Tigers Consider Coke for Rotation

by JeffMoore

Would Phil Coke work as a starter for the Tigers?

It’s something they’re considering.

Typically taking your newly acquired LOOGY and plugging him in your rotation is about as good of an idea as letting your neighbor who had an accounting class in high school to your taxes.  But in this case, it’s not completely far-fetched.

First, the obvious.

Coke was primarily a starter in the minors, and with relative success (3.61 ERA, 2.53 to 1 K/BB ratio), although he was always old for his league.  His minor league FIP was 3.68, and he proved to be only slightly less effective against righties than lefties, with a FIP of 3.46 against LHH and 3.74 against RHH.

The majors, however, have been another story.

At first glance, his splits hold up.  For his career, lefties have hit .197 off Coke, and righties have hit .202.  But something out jumped out at me when I looked at the numbers.  Can you see it?  It hit me like a ton of bricks.

In the minors Coke showed above-average control, walking 2.91 batters per 9 IP.  In the majors, his rate has been 2.7 batters per 9 IP, relatively the same.  But Coke’s career splits show us that 72.7% of his career walks (16 of 22) have come against right-handed hitters.

There is no reason to believe (at least as far as I can tell) that Coke somehow loses all concept of where his pitches are going when a righty comes to the plate.  A more likely scenario, considering that the bulk of Coke’s work is as a situational lefty, is that he often was asked (or it was suggested to him) to pitch around a right-handed hitter to get to a lefty.

Consider the situation Coke probably faced routinely – manager Joe Girardi calls Coke out of the bullpen to face a L-R-L situation in the batting order.  With the Yankees not wanting to use up an additional pitcher, Girardi instructs Coke to go after the lefty, be very careful with the righty, then go after the next lefty before heading in for a shower after a hard day’s work.  Not wanting to get hurt by the RHH, Coke attempts to get him to chase pitches outside of the strike zone and get himself out, and if unsuccessful, issues the unintentional-intentional walk (UIIBB for those of you scoring at home).

If I worked for the Tigers, I would run the numbers and find out exactly how many times this occurred, because it directly affects the validity of Coke’s .202 BAA vs. RHH, but since I have to have a real job for a living, I don’t have time.

The point is that if Coke spent any significant portion of his time facing righties actually trying to avoid them, then his numbers against them are irrelevant.  The only real information the Tigers have to go on in predicting Coke’s success as a big league starter are his minor league numbers, which don’t give them much information.

They have nothing to lose by trying him as a starter in Spring Training.  At worst he goes back to the bullpen.  But they’d be smart to have a few other options ready.

Potent Potables

  • Exhibit A of how much the McCourt’s divorce is affecting the Dodgers’ spending – Ned Coletti defends his decision not to offer arbitration to Randy Wolf for fear of getting stuck with a $15 million bill.  And he’s probably right, given his new financial restraints.  But this is coming from the same GM who gave Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt $83 million to be fat and/or hurt.
  • Just in case you weren’t sure, Barry Bonds’ career is over…probably.  The last quote from Bonds’ agent is baseball comedy at its finest.
  • We all know Ed Wade is a bad GM, but aren’t he and Drayton McLane a match made in heaven (or hell, if you’re an Astros fan)?  As my grandmother always said, there’s a lid for every pot.
  • Transaction note – the Royals released Mike Jacobs.  On a related note, Leo Nunez just turned 26 and still throws 94 mph.

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40 Responses to “Tigers Consider Coke for Rotation”

  1. hossrex Says:

    Jeff Moore: “Typically taking your newly acquired LOOGY and plugging him in your rotation is about as good of an idea as letting your neighbor who had an accounting class in high school to your taxes.”

    Awesome. Hilariously awesome. At some point early in our relationship, I mentioned to Miss Rex that I had taken an accounting class in high school, and had at one time thought I wanted to be an accounted until the crushingly boring nature of the class made me reconsider.

    Her reply: “OH! GOOD! You can do my taxes!”

    *face palm*

  2. Raul Says:

    Pretty good, interesting stuff about Phil Coke. I’m interested in seeing the numbers on Coke’s situations against righties.

    Ouch @ Mike Jacobs for Leo Nunez.

