Sunday, September 27, 2009

Joe Morgan's Eyes >>> Replay

If you have been following Sunday Night Baseball for any of the past twenty years, you would have noticed that one of Joe Morgan's less redeeming qualities as a broadcaster is his reluctance to accept a dissenting opinion. Now, I'm not here to say that he's alone in this regard (I still think the WB made a mistake cancelling Road Rovers. Who cares that the ratings were bad?) but today's 438th edition of the Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry (TM) this season brought about this wonderful example of Joe's stubbornness (from

The Video

If you can't see the video, here is what happened:

With Nick Swisher on 2nd and no one out, Robinson Cano flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury on a fairly shallow fly ball. Swisher tags up and advances to third. Given the shallowness of the foul ball and Swisher's less than blinding speed, Joe Morgan thought that Swisher may have left early. Moments later, Paul Byrd throws to 2nd on appeal and Swisher is called out. On the replay where the catch and Swisher's tag attempt are synchronized, Swisher's foot is still on the bag. At worst, he left at the same time according to that view. For some reason, instead of agreeing with that assessment as Jon Miller did, Morgan somehow thinks he has the same view of the play as the umpire.

This leads to two questions:
1) How in the world can you have the same view if you're yards away?
2) How can you not see that his foot was still on the bag? Only because he leaned as if he left early? (though not in this video, Joe insinuated this)

If you think this is his first time overstating the margin of error of technology relative to his observation, read this piece from Baseball Analysts in 2006.

It is absurdity at it's finest.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reynolds Recall Part III

Albert Pujols hit two homeruns today, so naturally I decided that it was time to revisit our old friend, Harold Reynolds, from the MLB Network. If you're unfamiliar with the story I implore you to go here and catch up. This is a brief summation of Mr. Reynolds commenting on the apparent absurdity of the baseball predictions system, PECOTA--back in February:

"There aint no way Albert (Pujols) is getting 133 RBI's with that club. It aint happenin!"

A lot of time has passed since we last checked in on Pujols' RBI status back in June. Since then he's had to endure a couple of cold streaks, including a 15-game stretch in which he hit .207 with only 3 Runs Batted In (omg!). Let's take a gander at his progress, shall we?

Total: 124 RBI (2nd in ML)
Current Pace: 143 RBI

The Cardinals still have 21 games left, people. I wonder if they'll let the old scout in the straw hat make predictions on the show next year. Him and the futuristic, nerdy PECOTA computer thingy should face off. That would be epic...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Extremely Stupid Poll Nothingness

I made that ESPN acronym up all by myself. Cool, right? Thanks. Here's a link to ESPN's latest poll question enititled "Who is the tougher out?" The options are none other than Albert Pujols and Babe Ruth. Yup. Babe Fuckin Ruth. The Saltan of Swat. The King of Crash. The Colossus of Clout. THE GREAT BAMBINO! (Yeah, Sandlot)

As of 1:09 p.m. on Thursday, September 3rd, approximately 8,033 people have voted. The results:

Albert Pujols- 51%
Babe Ruth- 49%

That's right, people. I didn't think it would be possible to overrate perhaps the greatest baseball player of our era, but sadly I was mistaken. Now don't get me wrong, Albert Pujols is awesome. I think it's safe to say that he is easily the best player in the game today. However, as good as he is, he drastically fails in comparison to Ruth. Allow me to demonstrate.

