Third Annual Dugout Central Challenge — AL Predictions

by KerryWhisnant

A couple of weeks ago, Dugout Central staff and readers were challenged to predict win totals for all thirty MLB teams. A total of six entries were received. In this article the predictions for the AL are presented; for details about the contest rules, see the original article. There are two contests again this year, one for Average Win Difference and one for Root Mean Square Difference.

Defending champions Patrick Greco and I return, along with John Bowen, Chuck Johnson and Jon Ellis (Seven). There is one rookie contestant, Bob Owens.

Here are the predictions, by division, in alphabetical order. The Vegas Over/Under line, taken from BookMaker, is also shown.

AL East Bal Bos NYY Tam Tor
John Bowen 72 96 89 85 77
Jon Ellis (Seven) 72 92 90 92 85
Patrick Greco 80 92 93 88 78
Chuck Johnson 84 98 96 79 81
Bob Owens 85 100 70 90 81
Kerry Whisnant 80 91 93 87 72
Average 78.8 94.8 88.5 86.8 79.0
Over/Under 76.5 95.5 90.5 83.5 76.5

In the AL East the Red Sox and Yankees are favored by almost everyone – Jon had the

Rays beating out the Yankees, and Bob predicted a Yankees implosion. The biggest disagreement is therefore for the Yankees. Predictions for Boston are the most uniform, with only a 9 game spread.

AL Central ChW Cle Det KCR Min
John Bowen 90 68 87 67 92
Jon Ellis (Seven) 92 65 73 68 91
Patrick Greco 88 70 82 63 92
Chuck Johnson 81 66 83 75 85
Bob Owens 89 64 80 73 92
Kerry Whisnant 86 72 88 61 89
Average 87.7 67.5 82.2 67.8 90.2
Over/Under 85.5 71.5 84.5 69.5 85.5

Minnesota is favored by all but one to win the AL Central, although the White Sox are getting a fair amount of respect, and they were Jon’s choice to win the AL central. There is general agreement that the Indians and Royals will be bad, with the only uncertainty being how bad.

AL West Ana Oak Sea Tex
John Bowen 86 90 70 88
Jon Ellis (Seven) 84 87 65 85
Patrick Greco 78 84 72 93
Chuck Johnson 83 76 72 87
Bob Owens 79 90 70 85
Kerry Whisnant 75 88 69 88
Average 80.8 85.8 69.7 87.7
Over/Under 82.5 84.5 69.5 86.5

The A’s  and Rangers are favored by our group to be at the top of the AL West, with the group roughly split down the middle on who ends up winning the division — only Chuck does not see Oakland over .500. One of last year’s most disappointing teams, Seattle, convinced everyone that their futility will continue.

Although contestants were not asked explicitly to choose a wild card team, using the win totals we can see that Boston was the close favorite to win the AL wild card, although Tampa Bay, Chicago and the Yankees also were predicted by at least one person.

As a group, we were most optimistic about Minnesota, a full 4.7 games above the Vegas line, while we were the most pessimistic about Cleveland, predicting exactly 4 games less than the Vegas line. Maybe there’s a correlation there.

The NL predictions will be presented Tuesday.

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340 Responses to “Third Annual Dugout Central Challenge — AL Predictions”

  1. KerryWhisnant Says:

    If anyone sees a mistake in their predictions, let me know.

  2. Kerry Says:

    It’s way too early to get excited about the standings, but through yesterday’s games we’re all doing worse than the simple prediction of 81 wins for each team :-)

    Hopefully that will change as the season progresses.

  3. Bob Says:

    I am hoping to get at least one division correct and 1 team correct.

  4. Chuck Says:

    I know one team you won’t get correct…

  5. Chuck Says:

    I just tried to avoid the possibility of large variances.

    Two or three teams last year made the difference between first and last.

  6. Bob Says:

    Yeah, the Yankees will win 71 games.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Jair Jurgens and Evan Longoria both hit the DL today.

  8. Chuck Says:

    Wanna make things a little more interesting, Bob?

    I’ll give you five bucks for every game the Yankees are below .500.

    You give me ten for every game over.

    Deal?

  9. Bob Says:

    No deal. If it were 5-5 it might make more sense.

  10. Chuck Says:

    OK, works for me.

  11. Bob Says:

    Fine. If the Yanks go 81-81, it is a toss-up.

  12. John Says:

    On TBS, Dennis Eckersley was talking about the situation the Rangers were in when they acquired Beltre and Napoli. He then remarks about how Michael Young is a super utility man.

    Then he says that Michael Young has “handled it like a pro.”

    Fuck the heck? He demanded a trade. That’s the opposite of being a pro.

  13. Raul Says:

    I don’t think Michael Young was wrong to be upset that the Rangers are constantly asking him to change positions and take upon different roles.

  14. John Says:

    For 17 million, he should be willing to blow Nolan Ryan upon request.

  15. Raul Says:

    A Vietnamese farmer might say the same thing about you and your boss with the salary you’re making.

  16. John Says:

    I’ll bet Jimmy Scott was all over that.

  17. Raul Says:

    LOL

  18. Raul Says:

    Texas has hit 7 home runs in the first 2 games of the season against Boston.

    And they just hit 2 more today.
    It’s only the 4th inning.

  19. Cameron Says:

    The Royals are up 5-2 in the third… Fuck me.

  20. Raul Says:

    Bartolo Colon sucks.

  21. Cameron Says:

    Breaking news there, Raul. We’ve known that since ‘06.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Unless you know the story with Michael Young and his trade request, STFU.

    You’d do exactly what he did, and are a liar if you say otherwise.

  23. Chuck Says:

    Cameron..

    The cover of the new BA issue has a group photo of the nine Royals selected for the top 100 list.

    Pick up a copy, save your $$$, and come out next spring training and get it signed.

    You’d be the envy of every kid in your neighborhood.

    :)

    PS. Bartolo Colon sucks.

  24. Cameron Says:

    I’m with Michael Young. That makes 3 position changes in five years for the guy.

    Now there’s an interesting thought Chuck. To be fair, I could’ve gone to the park yesterday for the futures game the Royals were hosting as a 12 inning minor league showcase.

    Billy Butler just hit a ball that landed in the second or third level of the centerfield fountains. That’s about 450 feet dead center.

  25. Kerry Says:

    Chuck: “Two or three teams last year made the difference between first and last.”

    Well, that’s an overstatement.

    To be exact, Chuck was 98 wins behind Patrick and me last year. The three worst picks for Chuck (and most everyone else, for that matter), made up 41 of those wins. You have to go to the ten worst picks to explain the difference. (BTW, the three worst were Sea, SDP and Tor; the next seven were Hou, Min, Pit, SFG, ChC, Oak and Col.)

    But Chuck’s point is correct; making extreme predictions can be hazardous to your DC Challenge score. The reason is that some teams are going to do really well (say 100 wins) or really badly (say 60 losses), but most teams are not really that good or bad. Usually when it happens it’s due to a statistical fluctuation (luck, if you will).

  26. Cameron Says:

    You know… Looking at Alex Gordon, he looks different out there. Like he’s not trying as hard as he used to. Don’t get me wrong, he tried too hard last time. He just looks relaxed out there. he’s playing LF like he’s not even thinking about it and making good catches and looks comfortable at the plate for the first time I’ve ever seen him.

    Chuck, I may join your Gordon bandwagon eventually, but old habits die hard.

  27. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I am going to see Omaha in Reno in May. I’ll get most of the BA signed then!

  28. Cameron Says:

    And I know it’s only 4 games, but Frenchy looks relatively competent out there.

  29. John Says:

    “Unless you know the story with Michael Young and his trade request, STFU.
    You’d do exactly what he did, and are a liar if you say otherwise.”

    No.

    If I’m being paid 17 million dollars a year to play a fucking kids game AND am the captain of a team that just went to the World Series AND that team just acquired a historically good defensive player at my position then no.

    I don’t demand a trade, especially publicly.

    I switch positions to help the team. That’s what a good captain does.

  30. Kerry Says:

    I guess that makes Jeter a bad captain?

  31. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Kerry

  32. Kerry Says:

    If I hadn’t said it, someone else would have — I just got to it first :-)

  33. Raul Says:

    I think John’s issue is that because the Rangers are paying Michael Young X-number of dollars, Michael Young has nothing to complain about and no say in what he does or how he is used.

    I would argue that the dollar amount is irrelevant.
    The employee always should have a say in things.

  34. Cameron Says:

    True. At this point, Michael Young’s basically the Rangers’ abused housewife. It’s like a Lifetime movie, why does he stay with them?

  35. John Says:

    Remember who the Cardinals third baseman was before they acquired Scott Rolen?

  36. John Says:

    You’re right, the dollar amount is irrelevant.

    Michael Young has an obligation to his team to do whatever it takes to help them win.

    Which, to be fair, he is doing…after bitching about it.

  37. Chuck Says:

    You don’t get it, John.

    Jon Daniels told him to his face they weren’t going to sign Adrian Beltre, then turned around and signed him.

    Young found out when some writer called and asked how he would adapt to being the DH.

    It’s not that he’s pissed about BEING the DH, he’s pissed because the Rangers screwed him.

