Julien's Faster than Light Blog

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Monday, April 05, 2004
the (far) eastern league
mike rants about japan.
the greatest player of our time
people think the greatest player of our time is lazy, but it's just that everything is so fuckin easy for him. he does everything right, all the time.
everything bill james does is funky
alex belth got to talk to bill james. everyone's hero. everyone thinks he's the best because they red him and at some point he said something that made them think he agrees with them. but he don't.

and then they grab on to some piece of some thing he said and think it's the most important thing in baseball. but it was just a thought he had one day. he don't give a shit about it.

the same thing happens with nietzsche.

do people really think this is a good interview? everybody says it is. the thing is, everything bill james says is gold. so it's a good interview. but he's sitting there telling you how terrible the questions are. and he's right: they're terrible. a bill james interview could be so much more. instead we get tiny sparkles shining through the fog of ignorance.
kirk rueter bout to get tore up
the houston astros are exactly the kind of team that crush a soft-tosser. biggio single to left.

is rueter really the best the giants can do?
wow. i have never seen that. moises alou hit a single with runners on the corners. ryan freel maybe coulda dived but instead he let it bounce and gunned down grudzielanek who had been tagging! play at the plate then corey patterson's tryin to get to third and jason larue says uh-uh.

one out, first and third: single. double play. over.
ryan wagner's pitching
aramis ramirez swung at a slider 4 feet off the plate.

16.8 strikeouts per 9 in college.

adam dunn dropped a fly ball. all runs are unearned.
mike wuertz
strikeout. strikeout. groundball to second.

welcome to the majors!

and he's wearing my number (43)! you see, my lucky numbers are 1 and 7. 4 - 3 = 1 and 4 + 3 = 7. and it's prime. 17 is also a good number.
sean casey 2-run double off kerry wood
contact hitter.
braves exercise 2005 option on bobby cox
good move.
halladay is no longer dominating
pedro got hit too. the only conclusion is that every pitcher who was good last year will be bad this year.

wood has 2 on 0 out in the fourth. 2 nasty sliders swung at and missed. jason larue is out.

slider ryan freel strike looking. ground ball to pitcher. out at second.

0-2 on juan castro. fly ball to left. the reds' third baseman should be tim hummel. not that he could hit wood.
what's wrong with pedro?
nothing. nothing is wrong with pedro. in 6 innings, he struck out five and walked one. a guy loses a game and all of a sudden buck martinez is talking about injury concerns and dave campbell is saying they rattled him.

pedro martinez does not get rattled.

in other news, javy lopez can still hit.

grudzielanek is out.

corey patterson hit it out. joe morgan says dusty baker didn't want to see that. he knows it sounds strange. sammy's up. out. moises alou fly to dunn.

here comes kerry wood!

ground ball hit second base. barry larkin. i take it back. kerry wood is the best pitcher in baseball.

grudzy with a nifty double play!

aramis ramirez. i have a thousand-push-up bet with charles that he'll be good this year. define good. there is no need. it's a gentleman's bet. gb 3b.

derrek lee. good curve by corey lidle. another curve, then a change up. strike three you're out!

austin kearns. "this is a power match-up when these two guys get together." ---john miller. we all know that means the pitcher wins. gb e6. adam dunn. strikeout.

halladay is carving tigers.

kerry wood is so good.

grudzielanek turn the double play! that's two good grudzies!

that's just 2 innings. 34 to go! i was worried last night that i didn't like this game anymore.

wood works it 3-0 but gounds out to second. time to post.
boogie on reggae woman
tried to say
it was opening day

but no way. it's today. today is opening day right now it's monday the first monday of april and that's opening day. the boomtown rats don't like mondays so you know they don't like baseball they're british they probably like cricket. it's just another manic monday the bangles wish it was sunday and commissioner seel-ig says we gonna do a lot of pre-opening opening well you can boogie on reggae woman! what is wrong with you?

let's get down to business. what is left to do? nothing. it's all here. read it. so let's have some fun.

what makes a good player? pitchers, we did. what about batters?

5 things: patience, contact, power, defense, speed. patience is workin the count, gettin your pitch, takin the walk. contact is hittin the heat, hittin the break, hittin the change (lay off the curve.) power is hittin it hard, hittin it deep, hittin it far. defense is callin, blockin, gunnin (catcher); pickin, turnin, flippin (infield); jumpin, grabbin, throwin (outfield). speed is gettin to first, gettin around, gettin the triple.

it's all in the numbers, but that's another story. numbers are an approximation of reality. so before we can understand the numbers, we have to understand reality. we've got our work cut out for us.

those with better defense play in the middle. those with better power play on the corners. the cool thing about win shares is it gives extra value to those who play demanding positions. it's built-in. the uncool thing about win shares, vorp, and all those other yay-hoos is the assumption that a run is a run is a run. we're supposed to be scientific and look at that there's an assumption. newton said time is eternal, absolute; everybody makes mistakes.

a three-run jack in a blowout is nothing. a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the 13th is everything. until you account for that, your system is incorrect. after, it's still incorrect, but less so.

what that means is that contact is the ugly kid sister. statheads disdain her, and squeeze tits and ass, but their way is folly. we who are not so vulgar see the beauty inside, and nurture her, with love, to womanhood. then, in full flower, she captures our hearts with her joy.

i should quit right here. what i'm trying to say is a run against walter johnson is not the same as a run against joe schaffernoth. it's better. and there's a certain type of player who can beat the big train. that player is the contact hitter. some would call him clutch.

a simple metric would be to calculate a player's run value for each game, then adjust for the score of the game. runs in a one-run game are much more valuable than runs in a three-run game. here's how you do it: divide the run-value by the score difference. voila! runs in one-run games are twice as valuable as those in two-run games, three times as valuable as those in three-run games, etc. it's crude, but effective.

close games tend to have good pitching. good pitching tends to require contact. thus, contact hitting is appropriately valued.

i need to sleep. i'm rambling. all five attributes are important. we will use them to rate players by position. or not. who knows? night-night!
Thursday, April 01, 2004
april fools!
i'd play a joke on you guys, but there's like two people who read this blog and i wouldn't wanna risk one of you not getting it and i'd be down to one reader. with my luck, it'd be the freak who likes french-kissing better than sex.

i'm not helping things by taking a week and a half off, but i got a little burned out by all that prospect analysis. let's recap and then move on, cause opening day it's about to be!

i started off with a look at the baseball prospectus top 50, which starts here and ends here. then i noticed that aaron gleeman did one and i was like "if he can do it i can do it" so i did.

maybe i left some guys out. i don't know. i didn't look at every single minor-leaguer. so when i found the baseball america top 100 list i analyzed that. there were a couple guys i missed. if there's anyone else, he's so buried it's not worth worrying about.

what else do we talk about? everything! i saw adam laroche go granny on octavio dotel today. that was fun. kevin brown hurt the d-rays, but that's exactly the kind of team he beats. ok he beats all kinds of teams, but especially contact hitters. and alex rodriguez looked like eric chavez out there.

the season's coming up! opening day comes after the first game! here are my predictions! shazam!

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