Did Chemistry Mix Up the Red Sox and Rays? – Part One

With the release of the movie “Moneyball” and the Oakland Athletics’ struggles in recent years, new “champions” for statistical analysis on how baseball teams should be run have emerged in the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. Statisically, the Red Sox (as well as the AL East Champion New York Yankees) were favored, though not heavily, over the Tampa Bay Rays in the preseason. In addition, in terms of Pythagorean Winning Percentage which Red Sox analyst Bill James popularized, the Red Sox performed better in 2011 than the Rays, having outscored their opponents more than the Rays did (138 to 98).

Yet, one of the neat features of baseball is that whenever you think you’ve seen everything in baseball and analyzed that “everything” down to its minutae, there’s always something new event to surprise you. The epic, historic, traumatic, dramatic (and every other adjective you deem appropriate based on your fan affiliation) collapse of the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card race to the Tampa Bay Rays concluded a month of flailing and failing for the Red Sox faithful. Statistically, it was virtually impossible. Turns out, “virtually” does not equal “actually”. As a kicker, the turnaround also makes for a neat looking graph too.

Consider in the course of the Red Sox collapse, the Red Sox “featured” a 7-20 record in September, the Rays pulled off some magic of their own. On September 6th, the Rays had a 0.6% chance of making the playoffs as the Red Sox held an eight game lead in the wild card. As the Red Sox slumped in september, the Rays went 17-10 in September, even managing to turn a triple play during the hot streak. Then on September 28th, the Rays clinched the Wild Card by overcoming a 7-0 deficit in their game with the Yankees as the Red Sox lost to the Orioles.

As Jack Moore of FanGraphs shows (and writes about in minute-by-minute detail), just within that last day, the playoff odds swung back and forth not just once, but twice like a fall breeze. Then the leaves settled and the Rays were in the playoffs.

The Red Sox, despite the fifth-best record in the American League, found themselves shaken. Long-time manager Terry Francona and the Red Sox parted ways (or politely ousted) as the Red Sox ownership and media tried to come to terms with what had happened. Some, such as Gordon Edes from ESPN, suggest that Francona had lost control of his clubhouse and that a “new” voice was needed. It appears the players were more interested in arguing over who could drink beer during ballgames than staying prepared for games. Other players, such as ex-Ray Carl Crawford, were unproductive and in some aspects, symbolic of the Red Sox collapse as the Orioles Robert Andino’s game-winning hit slipped out of Crawford’s glove to close out the Red Sox season. David Ortiz, seen as a leader (and often a mouthpiece to the media about all Bostonian baseball things) felt that “there were certain things in the clubhouse that no one can control”. His only feeling towards Francona besides being “fine with Tito” was reminiscing on when Francona had benched him in 2010. With David Ortiz’s voice catching most of the media attention, ownership’s voice and players shocked and saddened after the fact, Edes wondered if “an inmates-running-the-asylum environment” caused things to spiral out-of-hand.

The playoff-bound Rays however are now rejoicing. Before the 2011 season, longtime Rays Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Matt Garza had left the team and the Rays had 25 new players report to their spring training camp. Though the Rays were defending their 2010 AL East championship and had, in the eyes of executive vice president Andrew Friedman “As much physical talent in this camp as he ever had”, and an effort was made to build team chemistry. With some jokes sprinkled in here and there and members of the front office joining manager Joe Maddon on the field, a “light mood in the clubhouse with constant team-building moments” was encouraged. In the words of ex-Red Sox turned Ray Johnny Damon “We’re here to cause no trouble — we’re not here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle, but we’re here to cause no trouble. But it’s good everyone has the same common goal.” Not everything worked out for the new Rays, however. Not everything worked out for the Rays, even among the Red Sox imports. Five games into the Rays season, ex-Red Sox Manny Ramirez abruptly retired before he was suspended for 100 games for failing a second drug test. Yet, the Rays kept on producing. Except for a poor 11-15 record in July, the Rays played solidly all year coupled with a scorching 18-10 August and their blazing 17-10 September that enabled them to overtake the Red Sox.

Was it talent, luck, or chemistry that made the difference between the Red Sox and Rays?

Stay tuned for Part 2 as we try to untangle (and maybe learn) from this conundrum a bit.

@OzzieGuillen joins #Marlins on #Twitter – Parody

*** WARNING MATURE CONTENT ***
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
#ICanHonestlySay Thank you chicago y all the fans OzzieGuillen.com
14 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
All my players from 04 to 11 thanks very much for all the help and u friendship trainers coaches clubys security vendors from ofices people
13 minutes ago
 
 
KennyWilliams Kenny Williams
@ozzieGuillen Last and least? *sniff*
13 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
#ICanHonestlySay i love my people in chitown but love family and sun in #miami
13 minutes ago
 
 
OneyGuillen Oney Guillen
#mlb #baseball #whitesox #haters @ozzieguillen Thanks dad :) :) :)
12 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
sun not u son but love u son
12 minutes ago
 
 
OneyGuillen Oney Guillen
@ozzieguillen Thanks dad…
11 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
Hello #Miami
11 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
I can’t believe all of the planned festivities & former @Marlins players in town to see me surpass the 70,000 follower mark!
11 minutes ago
 
 
PeteyPipes Bryan Petersen
@OzzieGuillen Hi Coach!
11 minutes ago
 
 
MikeStanton27 Mike Stanton
@OzzieGuillen Hi Coach!
10 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@LoMoMarlins They here 2 hear me but will be here for u 2
10 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen You got it Boss!
10 minutes ago
 
 
bmarshall19 Brandon Marshall
I’m going to the Marlins games just to see @OzzieGuillen. Nice pick up
10 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@bmarshall19 what up bro thanks for support I will come to dolphins game and watch u ur a beast
10 minutes ago
 
 
JayCutler6 Jay Cutler
Tell me about it…#sadface “@OzzieGuillen: @bmarshall19 what up bro thanks for support I will come to dolphins game and watch u ur a beast
9 minutes ago
 
 
WaddleandSilvy Waddle and Silvy
Dueling press conferences. A Waddle and Silvy first. Jay Cutler and Ozzie Guillen speaking at same time. We’ll bounce between both
9 minutes ago
 
 
bmarshall19 Brandon Marshall
Mom I made it. I just got tweeted back by @OzzieGuillen. #Sweet
9 minutes ago
 
 
bags David Bags
@LoMoMarlins I can’t wait to see you and @OzzieGuillen take over the Twitterverse with #Marlins tweets! See you next year on Opening Day.
9 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen @bags They may actually name the new stadium the TwitterDome after all…
9 minutes ago
 
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
@LoMoMarlins @OzzieGuillen Given the financial constraints, #Twitter is a cheap way to advertise.
9 minutes ago
 
