Happy Spring Training Day!

by Chuck

Pitchers and catchers have reported, and in most cases position players have started to trickle in as well. The Arizona Diamondbacks have their first “full-squad” workout later today, and by the weekend all teams will be going through the motions of getting ready for the new season.

This off-season was one of the strangest I can remember in quite some time, what with shocking free agent contracts (Shane Victorino), teams trading top prospects (Wil Myers and Trevor Bauer), and the Houston Astros doing everything they can to keep their payroll below $20 million dollars.

The New York Mets and Miami Marlins continue to be under financial scrutiny, and the Toronto Blue Jays seem to think they can take advantage of being in Canada and tried to play this year with a 33 man roster.

The Hall of Fame elected three dead guys, and Alex Rodriguez’ name came up again in a steriod scandal, which some people found more interesting than the fact he very well may miss the entire season after undergoing hip surgery in January.

Living in Arizona drastically shortens the off-season for me, especially since I work for the Arizona Fall League and my “season” doesn’t end until the week before Thanksgiving, and despite all the distractions this year was no exception.

It seems just like yesterday I was sitting in the press box at the Peoria Sports Complex with MLB.com writer Bernie Pleskoff (Twitter: @BerniePleskoff, give him a follow, he will respond to questions) wondering if Billy Hamilton will hit enough to play regularly (he won’t).

I went to breakfast with a buddy on Tuesday morning and drove past the Rangers and Royals complex near my house, and there were players on both sides running, hitting and throwing, so I can confirm at least two teams have started.

I know some people here won’t believe what someone else says and unless they see players on the field themselves Spring Training is just a rumor, but it is true.

And, now, thankfully, for the next seven months, we can put the past behind us, because….

BASEBALL’S  BACK

..where the only WAR that matters takes place on the field

443 Responses to “Happy Spring Training Day!”

  1. Raul Says:

    Well said, Chuck — even if you had to take a jab at WAR at the end. LOL.

    Also, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.

    I’m curious to see how Bauer does this year. He has front end stuff, but people have doubts about him living up to his potential.

  2. Chuck Says:

    That’s obligatory..:)

    Bauer’s a talented kid but his head gets in his way, maybe a change of scenery would do him good.

  3. Raul Says:

    Out in Colorado, Dexter Fowler signed a 2 year deal, for 11.6 million.
    He’ll be 27 in March and just came off the best season of his career, hitting .300/.389/.474 with 13 HR, and 11 triples.

    It has to be worrisome that Fowler constantly strikes out over 100 times in a season. He went down 128 times last year.

    I had Fowler on my fantasy baseball team last year…but only for home games. His road/away splits were Jekyll and Hyde.

    Home: .332/.431/.553 (MVP-ish for a CFer!!)
    Away: .262/.339/.381 (PackYourBagsAndGoToTheMinors-ish)

    It’s funny. Baseball-Reference’s WAR has Fowler as a below-average CFer. I didn’t think so, but I guess everyone in the same league as Andrew McCutchen is going to be below-average.

  4. Chuck Says:

    http://www.cactusleague.com/brewers.php

  5. Raul Says:

    You get to see Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols when the Angels play the Brewers. LUCKY DUDE!!

    Saw some Mariners games there too. Should be good to see their young talent up close.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where it says “Milwaukee Brewers Photo Gallery”

    Click on the second picture from the left.

    The third bay of windows from the right..should see an open space, a window, then a larger open space.

    The window is where my desk is.

    The bay to the far right is Doug Melvin’s suite, the one in the middle is the scout room, if they don’t want to watch from the stands they come upstairs and have computer hookups, etc.

    The next one over is the scoreboard operations area..sound, video, PA announcer, me, official scorer, etc.

    The open window on the far left of the picture is where Uecker sits.

  7. Chuck Says:

    http://www.cactusleague.com/map.php

    Master map…Where you see #8..Surprise Stadium, my house is just to the left of that probably where the picture ends.

    Surprise and Peoria are on the same road about ten miles apart. The furthest drive would be Surprise to Mesa, which is about 50 miles.

  8. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome! You have an office down the hall from Harry Doyle, hahaha.

  9. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, seeing those guys on the same field would be cool.

    Pujols didn’t play last year when the Angels went, Angels play twice this year hopefully I’ll see him.

  10. Raul Says:

    Well I have to assume that you’ll be working. I don’t think you just watch games all day, so there’s a chance you could miss some players here and there.

    Any young guys you have on your list this year? Guys you want to see in person?

  11. Cameron Says:

    Be sure to give me some Royals updates if you have free time to stop by the camp. If not, that’s cool.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Here’s a small park slideshow

    http://www.ballparkreviews.com/template2.php?in_name=Maryvale%20Baseball%20Park&in_city=Phoenix&in_state=Arizona#

  13. Chuck Says:

    The guy at the top of my list to see is Jameson Taillon..he’s pitching for Team Canada in the WBC and Canada is at Maryvale on March 5th.

    I don’t care if all he does is throw a bullpen..I’ll be happy.

  14. Raul Says:

    People always say Maryvale is a bad area. Is it really? Or is that just something people say about every place when they’re so used to living in gated communities?

  15. Chuck Says:

    “Well I have to assume that you’ll be working. I don’t think you just watch games all day, so there’s a chance you could miss some players here and there.”

    Oh, God, it’s a nightmare, especially early on with all the substitutions.

    I do the scoreboard so I know how many runs are scored and how many hits there are, but what individual guys do I have no idea most of the time.

  16. Chuck Says:

    No, it’s bad.

    Where the park is isn’t so bad because there’s an elementary school next door and a hospital across the street, but the further away you get the worse it is.

    Probably why the city doesn’t allow the Brewers to play night games.

  17. Bob Says:

    1. The Rockies acquired Reid Brignac.
    2. Miguel Cairo joined the Reds front office.

  18. Cameron Says:

    Huh, I didn’t think Miguel Cairo was going to be an office guy. Seemed always like he’d end up a minor league first base coach in a town with a population of 17.

  19. Chuck Says:

    Michael Garciaparra is a scout for the Mariners.

  20. Bob Says:

    Wonder if he hires his brother.

  21. Raul Says:

    Reid Brignac? Well, maybe that mile-high air can do something for his bat.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Brignac and Longoria side by side in the AFL..had to shoot a ball out of a cannon to get one by them.

  23. Chuck Says:

    Nomar’s got a job..ESPN hired him to keep Rick Sutcliffe sober.

  24. Bob Says:

    That’s right. My bad.

  25. Bob Says:

    Grant Balfour will be out for 4-6 weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

  26. Raul Says:

    This guy is a relief pitcher. How does a relief pitcher get arthroscopic knee surgery? What could he have possibly done that would have hurt his knee?

    Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who thinks these injuries don’t match the athletes??

    /endWalterSobchakRant

    What’s next? Is a chess player going to tear his MCL?

  27. Bob Says:

    Better not. http://www.sparkchess.com I play there as a guest sometimes.

  28. Raul Says:

    I heard you wiped the floor with Magnus Carlsen, Bob.

    And then his mom put her tit in your hand.

  29. Cameron Says:

    @23 I used to live in the same town as Rick Sutcliffe. Never could figure out where in Lee’s Summit specifically, but I could guess. Somewhere up in Blackwell probably.

  30. Bob Says:

    I did. Then I went after Maurice Ashley. He is from Jamacia, so I thought we would play for some good stuff.

  31. Raul Says:

    HAHAHAHA

  32. John Says:

    I went to Spring Training in 2008 and 2009 in Arizona and it was a lot of fun. Perfect weather. Meanwhile, the teams in the grapefruit league are being rained out.

    Maryvale strikes me basically how Chuck described it. We got a hotel over in Scottsdale which is much nicer – right by Giants camp.

    In 2009, I went to an Indians-Brewers game at Goodyear and saw Bob Feller. As a Navy guy and a fan, that was an almost surreal experience.

    This year I’m hoping to pop down to Florida for some games on a weekend, but I’m kinda being jerked around by the Navy and will actually be moving again in a few weeks.

  33. Bob Says:

    Back to CT? Or underwater?

  34. John Says:

    NY state for 6 months, then underwater.

  35. Bob Says:

    Get close to the city, I will come in and get you a drink or 2. Plus a 6-pack.

  36. Bob Says:

    See you guys tomorrow.

  37. Raul Says:

    Let’s get a drink or a game when you’re in NY John, Bob…

    Last fall wasn’t good timing. Back to work now in Midtown so it’ll be easier.

  38. John Says:

    I’m all the way up in Saratoga Springs, but I think I’ll make my way to the city one weekend.

  39. Raul Says:

    Dear lord. Saratoga. You might as well get your seersucker suit out right now.

    Drinks are on you if you hit that trifecta.

  40. Mike Felber Says:

    NYC? Dudes, I have over 400 RSVPs for this already, & all but the drinks free! Feel free to attend the celebration of our Int’l. distribution in the street level bar of Empire State Building, guarantee many art grrrrls are lovely!

    RSVP 4 FREE Tix Art Mag. Launch Party/Shows: attheedgemaggala.eventbrite.com. Friday 3/1 6P-4A. Bands/Comedy/Body Painting/Create Art Drink Specials @ Elegant Art Deco Midtown Bar! The Empire Room, Entrance on north side of 33rd Street, west of 5th Avenue.

  41. Chuck Says:

    MLBNetwork’s Spring Training TV schedule

    http://www.mlb.com/network/schedule/Spring_Games.jsp

  42. Chuck Says:

    Tomorrow is Brewers’ orientation, getting to the park about 10 am to pick up id badges and game day uniforms, then go through a “dry run” to make sure we have what we need and everything works.

    Then going to lunch in the coaches’ room then over to the practice fields to watch the afternoon workouts.

    Going to be a good day.

  43. Chuck Says:

    You know a way to get Raul’s blood pressure up?

    An outfielder needing Tommy John surgery.

    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130215&content_id=41667376&c_id=sd

  44. Cameron Says:

    …How do you tear your UCL playing catch?

  45. Bob Says:

    Karsten Whitson will miss this season. Could have been a 1st round pick.

  46. Raul Says:

    Idiot. He deserves it. It’s friggin February 15th and he tore a muscle. How? Everyone throwing a baseball at this point in the year is throwing at like fucking 40% from maybe half their normal distances.

  47. Cameron Says:

    Wasn’t Karsten Whitson a first round pick… I wanna say three years ago?

  48. Bob Says:

    Yes. By the Padres.

  49. Chuck Says:

    I saw Liriano in the AFL and he was always showing off his arm, making hero throws when it wasn’t necessary.

    “Playing catch” could be long-tossing or some other drill, doesn’t necessarily mean two guys standing ten feet apart throwing marshmallows.

    Whiston was injured last year too, only threw 33 innings.

    He’s toast.

  50. Bob Says:

    The Marlins signed Casey Kotchman

  51. Chuck Says:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/index.jsp#contentId=41633200

  52. Chuck Says:

    So we get done with orientation about 11:30 and head back to the office to clock out…there’s a table spread out with 15 Papa John’s spread out courtesy of the Brewers (for 13 employees).

    After killing ourselves with fat and cholesterol, we walk across the complex to watch afternoon practice.

    First day of full workouts.

    For guys like Mike who’s only uniform they wore in their life was a tutu, day one is like high school day one.

    #avoidinginjury

    Starting infield in one group, starting outfield in another.

    First time in the cage is bunting.

    Then two rounds of oppo…wherever the pitch is, you have to go the other way.

    Ryan Braun gets in the cage and his first swing is a rope down the RF line.

    He walks out of the cage, the coach throwing says, “where the hell you going?”,

    Braun says, “No reason to stay, can’t do better than that”.

    Everyone cracked up.

  53. Mike Felber Says:

    Not a bad story Chuck. Though are you not getting a ‘lil long in the tooth for the reflexive jock-ish/itch homophobic jibes? Did you actually have such a dangerous HS entry experience? Actually I did a couple of years of Little League, & did do 8 months of phone ticket sales for the NYC ballet, & got free tix to take GFs, which was nice. Great X-Mas party spreads, puts Papa John to extreme shame.

    But Teddy Ballgame always was riding his players to concentrate better at bat as a Manager. One day in spring training a pitcher was goading Williams to take some cracks. After a while Williams comes out of the dugout with a bat, cursing up a storm. A bunch of the players may have wanted him to fail, given how tough he was on them. He also was pretty fat, big stomach at that point.

    He watches a couple of marshmallows go by, signals the pitcher to Bring It. Williams starts smashing drives to the deep parts of all fields, off the wall, every pitch. After a dozen or two dozen shots he stopped as quickly as it started.

    He was 5 days short of his 54th Birthday.

  54. Chuck Says:

    So you consider eight months of ticket sales for the ballet part of your athletic career?

    I just did something I haven’t done since I was five.

    Lucky for me tonight is my wife’s night out..don’t have to worry about formulating a lie in explaining why my pants are wet.

    “The dog puked and I had to wash him”

    Is that OK?

  55. Mike Felber Says:

    “Athletic career”, ha. A couple of years of track & field, street games, & lifting for years. My bench is not at its max, but just doing squats has kept my deadlift up-have not done them for months, but hit 425 without gear/straps, ~ my max ever.

    Que pasa, too much drink Chuck?

  56. Chuck Says:

    As usual, I have no idea what you just said.

  57. Bob Says:

    There may not be an arbitration hearing ths year. Will be a first if that happens.

  58. Raul Says:

    Lifting weights is not athletics.

  59. Mike Felber Says:

    I made a self deprecating joke about my athletic “career”. I also sympathized & wondered if drink caused the accident you described.

    Lifting weights may be athletic Raul, but not “athletics”, implying an organized sport, unless a competition. Anyway any sensible informal training is useful for health.

  60. Mike Felber Says:

    Without modern medical care he would be a goner, & almost did anyway. Any wierd thing could happen, cannot blame him.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2013-02-17/carl-pavano-injury-spleen-snow-shoveling-accident-free-agency-2013?ncid=webmail18

  61. Raul Says:

    Kershaw/Greinke

    Best 1-2 combo in the game?

  62. Cameron Says:

    My money’s on Strasburg/Gonzalez for best one-two.

  63. Raul Says:

    Assuming Gio Gonzalez was clean and he isn’t going to suffer some giant letdown after coming off his steroid concoctions this year.

  64. Cameron Says:

    Point. Knowing his stuff throughout the years, I can see last year being an abnormality with a massive ERA drop, but he still knows how to K a guy with his stuff.

    Cain and Bumgarner are good competition too. Same with Halladay/Lee/Hamels. I just can’t acknowledge Greinke as part of the best anything anymore.

  65. Cameron Says:

    Oh, Johnson and Dickey too, assuming Johnson stays healthy.

  66. Bob Says:

    You think Dickey will replicate his success in Toronto?

  67. Bob Says:

    Maybe I am being a tad biased, but could Verlander/ Scherzer be the best 1-2. Is Scherzer going to be a stud? Or is he a by-product of playing in the AL Central?

  68. Cameron Says:

    It’s a bit of a gamble, I’m just assuming numbers stay roughly the same. For all we know, both of these guys could get mauled by the ALE. And Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball for my money. Scherzer has damn near the best stuff too. They’re a strong contender as well… But you did point out most of their games are against an incredibly weak AL Central. If ever you wanted a division to pad your numbers in, it’s us.

  69. Bob Says:

    http://www.espn.com “Telling WAR’s story.”

  70. Bob Says:

    BTW, Dr. Jerry Buss R.I.P.

  71. Raul Says:

    Max Scherzer can be streaky.

    He doesn’t give up a ton of walks. Generally gives up about a hit per inning…probably a little less. But he does give up a lot of homers, which is shocking considering he pitches in Detroit.

    He’s a good #3. He’s an excellent #4.
    He isn’t anywhere near Greinke/Kershaw level though.

  72. Chuck Says:

    “Best 1-2 combo in the game?”

    That’s where my money goes.

    Strasburg/Gonzalez..Halladay/Lee/Hamels..Cain and a healthy Lincecum? I don’t know.

    “Is Scherzer going to be a stud?”

    I was thumbing one of those preview magazines the other day and it picked Scherzer for AL Cy Young.

    A bit extreme for me.

  73. Chuck Says:

    The link takes me to the ESPN home page Bob.

  74. Cameron Says:

    @71 When you throw three digits down broadway, not really. A fastball shouldn’t be your out pitch, but it is with him.

  75. Chuck Says:

    Why shouldn’t a fastball be an out pitch?

  76. Raul Says:

    Fastballs can be a great “out pitch”, Cameron.

    It doesn’t always need to be 96 mph.
    People in Boston should remember Schilling striking guys out in 1-2 fastballs all the time. When hitters didn’t bite, he’d go 2-2 splitter and that was the end of it. But several chased the fastball.

    Cliff Lee pretty much only throws fastballs.

    The whole 0-2 curveball in the dirt…while effective, is really just Little League Baseball mentality. In the Majors, a breaking ball 0-2 is a waste pitch. The pitcher knows it, and the hitter knows it (at least, the hitter SHOULD know it).

    If you’re good enough to get to 0-2 on fastballs, what’s the difference in throwing another one? Actually I take that back…I just remembered about 14 Phil Hughes starts last year.

  77. Chuck Says:

    That ESPN WAR article wasn’t even the biggest pile of shit I read today.

    Some guy at Fangraphs tried to “saberize” the scouting scale.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-20-80-scale-sabr-style/

    El Oh fucking El.

    Why do people even bother?

  78. Raul Says:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/baseball/braves-lineup-much-power-many-whiffs/nWSBW/

    Atlanta will have a lovely summer breeze this year.

  79. Cameron Says:

    I don’t have a problem with specialty fastballs like two-seamers, sinkers, or splitters being an out pitch. Hell, Rocket used a splitter to amazing effect. I have a problem with straight heaters used as an out pitch. It’s a personal philosophy more than anything. I think if you’re going to get someone out, get them out regardless if it’s a K or not. Backdoor slider, kneebreaker curveball, changeup or cutters inside to jam the hands, don’t play nice on strike three ever. Make sure even if they make contact it’s still an easy out in the ground for someone else, not anything that can ever be lifted.

