Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Playoff Preview 


Yes, Playoffs. Is there any better time of year? The nip of fall is in the air, and the crack of the bat can still be heard.

And we have three rounds of Seligian baseball to be played. Baseball Fever! Catch it.

The predictions are done using my patented DeweyVision prediction system. In order to test the accuracy of DeweyVision, I will be making my picks based on my own analysis. Then I will be giving you DeweyVision’s picks. Man against a system. My girlfriend is actively rooting for DeweyVision.

The normal disclaimers about all of my metrics being park and league adjusted apply. PkR and PkH are the park adjustments I used for runs and home runs. DE and OE are Defensive Effiencey (Balls in play turned into outs), and Offensive Efficency (the amount of runs scored/expected runs scored.)

San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins
      W  L  RS  RA  AVE  OB% SLUG PkR PkH   DE   OE

SFG 100 61 755 638 .263 .338 .423 952 858 .722 1.001
FLA 91 71 751 692 .266 .333 .421 954 900 .704 .973

San Francisco Giants
C – Benito Santiago
1b – JT Snow
2b – Ray Durham
3b – Edgardo Alfonzo
ss – Rich Aurillia
lf – Barry Bonds
cf – Marquis Grissom/Jeffrey Hammonds
rf – Jose Cruz

Florida Marlins
C – Ivan Rodriguez
1b - Derrek Lee
2b – Luis Castillo
3b – Mike Lowell/Miguel Cabrera
ss – Alex Gonzalez
lf – Miguel Cabrera/Jeff Conine
cf – Juan Pierre
rf – Juan Encarnacion

Starting Pitching
       IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9  WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

SFG 553.7 6.03 2.60 0.72 1.20 3.32 129.28
FLA 684.7 7.58 3.01 0.78 1.28 3.59 139.13

      IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9   WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

SFG 484.3 6.75 3.57 0.69 1.32 3.49 89.45
FLA 462.0 6.64 4.03 0.80 1.45 4.34 42.24

Sep 30 @ SFG Josh Beckett vs. Jason Schmidt 4:00pm

Oct 1 @ SFG Brad Penny vs. Sidney Ponson 4:00pm
Oct 3 @ FLA Kirk Rueter vs. Mark Redman 4:00pm
Oct 4 @ FLA J. Williams vs. D. Willis TBA
Oct 6 @ SFG TBA vs. TBA TBA

San Francisco walked through the regular season enroute to the West crown. Florida fought back through adversity and Torborg the Butcher to win the Wacky Card. On paper the matchup should be a breeze for San Francisco.

Although these games aren’t played on paper, these games should be a breeze for San Francisco. Although Jack McKeon has said that under no circumstances will Barry Bonds see a pitch to hit, it is a misconception to think that San Fran has no other fire power. Edgardo Alfonzo, Rich Aurilla and Ray Durham can still hit. The offense isn’t as prolific without Bonds, but it can still score runs.

Plus, actually going through the motions of pitching around Bonds puts a young pitching staff at a disadvantage. You figure, Josh Beckett will see Bonds three times. That is 12 pitches, minimum, to one guy, and he still gets on base. Assuming that he will run out of gas at around 100-110 pitches, that makes him more hittable. And Florida’s bullpen is the worst in the playoffs in either league.

The one area Florida does have an advantage is team speed. The stolen bases won’t be as much as a factor as Juan Pierre bunting for hits, or going from first to third on a Castillo blooper to right. Is speed enough to overcome pitching and hitting deficiencies?

No. The Giants won 100 games for a two reasons. They’re hitters can hit where hitting is scarce (119 games in SF, LA, and SD), and their pitchers play to that advantage as well. The Marlins should be able to take a game, but the end result should be a nice story, and one of the few games Dontrelle Willis has had on national television.

Jeff’s pick: SFG 3-1
DeweyVision: FLA 3-2

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs
      W  L  RS  RA  AVE  OB% SLUG  PkR PkH   DE   OE

ATL 101 61 902 738 .283 .349 .476 985 958 .717 .971
CHC 88 74 722 680 .259 .323 .416 979 1003 .710 .977

Atlanta Braves
C – Javier Lopez
1b – Robert Fick
2b – Marcus Giles
3b – Vinny Castilla
ss – Rafael Furcal
lf – Chipper Jones
cf – Andruw Jones
rf – Gary Sheffield

Chicago Cubs
C – Damian Miller
1b – Eric Karros/Randell Simon
2b – Mark Grudielanek
3b – Aramis Ramirez
ss – Alex Gonzalez
lf – Moises Alou
cf – Kenny Lofton
rf – Sammy Sosa

Starting Pitching
       IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9  WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

ATL 798.0 5.42 3.21 0.86 1.32 3.90 134.53
CHC 838.0 9.13 3.47 0.75 1.21 3.20 206.43

      IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9   WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

ATL 469.0 7.79 3.82 0.96 1.39 4.01 69.11
CHC 421.0 8.81 4.17 1.03 1.35 4.15 54.16

Sep 30 @ ATL Kerry Wood   vs. Russ Ortiz    8:00pm

Oct 1 @ ATL C. Zambrano vs. Mike Hampton 8:15pm
Oct 3 @ CHC Greg Maddux vs. Mark Prior 8:00pm
Oct 4 @ CHC TBA vs. TBA TBA
Oct 6 @ ATL TBA vs. TBA TBA

I think now would be a good time to let you know that the starters above are based on a hypothetical four man rotation. Some managers have said they are using three. I still based it on four.

The Cubs/Braves series kind of mimics the A’s/Red Sox series. An offensive based team against a pitching dominated team. In the Cubs case though, it isn’t that they can’t hit, its that they can’t get on base. And their staff is a no hitter waiting to happen. Very rarely do you see a team average a strike out an inning from its top four starters. My only worry is that Dusty Baker will get sentimental and start Shawn Estes. I think that’s a lot of Cubs’ fans worries too.

I don’t know that the Cubs’ pitching is strong enough, though. The Braves killed good pitching all year. David Pinto from Baseball Musings posted a chart yesterday showing that pitchers in the top 15 of ERA in either league posted a 8-14 record with a 3.79 ERA. Not only that, but some of the Braves more dangerous hitters are particularly good at drawing a walk without striking out (Chipper Jones, and Gary Sheffield for instance).

