Results for the 2013 Dugout Central Challenge

by KerryWhisnant

At the beginning of the 2013 season, Dugout Central readers and staff were challenged to predict the number of wins for each of the thirty MLB teams. The predictions were given in a previous article. There were actually two contests, each with a different scoring method. One was simply to take the average win difference (AWD) between our picks and the final win totals. The other used root mean square error (RMSE), which penalizes really bad individual predictions.

In the AWD contest, it was close but I edged out John for first place. The final AWD standings:

*Average

7.11

*Over/Under

7.23

*Baseball Prospectus

7.40

Kerry Whisnant

7.53

John Bowen

7.60

*2012 Pythagorean

7.80

Chuck Johnson

7.87

*coolstandings.com

8.13

*2012

8.13

*81 Wins

10.40

The Average prediction used the average of three Dugout Central entries (John, Chuck and I). Asterisks denote various automatic picks. The Over/Under used the over/under Vegas line, 2012 used the 2012 records, and 2012 Pythagorean used the 2012 Pythagorean records. Finally, 81 Wins “predicted” 81 wins for each team.

2013 was easier than past years, with the best AWD ever for the winner, beating Sky Kalkman’s 7.77 in the first DC Challenge in 2009. No individual beat the Over/Under, although our Average pick was the overall best.

In the RMSE contest, which emphasizes consistency and penalizes really bad predictions, the standings were:

*Baseball Prospectus

8.93

*Over/Under

9.06

*Average

9.22

Kerry Whisnant

9.50

John Bowen

9.89

Chuck Johnson

9.94

*coolstandings.com

10.24

*2012 Pythagorean

10.88

*2012

11.10

*81 Wins

12.22

I took top honors for RMSE for the fourth time in five years. The best RMSE was in 2010, however, at 8.16. Only Baseball Prospectus beat the Over/Under in the RMSE.

For the first time in the five years of the DC Challenge, one person won both contests with no ties; I won the RMSE and tied Patrick for the AWD win in 2010, and Chuck won the RMSE and tied John Bowen for the AWD in 2011.

The official announcement for the 2014 contest will be in a month or so, so start thinking about your entries.

184 Responses to “Results for the 2013 Dugout Central Challenge”

  1. KerryWhisnant Says:

    Sorry this is way late. But do start thinking about making picks for 2014. We only had three people last year.

  2. Cameron Says:

    I’m tempted to just turn in a sheet where the Royals go 162-0 and the Astros go 0-162 and call it a day, but I’ll try and make a real sheet this year.

  3. Chuck Says:

    I’m in…hopefully with better results. I think I’ll have the dog make my predictions this year..he can’t do any worse.

  4. Raul Says:

    Who wins more games in 2014?
    Masahiro Tanaka or Yu Darvish?

  5. Bob Says:

    Darvish.

  6. Cameron Says:

    Darvish. Mostly due to Texas being good and the Yankees… Yeah…

  7. Cameron Says:

    Also, stopped by the sandwich shop by my new apartment again (it’s on my way to the bank). Ordered two sandwiches, Turkey and Bacon with Chives (chives are in a house made cream cheese) and Chicken Cilantro (chicken breast and homemade Lime-Cilantro pesto).

    This place is a keeper.

  8. Bob Says:

    1.The Rangers signed Tommy Hanson.

    2. If the Pirates do not sign Burnett, would they give up a pick for Santana or Jimenez?

    3. Same question for the Jays, since they have 2 picks in the 1st and both are protected.

    4. Will Stephen Drew sign before or after the draft?

  9. Chuck Says:

    Pirates…yes on Santana, no on Jimenez

    Jays..picks are protected, so they lose their next highest pick

    Drew…the baseball draft? Drew will be signed by March 1st.

  10. Bob Says:

    By whom?

  11. Raul Says:

    Homer Bailey gets 100 million?
    Baseball has officially lost its mind.

  12. Cameron Says:

    $17.5MM AAV Fucking christ.

  13. Bob Says:

    Just remember. Baseball is awash with cash, and the Reds lost Arroyo. Plus the Central is wide open.

  14. Bob Says:

    And the Russians are out of the hockey medal chase. Barack, your turn to write a NY Times editorial!!!

  15. Raul Says:

    I still don’t see anyone beating the Swedes.
    Felt a little bad for Latvia. They played well in just about every game.

  16. Bob Says:

    I think Canada will win it all.

  17. Cameron Says:

    Um… USA? I know fuck all about hockey, but if I had to pick a non-US, Canada because they have two of the three hockey players I know in Crosby and Tavares.

  18. Cameron Says:

    For the record, Sweden has the third (Lundqvist).

  19. Raul Says:

    USA is doing this despite massive criticism for leaving off some really good players off the roster.

  20. Bob Says:

    Well remember when Knight left off Barkley?

  21. Raul Says:

    …I was 12, Bob.

  22. Raul Says:

    Pardon me.
    I mistakenly thought Knight coached the Dream Team.

    Knight coached the 84 games.

    So Bob…I was 4.

  23. Bob Says:

    So you do not remember. No harm, no foul.

  24. Bob Says:

    By the way, Tavares is out for the season. Screws the Islanders, hurts Team Canada.