  80. Cameron Says:

    As you can tell, another big part of my philosophy is owning the inside of the plate and don’t be afraid to drill a guy straight in the knee if you have to. The head’s protected, their knee sure as shit ain’t.

  81. Mike Felber Says:

    Throwing inside is fine, a player cannot block the strike zone, & if a bit inside of it, he must be expected to adjust to that. throwing to hit or hurt a guy intentionally? And not even in “revenge”.

    Well I am a peaceful ma, but part of me would not mind if the batter then breaks his face. That is evil & the opposite of brave. What goes around comes around.

  82. Cameron Says:

    Only if you have to. Brushing back ain’t anything new to pitching. I’m just a little dirty about it. Backs guys right the fuck off the plate and it makes owning the inside that much easier.

  83. Chuck Says:

    Four seamers and two seamers are fastballs, everything else is, by definition a “change of pace”.

    Which is not the same as a “changeup”.

    The fastball is the greatest outpitch ever. It takes little effort and it takes little manipulation of the delivery and/or grip.

    Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson.

    All in the discussion as the greatest pitcher of all time..and all, during their prime seasons, two pitch pitchers.

    Even Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez, two others in the “greatest ever” discussion, were forced early in their careers to develop a third and even fourth pitch.

    Not because they felt they would have an inherent advantage, but because their fastballs weren’t good enough to rely on when their other stuff wasn’t working.

    There’s a reason why 70% of all pitches thrown in baseball year in and year out are fastballs.

    It is the ultimate out pitch.

  84. Chuck Says:

    I played competitive sports for almost thirty years, the majority of those at a reasonably high level, and I intentionally tried to injure an opponent twice.

    If I could turn the clock back, I would do it again without hesitation or question.

    #noremorse

  85. Mike Felber Says:

    I see & agree Chuck, though never thought Pedro’s FB, which used to routinely hit the high ’90’s, was not goiod enough. Though you have a 3rd pitch at least-a really good one-then you are even better. It is possible that inning ofr inning-not considering volume & amopunt of value added with IP: that Pedro was the best pitcher ever.

    I don’t know why you would possibly justify trying to injure someone. But the very rare 2 occasions must have involved some extentuating circumstances-I hope.

    Cameron, there is no HAVE TO try to hurt someone And backing someone off the plate is completely different than trying to hurt them or damage their knee. You do that, & if someone MUST get hurt, I hope it is you by the batter & not him. Same goes for, say, Clemens & Piazza. Though either of them are exponentially more able to defend themselves from an aasault.

  86. Cameron Says:

    I don’t headhunt, but if someone’s crowding the plate, they’re getting drilled in the ass. The inside of the plate is yours. Never give it up. I only aim low because it hurts more and they learn the lesson. They get hit in a padded helmet or in the back where their muscle is, they’ll have protection. Hit them in the side of the leg, it buckles and they learn REAL quick to step the fuck back.

  87. Mike Felber Says:

    Macho nonsense Cameron. To not just throw to brush someone back but hit & hurt them is vicious. Would you do that if they were willing to attack you? You described yourself as anything but physically prepossessing. Are you willing to be knocked out, lose teeth, &/or have your pitching arm smashed? “Cause if they are not doing so, you have just been lucky. I am against that & your own violence, but at least they would only be retaliating when attacked.

  88. Cameron Says:

    Only do it if he’s crowding the plate. Brushbacks aren’t a major part of pitching, just tactical application. If he charges the mound… Eh, probably had it coming, but that’s a risk you have to take on brushbacks. Most games they aren’t even necessary, so it’s a rare use. However, if you find a dude elbows-deep in the strike zone (and I used to help little league coaches, you get a lot of crowding in aluminum bat leagues), you gotta badk ‘em off. You simply can not, Can. Not. let the hitter own the inside of the plate.

  89. Mike Felber Says:

    135 comments & counting, almost all strongly against him. I did not know about the affair w/the 15 year old who committed suicide. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/18/roger-clemens-hall-of-fame-vote-not-.losing-sleep_n_2713015.html

  90. Chuck Says:

    So, wait a minute Cam..

    You taught Little Leaguers to knock hitters down?!

  91. Chuck Says:

    Injuries are part of the game and while you always feel bad initially when a guy gets hurt, it doesn’t take long to get over it.

    But I got to tell you..what happened to Mat Gamel really sucks.

    He missed all but 21 games last year with a torn ACL..then the first day of spring training re-tore it again and will miss all of 2013.

  92. Raul Says:

    Yeah that sucks for Gamel. Another lost year. This guy is gonna be a DH in a few years anyway so hopefully his career won’t be shut down because of it.

    You don’t teach Little Leaguers to throw at batters because they don’t have the control, and because they are just kids.

    With regard to throwing at knees and elbows, it’s not done maliciously. It’s done to set up pitches and take control of the plate. You’d know that if you actually played baseball instead of selling ballet tickets.

    Elbows and knees are too small a target to hit with any consistency if you actually wanted to hurt a player. That’s why players get hit in the back, arms and torso.

    The only time you throw at an elbow or knee, is if you’re using it as the basis for a breaking pitch. Greg Maddux might throw a 2-seamer at a lefty’s elbow because it’ll break back over the plate. Randy Johnson might throw at a guy’s hip because his slider will end up on the outside corner. It’s more about finding a release point than anything. And certainly not about trying to injure someone.

  93. Raul Says:

    Anyone want to project what Eric Hosmer will do this year?

  94. Bob Says:

    BA .285
    Hr’s 23

  95. Raul Says:

    Probably close, Bob.
    I would have guessed that’s what Gordon will do.

  96. Bob Says:

    Gordon
    Hosmer
    Moustakas
    1/3 of their line-up is decent. Plus they have a studly 2bman

  97. Bob Says:

    The Red Sox acquired Mike Carp for a PTBNL.

  98. Raul Says:

    They’d be even more potent if they kept the Minor League Player of the Year.
    But apparently, Dayton Moore felt that the white Livan Hernandez was more important.

    And just in case anyone is wondering, “What does it mean to be a player who wins Minor League Player of the Year?”

    Well, these are the winners of that award, going back to 1990:

    1990: Frank Thomas
    1991: Derek Bell
    1992: Tim Salmon
    1993: Manny Ramirez
    1994: Derek Jeter
    1995: Andruw Jones
    1996: Andruw Jones
    1997: Paul Konerko
    1998: Eric Chavez
    1999: Rick Ankiel
    2000: Jon Rauch
    2001: Josh Beckett
    2002: Rocco Baldelli
    2003: Joe Mauer
    2004: Jeff Francis
    2005: Delmon Young
    2006: Alex Gordon
    2007: Jay Bruce
    2008: Matt Wieters
    2009: Jason Heyward
    2010: Jeremy Hellickson
    2011: Mike Trout
    2012: Wil Myers

    But yeah, f*ck Myers. I’m gonna win with James Shields.

  99. Cameron Says:

    @90 No. Throw inside, yes, but not knock hitters down. It’s little league, they’ll drill asses on their own. =P

  100. Chuck Says:

    I’m a firm believer if you coach Little League, or youth sports in general to kids younger than 13, you should be required to pass a fundamentals test first.

    Thankyou, Cam, for justifying my idea.

  101. Cameron Says:

    Oh Jesus…. The NBA is going to include fan voting into the Basketball Hall of Fame starting 2014.

  102. Bob Says:

    Just curious. what would your criteria be?
    Throwing a baseball how many feet? How many times?
    Running a football field in how many seconds? Length not width of course. Demonstrating a 3-point stance?
    Swimming an IM in how long? In a metered pool of course. No short course pre-metric system bullshit.
    Not disagreeing with you, Just wondering what your criteria would be. I actually agree.

  103. Brautigan Says:

    This is how you pitch to someone crowding the plate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fnkjb12Nn8&NR=1&feature=fvwp

  104. Chuck Says:

    Basic fundamentals have to come first, catching, throwing, learning how to cut running bases, hitting cutoff men, bunting..that kind of stuff.

    There’s no 10 year old on the planet with strong enough hands or with enough arm speed to throw strikes consistently, much less hit a spot.

    I got into it last year with some kid on Sickel’s site about the same thing..he said he was the pitching coach for his brother’s 12 year old team and was trying to tell me a cutter breaks in both directions.

    It doesn’t, and not only that, on a bet you couldn’t find me a 12 year old that could throw a cutter.

    It’s not about how fast you can run or how far you can hit or throw, it’s about doing things the right way, and if the coach is a buffoon, then why bother?

  105. Cameron Says:

    That’s pretty much what I tried to do. I didn’t coach in games, I was just there to help out in practices. I was laying groundwork more than anything. They weren’t great pitches (other than Michael’s fastball, but he was like 6′3″), so I was just teaching them some fundamentals to build on. They may not have been throwing perfect changes or curves, not even game-level really, but I was teaching them the basics of it so they knew what to work on. It may have been a high AAA-level competitive team, but it was still just kids, you know?

  106. Chuck Says:

    A ten year old knocking down a ten year old isn’t a fundamental he should be learning.

  107. Raul Says:

    Yeah so moving off that little league shit…

    Cano and the Yankees had “preliminary” discussions.
    The Yankees say they are willing to make a significant commitment to Cano. Rumors are that significant commitment is in the 170 million dollar range. Boras is trying to get him Joey Votto money.

    Cano is a lazy fielder. And 2nd basemen don’t age well.

    The Yankees should tell him he can take 4 years, 110 million…or walk. That’s 27.5 mil per year. But it won’t happen.

    Cano is already 30, so you can forget about any opt out clauses, because he won’t exercise it. And if he would….aint nobody paying big money for a 33-ish 2nd baseman.

  108. Chuck Says:

    “Yeah so moving off that little league shit…”

    Didn’t take long to get California out of your system, huh? LOL.

    $27.5 is way too much for Cano even if he was 26.

    4/70 is best offer I’d give him.

    Trade him to Texas for Andrus and a couple of prospects and I’d drive him to the airport myself.

  109. Cameron Says:

    …I’d honestly offer him north of 20 per, but five years at the max. The thing I think of is that the Yankees have money to burn on payroll. They may want to save but (much like the Lakers), if they have to they can eat the tax and not give a fuck because the Yankees are a multi-fucking-billion dollar enterprise.

  110. Bob Says:

    If they legally get out of ARod’s contract, they may be more likely to overspend on Cano. And while the odds of that happening are probaby slim, they are not zero. And I know this because if they were, the Yanks would not have their lawyers looking into it.

  111. Chuck Says:

    I think the Steinbrenner kids are smart enough to realize by now that having a $20 million player at every position doesn’t guarantee a ring.

    I know they can afford the luxury tax, but why pay it if you don’t have to?

  112. Chuck Says:

    http://www.atlantabaseballtalk.com/strikeouts-be-damned/

  113. Mike Felber Says:

    For 8 months, 30 hours a week Raul. But likely you will have me a ballet ticket seller-or in a Tutu-as a rhetorical device. Knock yourself out.

    I know some try to back folks off the plate. But there is no question that some do it maliciously. And just the intent to actually hit, or not caring about the effect, is malicious, whether successful or not. Though intentions are often ambiguous.

    It is really obstinately dumb to keep paying players massive contracts like that-unless they are one of the very best in a generation, with good prospects for the next few years. 4/70 is enough for Cano, 4/80 maybe fine. That should be the max.

  114. Mike Felber Says:

    Good artcile on Ks.

  115. Lefty33 Says:

    That’s a beautifully ignorant article by Shaun about K’s.

    He’s nothing more then an idiot homer for the Braves and the funny thing is that for a supposedly statistically inclined person he chooses to ignore the statistics that over the last 25 years if a team is top 10 in K’s they next to no chance at a WS.

    The only two teams in the last 25 years that have bucked that trend each had superior pitching to compensate for their lack of plate discipline and the Braves will NOT be getting that kind of performance from their rotation this year.

    The only “bold predictions” that I’m making going into this season are that number one the Braves will blow away the competition and lead MLB in K’s by a ton which will lead to prediction number two that they’ll miss the playoffs.

  116. Lefty33 Says:

    “If they legally get out of ARod’s contract”

    They can’t.

    What they did by leaking that idea is no more then a smear campaign by the team against A-Rod.

    “I know they can afford the luxury tax, but why pay it if you don’t have to?”

    Because in today’s TV dollar fueled payroll marketplace if they don’t spend the cash somebody else will and they’ll be left in the dust by the competition.

  117. Chuck Says:

    “But there is no question that some do it maliciously”

    You don’t understand the context, Mike.

    Watch the video Braut posted..what Springer was doing was malicious..even after the warning from the umpire he kept throwing inside. If he wanted to hit Bonds, he would have done it on the first or second pitch, yet he threw three more before he did.

    He was intending to come inside and maybe even hit Bonds, but there was clearly no intent to injure.

  118. Chuck Says:

    Two thumbs up Lefty..one for the comment here and one for the comment there.

    Well done.

  119. Chuck Says:

    Not sure how much I buy this, or if it’s even possible, but I heard this in passing on Monday.

    (These are not my sources, but they are MLB connected, so there has to be some legitimacy to what they said).

    Apparently, the San Francisco Giants are so pissed at Melky Cabrera that he will not be given a World Series ring.

  120. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    I’m not sure how I feel about it. Melky’s numbers while he was playing was a big reason why the team made the playoffs. They were 64-53 at the time he was banned and tied for 1st place.

    Yeah, he juiced. But if you don’t give him the ring, technically you could go after all the World Series rings won by PED users over the years.

    I think they should give him the ring. Just cut off all ties with him if you want to be a jerk about it. Don’t invite him back to the stadium when they have those nights honoring the title. Don’t invite him to events…that sort of thing.

  121. Chuck Says:

    64-53 with him.

    30-15 without him.

    His suspension wasn’t a detriment, it was a favor.

  122. Raul Says:

    You could look at it that way, Chuck.

    But you could also say the Giants wouldn’t have been in 1st place without him in the 1st half of the season.

    Who was Melky’s replacement? Hunter Pence? Pence was pretty bad with the Giants.

  123. Chuck Says:

    Giants were in first place (or tied) for 35 of 122 days before Melky’s suspension, after it was 43 of 45 days.

    Obviously there’s 100 other factors, with one of them being he’s a self-centered asshole only concerned with being a free-agent and was a clubhouse distraction.

    Melky Cabrera sucks ass..he’s a fourth OF who got cut by two teams, then juiced his way to a 200 hit season and a ring and is now cashing checks he otherwise would’ve only seen in a wet dream.

  124. Raul Says:

    I agree with the last paragraph you wrote.

    The Giants doing so well in the 2nd half is largely credited to Buster Posey. I understand that.

    But steroids or not, Melky was a big part of the team’s offense until he was suspended. If the Giants had Pence instead of Cabrera for the entire year, the Giants might have wound up missing the playoffs entirely.

    I’m not saying we have to like Melky. Just give him his ring and let him play out his days in obscurity in Canada.

  125. Raul Says:

    David Price says he probably won’t ever play for the Yankees because of their no facial hair policy. He thinks it’s stupid. Frankly, so do I.

    When told about it, Derek Jeter chuckled, noting that passing up a chance at winning to keep facial hair is silly.

    I agree with both of them.

  126. Raul Says:

    The headline “Koufax joins Dodgers camp” already has a concrete action plan. It’s a good thing Korean left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu knows just who [Koufax] is. Otherwise, he might have wondered who the old guy trying to change his curveball grip was. Koufax, in Dodgers camp as a guest instructor for 10 days this spring, took Ryu aside after his throwing session Tuesday and offered some advice. The Hall of Famer suggested that Ryu — a five-time strikeout leader in the Korean Baseball Organization — hold the ball deeper in his hand, letting it spin out rather than pushing it out with his thumb. “I know quite well,” Ryu said through an interpreter when asked if he knew of Koufax’s career and iconic status. “Sandy Koufax is a legend in Korea also.”

  127. Raul Says:

    Stanton got hit in the head.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130220/giancarlo-stanton-jose-fernandez-marlins.ap/?sct=uk_t2_a4

  128. Raul Says:

    Carlos Baerga and John Hart were elected to the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.

    Baerga was a really great player once.
    Hart built some of the best offenses ever seen in the game.

  129. Bob Says:

    He (Price) might win in Tampa this year. Cool story about Koufax and Ryu.

  130. Bob Says:

    Okay. I believe this weekend is supposed to be shity. What division should I do, or should I do our annual MVP ROY CY Young and Comeback player of the tear awards thread instead? And Thomas Wayne, you are about 6 articles short of your 1 article a week resolution. What derailed this personal promise of yours?

  131. Chuck Says:

    I read somewhere somebody asked Koufax the key to his curveball.

    “No thumb”

  132. Raul Says:

    Price could win this year in Tampa. No doubt.

    But with the contracts of Pettitte, Rivera, Jeter, Granderson and others potentially coming off the books, the Yankees will have plenty of room to pursue a front end starter like Price in 2015.

    And it matters to the Yankees because they have been abysmal at developing talent. They need to buy players on the open market.

    It’s stupid that a guy like Price wouldn’t sign with a team because he’d have to shave. But it’s also stupid of the Yankees to miss out on a player because they want him to shave.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I really don’t think a few moustaches and beards are going to destroy the Yankees empire and brand.

  133. Chuck Says:

    “Okay. I believe this weekend is supposed to be shity.”

    Baseball starts tomorrow, so speak for yourself.

    I will be at the ballpark on Saturday at 10:30 for a 1PM game.

    My wife was busting my chops the other day saying I’ll stop at Sonic for a couple of egg/sausage/jalapeno burritos and have breakfast there at 7am.

    She’s not too far off.

  134. Raul Says:

    Hahaha @ Bob.

    Thomas Wayne, HE’S CALLING YOU OUT!!

