NL East Trade Candidates

by JohnBowen

By Bob Owens

For the second part of my potential trade candidates, I decided to do the National league East, as there are two players I can just say ” no explanation needed, thus limiting my research. Without further ado:

Atlanta Braves-Jair Jurrjens.

The Braves almost traded him to the Orioles for Adam Jones, and clearly  have the rotation depth to part with him, even after trading Derek Lowe.  If Tommy Hanson proves his shoulder is up to par, and Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Mike Minor and Arodys Vizcinio are pitching as well as the Braves think, Jurrens could be the odd man out. Although  he will be only 26 when the season starts, he is still older than the aforementioned group, , and after avoiding arbitration, his salary will only be $5.5 million this year, a very tradable amount providing his knee is healthy.  At the very least, expect the Braves to be the next team to explore what the market is for young starting pitching.

Florida- Hanley Ramirez.

Not sure if I/we should classify him as a SS or 3rd baseman but, nonetheless no explanation needed.

New York Mets- David Wright

I will classify him as a 3rd baseman, but nonetheless, no explanation needed.

Philadelphia Phillies – Dominic Brown.

Tough roster for me to pinpoint somebody, but I somehow do not see the Phillies keeping on the bench all year, which is what the trade of Hunter Pence might force them to do.  So much of what they do in March will be predicated on the status of  Ryan Howard.

Washington Nationals -Adam LaRoche.

I expect Bryce Harper to make the Nationals roster out of spring training, Michael Morse to play 1st, and for LaRoche to become expendable.

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422 Responses to “NL East Trade Candidates”

  1. Lefty33 Says:

    Personally I don’t see Brown getting traded.

    Amaro would look like an idiot for turning down more trades for him than we’ll ever know and the ROI he would get for him would be pennies on the dollar compared with just two years ago when Brown’s hype was through the roof.

    If anything, with a good ST I think Brown makes the team with Thome/Mayberry filling for Howard at least a little while that opens up a spot in the OF for a platoon with Nix and Mayberry and that’s where I think Brown gets his spot.

    Also in Amaro’s dreams Brown and or Mayberry would play well enough to make Victorino expendable because he’s going to command over $10 million per next year and it is way more important to get Hamels done long term.

    To me my dark horse would be to trade Victorino if Mayberry & Brown show something positive in ‘12.

  2. Chuck Says:

    “I expect Bryce Harper to make the Nationals roster out of spring training..”

    Even I don’t start drinking this early…

  3. Raul Says:

    Under what circumstances would the Nationals promote Bryce Harper?

    He had 30-something games in AA and struggled last year.

  4. Bob Says:

    Lefty, I thought about Victorino and Blanton as well as Brown. Clearly however, the trade for Pence could make someone in the outfield expendable.

  5. Bob Says:

    @ 3.
    1. Ticket sales
    2. He has a great spring training.

  6. Chuck Says:

    In order to discuss a trade, the player(s) involved have to have some form of ROI to be worth it, which pretty much eliminates Brown at this point.

  7. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 4 – Blanton is an attractive canidate to think about moving but it’s the same with him as with Brown where Amaro would get no ROI in a trade for him right now and would likely be forced to eat salary to move him and the Phillies as an organization never do that.

    If Heavy “B” pitches well, stays healthy, and keeps himself out of the nearest Old Country Buffet then he could make himself moveable especially with some people being of the opinion that Trevor May has an outside shot at making the rotation in ‘13 particularly if they can’t resign Hamels longterm.

  8. Raul Says:,27033/

  9. Bob Says:

    The Phillies signed Juan Pierre. Someone in that mix has to go.

  10. Bob Says:

    I believe SNL is going to try to get Tebow to host a show.

  11. Raul Says:

    What’s Juan Pierre’s GRIT factor?

  12. Bob Says:

    Not sure, but the formula I currently am using makes someone tradable.

  13. Bob Says:

    Just read that the Yanks are looking at Ibanez. if the Yanks sign Ibanez, would this end the careers of
    1. Damon?
    2. Vladimir?

  14. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 9 – True but at the same time Pierre really sucked last year and I don’t put a whole lot of stock in him as being anything more than a guy who gets a look in ST at most.

    The Phillies also have Podsednik in ST signed to a minor league contract and he is another Pierre-type player where if he’s healthy he’ll slap the ball around and give them some speed but not much else.

    Assuming nothing changes the OF looks like Pence in RF, Victorino in CF, and then some cocktail of Mayberry/Nix/Pierre/Brown for two spots with Nix as the only guy guaranteed a spot since he has a two year deal.

    Personally I don’t care for Pierre or really for Mayberry but I’m sure Pierre will get the job based on what he’s done and not what he actually has left.

  15. Raul Says:

    Um…Ibanez for what?
    He’ll be 40 in June.

  16. Bob Says:

    Earlier today, Buster Olney said that Ibanez would be a good fit in the Bronx, and i guess the Yanks somewhat agree. Let’s look at who is still out there

    1. Damon
    2. Ibanez
    3. Vlad
    4. Rick Ankiel
    5. Matsui
    6. Fukudome, who might have a spot in Japan.
    7. Mets and Yankees are still looking at a bat.
    8. Who is forced to retire?

    1. Edwin Jackson
    2. Roy Oswalt
    3. Is it really Tim Wakefield???????????

  17. Cameron Says:

    I’d rather take Vlad at this point. Cheaper and in New York, possibly more pop.

  18. Chuck Says:

    If Juan Pierre can get a job, then Vladdy, Ibanez and Damon won’t have a problem.

  19. Raul Says:

    C – Russell Martin
    1B – Mark Teixeira
    2B – Robinson Cano
    3B – Alex Rodriguez
    SS – Derek Jeter
    LF – Brett Gardner
    CF – Curtis Granderson
    RF – Nick Swisher
    DH – Andruw Jones

    There’s not really any outfield depth and again, with Montero being traded, not much Right-handed power.

    Ugh, I see why they’re considering Ibanez.

  20. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 18 – True but I would think it’s also an issue of pride.

    If Pierre even makes the Phillies it’ll be as a platoon guy playing 2-3 times a week at best.

    When you’ve had the career of Vald or Damon that’s a much harder pill to swallow.

    Personally I can’t imagine a situation in which any of them, maybe Damon, is an everyday starting player at this point and it would be far easier on their ego to retire than grind out some platoon DH existance for a whole season on a losing team.

    If Ibanez can ride the Yankee gravy train for a year that’s one thing but it’s totally different if your doing it in Baltimore for example.

  21. Raul Says:

    Is anyone going to make their predictions for the 2012 season?

    Or are you guys going to wait for PECOTA to release theirs and then comment where you disagree?

  22. Cameron Says:

    I’m working on predictions, but it’s hard to make accurate predictions. I originally pegged the Tigers at the high 80s, but with Prince and Miggy anchoring the lineup now, they could be a 100 win team given how pathetic the rest of the division is.

  23. Chuck Says:

    I found this site the other day when I was reading that horsebleep Neyer article on Mickey Mantle.

    I was goofing off earlier and started reading through the thread they have going on MLB’s top prospect list.

    I got about halfway down and saw this;

    “Harper was above average last year, with his 109 RC+. As an 18 year old in AA, that’s pretty special.”

    He played 27 games in AA.

    The dude is using sabermetrics to justify the performance of a Double A player.

    Compared to that flaming douchebag, John Bowen’s a genius.

  24. Chuck Says:

    “Is anyone going to make their predictions for the 2012 season”

    Waiting for Kerry’s contest in March.

  25. Raul Says:

    Yeah I’m gonna say Angels and Phillies
    Or Yankees and Diamondbacks

    Worse predictions have been made before.

  26. Chuck Says:

    For those who remember John Travolta before Saturday Night Fever when he was on “Welcome back Kotter”, RIP Juan Epstein.

  27. Raul Says:

    LOLOLOLOLOL @ Chuck #23

  28. John Says:

    I agree with @23, especially since I can’t figure out where the fuck he came up with that. Did he really take the time to adjust the numbers for A and AA ball, and proportionally apply them?

    It’s not really any less stupid, however, when you say “He’s batting .200, he SUCKS” after Harper starts 3-15.

  29. Chuck Says:

    “Did he really take the time to adjust the numbers for A and AA ball, and proportionally apply them?”

    Oh, shit.

  30. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “What’s Juan Pierre’s GRIT factor?”

    I believe it’s 1.8 Sweeny’s (GRIT is measured in “Sweeny’s”, as Mark Sweeny carries a GRIT value of precisely ‘1′. David Eckstein carries a hall of fame worthy 9 Sweeny’s on the GRIT curve).

  31. Hossrex Says:

    How awesome is it that Harper isnt even 19 yet, and he’s ALREADY riding his reputation.

    That’s a skill most ball players don’t develop until there mid(aging)thirties, after they’ve already had great success.

    Only other player I can think of in my lifetime to ride so little so far would be… Lol… JD Drew.

    Both those guys have one thing VERY in common… Hmmm… Who… I mean what… could that one thing be?

  32. Bob Says:

    Their agent.

  33. Raul Says:

    Wondering if Hoss has a 24-70 laying around that he doesn’t need.
    I left Pentax and I’m pretty upset about not having that FA31 and 50-135.

    You need a Bryce Harper contract to afford Nikon lenses…good lord.

  34. Raul Says:

    It looks like Phil Hughes might be on his way out of the Bronx.

    Cashman doesn’t really care much for the likes of Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Vladimir Guerrero.

    The idea is to trade AJ Burnett but no one wants him, so Hughes might be the odd man out. Hughes could go back to the bullpen, but Cashman views him as a starter — likely because Hughes CAN start, and because as a reliever Hughes’ value drops significantly.

  35. Hossrex Says:

    Ugh… Nikkor glass. Love it and hate it. Fantastic stuff, with the niggling little thought in the back of your mind that you’re paying for the name.

    I mostly use primes, but as a portraitist (the “maintenance engineer” analog for “baby photgrapher”), I don’t have much cause to overpay for versatility, since my work is all mindnumbingly predictable. Even when I get senior portraits in the fall, they’re still just retard kids standing still in front of a fountain.

    In other words… I WISH I had need of a nice zoom (or anything that wide).

    My gear is getting old now anyway. The glass is fine, but my D70, while probably the best “prosumer” camera ever made, is not only old… Not only starting to act quirky… But it’s a fucking prosumer camera.

  36. Raul Says:

    I have a D300S and it’s basically gathering dust.
    I don’t really find LA as photogenic (if that’s the word) as NY. Then again I suck at shooting anyway.

    So…anyone think Adam Dunn cracks 20 homers this year?

  37. Chuck Says:

    “So…anyone think Adam Dunn cracks 20 homers this year?”

    Before the AS break.

  38. Mike Felber Says:

    Dunn will bounce back that dramatically? Bold prediction. Dunn is not done, there is no reason he should have declined so dramatically, not age nor injury, & with good council he must be getting, he should improve. I can see 20 by mid year, but would not predict it.

  39. Hossrex Says:

    Regardless of how it turns out, I’m surprised CHUCK thinks he’ll come back.

    He’s a 31 year old masher from the steroid era. He’s the exact TYPE of player who enters his thirties, and starts to finally feel his weight. I’m not saying that will happen to Dunn, but he’s certainly the type. You get a little older, a little weaker, and since you never needed to learn how to put the ball in play, all of a sudden he’s hitting 350 foot fly balls that might as well be a lazy fly to the shortsacker (lol… My iPod accepted shortsacker as a word. Awesome).

    It’s unfair to say that about one of the most consistent hitters of the last decade, but I wouldn’t bet the Magic Bean money on his continued success.

  40. Mike Felber Says:

    Check Dunn’s athletic history &natural build. He is natural, & not that heavy for his muscle & being 6′ 6”. Even before modern training it would have been premature to collapse like he did last year. I do not know that he lost any strength, he did lose the ability to hit!

    But I would bet he can be at least average in OPS + & hit close to or over 30 dingers. Last year was just incredibly bad, a .569 OPS + & 56 OPS +.

  41. Hossrex Says:

    While it clearly doesn’t mean what it meant in the 50’s, it’s also worth mentioning it was his first year in the AL. New pitchers. New parks. New strategies (for some reason).

    Insofar as his raw natural athletic ability goes… Usually when a guy has raw natural talent, there isn’t ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE points separating his career batting average and onbase percentage.

    Again, not speaking to what Dunn will do, but I bet if you went and found every player with a similar number of plate appearences, with a greater than 120 point differential between BA and OBP, you’d find a long long list of guys who fell apart in their thirties.

    Guys with a lot of power, and an eye to get bat on ball can put up great numbers, until the arms and eyes weaken, and they become Mark Reynolds.

    But Dunn has been unarguably consistent, so I think he MIGHT be okay. We simply don’t have enough evidence to make a good supposition… But I sure as fuck wouldn’t guarantee him a five year deal.

  42. John Says:

    Ted Williams had a 140ish point differential. Ruth was about the same.

    I’ve never thought of Dunn as a steroid guy; he kept it going from 08-10, then splat. Out of the blue…worst season in MLB history.

  43. Hossrex Says:

    I wonder how many dirty steroid tests it’ll finally take to convince the people too stupid to have guessed McGwire and Sosa were juicing that the steroid era never fucking ended.

    It’s like the typical baseball fan is too stupid to understand that bypassing drug tests would be a million dollar business even if steroids WEREN’T a banned substance.

    In EVERY field of criminal activity, there’s a constant struggle to stay one step ahead of the authorities, and since there’s more profit to be made in breaking the law then there is in assisting the law in helping to catch people who attempt to bypass the law, the criminals usually win.

    Ryan Braun is like one of those World Dumbest Crimnal guys you see on TV, who try to break into a liquor store through the airduct, but don’t realize it can’t support their fat ass, so they fall through the ceiling, breaking their leg on the slurpee machine, and calling the cops on himself in hopes that they just bring an ambulance with them.

    He didn’t get caught because he was using, he got caught because he’s fucking stupid.

    Baseball has a LOT to lose by people continuing to believe the game is tainted by steroids. Why the fuck would you take them at their word that steroids are out of the game?

    Why would you believe them?

    Seriously. Someone who thinks the game is clean needs to answer that.

    Why would you believe a person with a history of lying, when he says something which would cause himself ACTIVE harm if he said the opposite?

    Why would anyone believe that person? Why would anyone believe a man who was LITERALLY a used car salesman?

    Fucking why?

  44. Hossrex Says:

    Adam Dunn lifetime average (without decline years): .243
    Babe Ruth lifetime average (including decline years): .342
    Ted Williams lifetime average (including decline years): .344

    I fully agree you defeated my point… But come on.

    Their fucking batting averages aren’t far off Dunn’s cocksucking OBP.

    Under the BEST of circumstances, Dunn finishes his career with a Kingman-esque .220 BA.

  45. Mike Felber Says:

    Yah, tons of highly skilled guys have that OBP/average differential. Or just good power hitters-Dunn’s was almost exactly the same last year as his career average. His overall ability just fell off the table. His slugging was particularly egregious: .277! Hitting for power will draw you many walks, & I do not know if it was the worst season ever, at the bat it must mot have been far off. Because most who are that bad just do not get the PA (496).

    Power stays around for a while, so the BA/OBP ratio can be high & the guy still very good late-& when they decline, the walks can be one of the things that decline little & help keep overall productivity at least good (Mantle).

    I agree Hoss we do not know how Dunn will project out. I just believe that it is more likely he will come back, since he had zero decline (except a particularly terrible defensive ‘09 only) until last year. There seems no physical reason for it. many guys (Mantle, Hornsby, Foxx) fell off a cliff (for them) at 34. But not only was that before modern conditioning, 2 of those guys had many physical problems including drinking related ones.

    Reynolds should at minimum be able to stave off dramatic decline for a couple more years. Or in his case, come back.

  46. Cameron Says:

    Zack Greinke seems like he wants a contract extension. Probably because he realized if he doesn’t try to get one done now, all those 4 ERA seasons are gonna kill his market value.

  47. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “Dunn’s was almost exactly the same last year as his career average”

    That simply speaks to my point. His (in)ability to put the ball in play was relatively unchanged, while all that was different was his pop (SLG).

    Why could that be?

    Because his strength has finally waned to the point where homers drop short. It’d be interesting to see his homerun sprays over his career, color coded by year. On a stat sheet, a home run us a home run is a home run… But if ten years ago he was hitting balls 450 feet, and then losing ten feet (average) per year, you’d wind up with a 31 year old hitting 350 foot fly balls.

    Not saying its true, but it’s a hypothesis which fits all the known parameters, and would be worth further investigation if I were thinking about giving him a hundred million dollars.

    Mike: “Power stays around for a while”

    Not for guys who aren’t on steroids it don’t.

    Mike: “the walks can be one of the things that decline little & help keep overall productivity at least good (Mantle).”

    Chicken and the egg.

    Players don’t (just) draw a lot of walks because they have a good eye and plate discipline. A batter with Williamsian vision, and Giambi-esque discipline still won’t OBP for shit if he can’t do shit with a strike. Mantle walked so often, even late into his career, because while mammoth arching home runs turn into outs in your 30’s, 565 foot line drive smashes turn into deadly laserbeam doubles.

    One of those players continues to be pitched around into their 30’s, the other doesn’t.

    (funny aside, while looking up stats on baseball reference just now, one of the “news” headlines was “will Beltran wear a mets hat in the hall of fame?”. WTF? We’re talking about Beltran making the hall now? Fucking hell)

    Mike: “I agree Hoss we do not know how Dunn will project out. I just believe that it is more likely he will come back, since he had zero decline (except a particularly terrible defensive ‘09 only) until last year. There seems no physical reason for it. many guys (Mantle, Hornsby, Foxx) fell off a cliff (for them) at 34. But not only was that before modern conditioning, 2 of those guys had many physical problems including drinking related ones.”

    I agree. I simply wouldn’t wager a hundred million dollars on the notion that Adam Dunn will resemble Mickey Mantle, Jimmy Foxx, or Rogers (fucking) Hornsby into his 30’s.

    Would you?

    Cameron: “Zack Greinke seems like he wants a contract extension. Probably because he realized if he doesn’t try to get one done now, all those 4 ERA seasons are gonna kill his market value.”

    Yeah. Being bad at baseball can sometimes (although oddly not always) hurt your chances of getting big money.

  48. Cameron Says:

    Greinke is a decent pitcher, but the problem is he lets stuff hang and it can hurt.

    Also, Hoss, the big thing with Dunn last year wasn’t the strength, it was the fact he didn’t hit shit. His contact for his career was bad, but nonexistent last year. Plus he was a non-factor against LHP. He has a near-identical split against both side, but last year he hit around .190 or so against RHP… And .064 against LHP.

    Dude’s clean, Hoss. He didn’t suck last year because he got off juice, he sucked because even if every hit you have with that average is a homer, hitting below the Mendoza line gets your ass benched.

  49. Hossrex Says:

    Lol at .064…. That’s positively Ryan Howardian.

    How do you know he’s clean? Why do you think that?

    Not only isn’t there evidence on either side, if you weighed motivation and probability, I dont see how you could make that claim with anything besides wishful thinking.

  50. Cameron Says:

    It’s a naked-eye thing, really. Dude’s six-six and he’s got muscle everywhere, but nothing out of the ordinary. He looks like a guy who played football in college and strength trains like a beast, but not like shit we saw in the 90s. Also, a tip to me is his shit contact. Guys who are that naturally strong and have bad contact can overcome that with steroids. Gonzalez and Canseco are guys who are similar to Dunn, but made better contact (and were also unclean as all hell). Without him, Dunn is a Jim Thome/Harmon Killebrew type of “swing for the fences and see what happens”.

    He just looks clean to me, both physically and on paper. No red flags.

  51. Hossrex Says:

    What does your naked eye tell you about Ryan Braun and Andy Pettitte?

    Don’t mistake a dude who’s good at cheating with a dude who isn’t cheating.

    Why WOULDN’T players, who have million dear contracts on the line, cheat if they were reasonably certain they’d get away with it?

    You’re betting that human beings will put their own best interests aside so long as a rule tells them to. I’m betting they won’t.

    Who’s more likely to be correct?

  52. Cameron Says:

    While I wasn’t watching back when Pettite was juicing (largely that was him in that span he was in Houston, I think), he looked a bit bigger than usual. As for Braun… I got nothing. Only noticeable performance spike I saw out of him was in the postseason, and I just thought “Anyone can look good in a short series.”

    Not denying there isn’t a motive, but I’m not gonna assume everyone with a motive is cheating… Because that means that every major league player is cheating, and in a universe where Yuniesky Betancourt exists, that simply isn’t true.

  53. Mike Felber Says:

    I cannot find a single thing above to disagree with Cameron about above.

    Anyone can be a cheater. Even if PEDs are used effectively, some are made to maximize strength innstead of bulk. Though the fact that we can never know who is cheating, & it MAY be worth it for them to try, does not make the extreme & cynical conclusion that everyone will use true 9not saying you conclude this Hoss), OR that every big guy is likely to have used, if you apply the above logic.

    Even at the worst part of the PED era not everyone used-everyone agrees on that. We really do not know if MOST did, at least dabble, or not. There are a few things that mitigate against use, just like there have been clear incentives.

    Now there is a fear of being caught, punished, humiliated, losing historic ration & personal reputation. Even if the odds are small if you cheat smart-debatably true-not everyone knows or has the stomach for that. Also even before, there was a matter of principle & pride-success & fame are admittedly big motives. So is being able to love with yourself/look in the mirror/not live a lie for many.

