparky in his thinking. Prediction, Inge will be at 3rd come may 1st.

  425. John Says:

    Someone please explain Leyland/Tigers to me.

    You have Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Delmon Young on your team.

    WHY ARE YOU PUTTING ALL OF THEM IN THE FIELD AND DHing RYAN RABURN?!

    That doesn’t make any f*cking sense.

  426. Bob Says:

    I hear you. Although I will wait until April 20th before I go ballistic.

  427. Bob Says:

    We do need an article on the Tigers though.

  428. Chuck Says:

    Well, then get yourself busy Bob.

  429. Bob Says:

    1. @ 428.Fair enough
    2. At everybody. TGIF!

  430. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 422 & 423-

    Worst kept secret in Baseball is that Ibanez is going to become a Yankee.

    The Yankees have been trying to move Burnett since December and Ibanez’s name has been associated with them since then.

    They’ve just been waiting to see how much salary Pittsburgh, or whomever, would subsidize so that they can have their financial house in order.

    Seeing as they are on the glidepath to being under the luxury tax cap by 2014.

  431. Lefty33 Says:

    “I mean, Damon’s got a wussy little arm and everything, but is Ibanez really viewed as a more viable occasional outfield option than Damon is?”

    Ibanez has more pop in his bat, a better throwing arm, and he’s not a self-serving douche.

    So yeah he’s easily the better choice.

  432. John Says:

    …but Damon’s better at baseball.

    So he’s easily the better choice.

  433. John Says:

    The Yankees already have more power than they know what to do with. They’re set in the outfield with Gardner, Granderson, and Swisher. And everyone on the Yankees is a douche, most notably their clutchy captain.

    But yeah, Ibanez hit 4 more home runs, so go with him.

  434. Chuck Says:

    “And everyone on the Yankees is a douche, most notably their clutchy captain..”

    So says the guy whose avatar is a juicer.

  435. John Says:

    Braun’s original test was October 1st.

    It’s February 17 now.

    But yeah, sure. He was definitely juicing.

  436. Mike Felber Says:

    That is great news for you Chuck! Though i will sorry to see you gone here for a while.

    Captain Bly was gracious when i exchanged a couple of E-Mails with him. That it took years for him to get in in no way reflects poorly on modern metrics or their influence. John is correct about the intransigent older voters & new ones coming in, but surely some of the old guys were persuaded & felt the pressure to see how good he was, not just accumulating, but his total value in his peak years.

    Its a funny thing why a guy has a bad arm absent injury, or even what goes into making it a cannon. Best ever, barring pitchers seems like it was Rocky Colavito.

  437. Chuck Says:

    “But yeah, sure. He was definitely juicing”

    He was.

    Definitely.

    So, when are you going to change the picture?

    When his suspension is upheld, or when the Brewers are 12 games out on Memorial Day?

  438. John Says:

    He was. Definitely. That’s why he passed at least 8 drug tests while performing at a nearly identical level.

    Why do you think it’s taken literally all off-season to hand down a suspension?

  439. Chuck Says:

    “That’s why he passed at least 8 drug tests while performing at a nearly identical level”

    He passed two.

    There is no testing during the off-season. New CBA rules start this year.

    “Why do you think it’s taken literally all off-season to hand down a suspension?”

    Statheads on the panel?

    They’re still trying to figure out what testosterone is.

  440. John Says:

    That’s your excuse?

    Seriously?

    There has never been another instance of them taking this fucking long on appeal.

  441. Cameron Says:

    Nothing better to do?

  442. Cameron Says:

    I’m just curious, the other major 3 sports (NHL, NFL, NBA) have one league-wide MVP whereas we have the NL and AL MVP. You think it might be more itneresting to switch to one MLB MVP?

  443. Chuck Says:

    “There has never been another instance of them taking this fucking long on appeal”

    True.

    Never been a successful one, either.

    Holy shit, Cam..that was not your best idea.

