DBacks Take a Dump with Haren Trade

by Chuck

There are times when teams make trades for the benefit of each other..one team needs an infielder, another needs a lefty pitcher.

There are times when teams make trades for the benefit of each other, with one team benefitting today, and the other two, three years down the road.

Maybe Team A has a guy in his walk year, and Team B is needing a presence in the lineup to possibly give them the boost they need for the postseason with some prospects to spare.

Then there are those deals where Team A is desperate to relieve itself of financial obligations and will give up it’s lunch to the playground bully because a one time ass-kickin’ is better than long time abuse.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are the wimpy kid and the Los Angeles Angels the school yard bully.

Let’s not kid ourselves here.

The Haren trade was a salary dump.

Joe Saunders?

A fly ball pitcher in Chase Field?

Better notify NASA and let them know the increase in flying objects are nothing to be concerned with, they’re just baseballs flying around the Arizona desert.

Two A ball pitchers?

Considering the Yankees offered a major league pitcher (Joba Chamberlain) and TWO Double A pitchers, I have a hard time believing this was the best offer the DBacks had.

This was about the first team willing to take on the remaining money on Haren’s contract.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The Yankees could have offered Jesus Montero and the Phillies Domonic Brown, but the Dbacks would have said no if they were stuck with $1 of Haren’s deal.

Sure, they, in all likelihood, ran the trade scenarios by Haren himself before making the final decision.

He’s an eight year major league veteran with an impressive career resume, he deserves as much.

But why is he an Angel, with a small chance of making the postseason, instead of a Yankee or Phillie, with a much bigger postseason possibility?

Because deep pockets owner Arte Moreno, (who lives in Phoenix, by the way) agreed to pick up ALL of Haren’s remaining contract.

So, for the Dbacks, it isn’t at all about who they got back, or even who they traded.

It’s about what they traded.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Sure, Haren’s a veteran player with an impressive resume, and who has a partial (12 teams) no trade clause in his contract. He CAN’T be traded without his approval.

Baseball is a close-knot brotherhood. Even if Haren had a no trade, the Dbacks would have done everything they could to accommodate him and his wishes. He indicated a preference to remain on the West Coast, what with a young child and all. It’s alot easier to move in the off-season than during the season.

So, it’s about getting rid of the contract.

I mean when you really look at it, Haren wouldn’t make any difference in the Yankees postseason hopes. And with the Angels seven games out starting today, he’s not making any difference in the playoff chances, either.

With three years left on his deal and anywhere from $28 million to $41 million (depending on the 2013 club option), and with their much publicized financial and front office issues staring them in the face, the Dbacks had no choice but to make the deal.

News broke today about the Washington Nationals having interest in pitcher Edwin Jackson, who the Dbacks picked up this past off-season and is signed through 2011 with about ten million remaining on his contract.

What is coming back to the Dbacks?

Minor league “prospects”.

Teams have expressed interest in first baseman Adam LaRoche, catcher Chris Snyder and shortstop Stephen Drew, among others. The Dbacks would love nothing more than to shed themselves of relievers Chad Qualls and Juan Gutierrez and second baseman Kelly Johnson.

None of these players have the trade value of Dan Haren, but the reason they are all on the block is the same.

It’s not what you get back, it’s what you get rid of.

And it’s not the human factor.

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456 Responses to “DBacks Take a Dump with Haren Trade”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Haren got hit by a Youkilis line drive and had to leave the game.

    Right forearm.

    XRays negative, but not a good place to get hit, sometimes a muscle contusion is just as bad as a break.

  2. Cameron Says:

    Good trade for LA, but a bad break for Dan’s first start.

  3. Lefty33 Says:

    You said it about the Phillies in this deal Chuck.

    There was speculation in the Philly media that they would make a serious play for Haren but everybody knew that they would not pick up his full contract as they don’t really do that for anyone and because they are looking ideally to dump salary by unloading Werth.

    The Phils could have used him though. IMHO, they are cooked for this year because when you are using J.A. Happ and Kyle Kendrick for your #4 and #5 starters it’s time to put up the white flag.

    If the Phils were smart they would deal Werth for some arms and suck up the rest of this year and then put Brown in RF starting next year. The dude is tearing up the IL so far.

  4. Lefty33 Says:

    I was going to say also that at this rate the D-Backs should trade places with the Isotopes of the PCL. They will probably have more talent on their roster than Arizona by seasons end.

  5. Hossrex Says:

    A bizarre deal for sure. I’d been somewhat following the Haren debacle, and I’d not heard the Angel’s mentioned once.

    I’m amused by the likelihood of a Worth trade, because a few months ago when the (absurd) Howard contract was signed, I was it was a mistake (partially) because it meant they couldn’t afford to resign people like Worth. I received several replies (one quite fervent) that stated in no mixed terms that there was no reason to think Worth would be allowed to leave, and that he wasn’t going to be playing for anyone besides Philadelphia next season.

    Now…

    It seems like he’s one of the bigger pieces of meat on the trading block right now.

    Because of the Ryan Howard contract.

    That’s what happens when you pay ridiculous sums of money to “good” (but overrated) players. You might keep Ryan Howard… but Phillies fans are about to realize that baseball is a nine man sport, and Ryan Howard isn’t Michael Jordan.

  6. Lefty33 Says:

    “Because of the Ryan Howard contract.”

    Well that and they have the #1 rated prospect in all of minor league baseball in Domonic Brown.

    Brown’s potential upside makes Werth very expendable. I just hope for Philly’s sake they get something for Werth instead of letting him walk.

  7. eric Says:

    Well, the Arizona D’Bags are only 22GB so swapping out expensive pieces so they can rebuild is not exactly a bad thing. Still, I agree that this doesn’t seem to be the right deal for them.

    I was wondering about teams being buyers or sellers at the trading deadline, and when teams should run up the white flag on 2010. Last night I compared the teams that made the post season against the standings as of August 1st, and how many games were made up or lost. I used MLB (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/wildcard.jsp?ymd=20020801) and looked at the 8 years from 2002 through 2009 because they were easy to find. This may not be the best thread for this, but here goes …

    In the AL, the largest gap made up after Aug 1st was only 3.5 games. That was last year with the Twins overtaking the Tigers and 2002 where the Red Sox caught the Mariners. In the NL, the Astros set the standard rallying from 5 back to capture the wild card in both 2004 and 2005. I was surprised at this because there are 60+ games left in the season and I expected more volatility. While 16 seasons are not tremendously statistically significant, this does show a definite pattern that it is the exception when teams make up big deficits this decade.

    This has to be unsettling for teams like the Tigers (3 GB), Red Sox (5 GB), Angels and A’s (7.5 GB) in the AL that must decide quickly how much to invest to get into the 2010 tournament, or divest to set up for 2011 and beyond. It makes the Haren deal look great for the Angels – maybe it will bolster local TV revenues for this year while also setting up for next year. I would also think a team like the Red Sox would be crazy to risk a Bagwell experience trading prospects for a long-shot chance to catch the Rays – they would be better off preparing to move an established player.

    The NL is a bit messier as the Phillies, Marlins, Mets, Reds, and Dodgers are all in range of the Giants for the WC. So much would depend on resources available, strength of schedule, injuries, etc to think of possible moves.

    Other interesting errata…

    For those that think payroll money doesn’t matter, the Angels, Red Sox or Yankees have claimed the AL wild card in 7 of the last 8 years! The Yanks have made the post season 7 times, with the Angels and Sox getting in the extra games 6 times!! In the NL, the bigger money Braves (4), Cards (5) and Dodgers (4) capture the bulk of the division titles. The Mets spend a ton, but have only appeared in the post season once in 2006 – their issue must be related to the management team’s gene pool.

    Only once out of 16 times has the August 1st standings held for the post season, and that was last year in the NL. So expect one team in each league to fade – only 4 times has more than one team been bounced from the play-offs.

    The NL is amazingly balanced with 13 teams having made the post season (all but Pirates, Reds, and Expos/Nats); the AL has seen 9 different teams – Yanks (7), Red Sox (6), Angels (6), Twins (5), A’s (3), White Sox (2), Indians (1), Tigers (1), and Rays (1). I have no idea why the NL appears so balanced.

    Thanks for reading – hope this provides food for thought during the trading season!

    Eric

  8. Cameron Says:

    Hoss, Ryan Howard is a MUCH better baseball player than Michael Jordan.

  9. Patrick Says:

    Now that Shane Victorino (.311 OBP), Placido Polanco (.348 OBP) and Raul Ibanez (.344 OBP) are batting in front of Ryan Howard we can really see how overrated Howard is….Uhhh…..wait a minute….What? He leads the NL in RBI’s again? What????…. How lucky can one guy get?

    Chuck, good article but one nitpik, I think the Angels are going to make a run at the Rangers and Haren will play a big part.

  10. Cameron Says:

    This is the same dude who managed to lead the league in RBI on a team where Jimmy Rollins led off with an OBP of .295. Ryan Howard’s RBI Jesus. DON’T QUESTION THE HOWARD!

  11. Chuck Says:

    Imagine how many more RBI Jesus would have if he put the ball in play sixty more times a season.

  12. Cameron Says:

    DO YOU DARE QUESTION BASEBALL JESUS? ALL HAIL RYAN HOWARD!!!

    In all seriousness though, batting average doesn’t correlate with RBI the same way home runs do. You hit it out enough times, the RBI come to you. That said, he is freakishly lucky that way. Is there a stat to measure dumb luck?

  13. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “DO YOU DARE QUESTION BASEBALL JESUS?”

    Minnie Minoso?

    Cameron: “ALL HAIL RYAN HOWARD!!!

    Oh… I just figured with all the resurrections and all.

    Cameron: “In all seriousness though, batting average doesn’t correlate with RBI the same way home runs do.”

    Probably because a base hit demands that a runner be on base to tally up an RBI, while a homerun is guaranteed to be at least one.

    Don’t get me wrong… I’m not one of those fools that try to make it sound like hitting homeruns is a NEGATIVE thing, which should be held against him (and his RBI total)… but as chuck said… “imagine how many more RBI (he) would have if he put the ball in play sixty more times a season.”

    Cameron: “Is there a stat to measure dumb luck?”

    I believe this is where Patrick comes in… “RPR” I think?

  14. Hossrex Says:

    Wow. Minoso got up to 21.1% of hall votes. That’s got to be one of the highest overall percentages for a guy who’ll surely never make the hall.

  15. Patrick Says:

    If you were to take Howard’s 23 RBI away from him for driving himself in, he would still have 58 RBI, good for 20th in the league, only 12 behind the leader who gets to keep his HR/RBI totals.

    Again, it’s about approach. If a pitcher throws a strike, Howard is swinging hard at it. Pujols has twice as many walks as Howard but by swinging more often, Howard has more HITS, RUNS and RBI and it has little to do with lineups. Plus Pujols has hit into 9 more DP’s than Howard.

    Howard is 1st in the league with 215 Total Bases, 2nd with 119 hits, 6th with 65 runs and is hitting .302. His RBI total is perfectly in line with his overall stats. Howard and Votto are neck and neck but I predict that Howard will pull away and win the MVP. He’s earning his money so far.

  16. Raul Says:

    Minnie Minoso is a saint!
    You got that? A saint!!

  17. Raul Says:

    Ryan Howard is having a fine season.
    But what is unknown is HOW MUCH BETTER would he be by putting the ball in play more often.

    That’s what indoctrinated stat heads like Shaun can never understand. And it’s why they’ll never understand the game.

  18. Patrick Says:

    I hate all the K’s but Howard is what he is. He’s an anomaly. What he losses in contact, he more than gains back in power. I don’t just mean hitting the ball over the fence either. I mean he doesn’t make a lot of weak contact. He usually hits it hard or not at all.

    Stat heads like Shaun tend to disrespect Howard because “modern” metrics don’t favor him.

    Anyway, it’s too many years in a row for it to be a coincidence. He’s not going to ever lead the league in WAR or OPS, just actual runs produced most every year. Maybe he won’t produce through to the end of his contract, but right now he’s one of the top 5 hitters in the game.

    Every 2 months or so I feel obligated to defend Howard’s worth. Sorry if it’s getting boring. :-)

  19. Raul Says:

    Albert Pujols
    Miguel Cabrera
    Alex Rodriguez
    Mark Teixeira
    Kevin Youkilis
    Hanley Ramirez
    Joe Mauer
    Josh Hamilton
    Joey Votto
    Evan Longoria
    Adrian Gonzalez
    Ryan Howard

    Exactly where in the “top 5″ is Ryan Howard? Because I don’t think he’s Top 5 at all.

  20. Chuck Says:

    “Stat heads like Shaun tend to disrespect Howard because “modern” metrics don’t favor him.”

    Actually, the opposite is true. It’s why stat heads argue strikeouts aren’t bad and why contact isn’t important as long as you have a high OPS and are driving in runs.

    Then, in the same sentence, they argue RBI is a stupid stat.

    And THAT IS WHY they don’t understand the game.

  21. Chuck Says:

    “but right now he’s one of the top 5 hitters in the game”

    Huh?

    I can name five hitters in the NL East better than he is.

  22. Bob Says:

    Two things about Howard. He plays in a hitters park, and Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are his teammates. Put him in Petco Park and Adrian Gonzalez in Citizens.

    Bob O

  23. Patrick Says:

    Raul, of those guys, I’d say only Pujols and Cabrera are definitively better than Howard.

    Hamilton is having a better year but he’s injury prone. Replace Howard with any of those other guys and the Phillies don’t score quite as many runs IMO.

    Maybe vintage Arod but not the current model. Mauer doesn’t have the power to compete with him. Youk and Tex are great but they’re not better hitters than Howard. Votto needs to stay at his current pace for 5 yrs to equal Howard. Longoria and AGon? They’re close. Hanley Ramirez? Maybe you could make a good argument for him.

    Better hitters on Washington…None
    Mets…None
    Marlins….maybe Ramirez
    Braves….None
    Phillies….None…I can tell you this, if Utley was playing and Howard was out, Utley wouldn’t have close to 81 RBI’s.

    I understand that it’s hard to make my claim when you consider his troubles against southpaws and how easy it is to strike him out, but like I said, Howard is an anomaly that over a 162 game span, produces the most runs year after year.

  24. Bob Says:

    Longoria and AGon are close? No, they are not. They are so far ahead of Howard in everything except income.

  25. Patrick Says:

    Bob, that’s the same argument that detractors use every year about Howard but Rollins is hitting .244 and Utley is hitting .277. Of his 81 RBI, Howard has driven in Rollins only 5 times and Utley only 10. 66 RBI don’t even involve them. Pujols is 2nd in the NL with 70. It has nothing to do with Utley and Rollins. Plus Howard has 26 RBI in his last 22 games with Utley out of the lineup.

    There are 3 ballparks that are pure pitcher’s parks from a HR standpoint. KC, Seattle and Petco. Adrian Gonzalez has a legitimate beef. It’s hard to tell what he might do in another park.

    Sidenote I; It’s weird that KC always has bad pitching considering their park.

    Sidenote II; Has anyone noticed the great year that Delmon Young is finally putting up? .330 BA, 76 RBI, 31 doubles, .901 OPS. I don’t think Garza + Bartlett combined are equal to Young this year.

  26. Cameron Says:

    I’m just amazed that Ryan Howard is hitting over .300, he’s hitting 20 points over his career average. Howard’s strength isn’t his average or getting on base or any of th efancy stuff. THAT’S NOT HIS JOB! When you’re in the middle of the lineup, your job is to drive guys in and he does it VERY well. You can say he may not be better than X or whatever, but he’s doing what his job is in that lineup, and that’s clobbering balls out of the park.

    I like Ryan Howard, I really do. I’m a child of the 90s and you all know that the stars then were the sluggers. (Yeah, steroids, I’ve heard it before. You can shut up about it now.) So it’s slightly personal because the guys I loved had CRAP batting averages most of the time, but they hit the long ball and hit it well. You don’t have to have good rates to be a good player. McGwire swung the bat like an axe murderer and batted like, .260 year in and year out, but had a HR every 10 ABs.

    Not every player can be measured with the same stick. Some guys have to do different things than others. Howard’s job doesn’t require him to be fast or a good defender or even a good average. His job is to hit home runs, and that’s one thing he does well.

  27. Cameron Says:

    Patrick, KC has a good pitcher’s park, but we have terrible pitching year in and year out. It’s not the park, it’s the players.

  28. Raul Says:

    I disagree that Howard’s job doesn’t require him to be a good defender.
    Yes, it does.

    Defense matters. At every position.

  29. Cameron Says:

    Defense matters, yeah. But for a guy whose main job is run production, defense is a perk, not a requirement. Guys at second, short, center, catcher, premium defensive positions, defense is a requirement there. First base? You ideally want a good defender, but those are hard to come by and usually aren’t as good as a guy who’s a bad defender because they’ve got bigger bats.

    Not everyone’s an ideal player, you learn to eat the weaknesses to get the most out of what you can. Howard’s a bad defender, but he hits around 40 homers a year. I’ll take that. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be good. Howard’s good.

  30. Raul Says:

    You could argue the Yankees might have been in a few more World Series in the 2000’s if they didn’t have Giambi playing 1st base.

    You could probably argue the same thing for the entire 2000 Mets.

  31. Raul Says:

    Or was it 1999 Mets?

  32. Chuck Says:

    Ryan Howard’s season is just as freaky and unlikely as Jose Bautista’s.

    Anyone who says otherwise needs to lock the liquor cabinet.

  33. Patrick Says:

    Raul, true. The reverse is true too. I think if you replaced just Tex’s glove with Giambi’s glove, the Yanks aren’t last year’s champs. Howard is much more agile than Giambi though. He’s not great by any stretch, but Howard is an average 1B and he runs better than most realize.

    But that’s enough of me touting the guy. I’ve been touting him for 3 years and then he signs that big contract and he doesn’t even send me an Omaha Steaks package. Screw em.

  34. Raul Says:

    lol

    I guess you weren’t asking for much, Patrick. Just enough to wet your beak a little bit.

  35. Patrick Says:

    Raul, word. It didn’t even have to be the deluxe package. Just a couple tiny slabs of dead cow.

  36. Cameron Says:

    Jesus, I remember kidding around with the idea of Texas dangling prospects to Milwaukee to get Prince since they’ve got the talent. It looks like they’re actually going to try and go for broke here. Put Prince in Arlington and the balls are gonna FLY! They’d have to offer a lot of stuff to get them to eat the rest of Prince’s contract this year, but they’ve got the arms. Centerpiece would have to be Martin Perez and they’ll probably ask for Neftali too. We’ll see what happens.

  37. Raul Says:

    But there’s no need.

    The Angels aren’t going to contend for years anyway. Oakland is playing with high school kids and Seattle has years to go.

    What the hell is Texas thinking? Neftali Feliz, Martin Perez, Josh Hamilton, Justin Smoak, Elvis Andrus…

    They’d be dominating the AL West for years. I mean what the hell is the point in going for broke now??

  38. Cameron Says:

    Well, they probably know they won’t resign Cliff Lee, as for Prince Fielder, I guess they finally realize they’re prime for the postseason and really want to go for the Commissioner’s Trophy. I’d like to see them go after Prince, but not go for broke. If they do get him, try to resign him once ownership is under control. First is their big hole now. I don’t blame them for trying to stock up for October now, but I don’t want them to really hamstring themselves.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Derrick Lee invoked his 10/5 rights and rejected a trade to the Angels.

    I thought Texas was looking for a right handed first baseman?

    I thought Texas couldn’t take no salary?

    Let’s see, Bud Selig is baseball commissioner, Bud Selig used to own the Brewers and the team is still under family trust?

    Never mind, just answered my own question.

  40. Cameron Says:

    Prince only has $3.88MM left on the season. With enough young pitching (which Texas has) I think the guys would eat that for a run at the future. Who knows? At this, the closest link to a first baseman the team has is Jorge Cantu. A much mroe realistic and safer trade.

    Still, they want him to back up a guy on the south end of the Mendoza Line. How do you back THAT up? Isn’t the job yours by default then?

  41. Hossrex Says:

    When my father called, and told me DLee waved a trade to Anaheim… I asked him “why would he do that?”… and my father said “that’s EXACTLY what I thought.”

    The only reason a guy like him, in a position like he’s in, wouldn’t want to go to a team that had a chance to make the post season is because of non-baseball reasons, and I wouldn’t want a guy like that anyway.

  42. Chuck Says:

    First ML at bat, Domonic Brown ripped a 96mph Edwin Jackson one hop off the right field wall for a double.

    He’s on the cover of Baseball America this week..for all you dads and coaches out there who want to know what perfection looks like in the batters box, do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy.

  43. Bob Says:

    Chuck, if I recall correctly 10-12 years ago Ben Grieve had a perfect swing.

  44. Chuck Says:

    With the exception of his rookie year.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for his lowest career HR total and the first time he won’t hit 40.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for the second highest strikeout total and LOWEST walk totals of his career.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for the second lowest OBP, OPS and SLG of his career.

    Despite currently leading the league in RBI, he is on pace to set a career low.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for his second highest season batting average.

    Which is why he leads the league in RBI despite fewer opportunities.

    Things aren’t always how they appear.

  45. Raul Says:

    A great swing is a thing of beauty. Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr, Edgar Martinez come to mind for me.

    But sometimes even a great swing can’t help poor timing. I’m not saying that was the case with Ben Grieve, since I don’t remember him much, although I thought he was one of the top prospects of the time.

    I remember hearing things about Erubiel Durazo being a good young player too, but I might be confusing him with someone else. Travis Lee, I think??

    But yeah, sometimes guys just don’t pan out.

  46. Chuck Says:

    Travis Lee had the closest swing to Ken Griffey Jr I’ve seen.

    Durazo was Buck Showalter’s personal handjob.

    I’ve never seen a manager hate a player more than Showalter hated Lee.

    Buck, believing he was not only the manager, but the GM, the marketing manager and promotions manager, decided it best for the Dbacks to sign a Mexican player to promote to the Mexican fan base.

    Never mind Durazo sucked and ended up on steriods.

  47. Hossrex Says:

    Griffey had the prettiest swing I’ve ever seen. Even after the power was gone, the swing was still beautiful.

    And in the “well duh…” department, Ben Sheets is out for the rest of the year with an elbow injury. As someone who used to support Billy Beane… I think I’m done.

  48. Cameron Says:

    Royals let go of Podsednik for Lucas May and Emis… Uh… Some guy. Got nothing for him. I’m pretty sure he was a one-year guy and would’ve been a Type B with that performance. I’d have risked on the draft pick instead of those guys.

  49. Raul Says:

    Top catching prospect and all you get is Scott Podsednik?

  50. Chuck Says:

    Lucas May’s not bad, Cameron. Guy has a bat and he’s only been catching three or four years. He started as a SS and played some OF too, so he’s got some versatility.

    I’d love to see an OF of Manny, Pierre and Podsednik. They’d need two relays just to get the ball back to the infield after a routine fly ball.

  51. Cameron Says:

    Didn’t know May was that good, but there’s one problem. We already HAVE a top catching prospect in Wil Myers, who I’d be willing to be money that he’s younger. If he used to be a SS and played some OF, maybe we should convert him to the outfield. We’ve got a lot of positions for the future filled and I want as little guys as possible blocked.

  52. Cameron Says:

    I was going to say convert him to SS since he started there, but if the reports on Christian Colon are accurate, I’d keep Colon there. Far as I know, OF prospects aren’t too good and the only guy in the OF who’d reasonably still be there in five years is Gordon.

    And the news that May’s actually good and we didn’t pull a Dan Haren Lite is good. Pile that on top of a MONSTER day in the DC Fantasy league and I’m a happy camper.

  53. Chuck Says:

    Reports on Myers defensively aren’t very good, Cameron.

    Granted he’s young, and granted he hasn’t been catching all that long, but will the Royals keep him down as he learns catching even though his bat is ML ready?

    Tough problem to have, I guess.

  54. Cameron Says:

    From the reports, May isn’t much better of a catcher defensively. Someone has to profile there though. It’s the bat that’ll keep him at catcher even if he’s bad. Kila and Hosmer are in the wings, Butler’s at first now, so anywhere else will be a hard move. This goes under “learning to eat a weakness to utilize a player’s strength”.

    Jesus Montero isn’t profiling well at catcher either, but you’ll keep him there because of the bat. If the OF wasn’t such a pressing need, the Nats would’ve kept Harper there too. If it’s a good enough bat, you make it work.

  55. Chuck Says:

    Of course you’re right, Cameron.

    And with May turning 26 before Myers turns 20, his window’s alot narrower.

    The difference between Myers and Montero is potential, Myers has it, Montero doesn’t.

    Montero’s been a professional longer than Myers has been a catcher. The difference experience wise between them is huge.

    As far as Harper goes, Washington is loaded with OF prospects, so him moving is for the same reason Montero will.

  56. Cameron Says:

    Montero and Harper were guys I brought up as examples of guys who most people think have more value at catcher just because they’re at a premium position. Bad glove, yeah, but great bat.

    Myers’ a bit different though in the fact if they try and move him from catcher, where does he go? Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet. I’d say wait a bit for a spot at first or DH to open, but with Butler and Hosmer there, he’s boned.

  57. Cameron Says:

    Oh, and looks like Philly and Houston are closing in on sending Oswalt to Citizen’s Bank. Looks like Happ and 2 prospects to Houston for Oswalt. The stalling point is how much the Phils and Astros have to split on paying Roy. The other Roy, not the REALLY good one, just the good one.

  58. Lefty33 Says:

    “Looks like Happ and 2 prospects to Houston for Oswalt.”

    I’ll be very interested to see who the two prospects are. They must be A ball type talent because AAA and AA are scrap yards outside of Aumont and other than him no team should seriously be interested in what’s left.

    I mean even Happ looked like dogshit in his rehab starts. He was only brought up when the old man had his blow out last week.

  59. Chuck Says:

    I think Myers can stay at catcher, at least for awhile. He’s a pretty big kid, but he’s not stocky/fat like Montero.

    He’s pretty lanky, about 190. I remember reading something awhile ago that compared him to Jayson Werth, who started as a catcher.

    He ended up moving because he was too skinny to catch.

  60. Chuck Says:

    The DBags asked for Aumont when talking about Dan Haren and the Phillies said no.

  61. Hossrex Says:

    With the Podsednik signing, the writing is on the wall for Garret Anderson. Expect to see him DFA’d, and out of baseball by the end of the week.

    I also suspect this indicates the Manny “injury” is more “serious” than has been revealed as yet. I’m not trying to suck Podsednik’s dick or anything, but you just don’t trade for a guy like that (and give up a solid prospect that plays a position we’re not exactly “set” at) to play twice a week when our 25 year old outfield is just too darn tired to play.

    The biggest question is do you play Podsednik in left, or do you move the suddenly terrible Matty Kemp to left?

  62. Lefty33 Says:

    “I’ll be very interested to see who the two prospects are.”

    The local Philly media is reporting that recently promoted to AAA pitcher Vance Worley is one of the two prospects that would be involved.

    Also the major sticking point to the deal is supposedly that the Phils do not want to pick up the $16 million dollar 2012 option in any way shape or form and the Astros will not offer any financial assistance.

    The other rumor is that Jason Werth is 100% off the market.

  63. Chuck Says:

    The sports dorks in Phoenix today are livid at the Phillies over the trade.