  25. Bob Says:

    Lefty, what is going on with Philly? Taking a lot of heat for this. http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2014/02/issues_and_answers_oregon_stat.html

  26. Raul Says:

    1984.

    While I was barely learning how to not poop myself…Bob and Chuck were knee deep in Deborah Harry wanna-be skanks.

    Salud.

  27. Bob Says:

    And to get those skanks, all you had to do was listen to Blondie.

  28. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10488383/joe-philbin-miami-dolphins-guarantees-better-work-environment-bullying-scandal

  29. Raul Says:

    This Miami Dolphins bullying scandal is sad and ridiculous.

    I’m glad they’re getting rid of these goons.
    But they’ve got so many bigger problems — like how to get better on the field.

  30. Bob Says:

    Which will take like 3 years.

  31. Cameron Says:

    Thank god the offensive line class is stupid deep in this year’s draft. Literally the only way Miami can’t upgrade the blindside is if everyone else before them drafts a left tackle.

    …And even then you’ve got a halfway decent project player like Billy Turner or Seantrel Henderson.

  32. Bob Says:

    I read that the first 4 picks could be Qb’s in one mock poll. They should be able to get an OLineman in the 1st round

    1. Bridgewater.
    2. Manziel
    3. Carr
    4.Bortles

  33. Cameron Says:

    Don’t trust what you read about the QBs. This is NOT that great a class. Bridgewater is highly polished and anyone who knocks his size is an idiot. Manziel is a great risk-reward pick IMO with the intangibles being questionable but giving the offense he’s in a great read-option upside. Carr is a classic dropback pocket passer with a great arm and… Accuracy?

    I hate hate HATE the Bortles hype. Entering the year he was a second day pick at best, he had a good year on a Cinderella team and every scout and his head coach tells you he’s a project at best, despite the physical tools he has. Not saying he’ll be a bust, but anyone spending a top 5 pick on him deserves to be burned.

  34. Cameron Says:

    Also, Miami drafts… 18th if I’m not mistaken. Their realistic chance of a LT as it stands (pre-combine, pre-interview, pre-pro day) is Zack Martin of Notre Dame, Cyrus Kuandjio of Alabama and Antonio Richardson of Tennessee. Taylor Lewan of Michigan has seen a bit of a stock drop because he missed the Senior Bowl this year and players at other positions have jumped up in rankings at the top, but Lewan is a top 10 pick. Sleepers are Morgan Moses of Virginia or Cameron Fleming of Florida State but they’ll need DAMN good workouts to get to that late teens/early twenties range of the Dolphins.

    My guess is… They’ll want the most athletic one of the bunch, which would be Kuandjio. Though the best blocker of the group is Martin and he should be the choice if he’s there. Not a bad choice between the three really though.

  35. Raul Says:

    So now that Jeter is retiring, who assumes the role of the face of MLB?

    Some people aren’t sure who it is now.
    I’ve heard people say Mike Trout, but does he have that kind of national appeal?

  36. Bob Says:

    The Sox signed Chris Capuano.

    Regarding Trout. If he does not have the name recognition of Jeter, give it to him.

  37. Lefty33 Says:

    @25 – It’s not exactly all that shocking.

    The Phillies already did a version of this with Ryan Madson two years ago where they led him along to believe that he was going to be their closer for the next four years with big money involved only to dump him at the 11th hour and go with Papelbon.

    Some say it was a slap at Madson because of his association with Boras who they’ve always hated since the J.D. Drew debacle years ago but either way it cost Madson tens of millions.

    Montgomery is by-in-large seen as a nice guy. I mean one of his nicknames is Gentleman Dave but Amaro has shown himself to be a 100% Dick during his time as GM.

  38. Lefty33 Says:

    @35 & 36 – No matter what Trout does he will never have the name recognition of Jeter has long as he plays for a team on the West Coast.

  39. Cameron Says:

    Hm, maybe Trout. Maybe he hasn’t come around yet. I’m curious to see who though.

    Personally, I want a superstar young player that comes around soon to be black. Baseball’s losing interest in that community.

  40. Mike Felber Says:

    Looking at lifetime WAR. Even without considering peak & war years, it is a pretty good ranking of ATGs. Better with them.

    Looks like Chuck could be right about Pujols falling apart. He & Alex now do not have a great chance to reach #11, Ted Williams. Who without the lost peak war years-assuming Mays would get his back too-would be #4 behind Bonds, Ruth, & Say Hey Kid, & ahead of his old friend Cobb.

    I wonder if Speaker is somehow underrated. He is already #6 all time in WAR. But over a long career his Defensive value is 2.5 WAR. I wrote B-R.com a while back, they explained CF was differently valued then (though he played other OF positions). And they did not have modern records. But really, almost no defensive value for Speaker?

  41. Raul Says:

    Tris Speaker is definitely underrated.
    Go ahead and ask people on the street or in the bar to name the top 10 baseball players of all time.

    Guaranteed nobody mentions Speaker, because nobody has even heard of Tris Speaker.

  42. Raul Says:

    Man, I wish I could have bookmarked comments on here.

    The year that Pujols started with the Angels, I got crushed for saying that Albert would have a hard time reaching 600 HR.

    How ya like me now?

  43. Bob Says:

    Yup. I do.

