Fifth Annual Dugout Central Challenge – MLB Win Predictions

by KerryWhisnant

Before the season began, Dugout Central staff and readers were challenged to predict win totals for all thirty MLB teams. A total of three entries were received. For details about the contest rules, see the original article.

Here are the predictions, by division, in alphabetical order. The Over/Under win totals from the Las Vegas Hilton are also shown, as well as predictions from Baseball Prospectus and The 2012 and 2012 Pythagorean are the wins and Pythagorean wins, respectively, from last year.

NL East Atl Mia NYM Phi Was
John Bowen 91 66 72 77 95
Chuck Johnson 90 60 65 83 95
Kerry Whisnant 89 66 73 81 92
Average 90.0 64.0 70.0 80.3 94.0
Over/Under 86.5 63.5 75.5 85.5 91.5
Baseball Prospectus 83 67 80 81 87 89 67 73 84 90
2012 94 69 74 81 98
2012 Pythagorean 92 68 75 81 96

Not surprisingly, in the NL East the Nationals are favored by everyone. The Marlins are expected to be bad by everyone.

NL Central ChC Cin Mil Pit StL
John Bowen 68 91 82 75 93
Chuck Johnson 68 91 89 82 84
Kerry Whisnant 71 92 83 75 89
Average 69.0 91.3 84.7 77.3 88.7
Over/Under 72.5 90.5 81.5 77.5 86.5
Baseball Prospectus 77 92 78 80 82 72 85 83 78 85
2012 61 97 83 79 88
2012 Pythagorean 65 90 85 78 93

Everyone expects Cincinnati to do well in the NL Central, although John has them a close second to the Cardinals. Chuck sees the Brewers as the main competition for the Reds, whereas I think it will be St. Louis. The Cubbies are expected to trail the field, although by varying degrees.

John Bowen 75 70 94 69 86
Chuck Johnson 83 67 92 78 88
Kerry Whisnant 83 78 88 73 86
Average 80.3 71.7 91.3 73.3 86.7
Over/Under 82.5 71.5 91.5 73.5 87.5
Baseball Prospectus 85 71 92 76 85 82 70 85 78 86
2012 81 64 86 76 94
2012 Pythagorean 86 68 86 75 89

Everybody thinks the Dodgers will take the NL West, though by different margins. Colorado and San Diego are not favored to compete.

We all agree that Atlanta will be a wild card team. Our other wild card choice is either Cincinnati, Milwaukee or St. Louis. Overall, we all agree that Washington, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Atlanta will make the playoffs; our only disagreement is whether St. Louis or Milwaukee is the other team.

In the NL, we were most in agreement on the Reds, as our picks differed by only one game. We disagreed most on Colorado, with a spread of 11 games.

As a group we predicted the Braves to win 3.5 games more than the Vegas line, our most optimistic choice; Milwaukee was a close second with an average prediction 3.2 games above the Vegas line. We were most pessimistic on the Mets, 5.5 games below the Vegas line; Philadelphia was close behind with an average prediction 5.2 games under the Vegas line. The Vegas line wins add up to 2437, 7 more than possible, which indicates that the betting public as a whole is too optimistic.

For the AL we have:

AL East Bal Bos NYY Tam Tor
John Bowen 75 77 86 90 92
Chuck Johnson 79 75 84 95 86
Kerry Whisnant 80 81 88 86 83
Average 78.0 77.7 86.0 90.3 87.0
Over/Under 78.5 82.5 86.5 86.5 88.5
Baseball Prospectus 75 85 91 87 84 81 74 90 93 78
2012 93 69 95 90 73
2012 Pythagorean 82 74 95 95 74

We totally disagree on who will win the AL East, with New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto each getting a vote. None of us expect Baltimore to make a repeat showing in the playoffs, or Boston to right their ship in 2013.

AL Central ChW Cle Det KCR Min
John Bowen 80 78 93 74 69
Chuck Johnson 76 82 90 85 68
Kerry Whisnant 84 72 95 72 71
Average 80.0 77.3 92.7 77.0 69.3
Over/Under 80.5 78.5 92.5 78.5 68.5
Baseball Prospectus 76 80 91 76 65 86 72 90 78 71
2012 85 68 88 72 66
2012 Pythagorean 89 63 87 74 68

We are unanimous on the Tigers to win the AL Central. As a testament to the weakness of this division, the second place team is never predicted to win more than 85 games. The Twins are picked by all to finish last.

AL West Ana Hou Oak Sea Tex
John Bowen 98 58 86 75 95
Chuck Johnson 94 55 78 85 83
Kerry Whisnant 91 59 88 73 88
Average 94.3 57.3 84.0 77.7 88.7
Over/Under 91.5 58.5 84.5 77.5 86.5
Baseball Prospectus 91 63 83 78 89 89 66 90 80 85
2012 89 55 94 75 93
2012 Pythagorean 88 58 92 77 91

As might be expected, the Angels were our choice for division winner, and the Astros are predicted to trail by a wide margin in the AL West. Chuck sees Seattle as the closest competitor, but John and I believe it will be Texas or Oakland.

We were only unanimous on two teams making the playoffs in the AL – Anaheim and Detroit. Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Texas got two votes each, while New York, Oakland, Seattle and Kansas City also got consideration.

We were most in agreement on Minnesota, as our picks differed by at most 3 games. We disagreed the most on the Royals, with a range of 13 games, although we also differed by as much as 12 on both Seattle and Texas.

As a group we predicted the Rays to win 3.8 games more than the Vegas line, our most optimistic choice. We were most pessimistic on the Red Sox, 4.8 games below the Vegas line. Overall, our average predictions in the AL were fairly close to the Over/Under number.

So, how are our predictions doing so far? There are two different contests – one uses average win difference (AWD) and the other root mean square difference (RMSD). The difference scores are projected to the end of the season in two ways – extrapolate the current team wins to 162 games, the other to prorate our 162-game predictions to the current number of games. One method overstates the error, while the other understates it. By taking the geometric average (square root of the product) of the two methods those effects tend to cancel out. The standings below use this combined score. In practice, the two projection methods give very similar results for the ordering, even though numerically they are far off from each other and the final scores.

The projected scores for the two contests are shown in the following table, ordered by the AWD score. All games through April 7 are included. Of course we’re only a week into the season, so they don’t mean much yet.

Also shown are the average picks for the three of us, the Over/Under line, predictions using last year’s win totals and last year’s Pythagorean wins, predictions by Baseballl Prospectus and, and the simple-minded choice of 81 wins for all teams.