  3. hossrex Says:

    MLB.com has all sorts of awesome stuff like that for contemporary players.

    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_splits.jsp?c_id=det&playerID=457435&statType=2

    Against Righties he’s pitched 23.2 (equivalent) innings, with a 6.46 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and righties have a .778 OPS against him.

    So… not so good.

  4. Chuck Says:

    Please stop using the acronym “LOOGY”

    To most people, a loogy is what ends up on the sleeve of a four year old after a sneeze.

    The Tigers got Daniel Schlereth in the deal, who is limited, snots or not, to being a reliever. Lefthanders are a rarity, much less lefty relievers.

    Besides, the Tigers could do alot worse than Coke in their rotation.

    They still have Dontrelle.

  5. hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “Besides, the Tigers could do alot worse than Coke in their rotation.

    They still have Dontrelle.”

    Bah… even I’m off his bandwagon now. The kid is done.

    Which could only possibly mean one thing.

    Dontrelle Willis wins the 2010 Cy Young award.

    Oh… and lefty pitchers aren’t rare. GOOD lefty pitchers are rare. It’s amazing how bad a left handed reliever can be and still get relatively good money. The freaks aside (Spahn, Carlton, Johnson, etc), left handed pitchers have more utility in relief. All but the freaks (referenced earlier) get lit up by righties, which on most teams will be around 6/9ths of the line-up (or more). A lefty would have to prove he was pretty darn good against right handed batters for me to consider making him a starter, and Coke hasn’t done that.

  6. KMCole Says:

    The headline makes it sound like the Tigers’ exasperation with their staff has led to an answer from the world of narcotics.

  7. Chuck Says:

    This myth of “lefties not hitting lefties” is exactly that. Stat guys make this s*it up because they’re easily bored and are always looking for the next breakthrough stat.

    I coached a guy in high school who was a short, lefty hitting catcher who always said he would play in the major leagues. He knew, from 15 or so, the only way he would make it would be to excel at a difficult position (catcher), and to hit lefties.

    He went to Georgia Tech on a baseball scholarship, played mostly behind the dish, and occasionally at third and in the OF.

    He was drafted by the Mariners and ended up having an eleven year ML career.

    His name is Darren Bragg.

    It was hilarious watching him in spring training with Seattle, he hit Randy Johnson like he was his personal bitch.

    It was funny in high school, we’d post a note on the bulletin board in the teacher’s lounge asking for lefthanders willing to come out and “help” with the team. All they’d end up doing is “throw” BP to Bragg.

    Ask any GOOD lefty hitter…Bonds, Gwynn, Mattingly, etc, and they will tell you they liked to face lefties because the natural angle of the pitch brought the ball INTO the barrel of the bat in the hitting zone.

    Guys like Ryan Howard and David Ortiz who bail against lefties do so for one reason only..they’re lazy. They won’t take the extra BP needed to be successful.

    I was a lefty hitter, and while I didn’t have the career Bragg did, I hit lefties pretty well and wasn’t intimidated at all by facing them.

    So, maybe for some of these “Loogy” specialists, it isn’t the fact they’re successful against all lefties, just certain lefties?

  8. Kerry Says:

    LOL at Chuck’s LOOGY lament.

    Well, it really should be just LOOG, but I’m sure LOOGY caught on exactly because it has another, less sanitary, meaning.

    And apparently Loogy is also now a web comic — all of two comics old. It seems to be more closely associated with the original meaning of the word (reader beware).

  9. Kerry Says:

    Oops, my link didn’t work. Try:

    http://www.loogy.com/?id=2

  10. Chuck Says:

    “Bah… even I’m off his bandwagon now.”

    Is “off the bandwagon” the politically correct term for “off the wagon?”

  11. hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “This myth of “lefties not hitting lefties” is exactly that. Stat guys make this s*it up because they’re easily bored and are always looking for the next breakthrough stat.”

    Yeah… those bastard stat guys… keeping track of things… noticing trends… they suck.

    Chuck: “Ask any GOOD lefty hitter…Bonds, Gwynn, Mattingly, etc,”

    Huh.