 
JeffLoria Jeff Loria
No comment @LoMoMarlins @OzzieGuillen @espn @fox @FoxSportsSouth @FSMidwest @MLBOnFox @FoxSportsLat @FoxSportsWest @MLBOnFox @dougglanville
8 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
Oh no we won’t. RT “@LoMoMarlins “@OzzieGuillen @bags They may actually name the new stadium the TwitterDome after all…”
8 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen #quietlikeabunny
8 minutes ago
 
 
michaelhill michaelhill
@OzzieGuillen @DaveSamson @LoMoMarlins This is a great day in #Marlins history so we will be respectful of our heritage.
8 minutes ago
 
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
Starts taking #Marlins notes…
8 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
wow lol who u egg? “@OzzieGuillen @DaveSamson @LoMoMarlins This is a great day in #Marlins history so we will be respectful of our heritage.”
7 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen Michael Hill is the interim GM. Our boss. #carefuler
7 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins Situation’s under control.
7 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Yes sir.
7 minutes ago
 
 
michaelhill michaelhill
@OzzieGuillen ‘People are waiting for you to make a mistake. They’re going to bait you on Twitter to say something inappropriate that you can never take back.
6 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
/msg #marlins ex I like Ozzie. I’m going to have to like him right?
6 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
hi jack love u bro still here? @JackMcKeonIRC “/msg #marlins ex I like Ozzie. I’m going to have to like him right?”
6 minutes ago
 
 
JoshWillingham Josh Willingham
#marlinsex @JackMcKeononIRC Coach?
6 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
/msg #marlins ex I’ll still be on call out of loyalty t
6 minutes ago
 
 
JimmyRollins11 Jimmy Rollins
@LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill @OzzieGuillen lol haaaa RT “@JackMcKeonIRC /msg #marlins ex I’ll still be on call out of loyalty t”
5 minutes ago
 
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
@jimmyrollins11 You’d think they would’ve learned about the power of the RT since last time…
5 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill @OzzieGuillen @jimmyrollins11 I am loyal http://wp.me/p1NXKl-U #cringe #flashback HTP
5 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@JackMcKeonIRC love you but #Miami #Marlins family my family now and i love my family 1st
5 minutes ago
 
 
OneyGuillen Oney Guillen
@ozzieguillen Thanks dad…
5 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen JUst found out that tonight was my last game as a #Florida #Marlin but did not mean that!
4 minutes ago
 
 
BetOnCubs2015 Go Cubbies
@OzzieGuillen back 2 futur II say cubies kick ur ass 2015! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnmw6K1H-gQ yay
4 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@betoncubs2015 #miami = more stinky games at #wrigley #ihaterats #ihatecubs #ihateu #twit u #twitnoob fuk
4 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
.msg #marlins ex I’ll still be on call out of loyalty to marlinsex organization
4 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@JackMcKeonIRC wtf? u gay?
4 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@MichaelHill You can put Jack to bed and retire him now. @OzzieGuillen you will be disciplined tomorrow.
4 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@davesamson u mad bro?
3 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@OzzieGuillen I am not your bro. New #marlins Orientation for @ozzieGuillen tomorrow in @JeffLoria’s office
3 minute ago
 
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
@DaveSamson And my exclusive? I have #marlins notes.
3 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@davesamson @dougglanville wtf I do?
3 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@dougglanville Yes. Usual fee.
2 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@kennywilliams help?
2 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@OzzieGuillen End of Line.
2 minutes ago
 
 
JayCutler6 Jay Cutler
@bmarshall19 Where did everybody go? #sadface
1 minute ago
 
 
bmarshall19 Brandon Marshall
@JayCutler6 @OzzieGuillen told #gayjoke on #twitter and getting disciplined already #newrecord
1 minute ago
 
 
JayCutler6 Jay Cutler
@bmarshall19 #gayjokes are not cool. Should stop #gayjokes.
1 minute ago
 
 
SouthParkStan Stan Marsh
@JayCutler6 You suck but my dad says you might be good someday. #whatever Go #Broncos!
50 seconds ago
 
 
JayCutler6 Jay Cutler
@bmarshall19 Never mind back to #gayjokes… gonna get tackled on Sunday unless I get some protection #please #bears
28 seconds ago
 
 
JoshWillingham Josh Willingham
@JackMcKeonIRC @OzzieGuillen Coach?…
1 second ago
 
 
COMMENTARY: Just like the last one, I put a lot of work into this and hope people enjoy it without being overly offended. I respect everyone mentioned (except maybe, sorta Jeff Loria and Brandon Marshall). I also think Ozzie will be an awesome Marlins manager (if he can survive). All impersonations of tweets were done without permission but with the intent to have some good fun. Please do not read this little parody and assume I had some inside knowledge or feeling on any of the parties mentioned.

Reframing Gregg Zaun

In my Baseball Chirps on Some Links (which is my fancy way of updating “Bird on a Wire”), I touched on Mike Fast’s study at Baseball Prospectus on a catcher’s ability to frame pitches and the way those framed pitches tended to switch close pitches from balls to strikes. One thing that stuck out to me was catcher Gregg Zaun’s name near the top of that list.

One interesting quirk of sabremetrics (which can lead to a lot of fun debate) is how new studies can lead to reevaluations of existing players. This concept was illustrated, in part, in the book and movie Moneyball. According to Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane, Scott Hatteberg stuck out because his high on-base percentage (OBP) skills were undervalued by the rest of baseball. Thus, Beane brought Hatteberg to offset departing MVP Jason Giambi’s production for pennies on the dollar. Now, I am not a sabremetrician but I do love thinking about baseball in new ways. Thus, I decided to, for lack of a better pun, reframe my thinking about Gregg Zaun.

Now, Zaun was a bit of an oddity as a switch-hitting catcher without much power and a “small” 5’10″ 170 lb frame. Most of the early part of his career was spent as a backup catcher to the likes of Chris Hoiles (who had the reputation as a good hitter) and Charles Johnson (who had a reputation as a great defender). A few years ago, he picked up the label as “The Practically Perfect Backup Catcher and later, as David Ross of FanGraphs notes, “However, as people looked more closely. they began to realize that a catcher who was close to league average offensively (Zaun has a career 94 wRC+) and non-horrible defensively would actually make a Pretty Good Starting Catcher. The Toronto Blue Jays noticed and were the only team to really give Zaun a full season of playing time in 2005.”

Mike Fast’s study indicates that since 2007, Zaun saved the sixth most runs of any catcher in baseball based on his ability to frame pitches, equivalent to 36 total runs. What makes it more interesting is that Gregg Zaun also did not play in 2011 and had durability issues from 2007 to 2010. Fast calculated that Gregg Zaun saved 19 runs per 120 games. Based on my rough, back-of-the-envelope calculations, it is possible that his framing skills were worth an extra win a season above an average major league catcher of that time period. To put that into scale a bit, an “average” major league catcher (as opposed to a Triple-A replacement level player) is generally worth three wins without counting runs saved from framing pitches.