    If your boss promised you a promotion then turned around and gave it to someone else without telling you, you’d bitch about it too.

    Go ahead, try and convince me you wouldn’t.

  38. Cameron Says:

    “Remember who the Cardinals third baseman was before they acquired Scott Rolen?”

    I wanna say Scott Spiezieo. …Isn’t he in jail right now?

  39. John Says:

    Cameron,

    It was Albert Pujols.

  40. Cameron Says:

    If your boss promised you a promotion then turned around and gave it to someone else without telling you, you’d bitch about it too.

    I’ve only gad my job for 9 months and -THANK YOU WILSON – it’s already happened to me.

  41. Cameron Says:

    Oh yeah, the wind here in KC is enough to cause my car to swerve on the road, and it’s all blowing to the outfield at the ballpark, 27 combined hits toady.

  42. Chuck Says:

    “It was Albert Pujols.”

    It was actually Placido Polanco.

    Pujols played more games in the OF than at third before the Cards picked up Rolen.

  43. Chuck Says:

    And didn’t win a GG at either.

  44. Cameron Says:

    And call me kind of weird, but both Pujols and Young have bats big enough that even if it’s not their preferred position, they’ll muscle their way in the lineup in some fashion. Though I’d prefer Young at first over Moreland and have a DH-by-committee.

  45. John Says:

    Michael Young isn’t in the same zip code defensively as Andrus or Beltre.

  46. John Says:

    Well then.

    Chuck’s right.

  47. John Says:

    …about Polanco.

  48. Chuck Says:

    “Michael Young isn’t in the same zip code defensively as Andrus or Beltre.”

    Not the point.

  49. Raul Says:

    A 4-hit day for Alex Gordon, and a complete game shutout for Jaime Garcia.

    Garcia struck out 9 in a game that lasted 2:03.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Jeff Mathis was 0-6, adding insult to injury, the Royals were 6-6 on SB attempts.

  51. Chuck Says:

    Bobby Abreu was 5-5 with two walks, on base in all seven PA’s. He scored one run and drove in two.

    Alex Gordon was 4-6 with a walk, on base five times in seven PA’s. He scored four runs and drove in one.

    I’m pretty sure I know who Shaun would pick for who had the better game.

  52. Kerry Says:

    @49, yes, after a horrid spring for Garcia (except for the last game), it sure was nice to see him sharp today.

  53. Kerry Says:

    Hey Chuck, you’re now ahead in the DC Challenge, regardless of what happens in the last game tonight. Your new strategy may be paying off.

  54. John Says:

    Yeah, Alex Gordon was way better than Abreu at willing his friends to drive him home.

  55. Raul Says:

    I’m confused.

    You’re taking a shot at Alex Gordon because he scored runs?
    Or because someone behind him got RBI?

  56. John Says:

    No, I’m just saying Abreu had a better game.

  57. Raul Says:

    How?

  58. John Says:

    …In every possible way?

    Outs made: Abreu – 0, Gordon – 2
    TOB: Abreu – 7, Gordon – 5
    TB: Abreu – 8, Gordon – 5

  59. Raul Says:

    So if Player A had

    0 outs made
    TOB – 2 (2 walks)
    TB – 2 (2 walks)

    and Player B had

    3 outs made
    TOB 1
    TB – 1

    But Player B had the game winning hit….you still think Player A had the better game?

  60. Raul Says:

    I just want to be clear on your position.

    Because if…let’s say this October the World Series goes to 7 games.
    And supposing the Twins play the Reds and Joe Mauer goes 5-5 with 5 singles, but Brandon Phillips goes 1-5 with a game-winning/series-winning Grand Slam……you would still vote Joe Mauer as the Player of the Game.

    That’s your stance, correct?

  61. John Says:

    Not really. Coming up big in a clutch situation is worth lots of extra points in my book.

  62. John Says:

    If you calculate it out, Raul, Mauer was 0.18 WAR and Phillips was 0.23 WAR for that game.

    Just kidding.

  63. John Says:

    But ok…so is Matt Treanor the player of the game for today’s game?

  64. Raul Says:

    I think Matt Treanor and Alex Gordon make a stronger case than Bobby Abreu.

  65. John Says:

    Cuz their team won?

  66. Raul Says:

    Because they contributed more directly to the bottom line.

  67. John Says:

    I guess.

    Unless you swat a homerun, you’re going to rely on your teammates to either get on base ahead of you, or drive you in.

    That’s why I believe in evaluating players based on what’s within their control.

  68. Chuck Says:

    “That’s why I believe in evaluating players based on what’s within their control.”

    Baseball’s not an individual game, John, there are very few things which happen on the field which a player DOES control.

  69. John Says:

    I understand that.

    A player’s ability to reach base is (mostly) in his control. He can smash a hard-line drive at the SS or something, but you get the idea.

    Scoring runs is very much outside a player’s control unless he hits a HR. Baserunning plays a role but unless you plan on stealing 3 bases a lot, you’re gonna need your buddies to drive you home.

  70. Chuck Says:

    You look at the game a little to narrowly, John.

    Each player’s ultimate responsibility is to score. Obviously he has to get on base to do that, but a guy getting on base seven times with one run didn’t do as much to help his team win as the guy with five times on base and four runs.

  71. John Says:

    That’s just not true.

    All it comes down to is the guys hitting behind Gordon outperforming the guys who hit behind Abreu.

  72. Raul Says:

    So if I’m getting this straight, John thinks walks are better than runs.

  73. John Says:

    As a personal statistic? Yes.
    As a team statistic? No.

    Pretty simple.

  74. Raul Says:

    Unless of course, the guy who scored 4 runs, walked to get on base, and then stole every single base until he scored a run.

  75. John Says:

    Dude, you can control your ability to walk. You can’t control your ability to have your teammates to get hits.

    Is this really complicated for you people?

  76. Raul Says:

    John,

    Would you say that a walk is more the fault of the pitcher, or to the credit of the hitter?

  77. Raul Says:

    “Is this really complicatedfor you people?”

    Dude, I’m making you earn that $50 spot in banter you passed up with Chuck

    LOL jk

  78. John Says:

    Depends. Is this fucking little league? Because then it’s probably the fault of the pitcher.

    At the major league level, pitchers are trying to throw as few strikes as they can possibly get away with. It’s a credit to the batter.

  79. Raul Says:

    Why would a pitcher try to throw as few strikes as possible? I disagree with you there.

    Pitchers are trying to throw the most strikes as possible, they just are trying to keep them out of the middle of the plate. So you see guys picking at the corners or trying to get their pitches to start in the zone and break just out of it. It’s that nitpicking that leads to balls and leads to walks. At least, that’s why I believe walks are more the fault of the pitcher than the batter.

  80. John Says:

    Not “as few strikes as possible.”

    As few strikes as he can get away with.

    Most walks aren’t because of the pitcher being erratic, they’re because of the batter laying off pitches outside the zone that the pitcher is trying to get him to chase.

  81. Raul Says:

    Chicken or the egg.

  82. John Says:

    And of course you’ve got nibbling at the corners – but how on Earth is that not a credit to the batter? He’s got a split second to figure out if the ball is a hair off the plate or not.

  83. John Says:

    Guys who take a lot of balls force the pitcher to either

    1) Throw more strikes, which are easier to drive

    or

    2) Walk.

    Yes, Ichiro and Vlad are awesome. But they’re exceptions.

  84. Raul Says:

    So pitchers who typically walk few batters…..I suppose you’re saying Curt Schilling walked few batters, not because of his control, but because the batters didn’t take the pitches? Or because Curt Schilling didn’t try to go out of the zone as much as others?

    What about strikeouts?

  85. John Says:

    On a side note…

    I’m watching Parks + Rec right now (which Ken Tremendous writes for) and they’ve got a Fremulon thing in the final credits.

    Thought you’d enjoy that.

  86. John Says:

    I would say that Curt Schilling did a significantly better job than other pitchers at making balls look like strikes.

  87. Raul Says:

    He needs to write David Eckstein into a show.

  88. John Says:

    LOL

    “I was a major league baseball player!”
    “Sure you were, sport. Wanna go play in the park?”

  89. Chuck Says:

    “Dude, you can control your ability to walk.”

    No, you can’t. At least not entirely.

    The guy standing behind the catcher wearing the blue suit decides balls and strikes, not the hitter, and not the pitcher.

    Some guys are better at recognizing pitches earlier than others and that gives them an advantage, but even Tony Gwynn or Ted Williams or Albert Pujols takes a third strike now and then.

  90. John Says:

    I know that Chuck.

    I also know that you can rip the seems off a ball, and have it go right at a fielder. I know that you can hit a weak popup and it can land in the middle of three fielders and go for a hit. But players who are good at hitting line drives increase their chances of helping their teams. Same with players who take a lot of balls.

    You have WAY more ability to control your ability to lay off balls outside the zone than you have control over how your teammates hit when you’re on base. That’s just common sense.

  91. Cameron Says:

    Here’s what I say. Abreu had the better personal game, Gordon meant more to the team. Gordon helped the team to win more than Abreu did while Bobby was getting his personal numbers up.