    In MY example I specifically excluded the lefty “freaks”. Hitters of that caliber could hit Pitchomat 5000 (he was a howitzer refitted to pitch in the Robot Blernsball league).

  12. JeffMoore Says:

    Chuck,

    While I appreciate your stance, and you’re right that some lefties aren’t phased by facing other lefties (and perhaps you and Darren Bragg were two of them – I myself played though college and typically had more power against lefties because they pitched me inside more), I have to dispel your theory that “lefties not hitting lefties” is a myth.

    First of all, LOOGY’s are not a product of “stat guys” (although the goofy acronym certainly is), but rather are the product of the increasing compartmentalization of bullpens that has become “the way” along with one-inning saves, and defining roles in bullpens. We’ll save the discussion of the effectiveness of using a pitcher to face one batter for another day, but there is little argument against the effectiveness of bringing in a lefty to face a left-handed hitter.

    In 2009 the MLB splits looked like this:

    RHH vs. RHP: .257/.319/.407 – OPS .725
    RHH vs. LHP: .269/.347/.430 – OPS .777

    LHH vs. RHP: .268/.341/.430 – OPS .771
    LHH vs. LHP: .247/.317/.386 – OPS .703

    That is essentially the same as turning Nate McLouth into Clete Thomas.

    There is simply no way to ignore the significantly worse production by LHH’s facing LHP’s. The OPS of left-handed hitters dropped by over 10 % against lefties.

    Now, what I can’t explain is why lefties hit worse against lefties than righties hit against righties. The OPS of right-handed hitters only dropped by around 6 % when facing same-sided pitchers. Perhaps in that case, you are correct in that it’s simply because left-handed hitters don’t see left-handed pitchers nearly as often and therefore aren’t as comfortable against them, and there’s nothing behind hard work standing in their way. I could even attest to that myself, as I because increasingly more comfortable hitting LHP’s in college after facing significantly more of them than I had seen in high school, and also having more time to spend working in the cages with left-handed teammates throwing me batting practice, etc…

    But I would find it hard to believe that a lack of exposure to left-handed pitching is really a problem of major league players who have both the time and the resources at their disposal to perfect their craft. Do certain players improve themselves in this regard due to hard work? Certainly. Could some players stand to work a little harder? Absolutely. But I’m sure Ryan Howard’s lack of success against LHP’s is due to something more than just laziness.

  13. Jeff Says:

    “This myth of “lefties not hitting lefties” is exactly that. Stat guys make this s*it up because they’re easily bored and are always looking for the next breakthrough stat….Guys like Ryan Howard and David Ortiz who bail against lefties do so for one reason only..they’re lazy.”

    Whatever the reason behind it, it doesn’t make it a “myth.” Whether it’s b/c guys are lazy or b/c they can’t see the pitch as quickly, it’s a statistically significant phenomenon that teams and players need to be aware of and exploit.

  14. hossrex Says:

    Jeff: “it’s a statistically significant phenomenon that teams and players need to be aware of and exploit.”

    Exactly. It doesn’t matter whether the reason Ryan Howard can’t hit lefties is physics, or laziness… it’s still a fact. Being able to cite even a hundred lefty batters who hit lefty pitching just fine doesn’t change the fact that statistically, you’re better of bringing a lefty pitcher in to face a lefty batter.

  15. Chuck Says:

    “Now, what I can’t explain is why lefties hit worse against lefties than righties hit against righties”

    Comfort zone.

    There’s more right handers in the world than left.

    My wife is lefthanded. Her mom is one of seven kids, no lefties. She has 33 first cousins. No lefties. Her dad is one of nine kids. No lefties. On her dad’s side, she has 55 first cousins. No lefties.

    My dad is one of four kids, no lefties. I have 11 first cousins on his side, no lefties.

    My mom is one of seven kids, from two different gene pools, no lefties. On her side, I have 26 first cousins, no lefties.

    My wife and I have one child.

    She’s lefthanded.

    I can’t explain it.

    Thankyou, Jack Daniels.

  16. Raul Says:

    I’m left-handed.

    I never understood, growing up, why people made such a big deal about lefty pitchers throwing to lefty batters.