Before I give you my prediction, I will take the time right now to say that the Braves are the most boring team in the playoffs, probably because of overexposure more then anything else. Not only are all their games on TBS, but ESPN and Fox did a good job of putting them on national television as well. Add that to the last 11 years in the playoffs, and the Braves just annoy me now.

Anyway, the Braves are facing one of the more dominant staff’s in baseball, and their post season track record is less then stellar. However, the Cubs can’t hit past Sosa really, and the Braves pitching isn’t so bad that it can’t hold them down. In a long, brutal series, I think the Braves have it.

Jeff’s pick: ATL 3-2
DeweyVision: CHC 3-1

New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
      W  L  RS  RA  AVE  OB% SLUG PkR  PkH   DE   OE

NYY 101 61 877 716 .271 .357 .454 976 1011 .698 1.001
MIN 90 72 801 758 .277 .341 .431 1007 950 .710 1.005

New York Yankees
C – Jorge Posada
1b – Jason Giambi
2b – Alfonso Soriano
3b – Aaron Boone
ss – Derek Jeter
lf – Hideki Matsui
cf – Bernie Williams
rf – Karim Garcia/Juan Rivera/Ruben Sierra
dh – Nick Johnson

Minnesota Twins
C – AJ Pierzynski
1b – Doug Mientkiewicz
2b – Luis Rivas
3b – Cory Koskie
ss – Cristian Guzman
lf – Shannon Stewart
cf – Torii Hunter
rf – Jacque Jones
dh – Matt LeCroy

Starting Pitching
       IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9  WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

NYY 834.3 7.15 1.81 0.97 1.22 3.90 157.47
MIN 714.0 5.96 1.89 1.20 1.27 4.30 117.41

      IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9   WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

NYY 394.7 6.80 3.26 0.84 1.40 4.08 66.73
MIN 482.0 7.43 3.40 0.93 1.32 3.73 109.46

Sep 30 @ NYY Johan Santana vs. Mike Mussina  1:00pm

Oct 2 @ NYY Brad Radke vs. Andy Pettitte 8:15pm
Oct 4 @ MIN Roger Clemens vs. Kyle Loshe TBA
Oct 5 @ MIN TBA vs. TBA TBA
Oct 6 @ NYY TBA vs. TBA TBA

The Twins are 0-14 in their last 14 games against the Yankees. At the end of their last tussle, Twins pitcher Rick Reed actually said, “We are so lucky we don’t need to face them anymore”

Reed might have woken up in a cold sweat just thinking about meeting in the playoffs.

The story line here is the team that has an owner that hates them against the most hands on owner in the game. Small market vs. big market. Midwest vs. East Coast. Little Twinkies vs. the Evil Empire.

Saving you from more canned sentiment, the Yankees are the prohibitive favorite for reasons such as experience, skill, and money. Of course none of that really mattered to the Angels last year, so I guess I have no point.

I honestly think the X-factor here is Johan Santana. Santana has as much ability as anyone in the league, and throws from the left side, where Bernie Williams, Jason Giambi, and Ruben Sierra have historically done less damage. Tonight, if Santana out duels Mike Mussina, the Twins might just steal the series.

The thought of Matsui, Williams and RF du jour coving the outfield in the BaggyDome puts a hop in my step.

I’m going to gamble and say that Santana isn’t enough. The Twins pitching has been improved and they have a lights out bullpen, but the thought of Kyle Loshe against the Yankees isn’t too promising. Of course, no he will no hit them and I will still be an idiot. Baseball has a funny way of doing that to you.

Jeff’s pick: NYY 3-0
DeweyVision: MIN 3-0

Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox
      W  L  RS  RA  AVE  OB% SLUG PkR  PkH   DE   OE

OAK 96 66 768 643 .254 .360 .492 967 1014 .726 .992
BOS 95 67 962 809 .289 .326 .417 1022 956 .701 .984

Oakland Athletics
C – Ramon Hernandez
1b – Scott Hatteberg
2b – Mark Ellis
3b – Eric Chavez
ss – Miguel Tejada
lf – Terrence Long
cf – Eric Byrnes/Chris Singleton
rf – Jose Guillen
dh – Eurbial Durazo

Boston Red Sox
C – Jason Varitek
1b – Kevin Millar
2b – Todd Walker
3b – Bill Mueller
ss – Nomar Garciaparra
lf – Manny Ramirez
cf – Johnny Damon
rf – Trot Nixon/Gabe Kapler
dh – David Ortiz

Starting Pitching
       IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9  WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

OAK 717.7 6.50 3.06 0.78 1.17 3.21 179.61
BOS 772.0 6.89 2.76 0.78 1.29 4.00 160.21

      IP    K/9  BB/9  HR/9   WHIP  ERA  RsSvd

OAK 419.7 6.58 3.71 0.97 1.31 3.60 86.73
BOS 499.0 7.67 3.41 1.01 1.45 4.87 55.26

Oct 1  @ OAK Pedro Martinez vs. Tim Hudson   10:00pm

Oct 2 @ OAK Tim Wakefield vs. Barry Zito 4:00pm
Oct 4 @ BOS Ted Lilly vs. Derek Lowe TBA
Oct 5 @ BOS TBA vs. TBA TBA
Oct 6 @ OAK TBA vs. TBA TBA

This is what baseball is all about.

For the first time since 1999, the Boston Red Sox are in the playoffs, against a team they have met 3 times before. The A’s hold a 2-1 post-season edge on Boston.

This series literally has it all. My favorite baseball team is going against my second favorite team. The best hitting in the AL is squaring off against the best pitching in the AL…blah blah.

In away though this series actually has some importance. It’ll mark the first time one of the modern sabermetricly inclined teams in baseball (Toronto being the other) makes it to the championship series for their league. From there, its just one step away until we have our first World Series that knows what DIPS is. Maybe, just maybe, we can play the World Series on paper, rather then on the field [/fallacy].

Anyway, no words here can do justice to how I am feeling towards the beginning of this series. We have Pedro Martinez against Tim Hudson to start, in a rematch of one of the best pitched games of the season. Hudson as you may remember carved up the Red Sox, mixing in strikeouts with his many groundballs. Pedro pitched that game coming off a complete game shutout of the Angels, when he reached 128 pitches and wasn’t sharp. There is no such weakened Pedro now.