    Howard declined tremendously in OBP & BA too. I was saying only his RATIO of BA tp OBP was about the same. Nobody things Howard is comparable in quality to those legends, just that he should do no worse in RATE of decline absent injury.

    I was alluding to his sports & size history. Like Frank Thomas, he was always big in every way. It is much more likely that he is naturally big than using forever. Though anything is possible, he seems a genetic outlier, more like many NFL players (who get even bigger when dirty).

  54. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “I’m not gonna assume everyone with a motive is cheating”

    Without speaking to your personal beliefs, many MANY people very loudly believe the game is (for the most part) clean now.

    Let’s try this:

    Motivations for cheating: lots and lots of money
    Motivations for not cheating: a sense of honesty

    Now… I’m not saying we automatically assume a player is dirty, but why assume a player is clean?

    Which is more likely… That most players consider honesty as more important than money (LoL), or that most players want as much money as they can possibly get.

    Which leads to the question: “that in mind, would probability be more reasonably expected to be on your side if you presumed a power guy was juicing, or would you be more likely correct if you presumed a bunch of greedy assholes acted in a manner entirely consistent with their character?”

    Regarding Betencourt, you’re suffering from the common misconception that steroids are a magical pill which transmografies Bob Uecker into Josh Gibson.

    If you had a crystal ball which would tell you exactly which players used, and which didn’t, you’d find a GIGANTIC list of players you’ve never heard of, with a smattering of superstars thrown in, seemingly at random.


    The cross section of steroid users will look nearly identical to the cross section of major league ball players.

    Why shouldn’t it?

    You really WANT to live in a world where I’m wrong… But I’m probably not. The world is a fucked up place.

  55. Mike Felber Says:

    Mantle still could hit dingers late in his career, that more than doubles was why they pitched him carefully.

    Some trivial points: I am pretty sure nobody ever averages 450′ on all HRs for a season. Also guys would generally rather sacrifice some distance for a more sure HR…Mantle never had a 565′ shot. 551′ is likely, through computing his longest interrupted shot, projecting angle & where ball was in its potential full arc. Wind speeds researched too. When you were gone Hoss, I described this book by an eminent baseball historian, great read measuring all the greatest shots using microfilm,interviews, measurements, many newspaper accounts-also ranked those highest in speed (Mantle when young), & arm (Rocky Colavito was unreal).

    Ruth somehow hit the longest ever, even with absurdly heavy bats. And his longest were uninterrupted. 585′ over an insanely distant fence in game, & his best ever was after the ‘26 WS. He seemed to perform best when there was a kid-related motivation, yep, just like the legend. Wilkes Barre PA, only shot he ever asked to be measured, & he was over 30. And somewhere well over 600′. Mantle’s at ! same age in 11th Inning in ‘63 was adjudged to be dropping-though most all witnesses said it was rising, that is a common optical illusion from below, & if it was still rising the ball would have been well over 700′! Which is not a reasonable bet.

    Order of best distance sluggers, looking at frequency of huge shots too, not just top individual shots-Ruth, Foxx edging out Mantle, Howard, Allen, big Mac (in 30’s when he juiced), Stargell, Jackson, Killer, McCovey. Gibson could have been anywhere, not enough evidence. Williams was 14.

    Neither Bonds, Aaron, or Mays ever had a legitimate 500′ shot. Understand that these #s are usually exaggerated. And that these #s came against Professional pitching (& some barnstorming). Metal bats obviously would add significant distance.

  56. Hossrex Says:


    Do you really think I’m actually saying “every player is cheating”, even though I keep specifically repeating that all I’m saying is “given the evidence, motivations, and the typical ‘character’ of professional athletes, it’s naive to (loudly, and repeatedly) assume any given player is clean.”

    This isn’t a court. Adam Dunn doesn’t go to prison for 20 years if Mike and Cameron believe he’s cheating. Probable cause, and the presumption of innocence is important… When you’re talking about mandating sanctions against a person.

    However when you’re talking about probability and likelihood, you’ll go broke betting on the righteous nature of humanity.

  57. Mike Felber Says:

    The hypothetical question in the middle of your post assumes a “when did you stop beating your wife? ” type of premise. Many guys are greedy, many less so or not. Just taking big money when your services are instrumental to the $ making machine, does not make one greedy.

    I agree that the profile/crsoss section you describe is accurate, & those found guilty reflect that. It does not show how common cheating is.

    But you wholly elided the motivation to nit use involving a much greater risk of being caught over time, penalties, & mainly the effect of shame/on reputation. It is reasonable to believe, partly due to the ecological balance of the game & the size of guys, that there is much less cheating in the last few years.

    It is not reasonable to assume nobody is, such as with cutting edge drugs, trying to mask it, & with A-Rod type stuff that minimizes bulk.

  58. Mike Felber Says:

    Nope. What words anywhere lead you to even ask whether you are saying that “every player is cheating”? I was precise, & clearly also do not believe it is reasonable to believe every player is clean.

    Re: probability-that depends what you mean. You will go broke if you have the black & white view EITHER way, all are innocent or all are guilty.

    But there both is some righteous nature, & much more pressure to be clean & reasons to believe many more are, performance & physique being amongst them.

    We both presume innocence in particular cases absent evidence. You just seem to think cheating is more likely given the same background context. It is a difference in degrees. And in Dunn’s case we think his athletic history 7 natural build means it is more likely he has not been a cheater.

  59. Hossrex Says:

    I was using round numbers for Dunn, because it was a thought exercise, and specific complicated numbers distract people from the actual point of the exercise… But… I guess so do nice round easy to understand numbers.

    Regarding Mantle… 565 was always the number bandied about when I was young. Apparently you’re correct (citation: ). The funny thing is, according to that citation, the Guinness Book of World Records still lists 565. That makes me question the veracity of their claim that Seamus McGinity actually ate 900 hard boiled eggs in an hour.


    Mike just said ball players aren’t greedy.


  60. Mike Felber Says:

    Nah Hoss, I just said that not all players are greedy, nor is taking a ton of $ when your labor produces that capital intrinsically greedy. As you believe. Though a lot of money breeds some greed. As a cross Profession comparison, i do not believe every rich Capitalist or banker is greedy. Though many are, most obviously when their compensation is disproportionately high compared to predecessors, historical levels, & sometimes divorced from their actual performance & the financial health of the company.

    Always loved the Guiness book. But they have not showed intellectual rigor with some sports claims-I recall them listing 634′ for Ruth when I was a kid…Which actually may be about right for him, but they did not know about the Wilkes Barre shot. They also have listed Ryan’s 100.9 as fastest pitcher forever.

    Though there are real questions about how consistent, at least BETWEEN systems, the various radar guns, or where in the throw they are measured, are.

  61. Mike Felber Says:

    good article Hoss. I gotta corral Kerry with a physics query.

    I read Adair’s book where he says that even 500′ under nuetral conditions would be impossible for a normal size athlete. I think that has been convincingly disproven. But the Babe presents such a unique situation that it leads to a basic conundrum.

    He clearly hit the ball further than anyone, ever. There were tons of newspapers then, plenty of witnesses & barnstorming tours. If the ball was any different than today, it had to be only marginally so.

    All conventional evidence shows that the lighter, thin handled bats are more effective for distance. Because even though a all other things being equal a heavier bat will drive the ball further, even the strongest modern athletes, who with weight training & PEDs had to have much more brute strength than Babe, cannot swing a heavy bat fast enough to justify the increased mass.

    I recall that article’s blow being described as 585′, which it was in the book. Estimated, but it was over a fence that seems to have been at least 565′ away. And his bigger shot was in the off season that year. Jenkinson credits the 1st blast’s distance to both angle & bat weight.

    The way exaggerated “565′” shot was when he used a lighter bat. Similarly, in his book “The year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs”, Ruth hit 2 when he borrowed a teammate’s 32 oz. “toothpick”. One was 525′, huge even by Babe’s standards.

    It seems only one of 2 propositions could be true. That Ruth & anyone could have hit their FURTHEST shots if they always used lighter bats. Otherwise we are forced to believe that Ruth (or some rare athletes) are unique in being able to hit it even further with a 44 Oz. bat.

    I do not see how that could be true, unless possibly we are talking about someone with world’s strongest man steroid strength. Those guys would not have the leverage & talent to translate strength into great distance hitting, but THEM I could see hitting a ball further (for them) with a 44 rather than a 32 ounce bat.

    Kerry, help! Whaddya thunk about this academic nonsense?

  62. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “I just said that not all players are greedy”

    Remember earlier where I said you were accusing me of saying “all players”, when I was actually speaking to likelihoods? And you denied it, asking me to point to where you’re doing that?

    Right there. That’s where you’re doing it.

    I’m speaking to generalities, and despite how fervently we’ve all been indoctrinated not to generalize people… There’s a reason no one wants to sit next to Mohamed on an airplane.

    Regardless of how your argument requires you to define “greed”, it would be intellectually dishonest of you to say baseball players aren’t very fond of money, and that they wouldn’t take actions to maximize that gain, ESPECIALLY if the rule being broken doesn’t violate their personal sense of ethics.

    And when it comes to ethics… Is there REALLY a difference between steroids and a TJ surgery?

    Especially to some kid trying to keep himself off some shitty island.

    You’re making another classic liberal mistake of thinking (despite what you know intellectually) everyone grew up in a nice warm house made of brick, with two parent, a sibling and a half, and a peanut butter sandwich on the table everyday after school.

    You’re expecting people to share your ethics, when they don’t share any other aspect of your life.


  63. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “He clearly hit the ball further than anyone, ever. There were tons of newspapers then, plenty of witnesses & barnstorming tours. If the ball was any different than today, it had to be only marginally so.”

    Funny, isn’t it, that as we got better at observing baseball, and got better at measuring baseball, and all around starting taking this shit more seriously… mystical results like Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson started to disappear.

    Ruth is JFK. It’s fun to glorify them both, but it’s impossible to deny the “bump” they both received from friendly journalism… Which just doesn’t exist anymore.

  64. Mike Felber Says:

    What you pointed out is a mistaken interpretation of what i meant. Context is everything.

    I was answering your comment before that “Mike just said that ball players are not greedy”. When i said nothing of the kind. Again, noot ALL ballplayers are greedy. And how greedy who might be, 7 how to define this, varies by interpretation.

    You seemed to be referring to ballplayers in totem, NOT by degrees/as varying in the characteristic of greed. While i would never deny that where there is a lot of money, there will be significant greed.

    It is not true that nobody wants to sit next to someone who looks Muslim or named Mohammed. It is true that there is gonna be more fear of someone who looks thusly, that someone from the middle east is more likely to be a terrorist, & that the vast majority of any nationality, color & religion will never consider taking down or highjacking a plane.

    Your5th paragraph is a slippery slope. You know I think players 7 most with a lot of money are very fond of it. And that they will take “actions” to maximize that. Which does not tell what actions, when, 7 to what lengths they will go.

    Yes, as anyone here can tell you, there is an enormous difference between PEDs & that surgery. One is fully legal, the other not. One is restorative-there is a small question if someone can get better than before with it, but this is unknown. IF true & predictable, & done with that INTENT, it becomes more similar to ‘roids.

    I would prefer it if you stopped putting me into broad categories like how liberals think-unless you have specific reason to believe I share the history to project upon me, & that logical thought process.

    You have no reason to believe that on any level i am considering only what a niice upbringing kid would consider doing.

    I did NOT indicate all would share my ethics. In fact I specifically indicated otherwise. By saying that some will still be cheating, there is greed-I just did not make the same broad & negative generalizations about how folks will behave. o present a range of responses & beliefs.

    Yes, a kid trying to get out of seemingly hopeless poverty will be more likely to not consider as carefully, or at all, the nuances of ethics, given their desperate situation.

    Your arguments would apply, to a degree, if i ever said anything like rarely has anyone cheated, or that the game has been completely cleaned up.

    I never claimed anything at all like that. I specifically said otherwise, just that usage has by all indications declined. A “conservative” & rational proposition.

  65. Mike Felber Says:

    @63: Overall that is correct Hoss. But read the book & see if you disagree with Jenkinson. I have not heard any serious disagreements.

    There are too many independent accounts of the same event that coalesce. The details would vary more if they were all thinking up their own exaggerations. The NY newspapers especially were fiercely competitive. They would not collaborate to list the same mythical distances, they were trying to scoop each other.

    That ball in Detroit went over a fence of a distance known within a few feet. Other balls landed on roofs at measurable distances. He checks very carefully to account for things like bounces & rolls being counted.

    He loves Babe, but looking at the evidence, it seems improbable that unconscious bias would have enabled claims that are not supported by evidence.

    In most all spheres of human performance, a better than ever showing in a brute physical skill could not come without modern training & science. Ruth could not have been near the strongest ever, Owens the fastest, even on the same track.

    But hitting & throwing for speed or distance seems different. It is not purely dependent upon strength, & someone like Ruth could have virtually maxed out on any greater potential, through the intuitive “walking away from his hands” & other, loading aspects of his swing, & additional strength could have had no or diminishing returns.

    The only legitimate question here is IF Ruth was better at pure distance than anyone, was it due to unique abilities with a heavy bat when he could not have great strength by modern standards, or is there something beyond muscular strength that was unique about his combination of body & style that allowed this heavy bat superiority…

    Or could he have hit it even further with a lighter more efficient modern bat? Even though the sweet spot would be smaller, thus # of HRs reduced…

  66. Hossrex Says:

    Ugh… I’m tired of explaining myself to the scarecrow for the night.

  67. John Says:

    @62, thank you!

    I could’ve used you when I was trying to explain to these people why showing up to your job as a professional ballplayer blitzed is actually way more unethical, and of lower character than taking a substance which makes you better at your job.

  68. Mike Felber Says:

    I did not set up any Straw Men Hoss. I did not attribute any belief to you that you did not claim. I have been exceedingly precise. The results attributed by Jenkinson are not “mystical”, but given that they are further than anyone else by a more than marginal amount, it is worth researching whether:

    1) That particular skill could be maximized without modern training, unlike physical strength or running ability.

    2) Whether he likely did hit the balls that distance, & if it is plausible with someone of his build & type of swing.

    Basically, is this a skill where the tools & a man with peculiar abilities & physical quirks (like a hugely bigger expanded compared to normal chest) COULD be such an outlier, even compared to following generations?

    Being blitzed is not ethical. But is is both illegal in national & baseball rules to use those substances. And everyone else here does think that consciously lying & cheating is worse than a personal flaw that makes one hurt their performance. The latter hurts you & your team.

    Using PEDs hurts the game, reputation when discovered, hurts all fair & honest competitors, & denies others the same chance at their career, dreams &/or money. And contributes to wins that are at least in some small part ill-gotten gains

  69. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “I did not set up any Straw Men Hoss”

    When a person is developing a point, and in the process of that makes (what would be obvious to anyone as) a joke, and the respondent spends more time analyzing the joke… It gets frustrating explaining that it was just a joke.

    Did you REALLY think I meant “no human being on earth wants to sit next to a gentleman named Mohamed during air travel”, as a serious point in the discussion about performance enhancing drugs in baseball?

    That’s (part of) what Chuck and Raul are always talking about.

  70. Raul Says:

    LOL @ John 62.

    The point of that whole discussion was simple.

    I simply don’t see how you can think that using steroids isn’t unethical, but at the same time claim that you are happy they are out of the game.

    The very nature of what you were saying at the time damn near suggested that players should be LAUDED for using steroids.

    I wasn’t even arguing with you, really.
    My beef is…if you really don’t think steroids are unethical, I simply want you to come out and say that you want steroids to be allowed in the game.

    Because…really how could you not eventually come to that connection?

  71. Raul Says:

    The Pro Bowl was today.

    ..and not a fuck was given.

  72. Hossrex Says:


    Even more despicable is the REASON people feel the way they do. In a vacuum, almost no one would ever say “athletes shouldn’t take medication which will give them the potential to be better at their craft”, except the (vast?) majority of people have been so blinded by sensationalized sports “journalism”, based solely on the results of 1970’s era steroid use (it’s not as fucking dangerous today, morons), that they manufacture this bizarre set of ethics based on nothing, and then act legitimately SURPRISED when others don’t subscribe to their arbitrary (and hypocritical) set of playground ‘fairness’ rules… Even though in ANY other discussion about fairness in sports (re: baseballs unbalanced schedule, baseballs crapshoot playoff system, baseballs broken draft, free fucking agency, and even down to the foundational unfairness of divirsified genetics), those same people would laugh at the idea that a sport even SHOULD be fair.

    And none of them understand the irony.

    Did someone really say routinely playing drunk is better than using ‘roids?

    Ever wonder why America is a shit hole these days? That’s why.

    (note to Mike: if it tells you something about you’re perceived, I almost went back and changed “America” to “The United States”, just to avoid that discussion)

  73. Hossrex Says:

    Raul #70: “I wasn’t even arguing with you, really.
    My beef is…if you really don’t think steroids are unethical, I simply want you to come out and say that you want steroids to be allowed in the game.

    Because…really how could you not eventually come to that connection?”

    I don’t think pitchers should be allowed to use the spitball, but I don’t think the spitter was unethical.

  74. Raul Says:

    No one really said playing drunk is better than using steroids.

    That was something John (tongue-in-cheek) suggested when trying to compare Mickey Mantle destroying himself, to Mark McGwire (or someone else) taking steroids.

    Which is…frankly…fucking silly.

  75. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Hossrex 73.

    Poor phrasing perhaps by me. By I appreciate you thinking (or joking) that ethics is ultimatley/always what I believe should decide what is allowed in the game.

  76. hossrex Says:

    Can you explain, in as succinct a manner as you feel comfortable, why steroids are unethical?

  77. Raul Says:

    Ultimately we’re just going to get into a pissing contest about where we differ in drawing the line.

    So, nope.

  78. Mike Felber Says:

    Hoss, dude. You addressed one (1) point of many I wrote in one post. That post was 12 generally quite short paragraphs. I suppose I am “guilty” of being too literal about the Mohammed point. While I did not think you meant every single person, I thought you meant most all.

    That was a tiny bit of points being made, not even a necessary supporting beam. “Part of” what our 2 pals are talking about? OK, occasionally I am more literal than necessary. That is not often mentioned, but sometimes….mea culpa.

    There are many ways to be rational & smart on an issue, & folks who are wrong on a point are not fucking morons. For example, you are not & should not be called one, though I don’t think you understand about the dangers of ‘roids.

    While folks know better how to use them today, that is obviated by a few things: 1) Some folks use the old drugs 2) Not everyone knows how to use them more safely 3) There IS no known dose that is assured safe, all we know is that certain things seem more dangerous, especially in larger quantities. There are no studies controlling for various combos & doses, they would be illegal & unethical. & 4) is big: the dosages, & amount of things available, of ‘roids are often much larger today.

    The major reason the biggest lifters come in somewhat shorter & more cut at around 50 lbs. more than Ahhhhnold-more & better steroids. Which includes higher DOSES. However much we think we know about what is likely safer, effectively guys today take stuff that is making the free testosterone level in their bloodstream much, likely many times higher than in the ’70’s. So it may well be MORE dangerous today.

    Anyway, the knowledge & hatred of ‘roids is all based on ’70’s hype? That is so mistaken. That something is hyped, lurid, sensationalized does not mean the critiques do not have validity, like violent crime.

    I don’t know Hoss, the vast majority of folks accept that there are more or less fair playoffs, drafts, schedules, free agencies…few think that all of these things are perfect now.

    The genetics example is a category error. Virtually everyone knows that “fairness” does not denote robotic sameness. It means an even playing field of opportunity for things like differential effort, cunning, strategy, & yes, genetics, to thrive.

  79. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant to make clear only 1 paragraph of 12, in a single post, even addressed the fear of a highjacker point. And it was not a necessary point to maintain the main 7 other positions.

    What is worse, being drunk or ‘roiding all the time? Depends what you mean. If it is constant, LIKELY the alcohol is worse for your health, since you are an alcoholic. That drug is worse than most when used in more than moderation, though how much PEDs are used in what form is hard to know/know the effect of.

    The initial proposition as discussed awhile back was playing hung over. I am not aware of Mickey or any player being drunk being games routinely, it must have been rare. But IF someone is, that would be noticeable, not able to be hidden, & who could even continue to be permitted to play clearly drunk?

    What is worse ethically? PEDs in my opinion. Neither is good, & the more trivial point is that only one is made illegal by the Gov’t, a crime.

    Being drunk neither intends NOR gives an advantage, it is the opposite. You are right that being sub par hurts the team. But we must weigh intention AND effect in any valid evaluation of morality. Let us use this word, since ethics is usually taken to involve the letter of the law more, & i do not want to seize an unfair advantage for my side.

    So one guy, due to a personal problem which medical science is pretty unanimous is a disease, hurts his team. The other guy INTENDS to cheat, & also likely seizes an unfair advantage.

    Both mess with the spirit of fair competition. But one harms himself due to a disease he is responsible for treating but does not or has not done so effectively yet. The other likely helps, but anyone who maintains greed is so strong in athletes must acknowledge it is mainly for his benefit, career & financial, not to add marginal value to the team. It overwhelmingly is a selfish act, illegal in baseball too. That almost always is LIED about.

  80. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “one is made illegal by the Gov’t, a crime.”

    The law was never meant to be an instruction manual for morality.

    Apparently slavery wasn’t unethical before the 13th amendment.

    (insert 500 word reply about why slavery was always immoral)

  81. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “Hoss, dude. You addressed one (1) point of many I wrote in one post. That post was 12 generally quite short paragraphs.”