    Bob, do the AL East, since you’re a Sox fan.

  135. Raul Says:

    We’re supposed to get snow on Saturday, Chuck.

  136. Bob Says:

    Okay, I have the ALEast for starters. Spoiler alert. I have the Sox in last. And I can live with being wrong.

  137. Chuck Says:

    Would Tony Conigliaro have been a HOFer if he didn’t get hurt? Impossible to say, but his numbers were on the right track.

    Herb Score, Thurman Munson, Albert Belle, maybe even Brandon Webb.

    Carlos Baerga is in that conversation.

  138. Chuck Says:

    “We’re supposed to get snow on Saturday, Chuck.’

    We got snow yesterday.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/index.jsp#contentId=41828124

  139. Shaun Says:

    Top 10 scoring teams over the last 25 years and where they ranked in their leagues in strikeouts:

    1. 1999 Indians – 2nd in SO
    2. 1996 Mariners – 4th in SO
    3. 2000 White Sox – 11th in SO
    4. 2007 Yankees – 10th in SO
    5. 2000 Rockies – 16th in SO
    6. 1998 Yankees – 10th in SO
    7. 2003 Red Sox – 9th in SO
    8. 1996 Rockies – 5th in SO
    9. 1996 Indians – 14th in SO
    10. 2000 Indians – 3rd in SO

    Plenty of high-strikeout teams on that list.

    Seven of those teams finished in the top 10 in their league in SO. Only three finished outside the top 10.

    With better luck in October and/or better pitching, all of these non-Coors teams had very good chances to play in a World Series.

    Strikeouts are not a detriment to scoring runs. The only detriment to scoring runs is not getting on base/making outs too often and not slugging well or doing a good job at gaining bases.

    People make too big a connection between strikeouts and getting on base, slugging. Intuitively I can understand why. However we have loads of historical data that shows that strikeouts have very little connection to how often a team gets on base, how well it slugs and, in turn, how good a team is at scoring runs.

    We should be much more concerned with how often or how many times a team grounds out. That’s an indication of weak contact and when a team that grounds out a lot gets a runner on base, there is a much better chance for double plays.

    It’s useful to look at strikeouts to evaluate minor league and amateur hitters. But strikeouts alone tell us very little about major league teams or hitters, in terms of overall offensive value.

  140. Brautigan Says:

    Two things Shaun:

    1) A strikeout does keep you from hitting into a double play.
    2) A strikeout does keep the offense from putting any kind of pressure on the defense. (In other words, you cannot move a runner over unless a pass ball or indiffernce to the runner occurs)

    Shaun, you’re probably right with the correlation, but if you have a high strikeout to walk ratio, your career path at best might resemble Jose Guillen.

  141. Shaun Says:

    Brautigan, right. But we are discussing whether strikeouts or strikeout rate matter to scoring runs at the major league level, not anything about strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    In baseball offense is about getting on base and gaining bases. There have been plenty of teams that get on base at a higher rate than other teams, gain more bases than other teams and yet strikeout more often and at a higher rate than other teams. To keep the focus on my point, strikeouts tell us little to nothing about whether a team’s offense is any good.

    To address your second point, yes, keeping the pressure on the defense is good. But at the major league level it’s difficult to do this simply by making contact. Teams with high contact rates and low strikeout totals and strikeout rates are the worst offensive teams in the league plenty of seasons. MLB defenses gobble up weak contact and convert it to outs rather easily. It’s laughable that a team can put pressure on major league defenders by just making contact. In fact at the major league level I’m much more concerned with weak contact, like groundballs, than I am with how often a team or a hitter strikes out.

    I’m obviously right about the correlation. It’s there for all to see in the data. To refute that would be to completely ignore every bit of historical data.

    It’s not wise to build a team at the major league level being obsessed with how often major league hitters strikeout. That should be way down on the list and way behind things like how well a hitter gets on base and slugs and runs the bases.

  142. Lefty33 Says:

    “Top 10 scoring teams over the last 25 years and where they ranked in their leagues in strikeouts”

    The ‘98 Yankees were 25th that year in K’s
    That’s 25th out of 30 teams. To call that a high K team is completely wrong.

    Taking them out of that group since they don’t belong, how many of those teams that you have listed won the WS?

    You’re argument still holds no water and you still are unable to explain over the last ten years how the team that has won the WS has been averaging being 20th in the league in K’s the year they won and over the last 25 it’s closer to 22nd.

    “Strikeouts are not a detriment to scoring runs.”

    True, but they are a detriment to winning a WS so with that in mind see the problem?

  143. Lefty33 Says:

    “But we are discussing whether strikeouts or strikeout rate matter to scoring runs at the major league level, not anything about strikeout-to-walk ratio.”

    Actually that’s what YOU are talking about because you can’t win the actual argument that was brought up by me here and continued at your site.

    “I’m obviously right about the correlation. It’s there for all to see in the data. To refute that would be to completely ignore every bit of historical data”

    That sounds like what you’re doing where you would rather have a high K team that scores a lot but misses the postseason as opposed to a low K team that wins a WS.

    See the flawed POV? I doubt it.

  144. Raul Says:

    Before I get to reading the most recent posts…

    Welcome back, Shaun.

    And for the record…I called it.

  145. Shaun Says:

    The Giants struck out 41 times and the Tigers struck out 36 times in last year’s World Series.

    The Giants struck out 51 times and the Cardinals struck out 49 times in last year’s NLCS.

    The Giants struck out 39 times and the Reds Struck out 43 times in their Division Series.

    So the Giants struck out 131 time to their opponents’ 128 in last year’s postseason.

  146. Shaun Says:

    Oh, I’m pointing that out because I’m a Giants homer, right?

  147. Lefty33 Says:

    “Oh, I’m pointing that out because I’m a Giants homer, right?”

    No, you’re pointing that out because you’re original argument plus every point since has been debunked and instead of admitting you’re wrong or trying to refute things it’s easier to continually change the argument and/or talking points to something else.

    If the Giants were a high K team they never would have made the WS or likely even the postseason. At the end of the day the WS was still between the Giants who were 26th in the league in K’s versus the Tigers who were 24th.

    See any high K teams there?

  148. Chuck Says:

    I’m biting my tongue so hard it’s bleeding.

  149. Lefty33 Says:

    Don’t do it Chuck, it’s all good.

  150. Shaun Says:

    Leftty33, but if strikeouts are a big deal, why were the Giants able to win in the playoffs despite the fact that they struck out more than their opponents?

    Also, how do you explain other teams that have won the World Series and struck out more often and at a higher rate than every other team in their leagues? The ‘27 Yankees and ‘04 Red Sox come to mind. To claim that high-strikeout teams don’t reach or win the World Series is disingenuous.

  151. Bob Says:

    The post-season is a small sample size. And you are going to read into a 3-k difference? 131-128? Well, you did.

  152. Cameron Says:

    Oh hey, Shaun’s back. Well, see ya. I’ll be back to scrub the char off the board when the flamewar’s over.

  153. Shaun Says:

    Bob, I’m also reading in to the history of baseball and the fact that there is no correlation between strikeouts and offensive production or scoring runs. Just look at the data.

  154. Bob Says:

    And as Lefty pointed out, the 2004 Sox had Pedro and Schilling. In other words 40% of their starters who will either get into the HOF, or will be in limbo for a decade as opposed to the infamous 1 and done. Plus Foulke who was lights out that season.

  155. Chuck Says:

    Ah, fuck it.

    Hi, Shaun..hope all’s good in the ‘hood.

    The 1927 Yankees had 6220 plate appearances, the 2012 Giants 6200. The Yanks averaged 40 per game, the Giants 38.

    Not a big difference, right? The ‘27 Yankees had 1644 hits, the ‘12 Giants 1495, a difference of 149, or almost one per game.

    The ‘27 Yankees walked 642 times, the ‘12 Giants 483 times, a difference of 159, or one per game.

    Together, that’s 314 baserunners.

    The Yankees scored 976 runs, the Giants 718, a difference of 258.

    314 more baserunners, 258 more runs.

    The Yanks’ OBP was .384 for the season, the Giants .327..that amounts to roughly 92 baserunners over a full season.

    Even if we account for the 92 difference in OBP as a run, we’re still talking a difference of +146 runs for the Yankees.

    What is the likely cause of this difference?

    The Giants struck out 1097 times, the Yankees 611, a difference of 486 times.

    There is only one reason for the Yankees having the better offense.

    Fewer strikeouts leads to more balls in play and more baserunners.

    Which leads to more runs.

    Even outs on batted balls can lead to scoring, which strikeouts cannot do.

    Whatever data indicates strikeouts don’t impact scoring is wrong.

    A fact we established here four years ago.

  156. Chuck Says:

    Pedro’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. Schilling is a first ballot asshole.

    That’s it.

  157. Bob Says:

    Fine, but he will linger on tha ballot like Jack Morris.

  158. Chuck Says:

    Probably.

  159. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, Yankees led the league in strikeouts. Teams with fewer strikeouts in 1927 scored fewer runs.

    What about the ‘04 Red Sox? Led the league in strikeouts and runs scored. Compare them to the Giants.

  160. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, Yankees led the league in strikeouts.”

    True, with 486 fewer than the Giants.

    You can lead the league with a low total.

    Babe Ruth led the league with 89.

    In 2013, he would have been 71st.

  161. Chuck Says:

    Keith Law left Nolan Arenado off his top 125 prospects.

    Not top 25, top 125.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Just to be fair..

    http://sabr.org/sabermetrics

  163. Shaun Says:

    The Yankees won the World Series and led AL in runs in 1927. Every other team struck out less.

    The Red Sox did the same in in 2004.

    Explain.

  164. Raul Says:

    This discussion seems like a big ol’ cherry picking festival.
    Let’s get to the point here.

    It is expected that the 2013 Atlanta Braves figure to set a new record for strikeouts in a season.

    Is it Shaun’s contention that the Braves will lead the National League in scoring?

    For the record, Atlanta was 7th in the NL in scoring last year, and 17th overall.

  165. Mike Felber Says:

    Here we are, back to causation & correlations. I tend to think that while some K more than they need to, as a group, & statistically, Ks are only marginally worse than other outs. And one cause of more Ks is more power. If there is a tiny difference in W-L that determines the World Series winners, that is not a strong argument for Ks being bad. When overall teams that K more are not worse.

    You could argue that teams that K more in the post season fare worse since the pitching is better & more important, for obvious reasons. Whether high K guys are more feast or famine against high K pitchers or mediocre ones must be researched.

    Why agree Bob< Pedro is one of the greatest ever,certainly per IP. Schilling is no less than an avergae pitcher-for a HOF man. Whether we look at WAR, ERA +, big/peak years, adjust for defense, or look at the peripherals-of course the historically great K/BB ration-he is an easy HOFer.

  166. Chuck Says:

    Shaun, while I don’t always agree with your arguments I respect your opinion, it’s nice to see you back here and I hope you hang around for awhile.

    If Adam Dunn strikes out with the bases loaded in the second inning and the White Sox lose the game 1-0, then you’re right..strikeouts have no correlation to scoring..in that scenario he made an out..how he made it isn’t relevant.

    If there were two outs, how he made theo out is also irrelevant..he could hit the ball 420 feet to the warning track in center and if the ball is caught, it’s still an out.

    However, with less than two outs, it is entirely possible if he makes an out on a ball in play, a run would result, whereas if he struck out, no runner would advance and no run would result.

    We don’t know if a run would have scored, it’s speculative to say “if Dunn did this, this would have happened”, so to that point it’s true there’s no direct correlation to scoring because we don’t know what would have happened.

    What we DO know, based on historical data, is that fewer strikeouts leads to more hits, walks, balls in play and baserunners in general, which leads to more scoring..directly and indirectly.

    The point isn’t that the ‘27 Yankees led the league in strikeouts, the point is they were a better offensive team than the ‘12 Giants because they had more hits and walks and baserunners which is a natural result of striking out less.

    And if you want to talk about strikeout rates, fine, the ‘27 Yankees had a much lower rate than the Giants did.

    Twenty more plate appearances, 423 fewer strikeouts.

  167. Raul Says:

    Strikeouts don’t matter…as long as you hit for power when you make contact.
    Look, every damn argument is going to have some qualifying language to it.

    Team X bats .240 and strikes out 1000 times.
    Team Y bats .300 and strikes out 750 times.

    Who scores more runs?

    That’s a stupid way to frame a question. There are tons of missing variables.

    I don’t even care about strikeouts right now. I really don’t.

    I just want to hear what argument there is that the Braves will be so much better this year. Do people realize that Atlanta has BJ Upton and Dan Uggla in the lineup? Dear lord…

  168. Chuck Says:

    Come July when the Braves are 8 games below .500 and are sellers in the trade market, and they have fewer runs scored than the Mets and four guys on pace for 150+ strikeouts, will they matter then?

  169. Lefty33 Says:

    “Strikeouts don’t matter…as long as you hit for power when you make contact.”

    Which is the rub because if you are striking out as much as they will you obviously are not making a lot of contact.

    Not making contact = no runs. No runs = no wins unless your staff can save your ass by making every game a 2-1 affair and the Braves don’t have that kind of SP which is their Achillies heel for this year.

    I’m sure that Wren isn’t confident with what he’s got but when he was no doubt under a mandate from Liberty to cut payroll again he did what he had to do to keep butts in the seats/compensate for the loss of Bourn and Chipper.

    The Braves problem is that when they face teams with good pitching combos like the Giants, Dodgers or more problematic for them the Phillies and Nats they are going to have a hell of a time scoring runs since their offense is wholly one dimensional.

    They’re going to be a fun team to watch but it’s all sizzle with no steak.

  170. Shaun Says:

    My point is simple: Some fans and some in the media are making too much of the Braves likely propensity to strikeout a lot in 2013. Barring injury or other craziness, I still expect them to be around 90 wins and at least in contention for the wild card, if not front runners, even with all the strikeouts.

    My point is that it’s a mistake to conclude they will be a bad or mediocre offense because they have a lot of high strikeout hitters. The only things that matter to offense are on-base, slugging and, to a lesser degree, baserunning. How often a team makes a particular type of out just doesn’t tell us much of anything about how goo they are offensively.

    Raul, I don’t think the Braves are that much better this year than last year. My point is they won’t be that much worse, barring injury, and there is a decent chance they’ll be a little better. But some fans and media members seem to think they will be much worse simply because of strikeouts. But that’s not the way it works. Type of outs really don’t tell us much about how good an offense is.

  171. Raul Says:

    “My point is simple: Some fans and some in the media are making too much of the Braves likely propensity to strikeout a lot in 2013.”

    A lot of strikeouts…AND having BJ Upton and Dan Uggla playing 150 games each. Two guys that get on base like 3 times a week between the two of them.

    Nobody here thinks the Braves are gonna be in 70-win territory. But barring a major comeback from Uggla…a bounce back year from McCann, and consistency from Heyward…this team will be lucky to get to 85 wins.

  172. Bob Says:

    Baseball America put Mike Olt has their 22nd best prospect. If you guys recall, Law had him at 71.

  173. Chuck Says:

    So, work starts tomorrow and the Brewers start the ST schedule with four straight home games.

    Oakland tomorrow, a split Cleveland on Sunday, San Diego Monday (Brewers are split), and Seattle on Tuesday.

    It’s still a bit on the chilly side, so the veteran guys will be going through the motions for the first few games, especially those playing next weekend in the WBC. I don’t expect to see Ryan Braun get more than an AB per game, nor do I expect to see Yovanni Gallardo do anything more strenous than signing autographs.

    There are still things to watch though..teams have jobs up for grabs (Brewers=first base) and everyone needs bullpen arms, so while most guys will jake it for the first week, some others will be busting their nuts from the first pitch. And with the WBC guys gone, someone has to play, so they’ll be looking to impress the manager and GM against ML competition, even if they have little chance of breaking camp.

    In looking at the Brewers roster, they are set in the outfield with Braun, Gomez and Aoki. They need a fourth or fifth guy, which will likely be Caleb Gindl since he’s out of options. Logan Schafer is the better player and if he wins the job, then Gindl either gets traded or DFA’d.

    With Corey Hart out until May and Mat Gamel for the season, they literally have no first baseman. At workouts last week Hunter Morris, Taylor Green and Blake Lalli took balls with the first team. Derek Lalli is a non-roster catcher with some 1B experience, Morris is a non-roster invite and Southern League MVP, Green is a 3B by trade. I heard from a buddy Alex Gonzalez took a lot of reps at first on Sunday, as of now he’s the backup left side guy and insurance in case Jean Segura starts slow at short. I would guess the Brewers hope Morris plays well enough to get the job for the first month, but he also has no AAA experience so it’s a big jump. More than likely their opening day 1B will come off the waiver wire..a guy like Lyle Overbay, perhaps.

    They need a backup for Weeks at second, but that’s no biggie. They have Green, Gonzalez, Donnie Murphy and Bobby Crosby.

    If Green ends up playing a lot at first they’ll need a backup for Ramirez, but, again, they have enough depth.

    There’s three or four guys in the mix for the fifth rotation spot (maybe even fourth) and with Gallardo pitching in the WBC, those candidates will take his innings.

    Lucroy and Maldonado are the catchers and they are both solid, as is the bullpen.

  174. Chuck Says:

    “Baseball America put Mike Olt has their 22nd best prospect. If you guys recall, Law had him at 71.”

    Don’t need to respond, right, the comment itself is self-explanatory.

  175. Chuck Says:

    Ten bucks says the Braves don’t win 85 and are eliminated before Labor Day.

    You in, Shaun?

  176. Chuck Says:

    “The only things that matter to offense are on-base,”

    The fewer strikeouts one has, the more productive at bats result. Whether they are hits, walks, moving runners, the end result is more scoring.

    There is no disputing that fact.

  177. Raul Says:

    Great heads-up on the Brewers.
    Thanks Chuck

  178. Chuck Says:

    I don’t see any of the Oakland non-roster guys having a chance, outside of infielder Jefry Marte, who I believe is a Rule V guy, and Hideki Okajima.

