Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Greatest Site in the History of Mankind.

In honor of his first game in the bigs (for those wondering about that 0 for 4, he wanted to show compassion to as a single hit from his bat would have caused the city of Detroit to disappear from the map), I give you this: The Official Matt Wieters Facts Site

Also, our earlier homage to Mr. Wieters: The Word

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I would like to announce that I am officially jumping on the "Zack Greinke Bandwagon." Sure, it's still extremely early, but here's to him attempting to have one of the best seasons by a pitcher. Ever.

Join me?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Screw Being PC!

Interim GM of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo, on Daniel Cabrera being designated for assignment (from MLB Trade Rumors):

According to Chico Harlan of the Washington Post, the Nationals designated pitcher Daniel Cabrera for assignment tonight. Acting GM Mike Rizzo was frank: "I was tired of watching him." We all were, Mike. Cabrera told Harlan he would not accept a minor league assignment.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Live Blog: Memorial Day Sunday Race Day

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meaningless Miscellaneous

The following is a compilation of the best active players to have never been selected as an All-Star for their respective leagues. In the interest of full disclosure I should clarify that I think it's foolish to put any stock into All-Star selections when evaluating a player, this is just more of an interest piece than anything else. To qualify a player must have played in at least five seasons in the Major Leagues (prior to the 2009 season), currently be a member of a MLB team, and--most importantly--never been an All-Star. Relievers were required to have played in four seasons prior to 2009.

Listed under each player is what I deemed to be their most "All-Star caliber" season. Unfortunately, Fangraphs' WAR figures only go back to 2002, so I was forced to use Chone's Baseball Projection system instead. It's still very good, the downside is that the WAR values on pitchers appear to not include FIP, which is why I made sure to list that as well. The same goes for position players and WOBA. Here's the results:

-Starting Lineup-

C- Bengie Molina
2005: 2.5 WAR, .335 WOBA, 108 OPS+
1B- Carlos Pena
2007: 5.4 WAR, .430 WOBA, 172 OPS+
2B- Chone Figgins
2005: 4.5 WAR, .339 WOBA, 101 OPS+
3B- Adrian Beltre
2004: 10.1 WAR, .424 WOBA, 163 OPS+
SS- Orlando Cabrera
2003: 3.4 WAR, .354 WOBA, 105 OPS+
OF- Matt Stairs
1998: 4.1 WAR, .380 WOBA, 132 OPS+
OF- Pat Burrell
2002: 4.3 WAR, .390 WOBA, 146 OPS+
OF- Raul Ibanez
2006: 2.9 WAR, .359 WOBA, 125 OPS+
DH- Travis Hafner
2006: 6.2 WAR, .449 WOBA, 179 OPS+

Honorable Mention: Juan Pierre, Jose Guillen, Aubrey Huff, Chris Gomez, Julio Lugo, Kevin Millar, Doug Mientkiewicz, Adam Kennedy, Fernando Tatis, Mark DeRosa, Craig Counsell, David Dellucci

-Starting Rotation-

SP- Tim Wakefield
2002: 3.7 WAR, 3.62 FIP, 162 ERA+
SP- Kelvim Escobar
2007: 5.1 WAR, 3.39 FIP, 134 ERA+
SP- Aaron Harang
2007: 5.7 WAR, 3.71 FIP, 125 ERA+
SP- A.J. Burnett
2002: 3.8 WAR, 3.19 FIP, 122 ERA+
SP- Jarrod Washburn
2002: 4.3 WAR, 3.71 FIP, 141 ERA+

Honorable Mention: Jeff Suppan, Rich Harden, Ryan Franklin, Jeff Weaver, Brett Myers, Brett Tomko


RP- Scot Shields
2006: 2.8 WAR, 3.27 FIP, 159 ERA+
RP- Rafael Betancourt
2007: 4.3 WAR, 2.22 FIP, 312 ERA+
RP- Huston Street
2005: 3.2 WAR, 2.75 FIP, 253 ERA+
RP- Octavio Dotel
2002: 3.8 WAR, 2.43 FIP, 234 ERA+
RP- Latroy Hawkins
2003: 3.2 WAR, 2.38 FIP, 243 ERA+

Honorable Mention: Dave Weathers, Bobby Howry, Jorge Julio, Alan Embree, Matt Herges, Julian Tavarez, Jonathan Broxton, Kyle Farnsworth

More Meaninglessness...