    If a right-handed batter could hit a right-handed pitcher, why the hell would it be any harder for a left-handed batter to hit a left-handed pitcher?

    The only argument I’ve heard people make is that you don’t see many left-handed pitchers so they aren’t used to it.

    I think that’s bullsh*t. I don’t care if you throw a pitch I’ve never seen before, or if you throw side-arm or underhand, left-handed, right-handed or whatever…..if the ball is in my wheelhouse, those outfielders better start running.

  17. Jim Says:

    This writer at 9 YO first time playing organized ball in the local police league. It was noticed that I was left handed. A coach handed me a ball a pointed toward the pitchers mound (actually more a hole worn it the grass). Pitch One: over the catchers head and into the swamp beyond. Pitch Two: caught by the catcher, but if there had been a RHH it would been buried in his ribs Pitch Three: In the dirt in front of the plate. Pitch Four: hits the plate before hitting the catcher in the nuts. After that I was sent to right field and the catcher never again forgot his cup. Every left handed kid auditioned as a pitcher that night.

  18. Kerry Says:

    Chuck: “There’s more right handers in the world than left.”

    Raul: “If a right-handed batter could hit a right-handed pitcher, why the hell would it be any harder for a left-handed batter to hit a left-handed pitcher?

    The only argument I’ve heard people make is that you don’t see many left-handed pitchers so they aren’t used to it.”

    And from Jeff:

    RHH vs. RHP: .257/.319/.407 – OPS .725
    RHH vs. LHP: .269/.347/.430 – OPS .777

    LHH vs. RHP: .268/.341/.430 – OPS .771
    LHH vs. LHP: .247/.317/.386 – OPS .703

    So RH batters DO do worse again RH pitchers, but not by as much since they get to see about 3 times as many RH as LH pitchers.

  19. hossrex Says:

    Of course the specific match-ups are important… but for the life of me I can’t understand the dispute over whether or not it’s generally more beneficial to bring in a lefty pitcher to face a lefty batter.

    we’re talking about a difference of about .025 points of OBP.

    If you had the choice between bringing in a pinch hitter who’s OBP’ing .317, and a pinch hitter who’s OBP’ing .341… and neither potential batters have ever faced the pitcher… is there any question which you bring in?

    It’s a generic .317 versus a generic .341.

    That’s not an insignificant difference, and while we can argue all day long about WHY that difference exists, it’s simply incorrect to call that a myth. It might only be two extra base hits out of a hundred difference… but it’s the exact same difference as between a triple-A washout, and an every day player.

  20. Terry Says:

    According to Tracy Ringolsby at Foxsports, Phil Coke is a “prospect”.

    Nevermind the 72 games he pitched in for the Yankees, this season….

  21. James Kunz Says:

    By the way Chuck, even Mattingly and Bonds hit significantly worse (albeit on a high level) against left-handers. And your pal Darren Bragg? .259/.737 against righties, .237/.652 against lefties. He had 42 HR against RHP, and 4 against LHP. There goes that point.

  22. Brautigan Says:

    I broke my right arm in kindergarden riding wild horses (well, what the hell else is there to do in Eastern Oregon?) and so at an early age, I was somewhat used to using my left hand/arm. Two things I could never do (and still can’t) is throw hard left handed (I can throw accurately) and write left handed. When I was 11, I discovered I could see the ball better batting left handed and made the switch. I think I saw about 4 left handed pitchers all the way into college, and then all of a sudden, I’m facing a left handed pitcher about every 3 or 4 games. It WAS a difficult adjustment, that’s for sure. The ball seemed to me to be coming from a totally different release point, especially from over handed curves. IT did mess up my timing, and I know for a fact I did not hit lefties well. Of the six strikeouts in my entire college career, five came against lefties. I walked more against lefties, but I probably hit about .250 with no power against them too. I never hit a home run off of a lefty. Came close, but they were all OUTS. So, maybe it’s psychological, maybe it’s just from missing an adjustment, but the thing I do remember, if they pitched me inside, I was toast, if they pitched on the outside, I did hit the ball well to left (so of course, I rarely saw inside pitches against lefties after my freshman year). I really tried hard to better myself against lefties, it just didn’t happen and to this day, it still puzzles me.