    Outfield is Cespedes, Crisp and Mr. Career Year, Josh Reddick, with Chris Young and Seth Smith as backups, so that’s pretty solid.

    First base is Brandon Moss and Daric Barton, both are out of options and I can’t see both making the team as they are essentially the same player. The A’s have no DH in place yet but that’s an interchangeable spot anyway, problem is their top three options..Smith, Barton and Moss are all lefthanded.

    On paper, the A’s have a lot of infield bodies, but I’m not buying any of them. The Japanese dude at short? Jemille Weeks at second? A catcher playing third?

    Lowrie’s the backup everywhere and that’s a good call, he’s like Craig Counsell..not good enough to play everyday but a very dependable guy when you need him.

    Adam Rosales is penciled in so far as the starter at second, with Weeks as his backup..and then there is Grant Green, who, like Rosales, is out of options. One stays, and one is traded or DFA’d.

    Shortstop is Nakajima, Rosales, and Lowrie. Again, LOL.

    Third is Josh Donaldson, Lowrie and Eric Sogard. LMAO.

    Catching good with Jaso and Norris, with Balfour out they’ll need a closer, knowing Beane he’ll be scouting peanut vendors in Phoenix.

    I don’t like Oakland’s pitching staff, too many marshmallow throwers, they don’t miss enough bats. Not sure if there’s a rotation spot open at this point, but if I’m Beane I’ve got one eye on the field and one on the trade/waiver market.

    If there’s one team who I think will have the biggest reversal this year it’s Oakland. They massively overachieved last year and I think they’ll hit rock bottom. Lucky for them, they are now in the same division as the reincarnation of the ‘62 Mets.

  179. Chuck Says:

    Thanks Raul..should have made this an article, but too late now.

  180. Shaun Says:

    “The fewer strikeouts one has, the more productive at bats result. Whether they are hits, walks, moving runners, the end result is more scoring.”

    This is not necessarily true at the major league level. Again, see a team like 2004 Red Sox, who led the league in strikeouts, scoring, OBP, SLG.

    Barring significant injuries, I think the Braves win more than 85. Find a way to factor in injuries and I’ll take that bet.

  181. Chuck Says:

    “Again, see a team like 2004 Red Sox, who led the league in strikeouts, scoring, OBP, SLG.”

    Put your $29.99 for your Baseball Reference Play Index subscription to good use and go check and see just how few times that’s happened.

    I’ll wait.

  182. Chuck Says:

    “Find a way to factor in injuries and I’ll take that bet.”

    Translation: You’re not confident at all.

  183. Raul Says:

    Dude,

    You can’t just point to the 2004 Red Sox as the justification for your arguments. You need a little more than 1 team. I know what you’re saying, but as a Yankees fan, I have a bunch of qualms with that Sox team to begin with. Chuck may disagree, but Joe Torre blew that damn ALCS. Boston shouldn’t have even been in the World Series, much less won it.

    Jarrod Parker is a good pitcher, but he’ll be worse this year, I think.

  184. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, any time a team has a good OBP and SLG, they are going to score runs, regardless of how many time they strike out. That’s my point. Offense is about getting on base and slugging and baserunning. If you do all those things well, it doesn’t matter if you strike out a ton.

    Regarding the Braves bet, I’m not confident in predicting injuries for any team. If most of their players stay reasonably healthy, I’ll take the bet. I’d do the same with any team.

    Raul, a lot of the highest-scoring teams in the history of baseball finished near the top of their league in strikeouts. It’s not just one team.

    Here’s a nice piece with data from 1988-2012 showing no relationship between team strikeout rate and team runs per game: http://capitolavenueclub.com/?p=8268

  185. Chuck Says:

    Matt Capps, Rich Hill, Scott Kazmir, Dice-K, Jason Giambi, Matt LaPorta, Ryan Raburn, Ben Francisco, Jeremy Hermida, Cedric Hunter.

    Those are some of the NON-ROSTER guys Cleveland has in camp.

    I don’t like their staff either, but other than maybe a bullpen guy, they seem set across the board.

  186. Shaun Says:

    More data: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2617

    This has data from 1950-2002.

  187. Chuck Says:

    “Here’s a nice piece with data from 1988-2012 showing no relationship between team strikeout rate and team runs per game: http://capitolavenueclub.com/?p=8268

    400 years ago, that same guy said the world was flat.

  188. Bob Says:

    The White Sox acquired Conor Gillaspie from the Guants, and then DFA’d Lars Anderson.

  189. Shaun Says:

    Chuck @187, so you think the data is made up or something?

    When the data doesn’t comport to your preconceived notions, the data must be wrong, huh?

    It’s good to examine your assumptions if you actually want to get at the truth.

    It’s cute that you and others don’t like strikeouts and want players to put the ball in play and all that. I can understand that sentiment. However, the fact is team strikeout rate doesn’t correlate to team runs scored. No matter your or my personal views on how we want the game to be played, this is fact.

  190. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck @187, so you think the data is made up or something?”

    Not made up per se, but gathered by people who have no idea what the they’re doing.

    There’s 100 people in a room listening to a speaker, 10 people leave the room thinking he’s God, 90 people leave the room thinking he’s full of shit.

    If you want to believe the data Shaun, more power to you. If you’re comfortable living in the minority just because it’s the only way anyone will listen to you, more power to you.

    Baseball’s been played for well over 100 years, something happening once in awhile in a ten year span is coincidence, it’s not something you mortgage your house on. At least not if you have any common sense.

  191. Raul Says:

    Exactly why in that capitalvenueclub article did he gloss over his argument that strikeouts matter for pitchers, but not at all for hitters?

  192. Raul Says:

    Wow @ Bob.

    What is it about Lars Anderson that people don’t like?

  193. Chuck Says:

    I see the Padres similar to Cleveland, they seem set at all positions except maybe second base (Logan Forsythe) and they’re weak in the rotation.

    It’s between them and the Dbacks for third place

  194. Chuck Says:

    My old buddy Rene Rivera is in camp with the Padres as a non-roster, hopefully he gets some playing time.

  195. Lefty33 Says:

    “When the data doesn’t comport to your preconceived notions, the data must be wrong, huh?”

    Pot meet kettle.

  196. Chuck Says:

    The Mariners have said if Mike Zunino has a good spring, he will be the Opening day catcher. Otherwise, I can’t see any non-roster guy making the team outside of maybe Taijuan Walker.

    I think Jack Z is out of his mind if he’s going to play Montero everyday, or most everyday, at catcher. He’s got Kelly Shoppach and Miguel Olivo, plus Zunino, there’s no way he should get anywhere close to leather.

    I heard during the Fall League the Mariners aren’t happy with Dustin Ackley, and used the term “short leash” in describing his outlook for this year. With Nick Franklin about ready, I could see the Mariners making a change.

    They do have a lot of older bats..Bay, Ibanez, Morales, not sure where everyone is going to play.

    Not big on their rotation either, but Walker and Hultzen are thisclose, so by mid-season they’ll be better than now.

  197. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, so you think somehow the folks gathering that data didn’t actually report strikeouts as strikeouts or runs scored as runs scored?

    The data is what it is. Team strikeout rate has no relationship to team runs scored. You can trust your assumptions or you can trust the accounting of what actually happened.

    Raul, I think the author glossed over it because that wasn’t what the article was about. It was about people freaking out because the Braves’ hitters are probably going to strikeout a lot.

    It is true that strikeouts matter more for pitchers and run prevention but they don’t matter so much for run scoring. One reason is because strikeouts are indicative of a pitcher getting not only outs via the strikeout but also outs via weak contact. That’s not necessarily the case with hitters. Lots of strikeouts for a hitter doesn’t necessarily indicate a hitter is going to make weak contact when he does make contact.

    The data is there. The account of what has happened is there. So you can either do what some of you are doing and just ignore it in favor of your own assumptions or you can pay attention to it.

    It’s obviously up to you what you want to be. The earth is flat because my assumptions tell me so. Or the earth is round because of the overwhelming data we have makes it completely unreasonable to believe it’s flat.

  198. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, I’ve shown that the data shows no relationship between team strikeout rate and team run scoring. Where’s your data that shows that there is? I’m waiting on it. I’ll be happy to change my views if you can bring that data.

    I’m not going to base my views on strikeouts and runs scoring on my own assumptions or my own biases or my own preferences on how the game should be played. I’ll base my views on the data, the accounts of what actually happened. You’re probably better off doing the same or else you are going to be in a bunker somewhere with a tinfoil hat, surrounded by canned goods.

  199. Shaun Says:

    “If you want to believe the data Shaun, more power to you. If you’re comfortable living in the minority just because it’s the only way anyone will listen to you, more power to you.”

    No, Chuck. I’m more comfortable with my own biases, own preferences, own assumptions, even if they are contrary to what data overwhelmingly suggests. Clearly that’s the way to live.

  200. Chuck Says:

    Fair enough, Shaun.

  201. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, I’ve shown that the data shows no relationship between team strikeout rate and team run scoring.”

    And your point is?

    You have done nothing except your usual bullshit of changing the argument to something else after your initial statement/argument is proven to be 100% incorrect. Instead of admitting to that or attempting to refute things, you simply change the subject to something else.

    The initial debate which was started on your site had nothing to do with that.

    I proved to you that your argument is full of shit times a hundred yet you continue to only want to change the debate to something else and that’s not happening.

    “Where’s your data that shows that there is? I’m waiting on it. I’ll be happy to change my views if you can bring that data.”

    Where’s your date that debunks anything I’ve said either here or on your site?

    I’m waiting big boy.

    I’ll be happy to change my views if you can bring that hard data/argument except that I already know you can’t because you’re an intellectual wuss that likes to make big statements but when proven wrong never has the balls to either fight back or admit to being wrong in the first place.

    “I’m not going to base my views on strikeouts and runs scoring on my own assumptions the accounts of what actually happened.”

    So we’ve got an almost unbroken run of a quarter century of teams playing in the WS with below and way below league average strikeout numbers, yet you continue to say that’s irrelevant.

    How is that based on what has happened?

    How is that not based on you following your own flawed ideology while you check logic and what actually happened at the door?

    “You’re probably better off doing the same or else you are going to be in a bunker somewhere with a tinfoil hat, surrounded by canned goods.”

    And you would be better off not being a contextually retarded-pot stirring ideologue turd.

    But hey I guess we all have our limitations.

  202. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, offensive strikeouts obviously aren’t positive events. The argument is that in most situations they are no different than other types of outs. And a team would have to strikeout an unrealistic amount before it makes an impact on their overall ability to avoid outs. A team can avoid outs at a good, even a great rate even if that team strikes out more often than all others.

    High strikeout teams do sometimes appear in and win the World Series. If strikeouts were as big a deal as you seem to think, no team that strikes out a lot would ever win the World Series. But they have.

    More importantly high scoring teams often strikeout a lot relative to the rest of their league. Strikeout rate has no relationship to scoring runs. That’s a fact.

    As far as the World Series, you’d be hard-pressed to find any stat that has a strong correlation to World Series wins or playoff success, especially on the offensive side of things. Mostly run prevention is what correlates to playoff success, nothing related to offensive strikeouts or offense in general. But there is also a lot of randomness because the playoffs are a sample of only about 11-20 games for any one team.

    But I’m open to you showing us any sort of data or study that reveals this secret that you are keeping, that team offensive strikeouts have a correlation to playoff success. I’ll be happy to change my views if you produce the data.

  203. Shaun Says:

    I’m simply relying on the data and the accounting of events that shows that there is not correlation between strikeout rate and run scoring.

    I’ll happily accept the opposing view, if someone can produce better data that shows strikeouts have a relationship to run scoring.

    Also, it’s not true that there is an unbroken run of teams playing in the WS with way below league average strikeout numbers. There are recent examples of teams striking out a lot playing in the World Series (and, more importantly, scoring a lot of runs over the long haul of the regular season).

    My only ideology is getting as close to the truth as possible. I don’t think you get there by being arrogant enough to think you’re own views and biases and preferences are better than what the data reveals.

    I understand you hate strikeouts. Nobody likes outs of any kind. Nobody likes strikeouts. But the fact is that how often a team makes a particular type of out tells us little or nothing in terms of overall offense. Make a stink about how often teams make outs. That matters a heck of a lot more than how often they make particular types of outs. History shows that this is so obvious that it is simply unreasonable to believe otherwise.

  204. Bob Says:

    I just think people got excited by one good season at Low-A ball for Anderson. And when he climbed up the ladder a tad, he just could not keep up. Not a headcase from what I understand, just not talented enough to be on a 25-man roster. Perhaps if he gets lucky, he can be on a few teams 40-man roster and perhaps grab a cup of coffee in September.

  205. Chuck Says:

    “Strikeout rate has no relationship to scoring runs. That’s a fact.”

    It happens once in awhile, so by that standard, you’re right.

    The Yankees/Giants discussion from yesterday should have cleared your misconceptions, but apparently not.

    The 2004 Red Sox are an aberration. It is a fact they led the league in runs and strikeouts, and if you want to hang your hat on “once in awhile”, then right on.

  206. Lefty33 Says:

    “High strikeout teams do sometimes appear in the World Series.”

    Yes they have, two out of the last fifty teams.

    The odds of success with that type of approach are so, so high.

    I guess it’s also by some magic that the last three WS winning offenses all have looked like carbon copies of each other in terms of having extreme low K/high contact approaches.

    Some would see a trend, theme or maybe even a blueprint for success but I already know that you see it as an “anomaly” or some sort of babipian “luck”.

  207. Lefty33 Says:

    “There are recent examples of teams striking out a lot playing in the World Series”

    Two out of the last fifty.

    “My only ideology is getting as close to the truth as possible.”

    Sure it is.

  208. Lefty33 Says:

    Still dancing around the issue.

    If strikeouts don’t matter then why is that high K teams never appear in the WS? I mean you’re talking two out of the last fifty WS participants at least.

    Don’t give me your stupid BS about “October luck” or anything like that because it’s been a common thread for years now and it has transcended the hitting friendly RIOD era just like it is transcending the current era where offense is on a major decline heading back to pre-ROID era levels.

    There have been all different types of teams that have won in this time frame ranging from big offenses to big pitching to small ball to teams with league average and below staffs but yet the common thread is that 48 of the last 50 particpants in the WS all shared one theme.

    Lack of strikeouts.

    Keep on digging and throwing up smokescreens to try and deflect your lack of an argument but strikeouts are the most useless out that can be made and the team the avoids them puts themselves in a better place to win versus teams that swing from the heels like a bunch of hillbilly cavemen.

  209. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, what do you mean it happens once in a while? It happens once in a while that strikeout rate has no relationship to scoring runs? That doesn’t make sense.

    Look at the graph in the Capitol Avenue Club piece. The dots are all over the place. That means there is no relationship to speak of between strikeout rates and runs scored. Sometimes high-scoring teams strikeout a lot, sometimes they don’t. There is just no relationship there.

    The thing we should hang our hats on is on-base, slugging and baserunning. Strikeouts shouldn’t be part of the equation. It’s sort of like color of the team’s shoes. It has no barring one way or the other on whether a team will score runs, positively or negatively.

    Maybe you are confusing reverse correlation with no correlation. To be clear, I’m not saying high strikeout teams score more runs. I’m saying strikeouts and run scoring have no relationship. That if you look at runs scoring and strikeouts together, it’s all over the place and there is no pattern. Some teams that score runs strike out a lot and some don’t.

  210. Chuck Says:

    Anderson’s a 6′5″, 210 first baseman.

    He should be a league average player if he went on the field and just stood there.

    He was either massively overrated when he signed (he’s a Boston prospect, not a stretch there), or he’s dumber than a bag of bricks and never could figure out how to make adjustments.

    Either way, enjoy working at Home Depot, Lars.

  211. Chuck Says:

    Shaun..to clarify..on the graph..each dot represents one team, right?

    30 teams x 25 years of data equals 750 teams…or dots…correct?

  212. Shaun Says:

    “If strikeouts don’t matter then why is that high K teams never appear in the WS? I mean you’re talking two out of the last fifty WS participants at least.”

    There is no pattern as to what type of teams appear in the WS, certainly not offensively.

    Find me the data that batter strikeouts and World Series wins have a correlation. I’m waiting. Why are you hiding the data from us, since you obviously have it?

  213. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, Yes, each dot represents one team. Yes, 30 x 25 equals 750.

    But there weren’t 30 teams until 1998.

    You want to try another way to refute the data that doesn’t jive with your biases?

    Probably the best way to deal with this is to look at the accounts of what happened, i.e., the data, instead of bringing your biases in to this and then trying to twist or refute the data to fit your biases.

    Apparently some of us here think our own biases are better than actual accounting of what happened. I can’t think of a more arrogant way to be.

  214. Lefty33 Says:

    “There is no pattern as to what type of teams appear in the WS, certainly not offensively.”

    Really?

    “Find me the data that batter strikeouts and World Series wins have a correlation.”

    The horse is dead and beaten on that one.

    “I’m waiting”

    Me too.

    “Why are you hiding the data from us, since you obviously have it?”

    I’m not the one who makes statements only to dance around defending them when questioned. I leave that up to you.

  215. Lefty33 Says:

    “Apparently some of us here think our own biases are better than actual accounting of what happened. I can’t think of a more arrogant way to be.”

    Kettle meet pot.

  216. Shaun Says:

    If the data strongly suggests something that doesn’t jive with your views, perhaps you consider at least be open to your views being wrong. Trying your best to lie about whether the data is actually an honest and correct account of what happened when there is no reason to makes you look desperate and arrogant and wanting to cling to wrongly-held views on a subject.

  217. Shaun Says:

    I’ve shown you actually accounting of events that shows no correlation between strikeout rates and runs scoring. There’s not much more I can do for folks that simply think their views are better than accounts of what actually has happened. I just hope you folks don’t ignore the facts in more serious endeavors. If you don’t see that strikeouts and run scoring have no relationship from extremely convincing data, I’m afraid of what else you do or don’t believe.

