The Best Seasons by Ex-Athletics

by JohnBowen

From 1971-1975, the Oakland A’s won five straight division titles and won three consecutive world titles from 1972-1974.

Then, a funny thing happened: free agency. Marvin Miller successfully argued that A’s owner Charlie Finley had violated the terms of Catfish Hunter’s contract, thus making a free agent, free to negotiate with any team. Baseball’s reserve clause was history and players were no longer bound to one team for their entire careers.

For a small-market team that would go through decades of mostly cheaper ownership groups (starting with Finley), this would mean bad things for the Athletics franchise. Turns out that good players don’t want to be paid peanuts. And even with terrific talent that made playoff appearances, division titles, and another World Series possible – sustained dominance was much tougher to attain.

Which brings me to the talking point today’s discussion: moneyball and using sabermetrics to  gain a competitive advantage. Just kidding. This article is just a fun one about the best seasons by former Oakland Athletics. Some of these players left via free agency; others were traded because their contracts were about to run out. Note that this does not include Kansas City Athletics – who could justify a separate article of their own!

Catcher: Gene Tenace, 1979 (San Diego Padres)

Gene Tenace was the kind of player that Billy Beane would have loved, compiling an on-base percentage 140 points above the league average, twice leading the league in walks. The best moment in his career came with the A’s in the 1972 World Series when he clubbed four home runs to beat the Reds (at a team when his team desperately needed power, as Reggie Jackson had been hurt). Tenace left Oakland for 6 figures after the 1976 season, seeing roughly a 7-fold pay-raise as a San Diego Padre. He didn’t disappoint for his new team (or at least, he shouldn’t have); his best season for the friars came in 1979 when he hit .263/.403/.445 with 20 home runs.

First Base: Mark McGwire, 1998 (St. Louis Cardinals)

Going into the 1997 season, Mark McGwire was hitting home runs at a historic pace, having mashed 67 home runs in his previous 162 between 1995-1996. In the last year of his deal with Oakland, he had hit 34 home runs before being traded to St. Louis where he could be reunited with Tony LaRussa. That set the stage for what seemed like a magical 1998 season, where Mark McGwire hit .299/.470/.752 and shattered the all-time major league home run mark with 70.

Second Base: Willie Randolph, 1991 (Milwaukee Brewers)

Okay, so this one doesn’t exactly fit the theme of the article, as Willie Randolph had enjoyed a long, highly successful (and very underrated) career primarily with the New York Yankees. After an all-star campaign with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1989, he was traded to Oakland for their 1990 pennant run, promptly leaving after the 4-game sweep to play for the Milwaukee Brewers. At the age of 36, Randolph did quite well, hitting .327 with a .424 on-base percentage in 124 games with the Crew.

Third Base: Scott Brosius, 1998 (New York Yankees)

This one also doesn’t exactly fit the theme, as Scott Brosius was not some highly sought-after free agent after the 1997 season. He actually wasn’t a free agent at all, and was actually just acquired as a way for the Yankees to get rid of aging lefty disappointment Kenny Rogers (who would win 131 games after leaving the Bronx). Brosius had hit just .203 in 1997 but found himself in the middle of something special for the 1998 Yankees, hitting .300/.371/.472 with 19 home runs and 98 RBI for the 114-win World Series champs, while playing his customary outstanding defense at the hot corner. Brosius capped off an outstanding campaign by hitting .471 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the 4-game World Series sweep of San Diego, thus garnering series MVP honors.

Shortstop: Miguel Tejada, 2004 (Baltimore Orioles)

Just a year removed from his 2002 MVP campaign, Miguel Tejada signed a deal with the Baltimore Orioles totaling over 70 million dollars for 6 years. He would disappoint, but not early-on. Tejada hit .311/.360/.534 with a league-best 150 RBI in 2004 for his new club while playing every game for the fourth of six consecutive seasons.

Left Field: Matt Holliday, 2010 (St. Louis Cardinals)

You would think the Athletics would stop dealing with the Cardinals after a little while. The acquisition of Holliday was a puzzling one, as Billy Beane gave up Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street to get him, only to trade him for Clayton Mortenson and Brett Wallace (half a season later). Holliday enjoyed somewhat limited success in his half-season in Oakland but took off in St. Louis, hitting .353/.419/.604 to help his new team to a Central Division title. He signed a lucrative off-season deal to stay in St. Louis and has capitalized so far, hitting .312/.390/.532 for a 12th place MVP finish in 2010 and helping the Cardinals to a championship the very next year.

Center Field: Rickey Henderson, 1985 (New York Yankees)

Rickey Henderson had five different stints with the Oakland Athletics and thus was an ex-Athletic four different times. His best year in such a position came in his first year as a New York Yankee, when he hit .314/.419/.516 with 24 home runs and league-leading totals in both runs scored (146) and stolen bases (80). He did all this while also adjusting to a new position; a leftfielder for most of his career, Henderson manned center in the shadows of Dimaggio and Mantle while playing in the Bronx.

Right Field: Reggie Jackson, 1980 (New York Yankees)

Using his team’s wealth to build a champion in a new era of free agency, George Steinbrenner acquired Reggie Jackson before the 1977 season apparently indifferent about clubhouse chemistry. Jackson certainly was the straw that stirred the drink for those Bronx Zoo clubs, as he averaged 29 home runs a year for the Yankees. His best season came in 1980, when he hit .300/.398/.597 with a league-leading 41 home runs for the division champs.

Designated Hitter: Jason Giambi, 2006 (New York Yankees)

Sensing a recurring trend yet? Jason Giambi signed a lucrative deal after the 2001 season to leave Oakland for, frankly a buttload of money. He had his ups and downs as a Yankee, but still managed to average a 143 OPS+ and 30 home runs a year during his tenure. In 2006, he finally found himself at his natural position (DH), where he amassed a .971 OPS, 37 home runs, 113 RBI and 110 walks for the division champion Yankees.

LHP: Vida Blue, 1978 (San Francisco Giants)

Vida Blue bust onto the scene in 1971, winning Cy Young and MVP honors for the A’s by leading the league with a 1.82 ERA, 0.952 WHIP, 8 shutouts and 8.7 K/9. After nearly finding himself in the same rotation as former teammate Catfish Hunter, Blue instead saw himself traded to the San Francisco Giants for seven players and 300 grand. Blue pitched very well in his first season across the Bay, going 18-10 with a 2.79 ERA to place third in the Cy Young balloting.

RHP: Catfish Hunter, 1975 (New York Yankees)

Ah yes – the man that started it all. Well, if you want to be technical, Marvin Miller, Curt Flood and Andy Messersmith all had as big or bigger roles, but it was Hunter that landed the first major free agent deal, signing for 5 years and 3.5 million dollars to be a Yankee. Hunter found himself as the lone player in a different tax bracket from his peers and he pitched like it in 1975, going 23-14 and leading the league with a 1.009 WHIP, 30 complete games, and 328 innings pitched.

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957 Responses to “The Best Seasons by Ex-Athletics”

  1. Raul Says:

    Gene Tenace at the plate…and….WHAMMY!

  2. Raul Says:

    30 CGs. Were there even 30 of them all of last season?

  3. Raul Says:

    McCutchen homered again.
    God damn it. He’s good.

  4. Cameron Says:

    St. Louis and the Yankees really have Oakland’s number in deals.

  5. Lefty33 Says:

    “Were there even 30 of them all of last season?”

    I don’t know how many there were exactly but I would guess around 120.

    Shields had 11 by himself.

  6. Raul Says:

    173 based on my count.

    But 30 CGs would be a good chunk of 173.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Starting lineups for the Futures Game;


    Billy Hamilton, SS
    Kolten Wong, 2B
    Wil Mylers, RF
    Mike Olt, 3B
    Jonathan Singleton, 1B
    Michael Choice, LF
    Nick Castellanos, DH
    Tommy Joseph, C
    Anthony Gose, CF

    Pitching order:

    Jake Ordirizzi, Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Dylan Bundy, Tyler Skaggs, Jameson Taillon, Taijuan Walker, Alex Meyer, Zack Wheeler, Matt Barnes.


    Jean Segura, 2B
    Jurickson Profar, SS
    Oscar Taveras, RF
    Alfredo Marte, LF
    Xander Bogaerts, DH
    Wilmer Flores, 3B
    Jesus Aguilar, 1B
    Jae-Hoon Ha, CF
    Christian Bethancourt, C

    Pitching order:

    Yordana Ventura, Jose Fernandez, Julio Rodriguez, Felipe Rivero, Kyle Lotzkar, Ariel Pena, Chris Reed, Lisalberto Bonilla, Bruce Rondon, Enny Romero.

    Both starting pitchers are members of the Royals organization, and for the benefit of the “home” crowd, Wil Myers will play the entire game.

  8. Raul Says:

    Well, today is a Stoli and club soda kind of day.

    Yankees tonight and then it’s time to see who wins the HR Derby tomorrow.

    Any predictions?

  9. Cameron Says:

    Gut feeling? Price Fielder.

  10. Raul Says:

    Prince Fielder needs to start playing like an MVP. He’s not having a bad season, but he can hit a lot better than he has.

  11. Raul Says:

    You know, I wouldn’t have thought Jeter strikes out that much, but he hit the 100 strikeout mark in a season 9 times.

  12. Cameron Says:

    Isn’t he a pretty prolific first-strike swinger? guys like him get behind in the count quick, so I’m not too surprised.

  13. Raul Says:

    I don’t think Jeter swings a lot on the 1st pitch. But he just doesn’t seem like the guy who strikes out a lot.

  14. Raul Says:

    A Bronx Tale is on tv. Pretty nice flick.

  15. John Says:

    There were 1052 complete games in 1975 compared to just 173 in 2011.

    However, starters averaged 6.54 IP to 6.03 IP, so on average they were really just recording between 1 and 2 extra outs.

  16. Raul Says:

    Maybe we’re underestimating the impact of getting one or two or 3 outs.

  17. John Says:

    That’s certainly possible.

    The way I see it, aces used to average 8+, and now they average 7+ or so. At least that’s my guess. Everyone else is pretty much still doing what they used to plus or minus a fraction of an out or so.

  18. Raul Says:

    Well, either that, or it’s fine that starters go less as long as those innings are being completed by the team’s best relievers.

    Though that argument wouldn’t be anything new among us in DC.

  19. Cameron Says:

    Not saying Jeter hacks at everything he sees, but I just have something I remember about him being a first-pitch swing guy. He’s not Mark Reynolds or anything, but he’s not exactly patient.

    …Either way, he hits well enough for it not to hurt much.

  20. Raul Says:

    Certainly he’s not Nick Johnson, Cam.

    He does have 3,000 hits for a reason.

  21. Raul Says:

    Andruw Jones homered for the 4th time in two days.

  22. Cameron Says:

    Of course. I’d rather have an impatient guy who can hit well than a patient guy who can’t. Ideally you want both, but not everyone’s ideal. …Or Derek Jeter.

  23. Cameron Says:

    Oh, and RIP Ernest Borgnine. He had an odd career. He won an Academy Award in 1955 for Best Actor and then made his living in TV roles like McHale’s Navy and Airwolf and was a character actor you could plug into any movie from The Wild Bunch to BASEketball.

    …Odd career. but memorable and beloved actor. He’ll be missed.

  24. Raul Says:

    He had a small role in The Dirty Dozen.

    Good flick.

  25. Raul Says:

    Still can’t believe Abe Vigoda is still alive.

    Tessio is gonna live forever.

  26. Lefty33 Says:

    Funniest thing I ever saw Ernest in was easily Airwolf.

    So fake, so unreal, yet so sadly watchable.

  27. Mike Felber Says:

    Surely you know Raul that the meme of Abe Vigoda still alive has been huge for years. They have long had his name as a web site purely to list his daily status as living, the band, the jokes on talk shows-his own appearances on them, like w/Dr. Joyce Brothers…

    I liked the Bronx Tale a good deal. Saw it last year when ill on netflix.

    Saw a guy today who was a friend of the family. He had lost q/w his body weight, down to 200 lbs. mostly by walking everywhere. Now he looks huge again. Congratulations on your success thus far Raul. Just recall that for long term health keeping the patterns of eating well & exercise are crucial not to keep getting fat, yo yoing is very bad for health.

  28. Patrick Says:

    If Jeter plays 2 more full years he will end up in the top 10 all time in K’s. Arod is 7 K’s from 2,000 and 10 away from 4th all time. Jim Thome is only 81 behind Reggie Jackson for the all time lead. The astounding member of this group is Adam Dunn. He’s in 6th and will probably surpass 2,000 by Labor Day in only his 12th year!

  29. Chuck Says:

    RIP Ed Stroud.

    For reasons only an 11 year old can explain, he was one of my favorite players.

  30. Raul Says:

    Thanks Mike.

    And I really hope Jeter doesn’t play 2 more years. But NY has to find someone to replace him.

  31. Bob Says:

    Watching the gamee last night Terry Francona and the other ESPN guys were talking how Jeter wants to play beyond his current contract, and that he is sligfhtly ahead of the Pete Rose hit pace. He has 3199 hits. The Yanks may have another decision to make some 15-16 months from now.

  32. Lefty33 Says:

    “Yanks may have another decision to make some 15-16 months from now.”

    Add another year to that because Jeter is under contract for ‘13 and he has a player option for ‘14. And that is the sixty-eight dollar question.

    Is he really going to take a 50% pay cut to come back and play for the ‘14 season? He gets 8 million to play and 3 million to walk.

    Also does he stick around to see what Cashman puts on the field for ‘14 with that being the year of the “Hank Mandate” to be at the tax threshold of 189?

    He’s not going to tarnish his legacy and become Damon who looks like an idiot or some kind of Don Qxiote chasing his 3000 hit windmill.

    Personally I can’t imagine Jeter swallows his pride enough to only play for a fraction of his current salary or to only be the DH. He won’t make it to 3500.

  33. Chuck Says:

    If you say over under 3500 I’ll take over, but I agree with the premise Jeter won’t hang around as some token Damon or Andruw Jones, trying to reach a miletone which in the long run doesnt’ matter anyway.

  34. Raul Says:

    I think he likely comes back next year, even if the Yankees win the World Series this year because Rivera will be back.

    I think if Rivera didn’t get hurt, he and Jeter would have gone out together after this year.

  35. Bob Says:

    Raul, what is the latest on his injuy? I do not recall hearing or reading much about him this weekend. Is he coming back for sure?

  36. Lefty33 Says:

    “Raul, what is the latest on his injuy?”

    (Pardon me Raul)

    He had his knee surgery about a month ago and after that he posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he was definitely coming back for 2013.

  37. Bob Says:

    Lefty, thanks for the update.

  38. Lefty33 Says:

    “I think he likely comes back next year, even if the Yankees win the World Series this year because Rivera will be back.”

    He’s under contract to make 17 million next year.
    It’s his last big payday, he’ll be back.

    Add to that the fact that the Yankees core roster should be mostly unchanged next year with the possible subtraction of Swisher. After the ‘13 season that’s when things will change because everybody on the current roster not named Swisher, A-Rod, C.C., and Tex are all mostly FA’s.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Thinking Roger Maris should be on this list.

  40. Cameron Says:

    This looks like a list of ex Oakland A’s, Chuck. If you count KC and Philly, pretty sure we’d have a wildly different list.

  41. Chuck Says:

    I saw KC in there I never mind.

  42. Chuck Says:

    Wow, Jay Gibbons retired.

    Baseball just won’t be worth watching without him.

  43. Cameron Says:

    Got myself another job interview scheduled for the 11th. Fingers crossed.

  44. Raul Says:

    Was Josh Hamilton’s performance at the HR Derby in Yankee Stadium the best you’ve ever seen?

  45. Chuck Says:

    What happened to the Dollar Store?

  46. Chuck Says:

    #44..can’t answer that..I didn’t see it.

  47. Cameron Says:

    @45 Interview went really well, they said they’d call me… Then they didn’t. Never learned the official story, but it’s fine with me.

  48. Chuck Says:

    Fast food, Cameron, that’s your ticket buddy.

    You get paid, and food is either free or discounted.

  49. Bob Says:

    Albert Almora will sign with the Cubs. I Think we have less than 100 hours til the deadline.

  50. Bob Says:

    Davis Phelps had a heck of a game for Trenton. 11 K’s in 6.2 innings. Only giving up one hit and 1 walk.

  51. Raul Says:

    So I put the volume on just out of sheer morbid curiosity.

    Chris Berman proceeds to list all of the players since 1920 who have won consecutive HR titles (that is, players who hit the most HR 2 seasons in a row).

    So he rattles off Babe Ruth, Johnny Mize, etc. And then throws Jose Bautista’s name in there.


    God damn it. ESPN sucks so much goddamn cock.

  52. John Says:

    Well…he did.

  53. Raul Says:

    It’s no exaggeration to say that of all the players to repeat as HR champions, Jose Bautista is by far the worst.

  54. Raul Says:

    Carlos Gonzalez is in a HR Derby that isn’t being held in Coors Field.

    He may lead all hitters in singles today.

  55. John Says:

    The whole point of doing that is to show how rare his accomplishment is.

    And fucking when are you gonna stop hating on the guy?

  56. Raul Says:

    The whole point is to somehow suggest that because Bautista repeated as a HR champion, somehow he belongs to be mentioned among other greats.

    Eric Milton threw a no hitter.
    Nolan Ryan threw a no hitter.

    Ipso facto, Eric Milton was awesome.

  57. John Says:

    Not really. He’s just saying that leading the league in HR twice in a row puts you in elite company.

    It’ll be even more elite when Bautista leads the league for the 3rd year in a row.

  58. Raul Says:

    Mark Trumbo has a little bit of power.

  59. Raul Says:

    Ok that was bullshit. Trumbo hit one to the roof. No way that was 430 feet. That had to be much longer.

  60. Raul Says:

    Leading the league in HR 3 years in a row is meaningless.
    Means no more than leading the league in SB 3 years in a row.
    Or leading the league in walks 3 years in a row.

  61. Raul Says:

    One day, one of those kids in the outfield shagging flies is going to end up with a broken nose.

  62. John Says:

    How on earth is that meaningless?

  63. Cameron Says:

    George Brett’s had a busy week. He was in the legends and celebrities softball game and he’s the manager for Team USA in the Futures Game.

    …Though him managing explains why Odorizzi is starting and Wil Myers is batting third and playing the whole game.

  64. Raul Says:

    How on earth is that meaningless?

    It means you’re good at one thing. It’s not meaningless. But I could give two shits that Bautista hits homers. Adam Dunn hits homers. He’s good at little else. So is Mark Reynolds. So was Richie Sexson.

    Eddie Murray never led the league in anything in consecutive years. Therefore, he’s not connected to Babe Ruth or Johnny Mize in any way.

    Except that he’s a Hall of Famer. Something Bautista will never be. No matter how many times people want to point out that connection to Ruth and others.

  65. Raul Says:

    Myers is playing the whole game because he’s a Royal and they wanted to showcase him to people in KC.

    That’s what I read, anyway. I don’t think it was Brett’s idea.
    Or was it?

  66. Cameron Says:

    I could see it.

  67. Raul Says:

    Prince Fielder hit five.

    He’s not having much of a season. Why is he so great every other year?

  68. Raul Says:

    I wonder who the worst pitcher to throw a No Hitter was?

    Can someone research this?

  69. Raul Says:

    If you’re on the DL, why the hell are you in the HR Derby?

  70. Cameron Says:

    The worst pitcher to throw a no-hitter or the pitcher to throw the worst no-hitter?

    As for Kemp… Well, he’s a glory hog.

  71. Raul Says:

    Nomar speaking about Matt Kemp: “This guy stays through the ball better than anyone in the big leagues”

    Well, does it really surprise anyone that Nomar Garciaparra doesn’t watch baseball?

  72. Raul Says:


    I mean the worst pitcher to throw a No Hitter.

    You know…like if Byung Hyun Kim threw one or something.

  73. Raul Says:

    Really? Cano gets booed?

    What a bunch of douchebags.

  74. Mike Felber Says:

    But, but…the claim was not how good the player is. Just that it is a pretty rare accomplishment.

    Also, HRs are the most valuable hit. by itself it does not make you an HOF man, but it goes a looong way towards making you productive even overall. Dunn & Reynolds have not been as good a Bautista in peak value, but why are they even valued & able to command 6 figure multi-year contracts?

    J.B, will have to have a bunch more great years to be a HOF man. His effective start was too late, he was not good until 29, but he has some shot with, say, 7 years where he can average the production of any of his last 3.

    When you start writing “I fucking hate”: you might stop right there & think, is this animus overweening, disproportionate, rational, or healthy? Exhibit A, the Hoss/Kemp deathgrip of endlessly projected, puzzling degree of resentments.

    What I want to know is: how often has the ball been juiced for the HR derby?

  75. Raul Says:

    but why are they even valued and able to command 6 figure multi-year contracts?

    See: Juan Pierre

  76. Raul Says:

    Well, Cano gets zero. Pretty shameful.

    But if I thought the Red Sox had a “New York Complex”, it pales in comparison to KC’s.

  77. Cameron Says:

    @76 KC fans have LONG memories. Lemme break down opinions of the Yankees by age groups in KC.

    0-11 – “I like the Royals, who are the Yankees?”
    12-39 – “The Yankees are rich asswipes who buy championships.”
    40-65 – “We still remember the KC-NY rivalry and won’t let it go.”
    66+ – “Chuck Finley can kiss my ass for making us New York’s farm team.”

  78. Raul Says:

    Well Prince Fielder just cracked 476 feet.

    Regarding KC having long memories: If you’re going to live in the past that much, then sell me a burger and fries for $1.75.

  79. Raul Says:

    Fielder hit the fountain/pool twice now.

  80. Cameron Says:

    @78 I could probably point you a place or two in KC you actually can get a burger and fries for that much.

  81. John Says:

    @77, your history is slightly off. Finley ceased all trading with NY. Arnold Johnson – owner of the KC A’s and part owner of Yankee stadium, was the one that made all those lopsided deals happen.

    My dad, a KC native, falls into that last category (he’s only 61 though).

  82. Raul Says:

    That giant screen in KC is beautiful, but as a hitter it would annoy the hell out of me.

  83. Cameron Says:

    Right… We hate Chuck for the Cali move…

    Also, is that John Kruk at the table there? Whoever it is is going to town on those ribs.

  84. Raul Says:

    I think Fielder hit the pool like 5 times now.

    Dude is putting on a nice little show.

  85. Raul Says:

    George Brett has the most South-Florida-Retired-Jew tan I have ever seen on a baseball player.

  86. Cameron Says:

    @82 I don’t think the screen’s a problem. They made the fountain and screen’s base the batter’s eye. Unless you’re actively looking at the screen, it shouldn’t be in your field of vision.

  87. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, agents are a big part of it. Looking up their War, which seems reasonable, Dunn would be worth it if he was not just so terrible at defense. These guys are so extreme in only hitting HRs & not being nearly barely competent at all else, that they are overvalued. But they are extreme cases. A Fielder or Boog Powell or tons of others are very valuable for most only hitting dingers.

    a -5.2 DWAR for Dunn in ‘09? never heard anything that bad. I would be surprised if that is not the all time record.

  88. Raul Says:

    Well, considering the Royals starters have a collective ERA of like 12.00, I guess it doesn’t bother that many hitters.

  89. Cameron Says:

    Don’t forget the league minimum is 414k. When that’s the base, the scale hits the millions pretty fast.

  90. Raul Says:


    George Brett is here! Let’s show that video of him flipping the fuck out over the pine tar incident for the BILLIONTH time and ask him about it.

    Because that’s fun for everyone.

  91. Cameron Says:

    @87 He was playing the outfield in 2009. Trust me, he was THAT bad.

  92. Cameron Says:

    @90 One day, someone’s gonna get punched the fuck out for that and it WILL be fun to bring up.

  93. Raul Says:

    Adam Jones is eating ribs off the table while George Brett speaks.

    You can almost see the anger boil in Kruk’s face.

    “You’re not leaving me any!!!”

  94. Cameron Says:

    Please, it’s KC. You can walk from the park and pick up five more racks before the Derby’s over.

  95. Raul Says:

    You could.

    I think John Kruk gets wheeled in and out of the stadium.

  96. Cameron Says:

    Dunno. He doesn’t look that much bigger than his playing days. …Okay, that’s not sayin’ much.

  97. Raul Says:

    Mark Trumbo crushed one. They said it was 457 feet or something, but he got all of it.

  98. Raul Says:

    I guess it wouldn’t matter, but it would be so funny if it came out that someone was using a corked bat in the HR derby.

  99. Mike Felber Says:

    Again, how about the ball? in years past at least.

  100. Raul Says:

    It’s a home run derby. I don’t think anyone would get worked up if they found out the balls were juiced up.

    More home runs IS the point.

  101. Cameron Says:

    Called it, go Prince.

  102. Mike Felber Says:

    I am asking if rumors of a rabbit ball were true. If they did so & admitted it. fine. If not, it is part of the trend to cheapen & sensationalize things, to be inauthentic.

    I recall years ago Griffey was credited with a 507′ HR, 519′ for The Big Hurt. I do not think either one ever hit a ball that far in a real game. And while you can hit many many more HRs when the pitches are being grooved, you lose some distance when the ball is basically lobbed in.

    I just want to know what was the reality of events.

  103. Cameron Says:

    They’re also hitting practice pitching. Any MLB player can hit bo,bs off BP pitches.

  104. Raul Says:

    You really think MLB is going to admit to juicing up baseballs, Mike?

    And how would anyone even go about proving that they do?

    You can’t just view everything in life as attempts to sensationalize or cheapen just because there isn’t 100% inarguable proof.

    That’s not how things work in the real world.

  105. Mike Felber Says:

    How many know that Kansas City is 2nd to only Rome itself in # of fountains?

  106. Cameron Says:

    I do! We’re The City of Fountains for a reason.

  107. Mike Felber Says:

    I think MLB might admit they did it in an exhibition game, which would not be illegal. Though more likely if they did it they would hide it.

    Nothing unproven-& I have no idea whether there is any good evidence either way-is in itself an attempt to cheapen or sensationalize. I think you jumbled up what you meant to say there. My opinion has nothing to do with whether there is proof or not, it is about the ethics of doing that-if done.

    If it was done secretly, then that is cheap, wrong, & sensationalism.

  108. Mike Felber Says:

    Why did KC go nuts with the fountains then Cam?

  109. Raul Says:

    I think you are severely misguided to think MLB would ever admit to juicing up baseballs, ever.

    This is a business that doesn’t even like to admit umpire mistakes.
    To this day they won’t admit knowledge of the steroid epidemic in the 1990s.

    You think they’re going to admit to juicing baseballs? Even in an exhibition?
    For what? To open up speculation about other times they may have juiced baseballs?

    Never, dude.

  110. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant that something being unproven is NOT in itself an attempt to do anything wrong. It is the act done secretly, if actually done, not whether proven, that is wrong.

  111. Cameron Says:

    @108 Tourism.

  112. Mike Felber Says:

    Well maybe you are right Raul. Though there is no one MLB “knowlege” of ‘roids reality-folks denied, lied, looked the other way, but many absolutely did not know.

    They are more likely to admit doing it in an upcoming show than having done so in the past, since that would have been either a lie or lie of omission. But at least if they thought they could not get away with it, & the consequences would be worse if discovered, I could see them saying they would do so in an exhibition.

    Cue the music for “The Most Naive Man on the Planet”.

  113. Raul Says:

    Suppose a guy with intimate knowledge of baseball operations tells me that he knows for a fact that baseballs were juiced for 10 years.

    I then tell you that I know a guy who personally has seen baseballs being juiced.

    What then, is your reaction?

    Do you believe me? Do you believe him?
    No, you don’t.

    You’d want proof. You’d want to know why he hasn’t gone public, etc. There could be several reasons why he is unable or is unwilling to provide proof of juiced baseballs or speak publicly.

    And in the meantime, nothing has changed.

    So really, what is the point of talking about whether MLB has juiced up baseballs?

    Plenty of people have said that the balls were juiced.
    MLB has always denied it.

    ’round and ’round we go, Jack.

  114. Mike Felber Says:

    You & I should NOT believe automatically 3rd hand information Raul. That would be naive, ironically.

    Though I could assess the odds of it being true while realsizing i had limited information. About the sources, & whether things like this could be gotten away with. The baseballs for one game are exponentially more likely to be juiced than all year. And some would not care.

    Also, there could be evidence beyond 3rd hand, like baseballs having been tested that were reliably done & shown to have been used in an HR derby.

    I was just talking about the derby. Plenty of folks have said many things, often foolish & based upon their biases & lack of critical thinking.

    The only year where it seems at all plausible that things were juiced was ‘87, with the outlier offense that was a 1 year aberration, not part of a trend.

    Subsequent offense can easily be explained by PEDs, smaller stadiums, more weight training, more all or nothing hitters & attempts at same, smaller K zones.

  115. Raul Says:

    It’s true.

    You shouldn’t automatically believe what people tell you. But you shouldn’t automatically disregard it, either. Especially depending on the source.

    I know people in the DR that are pretty well-connected in baseball there. And there’s enough trust with some guys where I could say they are reliable sources of information for certain things.

    Now that might not mean much to you or others. But it is what it is.

    No one will make believers out of everyone. Doesn’t matter what the issue is.
    I mean there are people who still think the earth is 6,000 years old…LOL

  116. Cameron Says:

    Actually, I think the New Earth crowd is floating a 4,000 year old theory.

  117. Raul Says:

    I think my favorite comment about that was by Lewis Black:

    “There are people who believe that dinosaurs and men lived together. That they roamed the earth at the same time. There are museums that children go to in which they build dioramas to show them this. And what this is, purely and simply, is a clinical psychotic reaction. They are crazy. They are stone cold fuck nuts. I can’t be kind about this, because these people are watching The Flintstones as if it were a documentary.”

  118. Raul Says:

  119. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes Raul, I mentioned considering the sources in the post before yours, what we say in them is consistent. This is a matter of degree. The only caveat is that many even honest & careful folks can get things wrong, report on emotional impressions, studies even show how unreliable eyewitness reports about extremely basic things can be. I do tend to believe things folks tell me directly, & also need to weigh things carefully, if they can be mistaken. Something like the occasional Canseco sized guy who insists they are clean-individual folks can lie & I can be credulous, but it is not credible that all those who have told me, & are open about other flaws, have lied.

    It is sad how folks spend there whole lives handicapped by ignorance about science, programmed by certain forms of religion to feel things like sexual shame & hatred against, say gays. When you think of all the kids programmed like this it is depressing.

    but some escape & with the digital age many have new info & options. Hey, if Nicole & Suri can free themselves from Cruise Control, there is hope for most anyone!

  120. Raul Says:

    Fair enough. I think you mean Katie Holmes and Suri. Or maybe you meant Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes and Suri. Just seems odd to name his ex-wife and his daughter without the latest wife.

    Predictions on ASG MVP are rather meaningless. Likely it’ll come down to whomever has a key hit or makes the key defensive play of the game.

    That said, anyone want to throw out a name?
    Or perhaps guess on who will perform poorly?

  121. Cameron Says:

    My money’s on the AL so… Paul Konerko for MVP.

  122. Bob Says:

    So, who blinks first?

    1. Baltimore or Kevin Gausman? My prediction is Baltimore signs him

    2. Mark Appel or the Pirates? Prediction is he stays in college.

    3. Miami or Andrew Heaney? I am betting Miami signs him.

    4. Lucas Giolito or Washington. Gut says he goes to college.

    5. Tampa or Richie Schaffer? Tampa signs him.

    6. Yankees or Ty Hensley? Raul and Chuck, any predictions?

  123. Bob Says:

    Tim Duncan and the Spure = a 3-yearr deal, basically a replica of the Kevin Garnett deal.

  124. Raul Says:

    Hensley will sign. Word is this kid wants to make it to the Major Leagues ASAP.

    I don’t think he’ll go to college for 3 years and spend another 18 months riding the bus in the Northeast.

  125. Raul Says:

    A bit conflicted. I like Duncan. But he’s just not that good anymore. Well, he’s not a franchise guy is what I meant. I don’t want to see him as a 9-point, 24-minutes-per-game substitute. The Spurs can still win, but they will need someone else to be their premier player.

    It would have been nice if the Spurs could have Duncan develop another young player the way David Robinson developed him.

    But centers like Duncan don’t come around anymore.

  126. Cameron Says:

    Except Duncan’s not a center, he’s a 4. They have a good 4 he can teach in DeJuan Blair, but they’re not sure if Blair should be kept due to injury concerns (high school surgeries left him without ACLs).

  127. Raul Says:

    AL East: New York Yankees. Seven game lead on the Orioles.
    AL Central: Chicago White Sox. Three game lead on the Indians.
    AL West: Texas Rangers. Four game lead on the Angels.

    NL East: Washington Nationals. Four game lead on the Braves.
    NL Central: Pittsburgh Pirates. One game lead on the Reds.
    NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers. A half-game lead on the Giants.

    Which of the aforementioned division leaders, if any, will end the season on top?

  128. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck Finley pitched for the Angels. Charlie Finley owned the A’s.

    Cam, you do realize the only trade (that I know of) between Finley and the Yankees was Bud Daley to New York for Deron Johnson and Art Ditmar? Ditmar was pretty well done by then, and Johnson ended up being the RBI leader in the NL in 1965. Finley pretty much put a stop to the trading with the Yankees when he bought the team in 1960. It was Arnold Johnson that made the majority of the deals with the Yankees prior to Finley’s arrival.

  129. Mike Felber Says:

    Duncan is at least close to one of the top 10 NBA players ever. Yes, it would be great to have him develop a successor.

    I have seen lists where they rate the biggest winners way too high, like Russell #1. And seen the Dream as high as #5. Robinson had an unreal efficiency ratio, saw him listed as 18 on one list, I think he should be higher. And Lebron has clearly been the best player for about 7 years.

    Paul is underrated.

  130. Bob Says:

    So, are the top 3 centers of all-time

    1. Kareem
    2. Wilt
    3. Russell
    4. Where does Duncan rank when compared to Mikan, Akeem, Robinson?
    5. Since the big baseball game is tonight, I might research basketball.

  131. Cameron Says:

    Paul who? Chris Paul? Dude’s been consensus best PG for a couple years now.

  132. Bob Says:

    Paul Pierce?

  133. Bob Says:

    The Knicks got Marcus Camby. Had no idea he was still active.

  134. Cameron Says:

    Still active and surprisingly productive for his age. Grabbed 5 PPG 9 RPG last season as a platoon center.

  135. Chuck Says:

    ” “The Most Naive Man on the Planet”.

    About damn time this hotshot Hollywood brother of yours finally got you a show.

  136. Chuck Says:

    “What I want to know is: how often has the ball been juiced for the HR derby?”

    Every year

  137. Chuck Says:

    “That’s what I read, anyway. I don’t think it was Brett’s idea.
    Or was it?”

    It was.

  138. Chuck Says:

    So, are the top 3 centers of all-time

    1. Kareem
    2. Wilt
    3. Russell

    Wilt is the best PLAYER of can he not be the best center?

  139. Bob Says:

    Fair enough. I was just asking.

  140. Chuck Says:


    Appel and Giolito don’t sign, everyone else does.

  141. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant Homles Raul, but throw the other cutie in there too! And Chris Paul. He is superbly efficient & skilled.

    Yes, I have a pilot now2 Chuck, they are just gonna follow me around & watch a seemingly smart man be persuaded by every piece of contradictory & cynical “information” he ever encounters! I purchased a certain bridge in episode 1…

    So I should but what you say about the ball. but do you have inside info on this? In this case, i would be more prone to believe it, since it is a more understandable & much easier thing than to do it throughout the year.

    Wilt was better than Kareem except if you use total accomplishments & longevity, Kareem beats all, from HS through College & the pros. Though I cannot see Wilt as better than Jordan. The competition was better in his era, the performance in big games, & Wilt had the free shooting flaw.

    A strike against Jordan is the ‘Jordan Rules’. Though I do not know that he got that much more favoritism compared to other stars to not still have him as #1.

  142. Raul Says:

    The trend in recent years in America is this faux outrage people conjure up just for the sake of being outraged.

    The latest comes out of Kansas City.

    With the Royals booing Robinson Cano because he passed over Billy Butler for the HR Derby, reports are that MLB may consider a change that would place a hometown player in the derby for future All Star festivities.

    I’m so glad MLB gets it. Changing the rules of a meaningless event because the fans are booing.

    I think the next step is to replace all attendees of baseball games with cardboard cut outs and playing cheers through the stadium’s audio system.

    MLB is the dumbest, worst-run sporting organization in the world. Even boxing, with its rampant corruption knows how to put on a show. Baseball remains clueless.

  143. Cameron Says:

    I have Wilt at #1 just because he wasn’t playing the same game as everyone else. They were playing basketball, he was playing “Let’s Make Everyone Look Worse Than I Ever Will Be Ever”. He won every night. Jordan was good, but there were guys on his level on most given nights. Not Wilt. There were guys from his era that were great. Russell, Robertson, West, Baylor, but no one on his level.

  144. Cameron Says:

    We weren’t booing him because he was there and Buter wasn’t. We booed him because we ALWAYS boo the Yankees. Or as more than a few people in KC call ‘em the “Yank Me’s.” Way to overreact, Selig.

  145. Chuck Says:

    “We weren’t booing him because he was there and Buter wasn’t”

    Everybody else was.

  146. Brautigan Says:

    Look, I used to think Chamberlain was the greatest player ever…….but, count the rings on Russell’s fingers. There is a damn good reason why they are on his fingers and not Chamberlains’. When it was crunch time (or “go” time), Russell was there and Chamberlain wasn’t. I hate to admit as much, but it is so true and I think there was always a part of me that knew it, I was such a Wilt fan, I was in so much denial.