    You write 1,000 word posts. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (since I do also), but I just don’t have it in me to write a thousand word reply to your rebuttal, when most of what I’d be saying is “that was a joke”, or “that wasn’t literal”, or “did you really think THAT’S what I meant?” (especially when the answer is always, no… That isn’t what you thought I meant, but you wrote 200 words about it anyway).

    I’ve just had a shitty day though, and that ain’t got nothing to do with you. I do like reading what you write, and I DO like arguing with you.

    Just give me this one.

  82. Hossrex Says:

    So… Sorry I guess.

  83. Mike Felber Says:

    Sorry about your day, no problem.

    The law is supposed to be ’bout morality, covering the things that hurt individuals, freedom, & proper social intercourse. Yah, that word chosen just for fun!

    I recognized the point about slavery, I know you do not need convincing there!

    The truth is we are both touchy about being misunderstood. You asked me do i really think you mean…And no time did I think what you thought i did. Except I did not know how much of a joke you meant re: the airline matter. I just meant that this was a small point amongst a sea of others, & the understanding did not effect the other & larger points.

    Anyway, much of what i was writing recently was not an argument at all…Unless you think that Ruth could NOT have hit further than anyone ever. I really am interested in whether & how that is possible. ‘Cause he seems to have done so.

    Its like my avatar here. I think he COULD have been the fastest ever. I do not know if he was, but there are a bunch of reasons I can give you re: me triangulating he threw over 100 MPH at least. And that dude Steve Dalkowski-many major league baseball men, players & coaches, found him faster than anyone. Though pretty small, no long arms, a borderline retarded alcoholic.

    Teddy Ballgame faced him & thought so. Never wanted to again.

  84. John Says:

    @70, simple. I think a game with fewer users is more exciting, plus steroids have long term health ramifications. Neither of these things makes steroids unethical.

    @74, the point of the Mantle thing was with reference to the whole reason why steroid users are being left out of the HOF: the character clause.

    No one is saying that the effects of the two on one’s game is similar. But if you’re going to justify the exclusion of a man with a 162 career OPS+ based on the character clause, then other showings of bad (worse) character cannot just be overlooked.

  85. Cameron Says:

    Why bring up Mickey Mantle on the character clause, John? Ty Cobb was a MUCH worse asshole.

  86. Bob Says:

    John, I just sent my newest one. Thanks

  87. Bob Says:

    The Cubs signed Trevor Miller. Second time Theo has gotten him. I will bet he makes their roster out of spring training.

  88. Bob Says:

    1. Pat Burrell retired.
    2. The Yankees are talking with Bill Hall

  89. Mike Felber Says:

    Mantle had a 172 OPS +. The character clause is overwhelmingly interpreted-correctly, I believe-as properly applying to things that effect the game negatively. Being a violent racist should be condemned, but it dhouls not keep one out of the HOF. Not being as great as you could due to hangovers is unfortunate, but it is not the same as choosing to cheat/steal glory & victories for the team. It is a disease 7 personal flaw. It was not even understood as the former in mantle’s day, it was laughed at & part of Yankee lore.

  90. Kerry Says:

    @61 Mike, I haven’t read Adair lately, som my memory on it is fuzzy (and my copy is at home), but it’s important to remember that he did make some simplifying assumptions. They may or may not cause his results to be unrealistic. (There’s a famous joke about physicists assuming a spherical chicken, as an example of making assumptions that simplify a problem too much.) But for the most part he’s probably correct.

    So perhaps the Babe was especially strong; maybe for such people, a heavier bat is the way to go. Since today most players use lighter bats, the really strong batters may not have thought to go that heavy, and perhaps they could do better if they did. Also, there are always external factors like the wind, the speed of the pitched ball, etc., that can affect a particular AB.

  91. Kerry Says:

    Regarding Mantle, I think not being in the best shape for a game is unprofessional, rather than unethical. Maybe that’s semantics, but to me they’re different. It’s no worse than not training as hard as someone else, i.e., not living up to your potential. I wouldn’t call that unethical, just a waste. And it’s definitely different than cheating, as Mike discusses @89.

  92. Kerry Says:

    And since I’m weighing in on things, here’s another:

    Regarding bad language on DC (from another thread — thank you everyone for switching to this thread, my inbox was being flooded by the comments since it was my article!), I don’t like it either. I think it is ultimately being disrespectful to the audience, or person if directed at an individual. It’s a sign that our society has become more uncivil. Younger people seem to have this problem more than others.

    You can say that people offended by such language should not be so sensitive, or go somewhere where they won’t be subjected to it. But the actual words are meant to shock or insult someone, which relates back to being disrespectful or uncivil. To the extent that they are not meant that way, i.e., they are being used as a generic strong adjectives, they are either superfluous or not the best word you could use — AND they are bound to insult some fraction of the population. If you don’t care that you are insulting other people (or secretly hope that you are), you are being mean and insensitive.

    I’m not religious at all, but to me the Golden Rule is still a pretty good way to live your life. If you swear a lot, especially at people (as opposed to just using the words as generic adjectives), and you don’t believe in the Golden Rule, you should expect (or at least not have a problem with) people swearing back at you in a similar fashion. This is very confrontational, and, to me, unnecessary (maybe even unhealthy). If you want to live your life that way, fine, but count me out.

    This is not to say you can never swear — I don’t view it like a religious person would. For instance, I occasionally swear, but when I do people know there’s a damn good reason for it.

  93. Kerry Says:

    I forgot to mention that swearing at someone is often used as essentially an ad hominem (gee, my spell-checker apparently doesn’t know Latin!) argument, i.e., attempting to win an argument by attacking the other person, and not effectively countering their argument. If the rest of your words DO effectively counter their argument, then why not just leave it at that? The only reason for not doing so is, once again, that you want to be insulting.

  94. Mike Felber Says:

    Huh, thanks Kerry. But i do believe Adair has been proven wrong: it is very clear that some players can hit the ball 500′ or more under NEUTRAL conditions, even against MLB quality pitching. A tiny % of folks could do it under any conditions though.

    What i wonder about Kerry: theory & practice SEEMS to show that a lighter, more efficiently built bat helps one hit the ball further. Of course we wonder if a heavier bat is better for some like Babe: but the fact that he & Mantle hit huge blasts on the RARE occasions makes me wonder if they could have done even better with lighter bats.

    but if not, if some can maximize potential with heavy bats: WHY? Ruth & mantle could not have the strength of even so many clean modern athletes, due to a lack of any scientific weight & other training. PED enhanced athletes will be greatly stronger.

    IS there something else besides all known conventional measures of strength that would allow someone to use a heavier bat, swing it faster &/or more effectively, than a guy like Big Mac who is much stronger?

    I would tend to find not working hard or damaging yourself with drugs/alcohol a moral issue. The definition of ethics tends to turn on legal issues, but if it is taken to be a variant of morality, I would say it is immoral, though not as bad as cheating & lying either in personal morality, nor on the distorting, balance of the game warping contribution to corruption.

  95. Raul Says:

    (insert Lewis Black bit about bad language here)

  96. Jim Says:

    When ST starts Matt Stairs will be holding microphone rather than a bat. He signed on as a RS broadcast studio analyst.

  97. Bob Says:

    The Rangers and Ron Washington agreed to a 2-year extension.

  98. Hossrex Says:

    Dear Matty Stairs

    I fucking hate you. I wish you would fall down a well. I wish your closest loved ones would (in unison) rebuff your wants and needs, and leave you somber alone, and prepared to die alone (unless you find that well).


    The Los Angeles Dodgers fanbase.

  99. Hossrex Says:

    Mike #94: “i do believe Adair has been proven wrong: it is very clear that some players can hit the ball 500′ or more under NEUTRAL conditions”

    But that wasn’t your original thesis.

    Mike #61: “I read Adair’s book where he says that even 500′ under nuetral conditions would be impossible for a normal size athlete.”

    There’s an abnormal sized athletes worth of difference between “impossible”, and “impossible for normal”.

    Mike #94: “even against MLB quality pitching”

    It would be incomprehensibly more difficult to hit a 500 foot homerun against little league pitching than major league pitching.

    Unless theres a 12 year old who can throw a 95 mph fastball without movement.

  100. Cameron Says:

    And over the plate. From what I’ve observed, it’s harder to hit a home run off bad pitching than good pitching. Good pitchers throw more strikes, and it’s hard to hit a homer off a bad ball.

  101. Hossrex Says:

    It’s all physics. Whether or not the ball goes 500 feet or 250 feet has just as much to do with the velocity of the pitch as it does the torque of the swing.

  102. John Says:


    but yeah, Hossrex is right.

    Thanks for the submission, Bob – putting it up momentarily.

  103. Hossrex Says:

    According to newtons third law… And a (un)healthy knowledge of baseball… I would suggest the distance of a home run would be FAR more determinant by the pitch then the swing.

    If you throw me ten thousand flat strikes at 500 miles per hour, I’ll probably get lucky and drive one at least 500 feet.

  104. Mike Felber Says:

    A faster pitch will mean you hit it further, all other things being equal. But it is not nearly mostly the speed of a pitch.

    First, there is a very finite limit to how fast a ball can be thrown. If you talk 500(!) MPH, then it might be enough to have the distance be “mostly” from the incoming speed. You would need to swing just when you see the arm about to be released-nobody could get around on a ball thrown that fast without that ‘cheating’. Like they disqualify sprinters who move too soon after the gun, ’cause they know they are just anticipating, not reacting. I know that nobody is arguing this point, just saying.

    But those in HR hitting contests routinely slug 60 or so MPH marshmallows for distance. look it up-30 or 40 more MPH does add significant difference. But that distinction is much less than comparing a top slugger than an average man…

    Grooving straight & fairly slow pitches is the best way to hit more HRs, if you have MLB slugger power. However, if their competition was for the furthest DISTANCE hit only, then they would have speed balls grooved. So to speak.

  105. Mike Felber Says:

    GOOD CALL on the Adair point Hoss. To be more precise: he incorrectly felt nobody who has played the game can or has hit 500′ HRs under neutral conditions.

    When I described “abnormal” sized athletes, I meant that he would buy it being possible for an exceedingly strong guy who is at least 7′ tall.

    And any huge difference beyond that would need to be bigger than anybody is, or is absent a pituitary issue/while being physically competent.

  106. JohnBowen Says:

    That was what Bonds used to say…what was it…90% of a home run is the pitcher’s doing? Or something?

    Anyway, if we simply look at the momentum aspect, we have sigma (m1v1) = sigma (m2v2) with the velocity of the ball and the angle at which the ball is hit being the determining factors in how far it goes.

    It’s a pretty simple physics problem…do distance = initial velocity * time + 0.5* acceleration* time^2, in both the x and y directions. 2 equations, 2 unknowns, initial velocity in the x direction = initial velocity * cos (angle), initial velocity in the y direction = initial velocity * sin (angle). Acceleration is 0 in the x direction, -32 ft/sec in the y direction. Distance is 0 in the y direction, 500 in the x direction.

    Once you find initial velocity (or, velocity immediately after contact), you’re left with:

    Mass of Bat*Velocity of Swing + Mass of Baseball*Velocity of Fastball = Mass of Bat*Velocity of follow-through + Mass of Baseball*Initial Velocity after contact

    From there, you can play around with which factor has the most impact, though I suspect Hoss is right.

    This all, of course, neglects things like air resistance (found by examining the aerodynamics of a baseball, coefficient of drag, etc).

  107. Mike Felber Says:

    You suspect that the speed a ball is pitched at within the parameters of how fast it is actually thrown is the biggest factor? I gotta go to the gym now, but I suspect you can easily look up something like how many MPH leads to how much additional distance.

    Unless you are talking about crazy not real life speeds such as 500 MPG FB, I’ll bet that the biggest difference is the velocity the bat is swung at. Assuming it is swung at an optimal angle at the sweet spot. Look at it this way…

    How much CAN the speed of a pitched ball vary duing a game? tops around 40 MPH, right?

    How much can the force of a MLB player who is capable of hitting any HRs vary? Like the furthest hitter vs. the most power bereft mid infielder (who likely could still hit the ball further than all of us, in absolute terms).

  108. JohnBowen Says:

    Well, what do bat speeds range between?

    I mean, a bat weighs like 7 times as much as a ball.

    So, increasing bat speed 1 mile an hour has roughly 7-8 times as much impact on the final momentum as increasing ball speed by 1 mile per hour. I just don’t have a very good idea of how fast a bat swinging through the strike zone is going.

  109. Cameron Says:

    @103 That’s the old adage more or less. Faster the ball crosses the plate, the faster it leaves the park. That’s why a fireballer needs to learn to paint the corners or develop a REALLY good off-speed to catch guys waiting on the heater. If the only good pitch is a heater and it’s flat…

    Well, lemme say it before Chuck does, you’re Aroldis Chapman.

  110. Raul Says:


    …it’s in the 90s.

  111. Kerry Says:

    @108, not quite, John. Your conservation of momentum equation is correct, but if you also assume conservation of energy in the collision (not really true, but maybe not too bad) and treat the bat and ball as point particles (and let the bat be 7 times heavier), you get the final speed of the ball to be

    vf = (12 vbat + 5 vball)/7,

    so the initial ball speed has more of an effect than you might think.

    Also, vbat will be less the heavier the bat. I suspect that the strength of the batter determines the energy given to the bat, rather than its momentum (don’t remember what Adair assumed), in which case a numerical analysis shows that for bat speeds above about 40 MPH, decreasing the weight of the bat increases the speed of the hit ball. These are all extremely crude calculations, but probably not too far off.

    BTW, the actual formula for vf is (in this approximation)

    vf = 2*wbat/(wbat+wball)*vbat + (wbat-wball)/(wbat+wball)*vball

    where the w’s are weights and the v’s are speeds. For a very heavy bat, vf =
    2*vbat – vball; for a very light bat, vf = vball. It might look like you would want a very heavy bat, but you would have trouble generating enough bat speed in that case :-)

  112. JohnBowen Says:

    Ah ok. Yeah, I was pretty much using all the simplest assumptions, which includes point-masses.

  113. Chuck Says:

    Mike…sweet spot wouldn’t be smaller on a lighter bat, it’s actually larger.

  114. Mike Felber Says:

    Really Chuck? If so, why? More surface area usually means a bigger sweet spot, & you can job the weight distribution a bit. Recall when they came out with those 1st Prince Tennis racquets? It was the shape & size that gave them a bigger sweet spot. All other things being equal, I can only see a lighter bat having a sweet spot RELATIVELY bigger than its weight, not the volume of the bat. Kerry?

    So this question remains a mystery. Obviously strength as in moving, carrying & pushing a weight it only one factor that goes into what is the “:strength” of a swing. Otherwise the strongest weightlifters, regular, Olympic, powerlifters-would hit the ball the furthest.

    We know some factors that go into bat speed. Leverage & fast twitch fibers are some of ‘em. But Kerry, given that A Ruth & Mantle (esp. Ruth, since he used the heaviest bats & hit the furthest) used heavy bats, AND it would have taken men somewhat STRONGER than them to swing those heavy bats fast enough to compensate for the lost speed at that weight…

    Are we forced to conclude that they COULD have hit the ball even further if they used ~ 32 ounce “toothpicks” that Ruth described, once tried to great effect, & are common today? And today’s bats have a more efficient distribution of weight.

  115. Cameron Says:

    Faster bat, Mike. The speed of the bat is faster and it offsets the lack of momentum from a heavier bat. A faster bat has a bigger sweet spot because there’s more room for error.

  116. Mike Felber Says:

    I was just saying in 107:

    The variation in pitched ball speeds is normally a max of 40 MPH. The slowest change up is still in the 60’s right? The rare eephus (high lob) ball is the only exception. Control for EVERY other factor, how much extra distance would you get from the softest floater compared to a Chapman FB?

    A lot. But not as much as the variation between the slugging ability of the worst & best distance hitter in MLB. Most everyone hits a HR with enough AB. Considering neutral conditions, at their best, would not the most punch & judy hitter be able to drive a rare FB 340′ for a HR near the line?

    And the furthest slugger today-until recently Dunn, maybe Hamilton now-could we not add around exactly50% to their max potential drive under ideal conditions? In fact, I do not know if conditions were fully neutral, but I think Jenkinson pegged him with one about 540′.

    And the sluggers can hit soft pitches a long way during HR derbies. And all of these contests did not have juiced balls (back to Mantle’s time), but they always lobbed them in.

    So pitch speed is significant. But does not approach the importance of how well the bat is swung. Which for the hardest hitters, can be more like 120 MPH.

  117. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree with your 2nd sentence Cam. But if you mean by “room for error” how far the ball will go-I don’t know if that is rightly effecting the evaluation of the sweet spot. Maybe.

  118. Hossrex Says:

    No one is saying the batter doesn’t matter to the results of an at-bat. We’re saying that distance is a primary function of conserved energy, and the amount of energy is very much dependent on the velocity of each of the objects transferring their energy.

    The difference between the sheer force of Adrian Gonzalez’s swing, and the FORCE behind James Loney’s swing very probably isn’t nearly as great as the difference between a 70mph breaker and a 100.9 Nolan Ryan fastball.

    So discounting (developed) skill, the biggest difference between a 311 foot homerun over the power alley, and a 500 foot JACK over the Dodger Stadium left field pavilion is the velocity of the pitch.

    None of your playing around with the English language will change the “opinion” of two people with EXTENSIVE knowledge of physics, and one douchebag Dodgers fan with an innate ability for this shit.

    Gotta love being ambidextrous, with a very comfortable relationship regarding both halves of your brain. :)

  119. Cameron Says:

    The velocity matters on a heater, Hoss, but it can be relative on others. Guys like Prince Fielder can muscle a hanging curve in the mid 70s into Monument Park with their eyes shut if they read it right. A slower pitch can be taken for a ride easy, but you really need to muscle it to do that. Only guys who can tape measure at will on those shots I can think of are Prince and (surprisingly) Justin Upton.

  120. Mike Felber Says:

    I was always fully aware & in agreement of your 1st paragraph Hoss.

    Who are the 2 folks with extensive knowledge of Physics? Kerry certainly, & John to some extent. He will be unoffended that he does not have the expertise of a Physics Professor with a ton of cutting edge published work in peer reviewed journals.

    I am not “playing with words”. I am being precise & trying to get at the truth.

    WHICH of these guys has said anything like your 2nd & 3rd paragraphs in post 118? They say nothing of the sort. John spoke about the bat speed effect being 7-8 times as much of an impact as initial ball speed. Kerry said only that the ball speed has more of an impact than he might think.

    You also did not address my logic at all re: controlling for every other factor, & comparing then the mightiest swings by a “puny” MLB batter & the strongest. And comparing that to the difference between what EITHER of them get if everything else is controlled for, but BOTH guys swing at a 70 MPH breaker & a 101 (I rounded up for you out of generosity! ;-)

    I will bet you that NEITHER of these guys will think the 31 MPH effect is nearly as much a difference as what the differential is between the 2 of them at the same pitch speed!

    I’ll even bet ya Chuck will agree with me!

    I provided the anecdotal evidence of how powerhouses can hit bombs even with batting practice HRs (though of course not as far as heaters will fly).

  121. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “The velocity matters on a heater, Hoss, but it can be relative on others. Guys like Prince Fielder can muscle a hanging curve in the mid 70s into Monument Park with their eyes shut if they read it right. A slower pitch can be taken for a ride easy, but you really need to muscle it to do that. Only guys who can tape measure at will on those shots I can think of are Prince and (surprisingly) Justin Upton.”

    (YEAH! I’m on a desktop talking to you guys!)

    Of course that’s true, but we’re speaking to OUTLIER distances. We’re talking about hitting a baseball further than someone thought possible under normal circumstances.

    That don’t happen on a breaking ball what don’t break (sic).

    Mike: “John to some extent”

    John #106: “Anyway, if we simply look at the momentum aspect, we have sigma (m1v1) = sigma (m2v2) with the velocity of the ball and the angle at which the ball is hit being the determining factors in how far it goes.

    It’s a pretty simple physics problem…do distance = initial velocity * time + 0.5* acceleration* time^2, in both the x and y directions. 2 equations, 2 unknowns, initial velocity in the x direction = initial velocity * cos (angle), initial velocity in the y direction = initial velocity * sin (angle). Acceleration is 0 in the x direction, -32 ft/sec in the y direction. Distance is 0 in the y direction, 500 in the x direction.”

    Mayhaps we can quibble over my use of the word “EXTENSIVE”… but come on man.

    You know what I meant.

    Mike: “I am not “playing with words”. I am being precise & trying to get at the truth.”

    What was it someone told you the other day? If you disagree with the rest of the world… everyone else probably isn’t wrong?

    Mike: “WHICH of these guys has said anything like your 2nd & 3rd paragraphs in post 118?”

    John #102: “but yeah, Hossrex is right. “
    John Bowen #106: “90% of a home run is the pitcher’s doing?”
    John Bowen #106: “I suspect Hoss is right. “
    John Bowen #108: “Well, what do bat speeds range between? (implied)
    Cameron #109: “@103 That’s the old adage more or less. Faster the ball crosses the plate, the faster it leaves the park. That’s why a fireballer needs to learn to paint the corners or develop a REALLY good off-speed to catch guys waiting on the heater. If the only good pitch is a heater and it’s flat…” (not even one of the “experts”)
    Kerry #111: “the initial ball speed has more of an effect than you might think. “

    So… regarding “WHICH” guy said what… regardless of how you’re going to say those points don’t agree with the EXACT point you were asking about… it would seem to everyone more concerned with truth than semantics, that the correct question should be (other than you) who ISN’T agreeing with me.