  218. Raul Says:

    Look men,

    Everyone knows that strikeouts are tolerable depending on whom is doing the striking out.

    You don’t freak out when 25 year old Alex Rodriguez strikes out 135 times because he’s hitting .318/.399/.622 with 52 bombs and 18 steals and he’s playing GG quality defense.

    But BJ Upton strikes out 160 times EVERY YEAR and has a career OPS of .758.
    Dan Uggla has struck out 324 times in the last 2 years, averaging a .227 batting average and .329 OBP.
    Justin Upton has 1 good year and 1 bad. But per 162 games averages 154 strikeouts a year. That’s not good. It’s not terrible given Upton’s POTENTIAL. But there’s no reason for it.
    The same goes for Jason Heyward. Heyward and Upton can be great players. But they act like they’re 40 HR guys, and they aren’t.

  219. Raul Says:

    What really annoys me is when people who don’t know a goddamn thing about hitting try to tell me that a player would be WORSE by striking out LESS.

    Nevermind. I can’t even talk about it. I’m getting too angry.

  220. Chuck Says:

    Pay attention, Shaun..answer the question in 211 please.

  221. Shaun Says:

    “on the graph..each dot represents one team, right?”

    Yes.

    “30 teams x 25 years of data equals 750 teams…or dots…correct?”

    Yes.

    What does this have to do with the graph in the Capitol Avenue Club piece?

  222. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the issue is there isn’t 30 teams from 25 years of data. It wasn’t until 1998 that there were 30 teams. From 1988-1992 there were only 26. From 1993-1997 there were only 28.

  223. John Says:

    Whoa, Shaun’s back.

  224. Shaun Says:

    Raul, some players may improve their approach which may lead to more strikeouts (but more production). One reason is that focusing on mere contact instead of contact with authority doesn’t necessarily help a hitter in the majors. Defenses gobble up weak contact. Another reason is a hitter laying off unhittable pitches (even strikes, in some cases) may get a hitter in to deeper counts and may lead to more walks and more strikeouts and more waiting on a pitch he can crush, which may lead to more power.

    Of course no hitter should go to the plate thinking, “I’m just going to swing, strikeouts be damned.” But he should think, “I’m going to wait on a pitch that I can really barrel up and lay off pitches that will just lead me to ground out or pop out weakly.”

  225. Chuck Says:

    “What does this have to do with the graph in the Capitol Avenue Club piece?”

    That is the graph in the Capitol Avenue Club piece..did YOU read it?!

  226. John Says:

    “What really annoys me is when people who don’t know a goddamn thing about hitting try to tell me that a player would be WORSE by striking out LESS.”

    I don’t think anyone’s saying that.

    It’s about whether or not there’s any relation between striking out and run-scoring…which there’s not.

    However, Lefty has pointed out that teams that strike out less have won most of the World Series in the past 20 years or so.

    Fair enough, maybe it’s a small bump that separates World Series winners from mere division title winners.

    Or maybe it’s a sample size of 20, which is quite a bit less than 711.

  227. Lefty33 Says:

    “Of course no hitter should go to the plate thinking, “I’m just going to swing, strikeouts be damned.”

    Yet that’s exactly what more and more of the league does every year.

  228. Shaun Says:

    actually 1988-2012, not 1998-2012. Typo in my last comment.

  229. John Says:

    “Yet that’s exactly what more and more of the league does every year.”

    Not really. Folks are just more and more likely to take marginal strikes and work deep counts. Not everyone is Mark Reynolds.

  230. John Says:

    Chuck, your question was:

    “30 teams x 25 years of data equals 750 teams…or dots…correct?”

    How did Shaun not answer that in 222 & 228?

  231. Chuck Says:

    Fuck you too, John, stay out of it.

  232. Bob Says:

    John, read post 112 and click onto the link.

  233. Raul Says:

    I’m not betting on anything, except for the Pirates owner (is it Coonelly?) saying that Pittsburgh should compete for a title this year.

  234. Shaun Says:

    I see not much has changed here. People are still trying to cling to this phony holy war of sabermetrics versus scouting or whatever you want to call your team. You’d all be better off just worrying about gaining knowledge and finding good information, rather than taking sides in this imaginary war that most in the industry are way beyond, if they ever were concerned with it. Maybe eventually some of the petty folks on the internet will avoid making everything about labels and which side you are on and will just worry about taking in good information to try to gain knowledge.

    If you are going out of your way to make sure everyone knows you are on the scout side or the sabermetric side instead of just worrying about information and knowledge, you probably shouldn’t be taken all that seriously.

  235. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, There was no point in trying to make the claim that the author was looking at 30 teams x 25 years unless you were trying to find flaws in their data to avoid rethinking your views on the subject. Perhaps you should spend you time and energy being open-minded to new information you come across rather than spending time and energy on trying to avoid rethinking your views and assumptions. Go on facts, not assumptions. You’ll be better off. Just a little advice.

    Lefty33, Yes, I’m sure guys who work all their lives to reach the majors go to the plate completely careless as to whether they make an out of any kind.

    Strikeouts have gone up pretty much every year historically for a variety of reasons that I spelled out in my piece. It has nothing to do with carelessness of hitters.

  236. John Says:

    lulz at the old man deleting my comments.

  237. Chuck Says:

    I told you to stay out of it..what did you expect?

  238. Raul Says:

    Don’t get so emotional, Shaun.

    You think the strikeouts won’t matter to the Braves. Fine.
    Let’s see how it plays out.

    Chuck and John disagree on everything. They don’t cry about it.

    Don’t go getting all “Mike Felber” on us, with this holier-than-thou crap.
    Just make your points, and let’s get to the next discussion.

    In your case, the really bad trade of a starting pitcher for a 7th inning reliever.

  239. John Says:

    For you to use facts? And not just made-up bullshit.

  240. Chuck Says:

    We can do this all day, John. Contribute to the conversation or not, you decide.

  241. Lefty33 Says:

    @233- Bob Nutting is the current Pirate cheapskate, I mean owner.

  242. Brautigan Says:

    Shaun: You’re making the claim that there is no correlation between strikeouts and runs scored. Take 1963 for example, the Chicago White Sox’s Dave Nicholson set a record for striking out 175 times in one season. The White Sox were fourth in runs scored that year, but they were also as a team third from the bottom in team strikeouts. The team that led the league in strikeouts that year was Cleveland, and they also 7th in runs scored.

    For his career, Yogi Berra struck out less than Mark Reynolds did in two seasons. What team would you think scored more runs? Berra’s Yankees or Reynolds’ Diamondbacks? Who is in the hall of fame and who is in the hall of whiffs?

    It used to be a badge of dishonor to strike out. Batters would choke up with two strikes and do anything to put the ball in play. Now, batters strike out with the frequency of a texting addict and it’s just a shrug of the collective shoulders. It is a mind set, one of which you seem to think doesn’t hurt a team, but seriously, try and think of what the difference would be if players didn’t strike out as frequently?

    Make what you will but here is something to consider:

    1961 (first time with 10 teams) the AL had 8,325 strikeouts and scored 7,312 runs. In 1968 (the last year with 10 teams) there were 9,641 strikeouts and 5,532 runs scored. In 1969, the AL (with 12 teams) had 10,845 strikeouts and 7,960 runs scored. The last year with 12 teams, (1976) the AL had 9,143 strikeouts and 7,753 runs scored.

    Frankly, I don’t see your correlation. But that is just me.

  243. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, Yes, I’m sure guys who work all their lives to reach the majors go to the plate completely careless as to whether they make an out of any kind.”

    You’re going to tell me that guys like Adam Dunn or Rob Deer care/cared about plate discipline? When they are/were swinging at pitches in the opposite batters box, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for a fundamentally sound offensive approach.

    More and more guys are following into the wanna-be Sports Center highlight reel approach to hitting as opposed to doing what is best for their team. No need to learn to properly bunt or hit the ball to the right side to move runners along when you can swing from your heels to be Superman and attempt to pad your stats for your next contract.

    “Strikeouts have gone up pretty much every year historically for a variety of reasons that I spelled out in my piece. It has nothing to do with carelessness of hitters.”

    Hmmm, ever strike you that maybe you’re the one who’s full of shit?

    That maybe your piece is based on false pretenses and factual inaccuracies?

    “I see not much has changed here. People are still trying to cling to this phony holy war of sabermetrics versus scouting or whatever you want to call your team.”

    That’s funny…..the first person to bring that up in this debate was well, you.

    No one had mentioned the word scouting until now.

    Sounds like yet another bullshit typical Shaun cop-out answer when his tail is yet again between his legs.

  244. Chuck Says:

    Hey, Braut..did you know Dave Kingman lives in Reno?

  245. Bob Says:

    Braut, outstanding research, to say the least. Which I will, since it’s Friday!!! See you guys tomorrow. Unless I start my article/research in earnest

  246. Shaun Says:

    Brautigan, I’ve already posted the data via Capitol Avenue Club. There is no correlation.

    If you are just going through specific examples, those are anecdotes, not something that can show you whether there is or isn’t correlation.

    Lefty33, I don’t think Dunn and Deer wanted to strike out as often as they did, no. I think they both went to the plate trying hard to get a pitch they could hit and hit it hard somewhere.

    Hitters have no motivation to be careless about any kind of failure, whether it’s strikeouts, groundouts, flyouts, errors, misjudging a ball, etc. There is no incentive for them to be careless. The reason strikeouts have gone up is because it’s easier for hitters to strike batter out, for a variety of reasons, and it has become increasingly easier over time.

  247. John Says:

    “For his career, Yogi Berra struck out less than Mark Reynolds did in two seasons. What team would you think scored more runs? Berra’s Yankees or Reynolds’ Diamondbacks? Who is in the hall of fame and who is in the hall of whiffs?”

    I’m so sick of this particular argument. It’s just picking two players to suit an argument. Watch this:

    “For his career, Juan Pierre struck out less than Reggie Jackson in three seasons. Which teams would you think scored more runs? Pierre’s Marlins or Jackson’s Athletics? Who is in the hall of fame and who is a punchline for sucking at baseball?”

    That said, good to see you Braut!

  248. Chuck Says:

    The whole premise of stat anaylsis is cherry picking to prove a point,

  249. John Says:

    NO.

    It’s not.

    It’s using ALL OF THE DATA AVAILABLE to determine a conclusion.

  250. Chuck Says:

    That’s what should happen John, but you and I both know that’s not how it’s done.

  251. Chuck Says:

    http://capitolavenueclub.com/?p=8268

    I count 51 teams who struck out more than 20% of the time.

    I count two who averaged more than 5 runs a game.

    I stopped counting at 70 those teams who struck out less than 15% and averaged more than five runs.

  252. Brautigan Says:

    Thanks John.

    I guess my point was/is/could be: What would Yogi Berra’s career look like if he struck out as often as Mickey Mantle, or worse, Mark Reynolds.

    Conversely, have you watched Mark Reynolds hit in batting practice? He literally hits the ball farther than any player I have watched with the possible exceptions of Kevin Mitchell and Bo Jackson. What do you think Reynold’s career would look like if he struck out half of what he currently does? It is scary to think of THAT GUY, not so much the one we are stuck with.

  253. John Says:

    I have a hard time believing a player could ever become worse at hitting by cutting down his strikeouts.

    But that’s not what I’m talking about.

    Building your team around not-striking-out is a great way to lose 95 games every year.

  254. Brautigan Says:

    You’d lose 95 every year building around guys like Dick “Strangeglove” Stuart.

  255. Raul Says:

    So, post #251 is gonna get ignored?
    I’m just curious what the rebuttal to that is.

  256. Mike Felber Says:

    Shaun, I have defended you in your absence re: folks having been mean to you. And all here should be free to join the debate. But here-as you did at the end of your last sojourn here-you have become provocative when others had started out being restrained & welcoming. It is true that there was no SM vs. traditionalists argument, & that some take a side in one matter does not prove that they are only ever in one tribe.

    “If strikeouts were as big a deal as you seem to think, no team that strikes out a lot would ever win the World Series. But they have”.

    That statement is clearly wrong. Ks could be a big deal or not, but what happens occasionally proves nothing. Especially with many variables.

    Now whether it is just random that high K teams are rarely WINNING the WS, when the reocrds are not very different, is a valid question. It is possible this does relate to the stress on pitching in the post season after all. Or not.

  257. Chuck Says:

    He won’t be back for awhile..just like every other time.

    He’s wrong and he knows he’s wrong.

    He stops by two or three times a year blowing his sabermetric horn then runs back to his mommy.

    How can you argue strikeouts don’t affect scoring, then post a graph in support of your argument which clearly shows they do?

    Shaun will never go on a cruise around the world because he’s afraid of falling off.

  258. John Says:

    Chuck, do you know how to read graphs? It clearly shows that there’s zero correlation.

    I mean, this is BASIC stuff.

  259. Mike Felber Says:

    Well you played very nicely with him this time..Kudos Chuck.

  260. Chuck Says:

    #252 John.

    I don’t know what’s happened to you lately, maybe it’s the fear of being locked underwater for six months, but you’ve really turned into a real fucktard.

    If you want any of us to write a letter to your CO confirming your psychological break to help get you out of it, we’d be happy to. Got your back, bro.

    No team that struck out more than 20% of the time averaged more than five runs a game, and only a few got as high as 4.5.

    Roughly 15% of those teams who averaged more than 4.5 runs a game struck out less than 15% of the time.

    I could show the graph to a classroom of fourth graders and they’d see the same thing, if you and your sister can’t see it, that’s on you, not us.

    Interpret the graph however you want, no one cares.

  261. Chuck Says:

    Thanks, Mike, although I can’t accept.

    Shaun crossed the line a bit yesterday, then John jumped into the sandbox and decided he wanted to play too, so this thread got out of hand briefly..me included…so I ended up deleting about six, seven comments.

  262. John Says:

    @262, there are what – 15 points above 20%? Maybe 20? That’s a ridiculously small sample size to draw a conclusion from.

    It’s like saying that no team from Texas has ever won a World Series and claiming that being located in that particular state has some meaning. Or that no team that has had a 50+ game hitting streak from a player has ever failed to win the world series.

  263. John Says:

    Chuck, you literally said that the only difference between the 1927 Yankees – who had two of the top 5 hitters OF ALL TIME – and the 2012 Giants – who had Buster Posey and 100 games of Melkey Cabrera – was strikeouts.

    Not 50+ more home runs or a couple hundred more walks. Strikeouts.

    That’s what you said.

    That’s *criminally* insane.

  264. John Says:

    Lol @262 – well played. I don’t even want to know where that nickname came from.

  265. Brautigan Says:

    John and Shaun: You both preach on here about out avoidance and yet, the most devastating of outs, the strikeout, you both argue that there is no statistical proof that a strikeout hurts offensive outcomes.

    Stat heads like to talk about BABIP. You know what your BABIP is with a strikeout? .000

    Bill James wrote in the 2013 Baseball Handbook: “Working ahead of the hitters clearly does help to control the running game. Those pitchers who worked ahead of the hitters most often allowed an average of .53 stolen bases per nine innings. This number increases steadily as we move down the scale, and those who wokrk behind the hitters most osten allow an averate of .87 stolen bases per nine innings.”

    If you’re numbers are telling you strikeouts don’t hurt offensive outcomes, then you are asking the wrong question.

  266. Chuck Says:

    So we’re sitting in the press box today freezing our fucking nuts off watching BP. We saw 90 minutes of Brewers BP and only saw two balls go out, and we’re figuring between the small breeze and 60 degree temps no one would get one out during the game.

    First inning, 1-2 count, Ryan Braun goes yard over the 400 foot sign in rightcenter.

    So much for that theory.

  267. Chuck Says:

    No, John, that’s not at all what I said

    Did you even bother to read the thread?

    Knowing you from past history the answer is no, but figured I’d ask anyway.

  268. Chuck Says:

    Biggest shock of the game today?

    Carlos Gomez walked in two consecutive plate appearances.

    I thought Tom Hardricourt (Brewers main beat writer) was going to seize out.

  269. Mike Felber Says:

    It should not matter who jumps in & argues what, long as they are decent about it. Whether they are though right, wrong, or however much they understand the cases being made. Brautigan you made a good point. The ambiguity is that while Ks are just marginally worse than regular outs, they add up-but how much is it an an avoidable outcome of hitting for power, & how much a sign of lack of care & plate discipline? I think this varies between individuals.

    Mantle regretted striking out so much, though we has one of the greats anyway. I do not know if even he has a sense if he would have had the same matchless power with less Ks. Someone like him has a great BA on non-Ks (BBIP)-& very good even with them-especially given the era.

  270. Cameron Says:

    Holy shit, if anything ever made me happy the Chiefs fired Scott Pioli.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/mock-drafts/scott-pioli/165250?module=HP11_content_stream

    The man knows not one damn thing about football. My favorite comment on the website was “Scott Pioli doesn’t suck as a GM. He needs to get better just to be in suck range.”

  271. Chuck Says:

    So, according to Yahoo, Curt Schilling’s ketchup stained sock sold for $92,613 dollars.

    Apparently, this yutz has never played baseball or shopped at Walmart.

    A tablespoon of ketchup and a sanitary sock goes for what, a dollar?

    #dumbass

  272. John Says:

    “The Giants struck out 1097 times, the Yankees 611, a difference of 486 times.There is only one reason for the Yankees having the better offense.”

    Literally your exact words.

  273. Mike Felber Says:

    I am very ready to see the evidence that Schilling actually physically fabricated the bloody sock. if he did that, he sure could have juiced & be a massive hypocrite & liar. And if I find bloody female apparel in you/my/any laundry, maybe we murder hookers.

    Granted that this is most unlikely, but the point is that it is a massive “if” without the evidence. Without this, give me a 127 ERA + without good defenses behind him, excellent unearned run record, historic K/BB ratio, decent IP…

    No-brainer Hall of Famer without considering the post season.