Kerry Whisnant 5.13 6.10
2012 Pythagorean 5.23 6.26
Over/Under 5.23 6.29
2012 5.24 6.36
John Bowen 5.25 6.33
Average 5.27 6.33
Baseball Prospectus 5.29 6.39
81 Wins 5.34 6.63 5.39 6.43
Chuck Johnson 5.49 6.64

Updates will be provided periodically throughout the year using winning percentages, so there’s nowhere to hide, and may the best prognosticator win!

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178 Responses to “Fifth Annual Dugout Central Challenge – MLB Win Predictions”

  1. Kerry Says:

    Only three entrants this time :-(

  2. Raul Says:

    I apologize Kerry.
    I did plan on putting something together but the last 2 weeks have been busy. Moved into my new apartment and just didn’t have time. I didn’t even do a fantasy baseball league this year, which is like the 1st time that’s happened in 12 years.

    That said, I still expect the Yankees to finish in 4th place. That’s about the only prediction I’ve got right now.

  3. Kerry Says:

    One thing I didn’t mention was the relative strength of the AL and NL. Of course the AL has been winning the interleague battle in recent seasons (142-110 last year). This year there will be a few more interleague games, 300 in all. John predicts that to continue (161-139), Chuck sees a dead heat (150-150) and I see a slight advantage for the NL (154-146).

  4. Kerry Says:

    Oh, yes, and the current interleague record is 3-3.

  5. Raul Says:

    Happy 43rd birthday, Jim Edmonds. Edmonds is a weird case. I’m not sure how many guys with a career .900 OPS don’t make the Hall of Fame…but Edmonds is probably gonna be one of them.

    Happy 47th birthday, Jeff Conine. I thought Conine was a heck of a player. It strikes me as odd to see that defensive WAR says he was absolutely horrible in the field. I’m gonna have to disagree with that a little. He was so versatile and played everywhere. In any case, Conine played in 6 postseason series…and won them all, including 2 championships with the Marlins. Can’t complain about that. Wikipedia says that after baseball, Conine became one of those Ironman competitors.

    Happy 70th birthday, Rico Petrocelli. Anyone named Rico gets a shout out from me. Petrocelli retired in 1976 at the age of 33, but did manage a 13 year career. In 1969, he had a hell of a season: .297/.403/.589 with 40 HR, 97 RBI, 98 Walks, and just 68 strikeouts. Unfortunatey he placed 7th in the AL MVP voting that was won by Harmon Killebrew.

  6. Raul Says:

    A-Rod planning to retire?

    I think it’s a crock…

  7. Bob Says:

    Well, the Yanks can make life misreable for him by not playing him once his injury heals and this Biogenesis thing ends. Does he really just want to be a bench-warmer for the next half-decade, albeit a well-paid one?
    Not sure if I believe it myself, but certainly would not be stunned if he does.

  8. Cameron Says:

    20 mil+ to sit on my ass? I’d do it. Athletes have too much pride. So what if I’m a team cancer? I’m a rich team cancer.

  9. Raul Says:

    It’s 114 million dollars.
    Alex is getting that money.

    There’s just no way MLB suspends him before he is ready to play. He can do a rehab assignment now. He can probably hit ML pitching in a month.

    It’s gonna take a while for MLB to fully go through the Biogenesis stuff. And if the Yankees hold A-Rod out so that MLB can build their case on him, you can be sure the Union is going to sue and turn this into a giant sh*t storm.

    I’m sure there are Boston fans that would love to see Alex stick around for the next few years…getting booed every day…collecting that money…hamstringing the franchise financially. In a way, it’d be great, twisted theater.

    The best thing the Yankees can hope for is that Alex retires, collects his money, and maybe they can recoup some of it from insurance if it’s deemed that Alex has to retire because he is physically unable to perform.

  10. Bob Says:

    Cameron, here is something for you.

  11. Cameron Says:

    Sounds like a sweet gig, but I’m underqualified. It’s cool. I sorta distanced myself from going into sports. I’ve decided to become a social worker. If it wasn’t for porgrams like I’m in now, I’d be dead. It’s time to give back to the community, hopefully turn some lives around myself.

  12. Mike Felber Says:

    Good Cam! I used to do that, with the dvelopmentally disabled, kids/Foster Care Case Management positions.

  13. John Says:

    What’s up guys? Sorry I’ve been busy…

  14. Chuck Says:

    What’s up John..

    Email me your cell …not sure how the cell service is 1500 feet below sea level, but i’ll do what I can to keep you current on the state of baseball.. especially the Brewers’ unexpected suckage.

  15. Cameron Says:

    Unexpected? Seems typical to me. Make a couple of playoffs, suck for a decade or two afterwards. How fast did the Brewers fall apart after Harvey’s Wallbangers lost in 82?

  16. Cameron Says:

    Also, I watched the NBA Draft. Chuck, Raul, I gotta say I love what the Knicks did. Tim Hardaway Jr. has potential and an NBA ready jumper.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Not that it mattered to me because I only saw him twice in three years, but Keith Law left Arizona for beautiful downtown Wilmington Delaware

  18. John Says:

    I thought the Brewers would probably have a losing record this year. I thought they’d be like, 77-85 bad, not 62-100 bad, which is about what they’re looking at.

    Hart’s out for the year. Splendid.

  19. Mike Felber Says:

    Gonna be near WORLD RECORD heat in Death Valley. And not that much cooler in cities like Phoenix. But it is a dry heat, lol! How are you holding up Chuck?

  20. Chuck Says:

    Official temp yesterday was 119, fourth highest ever.

    Humidity was like 7, so, yeah, dry heat.

    I’ve played golf in 118, mowed the lawn in 115.

    As long as you drink plenty of water, you’re fine. It’s not, but it’s not uncomfortable with the humidity like Florida, even though the temp is higher.

  21. Raul Says:

    Don’t let Chuck fool you.

    That man was sweating his butt off in that heat…walking around with a sombrero like Clint Eastwood.

  22. Bob Says:

  23. Chuck Says:

    No, really, it’s not that bad.

    110>10 any day of the week and twice on Sunday

  24. Cameron Says:

    I’ve dealt with more 10 than 110. However, I live in the Midwest. There’s the old saying that August is hotter than two rats fuckin’ in a wool sock. I’ve dealt with days where the temperature and humidity were in the high 80s. That feels like death. I’ll take 119 and 7 over 85 and 87.

    As for 10… Eh, you deal with it. Just not outside. Unless you bundle up. I could do -10 for an hour with the right gear. Helps when you got your own natural insulation with a good gut.

  25. Jim Says:

    This small item from Peter Abraham of the Globe.

    “The schedule makers have a sense of humor. The Sox play the Dodgers in Los Angeles Aug. 23-25, the one-year anniversary of the big trade. The Dodgers are 56-61 since the trade, the Red Sox 59-61″

    Which team reaped the short term benefit from the trade?