  122. Mike Felber Says:

    The exact point is everything Hoss! But there is some truth in what you say, & some misses or ERRORS in what I observed about John’s comments. Mea Culpas 1st:

    I did not properly notice the significance John’s statements in 102 & 106. Good points, though the 90% is not meant to be taken literally, all three (3) of those statements support your claim about what John said. My miss there!

    108 is different, he asks the question & goes on to surmise a 7-8 X impact of bat speed compared to ball speed! So the later statement is evidence of a different & wavering though process.

    Cameron’s statement is no evidence of the point at all. We all agreed that faster pitch = more distance, all other things being equal. The query has been, controlling for all other factors, WHICH has more impact on distance: the largest variation in pitcher speed you will see on the MLB level, or the largest variation in power/swing force on MLB level?

    Cameron clearly agrees with me (post 119).

    Kerry never took any position re: comparing MLB pitch & swing speed effects on a batted ball.

    Time to throw ya a bone (I am just being playful). Though i said not “as” extensive as a top level Physicist, I have no problemo saying John’s knowledge of Physics is so. I did know what you meant, i was being precise. Say anal if it make you feel better!

    Though not only is there no evidence that the rest of the world disagrees with me on these topics (or my intent), you know that a basic logical fallacy is that popularity of an opinion does not equal truth.

    So I will double down! The expertise of Kerry & John is good enough for me! Unless there is a disagreement, if’n they agree with one of our positions, let us agree it is true!

    I am hyper-confident that when all other factors are created equal, Kerry will agree that a batted ball struck by a 31 MPH-no, use MY 40 MPH, not even just your 31 MPH differential-will be SIGNIFICANTLY less of a differential in distance than the mightiest & least powerful MLB players striking a ball at WHATEVER speed you choose!

    As for John: the last comment provides mixed evidence. I STILL will wager that he will agree with Kerry, Cameron & I on this point. This is a common sense one supported by the examples Cameron & I cited. To supplement it, the most bandy-candy ass 8used for alliterative joy, not to communicate contempt) MLB hitter is likely to hit a pitch out at ~90 MPH or so: just ’cause this is the average FB, & he is likely to need speed to help. Cranking it up to 11 (100 MPH) just cannot add that much more distance.

    And if the biggest sluggers can smash HR derby & breaking ball pitches for long HRs, clearly the power of the man striking a ball, EVEN confined to those at the top level of the sport, makes a much larger difference than a 31 or 40 MPH pitch speed difference thrown to the same guy.

    This is all in good fun! But if’n there is a 2 man consensus opposing my claims about this matter, I will have carnal relations with a waterfowl! With proper consent, of course. I will not urge you to offer up such dramatic fealty…

  123. Raul Says:

    jesus fucking christ

  124. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “Though i said not “as” extensive as a top level Physicist, I have no problemo saying John’s knowledge of Physics is so. I did know what you meant, i was being precise. Say anal if it make you feel better!”

  125. Mike Felber Says:

    Right, when I said “so” above, I meant the word “extensive”. Which is a matter of degrees. We do not disagree here. I confidently place the verdict on this question at the mercy & discretion of those two gentleman. If you care Raul, & have a significant background in Physics, render your verdict.

  126. Raul Says:

    No verdict.

    You’re all smart men. But physics equations is literally the last thing I care to discuss regarding baseball.

    Let me know if anyone’s heard a trade rumor or has got a story about George Brett banging hot chics after games.

  127. Cameron Says:

    I don’t need to have a background in physics to be an expert in what goes into a home run. I’m an expert on them from being a Royals fan and seeing shit pitching staff after shit pitching staff for my whole life.

  128. Mike Felber Says:

    Hoss, you still staying “slim” (read, not too fat)? And are you gonna leverage your natural strength to build more muscle, which for your body type especially would be an effective way to stay fit? And help with whatever frustrations you felt in life yesterday…

  129. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “Let me know if anyone’s heard a trade rumor or has got a story about George Brett banging hot chics after games.”

  130. Raul Says:


  131. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “Hoss, you still staying “slim””

    I’ve hit the apathy point in my weight loss. I’m at 250 right now, which has come down about 15 pounds in the last year or so (and about 90 lbs down from two years ago), but I’m going to need to do more than stop drinking soda, and cut down on beer to drop much more (I used to be able to get down to 200 without excersize).

    I’d love to work out and get beefy, which I could, but I just can’t work up the motivation.

  132. Raul Says:

    In a Buster Olney blog, they were debating who’s contract was better, Fielder’s or Pujols’.

    Anyway, he also posed a question: What would it require to nail Eric Hosmer to a 10-year deal. An agent he spoke with said about 80-90 million.

    So…10 years, 90 million for Eric Hosmer. Anyone willing to do it?

  133. Cameron Says:

    In a heartbeat, Raul.

  134. Mike Felber Says:

    I’ll give ya some motivation Hoss!

    You can absolutely go just 2X a week & make rapid gains. Beginners tend to, & if you were stronger before, muscle memory kicks in, AND you have excellent genetic potential. You will see results soon, & just having more muscle burns more calories (more metabolically active). Let alone the lifting itself: studies show weight training burns only ~ 60% as many calories as aerobics.

    But if you work out hard, you will burn more calories at REST for up to 48 hours afterwards! Plus consider that if you lift hard, AFTER workouts you can, & to an extent should, be more liberal in what you consume to to your recovery needs/body working like a furnace.

    It also just feels good. Whether the beach pump, or endorphins released from basic strength movements that develop the whole body-squats, dead lifts, presses…It really can be grounding & fun, even BEFORE considering whatever ego boost you get!

    The 1st few weeks will feel a bit awkward, then as you reach a basic level of muscle responsiveness & efficiency it will be increasingly rewarding. I would be happy to write you some basic advice or program to follow.

    Twice a week, at an hour or less all inclusive without rushing. Or 3X a week for even briefer sessions. At 1st the whole body can be done each time, then as you get more endurance, if you like/more effective, you can come in more often.

    But 2x a week, even for a 1/2 hour if you need to skimp on time, is all you ever need to get strong Hoss.

  135. Hossrex Says:

    Mike: “It also just feels good.”

    So does sitting on my ass with my girlfriend drinking beer (less than “normal”) and watching re-runs of Roseanne.

  136. Raul Says:


    Here’s a bag of tater tots and a six-pack of King Cobras…you magnificent bastard.

  137. Mike Felber Says:

    That is fine too. But there are several advantages that make lifting an additive benefit, & qualitatively distinct from ONLY the La-Z-Boy approach.

    The feeling of well being, just biologically, will extend to your couch time.

    You will feel good about the effort, challenge, results &/or discipline.

    You cannot get the same thing only from being sedentary. But you can add this fairly brief investment of time & effort to leverage results you will love.

    It is calming & viscerally satisfying to render not only external progress, but the leverage internal, hormonal flow which is pleasurable. This occurs even to an Ancient Mariner like myself!

    If that is not enough, you will have more fodder to BS about, goals & + results to focus on.

    To the extent you do or talk about it with others, it is fun & bonding. Here is a stupid fun story from tonight.

    I usually join several guys, 2 are regulars, others may join, for Squat might on Mondays. I foolishly thought hey, my pants are ready for the laundry, bent a few times to test them, so stayed in brown corduroys.

    That did not go so well. My strength was approaching my old max, but I progressively ripped ‘em up until the split was massive. I was wearing dark blue boxer briefs, so i guess that it was fine, at least no ladieieies around.

    It was arguably worth it for the laughs a bunch of my pals had. Did not bother me. We used chains on sides of bar, 60 lbs. on each side that trail on ground when you go down to the box we squatted on. A challenge to balance, weight becomes effectively heavier near the top, & just primally fun!

    yes you two can enjoy this & more, & just do not wear regular bottoms to keep your wardrobe intact!

  138. Raul Says:

    Tom Seaver…the wine maker.

  139. Hossrex Says:

    That is quite possibly the worst written article I’ve ever read. Seriously.

    I mean… We get it… Tom Seaver used to play baseball, now he makes wine. Do we really need every aspect of wine making explained through a baseball metaphor, as if we’ve never heard of this strange new beverage?

    “Kent McWhipple was a former double-A catcher who now ‘CATCHES’ more than he bargained for. Where he used to ‘call a game’, he now calls for lost dogs. Thats right, Kent “Lunchbox” McWhipple carries a different sort of lunch box and he ‘CATCHES’ stray dogs instead of fastballs. Where he used to ‘PICK’ breaking balls out of the dirt, he now ‘PICKS’ which dogs make it back home to their owners. When asked “how do you handle working with dogs everyday”, he blithely replied “you kiddin’ me?” (in his traditional Scottish brogue), “compared to the animals I’d handle on the pitching staff, these pups are all-stars!”"

    There. Where’s my 10 cents per word?

  140. Mike Felber Says:

    lol, trippy!

  141. Hossrex Says:

    Holy shit… On a lark, I googled my fictional catcher, and found this awesome page.

    His name is Kent Whipple (his family must have renounced their Scottish heritage), and the whole page is written in that same hilarious “local newspaper public interest story” tone which I was quite specifically mocking in my “story”.

    That’s really funny to me.

  142. Cameron Says:

    I stopped reading at the phrase “late Richard Whipple”.

    …Because the name Dick Whipple makes me giggle like the immature asshole I really am.

  143. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “…Because the name Dick Whipple makes me giggle like the immature asshole I really am.”

    Dude… I’m in a shitty mood, and just reading the name Dick Whipple makes me titter like a school girl. Seriously. I laughed (giggled if we’re being honest) out loud.

    Also funny that while trying to find a comment I made a couple years ago about the Pirates, and their idiotic franchise philosophy, I notice the list of Dugout Central tags.

    Name of tag (number of articles):

    Mariners (3)
    Blue jays (3)
    Padres (3)
    Numerology (18)

    Fucking hell… It’s like a metaphor for the Dugout Central sitting right on the front page, ready to scare people away before they even see Mike and I arguing about the Crimean War.

  144. John Says:

    Yeah, I almost never actually remember to tag my articles.

    So, this is kinda weird: Jon Heyman tweeted at like 6 am that “without getting into what I did” he verified Pujols’s age at 31.

    How cryptic.

  145. Jim Says:

    Manny Delcameron will be buying his own lunches in the old neighborhood, he signed a minor league deal with the Yanks.

  146. Chuck Says:

    Ask Charlie Hough if velocity matters.

  147. Chuck Says:

    Jesus Christ, if this thread doesn’t kill the site once and for all, nothing will.

  148. Raul Says:


  149. Raul Says:

    Happy 30th birthday, Yuniesky Betancourt! Did you know that Betancourt has 1 home run for every 2 walks in his career? Too bad he only has 120 career walks.

    Happy 65th birthday, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan! In 1989, at the age of 42 Ryan pitched 239 innings while posting an ERA of 3.20. Numbers that would have put him 3rd and 22nd, respectively in 2011.

    Happy 81st birthday, Hall of Famer Ernie Banks! Banks is widely regarded as one of the nicest, and most beloved players alive today. The two-time MVP had the 1990 All-Star Game dedicated in his honor.

    Happy 62nd birthday, Bob Apodaca! Bob only had a 5 year Major League career, but if I recall correctly, he’s been a pitching coach for many years with the Mets and Rockies.

    Also born today, Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Pretty much nothing needs to be said about the man. Everyone knows about his impact on sports and the country.

  150. Chuck Says:

    Also born today;

    Charlie Robertson, who in his third major league start pitched the first perfect game of the “live ball” era. Robertson would have an 8 year career with the White Sox, Browns and Braves, posting a 49-80 career W/L record.

    Hank Aguirre, who had a strange 16 year ML career starting with the Indians in 1955. Over his first seven years (3 with Cleveland, four with Detroit), Aguirre was a a situational lefty, only once pitching more than 70 innings in a season. Starting in 1962, the Tigers turned him into a starter, and he proceeded to pitch 200 innings or more in three of the next four seasons and starting 27 or more games three times. In ‘62, Aguirre led the AL in ERA and WHIP and made his only career All-Star game. Over the stretch of 62-66, he would make 128 of his 149 career starts. From 67-70 with Detroit, the Cubs and Dodgers, Aguirre went back to his LOOGY role, starting just once over his final 114 appearances.

    Fred Kendall, a 12 year ML veteran catcher who began his career with the expansion Padres in 1969 and to the youngsters of today is probably better known as Jason Kendall’s dad.

  151. Raul Says:

    Good stuff, Chuck.

  152. Hossrex Says:

    Hey! Happy birthday Ernie.

  153. Hossrex Says:

    Ummmm… Can we all just agree to pretend I didn’t mix up Ernie Banks with Willie Mays. :p

  154. JohnBowen Says:

    Sure, Hoss, we – and by we, I mean I…can make believe that never happened :D

  155. Hossrex Says:

    As my finger was pressing the submit button, my life twisted into a contorted slow motion, while my brain raced to send the impulse down my spinal column, telling my finger not to press the damned button, but it was too late. My finger, normally such a loyal friend, had betrayed me.

  156. Raul Says:

    All black people look the same, eh Hoss?

    You had to know that was coming.

  157. Hossrex Says:

    Whoa now… I might be a huge racist bigot, but don’t you DARE insult my brains ability to identify patterns.

  158. Raul Says:

    …and then these people from THE FUTURE come…and they took our jobbbsssssss.

  159. Chuck Says:

    “…and then these people from THE FUTURE come…and they took our jobbbsssssss.”

    The “FUTURE”?

    Is that what they are calling Mexico now?

  160. Raul Says:

    LOL, Chuck…that’s kind of the whole point behind the South Park episode I was referencing.

    Anyway, if some Mexican is taking an American’s crop-picking job…blame NAFTA?

    Anyone else notice that since Alabama (or was it Georgia?) started introducing those anti-immigration laws, farmers have struggled to find employees and crops have been rotting in the fields?

    Wait, there was a joke I heard once about brain surgeons complaining about illegal immigrants taking their jobs….lol.

    Ugh, Spring Training needs to get here already. I’m not sure this website can handle all these other topics.

  161. Chuck Says:

    “farmers have struggled to find employees and crops have been rotting in the fields?”

    Six bucks an hour to pick lettuce in 90 degree heat isn’t work, it’s slavery.

    The problem with John Doe farmer is John Doe farmer.

  162. Hossrex Says:


  163. Hossrex Says:

    Oh. My. God.

    So I’m sitting here illegally downloading television shows for the miss and I to watch tonight, and after being sorely disappointed that nothing I care about is there, Miss Rex asks me to find her silly “real housewives” show.

    While in the process, I notice something for which I was (blissfully) unaware…

    Fucking Baseball Fucking Wives.

    So… Wow. It’s amazing. I only watched like five minutes, but it was amazing

    It’s fucking Mark Grace’s wife, Jason Kendall’s wife, Matty Fucking Williams wife (I did’t see her, but if she isn’t like 90, good for Matty Williams), Ron Villone, Nyjer Morgan… And seems like I’m forgetting a guy who probably shouldn’t be on that list.

    They all love in Scottsdale, and treat each other poorly.

    Seriously… That’s the premise of the show.

    I can’t say I recommend it, but it does lend credence to the Mayan Calander conspiracy theory.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Remember Dustin Richardson, the former Red Sox lefty most of us thought would beat out Hideki Okajima last year for the last bullpen spot, and who ended up going to Florida for Andrew Miller.

    He was released by Florida and then by Atlanta, and recently was handed a 50 game suspension by MiLB for a failed drug test.

    He tested positive for FIVE DIFFERENT BANNED substances.

    So, shouldn’t it be fifty games for EACH?

    And then there’s the case of some 28 year old Cuban (ha!) who spent last year playing for the Cubs’ A league team, and was released after tearing it up to the tune of .233.

    He also received a 50 game ban.

    For REFUSING to take a test.

    Estúpido idiota retrasado.

  165. Hossrex Says:

    Regardless of my opinion of PEDs, if your big strategy is to use them, and then have your ace in the hole be to just refuse to piss in the cup… Esta MUY stupido.

    How much success could a guy that stupid possibly have? Seems like eventually he’d go on a hunting trip by himself and blow his leg off.

  166. Mike Felber Says:

    Maybe Richardson had 5 distinct rare medical conditions, he just forgot to get the Dr.s notes…

    Talk about in for a dime, in for a dollar!

  167. Cameron Says:

    Or maybe Richardson was trying to find a way to make a more potent version of crack that didn’t involve freebasing. Kudos to him, that’s a task I don’t envy.

  168. Lefty33 Says:

    The Phillies signed Chad Qualls yesterday for 1/1.15.

    Since ‘05 no pitcher in baseball has made more appearances (512) so no doubt they will use him plenty but I really don’t like this move for two reasons.

    1. In 13 career appearances at CBP he has an ERA of 11.12 so clearly his style does not mix well with the place he now calls home.

    2. It retards the growth of the three young bullpen arms the Phillies have on the cusp of the major leagues in Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont, and Mike Schwimer.

    It’s another move by Amaro where continues to show that he’s afraid of giving out roster spots to guys under 30 and that when he eventually has to turn the roster over, it won’t be done in the Gillick style of slowly and gradually.

  169. Hossrex Says:

    Re: #1. 13 RELIEF appearances by a guy who pitches so sparingly that he can make 512 appearances over 6 years could literally mean he’s thrown 13 career PITCHES in Citizens Bank.

    Re: #2. Without Changing a single FACT in the equation, that could be phrased as “his steadying veteran presence should help bring around the young arms.” Likely both opinions have nothing to do with winning or losing ball games.

    Also: 1 million dollars for ONE year is much much less to the phillies than is half a million to most teams in the game.

    Amaro is worried about winning in 2012, not 2017. You’re probably correct that in the end, this decision will probably cost him extra money to get that same level of 2017 production… But as are the woes of being the GM of a high profile team EXPECTED to be playing October baseball.

    Moneyball wouldn’t work in New York.

  170. Raul Says:

    It’s not working in Oakland, either.

  171. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 169 –

    1. Qualls has thrown 11.2 innings in those 13 appearances pitching for both Arizona and Houston and has gotten shelled repeatedly at CBP.

    It’s like the concept of Jaime Moyer pitching for the Rockies this year.

    Don’t try it.

    2. He can’t help “bring anyone around” when he’s taking a roster space that one of them could have had. His signing does little to benefit their development.

    De Fratus is a ready now. Aumont is likely closer of the future and other than his love of three ball counts, he’s ready now. Schwimer got a cup of coffee last year after he dominated out of the bullpen in AAA.

    They have nothing left to prove at the minor league level.

    “Also: 1 million dollars for ONE year is much much less to the phillies than is half a million to most teams in the game.”

    That’s one million dollars better spent on the bench.

    Right now Brian “I didn’t hit my own weight in 2011″ is the back up catcher.

    Thome was signed based on PR value and at his age he can’t be expected to do much.

    The signing of high K/low OBP guys like Nix and Wigginton is silly for a team that has issues getting guys on base in the first place.

    “You’re probably correct that in the end, this decision will probably cost him extra money to get that same level of 2017 production”

    His “mentor” and still senior advisor Pat Gillick was a master at turning over a roster slowly a bit every year so that lesser priced kids always had a chance at making the roster to inject youth and to also inject payroll flexibility.

    Amaro needs to stop being a Luddite towards the concept of sub-30 year old players and give them a shot. Stocking the roster with a bunch of 30+ year old guys doesn’t work at winning a WS.

  172. Hossrex Says:

    Meh. The SPECIFICS of how Billy Beane interpreted and implemented his data aside, he was clearly on a better (defined in this case as: more efficient) path than most general managers.

    I think the distinction is the difference between a manager and a general manager. I’m aware that I’m straying from Billy’s (very specific) vision of a baseball team run from the top down, but I don’t see any particular problem with the idea that the colors chosen for the artists palate should come from an educated and impartial methodology. That doesn’t however mean an artistic stroke isn’t required once the hot stove is over and it’s time for the horses to get their toes wet.

    On the field, statistics are nearly useless (AFTER pitcher/batter match-ups are set).

    I’d hope few would disagree with that, but what’s wrong with a scientific approach to the aspects of the game where science might have value.

    I don’t mean this in the condescending way for which it sounds, but have you read Moneyball? I swear that I only ask because regardless of what you choose to take from the book, it’s a great read, and more specially a really neat glimpse into the game.

  173. Hossrex Says:

    (I’m in the midst of a third time through the book, so apologies fo the dead horse. :p it’s been on my mind again lately)

  174. Hossrex Says:


    “11.2 innings in those 13 appearances”

    To me that smacks of benching your big hitting third baseman, because the 39 year old journeyman who plays day games after night games is 6 for 7 against tonight’s starter.

    I would sure hate to lead the league in appearences over 6 years, and have the only thing people say about me be what I did in 11.2 innings.

    I don’t have a clue what the numbers are for moyers salary, but for the right price, I’d give him 18 starts instead of some 26 (actually 29) year old Dominican fireballer who plays with Legos.

    Roster spots are probably the most precious resources a team has, outside of on-field aspects. I would also be dubious of wasting a spot on him. Far more dubious then I would be in giving him (4% of the roster) LITERALLY 0.5% of my total team salary.