    Annoying many or his politics are utterly irrelevant.

  274. Mike Felber Says:

    Not done to annoy you Chuck, I honestly think that his stats are a clear & easy HOFer, unless there is evidence that his pants are on fire. I like raines for the HOF< but his case is certainly more ambiguous than Schilling, who while due top longevity is not the glaring error that Catain Bly was for years, but his case is rock solid. Recall that black & gray ink favor earlier ballplayers, since the league was smaller. Still:

    Curt Schilling:
    Black Ink Pitching – 42 (36), Average HOFer ≈ 40
    Gray Ink Pitching – 205 (36), Average HOFer ≈ 185
    Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 171 (34), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
    Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 46 (48), Average HOFer ≈ 50
    JAWS Starting Pitcher (29th), 76.1 career WAR/46.7 7yr-peak WAR/61.4 JAWS
    Average HOF P (out of 57) = 68.1 career WAR/47.7 7yr-peak WAR/57.9 JAWS

  275. Chuck Says:

    This thread is not going to deteriorate into another “xx player’s HOF chances”.

    Ship has sailed for this year.

    Move on.

  276. Bob Says:

    Mike, did you see the article(s) where Schilling admitted to taking Toradal? He came out and said it a day after Papelbon said it. I would link the article, but I think if you google it, it will get in your long-term memory faster.
    Not being a smartass, stuff I google ( hence research) sticks with me better than having links provided.
    Just google Curt Schilling uses Toradal. Click on the first article.

  277. Bob Says:

    Mike Eruzione’s “Miracle” jersey went for $657,250.

  278. Mike Felber Says:

    Why is it deteriorate Chuck? Folks range over a zillion subjects throughout a thread. Anyway as usual I did not being Schilling up, & also what was mentioned was his worthiness, not his chances. Anyway it should not be at all objectionable, & you are the main provocateur. Should you be slammed for again slamming Schilling out of the blue? No, & you should not mind if folks disagree.

    Bob, I both do not mind Googling it, nor would having the information shown to me mean I would get it to memory better or faster. Why would that make any difference? He was injected with i it like other pitchers on his team, the trainer does not confirm nor deny, I am sure it is true. And “Even though it’s neither considered nor classified as a performance-enhancing drug, its ability to help pitchers perform isn’t in doubt”.

    It seems likely to be put internal organs in danger though. Cannot fault guys like him & Koufax for trainers giving it to them to perform. Though that does not mean this particular substance should have been provided.

  279. Chuck Says:

    That’s pretty weak, Mike, even by your standards.

  280. Brautigan Says:

    The first major league catcher to reach a 1,000 games catching? That would be John T. Clements of the Philadelphia Phillies/Quakers. He was shortly passed by both Deacon McGuire and Wilbert Robinson. Clements was also the first to use a chest protector.

    He was also left handed.

  281. Mike Felber Says:

    My standards are high Chuck, we may just disagree. But my standards include explaining what I mean. It cannot be divined what you deem weak & why.

  282. Chuck Says:

    Whatever, Mike.

    You turned an off the cuff comment about Schilling’s underwear into a HOF debate.

    You can fool some people some of the time, can’t fool us at all.

  283. Raul Says:

    Granderson is out until May.

  284. Mike Felber Says:

    Why. on. Earth. Would you be so negative about it? You imput deceptive motivations to me that do not remotely exist. You will say I am naive or “fooling”, whatever suits your current disparaging mood. Only the foormer has some limited truth in some contexts.

    Socks are underwear? In 1905 maybe. Anyway, while you regularly jus’ slam players-bring up guys like Raines yet again-as unworthy & act shocked-shocked I tell you-when others disagrees, it is true that this time I brought up the subject. So what, it is an honestly felt baseball opinion. If folks do not want to agree or disagree, I do not mind. There is nothing to attempt to police here.

    I did also ask for evidence that Schillinf is a huge fraud re: the bloody sock.

  285. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, looks like the Yanks might go with Juan Rivera for a month..they said Graderson only missing 30 games doesn’t justify a roster move.

    They will also look to see if they can get someone on the cheap (read: waivers) at the end of ST.

  286. Chuck Says:

    Yanks will really miss his strikeouts.

  287. Chuck Says:

    “The Giants struck out 1097 times, the Yankees 611, a difference of 486 times.There is only one reason for the Yankees having the better offense.”

    OK, fine, not the only reason. Primary, probably, but there are certainly others.

  288. John Says:

    No, strikeouts were not even in the top 100 differences between the 1927 Yankees and the 2012 Giants. Holy crap.

  289. Chuck Says:

    Really? Enlighten us.

    Please.

  290. John Says:

    Um, having two players combine for more home runs than the 2012 Giants probably accounted for a big chunk of it. That and drawing about 200 more walks and 60 more triples.

    But yeah, I’m sure if the Giants had just focused on hacking early in the count and not striking out, they would have scored 1000 runs. Sure. Absolutely.

    Good grief.

  291. Chuck Says:

    “That and drawing about 200 more walks and 60 more triples.”

    A result of striking out less, yeah, crossed that bridge last week.

    You said 100 John, still need the other 98.

  292. John Says:

    In the AL, the three teams with the most K’s won 94, 93, and 90 games. The three teams with the fewest K’s won 72, 68, and 66 games.

    Those top-3 teams in K’s combined for 78 more runs than those bottom-3 teams, despite lower batting averages.

    We can play straw games all day, or look at all the data for the last 25 years, and what we’ll find is that strikeouts tell you less than nothing about how good a team is.

  293. John Says:

    “You said 100 John, still need the other 98.”

    Honestly, the middle names of the ballplayers, their siblings, and their pets were probably more meaningful than the number of strikeouts.

    Totally bogus way to evaluate a team. It’s lazy, it’s been proven wrong time and time again, constantly.

  294. Chuck Says:

    Doesn’t count..still need 98 more reasons why you think strikeouts don’t correlate to scoring.

  295. Chuck Says:

    “It’s lazy, it’s been proven wrong time and time again, constantly”

    No it hasn’t.

    The graph Shaun provided shows it strikeouts DO impact scoring, so not sure why you’d say that.

  296. Chuck Says:

    “Honestly, the middle names of the ballplayers, their siblings, and their pets were probably more meaningful than the number of strikeouts”

    You said it. If Babe Ruth’s middle name being Herman affected the Yankee’s scoring or his own strikeout totals fine, just need to see it.

    Reply fail.

  297. John Says:

    “The graph Shaun provided shows it strikeouts DO impact scoring, so not sure why you’d say that.”

    Because I understand regression analysis and you don’t.

  298. Chuck Says:

    “Because I understand regression analysis and you don’t.”

    This is a baseball conversation dumbass, and you clearly don’t understand that.

    Reply fail again.

    You’re on a roll bud.

  299. John Says:

    “This is a baseball conversation dumbass, and you clearly don’t understand that.”

    If you’re going to talk about the mechanics of hitting, I’m all hears.

    If you’re going to discuss statistical analysis, then get a fucking clue of what you’re talking about.

  300. John Says:

    *ears

  301. Raul Says:

    Well,

    We can agree that strikeouts aren’t as much of a problem provided the batter hits for power.

    In 2012,

    112 players struck out 100 times or more.
    46 of those players OPSed .800 or more.

    They are listed below:

    Yoenis Cespedes
    Todd Frazier
    Garrett Jones
    Ben Zobrist
    Matt Kemp
    Jonny Gomes
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Billy Butler
    David Wright
    Ian Desmond
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Ryan Zimmerman
    Tyler Colvin
    Bryce Harper
    David Freese
    Andre Ethier
    Carlos Beltran
    Mike Napoli
    Adam Jones
    Dexter Fowler
    Ryan Braun
    Cody Ross
    Paul Goldschmidt
    Miguel Montero
    Andrew McCutchen
    Matt Holiday
    Torii Hunter
    Austin Jackson
    Adam LaRoche
    Mike Trout
    Alex Gordon
    Josh Willingham
    Nick Swisher
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Shin-Soo Choo
    Jason Kubel
    Cory Hart
    Jason Heyward
    Mark Trumbo
    Alfonso Soriano
    Jay Bruce
    Chase Headley
    Josh Hamilton
    Chris Davis
    Curtis Granderson
    Adam Dunn

    Now slugging .800 is an arbitrary number by me, but I think if you are going to strike out 100 times or more, you should be slugging a good amount.

    So in my opinion, 60% of the players striking out 100 times have no business striking out that much.

    Disagree if you want to.

  302. Raul Says:

    I meant to say OPSing .800, not slugging.
    Sorry

  303. John Says:

    I mean, that’s fair.

    Certainly, Dexter Fowler should be getting more bat on the ball, because he’s gonna leg out a bunch of infield hits.

  304. John Says:

    And really, this isn’t about individual approaches so much as team-building.

    Chuck thinks the Braves will win less than 85 games and not make the playoffs based on how often they’ll strikeout.

    I’ll take him up on either bet, because history as shown that:

    a) A team can score a lot of runs while striking out a lot.
    b) A team can score very few runs while striking out a lot.
    c) A team can score very few runs while rarely striking out.
    d) A team can score a lot of runs while rarely striking out.

    And frankly, these four options are all about equally likely.

  305. Raul Says:

    My issue with the Braves is that they will strike out a lot…and BJ Upton and Dan Uggla will combine for an average OBP of like, .315.

  306. Lefty33 Says:

    “I’ll take him up on either bet, because history as shown that:

    a) A team can score a lot of runs while striking out a lot.
    b) A team can score very few runs while striking out a lot.
    c) A team can score very few runs while rarely striking out.
    d) A team can score a lot of runs while rarely striking out.

    And frankly, these four options are all about equally likely.”

    But by-in-large that’s not the argument.

    Yes, teams can store a lot of runs when they K a lot.
    And they usually are playing golf in mid-October instead of baseball because of it.

    History has also shown over the last quarter century that if a team strikes out a lot they have almost no chance at either winning/playing in the WS and much less than a 50/50 chance at even making the playoffs.

    Why set yourself up to have an inferior chance at doing what every team is suppose to aspire to do every season?

    It makes no sense.

    Just because YOU don’t think there is a correlation is irrelevant because there is. If there were no correlation, explain to me why this has been a hard and fast rule for at least the last quarter century without some drunken, pot stirring, BS argument shifting response?

    The fact still remains that this has gone on in the sport from before PED usage as we now know it began, through the ‘90s ROID days and right back out the other side into today’s diminished offensive numbers.

    You can’t have a team with high K’s and expect to win a WS unless you have stellar pitching to compensate for that team’s lack of plate discipline.

  307. Lefty33 Says:

    In regards to where this all started last week with the Braves, my issue with them is more or less what Raul said in regards to not being able to get on base.

    The team this year has in essence no leadoff hitter and they are built about as one dimensional as you can be built from top to bottom with almost every hitter in the lineup, aside of McCann, being a swing from the heels K machine.

    If they would still have McCann along with Chipper and Prado to give them some balance like they had last year that’s one thing. But if they do not put up a ton of bombs every night they are not going to score much.

    When they face teams with decent SP like the Nats, Phils, Giants and Dodgers they are going to have a hell of a time winning because their own SP is not that good and if they are unable to use the long ball how will they score?

    To compound the Braves issue is that while some GM’s would be empowered by ownership to fix a problem like this, Liberty Media’s insistent drive to cut payroll has only tied Wren’s hands to stick with this team no matter what.

    My own guess for the Braves is that they will either be one of the more spectacular success stories of this season or they will be one of the more spectacular failures. A roster built like that one really offers no middle ground.

    Personally, I see a .500 team that will be lucky to scratch out the second WS spot and even if they luck out and get that they’ll be quickly sent packing.

  308. Raul Says:

    Cliff Lee is baffled that the Rangers tried to trade Michael Young for the last few years because Young was the heart and soul of the team.

    Well, he was also an overpaid, aging player with declining skills with better players on the roster.

    You really can’t be too sentimental if you’re running a ball club. That Cliff Lee doesn’t understand this is what is truly baffling.

  309. Raul Says:

    So Carlos Gomez of the Brewers apparently had some impressive BP sessions this Spring. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com wrote a few fluff paragraphs about his potential.

    What’s the good word, Chuck?

  310. Lefty33 Says:

    Lee and Young are good friends.

    What’s he going to say? Certainly not the truth.

  311. Bob Says:

    Austin Wilson will be sidelined 6-8 weeks with a stress reaction at the top of his elbow.

  312. John Says:

    @311, Carlos Gomez has all the tools. Remember, this is a guy who was once the centerpiece of a trade for Johan Santana in his prime.

    The speed is there. The fielding instincts are there. He even demonstrated some pop last year. And, personally, I think his heart is there.

    It all comes down to pitch selection. He’s gotta go deeper into counts, pure and simple. He swings at about 40% of balls outside the strike-zone. Unless you’re Vladimir Guerrero, you’re gonna have a bad time doing that.

  313. John Says:

    …also, you asked Chuck. I’m also curious as to what he’s seen.

  314. Chuck Says:

    “Cliff Lee is baffled that the Rangers tried to trade Michael Young for the last few years because Young was the heart and soul of the team.”

    “Well, he was also an overpaid, aging player with declining skills with better players on the roster.”

    I’m confused, was Cliff Lee trying to make a point, because that comment applies almost as much to him as it does to Young.

  315. Chuck Says:

    Austin Wilson from Stanford? No shit, wow, bye bye top ten.

    Some of the draftniks have slapped Giancarlo Stanton comps on him.

  316. Chuck Says:

    Carlos Gomez.

    First six PA’s of spring.

    Walk
    Walk
    Walk
    Walk
    single
    Single.

    Yes, John, that’s not a misprint.

    Carlos Gomez, he of the .296 lifetime OBP..walked in four consecutive PA’s.

    Last year, there were six players who hit at least 15 homers and stole at least 30 bases.

    Carlos Gomez was one of them. He also had the fewest PA’s.

    He looks good, obviously. He’s so big and strong and has such a short stroke, he should hit 30 bombs without trying. And as big as he is, he runs like a deer, you should see his strides.

    And today he went over the wall and brought back a homer.

    Now that Nyjer’s gone and Gomez will be the everyday CF and leadoff hitter, I think he’s going to have a big season..All-Star caliber.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the 25 homer range and close to 50 steals.

    He told Tom Hardricourt his goal for the year is a .350 OBP.

  317. Lefty33 Says:

    @314- I think part of it is a PR stunt by Lee in hopes the team will bring Young back next year. The difference between Young and Lee is that Young’s gravy train is stopping as of now after this year where as the Phillies still owe Lee three more years and a mountain of cash.

  318. Brautigan Says:

    I’ve been waiting for Gomez to have a breakout season. I cannot understand why he hasn’t been on the field for a whole season (oh yeah, his “poor” on base percentage….never mind his defense, eh?). He was traded for J.J. Hardy and then the Twins basically gave Hardy away to Baltimore. Yeah, Minnesota fans were treated to a season of Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon, both with range somewhere between Derek Jeter and Roy Campanella.

  319. John Says:

    Last year, Gomez had a low OBP, but a decent slugging percentage. It came out to a roughly league average OPS. Even if he doesn’t improve (a .350 OBP would be nuts), with his legs and glove, he can be a top-10 CFer in the game.

    “I’m confused, was Cliff Lee trying to make a point, because that comment applies almost as much to him as it does to Young.”

    Cliff Lee got 3.6 runs/game of support last year. He pitched fine. Not his fault he went 6-9.

  320. Lefty33 Says:

    From May 20th until June 29th Lee had an ERA of 5.68 and opposing batters hit over .300 off of him. During that almost six week stretch, which made up over 25% of his starts in ‘12, he was awful and run support was irrelevant as he put the Phillies back on their heels in start after start.

    In six of his nine losses he allowed at least four earned runs.

    So please John, no sanctimonious BS that Lee was somehow a great pitcher last year because overall he wasn’t. He was great in the 2nd half and looked like Kyle Kendrick in the 1st half.

    When he was on he was one of top handful of pitchers in the NL.
    When he was off, like he was in most of the 1st half, he was a very overpaid and very overrated pitcher.

    He had plenty of fault into why he went 6-9 last year.

  321. Mike Felber Says:

    Cliff Lee was still quite good overall last year. Lefty, that stretch you cited is just over a month, less than 1/2 of a 1/2 of a year-bet he got knocked enough that it did not make up 1/4 of his IP! Over the whole season, he had a 127 ERA + with league average defenses behind him over 211 IP.

    Not great like the year before, but the War of 4.2 rather than stellar ’11’s 8.3 seems justified. He deserved a much better record than 6-9, in W-L & decisions.

  322. Lefty33 Says:

    The stretch I cited was six weeks and came during the Phillies worst months of their 2012 season where instead of pitching like a $25 million dollar pitcher, he pitched like a turd. In the first half his WHIP was worse then Halladay’s who was on the DL while having the worst season on his carrer and was only slightly better then that tub of shit Joe Blanton.

    Yeah, real great 1st half ROI when he’s basically pitching a tick better than the team’s 4th SP at over twice the price.

    When your ERA is approaching six for over a quarter of a season it screams out that during the time period you sucked, period. What saved Lee from a dumpster fire season was that over his last nine starts he looked brilliant.

    Overall he had a very good pitcher in the 2nd half.

    Overall he was tremendously disappointing/irreleavnt pitcher in the first half.

  323. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, he was off for almost 1/2 of the 1st half. I just said that his year was definitely good overall, 127 ERA +, & he easily deserved better than a 6-9 record. In fact, if his suckitude was so concentrated, maybe you would expect a better than normal for his pitching stats W-L record, ’cause he was blown out a lot.

    Even your namesake had some down periods before he hung on too long. If he can avoid a terrible stretch maybe he gets back to a 160 ERA + like ‘11, but that likely is above his normal capacity. But some here act not like he is overpaid maybe 5-10 million, but that he is horrible & it is a wonder he can ever hit the strike zone. Amazed they are when he succeeds & misses bats!