  147. Cameron Says:

    Well, that and Russell’s Celtics had Sam and KC Jones and John Havlicek backing him up and Wilt… Didn’t.

  148. Chuck Says:

    Russell has ten rings..switch them and he has none.

  149. Cameron Says:

    Well, he’d probably still have his coaching rings. He worked with some good guys as a coach.

  150. Cameron Says:

    It looks like the Heat are trying to build a repeat winner. They upgraded Mike Miller with Rashard Lewis (same type of player, but much healthier) and their new sixth man Ray Allen. Now they can stretch the floor pretty damn hard in crunch time. Should be fun watch.

  151. Cameron Says:

    Are you kidding? The NL BATTED AROUND?

  152. Raul Says:

    I watched 2 thirds of an inning.

    I just don’t care about the All Star Game.

    It’s more fun to debate who should have been on the team, than it actually is to watch the game.

    Maybe it was more interesting 50 years ago when you didn’t have cable and you mostly just watched your own team play. But with Interleague Play and ESPN and Fox showing games 3 or 4 times a week, and the MLB Network and the internet, the whole thing just loses its luster to me.

    But that’s just me.

  153. Cameron Says:

    Melky Cabrera is the All-Star of the ASG. …This was gonna be my joke vote to antagonize Chuck, but I decided not to as it would be too unbelievable.

    In the words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  154. Mike Felber Says:

    Memory is a funny thing. Many see the same things, from years past, or an eyewitness report from a second ago, & come to different factual conclusions.

    The trivial: Russel has 11 championships in 13 years, not 10. This in itself shows nothing about how good he was compared to others. He had a much better supporting cast generally, superb defenses. He was a 44% shooter.

    Cam, how dominant Wilt was compared to his peers does not in itself show who was better. We are talking absolute quality, not against their peers. Though Jordan did have a higher efficiency ratio than anyone.

    Looking it up now, it certainly seems that Wilt was better in head to head match ups: & his stats were easily better than Russell’s overall. This thread does a good job of parsing the #s. Now Russell;s team pulling out more 4th quarter game 7s does not show that Wilt faded nor Russell was better in the crunch. Tell me if you have any reason to doubt these claims Brautigan, factual & impressionistic, as incomplete or misleading:

  155. Chuck Says:

    “Cam, how dominant Wilt was compared to his peers does not in itself show who was better.”

    Fine, then I’ve changed my player in history is Greg Oden.

  156. Chuck Says:

    “Melky Cabrera is the All-Star of the ASG.”

    If there’s ever been a sentence written I never thought I’d read, that’s it.

    That’s right up there with “The Situation” winning an Academy award and any of the Kardashian sister’s marrying a white dude.

  157. Bob Says:

    “The Situation” has to be the dumbest person on the planet and it is not close. I saw him on the Donald Trump roast, and holy shit the fuck is stupid.

  158. Cameron Says:

    @156 I thought one of ‘em did util I discovered Kris Humphries was actually black. Fooled me.

  159. Chuck Says:

    Oh, and another thing.

    Erin Andrews is not “hot”.

    Quote of the AS game..from George Brett..

    “There were 40,000 here Sunday for the Futures Game, and 35,000 showed up yesterday to watch a bunch of idiots play softball”.

  160. Brautigan Says:

    Allen Barra wrote in “Brushbacks and Knockdowns”: “while I might conclude Chamberlain the ‘greatest’ or most ‘dominant’ basketball player of all time-and I probably would, if you pressed me- I wouldn’t pick him in this debate (“The greatest Team Sports Player”)because he won ‘only’ two championships”.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    By the way, Barra’s conclusion to the “greatest team Sports Player” was none other than Yogi Berra.

    Again, hard to disagree, especially after you read Barra’s arguments.

  161. Chuck Says:

    Personal opinion, I guess, but when considering “greatness”, rings play no part in the criteria for me.

    Being the “all-time greatest player” and playing on the “all-time greatest team” are night and day different.

  162. Chuck Says:

    So, if Jeff Kent receives HOF consideration for ONLY being the all-time homer leader (at a defensive position) at second base, does that mean David Ortiz will as well for being the all time HR leader at DH?

  163. Bob Says:

    Okay. No baseball tonight. Assuming the top 3 are established rank these guys.

    1. Shaq
    2. Akeem
    3. Ewing
    4. Mikan
    5. Parish
    6. Robinson
    7. Duncan
    Combined with the other 3, this has 10 guys. Not a huge follower of basketball, so I could be missing someone obvious, although it is not Laimbeer. My token white guy is Mikan.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Triple A AllStar game is on ESPN or MLBNetwork..not sure which one..4pm EST.

  165. Bob Says:

    @ 162. Chuck, Ortiz will receive consideratiobn for the HOF. I would not vote for him, but I would bet you a 6-pack he gets over 5% of the vote in his first ballot, which is what baseball defines as consideration.

  166. Chuck Says:

    Duncan’s not a center.


  167. Chuck Says:

    “which is what baseball defines as consideration”

    I thought it was getting on the ballot, but OK.

  168. Bob Says:

    I see your point, but people who just get local writers to vote for them like Jim Deshaies? Not really considered in my mind. But people can disagree with me. It’s all good.

  169. Bob Says:

    Duncan’s wikipedia entry lists him as both a center and power forward.

  170. Chuck Says:

    Now that the AS break is over, time to start thinking about AFL rosters…usually announced last week of August.

  171. Bob Says:

    Red Sox guesses.
    1. Jackie Bradley Jr.
    2. Garin Cecchini
    3. Matt Barnes
    4. I know they can send more, just need a night or two to mull it over.

  172. Brautigan Says:

    There were some pretty capable centers in the NBA in the late 60’s, early 70’s. Guys that come to mind are Walt Bellamy and Nate Thurmond. So Russell and Chamberlain weren’t playing against stiff white guys every night, they were getting banged around by these two tough guys all the time.

    Check out Bellamy’s first year with the Chicago Packers (next year, they were the Chicago Zeniths). He averaged 31 points a game and averaged 19 rebounds a game.

    I would take Bellamy and Thurmond over every one of those guys listed with the exception of Hakeem and Shaq. (I think Shaq could hold his own against Bellamy and Thurmond, and Olajuwan was athletic enough to compete against them. But Ewing, no way. These guys would have just shoved him into the front row).

    Of course, I would have added Bill Walton, except for his injury history.

  173. Raul Says:

    Rumor that Justin Verlander is dating Kate Upton.

    Whatever you men and Chuck think about Erin Andrews, Kate Upton is hot. And unlike Alex Rodriguez who dates women that are 10-20 years past their prime and wrinkled all over (Madonna, Cameron Diaz), Kate Upton is 20 years old.

    If true, atta boy, Justin.

  174. Chuck Says:

    Would explain his “performance” last night.

    Maybe he should have taped a Viagra to his arm.

  175. John Says:

    Lol @ Erin Andrews not being hot.

    I’m sure Fox hired her for her sports accumen.

  176. Chuck Says:

    She might be hot for you Navy boys, then again, she doesn’t have a dick.

  177. Bob Says:

    In Olympic news (Get it) Ben Sheets will start for Atlants on Sunday.

    Amd Braut, I never thought of those two guys. The two guys I thought of last night were Wes Unseld and Willis Reed.

  178. Raul Says:

    It’s all a matter of taste, Chuck.

    Erin Andrews isn’t the hottest girl I’ve seen. But she’s attractive.

    Curious to see how Ben Sheets performs. If he pitches to his potential, it could be the signing of the year.

  179. Chuck Says:

    That’s kinda my point..not saying I’d say no, but I’d exhaust other options first.

    I just don’t get the infatuation with’s not like she’s supermodel quality..just a nice looking blond with a room temperature IQ.

    big deal.

  180. Bob Says:

    Nice looking blond with a room temperature IQ = doable to me. Then again, I am a hideous looking brown haired dude with a room temperature IQ.

  181. Chuck Says:

    I was in the bar business for several temperature anything..I can’t count that high.

    If there’s one benefit to a hangover..that’s it.

  182. Bob Says:

    I like the expression Coyote Ugly. Have you ever fucked anyone so disgusting that you would bite your arm off to prevent waking up your conquest of the evening?

  183. Chuck Says:

    Anyone who says “no” is either lying or a virgin.

  184. Chuck Says:

    “anyone so disgusting that you would bite your arm off to prevent waking up your conquest of the evening?”

    The worst part?

    It’s your house..where the hell are you going to go?

  185. Bob Says:

    The worst part of my room temperature IQ? I have the A/C on.

  186. Chuck Says:

    You’re a Red Sox fan, other explanation necessary.

  187. Bob Says:


  188. Chuck Says:

    According to Butthole Olney, Justin Upton has a limited no trade clause in his contract which would allow him to “block deals to some big-market teams, including the Yankees..”

    According to Upton’s contract, he can block trades to four teams; Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland.

    Why anyone would give that tool the benefit of the doubt is beyond me..most of these so-called insiders are monumental douchebags, but Olney is the worst.

  189. Chuck Says:

    Happy what would have been 78th birthday to the late Bob Allison.

    Allison is, without question, my favorite player of all-time.

    Yount, Aaron, Murcer, Richie Zisk, Ozzie Virgil Jr, and many others are right up there for various reasons, but Allison is the man at the top.

  190. Raul Says:

    I don’t understand the part of the article that says “Upton would balance the lineup”

    What does that mean? Like, righty/lefty?

    When has that ever been a consideration when acquiring a player?

  191. Raul Says:

    Ouch @ Bob Allison.

    Talk about playing your entire career in a pitcher’s era…

    Allison hit 30 homers and 9 triples as a rookie. I don’t know if that’s been done by anyone. Seems like a rare feat.

  192. Mike Felber Says:

    Amazingly, I agree almost completely with Chuck’s list of centers.

    I do not know those old timers well enough to rate them Bratigan,but though I could see 1 or both making the bottom of the list, I do not think they have the athleticism to go too far up it. Count Duncan, & I put him just below the next 3.

    Amongst them-Shaq may merit being just over The Dream, just due to his physical dominance edging out the greater skills of Hakeem. Robinson above both as Chuck has it? I am unsure, perhaps longevity keeps him just off that mark-but he is greatly underrated.

  193. Chuck Says:

    “Amazingly, I agree almost completely with Chuck’s list of centers.”

    Not too late to teach an old dog…

  194. Cameron Says:

    I almost want to rate Mikan higher since he was the star player of the NBA in the early years, the first real big star… But he’s up against stiff competition.

  195. Chuck Says:

    Chamberlain said he played against the best center in the league everyday in practice..meaning Thurmond.

    The guy’s a Hall of Famer for chrissakes.

  196. Chuck Says:

    If Mikan played today he’d be a four…probably more of a defensive guy than a scorer. The game really WAS different when he played.

  197. Cameron Says:

    Definitely. Back then, players his size were considered too big and awkward on the court to be real stars. …Fucks with your head, huh?

  198. Bob Says:

    My bad for omitting those guys. There were 3 or 4 guys I thought of as possibilities for this top 10 list.

    1. Unseld
    2. reed
    3. Artis Gilmore
    4. And Chuck Nevitt. Yup,4 it is.

  199. Bob Says:

    1. Tomorrow we will be back to basball!!!

    2. Have a good night.

  200. Raul Says:

    Hahaha. I came across Bull Durham on tv now.
    It’s the lollygaggers scene.

  201. Cameron Says:

    I feel all warm and fuzzy now.

  202. Chuck Says:

    Out running errands earlier and stopped by the AZL game between Oakland and Texas. Guess who was the A’s pitcher?

    Micheal Ynoa.

    He was awful.

    6′7″ guy couldn’t break 92.

  203. Mike Felber Says:

    Or you stumbled upon the truth Chuck. Robinson is #4 all time in efficiency score, #s in Win Shares per 48 minutes. Amongst all players & positions. Advanced metrics coincidentally supports your ranking of this nice guy so high.

    Artis Gilmore was excellent too-a candidate for the bottom rungs of the top 10 centers.

    I watched a documentary about Dempsey. He sued & won an out of court settlement when (SI?) quoted someone unopposed that he dipped his hands in a plaster of paris quick drying substance when he fought Firpo & won the title in the late teens. I wonder: he did fight dirty such as many below the belt blows, & knocked out an opponent who was complaining about it not being called. He waited 1/2 of round 1 to attack Firpo-because his mitts were drying?

    He just broke up Firpo so badly, & I do not recall him doing that another time.

    Whaddaya think Chuck? You were ringside, right? ;-)

  204. Mike Felber Says:

    That was supposed to read: David Robinson was #2 all time in Win W/S per 48.

  205. Bob Says:

    Dillon Gee is having surgery on Friday to repair artery damage in his shoulder. Best wishes to him.

  206. Raul Says:

    That report came down like a hammer on Penn State and Joe Paterno.

    That silly JoePa statue ought to come down tonight.

  207. Chuck Says:

    On the broadcast for the AAA All-Star game, Tom Seaver was asked if he could pitch today, and how well did he think he’d do.

    He said it would be tough because he’s 66 years old, but since all hitters swing the same and have little understanding of fundamentals or situations he’d do OK.

    Then he laughed and said he would do well and pitching today is easier than he played because hitters really do all swing the same and it’s almost a crime to hit to the opposite field or choke up with two strikes. He said guys like Aaron and Mays and Billy Williams and Ernie Banks were better hitters with two strikes, today guys almost give up when they have two strikes because they don’t know what to do.

  208. Chuck Says:

    “That silly JoePa statue ought to come down tonight.”

    I got nothing to do..who’s in?

  209. Raul Says:

    It’s just staggering that people are defending him because he was with the school for so many years.

    Sorry. He knew about Sandusky. He was part of the reason more children were abused. He shouldn’t have a statue because he won football games.

  210. Bob Says:

    Ray Tanner is now the AD at South Carolina. Chad Holbrook wil be the new baseball coach.

  211. Raul Says:

    Keith Law mid-season prospect rankings

    1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers (age 19)
    Current level: Double-A (Frisco)
    Preseason ranking: 7

    Profar has the ultimate mark of an elite prospect. He keeps improving even as he is challenged with better competition. In this case, the Rangers jumped the 19-year-old two levels to Double-A, where he has continued to hit for average, get on base, make contact, show surprising power for his size, hit from both sides of the plate and play plus defense. There’s no real hole in his game, and he looks as if he’ll be more than ready for the majors before he turns 21 — another mark of a potential superstar — if the Rangers can create a spot for him.

    2. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (age 19)
    Current level: High Class A (Frederick)
    Preseason ranking: 11

    Without his cutter, he is not quite the same animal he was in high school, although there is some logic in asking a pitching prospect to shelve his best off-speed pitch temporarily so he can develop his others — a curveball and a changeup in this case, both projecting as grade 55 or 60 pitches — and work on fastball command. Give Bundy back his primary out pitch and he could pitch in Double-A or higher right now.

    3. Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles (age 20)
    Current level: Double-A (Bowie)
    Preseason ranking: 4

    Fans disappointed in Machado’s performance earlier this year weren’t considering how young and inexperienced he was as an everyday player in Double-A. After an adjustment period when he was never struggling, just failing to meet expectations, he is having results more commensurate with his high ranking. He is not as close to ready as Profar is on offense or defense, although I think he’ll stay at shortstop and has more potential power.

    4. Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals (age 21)
    Current level: Triple-A (Omaha)
    Preseason ranking: 13

    He hits, hits for power, gets on base and probably ends up in right field but wouldn’t kill the team in center. The Royals should have promoted him Sunday right after the Futures Game.

    5. Travis d’Arnaud, C, Toronto Blue Jays (age 23)
    Current level: Triple-A (Las Vegas)
    Preseason ranking: 6

    D’Arnaud, who recently tore a ligament in his knee and will miss as much as two months, can’t catch a break. It’s possible, even likely, he is always going to be an injury-prone player, one who is great when he plays but won’t average 140 games a year the way you’d want.

    6. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (age 19)
    Current level: Double-A (Jackson)
    Preseason ranking: 24

    It’s not all there yet — not the secondary nor the command — but his arm is easy and quick. He is extremely athletic, not to mention very young (doesn’t turn 20 until August). It’s hard to see him ending up anything worse than a top-30 starter in the league, with top 10-15 upside.

    7. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (age 21)
    Current level: Double-A (Altoona)
    Preseason ranking: 10

    There’s no starter in the minors with a better pure repertoire, with plus velocity on the four- and two-seamers, a plus changeup and a slider up to 92 mph. He still needs to work on fastball command and pitch selection, especially taking charge of calling his own game and avoiding the trap of responding to adversity by just throwing harder, but his progress in Year 1 has been very positive.

    8. Oscar Taveras, RF, St. Louis Cardinals (age 20)
    Current level: Double-A (Springfield)
    Preseason ranking: 53

    It ain’t pretty, as you know if you watched the Futures Game on Sunday, but it works, with average, power and an impressive ability to square up pitches most hitters can only foul off. He’s hitting .324 AVG/.372 OBP/.593 SLG as a 20-year-old at Double-A, although I’m skeptical that he’ll be able to play center field at an adequate level in the majors given teams’ general insistence that their center fielders have more range than Taveras can offer. His bat still profiles as star caliber in right.

    9. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (age 20)
    Current level: Triple-A (Reno)
    Preseason ranking: 25

    He is still quite projectable even after his velocity has increased to the 90-94 mph range. The curveball shows plus; the changeup is there; and he is very loose and athletic.

    10. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (age 20)
    Current level: High Class A (Bradenton)
    Preseason ranking: 15

    He has the power, the size and the breaking ball to be an ace. He continues to work on fastball command in Bradenton. The Pirates have removed his shackles, allowing him to face at least some hitters a third time in 11 of his past 12 starts.

  212. Raul Says:

    11. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians (age 18)
    Current level: Low Class A (Lake County)
    Preseason ranking: 35

    Calling him the poor man’s Profar isn’t fair to him, perhaps the shrinking-middle-class man’s Profar? Lindor isn’t as advanced as Profar was at the same age and level last year, but he is still further ahead than most 18-year-old position players are, with a good eye and very good defense at short.

    12. Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins (age 20)
    Current level: High Class A (Jupiter)
    Preseason ranking: 48

    He still has one of the prettiest left-handed swings in the minors. He is performing well considering more than 40 percent of his plate appearances have come against lefties.

    13. Bubba Starling, CF, Kansas City Royals (age 19)
    Current level: Short-season rookie (Burlington)
    Preseason ranking: 15

    He is off to a nice start in 10 games in short-season ball, although his ranking is more about his tools than his small-sample performance. He turns 20 in August, so he is not young for that level, and it would be great to see him get a few weeks in the full-season Midwest League before the year is out.

    14. Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (age 22)
    Current level: Double-A (Binghamton)
    Preseason ranking: 27

    He was touching 97-98 mph facing two batters at the Futures Game, although he won’t pitch at that velocity as a starter. He still projects as a solid No. 2, top 30 or so in the league, with an outside chance of more.

    15. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers (age 20)
    Current level: Double-A (Erie)
    Preseason ranking: 37

    Your Futures Game MVP can hit, hit for power and get on base. He is going to be at least solid average at third — good enough that the Tigers shouldn’t be thinking about putting him in the outfield.

    16. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (age 19)
    Current level: Low Class A (South Bend)
    Preseason ranking: 19

    His stuff is great, but his command and control definitely are not where I expected them to be (57 walks in 81 2/3 innings this year). Same ceiling as before, but lower probability.

    17. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (age 21)
    Current level: Triple-A (Memphis)
    Preseason ranking: 5

    Miller’s stuff was down early in the year, then the velocity crept back up, but he is still too prone to making mistakes in the zone, getting too much of the plate, especially with the fastball. That adjustment, learning to use his off-speed stuff because he can’t just blow by hitters, is proving to be difficult. Doing it in the Pacific Coast League isn’t easy, either; he has allowed 17 homers in 17 starts this year. He is pitching the entire year at 21 — he is just three months older than 2012 first-round pick Kevin Gausman — so there’s no reason to jump ship yet.

    18. Byron Buxton, CF, Minnesota Twins (age 18)
    Current level: Rookie (Gulf Coast League)
    Preseason ranking: N/A

    The best prospect in this year’s draft is off to a slow start in the GCL but is at least making contact. Keep in mind that all of these high draftees — especially high school ones — playing in rookie ball are getting reps in pro ball that their counterparts in previous years did not because they signed too late. This is one tangible difference of the signing deadline moving up from mid-August to mid-July.

    19. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves (age 21)
    Current level: Triple-A (Gwinnett)
    Preseason ranking: 18

    He is similar to Miller — a young starter struggling in Triple-A, especially with the long ball. Teheran throws more strikes and has more feel for his changeup, but Miller has a better breaking ball. It’s possible both guys have lower ceilings than I thought they did a year ago.

    20. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros (age 17)
    Current level: Rookie (Gulf Coast League)
    Preseason ranking: N/A

    A future power-hitting infielder who probably will end up at third base as his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame fills out. Correa turns 18 in September, and, although I preferred Buxton in the draft, I think Houston did the right thing, saving $1.2 million by taking Correa and spending that money on players such as Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz.

  213. Lefty33 Says:

    “It’s just staggering that people are defending him because he was with the school for so many years.”

    Yeah, but at the same time the media is also doing a fantastic hatchet job on him by only focusing on him. There were many, many other layers people involved in this who all fucked up and did nothing yet the focus is almost exclusively on Paterno.

    There were janitors that saw this happen for years and they did nothing.

    There is no way Sandusky’s wife could have been completely ignorant of this seeing as some of the acts happened in their home when she was present for over a decade, etc., etc.

    I’ve listened to hours of ESPN and FOX Sports radio today and trust me Raul that NO ONE is defending Paterno. At best there have been a handful of callers that have told the hosts to stop focusing just on Paterno when numerous other players in this have suddenly been forgotten about who all could have done something to stop this well before Paterno was ever brought into the loop of knowledge.

    Bar none the stupidest thing I’ve read and heard today is people’s suggestions that Penn State should face the death penalty from the NCAA because of this.

  214. Cameron Says:

    You think if Joe Paterno was still alive, they wouldn’t be targeting him as aggressively in the media?

  215. Lefty33 Says:

    On a baseball realted sidebar, The NY Post and other sources are reporting that Mariano stands a good chance to return this year from his ACL.

  216. Lefty33 Says:

    “You think if Joe Paterno was still alive, they wouldn’t be targeting him as aggressively in the media”

    Probably but it’s always easier to focus on the one person in this that cannot defend or explain themselves and either way it’s still shitty journalism to focus on one guy when numerous people above him, below him, and all around him were all as culpable if not more culpable than he was.

  217. Raul Says:

    No one is focusing on Joe Paterno because he’s not around to defend or explain himself.

    It’s not about “ease of argument”.

    They’re focusing on him because he was the face of the university, and from the CNN and Freeh reports, he appears to be the man who called Spanier, Schultz and Curley off.

    I’m not gonna sit here and while someone insinuates that Paterno “wasn’t that guilty” or “should have done more, but didn’t.”

    That’s such weak bullshit that tries to minimize his impact on the university and on this whole mess.

    JoePa deserves all the criticism, focus, and then some.

    It would be like bitching that poor Bud Selig got so much shit for the steroid era, while lamenting that George Steinbrenner didn’t get as much blame.

    Top guy gets it. That’s how it is.

  218. Bob Says:

    I have yet to chim in, but the top guy at Penn State or any university should not be a sports coach.
    Although I am not trying to defend Paterno. Not one bit.

  219. Cameron Says:

    I wasn’t saying he didn’t deserve it Raul, I was just asking if they’d be attacking him as much if he was alive.

  220. Bob Says:

    1. Clearly he (Paterno) deserves heavy amounts of criticsm.
    2. Clearly the statue should be removed in some way, whether it be vandalism or a less sloppy approach.
    3. But what is also clear is that some of these people should spend the rest of their days in prison.

  221. Raul Says:

    Would they be attacking him as much if he was alive?

    I suspect they would not. Eventually the whole “leave the poor old man alone” sentiment would creep up and people would shift to Spanier and Schultz.

    The report speaks for itself. And while many wish Paterno was alive to give his side of it, I would not care to see what would surely be some damage-control/spin job interview that Paterno would certainly give in order to preserve whatever reputation he, and Penn State have left.

  222. Lefty33 Says:

    “But what is also clear is that some of these people should spend the rest of their days in prison.”

    Clearly Schultz and Curley are going to do time and before today it looked like Spainer might escape but clearly that’s not happening.

  223. Raul Says:

    The Blue Jays just gave Edwin Encarnacion a 3 year, 27 million dollar contract.

  224. Cameron Says:

    Proof the dollar truly is worthless.

  225. Lefty33 Says:

    “They’re focusing on him because he was the face of the university, and from the CNN and Freeh reports, he appears to be the man who called Spanier, Schultz and Curley off.”

    They’re focusing on Paterno not because he was the face of anything but simply because he has the biggest legacy/reputation to destroy.

    Again Raul, the part that you like many others “conveniently” like to overlook is that there were numerous other people above, below, and around Paterno that knew about this way before he did and could have done something way before
    Paterno was brought into the loop but for today let’s forget about those facts and simply highlight Paterno’s involvement only since he’s was now magically the only one involved.

    If you want to talk about a weak ass argument there it is right there.

    Just because you’re the “face of the something” it doesn’t make you any guiltier or any more up for scrutiny than the janitor/maintenance man who saw it years prior and said nothing or Spanier/Curley/Schultz + the entire PSU board of trustees who also knew about it and did nothing.

    You all still committed the same crime of omission by doing nothing and you all still had the same moral obligation. Don’t give me this pussy shit of suddenly turning this into the bash Joe Paterno day when he was only a piece in this whole mess and clearly there were/are numerous otherts equally involved that are not getting any scrutiny at all.

    “It would be like bitching that poor Bud Selig got so much shit for the steroid era, while lamenting that George Steinbrenner didn’t get as much blame”

    Yeah, there’s a great analogy.

  226. Raul Says:

    I’m not overlooking anything, Lefty.

    You’re pissed because people aren’t talking as much about Schultz/Spanier/Curley.

    As if this would even be as big a story if it weren’t for Paterno.

  227. Raul Says:


    It’s tough to get people to play in Canada. I won’t come down too hard on the Blue Jays for that one.

  228. Raul Says:

    Lance Berkman will not go on a rehab assignment and will instead remain with the Cardinals.

    It is expected that he will be activated within a week.

  229. Chuck Says:

    “Lance Berkman will not go on a rehab assignment and will instead remain with the Cardinals.”

    John Mozeliak: “Hey Lance, we’ve made arrangements for you to go to Arkansas and spend a couple of days with our Double A guys for your rehab assignment”.

    Lance Berkman: “Fuck that, the only place worse than Houston in summer is fucking Arkansas, besides, why go all the way there to pinch-hit three times a week when I can do that in St. Louis?”

  230. Chuck Says:

    Keith Law did not list Matt Barnes among his top 50 prospects.

    If you pay for his web content, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  231. Raul Says:

    I get the ESPN Insider stuff because 4 or 5 years ago I subscribed to ESPN Magazine and it was part of the deal.

    Why did I subscribe to ESPN Magazine? I don’t remember. The magazines don’t even come to me. They still go to my mother’s house in NY and mostly she throws them away. When I visit, sometimes I’ll pick one up and look at the photos. They actually do include some awesome photography in there.

    But I do still read in Insider articles.

    I mean, look: everyone is charging for content now. Even the New York Times is putting a cap on free articles. There are ways to get around it though.

  232. Raul Says:

    Interesting match up tomorrow with James McDonald of the Pirates starting against Zack Greinke and the Brewers.

    Today or yesterday Jon Heyman tweeted something about the Royals considering the possibility of bringing Greinke back to Kansas City.

    That means that there is a possibility that next season, Greinke AND Betancourt could both be on the team.

    Enjoy that thought, Cameron.

  233. Chuck Says:

    You’re subscribing to a magazine, the internet access comes with it.

    Part of the deal.

    But if you pay $4.95 a month just so you can go to work tomorrow and brag to your buddies that Law called you a moron on his latest chat, then you’re a loser.

  234. Raul Says:

    I guess that’s true, lol.

    The Insider stuff gets you articles in all sports so I guess if you want to read other people it’s a benefit. I’m pretty sure at the time that I subscribed to it, Peter Gammons was still at ESPN and so the Insider would give you some of his articles.

    I guess the reason I still have it is because I never bothered to cancel when I come up for renewal.

  235. Lefty33 Says:

    More drug busts at the lowest levels.

  236. Cameron Says:

    @232 Urge to kill… Rising…

  237. Raul Says:

    Testing positive for Stanozolol.

    These guys must not know much about steroids. Or they simply didn’t know they were taking steroids.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone purposely trying to cheat would take Stanozolol. It’s a pretty common steroid, and pretty easy to detect in testing.

  238. Cameron Says:

    Stanozolol? Really? They still do that? That’s up there with Deca-Durabolin as the dumbass steroid. Get caught with that, you’re an idiot.

  239. Raul Says:

    Stanozolol is what Ben Johnson took in 1988 when he ran 9.79 in the 100M.

    In 2009, Usain Bolt ran 9.58. I believe that is the current World Record.

  240. Cameron Says:

    Yep, and no one’s even come close to beating his PRACTICE time. he’s got the gold on lockdown.

  241. Cameron Says:

    Speaking of the Olympics, I’m kinda worried about the basketball team. We’ve lost Blake Griffin to injury. That’s #6 on Team USA’s injury list, and his replacement Anthony Davis is fighting through a knee injury, so he could be #7 soon. Next on the depth chart is Eric Gordon (who also has a really bad injury history) and Rudy Gay (who’s actually healthy, so good).

    …Dark horse this Olympics is Spain. They have Jose Calderon, Serge Ibaka, and the Gasol brothers. They could catch us if we’re sleeping. …Or so hurt we’re fielding guys like Baron Davis or something.

  242. Mike Felber Says:

    No he does not Cameron. He recently lost again to a fellow Jamaican, who has the fastest time of the year. There is no clear favorite. What is his practice time, & was it confirmed or the BS of hand timed? Which averages 2/10ths of a second of charity in NFL combines.

    I agree with you Lefty. It is shameful & cowardly to do NOTHING when kids are getting molested & raped, their lives permanently damaged, & all you have to do is report it.

    Chuck, I was kidding about being ringside nearly a century ago. But wonder if you thought Dempsey cheated.

  243. Patrick Says:

    Forget about Law calling me a moron, I thought about buying ESPN Insider just so I could call Law a moron, but I’ll do it here for free.

    Hey Keith Law! You’re a moron!

    He argued that Melky Cabrera didn’t deserve to be on the all-star team because people are too enamoured with his .353 BA. Sure, he has a .391 OBP, but most of it is because he leads the league in hits with an unsustainable BABIP, he needs to walk more to be an all-star according to Law. LOL, people actually pay for that drivel? (sorry Raul, no offense intended, and the Mag does have great photography)

    I honestly try to use other avenues than ESPN to get my sports news because of The Insider. It gauls me that they claim to have “extra” sports news beyond their 5 channels of non-stop yapping, but it’s going to cost me if I want it. My friggin TV bill is already $150+. I already paid ESPN.

    I never had the impression that Paterno was the great guy that the media made him out to be, but I thought he was better than that. Penn State is no different from the Vatican in this regard. They ignored child abuse in an effort to spare themselves the bad pubicity, and by doing so, they ruined their respective(poor choice of words) organizations. I always think wrong doing is exponentially worse when it’s perpetrated by someone that claims the moral high ground. Screw both Penn State and the Vatican, I hope they get what they deserve.

  244. Patrick Says:

    Speaking of the Olympics, Team USA has awesome uniforms with a tag that says “Made In China”. Lol, why bomb us when you can just buy us? Congress is “outraged!”. lol again.

    Melky is going to get his 1,000 hit right around his 28th birthday on 8/11. If he stays healthy he’s on pace for a Johnny Damon type career. Keith Law called him a 4th outfielder this spring, saying that the SF Giants got screwed in the Sanchez-Melky deal.

    Cabrera is .353/.391/.910, with a league leading 119 hits, 33 for extra bases,and 10 SB

    Jonathan Sanchez is 1-5, sporting a 6.75 ERA and a Whip of 1.942, AND he makes about a million more $ than Melky.

    Melky has a plus arm, averaging 11 assists per year, good range with sure hands, so predictably, he has a low fielding WAR. tI suppose the only thing predictable about Range Factors is I’m going to disagree with them. That coupled with his low BB totals and Melky’s WAR was lower than Sanchez’s, prompting Law to declare Sanchez the far better value.

    Baseball people know that Sanchez has zero command of any of his pitches and if Law looked up from erroneous spread sheet he might even notice that himself.

  245. Bob Says:

    He also said this about Pedroia on June 6th of 2007. “Dustin Pedroia doesn’t have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he’ll be useful and he probably has a future as a backup infielderif he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop.”
    So there you have it. Law was using batting average as a gauge.

  246. Patrick Says:

    Someone should compile a book of things Law has stated that have turned out to be farce, call it “Against The Law”. Chuck and Raul (anybody?), take it and run if you want, I’m too lazy to follow through but I’ll buy it if you write it.

  247. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, I was kidding about being ringside nearly a century ago. But wonder if you thought Dempsey cheated.”

    No worries Mike, my skin is thicker than rice paper.

    Seriously, though, I did have tickets to the fight, but something came up, so I scalped them on the sidewalk outside.

    That’s how I met Brautigan.

  248. Raul Says:

    I think that’s hilarious @ Patrick

    Bob, I had no idea Law said that about Pedroia. Doesn’t sound like he left himself a way to backpedal if Pedroia became a quality player (which he has).

  249. Bob Says:

    Joh Neyman is reporting that MLB may intervene in the Pirates/Appel negoations. If true that is bullshit. The owners agreed with these terms. If the deal is not complete by 5:00 today, there should be no deal. You do not like the terms of the new CBA, tear it up and create another one, but these 2012 draft terms should be grandfathererd claused in.
    Again, still 5 hours away, but if the Pirates get extra time or no penalty for going over there alloted sum, fucking bullshit. You listening Selig??? I should also add that teams who drafted college seniors have more time, but that is logical.

  250. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Raul. “Against The Law (A collection of stupid shit that Keith Law actually put in print)” is my present to you for refraining, for over 3 years now, from calling me a douchebag. Plus, I know you’re sick of your job. There is a wealth of info on this subject so it will write itself.

    All I want in return is one of those pages at the beginning that says “Many thanks to Patrick for being too fucking lazy to follow through on any of his ideas”.

  251. Bob Says:

    Patrick, you should request/demand an autographed copy. And speaking of autographs, I might get Reggie Jackson’s and Mike Tyson’s in White Plains.

  252. Chuck Says:

    Mike Tyson can write?

  253. Bob Says:

    I will find out.

  254. Patrick Says:

    Bob, I’ll take a autographed copy but I don’t think I can demand one. lol. I have to agree with your CBA/Pirates/Appel take. It’s bullshit. Probably because the Pirates have sucked for so long Selig is granting them a handicap ruling. Socialist baseball, jeez.

  255. Bob Says:

    1. The Yankees signed Hensley
    2. The Marlins digned Heaney.
    3. Appel, Giolito and Gausman are still unsigned.

  256. Lefty33 Says:

    Stark is reporting via multiple outlets that the Phillies are about to back up the Brinks truck to Cole Hamels with their best offer.

    Supposedly it’s not the money that is the sticking point but the length of the contract. The Phillies don’t want to go past four years and Hamels at least wants six like they gave to Lee.

    A source also told Stark that the Phillies have told the Rangers, Dodgers, and all other Hamels suitors that they will not move Hamels, Victorino, or anybody else until the last possible minute so they should check back later as all rumors that a move is pending are false.

  257. Cameron Says:

    KC looks like a potential seller. Broxton would be a big sell-high as he’s only on a one year deal. Frenchy is gone after next year with Myers waiting to take his place, and I hear rumors of folks wanting Yuni for some reason. Addition by subtraction there.

  258. Chuck Says:

    Gausman signed

  259. Raul Says:

    From ESPN:

    Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra has pleaded guilty to three counts stemming from a bankruptcy fraud case in Los Angeles.

    Dykstra entered his plea Friday in federal court to one count each of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 3.

  260. Mike Felber Says:

    Wow. Lenny we Hardly Knew ye.

    lol @ 247. Though I still do not know if Dempsey conretized his hands, & maybe nobody will ever know.

  261. Mike Felber Says:

    Actually that makes sense. Braut had retired by the turn of the Century, so he would have had plenty of free time to watch that donnybrook.

  262. Mike Felber Says:

    Do you do all that analysis on prospects yourself Raul, combining it from various sources & observation? Very thorough.

    Paterno & similar football programs have way too much power. There needs to be academic oversight-at Penn State even the Student body cannot go to the team’s facilities. Apparently while he did some good things re: academic accountability early, a good decade ago or so someone who should have had the authority to reign in the team lobbied to make the sometimes criminal players more accountable for their conduct. Paterno threatened to stop fundraising for the school.

    Now we find out that he “won a sweeter deal even as the scandal played out”. Yup, power corrupts. And like so many other aspects of society, it has become all about the God of Mannah. Not education & the welfare of those coming into full adulthood.

  263. Chuck Says:

    Without sports, specifically football and/or basketball, some “major” universities would have closed up shop long ago.

    The issues that made Sandusky abuse children were present well before 1998, so the save assumption would be that Paterno was covering up longer than that as well.

    The alumni donations from the doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs isn’t enough, you need guys like Paterno to shake the wallets of former players who really have the means to write a six figure check to supplement the cost of the new practice facility.

    Watch Penn State now..they’re going to be a doormat football wise now..the lure and prestige of playing for Paterno or his reputation are gone. They’ll just go play for another name now.