So, we have Gregg Zaun, a person who was at first considered a backup catcher, then upon further analysis, would be considered a “Pretty Good Starting Catcher”. Does this new analysis on his catcher framing skills push Gregg Zaun into elite territory? I do not think so. Does it make him a star? Perhaps not. We do not know if he exhibited these framing skills early in his career. However, it does reinforce the idea that a potential opportunity was missed to see if Zaun would have been a “Pretty Good Starting Catcher”.

More importantly, if the results of Fast’s study are vetted, this could become a tool used by Major League Teams to analyze a catcher’s defensive performance. If that happens, I strongly believe that a future rookie that has Gregg Zaun’s skillset will no longer be undervalued but will stick out and thus warrant a full-time role to show that they really are a “Pretty Good Starting Catcher”.

Gregg Zaun’s Minor and Major League Statistics

Year Age Tm G AB HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1990 19 BAL-min 98 284 3 28 30 32 .239 .315 .310 .625  
1991 20 BAL-min 113 409 4 51 50 41 .274 .353 .369 .722  
1992 21 BAL-min 108 383 6 52 42 45 .251 .324 .376 .700  
1993 22 BAL-min 100 336 4 49 33 37 .295 .357 .384 .740  
1994 23 BAL-min 123 388 7 43 56 72 .237 .337 .353 .690  
1995 24 BAL-min 42 140 6 18 14 21 .293 .367 .529 .896  
1995 24 BAL 40 104 3 14 16 14 .260 .358 .394 .753 95
1996 25 BAL-min 14 47 0 4 11 6 .319 .441 .362 .802  
1996 25 TOT 60 139 2 15 14 20 .245 .318 .367 .685 75
1996 25 BAL 50 108 1 13 11 15 .231 .309 .352 .661 67
1996 25 FLA 10 31 1 2 3 5 .290 .353 .419 .772 106
1997 26 FLA 58 143 2 20 26 18 .301 .415 .441 .856 130
1998 27 FLA 106 298 5 29 35 52 .188 .274 .292 .566 53
1999 28 TEX 43 93 1 12 10 7 .247 .314 .323 .637 60
2000 29 KCR-min 9 25 0 3 4 3 .280 .379 .400 .779  
2000 29 KCR 83 234 7 33 43 34 .274 .390 .410 .800 102
2001 30 KCR-min 17 61 1 9 10 8 .213 .329 .328 .657  
2001 30 KCR 39 125 6 18 12 16 .320 .377 .536 .913 131
2002 31 HOU 76 185 3 24 12 36 .222 .275 .319 .594 53
2003 32 TOT 74 166 4 21 19 21 .229 .309 .349 .658 67
2003 32 HOU 59 120 1 13 14 14 .217 .299 .300 .599 56
2003 32 COL 15 46 3 8 5 7 .261 .333 .478 .812 97
2004 33 TOR-min 7 23 0 2 2 5 .304 .346 .348 .694  
2004 33 TOR 107 338 6 36 47 61 .269 .367 .393 .761 96
2005 34 TOR-min 2 6 0 0 2 2 .333 .500 .500 1.000  
2005 34 TOR 133 434 11 61 73 70 .251 .355 .373 .729 94
2006 35 TOR-min 1 4 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000  
2006 35 TOR 99 290 12 40 41 42 .272 .363 .462 .825 112
2007 36 TOR-min 3 11 0 0 1 2 .091 .167 .091 .258  
2007 36 TOR 110 331 10 52 51 55 .242 .341 .411 .752 98
2008 37 TOR-min 2 8 1 1 0 2 .250 .250 .625 .875  
2008 37 TOR 86 245 6 30 38 38 .237 .340 .359 .700 88
2009 38 TOT 90 262 8 27 31 48 .260 .345 .416 .761 99
2009 38 BAL 56 168 4 13 27 30 .244 .355 .375 .730 92
2009 38 TBR 34 94 4 14 4 18 .287 .323 .489 .813 112
2010 39 MIL 28 102 2 14 11 12 .265 .350 .392 .743 101
16 Seasons 1232 3489 88 446 479 544 .252 .344 .388 .732 91
162 Game Avg. 162 459 12 59 63 72 .252 .344 .388 .732 91
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/27/2011.

Baseball Chirps on Some Links 9/26/11

Baseball Chirps on Some Links 9/26/11:

Mike Fast of BaseballPropsectus released the most recent research he has done into a catcher’s performance on framing pitches. Not only does this angle have some in the sabremetrics community excited but it is a great example of combining a sabremetric approach with visual evidence of what people observe on the field.

While we’re on the subject of catcher defense, JD Sussman makes a case for Wilson Ramos to win the National League Rookie of the Year based, in part on his above average offensive performance in addition to Mike Fast’s research.

Dave Gershman of the MarlinsDaily and a member of ESPN’s SweetSpot Blog network presents his take on the Marlins’ new logo. Personally, I’m just excited about the name change. Now we just have to move the Marlins to the AL so my Cubs can win a World Series in 2015.

Over at The Hardball Times, Brian Cartwright looks at how the new “wood-like” metal bats used in colleges this year performed compared to their expectations and their alumnium counterparts.

 

Chirps:

Matthew Weber @mattaweber – @rbergstromjr I have choice words for the Yankees and Sox. But the words are not polite.

Rany Jazayerli @jazayerli – Well, it’s Bruce Chen. You had to figure it would end on a homer.

Matthew Cerrone @matthewcerone – No MLB team spends & wins immediately. ALL winners conserved, built within, sold tix, then spent, then won over time… even the Yankees.

Aaron Gleeman @AaronGleeman – Exit light, enter night: Mariano Rivera is the all-time saves king – http://bit.ly/pWGIYz

Rob Neyer @robneyer – I have no idea how to write about the movie without an excruciating amount of navel-gazing, since so much of it’s so close. I will try.

Megan Marshall @YankeeMeginPHL – @jay_jaffe No wonder why Mazzone rocked back and forth like a nervous wreck all the time.

Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins – Big thank you to @AmyKNelson for the ESPN article on me & my dad. I loved it! http://es.pn/r8rf4u What did you guys think?

Eric Young Jr @EYJr – @MasonAsher2014 no money, just send to Coors Field. I’m pretty good about signing and sending right back

Carrie Muskrat @carriemuskrat – #Cubs Reed Johnson was hit by a pitch in the 3rd and now ranks 10th among active players w/113 career bruises

SB Nation @sbnation – How does Tim Lincecum get by without throwing many first-pitch strikes? http://sbn.to/qCZuJA He must just be a freak. #punquota

David Lennon @DPLennon – Too bad Star Wars nite is over. #Mets should just freeze Reyes and his balky hamstring in carbonite until 2012.