  324. Chuck Says:

    “Not his fault he went 6-9.”

    So, are you saying wins and losses matter?

  325. Raul Says:

    No one is saying that win total is why Cliff Lee was disappointing last year.

    But John (or somebody, I’m not scrolling up) said that Cliff Lee only got like 3.5 run support per game last year.

    So…why wouldn’t that be enough for a 25 million dollar per year pitcher?
    Shouldn’t he be giving up like 2.5 runs per game anyway?

  326. Chuck Says:

    The Mariners first two scheduled pitchers are Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker…tomorrow.

    Today, I’m stuck with some Japanese guy and Joe effin’ Saunders. Yawn.

  327. Raul Says:

    Look at the bright side:

    The Mariners fielders will get plenty of exercise with Saunders on the mound.

  328. John Says:

    “From May 20th until June 29th Lee had an ERA of 5.68 and opposing batters hit over .300 off of him.”

    Holy arbitrary batman!

    Cliff Lee was:

    9th in the league in ERA
    7th in WAR
    1st in K/BB
    1st in BB/9
    6th in WHIP
    4th in K’s
    7th in IP

    “So, are you saying wins and losses matter?”

    I’m pretty clearly saying they don’t, as a measuring tool for pitchers. Exhibit 1 would be one of the top 5 or so pitchers in the league going 6-9 despite pitching excellently.

  329. John Says:

    “So…why wouldn’t that be enough for a 25 million dollar per year pitcher?
    Shouldn’t he be giving up like 2.5 runs per game anyway?”

    Well, that’s up to the Phillies to decide, really…but compare his 2012 season with his 2010 season, the one he had right before he signed that contract. Aside from W/L, they’re virtually indistinguishable.

  330. Chuck Says:

    Brewers left the bases loaded in the ninth yesterday but didn’t score.

    Uniform numbers of the hitters;

    93,93,96,94,91,95.

  331. Lefty33 Says:

    “Well, that’s up to the Phillies to decide, really…but compare his 2012 season with his 2010 season, the one he had right before he signed that contract. Aside from W/L, they’re virtually indistinguishable”

    I guess they are indistinguishable if you are willing to overlook that he allowed more H/9 last year, had a lower ERA+, a much higher WHIP while allowing almost an almost 40% increase in home runs compared with 2010.

    But sure, if you want to say that’s “indistinguishable” John we can play that game just for you.

  332. John Says:

    He had a 133 ERA+ in 2010 compared to a 127 ERA+ in 2012.

    That’s basically nothing.

  333. Chuck Says:

    Cliff Lee’s a good pitcher who happened to win a Cy Young award.

    John Denny won a Cy Young. So did Bartolo Colon. And Bob Welch. Johan won two.

    And?

    Nothing, that’s it.

    If the MLB pension fund ever goes bankrupt, he can travel the country making a few bucks at card shows with CC Sabathia, ’cause neither one of them have a snowball’s chance in hell at the HOF.

  334. John Says:

    Lee, no.

    Sabathia, basically guaranteed.

  335. Raul Says:

    Sabathia is 191-102 with a 3.50 ERA for his career. One Cy Young Award. One-time World Series Champion. Six-time All Star. Adjusted ERA of 125.

    He is 32 and will be 33 in July.
    Including 2013, has five more years on his contract.

    It’s almost a guarantee that he’ll be injured at some point but let’s assume he plays out the contract.

    During his time with NY, Sabathia has averaged 18 wins per year. If you want to take a conservative approach, you might say he averages 14 over the remaining years.

    So that puts him around 261 wins for his career at the end of his current deal, when he will be 37.

    He’ll likely need to put together some more Cy Young-caliber years as a 3.50 ERA won’t cut it, unless you have like a 20-ish year career. That would probably put him at a higher win total, but it remains to be seen whether Sabathia has it in him.

    Looking at things in John’s perspective, Sabathia has a 51.0 career pitcher’s WAR — good for 76th all-time, putting him in line with Tim Hudson.

    A 4.0-ish WAR for the next 5 years from Sabathia would give him 71 — around Tom Glavine’s level (28th all-time) — but nearly 10 WAR behind “iffy” HOF candidate Mike Mussina.

    So I think Sabathia has a chance at HOF, but he’ll need to win another Cy Young, or have one or two Top 3 Cy Young-ish seasons to give him a really strong argument.

  336. Shaun Says:

    It’s a shame Dugout Central had so much promise but anti-intellectualism and emotional diatribes in the comments sections ruined the site rather quickly. I appreciated the opportunities the folks who started the site gave me but before they jumped ship, class and reason did as well.

    Hope to run in to the more reasonable, less irrationally emotional and less anti-intellectual among you elsewhere.

  337. Raul Says:

    Really Shaun?

    Chuck and Lefty get on your back because they vehemently disagree with you and you tuck your tail between your legs and run?

    Are the comments on Bleacher Report drooling with courtesy and knowledgeable people?

    Why don’t you just stand your ground? Make your point here and move on to the next subject.

    Anti-intellectualism? Is that what you’re calling people who aren’t drinking the Sabermetric kool aid?

    I mean, wow. Talk about taking a page out of the Mike Felber Book of Sensitivity.

  338. John Says:

    “Why don’t you just stand your ground?”

    Eh, it gets exhausting.

  339. Raul Says:

    Maybe so, John.

    But even then, if you just want to move on…you move on.

    Announcing it is like all those people who make statuses about how they are going to close their Facebook accounts.

    Talk about a cry for help and sympathy…

  340. Lefty33 Says:

    Princess Payne no longer posts on Bleacher Report because he got laughed off that site the same as here. He seems to cut and run like a big pussy from every baseball site where he can’t get 100% approval/rubber stamping for all of his comments.

  341. Raul Says:

    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/31295589.jpg

  342. Lefty33 Says:

    http://www.miataturbo.net/attachments/gaming-91/45302d1338870774-forza-horizon-do-not-want-dog-jpg

  343. Raul Says:

    LOL

  344. Chuck Says:

    “Sabathia, basically guaranteed.”

    For what?

    To weigh 400 pounds a year after he’s retired? OK, sure.

    To still be lefthanded? Yeah.

    For the HOF? Hahalol..the guy spends 15 minutes in a Brewers uniform and John thinks he’s a HOFer..who’s next, Jeff Cirillo? LOL.

  345. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ Shaun..

    The only reason this site bothers you is because everyone here is smarter than you.

    “Out avoidance”

    What a tool.

    Haha.

  346. Chuck Says:

    “Princess Payne”

    LOL.

    Do you realize what a fucking loser you have to be to get booted from Bleacher Report?

    People who get booted from legitimate sites end up at Bleacher Report, not the other way around.

    Holy shit…

  347. Chuck Says:

    In case anyone wants to go back and read the comment thread on Shaun’s article, Lefty handed Shaun his lunch and basically made him quit his own site.

    That is the ultimate smack-down.

  348. Chuck Says:

    High ranking individual in the Brewers’ PR/Media dept:

    “Yovanni Gallardo is the most overrated pitcher in the National League, they keep running him out there because they’re trying to save face over not signing Greinke”.

    In six and a third innings so far, which includes today against Seattle, one intra-squad and two sim games, he’s given up nine homers in six and a third.

    He gave up today, a 400+ missle to right-center by Michael Saunders, and an absolute bomb to Franklin Gutierrez which CLEARED the batters eye in dead center.

    He’s a number three pitching in the number one spot.

    Once Corey Hart gets back the Brewers will have a solid offense and a decent defense.

    They have no pitching at all.

  349. Chuck Says:

    True story.

    I moderate a chef’s blog and I had a two hour shift this morning before heading to the ballpark.

    This guy comes on and says he’s five eight and a half, 160 and is training for a 10K. He runs between 30-40 miles a week and does another 3-5 hours on a bike.

    He went to his doctor the other day to get his medical clearance for the race and according to his BMI rating of 25.1, he is overweight.

    The guy said he was an athlete his whole life and played baseball and ran track at a Division III school in Texas, then moved to Minnesota for a job, got married and got fat because eating is the national sport of cold weather.

    He worked himself back into shape and is now ten pounds lighter than on his graduation date.

    He went on to say he follows baseball closely and watches and reads a lot, and compared BMI to WAR.

    He’s right.

    Two biggest loads of dogshit perpetrated on the American public in the last ten years.

    The generalize everything, and individualize nothing.

    Totally, and completely worthless.

  350. Brautigan Says:

    Don’t agree with me = anti-intellectual.

    If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I’ve just been called a nazi.

  351. John Says:

    “For the HOF? Hahalol..the guy spends 15 minutes in a Brewers uniform and John thinks he’s a HOFer..who’s next, Jeff Cirillo? LOL.”

    Greatness is happening right in front of your eyes, and you can’t recognize it because the guy doesn’t LOOK like a great ballplayer.

    Just like you didn’t think Fielder would get a big deal. Just like you didn’t think Harper would even play in the bigs last year, much less have a 5-win season. Just like you thought the A’s would lose 100 last year.

    Wrong wrong wrong.

    Every single time.

    Does it ever get old?

  352. John Says:

    “they keep running him out there because they’re trying to save face over not signing Greinke”

    They keep running him out there because he’s the best pitcher on the team, by far.

    Which, isn’t saying much. A number 3 in in the #1 spot is a good way to think about it.

  353. Chuck Says:

    Touche, John.

  354. Chuck Says:

    “Does it ever get old?”

    You’re better equipped to answer that question than I am, the number of times you’ve been right on this blog over the last four years I can count on one hand.

    But it’s all good.

    I’m not the Nationals’ GM, no one could predict a team overachieving and Fielder’s contract is both bigger than I thought he’d get and bigger than he should have gotten.

    But, yeah, OK.

  355. Raul Says:

    The Tigers are paying Prince Fielder 24 million a year. And they’ve got a long way to go.

    Cabrera is making 22 million and he’s a FA in 2016.
    Verlander is making 20 million and he’s a FA in 2015.
    Anibal Sanchez is going to be making 16-17 million starting next year.

    And Verlander has said he wants to be the first 200M pitcher.

    At around 150 million today, the future Tigers will approach something like 180 million a year. That’s a lot of money for Detroit — a city that is falling apart everywhere you look. I don’t know how they manage it.

  356. Raul Says:

    As a Yankee last year, Ichiro batted .322/.340/.454 with 14 stolen bases in 67 games.

    He’s 39 years old now.

    What is realistic for him in 2013?

    BTW, Ichiro is 394 hits away from 3,000 for his MLB career. He has a 2-year deal with NY, so he’ll need to average 197 hits to get it. Will he?

  357. Bob Says:

    Because their owner has money, and people in places like Grosse Pointe, Ann Arbor and Birmingham attend games.

  358. Bob Says:

    @ 356. In 2 years ? I doubt it. Though he will probably play more in the early part of the season with Granderson out. My guess is he gets 150 hits this season. And if he is very close after 2014, he gets offers from both the Yankees and the Mariners. I could see him retiring mid-season with the Mariners in a style similar to how Kerry Wood ended his career with the Cubs.

  359. John Says:

    @358, no – but I can see him hanging around 1 more year and maybe getting there.

  360. Raul Says:

    Ichiro has a career .322/.365/.419 slash line. Adjusted OPS of 113.
    And a “modest” WAR of 54.6 — currently good for 128th all-time and right around Sammy Sosa, Darryl Evans and Vladimir Guerrero. Though it’s worth noting Ichiro has done that in 12 seasons.

    Still, little of those say “First Ballot Hall of Famer”.
    But he absolutely is.

    What else is interesting to me…

    Plate appearances batting 1st in lineup:
    Ichiro Suzuki – 8,141
    Tim Raines – 6,514

    Nobody calls Ichiro the supposed 2nd greatest leadoff hitter ever, though.

  361. Mike Felber Says:

    If I was at all sensitive Raul-in the sense you used as brittle-I would have been gone years ago. You confuse opposing abuse with this. And I never suggests that not believing SM means one is dumb. Folks can argue intelligently on all sides of most issues. It is the mode & amount of reasoning that makes something intelligent or not. Such as anyone who asserts premises without evidence, even when challenged, is not being intellectual.

    But everyone (except Lefty) was reserved & kind to Shawn while he was here this time. He did not return the favor. No need for him to take pot shots that way.

    Raul, if CC does continue on that 4-ish WAR path for a few years-gets a 71 WAR-he is worthy & almost a lock for the HOF. It is very hard to have a 70 WAR & NOT be a good candidate. You would need to have a very weak peak.

    Mussina is rated WELL by WAR, & any perception of him as borderline is misguided. Not the best peak, but near the average HOF man, & somewhat better than average career value.

    CHUCK: you are exactly 180 degrees wrong on the BMI to WAR comparison, We agree BMI has no precision: it takes zero account of body composition, bone structure or muscle. WAR does the opposite, & considers a ton of individuated factors.

    Now you can disagree with any formula, but it would behoove you to say WHERE & WHY. Give me an example or 5 of guys it way underrates or overrates. Because I think it is usually very good.

    Someone like Mussina can be cross-checked, like in doing any math. Basically you have a 123 ERA + with below average defense in approaching 3600 IP: find me another guy who has similar basic #s who is NOT HOF material! If you are that good at preventing runs in a decent length career (& he played in a couple of strike years) & have any kind of a peak, you absolutely should be bound for the Hall of fame.

  362. John Says:

    “Nobody calls Ichiro the supposed 2nd greatest leadoff hitter ever, though.”

    Probably because he reached base at a less frequent clip and didn’t steal 808 bases in like 809 attempts.

  363. Mike Felber Says:

    Once again, with Feeling: the several who are around NYC, you are most welcome to come on out Friday to my free, no drink minimum Magazine Launch party. We have over 820 RSVPs, 6 PM-4 AM. No cover, live music/bands/comedy other stuff, including a couple lovelies being make up painted. At elegant Art Deco street level Bar The Empire Room, 33rd Street just west of 5th Avenue.

    There will be tons of artists, writers, showmen, Sobieski liquor sponsor (free for ladies at least 1st hour), drink specials-a great place to relax & meet established & emerging creative folks. If you make it, ask for me, the bigger “Mike Felber” there with a large shock of gray hair.

  364. Raul Says:

    Stealing bases is what makes you a leadoff hitter?

  365. Raul Says:

    Mike Mussina is an iffy HOF candidate.
    Not for me. He definitely belongs more than Schilling.

    But I doubt Mussina makes it on the first try.

  366. Bob Says:

    The second Saturday in April I will try to head to NYC. There should be a bar/restaurant where some of us can grab a beer and a burgwer or a plate of wings and watch a game. John, when are you going to be north of the Mason-Dixon line?

  367. Bob Says:

    Well Schilling was a shade under 39%. Does that mean Mussina should break 45% or just 40%?

  368. Shaun Says:

    To set the record straight, I wasn’t “booted” from Bleacher Report. I just stopped writing on there.

    Hope to run in to those of you who have grown up. The rest of you, I hope to run in to you when you do grow up.

    Good day, gentleman.

  369. Raul Says:

    Mussina should get 80%.

    I have no idea what he will get. Shot in the dark: 60%

  370. Raul Says:

    Get this one:

    ESPN.com has a Future Power Rankings system where they rate every MLB franchise on their chances to build winners in the coming years. The rankings are done by Jim Bowden, Buster Olney and Keith Law.

    Chuck, you can stop reading now.

    Seattle is ranked 17th.

    Says Jim Bowden: “Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero and Mike Zunino are the makings of a decent lineup, but the M’s need to add one big masher. They made a run at Justin Upton this winter, but he vetoed the deal. They will be in the mix for Giancarlo Stanton when the Marlins make him available, and they have the talent to swing a deal.”

    I’ll give your kidneys a few seconds to stop hurting from laughter.

  371. Mike Felber Says:

    “iffy” normally would involve an assessment about worthiness. Your guess about what will happen may be right. He is *almost* as worthy as Schilling, who created more total value in fewer IP/had a better peak. But you are virtually the best ever in K/BB over decent IP, you are gonna be a great pitcher barring some other very/unusually deficient aspect of your game. That just stand to reason.

    Sorry you cannot make it into NYC now Bob.

  372. Chuck Says:

    So these three bozos rank Seattle middle of the pack as far as having the minor league talent to buld a winner, but they have enough to get Giancarlo Stanton?

    Isn’t that a contradiction.

    “but the M’s need to add one big masher.”

    Michael Morse said hi.

  373. John Says:

    I thought Law wasn’t a big fan of Montero?

  374. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ Shaun.

  375. Chuck Says:

    He wrote another article on his site using the theory behind Tom Tango’s optimum lineup study and determined the Braves’ leadoff hitter should be Jason Heyward.

  376. Chuck Says:

    I guess it’s easier to write stupid shit on a site no one reads.

    “If a tree falls in the woods….”

  377. Chuck Says:

    I thought it was Ackley John, but you could be right.

  378. Bob Says:

    @ 371. So am I

  379. John Says:

    “He wrote another article on his site using the theory behind Tom Tango’s optimum lineup study and determined the Braves’ leadoff hitter should be Jason Heyward.”

    Who would you lead off with?

  380. Chuck Says:

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/2/27/4028530/true-grit-quantifying-the-games-grittiest-players-and-teams

    Raul…

  381. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, John, my post was a general one, it wasn’t a question.

  382. Raul Says:

    I doubt Felber could pick Mike Mussina out of a lineup that consisted of Mike Mussina and Felber’s own brother. So it’s not surprising he thinks Schilling was better than Moose.

    He’s obviously wrong though.

    Chuck…thanks for that link. You only ruined my dinner, and possibly the entire evening. What a fucking shit article that was.

  383. Chuck Says:

    LOL, Raul, payback for the Law/Olney discussion.

    I started this blogging thing in, I think 2005 with the old ArmchairGM..Peter King used to write there as did Peter Pascarelli (fake names, of course).

    You had to look really hard to find some outrageously bad writing, nowadays all you have to do is turn on the computer.