The intensity of the series will surely be felt by the thousands of Red Sox fans, and the hundreds of A’s fans that actually will see these teams play live. In my humble opinion, this will be the best Division Series of the year.

However, the right result won’t be a happy one for the Boston Red Sox. As much as it pains me to see this, I just can’t get comfortable with this match up. I think the A’s are too strong on the mound, and too strong on the field. They are adequate with the bat; enough so that the Red Sox hurlers will have their problems. I see this series being emotionally over after Scott Sauerbeck retires Eric Chavez and then seeing a Miguel Tejada homerun disappear over the left field wall in the Al Davisium.

Jeff’s pick: OAK 3-2
DeweyVision: BOS 3-1

This will be a good test of the DeweyVision system, since I have disagreed with DeweyVision in all 4 series.

I think now is the time that I tell you I am the worst prognosticator on earth.

Tomorrow, I will give a recap of today’s games, as well as a more in depth analysis of the Pedro/Hudson game.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Awards - AL Most Valuable Player 

I really don’t know how to make heads or tails of this whole American League MVP thing. There are people that I want to win, but I’m not sure they actually deserve it. I know ARod should have won last year, swear on bibles and Jayson Stark. This year I’m not so sure.

I really don’t have much else introspective or witty to say, except kudos are in order to Aubrey Huff, and Dmitri Young, for dragging their respective offenses across the finish line, largely unnoticed. Huff for one, kept the first base position on my fantasy league afloat while Paul Konerko went to find himself. Next spring, when I do my fantasy draft preview, and I say “Konerko” and “Might be a good pick in the round” and Nth isn’t double digits, please kill me. It’s better for both baseball and the world if I am gone. Also, all goofy stats like runs saved, and the formula I used to say that Bonds+average pitching would go 154-8 are park and league adjusted.

10. Tim Hudson OAK 16-7 2.70 6.08 k/9 78.064 runs sved
Token pitcher and the token A. Hudson just nudged out second favorite baseball player David Ortiz for this spot. Saying that, I have to be careful, or someone will rip up my membership in the Red Sox Nation. I love David Ortiz, but Hudson is one of the primary reasons the A’s made the playoffs. As an aside, isn’t weird to see one of the best baseball players in the world listed at 6’1” 163lbs? I’ll take him on the mound, but I’m sure there aren’t many people who would take him in a bar fight. Hudson might weigh as much as Ortizzle’s leg.

9. Edgar Martinez SEA .295-24-98 .408/.492/.900
His bat is lower on his shoulder now. It’s painful to see him run. His bat speed seems so slow, and then there is contact. Ten seconds later, there’s Edgar jogging into second. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to be this high up on the list, but this is like a lifetime achievement award for Martinez. He probably won’t make it to the Hall of Fame because of the inability to field, but he belongs. Probably the least annoying thing about the Mariner’s season this year was the joy I got from watching Edgar Martinez hit. Prettiest swing I’ve seen on a right handed batter.

8. Frank Thomas CHW .267-42-105 .390/.562/.952
Thomas is reason number 1,920 why batting average is overrated. He’s had a few solid years in the last five, but because they weren’t as good as the five before that, people don’t notice. Well, some people do…not White Sox fans though. All the one’s I talk to think he needs to be gone yesterday. Sigh.

7. Bill Mueller BOS .327-19-85 .398/.541/.939
Was that fun or what? Mueller is reason number 2,482 why batting average is overrated. He lead the league, therefore he is the best hitter in the league. He’s one of the best hitters in the league because of his ability to turn on a pitch once in a while, and spray line drives all over Fenway. Billy might also have the most violent swing in baseball. Mueller is directly responsible for one of my favorite memories of the Red Sox this year. He went big fly, and when he went back to the dugout, the Sox gave him his high fives. Except Ortiz, who hugged him full on and rubbed his head. Mueller disappeared and came out of the mountain with a half smile, and gasping for breath. That moment right there typifies the Red Sox season folks, David Ortiz giving man-love to Bill Mueller.

6. Jason Giambi NYY .250-41-107 .412/.527/.939
Remember, just because it’s a down year for his standards, doesn’t mean it’s a bad year. Giambi is reason number…forget it. Chances are if you are in love with batting average, you aren’t reading this anyway. The best thing about Giambi is whenever he’s in an interview, he looks like he’s in a hostage video. Sox fans and Yankee fans alike enjoy that. Just stop doing deodorant commercials, Big G. I remember you of your hitting-the-shit-out-of-the-yard, biker-looking, dubious-hygiene days in Oakland. Save that memory for me before you completely sell out.

5. Bret Boone SEA .292-34-115 .363/.530/.893
Hits like an outfielder, fields like a shortstop, and does it all in a park that is unfriendly for both. Boone is almost too small for his bat, but he sure can hit. He brings the same intensity that daddy Bob brought. I really have nothing else to say about him.

Oh yeah, his RBI’s went way down when Ichiro stopped getting on base. Funny how that works, eh?

4. Jorge Posada NYY .281-30-101 .405/.518/.922
The coolest thing about Posada is the lack of batting gloves. That must sting like hell. Anyway, his defense isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either. He hits a ton. Walks a ton too. He really isn’t in the same league as the top three guys, but will probably finish head of all three of them and win the award if tradition holds.

3. Alex Rodriguez TEX .297-47-118 .395/.599/.994
Although I don’t think that ARod should be penalized for his teammates sucktitude, nor for this crazy talk that he has actual say in who the Rangers sign, I really don’t think this is his year. Call it homerism, or whatever, but ARod just simply hasn’t been as good as the two guys before him. Last year he deserved it. He did in 2001, 2000, and 1996 also.

Baseball Prospectus uses a stat called EQA to deduce a player’s value. This number is read like a batting average, .300 is the bench mark. If I remember correctly, ARod leads the American League in this category. Far be it from me to look down on other’s work, because maybe he is the best offensive player in the AL this year. This is more an explanation as to why we differ. I use a Runs Created stat and adjust for parks. EQA is also adjusted for parks. I think the biggest discrepancy is that I put more weight in a player’s park then BP does. They aren’t wrong, just different then me. If you start digging at numbers, you will find all sorts of discrepancies like that.