  44. Raul Says:

    Alan Trammell is 56 today.

  45. Bob Says:

    And thank you for that.

  46. Kerry Says:

    @42, as a Cardinal fan, when Pujols left I was relieved because even though it was sad to see him go, that contract would have hamstrung them for years and you could see the decline starting already. Now I’m ecstatic.

  47. Cameron Says:

    Just curious, do you think the Orioles ever move Machado back to short at this point? He’s the reigning Gold Glove at third and the Platinum Glove (didn’t know that award existed before today) that recognizes the best defender in the league. Is he too good at the hot corner to move now?

  48. Raul Says:

    He’s going on like 3 years at the position.

    Chuck thinks he’ll go back, but I’m not seeing it.

  49. Kerry Says:

    Machado had a 950s FPct in the minors at SS, which is subpar. I know FPct isn’t everything, but his FPct at 3B in the majors is above average. Having his bat at SS would be nice, but they would be giving up a lot defensively.

    But it would really depend on the situation. If J.J. Hardy leaves next year and the best player they could get was at 3B, they might switch Machado back to SS.

  50. Mike Felber Says:

    And I was a crusher! Barring a resurgence, it looks like he has gone into permanent decline. I cannot assume he will not recover his ‘12 form of a 5.0 WAR, but that is still well below his old level.

  51. Jim Says:

    There has been talk this winter of the O’s and JJ Hardy negotiating an extension. That would lock Machado at 3rd

  52. Bob Says:

    1. The Orioles will sign Nelson Cruz.

    2. The U.S. Olympic hockey team will not medal.

  53. Cameron Says:

    Sandy Koufax is taking his usual rounds of Spring Training, helping the Dodgers pitchers out for the week. Took a liner fromm BP off his forehead yesterday, busted his head open and left a pretty nasty bruise. …He’s back today. Standing in the exact same spot.

  54. Cameron Says:

    So… About the Dolphins taking Kuandjio or Richardson with their pick? Yeah, that’s not happening now. Partially due to bad workouts at the combine (Kuandjio placed near the bottom in every drill, Richardson has good strength, but is slow) and both have knee problems (Richardson has recurring issues, Kuandjio straight failed most physicals due to his knees being arthritic after a botched surgery).

    So Zack Martin or pray Taylor Lewan somehow PLUMMETS.

  55. Bob Says:

    1. The Yankees and Brett Gardner agree to a 4-year extension.

    2. The Angels and Trout are talking about a 6-year extension.

  56. Cameron Says:

    4/52 for Gardner.

  57. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are idiots.
    Someone just wants to burn money.

  58. Cameron Says:

    I like Gardner, a lot. Probably more than anyone.

    …Fuck that contract.

  59. Raul Says:

    It’s this lowest common denominator thinking in MLB that leads to these contracts.

    It’s not that A-Rod gets 250 million.
    It’s that Juan Pierre gets 44 million.

  60. Cameron Says:

    The MLB recently approved a rule banning collisions at home plate while the catcher isn’t holding the ball.

    1) Wasn’t this already illegal?

    2) Seriously, what kind of dickbag blocks the plate without the ball?

  61. Raul Says:

    It’s always been the rule that you can’t block the plate without the ball.
    At least, I was like 99% certain that it was.

    Umpires just never called guys out on it before.

    Up next — MLB will probably try to declare that the neighborhood play at 2nd base will be eliminated. Hahaha

  62. Cameron Says:

    I think after reviewing the play that it’s trying to ban blocking the plate while the ball’s being thrown to you. You know, see the relay to you at the plate so you put yourself over the plate and lean out for the catch. I guess they expect catches to just sit behind the plate the whole time now and wait for the ball so they can make a tag.

  63. Chuck Says:

    “Bob and Chuck were knee deep in Deborah Harry wanna-be skanks.”

    Nah, she was done by then..it was the chick from Fleetwood Mac, who is actually from Phoenix, btw.

    “Manziel is a great risk-reward pick IMO..”

    Manziel=Doug Flutie

    It’s funny some people think the Gold Glove is a dickshot award when Derek Jeter is winning it, but then turn around and think it has value when defending not moving Manny Machado back to short.

  64. Chuck Says:

    I met Dave Kingman on Monday.

    He’s the coolest guy. He was laughing and joking around and just seemed happy to be there.

    He was pretty popular too, probably because of the Cubs connection, but every time I saw him throughout the day he was either posing for a picture or signing something.

  65. Bob Says:

    Stevie Nicks

  66. Cameron Says:

    Flutie was a hell of a player, so I wouldn’t call that comp a knock against him.

  67. Cameron Says:

    Doug Flutie is also the prime example of why Wade Phillips should never be anything more than a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Turns the Texans from one of the worst defenses in the NFL to the best… But benches Doug Flutie for Rob Johnson in the playoffs.

  68. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome @ Chuck.

    Getting to meet all these former players at events around Spring Training really is pretty cool. You see how people act off the field and get a better feel for who they really are.

    Doug Flutie was sort of the exception to the rule.
    I mean, if a guy can play, he can play. I don’t really buy into the notion that a QB has to be 6′5, 230 pounds who can chuck it 70 yards down the field.

    Flutie and Young were relatively short QB’s and they were better than probably 25 of the starting QBs today.