#Chicago #Cubs Day Off

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" - Wrigley Field

 

On october 1st at 5:30pm, Wrigley Field will host a viewing of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release. This is due in part to Wrigley Field being featured in some of the scenes in the movie and in part to the way Wrigley Field (and many of John Hughes’ movies) feature Chicago. As an added kicker, there’ll be an attempt to break the world record for people singing “Danke Schoen”, the song that Ferris Bueller (played by Matthew Broderick) lipsynched during the parade scene. People can get $10 bleachers, $25 lawn seats or $75 VIP outfield lawn seat tickets. However, the idea of paying to see a movie in October instead of, for example, a Chicago Cubs playoff game is inciting some ridicule from Cubs fans and mockery of Cubs fans.

So, I decided to troll the ESPN story’s comment board for quotes. Here’s a snippet of what’s been said so far:
ImAYankeeFanBUT: why would you want to cram yourself in a urine smelling stadium in the freezing cold to watch a crappy movie?
 
Gosioux77: YAY! Postseason action at Wrigley!!!! Oh wait…..

tgwelch666: What a rip-off! Proceeds go to the Alfonso Soriano Extrication Fund.
Those are just some of the more “reprintable” quotes. Then, there is this quote from kingofdukezSMH that criticzes the promotion from a different angle:

kingofdukezSMH:”…when I first read they were doing a movie night at Wrigley, common sense told me that either it would be a) free to the public or b) a movie that’s now in theaters…why pay $10 to see a movie you can get from Redbox or Netflix (or buy a copy of) for less? The whole point of going to the movie theater nowadays is because a) you can’t see the movies they have at home and b) movie theaters have Imax/3D.
 
Even as a White Sox fan, I feel bad for the ACTUAL Cub fans out there (you know, the ones who don’t just go to Wrigley Field to get their picture taken and make @$$es out of themselves…and know who Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Greg Maddux, etc are). As long as there is a contingent of consumer $@%!$@ out there willing to overpay for anything Wrigley-related…you’re in a tough position.”

 

kingofdukezSMH makes a valid argument about the logic of paying so much to see a movie that could be seen on your local TV station for free. He also notes how “actual” Cub fans should be upset that Wrigley Field is drawing attention not for the talent on the Chicago Cubs but because it is being used as a marketing gimmick.

Yet, even with those arguments in mind, I take a different tack on the situation.

First, I should disclose that I am the type to pay $25 for a lawn seat. Out here in Denver, one of my favorite things to do is catch a Colorado Rockies fireworks game and pay $35 for a pavillion ticket just so I can go on the field. The grass, the dirt, it looks, smells and just plain-out feels great. Then, when the lights go off and the fireworks show goes on, sharing the field with another 30,000 to 40,000 people oohing and aahing is wonderful and an experience I happily pay for. Thus, if you ask whether I would want to see “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, a Chicago movie in Wrigley Field with the lights turned off, clapping and laughing with a larger crowd than what you can pack in a movie theater? Yep, definitely sign me up for that. I might even pay $75 because I’d consider that a lifetime experience. Going to Wrigley Field to enjoy a movie (which I admittedly have seen too many times to count) set in Chicago with fellow Chicagoans is an experience I would pay for. I’ll also throw in the extra possible perks like chatting with people about Chicago, the Cubs, Wrigley Field or the movie before and after the game. Even in modern movie theaters, you don’t get many people standing outside after a premiere and talking about it. Most just walk off. I doubt people would be so in and out at such a showing at Wrigley Field.

Second, the Chicago Cubs are out to make money. I don’t blame them, baseball is a business. Chairman Tom Ricketts did raise some ticket prices in 2010 while keeping the other half of the ticket inventory frozen other half of the ticket inventory frozen. On the other hand, that same Tom Ricketts walks the aisles and the concourses to mingle and question the fans which is a far cry from the entropy the Tribune Company’s ownership brought to Wrigleyville. The Ricketts may have looked (or been) a bit inert while waiting for some untradeable contracts to come off the books but the optimist in me thinks there are better things in store for the future of the Cubs. Given that perception that I have, I much prefer the Ricketts raise money through this kind of a promotion instead of, say, replacing the ivy with advertising, replacing the old-fashioned scoreboard with a blaring “Pick Your Song Sponsored by…” jumbotron or renaming Wrigley Field to Ameritrade Park. And yeah, those kinds of things may still come but if an event like this helps to stall a decision like that just for a year, I’m all for it.

Ironically, people pay even more money for concert tickets at Wrigley Field better watched for free on YouTube than in a public stadium not ideally built for acoustics. Some might argue, given the quality of play, that watching the Chicago Cubs for free on TV is better than paying for the privilege to watch them lose in person. However, the Chicago Cubs hosting this promotion won’t make a difference in their probably abysmal 2012 standings and maybe it’ll give them a few extra bucks to invest into their next contending team.

Michael Young Flexible for #Rangers

Michael Young (ESPN,2011)

Today, Michael Young of the Texas Rangers reached 200 hits for the sixth time in his career. Arbitrary milestone numbers like 200 hits don’t matter as much to sabremetricians since the question often asked next is “What did he do with those 200 hits and what else did he do besides that?”  In this case however, 200 hits does represent something of significance because, before the season, there was doubt about whether he would still be a starter for the Rangers.

Back in March, the Rangers had signed Adrian Beltre to play third base instead of Michael Young. Michael Young, originally a shortstop, had moved to second base as a rookie in 2001 because the Rangers had acquired Alex Rodriguez. Once Alex Rodriguez was traded in 2003 to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano, he was moved back to shortstop. Then, when Elvis Andrus was promoted to the big leagues in 2009, Young was moved to third base. He apparently was thrilled to make any of the position changes in the past. Yet in March, the Rangers were asking him to move for a fourth time to become the team’s primary designated hitter while also getting some time in at first base. Michael Young wasn’t happy. He was also signed to a large contract but was wielding little more than a contact bat with erratic power and a questionable glove. Now he was being asked to stay off the field and act as a “super-utility player” which suggested he would no longer be a full-time starter. So, he demanded a trade.

Apparently, one of his young fans, Gavin Justice-Farmer, wasn’t happy either.
It is unclear if, as wikipedia suggests that Michael Young saw Gavin’s video and after meeting the fan became convinced to stay with the Rangers. Nonetheless, he stayed. Even Gavin should be pleased with the results.