  23. Brautigan Says:

    Things go better with Coke?

  24. hossrex Says:

    James Kunz: “your pal Darren Bragg? .259/.737 against righties, .237/.652 against lefties. He had 42 HR against RHP, and 4 against LHP.”

    Oh my… that made me literally laugh out loud.

    That’s almost exactly the differentiation you’d expect to see for a lefty batter.

    So have we busted the myth that lefty/right match-ups are a myth?

  25. Chuck Says:

    I expected James to miss the point, Rex, you, not so much.

    Bragg had just 531 PA’s against lefties out of a career total of almost 3000, about 18%. That shouldn’t be, at least in the Bible According to Hossrex, a “large enough sample size” to count.

    BUT….if you were going to take Jeff’s numbers and correllate them into league averages, Bragg is at league average vs. lefties in BA, slightly below in slugging, and slightly ABOVE in OBP.

    But the point was watching Bragg as a high school sophmore hitting against the school nurse because she was the only lefty thrower available. He knew there weren’t too many 5′9″ major leaguers without a standout skill, so for him to make it he needed diversification.

    What he actually did against lefties once he got to the majors is completely facking irrelevant.

    Because he got there.

  26. hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “What he actually did against lefties once he got to the majors is completely facking irrelevant.”

    Huh…?

    It’s completely irrelevant to HIS CAREER… it’s in no way irrelevant to the question of “are lefty pitchers more effective against lefty batters.”

    I mean… you could have at least cited James Loney…

  27. Raul Says:

    The hitting zone is the hitting zone. Whether the ball is coming from a right-hander or a left-hander shouldn’t make a difference.

    The numbers seem to suggest that it does, and I don’t have a reason for why that might be. But I have yet to read any reason for why the numbers are so different other than the hitter’s viewing angle….which I think is perception and probably distortion.

    The hitters that do well against same-handed pitchers are probably those who understand the hitting zone and are comfortable.

    I mean, you aren’t going to pinch-hit for Albert Pujols when a right-handed reliever comes in the game, are you?

    Seems to me the big issue is determining exactly what the value of the difference is. Would you bring in a reliever when the difference between righties and lefties is .05 in batting average? How about .15? How about .23?

    Personally, good hitters hit and good pitchers get outs.

  28. hossrex Says:

    Raul: “Whether the ball is coming from a right-hander or a left-hander shouldn’t make a difference.”

    And yet here we are… and it does make a difference.

    Raul: “which I think is perception and probably distortion.”

    Doesn’t matter why… it just is.

    Raul: “I mean, you aren’t going to pinch-hit for Albert Pujols when a right-handed reliever comes in the game, are you?”

    Albert Pujols in 2009:

    Lefty pitching: .465 OBP, .696 slugging.
    Righty pitching: .435 OBP, .645 slugging.

    Of COURSE you don’t pinch hit for Pujols when a righty reliever comes into the game, because YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FIND A PINCH HITTER WHO HITS BETTER THAN THAT AGAINST RIGHTY PITCHING, regardless of which side of the plate he stands at.

    However I’m sure as HELL going to bring in a right handed pitcher to face him in the 8th inning.

    Even with Pujols, we’re talking about 3 fewer times on base per 100 with the proper pitching match-up. It would sure suck to lose a game or two because you didn’t bother to match up you pitching properly against Albert Pujols.

    Raul: “Would you bring in a reliever when the difference between righties and lefties is .05 in batting average? How about .15? How about .23?”

    As you well know, it all depends on the situation.

    Game on the line? Starter above 100 pitches? Lefty batter coming up?

    With all else being equal, but a .0000000001 differential between lefty/righty… I’m bringing in the lefty.

    Why not?

    Raul: “Personally, good hitters hit and good pitchers get outs.”

    And lefty pitchers get good hitters out more often.

    I don’t understand the dispute on this point.

  29. Chuck Says:

    “It’s completely irrelevant to HIS CAREER”

    Exactly..so why bring up his splits?

    Stop looking for things that aren’t there.

    K I S S

  30. hossrex Says:

    Chuck… let’s recap this conversation.