  69. Cameron Says:

    Actually, Manziel probably could chuck it 70 yards if he had to. Got a hell of an arm for someone under six feet. Plus, he’s got ten inch hands, which is good measurements on a QB. A lot of these intangible questions on him are getting brushed off lately. He knows he’s got a job on the line with how he’s conducting himself, and a thing scouts watch is when they’re around other players how they interact with each other. He’s a motivator and trying to be an active leader and showing good study habits.

    …Not saying for certain he’ll be an NFL QB, but he’s really surprising me. I’m sorta hoping he falls to Cleveland because that’d cause the local media to turn into a goddamn circus, and I need some quality entertainment.

  70. Raul Says:

    And John Rocker is still…well, John Rocker…

    http://i.imgur.com/Uh8RGgT.jpg

  71. Cameron Says:

    First tweet, classic bad taste joke.

    Second tweet… The your mom line was a little cheap, but I actually kinda have to applaud that one. Tasteless as shit, but it made me chuckle.

  72. Raul Says:

    The other day at the gym, I was on the elliptical and MSG was showing a fight from 2006 — Irish John Duddy vs Luis Ramon Campas.

    The fight goes the distance with Duddy taking a unanimous decision.

    But holy crap if that wasn’t one of the most entertaining fights I’ve ever seen.
    Well worth the time to sit through it.

  73. Raul Says:

    Are we just going to assume that Danny Espinosa has already lost his starting job to Anthony Rendon?

  74. Bob Says:

    Gonna wait until after St. Patrick’s day to begin predicting Opening Day rosters.

  75. Bob Says:

    Miguel Sano will have TJ Surgery. That sucks.

  76. Cameron Says:

    Oof, that’s a year on the shelf and quite possibly a move from third now. Left? First? DH?

  77. Cameron Says:

    Finally moved into my new apartment. Now for a night of building furniture…

  78. Cameron Says:

    Most of a night building furniture. Fuck that dining room table, it’s heavy.

  79. Jim Says:

    Congrats Cam. Just think of how good it will feel to sit on said furniture and watch a ballgame.

  80. Cameron Says:

    Local coverage is for Indians games, so not that good. =P

  81. Bob Says:

    Well watch it with a bacon and onion pizza.

  82. Cameron Says:

    I think I’ll wait for football season. We get Steelers and Browns coverage. So… I think I get about 4 Ravens and Bengals games a year. That’ll be good.

  83. Bob Says:

    Wait until football season for a pizza?

  84. Cameron Says:

    Why wait? There’s half a pizza in the fridge now.

  85. Bob Says:

    I hope it is gone by now.

  86. Raul Says:

    Glad things are getting better for you, Cam.

  87. Bob Says:

    Today’s top story. http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/policereports/article/Substitute-teacher-charged-with-indecent-exposure-5271012.php

  88. Cameron Says:

    He’s awful spry for his age.

  89. Bob Says:

    The Orioles signed Johan Santana.

  90. Cameron Says:

    Fingers crossed his shoulder doesn’t fly apart after five pitches. I like Johan a lot, but it’s kinda sad now.

  91. Raul Says:

    3 years ago people thought Johan was going to the hall of fame.

    Just another example that people need to slow down.

  92. Bob Says:

    In other words no more Trout, Harper and Machado hyperbole.

  93. Cameron Says:

    He was on pace for the Hall the way he was going, then just BAM! Rotator cuff implosion.

    Trout, Harper, and Machado are all position players. Position guys are a lot safer compared to pitchers. One injury to a pitcher and they can be derailed for their career. Especially rotator cuffs. Tommy John shelves for a year and you can be relatively fine. Rotator cuff surgery… It’s not such a safe bet. Look at Mark Prior and now Johan.

  94. Cameron Says:

    So… Stephen Strasburg can throw a slider now.

    Coincidentally, Atlanta had one hit against him today.

  95. Raul Says:

    I think the Machado thing is overstated, sure.
    Machado is going to be a good player. Probably an all-star. But he’s not going to crush 40 HR and hit .320.

    Harper’s power is legit. The question is whether he’ll grow pull-happy like Adam Dunn, or whether he’ll learn to slap pitches outside over the shortstop’s head.

    I think Trout is the real deal, though. Is he Mickey Mantle reincarnated? I don’t think so. But 30 HR, 25 Steals, 100 runs scored like clock work? Yeah. I’ll ride with that for the next decade.

  96. Cameron Says:

    40 homers in Camden? Shit, Crush Davis hit 50, why not? Not clockwork, but doable.

  97. Bob Says:

    Rick Ankiel has retired.

  98. Cameron Says:

    Saw that earlier. Says he’s looking for a front office job now.

  99. Raul Says:

    Camden Yards opened in 1992.

    There have been THREE 40-homer seasons by an Oriole.

    1996 – Brady Anderson hit 50.
    1998 – Rafael Palmeiro hit 43.
    2013 – Chris Davis hit 50.

    Machado aint hitting 40.
    He DID hit a league-leading 51 doubles last year (at age 20). So if he manages to bulk up and grow into his body, I suppose he could be a mid-30s guy. But we’re a ways from that.

    If he goes back to SS, he’ll never hit 40.
    If he stays at 3B (and I think he will), he’ll probably pack on some strength and maybe hit a few more.