Split G PA AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
as 1B 32 134 120 13 38 2 17 11 17 .317 .366 .475 .841 .346 98 111
as 2B 13 59 55 8 24 2 15 2 8 .436 .441 .636 1.077 .468 153 203
as 3B 39 165 149 17 50 1 17 12 18 .336 .382 .423 .805 .368 92 130
as DH 68 297 275 42 86 6 53 20 35 .313 .360 .465 .826 .340 95 115
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/20/2011.

Young has posted one of his best seasons while splitting time platooning at first base with Mitch Moreland, third base for an injured Adrian Beltre and designated hitter. Nor has his performance been the function of an empty batting average with slash stats of .332/.375/.473 and a .849 OPS. His .826 OPS over 297 at bats as a DH also would rank him as an above average AL DH behind leader David Ortiz at .973. His sOPS+ at the positions he saw significant time at, 1B, 3B and DH, indicate he outperformed the league average at those positions. Young also just tonight set a career high in RBI with 104, mostly a function of spending half the year batting cleanup. More importantly, his flexibility has helped buttress a Rangers lineup ransacked by injuries not only to the previously acquired and mentioned Adrian Beltre, but to Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. While doing so, Michael Young’s flexibility enabled him to start 151 games and accumulate 200 hits. Whether Young gets that many opportunities to start (or hit) next year or remains as productive with the bat is anyone’s guess but at this point at least he will be another year as a Ranger. I think Michael Young and Gavin Justice-Farmer can both be happy with that.

Respecting @KerryWood

Kerry Wood tore the meniscus in his left knee, ending his 2011 season and possibly his major league career. If so, I find it odd to write about the end of a career for someone I grew up enjoying and yet, is just a year and a few weeks younger than me.

I remember Kerry Wood on WGN shortly after he was drafted. Quiet kid, and at my ripe old age of 19, anyone just out of high school was a kid. I also remember him being very respectful. I enjoyed his twenty strikeout game, a game I was fortunate enough to see live on television. The way his slider dove across the plate reminded me of 20-rated movement pitches on the SNES Baseball Stars game. It was unreal, and beyond that, fun as hell to watch. So much fun, I started doubting my other favorite rookie at the time, Kevin orie, who botched a grounder hit in that game that could’ve been called an error, giving Kerry a no-hitter before he was old enough to drink. Kevin orie, back to him in a bit…

I don’t remember ever disliking Kerry (though that incident with the wall was a little offputting). If I did, I probably would’ve disliked myself. Even though I weighed about 20 lbs more than him (and no, not in the arm), people said I looked a lot like him. Got his goatee and his blond hair and general facial structure (though he has a thinner nose) and used to get a second look if I was wearing my Kerry Wood jersey. Not that I minded since he was my favorite Cub of that era (sorry, Grace). Like him, I loved baseball, tried to be respectful of others and liked helping people. Sure, I would get a bit frustrated with his injuries, with his wildness, but that was balanced by how apparent it was that he always seemed to be trying. The kid had struck out twenty in one game, a feat rarer than no-hitters. He could’ve just “dialed it in”, let an ego creep into his head. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know him personally, but I like to think that the Kerry Wood I saw on television was the same kind of guy without the cameras on him. He was the kind of guy who would take the ball in the playoffs because his team needed him, even if his elbow had been sore, even if his future was in jeopardy. If there is such a thing as playing the game “the right way”, I’d lump him in that category of “favorite Cubs” right next to Andre Dawson and his sore knees.

Wood would do other things to help the Cubs. He would pinch-hit when called upon. He would try different grips, different pitching motions, keep try to get better, even after his elbow blew up once. Made it through a torn rotator cuff and a bad knee and when his body said he couldn’t start anymore, he went to the bullpen to help the Cubs. Perhaps there was a huff and puff, maybe he was upset about sometimes being the closer and sometimes not. Maybe he was upset about being “babied” and not alloweed to throw on back-to-back days, but if so, it didn’t hit the headlines much if at all.

He turned down multiyear, more lucrative contracts from other teams because he liked being on the Cubs, once in 2007 he took a one year contract and again, a one year contract to return to the Cubs for 2011. In between those contracts, he was pushed out for financial reasons in 2008, took out a full page ad in the paper thanking Cubs fans, had some more successes and failures and injuries but was still welcomed back to Wrigley with a standing ovation. I know when the Cubs came out to Denver this year, he got one from us Cub fans too. And yeah, I had to convince one drunken Cub fan during that Cubs-Rockies series that I, at the time 40 lbs heavier, was not Kerry Wood. And yeah, he is still my favorite Cub.

There’ve been a lot of Cubs over the years. Some, more surly than others, throwing a fit in the papers or in the dugout or the locker room. Some others get their public images shattered worse than a broken bat, forever changing your opinion of them and of baseball in general. So many millions of dollars, too egotistical to be satisfied by those millions or to be paid to play a game or wonder why people don’t love them. Others, like Kevin Orie, disappear. Traded to the Marlins after 1998, some say because of the “error”, Orie spent a few years bouncing around the major league and up and down to the minor leagues. He made a brief appearance as a Cub in 2002 then disappeared. I didn’t realize until tonight that he kept grinding away until 2006, kept trying to slug his way back to the majors. For some, no matter how hard they try, how much they want to play, they get forgotten, even by a former fan like me.

And then there is Kerry Wood. Whether he’s entered in the final line of his baseball card or not, I’ll remember the numbers that he racked up that counted to me…

Career statistics as of 2011: Chicago resident, raised over $2 million for Chicago children’s charities, made it through fourteen stints on the disabled list to help four Chicago Cubs teams reach the playoffs, many standing ovations long after the best game of his career and perhaps a quiet, respectful bow as he leaves the game satisfied he tried his best. Thus, will he be remembered.

Golden Arm – Excerpt #3

Continuing the excerpt idea, this takes place chronologically right after Excerpt #2 where Holt meets the scout Jay Olensky again, as well as the Owner of the Portland Roses Steven Kevec and the General Manager Sharon Tate. Yeah, Sharon Tate probably needs a name change and Portland doesn’t have a baseball team, but those little elements make it a bit more sci-fi-ish right?

The link to the first chapter of Golden Arm is here: http://wp.me/p1NXKl-q
The link to the second excerpt of Golden Arm is here: http://wp.me/p1NXKl-F

* (Page 24)

Jay Olensky smiled, arms across his chest, as he looked at Holt standing on the pitching mound at Spike Field, home of the Portland Roses. Even in a long-sleeved shirt and jeans, Jay thought, Holt looks at home there. Holt flexed his two fingers over the baseball, wrist tucked behind his lower back.

“That is where you’re meant to be, Mr. Holt.”

Holt flexed his back leg on the pitching rubber, testing it. “Maybe, sir. The draft’s not for another three days and Seattle still has the first pick.”