    Ah well, the Royals showed better teamwork than LA and that’s what matters. It was really cool to see Treanor work because Maicer Izturis had a 3 or 4 step lead and tried to steal second and Matty threw him out by a country mile. I don’t think he even went to his knees to do it.

  92. John Says:

    If Vernon Wells hits four honeruns, does that mean that Abreu played better?

  93. Cameron Says:

    …Fuck that, if you hit 4 home runs, you hit 4 home runs. Abreu got on base seven times, but he didn’t come across or push anyone through that often. If all you do is hit 4 home runs, you’re helping the team way more than if drew 15 walks in a game and didn’t go across once.

    If you hit .300 and it’s all singles, it’s an empty .300. If you have a .400 OBP and don’t get across, it’s an empty .400.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Interesting. It seems that the Brewers like Carlos Gomez more as the starting CF than Nyjer Morgan. If you were in Ron Roenicke’s shoes, who would you start?

    For me, the decision’s simple. Carlos Gomez is a career .245 hitter who doesn’t walk and Nyjer Morgan’s a career .285 hitter who… Well, still doesn’t walk a lot.

    Neither guy has any patience, but at least Morgan puts the ball on the field more than 25% of the time.

  95. Cameron Says:

    Actually, I guess I had sleep-induced poor vision. As a .285 hitter, he makes base at a .345 clip. He gets on base, puts the ball in play, and can run like the wind.

    …Guy has no pop and is a total head case, but at least he doesn’t suck. *glares at GoGo Gomez*. Ah well, at least he’s not Willy Taveras. The dude had NO bat whatsoever.

  96. John Says:

    GoGo has better power, more speed, and plays far better defense though.

    My question had nothing to do with Abreu being better than Wells.

    If Abreu had had exactly the same game yesterday, except instead of going 1-7, Vernon Wells cranks 4 homeruns, does that mean Abreu’s performance was somehow elevated?

    Explain to me how the hell that makes sense.

  97. Bob Says:

    Jeff Suppan signed with the Royals.

  98. Cameron Says:

    Bob, why you gotta break balls?

    And John, here’s some career comparisons I noted between GoGo and Nyjer.

    Carlos Gomez
    -
    Plate Appearances: 1,433
    Batting Average: .245
    On-Base Percentage: .293
    Slugging Percentage: .349
    Home Runs: 18
    Stolen Bases: 78
    Caught Stealing: 24
    Base on Balls: 73

    Plate Appearances: 1,405
    Batting Average: .283
    On-Base Percentage: .345
    Slugging Percentage: .360
    Home Runs: 4
    Stolen Bases: 92
    Caught Stealing: 42
    Base on Balls: 99

    Neither of them ever walk. Power’s a wash really (more homers for Gomez, more slugging from Nyjer) and a wash in speed (more SB, but caught more). I’ll give Gogo Gomez the defense argument, but…

    Look at Milwaukee. Who else can bat leadoff for that team? Rickie Weeks and that’s it, pretty much. There’s no other real burner there at the top of the order, no one to get on. I think I could take the slight hit in defense to get a guy who’s on base that much more than your current option. You still get the same power and speed, but this guy can actually put the ball in play every now and then.

  99. John Says:

    At least you’re not giving Suppan 40 million dollars…

    Ideally, Corey Hart wouldn’t be injured and he could hit second.

    I dunno, I can’t stand GoGo, but Morgan isn’t really any better. I mean, he was about to get cut from the Nats. That should tell you something.

  100. Raul Says:

    A .293 OBP is pathetic.
    A .345 OBP is, I’m guessing, the league average.

    Gomez was terrible in Minnesota. In his defense, he was just 22 years old at the time. Sure, he doesn’t really project to ever slug .475 but he’s hitting what should be his prime years and if he can somehow develop into a .270/.330/.425 guy with steals and his defense, I think the Brewers will live with that for now.

    Morgan, has been better in some aspects, but maybe the Brewers figure Gomez has youth on his side and might get better. Whereas Morgan is already 30 and you know what he is.

    At the end of the day, you’re stuck choosing between a bike and a scooter.

  101. Cameron Says:

    He has youth on his side, but when I see Gomez, I see Willy Taveras with a better bat. If Milwaukee’s in a win-now season (and they are), they can’t afford to start a guy with that kind of offense in your #1 slot. Hart would be good in the two hole, but with his power I’d rather him cleaning up for Prince and Braun.

  102. Cameron Says:

    The funny thing is, I think for the long haul, Gomez is the better choice.

    For this year, with Milwaukee in “October or Bust” mode, I’d let Morgan start.

  103. Cameron Says:

    Oh, and should I get a new Gravatar? I’ve been using Yogi for a while.

  104. John Says:

    Gomez isn’t in the #1 slot, Weeks is. And Gomez is only in the 2-hole until Corey Hart comes back.

  105. Raul Says:

    Who ya got tonight?
    Connecticut or Butler?

  106. John Says:

    Oh. I dunno. I’ll say UConn for Chuck, even though I’m a midwesterner at heart.

  107. Cameron Says:

    I’m just saying what I’d do if I was Roenicke. I’d have Morgan leading off, then let the sluggers drive him (and each other) in.

    …And batting Corey Hart in the 2 hole is about the same as Morgan, nearly identical batting average and OBP. With Morgan’s speed though, I’d rather have him at the top of the order and slot Hart fifth.

  108. Chuck Says:

    “Interesting. It seems that the Brewers like Carlos Gomez more as the starting CF than Nyjer Morgan.”

    If I was Roenicke, I’d punch Doug Melvin in the face for ACQUIRING Nyjer Morgan.

    “Who ya got tonight? Connecticut or Butler?”

    Duh.

  109. Raul Says:

    Texas hit 11 homers in that series against Boston. That leads the Majors.

    Kansas City leads the Majors with 9 steals.

    The Cubs, Angels and Dodgers lead the Majors with 32 team strikeouts thus far.
    Kansas City sits 4th with 28. Guess they don’t miss Greinke. Well, for a weekend anyway.

    Who leads the Majors in Team ERA? The Baltimore Orioles with 1.00.

  110. John Says:

    Corey Hart is actually very fast.

    His SB totals don’t show it because we had Macha The Team Killer as our manager and we never ran the last couple years, but he can run.

    “If I was Roenicke, I’d punch Doug Melvin in the face for ACQUIRING Nyjer Morgan.”

    Ding Ding! Me and Chuck agree on something!

  111. Chuck Says:

    All of the so-called experts I’ve been listening to the last two days are using Connecticut’s “fatigue” as a reason to pick Butler.

    No one is saying anything about Butler being a better team.

    Which they aren’t.

    What UCONN did in winning the Big East is unprecedented, winning five games in five days, the last four against teams ranked in the top 17 in the country.

    THAT was an excuse or reason to be gassed.

    And they did have a legitimate reason for a let-down coming into the tournament.

    But if they did let-down, or if they were gassed, don’t you think they would have lost already?

    And it’s not just the games..they went from Washington DC to Anaheim to Houston.

    I think if UCONN did have a flat game, it was against Kentucky, they were up by double digits most of the first half and struggled to win.

    I think they’re focused on winning a title no one expected them to win.

    They realize that there is 40 more minutes of basketball left to play for the season, then they can all sleep for six months.

    I think they realize Butler isn’t even close to the best team they’ve played this year.

    I think UCONN is going to win…and I don’t think it’s going to be close. I haven’t seen a point spread yet, but whatever it is, they will cover it.

  112. Kerry Says:

    Good point Chuck, you’d think that if they were going to hit a wall, it would’ve happened already. They’re young — we’d be dead by now, but they’ll be OK.

    I think UConn is a 3.5 point favorite.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Sportsbook.com has UConn a 3.5 point favorite…that was as of yesterday.

  114. Raul Says:

    I think Kemba Walker is a hell of a college player. But I don’t think he’ll be that good in the NBA. They list him at 6′1. He’s more like 5′10.

    Anyway, I think UConn will win tonight.

    The other day I saw both ESPN’s documentary on the Michigan Fab Five and the HBO documentary on the UNLV Runnin Rebels. Both were pretty good. The Michigan one was much, much better.

    When UNLV beat Duke in 1990, I believe it was (and probably remains) the largest margin of victory in a Final ever — 103-73.

  115. John Says:

    I saw ESPN Classic’s top 5 reasons you can’t blame Chris Weber for taking the timeout he didn’t have.

    The last reason was pretty funny.

    It never happened.

  116. Chuck Says:

    “If Abreu had had exactly the same game yesterday, except instead of going 1-7, Vernon Wells cranks 4 homeruns, does that mean Abreu’s performance was somehow elevated?

    Explain to me how the hell that makes sense.”

    Is that a trick question? Maybe a late April fool’s joke?

    The point of winning baseball games is to score runs. HOW you score them is irrelevant.

    I see your point John, Abreu reached base seven for seven, Gordon was five for seven.

    But that’s not how things work.

    Alex Gordon is responsible for the runs he scored, because he couldn’t score them unless he reached base.

    The events are connected, like a four piece puzzle.

    Did he need help to score them?

    Absolutely. That’s not even up for debate.

    Each at bat in a game, from the first to the last, is like a chain. Each player’s responsibility is in part determined by the one’s in front and the one’s behind.

    Gordon reached base five times and scored four runs.