  264. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, Chuck’s right. You really think without Coach K that Duke would be as big a destination for a lot of basketball prospects as it is? Even newer guys like Joe Calipari turn programs around and jack up attendance numbers at games and increase media coverage. Tuitions don’t pay all of a college’s bills. Not even close.

  265. Chuck Says:

    Questions from the Trivia contest at the recent SABR convention in Minnesota.

    Individual contest

    1) Name the eight Hall of Famers who have worn the uniform of the Minnesota Twins?

    2) Who are the five active Canadian natives who have been All-Stars in the majors?

    3)Name the seven managers who have led the Minnesota/Washington franchise to the postseason?

    4) Who were the three AL sluggers to win the homerun crown during the 1920’s?

    5) Name the five players who have had a 40 HR season in each league?

    6) Who was the HOFer who was named for another HOFer…list both names.

    7) Name the four Manager of the Year Award winners who were born outside the US?

    8) In his 25-3 season in 1978, Ron Guidry’s three losses were all to pitchers named Mike…name them.

    9) What is the maximum pitches a batter can see in an at bat, without a foul ball?

    10) Which stadium was the home of the first electronic public address system?

    11) Who was the only player to appear in all eight All-Star games between 1959-1962?

    Team Contest

    1)Four Minnesota players have combined to win 14 AL batting titles..Name them.

    2)Name the 4 Detroit Tigers pitchers who committed an error during the 2006 World Series

    3) Which AL team has gone the longest without a Cy Young Award winner?

    4) Same question for the NL?

    5) Name the only two pitchers with a 20 win season in each of the decades of the fifties and sixties.

    6) Match the following climate related mascots (Thunder, Zephyrs, Storm, Dust Devils, Cyclones) with their home city or area (Tri-Cities WA, Lake Elsinore CA, Brooklyn NY, Trenton NJ, New Orleans LA)

    7) Name the two pitchers from each of these countries who have won a Cy Young Award..Canada, Venezuela, Dominican Republic

    8) Name the only two players to win the AL stolen base title between 1940-1949?

    9) Name the only two players to win at least ten Silver Slugger Awards?

    10) Who are the only World Series MVP’s (3) to play for the Chicago Cubs?

    11) Which stadium hosted the first regular season game of the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 seasons?

    12) Which four AL players have hit 50 homers in a single season yet did not lead the league?

    13) Who turned the majors last unassisted triple play?

    14) Who was the first regular season DH in San Diego Padres’ history?

    15) What notable family trait connects Jim Thorpe and Jose Canseco?

    16) What is the official listed capacity of Target Field?

  266. Bob Says:

    Question 8. Just guuesses

    1. Torrez
    2. Flanigan
    3. Cuellar

  267. Raul Says:

    2) Who are the five active Canadian natives who have been All-Stars in the majors?

    Larry Walker, Jason Bay, Justin Morneau…that’s all I got.

  268. Raul Says:

    6) Who was the HOFer who was named for another HOFer…list both names.

    Mickey Mantle. Mickey Cochrane.

  269. Bob Says:

    Question 1

    1. Puckett
    2. Blyeven
    3. Killebrew
    4. Carew
    5. Missing 4

  270. Bob Says:

    Question 13

    Eric Bruntlett

  271. Raul Says:

    7) Name the four Manager of the Year Award winners who were born outside the US?

    Tony Pena
    Felipe Alou
    Ozzie Guillen

    …can’t think of the 4th.

  272. Cameron Says:

    Active, Raul.

    Jason Bay
    Ryan Dempster
    Russell Martin
    Justin Morneau
    Joey Votto

  273. Cameron Says:

    #9 I think 5.

  274. Raul Says:

    7) Name the two pitchers from each of these countries who have won a Cy Young Award..Canada, Venezuela, Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic: Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon
    Canada: Roy Halladay, Eric Gagne
    Venezuela: Johan Santana, Felix Hernandez

  275. Bob Says:

    Thank you for team question 2.

    1. Verlander
    2. Zumaya
    3. Jones
    4. Rodney

  276. Cameron Says:

    Halladay’s from Texas.

    Canada is Eric Gagne and Fergie Jenkins.

  277. Raul Says:

    Who are the only World Series MVP’s (3) to play for the Chicago Cubs?

    There’s absolutely no way anyone gets this. I had to cheat on this one…

    Lew Burdette
    Don Larsen
    Ron Cey

  278. Mike Felber Says:

    But you cannot having the tail wagging the dog. There must be a principal of good academic & behavioral standards, & not the climate & fear & simpering obeisance that allows jocks & officials to get away with sexual assault & other criminality. There is no excuse for that

    There must be systems & accountability put into place formally, & the explicit commitment to make things other than money a top priority.

  279. Mike Felber Says:

    It is due to our collective & official priorities as a nation that we need a game to salvage or enhance the fortunes of great institutions of learning. We must not be slaves, 40 million $ or otherwise, of cynical profiteering only.

  280. Cameron Says:

    Oh definitely Mike. You can’t let this kind of shit go on. On the other hand though, when your sports program is your biggest source of income, you do need to do a little bit of catering to ‘em.

  281. Cameron Says:

    Fun Fact: Bill Cosby is a Harlem Globetrotter. His salary? $1.05 a year.

  282. Bob Says:

    A nickel more than Lee Iacocca once made. Although Lee had stock options. And a career at Ford that he tried to make people forget about.

  283. Cameron Says:

    He also makes a nickel more than the other lifetime Globetrotter under cotract, Magic Johnson. Then again, Cosby was a Globetrotter before Magic went to college. You stick with a team for 40 years, you deserve a raise.

  284. Cameron Says:

    Also, I was on their website. There’s two white dudes and a woman on the team. I was kinda surprised.

    They also have the tallest professional basketball player ever (Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, their 7′8″ center) and the shortest professional basketball player ever (Jonte “Too Tall” Hall, a 5′2″ guard).

  285. Bob Says:

    For shits ang giggle, they should have Jonte start the game at center for the tip-off. And let Sturgess dribble the ball the length of the court. See how even I can come up with a stunt for them?

  286. Cameron Says:

    Actually, Sturgess has the coordination to pull that off. He was a soccer player in college.

  287. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha! I would gladly do it for a lifetime contract of 1 cent.

  288. Bob Says:

    Gladly do what?

  289. Chuck Says:

    #266..Mike Flanagan is correct, the other two are not.

    #268..ding, ding…correct! Well done.

    #274..Roy Halladay wasn’t born in Canada.

    #276..Colorado, actually.

  290. Chuck Says:


    Individual contest

    1) Name the eight Hall of Famers who have worn the uniform of the Minnesota Twins? BLYLEVEN, CAREW, CARLTON, KILLEBREW, MOLITOR, PUCKETT, WINFIELD, WYNN

    2) Who are the six active Canadian natives who have been All-Stars in the majors? JASON BAY, RYAN DEMPSTER, RUSSELL MARTIN, JUSTIN MORNEAU, JOEY VOTTO, JORDAN ZIMMERMANN

    3)Name the seven managers who have led the Minnesota/Washington franchise to the postseason? BUCKY HARRIS, JOE CRONIN, SAM MELE, BILLY MARTIN, BILL RIGNEY, TOM KELLY, RON GARDENHIRE

    4) Who were the three AL sluggers to win the homerun crown during the 1920’s? BABE RUTH, KEN WILLIAMS, BOB MUESEL

    5) Name the five players who have had a 40 HR season in each league? JIM THOME, DARRELL EVANS, SHAWN GREEN, KEN GRIFFEY JR, MARK MCGWIRE.

    6) Who was the HOFer named for another both..MICKEY COCHRANE/MICKEY MANTLE

    7) Name the four Manager of the Year Award winners who were born outside the US? TONY PENA, FELIPE ALOU, OZZIE GUILLEN, BRUCE BOCHY.

    In his 25-3 season in 1978, Ron Guidry’s three losses were all to pitchers named Mike…name them. MIKE FLANAGAN, MIKE WILLIS, MIKE CALDWELL

    9) What is the maximum pitches a batter can see in an at bat, without a foul ball? ELEVEN. WITH THE COUNT 3-2, BASERUNNER IS THROWN OUT STEALING TO END THE INNING, NEXT INNING COUNT GOES TO 3-2 BEFORE AN OUT IS MADE. (This is wrong, not going to debate it with them, but what happens in the first scenario is erased when the runner is thrown out, and thus isn’t an “official” at bat).

    10) Which stadium was the home of the first electronic public address system? POLO GROUNDS, 1929

    11) Who was the only player to appear in all eight All-Star games between 1959-1962? WILLIE MAYS

    Team Contest

    1)Four Minnesota players have combined to win 14 AL batting titles..Name them. TONY OLIVA, ROD CAREW, KIRBY PUCKETT, JOE MAUER

    2)Name the 4 Detroit Tigers pitchers who committed an error during the 2006 World Series. JUSTIN VERLANDER, FERNANDO RODNEY, TODD JONES, JOEL ZUMAYA

    3) Which AL team has gone the longest without a Cy Young Award winner? TEXAS RANGERS, 1971

    4) Same question for the NL? CINCINNATI REDS, 1957

    5) Name the only two pitchers with a 20 win season in each of the decades of the fifties and sixties. WARREN SPAHN AND FRANK LARY

    6) Match the following climate related mascots (Thunder, Zephyrs, Storm, Dust Devils, Cyclones) with their home city or area (Tri-Cities WA, Lake Elsinore CA, Brooklyn NY, Trenton NJ, New Orleans LA) TRENTON THUNDER, LAKE ELSINORE STORM, NEW ORLEANS ZEPHYRS, BROOKLYN CYCLONES, TRI CITY WA.

    7) Name the two pitchers from each of these countries who have won a Cy Young Award..Canada, Venezuela, Dominican Republic. FERGUSON JENKINS/ERIC GAGNE, FELIX HERNANDEZ/JOHAN SANTANA, BARTOLO COLON/PEDRO MARTINEZ.

    Name the only two players to win the AL stolen base title between 1940-1949? (This is also wrong, as there are three..which was apparently corrected during the contest). SNUFFY STERNWEISS, GEORGE CASE, BOB DILLINGER

    9) Name the only two players to win at least ten Silver Slugger Awards? BARRY BONDS, MIKE PIAZZA

    10) Who are the only World Series MVP’s (3) to play for the Chicago Cubs? DON LARSEN, RON CEY, LEW BURDETTE

    11) Which stadium hosted the first regular season game of the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 seasons? TOKYO DOME

    12) Which four AL players have hit 50 homers in a single season yet did not lead the league? MICKEY MANTLE, JIM THOME, BRADY ANDERSON, JIMMIE FOXX

    13) Who turned the majors last unassisted triple play? ERIC BRUNTLETT

    14) Who was the first regular season DH in San Diego Padres’ history? RICKEY HENDERSON

    15) What notable family trait connects Jim Thorpe and Jose Canseco? EACH HAS AN IDENTICAL TWIN

    16) What is the official listed capacity of Target Field? 39,504

  291. Mike Felber Says:

    Be a Harlem Globetrotter Bob, honorary or otherwise.

  292. Chuck Says:

    Cosby is an honorary Globetrotter, he never actually played with the team.

    Among the notable “real” athletes to play for the team..

    Wilt Chamberlain..(one of five retired numbers), Connie Hawkins, Nate Clifton, and baseball Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins (BEFORE their baseball careers began).

  293. Chuck Says:

    Adam Dunn has a .213 batting average and a .364 OBP.

    John’s boner may never go away.

  294. Cameron Says:

    Interesting thing I didn’t know, a Globetrotter is credited with inventing the hook shot, Goose Tatum.

  295. Raul Says:

    The hook shot is the greatest offensive weapon in any sport.
    And no one uses it.

    NBA players are dumb as fuck.

  296. Raul Says:

    Alcides Escobar hit two HR off Jake Peavy today.

  297. Cameron Says:

    And in other news, pigs have indeed learned how to fly.

  298. Patrick Says:

    Hard trivia quiz. I did ok on the Twins’ questions, the 50 hr guys and the Mantle/Cochrane one, and little else.

  299. Raul Says:

    Ballplayer: Pelotero Official Trailer Documentary

  300. Mike Felber Says:

    20% of Professional US ballplayers from the DR.. Imagine if many other nations had the same drive & system. There is no reason to believe that the success there is anything other than cultural priorities & had work.

    Of course Cosby did not play,but I did not know about most of the non-Wilt guys.

    I have always heard how great the hook is, & no doubt it is underutilized. But is it really that remarkable? You can compare the shooting % of “hookers” with regular guys & judge. Better yet, since the hookers have been some of the best, Kareem & Magic, compare their own regular to hook shot %.

  301. Cameron Says:

    Kareem and Magic definitely, but if you want more recent, Shaq was pretty good at it too. He didn’t put as much of his body into it, but he used his size to body up low and then elevate a jump hook in. Dude was 7′4″, had a reach of damn near ten feet, and he was using a jump hook. Dude was practically creating free baskets with it.

    …And who has a good hook now? No one. All centers do is post up and try to dunk off drives, alley-oop, or run pick and rolls. …Poorly.

  302. Cameron Says:

    The Knicks are making me laugh at this point. They made a sign-and-trade for Raymond Felton. This most likely means Jeremy Lin is a Rocket. On top of it, they also got Kurt Thomas, 39 year old Kurt Thomas.

    The guys backing up Tyson Chandler will be a combined 78 years old next season starts. On top of that, Jason Kidd is the backup PG and he’s gonna be 40 as well. PROGRESS!

  303. Mike Felber Says:

    What? Shaq was 7′ 1″, never listed as more. His reach was not near 10′. Are you a crack-aholic Cameron? ;-) The LONGEST reaches around approach a foot longer than height. Anything more or much more is vanishingly rare, a deformity, or some other kind of primate! If memory serves Shaq’s is exactly 7′ 7″, look it up. Mostly due to enormous hands.

    Again, I would like to see the PERCENTAGE of baskets with this shot vs. regular ones. It may be nearly unblockable, but even with that, is it a significantly higher % shot? Shaq was approaching a 60% shooter, was at his best. If his hook was so effective & akin to free baskets, his % should at LEAST be well into the 70’s with it.

  304. Cameron Says:

    7′1″, my bad, but I do remember the player comparison feature had Shaq in it and his full vertical reach (hand over head) was about 9′6″ or so, hands helped of course. Dude had some big arms and ten-inch hands. Getting a jump hook in under the basket for him is about as close as an unblockable shot as you can get.

  305. Mike Felber Says:

    Oh, reach as in above his head! OK, I am talking about wing span, which is the best measure of absolute arm length (though the width of chest in included too, that does not usually vary dramatically. Shaq was enormous, got to ~350 in LA, I recall him not being crazy about all the lifting they had him do.

  306. Cameron Says:

    Hey, with how much he destroyed guys in the paint, it worked.

    Well, until the Hack-A-Shaq started.

  307. Chuck Says:

    Kareem’s hook was an exception because of his range with it.

    Personally I don’t think it’s a very effective shot outside say seven feet for most guys.

    First, it’s a hard shot to get off and execute. You’re bring the ball up from waist high to over your head, going from two hands on the ball to one, you’re jumping simultaneously, and, in most cases, you’re in traffic, which means a defender is in position to knock the ball loose.

    Centers by and large are ineffective the further from the basket they get, if most coaches thought their guy could shoot 50% from ten feet like Kareem did..don’t you think more guys would have been doing it?

    Kareem’s hook was like Wilt’s finger roll or Rick Barry’s underhand free worked for them but difficult for everyone else.

  308. Bob Says:

    The Pirates have interest in Jon Lester. Make Josh Bell available.

  309. Bob Says:

    George Case. A new name for me. Thanks, Chuck

  310. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, I wondered about that kind of thing Chuck. It is fairly complex & not easy to master.

    been watching Olympic & preview videos. I love the Olympics & their true ethos, getting jazzed about them. Starts July 27th.

  311. Cameron Says:

    I was kinda tuning out of the NFL since the draft is over and free agency is past. Though I tuned in and saw that Drew Brees finally got his new contract. I laughed when I saw there’s more money guaranteed to him this season (40 million dollars, deal’s 5/100 and HEAVILY front-loaded) than the rest of the Saints offense this season (37.6 million dollars). I know without Brees the Saints are up there in talent with the Browns, but god damn.

  312. Bob Says:

    Mike, with you on the Olympics. Love the swimming, I know the names and understand the times. I watch track and gymnastics, although am hugely ignorant of the names.

  313. Bob Says:

    Today’s ESPN question. For the next 3 years would you prefer Lin or Felton at the point?

  314. Chuck Says:

    Felton…and Jason Kidd.

  315. Bob Says:

    the Mariners want to retain Ichiro. He has 2523 hits. Assuming he ends the year with 2600, He will be 400 hits away. Might need more than 2 years. Does he reach 3000 hits?

  316. Raul Says:

    He can.
    It’ll take 3.5 or 4 years to do it.

    Given his hitting he shouldn’t be playing every day anymore, but the Mariners aren’t very good and haven’t had many great franchise moments in their history.

    Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr and Randy Johnson have all reached impressive milestones in other uniforms. I suppose it would be nice to have Ichiro top 3,000 in Seattle.

  317. Raul Says:

    The Athletics are 9-1 in their last 10 games.

  318. Lefty33 Says:

    “Does he reach 3000 hits?”


    He’s a done and washed up .250 hitter that should have wrapped it up two years ago. Obviously him playing on the team that he plays on is not going to do him any favors either.

    He turns 39 this offseason. He’s not going to be around in 3-4 years, or if he’s smart after this year, and next year is really pushing it before he starts to look truly pathetic.

    He’s not hitting like he has much left in the tank.

    Ichiro’s got as much chance at getting 3000 as Jeter does of getting 4000. (0)

  319. Raul Says:

    I think people overestimate the idea of a player “looking pathetic” while playing past his prime — at least in baseball.

    If you’re an over-the-hill boxer, then sure, marching yourself out there to take punishment from tomato cans is depressing to see.

    But I don’t recall much being said about old ballplayers. If you’re looking at an over-the-hill Derek Jeter or Ichiro or whomever…the real reason you don’t want them to keep playing has a lot more to do with the fact that they aren’t helping your team win games…and little or nothing to do with “saving face”.

    If you’re a Mariners fan, you’ve watched Ichiro score hundreds of runs, get amazing assists, steal dozens of bases and approach nearly 300 hits in one season. Those memories don’t get diminished because he’s a .240 hitter at the age of 40. At least they shouldn’t. And if they do, you really have to question just how crazy you are….just how out-of-whack your expectations must be to think that a player at that age should still be performing at an elite level.

    It’s probably selfish to want a player to retire from something they love to do.

    You can defend it from a productivity standpoint — that is, “I want this player to retire because the team isn’t winning.”

    You can’t defend it from a “he’s ruining my memories of him” standpoint.

  320. Lefty33 Says:

    I mean Ichiro should retire because he is a shell of his former self now and he is neither doing anything to help the M’s win or much to pad his stats and help his legacy.

    If he sticks around for another 2-3 years he’ll look like Jaime Moyer this year where you’ll sort of cringe watching him play while you think:

    Other than some deluded ego trip, why is he doing this?

    Isn’t he just embarrassing himself, the team, and the sport?

    Step aside and give someone else a chance, that while they don’t have the name and can’t sell the tickets and merchandise, they can help the team while you just clog up a roster spot based on memories and not based on any real chance of any future success.

    Raul, my favorite player bar none was Carlton.

    It was emotionally painful for me to watch how his career ended over his last two years.

    How he ended his career is the way how Ichiro is going to look if he doesn’t get the hell out after this year or next if he can swallow his pride and play either P/T or somewhere other than Seattle.

  321. Chuck Says:

    Carlton..LOL..I remember seeing him with Cleveland.

    Having seen him in seventies when he could beat half the teams in the league throwing righthanded it was tough watching him give up bombs to bums like Joel Skinner.

  322. Cameron Says:

    I felt the same way watching Greg Maddux go to the west coast. It was hard to watch.

  323. Mike Felber Says:

    Mad dog was a leage average pitcher for years, but he did not look terrible statistically. He stopped getting the close K-Zone calls & did not have the same defense behind him, add that to his natural decline. But if you are just OK & can contribute to your team, yep, let ‘em play on.

  324. Cameron Says:

    Statistically he was alright. The problem to me was he was looking… Well, human. I watched him in Atlanta. He was leaps and bounds above mere mortals than those. It was the first time watching someone I thought was invincible start to look like he wasn’t. Childhood dreams shattered and whatnot.

  325. Chuck Says:

    My dad still has nightmares about Dwight Evans in an Oriole uniform, and seeing Willie Randolph with Oakland was kind of gross too.

  326. Bob Says:

    “My dad still has nightmare about Dwight Evans in an Oriole uniform.”

    So does my dad. He also has nightmares of Fisk in a White Sox uniform.

  327. Bob Says:

    To make room for Carl Crawford, the Red Sox designated Brett Lillibridge for assignment.

  328. Mike Felber Says:

    Alright Bob, I especially like Track & Field, lifting, & the pageantry. Enjoy!

  329. Chuck Says:

    Is that your favorite event, Mike, the pageant?

  330. Bob Says:

    Well, since you are asking, it’s mine!!!

  331. Bob Says:

    Perhaps an early Christmas gift for some people. Google should Bill James be fired? I refuse to thrust the article on you guys.

    See you tomorrow.

  332. Raul Says:

    I’m assuming this is because James is defending Paterno.

    No, Bill James should not be fired for defending Joe Paterno.
    He’s just wrong.

  333. Chuck Says:

    Who the hell cares what Bill James thinks…

  334. Cameron Says:

    I don’t know, but my abstract is a decade out of date. He needs to get off his ass and make a new revision.

  335. Lefty33 Says:

    @329 – Nice one Chuck.

  336. Raul Says:

    Jonathan Sanchez allowed 5 runs in the 1st inning against the Mariners.

  337. Cameron Says:

    Sreiously DM, when you trade Melky Cabrera and lose… The fuck, yo?

  338. Chuck Says:

    Come on, Cameron.

    You sound like a Cubs fan.

    Melky has a “career” year, and Dayton cashes in on the 95% chance he doesn’t come close to it again.

    There’s not a GM in the game that doesn’t do exactly the same thing.

  339. Mike Felber Says:

    You & James have a lot in common Chuck. Both grumpy old men!

    My favorite events are track & field. The drama of the decathlon too. Individual stories are inspiring, & the opening & closing ceremonies celebrate something sacred. There are tons of debased things in life 7 with the games, drugs 9but they have gotten way tough & acted in good faith), over commercialization, jingoism…

    But also the true ideals of Swifter, Faster, Stronger. A celebration of human individual effort & excellence, the primacy of sportsmanship & full effort w/long term maximum training & discipline. Healthy celebration of national pride infused with these values via the particular cultural flavor of the individual nations. The character of the game filtered through the host’s culture. Cooperation in these higher purposes & team work when possible. The putting aside of war & hate for a noble cause, true brotherhood & unforced multicultural respect & joy.

    Those who are cynical that this does not exist or arrogantly dismiss its reality & value-they are deluded & I feel sorry for what they miss in life. There are higher values & beauty in these pursuits.

  340. Raul Says:

    I have to agree with Chuck here.

    I thought the Royals definitely won that Melky trade at the time. Gonzalez was only a year removed from a pretty damn good season.

    Few people would have predicted Melky would have the career year he had in Kansas City. Fewer would have predicted he would have the kind of 2012 he’s shown thus far.

    Melky may very well fall back down to earth. He might be out of the league in 2 years. Or he may go on to be one of the more productive hitters in the game for the next 4-6 years.

    But if he does, you just have to take it. The logic behind the trade was pretty sound, I think.

    Consider the timing:

    Alex Gordon finally shows return on investment. You have Wil Myers in the Minor Leagues a year or two away. A career platoon player has a career season. Someone offers you a pitcher who can strike guys out and was improving every year until he was injured. You have a pitching staff that couldn’t fight itself out of a wet paper bag.

    I mean from the Royals’ perspective, I think they did the right thing.
    At the same time, the Giants also probably did the right thing.

    Sanchez probably was a guy who should have been traded after 2010. He’s always had control issues and after putting up a career year while leading the league in walks, they had to know it wouldn’t get much better.

    Looking back though, ask yourself if you thought Moore could have gotten a better player for Melky? I doubt it.

  341. Mike Felber Says:

    I really reserved judgement on the whole Martin-Zimmerman thing until now. Que pasa could easily be shaped into pre-existing narratives, even if they are often accurate, like assumptions about people of color. But now comes reports of Zimmerman molesting a girl from 9-19, about his proudly racist family, esp. Mom-& multiple claims of him bullying blacks folks at work. The video has the latter:

  342. Cameron Says:

    I know, but Moore’s track record for bad trades is starting to piss me off.

  343. Raul Says:

  344. Cameron Says:

    Let’s hope football treats him better. I mean DAMN!

  345. Raul Says:

    That was the kind of strikeout prowess that makes Adam Dunn cringe.

  346. Chuck Says:

    Back before the Montreal Olympics, my boss at the time would tell us he had an old neighbor who was trying to make the team.

    One day, he comes to work and says he did and they were all having this big block party as a send off for him.

    So I go and check it out.

    The day before he left for Montreal, I played basketball in my buddy’s driveway in Newtown, CT with Bruce Jenner.

  347. Cameron Says:

    …Awesome. Just awesome.

  348. Chuck Says:

    Someone hired a Cessna to fly a banner over the Penn State campus today..

    “Take down the statue, or we will”.

    I wonder if the guy has a website where you can donate a few bucks to offset the cost of the plane rental.

  349. Mike Felber Says:

    Maybe they should take down the statue, but not under duress of vandalism. Anybody who does it without announcing hwo they are is a sniveling coward. You believe you can justify the crime & will do the time, I respect that. If I was Penn State I would announce that we are reviewing what we will do in that regard, but no way will wed ever do so under threat.

    Then have a 24 hour watch & a quick response system to arrest any who try to destroy their property. Then make sure the vigilantes are prosecuted. Then wait a ‘lil bit then they can bring down the statue.

  350. Cameron Says:

    Huh, two women are being considered as finalists for new NBA referee spots. That’d bring the total up to 3 along with Violet Palmer. Palmer’s done a good job so far. She was part of the crew that ejected all 10 players on the floor during the Nuggets-Knicks brawl in… 2006, I think.

    By the way, two of those Nuggets are on the New York roster now.

  351. Raul Says:

    lol, Jane you ignorant slut…

    Everything that ever gets done is the result of threats.

  352. Raul Says:

    Women have, for the most part, been marginalized in sports.

    There should be more of them in refereeing positions, umpiring, and in executive roles.

    Not because “we need to give jobs to women” but because I believe they are capable.

    How many professional sports franchises are there? About 30 each in football, baseball, hockey and basketball? Just in those 4 sports that’s 120 teams. In a world where women comprise 51% of the population, it’s highly unlikely that all the jobs held by men in those areas could not be done equally as well, or in some cases better, by women.

    Some men get really macho about things like that. But I think it’s nonsense. Nothing is gained by systematically denying a pool of talent that large an opportunity to help you succeed.

    After all…surely there must be a woman or two that could do a better job than Jim Bowden.

  353. Cameron Says:

    If they handle themselves as well as Palmer, I can see it.

  354. Raul Says:

    BTW, the only place I’d be hesitant to put a woman is as head referee in the NFL.

    You pretty much would have to be built like Ed Hochuli for that one.

  355. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure, though given how much less woman pursue sports, there would not be 51% of woman equally qualified. But somewhat more than hold these positions now should be involved.

    And you feminize me in that brilliant riposte Raul, great work. Surely (if I may call you Shirley, seems fair game now) you can bother to discern WHAT kids of threats are moral & likely to be effective. And which will cause more strife &/or violence.

    Threatening to kill, torture or mutilate/cripple is bad. Threatening to take legal action, boycott, protest, threatening those who threaten violence in a way consistent with ethical laws, good.

    I am in favor of an investigation into who sponsored that message. Let me put it in the gratuitous language of machismo towards the goal of persuading you. If the person or groups who are behind that message have 1/8th of a single testicle, they should have no problem admitting it & being prosecuted for their threat, monitored, & receiving mucho public exposure, & weathering the storm of attendant hate. Which may include threats of violence & actual violence against them from U. of Penn supporters.

    There has been entirely too much lawlessness already. Sandusky was aloud to be a horrible predator for years. Many folks did not have the courage & moral compass to report him to the police or stand up against The System. Then after Papa Joe was forced to resign some of the student body had a small riot.

    Threats levied secretly add to the climate of violence.

    Doing so secretly, without attribution, is cowardly.

  356. Bob Says:

    Mike, why would you be in favor of investigating whp sponsored the banner/sign. it is a sign of free speech. On other words, none of your business or mine. If the plane was flown in adherence to FAA regulations, drop it. No crime was committed.

  357. Raul Says:

    All you’re saying is that you would respect them if they came forward and publicly said they will take down the statue.

    But the result would be the same.

    I admit that process matters. But at the same time, I sometimes get caught up in results.

    In this particular case, I really don’t care if Penn State takes down the statue, or if a bunch of college students in black hoodies take it down.

    To me, it makes no difference.

  358. Chuck Says:

    I agree Mike.

    The U.S. Olympic uniforms are made in China.

    Why? Because they own our asses.

    We’ve become pussified.

    Can’t discipline our own kids.

    We spend more money and time defending other countries than our own.

    We spend billions in healthcare and job benefits for people who aren’t entitled to receive them, while at the same time fucking over people who do.

    Don’t threaten to remove the statue..just go do it.

  359. Mike Felber Says:

    No Bob, we are not free to threaten violence. There are widely recognized limits to free speech, like the classic crying fire in a crowded theater. Am I allowed to cream in somebodies face, or calmly insult them to their face regardless of whether they want toe engage or try to escape?

    Things like threats against the President are routinely investigated, even if not necessarily high risk, like that brain surgeon Ted Nugent visited by the Secret Service after his recent hate speech seeming Presidential threats.

    The question is whether the threat against the statue is important enough to CHOOSE to investigate. Given how much reciprocal violence is possible-& that the lawless atmosphere & crimes must be finally opposed-I think it clearly is.

    You did not dispute that the anonymous threat is cowardly, so I assume that you agree it is feckless/cowardly.

  360. Bob Says:

    Violence to a statue? Really? If it was directed toward a family member of Paterno, I would agree. but a fucking statue that will enable people to remebr him? Shit, baseball is trying to make people forget Pete Rose, and in the scheme of things, he did nothing that harmful. Fucking nothing.

  361. Mike Felber Says:

    I partially agree Chuck. We have been irresponsible about caring for our own & not being “owned” by foreign interests. We are often enough lazy. I do think we have done great things helping & defending other nations, much in our interests. And some just supporting of evil regimes because we find it in our short term interests that is inconsistent with being about liberty & human rights.

    I do not think we are routinely only helping undeserving folks & not others, that is a Conservative belief often unsupported. Unlike most all developed nations, we do not take care of our own, & workers have few rights, are marginalized, folks at the top take everything, all is about the bottom line not the public good. We have become about worshiping money over all else. However obtained & at whatever cost to society.

    You know that I feel ripping down the statue is vicious & cowardly hate that is likely to cause more of the same lawlessness & retribution.

  362. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, violence to private property is illegal & immoral. And is likely to cause more hate, Fear & loathing. Vigilante justice is an evil & causes more retribution. Pete Rose is a completely different case.

  363. Bob Says:

    The point being baseball wants us to forget about him. People who have Penn State on their resume want this ordeal to be over. Not sure it ever will be, but the removal of his statue on their land will be a start.

  364. Chuck Says:

    Sandusky was a Penn State employee for almost 40 years.

    He didn’t just wake up one day and decided he liked young boys..if you think 1998 was the beginning of all this, you might be the most naive person on the planet.

    And if Paterno was covering everything up all along.

    This isn’t about football or fundraising, this is about doing the right thing as a human being.

    Maybe the city of Gary should elect a statue in honor of John Wayne Gacy?

  365. Raul Says:

    Penn State isn’t private property.

  366. Raul Says:

    The Royals DFA’d Jonathan Sanchez.

  367. Cameron Says:

    Can we stop talking about this fuckwad pederast? I deal with enough of this shit talking to my own father, I don’t need more of this.

  368. Bob Says:

    @ 365 Even better.

  369. Cameron Says:


  370. Raul Says:

    I’ll drop the Sandusky talk if you agree to stop polluting this website with your NBA talk every 15 minutes.

  371. Bob Says:

    1. Stephen Fife will make his debut tonight.

    2. Anthony Gose is on the Jays 25-man roster.

    3. Darnell was let go by the Yankees.

  372. Chuck Says:

    #367..then don’t read it.

    Or talk to your dad.

    Either way, choice is yours, not ours.

    Unless you were talking about Jonathan Sanchez, then my bad.

  373. Cameron Says:

    No, Sanchez was the subject of 369. He was a bad pitcher, but he ain’t bad enough for me to call him that.

  374. Raul Says:

    Andrew McCutchen is playing this game on another level right now.

    It’s not even fair.

  375. Brautigan Says:

    McCutchen. Man, that cat is so bad right now………MVP.

  376. Raul Says:

    Saw this online today:

    Q: What’s the difference between a Catholic priest and pimples?
    A: Pimples come on your face after you turn 13.

    As awful as that is, I laughed.

  377. Cameron Says:

    Don’t be ashamed in laughing at a shameless joke. If it’s good, it’s good. My personal favorite in that vein is this.

    Q: What has more brains than Kurt Cobain?
    A: The wall behind him.

  378. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree with Chuck about not trying to limit what others say ’cause you have trouble handling the words. One can toughen up so the mere discussion of a subject need not be upsetting. Nobody is endorsing his evil.

    Yet nobody is saying this likely started in ‘98. I am sure he did what he could get away with over years, & may well be sick enough to actually believe he is innocent. Peterno is not remotely comparable to a mass murderer, but covering up thus enabling a child molestor is enough reason to tear down a statue.

    If done by those who own it. Which would be more meaningful anyway.

  379. Mike Felber Says:

    They jokes are not hateful, outrageous, release of tension,sometimes social commentary, & general embrace of the wild in a usually healthy way.

  380. Cameron Says:

    You know what I love about baseball over the other sports? The freedom in free agency. Sure it leads to some teams having a bigger advantage than others, but it eliminates the Posion Pill principle. Jeremy Lin went to the Houston Rockets. New York wanted to match the offer of 3/25, but Houston intentionally backloaded the deal to where he’d make 15 million dollars in the last year of the deal, which would force New York into a luxury tax that year. That’s dirty pool.

    Baseball? Fuck that noise, we do what the fuck we want. It’s beuatiful in its simplicity.

  381. Raul Says:

    I don’t see the big friggin deal.

    Jeremy Lin is a fine player. But he’s not a franchise player. He’s not the guy that puts your team over the top.

    Who. Gives. A. Fuck?

    This is just NY media and ESPN creating a story where none exists.

    Andrew McCutchen batted .360 in May.
    He batted .370 in June.
    He’s batting over .500 in July.
    He’s batting .406 IN NIGHT GAMES FOR THE SEASON.

    Put that motherfucker on the front page of ESPN.
    Not Jeremy Lin.

  382. Cameron Says:

    Personally, I really didn’t care about the player in the story, but the business side of it. I hate poison pill contracts. It’s just dirty fucking business. Business which thankfully isn’t see in baseball. Or if it is, it’s pretty well-hidden.

  383. Raul Says:

    Who knows?
    Maybe players back-load contracts so teams won’t trade them.

    Hahaha. Pujols may have wanted to ensure he won’t have to buy another house so he made sure he’ll earn 30 million at age 41 and the Angels can’t trade him.

  384. Cameron Says:

    Don’t forget he’s on Anaheim’s payroll for ten years after that with his front office job, bro. Talk about job security.

  385. Mike Felber Says:

    Lin is a big draw due to being groundbreaking in the obvious native Asian B-ball player way. So that is money & natural pride for many. Though i agree he is a fine, not a franchise player. I do not think he has that ceiling.

  386. Raul Says:

    Lin would have cost the Knicks an additional 30 million in penalties.

    It was an obvious decision to let him walk.

  387. Cameron Says:

    Which they wouldn’t have if it was a fairly-balanced deal instead of the backloaded offer sheet that Houston basically forced New York not to match. Again, it’s not the player that bothers me. It could have been anyone going to any team, the poison pill is something that makes me mad whenever it’s applied.

    Granted, it’s not as ridiculous as the Steve Hutchinson-Nate Burleson affair between the Seahawks ad the Vikings in 2005. That was grade A bullshit.

  388. Raul Says:

    Hutch was the best tackle in the league, or something like that.

    I think he was the main reason why Adrian Peterson and Shaun Alexander had those great seasons.

  389. Raul Says:

    So what happened with Hutch and Burleson?

  390. Cameron Says:

    Hutch and Burleson? This is a fun story.

    It started with Steve Hutchinson, then a guard for Seattle. The Vikings gave him an offer sheet for 7 years and 49 million dollars, only 16 of which was guaranteed and with a first year payment of 13 million dollars. HOWEVER, the poison pill installed was that if he was not the highest-paid player on the offensive line, he would be guaranteed all 49 million dollars. However, since Walter Jones was paid more than Hutchinson at the time, he would have had all the money guaranteed. Seattle literally could not match that due to cap reasons, so Hutch became a Viking.

    Seattle decided they could one-up the dickery and offered Vikings WR Nate Burleson a 7/49 deal just like Minnesota gave Hutch. The poison pill in this one was that if Nate Burleson played more than five games in the state of Minnesota during the life of the contract, all the money was guaranteed. In addition, if the team’s Runningbacks made more than Nate Burleson, the money would also be guaranteed. Since Minnesota plays 8 games in their home state a year and their RBs made less than 7 million a year combined, they let Nate walk to Seattle.

  391. Raul Says:

    Short little profile on HBO Sports on Matt Kemp.