All that said, if ARod won, then I wouldn’t care. He’s been screwed three times.

2. Carlos Delgado TOR .301-41-141 .425/.587/1.012
He carried Toronto on his back during their “frisky” period in June. Does anyone really think that Delgado has one of the worst contracts in baseball anymore? He will probably be used like Giles is used in San Diego, the centerpiece for a massive overhaul. Delgado just looks like he loves baseball, and Toronto. I think that I could meet Delgado for a beer, and talk to him all night, never once mentioning baseball. I don’t know if that’s true at all, but it’s the presence that he gives off.

1. Manny Ramirez .325-37-104 .427/.587/1. 014
Ironically enough, Ramirez and Delgado finished with the same amount of at bats. Manny of course won’t win because of the perception that he isn’t a gamer, is selfish, and doesn’t hustle. This is all bullshit. Manny Ramirez is the centerpiece of the Boston offensive juggernaut. He only had two real slumps all year, and the Red Sox didn’t win many of those games. Swung the bat with murderous intentions since the middle of August, and playoffs were the end result. Ramirez might someday replace Mel Ott as the best player never to be league MVP.

Something that’s been bugging me for the whole season. Last year, Manny came around to score on a double. Ichiro threw a bullet home, and Manny slid, face first into the plate. The end result was a broken finger and six weeks on the shelf, because his finger got caught in Dan Wilson’s knee pad. Manny was called a stupid player because of the slide, by many in the national media (the Baseball Tonight crew, mainly)

First game of the year in Toronto , Derek Jeter sprinted to third on a wild pitch I believe. Throw came in low, to catcher Ken Huckaby covering, and Jeter slid head first into third, hit his shoulder on Huckaby’s knee pad and separated his shoulder. Jeter was said to have made a smart hustle play.

Both head first slides into a base where the catcher was covering. Both runners out. Why is there a double standard? I think if anything, Jeter’s play was more boneheaded because he couldn’t have scored on the play. I will never understand people sometimes.

Tomorrow, the playoffs begin. Wait for the preview, it will be a hum-dinger.

Two more notes.

And in the NL manager of the year, I made an egregious error. I forgot Jack McKeon. He of course has done an insane job in Florida, and deserves the award. I would like to thank Henry M. for pointing that out.

Here are all the awards, in case you want to catch up:
AL Cy Young
NL Cy Young
Futility Teams
Rookie of the Year
Silver Slugger
Gold Gloves
Manager's of the Year
NL Contender Bullpens
AL Contender Bullpens

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Awards - National League Most Valuable Player 

I got this in the mail yesterday:

Dear Voter:
There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:
1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot.

Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, and that includes pitchers and designated hitters.

Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration."

I figured, it’s nice of them to let me vote, since I’m not a member of the BWAA, nor do I treat them with anything less then distain.

Now of course, I don’t get a real vote, just rants on a web site, but this is my hill, and these are my beans.

Also, don’t you think it’s kind of shortsighted not to let people that write primarily for internet sites to join the BWAA. Not only is it not accepting the new technology, but its snobbish. No one can rationally tell me that George King deserves a vote, and Rob Neyer doesn’t..

10. Brian Giles PIT/SDP .299-20-88 .425/.511/.937
Giles is the most unrecognized player in baseball, for too many years by my estimation. He was often overshadowed in Pittsburgh, due to Pittsburgh being small, and him not being Barry Bonds. He was acquired in one of the more lopsided trades in baseball history, as Cleveland traded him for Ricardo Rincon. Imagine how that trade would be talked about if the Pirates haven’t won a World Series since the 1910s.

9. Edgar Renteria STL .330-13-100 .394/.480/.874
Normally, I don’t look at RBI when I decide the MVP. Sportswriters love it, without really recognizing that RBI are based as much on opportunity as it is on skill. I really don’t think that I can rationally discount a leadoff hitter getting 100 RBI in the National League. Edgar Renteria is having a pretty good year with the glove too.

8. Vladimir Guerrero MON .328-25-79 .424/.585/1.009
When he was younger, Vladimir Guerrero was Randel Simon without the extra 80lbs. Now, he’s Sammy Sosa Redux. Guerrero is the hitter that Garciaparra was before the wrist injury. He would probably rank higher on this list if not for the whole missing games thing.

7. Mark Prior CHC 18-6 2.43 10.43 k/9 70.178 runs sved
Prior is the only pitcher on the list. I just as easily could have listed Schmidt or Gagne also, but didn’t. Gagne pitched in 5.7% of his team’s innings, and as dominant as he has been, I don’t think that anyone can truly make the case that Gagne’s innings are more valuable then say, Guerrero’s. Schmidt has pitched excellently too, but he hasn’t pitched any better then Prior has, and the Giant had the best pitcher’s park in baseball to help him. Plus, if the Cubs lost Prior, who then would Dusty Baker abuse?

6. Jim Thome PHI .268-47-131 .388/.577/.964
I still have nightmares of Thome hitting against Mike Timlin and Jason Shiell. Imagine how good the Phillies would have been if they had more then Thome, Abreu, Shrinking Pat Burrell, and 5 various others. Actually that’s not accurate, Marlon Byrd hit a little bit too, and Lieberthal and Polanco had very good years. I guess it really is Bowa and Wade’s fault. Also, David Bell hit a robust .195. Nice pickup. My friend Tony from Jersey is a big Phillies fan. He helped with this report through slugs of Jack Daniel’s and f-bombs.

5. Todd Helton COL .358-33-117 .457/.630/1.087
Some remember my giving of the Silver Slugger to Thome. Helton’s among the best glove men, and its just enough to push him over Thome in the MVP race. Todd Helton might have one of the prettiest swings in baseball, and my mom assures me that he is quite the looker. If I was from Denver, there is a very good chance that my blog would be called “The House that Todd Built”. One of those quite, unassuming superstars that people dismiss because he plays in a launching pad. Because of that, people forget just how good a player he is.