    Abreu reached seven times and scored one.

    The guys in the lineup behind Gordon did their jobs better than the guys behind Abreu, but they’re all connected. The guys behind Gordon could have done EXACTLY the same things without Gordon on base, and guess what?

    The Royals would have lost.

    Who did more to help his team win?

    It wasn’t Abreu.

  117. Chuck Says:

    “I think Kemba Walker is a hell of a college player. But I don’t think he’ll be that good in the NBA. They list him at 6′1. He’s more like 5′10.”

    Raul, pick up, Allen Iverson on line one.

  118. John Says:

    The guys behind Gordon could have performed exactly as well as the guys hitting behind Abreu, and Gordon wouldn’t have scored as many runs.

    That wouldn’t change *his performance* in the slightest.

    Just like Felix Hernandez wasn’t a worse pitcher than Jon Lester even though he had way fewer wins.

  119. John Says:

    Allen Iverson might be the most overrated basketball player of all-time.

  120. Chuck Says:

    “Allen Iverson might be the most overrated basketball player of all-time.”

    I agree..but when he came out, no one thought he’d have a career in the NBA either.

    And he’s probably going to end up as the most overrated Hall of Famer.

    Next to Scottie Pippen, of course.

  121. John Says:

    Scoring runs and winning games is a TEAM accomplishment.

    Individual players have precious little control over what their teammates do. Now, some guys like Rickey Henderson were so disruptive on the basepaths that they probably helped their teammates hit better, but for the most part, all a player has any control over is what he does.

    Have Abreu and Gordon switch places. Abreu scores 4-6 runs, Gordon scores like 1, and the Angels win the ballgame.

  122. Chuck Says:

    “The guys behind Gordon could have performed exactly as well as the guys hitting behind Abreu, and Gordon wouldn’t have scored as many runs. ”

    Is that a challenge?

  123. Chuck Says:

    “Have Abreu and Gordon switch places. Abreu scores 4-6 runs, Gordon scores like 1, and the Angels win the ballgame.”

    And Abreu would have done more to help his team win.

    Which is kind of this whole thread, right?

    Gordon did more to help his team win because his team scored more runs, you know, BECAUSE of him.

    Not in spite of him.

    Pick up, John, Dr. Phil on line one.

  124. John Says:

    That makes no sense.

    Two 4×800 relay teams:

    I run my leg in 2 minutes. You run your leg in 3 minutes. But the guys on my relay team are John Kruk, Bob Hamelin, and Bartolo Colon. The guys on your relay team are olympic distance runners, so your team wins.

    Did you run a better leg than me?

  125. Chuck Says:

    “Did you run a better leg than me?”

    Who cares.

    My medal is gold and yours is silver.

  126. John Says:

    which is a ridiculous way of comparing us individually

  127. Raul Says:

    Allen Iverson was a talented scorer.
    I wouldn’t say he was a great player.

    For Kemba Walker to have a successful NBA career, he’ll need to learn to shoot (something he isn’t good at right now) and pass the ball very well.

    This isn’t a guy that’s going to score 24 pts per game in the NBA.
    At best, he could be a 10pts, 5 assists guy off the bench…say, 20-25 minutes per game.

    I’m not saying the kid sucks. But let’s face it: a lot of college guys are good at getting to the basket. In the NBA, however, you need to be able to shoot the ball. And if you can’t shoot very well, you better have great vision. That, or play great defense. So my bet is that Walker ends up a role player off the bench. But I’ve been wrong before. Right, Kevin Love?

  128. Chuck Says:

    So, Raul…ALL Jimmer Fredette can do is shoot, so you think he’s going to be a good NBA player?

  129. Chuck Says:

    “which is a ridiculous way of comparing us individually”

    We’re not talking individually, we’re talking who did more to help his team win.

    You just have a different idea on “who had the better game.”

    Fair enough.

  130. Chuck Says:

    Walker shoots 43% for the year, but a third of his attempts are three pointers, and obviously his percentage on those is below 30%.

    In the NBA, he won’t be required to shoot as much, meaning he’ll take better shots.

    So his percentage will go up without him changing anything.

    All Fredette does is shoot. He’s slow, he couldn’t guard a parked car, won’t go inside.

    In the NBA, he WON’T get as many shot attempts, meaning to have value, he’ll have to learn to do other things to stay in the league.

    Adam Morrison, Ryan Leaf, Chris Couch.

    The unemployment lines are full of college stars.

    I’m not at all saying Kemba’s going to be the next Derrick Rose, but his skills give hime at least a chance.

  131. John Says:

    Well Chuck.

    I’d rather go 0-4, reach on an error and score the winning run than go 4-4 with 4 grand slams and have my team lose.

    Any day of the week.

    And twice on Sundays.

  132. Raul Says:

    Being able to shoot is a big in the NBA.
    But you have to be able to create your own shot.

    That’s the difference between guys like Reggie Miller/Ray Allen and guys like Rashad McCants/JJ Reddick.

  133. Raul Says:

    *is a big plus in the NBA.

  134. brautigan Says:

    John: If you go 4 for 4 with 4 grand slams and your team loses, it really doesn’t matter what you do. Your team is going to suck big time so you might as well put up as many pretty numbers you can anyway. Besides, stat heads will love you more than they will the oh for 4 guy anyday of the week.

  135. Raul Says:

    White people rejoice!

    The NBA elected Chris Mullin and not your Vydas, not my Vydas, but Arvydas Sabonis to the Hall of Fame.

  136. Raul Says:

    ESPN ranks the Yankees #1 in their first Power Rankings of the season.

    The Yankees are 2-1 with a miniscule 5.67 team ERA.

  137. Chuck Says:

    Uh oh…wait til Mike reads that.

    Sabonis was a beast.

    If he had been in the NBA since day one, damn..

    Although the biggest injustice of any HOF is Artis Gilmore.

  138. Raul Says:

    I’m just loving the start of my fantasy season.

    Currently hurt or on the DL:

    Evan Longoria
    Cory Hart
    Mike Stanton
    JA Happ
    Andrew McCutchen
    Brandon Morrow

    Yovani Gallardo got screwed out of a win.
    Daniel Bard got me negative points.
    Somehow Ian Kennedy out-pitched Ubaldo Jimenez, then the Diamondbacks bullpen blew that win for me.

    It’s a friggin miracle that I’m even leading this week (yeah, these morons decided to do a head-to-head league) 124-103.

    If it wasn’t for Roy Oswalt, Starlin Castro and Carlos Santana I’d have nothing.

  139. Raul Says:

    Artis Gilmore got in today, Chuck.

  140. Chuck Says:

    That’s awesome.

  141. Raul Says:

    Artis Gilmore was listed on his Basketball Reference page as 7′2 and 240 lbs.

    Pablo Sandoval just lost 40 pounds to come in this season at 5′11 and 240 lbs.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Dennis Rodman is in the HOF?

    Jesus Christ…

  143. Bob Says:

    Fuck yes

  144. Cameron Says:

    “The Yankees are 2-1 with a miniscule 5.67 team ERA.”

    That ERA is as “miniscule” as Bartolo Colon’s dress size.

  145. Cameron Says:

    So, the Royals have an off-day. Let’s take a step back and see how the Royals did for the first series.

    Record: 3-1
    Runs Scored: 21 (12 in yesterday’s game)
    Runs Allowed: 18 (9 in yesterday’s game)

    Key Highlights

    Pitching

    -Matt Treanor tied the game two days ago with a RF single, won with a walk-off 3 run homer yesterday.
    -Aaron Crow struck out 4 in his debut 1.2 innings, was scoreless for the series.
    -Tim Collins struck out 6 in 4 innings, allowing no runs.
    -All 3 wins are credited to relief pitchers (Crow, Collins, Soria)
    -Jeff Francis allowed only 1 earned run in 7 innings.

    Hitting

    -Alex Gordon is hitting .316 (leading the team) with 4 runs scored and 2 doubles.
    -Two of the three wins were walk-off homers (Kila Ka’aihue and Matt Treanor).
    -The Royals have stolen 9 bases (1 each for Escobar, Francouer, Cabrera, Betemit, and Getz, 2 for Aviles and Dyson).
    -Jeff Francouer leads the team with 4 RBI, 9 TB, and 1 homer (while making outfield assists look easy).

    The starting pitching has me legitimately worried, but moving Aaron Crow to the rotation midseason and bringing in Vin Mazzaro from Omaha will help cushion the blow. The next series is against the Mariners, so I can really see the pitching at work here.

  146. John Says:

    Brautigan,

    I’d love me more too. Because I’d be a better individual player.

  147. Cameron Says:

    John, you know who’ll really love you? Scott Boras and the Steinbrenners.

  148. Raul Says:

    Derek Jeter is now hitting 2-14 on the season (.143).
    It’s early in the season, but I’d start Eduardo Nunez right now, LOL.

  149. John Says:

    How’s Nunez’s range? More than 1 step in either direction?

  150. Raul Says:

    hahaha @ John

    Yeah, something like that

  151. Raul Says:

    Justin Smoak started his season with some doubles and he’s hitting .455 as of his last at-bat today.

  152. Raul Says:

    Baltimore is 4-0.