    Pretty nice, and they talk about his struggles in 2010.

    This didn’t really change my opinion about him. But I’m a bit more sure that Hossrex is just a hateful asshole when it comes to Matt Kemp.

  392. Cameron Says:

    Eh, I’m not exactly his biggest fan as a person. Dude’s very much soaking up the fact he’s in LA with the media attention and the celebrity spots around town and then whole Home Run Derby thing this year really did make me think he’s kind of a prick.

    Then again, I’m pretty sure a lot of Derek Jeter’s niceness is an act too, so I may just be a cynic.

  393. Raul Says:

    Frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with Matt Kemp, at all.

    What? He runs on the field to help celebrate a win?
    He smiles a lot?
    He likes hanging out in LA?

    What a fucking asshole.
    I’m with John on this one. Kemp put up a historic season last year. Up until his injury, he was the best player early on this season.

    Any problems people have are probably unfair.

    Kemp really was a good player, except for that 2010. And so what? He was 25, in Los Angeles, in a relationship with a superstar singer. Lord forbid a guy have some fun, make some mistakes, and grows from it.

    It’s too bad he doesn’t talk about Jesus every five minutes like a certain white quarterback. Maybe the media would cut him some goddamn slack.

  394. Cameron Says:

    I hate Tebow eve more than Kemp, but a lot of that is just overexposure. I don’t hate him like Hoss, I just think that the attitude’s probably hiding a douchebag. Again, like Derek Jeter probably is. Not gonna hold it against him as a player though. Guy’s one of the best in the game when healthy. It’s easy for me to separate an athlete on the field from off the field. Hell, I’m a big fan of guys like Albert Belle and Manny, I kinda have to. If you’re gonna be an asshole, at least be vocal and entertaining about it like them.

  395. Raul Says:

    Since June 1st, Alex Gordon is hitting .344/.425/.490.

  396. Raul Says:

    I just watched HBO Real Sports, and I’m going to see if I can write up Bryant Gumbel’s closing statement, because I do find it very interesting.

    “Finally, tonight comes word that Reggie Jackson has wisely decided to pass on this weekend’s induction ceremonies at Cooperstown. You may have seen that Jackson recently caused a stir by suggesting that a variety of baseball notables did not merit inclusion in the Hall of Fame.

    Now, because his judgment was personal and his timing terrible, Reggie has since retreated from his stated views. But here’s hoping that the gist of what he said isn’t altogether lost on the Hall’s voters. You see, Reggie was basically right in intending that The Hall should be special. And its doors should not be open just because someone stuck around long enough to collect 3,000 hits or 300 wins. Yes, the numbers are proof of very good players. But as the former star pitcher Jim Kaat has often noted so astutely, Cooperstown is supposed to be a Hall of Fame, not a Hall of Achievement.

    If the voters are really so obsessed with honoring guys with the numbers, they’d be wise to start re-thinking the exclusion of those mega stars linked to steroids, and do it quickly. Because the next Cooperstown ballot will for the very first time include, among others, both the 7-time MVP Barry Bonds and the 7-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens. And while both men have a suspect past, it is going to be hard to argue they don’t deserve a bust in Cooperstown.

    After all, a Hall of Fame that somehow excludes the game’s Home Run king and it’s most-honored pitcher and it’s All-Time Hits leader would really be making a mockery of itself.”

  397. Raul Says:

    I hate when I accidentally put the apostrophe in “its” when it doesn’t belong.
    I did it twice in the last sentence.

  398. Cameron Says:

    Eh, harmless mistake. Which is funny coming from me, because I’m the biggest grammar nazi I know. My fried JC and I actually went around fixing all the typos on the fliers in our high school after school one day because we were bored.

    …And fixed a typo on the nameplate in front of a teacher’s door as a service.

  399. Raul Says:

    I try to be accurate because when someone else makes a mistake, it screws me up when I’m reading it.

    I don’t get too worked up about it here because we can’t made edits to our posts.

  400. Raul Says:

    God dammit.

    “made edits”

  401. Mike Felber Says:

    We should not be obsessed with #s. Exclude anyone who cheated & lied in ways that significantly impacted the game & their game. Unless & until they admit it & are very repentant. And could have gotten in clean.

    Baseball made a mockery of itself by letting these things happen. Now the solution should be forgive absent any accountability & example + deterrent to others? They should consider themselves lucky to not be banned forever, especially when lying through multi million $ investigations & to the highest legislative body in the land.

    Reggie should be allowed his tough opinions, he had his flaws, but earned his admission.

  402. Chuck Says:

    If the Knicks had released Lin before the end of the second season, they could have spread the salary cap out over three years and had five million against the cap instead of fifteen.

    They would have paid no tax.

    They let him walk because they know he’s a backup and didn’t want to pay him $10 a year to fetch towels during timeouts.

  403. Chuck Says:

    “We should not be obsessed with #s.”

    You just shot the whole sabermetric movement right in the ass.

    Without numbers, they don’t exist.

  404. John Says:

    It’s called objective evidence, and you’re an idiot if you ignore it.

  405. Bob Says:

    Cameron you discusssed Lin. The Penn State ordeal is fair game.

  406. Chuck Says:

    “It’s called objective evidence”


  407. John Says:

    No, Chuck.

    When you make projections based on years of data, that’s called objective evidence.

  408. Chuck Says:

    No John, when you take years of evidence and and then alter it, it becomes subjective.

  409. Bob Says:

    Speaking of crude, yet educational jokes, an anatomical question

    Q. Why do women have 2 sets of lips?
    A. So they can bitch and moan at the same time.

  410. John Says:

    I don’t think you understand how correlation works.

  411. John Says:

    Or what the words subjective and objective mean.

  412. Chuck Says:

    You clearly don’t understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

    Batting average is takes two actualities and averages them.

    It can only be figured one way.

    There are what, four, five variations of WAR?

    Subjective, my friend.

  413. John Says:

    No, that’s not what subjectivity is.

    Subjectivity is claiming that a player doesn’t have the right “make-up” or “attitude” or any number of impossible-to-measure characteristics.

    Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not – but if you can’t attach a number to it, then it’s subjective.

  414. Chuck Says:

    Subjective: “…placing excessive emphasis on one’s own moods, attitudes, OPINIONS, etc.;..”

    WAR is the result of an opinion, therefore, subjective

    “Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer” is an objective statement, because it’s factual.

    Saying “Jim Rice shouldn’t be in the HOF because his career WAR isn’t good” is a subjective statement because it reflects an opinion which can’t be supported by objective or actual facts.

  415. John Says:

    “WAR is the result of an opinion, therefore, subjective”

    No, it isn’t.

    It’s the result of objective analysis of correlation to winning.

    It’s not like some guy said “on-base percentage? That seems big. Weigh it 30%”

    You’re correct on both those statements. However, the statement “Jim Rice was a less valuable player than a multitude of non-HOFers is based purely in fact, and can be verified through analysis.”

    Unlike, say, the level of fucking fear he instilled in other pitchers, which is the single most bullshit justification for inducting someone into the hall of fame.

  416. Chuck Says:

    “It’s the result of objective analysis of correlation to winning”


    Doesn’t change the fact the result is still subjective, because the subject you’re analyzing is subjective.

    Even if you consider the formula for WAR to be objective because it’s based on real stats, the result is subjective because the comparison is to a non-existant “replacement player”.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    “It’s not like some guy said “on-base percentage? That seems big. Weigh it 30%”

    But it is..the whole premise of sabermetrics is weighting..assigning a value to an event and considering them all to be equal is the definition of subjective.

    Look at the formula for Runs Created.

  417. Chuck Says:

    “Unlike, say, the level of fucking fear he instilled in other pitchers, which is the single most bullshit justification for inducting someone into the hall of fame.”

    So, then would you say that argument would be no different than “instilling fear” on a pitcher from the basepaths?

  418. John Says:

    It’s weighted based on what historically correlates to winning.

    This is just data analysis, done in basically every industry in the world.

    And a replacement player is defined. Based on historical correlations, a team of them would win about 50 games. That’s the reference point.

  419. Raul Says:


    I didn’t think this needed to morph into the WAR argument again, but ok.

    Regarding what Gumbel said…

    I was a bit confused, because in the beginning of his statement, he seemed to be agreeing with Reggie Jackson that certain players shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame just because of the numbers. And by the end, he seemed to suggest that the Hall should elect some steroid guys, precisely because of the numbers.

    I suppose if you’re going to use the hard numbers, then sure…guys who push for Tim Raines and Craig Biggio do get louder voices.

    But if you’re going to use something a bit less…well…quantifiable…like “greatness” or being “special”…well then I suppose a number of players with tremendous achievements will be left out.

    If you’re a “small Hall” guy, then maybe you just elect (steroids aside) Bonds, Griffey, Clemens, Maddux, Johnson and maybe Piazza.

    If you’re going to base it on the numbers, then Bagwell, Glavine, Biggio, Sosa, Thome, Mussina, Raines, Schilling, Rivera and Hoffman all get hard looks.

    Just depends how you see it, I guess.

  420. Raul Says:

    I think I will say this:

    If you believe that the quality of play increases over time, then the exclusiveness of the Hall of Fame should increase also. Especially if you’re going to use current Hall of Famers as a baseline to induct future Hall of Famers.

  421. Chuck Says:

    The replacement level player changes from year to year.

    Justin Verlander’s WAR last year was 8.6, Denny McLain’s in 1968 was 6.8.

    McLain had the better year.

    WAR SHOULD reflect that.

  422. Chuck Says:

    “If you believe that the quality of play increases over time”

    Or not.

  423. Bob Says:

    Let’s have fun.

    Best swimmer of all-time is current. Phelps

    Best Qb of all-time

    1. Unitas?
    2. Montana
    3. Elway/Marino era
    4. Or do we have hope for the Luck/RGIII era?
    Best Rb of all-time

    1. Brown
    2. Walter Payton
    3. Barry Sanders
    4. The closest guy to those 3 played for Buffalo. Nobody current

    Best WR
    1. Rice
    2. Not even close

    1. Gretsky

    Baseball position players. Rank em
    1. Ruth
    2. Mays
    3. Wagner
    4. Pujols
    5. ARod
    6. Cobb
    Has the talent gotten better or worse?

  424. John Says:

    So, how you perform compared to your peers doesn’t matter?

    Because that’s precisely how winners are picked.

  425. Brautigan Says:

    @ 421: Amen.

  426. Brautigan Says:


    1. Gretzky
    2. Bobby Orr
    3. Whoever is left………..

  427. Raul Says:

    1. Joe Montana
    2. Jim Brown
    3. Sigh. I hate Jerry Rice. I firmly believe he was a product of the system and not all that great. Reluctantly I’ll say Rice. But in terms of ability, I’m going to say Randy Moss is right up there. Sure, Moss is a dick. And he took a lot of plays off in his career. But he’s the most dominant WR I’ve ever seen.

  428. Bob Says:

    John, in certain sports like swimming or track you go by the clock. Ryan Lochte has fewer gold medals than Spitz, but Lochte has faster times. Therefore Lochte is superior to Spitz, the lack of gold medals notwithstanding.

  429. Raul Says:

    I’m not sure that’s true @ Bob.

  430. Bob Says:

    Are you serious? Look at Spitz’ time from 1972, then look at Lochte’s from 2008. in the 36 years since Spitz’s historic accomplishments, swimmers have gotten better. Just like Spitz was better than Schollander, who was better than Weissmuller.

  431. Raul Says:

    I understand that.

    But a lot of advances have occurred that make it possible for Lochte to swim as fast as he has. Advances that Spitz didn’t have the opportunity to take advantage of.

    It would be like saying your children are smarter than Einstein because they can program the DVR.

  432. Raul Says:

    Oh Pete…Pete…what are you doing?

  433. Brautigan Says:

    When Palmer and Thorn said Honus Wagner would hit about .237 if he played today, I about blew snot bubbles.

    Yeah, Honus would hit .237 today because he probably still wore itchy wool uniforms, hit with bats that resemebled trees, and balls that were black from tobacco juice. Give a competitor like Wagner the same uniforms, the same equipment, and the same training techniques available today, and I’ll guarantee you he won’t be hitting .237.

    Are you going to tell me if Charley Hennigan played today, he wouldn’t catch more than 12 footballs in a season?

  434. Raul Says:

    The way the NFL rules are set up to protect quarterbacks now, Brautigan, I’m not sure Marino couldn’t top 6,000 in one season.

  435. John Says:

    I mean, I think these things are all kinda making my point.

    Last year, Matthew Stafford threw for 5038 yards, basically the same as what Dan Marino in his best year.

    Obviously, you account for the fact that Stafford’s numbers are inflated by a passer-friendly league and that he was only like the 3rd or 4th best QB in the game last year. Still outstanding, obviously, but Marino was far and away the best QB the year he threw for 5000 yards.

    When Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968 with a sub-2 ERA, the league leader in batting average was Carl Yastrzemski at .301.

    By the logic displayed in #421, Rusty Greer’s WAR should be higher in 1997 than Yaz’s in 1968, because he had better numbers pretty much across the board. Doesn’t matter that Yaz was the best position player in the league and Greer was like the third best on his own team.

  436. Chuck Says:


    I’m with Raul on that Bob.

  437. John Says:

    So, I got a box of 1981 Fleer cards.

    Steve Carlton’s card…on the front…reads ” “Lefty” The Golden Arm Steve Carlton ”

    I haven’t seen any other cards like that (only other superstar so far is Joe Morgan…with the Astros).

  438. Chuck Says:

    “By the logic displayed in #421, Rusty Greer’s WAR should be higher in 1997 than Yaz’s in 1968, because he had better numbers pretty much across the board.”

    Sure, if you believe WAR to be objective.

  439. Brautigan Says:

    Check out Bobby Bonds in a Cardinal uniform.

  440. Chuck Says:

    “The Marlins and Red Sox are discussing a trade that would send Carl Crawford to Miami for Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell” according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

  441. Raul Says:

    I guess the Red Sox would make him an outfielder.

    LOL. Something that should have happened 3 or 4 years ago.

  442. Chuck Says:

    The next two weeks are, by far, the worst of the entire baseball season.

    All these “insiders” making up trade rumors, competing with each other for TV or radio time.

  443. Raul Says:

    I have it on good authority that the Yankees will trade Derek Jeter to the Braves for Jason Heyward.


  444. John Says:

    @439, got it. Is he wearing number 00?

  445. John Says:

    Wow, I guess so. That’s quite the beard.

  446. John Says:

    Tony LaRussa with the White Sox…

  447. Raul Says:

    Tony LaRussa can die.

  448. John Says:

    Mario Mendoza, with the Mariners.

    If he played for the Mariners today, he’d bat third.

  449. Raul Says:

    For me, the most frustrating thing about pitching wouldn’t be to give up homers or walks.

    The most frustrating thing would be to make a good pitch, have the batter hit a dribbler that goes 7 feet, and beat it out for a hit.

    Fucking bullshit. You hit a ball that weakly, you should be out….on principle.

  450. John Says:

    “Game Saver” Tug McGraw

  451. John Says:

    Typo on a Kent Tekulve card. Apparently he played in 1078.

  452. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck you must know that wqhen i said we should not be #s obsessed that I was referring to the context in which Jackson referred to. Which was HOF honors granted for raw #s. Adjusted #s are an antidote to playing contexts that blow up or minimize #s, & distinguish degree of peak excellence.

    WAR & other formulas are both objective & subjective. They do use a hard formula where any player’s achievements can be plugged in, thus avoid subjective preferences for certain #s, esp. context dependent ones, & amorphous & group meme frone qualities like “most feared”.

    But the equations themselves cannot be entirely objective, though they do show well what correlates with creating wins, runs, preventing runs. Yet there will always be opinion in what factors factored to what degree are useful to creating wins & value. Which does not mean that it is just guesswork. Any statistical analysis of performance is a ’soft science”, other than measuring raw data. It is not like computing the force of gravity or other forces. It is more like using that to make assessments of whether the universe has enough mass to re-collapse. We will not know for sure, but can present increasingly discerning evidence.

    Though of course there are far more unknowns there, like that the vast majority of mass & energy in the universe is invisible.

  453. Raul Says:

    That would be Kentus Tekulvus, to you.

  454. Mike Felber Says:

    Would we pick less player’s today if the quality of play has increased? What if you feel that we should use a certain level of play, regardless of whether training mostly has allowed folks to get better? if you use that rather than relative dominance, you could say take more guys.

    Who is “better” becomes a philosophical question. Everyone can see that if your tools are worse, say bats, balls, pitcher’s parks…Then under neutral conditions you need to must adjust what guys would do under the same conditions. Otherwise all the best pitchers were 19th century, hitters from offensive eras are always better, 7 other absurdities.

    BUT: do you permit guys to have the training & change their base abilities? Seems to me this is NOT assessing the unqualified question of who was better as they were. That is, if all reincarnated & playing in their prime.

    But it would show who would be best given the same tools to maximize potential.

    I read an assessment that placed Brown just under the 3 best RB in raw talent. That is likely right. Now if Brown had the same access to training & cared about defense it might be different.

  455. Raul Says:

    It’s not about picking fewer players.
    It’s about having higher standards.

  456. Bob Says:

    Under 3 guys? Brown? The guy who plated lacrosse and football in college at a big-time program? A guy who averaged 38 points a game in high school basketbal, a Long Island record until some guy named Yastrzemski bettererd it. Who were the top 3 Mike?

  457. Cameron Says:

    @449 If that happens, it’s usually your catcher’s fault. …And yes, incredibly frustrating.

  458. Cameron Says:

    @442 says the Royals could be buyers. I laughed so hard at that.

  459. Chuck Says:


    Putting Raines in the HOF because he has better numbers than the worst LF already in is dumb.

  460. Bob Says:

    Very few things in our country have standards anymore. Little Jr’s. mom needs a bumper sticker telling the community she raised an honor roll child. Dumbshit junior has a 3.0 GPA ( or higher) Colleges are taught to ignore SAT’s and ACT’s which have already been watererd down more than stadium beer.
    That is what I love about swimming, and to a lesser extent track. Who touches the wall or crosses the line first. Seeing is believing. Not this bullshit fuck the bell curve mentality every student gets an A or at the very least passes. Kids have no clue what a proper noun is. I know a couple of people who loved geography in college, and still tell me they were taught that the capital of Michigan is Detroit. No, it’s not.
    Standards… who has them?

  461. Raul Says:

    For you, Bob…

  462. Bob Says:

    Raul, that is so true. Thanks.

  463. Chuck Says:

    So I was digging through my memorabilia stash yesterday looking for something, and came across what I believe is my first, obtained in person autograph(s).

    First thing I noticed which I had forgotten, and goes to show the mindset of the non-collector and/or a kid, is that they are in pencil.

    It is a 1969 game program for the Waterbury Indians (cost a quarter). One of the signatures is by Ron Blomberg, so I looked it up and obviously the opponent that day was the Manchester Yankees.

    Yes, the mighty Yanks once had a farm team on a farm, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

    In looking at the respective rosters, the Yankees had 42 players make an appearance that year, with just three eventually making the major leagues…all position players….Blomberg, Jim Kennedy and Charlie Sands.

    My hometown Indians finished 42-93 and ended up dead last, 17 games behind the fifth place Yankees and 42 behind the first place York Pirates.

    The Indians had 52 players that year, with a little more ML success…Frank Baker, Rob Belloir, Lou Camilli, Vic Correll, Phil Hennigan, Gomer Hodge, Larry Johnson, Ron Law, John Paciorek, Rick Austin, Ed Farmer, Jim Rittwage and Tom Kelley all played at least one game.

    In looking at some of the league leaders, the Reading Phillies had the top two hitters in the league, Steven Kolinsky and Robert Kelly..neither of whom played in the major leagues. The homer and RBI leader was Angel Mangual, who did play, as did his brother, Pepe.

    Some notable players that year include Blomberg, Ron Allen (brother of Dick), Fred Kendall (father of Jason), Jerry Morales, Gene Clines, Rick Miller, John Vuckovich, Stump Merrill and Carlton Fisk.

    Reading also had the two winningest pitchers in the league in Jack Nutter and Ken Reynolds, both with 16. Nutter never played in the show, Reynolds did. The league ERA leader was a guy named Frank Brousseau who did play, saves was Robert Darrah who did not.

    Notable pitchers were Bill Lee, Skip Lockwood and Gene Garber.

  464. Raul Says:

    Even if you suck, I would trade almost anything to be one of those players that can say “I was in the Major Leagues”.

  465. Chuck Says:

    Larry Yount.

    Shortest ML career ever..gets announced into a game, blows his back warming up, and disappears forever.

    But he’s a major leaguer.

  466. Chuck Says:

    Jon Warden..pitches one year, gets a WS ring with the ‘68 Tigers..gets taken in the expansion draft by the Royals and blows his shoulder the next year in spring training.


  467. Chuck Says:

    Happy 49th birthday Mike Greenwell..played 12 seasons, has a .303 lifetime BA, and is the poster child for the term “roid rage”.

    Happy 72nd birthday to future HOFer Joe Torre. Arguably a HOF caliber player based on his 18 year career, but his managerial stint in New York clinches it for him.

  468. Raul Says:

    In 1971 when Joe Torre won the MVP, he led the league with 230 hits.

    Is that the highest hit total in a season by a 3B??

  469. Cameron Says:

    Wade Boggs had 240 in 1985, so I don’t think so.

  470. Raul Says:

    Did a crude search…

    Freddie Lindstrom hit 231 in 1928.
    Tommy Davis hit 230 in 1962, but he did so as an outfielder.

  471. Raul Says:

    Blah, forgot about Boggs.

  472. Raul Says:

    Boggs shouldn’t count. 240 against the Green Monster…it should count as like 195.


  473. Chuck Says:

    Dbacks sent Trevor Bauer to AAA.

  474. Cameron Says:

    Ouch, tough break kid.

  475. Raul Says:

    4 starts
    16.1 innings
    14 hits
    11 ER
    13 BB
    17 strikeouts

    Bauer needs work.
    No need to be upset.

    Mike Trout hit .220 last year in 40 games and this year he’s making an MVP run.

  476. Chuck Says:

    “Mike Trout hit .220 last year in 40 games and this year he’s making an MVP run.”

    And telling Bryce Harper to kiss his ass.

  477. Bob Says:

    Does it boil down to Trout and Cano?

  478. Chuck Says:

    Cano? For MVP?

    He’s not top five.

  479. John Says:

    Cano is top-3, easy.

    Do you have any opinions on baseball that aren’t mindblowingly dumb?

  480. Bob Says:

    Chuck, who are your top-5?

  481. Bob Says:

    Actually you would have Trout and Hamilton as 1-2 or 2-1.

  482. Chuck Says:

    In no particular order…Hamilton, Trout, Konerko..Fielder..Cabrera.

  483. Raul Says:

    OPS isn’t the ultimate gauge, but…

    American League:

    1. David Ortiz – 1.024
    2. Mark Trumbo – .995
    3. Josh Hamilton – .991
    4. Mike Trout – .990
    5. Robinson Cano – .964

    Ortiz is out for obvious reasons. To a certain degree, so is Mark Trumbo.
    So it would appear Cano has an argument, considering position…and assuming no one believes pitchers warrant MVP votes.

  484. Cameron Says:

    It takes a good season and a bad crop of hitters to warrant MVP consideration. Like in 2009, I thought Greinke should’ve been MVP and I stad by that.

  485. Bob Says:

    ” And assuming no one believes pitchers warrant MVP votes.” Not this year.

  486. Chuck Says:

    Cano definitely has an argument.

    Doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

  487. Bob Says:

    Raul just gave a 2-fold argument.

    1. Position
    2. OPS
    3. Another bad argument may be that his team makes the playoffs.

  488. Cameron Says:

    Cano has a case for third or fourth place, but Hamilton has my vote so far. I’ll check back in about 50-60 games when the pick is much safer to make. =P

  489. John Says:

    Robinson Cano: .320/.381/.583 as a very good defensive 2B
    Prince Fielder: .303/.387/.500 as a poor defensive 1B
    Miguel Cabrera: .327/.386/.563 as a poor defensive 3B
    Paul Konerko: .320/.397/.510 as a poor defensive 1B

    Between those four guys, it’s not even a contest.

    Josh Hamilton has fallen off big-time. In the last two months of the season, he has hit just .206/.305/.427. We’ll see how he closes, but I would have Cano edging him too – at this point, Hamilton’s offensive numbers really aren’t that much better than Cano’s, and again, defense. Cano plays 2B and plays it far better than Hamilton plays the outfield.

    That leaves Trout, who would get my vote.



  490. Bob Says:

    Have a good night.

  491. Chuck Says:

    You vote two pitchers in your top five.

    I don’t even need to bother at this point.

  492. John Says:

    You voted for arguably the two worst defensive players in the game.

    But yeah. Two pitchers involved in MORE atbars than batters. That’s a problem.

  493. Raul Says:

    As of this moment, the Yankees lead the AL East by 10 games over the Baltimore Orioles.

    I wonder how much better or worse they would be if Michael Pineda was not injured.

  494. Mike Felber Says:

    Bob-it may have been Sanders Payton & Faulk, or 1 of them could be another guy, not completely sure. But you described a great all around athlete. Though the size & athleticism of the defenses has improved markedly, Brown could not run over folks that effectively today. Relative dominance vs. if reincarnated against equal competition was essentially the question.

    Only reason pitchers on average have more trouble being MVP is the IP. If they were routinely 250-300 like the old daaaze, rather than 200-240, they would deserve it more often than just occasionally merit it.

  495. John Says:

    Yankees are currently on pace for 101 wins.

    I said 99 and you called me crazy. Of course, I was assuming a healthy Pineda, so I can’t claim very much credit.

  496. John Says:

    Cliff Lee went 8 IP, giving up 1 run on 2 hits, and yet again, didn’t win.

    Man, he just doesn’t know how to win baseball games.

  497. Raul Says:

    I stand by you being crazy. The Yankees aren’t that good. They must have done some indian rain dance to win as much as they have.

  498. Raul Says:

  499. Cameron Says:

    Wow… How hard do you have to fuck up to let that slide?

  500. Mike Felber Says:

    Let that slide literally. Unless there is some reason to thing they are not that good, win expectancy or otherwise, they must be about that good.

  501. Chuck Says:

    I had to replay the video three times..I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

    Watch the umpire on the first runner.

    Pitcher throws the ball to the backstop…and the umpire calls the runner out.

    What happened to “keep your eye on the ball”?

  502. Chuck Says:

    “Two pitchers involved in MORE atbars than batters. That’s a problem”

    You’re right.

    This new-fangled “batter X has 700 PA’s, pitcher Y faces 800, so he must be better” is a problem.

    So, before it gets out of yourself a favor.


  503. Lefty33 Says:

    “Cliff Lee went 8 IP, giving up 1 run on 2 hits, and yet again, didn’t win.

    Man, he just doesn’t know how to win baseball games.”

    About damn time he finally pitches like that.

    He has sucked this year as much if not more than he’s been the 20+ million dollar lockdown pitcher he’s being paid to be.

  504. Chuck Says:

    I hate trade rumors..most of what these Olney types say make John sound intelligent, but I heard something on the radio that has me thinking.

    Won’t happen in all likelihood, but it’s got the brainwaves moving..

    Would the Phillies consider trading Cliff Lee for a bucket load of ML ready prospects and/or a few million bucks in order to re-sign Cole Hamels?

    Rumors of Hamel’s next contract START at what Matt Cain got, and could go as high as what Lee signed for.

  505. Chuck Says:

    Best to be sitting down when you read this…

    Astros put Jed Lowrie on the DL..he’s going to miss about 6-8 weeks.

    GM Jeff Luhnow said before the AS game that Brett Wallace will “spend most of the second half” in Houston.

    Guess who has been playing shortstop in AAA?

    Brett Wallace.

    Brett Wallace at SS is like Manny Ramirez in LF.

  506. Chuck Says:

    So, Tacoma and Sacramento play 18 innings last night.

    In the top of the 18th, Sacramento uses back-up infielder Scott Savastano to pitch, he throws a scoreless inning.

    In the bottom of the 18th, he hits a walkoff bomb to make himself the winning pitcher.

    That’s cool.

  507. Bob Says:

    I am usually not caught off-guard when a player is desiganted for assignment, but the Nationals doing that to Rick Ankiel surprised me.

  508. Lefty33 Says:

    I don’t want to get into the whole debate of possibilities on this but Stark has been on ESPN radio in Philly saying that his “sources” have it that the Phillies final offer to Hamels is something in the 6/130-135 neighborhood and that Amaro has also supposedly figured out a way to offer him that kind of money without going over the luxury tax threshold next year which is more or less verboten with Montgomery.

    Now with that in mind, assuming that Hamels gets about 22 million for next year that would give the Phillies around 134 million on the books to eight guys for ‘13.

    (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Howard, Utley, Nix, Kendrick, Papelbon, and Rollins)

    Now obviously the team probably cannot field a competitive roster with only 40 million or so for everybody else especially when you have:

    1. Another round of arbitration coming with Pence

    2. A cheap option for Ruiz that you have to pick up and the pressure of a possible extension needed for him with Sebastian Valle not looking so hot at Reading this year

    3. 6/7 of a bullpen that needs to be figured out and that you can’t dumpster dive on again

    4. Probably two OF spots

    5. Your bench with the exception of Nix

    6. A starting 3B.

    7. The #5 spot in the rotation

    Now with this to me Amaro only has two choices:

    A. He moves at least one or two of this years FA and/or big contract core guys to attempt to have the money for Hamels and to be able to get at least one or two major league ready players to be able to fill in the 3B spot and/or one OF spot for ‘13.

    Though if he does this he’s got to get at least something in return that will be ready to play next year. Getting prospects that are years away won’t cut it when the core of your team is still win now-older and you will alienate them and the fanbase by going all younger prospects in return as to me that only signals a white flag for ’13.

    B. He sticks with the big money guys and attempts to fill in the roster by using guys like Brown, Cloyd, May, De Fratus, and Aumont next year while hoping for the best on the secondary FA market to fill in 3B, LF, and the rest.

    If he goes with B I think he’s canned after the ’13 season because that route is doomed as a repeat of this year’s mess of a roster.

    He’s got to go with A especially if Montgomery is still adamant about paying no tax.

    Personally I think Lee is seriously overrated and he’s been a big mistake since he came to Philly. But with a contract of his size there are only 3-4 places that he can moved to unless you’re eating salary but that defeats part of the reason you’re trying to move him in the first place.

    If they can move Lee….do it.
    If they can move Pierre….do it.
    If they can move Polanco…do it.
    If they can move Rollins….do it.

    The big guys going forward are Hamels and Pence.

    They need to keep them to be relevant moving forward.

    The rest (Lee, Victorino, Rollins, etc.) can all be replaced with minimal loss especially when it’s weighed against what they’re getting paid.

    Doing that would set up an opening day lineup of:

    C Ruiz
    1B Howard
    2B Utley
    SS Galvis
    3B FA/Trade pickup
    LF FA/Trade pickup
    CF Brown
    RF Pence
    SP Halladay

    And that’s not too shabby especially if you can keep it under 178.

  509. Chuck Says:

    “Personally I think Lee is seriously overrated…”

    Amen to that.

  510. Chuck Says:

    Don’t like Brown in center.

    Bring back Scott Rolen for third, I doubt the Orioles will pick up Mark Reynolds’ option.

    Melky? Delmon Young?

    Sign BJ Upton and put Brown in left?

  511. Raul Says:

    Who is going to take on that Lee contract?

    The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels have to be out. Texas has to find money for Hamilton.

    The Dodgers? San Francisco?

  512. Raul Says:


    Imagine that! If the Giants traded Melky to the Phillies for Cliff Lee. Hahaha.

  513. Cameron Says:

    Best bet is probably the Dodgers. Sabean never picks up his phone when other GMs call him.

  514. Chuck Says:

    According to, the Marlins will soon “become sellers”.

    If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m on the phone seeing what it would cost for Stanton.

  515. Chuck Says:

    Melky’s a free agent.

  516. Chuck Says:

    Nice present..Nationals DFA’d Ankiel on his birthday.

    No class.

  517. Cameron Says:

    @514 An arm, leg, firstborn child, and immortal soul.

  518. Raul Says:

    Robinson Cano turns 30 on October 22nd. He has a team option for the 2013 season for 15 million that will get picked up by the Yankees.

    So I wonder what the Yankees do. He’ll be 31 by the time he becomes a Free Agent, and while I’m sure he will sign a huge contract, 31 isn’t an age where you get 200 million.

    I guess they will re-sign him. There should be a number of contracts off the books for the 2014 season. But 2013 will remain expensive.

    2013 Season/2014 Season

    Curtis Granderson: 13 million/FA
    Rafael Soriano: 14 million/FA
    Robinson Cano: 15 million/FA
    Derek Jeter: 17 million/8 million player option
    AJ Burnett: 8.5 million/contract off the books

    Russell Martin is a FA after 2012.
    So is Hiroki Kuroda.

    I think Martin leaves. The Yankees will probably want Kuroda back, but will he take another 1 year deal? Because a 2 year deal for him only makes sense if it’s front-loaded.

    The Yankees have a lot of bad contracts, but I can’t believe they’re paying Rafael Soriano that kind of money.

  519. Cameron Says:

    No, it’s an age where you get 240 million.

  520. Chuck Says:

    Nothing on the transaction wire indicating Ankiel being released.

  521. Raul Says:

    For Giancarlo Stanton?

    That conversation wouldn’t even start if it didn’t include Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams.

  522. Chuck Says:

    “31 isn’t an age where you get 200 million”

    Alex Rodriguez on line one.

  523. Chuck Says:

    CC Sabathia on line two.

  524. Raul Says:

    BTW, Yankees prospect Tyler Austin was apparently promoted from A-ball, to Advanced A-ball after hitting .320/.405/.598 in 70 games. Or as Chuck may prefer: .320/14/54

    Seems like a dick move. I would have thought he’d go straight to AA. But maybe he doesn’t know how to slide or some shit.

  525. Cameron Says:

    Pujols on three…

  526. Chuck Says:

    By 2014, the Yanks payroll has to be below $189 million to avoid luxury tax penalties.

    If they’re going to resign Robbie, then some other guys are going to be taking a walk.

    Soriano…see ya…Granderson…see ya…Swisher….see ya

  527. Lefty33 Says:

    “Don’t like Brown in center”

    I don’t like Brown in center either but clearly Amaro has a mancrush on him, like K-Berry and Kendrick, and I would be very surprised if he is not on the roster very soon being given his 80th chance at making it.

    Amaro will look like an idiot if he gives up on Brown for nothing or if he moves him and he suddenly “figures it out” so to me that combined with likely needing to fill the CF and LF spots next year means that Amaro is going to ride him either into the ground or into a serviceable OF.

    “Bring back Scott Rolen for third”

    Scott Rolen playing in a major market and for the same ownership that he flipped the bird to by turning down more money to not play in Philly? LOL!

    “I doubt the Orioles will pick up Mark Reynolds’ option”

    They would be better off sticking with a Polanco/Fontenot platoon.

    “Sign BJ Upton and put Brown in left?”

    Before he got hurt Brown actually looked good this year in CF and they seemed committed to him playing there, although six months ago they were committed to him playing LF and a year ago they were committed to him playing RF and since he got off the DL they put him back in LF in favor of Kyle Hudson in CF.

    I do like the idea of Upton though.

    “Texas has to find money for Hamilton.”

    The Rangers have 84 million committed to nine guys next year.

    If they are committed to being a 178 team they could very easily spend on Hamilton and Lee without blinking and be in decent shape for tax purposes with a quality roster.

  528. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, BA/HR/RBI is THE slash line.

  529. Chuck Says:

    Speaking of Berry, I bet Amaro wishes he has Quentin back, or even Anthony Gose for that matter.

  530. Chuck Says:

    Yep, it’s official now..Ankiel DFA’d to make room for Drew Storen.

  531. John Says:

    “Sorry, BA/HR/RBI is THE slash line”

    for retards

  532. John Says:

    “This new-fangled “batter X has 700 PA’s, pitcher Y faces 800, so he must be better” is a problem.

    So, before it gets out of yourself a favor.


    You’re a fucking idiot.

    Come up with a justification for your stupid ideas or get out.

    Seriously, why should pitchers not be included? THEY ARE INVOLVED IN MORE PLAYS. Of course they should be included in the MVP discussion. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t pay attention to baseball games and clearly is unaware of the most important person on the team.

  533. Chuck Says:’re such an idiot John.

  534. Chuck Says:

    “Come up with a justification for your stupid ideas or get out.”

    Kettle or Pot?

  535. John Says:

    You have yet to justify why pitching to 1000 batters is somehow WAY less valuable than having 700 PA’s + whatever you do on defense.

  536. John Says:

    And for the record, you can’t.

    If pitchers were significantly less valuable, it would reflect in their salaries.

    11 of the top 25 highest paid players in baseball are pitchers.

  537. Brautigan Says:

    Two things. Chuck, you’re wrong. Brett Wallace at SS is like Manny playing 3B, not LF. (I have a real hard time picturing Wallace at SS. Right now, in 4 games, he has 2 errors at that position. Ouch)

    Second. Of course there are out-liers, but sometimes, a stat is just a stat. Case in point: The Angels shelled out a lot of money for Albert Pujols. He is getting $12 million this year. He is hitting .278/.346/.489 in 352 at bats. Pujols has scored 50 runs an has drove in 57. He has 17 homeruns to his tally.

    Now take the much maligned Pedro Alvarez (We have all taken our shots at Alvarez). Pittsburgh is paying him $2.2 million this year. He has hit a career high 19 homeruns and in 278 at bats, he his line is .227/.294/.486. He has scored 42 times and driven in 55 runs.

    Mind boggling, isn’t it?

  538. Brautigan Says:

    John: You’re begging the question.

