julien's baseball blog

Some moves are slightly good. Some moves are slightly bad. I tell you about them.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
 
fearless predictions
let's have some fun:

nl east:
braves
marlins
phillies
expos
mets

the phillies miss the playoffs again. it becomes painfully obvious that neither ed wade nor larry bowa know what they're doing. heads roll.

nl central:
cubs
astros
cardinals
pirates
reds
brewers

prior and wood take the cubs to the series. astros get the wild card. that's right; the marlins miss the playoffs. they fade away and are never heard from again, despite young killers josh beckett and miguel cabrera.

nl west:
giants
diamondbacks
dodgers
padres
rockies

the padres are a popular pick, but who are they gonna beat? only the rockies. sabean once again laughs all the way to the bank. new young diamondbacks barely miss the wild card, along with the marlins.

al east:
red sox
yankees
blue jays
orioles
devil rays

i don't know why, but i'm feeling it. the red sox are going to the series. it'll be one of the best ever. arod never gets one, as his team slowly slides into the sea.

al central:
twins
indians
royals
white sox
tigers

indians? second? why not. this division is pathetic.

al west:
a's
angels
mariners
rangers

angels: yawn.

the division winners are really easy, except the al east. the wild card is a tough call in the nl, but not the al: it's whoever doesn't win the east. the main factor in these picks is the ability of the front offices. except for the cubs. for them it's the young right arms. and one old one.
 
apparently i said something . . .

Thursday, February 26, 2004
 
more of the patently ridiculous
if you subscribe to lee sinins atm reports, you're used to these gems:



so the ninth inning of a one-run game is just as important as the fourth inning of a six-run game. or something.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
 
links
i went here, which led me to here, which led me to here and here.

i also took this online personality test, which is complete bullshit. i'm a 7.

it was the boy of summer what led me to all that.
 
testing . . .
edward cossette links this and credits david pinto.
Monday, February 23, 2004
 
the midnight hour
there's an area of the brain that, when stimulated, causes one to write uncontrollably.
 
rob v. josh, part 2


part 1
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
 
my best blogging happens in february
then june, october. it's because jupiter is in aquarius. this is the dawning.
 
i'm feelin feisty today
here's another one: who's the greatest shortstop of all time?

the answer is cal ripken.
 
stirrin things up
here's a good one: will arod be the all-time home run leader?

the answer is no.
 
sharpening the ax . . .
sorry, john, but i gotta disagree:



sabean is a popular target of sabermetric types. he routinely makes moves that contradict things statheads "know". but the truth (that's a fact!) is that he is one of the best general managers in the league.

exhibit 1: 2003: 100-61, first place, nl west
exhibit 2: 2002: 95-66, second place, nl west
exhibit 3: 2001: 90-72, second place, nl west
exhibit 4: 2000: 97-65, first place, nl west
exhibit 5: 1999: 86-76, second place, nl west
exhibit 6: 1998: 89-74, second place, nl west
exhibit 7: 1997: 90-72, first place, nl west

that's his entire tenure.

sabean's strength is that he understands the things statheads don't: defense, contact, and speed.

the west is full of contact hitters, and the giants have the defense and pitching to stop them. plus, the team is built for their park. pacbell is the most extreme pitchers' park in the leauge, tied with dodger stadium, petco (probably), and shea. coincidentally, dodger and petco are also in the nl west. not coincidentally.

the exception is coors field. but barry can handle that by himself. i kid. no one can carry a team by himself. cf: alex rodriguez, the texas rangers. the rockies aren't a problem because they suck.

we could list good moves, for example marquis grissom. but john concedes the point, so we'll leave it at that. let's discuss his "bad moves".

benard: contact, defense, speed. had one great year (1999), then bad luck with hits, and lost his starting job. a useful player for cheap.

snow: overpriced. but everyone says his defense is great, and defense at first is underrated.

perez/dunston: contact/defense/speed guys. both are near the top in all three categories. it's what sabean likes, and it's brought him a lot of success.

rueter/ortiz: rueter was worse than expected. ortiz was better than expected. still, the difference between them is tiny. it's funny to see a sabermetric type include win-loss record in an argument. strikes me as only using the stats that support one's point, while ignoring other data . . . a tactic that is anathema to bill james. sabean made the right decision. rueter's got lefty mojo.

foppert/ponson: according to the toronto star, ponson was acquired for kurt anisworth, damian moss, and ryan hannaman. either way, it was the right move. ponson made a significant contribution to the pennant drive. and that's what it's all about.

kent: sabean didn't allow jeff kent to leave, jeff left. he was not going to play with barry. and he was replaced by ray durham, a great pickup. mentioning kent is grasping at straws.

livan hernandez: the kid clearly has talent. he was a terror in the second half last year. sabean was a year early on him.

damian moss: for the price of dumping ortiz's contract, sabean got part of sidney ponson and all of manuel mateo. that's the other reason rueter was the right guy to keep. mateo is not expected to make it, but if he does, it's gravy.