    Sanity: “Left handed batters have a more difficult time with left handed pitchers.”
    Chuck: “That’s a myth. I know Darren Bragg, and he hit lefty pitchers just fine.”
    Sanity: “But his splits were entirely consistent with historical averages.”
    Chuck: “Exactly. So why bring it up?”

    You can keep it as simple as you want, but if a minor complication is worth one net win… who’s being stupid by ignoring it?

  31. Chuck Says:

    “who’s being stupid”

    Right now, you are.

    Because how Darren Bragg hit lefties was never part of the conversation. PRACTICING SO HE HIT THEM BETTER is the conversation.

    Goddmammit..

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  32. hossrex Says:

    I was looking to cherry pick your comments… but damnit… your WHOLE post contradicts what you just said. Here it is again.

    Chuck: “This myth of “lefties not hitting lefties” is exactly that. Stat guys make this s*it up because they’re easily bored and are always looking for the next breakthrough stat.

    I coached a guy in high school who was a short, lefty hitting catcher who always said he would play in the major leagues. He knew, from 15 or so, the only way he would make it would be to excel at a difficult position (catcher), and to hit lefties.

    He went to Georgia Tech on a baseball scholarship, played mostly behind the dish, and occasionally at third and in the OF.

    He was drafted by the Mariners and ended up having an eleven year ML career.

    His name is Darren Bragg.

    It was hilarious watching him in spring training with Seattle, he hit Randy Johnson like he was his personal bitch.

    It was funny in high school, we’d post a note on the bulletin board in the teacher’s lounge asking for lefthanders willing to come out and “help” with the team. All they’d end up doing is “throw” BP to Bragg.

    Ask any GOOD lefty hitter…Bonds, Gwynn, Mattingly, etc, and they will tell you they liked to face lefties because the natural angle of the pitch brought the ball INTO the barrel of the bat in the hitting zone.

    Guys like Ryan Howard and David Ortiz who bail against lefties do so for one reason only..they’re lazy. They won’t take the extra BP needed to be successful.

    I was a lefty hitter, and while I didn’t have the career Bragg did, I hit lefties pretty well and wasn’t intimidated at all by facing them.

    So, maybe for some of these “Loogy” specialists, it isn’t the fact they’re successful against all lefties, just certain lefties?”

    We’re having a conversation about how well lefties hit lefties. You bring up Darren Bragg, and boast about how well he could hit lefty pitching.

    Then when it’s pointed out he hit lefty pitching in a precisely predictable manner, you say that isn’t the point.

    So. I ask.

    If that isn’t the point.

    Why bring up Darren Bragg?

    It’d be like a conversation where someone said “gosh, pitchers can’t hit.” And I replied “oh yeah?!? What about Sandy Koufax!” Then when someone pointed out how poor of a hitter he was, and how my example fed right into the initial point being made, I would say “well who cares, he made the big leagues didn’t he?”

    Well….

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…

    YES!

    He made the big leagues.

    That doesn’t mean it has anything to do with what we’re talking about, and it doesn’t mean you didn’t royally screw up by using him as your example without checking the numbers.

    Be F’ING honest Chuck.

    Before someone shoved the numbers in your face, you were fully expecting Bragg’s splits to be almost identical. Weren’t you. Of course you were, or you wouldn’t have brought them up.

    God damn man… I love ya… but your inability to admit when you F’d up is why people hate you.

  33. Chuck Says:

    We’re all friends here, Rex, so be honest..how many cocktails have you had tonight?
    “You bring up Darren Bragg, and boast about how well he could hit lefty pitching.”

    This is all I said about Bragg and lefties. Go ahead, read it again to be sure;

    “He knew, from 15 or so, the only way he would make it would be to excel at a difficult position (catcher), and to hit lefties.”

    Practice. We’re talkin’ about practice. All I said was he owned Randy Johnson…IN SPRING TRAINING BATTING FACKING PRACTICE!!!

    Where did I say ANYTHING to how Darren Bragg hit lefties?

    “Before someone shoved the numbers in your face, you were fully expecting Bragg’s splits to be almost identical.