    They make the point that there isn’t much difference talent wise between Oswalt and Dan Haren, yet the Phils told AZ to screw off, but appear to not have any problem picking up Oswalt’s deal AND giving up better prospects.

  64. Chuck Says:

    Apparently, Oswalt requested 24 hours to “think about it”

    The teams have agreed on players, (JA Happ and A ball first baseman Jonathon Singleton, who is a stud) and the money.

    Phillies are stupid.

  65. Brautigan Says:

    I haven’t wrapped my head around this, but it is starting to look like the Phillies would have been better off keeping Lee and just trading straigt up for Halladay.

    Trader Lane would have been proud of the Phillies.

  66. Lefty33 Says:

    I just read about this now and Chuck, you and Braut are both right that the Phils are about as stupid as you can get with this more.

    This is like classic 1980’s Yankees. Let’s make a move just for the sake of making a move so we can show our fanbase that we did something.

    I mean the Lee deal was amazing. They gave away a bunch of stiffs in Carrasco, Marson, and Donald for one of the best pitchers in baseball who wanted to sign longterm if the Phils would have shown him the money.

    This kind of deal shows me that Amaro has his traning wheels off because Gillick would never have suggested something so assinine.

    Let’s trade Howard’s possible successor, a 23 year old AAA pitcher with a lot of promise, and a ML ready pitcher who could probably if healthy be a fifth starter today for a guy who clearly does not want to play in your town and who has a lot of miles on his odometer.

    The franchise is clearly doomed with Amaro making choices like this.

  67. John Says:

    Man oh Man. This again. First of all, Shaun seems to have left DC and he certainly hasn’t commented on here. It’s downright cowardly to preemptively insult him when he isn’t here to defend himself.

    Patrick: “Every 2 months or so I feel obligated to defend Howard’s worth. Sorry if it’s getting boring.”

    Reinforcements have arrived Patrick! I’m a staunch supporter of Mr. Howard.

    Chuck: “Imagine how many more RBI Jesus would have if he put the ball in play sixty more times a season.”

    Raul: “Ryan Howard is having a fine season.
    But what is unknown is HOW MUCH BETTER would he be by putting the ball in play more often.”

    I think Raul answered Chuck’s question perfectly. It’s UNKNOWN. Maybe if he came out with a better, contact-oriented approach with two strikes, it wouldn’t negatively affect the way he swings on other pitches and he would lead the league in RBI by even more. Maybe he would become good enough to actually deserve the comparisons to Pujols that dumbass sportswriters give to him.

    But there seems to be a universal consensus that there’s no way he would ever become a weaker hitter if he began messing with the way he hits. Why fix it if it’s not broke?

    Also, what I’d like to point out is that Howard is hitting .273/.331/.525 against LHP this season. Look, maybe that’s flukey, but that was the part of his game which was just exceptionally weak.

    Everyone repeat after me: STRIKE OUTS DO NOT CORRELATE TO RUN SCORING. About 5% of the time (man on second or third, 0 outs, that kind of thing), they are worse than normal outs. Now if a guy like Howard changes something puts the ball in play an extra 60 times a season, maybe he gets a few extra bleeders through the infield and a few more RBI’s in those 60 at bats. But what about the other 550 or so? Again…why fix something if it’s not broke?

    Watch this:
    Top 10 teams in baseball in R/G
    NYY
    BOS
    TBR
    TEX
    MIN
    CIN
    PHI
    MIL
    TOR
    COL

    Bottom Ten:
    SEA
    PIT
    BAL
    HOU
    CLE
    WSN
    CHC
    OAK
    KCR
    NYM

    Now top 10 in strikeouts:
    ARI
    FLA
    COL
    TBR
    MIL
    CIN
    TOR
    CHC
    CLE
    PIT

    Of the top 10 teams in strikeouts, HALF OF THEM (TBR, MIL, CIN, TOR, COL) are in the top 10 in scoring! Only 3 are in the bottom 10. THERE IS NO RELATION TO STRIKEOUTS AND SCORING.

    Furthermore: The top 7 players in the league in strikeouts have above-average OPS’s. Of the top 20, only 3 (Carlos Gonzalez, BJ Upton, and Adam LaRoche) are below league average.

    How about the guys who are top 10 in baseball in AB/SO. Slugging studs like Juan Pierre, AJ Pierzinski and Alberto Callapso. I would want exactly one of those top 10 on my team ahead of Howard. Hint: his name rhymes with sour. The others aren’t even close.

    Yes. I know. The purpose of games is to win and that means a strikeout would be the last thing you want in a 2-2 game, bottom of the eight with a guy on 3rd and no outs. You want contact. I get that, I really do. But if you’re evaluating the overall worth of a guy like Howard, you look at the big picture, not the tiny percent of times that a strikeout is actually worse than any other kind of out.

    And overall, Howard is a stud.

    Chuck: “Ryan Howard’s season is just as freaky and unlikely as Jose Bautista’s. Anyone who says otherwise needs to lock the liquor cabinet.”

    Holy shit Chuck. You can’t keep attributing Howard’s production to flukiness. HE’S BEEN DOING THIS SHIT FOR OVER 5 YEARS NOW. You can’t have a fluky *HALF DECADE* !

    162 game average for strikeouts? 191. Man, that’s a lot. 162 game average for RBI? 140. Man…that’s a ton. If you would rather have Juan Pierre and his 1 HR, 120 RBI, 116 K since 2007, spec-fucking-tacular.

    Chuck: “I can name five hitters in the NL East better than he is.”
    Or zero. Maybe Hanley. Maybe Utley when he’s healthy. And those guys are both way better when you consider defense. But as a pure hitter? I’ll take Howard.

    Chuck: ““Stat heads like Shaun tend to disrespect Howard because “modern” metrics don’t favor him.”

    Actually, the opposite is true. It’s why stat heads argue strikeouts aren’t bad and why contact isn’t important as long as you have a high OPS and are driving in runs.”

    Modern Metrics don’t really favor him. Patrick’s right. His highest season WAR is 5.8 in 2006. He was 8th that year, and hasn’t cracked the top 10 since. His OBP the last three years has been below .370.

    Howard’s thing is RBI’s, so let’s focus on that. RBI’s aren’t stupid stat. They’re a context-dependent stat. There’s a difference. If you compare players by ranking them in RBI’s, you’re a fool. But the great thing about baseball is that there are a billion different situations each with their own considerations.

    Patrick has looked at the context within which Howard has driven in all those runs. Victorino? Ibanez? Polonco? The OBP’s of the first two hitters in the Phillies lineup this year are .335 and .325. The #3 spot is at .367, which is fine but not mind-blowing. And yet, who’s leading the NL in RBI’s? Ryan Howard. Before he had Rollins hitting ahead of him who is a really good guy to have on-base but doesn’t reach all that often.

    Baseball plays 162 games a year. And Howard has been playing since mid-2005.

    You can’t luck out for that long.

    Chuck, it seems you hate strikeouts from hitters…like, a lot. Don’t you think, maybe, just MAYBE you are prejudiced against Howard because he does one thing that you don’t like a lot? You can’t attribute consistent success over half a decade to luck.

    “With the exception of his rookie year.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for his lowest career HR total and the first time he won’t hit 40.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for the second highest strikeout total and LOWEST walk totals of his career.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for the second lowest OBP, OPS and SLG of his career.

    Despite currently leading the league in RBI, he is on pace to set a career low.

    Ryan Howard is on pace for his second highest season batting average.

    Which is why he leads the league in RBI despite fewer opportunities.

    Things aren’t always how they appear”

    Fair enough. Isn’t it good that he’s hitting .299? And also…he’s gonna come pretty close to 40 and maybe surpass it if he gets hot…in a year of crazy good pitching.

    There have been all-time greats like Pujols and Dimaggio who’ve combined power, average, and not striking out, and they’ve been able to use that ability to carry teams and produce a ton. Ryan Howard isn’t in the same zip code as those guys. But, even with all those strikeouts, he’s a damn good hitter.

  68. John Says:

    Oh, and by the way Chuck…

    Nice Article.

  69. Chuck Says:

    “But, even with all those strikeouts, he’s a damn good hitter.”

    And with fewer, he’d be better.

    Thanks, John.

  70. Chuck Says:

    Oswalt for Happ, minor leaguers Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose.

    And the Orioles officially hired Buck Showalter today.

  71. Bob Says:

    And Anthony Gose was traded to the Jays for Brett Wallace.

  72. Cameron Says:

    The Astros got Brett Wallace out of the deal? Impressive.

  73. Bob Says:

    My thoughts exactly.

  74. Bob Says:

    If the league approves the deal, the Padres will get Miguel Tejada. Not sure what the Orioles will get.

  75. Cameron Says:

    I believe two minor leaguers.

    Also, it looks like Texas has nabbed Jorge Cantu, but he was still playing today’s game so it probably just got approved. (I liked that game, Anibal Sanchez threw a one walk one-hitter.)

  76. Chuck Says:

    Ok, seriously, funny stuff.

    Brett Wallace got traded again?

  77. Raul Says:

    There is a relation to strikeouts and scoring.
    Idiot stat heads just can’t see it because they aren’t able to graph it.

  78. Cameron Says:

    “Ok, seriously, funny stuff.

    Brett Wallace got traded again?”

    I can’t tell if this is good or bad, really smart on the Astros or really stupid on the Blue Jays. All I know is, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen two guys named Roy in the same rotation.

  79. Chuck Says:

    And for those who believe stats are a better predictor than the eye, I give you Brett Wallace.

    I wish I could go through the archives from two years ago and get the names of everybody who gave me shit about Wallace.

    I’m almost to the point in believing the reason he’s been traded so much doesn’t have anything to do with baseball.

    Maybe he doesn’t like girls.

  80. John Says:

    Raul: “There is a relation to strikeouts and scoring.
    Idiot stat heads just can’t see it because they aren’t able to graph it.”

    Actually, we are able to graph it:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/images/2617_02.gif

    Correlation Coefficient: 0.0098. That’s basically zero.

    Like I said. No relation.

  81. Patrick Says:

    Thanks John. That’s my main point with Howard, it’s been too many consecutive years for it to be a coincidence.

    Chuck, man, Wallace can’t last anywhere 6 months. For a 23 year old kid who’s never worn a big league uniform, he’s been traded for some pretty good players. It’s amazing really.

  82. Chuck Says:

    I can understand Wallace being traded for Matt Holliday. The Cardinals needed a big bat for the postseason and you have to give to get.

    But getting traded one for one for Michael Taylor and Anthony Gose?

    Adam Lind has had some injuries this year and hasn’t played very well and Travis Snnider sucked so bad he’s back in the minors and the Jays didn’t give Wallace a shot in either case? ESPECIALLY since he plays the same positions and is a lefty hitter?

    Right…

  83. Chuck Says:

    So someone put a bunch of dots on a graph?

    My daughter’s been doing that since she was old enough to hold a pencil.

    Neither mean anything.

    The more balls in play means more runners on base which means more runs scored and/or RBI.

    There is no graph or stat or spreadsheet that can DISPROVE that simple fact.

  84. Raul Says:

    No, you’re not able to graph it.

    Please see Chuck’s response.

  85. Chuck Says:

    Bottom of the tenth in Philly, bases loaded, 2-2.

    Future Hall of Famer Leo Vazquez on the mound for Arizona.

    Everybody in the ballpark knows Howard’s getting fastballs.

    Except Howard.

    Good morning.

    Good Afternoon.

    Good Evening.

    For Christs’ sake, get a fucking clue.

  86. Chuck Says:

    Rays and Marlins talking a deal which would include Dan Uggla and Carlos Pena.

  87. Raul Says:

    LOL

  88. John Says:

    “So someone put a bunch of dots on a graph?”

    Yes. Each dot corresponded to a R/g rate and a K/g rate. What is so difficult to understand about that?

    The job of the offense is to score runs.

    So it should do things that help score runs.

    Making ANY kind of an out is bad. Strikeout included.

    There is ZERO correlation (well, like less than 1%) between striking out and scoring runs.

    Strikeouts are basically just another out most of the time. Runner on third, less than two out? Different story. But most of the time, it’s no worse than a pop-out or a ground-out or a flyout.

    “The more balls in play means more runners on base which means more runs scored and/or RBI.”

    For someone who claims to know every possible intricacy of the game, Chuck, that’s a major over-simplification.

    The harder you swing, the more likely you are to miss. But also the more likely you are to get a hit when you do put the ball in play.

    Wanna know what Ryan Howard has done in his career when he makes contact?

    BA/SLG: .413/.850

    Wanna know what Captain Calm Face has done in his career when he makes contact?

    BA/SLG: .379/.548

    How about David Eckstein, who like, never strikes out?

    BA/SLG: .307/.389

    And just for kickers, Juan Pierre:

    BA/SLG: .317/.391

    So it’s not as simple as “the more balls in play means more runners on base.”

    It’s a question of balancing the frequency with which you put balls in play with the authority with which you hit the ball. It’s not like, as long as you put the bat on the ball, you’re gonna reach base. Is this seriously a foreign concept?

    Albert Pujols hits the ball with less authority (.373/.701) than Howard and he strikes out more than David Eckstein or Juan Pierre. But he strikes out about 1/3 to 1/4 as much as Howard, and he hits the ball way harder than Pierre or Eckstein.

    And that’s why he’s the best.

  89. John Says:

    Holy shit Chuck. Do you know what else I saw today? RA Dickey struck out Albert Pujols on 3 pitches in the first inning. He went 0-4. What a bum.

    Seriously. If you cherry-pick individual at-bats to make your case then you’ll miss the big picture.

    Big picture, Albert Pujols doesn’t typically go 0-4. He goes “besthitterin” for “majorleaguebaseball” for the last decade. Big picture, Howard comes through more than almost every hitter in the game. That’s why, in the last 5 seasons, he has led the NL in RBI every year except once when he was second by 1.

  90. Chuck Says:

    “http://riveraveblues.com/2010/07/the-yankees-top-five-trade-chips-32771/”

    Did you guys see this?

    “I have no doubt the Yankees would trade Robbie Cano or Phil Hughes if the right offer came along…”

    This guy has a Yankee blog and writes for MLBTrade Rumors, so he’s supposed to be somewhat legitimate, right?

    I’m like, WTF??!!

  91. Raul Says:

    The ghost of Shaun lives in John.

  92. Chuck Says:

    You are missing the big picture John, because if I really have to explain the difference between David Eckstein and Albert Pujols or the difference between a first inning at bat with no one on against a knuckleballer to a fast ball pitcher a fastball hitter in a bases loaded two out fastball situation, then, well…

  93. John Says:

    Chuck,

    “GM Brian Cashman’s stock line has been” “No one is untouchable, but some are more touchable than others,” which is simple enough and right to the point. I’m sure the Yankees would move Robbie Cano or Phil Hughes in the right deal, but the odds that right deal comes along are very slim. ”

    Clearly, he’s using those two as extreme examples. If the Rangers offered Kinsler, Hamilton, Feldman, Lee, Molina, Cruz, Andrus and their entire AAA team while simultaneously paying the contracts for every player involved despite their bankruptcy…then yes…the Yankees would give up Cano and Hughes.

    Clearly, the author is saying that Cano and Hughes are *basically* untouchable.

  94. Chuck Says:

    Tough to argue with that logic, John.

    Remember that catcher, Wilson Ramos, the Twins were reluctant to included in a deal for cliff Lee?

    They just traded him even up for Matt fucking Capps.

  95. John Says:

    No, big picture 1 plate appearance out of 700 isn’t enough to judge a player, no matter what the circumstances. I also saw Manny Parra strike out Pujols on 4 pitches, three in the exact same location. Manny. Parra. But I’m not going to single out that one at-bat to tell the world about how Pujols sucks at batting because a) he hit a homerun in his VERY NEXT AT BAT and b) EVERY HITTER HAS BAD AT-BATS.

    I’m sure you’d like to take a team of Albert Pujols’s, play my team of Ryan Howard’s and be like I’M GONNA WIN!!!1!

    Well guess what. I’ll take my team of Howards against your team of Ecksteins. I’ll go 140-22.

    I’m not saying Howard could never possibly improve. But somehow you think it’s out of the question that by cutting down his strikeouts he *might* also cut down his ability to do damage when he does hit the ball. How often do you see a slap-hit homer?

    Ideally, Ryan Howard would keep his current ability with less than two strikes and then hit like Wade Boggs when he had two strikes on him.

    If it was easy to do, then Wade Boggs wouldn’t seem like a special player…right?

  96. John Says:

    Chuck: “Remember that catcher, Wilson Ramos, the Twins were reluctant to included in a deal for cliff Lee?

    They just traded him even up for Matt fucking Capps.”

    Matt Capps, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner? That Matt Capps?

  97. Hossrex Says:

    John: “There is ZERO correlation (well, like less than 1%) between striking out and scoring runs.”

    http://www.grupo-utopia.com/blog/isou/Idiots/britney%20retarded%20hrhr.jpg

  98. John Says:

    Hoss, you’re going to deliberately ignore facts too?

  99. Hossrex Says:

    No. I’m going to laugh at someone who thinks it doesn’t matter whether or not batters make productive outs.

    I’m not as fervent in my opinion of strikeouts as Chuck… I do think that in most situations they’re no different as a normal out… but they’re the second worst type of out you can make (second only to double plays… well… third if you count triple plays).

    Like my father always said… “all you have to do is hit it… they have to catch the ball, and throw the ball.”

    I literally can’t understand how someone could say strikeouts have so little correlation to scoring that you’d say it might as well be zero.

  100. Chuck Says:

    Sabermetrics aren’t facts, John.

    They’re a subjective opinion of facts.

  101. John Says:

    “I literally can’t understand how someone could say strikeouts have so little correlation to scoring that you’d say it might as well be zero.”

    Because of the graph I posted. You have 53 years worth of data, so probably around 1200 teams or so. You’ve got pretty much an equal number of:

    Teams that scored a lot and struck out a lot.
    Teams that scored a lot and didn’t strike out a lot.
    Teams that didn’t score a lot and struck out.
    Teams that didn’t score a lot and didn’t strike out much.

    Sure, there are individual situations where you need a ball in play, even if it’s an out. I get that.

    They compose a VERY small percentage of the number of situations in baseball.

    Also, strikeouts are pretty much tied with infield pop-ups but no one cares if a player has a bunch of those. But I digress.

    Look at the league leaders in AB/K. Are any of those guys (besides Mauer) guys you’d rather have on your team than Ryan Howard?

    Chuck mentioned a single at-bat tonight. Ryan Howard strikes out FAR more often than the typical guy. He also gets that run in FAR more often than the typical guy because when he DOES put the ball in play, it gets hit harder than pretty much anyone. How many times do you see Ryan Howard make contact and hit a dinky little pop up to the SS (which might as well be a K?)

    And Chuck, this isn’t sabermetrics. It’s simple data plotting of things that happened. The 1999 Indians (Ramirez, Thome, Sexson, Alomar, Justice, Lofton…damn!) struck out 1099 times. That’s a TON. They also scored more runs than ANY OTHER TEAM in the last 50 years.

  102. Raul Says:

    ….and the Indians would have scored more runs if they struck out less.

  103. Lefty33 Says:

    “THERE IS NO RELATION TO STRIKEOUTS AND SCORING.”

    But where there is a relation, that is even more important than scoring, is between strikeouts and winning.

    Of those 10 teams you listed that have whiffed the most this year all but Cincinnati, and I wouldn’t hold your breath on them, would not make the playoffs if the season ended today.

    And since 2001 if you look at the top 10 teams in strikeouts every season, counting this season so far which would obviously give you 100 teams, only 15 have made the playoffs.

    That’s pretty shitty odds.

    It’s the exact same argument as teams with low payroll making the playoffs.

    You don’t spend you don’t win. Your team strikes out a lot and you won’t win.

    85% of the time in the last ten years if your team strikes out in the top 10 in MLB you have no chance at the WS.

    So while Howard may not be bad by himself, a whole team of Howards (The D-Backs) just about guarantees losing.

  104. John Says:

    Maybe. Is there a common opinion that every major leaguer is lazy if they aren’t taking the time to become as good as Rod Carew at the plate when they have 2 strikes? That major leaguers can, against major league pitching, just completely alter their approach with 2 strikes to be 100% contact-oriented and it won’t affect, oh, I don’t know, HOW WELL THEY HIT THE BALL?

    Again…maybe. Choke up a little on the bat. Expand the zone a bit. If Ryan Howard did it just right, and hit more like Gwynn/Carew/Boggs with 2 strikes than himself, he would be even better. I agree.

    But it’s a difficult thing to do, and it’s especially tricky when you consider that a HUGE part of hitting is comfort and confidence. So let’s say that he strikes out 120 times a year…that’s what, 70 or so more balls he puts in play? If he becomes Tony Gwynn in those 2-strike at-bats, we’re looking at an all-time great season. But if not…well, that’s where the comfort and confidence kick in. If every time Howard gets 2 strikes he takes a less than comfortable approach and he hits more like Juan Pierre than Tony Gwynn, then he’ll be a LESS productive overall player.

    This is a big part of why I love baseball. We can speculate about this stuff all we want, but at the end of the day there are what…350 hitters in baseball? And they all have unique facets to their approach, their swing, the authority in which they hit the ball and how they fare in individual situations.

  105. John Says:

    Lefty…that’s an interesting point.

    I honestly hadn’t really looked at it from that perspective.

    But … yeah. You’re absolutely right. Teams that strike out will strike out a lot in key situations when a sac fly or ground ball to the right side will get that crucial winning run across.

    Sure, I get that.

    I’m gonna check a couple other things (number of teams in the bottom ten in K’s that have made the playoffs, possibly a correlation graph with wins instead of R/G).

    The adage that stat guys (apparently, I’m the statguy now?) like to say is that batters can’t control what pitchers do so it’s not their fault if a team doesn’t win. But…all in all, especially in playoff races, a single run in a single game can make all the difference, and logically, teams that strike out a lot will struggle with getting that single run in.

  106. Lefty33 Says:

    “But … yeah. You’re absolutely right. Teams that strike out will strike out a lot in key situations when a sac fly or ground ball to the right side will get that crucial winning run across.”

    And that’s at the core of all of those ridiculous articles where Shaun would say over and over that an out is an out and that strike outs are no worse than any other out when clearly for a teams ability to win there is nothing more crippling on offense than a strike out.

  107. John Says:

    Damnit.

    I had a post where I had something and I had a heart felt humble admission of “you’re right”-ness. DC didn’t register.

    Counting this year, there have been 15 teams JUST since 2007 that have or are on track to make the playoffs. So you’ve got a real point there.

    Check this out:
    http://spiff.rit.edu/richmond/baseball/order/correlation_example.html#strikeouts

    The author concludes: “Knowing how many times a team’s batter struck out doesn’t really help us to predict a team’s winning percentage.”

    But – here’s what I’ll say in response. At the elite levels most teams do most things very well. The difference between teams that make it and teams that don’t can be 1 run in 1 game that scores because player x hit a sacrifice fly instead of striking out.

    I bet a team of Ryan Howards projects to score more than a team of Derek Jeters.

    But I would take a team of Jeters to win more games for that simple reason. Hell, they might very well get outscored. But they’ll still win more.

    At the end of the of the day, the best offensive teams are the ones with a variety of talents. I maintain that Howard is a great hitter and that there’s no guarantee he would improve by altering his 2-strike approach. And that he’s a good fit in his lineup because the Phillies have a variety of types of hitters.

    Great argument Lefty

  108. Patrick Says:

    You see that? John is very reasonable, nothing like Shaun. Plus, he agrees with me about Howard so I obviously think he’s a smart guy. :-)

    The thing about guys and teams that strike out a lot is they tend to be all or nothing. They don’t chip away with 1 run at a time, they get them in bunches. So when they’re bad, they’re really bad. Like the Rays have been no hit something like 4 times and they have about 5 guys who strike out an average of 150 times. Or like Howard striking out 13 times in the WS.

    There are definite negatives to being a strike out king.

  109. Chuck Says:

    Nothing against John or the data provided, but you’re looking at this from a team standpoint and we’re looking at it from an individual standpoint.

    The 1999 Indians struck out 1100 times as a team and led the majors in runs scored.

    True.

    Would they have scored more runs if they struck out 1000 times?

    Also true.

    Apples and Oranges.

  110. Raul Says:

    Ty Cobb never struck out more than 43 times in a season.
    Babe Ruth never struck out more than 93 times in a season.
    Lou Gehrig never struck out more than 84 times in a season.
    Ted Williams never struck out more than 64 times in a season.
    Joe DiMaggio never struck out more than 39 times in a season.
    Stan Musial never struck out more than 46 times in a season.
    Hank Aaron never struck out more than 97 times in a season.
    Willie Mays never struck out more than 92 times in a season (barring 123 when he was 40 years old).

    Great players don’t whiff 200 times a year.

  111. John Says:

    Raul,

    These are all-time greats. You can’t use 8 of the top 15 hitters of all-time to make a universal point.

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that if Ryan Howard were successfully able to take a more contact oriented-approach with 2 strikes, and not change how he hit without 2 strikes, he would be a better hitter. But I’m not sure that it wouldn’t have an adverse ability on his ability to produce. I maintain that when Howard does hit the ball, he hits it harder than pretty much anyone and he might sacrifice that if he messed with how he hits. *Might* … I’m not Ryan Howard. I don’t know.

    And also, the game has changed. Babe Ruth may have never struck out 100 times, but NO ONE ever did in his day. He led the league in strikeouts 5 times and finished first or second every year from 1918 through 1928. And he’s the greatest hitter ever.

    Ryan Howard is a terrific hitter, consistently getting the job done year in and year out.

    A better question to ask is: will all the striking out make Howard a useless player when his power drops to 30-35 homeruns? And I think that’s a possibility. But when evaluating past performance? As long as it’s just one guy and not your whole lineup, results are results, and I think Howard’s speak for themselves.

  112. Raul Says:

    If you hit 40 homers but only mange 130 hits that season, you’re a waste of a baseball player.

    There are so many people that think (wrongly), that changing your approach turns you into Rob Deer.

    Every time someone cites a player who hit very well and didn’t strike out, the argument is always: “well that guy had more talent…he was among the best ever”

    Nevermind the possibility, and probability that the very reason that player was so great, is because he recognized that you don’t always have to sacrifice power to make contact.

    You CAN have both. They have a word for that. It’s called discipline.

  113. Chuck Says:

    “You can’t use 8 of the top 15 hitters of all-time to make a universal point”

    Major league baseball has been played for 135 years, you can’t use 53 years of data to make a universal point, either.

  114. John Says:

    Raul, I feel if it was that simple, there would be nothing remarkable about Albert Pujols.

    “If you hit 40 homers but only mange 130 hits that season, you’re a waste of a baseball player.”

    I’ll let 2004 Barry Bonds know how much he sucked :)

    Regardless, Ryan Howard hitting the ball hard doesn’t just results in homers. It results in sharp singles, gap doubles etc…balls that otherwise would have been fielded but because they were hit HARD fielders couldn’t get to them. Which is why he averages 169 hits per 162 games to go along with 85 walks.

  115. John Says:

    “Major league baseball has been played for 135 years, you can’t use 53 years of data to make a universal point, either.”

    Yeah you can. For one thing, why would anyone use data from the dead-ball era? It has almost zero application today. Secondly, taking over 1/3 of a baseball history as a sample space is more than statically significant; it’s actually overkill.