    Cam, if 85/87 is too much for you, don’t take a job in St. Louis. When I was there there were several days of 95/90-95.

  26. Raul Says:


    The Red Sox won that trade. They’re in 1st place and managed to rid themselves of those horrible contracts. The financial flexibility is huge for them.

    The Dodgers were off to a poor start and have been playing much better lately…but that’s largely because of Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford was having a fantastic season, but hasn’t played since June 1st. And while Adrian Gonzalez is having a fine year, he’s not having a “21 million dollar” season, and he hit .248 in June with just 8 RBI.

  27. Bob Says:

    I believe I read somewhere that Beckett is done for the year. Will try to find the piece later, though it may have been on some stations ticker.

  28. Raul Says:

    Beckett might be done for his career.

  29. Bob Says:

  30. Cameron Says:

    @25 I was just pulling a number. I’ve hit 95/95 a few times. Fat guy + heat = fuck that.

  31. Raul Says:

    I saw that story today, Bob.

    As much as I like to rag on Tim Tebow, he is pretty much a great guy.

  32. Bob Says:

    Jim Thome joined the White Sox front office. Cool

  33. Chuck Says:

    Highlight of the International signing day today was the Royals giving 1.3 million to a 15 year old SS.

    I can’t wait until there’s an International draft.

  34. Cameron Says:

    Ugh, me too. We have shit luck with IFAs. I’d give my left nut to have half the Yankees luck with them.

  35. Cameron Says:

    Got lost on Wikipedia and saw a hell of a what-if scenario pop up. Aryvdas Sabonis, possibly the greatest European basketball player ever and a hell of a center didn’t play for the Trail Blazers until 1995. …He was drafted by them 9 years earlier. What would his career look like if he’d somehow successfully defected from the Soviet Union in ‘86 to play in America. I know he said his long injury history was (he claims) due to overuse by Soviet national coaches. He had a hell of a long career despite that history, but what would he have looked like if he came in in the 80s and played against guys like olajuwon, Kareem, or (possibly if the Blazers hit the finals) Lambeeir or Ewing? I think he’d have been a legend. He was still scary ten years later and two bad legs. Imagine him healthy and in his prime.

  36. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, abonis could have been that legend.

  37. Mike Felber Says:

    Add the “S”, such as Sabonis = Adonis. What Might Have Been.

  38. Chuck Says:

    What would international basketball be like today without Sabonis for those nine years?

    He’s a Hall of Famer…that’s enough for me.

  39. Bob Says:

    Congrats to Homer Bailey

  40. Raul Says:

    Sabonis in his youth was a wiry guy. Not heavy like he was with Portland.
    At least, that’s how it seems from the images online.

    That guy had great court vision. Sometimes I wonder if his passing was that extraordinary, or if passing in the NBA is so bad, that Sabonis looked even better when doing it.

    I’m sure it’s a little bit of both.
    Dear lord, when’s the last time you saw a great bounce pass in the NBA? Probably not since the days of Mark Price.

  41. Bob Says:

    Who were the great passers in the game? And if I am wrong, feel free to correct me.

    1. Johnson
    2. Bird
    3. Isiah with the exception of his pass to Bird
    4. Stockton
    5. Price
    6. Tiny Archibald
    7. How close am I to understanding the game. other than not very?

  42. Chuck Says:

    Outside of that Chamberlain dude, Sabonis may have been the best passing big man ever.

    There was a 30 for 30 about him not long ago..pretty good show.

    Bailey’s no-hitter was on MLBNetwork last night…watched most of it including the last three innings.

    No way the Giants were getting a hit, he was flat dealing it.

  43. Raul Says:

    Arvydas Sabonis won Olympic gold in 1988, countless titles and MVPs in Europe, was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame, and married Ingrida Mikelionyte, a former Miss Lithuania. The guy married a beauty queen.

    How is this guy not every white teenager’s idol?

  44. Raul Says:

    So it was better than, say…Johan Santana’s or Francisco Liriano’s @ Chuck?


  45. Bob Says:

    In other words will Bailey avoid going on the DL?

  46. Raul Says:

    Hey Bob,


  47. Bob Says:

    Thanks. I used to listen to Stern all the time, now I just listen to “American Pie” which is in fact my favorite song, slightly ahead of Daydrewm Believer.”

  48. Raul Says:

    I come across that every few months and it’s funny every time.

    I might as well jummmmmp. Ow!!!

  49. Cameron Says:

    I forgot that Homer has the MLB’s last no-hitter too. How many times has a pitcher thrown the Major’s last no-hitter back-to-back. …Oddly enough, I think it was a fellow Red, Johnny Vander Meer.

  50. Kerry Says:

    Hmm, quick look at the bbref play index gives the following “consecutive” no-nos:

    Ryan (1974/1975)
    Ryan (1973)
    Spahn (1960/1961)
    Reynolds (1951)
    Vander Meer (1937)

    For all but Ryan, the two were their only two no-hitters.

  51. Bob Says:

    The Rangers signed Manny to a minor-league deal.

  52. Jim Says:

    Bob – @41 Bob Cousy

    First half AL comeback player John Lackey? ERA 2.81, WHIP 1.17 BB/9 1.9 SO/9 8.2

  53. Cameron Says:

    Oka, someone pss test Chris Davis. I checked the leaderboards before ASG votes were over, and he’s hitting .327/32/83. CHRIS DAVIS!

  54. Cameron Says:

    I was just listening to an interview on a sports radio program and someone mentioned that the Houston Rockets sent Royce White to the Philadelphia 76ers. I started to laugh.

    For perspective, Royce White missed all of last season due to severe anxiety issues and came very close to retiring halfway through his rookie season due to mental issues. …So they sent him to the city with the most brutal fans ever. Philly fans booed Santa Claus off the field while pelting him with snowballs, had to set up a courthouse in Lincoln Financial Field to save time, damn near set the city on fire after the ‘08 WS, and will boo the most popular player on a team if he fucks up once. City of Brotherly Love my ass.

    Crippling anxiety issues + Philadelphia fans = What the fuck are you smoking and where can I get some?

  55. Chuck Says:

    You live/work in a government funded residence, finding something to smoke is easier than finding your toothbrush.

  56. Cameron Says:

    …Sadly, you’re right.

  57. Bob Says:

  58. Chuck Says:

    Brandon Wood did as well.

  59. Bob Says:

    Thanks. Did not know that.

  60. Chuck Says:

    Wood and Adenhart were best friends…I know Wood a bit, we were talking outside Peoria Sports Complex after a ST game and Adenhart came out of the locker room with his father…Wood introduced us…good kid.