4. Gary Sheffield ATL .329-39-131 .419/.606/1.025
Early in his career, Sheffield had an almost Bondsian distain for the media. He’s grown up a lot since then. Sheffield will be the #2 free agent next year, after Vlad. Atlanta apparently will try like hell to sign him again. If anyone reading hasn’t gotten a chance to see Sheffield hit, his stance is one of the most interesting that I’ve seen. Think Kevin Millar on amphetamines.

3. Javy Lopez ATL .327-43-109 .377/.687/1.063
Probably the most surprising season since Caminiti’s 1996 MVP campaign. Is it me or does it seem like there are an awful lot of catchers having good years on the north side of 30 this year. Posada, Varitek, Ivan Rodriguez, and Lopez are all having excellent seasons with the bat. Javy Lopez is going to be a free agent, and someone will probably overpay for him drastically. Javy has had a hell of a year, but come on, how many catcher hit when they are 33?

2.Albert Pujols STL .358-43-124 .440/.667/1.107
See below

1. Barry Bonds SFG .339-45-89 .528/.747/1.275
To see why this race isn’t even close takes a measure of sophistication. Albert Pujols probably would be the MVP of the American League, for what its worth. Pujols is a Triple Crown threat, Bonds isn’t. Pujols has played more the Bonds. Other then that, there is no way I can accept anyone thinking about Pujols as the National League MVP.

First the subjective. I generally don’t buy this argument, but it is used to explain why someone shouldn’t win the award. Wouldn’t the Cardinals finish in 3rd place without Pujols? Not only are there two Cardinals on the MVP list, but Jim Edmonds is also having his typical huge year. It doesn’t hurt Pujols, but it does Alex Rodriguez? The hypocrisy is probably tied up in dollar signs, and media savvy. Again, I’m just ranting here, I don’t actually want to use that as an argument.

If you go by the numbers, the counting stats seem to favor Albert. The rate stats are swung so far in Bonds’ favor it is unreal. Bonds gets on base over half the time. When he does put the ball in play, he gets five bases for every six at bats. He is doing it in the best pitchers park in the majors. If you take a team of nine Barry Bonds’ this year, and have them hit, this team of Bonds’ should be expected to score 2195 runs. If you give him league average pitching, then the team’s record should be 154-8. If you Team Bonds replacement level pitching, he should still finish 123-39. Pujols is just not in Barry’s league.

Now sentiment. Barry Bonds’ body is breaking down. He has faced a personal hell, with the death of his father. And through it all, he is still the best hitter in baseball.

Bonds isn’t cordial. He is more likely to tell a writer to go to hell then he is to drop clichés on what he needs to do to fight through slumps. When Bonds opens his mouth, he comes across as an arrogant prick. I probably would too if my entire career I had to answer questions about my father (Bobby Bonds) or my godfather (Willie Mays). Joe Baseball player might be compared to other Joe Baseball players. Barry Bonds has been compared to legends since he debuted in 1986. All he want to be compared too is Barry Bonds. People forget that Gods have tempers, wants and needs. Because Barry beat to his own drum, some media types and fans think that he the arrogant prick that he was in his youth. They are too busy crapping on Barry the Ballplayer, they fail to see Barry the Man.

Bonds probably won’t win. Sometimes writers can’t see past the leather chair and the accusations of Jeff Kent enough to see the contributions on the field, the words of Dusty Baker and Jim Leyland and JT Snow, and just about every other teammate he’s had. It is a shame that baseball won’t really be able to appreciate Bonds’ greatness until he’s gone.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Doing some housekeeping 

I have good news for the people out there that have been reading me since the beginning. The House that Dewey Built has hit the small time.

Thanks to two sources, one traditional one not, this site received almost 150 hits yesterday, which bested the record for a day by almost 100. It is right now I would like to thank those sources.

The first is David Pinto's Baseball Musings. I've enjoyed Pinto's blog for a while, and I went so far as to borrow (some might say rip off) his style for an afternoon game against the White Sox. David linked me for the first time yesterday, and many many people came from his site. Because of that, I have to raise the bar on here, and hopefully, I can keep the people that came over from his site. Raising the bar doesn't mean I still can't say things like "bitch fit" or "asshole". Those are for Jeff.

The second group that came over...I can just say they have kept me entertained for a while now. My girlfriend is a big Red Sox fan, and she goes to the MLB message board for the Red Sox. It is there she has met some fellow ladies and they discuss some of the finer points of baseball. I've always found those discussions entertaining. Well, Jocelyne posted this web site and a good amount came over from the MLB boards. Ladies, thank you for coming, thank you for the laughs. If I could do anything at all for you, drop me an e-mail. I have no naked pictures of Doug Mirabelli. I'm shocked too.

As for the site. Because of the playoff schedule jumping right out at me, here is the schedule for the next few weeks. Tomorrow is the National League MVP, Monday is the AL MVP. Tuesday is the Playoff Preview, using DeweyVision. After that, I will just be wrapping up the playoff games, as I will be able to watch a good amount of them (Cox finally hooked me up with some cable).

To wrap up, thanks for stopping by, and we'll have a bunch of actual content coming tomorrow.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Good night at the Ballpark 

Last night was intense.

Actually, it was more like watching an important game become a laugher in your living room with 34,526 of your closest friends.

The game was over when Garciaparra hommered in the second. The game was a blowout when Millar homered in the fourth. In the fifth, I left my seat to find someone (those familar to SOSH, I met RoughCarrigan and FoxinSox), and we stood up in the SRO section behind the Red Sox on deck circle.

Now, normally I wouldn't bore you with such trival details, except one of the cooler things happend during this excursion. Jocelyne, my girlfriend, heard someone from the street yell, "Let's go Sox!" Thinking it was just some fan, she looked down. And saw Boston starter Derek Lowe.

It was cool, there was Derek Lowe standing 3 stories below us in the player's parking lot, on a cell phone, wearing the red undershirt and two bags of ice on, and he was feeling the crowd. A few minutes later, I yelled down "Good game Lowe!". He acknowledged with a fist pump and a point. It was the first time a major league baseball player gave me something rather then the finger (I hate you Jack McDowell and Tony Phillips).

So here is my point. I feel differently about the Red Sox this year. I honestly don't think they are going to win the World Series, in fact, it would be tough for them to make it by Oakland in the first round. I love this team this year though. It's a group of guys that genuinely love the game of baseball, and everyone (even Manny, Shaughnessy/Mazzeroti/Satan) seems to love the city and fans. And I love them for it.