    Lefty: “That’s one million dollars better spent on the bench”

    This is one of, if not the largest team salaries in the National League. It isn’t an “either/or” proposition. Whichever bench players Amaro deems worthy of that 4%, can be very easily paid a million per year, and if not, you an go back and read all my myriad rants after Ryan Howard got his absurd contract.

    Meh… The fun of the debate aside, I really don’t think Chad fuckkng Qualls deserves as much support as I’ve already given him.

    Wasting a roster spot = good point
    Judging any player based on any 11 innings = bad point

    I understand that was a minor point in the grand scheme of your post… I was just having fun.

  175. Chuck Says:

    lol @ # 170

  176. Chuck Says:

    So, if Davey Johnson has his way, Bryce Harper will be the National’s opening day right fielder.

    No word on whether they’ve discussed a position switch with Jayson Werth.

  177. Raul Says:

    I don’t understand this.

    Bryce Harper played like 6 hours of AA-ball last year. Seriously, what is the rush?

    Do they think he’s Ken Griffey Jr.?

  178. Hossrex Says:

    Bryce Harper’s career was, in all probability over the minute he was ranked “best of the shitty 2010 draft”.

    Even if we discounted the psychological pressures which MUST lie heavy over him, he makes so much money (relative to what he SHOULD be making) that the Nationals are almost OBLIGATED to misuse him, for the exact same reason they always openly give… “the fans want to see him”, or “he wasn’t THAT bad in double-A”, or “we’re paying him fifty billion dollars this week, we might as well get SOME return on that”.

    You hear that crap all the time, and the one thing missing from that equation is his natural fucking development curve. We might not have bullshit bonus baby rules anymore, but teams now VOLUN-FUCKING-TARILY do the exact same thing. It’s like no one realizes that (as trite as it sounds) the major leagues ain’t the minor leagues… And more specifically, the entire coaching philosophy is (or ideally should be) different. Harper needs to play somewhere where it doesn’t matter that he goes 0-4 with three K’s on the night. Where instead of countless post-game interviews with dozens of fat sweaty men who focus on every negative aspect of the kid, he needs to be somewhere that after the game, the batting instructor takes him out to the field after the game, and they have a touching Kevin Costner moment where both men work through the hitch in his swing until the wee hours of the morning, when he finally realizes the problem all along was his confidence, not his back elbow.

    You don’t get that at the big league level.

    The great irony is that they gave him so much money that they most likely won’t ever get their money’s worth out of him.

    Is he Griffey Jr? Well… They’re fucking paying him to be, so of course the casual fans (who don’t know shit, but represent 90% of the money coming in) expect him to be.

    Basically everyone here knows this shit… But… Yeah.

  179. Cameron Says:

    @176 With all the bullshit Boras spewed about Werth being able to play center, I guess they’re just gonna call him on it now.

  180. Chuck Says:

    So, apparently the only team willing to discuss an opening day roster spot for Yeonnis Cespedes is the Little Havana Marlins, so it should come as no surprise that his agent has suspended talks will every other team and is only negotiating with them.

  181. Cameron Says:

    Given the OF depth there, it still might be an upgrade even if he’s a total bust.

  182. Raul Says:

    I’m gonna bet (without having ever seen him play) that Cespedes is another Wily Mo Pena.

    Big, powerful bat without enough production to make him a full-time player.

  183. Mike Felber Says:

    @ 178-very well said Hoss. There is only one potential error I see in your reasoning.

    Not the logic, that is tight. But his natural ability MAY be enough to allow him to stumble upon the right combination of confidence & technical competence. Harper may have a good career after all. Or may not.

  184. Hossrex Says:

    I would agree. The one thing which might save him is if his natural talent really IS as good as ESPN wanted us to believe… Which is something which people like Chuck generally ARE pretty reliable about… And if I’m not much off my mark, I remember Chuck saying generally negative things (I’m not saying chuck thinks he sucks, but I remember chuck disagreeing with the notion that he was even the best hitter in the draft).

    I think it’s fair to assume a JD drew type career. Above average, with no drive or heart for the game, and probably a hell of a player when he isn’t thinking about it, and he isn’t injured.

    I bet he doesnt play a hundred games until he’s 27.

  185. Raul Says:

    I don’t know about the guys in the Nationals clubhouse, but I know there are some teams…you show up to the dugout with eyeblack smeared all over your face…yeah that’s not gonna fly, son.

  186. Cameron Says:

    Dude is a freak athlete and he’s got great raw power, but he’s letting everything go to his head. The only thing stopping Bryce Harper from being great is Bryce Harper.

  187. Hossrex Says:

    Raul: “you show up to the dugout with eyeblack smeared all over your face…yeah that’s not gonna fly, son.”

    Wait… Serious question… They ain’t still letting him do that shit in double-A, are they?

    Cameron: “The only thing stopping Bryce Harper from being great is Bryce Harper.”

    Damn straight. This is exactly why salaries should be handled like they were before the mid-80’s. Quietly, behind closed doors.

    And why the fuck is the draft televised at all? Anyone who misunderstands the probability (re: crapshoot) of the draft, probably doesn’t care enough about the game to watch anyway.

    All it does is out 17 year olds on wheetie boxes, which will fuck them as assuredly as a giant erect penis.

  188. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t mind the televising of the MLB Draft, except for 2 things:

    1. The analysts don’t have a damn clue about the skills of the players, and don’t know who they even are half the time.

    2. Because they don’t have any idea who they are, they just praise every pick.

    I want the MLB equivalent of Mel Kiper up there saying “This is such a stupid pick, I have no idea what the Mets were thinking. It’s like they’re the NY Jets of the 1980s.”

    Speaking of which…


    …the Jets select…Kyle Brady…


  189. Hossrex Says:

    They’re high school kids. What the fuck CAN you say about them?

    They’ve literally never faced opposition better than THREE tiers away from any level of opposition which might allow him to generate interesting numbers.

    They’re all 6 foot 3, 190lbs, the best bat in their division, the strongest arm in their state.

    What the fuck is their to say?

    That’s why it’s stupid.

  190. Cameron Says:

    RIP legendary boxing cornerman Angelo Dundee.

  191. Mike Felber Says:

    JD Drew might be a good comp for quality of play, though i do not know if he will not develop heart & drive. Though Drew did great in a relative cup of coffee T 22, then surpassed his 100th game next year.

    I would be surprised if Harper does not achieve that in the next 4 years. Not until 27 would be 4 MORE more years, 8 in total. Since you said “‘ll bet”, let’s make a bet Hoss!

    If Drew plays 100 games before NOT 27, but BEFORE 25: I win! If he does not do so by or BEFORE then, which is 10-16-17, you win! That gives you a couple of extra years!

    Perhaps you did not realize how young he still is…But if you are game, let’s make the terms. Something like a dinner if either of us gets to the other coast. Don’t worry, I have quite plebeian/moderate tastes…

  192. Hossrex Says:

    Lol… Hmm… I’ll make the bet just cause I’d be happy to buy a meal, but if we’re being honest, the Nats will probably play him more than is good for anyone.

    My gut reaction however is there’s something he’s doing goofy in his swing, which’ll either result in an inordinate number of games on the DL, or pitchers finding holes that high school kids couldn’t.

    Because… Really… The only fucking pitchers the dude has proven he can hit are working weekend jobs cutting meat.

    Can someone explain how that means we should be impressed?

  193. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, i only want you to bet if you somehow believe he will not even play the clear majority of a season for years! if he does take the Drew path, he will exceed 100 games at 23. I do not think it will take longer than that, it may well be before. Whether he will approach his potential is another question, but I think (& hope) they will not rush him along so much that he will be ruined as a decent starter.

  194. Hossrex Says:

    Brien Taylor or Ken Griffey Jr… YOU BE THE JUDGE!

  195. Cameron Says:

    I’m gonna guess… Dave Kingman.

  196. Chuck Says:

    Thanks to Tom Verducci and Sports Illustrated, among others, Harper’s been over-hyped since he was 16.

    It’s not the hype that’s the problem though, it’s why.

    Without the article and magazine cover, does anyone hear of him any sooner than any other kid his age?

    We all heard of Griffey Jr at 16, right?

    Because he was GOOD, not because he was the subject of the biggest fictional load of crap since Sidd Finch.

    These sports guys are trying to sell internet subscriptions or books or whatever, they all regurgitate what each other says for that reason, and that reason only.

    Harper was born in October, Ken Griffey Jr in November.

    Griffey started opening day in 1989 for Seattle at age 19 years four months. He played 127 games and finished third in the ROY voting.

    Mike Trout’s a year older than Harper and already has ML experience.

    Subtracting Jayson Werth, who has to play everyday because of his contract regardless of his performance, the top three Nationals outfielders last year in terms of games played were Lance Nix, Roger Berardina and Rick Ankiel.

    You would think the greatest prospect since the draft era could at least beat out a juiced up, washed up Nix, no?

    I think the ship sailed on Harper as the greatest prospect a while ago, and if you didn’t get off, I hope you can swim.

  197. JohnBowen Says:

    Bryce Harper hit .256 in 37 AA games at the age of 18.


  198. Raul Says:

    No, he’s a fucking superstar because he hit .256 in 37 AA games.

    Make him your starting outfielder for the Major League Club.

  199. brautigan Says:

    Harper already has more AA experience than Griffey had (Griffey had none).

    Still, if there was a player that fell flat on their face and had a massive “FAIL”, I really wouldn’t mind that it be Bryce Harper.

  200. Chuck Says:

    Mat Gamel, Double A MVP.


  201. Bob Says:

    For some reason I think his talent is for real. If you want to argue that Manny Machado, due to his defensive abilities will bring more to the table than Harper, fine. But I honestly believe Harper’s bat is wholly legit.

  202. Chuck Says:

    “But I honestly believe Harper’s bat is wholly legit.”

    Based on….?

  203. Bob Says:

    Based on a # of write-ups from BA. Jim Callis and John Manuel have nothing to gain from these glowing reports.

    Based on the fact that Mike Rizzo says he hopes he breaks camp with the big-league club. Rizzo will be fired if he effs this up.

    Based on the fact that his Ba at Hegerstown was .318 and his on-base % was .423 and augmented those stats with 19 steals.

    Pretty impressive ( laudy) #’s for a first-year guy.

  204. Raul Says:

    Happy 89th birthday, Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst! Schoendienst probably doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall — he was elected via the Veterans Committee in 1989. But he was a 2nd baseman, and perhaps his defensive prowess was good enough to consider? I’m not sure. I’m not even going to Wikipedia him.

    Happy 35th birthday, Adam Everett! Much was made about your defensive ability and you were widely compared to Derek Jeter as a far superior defender. Unfortunately for you (and for the Jeter-haters everywhere), your career doesn’t amount to one-tenth of what The Captain’s has.

  205. Cameron Says:

    Bob, it’s A-ball. Anyone can put up bullshit numbers in A-ball.

  206. Raul Says:

    I can’t help but feel that it is strange that Bryce Harper has seemingly over-shadowed Stephen Strasburg. And not that Strasburg is a proven star, but he’s proven more than Harper has — and he did so (albeit in limited appearances) at the Major League level.

  207. Bob Says:

    Actually, many players have had their careers end there. And then consider his age in comparison to his counterparts. He will be fine, if not a tad overrated.

  208. Bob Says:

    Strasburg had a huge game in college, but went undrafted out of high school. The first time his work load increased, well holy shit, time for Tommy John.

  209. Cameron Says:

    Anyone could have told you that. Strasburg’s arm works the same way a spine in a 90’s comic book does. It really doesn’t.

  210. Bob Says:

    1.Then why was he drafted so high?
    2.Then why was his bonus so high?

  211. Cameron Says:

    Look at his results. That’s the insane shit he’s capable of. He was a high-risk, high-reward signing. I wouldn’t have rushed him that fast, but I’d pay him the same damn contract.

  212. Bob Says:

    We should have a prediction contest. What college pitcher drafted in 2011 will need Tommy John surgery before the season is over? Pitching mechanics I.Q.

  213. Chuck Says:

    “Jim Callis and John Manuel have nothing to gain from these glowing reports.”

    Except an increase in sales.

    If someone told them Harper had two dicks they’d write it because they don’t know better. Like the old saying goes, “consider the source.”

    Rizzo effed up Strasburg, if he didn’t get canned for that, he’s pretty much green lighted for anything except child porn.

  214. Bob Says:

    The Werth contract was way more idiotic. And Harper will decide Rizzo’s fate.

  215. Chuck Says:

    “1.Then why was he drafted so high?”

    Scott Boras.

    “2.Then why was his bonus so high”

    So was Matt Bush’s. Not sure why his bonus is relevant. The Nats could have drafted Cameron #1 overall and he would have had the highest bonus in the draft. Just part of the process.

  216. Chuck Says:

    “And Harper will decide Rizzo’s fate.”

    No he won’t.

    Harper could turn into the next Scott Podsednik and it won’t make a hill of difference.

  217. Cameron Says:

    I dunno Bob, everyone last draft had pretty clean mechanics. Trevor Bauer’s a bit funky in his delivery, but in the same way of Tim Lincecum’s “Bend don’t break” way.

  218. Bob Says:

    Cameron, is that true? Did you letter at baseball? You stud you!!!
    And as far as Matt Bush goes, the Padres panicked into taking a local star. And perhaps I am using the term “star” a tad too loose, but screw it. I actually have shit to do for the next 2 hours. ( Fine, 30 minutes)

  219. Chuck Says:

    ” I actually have shit to do for the next 2 hours. ( Fine, 30 minutes)”

    Mailman drop off the SI Swimsuit issue today?

  220. brautigan Says:

    Matt Bush= Signability?

  221. JohnBowen Says:

    Raul: “Happy 35th birthday, Adam Everett! Much was made about your defensive ability and you were widely compared to Derek Jeter as a far superior defender. Unfortunately for you (and for the Jeter-haters everywhere), your career doesn’t amount to one-tenth of what The Captain’s has.”

    That’s all pretty much accurate. Everett was clearly a superior defender averaging roughly 80 more plays per 162 games than Jeter.

    Has anyone actually questioned Jeter’s greatness as an offensive player?

  222. Bob Says:

    1. Edwin Jackson will sign with the Nationals.
    @219. LOL The issue comes out in mid-Febuary. I think 12 days from now.
    @ 220. Absolutely. Google “Why was Matt Bush drafted so high”, and click on the 4th entry.

  223. JohnBowen Says:

    @222, I hit the Jackson thing under “news.” Overall, this was a pretty strong free agent class for position players with Pujols, Fielder etc…but the most desirable pitcher after CC got locked back up right away was either Jackson or Oswalt.

  224. Bob Says:

    I still say Darvish will be better than Jackson.

  225. JohnBowen Says:

    Oh wait, yeah.

    I guess I don’t really think of Darvish as being a free agent since he can only negotiate on an actual deal with 1 team…but then again, all teams were welcome to try and get him. I dunno.

    Darvish put up nintendoish numbers in Japan:

    Remember, however, that league average is 3.4 R/G in the JPL.

    So, Darvish will be right at home when he faces the Mariners.

  226. Raul Says:

    Dadum chhhh @ 225.

  227. Bob Says:

    The Indians signed Casey Kotchman.

  228. Cameron Says:

    And Matt LaPorta still can’t hold onto an everyday job.

  229. Cameron Says:

    Still, an ERA of 2 under the league average R/G? That’s promise.

  230. Chuck Says:

    Did you guys see the Teixeira interview where he said he might consider bunting against the shift?

    MLBNetwork showed it yesterday and Teixeira was doing everything possible to keep from laughing out loud as he was talking to the reporter (don’t know who it was).

    He finally lost it when he was done and was visibly humored by the whole thing.

    Perfect example of a player (or GM, etc) messing with the media and how they’d print anything they’re told regardless of how off the wall or just plain batshit it really is.

    Then it blows through the internet like a typhoon.


  231. Chuck Says:

    Darvish won’t have a .500 record and his ERA will be over three and a half.

    Welcome to the show, rook.

  232. Raul Says:

    What’s a good ERA in Texas? 4.20?

  233. Bob Says:

    If Teixiera bunts and fucks it up, he still gets paid. Although he may get fined by a kangaroo court.
    If Manny Machado and Jameson Taillon out-produce Harper, some scouts are unemployed.

  234. Raul Says:

    Will Edwin Jackson fire Scott Boras?

    Dude gets a 1 year deal?
    So…what? Boras told him he can go on the market next year and get something better?


    My guess is that Jackson posts an ERA near 4.50 and signs with the Pirates for 2 years, 11 million.

  235. Raul Says:

    I don’t think a scout is going to be unemployed because they pushed Bryce Harper.

    The kid DOES have ability. And he’d be a 1st-round choice in any draft. He just wouldn’t have been a Top 5 pick every year, and probably would never be a #1 overall.

  236. Hossrex Says:

    Side A: “I think Bryce Harper will have a good career because he has yet to prove otherwise, and some of the most FAMOUS sports writers have given him great praise.”

    Side B: “I’m nervous about Bryce Harper because until a player has proven himself an exception to the norm, we must assume his career will follow the tylical curve (I.e. failure). The only reason then to presume success would be the very vocal opinions of people who have a LOT to lose by an entire year going by without any “interesting” prospects to talk about.”

    If you already agree with “side A”, I’m not sure you’re CAPABLE of understanding why you shouldn’t.

  237. Chuck Says:

    Scouts don’t get fired because guys don’t pan out, Bob.

    About 30% of all first round picks don’t even make the majors, much less become stars, hard to fire a half dozen scouts every year just because some overhyped Bryce Harper turned into Shawn Abner.

  238. Raul Says:


    I’m pretty sure the scout who got the Cardinals Albert Pujols was fired like ten years ago.

  239. Chuck Says:

    I know of at least three teams that if they had the first pick in 2010 would not have taken Harper.

    He wasn’t even the unanimous choice in what may end up being the worst draft in history.

  240. Bob Says:

    There will always be interesting prospects to talk about. And some of them will be unheard of 8th round picks, who walk alot and people think are Greek. A burnout by Harper will not stop the prospect pushers ( BA, Law, Sickles etc)from gushing about other talents.
    I already said it is possible that both Machado and Taillon out-produce him. I said in post 207 he might end up being a tad overrated.
    But overrated and bust are two extremely differnt concepts.I would hope everyone can discern between the two.

  241. Raul Says:

    There it is:

    The scout who got Pujols…fired in 2003..and working at Wal-Mart (at least, at the time).

  242. Bob Says:

    I was respoinding to post 236 with my 240. Sorry for not making that clear.

  243. Cameron Says:


    Macahdo and Taillon don’t sell jerseys. Betcha Harper’s already sold jerseys through’s jersey maker. What’s his number, 34?

  244. Bob Says:

    Not yet they don’t. But you convinced that in 5 years, they still will be unable to sway the public from purchasing their jersey?
    Bold prediction.

  245. JohnBowen Says:

    @223, I completely forgot about CJ Wilson. Point still stands – when the most attractive free agent pitcher is a guy with 2 years as a starter, it’s a weak class for pitching.

    “Darvish won’t have a .500 record and his ERA will be over three and a half.”

    Last season, the Rangers had 3 pitchers with ERA’s above 3.50

    Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40)
    Derek Holland (16-5, 3.95)
    Alexi Ogando (13-8, 3.51)

    So, even if Darvish only meets Chuck’s ridiculously pessimistic predictions for actual performance, he’ll still have a winning record.

    Obviously, the Rangers didn’t commit over 100 million dollars to have a pitcher eek out a winning record behind their ridiculous offense.

    But this is also a guy who has been simply dominant in his league. He’s not going to continue putting up sub-2 ERA’s, obviously. Ichiro didn’t continue hitting .420 every year…didn’t mean he wasn’t going to make a fine ballplayer in the states.

  246. Bob Says:

    @ 245 We both did.
    See you guys tomorrow.

  247. Cameron Says:

    Probably not Bob, but they wouldn’t have made money on draft day like Harper did. That signing was about publicity.

  248. Chuck Says:

    The only way to definitively know if a prospect “panned out” or not is right after the ink dries on his retirement papers.

    Anyone who saw Pujols in A ball in 2000 and told you he’d have even half the career he has is a liar.

    If you saw Jacoby Ellsbury swinging like a pansy in Portland and thought he’d hit 30 homers in the majors in ONE season, you’re a liar.

    Jesus Montero had ONE 20 homer season in five minor league years…plus power my ass.

    And yet people think he’s going to hit 35 in the major leagues?

    In Seattle he won’t hit 15.

    For Harper to meet expectations he basically has to become the next Pujols or the next Griffey, and it’s not going to happen.

  249. Chuck Says:

    Greinke for Darvish even up John, you do it?

  250. JohnBowen Says:

    Of course not.

    I’m pretty excited to see what Greinke will do with a full, healthy season.

  251. Hossrex Says:

    Bob: “some of them will be unheard of 8th round picks, who walk alot and people think are Greek.”

    Does anyone else here even get that reference?

    There. That’s the guy who the saber side point to (IN THIS THREAD) as the posterboy for saber success.

    You should keep better tabs on the saber community. Even they don’t value OBP as heavily as Billy Beane did in 2003 (I know WHY… Do you?).

  252. JohnBowen Says:

    Because defense matters?

  253. Chuck Says:

    Because OBP has ALWAYS had value?

    And Billy Beane didn’t value OBP nearly as much as Michael Lewis would lead you to believe he did.

    Bullshit just sells more books.

  254. Hossrex Says:

    Because the science was in an early state, and hadn’t yet found a settling point. People were incorrectly over valuing OBP. don’t get me wrong, they were FAR closer to the truth than conventional thinking (which was the actual ‘theme’ of Moneyball).