    You could take 10 years of data and get about the same thing.

    But again – while strikeouts may not correlate to raw scoring, I think Lefty is absolutely right that a team of strikeout hitters will have a very hard time winning close ball games and making playoff appearances.

  116. Chuck Says:

    You do realize a player has no control over how hard he hits the ball, right?

  117. Chuck Says:

    “I think Lefty is absolutely right that a team of strikeout hitters will have a very hard time winning close ball games and making playoff appearances.’

    Right.

    So why are we still talking?

  118. John Says:

    Chuck: “You do realize a player has no control over how hard he hits the ball, right?”

    You better have an unbelievably convincing argument for that one.

  119. Kerry Says:

    OK, time for me to weigh in.

    Chuck: “The 1999 Indians struck out 1100 times as a team and led the majors in runs scored. True.

    Would they have scored more runs if they struck out 1000 times? Also true.”

    But you don’t know that, because in order to SO less they would need to change their approach, and maybe they don’t hit as many HR (or 2B) and end up scoring less.

    In the RC formula, SO have a small negative coefficient, which reinforces the idea that SO are usually just another out, but sometimes not as good an out as others. But you can’t say that someone (or some team) cutting down on SO is going to end up being more productive overall (as opposed to batting in a particular situation) because they might lose some of what makes them good in the process (as John said about Howard). Or they might not.

    My point is that you can’t make a definitive statement one way or the other. You really need to do the experiment, and most players probably don’t want to risk screwing up what they have to try something different.

    Ichiro MIGHT be a more productive hitter if he actually tried to hit more HR in a game (as opposed to practice), even if he struck out more often, but we’ll probably never know. Unless his value decreases so much as he gets older that he tries to reinvent himself :-)

  120. John Says:

    And maybe that’s true have Ichiro? But why mess with something that’s already awesome. Same principle with Howard.

  121. John Says:

    *with Ichiro

  122. Raul Says:

    No Kerry.

    We KNOW that the Indians would have scored more runs if they struck out less.
    The problem is too many people who don’t know a damn thing about hitting think not striking out means taking a grandmother-esque swing.

    Give me a break.

  123. John Says:

    Man, if Jim Thome hadn’t spent so much time being such a selfish jerk-off his whole career, maybe he could’ve just stopped striking out so much and become Barry freaking Bonds. Because it’s easy. And it just takes some discipline.

    Raul, you don’t know shit about how much they would have scored.

    No, if they sacrificed some of that power, scored 850 runs, would they have advanced farther in the playoffs? Perhaps. Really this is a bunch of hypotheticals. Saying you know something like that really just reveals incredible ignorance. It’s the HARDEST thing to do in sports.

    But, even as a Brewer fan, I’m not exactly dreading my upcoming series against the league leaders in not-striking out, the LAST PLACE Astros.

  124. Raul Says:

    I played the game.
    I hit the baseball.

    I know pretty damn well that I can crush a baseball in a 2-strike count without giving the fans in the right-field bleachers a cool summer breeze because I’ve done it.

    It’s just sad and pathetic that so many stupid writers, and professional players with more talent than I had aren’t able to understand that obvious fact and that it’s a lot more attainable than people think.

    Sorry, I can’t graph that for you, or Shaun.

  125. Raul Says:

    But no, you’re right.

    Cleveland would have scored more runs by making outs that don’t produce shit and allow outfielders to count hot 16 year olds in the stands.

    Shrewd thinking, my friend.

  126. John Says:

    Oh, so your last name is Mondesi? And you’ve done this against THE BEST PITCHERS ON PLANET EARTH? Assuming the answers are no and no, then excuse me if I don’t take your criticisms of an NL MVP and world champion seriously.

  127. Kerry Says:

    Raul: “We KNOW that the Indians would have scored more runs if they struck out less… Give me a break.”

    You give me a break. All I’m saying is that it’s not a 100% sure thing. I may have given the impression that it’s a toss-up (50-50 chance), but that wasn’t what I meant.

    In fact I did a player study a year or two ago, posted on DC (but sadly no longer in the archives), that showed that the correlation between the SO rate and the RC rate was positive (more SO meant more RC). However, if you looked at a longitudinal study of one player over time, for MOST players they improved their RC rate by decreasing their SO rate, but there were some (Johnny Bench and Jim Edmonds were two examples) who had a better RC rate when their SO rate increased.

    My interpretation was that usually (but not always!) players do improve by decreasing SO and that the overall positive correlation between SO rate and RC rate was because teams were signing more power hitters who just happen to SO more.

    Anyway, I would say that you are usually correct, just not always.

    I could post those articles again if there was interest.

  128. Bob Says:

    Not trying to derail this dialogue, but the White Sox just acquired Edwin Jackson.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled progam.

  129. Lefty33 Says:

    “But you can’t say that someone (or some team) cutting down on SO is going to end up being more productive overall (as opposed to batting in a particular situation) because they might lose some of what makes them good in the process (as John said about Howard). Or they might not.”

    Who cares how productive you are as a team. If you are not making the playoffs and not giving your team a chance to win a WS then productivity is pointless.

    As I showed you in post #103 Kerry, if your team strikes out a lot you will lose.

    And at the end of the day winning and losing is what matters.

  130. Brautigan Says:

    Wow. This board got HOT. Kerry, nice to hear from you again.

    Chuck: Yup, you were right about Wallace and I was wrong. How good can you be when you are the minor league version of Harry “the Suitcase” Simpson? And did you see the SB/CS of GOse? 36 SB’s in 53 attempts! Yikes.

    Chuck: I still think Travis Snider is going to be a beast. The problem with Snider is his body type and he is (so far) prone to injuries. He is in the minors coming back from a wrist injury, and while I have never had a wrist injury, I have seen enough wrist injuries in the major leagues to belive that wrist injuries turn good hitters into Paul Popovich.

    John: The problem with Howard is that he was old when he reached the majors, and when the wheels come off, it will be ugly and Philly fan will be calling for blood. Howard’s skill set is what Bill James called “old man skills”, and if he loses just a bit off of his swing or batting eye, he has nothing left.

    John: “Chuck: “You do realize a player has no control over how hard he hits the ball, right?” “You better have an unbelievably convincing argument for that one.”

    Chuck is right. Swinging a bat is a rote process. Anyone who tries to “control” how hard they hit the ball will be guaranteed a prolonged slump.

    Raul: I remember Rob Deer as the Padres minor league hitting coach. That was funny. An old timer who had been watching baseball long before I was born told me that “no one in the Padres organization hits the ball hard, no one”. And he is right (not that it’s Rob Deer’s fault, but man, they do need a better hitting instructor RIGHT NOW).

  131. John Says:

    Kerry,

    I think we might actually need your talents as a physicist to explain the basic principles of momentum. sigma m1v1 = sigma m2v2 and all that.

  132. John Says:

    Brautigan: “The problem with Howard is that he was old when he reached the majors, and when the wheels come off, it will be ugly and Philly fan will be calling for blood. Howard’s skill set is what Bill James called “old man skills”, and if he loses just a bit off of his swing or batting eye, he has nothing left.”

    Oh, I agree. Ryan Howard isn’t going to be producing like this when he’s 34 and that contract is going to look mighty stupid. I’m just talking about evaluating his worth in the past.

    Ryan Howard strikes out 190 times a year but remains productive because he hits 45 homeruns and slugs like .580.

    When those numbers drop to 28 and .450, he’ll be really bad.

  133. Raul Says:

    “when those numbers drop to 28 and .450, he’ll be really bad”

    because he doesn’t have discipline.

  134. Brautigan Says:

    …..because that’s his only skill set.

    LOL

  135. Chuck Says:

    “You better have an unbelievably convincing argument for that one.”

    How about playing in an organized league where you didn’t hit off a tee?

  136. Chuck Says:

    A side note to those who still might believe in Brett Wallace.

    The Blue Jays just “replaced” him with Mike Jacobs.

    HAHAHAHAHA…..

  137. JohnBowen Says:

    “How about playing in an organized league where you didn’t hit off a tee?”

    I did Chuck. The fact that you think that things like bat speed don’t affect how hard you hit the ball shows that you don’t actually don’t understand basic, rudimentary physics. The momentum on a batted ball is a function of the pitch speed (not controlled by the batter), the ball’s mass (fixed), the speed of the bat (controlled by the batter) and the bat’s mass (chosen by the batter). That’s why a bunt doesn’t travel hard or far…because the bat speed is (you guessed it!) zero.

    Again, Kerry can explain this stuff far better than I can, but it’s basic, rudimentary baseball knowledge that a batter CAN in fact control how hard he hits a ball.

    Or maybe you think it’s just random luck that when Ryan Howard hits the ball, he hits .400, and when David Eckstein hits the ball, he hits .300.

    Which raises the question…have YOU ever seen a baseball game?

  138. Chuck Says:

    “have YOU ever seen a baseball game”

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY more than you have.

    “The fact that you think that things like bat speed don’t affect how hard you hit the ball”

    I never said that. Show me where I said that?

  139. Raul Says:

    apparently a batter can control how hard he hits the ball, but he can’t control how many times he strikes out.

    *stat head who’s never played and understood baseball’s auto response*
    “but if he changes his approach, he loses power”

    and ’round and ’round we go, Jack.
    some people’s stupidity knows no bounds.

  140. Chuck Says:

    “apparently a batter can control how hard he hits the ball, but he can’t control how many times he strikes out”

    Exactly, Raul.

    If a player had as much control over how he hits the ball or if it was really that easy, no one would ever swing and miss.

    I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t in all good conscience let it go..

    “That’s why a bunt doesn’t travel hard or far…because the bat speed is (you guessed it!) zero.”

    Quite possibly the dumbest comment I’ve ever read.

  141. JohnBowen Says:

    “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY more than you have.”

    Duh. Then explain how a player can’t impact how hard they hit the ball, and then try to disprove the fact that guys who strike out a lot also tend to do much much much better when they do put the ball in play.

    *jock-wannabe who played some amateur organized ball probably in high school auto-response*

    “I actually played the game. I actually get it!!!”

    I’m sure you know better than Ryan Howard, his teammates, batting coaches etc. Have you ever noticed that you..um..don’t play major league baseball? You know…against the best pitchers in the world? And that it’s unbelievably ignorant to suggest that whatever experience you have in baseball, which is probably like 1/100 of Howard, or for that matter, Reynolds doesn’t give you some magical incite on what it’s like to hit a *MAJOR LEAGUE* pitcher, no matter what the count.

  142. John Says:

    “Quite possibly the dumbest comment I’ve ever read.”

    Dumber than “David Wright is done” or “David Ortiz will be released in August.” ? Because scientifically speaking, my thing is absolutely right.

  143. Chuck Says:

    All that matters here John is that my experience is more than yours.

  144. John Says:

    Ignorance at it’s best is not admitting that you could ever learn more.

    Go ahead and use your years of experience to explain how Ryan Howard hits .400 when he puts the ball in play which is way way way way way way better than pretty much anyone.

  145. Raul Says:

    Do you know what Ryan Howard’s hitting coach is trying to do right now? At this very moment?

    He’s trying to teach Ryan Howard discipline so he doesn’t strike out 200 times a year.

    The great players are able to cut down on strikeouts while never losing the ability to hit the ball with authority.

    It’s what players STRIVE (or should strive) TO DO. Why? Because even they know that striking out is bad.

    The players who continue to strike out with reckless abandon are either merely happy to hit .230 as long as they see double-digit homers, or they are simply bad hitters.

    Ryan Howard is a .173 hitter with 2 strikes and slugs .351.

    On the other hand, Manny Ramirez (who by all accounts is 53 years old), strikes out a decent number of times, but not excessively, is a career .236 hitter with 2 strikes, but he slugs .417.

    The difference? Discipline.
    It’s not hard to understand.

  146. Chuck Says:

    Does Ryan Howard hit the ball hard every time he puts the ball in play?

    No.

    “Ignorance at it’s best is not admitting that you could ever learn more.”

    No, it’s being in a group of people smarter than you and not learning anything.

    First it was Shaun, now it’s you.

  147. John Says:

    Ryan Howard certainly hits the ball hard more often than pretty much anyone.

    Amazingly, with all these years of experience, you can’t notice that.

    Again: use your wealth of supposed baseball knowledge to explain how Ryan Howard hits .400 when he makes contact and almost no one else does.

    You can’t do it.

  148. Patrick Says:

    Travis Snider was supposed to get called up last night, which was his first day eligible. Not sure if he did and I’m too lazy to click on ESPN. That’s pretty lazy. Snider was tearing the cover off the ball when he first hurt his wrist and he’s tearing the cover off the ball right now. He recently homered in 4 out of 5 games.

    Man, Ryan Howard is a lightning rod. His skill set and subsquent production really flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

    With do respect to Chuck and Raul, Howard really does hit the ball harder than most. I think it’s amazing that he can hit close to .300 while making half of his outs striking out. It’s because when he hits the ball, he hits BB’s and BB’s are harder to catch than non-BB’s….still no Omaha Steaks…..I’m going to try and not mention Howard again until;

    A) He sends me some steaks or

    B) He wins the MVP again and all of the non-believers come out of the woodwork to bash him and his 140 RBI as unworthy.

  149. Raul Says:

    “Use your wealth of supposed baseball knowledge to explain how Ryan Howard hits .400 when he makes contact”

    “It’s called Sex Panther. It’s illegal in 9 countries. They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works, every time.”

  150. Raul Says:

    “He makes contact harder than most”

    In my life I’ve probably seen very few guys that made harder contact than Darryl Strawberry.

    And that doesn’t mean dogshit.

  151. Patrick Says:

    *due respect

  152. John Says:

    I forgot, Ryan Howard has a secret cocaine addiction which makes him lazy and not work hard to become Barry Bonds.

  153. Chuck Says:

    “Do you know what Ryan Howard’s hitting coach is trying to do right now? At this very moment?”

    Actually, he got fired.

    Milt Thompson was the Phils hitting coach and he got canned a couple of weeks ago and replaced with Greg Gross.

    Probably because he couldn’t get Howard to cut down on his strikeouts.

  154. Raul Says:

    It’s not that Ryan Howard isn’t productive.

    It’s that you saberheads make him out to be the poster child for the supposed unimportance of strikeouts…and you people have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

  155. Chuck Says:

    “Ryan Howard certainly hits the ball hard more often than pretty much anyone”

    Define hard?

  156. Raul Says:

    John…Shaun…it rhymes…close enough anyway…so is the ignorance.

  157. Bob Says:

    Interesting, because I am somewhat of a “saberhead” but I think Howard is overrated, or at the very least not worthy of his recent contract extension.

  158. Chuck Says:

    “Again: use your wealth of supposed baseball knowledge to explain how Ryan Howard hits .400 when he makes contact and almost no one else does.”

    So, if he struck out less and made more contact, wouldn’t he then hit more than .400?

  159. John Says:

    “Probably because he couldn’t get Howard to cut down on his strikeouts.”

    Sure. That was the reason. And not the inability OF EVERY OTHER PHILLIE.

  160. John Says:

    “So, if he struck out less and made more contact, wouldn’t he then hit more than .400?”

    No. The contact he made *might* be less solid. Emphasis: might. You talk about changing a guy’s entire approach at the plate, when he’s been one of the most productive hitters in the game for half a decade as if it’s some easy little tweak and not a major change to the way someone would approach the hardest fucking thing that anyone can do in sports, against the best pitchers in the world.

    “It’s that you saberheads make him out to be the poster child for the supposed unimportance of strikeouts…and you people have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.”

    He’s never had more than 5.8 WAR. His OBP is fine but not great. He’s not the posterchild for SABR at all. He’s the posterchild for RBI’s, which he drives in more than anyone regardless of context.

  161. Patrick Says:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with sabermetrics. Sabermetrics doesn’t even recognize RBI and Howard is next to nothing without RBI. Shit, I only made it 10 minutes without mentioning Howard…OK, starting now….

    Calling John derogatory names like Shaun is quite an insult and is unwarranted. I think we can all discuss this like adults without having to stoop to using the “S” word. :-)

  162. Raul Says:

    Contact MIGHT be less solid??
    Yet you definitively said his average would NOT be higher than .400?

    lol

    “Hey kid, you’ve got a wide open stance…let’s close that up a bit”
    “No way man. You’re messing with my approach. I might lose all my power”

    **facepalm**

  163. John Says:

    “Hey NL MVP, World Series winner, and 800 time RBI champion Ryan Howard. This is “I played some in high school just like John, Shaun, and pretty much every red-blooded male in America” Raul. I actually understand the game because I played the game, and it’s something that only I did. I think you should completely alter the way you hit to try to make more contact because in my magical crystal ball that I have stashed away, you reach more often and produce even more runs.”

    “No way Raul. If it’s not broke, why fix it? Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and drive in more runners and lead my team to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.”

  164. Raul Says:

    Very funny.

    If you’d like, John, I can teach you how to play baseball some time.

    You don’t have to worry about striking out with the bases loaded of a tie game in the 9th inning because you wanted a homer. With my tutoring, you’ll be able to crush that slider away from a AA pitcher for a game-winning hit to left-center. Making you a *GASP* complete baseball player.

    Your friend,

    Raul

  165. Raul Says:

    Reminds me of that playstation commercial with Dustin Pedrioa

    Pedroia: “How many MVP’s do you know that can’t hit the high inside fastball?”
    Playstation guy: “Other than you?”

    ……

  166. Brautigan Says:

    1) Travis Snider has walked twice in 80 AA at bats. I wonder if he is just swinging at everything trying to get his timing back. (He had 14 walks in just over 100 MLB at bats this year). Now is not the time to get into bad habits.

    2) Greg Gross. Criminy, how many years did Gross play before he hit his first major league home run? And he is coaching Howard? In some respects that makes sense (cutting down on k’s).

    3) On a side note, the farthest ball I ever hit was in a high school playoff game on a hit and run. I did not swing as hard as I usually did, and the ball went about 500 feet. We used wood bats and I hit the ball on the sweet spot and it felt like I had hit a grape. I mean it was a mammoth blast (that one swing alone got me a college scholarship), and every time I tried to replicate it and swing hard, I had major league popups that barely cleared the infield. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

  167. John Says:

    “You don’t have to worry about striking out with the bases loaded of a tie game in the 9th inning because you wanted a homer. ”

    What me and Patrick are trying to say is that this is a relatively rare occurrence. Generally, Howard comes through. As evidenced by *music please* all those RBI’s.

  168. Raul Says:

    There is, Brautigan.

    The harder you swing, the longer your swing. Timing is off. Mechanics can be thrown.

    I didn’t have to play in the major leagues to know that, though. It’s common sense for many kids.

  169. Lefty33 Says:

    “Milt Thompson was the Phils hitting coach and he got canned a couple of weeks ago and replaced with Greg Gross.”

    Which in itself is really funny because Gross has been coaching the Phils AAA team since ‘08 and the last three years the teams sucks offensively in every way.

    Gross was already the hitting coach when Bowa was the manager and then when Charlie took over Gross was “reassigned”.

  170. Brautigan Says:

    The Diamondbacks continue to dump. Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for two minor leaguers.

    Also, Chris Davis played his way to Oklahoma City. Anyone surprised?

  171. Hossrex Says:

    John: “explain how Ryan Howard hits .400 when he puts the ball in play which is way way way way way way better than pretty much anyone.”

    I immediately have two thoughts about that.

    1: Assuming that’s true, how pathetic than is it that he’s only REALLY hitting .281 on his career.

    2: That pretty much proves that Ryan Howard wouldn’t have to change a damn thing to avoid striking out so often. He just needs to learn… and I know Raul has said this about fifty times this thread… discipline.

    John: “I forgot, Ryan Howard has a secret cocaine addiction which makes him lazy and not work hard to become Barry Bonds.”

    I don’t think John knows what cocaine does.

    Braut: “Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for two minor leaguers.”

    Can anyone else remember a pitcher who pitched a no-hitter being dealt in the middle of the season where he’d pitched his no-hitter?

    I got nothing.

  172. John Says:

    “I don’t think John knows what cocaine does.”

    Yeah, I was sort of hoping no one would catch that.

    “1: Assuming that’s true, how pathetic than is it that he’s only REALLY hitting .281 on his career.”

    Less pathetic than the scores of .281 hitters without .580 slugging percentages?

    “That pretty much proves that Ryan Howard wouldn’t have to change a damn thing to avoid striking out so often. He just needs to learn… and I know Raul has said this about fifty times this thread… discipline.”

    I love how this is just assumed by people who’ve never once faced big league pitching.

  173. Chuck Says:

    “I love how this is just assumed by people who’ve never once faced big league pitching.”

    You’re right at the top of the list, John.

    We’ve all face better pitching than you have.

    And I have faced major league pitching. Unfortunatly, they weren’t in the major leagues at the time.

  174. John Says:

    Probably true. But I’m not the one claiming that, all a player has to do against the BEST pitching in the world is learn discipline so that he strikes out less and will automatically become more productive.

    Again I say: If it were easy, Albert Pujols wouldn’t be so special.

    Just wondering, not trying to be snide…who’s the most noteworthy pitcher you ever faced or played with Chuck?

  175. Chuck Says:

    Dennis Eckersley

  176. John Says:

    No shit?

    I mean, doesn’t change my argument. But I’m impressed.

    Uh…Craig Counsell was my 7th grade basketball coach.

  177. Chuck Says:

    Tell Counsey I said hi.

  178. Chuck Says:

    Better yet, I’ll tell him you did.

  179. John Says:

    I’m gonna try to hit up Wrigley Field for a Cubs-Brewer game next week, I’ll let him know.

    If you tell me you were the one who said “hey Craig, maybe don’t have the weirdest batting stance any player has every had” and got him to switch, I’ll concede this entire strikeout debate right now.

    Yeah, he was my coach after he won the world series with the d-backs. I guess he was holding true to his roots or something…I was starstruck every practice.

  180. Chuck Says:

    “I was starstruck every practice.”

    Wow, that says alot.

    You may not believe this, John, but I actually respect your opinion.

    Although you don’t really need to concede anything.

    You lost the argument before it even started.

  181. John Says:

    Haha, I was. It’s a major league baseball player, hero of two world series coaching a dinky little middle school basketball team.

    Ok…how about this: every player sucks with two strikes relative to what they usually do.

    Ryan Howard has a 103 sOPS+ this season with two strikes. Believe it or not, .177/.243/.303 is slightly above average with two strikes. Last year it was 107. In 2007 it was 111 and in 2006 it was a ridiculous 182. 2008 was his worst year, and even then he was only slightly below league average at 98.

    So all in all, Howard actually outperforms the typical player even when he has two strikes. I mean, he outperforms the typical player by a lot more when he doesn’t have two strikes but still.

    How about this Chuck. Give me some power hitters that have drastically cut down their strikeouts by becoming more disciplined with two strikes and maintained/improved their productivity.

  182. Chuck Says:

    How about this, John.

    You made a comment earlier about discounting the deadball era.

    It’s no coincidence some of the greatest, most productive players in ML history were deadball players.

    The Rockies just set two major league records by having 18 hitters and eleven consecutive hits in one inning.

    I don’t know what’s more shocking;

    The Rockies offensive explosion came at Coors Field, or David Wright having his first career multi homer game at Citi Field.

    And to save anyone possible future embarrassment, Shea Stadium is bigger than Citi Field.

  183. Chuck Says:

    “It’s no coincidence some of the greatest, most productive players in ML history were players.”

    Sorry.

    Friday night, have a couple in me.

    OK, more than a couple.

    I was paying more attention to the game than to what I was writing.

    Long memory, short attention span.

    Putting the ball in play was paramount in the deadball era. Yet we have some of the highest average. on base, slugging, runs scored, rbi totals of all time from that era.

  184. John Says:

    “The Rockies just set two major league records by having 18 hitters”

    I’m positive that the Red Sox once had a massive inning in which Johnny Damon got 3 hits…and that would mean getting at least 20 to the plate. Unless I’m missing something?

    The deadball era was different in so many ways from today.

    If you tried to hit spitballs covered in mud that were used for the entire game using a Ryan Howard style approach, you would be less than useless. Also, Ryan Howard would not only be a useless player, but he wouldn’t be on the field.

    There were very few flamethrowers…Waddell, Johnson maybe a couple others.

    Rarely did relievers ever play a role. And 10 homeruns generally led the league.

    So many differences. Very little practicality to today’s game. The 1950’s game is far far far closer to today’s game than the deadball era.

    Plus, for what it’s worth, my impression is that Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays could take a time machine visit to the present day and play as well as anyone. I’m not sure I could say the same of Ty Cobb, who made Coach Counsell look like Barrold Bonds.

    Anyway, sober up and in the morning let me know of some hitters have drastically cut down their strikeouts by becoming more disciplined with two strikes and maintained/improved their productivity.

  185. John Says:

    “Putting the ball in play was paramount in the deadball era. Yet we have some of the highest average. on base, slugging, runs scored, rbi totals of all time from that era.”

    Average? Oh yeah.

    On-base? Ehhhh. Are you counting pre-1901 or no?

    Slugging? Please. Albert Pujols’s career slugging percentage is about the same at the dead-ball high. The highest slugging percentage compiled from 1901 to 1919 is .643, by Nap Lajoie in the first year of the American League. That’s 115th all-time, or like 105ish if you ignore pre-1901.

    RBI totals? Try again. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/RBI_season.shtml

    Runs Scored? Again…lots from pre 1901. You really big on those years?

  186. Chuck Says:

    If Ty Cobb played today, Albert Pujols would be the second best player in the game.

  187. John Says:

    Right, to Ben Zobrist. I don’t know man, different game.

  188. Hossrex Says:

    I really don’t mean to bash on a guy for being young, but by my math, John is younger than 23. The thing about baseball is when you spend more time reading about it and looking at box scores, then playing the game and talking to people who’ve made the sport their life… you’re apt to think that’s all there is to the game.

    I have a feeling that if you your interest in baseball keeps it’s pique, in ten years you’ll have had enough discussions with baseball men that your opinion will be different.

    Until I was about 28 I was a pure “intangibles, and fundamentals are all that matters” type of guy in my approach to baseball. OBP was just that other stat that wasn’t important enough to be on a baseball card (I specifically remember having a knockdown drag out fight about how I thought Juan Pierre was a really good baseball player). It was around 2006 that I really started to notice just how much baseball stuff was on the internet, had access to all sorts of crazy data, and resources where people were talking about things I’d never even heard of. All of a sudden I was spending more time diving through statistics, and reading about how this stat or that correlates to scoring than I was actually watching games, and I spent a few years thinking exactly like you think now.

    That would be all well and good if baseball were a science.

    It just isn’t.

    It’s a game of patterned randomness. Utter chaos that comes together under a ridiculously large sample size, and gives a potentially false impression that it’s been quantified.

    Before Ol’ Perfesser laid the groundwork that Tony LaRussa would come along 45 years later and literally rape to death, baseball was viewed entirely different from how many see it today. Less concern with how many hits a player has against left handed breaking balls in night games, and more with “how’s his swing.” “Does the kid have stuff?” “Does he leave the piano in the dugout, or does he actually stop to play it on the way to first base?”

    The game was concerned with ability, talent, and potential… whereas today it seems like a lot of people are only concerned with what he’s done in the past.

