Archive for the ‘mailing it in’ Category

Three Comparisons

September 10, 2009
One: Half-Season MVP Division

Through their first 42 games with their new, National League teams:
Manny Ramirez, 2008: .395/.478/.743 (1.222 OPS), 29 R, 14 HR, 43 RBI
Matt Holliday, 2009: .379/.437/.702 (1.139 OPS), 33 R, 12 HR, 41 RBI
(thanks to the StL P-D for that one.)

Two: I Told You So Division

Orlando Cabrera, since August 1: .256/.283/.353 (.636 OPS), -6.2 UZR (yes, -6.2 runs in 34 games. I mean, what?)
Nick Punto, season: .220/.320/.275 (.595 OPS), +1.4 UZR

Three: Obviously, They’re Just Being Cheap Again Division

Since June 3:
Nate McLouth: .264/.353/.439 (.792 OPS), -5.2 UZR
Andrew McCutchen: .278/.355/.470 (.826 OPS), +2.4 UZR

Frivolous Friday

August 21, 2009

Bit of a cop-out today. Again. But a fun one this time, I think.

First things first, though: it’s 2009, and ya gots ta do what ya gots ta do.

Ergo, you can now become a fan of the blog on Facebook or follow the blog (-slash-me) on Twitter. I hope you’ll do both. Not much going on in either place yet, but stuff will happen eventually.

Also, this blog now has an e-mail: BillDailySomething (at) gmail dot com. So if you’ve got something to say that you don’t want to share with (a tiny, tiny portion of) the world, send it there. Sometime soon I’ll have a box where you can access all that stuff. In the meantime, join the FB page and follow me on Twitter anyway.

Second: so I’ve been a fan of The Onion for something like thirteen years now. Just brilliant, funny stuff. And they were all over the baseball today.

First: I actually think their written stuff has declined a bit in the last few years, but this little number is pretty perfect. That’s baseball.

And where they’ve fallen behind in the written content, they’ve made up for with their marvelous fake-tv stuff. At least as amusing as the bit itself is how perfectly they’ve mimicked the ludicrous excess of Sportscenter:

Baseball Superstar Accused of Performance-Enhancing Genie Use

My Favorite Thing Today: two great Joes collide

August 16, 2009

Staying very much on the map for this one, because two of my very favorite things in the world came together in a beautiful way yesterday: Joes Posnanski and Mauer.

If you’re like me (and let’s face it, most of you are), you’ve probably at least skimmed past that post in your feed already (as much as I love Poz, I find that I just don’t have the stamina to always read the 10k or so words he writes every other day or so, much as I try), but it’s definitely worth a serious look. You’ll read a lot on here for the next three or four months about how great Mauer is, how Mauer is clearly deserving of the MVP award, and then how Mauer got completely screwed out of that same MVP award. But Joe, of course, puts it a lot better than I ever will.

Sigh. Gonna be another frustrating award-announcing season, I think.

My Favorite Thing Today: Baseball In-Depth

August 15, 2009

Dave Pinto at Baseball Musings linked to this blog the other day, and so far I’m digging it. It’s a regularly updated, heavily stats-focused baseball blog run by one guy who has a law degree…hmm. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about that just kind of clicks with me…

Anyway, I don’t know that there’s one post I’d recommend above the others. I’d suggest going over there, checking the whole thing out, leaving a few comments and so forth.

Hoping to find time to actually say something tomorrow or Monday. ‘Til then!

My Favorite Thing Today: pants

August 14, 2009

So things are going to be light here for a few days. Real light. And it might be more like ten days. I’m sure I’m overreacting to some degree, but I feel like I could work 48 hours a day for the next week and still not get done everything I need to get done.

So in lieu of my own posts, unless and until I have something I just really need to say, I’m going to link to one thing somewhere in the tangled series of tubes that I really like. And I’m going to go off the map a little bit — I assume that everyone who reads this blog is also reading Lar, Jason, Mark, Josh, etc. every day (and my other blogger friends whenever they get around to posting) like good little boys and girls.

My favorite thing today isn’t even about baseball; I promise I won’t make a habit of that. But as it turns out, a guy I was playing a lot of softball with in law school not so very long ago is now freelancing for ESPN’s Page 2, and yesterday he posted a story that I thought was really clever and pretty funny: walking a mile in John Daly’s pants. It’s on the front page of Page 2 as I type this, so it’s not “off the map” to most of the sports-loving world, but I kind of doubt I get a lot of overlap with the Page 2 crowd. So, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

So that’s it! Incidentally, don’t ever search for John Daly images at work. I didn’t, thankfully, but, well, just don’t…

can’t tell you more ’cause I told you already

July 22, 2009

Taking a badly needed break from baseball after last night’s disaster, I walked a handful of blocks down the road to Wrigley Field tonight to see this. Our seats were terribly far away (would’ve been awfully nice seats for a Cubs game, though, way up but right behind the plate), but it was a lot of fun. Even if it was essentially the same show we saw eight and a half years ago, well, it’s a damn good show.

