Archive - 2008

November 29th

Everthing Arizona Phil writes in the comment section is worthy of a Best of TCR article. But this Best of TCR writeup is to show that I can find a post when news is particularly thin (beyond those gimme's from our TCR guru in the desert). Thanksgiving weekend is usually a desert of baseball news unto itself. Thus to brighten our tumbleweed desolate weekend, my long time friend, The E-Man steps up with a summary of Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000 saturday morning "Talking Baseball" weekly radio show. Enjoy (except for the part where he says that my season tickets will be more expensive). Take it away E-Man:

Just heard Hendry on WMVP this AM with Bruce Levine.

Jimbo came on the show...

- no slam dunk with Marmol as closer. He is not "set to close", but it is Lou's decision. They (Marmol/Gregg) may share duties. One may close more in the beginning of the year than the other.

November 28th

MLB clubs have until Monday (December 1st) to decide whether to offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type"B" free-agents. 

November 26th

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

I read the Sun-Times writeup on an interview with Lou Piniella in yesterday's paper and thought it was worthy of TCR discussion.

''The two things that I take from the postseason are that I didn't get a chance to pitch [Ted] Lilly, and he was such an integral part of us getting there.."

Here's my translation of Lou's comment #1:

1) The Ted Lilly Fan Club Super Computer predicted this.

2) Lou prefers Jason Marquis to Jake Peavy or Rich Harden because the latter two makes it tougher to pitch Ted Lilly in the playoffs.

3) You should have seen Z's reaction when (Lou) told him Dempster was pitching game one and Ted Lilly was pitching game two vs LA.

 

And Lou's comment #2: "And, two, we've just got to figure out a way to score more runs in the postseason."

...then Lou says: Raul Ibanez is the type of professional hitter "that we are alluding to".

Translation:

1) I'm batting Raul 4th.

2) Defense? We don't need no stinkin' defense.

3) Is there a Raul Ibanez Fan Club Computer I can check with?

November 25th

Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.

November 22nd

Kansas City is focused on Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in talks with the Cubs about Mark Teahen. …

That is according to a Phil Rogers article.

That's great, I'm focused on solving world peace after I cure cancer, which will all happen after I retire at age 35 because the charming widow across the street is really the heir to the Buffett family fortune and appreciates when I roll her garbage can up her driveway on Tuesdays.

Let's just say I don't see either one happening.

November 21st

November 19th

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • look! Edison Volquez.

    15 hours 30 min ago
    jacos
  • Crunch holds up Billy Hamilton doll

    15 hours 30 min ago
    jacos
  • Stolen bases are awesome to watch, one of the most exciting plays in baseball, just a poor long-term strategy if you don't have the right personnel. But TheJedi get it, they did have Dave Roberts on their team in 2004 and Ellsbury for many years, 2 of the best and most effective basestealers of recent years(and Cherington got Victrorino for their run last year). It's a good asset to have on your team, just not the foundation.

    16 hours 54 min ago
    Rob G.
  • it's getting really hard to watch c.hurdle try to walk. he's put off hip surgery long enough...get it done, dude.

    16 hours 55 min ago
    crunch
  • great breakdown of the Royals SB fest last night

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-jarrod-dyson-stole-the-biggest-base-o...

    17 hours 13 min ago
    Rob G.
  • I don't have your encyclopedic knowledge, and i've never really given any of this much thought, but I do notice myself cringing every time I see a Cubby try to steal a base. Now, this may partly be my natural "oh, God, here we go, more Cubbery" instinct taking hold, but I'm not sure Billy Hamilton, currently at least, is a big help with his ratio. Smart baserunning probably wins more games than stolen bases, but that's all hunch on my part. And, honestly, I do love me a good stolen base.

    17 hours 20 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • 23 Article XX-D minor league players have filed for free-agency since Monday. As far as the two Cubs Article XX-D players are concerned, Eli Whiteside has filed, but Marcos Mateo has not. This might mean that Mateo has agreed to a minor league successor contract with the Cubs for 2015.

    18 hours 50 min ago
    Arizona Phil
  • is it national "Troll a Stats-Head" day or something?

    i've never seen so many 1000s-of-words articles written to combat a few simple non-thought-out "lol Moneyball didn't work again Oakland" statements in my life.

    all i've learned is...

    1- royals are moneyball and here's why (front office, stats crew, etc)
    2- royals aren't managed moneyball even though they're constructed moneyball and here's why (ned yost is an awful human being, etc)

    19 hours 5 min ago
    crunch
  • Top 20 NWL Prospects

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/2014-league-top-20-prospects-index/

    6. Jeffrey Baez, 9. Mark Zagunis, 14. Eric Leal, 18. Rashard Crawford and Trevor Clifton made the Just Missed list

    19 hours 10 min ago
    Rob G.
  • "In the days to come, some people will no doubt try to use this as a referendum on the A’s versus the Royals and on Moneyball versus old-school thinking, as if a game this wild, this tight, this utterly drop-dead gorgeous could serve as a standard-bearer for either school of thought. This game didn’t vindicate Billy Beane or Dayton Moore. This game vindicated baseball."

    20 hours 38 min ago
    Rob G.
  • The book is slightly dated now and some of the statistical calculations have evolved since then, but I really enjoyed: "Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong" And my favorite chapter was "What if Rickey Henderson had Pete Incaviglia's Legs?"

    The upshot from the last paragraph:

    1 day 52 min ago
    WISCGRAD
  • Interestingly, this year he gave up 13 stolen bases but caught 10, for a 43% CS rate. And only one of the stolen bases last night was off Soto, the other six were off Derek Norris--his CS% is only 17%, or 10% below league average. So the smart move was actually to wait until Soto was out of the game, then run like crazy. And Soto actually got credited with a CS on the stupid double steal attempt when the runner was thrown out at home, which was "small ball" at its worst.

    1 day 1 hour ago
    WISCGRAD
  • that you Tom Boswell?

    1 day 1 hour ago
    Rob G.
  • When Geo Soto is your opponent's best defensive catcher, the "specific situations" where steals make sense expand to include "when runners are on base."

    1 day 1 hour ago
    John Beasley
  • The Royals use the same types of advanced metrics that the A's use. The moneyball vs. non-moneyball distinction is moot these days.

    And no one ever says that sac bunts and stolen bases can't help a team win a game. Those moves have proven pivotal in many games over the history of baseball. But those moves backfire or hurt the team far more often than they help teams win, and studies have demonstrated that there are only specific situations where those types of moves make sense.

    1 day 1 hour ago
    WISCGRAD
  • I don't know about "old school." Nothing wrong with youth and speed.

    Don't overlook that steals were involved in all three late-inning, come-from-behind rallies by the team that beat the moneyballers.

    1 day 2 hours ago
    VirginiaPhil
 

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