-Adrian Beltre currently has 1,613 hits and is 30 years old (I know, he seems older, but I'm pretty sure the Dodgers signed him when he was like eleven, so he's been around for a while. Anyway...). If he were to play ten more seasons in the Major Leagues (including this one) while averaging a mere 142 hits a year, he would finish with 3,000 for his career. Bill James' Career Assessments Tool has him at a 23.3% chance of reaching that exclusive club.

-Edgar Renteria, 33 years old, could reach 3,000 hits by averaging 133 over the next seven seasons (including this one). Bill James has him at a 34.4% chance. Derek Jeter currently has a 97% chance of reaching 3,000 hits. Ichiro is at 27.6% and A-Rod has a 90.2% chance.

-Zack Greinke's 2009 statline thus far:
1.61 FIP, 0.833 WHIP, 766 ERA+, 9.75 K/9, 6.50 K/BB

-Juan Pierre has been more valuable through 31 games than he was in 119 games last season. He has a 0.7 WAR so far this season compared to a 0.1 WAR last year. Current season totals: .419/.476/.554--.452 WOBA

-The Pittsburgh Pirates' pythagorean W/L record actually puts them above .500. So far this season, the unluckiest teams have been the Pirates, Indians, Rockies, and Nationals, all of whom have underperformed their pythagorean records by at least three games.

-There is a very simple formula for defeating the Oakland Athletics: throw a left-handed pitcher. Oakland has the worst record in baseball at 3-11 against lefties, compared to a 10-10 record against righties. Statline against LHP: .201/.284/.285.

-Victor Martinez has the best VORP in baseball, followed by Longoria, Beltran, and Bartlett (who continues to play out of his mind).

-Christian Guzman has walked once in in 124 plate appearances. Lucky for him he has a very good batting average (.385) so his OBP isn't struggling... yet. Others have not been so fortunate. Bengie Molina has walked twice in 141 plate appearances for an OBP of .312. Dioner Navarro has two walks through 122 plate appearances with a .205 OBP. Jeff Francoeur, who is usually such a big condoner of walking, has a whopping five walks through 154 plate appearances, which is good for a .266 OBP.

-Franklin Gutierrez is insanely good at defense. He is far and away the best outfielder in the AL and through 307 innings has a 1.000 Revised Zone Rating (RZR). He also has the fourth most Out Of Zone plays(OOZ) of any player at any position.

That's all I've got for now. I'll be sure to get back to more sarcastic satirical banter as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Great Moments in Crow Eating

In the 11th inning of today's Twins-Yankees game, play-by-play man for YES Michael Kay suggested that the Yankees should have one Alex Rodriguez bunt over Mark Teixeira over to 2nd. To be fair, A-Rod was in a funk similar to his '05 ALDS where he didn't hit but walked plenty. Having said that, it's still ALEX FREAKING RODRIGUEZ!

Might be time to re-check, Mikey.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Hard Hitting Analysis of Baseball Tonight

Eduardo Perez delivered a segment discussing the woes of the Seattle Mariners where he mostly just talked about nothing. And he punctuated it with this brilliant insight:
And one thing I can tell you: baserunning, hitting, pitching -- and especially the bullpen -- is not only important in the National and the American League, but all around baseball.

This is the kind of great stuff you can only get from the World Wide Leader in Sports.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I just have to say ...

... that I think the Lakers should be embarrassed* AND the Rockets should get some fucking credit.**


Rockets in 6.