  61. Lefty33 Says:

    @Chuck- I just read an article/interview on Comcast with AA manager Dusty Wathan where he said if the Phillies sell heavy at the deadline, depending on who they move, there is a very good chance that not only will they attempt to potentially try Asche at 2B but Franco is also a possibility at SS.

    Franco said that he played SS his whole life and only became a F/T 3B when he signed with the Phillies. He also said that after the ‘13 season he’s going to play Winter Ball in the D.R. partially to refresh his skills at SS and to attempt some OF.

  62. Cameron Says:

    Is it me, or does the Nick Adenhart story never stop being sad? Normally stuff like this tends to fade, but… Still.

  63. Chuck Says:

    Watch Outside the Lines on ESPN this morning at 9 EST…it’s about Lyman Bostock.

    If you can’t see it, then read this.

    Or both.

    The Adenhart situation was tragic and sad and any other adjective you might think of, but it this doesn’t kick you in the perspective, check your pulse.

  64. Chuck Says:

    I did not know that about Franco…interesting.

    I like Asche, but don’t see him as a 2B…would be Daniel Murphy-ish.

  65. Cameron Says:

    I’m familiar with Bostock. It was before my time, so it doesn’t have the gut-punch of seeing what Adenhart did to the people, but yeah… That’s about the saddest thing the MLB’s ever seen. I can only imagine what it was like back then.

  66. Chuck Says:

    “Yankees claim Travis Ishikawa”

    What the fuck for?

  67. Cameron Says:

    Shits and giggles?

  68. Chuck Says:

    Since Maris set the HR record in ‘61, eleven players have hit 33 or more homers before the AS break…eight of them during the “steriod era.”

    The three “clean” players who did it…Frank Howard and Reggie Jackson in 1969, and Mark McGwire in 1987, all failed to hit 50.

  69. Chuck Says:

    Finally…Oakland called up Grant Green to take over at 2B.

  70. Raul Says:

    Grant Green is only 25? I feel like I last heard his name YEARS ago.

  71. Raul Says:

    Wow @ that Bostock article.

    I have a few books by Jeff Pearlman. He writes well. Sad story, though.

  72. Cameron Says:

    Rasheed Wallace is a(n assistant) NBA coach. If someone that batshit crazy can have a position of authority, the rest of us should have a little hope.

  73. Bob Says:

    Speaking of the Pistons, check out the cover of SI with Dennis Rodman on the cover. God I love that guy.

  74. Bob Says:

  75. Jim Says:

    Insightful interview at Fangraphics with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

  76. Chuck Says:

    Did you guys see that recently discovered video of Shaun’s playing career?

  77. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Chuck

    Interesting read about Saltalamachhia. And I admit the 2-1 changeup is a great pitch, but I see that pitch coming a mile away. And I’m amazed more guys don’t rock that pitch.

    It usually requires a veteran with confidence to throw it. Most rookies, it seems, will just fire a fastball away in the zone, as hard as they can.

  78. Chuck Says:

    From the Onion…

    Panicked Sabermetricians Forced To Rethink Entire Sport After Discovering They Missed At Bat From Lou Brock On August 3, 1975

    PHOENIX—The entire field of sabermetrics was thrown into a frenzied panic Thursday after a previously undocumented at bat from former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lou Brock on August 3, 1975 forced sabermetricians to completely rethink their understanding of the sport of baseball. “So if you plug Brock’s 3-2 count and ground out into the OPS formula, the standard deviation and expected value for every single player and team is completely off—goddammit, none of this makes sense now,” said visibly anxious Society for American Baseball Research sabermetrician Tony Branham, sweating profusely as he pored over thousands of pages of statistics from the last 30 MLB seasons. “The Total Pitcher Index, Wins Above Replacement, Batter-Fielder Wins, batting averages, ERAs, RBIs—that one third-inning at bat against the Cubs makes all of this stuff meaningless. How the hell does baseball work?” At press time, based on the new understanding of sabermetrics, Braham confirmed that former New York Yankees first baseman Mickey Mantle did not actually exist.

  79. Raul Says:


  80. Raul Says:

    Posting this from ESPN Indsider by Dan Szymborski.

    It may surprise no one that the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies are not where they hoped to be in the win-loss column. After a disappointing 81-81 record in 2012, the worst finish for the Phillies in a decade, the hope was that even a past-prime dynasty could retool enough to squeeze another few solid years on the backs of an aging core. The team’s TV contract with Comcast expires after the 2015 season, so the front office had an obvious incentive to keep the team together in the hope of cash practically falling out of the sky, as the Los Angeles Dodgers have experienced with their new TV contract.

    Alas, it was not meant to be. The Phillies have continued their downward trajectory, and though they’re only a few games behind the Washington Nationals, that’s mainly because Washington has underperformed expectations, not due to any second wind similar to the one the Boston Red Sox are experiencing this season.

    In the middle of a second frustrating season, it’s not surprising to see fingers being pointed. Most notable among them has been team general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. calling out Ryan Howard’s performance, telling 94 WIP in Philadelphia in a pregame show last week that “if Howard is now relegated to being a platoon player, he’s a very expensive platoon player and needs to do better … right now, he’s just not doing his job.”

    Given Howard’s .266/.319/.465 line this year with typically mediocre defense, it would take some special delusion to think that he’s been doing his job. But how much blame can we really put on Howard? How much was Howard really underperforming reasonable expectations before the recent news that he’ll miss six to eight weeks with a meniscus tear?

    To get a feel for this, I went back and asked the ZiPS projection system to project Howard’s 2013 season from the point his five-year, $125 million contract was signed in April 2010 and before each successive season, with knowledge included of the large drop off in run scoring across both leagues (Howard can hardly be faulted for that).

    Cheer up, Alex. Your crazy contract isn’t as bad as Ryan Howard’s.
    Despite coming off a solid offensive season in 2009 (.279/.360/.571, OPS+ of 141), ZiPS was not optimistic at the time. ZiPS doesn’t project a lumbering slugger the same way it projects a speedy middle infielder, using large groups of similar-type players in history to make an estimate. Howard’s top comps are not a pretty group — Carlos Pena, Richie Sexson, Greg Luzinski, Jim Gentile, Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder were the top six on the list — and these are all players who aged poorly. The Howard deal started for his age-32 season and none of those six sluggers had a 3 WAR season at any point at age 32 or later.

    The top six comps being flops in their 30s was no fluke, either. If you look at the top 15 comps, only Jim Thome was a star in his 30s. Otherwise, it’s an encyclopedia of short-career sluggers, from Rudy York to Dick Stuart to Greg Vaughn.

