Sunday, February 27, 2005

Alas Blogger... 

This will be the last Dewey's House post on Blogger.

Now, fair reader, you might be wondering where Dewey's House will go. The answer, is the long-talked about move to Wordpress. Starting tomorrow, Dewey's House can be found here, http://www.deweyshouse.com.

Please update your links, and bookmark, for this is the new era of Deweys House.

Starting tomorrow, we will begin a series of capsules for each team as an outlook of their 2005 season. They will be done, by myself, and Sully from Dewey's House, Mike Fortuna, Chris Klemmer, and Ryan Toohil from various places on InterWeb. Hold your breathe...The Pittsburgh Pirates are tomorrow!

Anyway, we're still working out some of the kinks, like finding out an easy way to get the links up and organized how I want, but we're excited for the movie.

Good bye, Blogger.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bellhorn and Those Killer K's 

Chris Snow offers up another insightful piece in today's Boston Globe as he sits down with Boston 2nd Baseman and Dewey's House favorite, Mark Bellhorn. One of the subjects Snow broaches is Bellhorn's propensity to strikeout. To his credit, Bellhorn seems unapologetic about it. He realizes that, all things being equal, he ought to cut down on his strikeouts but all things are not equal. His willingness to go deep into counts and to take close pitches means that the trade-off for his flashy on-base is an increase in strikeouts. The most telling quote of the whole piece comes from Terry Francona...

"Bellhorn, I understand he's not the prototype No. 2 hitter, but he did a great job getting on base..."

Sort of another one of those watershed moments where I am reminded that SABR has not infiltrated the mainstream by any stretch. If a "prototype No. 2 hitter" is not a 2nd Baseman that leads everyone in the league that plays his position in on-base percentage, what is? I've read that quote over to myself about 8 times now and each time I find it more and more unthinkable that a Big League Manager could utter it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What Rankles You More? 

Barry venting frustration with the media for its handling of the steroid situation or Jayson Stark's moronic, high-falutin' ass?

The Biggest Difference 

An aging team should take steps to insulate itself from the potential pitfalls an older team will tend to incur. Injury risks and regression candidates abound for both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Red Sox are well prepared to withstand such potential problems while the Yankees, to say the least, are not. Without even going into the starting pitching side of things (WOTS is New York's 6th starter while the Sox go 6-8 with Wake, Kim and Halama), here are the career lines of the main bench components for both Boston and New York. Two caveats: one, listed below is Roberto Petagine's ZIPS projection (Dan Szymborski of BTF's creation) and not his career line as I thought that would be more appropriate. Two, the Red Sox have a far younger bench and all of these players are at different stages of their career. This is meant as an interesting, telling tidbit but simply listing career numbers does not, by any means, constitute any sort of conclusive study.

Doug Mirabelli: 242/331/426
John Flaherty: 255/293/382

Jay Payton: 285/335/443
Doug Glanville: 277/315/380

Ramon Vazquez: 262/334/344
Rey Sanchez: 271/308/334

Roberto Petagine: 282/397/450 (ZIPS projection - he's been in Japan)
Ruben Sierra: 269/317/452

Kevin Youkilis: 260/367/413
Damian Rolls: 248/291/337

It's as though the Yanks have decided that their bench does not matter. To paraphrase BP's Joe Sheehan, $200 million ought to get you more.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More Baseball Blogosphere Shake-Up 

Cliff's joining Alex.

The Baseball Analysts 

Two of the best out there on the web have teamed up to form The Baseball Analysts. Rich Lederer and Bryan Smith, both of all-baseball.com fame, should make a formidable duo.

Rich is great because he unapologetically writes about whatever he is interested in at the time and has a magical way of making you interested in the same topics. Rich has done fantastic work contextualizing where lesser known stars like Jim Edmonds and Bert Blyleven rank in baseball history. He also spends a good amount of time at Blair Field in Long Beach, CA watching the Dirtbags play. I mention this because the park happens to be about two-and-a-half long David Ortiz blasts from where my girlfriend, Johanna, grew up. I have found few experiences as satisfying as taking in a summertime ballgame at dusk in Southern California and Blair Field is one of the best spots to do just that.