    Last season, Baltimore won their 4th game of the season on April 27th. It brought them to 4-16 at the time.

  153. Cameron Says:

    Showalter is a bad manager, but he’d brought a new energy to the club. Long as he deosn’t try to to overmanage things and just keep the guys happy like he did last year, the rest takes care of itself.

  154. John Says:

    Why is Showalter so bad exactly?

  155. Raul Says:

    I think the Yankees felt like the Twins were starting to come around on Ivan Nova because they took him out after 6 innings and only 83 pitches.

    They brought in Chamberlain for the 7th and Soriano for the 8th, and they did just fine.

    I’m not really questioning the move considering Nova’s youth and because I’ve seen him fall apart last year the 3rd and 4th times through the line-up. But I wonder if or when Girardi will cut him loose.

  156. Cameron Says:

    Just a bad tendency to overmanage games and questionable personnel choices. If he lets the players take care of things, he’s not that bad.

  157. Raul Says:

    At first I thought it was disgraceful, but now I’m just laughing hysterically every time Butler misses a shot.

  158. Chuck Says:

    UConn blew two nine different nine point leads to Arizona and a 12 point lead to Kentucky in a combined total of eight minutes, so, while I’m breathing easier now than I was a half hour ago, the fat lady ain’t singin’ yet.

  159. Chuck Says:

    “UConn blew two nine different nine point leads ”

    Duh.

    Two different nine point leads.

  160. Raul Says:

    Happens to me all the time, Chuck.

    I start typing something, watch tv or read something else on another tab…come back to finish my thought and make a typo or something.

  161. Chuck Says:

    While I’m not complaining, for a team down by 13, Butler sure is using the whole shot clock.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Wow, that was an interesting little tidbit.

    Lowest FG percentage in NCAA history for a championship game.

    I guess they don’t play defense in the mid-west, huh?

  163. Raul Says:

    What a story for UConn

  164. brautigan Says:

    Worst NCAA championship game ever. Just ugly. No one earned the title.

  165. Chuck Says:

    FUCK YEAH, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  166. Cameron Says:

    KU wasn’t in it, didn’t care.

  167. Cameron Says:

    Carlos Gonzalez is attempting a 40/40 season this year. Gotta give credit to the kid for setting the bar high.

  168. Chuck Says:

    “No one earned the title.”

    UConn did…they scored more points.

  169. Raul Says:

    This is Jim Calhoun’s 3rd Championship.

    I thought he had more.

    While Calhoun might not get the same recognition as some other coaches, his 3 titles are pretty impressive.

    Mike Krzyzewski has 4 titles.
    Bob Knight had 3.
    Adolph Rupp had 4.
    John Wooden had 10.

    As best I can tell, those are the only coaches who have as many or more championships than Jim Calhoun.

  170. Raul Says:

    Pittsburgh is 3-1, taking 2 from the Cubs and the series opener with St. Louis.

    How awesome a story would it be if the Pirates could stay in the race until August?

    I know, it’s just 4 lousy games, but I can dream!
    LOL

  171. John Says:

    Yeah.

    The fact that the Sox are winless, and the Royals, O’s, and Pirates are raking makes me feel less bad about the Brewers.

  172. John Says:

    About Carlos Gonzalez going for 40-40…

    Is he really going to be running a lot with Troy Tulowitzki hitting behind him?

  173. Bob Says:

    Chuck, congrats to UConn. By the way, have you evre been to Electric Blue?

  174. John Says:

    Just heard this on ESPN about tonight’s NCAA Women’s final (which I’m sure you’ll all be glued to your tvs for): This is a real David vs. David story. Then they show the seedings. Both teams vying for the title are #2 seeds.

    Now, call me a sexist, but I haven’t exactly watched a ton of NCAA Women’s basketball this year. But, I’m pretty that two #2 seeds does not constitute a David vs. David story.

  175. John Says:

    Nelson Cruz hit his 4th HR already yesterday.

    saft 3p#eH2TGF JWEOI;J FTO2;W T3HQAH IOTF;JEWI;

    Sorry, another stroke. The Brewers definitely traded him for Francisco Cordero. Fuck.

  176. Raul Says:

    Congratulations to Notre Dame and Texas A&M.

    It was a shock that the UConn women lost. And while I’m on the UConn women..I feel those teams don’t get enough mention for how dominant they were.

    Next to the UCLA Men of the 70s, the UConn women might be the most dominant teams ever….regardless of sport.

  177. Chuck Says:

    “By the way, have you evre been to Electric Blue?”

    No, what is it?

  178. Chuck Says:

    “And while I’m on the UConn women.”

    You wish.

    :)

  179. Raul Says:

    Well played.

  180. Cameron Says:

    “About Carlos Gonzalez going for 40-40…

    Is he really going to be running a lot with Troy Tulowitzki hitting behind him?”

    John, that’s the funny thing. The interview I read about that in said that Carlos didn’t run so much at the end of the year because of Troy’s giant HR streak. If Tulo’s power goes back down to normal, I think CarGo will start running again.

  181. Cameron Says:

    “Nelson Cruz hit his 4th HR already yesterday.

    saft 3p#eH2TGF JWEOI;J FTO2;W T3HQAH IOTF;JEWI;

    Sorry, another stroke. The Brewers definitely traded him for Francisco Cordero. Fuck.”

    And a 29 year-old Carlos Lee, don’t forget that.

  182. Chuck Says:

    Gonzalez won’t be a 30/30.

  183. Cameron Says:

    In what aspect, power or speed? He was 34/26 last season. I wouldn’t call 30/30 a stretch. 40/40, yes, but not 30/30.

  184. Bob Says:

    The Electric Blue is a strip joint in Tolland. Exit 68 on 84, same as UConn.

  185. Chuck Says:

    I live in Phoenix, Bob.

  186. Bob Says:

    I know. But you went to UConn. The Blue is about 4-5 miles away from Storrs. Not sure when it opened however.

  187. Chuck Says:

    Neither, Cam.

    Coors Field effect.

    Gonzo’s good.

    He’s not THAT good.

  188. Chuck Says:

    I moved to Phoenix in ‘92.

  189. Cameron Says:

    I’ll admit that the Coors Field Effect is at play with Gonzo, but I also think he’s a legitimate enough talent to go 30/30. He’s only 25, he hasn’t hit his peak yet. He’ll develop, he will get better. If not next year, he’ll develop the talent to be a true force.

    Most guys hit their physical peak around 28 in this game. To see him last year, at age 24 with those numbers is real promising.

  190. John Says:

    We traded Cruz with Lee…at leaat we also got future HOFer laynce nix.

  191. Cameron Says:

    Where is Nix again, Louisville?

  192. Chuck Says:

    “Where is Nix again, Louisville?”

    Fourth OF in Washington.

  193. Cameron Says:

    Oh, a worse fate. Pity.

  194. John Says:

    What a stupid way to spell lance.

  195. Raul Says:

    Tyler Colvin got the start today and hit a homer.
    Also, Starlin Castro is pretty good.

    Two Questions for you guys:

    1. Over/Under – .270: Derek Jeter’s batting average in 2011.
    2. Will anyone have a 30-game hit streak this season?

  196. Raul Says:

    Let’s see what happens in Arizona this year.

    Word is that Mark Reynolds was traded because of his strikeouts and that Justin Upton was told to cut down on his.

    Upton struck out 15 times in 24 Spring Training games (71 ABs). Let’s see how he does. he currently has 2 strikeouts on the season.

  197. Raul Says:

    Just read that Starlin Castro would have had another RBI but Fukublowme got thrown out at home.

    Bob Saget!

  198. Cameron Says:

    “1. Over/Under – .270: Derek Jeter’s batting average in 2011.
    2. Will anyone have a 30-game hit streak this season?”

    1 – I’ll probably be the only guy to say this, but I’m going over. Jeter doesn’t have the defense he did when he was 25… Or 30… Or 35… But his bat hasn’t slowed down that much, he can still make great contact. He’s not an elite shortstop anymore, but still one of the best offensively there.

    2 – No, but that’s purely an instinctive decision.

  199. Cameron Says:

    Raul, according to my math, he’d have 101 strikeouts (rounding down) at the end of the season. Kirk Gibson says the team high will be 150 (if that) this season, so Justin’s trying to make good on that. Let’s hope.

    Though if I was a pitcher in the NL West, I’d be a devious bastard and see if he’s trying hard not to swing at everything and feed him a ball down the middle (well, middle-out or middle-in, don’t wanna get too burned if I’m wrong) just to see if he’ll take it looking and fuck with him for the season. If it works, you’ve got some nice strikeout padding.

  200. Chuck Says:

    “Two Questions for you guys:

    1. Over/Under – .270: Derek Jeter’s batting average in 2011.

    Over

    2. Will anyone have a 30-game hit streak this season?

    No

    “Tyler Colvin got the start today and hit a homer”

    At first base, no less.

    “Word is that Mark Reynolds was traded because of his strikeouts and that Justin Upton was told to cut down on his.”

    That would be true, although Reynold’s overall attitude played a part.

  201. Chuck Says:

    I don’t know which is more surprising, that Fernando Rodney lost his job as closer after a week, or the Angels actually giving it to him in the first place.