    Billy, as a practice if not philosophy, was looking for a criminally undervalued skill for a baseball player, which cheaply correlated to wins. Regardless of how important OBP is, no one else had realized it, and so Billy was able to get it cheaper (and more efficiently) than speed or defense.

    It IS pretty well accepted that Beane and DePodesta undervalued defense too severely (which Moneyball even addresses as a concern of them). But regardless of how poorly they may/may not have valued it, it was a skill which was OVERVALUED by the market, so even if Billy thought it was an important part of the game, he couldn’t have afforded it.

    I’ve actually read the book. Don’t mistake my concerns with it for those of Joe Morgan.

  255. Chuck Says:

    I don’t think it’s an overvaluing of OBP moreso than the overvaluing of the concepts that go into it.

    Saberheads drastically overvalue walks, Beane loaded up his teams with a bunch of guys whose OBP were walk takes four walks to score a run..hitting .249 with a .350 OBP isn’t as good as a guy who goes .259/.340.

  256. Raul Says:

    “No one else had realized it…”

    Probably the biggest lie to ever come out of the Moneyball book.

  257. JohnBowen Says:

    “But regardless of how poorly they may/may not have valued it, it was a skill which was OVERVALUED by the market, so even if Billy thought it was an important part of the game, he couldn’t have afforded it.”

    Exactly – and then when people caught wind that OBP was far more valuable than conventional thinking thought at the time – Beane started investing a lot more in defense. Guys like Mark Kotsay, Jay Payton, and Marco Scutaro were regulars on that 2006 team that went to the ALCS. By 2006, people had mostly figured out that OBP was the most important thing for an offense – but they didn’t have a gauge for how to value defense.

    A fun guy to look at it Adam Dunn.

    People used to undervalue Adam Dunn because he had a low batting average and struck out so much.

    Then people realized that those things didn’t really matter that much, and the more important aspects of his performance were his high OBP and SLG.

    The tricky thing is that THEN, people were OVERvaluing him, because they weren’t paying attention to the fact that he’s one of the worst, if not the very worst defensive player in baseball. He also contributes nothing on the basepaths.

    This was before his 2011 spontaneous collapse, of course.

  258. Chuck Says:

    “Then people realized that those things didn’t really matter that much, and the more important aspects of his performance were his high OBP and SLG.”

    If Dunn was hitting 20 homers a year with the same amount of walks, he’d be driving a FedEx truck for the last five years.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Dunn’s value is in his SLG, not his OBP.

  259. JohnBowen Says:

    “hitting .249 with a .350 OBP isn’t as good as a guy who goes .259/.340.”

    Absolutely 100% incorrect.

    “Saberheads drastically overvalue walks, Beane loaded up his teams with a bunch of guys whose OBP were walk dominated”

    Ok – you realize that making a walk is WAY closer to a hit than it is to an out, right?

    The thing about Chuck’s crowd is that they’re in love with batting average, a statistic which values a walk as being a tie. Neutral. Like a draw in chess.

  260. JohnBowen Says:

    “If Dunn was hitting 20 homers a year with the same amount of walks, he’d be driving a FedEx truck for the last five years.”

    The fact that you view those two things as totally separate entities says a lot.

  261. JohnBowen Says:

    “Saberheads drastically overvalue walks, Beane loaded up his teams with a bunch of guys whose OBP were walk takes four walks to score a run..hitting .249 with a .350 OBP isn’t as good as a guy who goes .259/.340.”


    Chicago Cubs: .256/.314/.401 /// 4.04 R/G
    Tampa Bay Rays: .249/.322/.402 /// 4.36 R/G

    Good thing Jim Hendry didn’t waste time overvaluing walks, what with the Cubs making the playoffs for the third time in four years.

  262. Raul Says:

    Are we really having this conversation again?

  263. JohnBowen Says:

    Are you and Chuck going to insist on being wrong against all factual evidence?

  264. JohnBowen Says:

    We can do the same thing in 2010:

    Cubs: .257/.320/.401 /// 4.23 R/G
    Rays: .247/.333/.403 /// 4.95 R/G

  265. Raul Says:


  266. Cameron Says:

    “Of course not.

    I’m pretty excited to see what Greinke will do with a full, healthy season.”

    200 Ks, an ERA of 4, and a 3rd place finish.

  267. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL @265, fair enough

  268. JohnBowen Says:

    @266, Greinke came back from a rib injury and still led the NL in FIP (for what it’s worth, I’m not totally sold on that stat). He also led the league in K/9.

    With a full season while being healthy, he could make up for the Prodigal Prince.

  269. Cameron Says:

    John, you won’t get another 2009 out of the guy. I’ve seen Greinke in his average years. That ERA won’t be pretty, but the peripherals will be great.

  270. Hossrex Says:


    Ever since the 70’s when Bill James ‘popularized’ the idea that the primary function of a batter should be to avoid outs, instead of driving hits, every step in the science has been (obviously) to refine the equation. How important is avoiding an out, in relation to extra base hits?

    At every important step along the way, the value of OBP has been diminished to the point where it’s not really considered much more important than slugging… ESPECIALLY if you take that statement in the context of the relationship between those two parameters as used in OPS.

    On base percentage is probably the most important ’single stat’ (as loathe as I am to confuse stupid people into thinking I mean ‘on base percentage is the ‘only stat’), since OPS isn’t a single stat… But as far as OPS goes, there is no way to say a batter who primarily gains his high OPS from OBP is more valuable than a batter who gains his high OPS primarily from SLG.

    Of course this gets us back to Johns incredulity in Raul for seeming to fail in understanding that OBP is INEXTRICABLY tied to power production, in ways which are almost more common sensical than scientifically ‘provable’ (although I’m sure John’ll have some bullshit algorithm based on what unrelated people have done in unrelated situations, which very much SOUNDS scientific, until you realize that it only says ANYTHING regarding an aggregate, and NEVER carries and predictive qualities for the INDIVIDUAL… Which is something saber people very much wish weren’t true. If you don’t think science values the predictive powers in a solid hypothesis/theory, you misunderstand science so badly that you shouldn’t be in this discussion).

    And that aside… If you aren’t making any of the fallacies implied above… And you still disagree… You place individual value (in a practical sense) on a theory which was never designed to speak to more than the aggregate.

    You can know everything about small planetoids consisting of a high percentage of heavy metals, but until you know everything about the planetoids in question, you don’t send out a spaceship full of Jason Giambi and the argonauts, looking for statistical gold.

    If you aren’t making THAT fallacy… How can you justify the usage of historical trends, to predict any individual outcome, within a data set based on observations of a chaotic event.

    You’re finding patterns in a fractal set, which is certainly science… But most definitely not a practical science (assuming you define practical in the scientific sense).

    Saber metrics are at best a social science (which sabermetricians {sic} should be happy to admit), but the results of that social science are oft treated like hard mathematic theory (or even worse, “laws”).

    That’s nonsense.

  271. Raul Says:

    Peyton Manning got medical clearance to resume his career.

    The conspiracy theorist in me says this is bullshit. Someone paid those docs to clear him.


    I still think the Colts should cut him. Frankly, if I was Peyton, I wouldn’t want to play for that team anyway. They’re a mess, and nowhere near a competitive playoff team.

  272. Raul Says:

    The only thing I’ll say about this…because it’s been discussed a million times here, is that it annoys the hell out of me when people act (AND THEY FUCKING DO) like OBP is driven by a player’s ability to walk. It’s driven by his ability to hit. Always has. Always will be.

  273. Cameron Says:

    It wouldn’t be a cut, they just wouldn’t exercise the option on him. Though I think Irsay may be talking to guys and he’s gonna try and work a trade before it comes to that. Either way, Luck is starting in Indy next year.

    Also, Peyton may be cleared, but he’s not 100%. There’s nerve damage in the connection between his throwing arm and his spine. He won’t be full-strength until the 2013 season.

  274. Cameron Says:

    Raul, I’m calling you half-right on that one. Their ability to walk is what really spikes OBP, but the ability to walk is the development of the batting eye, which is part of their ability to hit.

    So yeah, it’s tangentially related to their hitting ability.

  275. Hossrex Says:

    It’s the fucking Colts.

    My father is like a tenth generation Hoosier (I don’t really know), and neither him nor anyone he knows from back home likes the Colts. They’re all Bears fans (obviously).

    People routinely ask him why he isn’t a Colts fan, and he has to explain that all of Indiana have been Bears (or a few wacko Packers/Vikings) fans since the Colts were still in Baltimore.

    Point being… Who the fuck would care about them if Manning weren’t there?

    Fucking no one.

  276. Chuck Says:

    Looking forward to seeing Peyton in a Cardinals uniform..throwing to Larry Fitzgerald.

  277. Cameron Says:

    I’d just care about them because I’m real curious to see how the hell they recover from this season. Reggie Wayne and I think Dwight Freeney are both gone, Peyton’s out, there’s MASSIVE amount of cap space cleared and they have the best QB prospect to come around in… Fuck, I don’t know how long. Since Peyton, really.

    I’m watching them out of curiosity, not being a fan. Same reason I watched the Panthers this year.

  278. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, if I had five bucks, I’d bet you he’s a Redskin next year. Overpaid, underperforming, and old as shit? Dan Snyder has to be sucking Irsay’s dick as we speak.

  279. Chuck Says:

    “Absolutely 100% incorrect.”

    No, but if you want to think that, it’s cool.


    Absolutely 100% correct.

  280. Chuck Says:

    There’s no fucking amount of money that will get Peyton Manning in a Redskins uniform.

    He’d play for the Barcelona Dragons before he’d play in Washington.

    They’re the LAST team he’d sign with.

  281. John Says:

    Ok, Chuck.

    So, is that why low-BA high-OBP teams always outscore low-OBP, high BA teams with similar SLG’s?

    Oh, who cares about facts. Chuck learned about batting average first, so that’s what matters most.

  282. Hossrex Says:

    It a boils down to going into an at-bat with either the mindset of “avoiding an out” or the mindset of “getting a hit”.

    The problem is everyone who feels either way automatically assumes their way is the only correct way, as if there’s only one way to hit.


    You want Blake DeWitt swinging for the fences… Or seeing a lot of pitches, showing the team what kind of stuff they’re gonna see today, and doing his part to get into middle relief in the 6th instead of the 7th.

    Sure, you want Matty Kemp to look for doubles instead of walks, but if the game were made up of all-star quality batters, we wouldn’t need to be having this fucking conversation.

    The Matty Kemp’s will take care of themselves… As for everyone else? How about we worry about seeing pitches, and trying to turn the line-up over so Matty Kemp gets another shot at that double?

    To say: .250/.340 is better than .240/.350 is to leave out SO many variables that is loses all meaning.

    Not the least of which is “how much does each guy make?”

    Because if enough crotchety old dudes agree with you, the dude batting .250/.340 will probably make more money than that other walking bastard… So I’ll take the cheaper everyday player, and put that extra money somewhere which’ll yeild a bigger return on the investment… Like improperly evaluated relief pitching.

  283. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, look at the Redskins and how they’re run. They overpay EVERYONE on the team. If Peyton Manning can get a raise from his already-biggest contract in NFL history, I don’t think he gives a fuck where he’s playing as long as he makes 30 million a season.

  284. Raul Says:

    All relief pitching is improperly evaluated.

    Unless Mariano Rivera suddenly starts earning 3 million dollars a year.

  285. John Says:

    @283, not gonna happen. Manning wants to win.

    @284, agreed, but that’s your example?

  286. Cameron Says:

    Of course it is. If the example didn’t have hyperbole, it wouldn’t be Raul.

  287. Hossrex Says:


    That’s my whole point. People who think baseball has been properly evaluated for the last 125 years hear “relief pitching is improperly evaluated”, and instead of drooling at the opportunity to get unknown valuable baseball players without much effort (other than the right research) or money… You focus on how overpayed a dude is. A dude whom I’m always saying is overpaid.

    Just because market innefficiencies means buying gold has been stupid for the last few years, don’t mean buying copper (or more realistically, silicon) isn’t gonna make you rich. It ain’t sexy, but it’s profitable.

    Let the morons buy gold. You’ll just be in a place to buy it back from them at half the price when they realize they can’t afford the big screen television AND the sports utility vehicle.

    Gold isn’t ‘good’ because it’s shiny. It’s good because in certain parts of the economic curve it’s remarkably profitable.

    Shiny players are for stupid general managers with too much money.

  288. Cameron Says:

    Hoss, you talking about the guys who aren’t closers, but will give you good innings? The Ron Mahays of the world, so to speak.

  289. Raul Says:

    I think you misunderstood my comment.

  290. Raul Says:

    Or…like Mike Felber, you’re assuming a bunch of shit unless I spell everything out.

  291. Raul Says:

    Just had two tall boys of PBR.
    And yeah, I was drinking this shit years before the fucking hipsters.

    PBR. For when I want cheap buzz…but I don’t want to drink Hurricane and King Cobra…like a goddamn redneck.

  292. Hossrex Says:

    Cameron: “Hoss, you talking about the guys who aren’t closers, but will give you good innings? The Ron Mahays of the world, so to speak.”

    Yup. The guys who’re ACCIDENTALLY used properly (as in since they aren’t “good” enough to be a closer, they aren’t used wrong).

    The guys no one has ever heard of… Since… That’s why they’re undervalued.

    Guys that you can get for half a million dollars all day long… So long as you know what to look for, and how to use him.

    ‘Steel Reserve’ man here… But I cutting WAY back really was the driving force of my weight loss… So sad Hoss on that account.

    Where’s my pot?

  293. John Says:

    In 1996, the Yankees accidently used their best reliever when the game was actually on the line. He proved immensely valuable, pitching over 100 high leverage innings. It came out to over 5 WAR.

    It was the most valuable season of Mariano Rivera’s career; he had all of 5 saves.

  294. Raul Says:

    Mariano Rivera has pitched 17 seasons and according to Baseball-Reference, his WAR is 56.3.

    Goose Gossage pitched 22 seasons and his WAR is 40.0.

    I’d take Gossage.

  295. John Says:

    That’s an interesting one. Reliability versus durability.

    I don’t think Rivera has ever had a save of more than 7 outs. Gossage had like 100.

    But Rivera has been automatic for 15 years. On a per-inning basis, no one has ever been better.

  296. Cameron Says:

    Gossage also had a few seasons as a starter. …Then again, those years were pretty bad.

  297. Hossrex Says:

    The way *I* read that Gossage vs Rivera thing above is that “Gossage was used less poorly than Rivera”, more than “Gossage was better than Rivera”.

    If we discount the nonsense we’ve all become accustomed to over the last 20 years, it seems fair to say a ‘good’ pitcher should pitch 150 innings per year. Not so much, eh? That means your average ‘good’ reliever leaves about SEVENTY FIVE extra innings for shittier pitchers to deal with… Not to mention you better hope Pujols doesn’t come to bat in the 7th.

    Gossage was a ‘relief pitxher’. A dude who would ‘relief’ the starter, not just a guy who comes in for one inning or match-up.

    If a mediocre starter is worth $6 million per year… How does it make sense to pay that man MORE money to pitch fewer innings?

    It makes my head hurt… And yet every team MUST have one, just to shut up the ditto-heads who watch (and for some reason listen to) ESPN.

  298. Raul Says:

    The Patriots simulating Halftime into their practice might be the dumbest, most un-newsworthy fucking thing I’ve ever read

  299. Mike Felber Says:

    Yogi Says: It’s Deja Vu all over again!

    The 10 point BA & OBP example-the higher OBP guy will be worth a bit more, all other things being equal, because yes, a walk is worth most of a hit. But that swing is a small distinction.

    Raul, I may take some things literally. That is kind of the opposite of assuming things not spelled out. Though you have missed a bunch of nuances I had already spelled out.

    You logic seems unimpeachable Hoss. Except that OBP does seem to add more value than Slg in producing runs at the same OPS. That is why the weighted OPS + formula tends to be ~ 1.8 X OBP.

    About undervalued players & relievers,I could not agree more.

  300. Raul Says:

    You take everything literally, Mike.

  301. Hossrex Says:

    Meh… I think you’re correct (instead of me) about which saber heads consider more important… But I guess I just somewhat disagree.

    But then we get back to my earlier point that you don’t want nine guys with high OBP and low SLG, or nine guys with low OBP and high SLG.

    You need both, constructed in a balanced (somewhat traditional) line-up.

    This ain’t football where your front line is mostly interchangeable.

  302. Mike Felber Says:

    Some things Raul, as I confessed to! I also recognize & enjoy deploying exaggeration & absurdity. Though sometimes…

    Wasting away again, in Asperger’s-aritaville (sic, very). Looking for my, Hoss-Raul (to be) at fault. Some people say that Saber’s a wormy way to explain; but I know-stat stat stat, stat true dat-It’s my truth by default!

    Yah Hoss, Kerry also expounded on the OPS relative value a while back. Though it seems intuitively true that some balance would be beneficial, this usually exists naturally. Power guys generally draw walks, & while slugging is a vital contribution, nothing beats getting on base & not making outs!

  303. Chuck Says:

    No player in ML history has ever gone to the plate looking to make an out, just like no player has ever gone to the plate looking to draw a walk.

    If you find yourself in a debate regarding this and to justify your opinion you first head to the glossary page on Baseball Prospectus, you’re in a conversation you have no business being in at all.

  304. JohnBowen Says:

    “No player in ML history has ever gone to the plate looking to make an out”

    I’m on the Baseball Prospectus glossary page looking up something called a “sacrifice bunt.” Any word on what that is?

  305. Chuck Says:

    C’mon, John, really?

  306. JohnBowen Says:

    “You need both, constructed in a balanced (somewhat traditional) line-up.”

    When I think of a traditional lineup, I imagine a really fast center fielder with like a .290 OBP batting first.

    I wanna check out who does better for the same OPS…a team whose OPS is OBP-based, or SLG-based. I hate that the bbref play index can’t pull individual hitting seasons, cuz that would make this a lot easier.

    Looking at the 2007 AL season:

    LAA and SEA both had a .762 OPS, LAA had an extra 8 pts of OBP and conversely, SEA had an extra 8 pts of OBP. LAA scored 0.17 more runs per game.

    BAL and TOR both had .746 OPS, BAL had +7 OBP. BAL outscored TOR slightly, by 0.02 R/g (basically nothing).

    CHW and MIN had a .722 OPS, with MIN having +12 OBP. MIN outscored CHW by 0.15 R/g.

    This is kind of an involved process, so I dunno. My hunch is what the minuscule amount of data shows…that OBP will have more of an impact.

  307. JohnBowen Says:

    Haha @305 I felt like giving Mike a break from being the literal one.

  308. Chuck Says:

    “a team whose OPS is OBP-based”


  309. JohnBowen Says:

    Chuck, you’re more than welcome to use actual evidence.

  310. Chuck Says:

    Starting with #251, the conversation was around individual players. You, again, changed it to a team discussion in #261.

    Follow the thread, John.


    This wasn’t a team discussion, although I had the same idea you did in #306 and may mess around with that tonight when I get home.

    Between you and Felber, you’ve completely sucked what little life remains here.

  311. John Says:

    By Chuck’s asinine logic, a team that had 9 guys hitting .250/.320 will score more runs than a team of 9 guys
    each hittin 240/.3 assuming equal slg.

    Only problem is, he’s wrong.

  312. Chuck Says:

    Never said that.

    Never even implied it.

    Just a figment of your over-active imagination.

  313. Chuck Says:

    Pinch-hitting for Raul today I guess..

    Happy Birthday to:

    Fred Lynn: Looking at the numbers he put up over his 17 year career he looks to be a pretty good player, what with being a 9 time AS and all, but injuries killed him, he was as close to a solid HOFer you can get when healthy.

    “Shake and” Bake McBride: 1974 NL ROY, career started and ended early due to injuries but hit .299 lifetime over an 11 year career and has a WS ring from the 1980 Phillies. McBride is known for using a 31 inch bat during his career, funny for a guy 6′3″.

    Joe Coleman Jr: A two time 20 game winner with Detroit, started his career with the woeful mid-60’s Washington Senators, ended his career by picking up a WS ring with 1979 Pirates. Son of former major leaguer Joe Coleman Sr. and father of current Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman.

    Celerino Sanchez: Played 107 games for Yankees in early 70’s, good field, no hit third baseman replaced by Graig Nettles. Postumously elected to Mexican League Hall of Fame in 1994.

    Dick Tracewski: 8 year ML veteran better known for his 30+ year career as a coach and instructor for the Tigers, member of 1968 WS champs.

    Wayne Comer: Non-descript five year career as a utility player, best known as a focal character in Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” with the Seattle Pilots.

  314. JohnBowen Says:

    “Never said that.
    Never even implied it.”

    Ok, educate me then.

    You’d gladly sacrifice 10 points of OBP for 10 points of batting average from an individual player, right? That’s what you said in post 255.

    So, why wouldn’t you prefer your entire team be that way (compared to the alternative)?

  315. Chuck Says:

    “Ok, educate me then.”

    We’ve been trying for three years, bro.

    Better late than never I guess.

  316. JohnBowen Says:

    You’re welcome to start, bro.

    Kinda seems like the evidence is in my favor though.

  317. Bob Says:

    Tomorrow, I will respond to post 251. Did not read about it til after 1:00, and have stuff to do as it is Friday.
    Also, it will be a long-winded reply.
    2. TGIF!!!