in 2004, statheads will continue to whine, and brian sabean will continue to not care, as the giants once again take first place in the national league west.

class dismissed.
 
it just makes you wanna hug something fuzzy
a story of friendship, from the blog of friendship:



i suggest a fuzzy navel.
 
duty-free information!
we have here an article from the venerable wall street journal. they make you pay for their words (bastards!), so it is my duty to free the information.

the ancient greeks thought it important for the rhetorician to first establish his credentials:



paul is not a disciple of billy beane. he is an associate (was). many of the successful techniques developed by the recent a's were his.



the dodgers will soon be the class of the nl west.
 
letters about letters
josh from chicago writes in to protest some of rob from chicago's ideas:



in rob's defense, dontrelle willis has some serious lefty mojo. lefties can somehow get away with way less strikeouts than righties. also rob explicitly stated that hits allowed was a category in his list, which makes that aspect of the analysis more of a performance than an ability metric. schilling and johnson were not included because they didn't have full seasons. webb: hits again, and he seriously is a motherfucker.

why don't you guys just go to a bar and fight it out like true chicagoans? or you could go to a pussy bar like sheffield's.
 
freedom of information act

Monday, February 16, 2004
 
whoops!
the guys from yankees and mets sent me a very nice letter and even pointed out a mistake. it's fixed now.



thank you guys! people say new yorkers are rude, but they seem to be the only folks i can make friends with!
Sunday, February 15, 2004
 
this is hilarious
thebrushback.com
 
it's the french spelling
hey! somebody tell the twins geek that he spelled my name wrong.
 
spring is here!
looks like i'll be taking a trip down to florida in march. if you're grapefruit team fan, send me a list of prospects and i'll tell you what i think of them.
 
next question: who do you want to start game 7?
that's easy. it's still pedro martinez.

number 2 is kerry wood. number 3 is mark prior. the cubs are looking good. put money on them. that advice is for amusement only.
 
i've had this letter sitting in my inbox
i've been meaning to write a detailed response to it, but it ain't happenin, so i'm just gonna run it.



i love josh beckett but i can't make him #2. my top ten:

1. prior
2. schilling
3. halladay
4. pedro
5. wood
6. vazquez
7. webb
8. rj
9. beckett
10. santana

differences between rob's list and mine are due to park factors and the randomness of hits on balls in play. my reliever list probably goes gagne smoltz soriano dotel. i haven't investigated it thoroughly. for more on starters (moron starters?), check my jan 21 article.
 
mr irrelevant
is rob neyer really this dumb?



etc. it's because smoltz was more above average than eckersley. i used to think rob knew things.

and the burning question: does john smoltz belong in the hall of fame?

neyer doesn't answer that question. but he would have gotten it wrong. the answer is "who cares?"
 
arod
nobody's done the analysis right. i mean i haven't checked, but nobody's done the analysis right, so i'm gonna have to do it. the yankees just got a lot better. alfonso soriano is the most overrated player in the majors. he is an out machine. so it's not a big loss. and mr rodriguez is obviously a killer. did i ever tell you that my friend matt got taunted by arod once? 'strue. he was at a track meet at the young demigod's high school. the track was next to the baseball diamond. my friend has long dreds, or did, and the team took advantage of the opportunity to tell him what they thought. that's the story.

yeah so this improves the defense, which can no longer be called bad. here's what's gonna happen: jeter's gonna move to second. it's obvious. second base is his natural position. they're saying arod will play third so they don't cause an uproar. but they'll make a big deal out of it and say "what a captain, he's changing positions for the good of his team, blah blah blah." jeter will succeed at second. his problem has always been his arm. i bet he'll even be pretty good at turning the double play.

ok so good defense + kevin brown = even more benefit. this move solves all the problems. if they pick up adrian beltre, even better. either way, they're now the favorite in the east. you knew when he signed that contract alex would eventually be a yankee.

pinstripes are ugly.
Saturday, February 14, 2004
 
happy valentine's day, all you sweeties!
you're my favorite. no, you are. no, you.
 
al mup
johan santana lost his arbitration case. the players would seriously make more money if they disbanded the union. the current system is indentured servitude.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
 
mup (most underpaid player)
nick johnson lost his arbitration case. arbitration is the stupidest thing ever.
 
the yankees have a prospect?
rotoworld:



let's see about this. . . . wow. he's a 20-year old switch-hitting catcher who walks a little, makes contact, and hits for power. he played in the eastern league (AA) last year, at the age of 19, and did very well. i can't think of a single reason why he won't be a star. where do they get these guys?
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
 
a: all the right moves
q: what is lea thompson's greatest role?

oq (other question): what does billy beane do?

rotoworld:



rotoworld underestimates players who make good contact. the flip side is they overestimate the strikeout kings. karros is better than koonce, and billy beane knows it.

i ran eric's wal con pow in a report on the cubs that ended up being an article about first basemen.

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