    You know, I know, the reason starting pitchers make so much money is an allocation of resources. Less quality starting pitching means greater demand, greater demand equals higher salaries for those that fall into that category.

    Now if you want to argue that pitching is so important to the overall game by virtue of performance and impact, I’m all ears.

  539. Bob Says:

    The Royals signed Jason Kendall. Cameron, thoughts?

  540. Raul Says:

    For those of you who may not have had the chance to check the MLB page on, ESPN has now added WAR to their stats page.

  541. Bob Says:

    Fred Willard pulled a Pee Wee Herman. And got arrested for it.

  542. Bob Says:

    @ 540. Hot damn

  543. Chuck Says:

    Pujols is having the worst year of his 11 year career and at age 32 is still performing better over-all than a guy 8 years younger who is having a career year.

    Even at that, Alavarez is still overpaid.

  544. Brautigan Says:

    I wonder if they will lampoon Willard on “Trust us with your life”. Talk about edgy tv.

    Hey, that’s a great deal of publicity for Willard. 72 and he can still manipulate the system……god bless America, ya know?

  545. Raul Says:

    And for those who may be curious…these are ESPN’s leaders in offensive WAR thus far:

    1. Andrew McCutchen 5.6
    2. Mike Trout 4.5
    3. David Wright 4.4
    4. Miguel Cabrera 3.9
    5. Robinson Cano 3.9
    6. Joey Votto 3.9
    7. Adam Jones 3.7
    8. Josh Willingham 3.6
    9. Carlos Ruiz 3.6
    10. Melky Cabrera 3.5
    11. Mark Trumbo 3.5

    Josh Hamilton is tied for 18th with Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Bautista and Josh Reddick, with 3.0

    Make of that whatever you like.

  546. Chuck Says:

    “For those of you who may not have had the chance to check the MLB page on, ESPN has now added WAR to their stats page.”

    Fred Willard saw it first.

  547. Chuck Says:

    “Make of that whatever you like.”

    It’s like inviting your new girlfriend over for dinner and you bought some steaks off the back of a truck and are trying to figure out how to impress her without spending two days in ICU.

  548. Brautigan Says:

    Chuck: My point is/was, Alvarez is on a team that scores just a little less than the Angels, yet, given his stat line, he has had a heck of a lot of productivity. He has earned his money, yet, has Pujols? In the end, Alvarez contract will be the better deal, because Pittsburgh owns the team option at the end of the season. And what do the Angels have? A long ass contract.

  549. Raul Says:

    There must be quite an emphasis on defense and base running in ESPN’s WAR statistic.

    Carlos Beltran is batting .292/.375/.527 (OPS .902) — WAR 2.4
    Chase Headley is batting .268/.366/.425 (OPS .795) — WAR 2.5

  550. John Says:

    ” I know, the reason starting pitchers make so much money is an allocation of resources. Less quality starting pitching means greater demand, greater demand equals higher salaries for those that fall into that category.”

    Or, in other words, how value is defined.

    The argument that Chuck dismisses without even a little bit of a rebuttal, is that pitchers are involved in roughly as many plate appearances as position players.

    Last year, Justin Verlander faced 969 batters.
    The #2 in MVP votes was Jacoby Ellsbury, who had 732 plate appearances and was involved with 394 plays in the outfield. So that’s…1120 at-bats that he was involved in. The 2010 MVP was Josh Hamilton who had 571 plate appearances and was involved with 267 plays in the outfield, which adds up to fewer at-bats than Verlander had batters-faced in his MVP season.

    Sure, outfielders are supposed to be doing something on every play, but I’m not about to pick an MVP based on how many times he backed up second base.

    On a per-game basis, a position player can expect to bat 4 times and be involved in 2-10 plays, depending on their position (with 10 being a 1B, the easiest position). A pitcher will face around 25-30 batters. So even if they’re only going out there every 5 games, are they not involved in around 5x as many plays per game, thus cancelling that out?

  551. Bob Says:

    Stop feeding her steak and just ply her with plenty of liquor. Then give her the hot beef injection.

  552. John Says:

    “Josh Hamilton is tied for 18th with Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Bautista and Josh Reddick, with 3.0″

    I have no idea what ESPN does, but Josh Hamilton is going on about two months of sucking something else, so it’s not really surprising me that he isn’t grading out as high as you’d think.

    I mean, he has basically been replacement level for 2 months. Which means before that, he was playing at like 10+ WAR/162-game clip, which is exceptional.

  553. Chuck Says:

    Peter Gammons thinks the Yankees will sign Ankiel.

    Does that mean bye-bye for Swisher?

    Not sure what, if anything they could get for him.

  554. Chuck Says:

    “The argument that Chuck dismisses without even a little bit of a rebuttal..”

    This has been rebutted almost as much as Tim Raines.

  555. John Says:

    No, it hasn’t.

    You’ve made no attempt.

    Just given some stupid, old-timey dismissal.

  556. Raul Says:

    I think the concern would be that while Ankiel certainly has power, he doesn’t get on base the way Swisher can.

    Gammons is right. Ankiel could be a valuable player off the bench. But I wouldn’t get rid of Swisher to play Ankiel full-time.

    Swisher will be gone at the end of the year, though.

  557. Chuck Says:

    Not today, retard.


    Have we talked about Raines today?

    You have the attention span of a two year old.

  558. Chuck Says:

    Yanks have enough lefties…Ibanez, Chavez, Granderson, Swisher and Tex against righties, Cano.

    I like Ankiel myself, he’s a good outfielder and has some pop, but his game is too similar to the guys they already have.

  559. John Says:

    Try me, Chuck.

    Because I think CC Sabathia’s accountant would beg to differ.

    Or Justin Verlander’s trophy cleaning maid.

  560. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t get into this argument about salaries reflecting importance or value.

    I did just mention Rafael Soriano, for chrissakes…

  561. John Says:


    But that’s like the ceiling for a reliever’s contract. They’re overpaid, but it’s not like anyone of them see 100 million dollar deals or 20 million dollar annual salaries.

  562. Chuck Says:

    “Try me, Chuck.”

    Learned my lesson, thankyou.

    If there’s one thing I got from you and Shaun and a few others is the cumulative ignorance of the sabermetric followers is endless. You’re so fixated in your beliefs and in what you think is a better way of doing things you’ve lost touch with reality.

    Adding a batter’s PA’s and his defensive chances to a pitcher’s batters faced is a new low, and for a guy with your supposed intelligence to not see that…well maybe you’re better off being a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report.

  563. Raul Says:

    SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Reds and Marlins won picks after the first round of next year’s draft in Major League Baseball’s competitive balance lottery.

    The lottery involved the 10 teams with the lowest revenue and 10 in the smallest markets and was six picks after the first round. A club’s odds of winning the lottery were based on its winning percentage last season.

    The teams that did not win a pick after the first round were entered into another lottery for picks after the second round.

    The Padres, Indians, Rockies, Athletics, Brewers and Tigers won second-round picks.

    The competitive balance draft was agreed upon as part of the new labor agreement.

  564. John Says:

    Your inability to understand basic math is insane to me.

    You’ve literally made no argument.

  565. Chuck Says:

    #563..The two teams which didn’t get a pick?

    Cardinals and Rays.

  566. Chuck Says:

    “You’ve literally made no argument.”


    This topic has been discussed before, and like Raines and WAR and whatever else has been beaten to death.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, if you think that’s a good way to compare pitchers to hitters, then bloody good for you.

    I’d much rather sit on the floor with my daughter with a bowl of popcorn and a Dora the Explorer marathon.

  567. John Says:

    You’ve never made an argument at any point, just called it stupid.

  568. Chuck Says:

    “You’ve never made an argument at any point, just called it stupid.”

    Today, John, today.

    Not yesterday or tomorrow…T O D A Y.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  569. John Says:

    Never, at any point in the history of time, ever, have you ever made a compelling argument as to why pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP.


  570. John Says:

    Last season, Justin Verlander gave up 50 fewer earned runs than an average pitcher would have in 250 IP. He surrendered 70 fewer hits, and walked 28 fewer guys.

    In 2010, Josh Hamilton had an extra 50 hits, and produced (using the old fashioned RBI+R-HR formula) 43 more runs.

  571. Raul Says:

    Just because a pitcher is involved in more plays doesn’t necessarily mean they should be considered for the MVP. That’s just the nature of the position.

    A 1st baseman touches the baseball more than a right fielder. That doesn’t mean the 1B should get more consideration because he was involved in more plays.

  572. John Says:

    But a pitcher’s involvement on any given play is higher.

  573. Chuck Says:

    Matt Harvey is starting for the Mets on Saturday..if you can grab him in your fantasy league..go for it.

  574. Raul Says:

    To the extent that the pitcher releases the baseball? That’s pretty weak.

    A 1st baseman’s involvement on any given play is higher than the center fielders.
    A catcher’s involvement is higher than the 1st baseman’s.

    But you aren’t arguing a catcher for MVP because he’s involved in X-many pitches or plays per year.

  575. Raul Says:

    Dear lord.

    I was offering this guy Mark Teixeira for Colby Rasmus, and he turned me down a few weeks ago.

    Now Teixeira is on a hot streak…and get this….that guy just dropped Rasmus off his team to pick up….Alejandro De Aza.


  576. Chuck Says:

    A year ago today John..what clothes did you wear to work?

    What did you have for lunch?

    What did we talk about here?

  577. Chuck Says:

    #574..Thanks for he can crawl up your ass for awhile.

  578. John Says:

    “But you aren’t arguing a catcher for MVP because he’s involved in X-many pitches or plays per year.”

    But is he the most important person involved on those plays?

    I would argue the pitcher is the single most important player on every play, and the batter a close second.

  579. Raul Says:

    But is he the most important person involved on those plays?

    I would argue the pitcher is the single most important player on every play, and the batter a close second.

    If you believe that, then wouldn’t you be voting a lot more pitchers for MVP than hitters?

  580. Brautigan Says:

    John: I would argue the catcher is the most important position player on the field. Yup, even more important than the pitcher. (of course, that has diminshed a bit since many coaches are calling games vs. the catcher calling the game.) The way I look at it, the catcher is the QB on the team.

    But hey, that is just an opinion, I’d play hell trying to objectively round up logic to back up my argument.

  581. Brautigan Says:

    Would someone tell David Wright he is DAVID WRIGHT! He just hit two jacks off of Gio Gonzalez. Sheesh.

  582. Brautigan Says:

    Oppps, one off of Gio, the other off of Craig Stammen.

  583. Brautigan Says:

    This must be Superman’s “Bizzaro” world. Willie Bloomquist is hitting over .300.

  584. Chuck Says:

    “Willie Bloomquist is hitting over .300″

    Braut’s favorite player.

  585. John Says:


    I would say that a starting pitcher is the MVP of 75% or so of individual games.

    But they contribute nothing 4 games out of 5, so it balances out.


    I certainly think catchers should receive a major intangible boost. I would give Mauer two more MVP’s (06, 08).

  586. Chuck Says:

    “I would say that a starting pitcher is the MVP of 75% or so of individual games.”

    Even despite the fact he pitches 65% of the game?

  587. Raul Says:


    I would say that a starting pitcher is the MVP of 75% or so of individual games.

    But they contribute nothing 4 games out of 5, so it balances out.

    I suppose. But in the comments above, you were throwing out the number of times pitchers affected the game throughout the entire season and made no mention that their contribution is limited to 1 day a week.

    In any case, I’ll move on.
    Though I think if a pitcher is going to be an MVP, he should probably finish what he starts. I mean if Alex Rodriguez came out of every game in the 7th inning, I don’t think he wins that MVP.

    Just saying.

  588. John Says:

    But Josh Hamilton can miss a quarter of the season and win MVP?

  589. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t have voted him for MVP.

  590. Raul Says:

    BTW, Hamilton missed 18% of the season, not 25%

  591. Chuck Says:

    Hamilton played in 82% of the Rangers’ games, Verlander 21%.

    So Hamilton had an impact in 61% more games than Verlander did.

    Best pitcher? Yes.

    MVP? No chance. Not even close.

  592. Bob Says:

    @ 563. I believe these picks can be traded.

  593. John Says:

    If not for Hamilton, the Rangers would have won about 9 fewer games.

    If not for Verlander, the Tigers would have won about 9 fewer games.

    Same thing.

  594. Chuck Says:

    Subjective opinion based on a subjective stat.

  595. Mike Felber Says:

    This is really a matter of degree. Chuck I have agreed with you on some things recently, yet you reflexively dis SM, or keep mocking Raines for the HOF, & then get the vapors/cannot be bothered to argue when folks object.

    There are many ways to judge who did more over a year. It seems clear that sometimes pitchers do more. Finishing the game? We can see that the workload of pitchers makes it exponentially harder to do so effectively than a position player. I think that more pitchers likely should have won MVP in past years when they threw more. Now, occasionally they are still the best.

    So the Verlander & Hamilton comparison above-it seems about right. With monster years by both pitchers position players, the IPs mean that the latter should generally deserve the laurels. But when you miss 18% of games, that is likely to make it more of a toss up, or give it to the pitcher. They used to average close to 18% more IP!

    Does this not seem reasonable to folks here? And what years before the 80’s/with a bigger workload do you think a pitcher SHOULD have had the MVP?

  596. Raul Says:

    Pentagon proposes 487 billion in military cuts over a decade.
    Romney wants to increase military spending — by as much as 2 trillion.

    Obama is evil! Government spends too much!

    …unless it’s to preserve the military industrial complex which is the biggest fucking pile of wasted dollars ever and has only served to generate hatred around the world.

    I really need to live out my days in a country nobody gives a fuck about so I can live in peace. Perhaps New Zealand. Or Cambodia.

  597. Mike Felber Says:

    It is an idiotic meme that bigger is always worse, taxes should always be lower, regardless of who, the economy, whether programs or revenue leads to growth, jobs, or general welfare. A complete socialism or unfettered free enterprise absent any regulation would be nightmarish, but Dems have been semi-retarded in not immediately refuting as childish ideas like less is always more (unless it is more breaks & benefits & less regulations for the super rich, their PACS, & big corps).

    This swift boat like demagoguery 7 double talk has had too much traction for decades. As the rights & fortunes of only the upper echelon has increased, dramatically.

    Don’t forget the prison industrial complex that keeps whole segments of society down while enriching increasingly dubious groups. Blackwater is a toxic hybrid of privatization, deregulation & profiteering.

  598. Chuck Says:

    “This is really a matter of degree. Chuck I have agreed with you on some things recently, yet you reflexively dis SM, or keep mocking Raines for the HOF, & then get the vapors/cannot be bothered to argue when folks object”

    I’ll tell you the same thing I told John..this topic has been discussed before. And just like the Raines issue has been beaten well beyond death. Just because he forgot, or you did, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and instead of respecting the fact no one wants to get into it again, you act like a couple of whining douchebags because no one wants to play with you.

    Why not reflexively dismiss sabermetrics? Most of them are worthless, and you live in this fantasy world that major league teams are all now analysis driven and the old fart scouting networks no longer have relevance.

    The sabermetric community lives on the internet, not in major league front offices. Deal with it.

  599. Raul Says:

    I have read about the prison industrial complex, Mike.

    It is very troubling.

  600. Raul Says:

    Word is the Red Sox will aggressively pursue all options as the trade deadline approaches.

    But they also said that doesn’t guarantee anyone gets traded.

    Fine, but then what the hell is the point?
    There’s talk about trading Crawford. I don’t see anyone taking on him, though.

  601. John Says:

    Every team worth half a shit uses sabermetrics.

    There’s a very good reason why Jim Hendry and Omar Minaya are on the unemployment line.

    They ignored progress, and their teams paid the price.

    Meanwhile, the teams with high WAR’s will have high win totals, and the teams with low WAR’s will have low win totals. This happens every year.

    But sure, Chuck. Pitchers are useless.

  602. Chuck Says:

    “Every team worth half a shit uses sabermetrics.”

    You don’t know that.

    You WISH that were true, but you honestly have no idea.

    Blind leading the blind, lemmings off the cliff, call it what you want.

    When ML teams look to cut the fat, what’s the first thing that goes? Their stat geek departments, because general managers have learned over the years you can get a circus monkey to do the work, or some college kid who’ll work for a badge and a parking pass.

  603. Chuck Says:

    Three years ago, there were 20 ML teams with full stat there are nine.

    Suck it.

  604. Chuck Says:

    These Carl Crawford rumors must be another one of Olney’s daydreams.

    The guy’s played what, a week, and has a gazillion dollars on his contract, and the Sox think they can trade him?

  605. Mike Felber Says:

    Lol, these fights are fun when I know that the parties involved are gleefully taking the piss out of each other, absent deep animus & darkness.

    As you know Raul, we only have progressed when a small # wanted to make us a better place, like make woman & minorities not 2nd class abused citizens. Now it is more like most all trapped without great resources, esp. #, get victimized by the profiteering systems like prisons & drug laws.

    If we followed those who just waved the flag & said falsely all is free & great, we would not have nearly the liberty & opportunity we have now. Now the sad irony is that while Obama has the smarts & aggression to not allow a swift boat-like demagoguery, he has been largely co-opted by the powers that be. On civil liberties, banking, & the military + prison industrial complex.

    I will vote for a 3rd party candidate.

  606. Chuck Says:

    Obama and Romney are such douchebags I would vote for you Mike if you were the third party candidate.

  607. Chuck Says:

    The problem here is there are so few users and the new material is scattered at best that we end up TV Land..rerunning old classics so often we can’t stand them anymore.

    I’ll talk the HOF with anyone at anytime, but as soon as what’s his name comes up, that’s it for me….after three years the mere mention of walk rate and SB% will make my head explode.

  608. Brautigan Says:

    I argue with myself about catchers. They normally do not play close to 160 games in a season, yet, Dale Murphy in an 8 year span missed 19 games. That’s hard to achieve, yet, Murph did not miss a game for 4 straight seasons.

    That’s the stuff of MVP.

  609. Brautigan Says:

    Nixon. Worst President ever.
    Ford. Worst President ever.
    Carter. Worst President ever.
    Reagan. Worst President ever.
    Bush. Worst President ever.
    Clinton. Worst President ever.
    Bush. Worst President ever.
    Obama. Worst President ever.

    See a pattern?

  610. Cameron Says:

    We’re screwed?

  611. Bob Says:

    Btaut, I have never seen Reagan or Clinton called the worst. The others yes. The 3 most frequently?

    1. Nixon
    2. Carter
    3. LBJ
    4. Perhaps just me.

  612. Cameron Says:

    So guys, I’m gonna have to moveinto a homeless shelter since there’s some family my roommate has to put up. Hopefully it won’t be for long. This is actually kind of a step up for me since I’ll be able to get back on food stamps and get a welfare-to-work credit so my job troubles may end soon.

  613. Raul Says:

    Damn dude.

  614. Cameron Says:

    Eh, shit happens bro.

  615. Bob Says:

    Cam, best of luck.

  616. Chuck Says:

    Send me $50 and I know someone who can take out your roommate.

    You move a few hundred miles with someone you trust and then get bounced without a place to live or an income?

    Fuck that, bullets are cheap.

  617. Lefty33 Says:

    “Every team worth half a shit uses sabermetrics.”

  618. Mike Felber Says:

    Well I hope he is completely kidding about the bullets, but i agree with Chuck that is reprehensible. The guy is a “friend” & knows you will have to go to a homeless shelter? If there is no way he can even give you a space on the floor he should pay for a cheap hotel for you!

    I hope that shelters are better there than in NYC. It is a crime here how our tax dollars pay for them, & they allow them to be dens of violence, thievery, & general intimidation. There is no accountability with the workers. I’ll bet it is better for you Cam.

    No shame at all in having to live there. Reporters should go undercover & write an expose of what we pay for. Perhaps you can write about it, & later do something with it, even if, likely, more colorful roughing it than horrible.

  619. Lefty33 Says:

    “Every team worth half a shit uses sabermetrics.”

    Nothing like another useless, pointless, factless, and overall total dumbass statement and post from you John with #601.

    I can see that lately you’ve been having some PMS issues, hence the non-stop pissy tone towards everybody, but seriously tighten your tampon string princess and quit with the whole I’m superior complex because you sound like and come across like a douche more and more with each post.

    WAR has nothing to do with why guys like Minaya, Hendry (neither of whom are unemployed by the way dumbass) and others have failed.

    There are many reasons for each GM’s failure and almost all of them have nothing to do with not drinking the acronym laden Kool-Aid like you do.

  620. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks Chuck, especially since we have different political views! Sure, just write in my name-of course better yet, help encourage the dissolution of the undemocratic straitjacketing that is the 2 party system, & write in someone who you research & believe in!

    I do not believe that all Presidents are getting worse, but it is a sad irony that as things get more free & follow broadly our revolutionary model, we show more signs of the corruption of empire. Concentration of wealth & power, restrictions on our general rights & our de facto economic freedom& idiocracy-level (sic) demagoguery.

    As Assad has fled Syria, & it is a full scale Civil War. You can never predict how things end up with the cascading unpredictable non-linear chain of causes & effects. With the example we set, changes loosed especially with The Internet & modern technology/information revolution, the world may get to be a significantly better place over decades.

    If you compare the level of health & measurable misery worldwide now compared to about any time in the past, things have improved. Whether the US, starting from a high level of freedom & prosperity, continues to sink & dis-empower
    its citizens or turns it around over the next generation or so…

    We cannot really know.

    With all the foolishness &

  621. Mike Felber Says:

    Last line migrated of its own accord, ignore the man behind the curtain. The fact remains we cannot know if things will improve here. But it does look like it will at least get worse before it gets better. Because pandering to the masses on a nearly retarded level while redistributing more power & rights away from them to the elite & corporate classes & attendant demagogues seems to work pretty well.

    For now.

  622. Raul Says:

    Oh, Omar Minaya…

    He came aboard in 2004 and signed Pedro and Beltran.

    Look, I can understand the Pedro signing at the time. Yes it was a lot of money but that was probably necessary to jump-start the franchise. And there’s really nothing you can complain about with the Beltran contract. Ton of money, but he played well for them.

    I didn’t like the Delgado deal. And let’s face it, if Oliver Perez would have pitched to his ability, the Mets probably appear in a couple of NLCS series, and maybe even a World Series. That guy had tremendous stuff. What a let down. I mean, I think Minaya did well to GET Perez. But the contract he gave him was TERRIBLE.

    The Moises Alou was a waste of money.

    He traded away Heath Bell. He traded away Matt Lindstrom. He traded away Brian Bannister — by the way, I actually thought that kid had potential. Bannister is out of the game now, but he could have been solid.

    The K-Rod deal was stupid. So was the trade to get JJ Putz.
    There’s the Jason Bay contract. I didn’t think Bay would fall off the map, though. That’s…slightly unfair to Minaya…I mean, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. After all, Minaya never did much to give the Mets a solid LFer before Jason Bay.

    The ironic thing is that Minaya actually traded Jason Bay to the Mets in 2002…when he ran the Expos.

    Wait a goddamn minute.

    Omar Minaya traded Jason Bay and Jimmy Serrano to the Mets for Lou Collier.
    ….Jimmy Serrano???

    That name sounds familiar…
    I was watching Midnight Run today with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. The mobster’s name in that movie? Jimmy Serrano. Hahaha. What a fun movie.

    Anyway, I’d say there’s a pattern of Minaya making some pretty bad deals. And he never really drafted well.

    How much does Sabermetrics play a part in all that? Well, you tell me…

    Perhaps a saberhead argues that Minaya shouldn’t have dealt so much, and offered so much money for relievers (K-Rod, Putz, Wagner). I agree. But how much of that could be tied to sabermetric thinking? I’m not sure.

    That he sent away some pretty decent prospects in Vargas, Lindstrom and Bell shows that maybe he didn’t see the big picture. So maybe he wasn’t listening to his baseball people. Or maybe he was getting bad advice. Or maybe he felt too much pressure to win now…or too much pressure to keep up with the Yankees.

    I will say this much…
    The Mets lost Jose Reyes. They lost Carlos Beltran. They could lose David Wright. And Jason Bay has pretty much already lost his job. But considering all that and the financial constraints, I think the franchise is in good shape for the future. Most of it will likely be a credit to Sandy Alderson. But some of those players have come under Omar Minaya.

  623. Chuck Says:

    Omar Minaya has had success in his career, but the way people crush him on his failures you’d think he’s totally incompetent.

    Billy Beane gets praised like nobody’s business, and yet he’s had more failures than anyone, including Minaya.

  624. Chuck Says:

    “Well I hope he is completely kidding about the bullets…”

    Your ability to grasp the obvious never ceases to amaze me.


  625. Chuck Says:

    Looks like the Phillies have decided to go all in on Hamels..Olney said this morning on Mike and Mike the deal is in the 6/133 range.

    Olney said according to Jayson Stark that Hamels had left open the possibility of exploring the market after the season and that the Rangers are standing by with “a competitive package that the Phils would have a hard time saying no to” if they decide to move him.

  626. Chuck Says:

    #619..Well said, Lefty, once again the voice of reason is apparent.

  627. Chuck Says:

    “acronym laden Kool-Aid”

    Gonna write that one down.

  628. Bob Says:

    Mike Rizzo has now recanted the 160 innings limit for Stephen Strasburg, saying it will be decided by an “eye test.” Rizzo also said it will be his decision, not ownerships or Davey Johnson’s.

  629. Chuck Says:

    I guess Rizzo likes having a job.

  630. John Says:

    Only Chuck has the mathematical ineptitude to think that making the playoffs one time in 7 years with a 150 million dollar payroll is more impressive than making it 5 times in 7 years with a 40 million dollar payroll.

    Also, RBI is an acronym, dumbass. And yet you use it all the time.

    Even though it’s basically 80% the result of who your teammates are.

  631. John Says:

    “WAR has nothing to do with why guys like Minaya, Hendry (neither of whom are unemployed by the way dumbass) and others have failed.”

    The ONLY way for teams with 150+ million dollar payrolls in the biggest markets on Earth to fail as consistently as those guys did is to ignore progresses made in the game, such that team with a fraction of the resources have no trouble blowing you away with their competitive advantage.

  632. Chuck Says:

    “Only Chuck has the mathematical ineptitude to think that making the playoffs one time in 7 years with a 150 million dollar payroll is more impressive than making it 5 times in 7 years with a 40 million dollar payroll.”

    “Nothing like another useless, pointless, factless, and overall total dumbass statement..”

    Well, that didn’t take nearly as long as I thought.

  633. John Says:

    Hey Chuck, tell me more about how Harper is doomed to failure because he wears too much eye black.

    I wanna read that discussion.

  634. Chuck Says:

    Hey John, why don’t you stop making shit up and address what I said in #602. can’t…because you made up the “every team worth a shit uses sabermetrics claim”.

    Haha..Harper will fail because of his eye black…you’re a piece of work.

  635. Chuck Says:

    Ten player trade between Toronto and Houston

    To Houston: P Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, P Joe Musgrove, P Asher Wojciechowski, P David Rollins, C Carlos Perez, PTBNL

    To Toronto: P Brandon Lyon, P David Carpenter, P JA Happ

  636. Brautigan Says:

    If they make another baseball movie, I want them to cast Seth Rogen as Bud Selig. No one plays bumbling and inept better.

  637. Brautigan Says:

    Houston garners more players in the category of: People I have never heard of (outside of Ben Francisco…..and is that THE Francisco Cordero?)

    What a nothing trade. Must really generate excitement in those two cities, eh?

  638. Chuck Says:

    The legend of Shaq Green-Thompson continues.

  639. Bob Says:

    He has 8 walks and a swipe.

  640. Mike Felber Says:

    Yah, careful what you say ~ a naive guy. Though you have used
    have to kill you if you tell” before absent any irony when offering up information. You loved Lefty’s comments ’cause he not only agrees with you, but used your exact girly-man tampon string linguistic provocateur phrasings!

  641. Raul Says:

    I still think the Nationals will shut down Stephen Strasburg, but I think Rizzo could have gone farther in his statement.

    The closer we get to September, the questions about Strasburg will mount. I think he should said that he intends Strasburg to finish the season, barring any injuries or health concerns.

  642. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for offering your two cents, Mike. Sorry, I don’t have any change.

  643. Chuck Says:

    I don’t think they’ll shut him down.

    They may skip his starts on occasion, but if they’re in the race? Not happenin’.

  644. Chuck Says:

    Of course, we know what happens when teams start screwing around with guys and skipping starts and limiting innings..right, Phil Hughes?

  645. Chuck Says:

    So, Mike, let me ask you something…why are you defending John?

  646. Lefty33 Says:

    “The ONLY way for teams with 150+ million dollar payrolls in the biggest markets on Earth to fail as consistently as those guys did is to ignore progresses made in the game,”

    And that nugget of knowledge is based on….right, you pulling it out your ass.

    It’s a talking point John. It’s something that you have zero proof of and you only say it because it fits in with your “belief structure” even though it’s about as based in reality as the boogey man and the Easter bunny.

    The problem with your opinion on this issue John is the acronym Kool-Aid you love to drink. It does a great a job telling you what happened but it’s worthless in giving you any context as to why things happened the way they happened.

    Here’s just one example dumbass:

    Metrics cannot quantify the interfering owner.

    Omar was no doubt under pressure from the Wilpon’s to remain “relevant” on Page Six with the Yankees by making big name signings whether they made sense or not. Obviously his standing in the sport is pretty good as he is the Senior VP of Baseball Operations for the Padres.

    The Phillies are currently under a quasi-internal struggle where cheap ass managing partner David Montgomery is constantly up against minority Billionaire John Middleton who always advocates spending on “big names” to put butts in the seats ala King George which is why Amaro is always under pressure to always add injury prone old farts to the roster for ridiculous contract lengths.

    The Rays are only relevant now because of a decade plus of sucking that brought them more #1 picks then probably any team in the history of the sport.
    But as long as Sternberg is the owner and as long as they play in their current building (which is also his doing) they will never win a WS regardless of the GM because they cannot do what other teams in the AL or even in their division do by outspending their mistakes.

    (It’s also funny how you love to wash the balls of Friedman yet the guy who was the GM who drafted the majority of the Rays roster during their current run was Chuck LaMar who is about as old school and non-metric as you could possibly be.)

    To you it looks like the GM’s are “ignoring progress” or whatever bullshit you want to spout but to anybody with the ability to look at things with some context it’s clear that GM’s in a lot of situations do not have full authority and control and they are forced into doing things which look and seem stupid but they do them if want to continue to have a job and collect a paycheck.

  647. Chuck Says:

    You can’t possibly read the drivel he’s been writing and believe him to be right in any sense, and even if you do, just like with him you lack the resources to prove me or Lefty wrong.

  648. Chuck Says:

    Lemmings off a cliff…

  649. Lefty33 Says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, look at all the dummy sheeple.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, look at all the dummy sheeple.

  650. Raul Says:

    Chuck tries to be a bit more fair to Omar Minaya, and I’m inclined to do the same.

    I don’t think anyone would suggest Minaya is a superb GM.

    That said, the Mets won 66 games before he took over. Then they won 71. Then 83. Then 97 and should have beaten the Cardinals to go to the World Series. Then the Mets were a darn good team for 2 more years before collapsing in September choke jobs. Then they fell apart.

    The same way we critique Beane for winning with Alderson’s players, I suppose it’s fair, to a degree, to say that Minaya won with some of Phillips’ players (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

    In any case, is Omar Minaya a terrible GM? I don’t think he’s terrible. Though he could do better to surround himself with people who have a long-term approach to winning. Is Billy Beane a terrible GM? No. He’s a good GM who has had incredible praise thrown his way — much of which I think was unwarranted, or perhaps it is better to say a great deal of his praise was excessive.

    While I’m speaking on General Managers, I’ll take a quick note to highlight Brian Cashman. I’m not saying Cashman is the best in the game, but considering the state of the team on Thanksgiving and where they are now, he’s done a fantastic job.

    Overseeing a team with major questions about its pitching staff, he went out and got Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. Then he signed Hiroki Kuroda. And for more insurance, he dug up the retired Andy Pettitte. Pineda is done for the year. Pettitte pitched well but is on the disabled list. Sabathia also made a trip to the DL. They lost their starting LFer for the season and in his place have gotten 24 HR from two washed up outfielders in Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. Since May 1st, Derek Jeter is batting .288/.333/.363. Both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are performing like league-average players for their positions despite their contracts suggesting otherwise. And their most iconic pitcher injured himself while shagging flies.

    All of that, and the Yankees have the best record in baseball.

    I’m on record as disagreeing with John that the Yankees are really that good. I think they will be exposed a bit in the 2nd half and won’t go anywhere in the playoffs. But Brian Cashman deserves a hell of a lot of credit for keeping this team afloat with the scraps he’s found from the MLB junk yard.

  651. Raul Says:

    Barry Larkin goes in the Hall of Fame this weekend.

    I have to say, he doesn’t really feel like a HOFer to me.

  652. Raul Says:

    Jeez, Larkin only played 150 games 4 times in 19 seasons.

  653. Brautigan Says:

    LOL, the anti-Dale Murphy.

  654. Chuck Says:

    I’m with you on both counts Raul..Yankees are playing with smoke and mirrors..they’re a good regular season team but not a good postseason team, and Larkin cheapens the HOF for me too.

  655. Brautigan Says:

    You know, if Washington insists on limiting Strasburg, why not do what the Dodgers did with Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons? Fat Freddie had an arm that was crooked from pitching and he was in a good deal of pain and discomfort, to the point he pitched once a week and that was it. In 1941, he went 6-1 with a 2.07 ERA in 12 starts and helped Brooklyn win the pennant. Perhaps, that is what Washington ought to do, throw Strasburg out there once a week.

  656. Patrick Says:

    Lefty wrote; “(It’s also funny how you love to wash the balls of Friedman yet the guy who was the GM who drafted the majority of the Rays roster during their current run was Chuck LaMar who is about as old school and non-metric as you could possibly be.)”

    Lol. I’ll add 2 things to that;

    Friedman is the guy who cut loose Josh Hamilton after LaMar had invested in him and gotten Josh the help that he needed.

    Under Friedman, the Rays’ minor leagues is going to shit. There is no help on the way. When he did have a top pick he chose Tim Beckham, who will be lucky to hit .220 if he ever makes it to the bigs.

    About Larkin, I don’t get how easily he got in.

  657. Chuck Says:

    Royals traded Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado for Jeremy Guthrie.

  658. Raul Says:

    Guthrie was okay in Baltimore.

    Maybe he’ll get by in KC. He doesn’t strike batters out much.

  659. Mike Felber Says:

    I reserve the right to defend anyone or any argument Chuck, & y’all jump in when you like. Though I did not engage the recent SM debate, & only said that Lefty was copying your boilerplate terminology, & was amused at how several here seem to F each other up the A without malice. So I do not know just what you were referring to.

  660. John Says:

    “It’s also funny how you love to wash the balls of Friedman yet the guy who was the GM who drafted the majority of the Rays roster during their current run was Chuck LaMar who is about as old school and non-metric as you could possibly be.”

    And the reason any of them are still Rays is because of Friedman and analysis-based cost/benefit analysis.

    But yeah. Let’s keep praising the GM’s who do nothing with top-5 payrolls, and criticize the ones who don’t make the playoffs every single year with bottom-5 payrolls. That seems sensible.

    “Is Billy Beane a terrible GM? No. He’s a good GM who has had incredible praise thrown his way — much of which I think was unwarranted, or perhaps it is better to say a great deal of his praise was excessive.”

    That’s pretty reasonable, Raul. I’m inclined to agree with you there.

  661. John Says:

    “When he did have a top pick he chose Tim Beckham”

    Also: Evan Longoria.

  662. Mike Felber Says:

    That is a much more moderate Beane-meme.

    hear about all the problems with Olympic security & logistics? Still i plan to catch Olympic Fever! I suggest everyone here get a does & spread it!

  663. John Says:

    “About Larkin, I don’t get how easily he got in.”

    Probably by being really good at baseball. If he had 3000 hits but wasn’t good at fielding his position, would you have liked the selection?

  664. Chuck Says:

    I’m supposed to believe we are still in a challenging economy, and if you believe some whacked out cult the world is going to end on December 21st.

    And, yet, things happen every day which contradicts all the panic and fear.

    Case in point.

    The stock in MSG has dropped $93 million dollars since Jeremy Lin signed with Houston.


  665. Chuck Says:

    “If he had 3000 hits but wasn’t good at fielding his position, would you have liked the selection?”

    Your biggest HOF boner is over a guy who had/was neither.

    Like taking candy from a baby.

  666. John Says:

    And yet, your response hasn’t changed. “He just isn’t.”

    Great evidence there, chief.

  667. Chuck Says:

    ““When he did have a top pick he chose Tim Beckham Also: Evan Longoria.”

    You do realize Friedman could have signed Buster Posey for less money but was too fucking stupid to give up a 40 man roster spot, right?

    Thought so.

  668. Raul Says:

    My issue with Larkin is that he just didn’t play enough.

    And he would follow one or two great seasons with one or two mediocre seasons.

    He was good. Perhaps you could argue when he could stay on the field, he had the potential to be great.

    But I don’t think anyone ever considered him a special player. Hall of Famer? Meeehhhh…

  669. John Says:

    “You do realize Friedman could have signed Buster Posey for less money but was too fucking stupid to give up a 40 man roster spot, right?”

    Longoria was a MLB regular two years before Posey. And speaking of money, he is signed to the most team-friendly deal in the game.

  670. Raul Says:


    It wasn’t a comparison between signing Longoria or Posey.
    It was between signing between Beckham or Posey.

    I’m not sure the argument in #669

  671. John Says:

    @668, I get the playing time argument. Kinda the same deal as Schilling.

    But He was pretty much the best SS in baseball for a solid decade or so. Not necessarily a HOF slam-dunk, but there was a period where he was considered great.

