World Series Notes From Cub Country

Things you think of while watching a World Series slaughter and waiting for an all-old rerun of The Daily Show to come on: * Last night’s one-sided contest looked like the Dads vs. Kids softball game at the annual Cub Scout Picnic, only in this version, the dads wanted to be sure the kids went home in tears and never had the will to get on the field again. *Fox’s Ken Rosenthal had to point out that the Rockies were stepping up in class by matching up with the AL’s best after fattening up on the lowly Diamondbacks and Cubs in the NL playoffs. Bad enough to have your favorite league trashed (however deservedly); even worse when your favorite team has to be mistakenly dragged into the argument to illustrate the point. *I look at that Boston lineup and a very small part of me is glad the Cubs aren’t on the field to face it. I’m imagining it would feel pretty hollow to have finally made the Series after all these generations, only to be disemboweled in front of an international audience. *The consensus before the Series--that Boston was the better team and that Colorado’s miracle ride was about to skid off the road and crash into an embankment—was certainly borne out by last night’s result. But even assuming the Red Sox roll again tonight, I think the games in Denver may prove to be challenging for Boston. The altitude, the unfamiliar park, the selling of Rocky Mountain Oysters in the concession stand—lots of reasons for the mighty Red Sox to be thrown just a little off kilter. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. The thought of three more games like Wednesday night’s is just not anything to be excited about. Finally, a non-World Series Cub note: At The Hardball Times, Dave Studeman reports on Net Win Shares Value, i.e., which teams got the most and least for their payroll dollars in the season just past. A shout out to possibly soon-to-be-ex-Cubs Jason Kendall and Craig Monroe, who showed up at 2nd and 7th respectively on the Worst Values of '07 list. On the positive side of the ledger, the Cubs 2007 free agent class finished as the fourth best value in the game. Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Detroit led the way.


to be fair to the Cubs though, they didn't pay much of Kendall's contract and got a few of his good months.

True. I'm still honored to have one of our guys finish second in all of anything.

I'm looking at news of the California wildfires and thinking ... does San Diego have to burn to the ground every time the Cubs make the postseason? Is this some kind of karmic retribution?

Does David Ortiz even own a mitt?

O. Julius, I live in CA and was in San Diego in 2003 and my old roommate said the exact same thing.

On the positive side of the ledger, the Cubs 2007 free agent class finished as the fourth best value in the game. Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Detroit led the way.

That's pretty impressive, considering how much money they spent. Apparently, they spent wisely.

This series is far from over. Coors Field will bring out the Bosox big weakness their Unathleticism with the size of that park and the altitude. A Rockies sweep in Denver isnt out of the question. Of course they still need a Fenway win. The Rockies pitchers need to attack the zone because as Carmona, Francis, and Sabathia proved that if you nibble they will run up the pitch count and attack hitters pitch in hitters counts. If one COL pitcher should be able to attack the zone with his stuff it should be Jimenez.

Also Iike to call schannigans on that FA win share as it seems they are counting FA signings from previous seasons.

i'd call shenanigans on a lot of what's written on that site.

for all the good stuff there's a lot of stuff where someone picks a cause, picks an effect, and then fills in 10 paragraphs linking it...many times not bothering to look at externalities.

its one thing to present data for people to mull over and give your conclusions, but too many articles are pushing "fact" that's more of a logical conclusion based on THEIR data independent of externalities which may/could invalidate their entire point of why theyre writing the article to begin with.

problem is they got a real stable of real journalist-types and real smart number crunchers who can present their material mixed with a stable of hack-ass produced articles with the problems i talked about above.

btw, this problem isnt unique to them...its almost becoming an "independant media" problem from some of the bigger niche journalism markets.

before anyone jumps on my back...yes, the hardball times does work im glad someone is doing, especially in the field of defensive research.

i just have an issue with how some present their views and/or report their research.

somebody told David Ortiz that he doesn't need a first baseman's mitt in colorado cause they play 16" softball there, he'll just need cigars for the humidor.

Is Ortiz still giving America the bird during the National Anthem?

Even without him in the lineup, the Red Sox are a better ball club. Better at Catcher, 2nd, 3rd, center and right with a draw at first. Better #1 #2 and probably #3 in the rotation with all the off time and better in the bullpen. The time off is going to kill the Rockies, just like it killed the Tigers last year.

*jumps on Crunch's back*

Have to agree that as a Cub, neither Kendall or Monroe approaches top 40 in that list of worst contracts.