Ruth- .474 OBP (2nd All Time--121 points above league avg)
Pujols- .427 OBP (13th All Time--88 points above league avg)

The Bambino also leads the Machine in SLG, OPS, OPS+, EQA, WOBA, and pretty much any other statistic you can think of--by a lot. But for the sake of this question all you have to do is look at OBP because the question specifically asks who is a tougher out. Obviously it shouldn't even be a debate. Offensively speaking, PRINCE Albert virtually has no chance of reaching the status of the KING of Crash (See what I did there? Prince/King... Classic. Plaschke would be proud). I realize that I'm probably setting myself up for disappoint by viewing any ESPN poll, but I felt the need to stick up for good 'ol Mr. Ruth. After all, if it wasn't for him I would have never been able to witness Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez steal home against the San Francisco Giants and then give a cool thumbs-up to Smalls up in the play-by-play booth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Five Months Awards

AL MVP- Zack Greinke, KCR
Honorable Mention: Joe Mauer, Ben Zobrist, Justin Verlander

AL Cy Young- Zack Greinke, KCR
Honorable Mention: Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay

NL MVP- Albert Pujols, STL
Honorable Mention: Chase Utley, Tim Lincecum, Hanley Ramirez

NL Cy Young- Tim Lincecum, SFG
Honorable Mention: Javier Vazquez, Dan Haren

NL Hank Aaron- Albert Pujols, STL
Honorable Mention: Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez, Prince Fielder

AL Hank Aaron- Joe Mauer, MIN
Honorable Mention: Miguel Cabrera, Kevin Youkilis, Ben Zobrist

NL Reliever of the Year- Jonathan Broxton, LAD
Honorable Mention: Brian Wilson, Rafael Soriano, Heath Bell

AL Reliever of the Year- Joe Nathan, MIN
Honorable Mention: Andrew Bailey, Mariano Rivera, Matt Thornton

NL Rookie of the Year- Andrew McCutchen, PIT
Honorable Mention: Colby Rasmus, Seth Smitch, J.A. Happ, Randy Wells

AL Rookie of the Year- Elvis Andrus, TEX
Honorable Mention: Jeff Niemann, Brad Bergesen, Andrew Bailey, Brett Gardner

NL Least Valuable Position Player- Jeff Francoeur, ATL/NYM
Dishonorable Mention: Alfonso Soriano, Emilio Bonifacio, Willy Taveras

AL Least Valuable Position Player- Vernon Wells, TOR
Dishonorable Mention: Aubrey Huff, Orlando Cabrera, David Ortiz

NL Cy Yuk- Braden Looper, MIL
Dishonorable Mention: Chris Volstad, Ross Ohlendorf, Jamie Moyer

AL Cy Yuk- Trevor Cahill, OAK
Dishonorable Mention: Joe Saunders, Jeremy Guthrie

-NL Gold Gloves-
P- Aaron Cook, COL
C- Bengie Molina, SFG
1B- Travis Ishikawa, SFG
2B- Chase Utley, PHI
3B- Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
SS- Brendan Ryan, STL
OF- Nyjer Morgan, PIT/WAS
OF- Randy Winn, SFG
OF- Tony Gwynn Jr., SDP

-AL Gold Gloves-
P- Ricky Romero, TOR
C- Jason Varitek, BOS
1B- Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B- Ben Zobrist, TBR
3B- Evan Longoria, TBR
SS- Jack Wilson, PIT/SEA*
OF- Franklin Gutierrez, SEA
OF- Carl Crawford, TBR
OF- Rajai Davis, OAK

-NL Silver Sluggers-
P- Mike Hampton, HOU
C- Brian McCann, ATL
1B- Albert Pujols, STL
2B- Chase Utley, PHI
3B- Mark Reynolds, ARI
SS- Hanley Ramirez, FLA
OF- Adam Dunn, CIN
OF- Ryan Braun, MIL
OF- Matt Kemp, LAD

-AL Silver Sluggers-
C- Joe Mauer, MIN
1B- Miguel Cabrera, DET
2B- Ben Zobrist, TBR
3B- Michael Young, TEX
SS- Derek Jeter, NYY
OF- Shin-Soo Choo, CLE
OF- Jason Bay, BOS
OF- Johnny Damon, NYY
DH- Adam Lind, TOR

*I couldn't help it. Jack Wilson's defense has been so unbelievable that it just didn't feel right to not give him a gold glove. Technically he's played the bulk of his games in the National League this year...oh well.