  444. Cameron Says:

    Just curious, not advocating it. Personally, I like us being different. Just bringing up the point of discussion

  445. Raul Says:

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…

    So I’m reading Jim Bowden’s grades of offseason moves when it come to the Kansas City Royals, whom he graded a B-minus.

    “Key Transactions:

    Acquired LHP Jonathan Sanchez and LHP Ryan Verdugo from San Francisco for OF Melky Cabrera; signed LHP Bruce Chen, two years, $9 million; signed RHP Jonathan Broxton, one year, $4 million; signed SS Yuniesky Betancourt, one year, $2 million; signed LHP Jose Mijares, one year, $925,000.

    Bowden’s Take

    The best move the Royals made this offseason was keeping all of their top prospects. The trade for Sanchez was a worthwhile gamble; if he can improve his control, he could become a No. 2 starter. Moore also did well in trading Cabrera while his value was high. Chen has proved that he’s a solid No. 4. After signing Gil Meche in 2007, Moore has learned his lesson that expensive free agents often don’t pay.”

    So…the Royals signed Yuniesky Betancourt???

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  446. Chuck Says:

    So………………

    Is there now any doubt why Jim Bowden is no longer a major league GM, and instead is on a Keith Law career path?

    Re

    Tard

  447. John Says:

    Dayton Moore is gonna screw up the best young batch of talent in a generarion.

    Sorry, Cam.

  448. Mike Felber Says:

    Having a highest level ever detected test result out of the blue also raises suspicion of error. We at least have no good idea of Braun got brawny through the use of PEDs.

    Though if Chuck is right on those corrections of your claims re: the structure of drug testing John & how often he passed John, you should acknowledge that.

  449. Chuck Says:

    #447

    Not possible.

    Moore isn’t a stats guy, nor are the Royals a stats driven organization.

    Notice how many franchises who haven’t had a pick in the top five the last ten years have a farm system as good as KC?

    The answer is none.

  450. Chuck Says:

    It’s impossible to have a testosterone reading as high as what Braun had accidently.

    You can plead the fifth all day long and it won’t make a shitball of difference.

    You can blame the testing, you can blame the lab tech being Steve Bartman, you can blame it on Halley’s Comet, you can blame it on anything.

    Bottom line is Braun, being fully aware of the MLB drug policy and the banned substance list, willingly and knowingly taking something he knew to be in violation of the drug policy.

    Sorry, but the “dog ate my homework” excuse doesn’t fly for adults.

    Hope he enjoys his vacation.

  451. Chuck Says:

    Holy shit

    Today is the eighth anniversary of the Yankees acquiring Alex Rodriguez.

    Damn..didn’t think it was that long.

    He goes into the HOF as a Yankee.

    Sigh.

  452. Chuck Says:

    I saw him play in the minors and in the AFL, and I wasn’t all that impressed, at least not to the point where he would ever perform at the major league level he did.

    Considering his injury and the subsequent position flipping, I’m guessing Buster Posey’s comeback this year won’t be anything to write home about.

    Over/Under

    .270/18/80?

  453. Cameron Says:

    Over/Over/Under

  454. John Says:

    @450, it’s not possible to have that testosterone level period.

    If you bleew a .98 on a breathalizer, wouldn’t you, being not-dead, questiin the resul?

  455. John Says:

    @452, that line from a catcher is pretty damn good. Even then, taking the over

    Also, BA/HR/RBI is a retarded way to evaluate a ballplayer.

  456. Chuck Says:

    #454

    I understand you’re defending your favorite player, and I respect that, but what you know about the human body is less than what you know about baseball.

    Which, when you think about it, is rather shocking.

    Seriously, take three Viagra, wait an hour, and have a blood draw.

    Have a three egg omelet with broccoli, spinach and two slice of bacon, and have a blood draw.

    Which do you think would give the higher testosterone level?

    If you guessed the Viagra, you would be wrong.

    What Ryan Braun got from his “supplements”, he could easily have gotten from his breakfast.

    So, yeah.

    He cheated, and he did so intentionally.

    Get over it, John.