*Aaron Brooks is like a baby.
**Aaron Brooks is all of 6'0" and managed to make up for Yao's offensive production. What?

Friday, May 8, 2009

With All The Steroids And Question Marks Surrounding Players Throughout The Sports World, Only One Thing Is Certain

Brett Favre will never, ever really retire.

Moneyball: the Movie is Getting Weird

I've been openly excited about the idea of Moneyball: the Movie on this space before. I think the story makes a good baseball movie. I assumed the stats would have little part in it, which makes sense. As much as I'm a stat-head, it just doesn't make a great film.

But, apparently they're going to have a pretty big spot in the movie, since Bill James is going to be a main character.

Oh, and he's also going to be a cartoon.

“My current plan is to animate him,” Soderberg revealed to MTV News while promoting his Tribeca Film Festival entry, “The Girlfriend Experience.”

“We have this sort of oracle character that appears throughout and declaims various issues and he’s essentially supposed to be Bill James,” Soderberg said. “He’s your host in a way…. The background will be real but the person who is supposed to be him will be animated.”

Why the switch between realism and animated fantasy in this case? “It needs a gimmick,” Soderberg explains. “It needs something to make it not Masterpiece Theatre. His writer voice is so big, I thought to literalize it is going to actually harm it. I need to make his voice funny and when he comes on you’re happy to see it.”

No rickroll this time. Bill James is a cartoon.

Um, whatever. I guess we'll wait and see. I guess it has some random potential to be. . . good. . .

Joe Posnanski, though, is the best baseball writer on the planet, and he likes it. And he also contributed this greatness inspired by the Rays cartoon adventures:

“Oh no, Professor Francoeur has taken on-base percentage off the scoreboard!”
“Now we’re stuck with just batting average!”
“Leave slugging percentage up there, man!”
“I have no idea what the true value of Kenji Johjima is now!”

Then, Big Bill James walks over. And he says to the last fan: “Uh, Johjima’s plate discipline isn’t too good. He has only walked once this year. He only walked 19 times in 409 plate appearances last year.”

Professor Francoeur: So, at least we meet, Mr. Bill James.
Bill: Yes, it’s nice to meet you.
Professor Francoeur: Likewise. But now, I will take your statistic, on-base percentage, off the scoreboard forever! Ah ha ha ha!
Bill: It’s not my statistic. It has been around for more than a hundred years. Branch Rickey was a big proponent of on-base percentage, for instance.
Professor Francoeur: Yes, well, if you had not written that book Moneyball …
Bill: I didn’t write Moneyball.
Joe Morgan (special guess appearance): He’s right. It was Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane!
Professor Francoeur: Um, well, fine! So, if Billy Beane had not written that book Moneyball …
Bill: It wasn’t Billy Beane either. It was Michael Lewis.
Professor Francoeur: Michael Lewis? The guy who wrote The Blind Side and Liar’s Poker?
Bill: I guess so, yeah.
Professor Francoeur: Well, um, OK, I’m confused now. Joe, as long as you’re here, can you talk about how you were able to walk as much as you did?
Joe Morgan: It’s about heart, Jeff.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why Jeff Francoeur Will Never Be A Good Hitter

A comment by Jeff Francoeur taken from Jerry Crasnick's most recent article on plate discipline:

"If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it up on the scoreboard?"

Wow. This man has walked four times in 105 plate appearances and has an OBP of .305.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Lebron James is the 2009 NBA MVP. No surprise here, he was obviously the right choice for the award, and not because of the everlasting intangible-infested reasons cited on Around The Horn today. He was the right choice because he had the most Win Shares ever for an NBA player in a single season who is not named Michael Jordan. He also had the best PER (Player Efficiency Rating) in basketball, right in front of Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. It perplexes me as to how it took so long for James to get this first MVP, since he's arguably been the most valuable player for the past few seasons.