So I’ve not paid any attention to baseball today (aside from all the chatter in the comments earlier), and I’m not gonna ’til tomorrow. What did I miss?

Pictured: the best team to call Wrigley home in 2009

Oh, Pedro

July 16, 2009

The week from hell continues (I have about one of those a month). I’m working on a more interesting post, but it’s not happening today.

So how about this?

What is it with great players at the end of their careers having to jump from one unmemorable stint with a wrong-seeming team to another rather than just leaving well enough alone?

Now, when I first heard this, I figured the Phillies must’ve looked at him really closely and determined that he was 100% healed from whatever was ailing him last year, when he was, um, horrible. So then what’s the next thing that happens? They put him on the DL.

Incidentally, does that ever happen? I’ve never heard of anyone going from free agency straight to the DL before.

Anyway. It’s not a big deal in the end; they’re paying him $1 million (up to $2.5 with incentives). He might not even make an appearance with the big-league club. But here’s the thing: you have to figure that however many appearances he does make with the Phillies, he’ll hurt the team approximately that many times. He hasn’t been a good pitcher since 2005, and he was awful when healthy last year.

Consider this: he gave up 19 HR (tied for the fourth-highest total in his career) in just 110 innings in 2008. Shea was a bad home run park; Citizens Bank is a good one. In 10 innings in the Phillies’ home park last year, Pedro surrendered 4 home runs. Terribly small sample size and all that, but Pedro is 38, hasn’t pitched competitively in nearly ten months, and obviously isn’t healthy. Say he goes down to AAA for a couple starts and uses guile and the awe of facing Pedro freaking Martinez to go 12 innings and give up 3 runs and strike out 10. If you’re a Phillies fan, do you really want him up and facing the Mets at CBP in August? Or do you kind of have to secretly hope he never makes it out of the minors? I know they’re feeling pretty desperate, but it would almost be hard to find somebody that wouldn’t figure to be better than Pedro right now.

Running wild?

June 30, 2009

I had big hopes for today (something about Mo Rivera and closers, most likely), but work has dashed them. I don’t even really have time to be writing this.

But here’s your ten-cent thought for the day: in 2008, the average MLB team stole 93 bases. In 2009, the Rays have already stolen 121 (just 31 shy of their 2008 MLB-leading total), and the average team is on pace to steal 105. That’s about an 11% increase, and they’re doing it more successfully (75% in 2009, 73% in 2008).

So it’s definitely a difference, but not a huge, game-changing sort of difference just yet. Last year’s MLB individual leader in steals (Willy Taveras) had 36 through June 29; this year, Carl Crawford has 40. Three stole 50 and four more 40 last year; this year, we’re on pace to see five steal fifty, but only two or three more look like good bets to get to 40. And so on.

So it’s true what they say, speed is coming back into the game and all that. But it’s coming back in slowly, if you will. At a snail’s pace.

It’s not the kind of difference you really observe from a single day at the ballpark. I just feel like I’ve heard it talked about to a degree that goes well beyond what an 11% difference justifies.

Dark day…almost

June 14, 2009

Sometime soon, I’m going to go to one post per weekend rather than two. But not this weekend (which means that, since this little notice is most definitely something, there will have been at least 67 straight days with a post before I go one without).

I was hoping to have a special guest blogger today, but that’s not going to happen yet, so that will be tomorrow. Then on Monday, I’ll try to be a little clearer about my position on all this Strasburg stuff, by way of a response to Ron Rollins’ comment to yesterday’s little bit of nonsense (and presumably to tHeMARksMiTh’s Sunday post on the same topic).

In the meantime, consider this: since May 23 (the date of his return from the illness and passing of his mother), Delmon Young is “hitting” .217/.226/.233 with 27 strikeouts in 16 games. That’s a .459 OPS, from a left fielder who contributes absolutely nothing in the field. There are 53 times since 2007 where a pitcher has had at least 25 PA in a season and managed to top a .459 OPS.

Glavine, don’t be grievin’

June 7, 2009

Yeesh. The other day, I came down kind of tentatively on the Braves’ side in the whole Glavine fiasco, though I certainly understood Glavine’s frustration and felt for the guy. I also mentioned that I think he’s an exceptionally intelligent ballplayer.

If this happens, I take all that back. I didn’t know the CBA had a bar on releasing players for economic reasons, and I’m pretty sure that I would think that was idiotic if there were any way to actually enforce it. But such a provision is pure window dressing to placate the players. If a GM can’t come up with some vaguely plausible non-financial reason for releasing a player, that GM is in the wrong line of work (and should probably try the food service industry or something next). There is just no way that a grievance filed against a team for releasing a player “for financial reasons” can, or should, ever be successful.

And the case here is particularly terrible. As I pointed out the other day, there were several good reasons to dump Glavine that didn’t have anything to do with money, the biggest being that with four good MLB starters and Tommy Hanson, they didn’t have a place for him. If Glavine files this grievance, whoever adjudicates these things should actually, physically laugh in his (and his agent’s) face. And he’s not nearly the reasonable sort of guy I thought he was.