“Look, Nolan, I can’t speak much about that. There are rules with the draft. So, instead I’ll ask if you want to be a Portland Rose.”

“Sir, it would be nice… Portland has been great to me and Mr. Redman says your franchise has been very proactive in pursuing me. The subtrain ride here, for example… I had never tasted real carrots before.” Holt looked down at the dirt, thinking. “Dirt-Form 3.0. Not many parks have this.”

Olensky nodded, “Memory dirt. The nanotechnology, when treated with radio waves, will imprint the coordinates of each particle of dirt after you sculpt the mound to your liking. Before you take the mound, we hit it with another dose of radio waves and the mound will adjust itself. That data also gets sent to the other major league parks. It’ll return to that shape each time you step on the pitching rubber, even if a baseball kicks off it. Stays dry too, even if it rains.”

“Rain doesn’t bother me, sir.”

“Yes, I know that. But it’s a nice feature to have. Every little bit helps, right?”

“Yes, that’s true.” Holt turned on the mound, looking around Spike Field. Robotic ushers breezed up and down the aisles of the 200,000 capacity stadium. Besides the soft splashing as the ushers washed the seats, the arena was quiet. The holographic scoreboards were turned off, there were no mobile comps darting over the field, and the weather dome insulated sound from the surrounding downtownplex. Holt looked towards the outfield, where red and pink roses draped down in finely divided lanes from the bleachers to the warning track.

Jay stared off to the outfield. “Yes, the roses. Bioengineered to stay in bloom from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. Reinforced stems and petals so that they provide outfielders going to the wall with a cushion, but don’t break off on impact. They also help the field remain carbon neutral by recycling gases given off by the concession grills. The roses are also irrigated by water recycled from everything, the washing of the bleachers, the stadium’s bathrooms, the clubhouse showers. The roses smell quite nice too. One of Steven Kevec’s ideas when he bought the team.”

“Yes, the man who owns Spike.”

Jay nodded, “That, and other things. Besides a businessman, Steven Kevec is one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. When Mr. Kevec bought the team, one of the first things he did was lower ticket prices to $100 for anyone affiliated with education, the police, or senior citizens. He has built three arboretums in the Cascade Mountains. Their seeds will be used to help replant the woodlands. He sends free shipments of Spike to underprivileged families not only in Portland, but to other states such as Seattle and Beijing as goodwill gestures. He has sponsored radiation therapy centers throughout Portland. He has made it his goal that every person in Portland has a comp and that a tenth of Dead Oregon becomes habitable by the end of the year. He’s already halfway to achieving both of those goals.” Jay stepped onto the cusp of the mound, “And he has taken a personal interest in you. He’s become a fan of yours, so to speak.”

“I’ll do my best, sir. If he is able to draft me.”

“I have yet to see Mr. Kevec decide to pursue something and not get it. He’s not the type that just jumps in. He does his homework, so to speak.”

Holt looked up into the stands, surveying the empty rows of open-air luxury boxes. “I’m honored he took the time sir.” He turned to look at Jay, “It sounds like he would be too busy.”

“Life is worth being busy about.” Holt spun around on the rubber. Steven Kevec stood just a foot behind the mound, the dark hairs of his browned arms crossed beneath the third button of his burgundy shirt. A padded black bag was slung over his right shoulder. Just to the right of Kevec stood Sharon Tate, clad in a severe jet executive dress. Jay stepped off the dirt mound.

Holt mumbled, rubbing his thumb over his forehead, “I’m sorry sir… miss. I didn’t know you… you both were there.”

“Steven has a way of getting around.” Tate frowned, her lips touched-up red.

“You must forgive me for startling you, Mr. Holt.” Kevec dipped his head slightly. “Our affairs for the day were over so I thought I would facemeet you.”

“No problem at all, Mr. Kevec.” Holt bowed his head to Tate, “Miss Tate. It’s a pleasure.”

Sharon nodded in return, “Likewise.” Jay nodded to Kevec and then to Tate, the four people arranged in a loose square with Jay’s corner on the pitching rubber.

“So, Mr. Holt, how do you like it here?”

“I have been to games in Chicago before, sir. But being on the field is, well…” Holt took a step off of the rubber. “It’s been my dream to be on a major league field, but it’s still a bit overwhelming, sir.”

“Understandable. But that’s what makes the dream worth working for. Just as I dreamed up and then worked to build this field.”

“And you weren’t worried, sir?”

“Worried might not be the right word,” Kevec flicked his glance over to Tate, “But I was concerned.” Kevec focused back on Holt. “Some people think I shouldn’t spend so many resources on a game.”

“Jay told me you were one of the world’s biggest philanthropists.”

“The world always wants more, though.”

“So that got you… concerned, sir?”

Tate interjected, “Concerned might not be the right word either, right Steven?”

Kevec looked dourly at Tate. “Sharon, please.” He hitched the bag on his shoulder and looked back to Holt. “Yes, there were concerns and not all of them involved the public. Building a dome itself is a major undertaking. Still, I do think about what people think.”

“If I may ask, sir, what did you do about the public?”

“I tried not to listen to the ones who don’t like baseball.”

“So you just ignore them?”

“Mr. Holt, I know you love baseball. I know that you know its history. But, you’re also young. I don’t think you really appreciate what baseball means today and how important that you are to it.” Steven Kevec turned on the mound, pointing past the third-base, a few rows up in the stands. “My dad and I used to sit, about there, in a stadium east of the Rocky Mountains. Coors Field, to be exact. City of Denver, State of Colorado. It was one of the newer stadiums. It held 52,000 people. Open-air. You could see the trains outside the stadium from the concourse.” Kevec shook his head slightly, “That was in the state of Colorado, if you are familiar with it. Dad had season tickets for Major League Baseball at that stadium. He picked those seats so that we could see the game without being blinded by the setting sun. We could see Matt Holliday jog out to left field, see him wave to the crowd as they chanted “M-V-P”. We’d see a rocket shot ball hit just to the right of Troy Tulowitzki, see him dive, almost straight at us and we’d cheer as he gunned the ball back across the diamond for an out. We’d see Todd Helton stand in the batter’s box, see him squint at the pitcher, see him grimace as he pulled a ball into the right field corner. We saw him scream and pump his fists back in October of 2007 when the Colorado Rockies went to the World Series for the first time.” Kevec’s put his hands in his pockets. “And, when Papelbon threw his last pitch of 2007 and tossed his glove in the air, we knew it was the last pitch when that mitt came back to earth and there were no more Rockies stepping up to the plate that year. But, we knew there was always next year.”