    Pouring a bottle of perfume on a pile of shit doesn’t cover the fact it’s still shit, and eventually the true fragrance will prevail.

    LOL

  457. Chuck Says:

    BA/HR/RBI is THE slash line.

    You know it, whether you agree with or not is a different story.

    Stop being a dick.

  458. Raul Says:

    He can’t help it.

  459. Mike Felber Says:

    John was just saying it was not a good way to gague actual performance.

    I do not know that it would be impossible for Braun to get that Testosterone level, but that is easily researched. But if it is way higher than eithe rhe or anyone ever tested, it could be a testing error.

    No high protein or other food combinations will give you a huge, anywhere near taking PEDs type of spike. The variation in what a healthy guy will get from diet variations is fairly dwarfed by how much cheaters normally pump into their bodies.

  460. Raul Says:

    No fucking shit?
    Because that’s all people do, right? Everyone just looks at the slash line to determine a player’s worth.

    This shit is getting really fucking old at this point.

  461. Chuck Says:

    No, Mike, he was being a dick.

    Watch a game on TV, look at the back of a baseball card, read a Baseball Digest article.

    BA/HR/RBI is the slash line.

    You can argue all day long about whether or not it gives a true reflection of performance all day long.

    And you’d probably be right.

    But it doesn’t change the fact when you say “slash line” to someone, that’s what it means.

  462. Lefty33 Says:

    “but Damon’s better at baseball.

    So he’s easily the better choice.”

    You’re right….if this were 2006.

  463. Chuck Says:

    “No high protein or other food combinations will give you a huge, anywhere near taking PEDs type of spike. The variation in what a healthy guy will get from diet variations is fairly dwarfed by how much cheaters normally pump into their bodies.”

    While I appreciate you keeping it less than 500 words, saying nothing with nothing doesn’t change.

    The point, Rev. Felber, is the “boost” Braun got from his vitamin supplements he could have easily attained by a high protein diet.

    Need I remind you I have two degrees in diet and nutrition and over 25 years experience in the field, the fact you would even consider contradicting something I said is a monumental brain fart on your part, not to mention actually following through on the thought.

  464. Lefty33 Says:

    Ibanez is taking a physical this weekend and his signing should be announced by Monday at the latest.

  465. John Says:

    Ibanez is 40., or 3 years older than Damon. His only edge? 5ish more HR. What a joke that he’s better than Damon.

  466. Cameron Says:

    If they were aging the same way, maybe. However, Ibanez is aging like a cheap wine and Damon more like milk. Both of these guys are getting old and slow to the point where they’re borderline unplayable in the field. Ibanez’s arm now is better than Damon’s in his prime (I saw Damon in his prime, he throws worse than Mike Piazza), Ibanez has the power edge and these guys are about even on contact.

    Both of these guys are DHs now pretty much, and if it’s coming down to power being the deciding factor, you have to go with more power.

  467. Raul Says:

    Spoken like a jackass who has no way of knowing who’s the better defender because defensive metrics suck ass.

  468. Cameron Says:

    Raul, if Damon had a glove worth playing everyday, he would’ve been played every day. You look in a league where Luke Scott can start in left field and Johnny Damon can’t what does that tell you?

  469. Lefty33 Says:

    “Ibanez is 40., or 3 years older than Damon”

    The man puts in a Jerry Rice-esque offseason workout routine.

    He’s in better physical condition than 99% of the players in the league.

    Him being 40 is not like most guys being 40 or even 35.

    “His only edge?”

    1. He doesn’t throw like a girl.

    2. He hits for more power.

    3. He’s not trying to continue to play for a self serving run at 3000.

    4. He’ll come far cheaper which is what the Yankees want as they continue to emphasize frugality with the team’s payroll.

  470. Mike Felber Says:

    Makes sense on Ibanez Lefty.

    Chuck, John’s recent comment did not deny the obvious, that average Hrs & RBIs are what is called stat line. He merely added it is a terrible way to evaluate a player. I do not see why that comment is considered provocative.