I would also have some bones to pick about how they're doing their defensive numbers when they list Ramirez, Pena and Fielder as such great deals.

And finally, I am sure I am misunderstanding this, but this statement is either a indictment of wins shares (which I have previously established as a flawed measurement 1=.5 blah blah blah) or an indictment of HBT's application of them this year

"On a technical note, I should tell you that total Net Win Shares Value actually increased overall this year (from around $600 million to $800 million),

Either there were a lot more wins in MLB this year than last year, or payrolls climbed 33%. I will bet my 2007 salary that neither was the case.

When was the last time Ortiz laced up a mitt, I'm wondering. Did he play in the field during any of their interleague games? Can he even make a stretch for a wayward throw with that bum knee of his? He may make Daryl Ward look like a competent fielder.

Ortiz has played first, very seldom, every year. He even played first for the two games in the World Series in 04

It's difficult to draw many conclusions after one game. Boston may sweep - we know the Rockies won't - but sounding the death knell seems very premature.

If they played best of, oh say, 21, then you can be a lot more sure the best team won. I think Boston is better but in a best of seven, it's a small edge.

As I recall, Pittsburgh got waxed by the Yankees in at least three games of the 1960 World Series, yet won in seven.

It's not always easy to tell which team is the better team, even on paper. I remember reading for a lot of years that the '19 Black Sox were clearly a better team than the Reds, and the mere fact that they lost was cited as proof of the fact that they threw the Series. But when you actually look at the two teams on paper, the Reds were just as strong if not stronger. Contrary to what is still-conventional wisdom, the Reds may well have won even in a straight-up series.

Booooo to Taco Bell. That was ludicrous.

It's a tough call for Francona. I think I'd have to bench Lowell as hot as Youk is and as crucial as he is in their 2-spot. As least for them they don't lose Varitek for a game for Wakefield's dumb ass.

i'm just glad the taco bell thing is over...between "Frank" and taco bell my postseason "whored out to advertisers" level has reached its max.

Either there were a lot more wins in MLB this year than last year, or payrolls climbed 33%. I will bet my 2007 salary that neither was the case.

Neal, you're misunderstanding Studeman's point. What he is saying is, because proportionately more Win Shares were earned this season by players at the lower end of the salary scale, MLB teams in total realized greater payroll value than last season, when the big-money players were accumulating a greater proportion of the Win Shares. He is not saying there were more wins in MLB this season.

The altiude factor may keep Ortiz on the bench. I doubt Ortiz is contditioned enough to play in that atmosphere. Their lineup w/o Ortiz is still strong and Having a weapon like Ortiz on the bench is a nice option.

" I doubt Ortiz is contditioned enough to play in that atmosphere."

You have to be kidding, right?

#22: i’m just glad the taco bell thing is over...

That was truly awful. I'm not an ad man, but was any viewer really swayed by that? Did it really create a better impression of TB in anyone's mind? Isn't the main question "why is MLB helping to shill for one of the top purveyors of disgusting drunk munchies?"

Oh, and gotta love those fake crowd shots with "fans" holding up obviously digitized signs. It's not just the constant barrage of ads that gets me, it's the assumption that we're stupid.

Bah, gunna go listen to Fugazi all day & clear my head.

Dusty Baker said: blah, blah, blah, dude, blah, blah, blah...
(from the sun times)

"I talked to Mark Prior [Wednesday)..."

"The thing I'm most curious about is I haven't heard what was wrong with Mark,'' Baker said. ''Usually, you hear torn labrum or rotator cuff. I would like to know at least where and what was wrong."

''If I'm going to get blamed for it, I would like to know exactly what happened. Most of the time when you have surgery, don't you have surgery on something?''

As he did upon his arrival in Chicago, Baker is portraying himself in Cincinnati as a recruiter of talent. It never really happened with the Cubs -- unless you count the Neifi Perez signing in August 2004 -- but he promises to be more vocal about the hand he is dealt in Cincinnati.

5 pics of wrigley unearthed...


Did you notice in the article he knows what was wrong with Priot but "he wont say" what it was?

"Baker is portraying himself in Cincinnati as a recruiter of talent..."


What about: "Holly", Neifi, Macias, Grissom, Mabry, Womack? AND - Troy O'Leary.

Ain't THAT talent?

jacos: yes. That part of the Baker interview was referring to Prior's DL start for "achilles tendonitis" but alluded to him also having elbow problems (that wasn't being disclosed to the press).