Congratulations on the award, King James. It's just too bad you'll have to wait at least another year for that other trophy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

One Month Awards

Believe it or not, we've already wrapped up the first month of Major League Baseball. It seemed to have gone by so quickly with the majority of attention and excitement being drawn to the NBA playoffs, NFL draft, Tiger Woods, etc. But since we are officially out of April, I thought I'd go ahead and give out a number of MLB awards. I fell a little behind and didn't get this done right at the conclusion of April, so the following are what my votes would look like were the season to end today, which is the second of May. Bon appetit!

AL MVP- Zack Grienke
Honorable Mention- Evan Longoria, Kevin Youkilis
NL MVP- Albert Pujols
Honorable Mention- Chase Utley, Dan Haren

AL Cy Young- Zack Grienke
Honorable Mention- Gil Meche, Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young- Dan Haren
Honorable Mention- Javier Vazquez, Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana

AL Reliever of the Year- Scott Downs
Honorable Mention- Frank Francisco, Jose Arredondo
NL Reliever of the Year- Jonathan Broxton
Honorable Mention- Chad Qualls, Juan Gutierrez, Ryan Franklin

AL Hank Aaron- Kevin Youkilis
Honorable Mention- Victor Martinez, Evan Longoria
NL Hank Aaron- Albert Pujols
Honorable Mention- Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez

AL ROY- Ricky Romero
Honorable Mention- Andrew Bailey, Scott Richmond
NL ROY- Brian Barden
Honorable Mention- Mark Difelice, Jordan Schafer

AL LVP- Ty Wigginton
Dishonorable Mention- Alexi Casilla, David Ortiz
NL LVP- Brian Giles
Dishonorable Mention- Cody Ross, Edwin Encarnacion

AL Cy Yuk- Mark Hendrickson
Dishonorable Mention- Brandon McCarthy, Fausto Carmona
NL Cy Yuk- Aaron Cook
Dishonorable Mention- Jeff Suppan, John Lannon, Brett Myers

AL Gold Gloves
P- Gil Meche
C- Jason Varitek
1B- Chris Davis
2B- Placido Polanco
3B- Joe Crede
SS- Marco Scutaro
OF- Nelson Cruz
OF- Franklin Gutierrez
OF- David DeJesus

NL Gold Gloves
P- Paul Maholm
C- Bengie Molina
1B- Casey Kotchman
2B- Kazuo Matsui
3B- Geoff Blum
SS- J.J. Hardy
OF- Jay Bruce
OF- Nyjer Morgan
OF- Eric Byrnes

AL Silver Sluggers
C- Victor Martinez
1B- Kevin Youkilis
2B- Ian Kinsler
3B- Evan Longoria
SS- Marco Scutaro
OF- Adam Jones
OF- Jason Bay
OF- Nick Swisher
DH- Adam Lind

NL Silver Sluggers
P- Yovani Gallardo
C- Yadier Molina
1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Chase Utley
3B- Ryan Zimmerman
SS- Ryan Theriot
OF- Raul Ibanez
OF- Manny Ramirez
OF- Carlos Beltran

Notes: Hanley Ramirez is actually having the second best fielding season of any shortstop in the National League. It's doubtful that he'll be able to keep that up, but he did show vast improvement last year in comparison to the season before. If he can keep up this defense and just get his hitting back to where it normally is, he'll probably become the best player in baseball... Javier Vazquez continues to fly well under the radar. He has the second best FIP in the MLB, behind only Zack Grienke... The Silver Sluggers actually seem pretty close to what they'll probably end up being by season's end, save the shortstop position, which I'm sure will be different next month... Among all qualified players, Brian Giles has actually been the least valuable in baseball with a -0.9 WAR. That's pretty surprising. What's also surprising are some other names that make out the bottom 25 position players: Jimmy Rollins, Derrek Lee, David Ortiz, Garret Atkins, and Jason Giambi... Albert Pujols is awesome.

One month down, five to go.