    I can see why yours is to me. 1st, I respect your degrees in nutrition, did not know it was two. Yet that blunderbuss attack re: me daring to disagree with you-how can that not sound like pure arrogance?

    Need I remind you that expertise has much use, but even experts can & do 1) sometimes disagree with each other, 2) are sometimes factually incorrect. Think I am wrong, make your case, don’t go all mocky (sic) on my polite disagreement.

    Also, the Rev. thing: how was I remotely preachy? I made a couple of dispassionate statements, not even any moral judgements!

    It was not at all “nothing”. You just differ, which done rationally, is fine.

    Now to defend the substance of my statements-no, they were not contested, I will address yours.

    Actually your words could mean several things, so i will just ask you. The boost Braun got from supplements: do you mean the TESTED T-levels? If those were accurate, how could he possibly get them either from a legitimate, uncontaminated legal supplement, or any dietary change?

    If you mean something waaaay lower than measured, then sure. But if you mean that the T-increase one can get from one meal-or even a long term regimen-could rival that of his through the roof tested level, one which I believe no human absent drugs could accurately test for, even adolescent males with their sudden spikes, then I say show me how this is possible.

    If I somehow misunderstood, just tell me what else you might have meant. Absent sarcasm would be preferred.

  471. Cameron Says:

    The day Johnny Damon gets voted into the Hall of Fame is the day I burn it down. Fuck Johnny Damon and everyone who looks like him.

  472. Lefty33 Says:

    “Fuck Johnny Damon and everyone who looks like him.”

    That Charles Manson look he had in Boston was awesome.

    “The day Johnny Damon gets voted into the Hall of Fame is the day I burn it down.”

    If that ever happens give me a call…I’ll help because if he makes it that likely means that jokers like Morris and Raines are in as well.

  473. Mike Felber Says:

    Well if folks can keep using Raines as a punching bag, I will just say he is deserving, his peak & overall value were somewhat higher than the others, also one of the greatest lead off hitters & best SB % ever.

    You guys worry me jus’ a little with all this arson talk.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfSAcVq6s9c

  474. Lefty33 Says:

    Mike, I may have been in your neighborhood last week.

    I was doing the tourist thing with the old lady and we stopped for lunch at Eatery on 53rd and 9th.

    I didn’t see some dude on the corner in an Expos jersey protesting something so maybe we weren’t that close. :)

  475. Mike Felber Says:

    Hah! Good one Lefty.

    Actually, I live just several doors down from that place, on 9th between 52/53rd! See the Holey Cream Ice Cream Parlor next to it? Had a 22 year old paint murals there, one a whole wall, for the ‘10 festival. That was before I found out how the owner treated his employees…

    Look me up if you are around again! I’ll say hi & hang out with you folks if you like, show you where to get the best pizza or diner food…michaelmfelber@aol.com. Or for art or eccentric magazine links, ArtistsintheKitchen.org

  476. Cameron Says:

    Don’t worry Mike, no one can prove it was us. Right, Billy Joel?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g&ob=av3e

  477. John Says:

    What a joke that Ibanez is better than Damon.

    Seriously.

    The guy had a .289 OBP last year. .289. That’s pathetic.

    He can’t run. Damon can’t throw, but Ibanez can’t run, and that’s FAR more important as an OFer.

    Whoever the Yankees sign would be a BACK-UP outfielder, in any case. The Yankees are set in the OF. This guy would be DHing mostly, and Ibanez, like I said, had a freaking 91 OPS+ last year.

    And you’re thinking that the Yankees – a team that led THE FUCKING WORLD in HR last year, desperately need a guy who hit 20 more than they need a guy who hit 16 (in a much tougher ballpark)?

    No, that’s sheer lunacy.

    For the DH/back-up OF role, the Yankees should want a player who will get on base ahead of the big boppers, and doesn’t move like a freaking snail.

    They should also want a player who wasn’t BELOW REPLACEMENT VALUE last year.

    I’m fairly sure no one’s actually promoting Damon for the HOF. I’m just saying he’s better than Raul Ibanez, who isn’t very good at baseball, is 40, can’t run and can’t get on base.