  100. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/10561798/rich-hill-boston-red-sox-confirms-infant-son-died

  101. Raul Says:

    Wow.
    Very sad for Rich Hill and his wife and family.

    My brother had a premature daughter last July (healthy now). Born 1 pound, 6 ounces and I saw how complex and stressful child complications can be on a family.

  102. Bob Says:

    Great that your niece is healthy and thriving.

  103. Raul Says:

    Thanks Bob.

  104. Cameron Says:

    RIP Dr. Frank Jobe, innovator of ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery.

    AKA Tommy John Surgery

  105. Mike Felber Says:

    Trout may well have a Mantle-esque career. He has the talent, considering injuries & his demons kept Mantle from reaching all of his potential, & when you put up 2 MVP caliber seasons at the start of your career, it is not hyperbole.

    What do you guys think of this? Crying over a patty matter when they charge fans a premium owner soaked taxpayers & twice dismantled the team for cash & should shut up since they lost 7-2 anyway in a meaningless far away game during a tornado watch….OR two wrongs do not make a right, it was definitely a violation of MLB rules, unfair to fans & an insult?

    http://mlb.si.com/2014/03/06/marlins-outraged-over-red-sox-spring-lineup/?xid=aol_home&icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl7|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D451373

  106. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, sending out a team barely fit for a AAA game is a disgrace to the fans.

    Shame on the Marlins.

  107. Cameron Says:

    Wow, I just looked at the roster for Miami. That may be the most pathetic group of people trying to be passed off as a Major League pitching staff, and I lived through some pretty bad Royals teams.

  108. Bob Says:

    Speaking of the Royals and their pitching staff, they released Brad Penny.

  109. Cameron Says:

    Minor league contract, they weren’t sure he’d break camp anyway. Luke Hochevar needs Tommy John, that I’m kinda sad about. He’s been a brand new pitcher since moving to the pen, sucks to lose him at the back end.

  110. Cameron Says:

    RIP Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife of 65 years.

  111. Mike Felber Says:

    Awwwww…

  112. Bob Says:

    Ervin Santana will sign a 1-year deal with an Al club. Kind of surprised he signed now. I thought he would sign post Opening Day.

  113. Cameron Says:

    Sounds like he finally let his price drop, that’s why there’s a signing. No definite word on what team, might be Toronto.

  114. Chuck Says:

    What’s up, y’all…sorry haven’t been around..Brewers first week of games was a bitch..three of first four games on the road, then five home games last six days.

    Head is spinning.

  115. Cameron Says:

    Hey Kerry, when you roll around again, where do I send my DC Challenge predictions? I got them done finally.

  116. Bob Says:

    And the aftermath of post 105 is this: http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/03/08/sources-major-league-baseball-fined-red-sox-for-lineup-against-marlins/

  117. Bob Says:

    From Bill Chuck. The Red Sox have beaten the Royals 123 times at home. And the Royals have beaten the Sox at home 123 times. How is that for parity?

  118. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10578119/william-clay-ford-sr-detroit-lions-owner-dies-88

  119. Kerry Says:

    @115 Hi Cameron, that’s excellent! You can send DC Challenge predictions to me at whisnant@iastate.edu

    I’ll post the official announcement soon (I usually wait for spring break, which is a week away).

  120. Cameron Says:

    So… Tupperware. That was a good investment. The pot of chili I just made will last for about two days by itself.

  121. Cameron Says:

    The first round of cuts to MLB rosters are being made today. The Royals made some notable ones. Chris Dwyer and Cheslor Cuthbert were assigned to AAA (bad sign for Dwyer, pretty good sign for Cuthbert) and John Lamb was sent down to AA (REALLY bad sign for how old he’s getting). Also, Brandon Laird is in the minors camp over here. Didn’t he used to be a big Yankees prospect?

    Also, we have some awesome names in camp like Melky Mesa, Paulo Orlando, Gorkys Hernandez, and my favorite in Sugar Ray Marimon.

  122. Chuck Says:

    I saw Lamb “piitch” on Saturday.

    Double, Double, HP, Double, Double, Walk, shower.

  123. Chuck Says:

    I dig the long ball just as much as the next guy, but you have to see the ball Stanton hit today…even by his standards it was a freakin bomb. My goodness.

  124. Cameron Says:

    Damn… That was a hit alright. Off the left field batter’s eye screen.

  125. Mike Felber Says:

    Some say 500′. While distance is often exaggerated & how far a descending ball will travel misunderstood, sidelong photos show that how that screen is way behind the fence indeed.

    What do you think about mt question @ post #105 Chuck?

  126. Cameron Says:

    I think it might’ve been shorter because it hit that batter’s eye screen. What really impressed me was the height on that thing. It would’ve knocked out a news chopper.

  127. Chuck Says:

    It cleared the batter’s eye screen and landed on the field next door. The announcer said it was the first time in 15 years of covering games he’s seen a ball reach the field next door.

  128. Chuck Says:

    It’s a rule, but what good are rules if they’re not enforced?

    I’ve seen teams send some pretty crappy lineups to Maryvale, but if Doug Melvin doesn’t bitch about it, that means he accepts it.