    In a 2013 Philadelphia environment, ZiPS projected Howard’s 2013 season at .243/.333/.487 when his deal was signed, a little less batting average and a little more power than his current line, but not a dramatic difference and certainly not super-stardom. Before the 2011 season, the 2013 projection had dropped to .241/.325/.472; fast-forward another year and his 2013 projection was .246/.328/.476; and before this season, he was projected to hit .242/.325/.463.

    In other words, Howard’s 2013 performance is not a nasty surprise, but exactly what you would expect from a one-dimensional slugger in his early 30s in the middle of a normal decline phase for a player of his type.

    At this point, ZiPS projects the contract to be essentially a total loss for the Phillies, with Howard only projected at 5.0 total WAR over the course of the contract (and assuming the $10 million buyout is taken for the final year). That’s equivalent to a $94 million loss, a worse projected return than even the A-Rod contract, a deal that the Yankees find daily reason to regret, which ZiPS projects as an $88 million loss. (For the record: ZiPS still holds out some hope for Albert Pujols, projecting his contract as only a $90 million loss.)

    If the Phillies are going to do in 2014 what the Red Sox have done in 2013 and have their own renaissance, it’s going to require a drastic change in organizational thinking — and it’s going to require plenty of cash. If such a change is to happen, moving on from the executive who got the Phillies into this position — and continues to not show an understanding of either the position the Phillies are in or how they arrived there — is a good place to start. If the Howard injury doesn’t give the Phillies a ready-made PR excuse to start selling, something’s rotten in the city of Philadelphia.

  81. Chuck Says:

    I can see a scenario where ARod comes back this year, plays 50 games, realizes he can’t physically play anymore, and walks away.

    I see what Symborski is getting at, but there’s no way Howard’s contract is worse than ARod’s.

  82. Raul Says:

    You think that contract is bad, wait until the end of the Josh Hamilton deal.

  83. Chuck Says:

    Anytime a player is still playing when his contract is over it’s a good thing…

    ARod, CC, Pujols..those guys will be getting paid 25 million a year to nothing more strenous than drive the kids to school and take out the dog.

    Hamilton very well may suck then, but at least he’s suck in uniform and not his pajamas.

  84. Chuck Says:

    Rumor has it there are a few teams kicking the tires on Joba.

    He needs a ride to the airport, call me, I can be in the Bronx in seven hours.

  85. Raul Says:


    You’ve had that open offer on Joba for a good 5 years now.

  86. Raul Says:

    How does that work? If A-Rod can’t play and has to retire…does he get like 30 years of payments…like Bobby Bonilla?

  87. Bob Says:

    I doubt it, unless he re and his agent re-work the deal. I think his contract had 5 insurance companies back it up. The Yanks should suck it up for the next half-decade, unless he retires or gets banned from the league.

  88. Raul Says:

    I think I read that if it’s medically necessary for Alex to retire, the Yankees can recoup 80% of the money.

    Would be better than paying it all out.

  89. Jim Says:

    Reading Symborski’s article shows how exceptional guys like Jim Thome, Frank Thomas and David Ortiz are. All big bodied sluggers who preformed into their mid/late 30’s. Difference between them and Howard, Vaughn et al is that Thome, Thomas and Ortiz are well rounded hitters and athletic.

  90. Chuck Says:

    If they were athletic, they wouldn’t be designated hitters.

    Especially Ortiz*

  91. Raul Says:

    Maybe. I don’t know how athletic you mean. I’m sure you aren’t arguing that Jim Thome is John Olerude out there. But I guess he was serviceable.

    The thing Thome, Thomas and Ortiz have in common is that they are patient and get on base. That probably has more to do with their longevity than anything else. I mean, why do you think Jason Giambi is still playing?

  92. Bob Says:
  93. jim Says:

    Probably should have qualified with, athletic for their size.

  94. jim Says:

    See that ESPN is reporting that MLB is preparing to suspend ARod and Ryan Braun for 100 games.

  95. jim Says:

    here’s the link

  96. Raul Says:

    Saw that bout Kris Benson. What a cunt.

  97. Cameron Says:

    Hey, Chuck, Raul, I didn’t know this, but Carmelo Anthony has an opt-out clause on his contract for after this season. Cross your fingers, I hear the Lakers are already clearing cap space.

  98. Raul Says:

    Carmelo leaving the Knicks wouldn’t be so bad.
    The problem is that the NBA isn’t like the NFL. You can’t build your team in 2 years through the draft.

    You really have to trade for solid role players these days and hope you can find good foreign talent. The odds of you getting the next Kobe are none.

  99. Cameron Says:

    “The problem is that the NBA isn’t like the NFL. You can’t build your team in 2 years through the draft.”

    Houston 1982-1983, Chicago 1983, Cleveland 2003… Those are rare exceptions though.

    I think Carmelo could work if you tried to tool around him and play the perimeter heavy pick-and-pop game he thrives in, bu it’s like the rest of the team plays Knicks ball and Melo plays 100% iso sets. Tool around your best player, that’s what good teams do.

  100. Raul Says:

    Carmelo is basically a glorified Ray Allen.
    He’s good. He can get you points. But defensively he’s a liability and he’s not a “next gear” player.

    Carmelo needs to be the 2nd option on a team. That’s really the best way to use him. But because he can score 30 points every night, people think he should take 25 shots a game.

    Carmelo needs to play with a PG that can score and a big man that can post guys up.
    The PG is easy — there are several in the league now.
    The big man is hard — because teams today don’t teach big men the low post game. That’s why you see Chris Bosh’s stupid ass 15 feet away from the basket. Ugh.

  101. Cameron Says:

    Melo’s not as one-dimensional as a lot of people make him out to be. He actually has a really good post game, but he never uses it. You could’ve said the same thing about LeBron until this year. He CAN be the #1 guy and lead a team. He did it at Syracuse, he did it in Denver, and he’s big enough and athletic enough to be great defensively.

    …He just doesn’t want to. Let’s face it, the guy don’t give a shit about the Knicks, they’re not really building arou him and he can tell. In fact, who ARE they building around?

  102. Lefty33 Says:

    @80- That article is a half step over Bleacher Report quality.

    Too much hyperbole and conjecture in it to even bother commenting.

  103. Chuck Says:

    Most Knicks’ fans want Carmelo to opt out, we know they’ll never win a title with him.

  104. Chuck Says:

    “Melo’s not as one-dimensional as a lot of people make him out to be. He actually has a really good post game, but he never uses it”

    So, then he is one-dimensional?

    Carmelo has no post game, he’s the softest 6′8′ player I’ve ever seen, anytime he’s in the paint it’s an accident.

    He’ll drive the lane north and south, but you almost never see him cut laterally, he’s too afraid of contact. That’s why he always pulls up for these ridiculous off-balance 8 footers which he probably shoots 25% on because he’s off-balance.