  202. Cameron Says:

    Who took the job, Jepsen or Walden?

  203. Chuck Says:

    Walden

  204. Raul Says:

    Manny Ramirez is, of this moment, currently hitting .067 on the season.
    1-15 with 7 strikeouts.

  205. Raul Says:

    Excuse me, 4 strikeouts.

  206. Raul Says:

    Well Mark Teixeira must think it’s July or something because he just hit his 4th homer of the year.

  207. Raul Says:

    Wow, the Mets really crushed Cole Hamels today.

    That has to feel good for them

  208. Raul Says:

    What the hell? Texas made Alexi Ogando a starter but Neftali Feliz is closing?

    How does that make sense?

  209. Cameron Says:

    Alexi’s not as good a pitcher as Feliz and they wanted the surer thing at the end of the game? I dunno, I probably would’ve done the same thing given the choice. I forgot, is Matt Harrison in the rotation or not? I’d rather have an actual starter in there instead.

    And my god, Luke Hochevar is just awful so far. I pray for a turnaround.

  210. Raul Says:

    What good is the end of the friggin game if your starter sucks?
    I’m not saying Ogando sucks, but he’s never started. At any level. Ever.

    I’d rather start Feliz.
    What’s this crap about “closer material” anyway?

    For goodness sakes, Kevin Gregg was a closer!

  211. Raul Says:

    Home run for Alex Gordon?

    I’m loving that I picked him up in my fantasy league.

  212. Cameron Says:

    The thing about good bullpens is that a lot of people see them as a luxury. When you have a good rotation or a good offense, it is. When your rotation is as questionable as Texas’, you’ll need a good stopper at the end and you best pitcher period goes there.

    Look at Kansas City. Without Joakim Soria, we’d look like the 1962 Mets the last few years. Proven closers are sought after because they keep leads from being blown and there’s really not any other option outside of Feliz in terms of keeping that lead now that Frank Francisco’s gone. Not saying you need to pay closers millions of dollars, but you use your best reliever to shut games down and, well… Everyone else sucks. Feliz would do better in the rotation but there’s no other option there except possibly Arthur Rhodes, a 42 year old man who’s just about done with baseball. Texas made the right call here.

  213. Chuck Says:

    “Home run for Alex Gordon, I’m loving that I picked him up in my fantasy league.”

    I get 10% of your winnings.

  214. Raul Says:

    I don’t think anyone could convince me that Alexi Ogando would be considerably worse than Neftali Feliz at closing. Especially considering the closer pitches 1 inning, in a limited “save” situation.

    Alexi Ogando will lose more games for the Texas Rangers as a starter this year than he would as a closer.

  215. Raul Says:

    Not a terrible start for Josh Beckett, but a bad one. I mean, you’re losing to the Cleveland Indians.

  216. Chuck Says:

    “Alexi Ogando will lose more games for the Texas Rangers as a starter this year than he would as a closer.”

    The question really becomes would Alexi Ogando lose more games with Feliz behind him than Feliz would lose with Ogando behind him.

  217. Raul Says:

    By the way,

    If the Yankees are convinced that Sabathia is going to opt out, they better ride him like hell this season (like Milwaukee did).

    Good start today.
    7 innings
    2 hits
    1 walk
    6 strikeouts
    0 runs
    104 pitches

  218. brautigan Says:

    Raul: Ogando is only going to be starting 2 or 3 games, at least until Hunter comes back. It is just a temporary situation. And Cameron, Harrison was going to go to AAA until the injuries to Hunter, Feldman and Webb. He pitched yesterday and did well, giving up only 1 run.

  219. Raul Says:

    I think Ogando will lose games either before the bullpen or Feliz get to the mound.

    Do the Rangers really think Feliz would go 7 innings and Ogando would give up 3-run homers 10 times this season in the 9th? Get real.

  220. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I won’t argue that Ogando is a worse closer than Feliz. …I’ll argue he’s a worse pitcher. They’re not looking to have Ogando go seven innings each game, they’re just using him as a warm body in the rotation and most of the mileage is taken care of by the bullpen there. Alexi’s being used as a long reliever in the first inning pretty much. For the one year situation, keep your best guy in the bullpen and protect that lead as much as you can.

  221. Jim Says:

    Manny has company in the 0.067 club, Shin-Soo Choo.

  222. Cameron Says:

    Ah, there we go. That may be the reason that Ogando’s a starter as well, they kind of have to start him. He’s not that high on the SP depth chart. When healthy, here’s your rotation.

    Wilson
    Lewis
    Holland
    Webb
    Feldman
    (Harrison)
    (Ogando)

    And Ogando’s not that bad a pitcher. Sub-2 ERA after being converted from the OF? There’s some talent there, but not enough for me to say “You’re finishing my games”. A closer for me is a guy you go to for shutdowns. Arthur Rhodes can’t get that much mileage or pitch every day, Feliz has the kind of stamina to where you could ask 162 saves if you give him the opportunity. He’s a closer as a creature of necessity. Everyone else in that bullpen’s gonna blow your lead.

  223. Raul Says:

    How awesome would it be if Shin Soo Choo fell off the map this year like the other SABR poster boys of the last 2 years….Chone Figgins and Ben Zobrist.

    I know that comment makes me a jerk, but LOL

  224. Cameron Says:

    My bad…

    Wilson
    Lewis
    Holland
    Webb
    Feldman
    (Hunter)
    (Harrison)
    (Ogando)

  225. Cameron Says:

    I wouldn’t say that, Choo’s had multi-year success and consistency. It’s not a fluke year, he’s pretty much always been this good. And from a traditional scouting standpoint, he’s a good player, too. Not best in the AL good, but he’s not an overglorified position player (I’m looking at you Zobrist).

  226. Chuck Says:

    “How awesome would it be if Shin Soo Choo fell off the map this year like the other SABR poster boys of the last 2 years….Chone Figgins and Ben Zobrist.”

    Happens every year.

    Sabermetrics has more one hit wonders than the ’80’s.

  227. Raul Says:

    Well, Rafael Soriano blew that lead

  228. John Says:

    “Sabermetrics has more one hit wonders than the ’80’s.”

    So, ok. No player has ever had one really big season using traditional metrics. Ever? Brady Anderson anyone? Darrin Erstad?

    The season is 5 games old. Choo’s going to be fine. He’s good at everything.

  229. Raul Says:

    I’ve seen Choo play. He’s a nice player. He’s not “good at everything”.

  230. Raul Says:

    On May 20th of this year, it will be the 35th anniversary of the Yankees and Red Sox’s epic brawl where Lou Piniella and Carlton Fisk went at it like wild men at home plate.

  231. John Says:

    Yes he is.

    Name one thing Choo is “less than good” at.

  232. Chuck Says:

    “No player has ever had one really big season using traditional metrics. Ever? Brady Anderson anyone.”

    So, steriods are now a traditional metric?

  233. John Says:

    There have always been 1-year wonders.

    Sabermetrics didn’t all of a sudden change that.

  234. Chuck Says:

    “Name one thing Choo is “less than good” at.”

    Average contact, below average power, below average runner.

  235. Raul Says:

    Doesn’t matter what I name.
    You’re doing to disagree anyway.

    So I’ll just save us 2 hours of back and forth bullshit.

  236. John Says:

    I’m pretty sure Chuck has no idea what “average” means.

    Choo is above average at all those things.

  237. Raul Says:

    Yovani Gallardo has given up 1 hit over 7 innings.
    Not sure if he’s coming out, but the Brewers hold a 1-0 lead on the Braves and if the Brewers’ bullpen blows this win for Gallardo that will make 2 losses they’ve fucked me out of in my fantasy league.

  238. Cameron Says:

    Below average power? Since when is 20 HR a year below average?

  239. John Says:

    Yeah, I’m watching it now. He’s been rock solid (obviously). He’s also scored the only run for the Brewers (this would be, I think, the 3rd time that he has done this).

  240. John Says:

    Yeah, Gallardo’s hitting now. He’s at 89 pitches.

  241. Chuck Says:

    “Doesn’t matter what I name.
    You’re doing to disagree anyway.

    So I’ll just save us 2 hours of back and forth bullshit.”

    You asked.

    If you don’t want to play, take your ball and go home.

    Shaun’s probably waiting anyway.

  242. Raul Says:

    22 homers is a power hitter?

    Juan Uribe hit 24 last year……in fucking San Francisco.

    Nevermind, I told myself I wouldn’t get in this shit about Choo.

  243. John Says:

    Man, Gallardo can hit.

    Nailed that one right on the screws…right at Heyward. Oh well.

  244. Cameron Says:

    Or 20 SB being average speed either.

  245. John Says:

    I didn’t say he was a power hitter. I said he had above average power.

  246. John Says:

    I’m not saying Choo’s the second best player in the AL like WAR, but there’s something to be said about a guy with absolutely no holes in his game.

  247. Chuck Says:

    “22 homers is a power hitter?”

    It’s below average for a right fielder.

  248. Cameron Says:

    Maybe it’s just different frames of reference. When I think “average” I think guys who command 1-2 million dollars a year. Guys who are good enough to stay on the 25 man roster, but guys you don’t really bank on to win championships.