    While I can see the logic in looking to the past to predict what he’ll do in the future, I fear the reason that logic has become so pervasive is simply because you can’t quantify the other stuff, and people don’t like what they don’t understand.

    You’re young enough that it wouldn’t be creepy if you went back and hung out at the high school while the guys were practicing. Get to know the coaches. Volunteer if they’ll have you. I guarantee you’ll hear a lot less stress on a pitchers batting average against, than you will about stuff like arm slot and follow through.

  189. John Says:

    Look I played the game.

    I sucked. I was a decent defensive shortstop in high school who had almost no patience at the plate. I probably saw 2, maybe 3 pitches per at-bat. I’m in college now, and my “playing experience” is now limited to pick-up games and such.

    I’m not the kind of fan who doesn’t appreciate scouting knowledge or thinks that it’s not paramount to watch and really understand the game. I try to catch every Brewer game if military networks muster enough bandwidth for mlbtv to function, and I would say I average around 1-2 other games a week. I watch the game, I really do.

    So why do I write about statistics? Simple. Other writers (mainly Chuck) have the actual knowledge of the game…how it’s played, how players adjust to different situations, when they’re clueless at the plate. I know when, for example, what a guy is doing wrong when he screws up a bunt, and I can tell when a hitter was sitting on a curveball and when he wasn’t. But Chuck and others can do that far better than me. So I focus on where I can best contribute, because frankly, I wouldn’t listen to a former high school SS about game fundamentals when there’s someone else who’s an actual scout.

    Trust me on this: 53 years of data is more than statistically enough to say that the rate at which a team strikes out doesn’t have an impact on raw scoring. And I’ll maintain that they don’t…over the course of a season, # of strikeouts will not correlate to # of runs. But here’s what I will say, and Lefty hit on this point and it makes perfect sense: Team A can average 5.3 runs a game and Team B can score 5 runs a game, but if Team B is striking out less and doing the small-ball things (HaR, stealing, bunting) that SABR guys despise because they project to score fewer runs…well Team B will win more because they’ll consistently put runs on the board, while team A will basically be my Brewers. Score 20, score 1, score 9, score 2 etc etc. And I think you have to really follow a team and watch their games to really have an understanding for that.

    “The game was concerned with ability, talent, and potential… whereas today it seems like a lot of people are only concerned with what he’s done in the past.”

    Again I say: As Ryan Howard ages, he won’t be worth dogsh*t if he keeps up all those strikeouts, because he won’t be able to compensate with power. His homers will become flyouts. All I’m saying is that, thus far in his career, he has proven at least as consistently productive as anyone not named Pujols because he does have that power in his bat. Also, I maintain that he can and does control how hard he hits the ball…which is why, when he makes contact it’s so unusually potent.

    I just want the name of anyone who has made the change that you’re all asking Howard to make. Some power hitter who has lowered their strikeout totals by becoming more disciplined and then improved their productivity (whether tangible or not). Everyone seems to think it’s easily doable, that it can’t possibly affect the way he hits and that it couldn’t possibly hurt his productivity. Which seems like couch jockeying at it’s finest.

    “I guarantee you’ll hear a lot less stress on a pitchers batting average against, than you will about stuff like arm slot and follow through.”

    Well…yeah. It’s high school.

    “Less concern with how many hits a player has against left handed breaking balls in night games, and more with “how’s his swing.” “Does the kid have stuff?” “Does he leave the piano in the dugout, or does he actually stop to play it on the way to first base?”

    Why on earth would we not want all the information we can? It’s not like you have to make a choice: a) bury your head in a baseballreference and fangraphs without watching the game or b) Watch the game and base ideas on gut-instincts. You can do both.

  190. Chuck Says:

    “I just want the name of anyone who has made the change that you’re all asking Howard to make.”

    Adam Dunn.

    Is it a coincidence he’s knocked about 30 strikeouts a year off his average the past three years, and his average has gone up 25 points?

    A baseball season is 26 weeks long, with an aveage of maybe six games a week. That’s maybe 24-25 plate appearances a week.

    A player wouldn’t have to change anything approach wise to knock off one strikeout per week.

  191. John Says:

    Ok.

    How does he cut down on them then?

  192. Chuck Says:

    Approach is mental, not physical.

    Howard, or Fielder, or Mark Reynolds could easily hit an outside slider to the opposite field with a runner on third instead of always trying to hit one in the seats.

    It’s not a conscious effort to change his approach, it’s common sense.

  193. Hossrex Says:

    John (paraphrased this time): I’m not a big stat guy. I appreciate scouting. I played the game, and I watch it all the time. I only appear to give the appearance of the “statguy” in an effort to lend balance to the discussions. Strikeouts have nearly zero impact on scoring.

    That’s the stat guy way of saying “I don’t dislike black people. I have lots of black friends. Black people have added a lot of great things to the fabric of Americana. I just don’t want one of them dating my daughter.”

  194. John Says:

    Sigh.

    Stats are valuable to baseball.

    Anyone who says otherwise is probably running the Pirates.

    If you were to do something like, graph batting average, or OBP, or slugging, or OPS, or even doubles against runs scored, you would see a clear trend. You’ll see a positively sloping line.

    You don’t get that with strikeouts. You see a straight line. Wanna know who’s the best team in the league in not striking out? The Astros, who are second last in scoring. The second best team? The Cardinals, who are slightly above league average. Zero trend.

    But…

    You don’t see a lot of big-strikeout teams in the playoffs.

    15/100 over the last 10 years have been in the top 10 in strikeouts. You would expect 33 plus/minus a couple.

    The explanation for that is simple. Teams that strike out a lot score runs more sporadically. So they lose a lot of 1-run games when all they needed was a productive out with a man in scoring position or something.

    Strikeouts have zero correlation to overall scoring.

    But you better believe they correlate to winning.

    As for everyone’s thing with Howard? I guess we’ll see when he ages and can’t rely on his raw power.

  195. Chuck Says:

    Rex,

    I have mixed emotions on the trade today with Lambo and McDonald. I got to know Lambo a little bit the last two years in the AFL and he’s a good kid.

    He’s a silver spooner, so, as you would probably expect, he’s had some maturity issues. Maybe getting away from the LA/Beverly Hills scene will do him some good.

    And I really, really, really like James McDonald.

  196. Chuck Says:

    John, let’s pretend for a minute I’m Ruben Amaro Jr and you’re Ryan Howard.

    We’re in contract discussions, and I’m offering you a blank, Andre Dawson/Cubs contract. The only way you get paid is on homers and strikeouts.

    There is no negotiation.

    You will get paid $500,000 for every homer you hit, but will be docked $25,0000 for every strikeout.

    What are you going to do?

  197. Hossrex Says:

    John: “Strikeouts have zero correlation to overall scoring.

    But you better believe they correlate to winning.”

    You’re fucking stupid. Go away.

  198. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “And I really, really, really like James McDonald.”

    Yeah, he’s looked sharp. Looked better than whatever his stats say (I don’t actually know, or care what a guy like his stats look like).

    Lambo was clearly dealt because of the steroid rhubarb last year… which is a shame. I’ve heard fantastic things about him.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about Lilly. I’m disappointed in losing DeWitt… but frankly it seems like him and Theriot are a wash (from our perspective at least. My father said the Cubbies needed a lefty bad). I don’t really know much about Dotel… doesn’t seem like much of an impact player. I don’t hate the Podsednik deal, but I’m worried about whether or not Russell Martin is really a good enough of a catcher to dump a guy like Carlos Santana (last year) and Lucas May.

    I’m more excited about the White Sox being interested in Manny. I’ve had enough of his shit. I’d take him straight up for “Mr. 162″ Juan Pierre, and give the Sox whatever salary difference there is.

  199. Lefty33 Says:

    “I don’t really know much about Dotel… doesn’t seem like much of an impact player.”

    He’s been decent when teams have used him as a set-up guy like Houston and The White Sox did but when used as a closer he’s been putrid. Usually plus four ERA.

    Dodgers I would imagine will use him in a seventh inning type of role and go right/left/right with him/Kuo/Broxton.

    He’s a one pitch pitcher with a straight as a string fastball and he missed most of ‘05-’07 with tendinitis and TJ surgery.

  200. Chuck Says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Lambo and steriods.

    His suspension was marijuana related, he had a high school suspension for it as well.

    The trade had everything to do with the suspension, though, no doubt.

    It’s somewhat hypocritical of the Dodgers, considering all the dirty laundry with the McCourts and Coletti letting Manny get away with the fake injuries and playing whenever he feels like it, to trade a 21 year old kid just because he likes to puff on a doobie once in awhile.

  201. Hossrex Says:

    Whoops. I do withdraw what I said.

    I perhaps saw “violation of minor league drug policy”, and put two and two together to get five.

    Now that you mention it, I think we went through this very discussion when it happened.

    If it wasn’t steroids, you’d think they’d make sure people knew that.

  202. Chuck Says:

    The Dodgers did pretty well for themselves today.

    The Padres did better, so it’s all for naught.

  203. Hossrex Says:

    This season was (un)officially over on Thursday night when we dropped 2 out of 3 in San Diego to fall 7 back.

    First time in three years where I actually said the words “well, that’s the season then.”

    Quite a cathartic feeling.

    We made a bunch of “LOOK WHAT WE DID!” type trades, that hope to keep butts in seats for the remainder of the year, without actually doing anything more than shuffling salary around, and not needing to actually add anything to the pile.

  204. John Says:

    “John, let’s pretend for a minute I’m Ruben Amaro Jr and you’re Ryan Howard.”

    No. Look, I get that it’s a stupid contract and that Howard’s past performance doesn’t mean Amaro should pay him assuming he’ll keep doing the same stuff (plus, he was going to hit the FA market at the same time as Pujols, Fielder, and Gonzalez anyway).

    Or you’re saying that Ryan Howard isn’t changing because HR and RBI make the big bucks and that if he didn’t go for HR as much he would be even more productive. That’s undeniable. But it looks like he’s really adopting the attitude that if it works, why fix it. Do you really think the Phillies’ hitting coach was fired over Howard? Not Ibanez’s huge power drop, Victorino’s abysmal OBP? oooookkkkk.

    “Strikeouts have zero correlation to overall scoring.

    But you better believe they correlate to winning.”

    …er, they correlate to losing. Negatively correlate. I don’t even know if that’s a thing. I assume that’s why Hossrex had such a giant stick up his ass. More strikeouts = less wins. Oops. A formula. Freakout.

  205. Hossrex Says:

    Get your nose out of the book, and understand what you just said.

    Here’s a formula for you.

    K =/= scoring

    K = winning

    Thus…

    scoring =/= winning

    It’s fucking stupid, and you aren’t taking a second to use the right side of your brain to think about what the fuck you’re saying.

    I don’t have a “stick up (my) ass”, you’re just saying incredibly stupid things.

    I see people all the time say, sarcastically, “you understand that you win a baseball game by scoring more runs than your opponent, right?”… but this is the first time I feel INCREDIBLY comfortable, and entirely honest by asking you…

    Do you understand why after nine innings of a baseball game 25 men look happy, while the other 25 look upset?

  206. John Says:

    Man Hoss. Expand your mind a bit.

    A team of 2009 offensive Ryan Howards would AVERAGE 7.31 r/g in 2009.
    A team of 2009 offensive Derek Jeters would AVERAGE 7.23 r/g in 2009.

    Roughly the same, with a slight edge to Howard. But…which team do you think would actually win more games (assuming equal pitching and defenses and such)?

    Hint: It’s Captain Intangibles. By a long shot.

    Why?

    Because Team Howard will score its runs like this (the exact math probably doesn’t check out, don’t worry bout it):

    12, 5, 9, 4, 1, 1, 14, 2, 15, 2, 1, 13, 9, 2, 9, 3, 15, 0, 0, 13, 16, 4

    And Team Jeter will score its runs like this:

    7,6,9,8,7,6,8,9,6,7,6,6,7,9,9,10,5,7,8,9

    Strikeouts don’t help predict how many runs a team will average. But they show how consistent or inconsistent teams will score runs and help determine how much they’ll win.

    If you understood the game as well as you claim, that shouldn’t be hard to grasp.

  207. Hossrex Says:

    Trust me man.

    Right now, you’re the only one here who doesn’t think you sound like a complete moron.

    You’re still saying “Strikeouts don’t correlate to scoring, but do correlate to winning”… which is such a stupid thing that I can’t come up with an adequate sarcastic response.

    So this must suffice.

    http://www.motifake.com/fail-demotivational-poster-2782.html

  208. John Says:

    Did you even read the response? No. Because you are an idiot.

  209. John Says:

    Tell me you would prefer to root for an offense that alternates between 13 runs and 1 run rather than one that scores 6 every time. With a straight face.

  210. Hossrex Says:

    Part of your problem is that you’re making this out to be a lot more complicated than it is.

  211. Mike Felber Says:

    Hoss, you posted a respectful & well reasoned post about the balance of observation to statistical knowledge & its predictive value. Though it is possible you have gone a bit too far in the opposite direction in compensation, you were admirably honest about your own past-one dimensionality.

    Would it have helped you to learn more, or contributed to a positive discussion, if folks called you names? You backed off on doing the same a while back…to Chuck. So you can see how those flames do not move others, contribute to the peace, or get at the truth. What was remarkable is you got involved in pissing matches & ended up 9sometimes over) converted. Which says a lot about your character. But few can absorb & throw such personal heat…& make it more likely they will see or admit the truth. And the other guy is more likely to be intransigent too. AND everything gets uncivil & ego bruised.

    Anyway, if 1 side is blind to a basic truism, no need to think them retarded. We all do this. But Kerry showed a while back how more consistent scoring can win more games. It is simple logic: if you score more in total runs, but they are distributed in ways where you score more or much more than you need to win: of course you can be more “efficient” in using those runs to win.

    Ks have been shown to be a net disadvantage compared to other outs. Though John is right too: when you substitute a player’s very high w/moderate Ks-as I discussed w/Kerry re: Mantle-it makes a difference, but considering how many plays actually do advance runners on outs that lead to scoring: it is not a very large difference.

    Though I am in the middle re: what effect attempted “discipline” will have. I think often a player will do better overall, though a s Kerry showed not always-but I think that is overwhelmingly due to not swinging at pitches outside the SZ. Players both vary on how hard they can swing, & clearly something like a 2 strike opposite field single is done at somewhat less than top power. That begs the question if a player can learn to just do that situationally (plausible), & also if he is likely to be good enough at it to compensate for the effect of less often hitting bombs.

    So it seems to me the best way Howard could increase efficiency, if there was one thing to do, would be to walk more often-he is deficient in this compared to other sluggers, high Ks or not.

  212. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “Would it have helped you to learn more, or contributed to a positive discussion, if folks called you names?”

    I didn’t come into this thread, see John’s opinion, and call him an idiot. We discussed something which is painfully obvious (it’s better to put the ball in play than strikeout) for a ridiculous amount of time, explaining why it’s important to put the ball in play, and his reply to that was to say “strikeouts lead to fewer runs, but more wins”.

    It’s asinine, and there comes a point where the person is so gone that well reasoned arguments just wont work, and a person deserves a good dose of “shut the fuck up”.

  213. Mike Felber Says:

    Looking up Dunn in the last 3 years: he reduced his K rate 3 years ago, though only significantly compared to his 2 highest K years, was virtually at his 162 game average last year, & could hit or exceed his all time high this year. though his OPS + is virtually at his highest ever, where he hit his high in Ks, 195. So he has not changed appreciably there…what is odd is how well he is doing in ‘10 w/ an all time low in walks: seems he has increased the rate of all non-dinger hits.

    Would Cobb be better than Pujols today? I think it is the only major sport where pure physicality is not so important that this is possible without granting the old timers modern training advantages to transform themselves, largely physically. Due to the mental aspects/strategy/discipline, & also that the most important physical traits are largely inborn, like hand eye coordination. But things like power & speed have increased, the quality of play is better overall, so my GUESS would be:

    If Cobb was willing to hit for power, like he famously did for 2 games in the mid ’20’s, then he might be about as good a hitter as Pujols. Which is saying A LOT. But recall that dead ball & early power era #s had more outliers, largely due to what Stephen Jay Gould described: a less ‘evolutionarily competitive”, to paraphrase, environment. There were more marginal athletes, more no hit guys, & less overall athleticism. Though many also underrate the skills of the greats, overemphasizing something like pure power. It is not a track meet or football, where raw speed or power is just overwhelmingly useful in most events & positions.

    There is no 10th year playoffs yet for the 10 year high K team measure this year, but that is still a P.S. expectancy of 30. I wonder if most decades measured since ‘20 would show the same correlation? I tend to think that it would be there, if weaker, just because the environment is not so different from the average-though it has been enough of a hitter’s era that it might vary.

    Kerry: I would love to hear your feedback about a couple of articles in “Enlightenment Next” Magazine. There is one by Stapp, & the cover story is “Quantum Dreams”-subtitled basically have we figured out the basis for consciousness? It postulates that the tiny innumerable components of brain neurons interact in such a way that each relationship can be a unit of awareness of sorts, at least a precursor to thought. That this mimics the superposition of quantum particles outside the brain, & it is really recognizing or recapitulating this ‘field’. Not that 1 celled animals or quantum particles are aware, but that they are something that allows awareness potentially, that we tap into. So no intelligence like us is required to have things resolve from indeterminacy all the time, but that on the micro level there is effectively an awareness that naturally operates. And Stapp argues that on the most basic level things can be IMMATERIAL since they are waves & potentials on a quantum level…

    Hopefully I have expressed the articles clearly, & there are more technical versions of the articles for you that the Magazine links to online! If you would care to evaluate these theories as to plausibility, I would be fascinated to hear your detailed opinions. To my very layman’s eye, the ideas, research & details of what are proposed are pretty ingenious. I am at if you want to enlighten me.

  214. Mike Felber Says:

    But you have not argued that it would be good, as in moral OR effective to make your point, to profanely dismiss someone. There are tons of examples, on this site & unarguably in the world, of it making things worse, not just socially, but people become less likely to hear the other, & whatever is reasonable. It is merely frustration, ego, & animus that drives the impulse. Which you have often admirably retreated from indulging in…

    Despite your flaming, John clarified that he meant negatively correlate at the end of post #204. Though I knew what he meant before. He has conceded a few things, including that the cocaine example was not fitting, & completely reversed himself when showed convincing evidence re; high Ks not correlated with winning 9over a whole decade). That is an intellectually honest & open minded guy. He just maintains that high Ks can produce more runs, & (if the discrepancy is not big enough) that this team will on average lose more games due to a greater tendency to feast or famine, being less efficient in winning close games, effectively “wasting” those runs when overkill.

    Kerry has shown the same thing. Brautigan: I am fascinated by something. I have repeatedly read how few people can drive the ball anywhere around 500 feet. You had average equipment, presumably did not have the extra “energy transfer” of an unusually fast pitch at that level. I can understand how hitting the sweet spot could produce more effective power. ML’s have written how you feel the shot less…But do you think that it is that rare to hit the sweet spot? And that lets say if by luck your “harder” swing hit the sweet spot too: could it have produced an even greater result? (Though even less likely to occur).

    At any rate, you are unusual to EVER be able to hit the ball that far, unless there was something like a gale you are not telling us about! ;-)

  215. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “But you have not argued that it would be good, as in moral OR effective to make your point, to profanely dismiss someone.”

    I wasn’t aware it was necessary.

    You can repeatedly explain to an incalcitrant child that lying about stealing a cookie is bad because the basis for verbal communication breaks down when people dissemble the truth… but sometimes the child needs a gentle smack on the back of their hand to understand that actions have consequences.

    And lets not forget… he said: “strikeouts lead to fewer runs, but more wins”. His response to being called out on that ridiculousness was to create a string of hypothetical assumptions, which “proves” that his initial statement was correct… without realizing that there were about fifty places in the middle to have a problem with any number of his assumptions… any of which invalidates his conclusion.

    Hence my reply of “you’re over-complicating the entire situation” by looking any further/deeper than simply the fact that strkingout doesn’t require the defense to field and throw the ball, which not only lends itself to the possibility of an error, but also (more likely) puts the offense in a position to take advantage of the ball being out of defensive control.

    You can pull out as many 100 year graphs, flow charts, and statistical analysis as is your wont… but absolutely none of that changes the fact that runners advance on ground balls to the right side (I’d bet John didn’t even know runners don’t/shouldn’t advance on ground balls hit to the left), and any time the ball is in play, a colloquially infinite number of things can happen.

    Sure the vast majority of those outcomes results in an out… but with the exception of a dropped third strike, 100% of strikeouts result in an out.

    The notion that strikeouts don’t correlate to runs indicates a person who’s misreading a graph. All of your 7th grade mathematics teachers warned you of the misleading nature of graphs… right? Funny. Mine specifically did.

    Make sure that you really understand what a graph is saying before you present it.

  216. Mike Felber Says:

    C’mon Hoss: you have gone far afield. Now you introduce an analogy suggesting John lied or was disingenuous. Not only is there no evidence to present there, but above I show how he has been intellectually honest on a couple of occasions. And suggesting that you or anyone needs to be the paternalistic figure ’slapping’ him-well, it is beneath you.

    I see no complex string of assumptions that all need to be met to prove his (& Kerry’s) belief true. Certainly you are aware he means that it is not high Ks directly that lead to more runs, but that those who have high Ks tend to create more runs. And he readily accepted similar evidence re; high Ks being correlated with less wins-& pegged it as Kerry & other’s have, a wider runs distribution.

    Certainly Ks themselves are less good than other non-double/triple play outs, even if in a small minority of situations, it adds up to be significant. But you know everyone concedes that. Though the productive AB of those who K often tends to be a little higher even considering this, & it may well be due to the Howard factor of how well a ball is hit when it is put in play.

    I think you may have missed this: Ks directly over the long haul lead to less runs than someone who makes an equal # of (non 2-3 play) outs. But that was never in contention. It is that the average BBIP of those who K a lot tends to be a bit more productive even considering the direct K demerit.

    The unknown factor is who can do how much better, if they can, striking out less. Kerry thinks most, not all, can. though it seems to me that that drawing more walks is good for most all, & that plate discipline secondarily should lead to at least some less Ks…So laying off pitches is the most sure route to greater success. Not that situational adjustment may not be effective, but perhaps quite not a predictably, & not as easily.

  217. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “Now you introduce an analogy suggesting John lied or was disingenuous.”

    I have two choices.

    Either he’s monumentally stupid…

    Or he’s lying…

    Which is more insulting to assume?

    See my problem?

  218. Patrick Says:

    Felber; “to be a paternalistic figure ’slapping’ him-well, it is beneath you.”

    Really?

    I don’t know if this variable makes much difference, but teams that score more often, get more plate appearances and have more opportunity to strike out. Also, usually the most productive power hitters throughout history are towards the top of the leader board in K’s. John isn’t saying “imagine how much better Howard would be if he could increase his K total”, he’s just making an accurate statistical observation.

    Reading anything more into it is just trying to find something to troll about for 2 or 3 days and counting.

    As far as frequency of hitting the sweet spot, I’ve thought about that a lot. A guy like Mantle averaged about 35 HR in a full season yet he could hit the ball 200′ further than he needed to to get a HR. Not counting BP, I’d say he hit the true sweet spot less than 20 times in his entire career.

    If Edgar Renteria averages 120 hits per year until he’s 40, he will reach 3,000. If he averages 150, he will be on the cusp of the top 10. His most similar comparison for every year except his rookie yr is Alan Trammell. I guess Edgar is much better than I thought.

  219. Chuck Says:

    Mike, when Cobb retired he was seventh all time in career HR.

    For his era, he was a top power hitter and would be so today without changing anything.

    Cobb was a big man for his time, and would fit in just fine in today’s game, considering while the average player is bigger, it doesn’t mean he is better.

  220. Patrick Says:

    Ty Cobb rarely struck out and he was a power hitter, very true. Maybe he still is the best player of all-time.

    But…Babe Ruth was the career K leader for 37 years (‘26-’63) until Mickey Mantle took over(‘64-’77), then Willie Stargell(‘78-’81) and finaly Reggie Jackson (‘82 to present). All first ballot HOFers. Jim Thome, another first ballot guy, is about 230 behind Jackson, so Reggie is safe for a few more years. Reggie is only 9 seasons away from taking over Ruth as the longest tenured K king. There is a correlation to multiple runs produced and high K totals.

  221. John Says:

    “it’s better to put the ball in play than strikeout”

    Duh. I don’t think anyone’s disputing that. But it really doesn’t make nearly as much difference as you’re all claiming it does. Unless you have a team full of guys who strike out a ton, in which case you can still score a lot (like half of the top ten teams in King in baseball) but will have a harder time winning a lot of games because you’ll score runs more sporadically. Is it really tough to see that a team that a team that scores 6 runs every game, and a team that alternates between 0 and 12 will score the same number of runs but win a different number of games? DO you REALLY need me to show you how that works.

    “I’d bet John didn’t even know runners don’t/shouldn’t advance on ground balls hit to the left”

    Gun to my head, I would bet that I played more baseball than Hossrex. Note: that beerleague softball shit doesn’t count.

    ” runners advance on ground balls to the right side”

    I know these things. You’re insinuating that it makes a MAJOR difference in overall scoring. Where it does (sometimes, especially at the elite levels) make a difference is in the playoffs, or if you’re competing for a playoff spot, and most teams are pretty good at all the stuff you’re good at. Then strikeouts might very well make a difference. But it’s like the 14th most important thing you should focus on. Good teams tend to be at least somewhat good at things 1-13, so strikeouts can and do make a difference in determining who makes the cut and who doesn’t. That’s why even though there is NO relation to actual scoring, but also why just 15 (not 33) of the top 10 teams in K-ing have not made the playoffs in the last 10 years.

    “Make sure that you really understand what a graph is saying before you present it.”

    The fact that you can’t tell what a graph is saying is funny to me, so you make up some bullshit about how you really get the game, even though it’s clear that you don’t. OPS. OBP. SLG. Batting Average. If you graphed these things you would see a definitive trend of higher = better. Not strikeouts. No trend. This is not an accident. Maybe swing a bat – perhaps against someone besides your Dad’s drinking buddy/slow pitch softballer Boomer – and you might actually get why. But you KNOW the game, so you KNOW that strikeouts mean less scoring even if fancy graphs and charts and GMs who get paid to do this stuff and win world titles and stuff ignore it.

    Look at any year. Look at the best/worst offensive teams in the league and where they rank in strikeouts. Nothing. Nada. If you and I were GM’s, and we had our pick of all the guys in the league, I would pick my team based on who produced and you would pick your team based on a low # of strikeouts. I could even let you have Mauer and Pujols (who traditionalists seem to think they have inside knowledge on, as if it’s some sort of secret how good they are). Your team would have Keppinger, Eckstein, Pierre and I’d bet they’d make tons of productive outs. My guys would strike out with a guy on second and no outs in the eighth. But it wouldn’t matter, because my team is already winning 9-1 on a bunch of selfish 3 run homers.

    If you really knew the game, you would know that groundouts to the right side RARELY actually lead to a run and 100% of Ryan Howard’s homeruns have led to at least 1 run. It’s not that strikeouts aren’t worse than other outs…it’s that almost all the time it makes no difference. Also, if you really knew the game, you would know that power hitters tend to strike out a lot. You could base this off watching the games and noticing, shit, Howard strikes out a lot or you could go to bbref (which we all know you have bookmarked, even if you have decided to hate statistics this year) and be like shit, he DOES strike out a lot. And yet, he’s still awesome and seems to rake on your Dodgers every October.