  672. Chuck Says:

    John: Tim Raines is a HOFer

    Chuck: No, he’s not.

    John: He walked a lot and stole a lot of bases.

    Chuck: Big shit, takes more than that to be a HOFer.

    John: Well, you’re just an old fart who doesn’t understand math

    Chuck: And you’re just a young punk who doesn’t understand math has nothing to do with playing baseball.

    John: Yeah, well, my dick is bigger than yours.

    Premise for everything you’ve ever posted here.

    You’d rather cut your dick off than ever admit you’re wrong about anything.

    You’re like the nerdy kid in grammar school that everyone laughs at behind your back.

    The only difference between then and now is you can’t see us.

  673. John Says:

    @670, didn’t realize that, although I guess I kinda do in retrospect (Posey would’ve been like 17 at the time Longoria was drafted). I retract 669, and okay, that didn’t work out for Friedman.

    Are we going to criticize every GM who passed on Albert Pujols in 1999?

  674. John Says:

    “Chuck: Big shit, takes more than that to be a HOFer”

    Subjective. 100% subjective, and not supported by any data.

    “The only difference between then and now is you can’t see us”

    Also, you could never kick my ass.

  675. Raul Says:

    No, we can’t criticize a GM when a player that few people were very high on, goes to become a historically great player.

    But if the only thing that caused the Rays to choose Beckham over Posey was guaranteeing Posey a roster spot…I mean for a team like the Rays…at that time? That’s pretty weak.

  676. John Says:

    That time being…the year they went to the WS?

    Obviously, it would’ve been better to have Posey but every GM misses on the draft sometimes.

  677. Mike Felber Says:

    You are a master fighter John? how do you know? Chuck was not not but an athlete. Anyway, i feel the love flowing!

    I also tend to also add up value & thus say yes on Larkin. On, he is rated right next to Billy Williams. The good defense for years at a crucial position does enough for me. Raul, his career spanned 2 strike shortened years, he still had over 9000 PA. The games per year did limit his value a bit, but his peak & total value was good enough. For the little it is worth, good in PS too.

  678. Mike Felber Says:

    Duh…I meant not “big” but an athlete!

  679. Chuck Says:

    “Also, you could never kick my ass.”

    Subjective. 100% subjective and not supported by any data.

    “Are we going to criticize every GM who passed on Albert Pujols in 1999?”

    No, just like we can’t criticize every GM who passed on Mike Piazza.

    I was in the Mariners draft room in 2007, you can’t even fathom what happens in that situation.

    A friend said to show up early, by 6am, because they serve a bitchin’ breakfast at seven and you don’t want to miss it.

    I walked into the complex and it looked like a Cub Scout of the conference rooms had been cleared out and there were military style cots in the room where guys could crash.

    Ever watch a telethon or fundraiser on TV..that’s what the room looked like..there was a long table with a row of maybe a dozen phones that rang constantly.

    And that doesn’t even count the Mariners’ staff cell phones.

    Each guy had a laptop and there was a row of desktops all logged onto various team and media sites, trying to keep track of what was going on. They had a handful of interns that would run from terminal to terminal with notepads writing down URL’s and taking notes for the scouts and PD personnel in the room.

    Point being, you do what’s right for your team at the time.

    The Rays have always had a policy of not giving ML contracts to draftees, and you have to respect them for not caving in for one guy.

    In retrospect that policy is dumb and cost them big time, but it’s their call.

    I don’t fault the Rays at all for picking Beckham, they really had no choice.

    A friend of mine was their writer at the time and he told me they gave Posey a deadline of 10 am on draft day to accept their offer, and did the same with Pedro Alvarez.

    The rules say you have to make a pick, and they did.

    Beckham was their choice, although he wasn’t their top choice.

  680. Chuck Says:

    “That time being…the year they went to the WS?”

    You’re not drafting Posey for THAT year, dumbass.

    “My dick is bigger than yours”.

  681. Chuck Says:

    “You are a master fighter John? how do you know? Chuck was not not but an athlete. Anyway, i feel the love flowing!”

    I’m from New York too..his hand twitches and he’s drinking out of a straw for six weeks.

  682. John Says:

    If you trust the process, the results will come most of the time.

    If you make a rule about not giving ML contracts to draftees, and you stick by it, guys are going to slip through the cracks. If the process is good (I’m not sure that it is) the results will benefit you in the long run.

    If you play the infield in to cut-down the winning run at home in the bottom of the ninth, and the batter bloops a hit to right where the SS would be (ala Luis Gonzalez, 2001) that doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision to bring the infield in. Shit happens.

  683. Mike Felber Says:

    Best superficially clean triple entendre from AM New York free paper:

    “Fred Willard Pulls a Pee Wee”.

  684. Chuck Says:

    I’m impressed by the fact Fred Willard can pull a Pee Wee at 72 years of age.

  685. Raul Says:

    Billy Williams played in the 60s and wasn’t a shortstop.
    I don’t care how he compares to Barry Larkin.

    I don’t think Larkin played enough, and he wasn’t ever a special player.

    That’s really it.

    I think writers and fans have gotten into this habit of picking an arbitrary 20 year block and saying to themselves “who were the best x-number of players” and that’s how they pick Hall of Famers.

    That’s not a good way to build a Hall of Fame. It really should be for the exceptional and transcendent players. I mean look…if you go 35 years without electing a LFer to the Hall of Fame…maybe there just weren’t any really special LFers for 35 years.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
    If you go back and look at the HOF elections, I suspect many of us would eliminate 30-40% of them. And maybe more…

  686. Lefty33 Says:

    “And the reason any of them are still Rays is because of Friedman and analysis-based cost/benefit analysis.”

    Or a really fancy way of saying that you have a cheap ass owner that refuses to actually spend money on his product so being a competitive team is good enough where as with another 20-30% payroll increase you could actually have a legitimate WS contending team.

    Nice job at euphemistic bullshit.

    “But yeah. Let’s keep praising the GM’s who do nothing with top-5 payrolls, and criticize the ones who don’t make the playoffs every single year with bottom-5 payrolls. That seems sensible.”

    But yeah, let’s keep making lame ass responses that show how pathetically shallow your position is instead of just admitting that you fucked up, yet again.

    Pretty easy if you’re Friedman to look good when LaMar stocked your minor league system for half a decade with awesome talent and left you with a ton of #1 picks. I mean shit John even you could put together a winner with that kind of good luck. (My bad, I forgot to speak your language: with that kind of BABIP.)

  687. Mike Felber Says:

    That is a valid argument Raul. It comes down to whether you want more of a large or small Hall. That % seems a bit high for what most of us would do-that is a distinctly small Hall idea(l). Though I could see removing a bunch.

    A good start is who was the best at a position for a while. Then you look more closely & see if the guy was good enough. My standard would not be “Exceptional & transcendent”. If that applies, I would define only maybe the top 30ish guys EVER as that good.

    How special is the question. Both how good was the guy really (in overall value), & how good do you NEED him to be. For your purposes, Larkin did not play enough per year. But I’ll bet you would not say over 9K PAs are not enough.

  688. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant to say also how good is a guy in peak value, which is 1st amongst equals with career value to me.

  689. Raul Says:

    I just think the MLB Hall of Fame should be special.

    The last thing I want to see is players being inducted just because they’ve reached a statistical benchmark. Two players could hit 500 home runs. That should not mean they both belong in the Hall of Fame.

    That said, congratulations to Barry Larkin. Whether or not I agree, he did get elected.

  690. Mike Felber Says:

    We agree on those points Raul. And likely also that before the ‘roid era it would be quite hard to have 500 HRs & not been good enough for the HOF-though King Kong would have been an example if he was allowed to stick around. And you know I am against benchmarks in themselves showing how great you are.

    Larkin was a great asset, regardless of whether folks find him a legitimate Hall man. And to do so despite injuries & many short years, over 9 K PA-think of it, his skills at the game were still amongst the top humans who have ever lived.

  691. Mike Felber Says:

    Really there is little daylight between middle infielders Trammell, Whitaker, & Larkin. B-R poll rates the 1st 2 higher, WAR has Larkin in the middle, T most peak value/due to SS defense, Sweet Lou better longevity. Larkin better base running.

    It is a really fine distinction that gets any in without the others though.

  692. John Says:

    “you could actually have a legitimate WS contending team.”

    Newsflash, dumbass: Any team that makes the playoffs is a legitimate WS contending team.

    If you think otherwise, you haven’t been paying attention.

    And the Rays have made the playoffs 3 times in 4 years. The fact that they haven’t won it all isn’t indicative proof of anything.

    “Pretty easy if you’re Friedman to look good when LaMar stocked your minor league system for half a decade with awesome talent and left you with a ton of #1 picks.”

    If LaMar were running the show, many of those guys would never have been called up, and the others would be playing for other teams by now.

    LaMar raced with horses, Friedman raced with planes.

  693. Raul Says:

    Out in Pittsburgh, there’s another guy having a hot month.

    Neil Walker.
    .456/.530/.772 in July.

  694. Patrick Says:

    Really, the Rays have Price, Shields, Hellickson and Moore and are only a couple games over .500. Without those guys they are probably the worst team in the league again.

    John, LaMarr wasn’t an idiot and Friedman is far from a genius and will prove himself to be fully capable of having the worst team in the AL East soon enough. Then you can go back to the small-market excuse for him.

    Without Longoria, their current team is one of the worst offenses I’ve seen in awhile.

    Drinking the acronym kool aid. I love that. Here’s what today’s glass of elixer yielded. Darwin Barney is the 9th most valuable player in the NL. The immortal Barney is currently boasting a .268/.308/.356/.684 for the Theo Epstein led Cubs, a man known to love his kool-aid.

    Mike, Trammell and Whitaker were the 2 guys I immediately thought of when Larkin went in. Robbie Alomar did that to me too. The thing about camparing the 2 new HOFers and the old Tiger combo is the steroid era. Just because Alomar and Larkin had minimal power they aren’t suspected of using but I’d be shocked if Alomar didn’t.

  695. John Says:

    ” The immortal Barney is currently boasting a .268/.308/.356/.684 for the Theo Epstein led Cubs, a man known to love his kool-aid.”

    There’s definitely not another thing he does…this is like football, right? Players just play offense…and then a completely different set of players comes on and fields. That’s how baseball works, right?

    “Really, the Rays have Price, Shields, Hellickson and Moore and are only a couple games over .500. Without those guys they are probably the worst team in the league again.”

    Geez, the Yankees just have Sabathia, Cano, Granderson, Swisher, Teixeira, ARod…if you just forget about all those guys and replace them with minor leagers, they’d probably be in last!

    “Without Longoria, their current team is one of the worst offenses I’ve seen in awhile.”

    Again…drafted by Friedman, and signed to the most team-friendly deal in baseball.

    If not for Friedman’s innovation, Longoria wouldn’t be a Ray right now, period.

  696. Lefty33 Says:

    “Newsflash, dumbass: Any team that makes the playoffs is a legitimate WS contending team.”


    That’s like saying because I bought a lottery ticket I actually have a realistic chance at winning. I guess any team “technically” has a chance at being a contending WS team just like you “technically” have a chance at getting hit by an asteroid this morning.

    While “possible”, clearly it’s not happening just like it’s not happening for the majority of teams that make the playoffs and it’s usually pretty damn easy to tell who is going home ahead of time.

    “If you think otherwise, you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Keep diggin’ John, keep stirring the pot to amuse yourself.

    You look more and more like the dumbass tool you apparently are with every post.

    No real argument, no real rebuttal, just talking points, petty insults, and more BS.

    If this were April 1st I’d laugh.

    Seeing as its July 21st it only shows just how FUBAR you really are.

    “And the Rays have made the playoffs 3 times in 4 years. The fact that they haven’t won it all isn’t indicative proof of anything.”

    Sure it is dumbass. Its proof that as long as Sternberg owns the team and continues to pocket money he could spend on payroll to better the team they will NOT win the WS and as the current roster pieces keep leaving via FA the team is only going to continue to disintegrate. Then like Patrick said I guess next you’ll be using the “small market team” talking points excuse next instead of your current excuses.

    “LaMar raced with horses, Friedman raced with planes.”

    That’s a real fortune cookie type of statement.

    So Friedman who has never won anything and more or less drafted a bunch of stiffs from ’08-’10 “races with planes” and LaMar who stocked their farm system with usable and tradable talent “races with horses” especially since he did the same thing for other organizations like the Phillies?

    Jeez John and you wonder why no one respects you or takes you seriously.

    If your best argument is to avoid the subject, as usual when you’ve been proven to be a dipshit again, and to talk about horses and planes then why respond?

    Why bother when you’re not participating?

    Why bother when you’re bringing zero to the discussion?

    Have fun stirring the pot just to get your rocks off. I’ll be back after your period ends.

  697. Raul Says:

    In Royals country…

    Jake Odorizzi is 6-1 since joining AAA. A 3.22 ERA, but he was shelled for 10 hits and 7 runs (5 earned) in his last start.

    Michael Mariot is 3-3 with a 3.58 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 78 innings at AA Northwest Arkansas. The 2010 8th rounder didn’t make any top prospects list but that could change.

    I was confused by Christian Colon. It looks like he was demoted to Rookie Ball. But then I read he was injured. In any case he was doing okay in AA in hitting for a nice average. Though you would hope for a bit more power out of a 23 year old — just 7 doubles and 5 homers in 60 games. The homers are fine. But those doubles numbers should be higher.

    Mike Montgomery just can’t seem to figure out AAA hitters. After posting a 5.32 ERA there in 150 innings in 2011, he’s posting a 5.69 ERA in 92 innings in 2012. Recently turning 23 on July 1st, if Montgomery doesn’t figure things out soon, his stock will take a major tumble. He is young, but 500 minor league innings is starting to push it in this age.

  698. John Says:

    Apparently, Lefty has never heard of the years 1987, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, or 2011.

    Or the difference between 1 in 8, and 1 in a million.

    Keeping digging your own hole. I’ll keep laughing when the same thing happens….every year.

  699. Patrick Says:

    John wrote; “There’s definitely not another thing he does…this is like football, right? Players just play offense…and then a completely different set of players comes on and fields. That’s how baseball works, right?”

    Your sarcasm is really endearing. There is simply not enough that any one guy can do with the glove to elevate himself to the 9th best player(WAR)in the NL when his OPS is only .684

    You have to understand that the worst major league ML middle infielder is still great with the glove. The idea that Barney is so much better that his glove offsets about 200 points of OPS is ridiculous. So, these “plane” pilots can keep building their teams with these guys and I’ll be there to say “I told you so” when they inevitably crash. Who wants a bum like Ryan Howard batting cleanup when you can have Jeff Keppinger? lol

    I’ll be back in about 20 minutes with the WAR standings. I haven’t looked yet but I’m assuming that they’re far from the actual W-L records. If not, I’ll wash the egg off of my face.

  700. John Says:

    Ryan Howard is starting a 5 year deal worth 125 million.

    Good luck racking up 140 RBI’s without high OBP guys batting in front.

    Does fielding not matter to you at all?

  701. John Says:

    Guarantee that the WAR standings are essentially the same.

    Just like every year

  702. Patrick Says:

    NL WAR
    STL 16.4 48-45 Twice as good as the Nationals!
    ATL 15.9 51-41
    SF 13.2 52-41
    NYM 11.5 47-46
    ARI 11.2 45-48
    PIT 10.0 52-40
    PHI 9.8 41-53
    CHI 9.2 38-54 Theo has a good shot at piloting his plane to the WAR Wildcard!
    CIN 8.6 53-40 They must have an unsustainable BABIP to be behind the Cubs
    WAS 8.4 53-38 1st in War, 1st in the NL East, 10th in WAR(4th in division)
    MIL 8.1 44-48
    SD 8.0 40-55
    LAD 5.4 50-44
    COL 3.8 35-57
    HOU 3.7 34-60 (Darwin Barney 3.7)
    MIA 3.3 44-49

    OK, WAR is clearly bullshit. It’s not even close. I’m already bored and I haven’t even looked at the AL yet.

    You can pick any singular stat, such as RBI or HR, and that stat will correlate to W-L much better than WAR. It’s hilarious that WAR proponents think they’re on a higher mathematical plane.

  703. Patrick Says:

    That was offensive and defensive WAR but it didn’t include pitching WAR which I would’ve thought would be in team defensive WAR so the standings are alot closer when you add the pitching WAR numbers. But it’s still bullshit.

  704. Patrick Says:

    The last time Ryan Howard led the league in RBI Jimmy Rollins had a .296 OBP. I’ve proven before that Howard drives in more runs per opportunity than anyone not named Pujols.

  705. John Says:


    You didn’t include pitching. At all.

  706. Chuck Says:

    “If LaMar were running the show, many of those guys would never have been called up, and the others would be playing for other teams by now.”

    Subjective. 100% subjective and not supported by any data.

    All day long, John, all day long.

  707. Chuck Says:

    “If not for Friedman’s innovation, Longoria wouldn’t be a Ray right now, period.”

    We’ll see how innovative Friedman is when Longoria’s looking for a $20 million per contract when he REALLY hits free agency.

  708. Patrick Says:

    Yeah John, I already wrote that.

    Why do the Cubs and Darwin Barney have one of the highest Range Factors(assists+putouts) in the league? Because they are dead last in K’s. Why does Milwaukee have on of the worst RF’s? Because they’ve struck out 171 more batters than the Cubs. That’s about 260 less chances for an assist and putout.

    Fielding is where WAR falls apart. Washington has a -1.9 dWAR but has let up the least unearned runs in the NL.

  709. Chuck Says:

    Geez, I guess I should have read #696 before making the last two posts, would have saved myself some time.

    Right on…

  710. Brautigan Says:

    Would someone please take WAR and place it where the sun does not shine. It may amuse John, but it truly misses the mark for me. It is the most meaningless stat I have ever seen (it’s not really even a stat. Might as well be a summation notation for all I care). It gives NO context (for me) whatsoever.

    John, you can justify it all you want, but just picture me glassy eyed and non-attentive when someone says “Andrew McCutcheon is tops in offensive WAR with 5.7, but doesn’t even rate in the top 10 overall WAR”.

  711. Patrick Says:

    Not only was the LaMar statement subjective, it’s flat out wrong. Why would he draft guys in the first round and not play them? Also, if LaMar was still there, Josh Hamilton would be there too.

    And what innovation kept Longoria a Ray? Did Friedman invent the idea of a contract for a young guy?

    The Rays are 2 arm injuries away from being the worst team in baseball. These SABR guys like to claim the Rays as an example of a SABR success story, but it’s really just good old fashioned starting pitching.

  712. John Says:

    McCutchen is second in WAR, Braut.

    Meanwhile, Patrick has proven WAR is bullshit by ignoring all pitching, because like fielding, pitching doesn’t matter.

    As if the Nats are in first because of Jayson Werth.

    Ignoring half the fucking game. Incredible.

  713. John Says:

    Every single team in baseball is two injuries away from being bad, or at least mediocre. What kind of an argument is that?

  714. Bob Says:

    The Mets placed Santana on the DL.

  715. Chuck Says:

    WAR doesn’t prove anything, it justifies what everyone already knows to be true, except the stathead community, who don’t really understand baseball to begin with.

    So they have to rely on a couple of glasses of acronym Kool-Aid to reach the conclusions everyone else already knows from, you know, playing and/or watching.

  716. Mike Felber Says:

    Waiaiait a minute Chuck. Have you not been amongst many that have disagreed with specific WAR conclusions? Also, “everybody” agrees on almost nothing. There have been huge difference just within traditional assessments, let alone between WAR & SM>

    I agree that some teams are better prepared for the playoffs than the raw stats suggest, due to the primacy of pitching-& to a lesser extent defense-when you can rely on using your best guns to take the mound more often. Though still there is a fair chance a lesser team can win in a short series.

  717. John Says:

    I know from watching that pitching and fielding are half the game.

    And yet, you ignore them. Brilliant!

  718. John Says:

    “who don’t really understand baseball to begin with.”

    I want to point out again that Chuck thought Bryce Harper would crash and burn because he wears long socks and crazy eye-black.

    That’s what Chuck considers to be “understanding baseball”

  719. Chuck Says:

    “I want to point out again that Chuck thought Bryce Harper would crash and burn because he wears long socks and crazy eye-black.”

    You’ve been called out once before on this same thread for making up that story, and chose to repeat it anyway?

    “Jeez John and you wonder why no one respects you or takes you seriously.”

    At this point, you might want to consider another hiatus.

    The hole gets any deeper you’ll have to learn Chinese.

  720. John Says:

    Chuck, I don’t give a shit what you think. I really don’t.

    You think that a GM making the playoffs 1 time in 6 years with a 150 million dollar payroll is more impressive than a GM who makes the playoffs 3 times in 4 years with a 40 million dollar payroll.

    That really says it all right there.

  721. Chuck Says:

    I didn’t bring up the Rays, dickwad.

    “Chuck, I don’t give a shit what you think. I really don’t.”

    That’s apparent.

    And I don’t give a shit if you choose to stay stupid, I really don’t.

  722. Patrick Says:

    John, I already wrote that I omitted pitching and that with pitching added, it’s closer to reality.

    Like Chuck states, WAR gets some things right by default but the fielding factors can be crazy wrong. If I’m correct in that assumption, that the fielding factors and the value assigned to those numbers can be erroneous, than WAR is bullshit.


    This is what Darwin Barney excels at. He does so because he’s on a team that can’t strike anyone out, and therefore, more ground balls are in play. Sure, he’s a good fielder, but of his 3.7 WAR, 2.8 of it is fielding.

    To put that into perspective, Barney’s fielding prowess alone, surpasses in WAR all but 12 National League position player’s COMBINED batting and fielding values.

    All because the Cubs pitchers can’t strike anybody out. (RF=assists+putouts per 9 innings)

    You don’t need any more than this example to reach the conclusion that WAR is bullshit, but I’ll give you one; Carlos Beltran WAR 2.2, Darwin Barney is 3.7

    Beltran has made 2 errors in 78 games in the OF and has a .897 OPS with 20 HR, 52 runs and league leading 67 rbi

    Barney has fielded all of those ground balls that weren’t K’s and has 4 HR, 6 SB and a .684, that leads to only 40 runs and 27 rbi.

    But WAR not only has Barney as more valuable towards winning a game, but 60% more valuable.

    John, specifically, do you believe Darwin Barney has been the 9th most valuable position player in the NL?

  723. Chuck Says:

    David Wright..5.7, Andrew McCutchen 5.2.

    The fact Wright is perceived as more valuable is almost comical.

  724. Patrick Says:

    Yeah, Chuck it goes on and on. Braut hit it out of the park with his comment. I should just leave this WAR shit alone but I can’t let it hijack common sense.

  725. John Says:

    I thought David Wright was out of the league? That’s what I learned from Chuck and Joe after he went 4 for his first 16 and was ruled finished.

    David Wright: .350/.440/.581 … two years after Chuck declared him toast.

  726. John Says:

    “This is what Darwin Barney excels at. He does so because he’s on a team that can’t strike anyone out, and therefore, more ground balls are in play. Sure, he’s a good fielder, but of his 3.7 WAR, 2.8 of it is fielding.”

    Patrick: Baseball Reference’s WAR calculation already takes into account the frequency with which a player’s pitchers surrender ground balls, fly balls, and get strikeouts.

    “Beltran has made 2 errors in 78 games in the OF”

    Cool, how many doubles has he allowed to happen because he’s past his prime as an outfielder and can’t get to the gappers he was once able to? You can’t make an error on a ball you don’t get to. If a normal outfielder records an out, and Beltran allows a double, can we subtract two total bases from Beltran’s slugging percentage calculation? (it feels weird to say that, because Beltran used to be sooo good in the field)

  727. Patrick Says:

    More subjective bullshit John. You tell me how many doubles Beltran has allowed? His 9 SB and 52 runs tell me he still has wheels but what are you basing your assumption that he’s let up more than his fair share of doubles?

    Oh, nothing, right. Subjective nonsense but WAR ignores runs and rbi

    Listen John, I asked you one specific question and of course you ignored it. Do you think Darwin Barney has been the 9th most valuable position player in the NL?

    If you answer yes, than the boy’s assessments are correct, if you answer no, Barney isn’t close to the 9th most valuable NL position player than you agree WAR is bullshit. I don’t care which way you go.

  728. Patrick Says:

    “Patrick: Baseball Reference’s WAR calculation already takes into account the frequency with which a player’s pitchers surrender ground balls, fly balls, and get strikeouts.”

    Where does it say that? I don’t see anything about that data in the fielding explanations.

  729. John Says:

    “His 9 SB and 52 runs tell me he still has wheels”

    9 SB? So, he’s on pace for like 14?

    And his 52 runs mean that he has good teammates.

    And there’s so much more to fielding than speed. And it’s not even the same kind of speed. And about a million other things.

    “Do you think Darwin Barney has been the 9th most valuable position player in the NL?”

    Honestly, no. There’s a margin of error which doesn’t render the entire stat bullshit. Everything in the world includes margins of error.

  730. John Says:

    “Where does it say that? I don’t see anything about that data in the fielding explanations.”

    Maybe I’m thinking of the older version. Hold on. In the meantime:

    “We present the WAR values with decimal places because this relates the WAR value back to the runs contributed (as one win is about ten runs), but you should not take any full season difference between two players of less than one to two wins to be definitive (especially when the defensive metrics are included).”

  731. John Says:

    Actually, it looks like it’s even more sophisticated than that, specifically examining each and every play a player is involved in.

    “Fielding Range Plus/Minus Runs Saved based on BIS-trained scorer observations and batted ball timing to determine the velocity of each batted ball.
    Outfield arm runs saved based on exact counts of baserunner advancements and kills and the velocity of the hit ball.
    Infielder double plays based on opportunities and rates they were turned based also on batted ball velocity.
    Good play-bad play values which include 28 positive play types like HR-saving catches, backing up a play, blocking a pitch in the dirt and 54 misplays like missing the cutoff man, failing to anticipate the wall and allowing extra bases, not covering a base, pulling a foot off the bag, etc.”

  732. Patrick Says:

    “Honestly, no. There’s a margin of error which doesn’t render the entire stat bullshit. Everything in the world includes margins of error.”

    You can say there is a margin for error, but how big of a margin?

    If you polled 99 ten yr olds along with Baseball Ref to list the 10 best position players in the NL, only B-R would have made the error of putting Barney there. That’s hardly an advanced tool towards any GM’s understanding of true player value.

  733. Patrick Says:

    Where did you find all of that? I put the cursor over every category in advanced fielding and it didn’t have any of that. I’ve read that there is a program (something like FieldX?) that does measure all of that but I haven’t seen where WAR uses it.

  734. John Says:

    How are you so certain?

    Fielders give back hits and runs in the field all the time – or they prevent those hits and runs from happening.

    Just because you can’t read it on the back of a baseball card doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

    So, am I 100% positive that Barney has saved an extra 30 runs in the field? No. But I acknowledge that he can, because fielding does play a major role in this game, and it’s incredibly ignorant to just disregard that.

    It’s because a HR resonates much more than getting good jumps on ground balls. One we definitively see, the other we can often miss (especially if a fielder is doing it right).

  735. John Says:



  736. Raul Says:

    After much speculation that Brett Myers would go to the Mets, Houston traded him to the White Sox for 2 minor league pitchers and another player to be named later.

  737. Raul Says:

    After allowing 8 hits and 6 earned runs in 1.2 innings against the Rangers, Ervin Santana’s ERA now sits at 6.00.

  738. Raul Says:


    Matt Cain homered off Cole Hamels.

  739. Raul Says:

    Forgot to mention that Cole Hamels also homered off Matt Cain.

    Quite a game…

  740. Lefty33 Says:

    Brief tangent:

    @ Felber – I find it funny Mike that in the past when people have brought extreme negativity, profanity, and/or argumentativeness to this site you would be the first to jump in as the DC parliamentarian with 5,000 word pedantic post after pedantic post towards Chuck, Hoss, Raul, or myself.

    Yet John has been acting like douche #1 and has been all of the above and yet you again choose to remain silent which I guess has something to do with you falling in line with his acronym laden beliefs?

    In the future don’t even think about making another hypocritical post chastising anyone on this site for language, incivility or foulness of tone when clearly your “standards” only apply to people you don’t agree with.

    @ John – Seriously dude, what’s the point of you even being here?

    What’s the point of the whole angry-pissy-douche bag-stir the pot routine?

    Why keep beating a dead horse when you’ve been proven wrong on many levels in regards to Howard, GM’s, the Rays, etc.?

    What do you think you’re trying to prove? What’s your endgame?

    It’s all inane, juvenile, and a big waste.

    Come back to reality and make a positive contribution to the site instead of this whole “me against the world” power/drama play.

    You’re a great guy dude and what you’re doing makes no sense.

  741. Raul Says:

    As I remember it, the hoopla over David Wright was this:

    David Wright got hit in the head by Matt Cain. Wright then had a stretch where he was struggling and striking out a lot. What I recall being said here (and this was around the same time Shaun was saying Jason Kendall wasn’t worth it for the Royals), is that David Wright was bailing on pitches. And he wasn’t doing well with balls on the inside part of the plate. If he continued that, the chances were that he would be out of the game quickly.

    So there was a caveat to saying “David Wright will be out of the game.”

    In any case, being wrong about a particular player doesn’t make them stupid.

    And I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I don’t like the WAR stat. I don’t use the WAR stat. I don’t need the WAR stat. I can tell the good players by looking at a variety of other things.

    Chuck isn’t an idiot because David Wright is having a great season.
    John isn’t an idiot because he sees some value in the WAR stat.

    The problem comes in when we start acting as if WAR is the tie-break factor in debating between certain players.

    Chuck was wrong about Tim Alderson. He was right about Giancarlo Stanton.
    John can see value in WAR, and acknowledge that it has errors and Darwin Barney isn’t the 9th best player in the league.

    Where they are both wrong is in Chuck’s love for the Olive Garden, and John’s support of the Republican party.


  742. John Says:

    You know what?

    I’m right about the Rays. It’s really hard to deny that. I’m right about Howard, but not for the reason I thought. I’m also right about WAR, as the standings show.

    Lefty’s right that I’m being a dick. So I’m just gonna drop it.

    “John’s support of the Republican party.”


  743. John Says:

    Also, work has finally hit a lull, and by that, I mean your tax dollars are basically going to subsidize my bar-hopping for the next month. So, I’m gonna write some articles, so we have more than like, 1 every 3 weeks.

  744. Chuck Says:

    “That’s what I learned from Chuck and Joe after he went 4 for his first 16 and was ruled finished.”

    No, it was just Joe.

    Look, John, you have some unnatural fixation with me that’s getting to be disturbing and annoying.

    You realize internet stalking is a felony, right?

    I don’t like guys in the same way as you and Jerry Sandusky.

    Raul calls you out, you respond to me.

    Patrick and Lefty call you out, you respond to me.

    Seriously, knock it off.

  745. John Says:

    Chuck, buddy, your hatred of David Wright is well-documented.

  746. Chuck Says:

    Tim McCarver is now a Hall of Famer.

    It’s disturbing to me that when you mention his name that people have a gut reaction about him as a broadcaster.

    Hopefully today puts that to rest. Those people who don’t like him as a broadcaster are like people from the hills of Kentucky that think it’s OK to marry their sister.

    It’s passed down, without any thought or question, from generation to generation, like racism.

    Lost in all this is the fact that out of over 17,400 people who have played major league baseball, 296 have played 1900 or more games, which is about 1.7%.

    Tim McCarver is one of them.

  747. JohnBowen Says:

    During the all-star game, Tim McCarver said that no one manages a bullpen better than Joe Girardi.

    ’nuff said.

  748. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, buddy, your hatred of David Wright is well-documented.”

    John, buddy, it was Joe’s article.

    And if you remember, I disagreed with Joe in blaming the beaning on Wright’s problems.

    David Wright is a good player, he is not a $16 million a year, superstar type player.

    The fact he leads the league in WAR proves WAR sucks, not that Joe or I were wrong.

  749. Chuck Says:



    I heard him say that and thought he’d had too many during the game, like Harry Doyle.

  750. JohnBowen Says:

    “David Wright is a good player, he is not a $16 million a year, superstar type player.”


    If you like RBI’s, he’s on pace for over 100, for what’ll be the 6th time in 7 full seasons.

    Not sure what else you want out of him, or what you expect for 16M.

  751. JohnBowen Says:

    The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona is headed back to Cleveland.

  752. Chuck Says:

    The point about McCarver is forgetting or not even knowing that he played for 21 seasons.

    I don’t watch games to listen to the broadcasters, or avoid games because of who is.

    That’s what the mute button is for.

    My point isn’t about your opinion of McCarver as a broadcaster, it’s not knowing he was the starting catcher on three World Series teams.

  753. JohnBowen Says:

    I’m perfectly aware that McCarver was a ballplayer, and that he was even the personal catcher for one of the best pitchers ever.

    For all that experience, I would expect more analysis than “Key to the Game for the Red Sox: win or see you in Fort Myers.”

    Half the time, the key to the game is literally to win the game. No shit?

  754. Mike Felber Says:

    You are mistaken big time about my hypocrisy big time Lefty. You likely did not pay attention to what I wrote above, more than once.

    Like I enjoyed when guys screw around WITHOUT acrimony. And I specifically refenenced another time guys Fing each other up The A. So that is why I did not call out Chuck, John, Raul OR you.

    I am neither a prude nor did I go soft. It just seemed that RECENTLY you guys were acting without vitriol, just enjoyed calling each other dumbass & the like. Am I “naive” here? I do not think so.

    Actually until I saw you give the disclaimed that John was a great guy, I sensed that you felt real contempt. The language & your reactions over a period of time, where you must admit you have indulged that sad variant of hate, toxic disdain. But was i gonna call you out when there is no way to show for sure what is in someone’s heart, & y’all are snapping on each other? No.

    Though funny you asked now. I think it is clear to all that just very recently things have taken a bit of a bitter turn. So I would counsel all to show some more respect. Chuck does not need to throw in tired jock homophobia, let alone mention Sandusky in this context.

    Raul injected a similar sentiment of rapprochement via humor,& John admitted being a dick. All I am saying is this is a time when teasing did go further into mean sentiments & bad feelings. Though things have self-regulated.

    So see, it is not nearly black & white. Insult comics are fine at the Friar’s Club, we just gotta watch how things are handled, AN D the spirit in which they are levied. Because Egos do get involved.

  755. Chuck Says:

    Derek Jeter is the third best SS of all-time.

  756. JohnBowen Says:

    I wouldn’t dispute that.

    Wagner, obviously. Cal Ripken Jr. was worse with the bat, but far better with the glove, so he would get my #2.

    ARod’s peak, obviously…but he’s going to go down as a 3B. Same deal with, say Yount (who goes down as a SS, but spent almost half his career in CF).

    Arky Vaughan maybe? Ozzie?

    But I think you can make a very good case for #3, in spite of his statue-ness in the field, and there’s no way he’d fall outside the top-5.

  757. Chuck Says:


    Luke Appling



    Barry Larkin

  758. JohnBowen Says:

    Ripken > Jeter, if you value defense.

  759. Bob Says:

    The statue was taken down.

  760. JohnBowen Says:

    Good riddance. I’m very happy that the legacy of that rape-enabler has been corrected and that he’s dead and in his rightful spot in hell.

  761. Chuck Says:

    The statue was moved, not removed. It is now going to be on the main concourse inside the football stadium.

  762. JohnBowen Says:


  763. Jim Says:

    New Englanders are scratching our collective heads trying to figure out what the hell has happened to John Lester. He’s gone from arguably one of the 5 best left handers in BB to a quad A scrub. After Lester’s start against the WS, a Boston writer tweeted that Bobby V had sent the wrong left hander (Franklin Morales) to the bullpen and later apologized for the comment. Watching Lester’s (lack of) effort today v. Toronto 9 runs and counting, the apology should be retracted.

  764. Mike Felber Says:

    Really, no Ripken jr. Chuck? He had his faults-likely including never taking a day off-but was superb at his peak, the combination of glove & bat I rate him over Jeter. His ‘91 was historically great. His D-War may have been enhanced by his team/the pitchers-34.5 is huge-but he was very good indeed.

    Then there is Vaughn with his 136 OPS + & at least decent glove. You appreciate old timers, & your BFF James gave him proper attention. He also missed 3 years WHEN STILL GOOD starting from ‘43 for obvious reasons.

  765. Chuck Says:

    #762 will behind a protective glass barrier but will be visible to anyone entering the stadium through the main gate, and will be close enough for people to take pictures, etc.

  766. Chuck Says:


    Sorry, Mike, but it’s indisputable, the evidence is objective and locked in stone.





    Top four SS of all time.

    Tell your friends, tell your family.

    As much a lock as the sun rising tomorrow from the East.

    I know it hurts for all the Jeter haters out there, and those who never heard of Luke Appling, but I don’t make the news, I just report it.

  767. JohnBowen Says:

    I would love to see this stone tablet.

    I bet it goes left about as well as Jeter.

  768. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha! Chuck, you KNOW that will not wash, you must be being puckish. Not the opinions themselves-you are clearly slyly alluding to WAR by referencing this as objective: but the FACT that yuou provide no arguments whatsoever!

    I would not put Appling quite that high, & you said nothing about Ripken or Vaughn. If you cannot provide any argument or counterclaim-or will not-what use is the list? I do not hate Jeter, but look at his, say, OPS + balance & the runs he has given back in the field. You MIGHT like him better than Vaughn due to longevity-though there is the lost war time issue, as many years as Joe D.-but WHY is he better than Ripken?

    How can you have Larkin above Ripken? Longevity/full years, defense, peak years: not even Raul will go with you on that. He does not even thing B arry belongs in the HOF!

  769. Mike Felber Says:

    Are you guys still losing weight, hopefully slowly?