    I can’t wait for him to leave, he’s killing the team.

  105. Cameron Says:

    It’s a shame he isn’t too physical too. I remember he has a really good drop step that’ll cut past a 3 he posts up and make people look stupid. Lack of effort I suppose? He has a lot of great tools, and he uses two, spot-up shots and iso sets.

  106. Chuck Says:

    Carmelo isn’t as strong or as quick as Lebron, but he does, or did, have a good crossover, he SHOULD get more layups and dunks than he does, that’s for sure.

    You don’t use it, you lose it. I’m not sure how much of that is true considering Anthony’s only 28, I just think he’s satisfied staying as far away from the basket as possible.

  107. Chuck Says:

    It’s official..Ryan Braun isn’t the brightest crayon in the box.

    He keeps claiming innocence on this biogenesis thing, so MLB calls him to New York to “clear the air”, and he pleads the fifth.

    Braun: “I’m innocent”
    MLB: “Prove it”
    Braun: “Kiss my ass”
    MLB: “Enjoy your 100 game vacation”

  108. Raul Says:

    Reggie was the straw that stirred the drink.
    Braun is the string that holds the tampon.

  109. Cameron Says:

    The MLB gave him enough rope to hanf himself. He decided to engage in public auterotic asphyxiation with it.

  110. Raul Says:

    The thing is not to be naive and think Braun and Alex are the only ones.
    You hope that most of the great things we’re seeing this season are being done by clean players. But it’s a certainty that some are being assisted by drugs.

    Jose Bautista comes to mind. Although I guess people will blame his drop off on his wrist surgery.

  111. Cameron Says:

    Chris Davis.

  112. Chuck Says:

    Yasiel Puig

  113. Raul Says:

    Frankly, I wish I could care, but I’m not a huge fan of Luis Gonzalez, so…meh.
    Still a d-bag move by Puig.

  114. Cameron Says:

    Agreed. Even if you don’t like a dude, if he was a former player, common courtesy at the least.

  115. Chuck Says:

    Not the first time, this guy’s a nut-job and unless he figures things out quick, he won’t be around too long, and it won’t matter if he’s hitting .800.

  116. Bob Says:

    Does anybody have a good book recommendation for next week?

  117. Raul Says:

    What kind of book?

  118. Raul Says:

    I’m kinda into True Crime and historical non-fiction. And a bit of philosophy.

    I read “Making Jack Falcone” a few years ago about a cuban cop who infiltrated the Gambino crime family. That one was ok. I think it’s being made into a movie soon.

    There’s “Havana Nocturne” by TJ English about the mafia in Cuba during the Batista years. Talks mostly of Meyer Lansky, if I remember right.

    I always say that “The Bad Guys Won” about the 86 Mets was a fun book. Jeff Perlman wrote that one.

  119. Raul Says:

    Jeez, I’m gonna stop by Barnes & Noble on the way home. I haven’t read anything since I picked up an old copy of Siddhartha.

  120. Raul Says:

    Did some browsing on the true crime stuff on barnes and noble. Might pick these up for myself…

    1. Death in the City of Light by David King. It’s about a serial killer in Nazi-occupied Paris. ($13)

    2. Island of Vice by Richard Zacks. It’s about NYC in the late 1800s and Ted Roosevelt’s failed attempts to clean it up. ($13)

    3. Midnight in Mexico by Alfredo Corchado. It’s about an investigative reporter on the drug cartels. ($20)

    4. Deal with the Devil by Peter Lance. It’s about Greg Scarpa, a mafia killer that the FBI worked with for 30 years. ($20)

    I’m sure I could find these for less money elsewhere. I’ll probably go with the first 2, then Deal with the Devil later on. And probably Midnight in Mexico last.

  121. Bob Says:

    Raul, thanks for the tips. “Death n the City” sods decent, and I am heavly considering the great chess book” My System” by Nimzowitch. I read both fiction and non-fiction, and I do not watch the All-Star crap.

  122. Raul Says:

    Yeah, it’s hard to recommend books because everyone’s taste is so different.

    I couldn’t tell you a thing about chess except that HBO’s documentary on Bobby Fischer was great.

  123. Chuck Says:

    I haven’t read a book n a long time, starting to feel guilty about it too. New McFarland catalogue came yesterday, need to sit down and pick something.

  124. Raul Says:

    I’m really bad about reading classic sports books.
    I’m sure you’re good for a few recommendations, Chuck.
    I know Braut mentioned a good 4 or 5 to me here years ago, but I forgot them all.

  125. Chuck Says:

    Got an email from the Brewers today, they’ve invited some of the full time game staff to the game tomorrow night. Seats are in the team section just to the outfield side of the visitors dugout.

    Took me about two seconds to decide.

  126. Chuck Says:

    Newest members of the AFL Hall of Fame;

    Dustin Pedroia, Bob Melvin, and Darin Erstad

  127. Bob Says:

    @ 125. That long, huh?

  128. Chuck Says:

    On this day in 1971:

    In a game which features six home runs, including Reggie Jackson’s crushing a Dock Ellis 4th-inning pitch off the power generator located on the Tiger Stadium right-field roof 520 feet from home plate, the American League beats the National League, 6 – 4, in All-Star action. All the players who homer – Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew as well as Reggie – will become members of the Hall of Fame. It is the only AL All-Star victory between 1962 and 1983.

  129. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, Bob, had to make sure I could get tomorrow off from work.

    A second to decide and a second to make the arrangements.

  130. Bob Says:

    Speaking of Dock Ellis:

  131. Chuck Says:

    In case anyone’s interested, Bleacher Report will be live blogging the HR Derby later.

  132. Bob Says:

    1.The 2 books I got were “Surgeon in Blue” about the doctor who pionerred medical care in battlefields and “Death in the City.”

    2.See you guys on Friday

  133. Raul Says:

    Awesome @ Bob.

    Chuck, I’m surprised. I didn’t think Bleacher Report could create a list of Top 10 crap in real time.

  134. Mike Felber Says:

    Big B-Ball day with the no-no & A-Rod + other news.

    Then there is this. Amongst the worst 1st pitch ever? Ah, who cares, she is adorable.,,20717420,00.html?ncid=wsc-dl-cards-headline

  135. Cameron Says:

    I just realized that the NL RotY candidates this year could win the ballot against most classes so far. Puig’s hitting .400, Harvey’s starting the ASG game at his home park, and there’s still lower guys like Gattis who’d win in weaker years.

  136. Chuck Says:

    The Award is Harvey’s to lose, because at this point he’s probably the front-runner for the Cy Young as well, or at least in the conversation.