    You’re a retard. Seriously. Until James posted the numbers, I had no clue to what Bragg did against lefties. And, quite frankly, don’t care. And quite honestly, PA’s aside, Bragg’s numbers against lefties are actually pretty good, probably close league average. And besides. the guy had 3000 PA’s in ELEVEN years, wouldn’t common sense tell you he spent most of his career as a lefty AGAINST RIGHTY specialist?

    “but your inability to admit when you F’d up is why people hate you”

    And accusing people of effin’ up when in fact they were right all along is why people hate you.

    Funny how shit works, huh?

    Troll.

  34. hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “We’re all friends here, Rex, so be honest..how many cocktails have you had tonight?”

    LOL! A COUPLE! Maybe like four beers. I AINT DRIVING!

    Allen Iverson: “Practice. We’re talkin’ about practice.”

    I know that was the joke… I just thought it was funny.

    Chuck: “Troll.”

    Perhaps.

    But not today.

    Bringing up Darren Bragg in this context is a complete non-sequitor if you aren’t saying he hit lefties just fine.

    Unless you’re trying to say Darren Bragg has something to do with the Detroit (which he didn’t… I checked), or Phil Coke… it was entirely extraneous to mention him.

    So please.

    Tell us what Darren Bragg had to do with the conversation.

    *and Chuck disappears with dozen beautiful doves left in his place*

    WHAT A MAGICIAN!

  35. James Kunz Says:

    Man am I glad I looked up Bragg’s splits and stoked this fire! Chuck–yes Hoss is being a bit pushy, and that’s why we love him. But look at your initial comment:

    “This myth of “lefties not hitting lefties” is exactly that. Stat guys make this s*it up because they’re easily bored and are always looking for the next breakthrough stat.”

    That is an absolutely inflammatory post in this column, akin to me saying that “Any coach born before 1970 is a dinosaur who doesn’t really understand the game.” You’re walking around with a chip on your shoulder, daring anyone to knock it off and then using that as a pretext for a fight. But even more annoyingly, you used that as the heading of your post and then brought up Darren Bragg, describing how he “hit Randy Johnson like he was his personal bitch,” an ugly phrase perhaps but designed to prove that Mister Bragg was quite a hitter off of lefties. Then you tell an anecdote about Bragg practicing off lefties, and move on to tell the rest of us ignoramuses that any lefthanded hitter can hit lefthanded pitchers and the ones who don’t are “lazy.” Okay cool.

    But then when people present you with a preponderance of evidence to show that almost every lefthanded hitter, including Mr. Bragg, is worse against lefthanders, you get angry and claim first that Bragg’s sample size was not large enough, and then ultimately that you only brought up Bragg to make a point about practicing. Okay, whatever. But if you’re going to get this incensed when people disagree with you, don’t make confrontational points that amount to “Ryan Howard is lazy, and statheads make up sh*t when they get bored.”

  36. Hartvig Says:

    Back to the subject at hand.

    Phil Coke will win the 2010 AL Cy Young.

    That is, of course, only if Dontrelle Willis doesn’t.

  37. TennisTitan Says:

    This Coke is “no deposit, NO RETURN!”

  38. hossrex Says:

    This next part is my favorite.

    Chuck will return to the thread, wave his hands, pull a coin out of a young girl’s ear, completely ignore everything everyone just said, pull a rabbit out of his Phoenix Desert Dog hat, and finish with a grand bow.

    He’s even a better magician than Christian Bale and that guy who played Wolverine.

  39. Jacob Says:

    I was just wondering & I figured I’d share.

    Darren Bragg vs Randy Johnson:
    PA AB H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
    8 5 1 1 4 2 2 .200 .429 .800

  40. hossrex Says:

    Against a Randy Johnson whom, I’m guessing, would have been in his prime for those 5 at bats, 1 for 5 with a home run was pretty damn good.

    I have no problem accepting that some obscure batters just positively own some HOF pitchers.

    I forget the exact batter (which saddens me), but someone asked Maddux one time who he most feared facing… and it was someone to the effect of a utility infielder who was had hit like .900 off him over the course of twenty or thirty at bats.

    As good as a pitcher might be, some batter just knows what you’re doing. That’s what’s so awesome about baseball. Sometimes Francisco Cabrera happens.

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