There were three more chill moments in the game itself. The first was in the eighth inning, Bill Mueller, who was one of only two Red Sox starters still in the game, got a standing ovation his entire at bat. I honestly don't care if he wins the batting crown, but it would be probably the most unexpected crown in a while.

The second was the top of the ninth, when the new Boston pitcher was announced...Ramiro Mendoza. Also got a standing ovation. Actually the hardest I've ever cheered for a Yankee.

Lastly, on the Auxillary Scoreboard, there was a countdown to clinching. When Mendoza threw a curve that was called strike three on Brian Roberts, and the number hit 0. Right then, The Standell's Dirty Water played. I've never been happier surrounded by 34,000 people I don't know.

After three exhibition games against the Devil Rays, the Red Sox go to Oakland. Pedro Martinez vs. Tim Hudson.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Awards - American League Cy Young 

David Ortiz is the man. Bronson Arroyo seems to have clinched a rotation spot. The Red Sox are one game away.

Oh yeah, they lost 7-3 and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks to Anahiem and their plucky, death by 1,000 monkey bites team, the Boston Red Sox have lowered the magic number for clinching the Wacky Card to one. And they did it by only scoring 3 runs in John Burkett's worst start in his career. Why am I so happy?

I have tickets for tonights game. Everything worked out right so that I can share a beverage witht the Red Sox at the Destiny Grille Pub.

I'm telling you folks, I have a fever, and the only perscription is playoff baseball (and cowbell.)

So, back to work. I'm sorry I didn't post last night. I went to Poncho O'Mally's, which is a restaurant/bar in Narragansett that has all you can eat tacos on Wednesday night. They have soft and hard versions of beef and chicken tacos. Here were the final standings...

ALee 21 (new record)
Me 14
Quagger 13
Meatball 13
Evan 11
Bougey 6 (tied chick record)

By the time I got home, I couldn't hack sitting at the computer. My stories of gastrointestinal abuse will be spared. That's the make up for not posting last night.

Now for the American League Cy Young. There are three candidates that would be better choices then Mark Prior or Jason Schmidt. These three candidates have actually inspired some good debate on whether quality of innings is more important then quality. TO be honest, I don't know myself. This is the toughest award I've had to rank so far.

AL Cy Young

5. Jamie Moyer SEA 20-7 3.27 5.43 k/9 55.303 runs sved
Moyer is a good sentimental choice. Rob Neyer wrote a good human interest column on him earlier in the week. He might be the smartest pitcher this side of Greg Maddux. His career really took off when he got traded to Seattle. I hated the Bragg for Moyer trade when Dan Duquette did it, but I didn't think it would be this lopsided.

4. Esteban Loazia 20-9 2.96 8.18 k/9 66.538 runs sved
Loazia was the front runner all year, but scuffled as his team started losing it. Loazia is setting career marks in everything at age 31, and usually, that would make a great story. However, through August and September, when talks of who would win what were hotting up, people seemed to be looking for excuses not to give Loazia the award. Either way, the guy was signed as a minor league free agent, made the White Sox, and pitched like Tom Seaver for four months. Someone will make him a very rich man this offseason, and be curious as to why he doesn't repeat.

3. Roy Halladay 21-7 3.22 6.83 k/9 76.508 runs sved
At the begining of August, people were saying that Halladay deserved the Cy Young award, presumably because he won 16 game in a row, and led the league in that same catagory. Since then, he is 5-5, but has pitched better. Amazing that he can lose credit for a 2-4 stretch where he put up an ERA under 3. To show you the trouble I had with this selection, Halladay is closer to first then he is to Loazia. Loazia is closer to first then he is to Moyer.

2. Pedro Martinez BOS 14-4 2.25 10.00 k/9 73.518 runs sved
Pedro won't finish higher then fourth because of the BWAA's inablity to reason past the antiquated notion that a pitcher is in complete control of his won/loss record. By my figuring, the Red Sox bullpen cost Pedro seven wins. If we reasonably assume that Pedro gets credit for four of those wins, then we are looking at a guy who is 18-4, and the front runner for the Cy Young. Now, Pedro hasn't pitched many innings, and that has probably cost him wins, but when you lead the American League in every important pitching catagory, save for innings, then shouldn't you be a front runner?

1. Tim Hudson OAK 16-7 2.70 6.08 k/9 79.724 runs sved
Hudson is the happy medium between Halladay and Martinez. He almost has Halladay's inning quantity, and almost has Pedro's inning quality. If you get 90 percent of one, and mix it with 90 percent of another, you get a damn good pitcher. Hudson will probably finish above Martinez, but this is Halladay's award to lose because of the wins thing. If not for Keith Foulke's battle with humanity, then Hudson is 20-7 right now. Theoretical Hudson 20-7, theoretical Pedro 18-4, and actual Halladay 21-7. Maybe then the writers would have to do their homework.

I'm leaving right from campus to go to the game tonight, so the award schedule has been pushed back a little. I'm going to try to do the NL MVP on Monday, and the AL MVP on Tuesday. Tomorrow, I'll give a recap of the game, and over the weekend, I'll jump on a few times to share my thoughts and dementia. The updates will happen much more frequently once I have cable internet in my house insted of dial up. That day is neigh.

Derek Lowe against Unnamed Generic Pitcher (Omar Daal) tonight at 7:05. As I said, I'll be at the Fens. My loins are moist with excitement.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Awards - National League Denton True "Cy" Young 

Why is it that wins are attributed to the pitcher?

I mean it was obvious back in the day, as pitchers pitched a complete game. But now, pitchers get wins for such performances as 5ip, 6er as long has his offence chips in 7. They get losses in 7ip 1 er games if the bats are cold. Wins and losses can be tacked on if a bullpen arm can't hold the line.

So why?

I think it's pretty antiquated. Little Joe Morgan thinks that it is the most important determinant. Little Joe is an idiot. A pitcher's job is to keep runs off the board. Thats it. Pitcher's don't "know how to win" or "pitch well enough to lose". They pitch to keep runs off the board.