    And don’t give me shit about Ibanez’s off-season workout routine. If it was so awesome, he would’ve been worth more than 0.3 WAR in 2010-2011 combined.

  478. Raul Says:

    The joke is that every fucking article online says Damon and Matsui are virtually unplayable defensively, and for you to talk about OBP shows how fucking warped your mind is.

    2011 vs RHP
    Damon: .255/.314/.401
    Ibanez: .256/.307/.440

    Ibanez is the more playable defender and there are no concerns about Ibanez selfishly pursuing 3,000 hits. He clearly wants to join the team and comes cheap.

    What the fuck is the problem?

  479. Bob Says:

    1. Now that Wakefield and Javier Vasquez have retired, C.C. Sabathia is the active strikeout leader with 2,017.

    2. It was the left shoulder of Okijima that was sub-par.

    3. Wakefield had 4 offers, 1 of them a big league deal. But they did not come from Boston. Some people think that Wake could come out of retirement for the Sox if

    a.. They get hit hard by injuries.
    b. They are in the race at the time of said injuries.
    4. The Phillies were considering Burnett, but they would have been forced to move Blanton.

  480. John Says:

    “Ibanez is the more playable defender and there are no concerns about Ibanez selfishly pursuing 3,000 hits. He clearly wants to join the team and comes cheap.”

    NO

    HE’S

    NOT

    Ibanez is HORRIFIC in the OF. Have you ever seen him play baseball?

  481. John Says:

    Also, is one of the arguments for Ibanez seriously that he’s had a shittier career, and is therefore nowhere close to the same milestones as Damon?

    “I’m choosing between 2 girls. One is super hot and the other is a fat lard. But I want the second one, because I know she won’t ask me to spend money on a bikini.”

  482. Raul Says:

    Which defensive metric did you use to come up with that statement?

  483. Cameron Says:

    Johnny Damon played all of 16 games in left field last year. Luke Scott, in a year where injuries ate more than half his games, still managed to play 45. Delmon Young played 115. Left field in Toronto was primarily split between Travis Snider and Eric Thames, two guys who can’t catch a beach ball in bullet time.

    If Damon can’t top THAT defensively, yeah, he’s fucking unplayable.

  484. Raul Says:

    Dude, what is your fucking problem?

  485. Cameron Says:

    Holy shit, Johan Santana actually made it through a BP session today with no arm troubles.

    …Well, he’s gone by midseason.

  486. Raul Says:

    Didn’t even notice Vazquez retired.

  487. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think he officially has, but he’s not returning anyone’s phone calls far as I can tell. He’s not making a big deal of it, he’s just taking his millions and fucking off.

  488. Raul Says:

    He’s still relatively effective.

    Maybe he’s had enough.

  489. John Says:

    If you’ve watched Ibanez play defense, you wouldn’t need a metric.

    He’s old and slow.

    And the metrics do show him being horrible.

    A manifestation of him being slow.

    This is a no-brainer…sign Damon.

  490. Cameron Says:

    Eh, not really. The guy’s fat, old, and broken down and will most likely give you an ERA of 4.50+. Good for him to bow out gracefully.

  491. Cameron Says:

    John, Damon ain’t exactly the lightning-fast kid he used to be either. He’s 38 and those legs have more mileage on them than a used car. While he may be faster than Ibanez, the arms mitigate it and kind of make it a wash to me.

    …However, looking at the numbers again, I did notice a couple things. Overall, Damon’s making better contact here and he did have better power in a worse park. Then again, Raul did bring up a good point that the primary use is as a platoon DH against RHP, and Ibanez has the better splits against RHP.

    However, look where he’d be playing, Yankee Stadium. Left field is the world-famous “No Man’s Land”. Arm or not, I would feel a bit safer with Damon there because he can cover more of that ground. Ibanez may be bad defensively, but Yankee Stadium would break him down fast.