Holt saw Olensky’s smile start to fade. Tate clasped her hands behind her back and looked at the grass as Kevec continued, “There were a few ‘next years’ for the Rockies but nothing quite like that one October. Then, there was The Split. Denver was one of the worst hit. In those days, in what was Colorado, they had a United States, er, Federal command center in a mountain, a training academy for Federal Air Force recruits, and nearer to Denver, a Federal Air Force base with classified spy technology oh so innocuously hidden in large structures that looked like golf balls…I mean… weather domes.” The confusion left Holt’s face, his expression downcast. Kevec looked into Holt’s eyes. “Before The Split, a celebrity dancing half-naked made more news than a few hundred people dying in an earthquake. People would spend weeks mourning celebrities who died of drug overdoses, rewriting their histories into legends that were more flimsy than the vids that they acted in. Then, no lesson learned, those same people would go out and party until they too died. After The Split, there was no more Coors Field, no more Denver, and so relatively few people left in general that things like death might’ve finally become important. When mainstream vidfeeds were restored, well, there was no Federal government telling people not to watch what were considered the more violent sports… I don’t even know if they really were that violent. But, all the same, what few people that were left stopped watching them. Indoor sports also lost their appeal. My cousin said the rafters reminded him too much of the gutted cities. Maybe after The Split, people were tired of being reminded they were indoors. Who knows? When I was young, people watched the biggest games of the year for the alcohol ads. Maybe The Split started because people were dying of boredom and needed something to kill time.” Steven Kevec placed his hand tentatively on Nolan Anthony Holt’s shoulder. “But, there it is Nolan. People do want a something, or a someone to look forward to. They want, no, they need to remind themselves that things do change, that there is soil beneath the ash they’ve spent all week shoveling. They all want something different, whether it’s baseball or an arboretum or an alcoholic binge, they want a break from the normal. Today, the normal is for people to stay inside and comp each other or to put on their suits, pull down their visors and get Reconstructing. Yet, they can’t do that every minute, every day, so they seek an escape, a future, a dream worth working for. Those that are baseball fans, they catch a bus or a subtrain to a baseball game. Why? Well, maybe for the older ones, they want to remember what it was like to be in an open-air stadium. For the younger ones, maybe it’s more of a fantasy, kind of like a trip to Disneyunderland except nothing in a baseball stadium is mythical. Everyone knows it is possible, it just takes work. And so, they work.”

Kevec unslung the bag from over his shoulder and zipped it open.

“So, Mr. Holt, you love baseball and you are good at baseball, so that will be your work. You throw that baseball, you hit that baseball, and you catch that baseball. I will be here, watching you and remembering the times when a blinding sun was a mere annoyance.”

Kevec reached into the bag and pulled out a forest green bottle of Spike and extended it to Holt. He looked down at the beverage, then up at Kevec and nodded politely as he took the bottle and pulled the straw out of the top. Holt took a sip, felt the cool liquid rush down his throat, the scent of trees wafted back up through his sinuses. He felt his cheeks warm, as if he was outside in the sun and that very sun had finally remembered how to kiss the planet tenderly. Holt smiled, he sat down on the mound, he stretched in the dirt and looked up into the clouds. Kevec, and then Olensky, and then Tate, they joined him on the mound, with Spike in their hands and they drank quietly.

@LoMoMarlins Tweets #Baseball Lawsuit to #Marlins – Parody

*** WARNING MATURE CONTENT ***
 
  LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
#ICanHonestlySay I sued the #Marlins #business #sadface
21 minutes ago
 
 
 DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins Supp Logan! #Marlins Prez here. Why u du dat Mo? U mad?
13 minutes ago
 
 
  LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Protecting my rights. Why are you typing like that?
13 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins I’m keeping it real. Getting down with the tweet. So don’t sue.
11 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Rough year personally but was 2nd on OPS on Marlins. Told by @WesHelms I could miss charity auction, then demoted?
11 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins We thought it best.
11 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Who is ‘we’? @JeffLoria ?
11 minutes ago
 
 
JeffLoria Jeff Loria
No comment @LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @espn @fox @FoxSportsSouth @FSMidwest @MLBOnFox @FoxSportsLat @Fox SportsWest @MLBOnFox @rootsportspit
9 minutes ago
  
jonahkeri Jonah Keri
@JeffLoria Oh my god, you killed Youppi!
9 minutes ago
 
 
SouthParkKyle Kyle Broflovski
@JeffLoria You bastard!
9 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins Doesn’t matter who ‘we’ is. We felt it was best for the organization. Evidence times 88 http://tinyurl.com/3c6vsbx 
 9 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson @JeffLoria You’re just upset I have more Twitter followers than you have sold season tickets.
9 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins Half of them are spam bots. Really want that #iPad2 huh?
8 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Too busy working out, hitting home runs and getting on base to ban people. @JeffLoria Still there?
8 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins He’s busy. Went back to his office to stop and smell the roses in a painting he just bought.
8 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
 /join #marlins8 minutes ago
 
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@JackMcKeonIRC …? “JackMcKeonIRC /join #marlins”
8 minutes ago
 
 
michaelhill michaelhill
@LoMoMarlins We got it, Logan. You can head back to the gym now.
7 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@JackMcKeonIRC @LoMoMarlins Hang on Jack.
7 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@MichaelHill Already did that, as ‘you’ and everyone else should know. Twice the curls since you demoted me.
7 minutes ago
 
 
michaelhill michaelhill
@LoMoMarlins You’re not being fair. @JeffLoria ‘s always been good to you. Even let you use his jet.
6 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@MichaelHill Yeah and I appreciate that, still I don’t want it to happen again. So I sue you.
6 minutes ago
 
 
AlYankovic Al Yankovic
@LoMoMarlins @MichaelHill #Marlins Leavin’ on a Jet Plane!
6 minutes ago
 
 
michaelhill michaelhill
@AlYankovic Al, pal, stay out of this. @LoMoMarlins You can still move your fingers, so find something else to do other than Twitter.
5 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
lcd run C://Windows/Program Files/Twitter/Readme.txt
5 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@JackMcKeonIRC Wow lol oh lord U make our life fun
5 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@MichaelHill And you think I’m embarassing??? “@JackMcKeonIRC lcd run C://Windows/Program Files/Twitter/Readme.txt”
5 minutes ago
 
 
 dougglanville Doug Glanville
@JackMcKeonIRC @LoMoMarlins @OzzieGuillen Jack’s on IRC. It’s a chat system popular in the late 80s and early 90s but still used
5 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@dougglanville Thanks…
5 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
/whois @DougGlanville
4 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson @MichaelHill Are you helping Jack out?
4 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
/msg #exmarlins Hi everyone!
4 minutes ago
 
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson @MichaelHill Hello?…
4 minutes ago
 
 
 
JimmyRollins11 Jimmy Rollins
@JackMcKeonIRC @LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill lol
4 minutes ago
 