    I was gonna give an example, but those guys blend into the crowd so well that I can’t think of one. Darin Erstad in any other year? Ryan Freel?

    Choo’s good. Not great, possibly not even very good, but he’s a guy who’s gonna help your team out.

  249. Chuck Says:

    “I didn’t say he was a power hitter. I said he had above average power”

    Oh. OK. Thanks for clearing things up.

  250. Cameron Says:

    “It’s below average for a right fielder.”

    That one I’ll give you, but most RF don’t have his contact, defense, or speed. They’re guys who couldn’t stick in CF but aren’t bad enough to be stuck in LF.

  251. John Says:

    Among the 20 players who played RF last year (and had at least 500 PA), Choo ranked 10th in HR.

    And then, using methods that weren’t developed by neanderthals, Choo ranked 7th in slugging, 1st in OBP (thanks to all those team-hurting walks!), 3rd in OPS…also 8th in doubles, 4th in SB…oh, and first in assists.

  252. Cameron Says:

    True, but Choo also looks weaker as an overall player because RF is a position manned by some of the biggest power hitters in the game and his bat isn’t as sexy as the traditional RF bat, but his other tools aren’t flashy enough for them not to notice. Roberto Clemente wasn’t a power hitter, but he played the position so well that it didn’t matter.

    As a player, he’s good, he just gets lost in the shuffle.

  253. John Says:

    Prince Fielder…FUCK

    That fat ass has been less than useless so far this year.

  254. Cameron Says:

    Prince is usually a slow starter, isn’t he?

  255. John Says:

    “Choo also looks weaker as an overall player because RF is a position manned by some of the biggest power hitters in the game and his bat isn’t as sexy as the traditional RF bat”

    And therein lies the biggest difference between old school and new school.

    Old School cares if a player “feels” like he’s good.

    New School cares about if a player actually is good.

  256. Raul Says:

    The baseball community would appreciate it if you could put as many paragraphs between Roberto Clemente’s name and Shin-Soo Choo’s name as possible.

    Thank you.

  257. John Says:

    Yeah.

    After stranding 5 runners, he comes up with men on 1st and 3rd, no outs. Pulls an outside pitch right at Dan Uggla, who comes home and nails the runner at the plate.

    Get a fucking clue, Prince.

  258. John Says:

    Cameron was just saying that you don’t have to be a power hitter to be a good rightfielder and FUCK. Ryan Braun is fast as hell, but he can’t read a ball of the bat to save his life.

  259. Raul Says:

    Gotta love the fact that Joe Girardi takes out CC Sabathia and Rafael Soriano blows a 4 run lead.

    Then, in his infinite wisdom (because Rivera must be so gassed) pitches Rivera 1 inning in a tie game.

    And here comes Boone Logan to blow the day.

  260. John Says:

    Brewers get 2 hits and an intentional walk and score zero times in the eighth. Stupid, stupid mistakes.

    At least Yovanni got a nice long rest. Hopefully he’s good to go in the ninth.

  261. Chuck Says:

    “oh, and first in assists.”

    Since 2007, OF leaders in assists are Jeff Francoeur and Alfonso Soriano.

    Sorry, John, no bonus points for that.

  262. brautigan Says:

    I used to play college ball against this guy that when the game was decided, he could really rake. Put him in a pressure situation and the dude swung a bat like Urkel.

    That’s Choo. Put him on a contender and the fucker becomes Urkel. Don’t sell me Choo is an above average player, I saw enough of that jerk in the PCL to know he isn’t an above average ball player and i don’t care if he hits .340.

    Oh, and did I mention he is a swell teamate? He isn’t. Ok, next.

  263. Chuck Says:

    “Gotta love the fact that Joe Girardi takes out CC Sabathia and Rafael Soriano blows a 4 run lead”

    I just texted DelGrippo that Girardi’s trying to force CC to opt out.

  264. Raul Says:

    I should mention, in fairness, that Alexi Ogando went 6 innings and gave up just 2 hits and zero runs.

    Good start.

  265. Cameron Says:

    6 innings? That’s good long relief.

    …I refuse to call Alexi Ogando a starter with that many guys on the DL.

  266. Raul Says:

    Nice!

    Complete game shut out for Gallardo.
    Surprising to see only 2 strikeouts, but well done.

  267. John Says:

    “I used to play college ball against this guy that when the game was decided, he could really rake. Put him in a pressure situation and the dude swung a bat like Urkel.

    That’s Choo. Put him on a contender and the fucker becomes Urkel. Don’t sell me Choo is an above average player, I saw enough of that jerk in the PCL to know he isn’t an above average ball player and i don’t care if he hits .340.”

    Based on all those high-pressure situations in the fucking PCL?

    There’s absolutely no evidence to support that.

    You know what he hits in high pressure situations?

    Late & Close: .324/.456/.489
    2 outs, RISP: .308/.433/.491

    So, actually he’s fucking awesome in high pressure situations.

    “Oh, and did I mention he is a swell teamate? He isn’t. Ok, next.”

    Yeah, whenever anyone asks him what’s up I bet he just blows them off because he’s a jerk…yeah, that’s probably the reason.

    Chuck, have you ever seen Choo play the outfield? Dude has a cannon.

  268. Raul Says:

    Jhoulys Chacin holding his own against Clayton Kershaw today.

    Unfortunately, I had him on the bench.
    :-(

  269. Cameron Says:

    So does Francouer, actually. He’s been showing it off in KC pretty nicely too.

  270. John Says:

    Raul,

    2 hits all game. I’ll have to look it up, but it certainly felt like he was keeping the ball on the ground.

  271. John Says:

    Yeah, Francoeur’s defense isn’t what he’s usually criticized for…

  272. Cameron Says:

    The glove is average to above average, his arm is amazing.

  273. John Says:

    I’m gonna tune into the KC game…

    Live blogging is fun.

    Holy shit, Francoeur just got picked off. He had a really conservative lead too.

  274. Raul Says:

    Problem is, I am only allowed to start 5 Starting Pitchers at a time.
    And for some stupid reason, this is a weekly, head to head league.

    And my five starters are
    Roy Oswalt
    David Price
    Jon Lester
    Yovani Gallardo
    Ian Kennedy

    On the bench I got
    Jhoulys Chacin
    JA Happ
    Brandon Morrow

    I guess I could start Chacin over Kennedy.

  275. Cameron Says:

    Tie game against one of the most potent offenses in the league in the ninth inning and who comes in? Joakim Soria.

    I’ll take back my predictions and say the team leader in wins this year is Jaokim Soria. Your first 20 win reliever.

  276. John Says:

    That actually makes sense.

    In my league I can rotate starters out as much as I want. Which, assuming I pay attention (a big if) means I can just keep 3 starters on the bench for their off days and put them in when the other guys have off-days.

    Problem is when Lincecum isn’t pitching so I bench him for like, Carl Pavano or something…and then forget about it. lol.

  277. Raul Says:

    Yeah I’d like the standard rotisserie league where you can adjust the bench every day.

    I mean it’s less work to do a weekly league, but when a guy gets hurt, it sucks.

    The first week of the season is longer because of the off days and I’m not able to make substitutions for Evan Longoria or Mike Stanton.

  278. John Says:

    Thanks for reminding me to start Marcum for tomorrow’s game.

    The Mexicutioner looked good there. Went down 3-1 to Dunn and struck him out.

  279. John Says:

    Kevin Seitzer is the Royals’ hitting coach? That’s pretty cool.

  280. Cameron Says:

    Sweet, I got the rest of the board to start calling Joakim The Mexicutioner. That’s pretty much a local nickname for him. I think it started with this one guy who was selling homemade shirts of it at the stadium.

  281. Cameron Says:

    Seitzer’s hitting, Bob McClure is pitching coach. Seitzer’s a pretty good coach actually, we finish pretty high in batting average every year, we just don’t have a lot of pop.

  282. John Says:

    Frick, I forgot that I have Rafael Soriano on my team.

    At least I didn’t pay 36 million for him.

    I’m gonna go ahead and bet on Pavano getting lit up tomorrow…so I’ll keep him on the bench where he can’t hurt me.

    Extras Cameron. Fun game, no?

  283. KerryWhisnant Says:

    Chuck: “Since 2007, OF leaders in assists are Jeff Francoeur and Alfonso Soriano.”

    Of course Choo played all of 6 games in 2007 and not all of 2008. So using the last 4 years is very dishonest.

    Using Choo’s two full seasons, 2009-2010, he’s tied with Hunter Pence for first among RFers with 25 assists — in 46 fewer games (in RF).

  284. Cameron Says:

    I’m a little worried that it’s the heart of the Chicago order and we’ve got Robinson Tejeda out there…

  285. John Says:

    “Seitzer’s hitting, Bob McClure is pitching coach.”

    And Ned Yost is your manager. All former Brewers!

  286. Raul Says:

    I thought Soria said he doesn’t want to be called the Mexecutioner anymore.

  287. Cameron Says:

    You got Seitzer after he was good, doesn’t count. XP

  288. Cameron Says:

    And I think I don’t give a fuck what he wants, I want to call him Mexicutioner because it’s an awesome name.

  289. Raul Says:

    Bob McClure?