    …On the other hand, Ibanez is gonna come cheaper and he’ll be asking for less playing time most likely since he won’t be trying to spell Gardner actively in the field. If you’re looking mostly for a platoon DH, which I think they are and the outfield depth isn’t as big a priority, that Ibanez is the better option if only because New York’s big priority is getting themselves to cut salary, and save where you can. In context of New York, Damon’s the better defensive option, but if you’re looking at primary DH at-bats, go Ibanez.

  492. Bob Says:

    One of my brother’s is having a birthday party tomorrow. His birthday is actually Monday. Getting trashed this weekend. I know Cameron was close to an article. And Shaun is back. Not sure about anyone else. Should have my Tigers column to John by Wednesday. Is that cool with you guys?

  493. Cameron Says:

    I’ll get on it today, Bob. Got jack shit to do today and I’ve been dragging my feet too long. Though it’s pretty much gonna come down to “If The Tigers win the division by less than 20 games, I’m gonna die laughing.”

  494. Raul Says:

    You’re bitching about a team you hate signing a meaningless part-time DH that will only play 3 games a week.

    Seriously, what the fuck is your problem?

  495. Cameron Says:

    Jeremy Lin puts up 26 for the Knicks, but their seven-game winning streak is snapped by the fucking Hornets. …That’s gotta sting.

  496. Bob Says:

    The way I an considering the article makes me think it will be shorter than usual. Although my brothers are heavy Tiger fans. One of them was born in Michigan. And I am sure that baseball/Tigers is going to be a huge topic of discussion this weekend, so it could change.
    Shit, I may have them write it.

  497. Raul Says:

    Jeremy Lin is proving to be a turnover machine. He’s a quality player, but he has a ways to go. Hopefully he improves.

    It also didn’t help last night that Landry Fields couldn’t score.

  498. Cameron Says:

    I actually like the Tigers so much that they’re my early World Series pick. They’ve got the pitching depth and their lineup’s gonna fuck people up and how.

  499. Cameron Says:

    Well Raul, just pray that you can get Jeremy Lin to resemble Russel Westbrook. Sure Westbrook’s averaging 4.4 TPG, but the dude’s still one of the best point guards in the NBA because of raw scoring ability.

  500. Raul Says:

    Lin can score. But when Amare gets going, and when Carmelo Anthony returns, Lin should focus on getting them the ball.

    He can score 25 points a game, but he shouldn’t have to. The Knicks will be better off with him scoring 10-13 points and getting assists.

  501. Cameron Says:

    No one says you can’t do both, but it does really take a talent to do that. Though I think it might be in the team’s best interests to try to hog the ball just a little bit, if only because at this point, he’s the team’s best outside threat and if you give it to your two forwards, guys are gonna catch on and just body up under the rim. Lin gives you a guy on the perimeter to keep people on their toes. Carmelo can shoot, and very well, but he seems to have this tendency to try and drive to the basket that I just don’t like from a guy who can shoot like he can. Leave the posting up to Amar’e and remind yourself your job is to make it rain shots.

  502. Chuck Says:

    The Yankees have not called and or otherwise spoken to either Damon or Scott Boras.

    They are not interested.

    The things Damon keeps saying about the Yankees “being a perfect” fit are just him trying to get a job.

    The thing about it is, the current “job opening” the Yankees are advertising is a part-time one…they are also bringing back Eric Chavez, who, in case you’ve forgotten, is also a left-handed hitter.

    Girardi has said he wants to use his bench more this year, and the DH job will be filled on occasion by ARod, Jeter, Teixeira and even Granderson or Swisher.

    So, at best the righty DH spot is a 300 PA position, something Damon isn’t interested in, he wants to play every day.

    Another reason why he’s had no offers.

    The biggest factor is Ibanez is a great, great, clubhouse guy. He’s not going to be calling press conferences at 2 am in the hotel lobby bitching and whining because he hasn’t played in a week.

    If Teixeira gets a day off or DH’s, Ibanez can play first (Damon can’t).

    RF in Yankee Stadium is short, if Swisher gets a day off, Ibanez can play right, Damon can’t.