    I’m not talking about the High Heat Stats or Fangraphs of the world, there is some good writing on those sites. The key to their success though is understanding before they started their audience would be limited.

    What I am referring to is the Beyond the Boxscore or the Bleacher Report, sites that will give anyone a user name and free reign to publish whatever bullshit nonsense they want without fear or care of ramifications.

    I can’t fathom what has to be in someone’s mind to write something like that, or what the expectations are from it.

  384. Mike Felber Says:

    Talk to “Felber” directly Raul. You are wrong I do not know what Moose looks like, why would you even float that foolish insult? And instead of actually saying why you believe he is better than Schilling…That does not seem very…confident in your argument nor polite.

    I can say that the moon is obviously made of cheese, & you know, folks who are either credulous or do not know better might believe me. Now obviously which of the 2 is better is not so definite & is a matter of opinion, but any premises asserted without evidence carry no persuasive wight nor substance.

    But come party with us anyway! You can have another “Felber” there to kick around. ;-)

  385. Chuck Says:

    You know what I think?

    I think if Kerry runs his annual prediction contest this year, the Almighty Felber should participate.

  386. Raul Says:

    I have to give Felber credit.

    On the one hand, he constantly mistakes breaking balls with hurling insults.
    On the other, this guy constantly invites us out for drinks.

    Point taken.

    You’re still wrong about Moose.

  387. Raul Says:

    I think a lot of saber guys think they could be the GM of a baseball team.
    I almost wish they’d do a reality show about it, just to watch them crash and burn.

    For the record, I don’t think I could be a GM. That stuff is harder than it looks, and you have to place a lot of trust in a lot of people in order to make decisions every day.

  388. Chuck Says:

    I think, to an extent, John and even Shaun are right about the analysis aspect of it.

    From a stat perspective there’s not really that much more now than 50 years ago, but the ability to do more with it is where the differences in analysis lies.

    GM’s just don’t have the time to sort through the extra data, so sticking a couple of $10 hour interns into an old broom closet is a way of having a print out or excel sheet available if need be.

    The game is still built around scouting and player development, there isn’t one player in the history of professional baseball who was discovered by WAR.

    If sabermetrics or advanced stat analysis disappeared tomorrow, no one would notice or care, baseball would continue as it always has.

    If scouting disappeared tomorrow, baseball would cease to exist in a few years because stat analysis can’t find or develop talent.

  389. John Says:

    “there isn’t one player in the history of professional baseball who was discovered by WAR.”

    Obviously not.

    But the smart teams are the ones who “discovered” free agents with analysis and not “oh hey, let’s give Juan fucking Pierre a billion dollars.”

  390. Raul Says:

    This is the part where John or Shaun pops in and reiterates that they believe both stats and scouting are fundamental to success.

    A point that has been made and agreed with many times.

    Phil Hughes has a back injury which may prohibit him from starting the season on time. This guy is like the Jacoby Ellsbury of pitching. Strained back? Must have been from all those tough winters in Orange County, California. Man, one day I was at work in California…I’m walking home and was at some intersection waiting for the light to change. Next to me was some kid in a hooded sweatshirt, a beanie cap, and basketball shorts. Meanwhile I was sweating from walking a few blocks in my work attire. I wanted to punch this scumbag right in his mouth. WHY WOULD YOU WEAR SHORTS WITH A SWEAT SHIRT??!!!

    On ESPN’s baseball webpage, their “Sports Nation” question is:

    “Bobby Valentine said of the 2012 Red Sox that ”Connie Mack wouldn’t have won with that team”. Who do you blame the most for the Red Sox’s struggles last season?”

    A) The Players
    B) General Manager Ben Cherington
    C) Manager Bobby Valentine

    I think I’d like to add another possible answer, as one has to tailor his questions to his audience — the idiots at ESPN.com

    D) Who is Connie Mack?

  391. Chuck Says:

    White Sox today.

    Last year they had a SS game and basically brought nobody, although ML rules state five regulars have to be on travel squads, although the term “regular” is often up for debate.

    Hopefully we’ll see Dunn and Rios, maybe Konerko.

  392. Raul Says:

    You just want to see Dunn because he might crack a 460-foot shot.
    You want to see Rios because he’s just a great all-around player…at least from a tools perspective.
    You probably want to see Konerko because he’ll be standing by the dugout, shootin the sh*t.

  393. Chuck Says:

    Correct on all three.

  394. Chuck Says:

    There’s no video of Gutierrez’ bomb over the batter’s eye the other day, but here’s Justin Smoak’s off Axford.

    http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=8877606&c_id=sea

  395. John Says:

    Indeed, Connie Mack didn’t win with a lot of teams. He actually has a career losing record.

    Of course, that was just because his owner was frequently selling off his best players.

    His owner being…him.

  396. Raul Says:

    I think John has had enough of Mr. Axford.

  397. John Says:

    Wow, Connie Mack had a 5 year stretch where he won four pennants and three WS followed by a 7 year stretch where he lost 100 games 5 times…including 117 just 2 years after that fourth pennant.

  398. John Says:

    Like basically all relievers, Axford is a reliever for a reason.

    His 2011 season was freaking awesome – dude blew an opening day save, another that same week, and game 5 of the NLDS. And zero in between.

    At the end of the day, anyone can have a good 65 inning stretch. Shaky starters can throw together a good string of 9 starts. That’s basically how long Axford was effective for.

    I hope I’m wrong…but I doubt it.

  399. Chuck Says:

    Wily Peralta today.

  400. Chuck Says:

    Rickie Weeks is 0 for spring training.

    In BP..he’s on everything.

    Hunter Morris is also 0 for spring training. I don’t remember a ball out of the infield and he has like 6 K’s in a dozen or so PA’s.

    (Haven’t seen yesterday’s box, so maybe fortunes turned)

  401. Chuck Says:

    Both were DNP’s..so the streaks are intact.

  402. Chuck Says:

    MLB.com

    Players

    Game Notes

    Logo

    Date

    These are the exact game day press releases that are available in the press box each game.

    White Sox are pitching some guy named Scott Snodgress today.

    Who the fuck is Scott Snodgress?

    Bob reads MLBTradeRumors, maybe he knows.

  403. Lefty33 Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCTfjKn9NQI

    Since you brought up bombs Chuck, here’s the one that Cabrera hit off of Papelbon the other day that literally was gone. It cleared the brown roofed tiki bar in LF and went into the parking lot on the fly.

    The tiki bar is supposedly just short around 440-450 so use your best guess as to how far it went.

  404. Bob Says:

    I had to google the name myself as I had no clue. Drafted in the fifth by the White Sox out of Stanford. In the summer of 2009 actually pitched in the Alaskan summer league. A lefty, so he will have a shot. Baseball America is also preety high on him as they rate him as the White Sox 6th best prospect.

  405. Chuck Says:

    So, Lefty, when you see something like that, does it give you flashbacks? :)

  406. Raul Says:

    And now it appears The A-Rod Family Foundation has only donated 1% of their proceeds to charity.

    So, if someone wanted to throw names at A-Rod…

    Primadonna
    Jealous
    Philanderer
    Steroid User
    Cheapskate
    Choker
    Liar

    I mean, this is just getting sadder by the day.

  407. Bob Says:

    Elvis Andrus was scratched due to a sore left arm. It was caused by a new tattoo. If he wanted a tattoo, why didn’t he get one in the off-season. Jurickson Profar, come on down.

  408. Raul Says:

    Exactly, Bob.

  409. Bob Says:

    Brian Cashman said the Yankees made a “significant” offer to Cano.

  410. Raul Says:

    I hope Cano and Granderson leave.
    NY needs a goddamn wake up call, and apparently giving Arod and Sabathia and Teixeira contracts the size of the GNPs of southeast asian countries wasn’t enough.

    It’s not like Cano has lit shit up in the playoffs for new york. What are they giving him all that money for anyway?

    Second basemen age like shit in a pickle jar.
    Cano doesn’t even care about playing defense, or maintaining his conditioning.

    You want to spend 220 million dollars? Fuck Cano. Spend that shit on pitching.
    Better yet, tell the Marlins you’ll give them 50 million cash for Giancarlo Stanton.

    There you go, cockface Loria. You just got 2 years of your team’s salary paid for 1 player.

  411. John Says:

    By WAR, Cano has ranked as the best player in baseball, edging out Miggy and Braun.

    But he’s 30. It would be a little insane to offer him an 8-year deal.

  412. John Says:

    er, that’s over the last three years.

  413. Chuck Says:

    “By WAR, Cano has ranked as the best player in baseball, edging out Miggy and Braun.”

    Just one more reason why WAR sucks. Given a choice, Bill James himself wouldn’t take Cano over those two guys.

  414. Chuck Says:

    Konerko=Yes

    Rios=No

    Dunn=No

  415. Raul Says:

    http://i.imgur.com/UEA5e.jpg

    Sounds about right.

  416. John Says:

    @415, of course, because fielding doesn’t matter in baseball.

  417. Lefty33 Says:

    “NY needs a goddamn wake up call, and apparently giving Arod and Sabathia and Teixeira contracts the size of the GNPs of southeast asian countries wasn’t enough.”

    That’s not a fair comparison since all of those contracts were done when the old man was still alive. Since King George kicked it they’ve done a 180 in terms of long contracts and FA spending. The only similarity to the old days is that they still dabble in the old fart market by signing guys like Ichiro and Youkilis.

    The difference is that at least now they’re giving them short deals where as George would have locked them up until they were fifty.

  418. John Says:

    I wonder what amount of money the Yankees, their ownership, and fans place on the 2009 World Chamionship.

    Is it worth 360 million for them to not have to say “it’s been over a decade” or “are we now cursed.”

    I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I’m pretty sure 2009 doesn’t happen without both those guys.

  419. John Says:

    Both those guys being: Sabathia and Tex. Then there’s ARod, who had an off-year by his standards but carried them in the ALDS and ALCS.

  420. Raul Says:

    John,

    What did you mean in post #416?
    You referenced my #415 which was a headline about A-Rod and Chien Ming Wang.

    Hahaha.

  421. Raul Says:

    There are some Yankees fans that only care about winning. Damn the financials part of it.

    I’m looking at the future. I don’t know what the Yankees books look like. Maybe they can afford to spend all this money because they have it, or because sucker corporations are fronting the bill for the Yankee Stadium ticket hikes.

    But what I do know is that when you have three or four 25-million dollar players on your team who are aging terribly and you can’t send them ANYWHERE, you are hurting your chances to win.

  422. Bob Says:

    Speaking of shit finacials, and Enron like books, “Girls Gone Wild” filed for bankruptcy.

  423. Raul Says:

    Good.

  424. Bob Says:

    Okay. Chuck and John. I should finally have the East wriiten up this evening. Will send it to you guys then as we should get them done. It is finally March.

  425. Raul Says:

    Strasburg struck out 6 batters in 3 innings today.
    Word is this guy is trying to develop a sinker.

    The National League is screwed.
    Or maybe Strasburg is screwed. Most guys who throw sinkers end up tearing the shoulder.

  426. Chuck Says:

    The guy who founded Girls Gone Wild was morally bankrupt.

    There is ZERO chance, despite the waivers and whatever else they went through, that there weren’t minors involved.

    For years, that dude got unsolicited blowjobs from complete strangers, and by law he should be today.

    From dudes in prison.

  427. Chuck Says:

    Here’s a list of pitchers who threw sinkers at some point in their careers.

    Notice a trend?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinker_(baseball)

  428. Chuck Says:

    This is what happens when big time star Japanese pitchers come to the States and try and get out real hitters with 3-2 cheetos.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25643471&partnerId=tw_content_MLB

  429. Raul Says:

    Injuries, man.

    I’m not against the sinker. I just think there’s little reason to throw it. If you’re throwing the sinker, you’re likely running it up there in the high 80s to low 90s. And if you’re throwing that hard, why not just go with a cutter or something? Or if you have no pain with it…throw a splitter.

    A guy who is throwing a 90 mph sinker is throwing a 94 mph fastball. And if you can’t get batters out with a 94 mph fastball, you suck…and pitch selection isn’t your problem.

  430. Raul Says:

    CC Sabathia

    12 years
    W/L: 191-102
    ERA: 3.50
    Innings: 2,564
    Strikeouts: 2,214
    ERA+: 125

    Carlos Zambrano

    12 years
    W/L: 132-91
    ERA: 3.66
    Innings: 1,959
    Strikeouts: 1,637
    ERA+: 119

    Sabathia clearly better. I’m just amazed that it’s as close as it is. Especially considering the awful seasons Zambrano put out in 2011 and 2012.

  431. Mike Felber Says:

    That is still not that close Raul, when you consider a small difference in ERA + adds up over the significantly more IP for CC. The WAR differential of just over 14 points is likely about right. Except if you fugure in offense-a 62 OPS is excellent for a pitcher.

    Being literal & sometimes naive I could mistake the intent behind a post Raul. Though you also could in my case, since so often it clearly has not just been breaking balls. Though if that was your intent w/Moose, that is cool, fire away.

    Though you know that merely saying I (or anyone) is wrong about a player with absolutely no evidence presented carries zero wait. Mussina is underrated by some. This is an ironic effect of some quiet players on the most gaudy team in baseball, like with Roy White.

    But also many just CANNOT calculate certain value rationally because of a Pavlovian effect of looking at key stats. Their brains just cannot override initial knee jerk impressions, they read raw or adjusted #s without fairly compensating for context. In this case, the AL through the heart of the steroid era.

    Moose was very consistent, had good length career, & while his peak value was notas high as the average HOFer, his career value more than compensated.

    Exhibit A in the phenomena I described is his 3.68 ERA. Given the context-including not great defenses-that is VERY GOOD over a good length career. Look at his peripherals & of course adjusted ERA +. Better than many legitimate HOF pitchers.

    So why exactly is his 78.1 WAR not roughly commensurate with his real value? WHo else has an appreciably worse WAR who is better or even at least as good?

    If you cannot show that Moose was not that good-& I doubt you can-you now have an open opportunity to show WAR is flawed in any individual cases. We are listening.

  432. Raul Says:

    You don’t even watch baseball.
    You probably have never even seen Mussina or Schilling pitch.

    Why would anyone listen to your opinion on who was better?

  433. Chuck Says:

    That’s exactly my problem with guys like Felber and Shaun.

    They don’t understand baseball well enough to apply their “advanced” stats correctly.

    There is no planet in the galaxy on which Rick Reuschel is a Hall of Famer (Kenny Lofton, too). If you understand baseball, you know that…clearly.

    If you only understand a number spit out by a formula developed by someone who doesn’t understand baseball, then you’re only embarrassing yourself.

    Mike Mussina’s a better HOF candidate than Curt Schilling.

    I wouldn’t vote for him.

    I didn’t need WAR to convince me of either.

  434. Mike Felber Says:

    The Amen chorus in not distinguishing itself with its Brilliance here.

    1) Let’s assume to were just busting balls again about seeing them pitch. Even if it was true, seeing them, or any of uis seeing Bob Feller, does NOT show how good they were to us. There are endless biases of observation, to the point where if there was no WAY to even collect data, folks would have all kinds of effed-up ideas about who was how good.

    2) Nobody has shown I do not know the game well enough to apply advanced stats, but to apply a cartoonish stereotype that all who use ‘em o not understand baseball-that is an ironically ignorant assumption..

    3) Amongst those who are TRADITIONALISTS there are widely varying opinions re: who of those 3 are qualified for the HOF!

    4) Still there is NO evidence presented on why any of those players belong in the Hall or not.

  435. Mike Felber Says:

    “I know so much due to my FEELINGS due to unscien-terrific (sic, very) observations that I cannot or will not justify my opinions. But call those who do so with diligent & conscientious care honestly trying to get at the truth uninformed.

  436. Chuck Says:

    “Nobody has shown I do not know the game well enough to apply advanced stats,”

    Completely false.

    You have.

  437. Chuck Says:

    “Nobody has shown I do not know the game well enough to apply advanced stats,”

    “Still there is NO evidence presented”

    If you knew the game well enough, you wouldn’t be asking for evidence.

    So, yeah, you prove it yourself with basically every comment you make (or by avoiding baseball related topics).

  438. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck. You again give NO actual substantive rejoinder to what I say. It is like a kid just saying “you are wrong”, no actual argument made.

    And I am clearly mentioning a bunch of baseball related topics. You & all others here go off message a fair amount, & I have limited myself to doing so occasionally. I never have avoided baseball related topics, I talk about what I am interested in & know a fair amount about.

    Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they know little about baseball or the question at hand. Insisting that ALL who like advanced metrics, or disagree with you about which guys are not HOFers, is Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

    To use the technical term. It is very basic that you can believe different things from higher or lower levels of knowledge & moral evolution. Saying anyone who feels different than you about SM or how good a player is…

    That is not an evolved & wise position, & this is structurally so, even if you are RIGHT about some individual cases.

  439. Chuck Says:

    You don’t know jack squat Mike.

    You know it, and we do too.

    I posted an article by Bob earlier he wrote about his predictions for the AL East this year.

    Post there..200 words would be nice, of your opinion.

    I’ll give you 24 hours.

    You can also consider this tread closed.

    Later.

  440. Mike Felber Says:

    As John Said, lol at the old man censoring my comments! Polite, appropriate fitting & on topic.

  441. Chuck Says:

    Your comments weren’t the only one deleted, I deleted some of my own as well.

    It’s not all about you.

  442. Mike Felber Says:

    I know you did. None necessary or + to remove. If I was commenting on current matters you would complain I do not know enough-when I remain silent on just some baseball topics you attack me for that. In some ways you have become better.

  443. Chuck Says:

    “None necessary or + to remove”

    Apparently I disagree, and since my opinion is the only one which matters on the subject….

    “If I was commenting on current matters you would complain I do not know enough-when I remain silent on just some baseball topics you attack me for that”

    That’s not why, and you know it, and the comments being deleted reflect that.

    Again, not about you.

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