That kind of stuff is what really leads to wild press speculation and discredits the team medical trainers. There is a certain amount of confidentiality that a person/athlete may desire regarding any health condition but in such a public figure, trying to keep things confidential by giving out misleading info usually makes things worse. That kind of approach is why people thought Prior was malingering.

Remember that former trainer Dave Tumbas was fired after 2003, probably because of the handling of the basepath collision Prior had and his successors Dave Groeschner/Sandy Krum were at the heart of the ongoing PriorGate injuries Baker was alluding to and obviously played a role in.

Who was the unlicensed trainer that was one of Dusty's cronies from SF?

that was Dave Groeschner

(he was liscenced in California, just not Illinois (but each state has separate liscencing standards), and his credentialling for Illinois wasn't completed until after the 2004 season...but Krum brought that up to Cubs brass in August 2004 and Krum was let go over the issue, with some subsequent litigation over that)...leading to the Mark O'Neal era.


Neal, you’re misunderstanding Studeman’s point. What he is saying is, because proportionately more Win Shares were earned this season by players at the lower end of the salary scale, MLB teams in total realized greater payroll value than last season, when the big-money players were accumulating a greater proportion of the Win Shares. He is not saying there were more wins in MLB this season. ,

Huh? Can you put it into an equation, because you repeated what he said, and again it makes no sense.

The average MLB team had 81 wins this season.

W = 81

You have two groups of players, low salary players and high salary players.

Win Contribution from Low salary players = L

Win Contribution from High salary players = H

The sum of those two groups of contributions equals the total wins.

L + H = 81

L = 81 - H

H = 81 - L

Regardless of what the value of L and H are, they are always (in theory, and this is where the math is incorrect) to equal 81.

The only way they don't equal 81 is if your math is incorrect. Pure and simple.

If you extend it to all 30 ML teams you get L + H = 2430. I

t's impossible for "MLB teams in total realized greater payroll value than last season" to exist, unless salaries decreased (which they didn't) or the teams won more games (which they didn't). They could have a greater desparity between the values provided by the lower players vs the high players in from year to year, but when you look at total payroll value, all contribution from all the players = all the wins.


oh come on...

"If I’m going to get blamed for it, I would like to know exactly what happened."

that's funny...period.

Todd Walker came to the Cubs in a 'under market' deal. Garciaparra probably could have found more cash elsewhere if he shopped around after '04.

One of these days I will do a Marvel style 'What If...' on the Maddux signing or maybe the Palmeiro trade 'What if Raffy didn't bang that tramp Ryno shackled himself with?' for the TCR. Been thinking about it for a while. Lee Smith trade would be a good one too.

While everyone was pimping Marmol for closer in the playoffs I just kept thinking 'Calvin Schiraldi, Calvin Schiradli...'

damn, wrong blog!

Here you go, Cubnut.

The WSAB (win shares above bench, which I would guess is HBT's method of monkeying BP's WARP) for 2006 is 2461 and 2007 is 2443. I don't know how they define 'bench', their links are broken so I can find out, and it's arbitrary nature is probably why they produce non-sensical numbers, but BP's replacement level players are assumed to go about 40-122 during a season. So their 'above bench value' (replacement level players should actually be worse than bench players), should be only be around 41 x 30 or 1230 wins, actually BP's replacement players are worse than that, as we discovered with the 2003 Tigres, so lets' say they only win 20 games, which makes the above bench (or baseline total) 1830. The maximum should be 2430 wins (if every game was played and there were no extra games), so how they get totals of 2461 and 2443 make no sense.

It's just another illustration of how flawed a concept Win Shares is.

The underlying base mathematical statement used to build win shares is this: 1 = 81/162. When that's the first statement you start working with, you're going to wind up with a lot of problems. Bill James had an excuse for doing it that way (time, lack of statistical availability and number crunching power). HBT has no such excuse. To fix win shares, they should start with the equation .5 = 81/162. The way you do that is only by evaluating player's contributions in games their team won.

Any system that attributes 'win shares' to a player who hit four home runs in a loss, is by definition, wrong.

Rob G will tell you 'There's a whole book filled with numbers to produce win shares', which I have never disputed. But when page 1 chapter 1 has an invalid equation, you're going to need a whole book to try to convince people that 2 really does equal 1.

Yeah, that's what I thought. Strike a medium between parroting and analysis if you want to post on ths blog, or just hide in the shadow of the tree-fort your daddy built you in 1992,

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