  129. Cameron Says:

    Ah… Must’ve been the wind then. Looked like it hit the screen to me. If it hit the next door field… Damn, that is FAR. And still, the height of that thing. It could’ve been legally classified as a low-flying craft.

  130. Cameron Says:

    Also, I think I forgot to mention when I moved in that I have a kitten now. I’m gone for an hour and a half to take care of some errands, and I come back to her being whiny and hyper. I’m taking care of a small dog in the body of a smaller cat.

  131. Bob Says:

    Best pets.

    1. Golden retrievers
    2. Pussy cats that meow.
    3. Good job Cameron

  132. Bob Says:

    1.The Angels released Mark Mulder.

    2. Kris Medlin has ligament damage

  133. Cameron Says:

    Kind of a shame about Mulder. I was pulling for that comeback. Sounds like he made a lot of progress.

  134. Raul Says:

    Ligament damage?
    He’s finished.

  135. Cameron Says:

    For the season? Yes. For his career… Gotta admit, it’s not looking too good. If he gets surgery, it’s his second Tommy John in four years.

  136. Raul Says:

    Maybe Kris Medlen was overused and crushed by the higher ups. Was Dusty Baker his manager?

    2006: 22 innings
    2007: 47 innings
    2008: 120 innings
    2009: 104 innings
    2010: 107 innings
    2011: 2 inings
    2012: 138 innings
    2013: 197 innings

    Somebody better be fired! This guy was putting up Christy Mathewson innings at the tender age of 27! Three career games with over 110 innings pitched?!?!? Can we get the Union to look into this?

  137. Raul Says:

    *3 career games with 110 pitches, that should say.

    Still, my goodness. This guy is putting those Japanese pitchers to shame.
    Lord knows at 95 pitches, Hall of Fame types like Johnson and Maddux were already hitting the showers.

  138. Chuck Says:

    Mulder blew his Achilles the first day of camp.

  139. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ Raul Tremendous

  140. Mike Felber Says:

    Cameron, if it had hit the screen, an estimate of distance traveled would apply & not be too tough on the downward slope, easy when you know the altitude. I wonder if he had any tailwind, or if it was actually a little over 500′. Yes during the clip the announcer was saying it cleared the screen & did not see that in 45 years…One web site said minimum 525′& another 50-60 if it did not hit the neeting, but no way that is not overstated.

    When they measure distances that shots travel in a MLB game, it has been years since they reached, not just approached, 500′. Makes sense that homre runs derby’s use rabbit balls. Just eyeball the sidelong shot by scrolling down here to see how far that other-field netting is from the outfield wall.
    http://nypost.com/2014/03/10/giancarlo-stantons-500-foot-home-run

    Cats. I had 2 who lived ’til old the sole progeny from my marriage! We got the 2nd when the 1st was getting squirrely when left home all day: they are social, need some company to thrive.

  141. Chuck Says:

    According to the official game report, the wind was blowing 10 mph from left to right, making it a slightly hurting breeze.

  142. Raul Says:

    I feel bad that these guys got injured and maybe their careers are at stake, but how come nobody ever calls bullshit on this supposed “over use” of pitchers?

    Mark Prior is a flash in the pan and everyone wants to destroy Dusty Baker’s managerial career, but Kris Medlen gets 2 Tommy John surgeries and meh…fuck it, shit happens?

    You got infielders getting TJ surgery…come on.

  143. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think it was overuse for Medlen, and I don’t think anyone was calling for overuse on him. I seriously think it may have been shit happens for him. You want to blame people for the rash of TJs though, blame pitching coaches for teaching shitty mechanics.

  144. Mike Felber Says:

    Wow, Stanton is the Man-ton.

    Mucho art shows, some obscure & free, were in NYC for Armory week, just ended.
    Anyone want some tips re: good under-known galleries to hit around NYC, just ask.

  145. Cameron Says:

    Well… Atlanta found a solution to the Kris Medlen problem rather quickly.

  146. Raul Says:

    It’s bad mechanics and lack of throwing.

    Why don’t you hear of the explosion of TJ surgeries in Japan or South America?
    Those guys are throwing all the time.

  147. Bob Says:

    Well in South America they play soccer ( or football) Though your Japan point stands.

  148. Cameron Says:

    Colombia’s South American and has decent baseball and… Well, Venezuela.

  149. Chuck Says:

    “Well, in South America they play soccer…..though your point stands.”

    Pitchers throw with their legs.

    You can’t get/stay in shape sitting in front of a computer watching video.

    Everything in baseball…sports in general, starts from the ground up.

  150. Raul Says:

    Wasn’t there some story years ago that Nolan Ryan used to hit the treadmill or exercise bike for like an hour every day, even after games he pitched in?

    I know I heard SOMETHING like that when I was a kid.

    Maybe that’s why Ryan pitched for damn near 30 years. Always had the legs moving and always threw a lot.

  151. Cameron Says:

    Then there’s also the crazy shit Steve Carlton did like jogging in a vat of rice.

  152. Raul Says:

    Pardon me
    What?

  153. Cameron Says:

    Not sure how much of it is true, but there were stories of crazy exercises that Steve Carlton did. Like a story of him trying to run in a vat of dried rice. It’s the same principle as running in a pool, but it offers even more resistance than water does.