    He wins 18 games with a bad team, he’s a shoo-in

  137. Raul Says:

    I think too much was made of the 1st pitch, Mike.

    But I think 1st pitches in baseball are overrated and should be stopped, period. There’s no need for them and they have no impact on fan attendance or fan enjoyment.

    I could see the occassional 1st pitch, where maybe a President comes out for it or someone like that. But “honoring” a singer whose career will be over in 2 years is a waste of time.

    And I’m also sick of the National Anthem being played at sporting events. And that’s not an anti-American thing. I just don’t see how it’s relevant. Play it at the Olympics. Play it at military events. Play it at inaugurations. But it just seems stupid at a sporting event. And the old “God Bless America” recording that gets done in the 7th inning at Yankee Stadium is one of the best reasons to mute the TV.

    Matt Harvey is great, but I’m starting to see this guy as a bit too self-important. The media ought to slow down with this guy.

  138. Lefty33 Says:

    “There’s no need for them and they have no impact on fan attendance or fan enjoyment.”

    100% not true.

    Many minor league teams make a good buck selling 1st pitch packages.
    For $50-$100 you could throw out a first pitch before any game for a number of MiLB teams, example below.

    What it shows also is that teams are appearing to be quasi-fan friendly unlike a major league team where you could never do it no matter how much you may or may not want to.

    Also the throwing of the first pitch does great business (i.e. increases attendance) for the clubs with group business. Some nights a minor league game might have 10-15 business sponsers/promotions and each company sends a rep. out
    (usually a kid) to throw out a first pitch.

    Worst one I saw was about two years ago the IronPigs had 30+ first pitches from various scout groups with each pack having a kid throwing out a first pitch.

    It makes the kids happy and it gives you something to watch before the game starts as opposed to another car/beer commercial or product placement ad.

    Compared to that I’m more than happy to watch 27 first pitches as opposed to another five Toyota ads.

  139. Cameron Says:

    “Compared to that I’m more than happy to watch 27 first pitches as opposed to another five Toyota ads.”


  140. Raul Says:

    Fair enough lefty.

    Let me rephrase…

    I, personally, don’t get any enjoyment, nor will I go to a game, just because of whom may be throwing out the first pitch.

    If the first pitch actually does have a tangible impact, well, I guess I was wrong.

  141. Mike Felber Says:

    An airtight case by Lefty, who usually knows this minutia well. And maintaining tradition that is at worst harmless-even if it was just that-I am in favor of. Though I was mainly saying that media reporter was a cutey even if she fell flat on her face!

    37 HRs by the All Star break, wow. Another Reggie & will only hit ~ 10 more? If I was a bettin’ man, I would guess ~ 21 more. Which some would consider optimistic.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Having spent parts of five years working with a league ticket/promo office, not only are promotions like first pitch throwing or national anthem singing important, they are necessary.

    Especially today, when most minor league franchises are independently owned and don’t have the subsidiary payments/support from the major league teams they used to get.

    Just look at this week..the Trenton ownership group is pissed off because Alex Rodriguez’ rehab assignment is taking place during a road trip, the ticket sales they’re losing for just these three games could make the difference for the entire season financially.

    The Phillies (and others) used to play in-season exhibition games against their AAA and AA was a fund raiser only. In ‘79, the Stadium was sold out, packed beyond capacity, and the game was rained out. Even if the money wasn’t refunded, there was likely some compensation, so the R-Phils still lost, plus 8000+ people weren’t at the concession stands for three hours.

    That’s a big hit in the wallet.

  143. Raul Says:

    I’m in Westchester County. The nearest minor league team is the Hudson Renegades…a solid hour away.

    Consider me ignorant as I’m sort of sheltered from the troubles of Minor League baseball teams.

  144. Raul Says:

    Carlos Gomez leads the NL in WAR.
    What are the odds he wins the NL MVP?

    1. Carlos Gomez – 5.7
    2. Clayton Kershaw – 5.5
    3. David Wright – 4.9
    4. Andrew McCutchen – 4.8
    5. Paul Goldschmidt – 4.8

  145. Chuck Says:

    Carlos Gomez leads all of MLB in WAR.

    I don’t know about that, Raul…really?

    Brooklyn’s an hour away?

  146. Chuck Says:

    I was a paid ringer for a softball team in Westchester County…the complex was across the street from Westchester Country Club, where they play the PGA Westchester Open.

    It was brand new in 82, 83, really nice complex.

  147. Lefty33 Says:

    “If the first pitch actually does have a tangible impact, well, I guess I was wrong.”

    The biggest impact it has is in terms of a PR move to get the next generation interested in the sport. You can’t do something like that in any other sport.

    No such thing as a bringing 35 nine year olds out for a ceremonial first coin toss at an NFL game or a ceremonial puck drop or tip off.

    It’s a win-win. The teams get a great stream of ancilliary revenue and they cement of love for the sport in young impressionable minds in the process.

  148. Raul Says:

    I get confused by that. I think the Westchester Country Club is out near Rye, which is close to the Connecticut border. Rye is about a…25 minute drive from me. I grew up in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown.

    Last time I was in Rye was like…man, years ago. One of my uncles got married at the Doral Arrowwood. Beautiful place. Although I heard the food isn’t as great as it used to be.

    Anyway, Brooklyn is a pain in the ass to get to. The Cyclones are all the way at the bottom of the borough. Google maps puts it at 43 miles away and a 1 hour commute. Yeah right. Going through manhattan? No way that’s less than 90 minutes.

  149. Raul Says:

    Make that a 90 minute drive. At least.
    If I had to take public transit, I’m looking at a solid 2.5 hours.

  150. Lefty33 Says:

    In all seriousness Raul if you can get to a minor league game, DO IT.

    Better prices, better product and there truly is no downside.

    I’m hopefully making my first trip next month to Frederick, MD and Aberdeen, MD for games and I can’t wait.

    And not even included there are the crazy independant leagues like the Atlantic League.

  151. Raul Says:

    In in the mid-90s, Yonkers had a minor league team, the Hoot Owls.
    I think they only lasted like 3 years though.

    Not that I blame them. Yonkers was a dump back then. I mean, there are beautiful homes and areas in Yonkers, but there’s still too much crime in the area, especially around Mount Vernon…which may as well be Sexually Transmitted Disease Central.

  152. Raul Says:

    I might be able to get to Staten Island. It’s just a ride on the ferry.
    They have a Yankees affiliate.

  153. Raul Says:

    I had this plan, years ago, of taking a road trip across PA and hitting up a bunch of minor league games.

    I would have started with the Yankees, then driven to Scranton, then Philly, then across PA to Harrisburg, Altoona…into Ohio and Toledo…all the way until I made my way to Chicago for a Cubs game, and then fly back.