NL Cy Young Award
5. Kevin Brown LAD 14-9 2.43 8.03 k/9 62.769 runs sved
Guess what? I park adjusted my runs saved, so now they are figured with park and league context in mind. Last year, Brown was hurt. This year, he was not. He is worthy of Cy Young award consideration, considering he has the weakest offense this side of Detroit behind him. His sinker is still one of the nastiest pitches around.

4. Brandon Webb ARI 10-8 2.75 8.51 k/9 56.907 runs sved
Webb gets some bonus points for his part in keeping the D'Backs rotation steady while Randy Johnson was getting his knee fixed and Curt Schilling was feeling the ill affects of his QuesTec induced bitch fit. You know, for someone who is a horse, Schilling sure is a whiner, isn't he?

3. Eric Gagne LAD 54 svs 1.23 15.12 k/9 34.571 runs sved
Absolutely dominant this season. He is on pace to blow away the strikeout rate record. It must be tough to beat him when there is almost no chance of putting the ball in play. Gagne holds the consecutive saves record, and looks like the evil illegitimate son of Buddy Holly, and Scott Sauerbeck on the mound. As a note, Russ Ortiz, who will probably finish 2nd or 3rd in the award voting, has less runs saved then Gagne, despite 120 more innings.

T-1. Mark Prior CHC 17-6 2.42 10.33 k/9 67.141 runs sved
Jason Schmidt SFG 17-5 2.34 9.01 k.9 67.598 runs sved

The differences between these two guys are so insignificant that it would be stupid for me to argue one over the other. Prior k's more, but also walks more. Schmidt has a lower ERA, but when you adjust for ballparks, its even. Prior has pitched 3 less innings, but has essentially the same amount of runs saved. They've both played for Dusty Baker. I haven't seen a compelling reason for one over the other yet, so I make them tied. Fake bonus points for Prior, because he wears the same number I did in high school.

I planned on doing the American League this morning, but it looks like that isn't gonna happen. I'll try to do it this afternoon or tonight. Eitherway, I have one more post in me today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Awards - All Futility Teams 

Before I get to the Futility Teams, there was some good stuff today in the Washington Post (sorry, need to register for the link to work). Apparently, Dave Sheinin is curious as to why Luis Matos had a called strike in the dirt. Also, how Nixon hit an outside fastball and hit it out. First the Matos situation.

In the fifth inning, umpire Doug Eddings called a borderline pitch a strike. Matos turned around and said something to Eddings. Mike Hargrove jumped out of the dugout and spoke to Eddings, presumably to protect his player and not argue balls and strikes. The next pitch, Matos homered. In the seventh, Todd Jones threw an 0-1 pitch low and outside. I didn't see where the pitch was, but Sheinin said that Varitek "caught the pitch with his mitt almost in the dirt." Matos argued with Eddings, and was tossed, which as I'm sure you know, is the rule in baseball. Now, what is funny is this remark from Sheinin.

The Orioles also intimated that the calls were a result of Fenway Park being outfitted with the QuesTec Umpire Information System, which is being used by Major League Baseball in 13 ballparks to evaluate umpires' accuracy in calling balls and strikes

If that is the case, then the pitch was a strike. QuesTec is set up to determine what is what, and Matos had no argument. I have no idea if Eddings is a good umpire or not, but if he made the call due to QuesTec, then Matos got what he deserved.

As for Nixon, Jason Johnson thought there were shenanigans with the pitch he threw:
Nixon's homer, in particular, did not sit well with Johnson, who said he threw a perfect pitch -- "Right on the black, right where I wanted to throw it."

The fact Nixon turned on it and crushed it? "There's no way he turns on that," Johnson said. "No possible way."

The implication was that Nixon knew what was coming, although Johnson did not accuse him of anything directly.

Sheinin doesn't buy it though. He responds:

The Red Sox, however, were made to turn off a television monitor in their bullpen last week when Tampa Bay Devil Rays Manager Lou Piniella protested it

See, media can be fun, even if they aren't from Boston. Overall, I think Sheinin gave a pretty fair assessment of the game last night.

Now for the futility teams. These are the guys that have contibuted the least to their team's fortunes. I have some basic criteria, of 350 ab, banning parttimers from the teams.

NL Futility Team
c - Brad Ausmus HOU .230-4-45 .305/.295/.600
In one of the best hitting parks in the majors, Ausmus has sported a robust .295 slug. Although his defense is solid, that is piss poor. Intangibles can't make crap filet mignon.

1b - Randell Simon PIT/CHC .273-15-70 .308/.430/.739
First base is no place for a singles hitter. Actually, I kind of like Simon. He has dubious power, and no plate discipline to speak of, but he hits everything. Against the Red Sox this year when he was in Pittsburgh, Simon took an pitch well outside and about eye high and crushed it over the left field wall for a home run. This was no Ozzie Smith dinger either, this was a bomb. I've never seen anything like that.

2b - Ron Belliard COL .269-5-39 .343/.379/.722
Remember when Ronnie could hit? It was only a few years ago. Alex Cora can't hit either, but at least he can help his team with the glove. Balliard can still draw a walk, with a ISO. Plate Discipline of .074, among the highest of National League customers. Belliard just isn't worth giving a full time job to. IPD is figured the same as Iso. Slug. Subtract the BA from the OP%.

3b - Geoff Blum HOU .269-10-52 .303/.389/.692
Compared to Blum, Belliard is Ted Williams. Playing Blum instead of Ensburg might be the Astros' undoing this year. Jimy never changes, I tells ya.

ss - Royce Clayton MIL .221-11-37 .297/.328/.624
How can someone with a good glove and 11 home runs be on the Futility team? Easy, be Royce Clayton. By the Win Shares method, he has contributed 0 to Milwaukee's offense. 0.00. 470 at bats, wasted. That means, by the Win Shares method, Jack Wilson, and Cesar Izturis are better offensively and defensively. That is why I'm willing to overlook the 11 home runs.

lf - Pat Burrell PHI .210-21-64 .312/.413/.725
This one was tough because I love Burrell, but he has regressed totally from last year. I thought at the beginning of the season, you could pencil him in for .280-40-110 .400/.575/.975. Good thing the pencils have erasers. If Bowa sticks around next year, you think Burrell might the next one out of town? I'd bet on it.

cf - Endy Chavez MON .250-5-47 .294/.353/.647
At least he has a glove.

rf - Roger Cedeno NYM .268-7-37 .322/.378/.700
One of Steve Phillips's moves. Cedeno was actually a good leadoff man, and an indifferent defender. Now he seems to be just indifferent to baseball. I get the feeling the last two years on the job, Phillips was trying to get fired.

sp - Shane Reynolds ATL 11-9 5.74 5.12 k/9 0.213 runs saved
Braves fans, if Reynolds starts any playoff games, then it does not bode well for your team. You've been warned.

closer - Jose Mesa PHI 24 svs 6.27 7.70 k/9 -3.222 runs saved
I heard bad things about that closer by committee! You need a Proven Closer to put out fires!! Mesa is gasoline for Phillies souls.