  154. Lefty33 Says:

    http://articles.mcall.com/1984-07-05/sports/2437605_1_workout-video-jane-fonda-conditioning

  155. Lefty33 Says:

    “Wasn’t there some story years ago that Nolan Ryan used to hit the treadmill or exercise bike for like an hour every day, even after games he pitched in?”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1138652/index.htm

    “Ryan won 324 games, the result of a rare blend of providential genetics and perfect mechanics—as well as a maniacal work ethic. After his seventh no-hitter, in 1991, Ryan rode the exercise bike for 45 minutes as family and friends waited to celebrate. “He’d say, ‘Pitching is easy; preparing to pitch is hard,’ ” says House. “He epitomizes what an athlete can do when he applies himself. He paid whatever price it took to compete.”

  156. Kerry Says:

    I was looking at Ryan’s career, and in his age 40-44 years, he pitched better than when he was younger: H/9 and BB/9 went down, SO/9 and ERA+ went up. Amazing. Two of his no-hitters occurred in that span, and he had fewer walks in those than in the earlier ones.

  157. Lefty33 Says:

    That’s what led a lot of people to assume that Ryan was either using PED’s during his time in Texas (Tom House being an admitted user and proponent of steroids) or that he was doctoring the baseball.

    The thing that extended his shelf life for several years (and led to the doctoring allegations) was that he mastered the circle change before the ’87 season. His FB had been slowly declining in velocity and he had been his whole career up until then a two pitch pitcher.

    Enter the circle change and that’s why from ’87-’91 (his age 40-44 seasons) he had seven shutouts, seventeen CG and ERA, ERA+, WHIP, H/9, BB/9, SO/9 numbers that were all superior to his career averages in some cases by a lot.

    His legs finally began to give out during the ’91 & ’92 seasons which is why he made less than 30 starts for the first time in a decade and then in ’93 he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

  158. Lefty33 Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XapAFdSsdU

    During the game you can watch Tim Tschida’s strike zone for Ryan expand and Ryan is getting calls with his curveball that clearly are not strikes, but whatever.

    A few noteworthy things about this start:

    It’s fun to watch Ryan throw bullets while Key at times is lobbing grenades.
    Ryan went 8 plus is his prior start and threw 134 pitches.
    He was dealing with cracked skin on the middle finger of his right hand making his change very hard to throw but to compensate his curve was excellent and “The Express” visibly was picking up steam as the game went on.

    It’s truly a masterwork in pitching, not throwing which is what he was accused of for a large part of his career.

  159. Cameron Says:

    So, the Knicks named Phil Jackson President of Basketball Operations. Rather fitting since the last time the Knicks won a championship, he was playing for them.

    …Taking bets on how long until Dolan fucks it all up.

  160. Jim Says:

    Knicks’ fans deserve better ownership than Dolan. Dolan and Jeff Loria are the two worst owners in pro sports. The over-under on how long before Dolan fucks it up could be nano seconds.

  161. Raul Says:

    Awesome insight, Lefty.

    Thank you.

  162. Mike Felber Says:

    Not jogging in a vat of rice Cameron, that would have been damn near impossible if any significant depth, or at least slow motion. Twisting his fist to the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket of rice! I am surprised a Philly Fanatic going by “Lefty” did not correct you, doubtless he knew this. I recall it from back in the day…

    Ryan was also amongst the first guys to take up weightlifting. To the expected dismay of one Grand Slam per/AM master, I would risk to venture.

  163. Chuck Says:

    Carlton didn’t jog in rice, he would do hand excersizes in a bucket of rice.

  164. Mike Felber Says:

    Great minds (or old men) think alike Chuck, you had not refreshed the page…

  165. Cameron Says:

    Cactus Leage, you’re doing it wrong.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/brewers-reliever-francisco-rodriguez-gets-treatment-after-stepping-on-cactus?ymd=20140312&content_id=69172758&vkey=news_mlb

  166. Kerry Says:

    @158, I didn’t watch the whole thing, but at the beginning the announcer commented that Ryan “rewrites the record book every game he plays.” How prophetic!

    Other interesting aspects about that game: Julio Franco was at 2B for the Rangers; he was “only” 32 at the time, but would go on to play to age 49. Also, they showed AVG, OBA, HR and RBI on the screen for each batter (the graphics were pretty rudimentary compared to today).

  167. Kerry Says:

    @158,166: Another thing they mentioned at the end of the game was that the player who made the final out (Roberto Alomar) got his first career hit off of Ryan 4 years before (in his first MLB PA).

  168. Raul Says:

    So I see that Ryne Sandberg is being a d*ck to Jimmy Rollins.

    I’m pretty sure this guy’s managing career in Philly is going to be a disaster.
    Rollins is right, anyway. It’s Spring Training, bro. Who cares about early struggles in games that don’t matter?

  169. Lefty33 Says:

    @167- Also noteworthy is that the same day that Ryan got his 7th, Rickey stole #939.

  170. Lefty33 Says:

    @168- As well Sandberg should be a dick towards Rollins as he’s had it coming now for years. For too long Chuckles acted like J-Roll’s Sugar Daddy protecting him from media scrutiny/accountability by letting him play however he wanted while not running out balls repeatedly and hitting leading game in/game out while his OBP sucked as he continued to swing for the fences which is how he earned his real nickname of Jimmy Poppins.