    Another important thing to remember is the Yanks brought back Andruw Jones, who, if Granderson or Gardner get a day off here and there, will actually play LF, and not Ibanez or Damon.

    If Ibanez wanted a million dollars to sign, and Damon said he’d play for free, the Yanks would still sign Ibanez, because he’s the better fit for the team.

  503. Chuck Says:

    “Jeremy Lin puts up 26 for the Knicks, but their seven-game winning streak is snapped by the fucking Hornets.”

    Let me guess…Carmelo’s back?

  504. Cameron Says:

    So Damon’s basically Jermaine Dye-ing himself out of a job. …What is it with former Royals becoming delusional idiots at the end of their careers?

  505. Bob Says:

    A sample size of 4 point guards.

    1. Magic averaged 19.5 points a game and 11.2 assists
    2.. Isiah Thomas 19.2 and 9.3
    3. Nate “Tiny” Archibald. 18.8 and 7.4
    4. Stockton 13.1 and 10.5

  506. Cameron Says:

    Nope, and neither was Eric Gordon for New Orleans. You in large part just got outplayed by the Hornets B-Squad.

  507. Chuck Says:

    #497

    There have been nine individual games in the NBA this year where one player has had 8 or more turnovers.

    Jeremy Lin has three of them…in less than two weeks.

  508. Cameron Says:

    Yeah… That seems about right, Bob. At the same time, the closest we ever saw to a score-first point guard pretty much was Magic. Now all these point guards play so differently that the point guard totals are gonna skew to a ridiculous scoring bent before long when you have guys like Paul, Rose, and Westbrook who can look at a 20-point game as an off day.

    Though there still are traditional point guards. I think that’s why I love Rajon Rondo so much. Sure he’s an okay scorer, but that dude runs the Celtics like a point guard should. He can score, but he knows it’s his job to keep the ball moving, something you’re not seeing so much anymore.

  509. Chuck Says:

    Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

    A year from now, Jeremy Lin will be washing windshields on the GW.

  510. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, this is the NBA we’re talking about. If Baron Davis could make 15 million and Gilbert Arenas 18, this dude’s gonna somehow stumble his way into big money next season. After all, the first requirement to be an NBA owner is to know jack shit about how much a player’s really worth.

  511. Chuck Says:

    If JR Smith’s team in China didn’t make the playoff, he would have signed two weeks ago..and who was the guy getting cut?

    Jeremy Lin.

    Making it the THIRD team to cut him in a year and a half.

    From purely a basketball standpoint, Lin might be the worst player in the league.

    Let’s not glorify someone who’s been living the proverbial wet dream for the last two weeks.

    Not only is Lin going to crash, he’s going to crash big.

  512. Raul Says:

    He is a Harvard graduate.
    He’ll be ok.

  513. Cameron Says:

    I think he’ll crash too, Chuck, but not without one “What the hell were we thinking” contract being thrown to him first. Again, it IS the NBA.

    Though, Raul is right, he does have a degree in Economics from the Harvard School of Business. That’ll get a guy far.

  514. Lefty33 Says:

    “What a joke that Ibanez is better than Damon.”

    Let’s see Ibanez will be playing full-time against RHP.

    Last year against RHP:

    Ibanez .256/16/60 and .307/.440/.747

    Damon .255/10/45 and .314/.401/.715

    Damon had more PA’s against RHP last year than Ibanez.

    So yeah you’re right that it is a good joke.

  515. Chuck Says:

    Speaking of crashing big, come baseball season I wouldn’t want to live within 100 miles of Fenway, Ellsbury hitting the ground will be like Hiroshima.

  516. Cameron Says:

    Now that I’m gonna agree with. Ells had a good season, but to think he’s a thirty homer threat again… Well, whatever you’re smoking, I know some people who want some.

  517. Cameron Says:

    Seven points of OBP in Damon’s favor, thirty nine slugging in favor in Ibanez’s favor. Tell me, in a DH, what’s more important?

  518. Chuck Says:

    John’s argument is the defensive aspect, which isn’t a factor.

