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.
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.
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.
@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
On 9/11, I did not think about baseball. I was trying to find out what happened. On September 12th, I did not think about baseball either. I was trying to find out what happened to myself. On September 13th, I went to see Les Miserables which helped me understand more about what happened and what I could do about it than baseball, at the moment, could. But then baseball started creeping back into my thoughts. Not that baseball healed me, per se. I do not think a game can erase and can barely diminish the reality of what happened. I can also imagine that for those who, unlike me, lost friends, coworkers and families in the tragedy, baseball would be an inadequate medicine.
But the return of baseball to New York and to my thoughts provided, to me at least, a return to normalcy. Seeing Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the stands at Shea in his FDNYPD cap seemed to make it ok for me to enjoy “leisure” activities without feeling guilty and in a way that “Let’s Roll” never did. Knowing that Shea stadium was used as a place where Mets players and average New Yorkers worked together to coordinate relief supplies made me feel that by watching baseball, I was acknowledging their efforts as human beings and realizing those efforts as humanitarians and public figures were more important than low batting averages and high salaries. Thus, I began to remember that the big picture, whether it is the love of America or the love of the game of baseball, is more important than some of the quirky actions of a society or a baseball team that perhaps too often, we all tend to nitpick about. Sometimes, even a tragedy can help to remind us of that.
Others have used much better words than I ever could about how the events of 9/11 affected baseball or themselves. Thus, I provide some of these links to you as a way to commemorate what others thought during the events of 9/11 and its aftermath and to provide an echo of the numbness that I felt during that horrible period in our history.
“How Major League Baseball Responded to 9/11” – Rob Neyer http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/9/11/2414430/mlb-response-9-11
“Baseball And 9/11: Continuity and Not Healing” – Keith Olbermann
“Our Flag Was Still There” – Joe Posanski
“As Mets prepare to commemorate 9-11, Valentine, Franco recall day baseball returned to NYC” – Associated Press
“Near 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks, former Met Mike Piazza recalls emotional home run” – Christian Red
“Yankees’ Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera recall events of September 11, honor veterans” – Anthony McCarron
“When the Yankees Skipped Security” – Daniel Barbarisi
“9/11 spurs baseball player to join Marine Corps” – Katalynn Thomas
“September 11: How Baseball Turned Into a Microcosm Of a City’s Fight” – Andrew Devereaux http://bleacherreport.com/articles/251874-september-11-how-baseball-turned-into-a-microcosm-of-a-citys-fight
My nonbaseball thoughts on 9/11 are at http://bergstromblogs.wordpress.com