    “Either he’s monumentally stupid…

    Or he’s lying”

    What’s monumentally stupid is denying that players who strike out a lot are still productive. Like facts in front of you and you’re still like NOPE. I KNOW THE GAME. I PLAYED BEERLEAGUE SOFTBALL. I KNOW HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED. STRIKEOUTS MAKE A HUMUNGOUS DIFFERENCE. Let’s review: best team at not striking out in the AL? Kansas City. I’ll bet they score lots of r-no wait, they never do. Worst team at not striking out? Tampa. Man they must su-no wait, they’re third in the league in runs scored.

  222. John Says:

    “Cobb was a big man for his time, and would fit in just fine in today’s game, considering while the average player is bigger, it doesn’t mean he is better.”

    Yeah. I was surprised to see this, but he was actually 6′1, 175. A little on the skinny side by today’s standards but an impressive build nonetheless.

    I gotta believe that Cobb would be at a severe disadvantage if he “didn’t change a thing.” Different game…but then again, unlike Chuck, I never saw Cobb play!

  223. John Says:

    “If Edgar Renteria averages 120 hits per year until he’s 40″

    40*

    The thing about 3000 hits is that it has always been about the perfect number. For the longest time, there’s had been no players with 3000 hits undeserving of Cooperstown. We have Palmeiro now who is tainted by roids and also Biggio who might’ve been tainted and is otherwise kinda borderline (but was the class by himself among NL 2B for about a decade). But if Edgar Renteria got there? He’s had like a couple really decent seasons spread out amongst lots of mediocre ones. He’s never struck me as a terribly great SS either. And yet he has a real chance of getting there.

  224. Raul Says:

    It doesn’t matter how productive you are.
    It’s an undisputable fact that strikeouts are a detriment to all offenses.

    Stats guys acknowledge that much.

    Where the stats guys fail miserably is in their insistance that striking out less means a drop-off in power.

    These are men who do not understand the concepts, mechanics, and strategy of hitting.

  225. John Says:

    Ok Raul. Please answer me this.

    Why do guys with lots of strikeouts like Howard or Reynolds have better averages and slugging percentages when they DO put the ball in play?

  226. Chuck Says:

    “There is a correlation to multiple runs produced and high K totals.”

    No, there’s a correlation to multiple runs produced by hitting in better lineups.

    Strikeouts cost runs, not increase runs.

    Inarguable fact.

    “Note: that beerleague softball shit doesn’t count.”

    ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG-AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

    “I gotta believe that Cobb would be at a severe disadvantage if he “didn’t change a thing.”

    Talent is talent, John. The difference between a great player and a utility guy is having the skills to adjust to what’s going on around you.

  227. John Says:

    Right. Knowing what I know about Cobb, he would’ve built a little muscle, studied video (both of himself and pitchers) and probably been terrific, but that would involve changing things, no?

  228. Patrick Says:

    Raul, do you classify me as a stat guy or a baseball guy. Just wondering.

    20 of the 30 ML team’s strikeout leader is also their HR leader. In most cases, they have 2 or 3 guys who lead in both. In 28 or 29 cases, their HR leader is going to K 100+ times. In 2 or 3 cases, their HR leader is going to K 200 times.

    Only Pujols and Cano might lead their teams in HR and not K 100 times but Tex probably will lead the Yanks and he will K over 100. To hit HR’s, most, if not all, sacrifice contact.

  229. Raul Says:

    You can blow a mosquito into smitherines with a 50-caliber machine gun and it might take you a few rounds before you hit it.

    But a simple fly swatter works just fine.

  230. John Says:

    Nice analogy, Raul. Still doesn’t really answer my question.

    Patrick, true stat guys would hate us because we see value in RBI’s.

  231. Patrick Says:

    John, I think that’s true but I take issue with calling anyone a “true stat guy” that doesn’t or can’t see the value in RBI’s. That’s based more in modern propaganda than it is in math.

  232. Raul Says:

    It only takes 1 swing to hit a homer, Patrick.

    What people like Pujols and Williams show baseball is that you can limit your outs without sacrificing power.

    What people like Ryan Howard show baseball is that strikeouts be damned, you’ll still hit 35 homers if you swing for the fences every time.

    Now is there really a power difference between Pujols and Howard? No.
    Does Pujols have better eyes than Howard? Unlikely.

    So why does Pujols constantly hit several dozen points higher with the same slugging effectiveness as Ryan Howard?

    I’d put a $1,000 bet to anyone on this site that in a home run derby between Ryan Howard and Wade Boggs, Boggs out-homers him by at least 10-15 shots. Guaranteed. Then sit down and wonder why that is.

  233. Bob Says:

    Raul, you bring up an interesting point. You wonder about the respective eyesights pf Pujols and Howard. Do not discount that. 2-3 years ago I read that Ted Williams and Youk had the same eyesight, and that the Sox look at ones vision when they are scouting you.

    Bob O

  234. John Says:

    “What people like Pujols and Williams show baseball is that you can limit your outs without sacrificing power.”

    Raul, you know as well as I do that “people like Pujols and Williams” really just means…Pujols and Williams. Maybe Bonds. Maybe Musial. They’re all-time greats. Two of the best hitters anyone has ever seen, ever, ever. People like them come around once, occasionally twice in a generation.

    “Does Pujols have better eyes than Howard? Unlikely.”

    It would be creepy if you knew that.

    “So why does Pujols constantly hit several dozen points higher with the same slugging effectiveness as Ryan Howard?”

    Dude. He’s really really good at baseball. Us stat guys are in on that two. We held our annual pow-wow, dusted off the Bill James Manual or whatever, sacrificed a scrappy secondbaseman and then chronicled how many WAR Albert Pujols is worth. Turns out it’s a lot! (for the record, I think WAR is incredibly stupid).

    Why does Ryan Howard out-slug Juan Pierre by like 500 points? Why does Ryan Howard average more HR per season than David Eckstein has hit ever, probably since pitching machine ball? Is it better eyes? What?

    “I’d put a $1,000 bet to anyone on this site that in a home run derby between Ryan Howard and Wade Boggs, Boggs out-homers him by at least 10-15 shots. Guaranteed. Then sit down and wonder why that is.”

    Making your point by basing it off something that will never happen. Brilliant!

  235. John Says:

    “Ted Williams and Youk had the same eyesight”

    I wonder how good you would think Youk was if you only watched him take some swings. The guy starts with his hands about 8 inches apart.

  236. Raul Says:

    John,

    You simply don’t have a comeback for why people like Pujols and Williams are as good as they are. You chalk it all up to “well they’re among the best ever” without giving a damn WHY they are the best ever.

    Exactly what is it that separates the Dave Kingmans from the Joe DiMaggios?

    But nevermind. Continue with your douchebaggery.

  237. Patrick Says:

    Raul, Mickey Mantle kind of agreed with you. He was embarrassed by 3 things in his baseball career; His drinking, losing his .300 BA, but mostly his strikeout totals.

    Where I disagree is, I think Pujols, Williams and DiMaggio are the exceptions to the rule. I think most players have to guess right at the pitch to hit the ball squarely with power but those guys can or could track it longer and still drive the ball.

    I think Pujols does have a better eye than Howard, and most everyone else too for that matter. I read that Pujols trains by hitting 120 mph tennis balls in the offseason so you would think others would give that a try. Also, I get what you’re saying about Boggs and you could include Ichiro too, but Howard would beat them both in HR derby because you don’t get fooled in HR derby and Howard can hit the ball almost 100 feet further than both of those guys.

    Actually, the modern K totals are a direct result of great equipment (balls and bats), stronger humans (faster pitches and more powerful swings) and especially shorter fences.

    It would be a much better game if CF was 440′ and power alleys were 400′. The HR drives modern baseball and that makes the K totals acceptable. If only a handful of guys could routinely hit HR’s, striking out over 100 times would be unacceptable.

  238. John Says:

    Raul, I think more than like 10 people ever in the history of baseball would have just done that if it was really as simple as you – who’ve hit in MLB games against MLB pitchers equally as many times as I have – are making it out to be. You can’t possibly chalk it up to things like, better hand-eye coordination, or just better eyesight. Ted Williams could tell you exactly what part of the ball he hit it on. You can’t teach that.

    Patrick: “It would be a much better game if CF was 440′ and power alleys were 400′. The HR drives modern baseball and that makes the K totals acceptable. If only a handful of guys could routinely hit HR’s, striking out over 100 times would be unacceptable.”

    Interesting thought. Probably pretty accurate.

    “Raul, Mickey Mantle kind of agreed with you. He was embarrassed by 3 things in his baseball career; His drinking, losing his .300 BA, but mostly his strikeout totals.”

    We can go all day listing great baseball players who’ve struck out a lot (Mantle), great players who didn’t strike out a lot (his teammate Berra), crappy baseball players who struck out a lot (Reynolds) and crappy players who didn’t strike out a lot (Pierre). And we’ll get the same stock response: Mantle could’ve been BETTER if he didn’t strike out so much and I know that because I played the game.

  239. John Says:

    “John, I think that’s true but I take issue with calling anyone a “true stat guy” that doesn’t or can’t see the value in RBI’s. That’s based more in modern propaganda than it is in math.”

    It’s amazing. They say it’s *context* dependent and never take 2 second to look at the *context*. Look who Dave Winfield had hitting in front of him in 1979 when he led the NL in RBI’s. The 1-2 hitters hit .323 and .255! The fact that he led the league in RBI’s that year is simply incredible.

  240. Patrick Says:

    We can split the atom, analyze a pulsar that’s on the outer edges of the universe, but we can’t seem to figure out the context of a batter’s opportunities.

    I guess with the exception of Kerry, most scientists/mathematicians can’t be bothered with baseball.

  241. Raul Says:

    I apologize for the language.

    However, we aren’t going to ever see eye-to-eye on this issue so I’ll move on to the next article……if another one ever gets written.

    We’re looking at 2 articles per week.

  242. John Says:

    Well. Alright.

    I’ll write an article.

    Which team do you all want to see?

  243. Patrick Says:

    Raul, one last thought from me. The baseball player in me agrees with you. I prided myself on not striking out often and I get frustrated watching guys flailing at pitches on any level, much less the major leagues.

    I think the fastest pitch I’ve ever faced was low 90’s, without anything like a ML curve or changeup to back it up. It was hard to hit squarely to be honest. If you add 5 mph to that and now the change is 87 and you toss in a slider that looks like the fastball at your knees but ends up in the dirt and it takes a special hitter, like once in a generation-type hitter, to hit for elite power while making consistent contact.

    If we sat down and discussed it over a beer, I don’t think me, Chuck, John, Hoss or Raul would really differ that much on the subject. Sriking out sucks.

    John, write about the Yankees. ….kidding

  244. Raul Says:

    If we sat down for a beer, Chuck and Hossrex would be criticizing whatever brand of beer I chose.

    Of that, I’m nearly certain.

  245. Patrick Says:

    :-)

  246. Chuck Says:

    “and that the Sox look at ones vision when they are scouting you.”

    Am I the only one that finds that funny?

    “Hey, Theo, one of our regional scouts found a 6′6″, 240 pound switch hitter with a 97mph fastball who runs a 60 in 6.4, only problem is he’s blind.”

    “If we sat down for a beer, Chuck and Hossrex would be criticizing whatever brand of beer I chose”

    As long as it’s cold, who really cares?

  247. Chuck Says:

    “Why do guys with lots of strikeouts like Howard or Reynolds have better averages and slugging percentages when they DO put the ball in play?”

    Actually, the question is why don’t they put the ball in play more often?

  248. Chuck Says:

    “It would be a much better game if CF was 440′ and power alleys were 400′. The HR drives modern baseball and that makes the K totals acceptable. If only a handful of guys could routinely hit HR’s, striking out over 100 times would be unacceptable”

    Intentionally or not, you just described the first 120 years of major league play.

  249. Bob Says:

    Chuck, why is that “funny?” I would consider that due dilligence on the part of the team. And I would assume most, if not every team does that. And if I am correct, several players have had laser surgery.

    Bob O

  250. Chuck Says:

    Because it’s so obvious, Bob.

  251. Patrick Says:

    Intentional buddy, intentional. Move the fences back, take away the DH, use a roster spot for a pinch hitter supreme like Gates Brown and I might even go and buy a ticket.

    It was a different game. I remember when I was a kid, Johnny Ellis (not seven), the Yanks backup catcher, hit an inside the park HR that got over the CFer’s head in Yankee Stadium and rolled behind the monuments, 463′ from home.

    Ellis was about the slowest player in the league and it was a close play at the plate. Triple relay. I feel like I saw the play after all of these years but it was described by Phil Rizzuto on the radio. Those were the days. Honestly, it’s not about being old and thinking my days were the best. The game was better. More variables and more strategy.

  252. John Says:

    That one is easy. They miss a lot.

    Now answer my question.

  253. Bob Says:

    Chuck, the following players have had lasik.

    1. Jeff Bagwell
    2. Jeff Cirella
    3. Jeff Conine
    4. Jose Cruz Jr.
    5. Troy Glaus
    6. Wally Joyner
    7. Greg Maddux
    8. Mark Redman
    9. Larry Walker
    And for good measure, so has Tiger Woods.
    And how is ones vision “obvious?”

  254. John Says:

    Bill Hall had lasik. That worked out beautifully.

  255. Bob Says:

    My question though is what prompted these players to get it. Several players used steroids and it didn’t do shit. And the abovew names were from a 2005 Slate article.

  256. Patrick Says:

    It actually is obvious that you can’t play major league baseball without good eyesight but the idea that eye tests are new is kind of silly.

    They did 2 things to us in the 70’s before we played any kind of ball, anywhere. We had a physical, which consisted of coughing while the doc grabs your balls and an eye test.

  257. Mike Felber Says:

    Those dimensions would still be large through the vast majority of baseball history. But it might be a good idea. I agree Cobb would be great-but how much so is the question. I do believe he would need to change his approach on something like angle of his swing to be as good a slugger as he was in the dead ball era. He was the opposite of most, too attached to his exact approach, when a tweaking of it would have helped when the ball became more lively. When he was older, that he could have done-while his SB % was 58% in that era! Speed dies 1st…

    I do believe some players could do better by having more discipline & working on situational approach. But it is not only hard, but even if it will help is uncertain-likely usually is the tentative answer we have. Pujols gets credit for hard work, but what he does & how Howard hits on BBIP are likely more the same why a dog licks himself-because he can. Few hitters could do what either does, & Pujols was measured like Ruth on a test of a whole host of native abilities-he can naturally do very well on things like memory, eye sight, coordination, etc: a broad swath of abilities that help the specific skill of hitting a baseball effectively.

    Good observations Patrick. Maybe Mantle really hit the most primo bat part so few times-& I wonder if hitters w/much less power & K less can do it more often. Though even if so, it is not enough to make up for all the not as well hit balls that greater power will take out.

    A Boggs & Ichiro were not just disciplined: there native abilities include more power than the vast majority of hitters of their type. Few high average hitters who do not hit for power COULD hit for much more power. I think someone like Boggs could have done even better, also adding to his OBP, if he had swung w/more of an uppercut. He could have kept his average close, & some more ks would be much more than offset by more walks & HRs. His 162 game average was 8. Bet he could have tripled that to good effect.

    The RBI question is somewhat a matter of definition. All agree that they are essential, the question is how much an individual’s total are context dependent. And it turns out to be a great deal. Patrick’s RPR was an innovative way to isolate how good one was in those situations. Though if it is used like OPS + & OW% to consider total effectiveness, it must be realized that is just 1 of many parts of hitting prowess. Also how well one does absent RBI opportunities, & how effective one is at doing things that lead to runs scored is around 1/2 the deal right there.

  258. eric Says:

    Just read this from Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe – too good not to share!

    “I want it all or nothing at all: Here’s why strikeouts are no big deal. David Ortiz has fanned 18 times in his last 42 at-bats. But he’s also 13 of 42 with seven runs scored, 12 RBIs and four homers over 10 games with the Red Sox going 7-3.”

    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2010/08/game_106_indian.html

  259. Patrick Says:

    Mike, it’s more than just the primo part of the bat. It’s the convergence of perfection in all aspects. Timing, the speed of the bat generated by the hip and shoulder turn, plus the speed and rotation of the pitch in addition to hitting the sweet spot on the bat in a manner which provides maximum backspin.

    A 500′ HR with a wooden bat is quite an accomplishment. This Bud’s to Brautigan!

  260. Chuck Says:

    “I think someone like Boggs could have done even better, also adding to his OBP, if he had swung w/more of an uppercut.”

    To hit the ball in the air, you swing down.

    “Chuck, the following players have had lasik”

    Yep, every single one of them YEARS after they were drafted.

    When they were younger and could see better.

    And Woods has had it twice.

  261. Chuck Says:

    “which consisted of coughing while the doc grabs your balls and an eye test.”

    Doc: “Can you see the bottom line on the chart”

    Patrick: “No”

    Doc: (While grabbing his man-piece), “How about now?

    Patrick: “YEAH, HELL, YEAH, CLEAR AS A FUCKIN’ BELL, NOW LET GO, DAMMIT”>

  262. Bob Says:

    Fine, years after they were drafted. But it was an eye test which prompted the players to do it. Again, due diligence on the part of the organization.

  263. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “If we sat down for a beer, Chuck and Hossrex would be criticizing whatever brand of beer I chose.”

    Chuck: “As long as it’s cold, who really cares?”

    *looks at the Steel Reserve (HIGH GRAVITY LAGER!) he’s drinking at 3:12pm, which is warm because he couldn’t be bothered to carry the 12 pack into the fridge before he passed out last night*

    As long as it has alcohol, who really cares?

    (sadly the above is a true story, and as I was taking a drink from that warm beer, I almost choked on it reading Chuck and Raul’s comments)

  264. Chuck Says:

    Bob, eyesight is just as important a tool as throwing or hitting.

    Is a team going to spend 5 million on a guy who can’t SEE the cutoff man?

    C’mon.

  265. Bob Says:

    Chuck, seriosly, these players are not getting surgery to see the cutoff man, they are getting it to see the baseball. You seem to think you can tell the vision of somebody just by a 5-minute discussion. This isn’t some type of gaydar, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  266. Chuck Says:

    “You seem to think you can tell the vision of somebody just by a 5-minute discussion.”

    No, but I can get a pretty good idea by watching him play for five minutes.

  267. Patrick Says:

    LOL @ Chuck

    Bob, no doubt, lasik surgery and eye tests help players, but I think all 30 organizations understand that. Only the Redsox brag about it…… OK, I like 29 teams and the Redsox aren’t one of them but come on, what’s next? Theo Epstein invents the combustion engine?

  268. Bob Says:

    Patrick, who is/was bragging? I just wrote that Williams and Youk had identical eyesight and the Sox feel it is important to measure that. If it was a trade secret, I never would have read it in the Boston Herald.

  269. Chuck Says:

    “Williams and Youk had identical eyesight”

    And personalities.

  270. Mike Felber Says:

    At the risk of exposing ignorance is something you are pretty expert in Chuck, from what I have read, observed, & heard from many, it is a myth that you swing down at the ball, certainly to hit a fly or dinger. Now the bat usually starts high, angled up somewhat around & behind the shoulder. But watching any videos of swings, is it not clear that the bat is taken down, the barrel flattened out, & the arc both before & after contact is made in anything above a line drive (which is essentially a level or marginally uppercut swing) is on a rising arc swing? Whether consulting Teddy ball game’s book or common sense, a solidly hit ball that RISES from the level of at most several free above the ground where contact is made must be struck on an ascending line.

    The only way I can see a downward arc resulting in a ball hit in the air, is if when chopping downward you strike the bottom 1/2 of the ball, slicing it upwards. Which would be quite unusual, & clearly could not result in much effective transference of force/power. Paul Bunyan could not hit a HR that way.

  271. Chuck Says:

    Mike,

    I’m confident you’ve seen enough baseball in your day to know the upward part of the swing comes after contact, as does peak batspeed.

    The ball is not only traveling towards the plate at a downward angle, but in most cases there is secondary movement..up, down, in, out.

    If you swing UP at an object moving DOWN, the sweet spot on both the bat and ball is SMALLER. To make the sweet spot larger, the swing has to be on the same plane as the pitch.

    There have been 300 page books written on hitting, to answer such a detailed quesion in 50 words is a dis-service to both uf us.

  272. Mike Felber Says:

    Maybe I have not seen enough baseball Chuck, but from what I have seen, read & heard I cannot fathom that. I will entertain the notion I am ignorant about this basic fact, but here is what I understand:

    I know about the ball traveling down from the mound, & often secondary movement. I could see how perhaps the sweet spot on ball & bat is larger in the unidirectional scenario: but it would seem to be sweet for a ground ball! That is, even if the sweet spot was maximized, thus force, it would seem to lead to a grounder.

    And I cannot see how how the swing itself would change direction immediately after contact, without some very difficult & unnatural conscious redirection. If we slow down a swing, do we not see that it is proceeds on one path after the barrel is “flattened out” from where it was initially carried? otherwise a swing would need to be either sharply redirected or an upward semi-circle. You must mean the latter.

    Anyway, one of us is missing some basic apprehension of the game. In a situation dealing with the bio-mechanics of the game, I would certainly assume that you would be right, given much greater experience & hands on contact with the game. And yet I cannot see the logic of your description here. So forgive me if I recruit other opinions here to reaffirm my opinion or enlighten me.

  273. Chuck Says:

    “So forgive me if I recruit other opinions here to reaffirm my opinion or enlighten me.”

    No problem, Mike. Keep in mind, however, when typing your response, it will take me about two sentences to realize whether or not those opinions you solicted came from credible sources.

    Meaning brseball players, and not physics professors.

    And paragraph 3 requires a bit of explanation, but it is getting late for me,so I will tackle it tomorrow.

  274. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure, just tell me what is confusing or ambiguous about paragraph 3.

    While ball players may be good authorities, they are not the only ones. Some players & experienced baseball folks have believed the most errant nonsense, superstition or merely received wisdom. Some are highly skilled but do not know mechanics well. Of course some “pointy headed” folks can be divorced from reality. A simple video breakdown of swings that lead to a ball hit in the air should suffice. it is amazing that such a seemingly simple thing can be confused.

    Hope it is not me who is out to lunch! :-)

  275. Patrick Says:

    Bob, no offense intended, just a Yank fan engaging in a little friendly Bosox bashing.

    Speaking of which, the Redsox are showing signs of making the AL East a 3 horse race. The best 3 horses in the game. Their offense has been surprisingly good and their pitching is getting pointed in the right direction at the right time.

  276. Bob Says:

    The best 3 horses in the game? Then why do I think the World Series is going to be Texas against San Diego? That is the prediction of Bob O.

  277. Patrick Says:

    Philly and NY redo…..Philly gets hot behind Howard’s 22 August and September HR’s and the Yanks beat the Rays in 7.

    Yanks hoist another champ banner…..

    Did anyone know that Arod has an creditor stake in the Rangers bankruptcy hearings? Talk about a conflict of interests if they meet in the playoffs. If the Rangers win, they generate more revenue and might be able to pay Alex what they still owe him. Real life is stranger than fiction.

  278. Bob Says:

    Patrick, yes I read that a couple days ago myself

  279. Patrick Says:

    Mike, all I know is if you hit the ball squarely but without backspin or topspin, it knuckles and doesn’t travel a long way, though it has a good chance of being a hit. To hit a tape measure shot, you need backspin to keep it afloat. To do that, you need to hit the bottom/center of the ball. Topspin is either a groundball or a sinking line drive.

  280. Chuck Says:

    “Philly gets hot behind Howard’s 22 August and September HR’s”

    Beer bet?

  281. Patrick Says:

    OK, you’re on but Howard does have a sprained ankle……Not sure if you remember, but we had one on who would have more AB’s, Randy Winn or Brett Gardner, so this one will probably even things up. :-)

    Howard does traditionally tear it up in August and September though….

    I’d rather see Bobby Cox go out a winner but here come the Phils!

  282. Patrick Says:

    Howard has to finish with 45 or more….you probably won this one….

  283. Chuck Says:

    ” just tell me what is confusing or ambiguous about paragraph 3.”

    Nothing?

    “A simple video breakdown of swings that lead to a ball hit in the air should suffice.”

    If it was that simple, we wouldn’t be talking about it.

  284. Bob Says:

    The Cardinals signed Nate Robertson. I bet he pitches decently for them.

  285. Mike Felber Says:

    That is correct Patrick. Chuck, I guess you meant paragraph 3 requires some explanation on your part. I thought you were wondering about what it meant. Re: videos, Sometimes simple things are misunderstood.

  286. Hossrex Says:

    Braves v. Yankees

    Braves in 5

  287. Raul Says:

    A buddy asked me a question, and I hadn’t really thought about it. Would raising the mound help to reduce pitching injuries?

    I don’t think so, but I really have no idea.

  288. Hossrex Says:

    It seems like it would allow the babies we have taking the mound every fifth day be slightly more effective, allowing them to go deeper into games without increasing pitch counts terribly. I could see a raised mound allowing teams to run with at least one less bullpen guy.

    I don’t know how it would specifically cut down on injuries, the pitch counts would remain as they are, and these little Faberge Eggs would still break occasionally.

  289. Chuck Says:

    Would there be some difference? Sure. Would it be significant? Probably not.

    Throwing a ball overhand is as un-natural an act as Will Farrell blowing himself. For some chump ump to call a letter high pitch a ball defeats the purpose of pitching.

    There hasn’t been one game in the last 20 years where I haven’t seen a player get a basehit or hit a ball hard somewhere on a pitch outside the “strikezone.”

    There aalso hasn’t been a game where I haven’t seen a Mark Reynolds or Ryan Howard go New Jack City on a pitch they couldn’t hit with a fucking lightpole.

    I still believe 99.999% of pitching injuries come from not throwing enough, but there’s always room for other suggestions.

    Pitchers today are, on average, taller than they have been, so the higher mound would give them an extra few inches to square their upper body toward the plate on release, and also allow for proper balance upon release.

    So, yeah, I do think higher mounds would help reduce injuries.

  290. Patrick Says:

    I think that raising the mound would have to take quite a bit of pressure off the pitcher’s arm.

    Good point. I think a 10 foot mound would be cool. Guys could probably get up to 115 MPH….uhh, sorry…I’ve been drinking again.

  291. Hossrex Says:

    lol… Hey Raul… check this out.

    Was looking for a Fire Joe Morgan article to show a friend, and I found this: http://hcpi.blogspot.com/2006/01/grit-factor.html

  292. Mike Felber Says:

    That seems different Hoss, if you do not mind my opinion. In the case of baseball commentators, commentators often assume that some people, all of whom are already in a very elite league, succeed due to illusory “grit”. Not even differentially compared to other MLers, but that THEY do better due to work ethic, not natural talent. Which tends to correlate w/racist notions, whites work harder, & has no objective measurement of grit. I was not able to see the whole article, but I assume they are using actual measures of persistence, & correlating that w/performance more so than other factors.

    30′ mound please. Then only true power hitters would be able to go yard, since you would need a pronounced uppercut to hit it squarely, though speeds of balls going in & out would be great.