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@JimmyRollins11 @DaveSamson @MichaelHill J-Roll, just wait till next year!
3 minutes ago
 
 
 
JimmyRollins11 Jimmy Rollins
@LoMoMarlins #mlbtraderumors we got room for u
3 minutes ago
 
 
 
AlYankovic Al Yankovic
@MichaelHill @JimmyRollins11 – @LoMoMarlins don’t know if he’ll be back again…
3 minutes ago
 
 
JackMcKeonIRC Jack_McKeon
/msg #marlinsex Hi everyone!
3 minutes ago
 
 
 
JimmyRollins11 Jimmy Rollins
@LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill @DougGlanville lol haaaa RT “@JackMcKeonIRC /msg #marlinsex Hi everyone!”
3 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
@LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill @DougGlanville what shit @JackMcKeonIRC u say wtf?
3 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@OzzieGuillen How come I can’t get away with it?
3 minutes ago
 
 
JoshWillingham Josh Willingham
@JackMcKeonIRC #marlinsex Hi Coach! I’m in Oakland. Real Athletic now! May I follow and DM you? :)
3 minutes ago
 
 
AlYankovic Al Yankovic
@OzzieGuillen @JimmyRollins11 @LoMoMarlins @JackMcKeon @JoshWillingham His bags are packed, he’s ready to blow.
2 minutes ago
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
Is it ok to ban your boss from your Twitter? Replies needed ASAP!!!
2 minutes ago
 
 
OzzieGuillen Ozzie Guillen
U mad bro? RT “@LoMoMarlinsIs it ok to ban your boss from your Twitter? Replies needed ASAP!!!”
2 minutes ago
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
@LoMoMarlins @DaveSamson @MichaelHill It’s almost too easy to write about this. @NYTimes or @ESPN?
2 minutes ago
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@dougglanville Follow me so I can DM. You were union right?
2 minutes ago
 
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins Situation’s under control. @dougglanville I have a better idea…
1 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@dougglanville Follow me so I can DM. You were union right?
1 minutes ago
 
 
WesHelms Wes Helms
@LoMoMarlins So was I. #oops
1 minutes ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DougGlanville Open appeal. Write about my suit, I’ll give an interview and RTs and followers.
54 seconds ago
 
dougglanville Doug Glanville
@LoMoMarlins Sorry, got a deadline. Keep in touch, k?
50 seconds ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson I didn’t do anything. Just announcing my suit till Jack got whacky. Didn’t even ban him.
41 seconds ago
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins and @MichaelHill and @JackMcKeonIRC to @JeffLoria ‘s office tomorrow.
30 seconds ago
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson @MichaelHill @JeffLoria But wait! Please reconsider. #beg #sorry #forgive
25 seconds ago
 
DaveSamson Dave Samson
@LoMoMarlins End of Line.
24 seconds ago
 
 
LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
@DaveSamson Yes sir.
20 seconds ago
 
 
AlYankovic Al Yankovic
#marlinsex down in Flor-i-da where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda. S-O-D-A. Soda.
10 seconds ago
 
JoshWillingham Josh Willingham
@JackMcKeon Coach?… Lose link?
3 minutes ago
 
 
 
 
COMMENTARY: I put a lot of work into this so I hope you enjoyed this. I respect everyone mentioned (except maybe, sorta Jeff Loria). All impersonations of tweets were done without permission but with the intent to have some good fun. Please do not read this little parody and assume I had some inside knowledge or feeling on any of the parties mentioned.
 
For a very well written, touching piece on Logan Morrison and the Marlins ownership, please check out Amy K. Nelson’s fine article at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=110915/loganmorrison
 
Richard Bergstrom

Baseball Chirps On Some Links

Baseball Chirps on Some Links

This is a segment I plan on doing weekly. Basically, it’s a few links I find interesting along with my thoughts about them as well as some Tweets that caught my attention. I hope you enjoy them too.

The staff at Baseball Prospectus ponder what they would do if they were “Commissioner for a Day”. At least they agree with me that MLB’s public relations need a makeover that doesn’t involve Brian Wilson’s beard.

Joe Posanski damns a bit with faint praise in discussing Mariano Rivera and “The Meaning of 600 Saves”. He believes the arc of Rivera’s career, as great as it has been, would have been drastically different if not for the save rule. In a different era or for a different team, he would’ve still been a great pitcher but might not have the same postseason notoriety nor the opportunity to play for a winning team that generated so many one-inning save opportunities. I don’t think he’s necessarily wrong. Saves were “invented” to recognize the contributions of relievers yet I (and I believe Joe), feel it should go the way of the RBI. Cute stat, but more a function of opportunity than a true measure of ability.

Mike Cameron was recently released by the Florida Marlins. As a fantasy baseball afficianado, I’ve always loved him on my teams for his rare mix of power and speed with a high walk total that mitigated his poor batting average. Over at FanGraphs, they are “Giving Mike Cameron His Due”

If George Lucas can keep recycling Star Wars, then I do think its our duty as American to playfully parody that exploitation whenever possible. Thus, check out “Star Wars and Baseball: The Fandom Menace” over at Value Over Replacement Grit

Over at Inside The Book, Tom Tango aka Tangotiger runs some numbers on the fluctuation (and slight trend?) of batting average on balls in play between a pitcher’s first and second year in the major leagues. Not only is “What happens to a pitcher’s BABIP year to year?” an interesting insight, but the comments section has a great discussion on the kinds of things sabremetricians factor in (and out) when conducting studies.

Baseball Chirps

@keithlaw (Keith Law) – It makes me cringe when they use RBI, period. RT @ellenfool: does it make it cringe when baseball writers add an “s” to the end of RBI?

@williamfleitch (Will Leitch) – Kyle Hudson just became first Mattoon-born player with a hit in the major leagues. The town is now batting .040 lifetime. Congrats, Kyle!

@wezen_ball (Larry Granillo) – Can you imagine the things people would say about Prince if he ran across the diamond to tell an opponent to stop jawing/get in the dugout?

@jonahkeri (Jonah Keri) – ‘You know Jackie, what’s always amazed me?’ ‘What Pee Wee?’ ‘After all these years this game hasn’t driven me crazy.’

@MrBaseballCoach (Coach Greg) – Remember Willie Stargell of the Pirates? GREAT quote: “When they start the game, they don’t yell, ‘Work ball.’ They say, ‘Play ball.’”

@PeteAbe (Pete Abraham) – “That pitcher looks like a kid I destroyed. Wait, that is Proctor?” // RT @Ledger_Yankees: Torre standing nxt to Girardi on the base line

@sbnation (SB Nation) – How does Tim Lincecum get by without throwing many first-pitch strikes? sbn.to/qCZuJA He must just be a freak. #punquota

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.