  318. JohnBowen Says:

    Hoss said this and I don’t think anyone really replied:

    “If a mediocre starter is worth $6 million per year… How does it make sense to pay that man MORE money to pitch fewer innings?”

    I agree in principle, but remember that mediocre relievers don’t see that much money.

    Mariano Rivera might not be worth what he’s been paid, but relative to other relievers, there’s nothing at all outrageous about his contract. Again, on a per-inning basis, nobody has ever been better. He has been used poorly, but because of how good he’s been in his misused role, he really has no decent comparables.

    It’s the contracts given to guys like Francisco’s Rodriguez and Cordero that really make me shake my head.

  319. Hossrex Says:

    I don’t think ANYone wants an entire team full of ANY (non-hall-of-fame-caliber) batter.

    I like(d) Adam Dunn… But just because I say something like “I think he’s more valuable than player ‘X’”… Doesn’t mean that I want nine assholes just like him.

    By “somewhat traditional line-up”, I meant:

    1: dude who can get one base with wheels
    2: solid contact guy
    3: high average guy
    4: big power guy
    5: guy with power lefty/righty flip from 4
    6: dude with wheels, preferably decent OBP
    7: contact dude
    8: the catcher
    9: the pitcher

    Ya know… Because who the fuck cares about the DH.

    (warning: taking the above TOO literal, or TOO seriously will result in hysterical outbursts of laughter)

    Disagreeing with the specifics are fine… Just don’t say “the line-up doesnt matter”.

    If you think you can look at data compiled from real life situations where special consideration was given to the structure of the line-up (it’s basically one well played guys fucking job), and conclude from that data that individual batters can be slotted in anyway you like into a line-up with no greater concern than the (about) 10% increase in plate appearence bump seen with each spot higher in the order, you don’t understand… Anything.

    You don’t understand how to view data (you’re taking numbers compiled in one way, and assuming they would have been compiled similarly under radically different circumstances)
    You don’t understand baseball (“clogging up the base paths has become a stupid thing to say, but if you stack a line-up with 1: Dunn, 2: Howard, 3: Fielder, 4: Pierre, 5: Rollins… You can’t honestly say that, if you were a MLB manager, that you would leave that line-up if Mark Kotsay’s daughter wrote it in as a joke)
    You don’t understand common sense (slow guy, slow guy, slow guy, fast guy, fast guy… Nothing stupid about that)
    You don’t understand how social sciences work (they ain’t provable mathematical laws)

    I could probably go on.

    And again… The one person screaming “BALANCE!” isn’t heralded by both sides… He’s just (at varying times) screamed at by everyone.

    It’s always fascinated me how often I’m told “the truth probably lies somewhere in between”, even though everyone always just assumes their own wacko extreme beliefs are just fine.

    Science, perspective, common sense.

    Common sense is informed by science and perspective. Common sense is necessary to keeping your head clear after science has fucked up your perspective. Perspective will help you FEEL the right balance between “social” and “science”.

  320. Bob Says:

    Damn, Hoss. I thought you were going to have the pitcher bat 8th.

  321. Kerry Says:

    Chuck is wrong that the .250/.340 guy would be better than the .240/.350 guy, whether he’s talking about one player or a whole team. And he’s weaseling out of the whole team aspect, since he didn’t make any distinction when he first said it. And it doesn’t make logical sense for it to count for one player and not the whole team. (I want to see him try to explain how it applies to one player, but not all players; that might be entertaining!)

    John has provided evidence for his (and my) side of the argument, Chuck has provided none for his. My simulations also support it, although I know Chuck doesn’t believe those, either. That’s all I’m going to say about it until Chuck actually puts up a counterargument other than “is so”.

    Frankly, I think Chuck knows better and is just pulling our chains, but maybe I’m being charitable :-)

  322. Kerry Says:

    @319, I do think that the idea of clogging up the basepaths is overrrated. Obviously, it has some effect, but not nearly as much as “common sense” might suggest.

  323. Kerry Says:

    Whoops, let’s try “overrated” in the last post. (I took French in high school and sometimes roll my “r”’s.)

  324. JohnBowen Says:

    Kerry has done extensive simulations on what would happen if you threw your lineup together in a non-sensical way rather than an optimal way.

    I believe (and correct me if I’m off here, Kerry) he comes out with losing about 2 wins between best and worst possible lineups.

    Which, I mean, isn’t insignificant. 2 wins separated the World Champions from October on the couch; it’s also roughly the difference between having Robby Cano and Omar Infante at second base.

    But I guess the point was that it wasn’t like the lineup will freak out and not function if you bat Dunn first and Pierre cleanup. Or if it does, it’ll be because you’re letting Adam Dunn and Juan Pierre bat in your lineup at all.

    But why would anyone want to do something in this game that was less than optimal? Even if it’s 2 wins, it’s still an extra TWO WINS from the exact same group of players performing in exactly the same way.

    Batting Order is also important for breaking up lefty’s/righty’s, taking into account who guys are hitting in front of and behind (i.e., don’t worry if your number 2 hitter ahead of Barry Bonds doesn’t draw many walks, cuz he won’t be drawing very many anyway if the year is 2001-2004).

  325. Hossrex Says:

    @john bowen 318: I agree in principle, but remember that mediocre relievers don’t see that much money.”

    Mediocre starters don’t become mediocre relievers. Mediocre starters become hall of fame relievers.


    No one… Regardless of the pressures to avoid failure… Would take a legitimately good pitcher, and pitch him 75 innings (or fewer) instead of 150 (or more) he would see as a starter.

    Excluding outliers (and Mo Rivera IS the only outlier), the best reliever is worse than the worst guy who starts 25 games. I mean… Worst case scenario… The starter is more VALUABLE… So who even CARES who’s better in the theoretical sense?

    Tony LaRussa: “we think Dennis Eckersley is such a good pitcher, that I’ve decided to use him half as often as the worse pitchers on the team”.


    That the second best reliever in the game makes more money than any starter who pitches twice as many innings… Is bullshit beyond the stupidest of either saber or traditional.

    The way relief pitching is used over the last twenty years smacks of how traditionalists might improperly apply saber logic. The worst of both worlds.

  326. JohnBowen Says:

    @321, have you ever conducted a thorough analysis similar to what I was doing, except using your magic and actually running a regression analysis on a vast number of teams?

    I mean, it’s a little weird because the best comparisons are within a year-group and there are at most 30 teams to look at…increasing the sample means increasing the number of years and thus a large number of varying conditions.

  327. JohnBowen Says:

    “Tony LaRussa: “we think Dennis Eckersley is such a good pitcher, that I’ve decided to use him half as often as the worse pitchers on the team”.”

    Ummmm, it’s Tony LaRussa. That’s essentially the logic he employed.

    “No one… Regardless of the pressures to avoid failure… Would take a legitimately good pitcher, and pitch him 75 innings (or fewer) instead of 150 (or more) he would see as a starter.”

    Two things: 1) What if the starter has great stuff but no endurance?
    2) Teams do this all the time. Or at least they throw around money that way.

    I would have no problem with a team using a very good pitcher as a reliever and paying him better than their starters…as long as they’re using this reliever when the game matters.

    Mariano Rivera in 1996 turned in an absolutely historic year as a reliever. Game after game, when it was on the line, he came in and extinguished the fire. Threw 107 innings, struck out 130 opponents. He didn’t pitch as much as a starter, but pretty much every inning he threw was in crunch time (as opposed to a starter, who does get to face the bottom of the lineup for an easy inning like 1/3 of the time and always starts off with the bases empty).

    So what did the Yankees do?

    They took this elite fireman, and had him pitch the ninth inning of only games where they were up by 1-3 runs regardless of opposing batters.

    107 high leverage IP is one thing.

    75 IP with maybe 1/3 being high leverage is something completely different.

  328. Kerry Says:

    @326, yes, and so have many others. As somebody mentioned above (Mike?), 1.8*OBP + SLG has a better correlation to runs scored than OPS does. The exact factor varies over time, but it’s close to 1.8. I don’t remember the details, but I suspect the factor is less in low-scoring environments, since baserunners are more scarce then and driving them home is more important.

  329. Kerry Says:

    Considering the whole use-of-reliever thing, you’d think somebody would have the guts to actually do it the way we all think they should. This even goes beyond the saber/nonsaber disagreements, because I think we are pretty much unanimous on this one. [Looks around for dissenters...]

  330. Hossrex Says:

    Meh. I just lost a 500 word post because I don’t know how to make my iPhone “undo”.

    Sum up: baseball is a social science. Stop treating it as if it were a physics equation.

    If everything said in this thread were true, we could simply arrest every brown person who walked through an airport.

    I mean… Is “I want to see him try to explain how it applies to one player, but not all players; that might be entertaining!”

    Really, is that all that different from “statistically, people with a higher percentage of melanin in their skin commit crimes at a higher rate”.

    Why is the latter offensive? Because it assumes that a human being can be a statistic. Because it fails to ackowledge that regardless of how much data you collect about black people, you still don’t know shit about LeRoy Brown.

    Shit… Was that racist? Sorry Raul. :)

  331. JohnBowen Says:

    Everything done by GM’s in an attempt to build a baseball team is a guess.

    There’s no sure-fire equation for building a team.

    But there sure as hell are equations that are better than others.

    Which is the whole point. No matter what you do, you’re guessing. But you might as well make smart guesses that work out more often in the long run.

  332. Chuck Says:


    You’re the only one who has made that suggestion, that a team of 9 good at one thing would beat a team of 9 not good at the same thing.

    Again, the conversation started with Hoss’ reference to Beane, who built a team of 15 individuals good at things he thought were overlooked by the majority.

    No one is suggesting you build a team made up of 9 Adam Dunn’s or Adam Everett’s.

    “And he’s weaseling out of the whole team aspect, since he didn’t make any distinction when he first said it.”

    “hitting .249 with a .350 OBP isn’t as good as a guy who goes .259/.340.”

    Seem pretty clear to me, big guy. Actually, now that I’ve read the whole comment, #321 makes no sense, because the initial conversation to which my comment was mad was talking about one player (Adam Dunn).

    So, who’s pulling who’s chain now? :)

  333. Chuck Says:

    “But there sure as hell are equations that are better than others.”

    Equations, budgets..

    Apples, oranges…

  334. Hossrex Says:

    Johnbowen: “What if the starter has great stuff but no endurance?”

    No. No! Fucking bullshit cocksucker horseshit fucking no.

    First off… How fucking good can the guy be if he ain’t got no endurance?

    Second… How much better would be the mediocre guy if he didn’t have to worry about his fucking endurance?

    Third… Who cares WHY a guy is only capable of throwing ~ a thousand pitches per year (75 innings, 3 outs per inning, 4.5 pitches per plate appearance)?

    John Smoltz was a premiere starter. Mariano Rivera was a premiere reliever.

    John Smoltz was a premiere reliever. Mariano Rivera made ten starts at 25 (more like 27), and sucked so bad he was never allowed to do it again. Ever.

    Of course that isn’t conclusive, but it sure as hell says a lot to me.

  335. Cameron Says:

    Hoss, that’s where you find a lot of the good relievers, guys who had good stuff, but their arms turn to pumpkins by the fifth inning.

  336. Kerry Says:

    @330, your analogy isn’t really good there. Chuck made a blanket statement, not about a particular individual. Therefore you get to use data taken from a large sample of cases — that’s actually empirical data, not simulations, although simulations back it up. And that data shows that a adding x points to OBP and subtracting x points from AVG on average is a net gain.

    Of course there may be times where it doesn’t happen that way, but there’s a statistical distribution. Unless you can explain the variance some other way, you have no control over it, and therefore it might as well be luck. Now you can hope to get lucky with the lower OBP guy, and you will in some cases, but in the long run it’s going to hurt you.

    Chuck provided no evidence or argument for why either an individual player or team would be better with higher AVG but lower OBP, other than to say he was right.

    Now, Hossrex, you surprise me, since you espouse the scientific method. After all, there is data, and John pointed out some of it. I agree that algorithms (as they are currently written) don’t capture all the nuances of an at-bat, in which the outcome can be affected somewhat by the situation, but their results still do agree with the empirical data. The other side of this particular argument has no data, or even a hand-waving argument, as to why it is correct. (If I’m wrong, please let me know.)

    Another thing — some social sciences have a lot of math in them, economics being a prime example. We (as physicists) sometimes joke about the softer sciences, but some of them are surprisingly sophisticated. Even psychology uses a lot of statistics in their studies.

  337. Kerry Says:

    Chuck:”Seem pretty clear to me, big guy. Actually, now that I’ve read the whole comment, #321 makes no sense, because the initial conversation to which my comment was mad was talking about one player (Adam Dunn).”

    So, you’re saying it applies only to Adam Dunn and not others? No, you didn’t say that, because once again you are being evasive. And if it does apply to others, how many others?

    And if it applies only to Adam Dunn (which I don’t agree with either), then you are saying that everybody else would be better off with .249/.350 than .259/.340, but not him?

    If some are and some aren’t, how do you determine which ones are and which ones aren’t?

    Stop dancing around the question and actually answer it. You are great at bobbing and weaving, but never deliver a punch…

  338. Chuck Says:

    “So, you’re saying it applies only to Adam Dunn and not others?”

    It does when that’s who we were talking about, no one else matters.

    What is it with you math guys? You can punch numbers like nobody’s business but read at a fifth grade level.

    I was talking about ONE guy. Not the Cubs or Rays or Adam Everett.

    Adam Dunn.

    700+ major league players and I was talking about one, and you guys want to turn it into something entirely different.

    Which is fine, but also not relevant to what I was saying.

    “You are great at bobbing and weaving, but never deliver a punch…”

    Said Sonny Liston to Cassius Clay.

  339. JohnBowen Says:

    “John Smoltz was a premiere starter. Mariano Rivera was a premiere reliever.

    John Smoltz was a premiere reliever. Mariano Rivera made ten starts at 25 (more like 27), and sucked so bad he was never allowed to do it again. Ever.

    Of course that isn’t conclusive, but it sure as hell says a lot to me.”

    John Smoltz, first year as a starter: 2-7, 5.48 ERA, 67 ERA+, 1.672 WHIP
    Mariano Rivera, same thing: 5-3, 5.51 ERA, 84 ERA+, 1.507 WHIP

    What does that say to you, exactly?

    “First off… How fucking good can the guy be if he ain’t got no endurance?”

    Um, it means he has wicked nasty stuff and only enough endurance to last 25-30 pitches.

    So it makes sense to use him for 1 inning at a time (note: not necessarily the ninth) but not to have him try and go 6 innings.

    Pretty simple stuff, really.

    “I was talking about ONE guy. Not the Cubs or Rays or Adam Everett.
    Adam Dunn.”

    That’s an interesting take on our fifth grade reading level, considering you made an assertion about a .259/.340 player being better than a .249/.350 player in comment 255, and nobody mentioned Adam Dunn until comment 257.

  340. Chuck Says:

    There were 184,670 combined plate appearances last year between both leagues.

    Adam Dunn had 496.

    What you want from one guy doesn’t mean you want it from everyone.

    It’s mindnumbing people can’t grasp that.

  341. Chuck Says:

    “That’s an interesting take on our fifth grade reading level, considering you made an assertion about a .259/.340 player being better than a .249/.350 player in comment 255, and nobody mentioned Adam Dunn until comment 257.”

    Because we always have to paint you a picture.

    Like with your Tim Raines argument, I just pulled Dunn out of my ass.

  342. Hossrex Says:

    Kerry: “you espouse the scientific method.”


    But this is a social science… At least insofar as you’re collating historical data, and making (social/athletic) predictions based on that data.

    Had you never thought if it that (correct) way? Have you been so wrapped up in the physics of a curveball, or the delta-v of a Ryan Howard home run, that you’ve never taken time to recognize the difference between a natural science, and a social science?

    Or which the statistical interpretation of historical baseball trends more closely correlates?

    Fuck… It’s closer to anthropology than it is physics.

  343. Hossrex Says:

    Is it funny to get an autographed picture of Betty White, because you sent her a funny handwritten letter saying you’re a dying little kid with bone cancer who’s only happy moments in life are the fleeting (and rare) smiles on her face watching Golden Girls during long nights in the cancer ward of the children’s hospital… or is that in bad taste?

    I have an autographed picture that says its funny… But miss Rex and her mother just got in a raging argument regarding how tasteful the letter was.

    Seriously. I’m sitting in a room with her mother, right now in complete silence, since my girlfriend just stormed out of the room in tears.

    It IS funny though… Right?

  344. Chuck Says:

    No, it’s not funny.

    And if the story is true, you’re an asshole.

  345. Cameron Says:

    Dead Baby Comedy has a line, Hoss… It’s over the line, but I can’t tell if it’s so far past the line it’s funny or not… I don’t find it that tasteful, but the fact you had the balls to actually send that letter is funny to me.

  346. Hossrex Says:

    Other than the bizarre tendency for Americans to be offended on behalf of others… What’s past the line about that?

  347. Cameron Says:

    Dude, you told the sweetest old woman in the world you were a little kid dying of cancer. …Not cool. The only thing I’m laughing at is the sheer audacity of the fact you did something THAT tasteless.

  348. John Says:

    I would say it’s a victimless crime, but Miss Rex and the Rex-in-law seem to have turned Hoss’s home onto a war zone.

  349. Mike Felber Says:

    Not so generous to the sui generis Chuck. I have been trying to bring others here & promote the place. When little is going on in articles or comments, Talmudic detail about trivial or non-sports points at minimum does not exacerbate the issue. I also cannot see how you were not making & then backing off of a general statement re: value in that exchange of BA & OBP differential between players.

    Kerry: I would be interested about your opinion to my follow up question in post #114. Also if you agree with me about teh separate matter I broached in 116, 120, & 122. But ironically, do not take the actual #s too literally: I have noticed that my system is sometimes one off the post #s others cite. I do not know why.

  350. Mike Felber Says:

    Well…It is an interesting philosophical conundrum. Nobody was tangibly hurt. The question is are there reasons to have moral revulsion of an act that is objectionable on principle more than any utilitarian grounds.

    This did not hurt Betty White, she was kind in return, & we cannot figure that any small upset was not contradicted by the small mental benefit of thinking she was doing good. One way folks evaluate ethical worthiness is if everyone did some action, how would it effect the world?

    It ironically goes back to your comments about some spheres not being an exact science. It was dishonest, & though no harm was directly caused, it is reasonable to expect folks would who care about you would be upset about conduct that is lying to, & in some small way taking advantage of a well intentioned old lady.

    The retelling of the tale caused the only TANGIBLE harm. Though it does not seem like a very nice thing to do at least, just due to general principles about deception, & the delight in same, for personal gain. Can you understand this as a reasonable reaction Hoss?

  351. Hossrex Says:

    You’re right. If there can be a situation where it might be reasonable for someone to get offended about something where no one was hurt, no one insulted, no one at a loss, and no one in any way affected at all… Then yes. This would be the situation where it would be fair for someone to offended by no one being hurt, insulted, at a loss, or affected in any way.

    I would have otherwise suggested, however, that we DON’T live in a world where it would EVER be reasonable to be offended by a situation for which you aren’t involved, for which no one was hurt, insulted, at a loss, or in any way affected…

    But whadda ya know… Here we are.

  352. Mike Felber Says:

    Well that intellectual honesty & Ego-shedding courage is why you are gonna reach Enlightenment at least 75 lifetimes before me Hoss!:-) However right or rational folks MAY be, the ability to grow & change, whether your blind spots & flaws are large or small, surely (if I may call you Shi…) correlates with personal growth.

    And though I use a jesting tone & do not literally believe in the beautiful Eastern Cosmology of countless lifetimes in various realms of being from Hell through God, demi-God, Human, animal, hungry ghost…

    I am utterly sincere in my sentiment of admiration for the admission.

  353. Cameron Says:

    Couple interesting things I just remembered. Fun little baseball tidbits I like to amuse myself with.

    In 1958, Stan Musial was one of the highest-paid players in baseball history, earning $100,000 a year. After a subpar (by his standards) 1958, he asked for a $20,000 pay cut for the 1959 season as he feels he didn’t earn the full salary after the year he had. He got his wish.

    One day in 1982 (I wanna say August 4, but I could be wrong), Joel Youngblood started in center field for the New York Mets, getting a hit off Fergie Jenkins. Midway through the game, his manager informed him he was traded to the Montreal Expos. He then caught a flight down to Philadelphia in time for the Expos game and was entered as a pinch hitter, getting a hit off Steve Carlton. He is the only man to get two hits against two Hall of Famers for two teams on the same day.

    Pete Rose has had his teams win more games than any player in history, coming out on top 2,011 times.

  354. JohnBowen Says:

    I would’ve taken the over on that.

  355. Bob Says:

    2 343. What is sad about that story is you
    1. Have the time to do those type of stunts.
    2. Think the only way to get an any attention is to lie about your life.
    3. You seriously have no idea how sad and pathetic that story makes you look?

  356. Bob Says:

    Meant to type @ 343.

  357. JohnBowen Says:

    That’s dark. I just didn’t think it was all that funny.

  358. JohnBowen Says:

    I’ll do Raul’s birthday thing today, I guess

    Happy 50th Birthday to Dan Plesac! Plesac began his career as an all-star closer for the Brewers. He was booted from that role by 1991, but hung around until 2003 as a situational lefty. He currently sits #6 all-time in appearances and also sits behind a desk at MLB Network along with fellow lefty reliever Mitch Williams.