    No one would argue Damon’s biggest advantage over Ibanez was defense, now and then.

    But this isn’t a defensive signing, and if it does play a factor, it will be at first base, at which Ibanez clearly has the advantage, even though he’s barely passable himself.

    For what the Yankees need, Ibanez is clearly the best option.

    It’s not even worth discussing.

  519. Cameron Says:

    Heyhehyhey… Damon did play a game at first last season.

    …Okay, being devil’s advocate is hard. Can I go back to not giving a fuck?

  520. Chuck Says:

    Jeremy Lin has 45 turnovers in his first seven career starts.

    That is an NBA record.

  521. Cameron Says:

    The Dodgers bullpen this year is headlined by sophomore Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, and Mike MacDougal. …This is gonna hurt.

  522. Raul Says:

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals agreed to contracts with first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-hander Luis Mendoza Saturday, two days before pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training.

    Hosmer will make $502,500 after putting together a stellar debut season in 2011. Moustakas will make $487,250 after also getting his initial big league call-up last year, while Cain will make $480,850 and Mendoza $488,925.

    All four players have fewer than three years of service time, which means their contracts could be set at the club’s discretion.

  523. Chuck Says:

    In the history of UCONN basketball, only two players finished their careers with a better than 20 ppg average.

    You may have heard of one of them.

    Walt Dropo.

  524. John Says:

    @522, if Moore had any brains, he would follow Friedman’s lead and have those guys signed to long-term deals, Longo-style.

    But alas, he doesn’t.

  525. Raul Says:

    Jesus Christ….

    I’ll see you guys in a few weeks.

  526. Mike Felber Says:

    Lin has a problem with turnovers. Articles have been written about how he is still efficient overall. You combine his record setting points in his 1st games, assists, look at rebounds, free throws…He has been very good overall by any standards.

    He cannot keep up the same level of productivity & cannot improve his turnover rate? it does not make sense to assume the worst in both cases.

    In a year he will be a starter, a decent to quite good player. The sample size is limited but expanding, & those who do so well in their 1st several weeks have gone on to great things. He has improved & grown, literally, since his earlier days, & did excel at a few levels.

    At this point it would be rash to either predict he is going to stay a star, or he will wash out.

  527. John Says:

    Raul Ibanez hasn’t made a start at first base since 2005.

    How is his “ability” to play first a factor?

  528. Chuck Says:

    Because he can?

  529. Cameron Says:

    Games Played At First Base
    -
    Raul Ibanez – 136
    Johnny Damon – 8

    …I’m going with experience here. And, you know, the cheaper signing.

  530. Chuck Says:

    Watching the Urban Renewal Classic on MLBNetwork from Houston.

    Craig Biggio in the booth.

    He looks like a teenager.

    His post retirement physical changes aren’t as noticeable as Bagwell’s, but noticeable enough to reaffirm he juiced.

  531. Mike Felber Says:

    Why? When I have stopped lifting much, then at all before my events, mostly due to not eating much, i lost significant muscle & fat, in a shorter period of time than since he retired. I never would even take Creatine. A GF saw me within a couple of months of before shirtless, said “what happened to your muscles”? Then afterwards I worked out, ate, & gained weight. Muscle memory helps.

    Jordan said he wanted to get a pot belly after one of his retirements, & gained 30 lbs. from his ultra lean state quickly. Then got back into gain shape. Quick loss of weight in itself does not show you were using.

  532. John Says:

    You know who else looks less muscular since they retired?

    LITERALLY EVERY ATHLETE EVER.

  533. John Says:

    Speaking of Bagwell, he last played first base in 2005.

    Maybe the Yankees should sign him.

  534. Chuck Says:

    “Maybe the Yankees should sign him.”

    Not unless he’s learned to hit lefty since 2005.

  535. Cameron Says:

    Okay, finally getting around to writing my ALC preview for the year. Took a glance at my predictions last year. Yeah, I’m a real fucking baseball Nostradamus. Chicago has a win total in the 90s…

  536. Cameron Says:

    Story’s in, John.

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