    Raul: ever hear liberal black intellectual Cornell West talk? Now & often I hear a Travis Smiley radio show with him. He is warm, gentlemanly, intellectually rigorous, & a great antidote to the vitriol & disrespect on ALL sides.

    During my art fest, someone pointed him out to me across 8th Avenue, we were transitioning to an after party. I ran over & told him I appreciated his work, gave him a postcard & mentioned my dog ‘n pony show. What was notable is that his “my brother” talk was not just a reflexive rap. He was unmistakeably kind & respectful to this stranger buttonholing him in NYC after Midnight on a Saturday, though had to run to catch transportation for another event.

  770. Raul Says:

    I have seen Cornell West talk and I have read some of his articles. He and Tavis Smiley were making the rounds a few weeks back on television to promote a book they wrote together.

    Mr. West is very intelligent, very polite and very passionate. I think he’s a professor at Princeton, though I’m not sure.

    I like him. He does lean to the left so people who follow their party’s ideological lines may dislike him off the bat, but I think he is a sincere gentleman.

  771. Len Says:

    Appling the second best SS of all time??? The second best SS of all time has been playing next to Jeter? Larkin the fourth? on what planet?

    Ripken, G. Davis, Vaughn, A-Rod anyone?? Bueller?

    O. Smith

    Trammell and Dahlen are two glaring omissions among SS not in the HOF.

  772. Chuck Says:


    I knew I’d catch you guys..





    Top four SS all-time according to career WAR.

    So, one of the following statements is true, and only one. With no margin for error.

    1) Luke Appling is the second best SS of all time, with Derek Jeter a close third.

    2) WAR is totally fucking useless.

    I vote 2.


  773. Brautigan Says:

    Hmmmm, no mention of Eddie Miller, Everett Scott or (my personal favorite) Rowdy Richard Bartell.

  774. John Says:

    Actually, Ripken is second all-time.

  775. JohnBowen Says:

    @772, the actual list goes:


    Of course, some of these guys played other positions (ARod and Yount are interspersed in there as well).

    But, I’m not at all sure what list you were looking at.

  776. Raul Says:


    Shut the fuck up already.

  777. Mike Felber Says:

    Cute Chuck. pretending you believed that crazy list. But John beat me to the punch, Your WAR list is off for a few guys, Appling is not ahead of some like Jeter. Two other problems:

    1) You should specify which version of WAR you are using.

    2) Who claims that total WAR is the proper way to say who is the best at a position? Virtually ALL SM & traditional guys weight peak value heavily, consider lost war years, & have various formulas to use WAR considering these & often other factors.

    The 2 lists above are pretty good, & how many games or % of same you require at SS to rate guys determines if you include a Yount, Banks or A-Rod. G. Davis so high? I would like to hear why.

  778. Mike Felber Says:

    To elaborate on point # 2, total WAR indicates who added how much value. But a huge part of who is best is how good one was per game, & what was their peak value. Compensating WAR for war is also a valid adjustment.

    It does not make sense to slam WAR for something it is in no way saying, as if total WAR shows who is the best all time.

  779. Raul Says:

    “It does not make sense to slam WAR for something it is in no way saying, as if total WAR shows who is the best all time.”

    It would serve a lot of arrogant sabermetric advocates well to heed that same advice when it comes to Batting Average, RBI and Wins.

  780. Mike Felber Says:

    But many traditional analysts & fans HAVE confused those & related context driven stats with total value Raul We still see articles today which use these & similar stats to make an MVP, Cy Young, or HOF case, & sometimes as the central arguments! Or to rate how good someone is, even across eras, taking no account for era, home park, teammates…

  781. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, West is a philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist graduate of Harvard, Doctorate at Princeton where he is a Professor there, a Also of Religious Philosophy & Christianity elsewhere.

    His maturity & REAL spiritual values of humility, respect, good humor & open minded humanity far surpass most commentators on both/all sides.

    There is no way he could fake that affect, & had no reason to with a random stranger on the streets-he could have just mouthed platitudes, been dismissive, been intimidated, been “too busy” when he was in a hurry. but instead he exuded a palpable spirit of caring & health.

    Integrity & humanity. One of the things which just “statistics” cannot measure.

  782. Raul Says:

    If a fan of baseball really thinks that a multi-million dollar franchise makes decisions between two players based on who had more RBI or who won more games last season, then that fan is an idiot.

    It speaks more about the idiot who believes that is the process that goes on, than it speaks about the stat itself.

    You can’t use the dumb ass who thinks that Fred McGriff was better than Mickey Mantle because McGriff had more RBI as the basis to say “RBIs are stupid”.

  783. Mike Felber Says:

    True, but I did not make any of those claims.

    But franchises like the rest of the world took decades of educating to NOT rely at least in part on context dependent stats in assigning contracts. Few folks believe what you say, but SM is chief amongst those who get credit for undercutting mistaken beliefs.

    category error re: RBIs. It is not what folks believe, but what a stat proves & what it should show, that established what is stupid. RBIS & wins have ROUTINELY been taken as examples of overall quality & “clutch” play when they show no such thing, & it has taken years of studies that isolate causes from effects to get that now widely, but not universally, recognized.

  784. Raul Says:

    Ben Zobrist 2011:
    90 RBI
    20 HR
    46 2B
    6 3B
    99 Runs
    19 SB/6 CS
    77 BB
    128 K

    Mickey Mantle 1958:
    97 RBI
    42 HR
    21 2B
    1 3B
    127 Runs
    18 SB/3 CS
    129 BB
    120 K

    Ben Zobrist 2011 WAR: 8.5
    Mickey Mantle 1958 WAR: 8.4

    26-year old Mickey Mantle must have been a pretty bad defender. Or Ben Zobrist is Ozzie Smith in the outfield.

  785. Raul Says:

    Excuse me. Zobrist mostly played 2B last year.

    The point stands.

  786. Mike Felber Says:

    Good question. has Mantle 10.1 negative career in the field, .,07 in ‘58. I wonder if the former is too harsh. James said he was a fine defender his 1st 7 years, OK the next 7, then hung on at 1B.

    But one of the things WAR claims is that great defense at an important position really elevates a guy. Did B.Z. deserve a 3.2 D WAR? I do not know.

    But if so, it is conceivable that his WAR could have been MVP level, like in ‘09.

  787. Raul Says:

    It’s unlikely that a player’s defense suffers wild variations from year to year.

    If a SS is good, he’s good every year. If he’s bad, he’s bad every year.
    Quality of defense decreases as they get older, but for the most part you shouldn’t see defensive ratings fluctuate.

    Ben Zobrist went from playing 2B to OF to 2B from 2009 to 2011.
    His defensive WAR ratings corresponded as 2.5, 1.4 and 3.2.

    It suggests he’s better at playing 2B than the outfield. I find that strange. Playing the OF is easier than playing 2B.

    But even if you took a guy who stayed at one position, the numbers still shouldn’t fluctuate. Adrian Beltre is a great defensive 3B. From 2005 through 2008, his defensive WAR was 1.1, 2.2, 0.7 and 3.1. He made roughly the same number of errors each year and turned the same number of double plays. But because he fielded more balls in varying years, his defensive WAR gets skewed? Are people supposed to believe Beltre is a flaky fielder?

    You’re better off taking any defensive metric and throwing it out the window. And if you’re going to incorporate that into your overall rating of a player’s value each year…well then it’s not hard to see why people are going to have an issue with it.

  788. Mike Felber Says:

    Those are reasonable concerns Raul. Though even if correct, you cannot throw out considering defense at all, however you might adjust it.

    Yes, balls hit to a player due to pitching more than random factors could skew WAR. Though you notice that defense just does not add nearly as much value as much potential value as offense or pitching, even in key positions. So if it gets that a player is good or bad, the amount off-if it is-will not take it out of ballpark accuracy at least.

    But also guys vary a lot in offense some years without flaking-guys do have career years, & let us take great & prototypically “reliable” players like Yaz & Ripken. Did they not have several years at the plate that were way above their others? Sometimes, like Cal, not in a concentrated peak of several years running. Even before he (likely) took PEDs, Clemens had wide yearly variations between years, from good at best to great.

    So I am not dismissing your concerns, just showing how the problems with defense can also be overstated.

  789. Mike Felber Says:

    I did notice that most all of the great players career WAR has been adjusted on, usually just a little & downward. Mantle more than most, lost about 15 points. I wrote them to ask why, assuming that it involves defensive adjustments.

  790. Mike Felber Says:

    Players will have outlier “career years” in all aspects of the game, & BBIP/random factors can exaggerate this, as in pitching too. Ripken had 2 huge outliers. The latter is towards the end of his career, a 144 OPS + when his career average was 112.

    This could have been because he ended The Streak, & daaaaze off helped him be fresh enough to hit much better even at 38 & playing SS, though in only 86 games. Whaddya thunk?

  791. Mike Felber Says:

    I did not realize just how high Chipper Jones rates. War has him #31 all time, he has a 141 career OPS +. They rate his defense just about neutral only. And he is doing very well this year. Very impressive indeed! Especially clean playing through the ‘roid era, he is a 1st ballot HOF man.

  792. Mike Felber Says:

    West is too lax w/OWS though. They need to actually support some positions at least now, if not Politicians. They have lost momentum, they need to do good works to help folks like w/foreclosures, but as much as I am in favor of the movement, they are just foolish if they cannot agree on a handful of policies OK, May day was their 1st major event after the cold. They have little momentum since.

  793. Chuck Says:

    I’m guesssing the WAR totals were for players who played exclusively at SS.

    The list was a screen shot by ESPN during the pre-HOF ceremonies on Saturday.

  794. Patrick Says:

    WAR changes it’s formula every year, which tells me that it hasn’t worked even it’s creators eyes.

    If it can tell you that Zobrist was worth more than the 58′ Mantle, then WAR, as it stands, is truly worthless.

    It calculates a hypothetical “Total Runs Saved” on the defense and ignores actual “Total Runs Produced” on the offense, then assigns way too much value on the defense when it marries the offense and defense together.

    The results each year are so screwed up in some instances that it’s creators are compelled to start over. I don’t mind the researchers as much as their disciples, they’re starting to remind me of the door to door religion salesmen.

  795. John Says:

    Again, Patrick, why are you so positive that defense is being overvalued?

    Miscalculated? Possibly.

    But fielding DOES matter greatly in this game and its lunacy to ignore it.

  796. Patrick Says:

    If it wasn’t miscalculated they wouldn’t keep changing the formula, plus, the difference between the worst ML second baseman and the best, isn’t that great, IMO. The worst makes almost all of the plays expected of him and the best still boots balls hit right at him.

    And John, I am not ignoring defense at all, it’s just that on the ML level, EVERYONE makes most of the plays, so it’s not 33% of the game, with pitching and hitting.

    Plus, pitchers are striking out more and more batters. Approx 30% of outs aren’t even fielded unless you want to count the catcher catching the pitch.

  797. Bob Says:

    So, are we sick of the Penn State scandal, or do we want commentary on their penalty?

  798. John Says:

    I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that a bad 2B gets to 100 fewer balls than the best one.

    That’s 100 extra hits that he’s given up!

    If that player had 100 fewer hits with the bat, you would crucify him.

  799. Patrick Says:

    John, that is an outlandish statement. Crazy!

  800. Chuck Says:

    #797…Yes, and no.

  801. JohnBowen Says:

    That’s less than 1 a game. Wouldn’t surprise me too much.

    Let’s look at AL East SS’s.

    Derek Jeter is hitting .311/.355/.412
    JJ Hardy is hitting .220/.261/.376

    Both have played 93 games.

    Not much of a question who is having the better year, right? Because offense says it all!

    Except that JJ Hardy has a whopping 119 more assists than Jeter, and 38 more putouts.

    You’ve brought up differences in teams.

    Well, the Yankees have 33.5% of PA’s result in plays on the infield. 53.7% of PA’s are either balls hit up the middle or to the left side, and 31.1% of PA’s result in ground balls.

    For the Orioles, those numbers are 36.6%, 58.5%, 34.0%.

    So, alright – Hardy should have more plays anyway – about 3.6% more based on averaging those differences.

    That still leaves Hardy with approximately 105 more assists than his counterpart in the Bronx.

    So, sure, Jeter appears to be having the better year. What if you took away hits for every ball he can’t get to because he has no mobility to his left side?

    He might be hitting .220/.261/.376…or worse.

  802. Chuck Says:

    Come on, John, are you really going to go there?

    I get that you’re trying to prove your point here, but Hardy is having an extreme outlier season..he’s on pace to have an all time top ten season for assists.

    Of course he’s going to look that much better than Jeter.

    Why don’t you go league average it because you’ll find out Jeter doesn’t really suck as bad as you statheads think?

  803. JohnBowen Says:

    Ok, Chuck, fair enough.

    League average RF/9 is 4.51, Jeter is at 3.84

    That comes out to an extra 109 per 162 games.

    Now, we can definitely factor in hit trajectories.

    Well, the Yankees have 33.5% of PA’s result in plays on the infield. 53.7% of PA’s are either balls hit up the middle or to the left side, and 31.1% of PA’s result in ground balls, compared to league averages of 34.8%, 55.9%, and 31.9%.

    So, he could have a slightly below league average range factor and still be ok.

    But he’s not slightly below average. Even applying these adjustments, he’s still giving up between 90-100 more hits than the average SS.

    So, ok, Jeter’s hitting .311/.355/.412. If he played even league average defense, he could contribute about as much while hitting around the mendoza line.

    That’s why it shouldn’t appall anyone if a player’s WAR is high/low even with bad or good hitting stats respectively.

    One upon a time, Jeter was passable in the field – below average, but certainly not cringe-worthy – and his historically great bat more than made up for it.

    Not anymore.

  804. Raul Says:

    So I guess it’s more fun to take shots at Derek Jeter than it is to argue 2011 Ben Zobrist was as valuable as 1958 Mickey Mantle.

    I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to tackle that shit. I just wanted to reinforce the absurdity of it.

  805. JohnBowen Says:

    Raul, I didn’t watch Mickey Mantle play baseball in 1958. Did you?

    I know he played hungover a lot, and played on wrecked knees, which probably had some impact on his ability to field the baseball.

    The entire argument seems to go “well player X’s hitting stats are WAY better than player Y’s. How can player Y possibly be more valuable? WAR’s bullshit.”

    Except that defense does matter, and while it’s not like a player can hit .200 and have 8 WAR from only glovework, fielding ability can easily close the gap between players (or open it).

    Mantle had 9.0 oWAR in 1958. Zobrist had 5.5. The gap between Mantle and Zobrist was the same as the gap between Zobrist and THE LEAGUE AVERAGE PLAYER, on offense. Then Zobrist closed that gap by playing better defense, supposedly.

    Now, I’m perfectly willing to concede that there’s a lot going on with the defensive numbers that could throw off their accuracy. For one thing, players after 2003 are graded on a completely different system (due to increased availability of play-by-play data).

    But I will not concede any kind of notion that you can tell all you need to know about a player by looking at offense alone. No way. And when you consider how much damage a poor fielder is capable of doing…yeah, it makes a noticeable difference on the numbers.

  806. Chuck Says:

    John…you realize that “assists” are not specific to fielding a ground ball, correct?

  807. JohnBowen Says:

    No, but it’s a strong indicating factor.

  808. Raul Says:

    Raul, I didn’t watch Mickey Mantle play baseball in 1958. Did you?

    I watched about as much of Mantle in ‘58 as you did of Tim Raines in ‘88.

    I know he played hungover a lot, and played on wrecked knees, which probably had some impact on his ability to field the baseball.

    I’m sure at age-26 Mickey Mantle was a bumbling, shit-faced player with no cartilage in his knees and fly balls that were up in the air for 7 seconds routinely fell to the ground.

    The entire argument seems to go “well player X’s hitting stats are WAY better than player Y’s. How can player Y possibly be more valuable? WAR’s bullshit.”

    Defense matters. But the difference isn’t as great as you think.

    Except that defense does matter, and while it’s not like a player can hit .200 and have 8 WAR from only glovework, fielding ability can easily close the gap between players (or open it).

    Yeah, if you’re talking about comparing a high school SS with Ozzie Smith.

    Mantle had 9.0 oWAR in 1958. Zobrist had 5.5. The gap between Mantle and Zobrist was the same as the gap between Zobrist and THE LEAGUE AVERAGE PLAYER, on offense. Then Zobrist closed that gap by playing better defense, supposedly.

    Hank Aaron and Richie Ashburn had WAR ratings of 7.0 in 1958. Ben Zobrist’s defense was enough to be more valuable than those guys also, right?

    Now, I’m perfectly willing to concede that there’s a lot going on with the defensive numbers that could throw off their accuracy. For one thing, players after 2003 are graded on a completely different system (due to increased availability of play-by-play data).

    You should stop here.

    But I will not concede any kind of notion that you can tell all you need to know about a player by looking at offense alone. No way. And when you consider how much damage a poor fielder is capable of doing…yeah, it makes a noticeable difference on the numbers.

    No one argued that offense alone matters. Saying “he got to more balls than that guy” and using that as the basis to rank defenders is like plugging the Hoover Dam with Swiss cheese.

  809. JohnBowen Says:

    “I’m sure at age-26 Mickey Mantle was a bumbling, shit-faced player with no cartilage in his knees and fly balls that were up in the air for 7 seconds routinely fell to the ground.”

    Or he was just off his game a little in the field and allowed an extra 18 hits or so that year, split evenly between singles and doubles.

    That’s just 3 hits a month.

    Doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you deducted those hits from his batting average and slugging percentage, you’re looking at a .270 BA and .539 slugging percentage.

  810. JohnBowen Says:

    “Hank Aaron and Richie Ashburn had WAR ratings of 7.0 in 1958. Ben Zobrist’s defense was enough to be more valuable than those guys also, right?”

    I don’t know.

    But it COULD be. Because a good defensive player saves runs, which is as good as creating runs with the bat as it relates to winning ballgames.

    So this notion of “well, player A had better hitting numbers and was more famous, so he automatically must’ve been better” is just nonsense.

  811. Chuck Says:

    It’s frustrating as hell to continue to support arguments/points with defensive metrics that we know to have serious flaws.

    It’s like taking a water pistol to a gun fight.

  812. JohnBowen Says:

    Ok, I’ll say it again:

    I don’t know how good Ben Zobrist was with the glove in 2011. I know he’s a very good, very versatile defender who can play both 2B and RF with the best of them.

    What I do know is that criticizing a statistic because it doesn’t automatically make the better offensive player the better overall player is absolutely ridiculous.

  813. Raul Says:

    Why is Zobrist more valuable defensively at 2B than he is at RF?

  814. Bob Says:

    So John has taken the time to write 3 new articl;es, yet the comments keep flowing on this thread. Can’t beat em, join em.

  815. JohnBowen Says:

    Haha, I’ll write another later today. Just need to run a couple errands.

    @813: Because it’s his natural position, probably. It’s also a position of greater offensive scarcity which I think also factors in.

  816. Chuck Says:

    “What I do know is that criticizing a statistic because it doesn’t automatically make the better offensive player the better overall player is absolutely ridiculous.”

    But using a statistic you know to be flawed in an attempt to prove Player A is better than Player B isn’t?

    It’s not a two way street, bro.

  817. JohnBowen Says:

    Every statistic is flawed.

    Some to the point of equating home runs to singles, and they get used all the time.

    WAR uses correlative data to reach historically supported conclusions.

    No, it’s not perfect. But it does a much better job of approximating a player’s value than his traditional BA/HR/RBI splits among many others.

    And it approximates it into something useful (again, based on correlative data). I don’t care how many RBI’s a player had in a very team-specific context. What matters to me is how many wins he generated…in the end, that’s all that matters.

  818. Brautigan Says:

    Michael Humphreys wrote a recent book called “Wizardry”. I enjoyed it just for the historical relevance alone, especially his ratings of the dead ball defenders. So this is the list he came up with for “best all time” at each position:

    C: Ivan Rodriguez
    1B: Keith Hernandez
    2B: Joe “Flash” Gordon
    SS: Mark Belanger
    3B: Brooks Robinson
    LF: Rickey Henderson
    CF: Andruw Jones
    RF: Roberto Clemente

    I cannot quarrel with this lineup. It’s just interesting who else he rates high on his list. Rey Sanchez is the second best shortstop of all time, Neifi Perez is fourth. Johnny Bench is not in his top 10, but contempararies Bob Boone and Jim Sundberg are.

    That is the problem with stat heads. They take numbers and place more calculations than was used on the Apollo trips to the moon, and come up with their logical choice for “best ever”.

    I watched a lot of baseball in the late 60’s and through the 70’s. While Bob Boone and Jim Sundberg were very fine catchers, it is sheer lunancy to suggest they were better than Johnny Bench. Either that or my eyes did not see what they surely saw.

  819. Raul Says:

    BA/HR/RBI don’t approximate values.

    People approximate their value. Sometimes wisely. Other times, not so much.

    Your problem is in how you think people use that data.

  820. Brautigan Says:

    “how many wins he generated”. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Do you want to go back to that GWRBI stat? Or do you want to keep tweeking numbers til you come up with some other calculation to fit your assumptions? Sometimes numbers are just numbers, and you really have to watch the damn game on the field to figure out how the game is won and los, and who best contributes to the game being won or lost.

  821. Brautigan Says:


  822. Brautigan Says:

    Take Oakland for example. They are next to last in on base pct. and next to last in OPS. They are dead last in runs scored. Their defense is not that good, and their catching position is manned by two guys hitting near Mario Mendoza territory.

    But two things have occured. They have hit a lot more homeruns than they have given up, and their team pitching has been exceptional. Those two things seem to have factored in Oakland being 5 and a half games behind Texas, and one game behind Chicago for best record by a non division leader.

  823. Chuck Says:

    ” What matters to me is how many wins he generated..”

    And there is no way to tell that..anything you use is nothing more than a reasonably educated guess.

  824. Chuck Says:

    WAR says Hernandez is almost five times better defensively than Don Mattingly.

    That in itself should put to rest how fucked up defensive metrics are.

  825. Chuck Says:

    hahahaha..Rickey Henderson???

    THE Rickey Henderson??

  826. JohnBowen Says:

    @822, but I thought hitting statistics directly reflected winning?

    @823, which is precisely what WAR is, nothing more and nothing less. A guess. But a much better guess than “look how awesome ARod is, I bet we’ll win 30 more games if we sign him to a 10-year deal for 1/4 our payroll!!!!!!”

    @824, literally no one else in the world shares your opinion, rather objective or subjective, that Don Mattingly was comparable with the glove to Keith Hernandez.

    ” Or do you want to keep tweeking numbers til you come up with some other calculation to fit your assumptions?”

    The numbers keep getting tweeked, Braut, so that they correlate more closely to actual wins/losses. It’s not like there are teams expected to win 100 games by WAR that only win 70. Occasionally you’ll get an 8-win outlier or something, but I suspect that on average, it’s within 5%. Not too shabby.

  827. Mike Felber Says:

    Briefly Patrick, before I get to read all the other posts:

    1) The WAR changes I noted are usually very small over a cereer. tweaking something slightly to try to reflect the truth is standard practice even in the hard sciences, 7 does not it itself show anything is suspect.

    2) You are completely wrong that WAR does not calculate total runs produced.

    3) John is right that how many balls you get to can vary widely.

    4) You have a large misapprehension that defense is considered as 1/3 of the game. Just look at the actual VALUES assigned to defense, they are much lower than for offense. It is fairly uncommon for anyone to have more than 1 something defensive WAR, & around 3? That is a fairly rare outier.

  828. Chuck Says:

    WAR justifies what is already known, it proves nothing, and when there is a discrepancy to what is already known, the flaws or errors lie within WAR.

  829. JohnBowen Says:

    “WAR justifies what is already known”


    “it proves nothing”


    “when there is a discrepancy to what is already known, the flaws or errors lie within WAR.”

    What does that even mean? So far, the discrepancies all consist of “player X hit better, so why isn’t his WAR higher.” That’s not a discrepancy, that’s you not considering the other half of the ballgame.

  830. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, as I said to you in other woirds before: you cannot have it both ways. WAR never can get any credit for being what you consider right, yet when it is “bold” enough to goi against your or conventional opinion-admittedly not always the same thing, but it often is-it must automatically be wrong?

    WAR is imperfect, but a good effort & you have not shown it is not pretty accurate. Defense when wrong are not nearly as large values as other elements anyway, so it will not change the overall # dramatically. You are not capable of being objective or giving it any credit.

  831. Chuck Says:

    You’re missing the point, Mike, just like John and Shaun earlier.

    WAR justifies what is already known, it is not a re-invention of the wheel, and when there is a signifant difference of opinion it’s caused by the flaws within WAR, not conventional knowledge.

    I really don’t know how after three years of being here you can’t grasp that.

  832. Chuck Says:

    The significant difference WAR gives between Hernandez in Mattingly is case in point.

    Whether you pick on of the other it’s your choice, both were great and among the best defenders ever at their position, but WAR makes it seem like we’re comparing JT Snow to Dick Stuart.

    You cannot possibly have seen either play and come away convinced their WAR ratings are in any way accurate.

  833. Mike Felber Says:

    I have been here more than 3 years, easily.

    Folks will have very distinct OPINIONS & it is not a lack of grasping when we disagree. If you mean do i understand the argument, of course, always did.

    I do not know if you see what i am saying actually-that you take the most negative possible opinion of WAR. I showed no indication of missing your points, I addressed them but disagree.

    When it shows what many believe most of the time, you can be skeptical, good idea, but it is not objective to not wonder if it is quantifying useful things. Thus consider if when it says what you do not believe, the formula may have insight.

    You tend to justify all the time your own, & conventional wisdom. It is structurally a more extreme position than the vast majority of WAR supporters to never grant it any credit in its parts or whole. Advocates almost always acknowledge imperfections, & do not say that all conventional wisdom is always wrong.

  834. Chuck Says:

    “the most negative possible opinion of WAR”

    Of course I do, because it’s a stat that’s premise is based off a non-existent “replacement player”.

    I’ve asked this before, and neither you or Shaun or Tyler or Sky or Kerry or John or anyone else has ever answered it.

    Pick a year, any year, I don’t care.

    I want to see, in detail, the “replacement level” stats for that year.

    If you expect me or Raul or Patrick or Braut to believe, without debate, that Ben Zobrist’s 9.2 in 2009 was equal to Mantle’s 1957 without knowing what those numbers are based on, then I want whatever it is you’re smoking.

    If you can’t provide the stat, or tell me where to find it or even how to figure it, then you can’t justify using it.

    It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

  835. JohnBowen Says:

    “I want to see, in detail, the “replacement level” stats for that year.”

    Well, it could be a .250 hitter who plays shitty defense in leftfield.

    Or, a .200 hitter who plays average defense at second base.

    Or a pitcher who pitches 180 IP at a 4.80 ERA.

    There are literally infinitely many iterations of a “replacement level player.”
    Just as there are literally infinitely many iterations of a “very good player.”

    But, if you prefer, WAR defines 2.0 as average, and includes a listing for WAA (wins above average).

    So, if you would prefer to have an across the board baseline, just use WAA, which is just equal to WAR minus 2, so the exact same scale shifted linearly by 2.

    And if you must have stats across the line to justify a statistic, you can just look at the league averages.

    So, in 2011, the league average player hit .258/.322/.407 with 28 doubles, 16 home runs, and went 11/15 in stolen bases. Then there’s defense and fielding to consider (there’s no “average” defensive position, but if he played slightly below average defense at the hot corner, that would make him about average).

    Again, if you want to actually do reading, go here: and click on subsequent links for more info.

  836. Chuck Says:

    So, you can’t provide the stats?

    You can’t just arbitrarily say “Justin Verlander was better in 2011 than Denny McLain was in 1968 because his WAR was higher”, you have to SHOW WHY it was higher.

    Saying “well, maybe it’s this or maybe it’s that, or just go read something” doesn’t justify anything.

    I’m open to Verlander having the better year, but just going with a higher WAR doesn’t fly.

  837. Cameron Says:

    There is no standard formula for WAR, so I’m pretty sure there’s no actual real tangible stat line that can be provided for a replacement level player. While not a completely arbitrary standard, it’s ot one outlined with numbers.

  838. Raul Says:

    For Verlander to have been better, the baseline player would have had to have been better in 1968.

  839. JohnBowen Says:

    “I’m open to Verlander having the better year, but just going with a higher WAR doesn’t fly.”

    Fine, we’ll go with a higher WAA.

    In 2011, the average pitcher had a 4.08 ERA, and a 1.325 WHIP, while striking out 6.9 per 9. A hypothetical pitcher who hit exactly those marks was worth 2.0 WAR, and 0.0 WAA.

    In 1968, the average pitcher had a 2.99 ERA, 1.189 WHIP, and averaged 6.0 K/9. A hypothetical pitcher who hit exactly those marks was worth 2.0 WAR, and 0.0 WAA.

    Verlander’s ERA was 1.58 below the league average, his WHIP was 0.4 below league average, and his K/9 was 2.1 above league average.

    Based on correlative data, exceeding the league average pitcher’s performance by those marks correlates to roughly an extra win per every 40 IP pitched compared to an average pitcher, so for 251 IP, he was worth 6.3 wins above the average pitcher.

    McLain’s ERA was 1.03 below the league average, his WHIP was 0.284 below the league average, and his K/9 was 1.5 above league average.

    Based on correlative data, exceeding the league average pitcher’s performance by those marks correlates to roughly an extra win per every 75 IP pitched compared to an average pitcher, so for 336 IP, he was worth 4.5 wins above the average pitcher.

  840. Cameron Says:

    I think that could be possible. The best then were better than the best now, but the scrub players… Yeah. They sucked.

  841. Chuck Says:

    The scrubs are worse today, there are more shitty players in 2011 than in 1968, which brings the league averages down.

    McLain pitched against better competition more often.

  842. JohnBowen Says:

    “The scrubs are worse today, there are more shitty players in 2011 than in 1968, which brings the league averages down.”

    Even if that was true, doesn’t matter. WAR’s not trying to answer how well they located their pitches or who much they could take off their change up. WAR is comparing players relative to their peers.

    Which, need I remind you, is where wins/losses come from in the first place…outdoing your peers.

  843. Patrick Says:

    Tiant was pretty good in 68 too, not that anyone asked.

    This idea that RangeFactor=PO+A/9 innings is silly.

    First of all, all teams have similar total stats when it comes to assist and putout totals because there are 27 outs in each game and you only get awarded one if an out happens.If one guy(Hardy) happens to get more than his share, it means the other 8 fielders are getting less, so the rest of his team will have poor RangeFactors.

    The only reason why teams are only similar and not exact is because you don’t award an assist on a strike out.

    The Orioles have 125 less K’s than the Yankees, so that’s 125 LESS chances and assists. If you take K’s out, guess what, all teams have approximately the same Range Factor regardless of whether they’re made up of 9 Ozzie Smith’s or 9 Adam Dunn’s.

    Plus, where are these 100 or so imaginary hits that JJ Hardy has saved? The Orioles are 12th in the AL in hits allowed. Jeter and the Yanks are 8th.

    And Mike, I said WAR doesn’t use actual runs produced, which are runs and rbi. It uses the building blocks for runs and rbi but not the end result. Also, in the case of the Cubs 2nd basemen Barney, fielding is weighted way over 33%.

    Barney has SAVED more runs(2.8 dWAR)over the fictional replacement player fielding at second base than Carlos Beltran has created (2.2 WAR) with 20 HR, .300 BA, 52 RUNS and a league leading lucky team oriented 67 RBI.

    Darwin Barney has saved well over 119 runs, but where are they? The Cubs are 14th out of 16 in ERA.

    OH, they’re last in the majors in K’s, so 200 more outs happen in the field, eventually.

  844. Raul Says:

    I suppose if you had Brooks Robinson on the same team with Ozzie Smith, potentially Smith’s defensive value would decrease if Robinson got to balls that typically Smith would have gotten if Smith had played with a worse 3B.

    Is this accurate?

  845. JohnBowen Says:

    “Darwin Barney has saved well over 119 runs, but where are they? The Cubs are 14th out of 16 in ERA.

    OH, they’re last in the majors in K’s, so 200 more outs happen in the field, eventually.”

    Again, WAR accounts for that.

    “And Mike, I said WAR doesn’t use actual runs produced, which are runs and rbi.”

    Both of those are stupid ways to evaluate players, because they’re both very reliant upon the performances of teammates.

    “Darwin Barney has saved well over 119 runs, but where are they?”

    Actually 28. So, the Cubs would be 15th in ERA without him. It’s not his fault that his team sucks.

    “Barney has SAVED more runs(2.8 dWAR)over the fictional replacement player fielding at second base than Carlos Beltran has created (2.2 WAR) with 20 HR, .300 BA, 52 RUNS and a league leading lucky team oriented 67 RBI.”

    Again, not impossible.

  846. JohnBowen Says:

    “I suppose if you had Brooks Robinson on the same team with Ozzie Smith, potentially Smith’s defensive value would decrease if Robinson got to balls that typically Smith would have gotten if Smith had played with a worse 3B.

    Is this accurate?”

    His range factor would go down…his dWAR would account for it, however.

  847. Raul Says:

    So the defensive metrics would be affected in my example in #844.

    So it is reliant on teammates. Which according to your post in #845, is stupid.

    Looking for consistency here.

  848. JohnBowen Says:

    dWAR doesn’t actually use the metrics…it uses play-by-play data for every play, with an insane amount of detail (including like, pitch speed and hit trajectory and stuff).

    I just used range factor as an example to how large the difference can be between a shit defensive player and a good one.

    Everyone can see a hit by a batter, but it’s often not as easy to see a hit that a good fielder takes away.

  849. JohnBowen Says:

    Also, to your example…Smith could then cover more ground to his left (knowing that he had a guy that good to his right. So he would nab more balls up the middle, right?

  850. Raul Says:

    Potentially, I suppose.

    But let’s say you had 3 great defensive outfielders. Someone’s defensive rating is going to suffer…for no other reason than they have a better teammate.

  851. JohnBowen Says:

    I think that would be negligible, but I’m not sure. Just a hunch.

  852. Patrick Says:

    John, you can’t have it both ways. You were the one who sited raw Hardy’s raw numbers against Jeter’s, I’m the one who put that into context.

    Raul is 100% correct, a great 3B will ruin a SS range factor. Simple as that. The reverse is true too, a rangeless 3B will make a SS field more plays and have a higher range factor.

    28 runs over a replacement player is an astounding amount, especially when you consider that Barney was a replacement player. Anyway, I still fail to see how that fictional number of runs is worth 2.8 and Beltran’s entire almost MVP caliber season is worth 2.2?

    You tried to tell me there were 100 hits somewhere that Hardy saved over Jeter, do you still feel that way because you didn’t mention my rebuttal.

    Also, you may think runs and rbi are stupid but I say they’re an art. Rickey Henderson scored and Dave Winfield got RBI no matter where they played.

    Every team has similar RBI opportunities. Guys get pitched to differently, some adapt, some don’t. Some get pitched to with 2nd and 3rd and some don’t. The funny thing is the ones that don’t get pitched to still manage to have alot more RBI than the ones that do. RBI matters.

    Off to play a little poker.

  853. JohnBowen Says:

    “You tried to tell me there were 100 hits somewhere that Hardy saved over Jeter, do you still feel that way because you didn’t mention my rebuttal.”

    Something like that.

    “Rickey Henderson scored”

    Because he reached base and stole a lot of bases. Don’t need runs scored to know Henderson was good.

    “Dave Winfield got RBI no matter where they played.”

    Mickey Mantle had 4 100-RBI seasons. If that’s the statistic you wanna get behind, go for it.

  854. Brautigan Says:

    John: Perhaps it would behoove you to read Bill James argument regarding hits and shortstops (Ozzie Smith) in the 1983 baseball abstract (pages 172-174)

  855. JohnBowen Says:

    Patrick, I already showed you that the percentage of PA’s that result in groundballs, balls to the left side, etc, aren’t nearly enough to cover the ridiculous discrepancy between Hardy and Jeter.

  856. JohnBowen Says:

    @854, not on hand. Care to give me a quick synopsis?

  857. Bob Says:

    If already mentioned, I am sorry, but the Tigers acguired Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn. I like this move for the Tigers. They have the internal depth to part with Turner and Brantley.

  858. Bob Says:

    The Yankees acquired Ichiro.

  859. JohnBowen Says:

    I wrote a quickie about that under “news,” thanks for the hattip!

  860. Brautigan Says:

    Yikes, I don’t know if I can and make it sound coherent. Basically, in 1982 Whitey Herzog said Ozzie Smith saved 100 runs that another shortstop couldn’t have saved. James went after that quote and found that Smith probably would have saved about 30-35 runs a year over an “average” fielding shortstop. I am making this way too simplistic, but that was the gist of it. To get to 100 hits more than an average fielding position player would be extremely difficult in this day and age.

  861. Patrick Says:

    @858 cool

    @855 that was the percentage of balls in play, of which the Yanks defense had 187 fewer than the Orioles(125 less K’s, 31 more errors made, 31 more hits allowed).

    Range Factor never addresses that there are only 27 outs to be had.

    You guys think you’ve figured something out. lol

  862. JohnBowen Says:

    “Yikes, I don’t know if I can and make it sound coherent. Basically, in 1982 Whitey Herzog said Ozzie Smith saved 100 runs that another shortstop couldn’t have saved. James went after that quote and found that Smith probably would have saved about 30-35 runs a year over an “average” fielding shortstop. I am making this way too simplistic, but that was the gist of it. To get to 100 hits more than an average fielding position player would be extremely difficult in this day and age.”

    Right, ok. 35 runs, not hits. Obviously, multiple hits are needed per run, no?

    Well, by and large, every 10 runs from one player equates to 1 win. It’s a little variable, but it comes out to about that.