    Hi, I’m Troy McClure! You may remember me from such educational films as “Lead Paint: Delicious but Deadly” and “Here Comes the Metric System!”

  290. Cameron Says:

    Seems my worries were unfounded.

  291. Chuck Says:

    Ned Yost’s son is a minor league hitting coach in the Brewer’s system.

  292. Raul Says:

    3 hits for Gordon.
    What the hell has gotten into this guy?

  293. Cameron Says:

    Fuckin’ Kila…

  294. Cameron Says:

    “3 hits for Gordon.
    What the hell has gotten into this guy?”

    Realizing his ass is out of a job if he doesn’t hit?

  295. Raul Says:

    Tampa Bay and Boston are 0-4

  296. Chuck Says:

    “What the hell has gotten into this guy?”

    I know it was spring training and you have to take it into context, but Gordon was as dialed in and as hot as anyone I’ve ever seen for about two and a half weeks.

    He hit more rockets in 15 games than in the past two years combined.

    He was ON everything.

    He hit two doubles on two strike curveballs off Madison Bumgarner, one to right center and one to left center.

    He hit a 430 foot bomb over the beer garden in RF off Ted Lilly…on a two strike curveball.

    Dude was dialed.

  297. Cameron Says:

    Um… Who gets the win if KC wins?

  298. Cameron Says:

    “He hit two doubles on two strike curveballs off Madison Bumgarner, one to right center and one to left center.

    He hit a 430 foot bomb over the beer garden in RF off Ted Lilly…on a two strike curveball.”

    Wait… He can hit lefties now? Oh HELL YEAH!

  299. Raul Says:

    It was largely on your recommendation that I picked him up, Chuck.

    I drafted him in years past and…well you know.

  300. Chuck Says:

    “Um… Who gets the win if KC wins?”

    Whomever pitched the top of the inning.

  301. Cameron Says:

    At this point, I dont’ care who it is, but it better be somebody. I’m on messenger with a buddy of mine in Chicago and I’m running out of White Sox jokes.

  302. John Says:

    Holy fucking shit.

    Alcides Escobar.

    Man, I miss that glove.

  303. Cameron Says:

    Wow, the umpires are idiots in the game. Brent Lillibridge gets caught in a rundown and Mike Aviles tags him out. After that, he put the ball in his hand and the ump thought the ball was in his hand the whole time and Brent was tagged with an empty glove, calling him safe.

    Cue everyone else on the field telling him he’s wrong and the decision being overturned.

  304. Cameron Says:

    And walk-off single from Melky Cabrera to make 4 straight walk-offs in a row!

  305. John Says:

    “Of course Choo played all of 6 games in 2007 and not all of 2008. So using the last 4 years is very dishonest.”

    I think the point Chuck was making, Kerry, is that a bad outfielder (like Alfonso Soriano) can rack up a lot of assists because people attempt to take an extra base off them so often. Like how Mike Piazza probably ranks pretty high on the all-time CS list…because everyone and their mom ran on him and even a broken clock is right twice a day. But Choo is awesome.

    Royals have small-balled their way to another extra-inning victory.

  306. John Says:

    Jeremy Jeffress gets the win, thanks in large part to an incredible play by Alcides Escobar.

    Meanwhile, Lebron Greinke hasn’t pitched yet and Yuniesky Betancourt has been…Yuniesky Betancourt.

  307. Cameron Says:

    Combo good play from Jeffress and Escobar and the DUMBEST stolen base attempt I’ve ever seen. Don’t try to steal until the pitcher’s in the windup, not when he’s looking RIGHT AT YOU!

  308. John Says:

    I was talking about Escobar’s play deep in the hole to end the top of the 12th.

  309. Cameron Says:

    Oh yeah, that was awesome.

  310. Chuck Says:

    Gordon picked up a double off Chris Sale…he’s nasty on lefthanders with that kind of freaky sidearm delivery.

    He’ll need Tommy John sooner rather than later.

    And instead of walking Butler to get to Kila, they pitch to him.

    Bomb.

    Tie game.

    Dumb.

  311. Cameron Says:

    Really? I recall lefties being kryptonite to Gordon regardless of delivery from day 1. Ah well.

  312. John Says:

    He’s 0-3 with 2 K’s against Mike Myers. I don’t know a ton of other guys who do that.

  313. Raul Says:

    Barry Bonds won’t be found guilty, but I hope he is.

  314. John Says:

    Eh.

    When is Palmeiro’s trial? Or Tejada’s?

  315. Raul Says:

    I don’t care.

    I don’t like Bonds and he’s a douchebag and I would take pleasure in his misfortune.
    Fuck him.

  316. John Says:

    Haha.

    I don’t like him either.

    I just don’t think anyone would care if he had retired with 700 career homeruns.

  317. Raul Says:

    I love when commentators are watching a young pitcher and they say things like “this kid is only X-years old but he pitches like a 10-year veteran”

    At which point I wonder, pitching like WHICH ten year veteran?
    Chris Carpenter or Kevin Millwood?

    LOL

  318. John Says:

    Haha…just watched the Gallardo highlights?

  319. John Says:

    Karl Ravich (I think) just referred to Aaron Harang as a “former Reds great.”

    haha…maybe a little liberal with the use of the word great?

  320. Raul Says:

    Sure did @ John

    Karl Ravech picked Clay Buchholz as his 2011 AL Cy Young winner.
    I want to punch Karl Ravech in the mouth.

  321. John Says:

    I dunno.

    He led the league in ERA+ last year.

    If he can do that for 220 IP, that’s not looking like a bad pick…

  322. Cameron Says:

    Eh, I could see his production as being pretty unsustainable. He’s not exactly that overpowering a guy.

  323. John Says:

    I mean, my pick is going to be King Felix for about the next decade.

    But Buchholz is cool.

  324. Raul Says:

    Shin Soo Choo leads the American League in strikeouts.

    Dexter Fowler led the Majors with 14 triples last season. Starlin Castro and Julio Borbon have 2 to start the season. Any chance someone cracks 20 triples this year?
    Nobody has hit 20 triples since Curtis Granderson hit 23 and Jimmy Rollins hit 20 in 2007.

    Jonny Gomes, who had just 39 walks all of last season, has 7 in 4 games.

  325. John Says:

    20 triples…man.

    You need a lot of speed and a lot of luck. The guys who get to 20 triples probably get about 5 or so that just ricocheted on some weird angle against the outfield fence.

    Kaufman Stadium is a notoriously triple-friendly park. George Brett, not generally thought of as a speedster, had 20 triples one year. So did Willie Wilson (who was a speedster, and led the league 5 times, and made double digits 6 times).

    Prince Fielder has 8 career triples, which is surprising, but not as surprising as his TWO inside-the-park HR.

  326. Raul Says:

    Single season record for triples in a season is 36 by Chief Wilson (great name) in 1912.

    When Curtis Granderson hit 23 triples in 2007, it was the first time any player had reached 23 triples since 1930 (Adam Comorosky of the Pittsburgh Pirates).

  327. Raul Says:

    Excuse me,

    Dale Mitchell hit 23 also in 1949 for the Cleveland Indians.

    My mistake.

  328. KerryWhisnant Says:

    Since 1901, there’s only one player who had 23 triples and DIDN’T lead their league — Ty Cobb, 1912 (third place to the aforementioned Chief Wilson and Shoeless Joe).

    It happened quite a bit before 1901. But it was a very different game then.

  329. Chuck Says:

    LOL @ #317

  330. Chuck Says:

    “He led the league in ERA+ last year.”

    Big deal.

    And he’s still the Sox’ #3 starter.

    Good? Yes.

    THAT good?

    No way, Jose.

  331. John Says:

    He’s the Sox #3 starter for now.

    He’s on the way up. The rest of that rotation is on the way down, except Lester.

  332. Chuck Says:

    To make room on the AAA roster for Kevin Millwood, the Yankees demoted Kei Igawa to AA.

  333. Bob Says:

    Better than being sold to a Japanese team.

  334. Lefty33 Says:

    “Prince Fielder has 8 career triples, which is surprising, but not as surprising as his TWO inside-the-park HR.”

    He apparently exploited the rulebook twice by eating the baseball so that no one could tag him out.

  335. John Says:

    Haha.

    One bounced off the metrodome roof. The other was just kind of sitting under the fence in RF and the Rfer kept insisting that he couldn’t grab it. Even though it was like, right there.

  336. Chuck Says:

    In a shocking development (cough, cough), the Rangers DL’d Brandon Webb yesterday.

  337. Lefty33 Says:

    “To make room on the AAA roster for Kevin Millwood, the Yankees demoted Kei Igawa to AA.”

    I read that last week that the Yanks were going to put Pope and Schmidt in AAA and that Igawa and Prior were still in Tampa waiting to be assigned.

    I mean Igawa to me is not the worst pitcher they have ever blown money on (Brown, Weaver, Pavano, Irabu) but damn did Cashman miss with this one.

  338. Chuck Says:

    Prior was actually assigned to Tampa.

    Tampa is where the Yanks’ minor league HG is located anyway, so it’s a good move. Training, medical staff, pipeline to NY, everything is right there.

    Prior does have an opt-out, so he can pretty much bail anytime he wants if he gets tired of touring Florida in a bus.

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