  293. Hossrex Says:

    Mike; I have no problem having this discussion, regardless of what direction things turn, and I will most certainly be honest in my appraisals, even if it’s inconvenient… but for the life of me I don’t know to what you’re referring.

    Did you mean the link I posted in 291? I apologize if you took that link as racist. Twas not my intent. I directed it towards Raul, because I knew he was likewise (to myself) a fan of “Fire Joe Morgan” (the website/blog). I posted it simply because “grit factor” is a recurring reference on Fire Joe Morgan. Possibly ironic considering your comments (or possibly apt considering your comments), the “GRIT Factor” from FJM was specifically “created” to highlight racism in baseball editorials, and baseball attitudes in general.

    As a 30-something white male who’s never stepped foot outside of America, and possess a greater than 50% Irish heritage… I fully admit that on occasion I’m guilty of looking at guys like Pedroia, Tulowitzki, or… at least when I was younger… Eckstein, and having my first/unconscious/instant reaction be “gamer”, while my first/unconscious/instant reaction might be different to guys like Vizquel, Guillen, or Alex Cora (I did a google search for “baseball player number 13″… it’s funny how that list matches up with players who would be considered “GRITTY” if they were white).

    I don’t mind admitting that.

    Those are all pretty similar players, yet they find different receptions.

  294. Mike Felber Says:

    No, I did not consider you racist at all Hoss! Sorry I was unclear: I understood the ironic refernce, recalled the FJM links & recall your critique of broadcasters like McCarver. It was ME who made an untoward assumption: that you were discounting real measurable persistence, “grit”, due to associating it rightly w/racist assumptions. My bad.

    But it takes courage to acknowledge that you-& most all of us-have unconscious, conditioned biases. Given my overwhelmingly white background, I think it likely that if given those instant reaction tests where you must associate + & – characteristics w/minorities, I would show some bias. It does not mean that we must be bigoted, but the subconscious associations are bred in.

    On baseball-reference.com a discussion of HOF for Larry Walker has gone to 318 comments already! Seems like (presumably “our’) Sean is there, engaging debate. C’mon down!

  295. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant that grit & some other virtues exists as real, measurable & its recognition uncontaminated by biases in some contexts. Other times it is a fictional perception associated w/prejudice & assigned according to who we identify with, & other natural & tribal sympathies.

  296. John Says:

    Did you know that Darin Erstad was a punter at Nebraska?

  297. Hossrex Says:

    Obviously he’s been there a few games now, but I noticed today that Theriot is wearing #13 in Los Angeles.

    Is Louisiana born Ryan Theriot paying homage to Davey Concepcion?

  298. John Says:

    I think he’s playing homage to A-Rod personally.

  299. Chuck Says:

    ‘On baseball-reference.com a discussion of HOF for Larry Walker has gone to 318 comments already! Seems like (presumably “our’) Sean is there, engaging debate. C’mon down!”

    So, Shaun found another site to talk to himself on?

    I mean, how else can you explain 318 comments on a Larry Walker HOF debate unless Shaun himself wrote 250 of them?

  300. Patrick Says:

    Lol, but actually, I could see how that could be a hot debate between different camps.

    You know, Coors Field, lack of counting number milestones, walked away early BUT well respected and dominant in his peak years, .311(I think) hitter with power and speed, GG outfielder…..Who knows? Probably some controversial shit about WAR and VORP going on over there too….I’ll resist the temptation to look and return to work instead…

  301. Patrick Says:

    *counting stat milestones

  302. John Says:

    I doubt Shaun changed the spelling of his name just to avoid Chuck’s relentless ridicule on another blog.

  303. Patrick Says:

    Do you think? …No, it can’t be….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpqmDl_2yBw

  304. Dean M Says:

    John: “I doubt Shaun changed the spelling of his name just to avoid Chuck’s relentless ridicule on another blog.”

    LOL I was just going to say to Mike…Sean/Shaun…different guy. And btw I personally think some are jonesing for more Shaun banter here, as much as they claim to detest it.

  305. Patrick Says:

    LOL Dean. Yeah, we all love it when someone starts sentences with “For those of us who are highly educated, open-minded and thoroughly enlightened in all matters concerning baseball…”

    Yeah, I miss him like a broken leg with gangrene.

  306. Lefty33 Says:

    I actually just read a few of the Sean/Shaun posts in that Larry Walker HOF thread and there is no way it’s the same person.

    Other people are actually being more blindly “statty” than him.

  307. Patrick Says:

    I probably shouldn’t have written that about the broken leg but I always go in attack mode when someone condescends to me, and Shaun resorts to that when we debate.

    One thing I’ll give Shaun, no one will write about me one way or the other if I were to leave the DC blog.

  308. Chuck Says:

    That’s not our “Shaun”

    That is, however, our “John Q.”

    Same shit, different site.

  309. Patrick Says:

    I liked JQ. Despite having the anti-rbi and anti-clutch genes, he was a reasonable, respectful guy. He would make lists based on WAR and OPS+, but they were good lists that he put a lot of time into and they were good debating.

    He took adjusted numbers to heart which to me always added a dimension to the conversation.

  310. Bob Says:

    In 2000 Todd Helton won the rbi crown playing in Coors Field.
    In 2001 Sosa won the title with a corked-up bat while playing in Wrigley Field.
    in 2002 Lance Berkamn. Ten Run (oops) Enron Stadium
    In 2003 Preston Wilson. Coors Field
    In 2004 Vinny Castilla. Coors Field.
    In 2005 Andruw Jones. Turner Field
    In 2006 Ryan Howard. Citizens Bank Park
    In 2007 Matt Holliday. The new Busch Stadium.
    What exactly am I ( or anyone) supposed to glean from this list? RBI’s are a shity way to evaluate a player. John Q is 100% correct in disregarding them.

    Bob O

  311. Brautigan Says:

    Bob:

    Sometimes RBI are an abberation (J.T. Snow in 1995) and sometimes RBI show us a player that is having a beast of a season (Tommy Davis 1962).

    As with most things in baseball, context is crucial.

  312. Brautigan Says:

    Who lit the fire in Delmon Young this year?

  313. John Says:

    “In 2007 Matt Holliday. The new Busch Stadium.”

    For like, 3 games.

    He was a Rockie. At Coors Field. Actually helps your point.

    “RBI’s are a shity way to evaluate a player.”

    No no no. They’re context-dependent. If you just vote the guy with the most RBI’s every year MVP, yeah, that’s a shitty way to go.

    But if you see a guy with a ton of RBI’s … certainly it’s worth looking at. See in what context he’s driving those runs in. If the context is a hitter’s park with some high OBP guys ahead of you, cool…that’s one of the LEGITIMATE reasons we have for saying Pujols > Howard. Chase Utley reaches base far more often than Skip Schumaker.

    I made an all-LA Dodgers team a while back where I had to choose between Gary Sheffield ‘00 (better rates stats, 109 RBI) and Tommy Davis ‘62 (lower OPS, 152 RBI) for the LF. I went with Sheffield (even though I hate him) because I concluded that the people hitting in front of Davis (Wills, Gilliam, W. Davis) were better OBP guys than what Sheffield had ahead of him and also those 3 guys all had speed to help Davis get those rbi’s.

    But look at Winfield ‘79, or Howard this year before he got hurt and others… or just look at some games and the situations that people drove in runs.

    Clutchiness isn’t a made-up thing to add value to the otherwise dismal career of Darin Erstad. Baseball’s played by humans and worth watching as such.

  314. Bob Says:

    John, thanks for the point about Holliday. Bad oversight on my part. And I quickly goggled the 1st round picks from Rick Monday to Bryan Bullington. Erstad was not close to the most dismal player selected first. And he had 1697 hits. A B.A of .282 and an OBP of .336 Injuries derailed his career, not lack of talent.

  315. Mike Felber Says:

    RBIs of course correlate with hitting well, but may well be slightly to greatly distorted by context. Likes runs scored. When you measure a large enough sample size, clutch play rarely exists. If there are only, say, a few post season series, that can easily be akin to taking a month or somewhat less of of production to measure. Random factors like luck are just too large to discover clutch or choking.

  316. Patrick Says:

    People don’t talk about the HIT leader, they talk about the BA leader. That doesn’t mean hits are unimportant. No difference with RBI.

    This isn’t at JQ or BO, but disregarding statistical info gets you further from true value, not closer, IMO.

  317. Chuck Says:

    Kevin Youkilis out for the season. Bye, bye Boston.

    Royals DFA’d Jose Guillen.

    Russell Martin out for the season too, but other than Hoss, no one cares.

  318. Bob Says:

    “Bye bye Boston.” Yep, they are screwed.

  319. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “Russell Martin out for the season too, but other than Hoss, no one cares.

    Psh… my reaction to hearing Russell going on the 15 day DL was “oh… let’s see what sort of winning streak we put together without Russell”.

    I’d rather see Ausmus catching every day.

  320. Mike Felber Says:

    Of course hits & RBis are important-they are building blocks of winning. But it is an undifferentiated morass to talk about regarding or diregarding them. Context is everything. HOW they are considered makes all the difference. If they are taken as linked with success, considering how often & when they are gotten in games, they are useful. If taken as too often throughout history, as accurate arbiters of a batter’s individual skills or overall productivity, absent considering outs, how or why things like RBI are accumulated (era, park, line up, etc), they get you further from the truth. Likewise if even corrected stats are held to be a total measure of offense, without considering other adjusted factors, like runs created, they are deceptive.

  321. Hossrex Says:

    NU UH! YER A MORASS!

  322. Chuck Says:

    Name one man who doesn’t wish he could get morass?

  323. Chuck Says:

    “On baseball-reference.com a discussion of HOF for Larry Walker has gone to 318 comments already.”

    An interesting thread.

    To date, 888 votes have been cast, with the top two returns being;

    Walker is deserving but will never get enough votes (38%), and;

    He is undeserving and will never get in (28%).

  324. Mike Felber Says:

    Just checked, & the same % as the undeserving/never crowd, 28%, said deserves/will get in. That means 66% believe he deserves to get in. It may take years, but given his total game, even when folks properly compensate for Coors Field I feel he is & will be seen as deserving.

  325. John Says:

    It’s easy to say that Larry Walker isn’t deserving by citing the years he wasn’t at Coors Field. But he started playing there when he was 28…and was great until he was about 35 or so. Roughly when you would expect a guy to be hitting his prime anyway.

    His away splits (counting his time as an Expo and Cardinal) are .278/.370/.495.

    Other recent HOFers:

    Jim Rice: .277/.330/.459
    Andre Dawson: .278/.316/.483

    Granted the played in pitching eras, but still…it’s not bizarrely unnatural to be worse away than you are at home. Aside from the current cast of the Petco Shore, pretty much everyone is that way.

    Then again, I wouldn’t want to defend Walker’s HOF candidacy by using two very borderline choices.

  326. John Says:

    Fun fact: in 1997, when Larry Walker won his MVP, he had a higher OPS away than at home and 9 more homers.

  327. Chuck Says:

    I like Larry Walker. Always have.

    Of all the players who spent a significant (5+ years) part of their careers in Coors, he’s the only one with a reasonable hope of getting in.

    While the comparisons to Rice and Dawson aren’t good, one of the commenters on the BR thread did say he believes Walker may have the same 10-15 year wait they did, which I can see.

    If Walker never played a game in Coors, his name wouldn’t be mentioned as a candidate. Good player, yes. Superstar, HOF caliber, no.

    So whether he spent five years there or not, or had some better road splits or not won’t make a difference.

    And as far as Jim Edmonds being a better HOF candidate than Walker?

    Hahahaha…

  328. Brautigan Says:

    Edmonds compared to Walker is like apples and vodka. Both are good, but are very different. I loved watching Edmonds, the human highlight reel in CF, and he also had a pretty good bat. Edmonds is/was damn good, and he probably should get serious consideration for the hall. But Walker was just a beast (and I never felt that way about Edmonds). Should he be in the Hall? Damned if I know, but again, I wouldn’t complain if he got the call.

    One time in Tucson, Walker walks by and everyone is asking him for his autograph and he is doing a great impersonation of a deaf person. I asked him who his favorite hockey team is, and he stops in his tracks, walks over to me and says “are you kidding me?”. (LIke I am supposed to know) I tell him I watch the Portland WinterHawks on occasion and then Walker proceeds to tell me more information about the Winterhawks and the Western Hockey League than I can EVER know. I mean, it was damn impressive. I just sat there and listened (I know a lot more about the NHL, but this was plain silly! That is the first time in my life I wished I knew as much about hockey as I do about baseball). Finally, Walker just stopped talking and grabbed my ball, and several baseball cards that I had and signed them all. He grabbed this little kids’ ball and signed it and walked away doing the deaf routine again. So, the moral of the story is, if you see Larry Walker, talk Hockey and you will have a LONG conversation with him.

  329. Hossrex Says:

    Actually it’s remarkable how similar Edmonds is to Walker.

    Very similar counting stats. Edge to Walker for rate stats, but flip that back around and give the edge to Edmonds for Walker running up those rate stats in Coors Field.

    I think they should both make it… but I’m fully aware of the idea that they’re both below the point where a lot of people think that.

  330. Hossrex Says:

    lol… posted within a minute of each other…

    Braut: Edmonds compared to Walker is like apples and vodka. Both are good, but are very different.

    Hoss: it’s remarkable how similar Edmonds is to Walker.

    lol… to be fair I was talking about statistics, not “type” of player.

  331. Brautigan Says:

    John: I did a bitch session once about Coors, and started looking up numbers about how Coors helped hitters and I was going to use Walker to illustrate my point. I was SO disappointed. Dude was one of the VERY FEW that hit better on the road than at Coors. Go figure!

  332. Brautigan Says:

    LOL @ Hoss. My wife hopes that Jim Edmonds gets into the Hall. I have a 1999 game used bat (unbroken, and it is the first year of the “ANAHEIM ANGELS”) signed by Mr. Edmonds. If he makes the hall, that bat will be worth a good chunk of money for her. (Why her? Because I have over 14,000 baseball autographs and have never sold one, NOT ONE, and I won’t ever sell any. But, when I croak, my wife gets all these gems and she is going to be one rich lady! Well, I may give my three Mantle autographs to some friends that I have gone autographing with, but the rest go to her!)

    I’ll have to tell you about the Mantle autographs some time. Second time in my life I was speechless.

  333. John Says:

    “And as far as Jim Edmonds being a better HOF candidate than Walker?”

    He’s one of the best defensive CF ever. Walker was no stiff with the glove either but Edmonds has been in a class by himself for a long time.

    “Dude was one of the VERY FEW that hit better on the road than at Coors. Go figure!”

    Just that one year…but the MVP was certainly deserved. He was so dominant that season. Look at his 1999 season…very similar rate stats, but an expectedly huge discrepancy between home/away stats.

    1997 was the first year of the Anaheim Angels. Those uniforms were pretty cool, I thought they should’ve kept them.

    “Because I have over 14,000 baseball autographs”

    Now that’s impressive. I have 3 (Bob Feller ball, Jeromy Burnitz Ball, Billy Hall rookie card).

  334. Hossrex Says:

    John: “1997 was the first year of the Anaheim Angels. Those uniforms were pretty cool, I thought they should’ve kept them.”

    They switched to uniforms which look similar to the Dodgers (only in red), and changed their franchise location from Anaheim to Los Angeles just to help “revitalize the rivalry”… which local Dodger fans always took as “FUCK YOU DODGERS! LOOK HOW BIG OUR DICK IS!”

    Hate ‘em.

  335. Chuck Says:

    Remember that catch Edmonds made in Kansas City, the over the head wide receiver dive?

    I saw him make a better one.

    My frst year living in Phoenix, 1992. Dbacks weren’t here yet, the Phoemix Firebirds in the PCL were the only game in town. Edmonds is playing for Edmonton, which was the Angels AAA team.

    It had rained a bit before the game, so the field was wet. Edmonds in center. Mark Leonard crushes one to right field. RF turns, and falls on the wet grass.

    Edmonds, on the dead run, dives and catches the ball in deep, almost straightaway RF, then hydroplanes a good 20 feet on the wet grass.

    I shit you not, when he got up to throw the ball back in, he wasn’t more than 15 feet from the foul line.

    Ridiculous

  336. Chuck Says:

    Those “Angels in the Outfield” uni’s they wore a few years ago were the worst ever.

  337. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree w/Hoss, they are both good enough to be deserving. Measures of value added like WAR confirm this. The Park effect of Coors is reasonably accounted for, 7 their may be a hang over effect on the road.

    One thing that seems unusual about Edmonds: Is there another player with his longevity & hitting ability, let alone a seemingly deserving HOF guy, who has NO black ink? he still made excellent contributions, but this seems notable.

  338. Chuck Says:

    “One thing that seems unusual about Edmonds: Is there another player with his longevity & hitting ability, let alone a seemingly deserving HOF guy, who has NO black ink?”

    Holy crap Mike, I would never have guessed that.

    If that little tidbit doesn’t end the Edmonds HOF debate, then nothing will.

  339. Chuck Says:

    It doesn’t matter what you think about sabermetrics, or stats in general. There is no way any reasonable person couldn’t look at Larry Walker’s career splits and not come to the overwhelming conclusion his entire career value is based on Coors Field.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=walkela01&year=Career&t=b

  340. John Says:

    Jim Edmonds hasn’t just made the spectacular catches. He reads the ball perfectly. I would challenge anyone to name a better CFer from this era. I have a hard time believing anyone besides Mays is conclusively better all-time.

    I’m not a believer in defensive metrics but if fielding stats were really good and counted for “black ink”, you would have a different story on Edmonds.

  341. Chuck Says:

    No one on this site is more an advocate of defense than I am, but even Bill Mazeroski didn’t have a zero black ink.

    In the most dominant offensive time period in baseball history, Edmond’s offensive value was ZERO.

    Put Edmonds in a pitching era and he’s Rick Monday or Garry Maddox.

    And I’m also not lost on the coincidence that during the greatest offensive output of Edmond’s career he had access to Mark McGwire’s locker.

  342. Lefty33 Says:

    @ Mike Felber- We’ve done this before and I’m sure we’ll do it again but do you really think that Edmonds and Walker have a chance?

    What Kool-Aid have you been drinking?

    Edmonds has got zero chance. Sure he’s played a long time and has made numerous highlight reel catches over the years but as we all know his numbers don’t cut the sauce.

    And I will give Walker credit that on a team that had several PED cheaters, he seems to have done what he did clean.

    Two things that stand in Walker’s way Mike are that:

    1. He will be crucified by most writers for having played in Coors.
    2. As has been discussed here to the point of overwhelming redundancy, under what voting scenario would he get voted in?

    He’s not getting in next year.

    His only real shot is 2012 when it will be either a Lazarus pick or the leftovers that don’t get in from ’11.

    After that he’s forgotten about and gone until at least 2022 and after that time frame he will be left in the bin of guys like Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, Juan Gonzalez who while good all have serious baggage against them and by then will have been forgotten about by voters.

  343. Mike Felber Says:

    Cut the sauce? Strange expressions aside, he does not need to have milestones if he performs in REAL measures of productivity, as more & more voters are realizing. Check out the well over 400 Walker thread for vastly more info & some very good arguments lefty,but basically, myself & others are not arguing WHEN Walker will get in-& many have said that 10-15 years from now is more plausible. But there is no reason to think that these guys will be forgotten-you know who has been debated endlessly & put in the last few years, who is going in next year, & these guys have often been retired somewhat longer than Walker will have been. And Walker’s #s have been adequately adjusted for w/OPS + & a ton of other offensive metrics: the 140 OPS + is fair. See the B-ref thread for exhaustive detail re: how this is calculated, & that his peak was not unusually high com pared to his career.

    I did not mean to set anyone up for this when I supplied the black ink info Chuck, but due to your aversion for stats, you seem to have a basic misapprehension of what these stats mean. Not leading the league (in offensive stats)does NOT translate into his contributions with a bat. Sure, he is not gonna be The Babe absent leading the League, but you have to look at & understand the other #s. I said he may be the best amongst those w/out black ink.

    You need to understand that it does not matter whether it is a defensive or hitter’s era: the #s are ADJUSTED appropriately. Edmonds was a better hitter than Jim Rice, career OR peak. Check OPS +, including there best years. In true contributions relative to the league, though Rice has the black ink, much is con text dependent. Also something more subtle: Let us say Rice leads the league in a stat, & Edmonds places 4th. It may not even be a context dependent stat. The nature of random distribution of performances might mean that Rice lead the league while not actually flying as high above the MEAN as Edmond did, since there were fewer outliers in the former’s year. Also, Edmonds has less very full season in GP, so he may not do quite as much in raw #s as someone playing more games that year, but his rate of production IS very good.

  344. Mike Felber Says:

    Is there any good reason to believe Edmonds was a cheater like big Mac? Even any tenuous circumstantial evidence? If not, we should consider him very innocent. I mean, any of us COULD be mugging Grandmothers, but living in a high crime area does not show we are even likely robbing old ladies.

  345. Chuck Says:

    I know what the stats mean, Mike, and I appreciate your attempt at an explanation.

  346. Chuck Says:

    I apologize to everyone for “starting” this little debate. I figured we would all be interested in the opinion of a group of people with similar interests as ours without having to actually read a 400 comment snooze-fest about the HOF candidacy of two players with almost no chance of getting in.

  347. Chuck Says:

    And, Mike, I don’t have an aversion to all stats.

    Just stupid ones. And, yes, I can tell the difference.

  348. Lefty33 Says:

    “but due to your aversion for stats, you seem to have a basic misapprehension of what these stats mean.”

    You seem to have an aversion as to how HOF voting actually works.

    The majority of voters do not care about nor use OPS, OPS+, or most of the more modern stat based approaches to evaluating players.

    While it can be debated ad nauseum here or on BR about a players worth for the HOF, if you aren’t looking at it from the convoluted point of view that most voters take when making their votes then you are considering a players chances in a way that will never happen.

    “But there is no reason to think that these guys will be forgotten”

    That’s extremely naïve of you to think that.

    HOF voting is littered with many players that had higher vote totals early in their eligibility only to have their support erode of the years. Or their level of support never gets past a certain level

    Lee Smith, Don Mattingly, Alan Trammell, Dave Parker are guys who are examples of that are currently on the ballot.

    There are far more marginal guys that have been forgotten about then marginal guys like Jim Rice who get resurrected in their later years.

  349. Mike Felber Says:

    i never suggested anyone has to read that long thread. But there are challenging ideas bandied about & more often than folks here, people concede points. It is not a boring or simplistic thread. There was nothing wrong w/starting a debate here. Maybe you do not mean to be patronizing w/saying an “attempt” at an explanation, but i do not think you can substantively oppose my comments, & I can have a proverbial, good natured Field Day elaborating upon!

    With respect Chuck, you are repeating an assertion that you know what stats are meaningful absent making any case. Maz was a BAD batter, Oz created enough value w/the glove & on the base paths that he was worthy, though did not hit much better. You will find nobody here who will not agree that Edmonds was not a VERY GOOD hitter. Best OPS +: 170, 160, 158, 149, 146. Context like line up & missing significant games most years AND “more “rois outliers effected his appearance on the leaderboards.

    But it is fair to say that he still had HOF worthy peak value, wether you use WAR, or an informal calculation of his bat & glove. IF you see lack of black ink as damning, showing him to be a mediocre hitter, i respectfully diagree that you know what stats to look at.

    by the way, Monday was a pretty decent hitter. 125 OPS +. He just did not have a high peak like Edmonds, but was very consistently somewhat better than average at least. Clearly better than some who had black ink-which, again, is sometimes contxt dpendent, & at any rate, are individual stats that do NOT by themselves tell how much real offensive production someone adds.

    Looking at most any stat that is not a total measure of offensive efficiency like black ink is as useless as taking something like BA as a judge of how many runs one adds-even if adjusted for era & park.

  350. John Says:

    Chuck: “In the most dominant offensive time period in baseball history, Edmond’s offensive value was ZERO.”

    I think you’re confusing Jim Edmonds with Ben Sheets.

    Chuck: “Put Edmonds in a pitching era and he’s Rick Monday or Garry Maddox.”

    I wish we had a statistic that, while a little crude, enabled us to compare players across er-oh wait we totally have that.

    Jim Edmonds (7943 PA) OPS+: 132
    Rick Monday (7162 PA) OPS+: 125
    Garry Maddox (6775 PA) OPS+: 100

    How about comparing Edmonds to the CFers already in the Hall?

    He has roughly the same OPS+ as Earl Averill in 700 more PA.
    He was way better than Puckett, who had stopped being a CFer before the eye thing kicked in.
    Higher OPS+ than Ashburn, Dawson or Roush.

    And again – he’s in a class by himself with the glove for his whole career. I freely admit that I would’ve had to see older guys play in order to really judge how he stacks up historically, but I would take Edmonds over any CFer I’ve ever seen, including Jones and Hunter.

    I don’t take MLB Network as gospel by any stretch of the imagination, but they had him as the 8th best CF of all-time. I think he’s probably top 15, and worthy of major consideration. I certainly like him more than Walker.

    Chuck: “greatest offensive output of Edmond’s career he had access to Mark McGwire’s locker.”

    You mean 2002-2004, after Big Mac retired?

  351. Chuck Says:

    “With respect Chuck, you are repeating an assertion that you know what stats are meaningful absent making any case.”

    The player’s stats ARE the case, Mike, and shouldn’t require further explanation.

    No one, stat guy or “game” guy, can reasonably look at Larry Walker’s stats, and not come to the conclusion Coors Field made him a better player than he really was.

    Walker played 30% of his career games at Coors and hit .381 in 597 career games. In the 1391 career games outside Coors, Walker hit .282.

    Walker will get some voting respect because of his batting titles, but he realistically won’t be on the ballot longer than three or four years.

    Which is three years longer than Edmonds will be.

  352. Chuck Says:

    “You mean 2002-2004, after Big Mac retired”

    There you go. Mac didn’t need the “help” anymore, and it would have been a shame for it to go to waste.

  353. John Says:

    There’s this catcher for the Nationals with zero black ink. His name is Ivan Rodriguez.

    Is Jim Edmonds the Pudge of Centerfielding? No. But he isn’t that far off.

  354. Chuck Says:

    Ivan Rodriguez’ Hof monitor score: 224 (33rd all time)

    Jim Edmonds’ HOF Monitor score: 88, which, by the way, is the same as Ron Santo’s.

    The COMBINED HOF monitor scores of Walker and Edmonds: 235

    LOL..Pudge is almost better than both of them put together.

  355. John Says:

    First off, Chuck, you hate Bill James. So it’s odd that you’re citing one of his creations.

    Secondly, “It attempts to assess how likely (not how deserving) an active player is to make the Hall of Fame.”

    Thirdly, the standards for the HOF monitor are very milestonish. If he plays another year, even if he isn’t very good, he’ll get to 2000 hits and 400 HR and be over the 100 threshold.

  356. Chuck Says:

    I actually don’t mind the HOF Monitor, John. Granted, it is incomplete and overvalues postseason play, but for a quick compare, it isn’t bad.

    The HOFer with the lowest HOF monitor score? Phil Rizzuto, with 87. So, Jim Edmonds is Phil Rizzuto.

    The highest score for an otherwise eligible player who has yet to be elected is 134 by Don Mattingly and Albert Belle.