    But that’s a lot of driving, a lot of time, and nobody else wanted to do it.

  154. Lefty33 Says:

    That sounds like an awesome plan!

    You could start with the Yankees then go straight across to Scranton, Williamsport, State College, Altoona and from there to Chicago you could stop for games in South Bend, Toledo, Ft. Wayne or Akron.

    With the number of teams out there the only limits are your wallet size, sanity and ability to take off from work.

  155. Chuck Says:

    In my EL days..there was no team in either Scranton or Allentown or Harrisburg…the Phillies had us selling tickets in Allentown for a game in Reading 40 miles away.


  156. Chuck Says:

    EL went from six to eight teams in 1980..I was based in Waterbury..had four teams..Bristol, West Haven, Holyoke and Lynn within 90 minutes, plus a team IN Waterbury.

    Now there’s twelve teams and only one…New CT or Mass.

  157. Raul Says:

    I’m sure I’ll try to make it happen one day, Lefty.

    You threw out some ideas that I hadn’t even known about, like Williamsport, State College and South Bend.

  158. Raul Says:

    New Britain is way out there for me. Hell, I think that’s beyond Foxwoods. And Foxwoods has to be like a 2 hour drive away.

  159. Chuck Says:

    You know how long it’s been since I’ve been back home?

    Foxwoods wasn’t built yet.

  160. Chuck Says:

    I take that back…I think it was…2005?

  161. Raul Says:

    I gotta imagine that would make you be hesitant to come back, Chuck.

    Like, it wouldn’t even be coming back home because so little is as you remember it.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Moved here in April of ‘92.

    I’ve been back to CT three times, my sister in law’s wedding in ‘95, my niece’s wedding in ‘99, and my parent’s 50th anniversary in ‘05.

    My daughter is older now and shouldn’t have the flying issues she had as a baby, and my parents are older and not able to travel as much, so as much as I don’t want to..going to have to start making more frequent trips.

    Only during the spring or summer, and only when the Yankees are at home.

  163. Chuck Says:

    “Like, it wouldn’t even be coming back home because so little is as you remember it.”

    That actually happened the last time..almost got lost getting off I-84 exit, totally redone, used to drive by there on my way to and from work everyday and I didn’t recognize it.

  164. Raul Says:

    Hiroki Kuroda is 38 years old with a 2.65 ERA.
    This man should be getting a lot more credit in the media. And I never see anything about him.

  165. Chuck Says:

    He probably would be, anywhere else. It’s New York…all the media cares about is ARod blowing off a rehab game or Phil Hughes’ ERA or how hittable CC is.

  166. Raul Says:

    That Sabathia contract was a bad idea, too.
    I know he’s been great before this season, but they had to know he would decline rather quickly with his body type.

    He’s giving the Yankees the innings (5th most in MLB) but he’s also 2nd in MLB in Hits Allowed.

    Not to sound too nerdy here for Chuck, if you peek at Sabathia’s BABIP, it’s .294 this season. That’s right in line with his career .291 BABIP. That suggests that it’s not bad luck. Sabathia just isn’t as effective.

    His homers are up. Also not a good sign.

    Sabathia turns 33 next week and the Yankees still owe him 96 million dollars.
    They better hope Michael Pineda, Jose Campos and Ian Clarkin develop well, and fast. Or this team is looking at a half-decade of zero playoff appearances.

  167. Chuck Says:

    How the Yankees couldn’t see the handwriting on the wall with these contracts is beyond me.

    Part of me is actually glad the Yanks will struggle for a few years because people need to realize it’s not Mark Teixeira’s fault or ARod’s fault, it’s the fault of the idiots who gave them their contracts.

    ARod is going to perform at 38 the same he did at 28? Really?

  168. Raul Says:

    I agree.

    Tex, Sabathia, A-Rod all making 20+ million is insane.
    They’re probably going to re-sign Cano at 25M per.

    I would love to see them pass on Cano, pass on Granderson, have Jeter and A-Rod and Rivera retire and actually make some wise decisions for a few years.

    It’s clear at this point that Cano is the team’s best bat. But he’s not going to make anyone want to play here. Signing him to a long-term deal just ensures 84 wins a year instead of 80 while making sure you have another player that will be impossible to unload once he declines. And 2nd basemen decline worse than most.

  169. Raul Says:

    I wonder what this conversation was…

  170. Chuck Says:

    On this day in 1961, Ty Cobb died in Atlanta after a year long battle with cancer.

  171. Raul Says:

    Some people think Cobb was the best ever.

  172. Chuck Says:

    Putting things in perspective…Cobb was taller than Aaron, Mays, Yastrzemski, Brett and Rose and is roughly the same height as Ellsbury, Yount and Longoria.

    For his time, he was a big man, and certainly wouldn’t be small if he played today. Some guys his height, like Longoria and Jeter, are heavier, but it’s not like Cobb was Jose Altuve.

  173. Chuck Says:

    Triple A All Star game tonight on MLB Network, Raul, 9 pm EST.

    PCL vs. IL.

  174. Mike Felber Says:

    He would be pretty thin today, but even without bulking up, he could likely hit for some power. Opted for other extra base hits. He benefited also due to the lower level of talent, but made himself amongst the best ever without outlier abilities through sheer hard work & force of will.

  175. Chuck Says:

    If Cobb was born in 1985 and had access to the same things everyone else did, he’d be just as much a superstar today.

    The talent and ability to play the game would be the same, and maybe because the times are different he wouldn’t have had the reputation he did then.

    When he retired, he was in the top ten in homers, so it’s very likely if projecting him to the modern game he could have been comparable to George Brett.

    To say he was only dominant because of the era in which he played, no minorities, no 95 throwers, is complete ignorance.

  176. John Says:

    “If Cobb was born in 1985 and had access to the same things everyone else did, he’d be just as much a superstar today.”

    “When he retired, he was in the top ten in homers, so it’s very likely if projecting him to the modern game he could have been comparable to George Brett.”

    With all due respect to the great George Brett, those are very different levels of super-stardom.

  177. Chuck Says:

    Yes they are John, but Cobb wouldn’t be Sam Fuld, either.

  178. Mike Felber Says:

    Well that is very balanced & fair Chuck. I would have thought you would have placed him higher under these same conditions. I think he would have been Brett or better Could be more like Musial at best. If he chos eto hit for power that is quite possible.

    Walking around tonight I thought-is it not supposed to get cooler at night? Checking the temperature now, at 2 AM, 87 degrees, 68% humidity, wind zero. And that is Central Park, around all this pavement & buildings it is hotter.

    It does not get that much warmer here in the wee small hours.

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