    If Sandberg’s managing career in Philadelphia is going to be a disaster it’ll be because of the group of non movable old farts & AAAA stiffs that Amaro has stocked the roster with and not because of Sandberg’s lack of acuity or desire to change things up in a Phillies culture that went stale a few years ago.

    If Rollins gets off his lazy ass and actually tries to play like a shadow of his ‘07 self instead of only attempting to hang on to pad his stats for some delusional ego stroke that he no doubt thinks will get him to Cooperstown then I’m sure that none of this would be happening.

  171. Raul Says:

    I’m sure that Rollins is overpaid and underperforming.

    But I think Sandberg is handling his manager role like a lot of first-time managers do — immaturely. Which is to say…pumping their chests out…trying hard to exert power and show that they are the boss. Sandberg is managing veteran players. Ease up, bro. That power trip doesn’t work with guys that have been around the block.

  172. Mike Felber Says:

    A chance to rip (most likely) or affirm the wisdom of rWAR.

    Checking the best position player seasons EVER, ! & 2 are Ruth. Then tied for 3rd with him all time, above all other immortals—> Yaz?

    Do you think this is a plausible approximation of how valuable his ‘67 was? He got 1.7 dWAR in LF, & through the formula’s alchemy, a bit more than that to raise his 9.9 oWAR to a 12.4 total WAR. His offensive stat line included playing all but one game, & a superb 193 OPS +. and 1.340 in 7 WS games.

    Is it possible to you that Yaz had the best season ever by any position player but Ruth?

  173. Lefty33 Says:

    “Which is to say…pumping their chests out…trying hard to exert power and show that they are the boss.”

    True, but considering what has gone on in Philadelphia over the last 2-3 seasons where the tail was wagging the dog it’s needed.

    “That power trip doesn’t work with guys that have been around the block.”

    I’m sure that the vets have already figured out that Sandberg is Amaro’s longterm horse and that barring something unforseen he’ll be there way after their playing days are over.

    So to me Rollins can either get with the program, prepare for a long bang your head against the wall type of season or waive his 10/5 rights and do us all a favor by fucking getting out of Dodge if he can’t pull his bloated head out of his ass and be a leader instead of a lollygagging clubhouse cancer.

  174. Cameron Says:

    Brandon Beachy is likely to undergo surgery, pending evaluation by Dr. Andrews. I’m now convinced there is a crazed orthopedic surgeon with a healthy supply of GHB and a well-used scalpel inhabiting the Braves’ training room.

  175. Raul Says:

    Point taken, Lefty.

    This feels weird to see pitchers having injuries with the Braves. It seemed that for 20 years, Atlanta was very good about getting rid of players just before they got hurt.

  176. Jim Says:

    Moron Watch

    “According to police, (Jon) Denney said “he was a Boston Red Sox player and he didn’t care [sic] he had money and made more money than we would ever see.” When handcuffed, the report said, Denney said “he would be out in no time because of who he played for and that he made three million a year.”

  177. Mike Felber Says:

    A Blast from the Past:

    Hossrex asked me on FB about why this website randomly posted an old conversation from here in ‘09.. I am not the Mike in question…

    http://xmmlbchat.blogspot.com/2009/08/radio-is-what-sold-me-on-baseball.html?m=1

  178. Chuck Says:

    Met Ken Rosenthal today.

    Definitely vertically challenged.

    Seems like a nice guy.

  179. Cameron Says:

    People who you see in the media always seem shorter than you think they’d be. My stepdad was a roadie for 20 years, always had fun stories. Two guys who he pointed out were really tiny was BOC’s Buck Dharma (about 5′2″) and Rick Derringer (No joking, 4′11″).

  180. Chuck Says:

    I have met both Kurkjian and Olney before, they are both shorter than I am, probably in the 5′7″ range. Seeing them on TV it’s noticeable how much shorter Rosenthal is compared to them, so guessing 5′5″ isn’t extreme.

    I would say 5′5″ is probably his ceiling, my wife is 5′4″ and he seems about that, and maybe 5′3″.

  181. Chuck Says:

    RIP David Brenner….he was one funny guy.

  182. Chuck Says:

    Dbacks’ Patrick Corbin needs TJ.

  183. Mike Felber Says:

    An ex GF works in a legendary NYC hat shop, Paul Simon has come in & played for her, swears they are about the same height (max 5′ 2″). Clinton’s Secvretary of Labor Robert Reich, 4′ 10″. Danny Devito, looked him up,claims at best/a good day 5′ 0″, likely that is rounding up.

    It is hard for very short men. Nothing WRONG with it, but from incomes to getting the girl, life discriminates. A woman will be found cute (unless especially tiny) & called petite, for guys is often effects even their own perception of masculinity.

    Funny to watch Joe Pesci, who maybe is 5′4″, go bananas i Raging Bull, Casino…He is about at the top of his reach when whacking his underling in the head with a telephone. I did not know about this planned film or silly lawsuit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2019816/Joe-Pesci-sues-Gotti-makers-3m-piling-30lbs-play-mobster–axed-role.html

  184. Bob Says:

    http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=NFL&id=9454&line=285203&spln=1

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