    Happy 28th birthday to Doug Fister! In 2011, Doug Fister started the year with a rock solid 3.33 ERA and 1.171 WHIP with Seattle, but was only 3-12 because I guess he didn’t know how to win. He was then traded to Detroit where he finished 8-1. I guess he learned how to win. He actually did pitch better in Detroit and ended up top-10 in the AL in ERA (4th), WHIP (6th), BB/9 (4th), K/BB (5th), HR/9 (1st) and some other stuff.

    Happy 56th birthday to Chris Bando! I just remember him as the Brewers bench coach in the late 1990’s, where his brother Sal (of the 1970’s Athletics dynasty) was GM.

  359. Bob Says:

    John, if it is your birthday, (it is on your mind) then Happy Birthday to you!

  360. JohnBowen Says:

    Thanks Bob! My birthday was actually a couple weeks ago.

  361. Bob Says:

    Well then. Hope you enjoyed it!

  362. Bob Says:

    In this order.
    1. Enjoy the Super Bowl
    2. Enjoy the beer.
    3. Enjoy the pizza and wings.
    4. Heard it here first: Pats 28, Giants 24.
    5. See you Monday or Tuesday, depending on how trashed I get.

  363. Chuck Says:

    Happy Birthday, John.

  364. Chuck Says:

    My traditional Super Bowl Sunday..

    Head out to Scottsdale early (6am-ish) and hang out at the Phoenix Open. I usually pick a group and will walk the course the entire 18 holes, and leave somewhere in the 11-noon range.

    I’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up some liquid refreshments and whatever I’ve decided to fix for dinner.

    I’ll watch on TV the end of the golf, and maybe catch some college basketball if there is a good enough game on.

    Then, it’s football time.

    Unlike in their previous Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots’ defense is actually a weakness this year, especially in the secondary. I expect Eli to have a field day throwing against New England’s poorly designed quarter down zone.

    Manning will end up in the 330 range for passing yards, throw at least 3 TD’s, and will be game MVP.

    Giants, 31-20

  365. brautigan Says:

    It is EXTREMELY funny if you don’t send it and just say you sent it.

    It is an extreeeeeeme case of douchebaggery if you do send it.

    Somewhere there is irony in the former, and over-the-top cruelness in the latter.

  366. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I like your tradition.

    A lot of the time, my wife and I will go out into the Columbia RIver Gorge and go hiking. We have the whole place to ourselves, nothing but trails and waterfalls. The only thing we miss is the commerials.

  367. brautigan Says:


  368. Mike Felber Says:

    Hoss asckonwledged it was wrong, we should all have such cojones to open up ourselves through specific soliciting of opinions. It was not cruel in effect, likely to a degree in intent-but he recognized that it would not be seen as such nor hurt Ms. White, & now that it was wrong to do & revel in.

    There is no indication it was the only way he can get or needs that attention, & it could not have taken that much time, free time is not the issue. It was a misguided effort, where it takes some courage to unpack the flavor of one’s motivations.

    Though a cruel impulse, usually transformed & purified, is the basis for most humor. How we work with these internal energies & choose to deploy them determines who we are & shapes the karma of our actions.

  369. Hossrex Says:

    Wow… I’m glad I’m (apparently) the only person on earth who isn’t offended by what people say online.

  370. Chuck Says:

    On the birthday list today is John Frascatore, who was a reliever for the Dbacks in 1999.

    He was traded mid-season to Toronto (for Dan Plesac).

    My wife and I were on our way to Puerto Rico for vacation and we were on Frascatore’s flight, we caught our connection in Nashville to San Juan, he went to meet the Blue Jays in Philadelphia.

    Nice guy.

  371. Cameron Says:

    Huh, just saw that Rockhurst High School here in KC has produced both John Mayberry Jr. and David Cone. …You ever have one of those private schools that you KNOW has violated recruiting laws? Yeah, Rockhurst is the local one here. You have a potential career in a sport? Oh look who’s here, the Rockhurst guys.

  372. John Says:

    My dad went to both Rockhurst HS and Rockhurst college.

  373. Cameron Says:

    Well I’ll be damned.

  374. Cameron Says:

    The AP Awards for the NFL were today. Can’t honestly disagree with any of them.

    MVP – Aaron Rodgers, QB (Green Bay)
    Offensive Player of the Year – Drew Brees, QB (New Orleans Saints)
    Defensive Player of the Year – Terrell Suggs, LB (Baltimore Ravens)
    Comeback Player of the Year – Matthew Stafford, QB (Detroit Lions)
    Offensive Rookie of the Year – Cameron Newton, QB (Carolina Panthers)
    Defensive Rookie of the Year – Von Miller, LB (Denver Broncos)
    Coach of the Year – Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers)

  375. Lefty33 Says:

    It blows my mind that Oswalt is still unsigned with pitchers and catchers due to report in about two weeks.

    I just read yesterday on Comcast Philly’s site that the Cardinals are now out unless Oswalt’s asking price comes down (10 million per currently) and because they want him to strongly consider closing.

    The only teams still in contact with him are the Rangers, Reds, Red Sox, and suprise the Phillies.

    Oswalt has said that he does not want to pitch in the AL, the Reds likely do not have the money needed to sign him, and the Phillies couldn’t do it without moving someone to stay under the luxury tax threshold.

    So it seems that he has few, if any, options left.

  376. Chuck Says:

    Happy 78th birthday to the rightful career record holder for homers and IMO the greatest player of all time, the one and only Henry Louis Aaron.

    I met Aaron once at a banquet in, I think, 1982 or ‘83, and it remains today the only time I’ve ever been in awe in the presence of another human being.

  377. John Says:

    Happy Birthday, Hammerin’ Hank.

  378. Cameron Says:

    Happy birthday, Hank. Guys like you are the reason whitey was scared to let you into the league. Thanks for throwing it back in their face. …755 times.

  379. Chuck Says:

    So I got to the TPC at 7:15, a little early but a good parking spot is better than anything.

    It’s traditional the last round starts a bit later to avoid the possibility of a frost delay because the tournament officials want to get the players off the course in time to watch the game.

    There is this ginormous party afterwards, and there has to be time to compensate for potential weather delays and a playoff.

    So they go double tees.

    First group off during the week is around 7 am, today it was 8:55.

    I entered on the fifth green side as usual and headed to the first tee and picked up the Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Bill Lunde group.

    I followed them for awhile, then circled back to #1 for the Phil Mickelson group.

    I walked with them for nine holes, then cut back to the front side and grabbed a group who started on the back, which was the Aaron Baddeley and two time champ JB Holmes pairing.

    Followed them til the fifth green, and bailed.

    Now ready to watch a Giants butt whoopin’

  380. Hossrex Says:

    Would I be an asshole, if I sent a letter to Madonna pretending to be a sick kid, asking her to just fucking “Stop It”?

  381. Chuck Says:

    If you wrote a letter to Newt Gingrich pretending to be a sick kid asking him to drop out of the Presidential race you would be an asshole, despite the fact you’d be doing the country a monumental favor.

  382. Cameron Says:

    Gingrich is Gingriching himself out of the race. No impersonations necessary.

  383. Cameron Says:

    That one came down to the wire there.

  384. John Says:

    If Hossrex writes to Gingrich saying he has cancer, Gingrich will probably serve him with divorce papers by morning

  385. Cameron Says:

    Or insist that he gets a job to help pay for his cancer bills, even though he’s a kid. Or maybe he’ll send him to America’s 51st state, The Moon.

    …Seriously, the fuck is he smoking? Because I want some.

  386. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha, all funny on Nuke Big Grinch!

    Went to NJ where Sister & family went across the street to a neighbor’s house. Great food, kids, teens, a betting pool just w/randomized results. Could not have had much netter a time absent some nubile grrrls to meet!

    People share energies, just have & indulge them to different degrees. Consciously shaping intent & effect can help discover “The Light Inside The Dark”. Also a great book by John Tarrant.

    About my lies Hoss: I have enjoyed telling tall tales to paramours sometimes, just for the fun of seeing what/how outrageous a fiction I can get away with, usually to a GF. I tell them shortly thereafter. Sometime after my Mom died, I told my lady then that their was flooding in the basement of her then mostly emptied house (absolutely true), due to a defective pipe.

    I decided to impromptu invent the story that water filled the house, up to the 4th Floor a few feet from the ceiling! And that we dropped in various big fish through the skylight & were charging folks to exhibit it as an aquarium! She wanted to go out there with me, swear my delivery had her (mostly) a believer.

    One time I had a date with a girl & we went to an outdoor market in Brooklyn. There was a large dog there, husky or something like that, that was a good part wolf. The woman who had it (since I will bother/talk to all owners with beautiful animals) told me about having to wrestle/restrain it when it tried to be “Alpha Dog”. An absurd thing: though she won that round, if the dog ever really wanted to attack her, she would have no chance. As would normally be the case with a strong man.

    It made a distinctive part howling & crying noise. Anyway, the point being I got a fancy to “lie” again. I used my Anthropology Major background to spin a fiction about Dachshunds bred to be so long that the unintended consequence were that they sprouted inchoate & in short order a fully functional pair of legs to shore up their sagging middle back. I milked this a bit…

    Then i took her to a pizza restaurant, & confessed that i made up the whole thing. Instead of being charmed, for the only time I ever encountered, she was angered about it. I told her that I would not have let her leave without telling her this was a jest, so there was no danger of her appearing silly or repeating it…She was not placated.

    That i would call kind of a fragile Ego, or just too serious & easily offended. It seemed nothing to be upset about, or care much about, if not amused.

  387. Chuck Says:

    Can’t imagine how you’re single, Mike.


  388. Bob Says:

    1. Congrats to the Giants.
    2. The Nationals signed Rick Ankiel
    3. The Orioles traded Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Jason Hammell and Matt Lindstrom.
    4. John, I just sent one to you. Thanks.

  389. Mike Felber Says:

    That does not make sense Chuck. Telling over the top fictions was overwhelmingly an occasional thing done to those I was dating. With the exception of that one girl I just saw that once, they laughed & appreciated the harmless jest.

  390. Bob Says:

    ” With the exception of that one girl I just saw that once, they laughrd & appreciated the harmless jest.”

    So, one can assume that you dumped the others. Is that a fair assessment?

  391. Bob Says:

    Best story about lying to a woman to get into her skirt. About 5 years ago, some dude went to his ATM during a Red Sox game. The vestibule was littered with bank reciepts, so the guy scanned the floor until he came across one that had a sizable balance. He saves it.
    A couple of days later, he is with his new date, tells her he needs to withdraw some money, comes back to his car, places the old reciept in his glove compartment, and drives to a nearby general store. Tells her he needs some cigarettes or some chips and soda. Who cares what he is getting. Says she can listen to tunes in his car while he stands in line.
    Surwe enough, he walks into the store, then spies on her as she goes into his glove compartment. Sees her smile big time when she reads the balance. About a month later, he tells her what he did.
    In that 30 day span, the guy said the sex was incredible.

  392. Cameron Says:

    Wow… The fact he picked up a chick that’d root through his glove compartment while he’s gone for five minutes is kinda scary. But damn if that ain’t a good story.

  393. Chuck Says:

    I wouldn’t have told her..bitch..teach her to spy on me.

    Enjoy the fun while it lasted, then make reservations at some fancy restaurant about 20 miles outside of town.

    Wait til the waiter takes our order, then excuse myself to go to the can, and walk right out the front door and leave her ass there.

  394. Cameron Says:

    Don’t forget to order the most expensive thing on the menu.

  395. Mike Felber Says:

    No, Bob, & I cannot imagine what erroneous rationale had you make that assumption. Things ended for various reasons, & I am friends with a few exes, & not alienated from any I have seen for any length of time. I was being playful/creative,e enjoying creating some wonder that they fall for, & laughing with them at the mischief when i told them, not long afterwards, about the story. We like to get reactions out of woman, charm them somehow, & woman like guys who make them laugh. This was just my odd variant on this natural impulse.

    That was unfortunate, the spygate affair (that is for Raul)! Though abandoning her somewhere would just be nasty. That she was untrustworthy does not make such cruelty OK.

  396. Bob Says:

    1. The Rangers signed Conor Jackson and Joe Beimel.
    2. The Nationals signed Mark Teahen.

  397. Chuck Says:

    Pinch-hitting again for Raul…

    Happy Birthday to…

    Raul’s favorite player, Pedro Alvarez.

    Bob Wickman, who, despite a career 1.40 WHIP managed a fifteen year career and led the AL in saves with 45 for the 2007 Indians.

    Richie Zisk. I have (I think) a great Zisk story but I’m not home now and don’t want to rely on memory, so I’ll put something to it later.

    Smokey Burgess, posted a career .295 average and .807 OPS over an 18 year career, spent mostly as a pinch hitter, he had just one season where he had 500 PA’s.

    Dale Long. Another pinch-hit type, Long’s career was much shorter (8 years) and is best known for holding the ML record for homers in consecutive games with 8.

    And, finally, some guy named Babe Ruth.

  398. Cameron Says:

    Bob Wickman, not a bad pitcher for a guy throwing with four and a half fingers.

  399. Cameron Says:

    Also, the AL Saves leader you’re thinking of is Joe Borowski, not Bob Wickman.

  400. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 399- Split the difference.

    Borowski led the AL with 45 in ‘07 and Wickman led with 45 in ‘05.

    Also kudos to Wickman for not demanding that Cleveland bring back some sort of bullpen cart for him as he truly was one of the fattest fucks to ever waddle out to the rubber.

  401. Raul Says:

    I’m in NY visiting family. Nice updates on the birthdays.

    The other stuff…bores me to death.


    I remember when Hoss used to talk baseball instead of being a critical asshole about Americans and their delicate sensibilities.

    Happy birthday John.

    Props on Felber for continuing to type like a cross between Dennis Miller and twitter’s fake Old Hoss Radbourn. Though lacking any of the interest or comedy of Miller and fake Radbourn.

  402. Chuck Says:

    Look up Mike, Raul.

    Maybe he can work some magic and score a reservation at Chez Dumpster for you guys.

  403. Chuck Says:

    Birthdays today;

    Charlie Jamieson. Eighteen year ML outfielder whose career spanned both the deadball era of the teens and the lively ball of the ’20’s. Jamieson has a WS ring with the 1920 Cleveland Indians and who put up his best year in 1923, leading the AL in PA’s, AB’s and hits. He retired after the 1932 season with a .303 lifetime average.

    Al Smith: 12 year major league outfielder who led the AL in games, PA’s and runs in 1955 with the Indians. Smith was a two time All Star who put up two top six AL MVP finishes, but who might be best known for this;,r:3,s:0

    Juan Pizarro: Puerto Rican born lefthander who posted a 131-105 record over 18 seasons with eight teams. His best year was a 19-9, 2.56 with the 1964 White Sox. Pizarro pitched in two World Series with the 1957 & 1958 Milwaukee Braves.

    Burt Hooton: 15 year ML veteran primarily with the Dodgers who went 19-10/2.71 with the NL champion Dodgers in 1978, finishing second in the Cy Young voting. Hooton’s career started with a bang, no-hitting the Phillies on April 19th, 1972 in his fourth ML appearance. Hooton is currently the pitching coach for the Astros’ AAA team in Oklahoma City.

    Dan Quisenberry: 12 year veteran relief pitcher known for his submarine style delivery, led the AL in saves five times and in appearances three. Had four consecutive top three Cy Young finishes and pitched in two WS with the Royals.

    Carney Lansford: 15 year veteran third baseman known primarily for his three consecutive WS appearances for the 1988-1990 Oakland A’s. Lansford finished third in the 1978 ROY voting as a member of the Angels, and as a member of the Red Sox won the 1981 AL batting title.

  404. Chuck Says:

    “So, is that why low-BA high-OBP teams always outscore low-OBP, high BA teams with similar SLG’s?”

    Blanket statements like that always come back to bite you in the ass, especially when they’re made off the cuff and without having done any research beforehand.

    “Similar SLG’s” leaves a wide margin of debate, certainly enough to expand your initial intent when the “facts” start showing you wrong.

    I thought this would make for some interesting research, but absent of the time I wasn’t going to get into it, but thought for laughs I’d just open up the encyclopedia today and see what I could find.

    I told my daughter to put the book on the coffee table and to just flip it open, wherever it was that’s where I’d start.

    1986 American League

    Both the second place Yankees and fifth place Indians led the AL in SLG at .430, so even John has no wiggle room on the definition of “similar.”

    The Indians led the AL, by a wide margin, in hitting with a .284 avg, the Yanks tied for second at .271.

    The Yanks led the AL with a .347 OBP, Cleveland checked in at fifth with .337.

    The Yanks led the AL in walks with 645, Cleveland finished last with 456, a difference of 189, or more than one per game.

    The Indians led the league in hits with 1620, 108 more than the Yankees.

    The Yanks, however, had an advantage in XBH with 14, including 31 more homers.

    Cleveland led the AL in runs scored with 809, 34 more than New York.

    So much for “always”.

  405. Bob Says:

    The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw agreed to a 2-year deal worth $19MM.

  406. John Says:

    I think you took the meaning of “always” too literally.

    I’ve provided, what, five examples, and Kerry has probably done an entire study showing that OBP correlates far closer to run scoring than BA.

    If I said “if you want to make the playoffs you better at least out-score your opponents” would you say that that’s a stupid statement because of the ‘87 Twins and ‘07 Diamondbacks?

    You might, I dunno.

    Fact of the matter is, on the whole, teams with low OBP’s and high BA’s will get outscored by teams that do the opposite. A few exceptions here and there don’t change that fact.

    But if you want Jim Hendry running your team instead of Andrew Friedman, that’s your prerogative.

  407. Chuck Says:

    “done an entire study showing that OBP correlates far closer to run scoring than BA.”


    You mean getting on base is important to scoring?

    Come on, man, no shit?

  408. JohnBowen Says:


    More important than “ball-in-play” percentage.

  409. Chuck Says:

    1957 National League.

    Braves and Reds have identical .269 team averages. Braves have a ten point advantage in SLG, Reds an eleven point edge in OBP, which equates to a one point differential in OPS.

    Reds have 95 fewer walks as a team for the season, Braves have 12 more homers for the year, and 14 more hits for the year.

    The Braves scored 25 more runs for the season, and won 15 more games.

  410. Chuck Says:

    John, go back up and read what Raul said in #272.

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    Teams average around 60% fewer walks per season than hits, getting on base LEADS to scoring, putting the ball in play RESULTS in scoring.

    Teams whose OBP is walk driven score fewer runs, not more.

    The majority of the time.

  411. Mike Felber Says:

    lol at 403/or whatever # it is for others.

    I agree with you John on principal, yet one need not be as literal as I often am to fairly object re: saying “always”. Because you did make a very specific statement, taking it literally was fully rational.

    Dennis Miller went from supercilious pop culture obsessed intellectual to hateful right wing comedian. Though i do not label all ideology I disagree with as such. It is personal taste, though I do not find him very funny, & you Raul cannot appreciate my surreal story humor. You opinion, likely informed by a reflexive rejection of the language, & past impressions. Almost certainly informed by emotional bias & preconceptions.

    That’s alright bro, you need to know anything about what to do in NYC, especially art & culture & low cost related, including eats at a restaurant, just reach out!

  412. Bob Says:

    I know NYC has affordable housing and rent control policies, but they also have affordable dining…at restaurants?

  413. John Says:

    However it’s done, having a high OBP, period, is more impirtant than a “hit-based OBP”.

  414. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure Bob! Though it has gotten hard for folks all over re: basic economies there are innumerable dining options, every ethnic cuisine, especially Italian & Asian. Some are informal, some family, some nicer but at least reasonable. You can peruse a Zagat’s guide, though getting places with entrees around $10 & under is more scarce, teens is easy, & the former at certain local establishments beyond pizza parlors & noodle shops such as in Chinatown.

    I live on 9th Ave, where they have had this since ‘73: It closes off close to 20 blocks, features largely the many restaurants along this Street. Many bars have stands too. Just recalled to leve them a v/m, scheduling my arts fest for their event this year, would happy to have a tiny portion of their 6 digits of folks who pour through the streets all weekend.

  415. Chuck Says:

    Bob, to Mike, “low-cost dining” means hanging out in the alley behind the restaurant, waiting for them to empty the trash.

  416. Bob Says:

    Mike, thank you.

  417. Bob Says:

    LOL at Chuck and post 415

  418. Mike Felber Says:

    You are welcome Bob.

    Sure, funny with some truth, as I am, in part, a freegan. Though supermarkets are usually where i get food, also shopping at them, & I do at least occasionally go to restaurants, many on 9th Ave. And this is what i was referring to & offering Raul help with finding.

  419. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL Mike’s an OWSer.

    He thinks everything should be free!

  420. Cameron Says:

    I’m kinda with Mike on this one. Take free food where you can get it. When I can stop by Krispy Kreme when I’m out in that part of town, I ask for the day-olds. They’re still good.

  421. Mike Felber Says:

    Well that is a fine jest John. As long as you do understand that few OWS folks believe anything like that there should be no commerce, that all biz. is bad, that there is anything wrong in principle with earning & paying for things too. trouble is, you likely know this, but some will think that reforming a system that is suffused with bought out power, Corporate welfare & essentially redistribution of wealth to the top tier must mean some anarchist ideals.

    I don’t care for donuts Cam, but some reports say fully half of all food in America is wasted! Sometimes gourmet or organic stuff, not near bad or expired. The system just has its own insane momentum.

  422. Cameron Says:

    Yeah. Bakeries in general can be your friend if you need something. Most I’ve ever seen day-old bread products be sold for was a dollar for a sandwich roll.

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