    That number almost certainly will go up, and significantly, over the next few years as the steriod guys start hitting the ballot.

    Walker’s 147 is three points higher than Jim Rice, who waited the full 15 years.

    Walker could face the same fate, maybe even falling to the VC, but Edmonds has no chance.

  357. John Says:

    At the moment, Jim Edmonds is Phil Rizzuto. 50 some more hits and 10 more homers and he’s over 100.

    Chuck, lemme ask this, since I’m a big “judge with your eyes” kinda guy with fielding. Where does Edmonds rank among CF that you’ve seen with the glove?

  358. Chuck Says:

    Tough question, considering how old I am. That’s alot of centerfielders. :)

    Edmonds had a habit of going on vacation during games sometimes, like Andruw Jones, who I consider to be immensely overrated.

    He could make a highlight reel play one minute, the next look like a drunk chasing a frisbee at the company picnic.

    I would say he’s probably just outside the top ten, and that’s without checking.

  359. John Says:

    Hmm. I would’ve thought he’d be higher. Andruw Jones was definitely that way, I never noticed it with Edmonds…always seems like he’s in the right place at the right time, making tough plays look easy and such.

    The said Joe Dimaggio was such a good defensive CF not because he made a ton of highlight reel plays but because he read the ball perfectly off the bat. Edmonds does that AND still makes the occasional highlight reel play.

    Today he caught a ball in medium CF, maybe slightly on the shallow side, with a guy on 3rd and 1 out. He rifled the ball on a line right at the catcher. The runner (or, more likely, the coach) knew better than to send him…he would’ve been out by about 25 feet. Then he made an excellent running catch to end the inning.

    And that’s at the age of 40.

  360. Chuck Says:

    I suppose all players are subject to brain farts from time to time, considering how focused they have to be.

    I remember a couple of guys who were good field, no hit.

    Edmonds was a really good player. That doesn’t make him a Hall of Famer.

  361. Hossrex Says:

    Would it be so bad if the best “just outside the top ten” from each position were in the hall of fame?

  362. Chuck Says:

    Third base has the fewest representatives of any position, 11.

    So, each position is already represented by someone outside the top ten.

  363. Hossrex Says:

    Yes, although that in no way translates to “the top 11 or 12 players from each position” are in the hall of fame.”

    There are some real relative duds in the hall, and they should really just be ignored for ANY conversation regarding who should be in the hall.

    The “well, there are worse players in the hall, so he should be in” is the absolute stupidest argument. That just makes sure every mistake is compounded year and year again.

  364. Lefty33 Says:

    That’s the rub in the whole HOF discussion.

    IMHO, there are already too many guys outside the top ten, twenty, even thirty at certain positions that to put more fringe guys in just further waters down the product even more.

    The Baseball HOF has the meaning and relevance it does largely because of the exclusivity that it has compared to the other three major sports.

    If Baseball were to start following the wishes of certain people in the media or on the site and either loosen the voting requirements or take away the exclusivity factor then the HOF voting, ceremony, and everything associated with it would be as irrelevant as the HOF for any other sport.

  365. Hossrex Says:

    Just doing a couple of cursory searches…

    http://www.thebaseballpage.com/positions/rankings/C.php

    Roy Schalk… I mean… Hall of Famer Roy Schalk… isn’t even in the top 50 for CATCHERS. Catchers are ridiculously under represented in the hall… and ROY SCHALK is one of them?

    Really just makes you wonder sometime.

  366. Mike Felber Says:

    There are a lot of foolish choices. Though we need to assure that those worthy by real production get in. I wonder what defensive metrics folks here like. Is Rtot/yr valid to you? is it not better than traditional range factor measures? Yes, it is useful to see players, but imagine if, say, we had no #s whatsoever. I don’t care if you saw most all games by a player-& you could only do that for a relative few-with no metrics of any type, there would be huge variation in assessment, & emotional + observational biases & prejudices-of many types that can elucidated-would reign supreme. Andruw Jones has a massive 18 Rtot. Now, maybe that is wrong. But how often someone screws up, makes hard playes look easy, positioning is good; is hard to know with precision. And once we get an idea in our head, there is a confirmation bias that has us selectively absorb & recall certain events.

    Chuck, you contradict yourself when you say the stats do not need explanation, & then provide context re: Walker’s home field. Of course stadium, era, line up, team, rule changes, strikes/war years, & many other factors effect raw #s. Besides context, the other massive problem w/taking raw #s as gospel are significance. WHAT says much about productivity, that is, what actually is most effective for scoring or saving runs? Something like outs are not considered in milestone records, let alone the rate of same.

    The HOF monitor is a lousy way to track anything than what has historically been used as HOF benchmarks. Even then, they apply little to the most significant middle infield positions. Even players who get similar scores can be very different in type or quality of player. And it does not even consider the crucial factor of peak value, however you define it. A basic measure of greatness.

    Yes, all agree that Walker at Coor’s Field is not his real value (except for ‘97, easily his best year). But there is very good reason to believe people have adequately compensated for the advantage-too much if there is much of a hangover effect. Walker is a real 140 + career OPS + guy. And you have presented no evidence, + zero even speculative cause, to believe he used PEDs.

    Lastly, if you like a great fielder who was a poor hitter, w/mediocre at best longevity for the Hall-Maz-it defies reason that you would not like Edmonds. You really value defense? Even if you have not under-rated him, you rate him very high indeed. SO give Maz more credit for position & being even better at it. But the differential in batting is MASSIVE. One really bad, the other very good by any rational measure. Maz had 2 years w/clearly better WAR than any others: 4.5 & 3.5! H elost no time, & a WAR of 26.9! Even if WAR somehow took away HALF the credit he was due-& there is no indication it is significantly off at all-Maz would not be at the usual WAR threshold, & lost no playing time.

    John summed it up well. I will just add that while we share a hard line on OED use, I hope you are not seriously pointing to any evidence or suggestion that Walker used them. I think your joke concedes this point.

  367. John Says:

    Hossrex,

    I was asking Chuck where he thought Jim Edmonds ranked defensively among CFers that he had seen to which he responded “just outside the top 10.” He wasn’t saying that Edmonds was that high overall.

    My gut is that he is top 15, maybe top 10 overall…but so much of his value is defense and that’s a very tough thing to compare across generations. UZR, Rtot, RF…all these things are very unreliable metrics (for rtot, Torii Hunter is -29. Robby Alomar is -30. Please.)

    My impression of Edmonds is that he is the most polished defensive CF that I’ve ever seen, and it’s not like he’s a bad offensive player. He’s sitting just outside of 400 HR and a career OPS+ north of 130. For someone of his caliber defensively? Pretty damn good.

    The way I see it, the top 7 (MLB) CF of all time are:

    Willie Mays
    Ty Cobb
    Mickey Mantle
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Tris Speaker
    Joe Dimaggio
    Duke Snider

    and we could debate all day about the order etc. But after that? Kind of a wash. Puckett. Averill. Ashburn. Dawson was about 50-50 CF, same with Yount who’s really more of a SS. No reason whatsoever that you can’t throw Edmonds right in the middle of that mix, with the whole player considered.

  368. Mike Felber Says:

    That seems all very well balanced Hoss. I would just put Oscar Charleston up there, IF you were not just listing big Leaguers, & Snider is the (relatively) weak link. O.C. played forever with a game as complete as Mays, was the best all around player in the Negro leagues, did superb against Major League competition. Observers of all colors considered him at least amongst the best players ever.

  369. Chuck Says:

    ” And you have presented no evidence, + zero even speculative cause, to believe he used PEDs.”

    Mike, you don’t come from the same “neighborhood” as the majority here. Unlike yourself and Shaun and some others, Lefty, Patrick, Raul and myself don’t rely on Google and MLBTradeRumors for information.

    I find your always asking for “evidence” to be amateurish and childish.

    Whether it be Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Jeff Bagwell, or a host of others, the only evidence required is common sense, and, unfortunately, that is not something I can help you with.

    I know for a fact some of these players used, with the sources being former teammates and others associated with the game. In addition, some of these “sources” are current and former coworkers and, more importantly, friends.

    I’m offended you would ask me to name a source, especially when you’re not qualified to ask, and insulted you would expect me to betray a friend.

    It’s your option to believe what I say, or think I’m full of shit, I don’t care either way.

    But you better not ask me again.

  370. Raul Says:

    You ever see Larry Walker on the Expos? He goes to Colorado and becomes a super power hitter? I know Coors Field was a big hitters park, but I didn’t see Quentin McCracken cracking bombs, his body all jacked up like a WWF wrestler.

    Hall of Fame is one thing but I don’t doubt for one second that Larry Walker was on something.

  371. Chuck Says:

    Vin Scully cracks me up.

    The Dodgers called up Jay Gibbons today.

    Scully: “Gibbons is a former Oriloes outfielder who ended up out of baseball briefly due to injury problems. He ended up getting a job with a construction company and lifting weights to build up some muscle and get back to the Major Leagues.”

    That’s a nice, fan friendly story and all, but it appears Scully’s never heard of the Mitchell Report.

  372. Raul Says:

    Well, you know Vin Scully is from the old school, where they don’t talk about things like that.

    ….”And there’s Mickey Mantle in the dugout. Boy he must be tired from that 3rd inning double”

    suuuuure…

  373. John Says:

    “Hall of Fame is one thing but I don’t doubt for one second that Larry Walker was on something.”

    Thin air? Larry Walker wasn’t exactly Quinton McCracken (side note: what an awesome name) while he was in Montreal either.

    Look, it’s entirely possible that anyone from this era be it Walker, Helton, Edmonds, or (for some reason we brought up) Bagwell was juicing. Entirely possible. In fact the “common sense” that Chuck was referencing dictates that each of those guys and hundreds others are in the “probably” category. No, I don’t have mysterious friends who can tell me with 100% certainty that they watched men stick each other in the ass with needles but this was an era with tons of offense where many of the contributors have been found to be users.

    In addition, we’ve learned that the whole “I can tell he didn’t do it because he didn’t get huge” thing is bullshit. Alex Sanchez did steroids. Alex Sanchez weighed 32 pounds. He hit 1 homerun every 300 AB.

    It could really be anyone.

    As far as I’m concerned, elect the best players from the era. Does that mean that Omar Vizquel gets jipped from the HOF even though he was likely clean and would’ve been a HOFer in the 60’s? I guess. The man has made 60.7 million dollars because people paid lots of money to watch Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez hit 900 foot homeruns. But it also means you don’t necessarily induct Sammy Sosa even though he hit 600 HR. Not because of the steroids, but because he wasn’t a terribly dominant player in the context of his era. Eh he kinda was for a bit. Whatever. He struck out a lot, so he actually really sucked, if you knew the game :)

    Chuck: “I know for a fact some of these players used, with the sources being former teammates and others associated with the game. In addition, some of these “sources” are current and former coworkers and, more importantly, friends.”

    I can hardly blame you for not revealing sources and all, but forgive me if I don’t condemn Jeffress Immanuel Bagwell because someone I know from a baseball blog has a buddy from work who heard whispers that the aforementioned Jeffress was a known user. Or heard from James Mouton or something.

    I think you’re a stand-up guy Chuck, but it would be fairly irresponsible if the burden of proof for convictions was a rumor.

  374. Raul Says:

    I don’t need the needle that poked Larry Walker in the ass to think that he took some PEDs.

    Fair or not.

    All you guys would say that Sammy Sosa was juicing and yet no proof has ever been found outside his inclusion in the Mitchell Report….which honestly, doesn’t really amount to shit.

  375. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, right?

    Either that, or good ol’ Vinnie’s taking a page out of Harry Caray’s book.

    For the last ten years of his career, Caray’s broadcast partner was Bud Weiser.

  376. Raul Says:

    hahahahaha

  377. John Says:

    “All you guys would say that Sammy Sosa was juicing and yet no proof has ever been found outside his inclusion in the Mitchell Report”

    He was in the 03 list. Came out last summer. No one cared, because everyone already knew.

  378. Chuck Says:

    What I said to mike applies to you as well, John.

    The assumption all bloggers are created equal is, quite frankly, insulting.

    And why would James Mouton NOT be a credible source?

  379. Raul Says:

    Just like we all know Larry Walker took some shit.

  380. Chuck Says:

    ” Came out last summer. No one cared, because everyone already knew.”

    Everyone knew McGwire was juiced too, but until he admitted it, no one (read: bloggers) believed it.

    Then came bonds, no one believed he did either. There are some people who STILL don’t believe Bonds used.

    Walker, Bagwell and Edmonds all used.

    If you need medical proof or a personal admittance before you believe.

  381. John Says:

    Anyone and their mom can hit 40 HR in pre-humidor Coors Field.

    “And why would James Mouton NOT be a credible source?”

    Maybe Bags nailed his wife or something. Who knows.

  382. John Says:

    “Everyone knew McGwire was juiced too, but until he admitted it, no one (read: bloggers) believed it.”

    Literally billions of people knew McGwire did steroids.

  383. Raul Says:

    So I’m not making the connection.

    Why is it so outrageous to think Larry Walker used steroids but (pre-admission) it wasn’t to think Mark McGwire used steroids?

  384. Chuck Says:

    “Literally billions of people knew McGwire did steroids.”

    Based on what, exactly?

    And using the same logic, why would you NOT believe Bagwell or Walker used?

  385. John Says:

    When did I say it was outrageous for Bagwell or Walker to have done steroids?

    They probably did.

    McGwire said he didn’t want to talk about the past in front of Congress during a hearing ABOUT STEROIDS.

    Bags was just really good at baseball.

  386. Raul Says:

    I just want to say,

    Joba Chamberlain, I hate you.

  387. Chuck Says:

    No worries, Raul.

    Joba’s days are numbered.

    Wood, maybe Abaladejo, maybe somebody they get off waivers in the next couple of weeks pretty much guarantees Joba won’t be on the postseason roster.

    I hope.

  388. Raul Says:

    Boone Logan got Ortiz to ground out, but it could have been a lot worse – due to Joba

  389. Mike Felber Says:

    Anyone it was never true that nobody, Bloggers or otherwise, believed folks innocent until whenever. There have always been hyper skeptical folks about anyone, & those who believed someone guilty absent hard evidence. I think it best to reserve judgment until there is reasonable evidence. When there is an extreme outlier, in overall body & face/head shape, is the only time I would even say someone “probably” used. That maany are later found guilty does not mean that all are, & some can appreciably change power & body through natural means. i see no reason to say Walker or most “probably” used.

    Chuck. I did not think you HAD any personal evidence that anyone used, & do not know what of it is rumors or good personal sources. I did not assume you had any inside information, nor any “sources’ to reveal. That makes it especially absurd, hostile, & disappointing, to hear you threatening me. “Better not” ask you again? That threatened reaction from you is way out of line.

    I have never read MLB Traderumors at all. I cannot fathom how you would consider the most basic respectful inquiry, for evidence, to be anything other than mature & professional. But without evidence, we could convict anyone of anything due to such “common sense” as the company they kept, what groups, ethnic, neighborhoods, whatever is actually or perceived to be high crime, as guilty without trial.

    The same benefit of the doubt & sense of adult fairness I give to players-not assuming guilt & c heating based on no good evidence-I give to you Chuck. Thus I assume you are not a liar, not “full of shit”. Again, I did not suspect you had any inside info, you did not indicate you had, & I have no way of knowing whether or how much of the info you have is accurate.

    I have never seen you admit you were wrong Chuck-about something other than when clearly a prediction is wrong (as we all do). So I do not expect you to start now. Though hopefully you see that your assumptions about my inquiry was wrong. And even if I HAD asked you to give me details, a threatening response would be unfortunate, when you could only say “I have inside info i cannot reveal”. Not to mention when you talk like that, others who are as easily offended as you are likely to be hostile back, & that just becomes a mudslinging morass.

    No, not the good kind of more ass!

  390. Lefty33 Says:

    Why should anyone reserve judgement Mike?

    Pretty much every player suspected of PED’s has been found guilty either through personal admission, government report, the Mitchell Report, or via enough circumstantial evidence that you would be bordering on a mental vegetable if you couldn’t put the two plus two together.

    We are long past the stage in Baseball of assumed innocence. Almost one hundred percent of the time that a player has been in the grey area of possible guilt it eventually comes out that they either lied about what they did/took or a report/former teammate corroborates that they took something and that gets “leaked” to a media outlet.

    When a player is now branded with the scarlet letter of PED usage innocence is no longer assumed, just guilt. And that is that fault of guys like Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa who clearly were taking things, lied out their ass and have one way or another been caught red-handed.

    It’s a big world out there Mike, it would do you good to stop being offended at words on a screen and to stop being so naive about PED/Roid/Amphetamine/Drug usage in sports.

    Pretty much everyone was doing it in some form for a very long time. And it’s still going on.

    As Keith Richards once said, “When the gravy train is rolling at full speed, it’s hard to find an arm long enough to pull the brake”.

  391. Chuck Says:

    Your comment is duly noted, Mike…and thankyou.

  392. Chuck Says:

    Brewers traded Jim Edmonds to Cincinnati for Chris Dickerson.

  393. Mike Felber Says:

    You are most welcome Chuck.

    Lefty, the end of my last post implied I do not get offended easily. Trying to stay on good terms w/people by making myself clear, & defending the honor of folks who may be innocent of violating the law & the integrity of baseball is not being easily offended. So thank you any way for the advice.

    As for your claims: I do not know how you believe that virtually all who are suspected of PED use are either shown to be liars & cheats, or there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence. Part of what I am saying is that many who we have no idea about are presumed guilty. Some of those are mentioned above: there is not good evidence about Walker & Bagwell. For example, Walker’s peak is not out of line w/his other years. There were none of the radical Sosa-level quick or even over a career degree of physiological changes.

    It is also OUR responsibility not to assume guilt after branding. That so many have lied & that we have been hurt does not justify assuming “the rest” are guilty. I freely admit many will be: but you do not know if many will be innocent also. Advances in nutrition. training, & the means of someone with great potential to transform themselves mean that you need to realize how someone innocent might overlap in appearance w/someone who is a crook.

    John is right it COULD be anyone. We all could be cheating or committing crimes in various ways. When we find a corrupt company, Gov’t agency, Precinct, etc, it would still be unfair & irrational to conclude that everyone is guilty. Or that everyone w/a certain level of success is guilty.

    Remember, can anyone really prove a negative? You always COULD have been responsible for unsolved murders or be behind a secret ponzi scheme or robbing people…But even when many of our cohorts have been found guilty-& it is still not a large % of all MLers-we should not assume guilt casually.

    And it is a radical & unsupported assumption that “Pretty much everyone was doing it in some form for a very long time”. I have never heard anyone speculate that use was close to 100%, let alone prolonged use by most. Ask any insider, here or elsewhere: some believe it was the majority of MLers, some maybe 15-30 %. Most know that 5-7% only caught the careless or stupid.

    But even say 2/3, on the high end of what most assume, is nothing at all like the something over 95% that you seem to assume. I ask others here to do a harmless kind of speculation, not impugning individuals: what % of those in the MLers during peak PED years used, from regularly to dabblers?

  394. Chuck Says:

    “there is not good evidence about Walker & Bagwell.”

    Yes, there is. It just isn’t public (read: Google-able) knowledge.

    Be patient, it will be soon enough. Loose lips sink ships.

    “what % of those in the MLers during peak PED years used, from regularly to dabblers?”

    Dabblers? Well over 50%, easily. Probably approaching 60-65%, maybe even 70%.

    Regular users? I don’t know, 30% maybe?

  395. Chuck Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks AJ Burnett’s mysterious back spasms were just a ploy to avoid pitching him against the Red Sox?

    Funny how all of a sudden he’s healthy enough to pitch tomorrow against Texas, in Texas?

    And where is Burnett now?

    Watching the Red Sox/Yankee game.

    From his hotel room in Arlington.

    Injury, my ass.

  396. Hossrex Says:

    lol…

    Six months ago this site was FULL of people saying “NO! McGwire NEVER DID STEROIDS! IT WAS ALWAYS JUST ANDRO! ANDRO WAS LEGAL AT THE TIME! HE NEVER DID STEROIDS! NEVER!”

    To say (paraphrased) that “it’s fair to have made the assumption about McGwire, since everyone knew he did it, and not about Walker or Bags” is ridiculous to the extreme, since PRIOR TO THE ADMISSION, A SURPRISING NUMBER OF PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS “CLEAN”!

    It’s the EXACT same thing.

    I mean… Walker I could at least say “I’m making an assumption based on little actual evidence”… but FREAKING Bagwell?!?

    Wasn’t it pretty much all but official that Bag’s was the one supplying Pettitte?

  397. John Says:

    “Wasn’t it pretty much all but official that Bag’s was the one supplying Pettitte?”

    Oh yeah. Because Pettitte was Bagwell’s best friend, dating back to their time as players for the Yankees, and it was Bagwell that was included in the Mitchell Report and Bagwell who has been digging himself in a whole by suing his former trainer with relation to testimony about steroids.

  398. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, there is some revisionist history Hoss. But other types of revisions too, & many confuse the distinctions. We can check the available archives (will the older ones ever be available?), but I am confident that the vast majority did not say Big Mac was innocent. Most said either it was not proven, they did not know-or that his non-testimony when called in front of Congress (breaking to speak with his lawyer) admitted to a de facto guilty (my position).

    IF there is good evidence Bagwell supplied Pettite, i do not know that. I need to research it or hear evidence here. What i DID check out about him was not damning. But it could be that Chuck is correct about evidence coming out. I am saying we should not assume before that evidence is there.

    Let us say Chuck’s estimates are correct. That is very high, but not outside of what many of us feared. That is still a long way from Lefty’s assumptions, & thus no reason at all to assume even statistically folks should be guilty before being proven innocent.

    And while dabbling is wrong, it is still very different from a regular user.

  399. Hossrex Says:

    Wow.

    Those were some pretty sensational “reasons” to dismiss the notion of Bagwell supplying to Pettitte.

    Guy 1: “Hey, I heard that Joe sold drugs to Fred.”
    Guy 2: “Oh… yeah… because Joe grew up with Fred? Because Joe was arrested last year?”
    Guy 1: “WTF? What are you talking about. None of that has anything to do with the fact that I heard Joe sold drugs do Fred.”
    Guy 2: “NO! For some strange reason I’ve invested my sense of self worth in Joe! The very core of my character is harmed by any criticism of Joe’s!”
    Guy 1: “…”

    http://knowyourmeme.com/i/1072/original/Trollface.png

  400. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “there is some revisionist history Hoss. But other types of revisions too”

    I agree.

    In 1998, everyone knew Sosa and McGwire were doing steroids… late night talk show hosts made jokes about it for crissakes… then everyone forgot… then it became a huge deal… then McGwire only ever did andro… then OMG! MCGWIRE ADMITTED HE DID STEROIDS!

    Absurd.

    If you didn’t know they were on steroids in 1998, you’re stupid.

  401. Brautigan Says:

    What? Sammy said he did nothing more than Chewable Chalks. Or was it Flintstone vitamins?

    Jerk. Sammy Sosa would be little or no better than Joe Lovitto without Flintstone vitamins.

  402. Bob Says:

    The cork that came out of his bat PROVES he is willing to cheat. How can anyone give him the benefit of the doubt?

  403. Hartvig Says:

    The biggest problem I have with PED’s is the filter down effect it has to college & high school. If you want to be good enough to get a scholarship or get drafted, and everyone around you is doing it, how can you tell a 16 or 17 year old it’s better to do it the right way? At the professional level, it just comes to close to the Roman gladiator model for my taste. There has got to be something between that and the Avery Brundage nonsense that can be reasonably enforced and agreed to by all involved parties. And while Selig & the owners hands are hardly clean in this mess, if I were a player who wasn’t using I would be raising bloody hell with the players union.

    Another issue I have is that since we can’t be certain of who used, we just say “they all did it”. That’s just intellectually lazy. Even if Chuck’s estimate that as many as 70% may have at least dabbled with PED’s that still means that hundreds didn’t and I think we owe it to them to at least try to make as informed decisions as possible as to who we label as probable users. If you want to use the Mitchell report, or drastic changes in physical appearance (ala Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa) or statistical outliers (Brady Anderson,etc.) or reliable inside information (such as Chuck has) or even just guilt by association state your evidence when you brand them. We also need to look at the careers of players who were probably clean (Greg Maddux, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell among many others) and try to put them into proper perspective.

    At least one list I’ve seen of who’s supposedly on the Mitchell reports lists both Walker & Bagwell. Couple that with Chuck’s information and I’d say there’s at least a pretty good argument to be made that they were dirty.

    I don’t know where I’ll end up on PED’s & the HOF but I do think it reasonable that players who were clean get that taken into account when they’re being evaluated.

  404. Hossrex Says:

    Hartvig: “The biggest problem I have with PED’s is the filter down effect it has to college & high school. If you want to be good enough to get a scholarship or get drafted, and everyone around you is doing it, how can you tell a 16 or 17 year old it’s better to do it the right way?”

    And it’s that sort of touchy feely crap that I hate.

    There isn’t a SINGLE profession ON EARTH that doesn’t fit those IDENTICAL requirements.

    Do you want to be good? You have to sacrifice.

    Do you want to be the best? You have to sacrifice everything.

    Everything from McDonalds regional manager, to small business owner, to Fortune 500 corporate CEO, IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING.

    Let’s try this:

    “The biggest problem I have with Wallstreet is the filter down effect it has to college & high school. If you want to be good enough to get a scholarship or get hired, and everyone around you is lying and cheating, how can you tell a 16 or 17 year old it’s better to do it the right way?”

    I changed three words in that paragraph… and didn’t change the intent one whit.

    Fucking Yo-Yo Ma probably argues with his wife about how much time he spends away from the family.

    No one has to be a professional major league baseball player. Persecuting big leaguers because they aren’t setting a good example is fucking stupid.

  405. Brautigan Says:

    Hoss: If one wants to spend the majority of their adulthood behind a desk and a cubicle at the rate of 80 hours a week, go for it. You want to take magic shots in your ass that can make you hit a ball out of site and grow fingernails out your forehead, now that is truly stupid. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go for that. Not even Barry Bonds.

  406. Hartvig Says:

    Hoss- I’m not asking them to be role models. I am saying that there is a way to curtail PED use at the major league level and that will filter down to college & high school. I don’t know if you have kids or are planning on having any but would you tell your 16 year old son: “Son, if you plan on playing professional sports you’d better get started on HGH & testosterone now.”? There’s a way to deal with cheaters in sports & on Wall Street & it’s hard & it’s messy & it’s imperfect but it can be done. Sometimes, and I think in he end usually, the good guys win, Hoss. I’m just sorry you can’t see that.

  407. Chuck Says:

    “Everything from McDonalds regional manager, to small business owner, to Fortune 500 corporate CEO, IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING.”

    Is that why you make your living taking pictures of drooling babies?

  408. Chuck Says:

    “I have never seen you admit you were wrong Chuck”

    Which just goes to show even someone with an above average IQ can have below average reading comprehension, or the an attention span equal to the life expectancy of a gnat.

  409. Hossrex Says:

    Braut: “If one wants to spend the majority of their adulthood behind a desk and a cubicle at the rate of 80 hours a week, go for it. You want to take magic shots in your ass that can make you hit a ball out of site and grow fingernails out your forehead, now that is truly stupid.