Smith focuses more on the Minor Leagues and his annual Top 75 list is an absolute must-read.

Good luck, guys!

Monday, February 21, 2005

SoSH Trophy Bash 

I had a great time last night talking baseball with SoSH stalwarts Eric Van, Napkin, Portland Sox Fan, NotMannysFault, Paul M and many others. Great Bay was elegant, getting my picture taken with the trophy was a thrill and there were two ice sculptures - one that spelled out SoSH and one that was in the shape of the Red Sox logo (the socks, not the B).

It's funny because everyone was trying to be as tempered as possible but the feeling that the Red Sox may very well have just entered into a prolonged era of excellence emanated. The farm system is strengthening, revenues are growing and information and analyses are coming in from remarkably smart and open-minded individuals. It's the first point that makes the future for the Red Sox so compelling. If some of the Sox playing in Portland and Pawtucket this year continue to develop, it would seem possible that by 2007 Boston could be getting solid contributions for the minimum salary from 4 or 5 players. Between Lester, Papelbon, Lester, Ramirez, Pedroia, Bladergroen, Moss and West, the Sox have a real Farm system now. What's more, the Red Sox will have six of the first sixty picks in the 2005 Amateur Draft.

The byproduct of having the ability to count on cheap production year after year is that you can make a run at every off-season's star. Over-paying for truly great players won't kill you but over-paying for average to merely good players will because those are the players that can easily be replaced by a good youngster on the cheap. Ben Broussard is a much better player than Darrin Erstad, just as Mark Bellhorn is close to the player Jose Vidro is, despite discrepancies in the players' respective wallets. I would contend that the most essential part of compiling a Major League roster is the ability to conceptualize replacement level. There is no need to dole out cash to Tony Womack because nearly every organization could pluck a comparable player from their triple-A club. Same goes for Cristian Guzman and Juan Castro.

But getting such contributions is easier said than done. You must have a farm system producing players capable of being an asset on a Big League club. If you need a second baseman and there is nothing in your farm system to fill the hole, you must then go out on the market. But if there are no great players available or you do not have the resources to commit to a great player, you tend to end up competing with other teams for an unremarkable player. The competition or demand for the player will drive his price up and next thing you know you're sitting at a press conference trying to pretend you're thrilled to have agreed to hand out $33 million to Russ Ortiz. The Red Sox have been able to largely avoid these pitfalls by successfully identifying market inefficiencies, where certain players were not being valued in a manner that was commensurate with their ability to contribute to a winning baseball team. But now, player development will be as important as ever because as acceptance of SABR principles spreads, the Bill Muellers, Mark Bellhorns and David Ortiz's will no longer be available on the cheap. The values will have to come from within. The luxury of being able to steer clear of throwing a bunch of cash at a good player like Corey Koskie enables you to pursue a truly great player.

The Red Sox are on the verge of entering into a real sweet spot. A minor league system annually producing good players combined with a large payroll and an analytical front office able to find good values on both the trade and free agent markets make the prospect of a Red Sox dynasty not seem all that far-fetched.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Are We Lucky or What?!?! 

Another day, another edition of the Boston Globe, another manifestation of Shaughnessy's magnificently adroit, cunning wit.

No More Mr. Nice Guy. Put the World Series championship ring on Bronson Arroyo's hand Opening Day and let's see if A-Rod can slap it away.

Hey, at least the media is staying above the Yanks-Sox smack-talk fray.

Friday, February 18, 2005

From the Really Predictable Department 

Buster starts the Yanks out on top.

Has the Marlins fourth, the Dodgers sixteenth and the A's eighteenth too!

Three Words 

Pitchers and Catchers

check out the photo album.