    So, Smith was worth about 3-3.5 WAR with the glove that year, right? Baseball Reference gives him 3.4. And even though he didn’t hit well (.248/.339/.314, 2 HR), he earned 4.8 WAR for the season. That’s because defense matters, greatly.

    As far as how many total hits equates to 35 runs? I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think 100 is that far off.

    ” that was the percentage of balls in play, of which the Yanks defense had 187 fewer than the Orioles(125 less K’s, 31 more errors made, 31 more hits allowed).”

    Actually, it was percentage of total PA’s.

    “Range Factor never addresses that there are only 27 outs to be had.”

    Who said anything about team range factor?

  863. JohnBowen Says:

    Also, @Patrick, dWAR doesn’t even look at range factor. Completely separate measurements.

  864. Patrick Says:

    I said something about team range factors because they’re all the same.

    If Arod gets to more than his fair share of balls to his left, than Jeter sucks at range. Never mind Jeter fields everything and his 3B happens to also be one of the best SS ever so he has great range for a 3B. Never mind Jeter is in the playoffs every year.

    @863 so what are you saying? That Range Factors are bullshit? Anyway, you are wrong, the amount of assists and putouts do figure in to dWAR.

    We all get old but I’d say Jeter has let up less than 7 runs that he shouldn’t have, and he’s saved runs others might not have.

  865. JohnBowen Says:

    “If Arod gets to more than his fair share of balls to his left, than Jeter sucks at range.”

    No, because then Jeter would be able to shade to and cover ground to his left. But if you’ve ever watched him play, you know that he’s utterly incapable of doing that.

    “Never mind Jeter is in the playoffs every year.”

    Jeez, that’s your argument? That because he’s a very good hitter and because he’s got awesome teammates thanks to a 200 million dollar payroll, he must ALSO be a good fielder?

    “Never mind Jeter fields everything”

    One game. Watch him play one game.

  866. JohnBowen Says:

    Again: read

  867. JohnBowen Says:

    I would like to take this moment to point out that Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, and Bobby Grich all grade out as historically great infielders despite being on the same infield and supposedly fucking each other’s range factors.

  868. Patrick Says:

    I’ve watched Jeter play 1,000 games. Yeah, he’s not going to be on the top 10 plays very much these days but he’s still solid.

    As far as Jeter in the playoffs his entire career, well I don’t think it’s possible to do what the Yanks have done without a great fielding SS. He’s been the one constant to their dominance. Normally I wouldn’t mention a team accomplishment in conjunction with a players, but in this case they’re one in the same.

  869. Mike Felber Says:

    So my comment does not require moderation I alter the last address marfimally:

    RBIs are not stupid, how they are used & what they are assumed to mean so often is. When we looked at RBIs per opportunity a while back we saw that.

    I thought the claim was the crazy Wiz saved 1 run a game. Way off, but that is a good segue to say that sure, an Oz will create more defensive value than his limited bat. When i said that defense creates much less value than offense I was talking about overall, overwhelmingly so, & if you take equally, or the most accomplished performances at any position vs. the greatest hitting years,the latter creates several times more value. And still defense is quite valuable.

    Even 3 great outfielders will not make a great, though likely some, impact on the other guys. Because most hits can only be taken by 1 guy, & he is either getting to it or not. Measuring the type of pitch, hit, etc provides more discernment.

    Here is the response I got back from you know where. Chew on this gentleman in your consideration of both the validity of the various aspects of WAR, its changes, & if its adjustments make the whole add up to the strong claim below.

    Hi Mike,

    We upgraded WAR back in May:

    The new version contains a number of improvements that we believe makes our WAR
    the definitive measure of value over replacement.


    S-R Bugs
    bugs at sports-reference. com

  870. Raul Says:

    But I’m not sure Jeter going to his left makes up for a good 3B.
    If you have Andruw Jones in his prime, does that mean your corner outfielders start playing closer to the lines? Doubt it.

  871. Patrick Says:

    Number 1, Grich hardly played with the other 2. Number 2, the Oriole pitchers of the Brooks-Belanger years induced an ungodly amount of ground balls to the left side. It was Earl Weaver’s blueprint.

    Anyway, how the hell can anyone rate Brooks’ fielding without actually seeing all of it? How the hell does anyone know that Horace Clarke slipped a groundball double by him in August of 67′? I remember in 1970, Bobby Murcer checking his swing and hitting a dribbler and Brooks couldn’t barehand it, so Murcer got a hit. Is that in there?

  872. Mike Felber Says:

    Great point on the Orioles infielders/# 867 John.

    Patrick exactly WHY would the Yanks need a great, or even decent infielder if the whole team is good enough to keep getting to the post season? Any one player’s range factor or glove is a tiny % of the total value of (esp. a great) team & the total value of all its, hitting , base running, pitching, & defense.

    There are fans & haters, & both tend to be biased. I do not see how stats or the eyeball test-at least when you consider flashiness & competence at easy plays from mobility & range-make it very clear Jeter has little range.

    Actually his case is a small recapitulation or analogy of the above whole team vs. 1 aspect of 1 player example! Jeter can be a historically great SS despite being poor in one aspect of the game due to his overall talent, mostly with the bat. Just like Teddy Ballgame & Babe Ruth can be amongst the very greatest players EVER all around despite not having a good glove, steals, or what not.

    Because if you are good or great enough at very crucial things that create disproportionate value, like being Shaq like physically, this factor can override all others & you can far exceed almost all in total value with far more “tools”.

  873. Mike Felber Says:

    Good 2 points in your 1st paragraph Patrick.

    Though all those kinds of hits & how handled can be measured. However, science has shown time & time again that personal, emotional, 1st impression/confirmation bias & extraneous factors totally warps the sober judgement of folks on how good someone was, or even how often what occurred.

    if there was NO measure of HRs & related accomplishments, I guarantee you pure reputation, “most feared” irrational memes & assorted if not sordid factors would ensure that we would NOT have a close approximation of even who did what how often, let alone how total value adds up.

  874. Patrick Says:

    @870 Jeter is slowing down. There is rarely a ground ball between 3B and SS that gets to left field but it’s true that the Jeter is slow to the middle. I’d say that he probably has let up 10 or so hits that Asdrubal Cabrera would’ve gotten to. I think he offsets those hits with his sure handedness on routine plays and his calmness when the game is on the line.

  875. Raul Says:

    Understood, Patrick.

    What I’m saying is, if Jeter had Scott Rolen at 3B during his career I am not sure that would make him better at balls up the middle.

    And even if Jeter was better able to go to balls at the middle, how does that make a difference?

    Anyone ever see that old Indian quote about daylight savings time?

    Suppose a 3B covers 15 feet of the field. That leaves the SS to cover (for the sake of this exercise) the remaining 75 feet towards 2nd base.

    Now suppose you have a great 3B that covers 20 feet of the field. Now that 3B is taking balls away that the SS would normally field. This hurts the defensive metrics of the SS.

    Well, John seems to be arguing that because of the defensive prowess of the 3B, the SS could shift more towards 2B, and perhaps technically has to cover less field (70 feet instead of 75). And therefore the SS would make up the balls that the 3B has taken.

    I suppose on a best-possible-outcome, this could be true. But that’s not how defensive positioning works. There are too many factors that dictate where infielders need to be at a given time.

    The way that old Indian quote applies is, I’m not sure you can cut a Shortstop’s responsbility to field on his right side, move it to the left, and think you’ve changed anything about the Shortstop’s effectiveness.

    To be fair, I make some pretty bad analogies, according to Lefty.

  876. Mike Felber Says:

    It is unclear. But if he was making up the distance to his right, that would be maintaining his effectiveness. The blanket is not getting larger. The question is can the SS essentially sew back on the blanket (lost ground to cover). If there are about the same # of balls hit there, yes.

  877. JohnBowen Says:

    “But that’s not how defensive positioning works.”

    No? I feel like that’s exactly what teams do, most of the time. Situationally, this could change, but you don’t think Elvis Andrus plays a little closer to 2nd base than, say, Jhonny Peralta?

  878. Chuck Says:

    From a scouting perspective, when watching a young SS it’s more important that he shows the ability to go to his right than his left.

    Billy Ripken spent fifteen minutes last night talking about the most important factor in an infielder making a play is knowing what pitch will be’s just as important the infielder knows the signs as the pitcher. I’m sure WAR doesn’t measure that.

    Catching and throwing is a small part of being able to make a play..people who understand baseball realize that..people who understand WAR don’t.

    Putouts + assists is not a good measure of range (good point Patrick).

    The 2001 Dbacks named Craig Counsell the team MVP, I’ve heard a number of players say the team doesn’t even make the postseason without him, much less have a ring. He filled in for Matt Williams when he was hurt, Tony Womack when he was hurt, and Jay Bell when he was hurt. He had more than 30 starts at three different positions.

    His WAR for the season was 1.5.

    If my team has an average to above average thirdbaseman who is strong to his left and is suddenly replaced with a player with the range of a statue, it’s the responsibility of the SS to compensate. Just like it is the responsibility of the second baseman with a poor first baseman or a CF with a poor corner.

    There’s a reason why Jeter doesn’t get to as many balls up the middle as he used to other than age, it’s his old skirt chasing buddy to his right.

    I’d bet if you went to Fangraphs and looked up the Mariners pitching staff you’d see they throw fewer breaking balls when Montero is catching than with either Olivo or Jaso because Montero sucks at blocking balls.

    Positions are different, concepts the same.

    I asked a specific question yesterday (again) and the answer I got was a link to the definition of WAR.

    I’ve read it.

    And doesn’t answer my question.

    And even if he did, all what would be accomplished would be a better understanding of WAR, but it wouldn’t change the fact WAR is silly by can’t assign a win or a fraction of a win to a specific player.

    I get the concept and the principle behind it, but it fails.

    You want to use it, fine, your choice, but dont’ go getting your tampon strings in a knot when someone tells you it’s flawed, especially when YOU know it.

  879. John Says:

    Counsell helped out. The idea that he was team MVP over Johnson, Schilling, and Gonzalez is just silly.

  880. Chuck Says:

    “The idea that he was team MVP over Johnson, Schilling, and Gonzalez is just silly.”

    Players vote.

    Not everything that goes into winning baseball games can be turned into a stat, no matter how much your stat sheets try.

  881. John Says:

    Ok, Chuck.

    I’ll take Johnson, you can have Counsell.

  882. Bob Says:

    Speaking of taking, a Topps Barry Sanders rookie card can be mine for 30 bucks. Yes or no?

  883. Chuck Says:

    I think the reason why you want it would decide the answer.

    1) Barry Sanders is one of your favorite players and you’re trying to collect ALL of his cards?

    Yes, buy it.

    2) It’s for your collection, which sits in a box in your garage.

    No, don’t buy it.

    3) You’re looking to complete that year’s set which you will then sell on Ebay for a thousand bucks.

    Yes, buy it.

    4) You’re going to trade it for five Andrew Luck rookie cards.

    No, don’t buy it.

    5) Buying it will piss off your wife.

    Yes, buy it.

  884. Chuck Says:

    Of course you will.

    You’d rather have a guy who plays 35 times a year than a guy who plays 135 and can play multiple positions and is a good baserunner.

    Not surprised at all, WARboy.

  885. JohnBowen Says:


    You would rather have Craig Counsell on your team than Randy Johnson.

    Why would anyone ever take your opinions on baseball seriously?

  886. Chuck Says:

    Totally missed the point…again.

    It’s all good, though.

  887. Chuck Says:

    How you got this

    “You would rather have Craig Counsell on your team than Randy Johnson”

    from this

    “You’d rather have a guy who plays 35 times a year than a guy who plays 135 and can play multiple positions and is a good baserunner.”

    isn’t all that surprising either.

    You might be above average at math and science, but you have the reading comprehension skills of a hamster. (Thanks to Keith Law for the quote)

  888. JohnBowen Says:

    Yes, I would rather have an all-time great pitcher than a very good all-around role player.

  889. Chuck Says:

    Where did I say you had to make a choice?

    Take Counsell off that team and they don’t make the postseason.

    The fucking PLAYERS ON THE TEAM said that, not me.

    YOU’RE the one who doesn’t understand what it takes to win baseball games, other than what you’re spreadsheets tell you.

    WAR doesn’t measure those things, and no matter how much we all try to beat that into your thick fucking skull, you remain oblivious to reality.

    I’d love to sit and watch a game with you, just to know what goes through your mind.

  890. JohnBowen Says:

    “Take Counsell off that team and they don’t make the postseason.”

    Take Randy Johnson off the team and they don’t make the postseason…by more.

    Take Randy Johnson off the team, and they might not even have a .500 record.

    Same probably goes for Schilling and Gonzalez.

    But because they didn’t sub-in for injured players, they can’t be team MVP?

    Okay, buddy.

  891. Brautigan Says:

    Take the steroids out of Gonzo and ….oh never mind.

  892. Chuck Says:

    “Take Randy Johnson off the team, and they might not even have a .500 record.”

    Seven games over.

    “Take Randy Johnson off the team and they don’t make the postseason…by more.”

    Prove it.

    “But because they didn’t sub-in for injured players, they can’t be team MVP?”

    What the hell does that have to do with the conversation?

    Luckily for me, I know have something better to do.

  893. Brautigan Says:

    John writes:

    “but you don’t think Elvis Andrus plays a little closer to 2nd base than, say, Jhonny Peralta?”

    Why would he do that. Doesn’t Ian Kinsler have the greatest range in all of baseball at the 2B position?

  894. Brautigan Says:

    Again, I think the point is, you position regarding the hitter, not who the infield consists of.

  895. Bob Says:

    I think he was trying to praise Beltre.

  896. Chuck Says:

    All in all, the Dbacks weren’t a very good team in 2001, they barely made the playoffs as it is, and they won the NLCS on a walkoff just to get to the WS.

    The point being, which John is too fucking ignorant or stupid to see, is even WITH Johnson, Schilling and Gonzalez, what Counsell did that year made the difference.

    Matt Williams and Jay Bell were All Stars that year and missed a combined 108 games with injury, Counsell held the infield together.

    If WAR doesn’t say it, or say it first, then it can’t be true.

    Baseball’s been played professionally for 150 years, WAR’s been around for ten.

    Read John McGraw’s biography..he was clearly a proponent of OPS even during the deadball era..and yet the Statnerd Society expects us to believe some 6′5″ bearded security guard invented it?

    Come on, really?

    Ty Cobb hated what Babe Ruth and the lively ball were doing to the game, putting the ball in play consistently creates more baserunners and scoring opportunities, yet we’re expected to believe “out avoidance” is some new way of thinking?

  897. JohnBowen Says:

    “Again, I think the point is, you position regarding the hitter, not who the infield consists of.”

    If you’re smart, you do both.

    To your point, Kinsler is a very good 2B…so perhaps he shifts to his left (depending on whether you’ve got Young, Napoli, or Moreland over that way).

    I think you’re way overestimating the effect of sharing the infield with good players. No infield is good enough to swallow up everything…even if you had Keith Hernandez, Bobby Grich, Ozzie Smith, and Scott Rolen on an infield, balls sneak through. I don’t think overlap happens nearly often enough to have a measurable effect on the numbers.

  898. JohnBowen Says:

    “what Counsell did that year made the difference.”

    No one said he didn’t.

  899. Chuck Says:

    “No one said he didn’t.”

    Then what the fuck are you arguing for???

  900. Patrick Says:

    John, there are only an average of 19 defensive outs per game and maybe 10 assists. The entire team has to share them. If one guy has a huge share, the other guys are below average.

    What Counsell did that year was what the original idea of the MVP award. To award the player who did all of the intangibles that didn’t show up on the stat sheet.

  901. Mike Felber Says:

    Why can you not assign value or wins to players?! That does not c laim that it is perfectly knowable, but many players & managers make assessments like Herzog, about Counsell-& you act like there is some hearsay in just trying to quantify things. Also what is a replacement player in value has been shown to be a reachable value through many ways of producing overall/AAA average value.

    So not only is WAR 1) structurally flawed whatever it does, or imperfect aspects in defense invalidates it all forever, 2) Only tells us what wed already know when you agree with it, but 3) It is impossible & a monstrous crime against humanity to even make the effort to do what folks have been informally doing forever.

    John, it is silly to say he knows nothing about the game. But someone can have great inside apprehension of something yet have misapprehensions in principle & conclusions. No matter how many times you “pull” the tampon strings brilliant riposte out Chuck, you must admit you are constitutionally biased against any possible iteration of WAR.

    It is not rational to insist it is wrong, approximate your own or trumpets others valuation, then say it is theoretically impossible to ever be decent or very accurate, thus a bad thing to even try.

    That is a reactionary way of drinking the proverbial kool aid.


    (sic, very).

  902. JohnBowen Says:

    “If one guy has a huge share, the other guys are below average.”

    And like I said, if Jeter’s RF/9 was simply below average, that would be fine.

    It’s not just below average, it’s the worst in the league by far.

  903. Raul Says:

    You really talk A LOT about Derek Jeter.

  904. Patrick Says:

    John, then where are all of these hits that Jeter has let up? If the Yanks pitchers had a 100 less hits, they would all be HOFers. They would have the greatest staff of all time.

    Also, the Orioles have pitched fairly well, third in BB allowed, where they fail is they’re 14th in the AL in hits allowed, so again, these 100 hits that Hardy has saved would make the O’s the worst pitching staff ever.

    It couldn’t be that instead of “worst” that Jeter has had the fewest opportunities?


    Just writing that is a form of the hating you detest so much.

  905. Chuck Says:


    Answered yesterday Mike.

    Spare yourself anymore embarrassment and go back and read through the thread.


  906. JohnBowen Says:

    “It couldn’t be that instead of “worst” that Jeter has had the fewest opportunities?”

    Every year, pretty much since 1996?

  907. Patrick Says:

    Then where are the hits?

  908. JohnBowen Says:

    What do you mean? If Omar Vizquel were SS, there would be fewer hits given up.

    Of course, the offense would suck more.

    100 hits is probably a bit much, but 50-75 wouldn’t at all surprise me.

  909. Chuck Says:

    Don’t feed the trolls, Patrick.

  910. JohnBowen Says:

    Personally, I find it interesting that one of you is arguing that Jeter’s range factor is suffering because ARod is really good at playing 3rd and the other is arguing that his range suffers because Jeter has to make up for how bad ARod is.

  911. Raul Says:

    I’m not arguing anything about Jeter or A-Rod.

  912. JohnBowen Says:

    You were not the one I was referring to, Raul.

  913. Chuck Says:

    Here’s the whole Jeter thing in a nutsack.

    John hates on him because subjective “advanced” stats created by people who don’t know shit about baseball say he sucks.

    In reality, he doesn’t.

    No one is making the claim he’s Omar or Ozzie, but he’s not Adam Dunn either.

    If he was really that bad he would have been moved to the OF long ago, like the Brewers did with Ryan Braun.

    The Yanks have five championships in the Jeter era, with him playing arguably the most important defensive position on the field.

    Would they have won more without him?

    Hard to say..what they would have gained defensively with Vizquel they would have lost offensively, so it probably washes out.

    I know one thing for certain, John wishes he had been a Brewer for the last 17 years, and if he was he wouldn’t be saying Jack Shit about his defense.

  914. JohnBowen Says:

    “John hates on him because subjective “advanced” stats created by people who don’t know shit about baseball say he sucks.”

    If by advanced stats you mean exhaustive examination of play by play data.

    “Hard to say..what they would have gained defensively with Vizquel they would have lost offensively, so it probably washes out.”

    It doesn’t just wash out. Jeter’s offense in all five of those championship seasons and most of his career has so far more than made up for his shitty defense that it was fine to overlook.

    I’m not disputing that he’s a first ballot HOFer, I’m disputing the notion that just because he’s a great bat, and he’s remained at SS, and he’s really famous and “calm under pressure.” that he somehow should also get credit for being good at his job defensively, when all evidence, objective or subjective, suggests he sucks at it.

    “I know one thing for certain, John wishes he had been a Brewer for the last 17 years, and if he was he wouldn’t be saying Jack Shit about his defense.”

    I’ve bitched plenty about the Brewers glove-work.

  915. Chuck Says:

    “If by advanced stats you mean exhaustive examination of play by play data.”

    A five year old can do and exhaustive examination.

    You have to understand your subject first, though.

    What’s the point of doing all the work without knowing how it applies?

  916. JohnBowen Says:

    I’ve watched plenty of Jeter to know that he doesn’t get to balls that an average SS can.

    You shouldn’t bitch and moan just because someone can quantify it.

  917. Chuck Says:

    “hat he somehow should also get credit for being good at his job defensively, when all evidence, objective or subjective, suggests he sucks at it.”

    Jeter isn’t nearly as bad defensively as your subjectively think he is, and if you watched baseball objectively you’d know that.

    No player, Derek Jeter or otherwise, can be as bad as your subjective advanced stats make him out to be and still have a job, and I don’t care if he has 5000 hits.

  918. Chuck Says:

    “I’ve watched plenty of Jeter to know that he doesn’t get to balls that an average SS can.”

    Which further proves what we’ve known for the past four years.

    You don’t know shit.

  919. Mike Felber Says:

    I read everything Chuck, I see no argument against the various & sometimes mutually exclusive ways you rationalize devaluing WAR, or folks even trying. Embarrassment? i do not even see how this could apply.

    Patrick, how on earth is referring to ‘haterade’ a form of hate? That sounds like Orwellian doubletalk. So if anyone critiques or even mentions any bias, racism, personal & irrational forms of hate, THEY are hating? Whaaaa?

    Also, it should be obvious that this is not a serious matter or slam on Chuck’s ethics. The word often is used lightheartedly. If someone merely underrates or dislikes without personalized vitriol a stat, this hardly can be equated with the KKK.

    If even using a lighthearted, let alone accurate, term like “haterade” is condemned-which is a good & mild phraseology that can check against other serious forms of hate…

    Then you are the most Politically Correct (& censorious) man in the universe! ;-)

  920. JohnBowen Says:

    “No player, Derek Jeter or otherwise, can be as bad as your subjective advanced stats make him out to be and still have a job, and I don’t care if he has 5000 hits.”

    The advanced statistics show him as being worth 67.7 WAR, easy HOF territory. So yes, he would have a job. Because he does. And he’s historically great at it, IN SPITE OF (not because of) his glove.

  921. Chuck Says:


    I took some numbers and quantified them into a result.

    Which is wrong.

    See how this works?

  922. Chuck Says:

    “The advanced statistics show him as being worth 67.7 WAR, easy HOF territory. So yes, he would have a job. Because he does. And he’s historically great at it, IN SPITE OF (not because of) his glove”

    That doesn’t in any way, shape or form come close to answering what I wrote.

    If Jeter was THAT BAD defensively, he’d be a 67.7 left fielder.

    NO TEAM would keep a player that bad at that premium a position, and no team would win five WS with a player that bad at that premium a position.

    Not sure what you can’t grasp there.

  923. JohnBowen Says:

    Cool buddy. If you even kind of understood how correlative analysis worked, your words on the subject would carry some weight.

  924. JohnBowen Says:

    “NO TEAM would keep a player that bad at that premium a position, and no team would win five WS with a player that bad at that premium a position.”

    Except the Yankees, who did exactly that.

  925. JohnBowen Says:

    “If Jeter was THAT BAD defensively, he’d be a 67.7 left fielder.”

    And Hideki Matsui would play SS, right?

  926. Patrick Says:

    I’m going to leave it alone after this.

    It seems to me that WAR proponents view it as a scientific breakthrough, but it’s the most unscientific stat that the baseball has ever known.

    oWAR is incomplete and pitching runs pretty much with WHIP X IP, so I don’t have a problem with that but fielding is terrible in both data gathering and assigning values. I write this without a doubt in my mind because it’s impossible for a second baseman to save more runs than a 100 RBI man produces, as WAR claims with it’s current NL leaders.

    It also assumes that because a player doesn’t catch more than his fair share of flyballs, that he has poor range. So many things are wrong with this from a scientific stand point. What about the CF calling you off all day? What about a staff of groundball pitchers?

    John has gone from over 100 hits saved by a great SS and 100 given up by Jeter(200 hit swing) to “50-75 wouldn’t surprise me at all”.

    And that’s the point, nobody knows the answer. So throw a few real stats in a pot with 5 hypothetical stats, mix, and you have WAR. Then it tells you that Darwin Barney is the 9th best player in the NL. Good, he has the perfect guy in Theo Epstein to pay him his $100M that should command.

  927. Mike Felber Says:

    lol! Well, you must remember to add in the “+” signs Chuck. I will seemingly service your paradigm in the interests of general good humor.

    Thus anyone with discerning knowledge of advanced metrics can see the correct answer is 7.

  928. JohnBowen Says:

    “Good, he has the perfect guy in Theo Epstein to pay him his $100M that should command.”

    Yeah, get that NERD Epstein away from baseball. You know, before he breaks another 100 year losing streak.

  929. JohnBowen Says:

    “And that’s the point, nobody knows the answer.”

    Agreed, Patrick. I just happen to think that quantifying all a player’s contributions reaches the truth better than figuring out how many RBI’s he got for the ‘99 Indians.

  930. Chuck Says:

    You’re such an ignorant asshole John.

    Seriously, you should stop commenting altogether.

    And you’re worried about me being taken seriously.

    We badger you into saying stupid things because it’s so easy, then sit around laughing at you.

    Will give you some credit though, at least you’re not a coward like Shaun.

  931. Mike Felber Says:

    Pitching WAR is more than that. Defensive WAR has flaws but they look at the granular details of how & where things are hit. An unusual staff of GB pitchers likely would distort values the most.l But recall that Belanger Robinson Grinch also got to those balls, many that few would have, the strategy works, do you think that their dWAR is off much, if at all? look at the OF during those days-logically those guys would be underrated by WAR. Are they?

    100 RBI men vary greatly in value. Since those RBIS are terrible refelctions of how much they did to produce them. A certain Carter had an OPS in the 60’s in the past when exceeding this benchmark.

    A great 2b will get ~ a 3 WAR for the year. Most 100 RBI men will create more value with just offense, sure. Though some get many more ribbies due to opportunities, & if they walk seldom & have a low BA, they will have limited value in the more important (for wins) aspects of OPS, OPS.

    Add in a Luzinsky-like Dr. Strangeglove & no baserunning skills, & we can see how a Dunn-ish guy can produce less value occasionally with his OVERALL game than a great 2B produces with just defense.

  932. JohnBowen Says:

    “You’re such an ignorant asshole John.”

    Ignorance is ignoring progress, Chuck. Not my fault if you choose to do it. No one else is.

  933. Mike Felber Says:

    Let’s be nice boys. When i come back from my Park & concert related reveries, I wanna see no more embittered & gratuitous, mocking jeremiads.

  934. Chuck Says:


    Had that conversation too, stat boy.

    What do sabermetrics have to do with baseball?


    It’s for the black socks to gym class crowd who idolize guys like Bill James and Tom Tango instead of Mickey Mantle and Albert Pujols.

    They are people who think a slider is a menu item at Applebee’s.

    They think a hit and run is running over the neighbor’s cat and not telling anyone.

    They think “hard cheese right down the cock” is a pick up line.

    Every single day major league franchises make multi-million dollar decisions regarding their own team or minor league teams and WAR or xFIP or wOBA play no part in any of them.

    It’s a cumulative wet dream for all of you guys when some team hires a guy like James as a consultant because you all believe he’s sitting in the same room with John Henry and Cherington and the other executives contributing to the discussion.

    I’ve been in draft rooms before, I’ve sat in press boxes with GM’s and scouts and NOT ONCE have I ever heard a sabermetric term mentioned. All they talk about is the stuff that matters..his footwork, his arm, his batting eye or his hand position.

    No one has ever said, “Jeez, Theo, I really like that 19 year old shortstop you guys have at Double A, he looks like he can be a four or five WAR player every year”.

    Turn on your TV, you see the slash line..BA/HR/RBI..has been that way forever and will never change.

    Deal with it.

    You’ll never hear a broadcaster say “Here comes David Wright, he currently leads the National League in WAR”.

    Deal with it.

    I’ve seen Bill James walk through a stadium and not be recognized. You’d think the Paul McCartney of Sabermetrics wouldn’t be able to walk ten feet without someone stopping him, especially considering he’s six-five and has a family of sparrows living in his beard.

    You like WAR? Good for you.

    You think it’s the definitive end to all baseball statistics? Good for you.

    You’re in the minority, and that will never change.

    Deal with it.

  935. JohnBowen Says:

    “I’ve been in draft rooms before, I’ve sat in press boxes with GM’s and scouts and NOT ONCE have I ever heard a sabermetric term mentioned. ”

    …for the Mariners. Who haven’t won the division in over a decade and are fighting the Twins for the worst record in the league yet again.

    No relation, I’m sure.

    “It’s for the black socks to gym class crowd who idolize guys like Bill James and Tom Tango instead of Mickey Mantle and Albert Pujols.”

    Uh huh. That same defense mechanism is getting old.

  936. JohnBowen Says:

    And Chuck, I don’t mean to come across as dismissive of your experience, because it far far far far surpasses mine.

    But you’re making generalizations about 30 clubs based on a couple, and those couple don’t win a whole lot.

  937. Chuck Says:

    “That same defense mechanism is getting old.”

    Dude..this whole 900 comment thread is based strictly on your saber based defense mechanisms.

    Without them, this thread doesn’t reach 100.

    “…for the Mariners. Who haven’t won the division in over a decade and are fighting the Twins for the worst record in the league yet again.”

    Proof again that you just write responses without actually reading what people say.

    Four years here and you haven’t learned a goddamn thing.

    Shame on you.

  938. JohnBowen Says:

    “Four years here and you haven’t learned a goddamn thing.”

    Well, should I have learned that

    1) Pitching doesn’t matter
    2) Fielding doesn’t matter
    3) Baserunning doesn’t matter
    4) David Wright sucks?

  939. Patrick Says:

    John, Concerning Theo, I’ll use your arguement against yourself. You should win something when you spend $150M on payroll.

    I probably shouldn’t have wrote that about Theo. He talks a big sabermetrics game, but he signs big RBI guys like Papi and Juicer Manny and his catylst was sabermetric punching bag Johnny Damon. So he went old school, spent and cheated his way to the WS.

    Notice he jumped ship to go to another big market? If he succeeds in Chicago, it will be because he can spend and won’t have anything to do with sabermetrics.

  940. JohnBowen Says:

    “but he signs big RBI guys like Papi”

    Signed before he had ever had a big RBI season

    “Juicer Manny”

    Not signed by Theo

    “his catylst was sabermetric punching bag Johnny Damon.”

    Also not signed by Theo.

    “Concerning Theo, I’ll use your arguement against yourself. You should win something when you spend $150M on payroll.”

    Oh, is that why Minaya and Hendry are knee deep in trophies?

  941. Chuck Says:

    Ignorance is a choice John, and you seem happy with your choice, and that’s on you.

    You wake up every day and go to work and hang around a bunch of engineers and whatever, then head home and come here.

    It’s like going from valedictorian to class clown.

    If you’re happy with that perception, whatever.

  942. Patrick Says:

    Yeah, you’re right, the best guys on the team were inherited. lol, good arguement for Theo.

    So when the Yanks go to the dance every year it’s because of payroll, but when Theo squeaks in there a couple times it’s because of sabermetrics?

  943. John Says:

    Biggest stat department in the game? The Yankees. Shocker. #notshocked.

  944. Chuck Says:

    “Biggest stat department in the game? The Yankees. Shocker. #notshocked.”


  945. Lefty33 Says:

    “Oh, is that why Minaya and Hendry are knee deep in trophies?”

    Without meddling ownership they might be.

    “Biggest stat department in the game? The Yankees. Shocker.”

    If they actually have that then I guess Cashman bringing Hendry in as his right hand man this offseason doesn’t exactly fit with their supposed large usage of metrics does it?

  946. JohnBowen Says:

    @944, I’ll try and find it for you…as I recall, Beane said it in an SI interview or something.

    Okay, we’re approaching 1000 comments, so I’m done here.

    I would say the last decade of baseball has proved me right, but that gives me too much credit. It happened. I watched it happen. And I commented on it.

    Denying that a 100-RBI player can negate his offensive value in the field is, at this point, a lot like saying the Cardinals didn’t win the World Series last year.

  947. Chuck Says:

    “@944, I’ll try and find it for you…as I recall, Beane said it in an SI interview or something.”

    Next time, stick your foot in your mouth BEFORE you step in shit.

  948. Chuck Says:

    “I would say the last decade of baseball has proved me right..”

    No it hasn’t.

    It may have justified your opinion, but that’s it.

  949. Chuck Says:

    Hopefully it’s understood baseball teams have been using statistical analysis since the 1870s’..but…

    These are the teams, according to officially published team documents, have “official” stat departments.

    Baltimore, Boston, Cubs, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Yankees, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa.

  950. Patrick Says:

    I would be shocked if the Yankees didn’t have a good stat department.

    The whole game is about stats. Always has been. A lot of the sabr stats are useful to know. At least babip is an actual stat. It tells you something as long as you remember to put what it tells you into context instead of saying “lucky” or “unlucky”.

    The stats that require a leap of faith and that are based on faulty, hypothetical and missing data, aren’t really statistics. I doubt the Yankees waste 5 minutes on those stats except for comic relief.

    Stat departments are probably more about scouting stats, like matchups and tendencies in different counts against different pitches. Stuff that you’re not going to find in Baseball Weekly.

  951. Lefty33 Says:

    @949 – You might want to rethink adding Philly to that list because based on this article by Bob Brookover of the Philly Inquirer from March they don’t use them Chuck.

    A few choice quotes:

    “I honestly can’t tell you the last time WAR or VORP or any of those things were brought up in a conversation,” assistant GM Scott Proefrock said. “We’re aware of them, and we understand what they are. It’s just not something we find relevant.”

    “When you’re sitting there and a guy brings up sabermetrics, they don’t know nothing about that guy, and that may be the biggest thing,” Manuel said.

    “The thing that bothered me most is I think the fact of the matter was that Oakland had so much success because they had three of the best starting pitchers in the game. I don’t know if that was mentioned more than once, if that. A lot of the movie was based around Scott Hatteberg moving to first base, and I don’t think that was the reason why they had so much success, Amaro said.”

  952. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck you have often been restrained & gracious. But then you get puzzlingly threatened by simple disagreements & resort to less mature ways.

    You mock in a silly at best macho way, refer to “shame” related things when there is no moral questions involved, & get personal. Beyond you & John & Lefty liking to call each other idiots.

    SM guys also love the Mantle’s & Pujols. They overwhelmingly know those terms, you are peddling trite stereotypes instead of arguments when you paint them all as blind nerds & you as the cool jock. Don’t you think we should be done with these attitudes by middle age?

    And they do not want WAR to necessarily be used in all those contexts. Also the fame thing: you tend to equate that with success or proving anything, that is not very evolved nor a good test of whether anything is valid. What statisticians or scientists are A-Rod famous? Has James sought that?

    There are some who are arrogant & think that there ways are always best. And plenty of traditional folks who have Morgan-esque attitudes that SM has very effectively beat back, broken down ignorance.

    But painting any who, say, like or use WAR as your Straw Man cliches is like us dissing all scouts as ignorant yahoos. You have some good points about things like OPS & other analysis being used forever, but undercut them & yourself by always taking black & white positions & demeaning all who differ with you as unreal caricatures.

  953. Chuck Says:

    Stop worrying about me, Mike. Especially when John’s behavior is far worse than mine.

    Contribute to the discussion at hand or piss off.

  954. Patrick Says:

    I know this thread is spent but I want to mention something about Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger.

    Earl Weaver used to run the grounds crew at old Memorial Stadium. The infield grass was as long and thick as possible and he would have them turn the dirt in front of home plate up to the skirt and make it mush. The end result was the slowest ground balls in ML history.

    Belanger and Brooks were very slow runners and Belanger, like many players, chain smoked in the dugout, but their range factors are off the charts because of the slow infield and the Orioles averaged only 5.5 K/9. The 2012 Yanks average 8.4.

    That’s 500 more outs made in the field in the 60’s and 70’s than today.

    Actually, Belanger chain smoked from the time he was a kid until he died of lung cancer at age 54. He’d hit a double(rarely) and would hack up a lung on 2B. It was a different world.

    You can’t go back and attribute their huge amount of chances to great range. To do so, grossly distorts reality.

  955. Chuck Says:

    If you look at the all time leaders for pretty much every position for range factor you’ll see the majority are deadball players.

    More balls in play..mushier ball that doesn’t travel as far or as fast, fewer batter strikeouts.

    The fields they played on were dog tracks and their gloves were a joke, and yet we’re under some “advanced” belief system Derek Jeter sucks while some 1908 guy makes Ozzie Smith look like a butcher.

  956. JohnBowen Says:

    Range Factor only goes back to 1951 and Ozzie is fifth all-time, having played far more games than anyone ahead of him. Derek Jeter is second-last. Only Tony Womack is lower.

    Belanger was a Major League player for 18 years with a 68 OPS+. Career batting average of .228. 20 career home runs. I’m sure it was just some bullshit metrics that made him look good in the field. You realize, Patrick, that getting to a batted ball isn’t about how fast you can run a 100 meter dash, right?

  957. Patrick Says:

    Yeah, John, I realize it, I played SS for over 20 years and 3B for 10. Range is mostly about reading the pitch and stepping in the right direction BEFORE the ball is hit, like Chuck wrote about 500 posts ago.

    Belanger and Brooks were excellent fielders, I was there, I saw them with my own eyes, but you didn’t address the main points of my post, namely the slow infield and the 500 extra outs in the field inflate their historical range.

    There is hardly any film of their games so there is absolutely no way you can tell me that Belanger got to balls that Jeter(for example) didn’t.

    John, I’ll cut you slack because you’re young and think you have it all figured out. You think we’re old and stuck in our ways and resisting “advances” but this isn’t a “the world is flat” situation.

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