    Do you realize you just said:

    “I’d rather waste my life away, neglecting my friends, family, and outsides interests… than live a spectacular life, but die on average a few years younger.”

    To each his own, and I most certainly wouldn’t tell a person what they should do, or how to live their life… but if you’re telling me it’s more important to be alive and miserable for 85 years, and alive and happy for 70 years… I’m gonna have to disagree with you on that point.

    Hartvig: “I am saying that there is a way to curtail PED use at the major league level and that will filter down to college & high school.”

    Yes, and there is the EXACT SAME “way to curtail” the lying and cheating in Wallstreet and that will filter down to college and high school.

    IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING.

    Chuck: “Is that why you make your living taking pictures of drooling babies?”

    I know you were going for a joke there… but YES. Fuck yes. Absolutely that’s why I do it. Mundane professional photography is a huge scam, and anyone with a two hundred dollar camera could spend LITERALLY less than an hour on the internet learning how to compose an image, and then go out and take EXACTLY the same pictures that would have cost two hundred bucks at a pro studio.

    The difference?

    When you do the shit yourself, at the end of the day you own the camera, and can go back out tomorrow. If you have the pro do it, all you get are the pictures.

    Huge waste of money.

    Ya know… just don’t tell anywhere where *I* live that it’s a waste of money.

  410. Chuck Says:

    “The biggest problem I have with PED’s is the filter down effect it has to college & high school.”

    You have no idea.

    That question, in a more appropriate form, actually appears on an official ML scouting assessment.

  411. Chuck Says:

    “Huge waste of money.”

    I was self employed for about 13 years and still do it part time.

    A self employed person cannot survie unless he has retards for clients.

  412. Lefty33 Says:

    “That is still a long way from Lefty’s assumptions, & thus no reason at all to assume even statistically folks should be guilty before being proven innocent.”

    I’ll try and respond again later Mike but once again you’re being naïve and only seeing that part that you want to see.

    I never said that all players were guilty or dirty.

    What I said was that pretty much every player that has come in the crosshairs of taking something has pretty much been found to have been guilty.

    There’s a reason that the saying is called “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”.

    The other part of my “assumptions”, as you call them, are based on the fact that my brother in law is a writer for a major media outlet and he has told me numerous stories of things over the years that he has seen in locker rooms, hotel rooms, and other places that most would find surprising.

    Also Mike I played minor league ball and I saw people lick, stick, and prick everything under the sun partially because they thought there was a competitive advantage and partially because the season in the minors with the travel and lack of off days is brutal and guys did it just to make the time between games go faster.

    I also took several things myself and had numerous guys on the team who were suppliers including one of the coaches.

    Wake up Mike, it’s always been there in some form and it still is.

    9 times out of 10 if you assume innocence you’re being a fool.

  413. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “A self employed person cannot survie unless he has retards for clients.”

    Amen to that.

    I’ve had clients who actually considered photography a hobby, and I would mindlessly talk to them while we’re out at a park or the mission taking pictures. He can see what gear I have… he can see what I’m doing… and when I make some comment about helping him learn a bit more (honest to god, I’m not a dick in real life, and most times I’m not smart enough to screw the guy I’m talking to)… and the specific guy I’m thinking of actually said “I’m looking for the ‘Professional Look’ in these pictures.”

    I had to hold back the look that said “oh shit… I’m just switching my camera to aperture priority mode, then making sure everything is in frame and in focus”.

    “Professional Look”?

    lol…

    I got the full three hundred dollar package out of that guy.

  414. Chuck Says:

    The first person I diid a catering deal with I ended up having to sue for payment.

    I won, but it taught me one important lesson.

    Put a liability clause in your contracts.

    I could fuck up a $10000 contract beyond belief (which I never did, by the way)but if its’ going to cost you $15000 to sue me, what’s the point?

    I’ve had millionaires question the prime rib I’ve served and have told me they’ve bought better cuts of meat at their local supermarket.

    I then proceed to tell him you can’t buy prime rib at a supermarket, that “real” prime rib is about $30 a pound wholesale and is reserved for high end restaurants and professional businesses, and the stuff he buys at the market is one step above of dog food.

    I then inform him if his check doesn’t clear I wil put a lien on every asset he has, including his kid’s college fund until it does, and I am also including a ten percent pissing me off fee.

    I grew up in a small town, and for most of my teen and early adult life was a big fish in a small pond athletically, and had no problems with the ladies, and have been married for twenty years now.

    However, it is a powerful feeling knowing you can get some thirty year old preppie millionaire dude to suck your cock just by threatening him.

  415. Raul Says:

    Hossrex is right.

    It is the exact same thing.
    In fact, it’s actually worse in his example. Cheaters in baseball did what? Ruined integrity of the game? Cheaters on Wall Street have destroyed the country.

    But I’ll save the political discussion for another time.

  416. Mike Felber Says:

    There are many self employed folks who ass a lot of value w/unique products, services, or efficiencies. But you are being a good guy to offer to help folks Hoss, & cannot be faulted that folks do not know better or research things to learn basic photography.

    I’ll work backwards in addressing comments. Yes Lefty, you are not saying everyone is guilty, just virtually all who come uner suspicion. And while many are, there are many who there is no good evidence that they used. Maybe MOST who come under suspicion are or will be found to be guilty. That is very distinct from virtually all. And as in anything else in life, some are merely defamed by rumors. I would have to find a list to see all who came under any suspicion, but it is clear many of them we have no reason to know. You realize that even folks like Thomas & Schilling, outspoken against PEDs, have been suspected. Someone like Thomas is a natural outlier in size, like Howard, & it is doubtful he is dirty.

    Now as for your naive, seeing what you wish, or being a fool comments: logically, if folks do not have access (which only a small % do Lefty) to your inside info, they are being no such thing. Once again the intemperate comments are unsupportable even rationally. Also, what is taken as “smoke” sometimes is not. Now, let us say your experiences are not only valid Lafty, but representative. That does not speak to whether those accused or suspected under tenuous or purely speculative evidence are guilty. If Chuck’s #s are right, it does not remotely support the case that virtually all suspected are guilty.

    Now, it does seem that MOST suspected are likely to be guilty. But that does not morally nor Philosophically support assuming guilt. See, a statistical likelihood neither means there is not a good chance of innocence, nor means it is ethically reasonable to assume guilt. That is the whole basis of our system of justice. Even in criminal cases you must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”. And most of the unproven suspects do not have good evidence against them: that many are STILL guilty does not mean it is fair nor reasonable to assume all in that category are guilty. See assuming innocence does not really mean you (usually) are confident someone is innocent. It means you reserve judgment until good evidence comes in.

  417. Hossrex Says:

    Mike Felber: “you are being a good guy to offer to help folks Hoss, & cannot be faulted that folks do not know better or research things to learn basic photography.

    lol… I’m laughing at myself, not you… you still give me too much credit.

    I just enjoy talking about photography. I enjoy talking to people who enjoy talking about photography.

    If one of my clients asked to go out with me on an off day, and learn how to take pictures… I’d do that shit for free, just because I enjoy it. I’d teach him everything I know (professional secret: IT’S FUCKING EASY).

    But people still think something MUST be better because it’s done by a professional (ironically the seeming antithesis of Chucks story).

  418. Hossrex Says:

    I didn’t make myself clear… I meant “you give me too much credit”, because I’m not trying to help people because I think everyone should be selfsufficient when it comes to photography… I just enjoy talking about it, and going out to do it.

  419. Mike Felber Says:

    It is unknown if using PEDs, especially w/frequent exposure & humiliation, will make your (possibly shorter) life happier than a desk jockey. It depends on many factors, like is your work fulfilling, driven by a purpose, or just to survive, & many other things. Also Hoss, I WOULD say that Wall Street folks should be an example & effect the young, but it is not the exact equivalent. A MLB is vastly more visible. Though Raul is right that some kinds & degrees of cheating in business have more practical effect/cause more damage. rAlso, I do not know if lying & cheating is as effective as PEDs tend to be. Either way Hartvig makes some very considered & valid points.

    There is NO good prime rib in supermarkets? And that which is sold at the less less exclusive businesses, where they price it at or somewhat below $30 a lb., is crappola? Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration for effect? Though I assume the questioned the food due to not being able to appreciate real good red meat. i know I like it better done than the medium rare that is supposed to be de rigueur for gourmets….

    Now does it make sense to assume some deficit on my part Chuck, rather than point out some place where you admitted error (that was not in the prediction category that is impossible to deny). First off, it could easily be I did not read many of the articles & comments you wrote, so could have not seen places that you did so. Just seeing my pedantically detailed responses you know I have no reading comprehension issues& makes a short attention span very unlikely. This is an example of a habit to assert a premise, or attempt to refute an argument, while supplying no case. Instead supplying a zinger that either attempts to elevate your status, or denigrate someone else.

    But I am still open to specifics, & my original comment, in tone & content, contained no malice. I do not purport to know inside baseball like you.

  420. Mike Felber Says:

    Well then it just happens that it is in your self interest since you enjoy it Hoss, but remains a kind action to take.

    But I do not think anyone was trolling either. Hearing someone used is by itself very dubious, & the details are needed. Many folks have been falsely accused of so many things, for bad &/or jealous motivations, or just due to accepting rumors, bad logic & poor evidence. I respectfully say you are mistaken about ‘98 Hoss. I had TV then & a good memory: I would be surprised at any significant Steroids jokes then! We just did not have that much evidence then, AND people preferred not to assume the worst. Check this out: Sosa was not as inflated then, not more than 200 lbs. in ‘98. Really & truly it was not the consensus even then that Big Mac & Sammy used. People accepted the Andro story, & they should have, since it was legal in general & in baseball, & there was no other evidence!

    After the fact, some believe they “knew”, just like many times the possible # of folks claim to have attended historic events, including mythic sporting events. Memory is a very funny thing-it was not that long ago that I learned that every time you are recalling something, it is like a game of telephone-you are recalling a memory of the memory of the memory…

    But check w/others here Hoss. We did not have reason to believe them guilty then, though they COULD have been. I’ll bet most all recall it as I do: there was never a ‘98 consensus that those 2 were using. And yes, some could get Big Mac’s size naturally. You cannot tell if he is one of the few with this potential or not. Guy at my gym tonight, not more than 175 lbs., no specialized power lifting training or knowledge. Not training for many years. Did 5 reps dead lift with 495, then 545 DL. Few his size could ever get there naturally, even with advanced training. He could, & could go further. Natural talent outlier.

  421. John Says:

    “Those were some pretty sensational “reasons” to dismiss the notion of Bagwell supplying to Pettitte.”

    Reasons? Like, the fact that Clemens, a known user, probably did supplied him?

    Bagwell probably used.

    Am I saying that because he didn’t look the same when he was 25 as when he was 18? No.
    Am I saying that because Chuck heard something from someone? No.
    Am I saying that because other dudes on the internet say so? No.
    Am I saying that because other Astros are suspected users? No.

    I’m saying that because he played in the STEROID era and was very good.
    I can say that about scores of other gentlemen. Each of them is *probably* guilty. I’m not seeing anything more damning than that, but if everyone who’s been caught is any indication, just playing between 1994 and 2007 is fairly damning by itself.

  422. Lefty33 Says:

    “But that does not morally nor Philosophically support assuming guilt. See, a statistical likelihood neither means there is not a good chance of innocence, nor means it is ethically reasonable to assume guilt.”

    You see the part that you miss over and over Mike is what this boils down to is simply that taking any kind of PED or whatever you want to call it is cheating, period.

    And since player after player has chosen not to be philosophically or morally proper in their dealings with MLB and the media by lying over and over there is no real choice but to assume guilt over innocence and unfortunately create a witch hunt environment.

    If the players did their part and either didn’t take PEDs or if they did and were actually honest about it then the problem would take care of itself.

    But we don’t live in the panacea of Honestyville and to prevent said cheaters from getting into Cooperstown and reaching “Baseball Immortality” guilt over innocence must be assumed until proven otherwise.

    “That is the whole basis of our system of justice. Even in criminal cases you must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.”

    Thanks for the law lecture Mike but I’m well aware of jurisprudence and it really has nothing to do with this discussion since the majority of this PED debate is played out in the court of public opinion, not a court of law.

    So far the court of law only applies to guys like Clemens and Bonds who have perjured themselves. (There’s that lying thing again)

    “Now as for your naive, seeing what you wish, or being a fool comments: logically, if folks do not have access (which only a small % do Lefty) to your inside info, they are being no such thing.”

    Sure they are Mike. People can use their common sense and spot trends, patterns and ignore media smoke screens. Like Chuck said, a lot of the info is Google-able and in time Mitchell and other reports will come out fully and show the epidemic of usage that
    existed and that will show all of the lying about usage that went on.

    “If Chuck’s #s are right, it does not remotely support the case that virtually all suspected are guilty.”

    Chuck’s numbers and what I was talking about are two totally different things.

    “And as in anything else in life, some are merely defamed by rumors.”

    Who has been defamed by rumors? There have been zero lawsuits filed by any current or former player that have been accused either through suspension, admission, Mitchell, media leak, or crazy internet blogger.

    The closest was maybe Todd Helton in 2005 when I believe he threatened to go after then Rockies broadcaster Wayne Hagin over Hagin’s comments that Hagin later recanted and said they were related to Creatine and not a PED. (Hagin was later let go by the Rockies and not does work for the Cardinals)

    I’m not going to waste any more time on this topic with you Mike as clearly you will choose to believe what you want and obviously my experience as a former player, user, someone who still has friends and former colleagues who coach in the minors, has a family member that works for a major media outlet covering Baseball, and through my job I have access to minor league players on the AAA level on a daily basis, then it truly doesn’t matter what I or anyone else tells you.

  423. Hossrex Says:

    John: “Reasons? Like, the fact that Clemens, a known user, probably did supplied him?”

    Or… to extend our little “Joe and Fred” analogy… you just said…

    Guy 2: “ARE you STILL saying my friend Joe sold drugs to Fred?!?”
    Guy 1: “Well… yeah… that’s what I heard, and considering we’re not talking about legal proceeding here, it seems like we either put some credence into word of mouth, or we get stupid and assume none of the Bowery Boys did drugs.
    Guy 2: “I don’t believe Joe sold drugs to Fred, because I KNOW that it was HARRY that sold drugs to Fred!”
    Guy 1: “So… Fred couldn’t have gotten his drugs from two different people?”
    Guy 2: “ELVIS NEVER DID NO DRUGS!”

    And there we are…

    Your response to someone doing what you asked… giving some sort of indication that Bagwell was involved in steroids… is to say Pettitte was already getting drugs from Bagwell, and… to protect the character of Jeff Bagwell… you assume that people using illegal drugs get them from one person, and one person only.

    I used to smoke a lot of pot.

    It sure sucks to be looking to score something on a Friday night, when you find out your main guy doesn’t have anything.

    What does that mean?

    Do I have to explain?

  424. Mike Felber Says:

    I give credence to the info you have lefty. That does not tell me that you are right about virtually all being guilty who are even suspected, or that assuming guilt is reasonable. Obviously many who have much baseball experience do not have the same opinion on those very specific questions. It is not reasonable critical thinking to accept either side of these questions without questions or objections. but if you do not agree with me, I will not think it a waste of time. But I am going to point out some errors & unreasonable claims: you should be concerned if you are factually right.

    For example: it is easy to establish that I clearly called any type of PED use cheating. How you could think I missed that ever, let alone “over & over”, is beyond me. Above & for several years all my posts on the subject decry it as cheating: me saying regular usage is worse than dabbling does not mitigate that one iota.

    Actually, we feel a similar moral revulsion & demand accountability for users. But we reach different conclusions about assumptions that are O.K. to make, & ways to behave. We absolutely do not & should not create a “witch hunt” environment”. 1st, that analogy means looking for something (like witches) that is not present. And it implies the means are irrational & oppressive. I do not presume that looking closely at these things, nor most of the specific ways we have done so, are wrong/meet these criteria.

    but to think we should or must assume guilt-that is a radical & highly unusual opinion. If it was literally true, we would demand proof of innocence to, say, play or get awards/the HOF. Since you cannot prove a negative, you may settle for “in the court of public opinion”. Still unfair. Many have not cheated, & while we AGREE that the cheaters are very bad-& MLB had been complicit for years-the reminder about criminal courts was only to say that this is the reasonable, widely accepted standard of decency & public expression like Journalism.

    Again, a more nuanced view of this: we may say STATISTICALLY, like John does, that the majority of accused folks are likely guilty: still it is wrong & irrational to assume guilt for all suspected individual! Something like Sosa is an extreme case/different. Due to the nature & degree of his body & head transformation & willingness to cheat w/a corked bat.

    You were wrong about what Chuck said. Re-read post #394. He said the info WILL be Google-able. Unless you meant to type “will be” Google-able. You then showed you knew he was mainly talking about the future; but does not mean that we have access to who or what scale that people will be exposed! There is not much of a debate that it was “epidemic”. But common sense does not support your more extreme presumption of guilt/basically all accused at all are guilty. Actually, the media has been good for years in trying to expose things now. But things can always swing too far in terms of cynicism. See, you argue a straw man (unintentionally), saying it is an epidemic & there is so much lying….I already have volunteered as much, for years. The question is two-fold: is it sane to presume all guilty, & is most everyone accused guilty?

    You are RIGHT that Chuck’s #s & what you are saying are separate issues. That was a bad, read irrelevent, argument. See, I can be quite open to reason. ;-) Me good!

    Now, Clemens has tried to pursue a law suit, but that there have been minimal law suits does not remotely show that people are not defamed. The likely implication you are making to establish your point is an untenable one: that those who are innocent will sue. They may not sue for many reasons: guilt, not wanting the headache & expense, not believing they will win, nor wanting other things (or team mates) exposed,the accusations not being burdensome enough, that they could lose even if innocent 9not probable, but possible), that there name will be linked w/steroids whatever happens, etc…Maybe Michael Jackson molested little boys. good chance. But maybe he, abused & traumatized himself as a child & fragile, would prefer not to have an excruciating media circus, & was terrified of losing/going to jail even if innocent.

    I hope you see the irony that we both are hard line on PED usage, care a lot, & are arguing in good faith. Anyway I would be interested to know you opinion of what % of players, now & at the peak of the PED era, were & are cheaters. I assume that the minor leagues have been reduced less than the Majors thus far, & occasional use can be distinguished from chronic, though there is no bright line. Either way, is so harmful to the integrity & reputation of the game, 7 deeply unfair to all competitors.

  425. Hossrex Says:

    This thread really needs more Nazi unicorns tattooed on breasts.

    http://news.bmezine.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/white-power-unicorn.jpg

  426. Hossrex Says:

    Oh god… that’s a guys ass…

    Nevermind.

    Jesus Christ… what’s wrong with some people.

  427. Mike Felber Says:

    From Asterisks to Ass-to-risk. I believe those are the final signs of the Apocalypse.

  428. Hossrex Says:

    Hey!

    We just had a 3.7 earthquake!

    Neat.

    I wonder sometimes… if the people from the mid-west, who refuse to live out here because of earthquakes, ever say “Hey! We just had an F1 tornado (or category 1 hurricane)! Neat.”

    Probably not, eh?

  429. Chuck Says:

    Mike, Sammy Sosa wasn’t THAT good of a baseball player. For him to do what he did, starting in 1998, was unnatural and couldn’t have happened without help..and lots of it.

    It’s just that in 1998 we didn’t KNOW the effect of steriods or even of their existence in the game.

    Once steriods became public and we became aware of there effects, it was like a universal V-8 moment for everyone.

  430. Bob Says:

    Chuck, deep down people knew about the benefits of steroids before 1998
    Exhibit A. East Germany and their swimming team.
    Exhibit B. Ben Johnson
    Exhibit C. The Governor of California. I cannot spell his last name without checking.

  431. John Says:

    Hossrex, I really shouldn’t have to explain the differences between Clemens’ level of guilt and Bagwell.

    How do you know Pettitte wasn’t also scoring from Morgan Ensberg or Brad Lidge or something?

  432. Chuck Says:

    “How do you know Pettitte wasn’t also scoring from Morgan Ensberg or Brad Lidge or something”

    Or Craig Biggio

  433. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree 100% Chuck-about Sammy Sosa. I was suggesting he clearly was guilty, & the dramatic transformation of his type of game, & how productive he was offensively, you can add to his extreme physical changes. Though I think Hoss & you have different, extreme opinions about what all knew or believed. We did not know much about their existence in the game-you are closer to the truth than the idea that everyone knew Sosa & Big Mac used-most did not think they used steroids then, though due to his greater size in ‘98 & the Andro controversy, folks were more likely to believe the latter guilty. Though most either thought him innocent or did not purport to know.

    People had known the effect of steroids for many decades, even though much scientific opinion had stupidly denied it for years. But there is no question that most believed correctly that it tended to enhance performance. However, if you specify baseball, there is some truth to what you say. Most did not know about their use in the game, there was no clear exposure of it, AND it was unknown to most likely if or how it might help. Not to none-but whether the power would translate to, say, an HR swing, I do not think that there was a consensus on this.

    Baseball took until the ’80’s for there to be any consensus that just lifting weights would do more good than harm! Old school, they assumed it would make you “muscle bound”, too stiff in swing & general movement, the usual cliches.

  434. Raul Says:

    To tell you the truth, I think most of the weight lifting baseball players do doesn’t make much of a difference.

    Run, stretch and do some abs exercises. I really think you’ll be just fine.

    I think the steroids helped guys with energy and feeling better during the season. And yeah, it improved the power for some guys, but I just don’t believe you have to be in the gym for 4 hours working on bicep curls and bench presses to be a good baseball player.

    Good legs, strong core, stretch, and I don’t know…a few forearm exercises was all I felt was necessary.

  435. John Says:

    “Run, stretch and do some abs exercises. I really think you’ll be just fine.”

    That was how Rickey Henderson felt. Pushups and situps.

  436. Raul Says:

    Didn’t some article come out a year or two ago about Rickey Henderson criticizing Jose Reyes because Reyes didn’t run/steal bases enough?

    I thought Rickey said something like Reyes was having leg trouble because he wasn’t running enough…or something like that.

    I guess some people could argue that maybe Reyes ran too much and got hurt. But I really don’t know. Kinda hard to argue about running and steals with the all-time steals and runs scored king.

  437. John Says:

    The number of stolen bases Rickey Henderson stole AFTER breaking Lou Brock’s record would still rank 44th all-time. Most runs, 2nd most walks, most steals, even has 3000 hits. Everything you could possibly ask of a leadoff guy.

    I think managers are too afraid of making outs on the bases these days. I’ve always thought the benefits of running stretched way beyond the cost-risk analysis (opening up holes, distracting focus from pitchers).

  438. Raul Says:

    I don’t disagree, but holy crap, I think John just opened up another debate about steals.

  439. John Says:

    dude, we’ve debated everything on here.

    someone write something.

    fine, I’ll write something.

  440. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “I think John just opened up another debate about steals.”

    Bah… he’s just tired of people saying he’s a stat guy.

    I’m all for forcing the defense to make aggressive plays to get my aggressive runners… but there’s surely nothing worse than running yourself out of an inning for no reason other than trying to distract the pitcher.

  441. Raul Says:

    How do you get that bold typing?

    test

    Did that work?

  442. Raul Says:

    Eff yeah!

  443. Chuck Says:

    Major accomplishment there Raul, I’m very impressed.

    You figure out italics, and I’m gong to get you on Oprah.

  444. Hossrex Says:

    ¿sıɥʇ op noʎ op ʍoɥ ʇnq

  445. Chuck Says:

    I saw an article on another site about another questionable HOF candidate, and it reminded me of something I heard a then ML general manager say about steriods.

    The spike in performance is gradual, sometimes almost subtle. Most players who take steriods don’t do so to break homerun records or score $100 million dollar contracts.

    They do so to GET to the major leagues, or to add a few years to their careers so they can tier up on the pension plan, or to mask an injury.

    The dead giveaway on a steriod guy?

    The downward spiral after they stop.

    It’s always sudden and drastic.

    The article I read was about Andruw Jones. He went from 51 homers to 41 homers to the next year having to settle for a minor league invite to spring training on a ML minimum contract.

    Jones was a juicer. Guaranteed.

  446. Chuck Says:

    Ok, Rex, that’s just wrong.

  447. John Says:

    Ah hossrex… Its simply silly to box yourself into being some kind of 1-dimensional baseball fan. Of course, you’ve been both a 1-D statguy and a 1-D anti-statguy all in the last year or so.

    Its one big awesome game. Lots of sweet intricasies. Instead of boxing yourself into a set group of opinions on the game (moneyball and scoutball?), just love and observe and debate the game as you see it.

  448. John Says:

    Chuck,

    So I guess that’s what you’re saying about Bags? He collapsed right around the time testing started. He was hurt…but that could, of course, just be an excuse.

  449. Chuck Says:

    Pretty much John.

  450. Hossrex Says:

    1-D statguy, and a 1-D anti-statguy?

    …I’m not sure if John understands how dimensions work.

    Considering those are pretty much the only two choices… I’d prefer to think of it as multidimensional, taking the best from each schools of thought.

    As far as stolen bases go… I think teams maybe should run more. I don’t hate the running game, but watching Matty Kemp get tossed out so often this year running the bases is just demoralizing.

  451. Mike Felber Says:

    John meant going from 1D to another, not integrating the best of both. Whether that is overstated in another question.

    Raul I do not doubt that those basic training methods are adequate-except for the competing w/some who are doing more that adds value, whether cheating or not. For many increased strength can generate more bat speed/arm speed & mass behind a motion. Even if it is a small difference, unlike it would be in more contact sports, that can give a big competitive advantage.

    But Chuck, we can all site those who had precipitous advantages, from Sosa to Anderson. So then maybe it is more accurate to say that the PEDs, w/some weight training, give AT LEAST that subtle but very significant advantage (since in a very competitive market a small distinction makes a big difference. But there were many players who likely hit ~20% or more extra HRs per year, (with attendant increase in BB), right? If so, that is a HUGE advantage & corruption of the strategies & fair competition of the game.

  452. Mike Felber Says:

    Though a few claimed that performance suffered to w/PED usage, most have stolen more or less advantage from them.

  453. Raul Says:

    Yeah I think Andruw Jones was juicing, too.

    You know what really surprised me at the time, wasn’t Bonds or McGwire at first.

    When I saw the Oakland A’s and Randy Velarde was there, I’m like: Randy Velarde? Weren’t you splitting time with Pat Kelly?

    Well, Velarde and Benito Santiago…

  454. John Says:

    As in, Rex, you had a phase as one and are now going through another phase, this time as someone who hates numbers.

    Tough to just speculate on Jones but…yeah. Most likely. The Dodgers picked a crappy time (right after the Mitchell Report) to give him 36 M

  455. John Says:

    Hossrex: “As far as stolen bases go… I think teams maybe should run more. I don’t hate the running game, but watching Matty Kemp get tossed out so often this year running the bases is just demoralizing.”

    Kemp has more than enough speed to be a force on the basepaths. Stealing is as much getting a good jump as it is raw speed.

  456. Hossrex Says:

    John: “this time as someone who hates numbers.”

    Oh Jesus Christ…

    http://207.199.174.56/img/tjgBtGVNoR_okay-that-was-pretty-fucking-stupid.jpg

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