AL Futility Team
c - Brent Mayne KCR .242-6-35 .307/.342/.648
I really wanted to put Enar Diaz here but he didn't have enough ab to qualify. The same thing happend in the NL, when the Giants were too disagreeable to play Neifi Perez more. Moves like that make this less fun.

1b - Paul Konerko CHW .238-18-65 .309/.407/.717
The Pat Burrell award goes too...Paul Konerko! I can't believe I wasted a first round pick on Paulie. If I was more objective, Ken Harvey would be here, but he didn't kill my fantasy team.

2b - Luis Rivas MIN .261-8-42 .311/.385/.696
I thought he would be good. I was wrong. Rivas has just never shown the promise he flashed his rookie year. Aaron Gleeman hates him.

3b - Tony Batista BAL .234-25-94 .270/.395/.665
Hits home runs and does little else. Shane Halter is just as bad but doesn't have enough AB, and it's no fun to pick on the Tigers. That's like spitting on someone who already had the hell kicked out of him by a biker gang. Actually, up until this point, no Tiger deserved it.

ss - Ramon Santiago DET .221-2-25 .287/.278/.565
There we go. Santiago might be the worst player in the majors. It's very rare to see someone with a higher on base percentage then slugging percentage. His glove is better then Derek Jeter's. Um...he's a better hitter then Brother in Suck Omar Infante. Um...patoo!

lf - Carl Crawford TAM .279-5-54 .308/.357/.665
Craig Monroe's 20 home runs are the only thing keeping him out of this slot. Sweet Lou said that Crawford would win a batting title. Possibly next year. Crawford needs to learn how to actually hit first.

cf - Alex Sanchez DET .284-1-19 .314/.351/.665
Think Roger Cedeno without the flashy glove. Soon to be tried in The Hague for Crimes against the Tigers.

rf - Terrence Long OAK .244-14-59 .292/.386/.678
Billy Beane's Great Big Mistake. Long has regressed every year he's been in the league. However, he is more solid with the glove then what he gets credit for, as long as he isn't in center. Long will be one of the focal points of a post I will write in the near future about Moneyball.

sp - Cory Lidle TOR 12-14 5.90 4.97 k/9 -3.019 runs saved
Why has Lidle pitched 184.2 innings? Cory Lidle is the type of thing friends are lost over. Next time Billy Beane says he needs the Blue Jays to complete a trade, JP Riccardi should either hang up the phone, or ask for a guy that might actually help his team win.

closer - Billy Koch CHW 11 svs 5.81 7.18 k/9 -0.352 runs saved
He was the Proven Closer that was supposed to put the White Sox over the top. However, when you throw 99, and straight, and have no idea where it's going, and have a ten cent head, then you don't keep your closer job long.

Just three more days of awards in the ol' holster. Tomorrow will be the Cy Youngs. Thursday will be the National League MVP, Friday AL MVP. Tonight, the Orioles stay in Fenway and throw lefty Eric DuBois against The King of Knuckle Tim Wakefield at 7:05.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Barry Bonds 

Last week, I mentioned a Dan LeBatard column on Barry Bonds that David Pinto excerpted on his blog. Here is the full-length Miami Herald version of that column. Hidden Humility

It's almost chilling.

Awards - Rookie of the Year 

I seem to be getting some critical e-mails lately. I feel they've all been fair, I can only improve this blog if I know what's wrong with it. They've all been fair except for one. Here it is, paraphrased:

It's stupid to pick award winners before the season is over. Idiot.

I really don't think it's stupid to pick award winners now. There is very little chance of someone playing themselves into an award in 7 games, when they failed to win in 155 games. Plus, If I wait until the playoffs start, playoff performance might skew the results, and even worse, I would be writing about this rather then the playoffs. If I waited until after the World Series, then I am cutting into Hot Stove time. Couple that with my lack of cable television, its a no brainer to push my opinions on you now. Take the red pill, my friends.

My rules for picking the Rookie of the Year are the same as the MLB's. Hideki Matsui is eligible to win. Personally, I haven't heard a compelling reason why he shouldn't be eligible, other then the fact that he played in Japan for 10 years. Until the rule is changed, I am going to abide by the rule.

NL Rookie of the year

I'm kind of upset the Dontrelle Willis bandwagon has crashed and burned. I generally didn't like Willis' brashness (during a game at Fenway, the benches cleared and he stood behind Jack McKeon and was screaming at David Ortiz), he sure was fun to watch pitch. Just think, Willis was a throw-in from the Cubs in the Alfonseca/Clement trade.

As for the ballot, mine would look like this:

1. Brandon Webb ARI 10-7 2.50 8.6 k/9
Webb kind of came out of obscurity. Webb isn't mentioned in Gary Huckaby's Hot Stove Heater for ESPN. He wasn't mentioned in the annual Baseball Prospectus. I didn't hear too much about him from Baseball America. John Sickles, who I think knows who everyone in organized baseball is, did mention him:
Overlooked, but went 10-6, 3.14 at Double-A El Paso. Good control, throws strikes with average stuff, but knows what he is doing on the mound. University of Kentucky product.

That isn't exactly a prediction of the best pitcher on a staff that includes hobbled Randy Johnson, and Questec camera enemy Curt Schilling. However, that scouting report is incredably accurate. All he does is throw strikes and get guys out.

2. Scott Podsednik MIL .315-7-53 42 sb .380/.427/.807
If Webb came out of obscurity, then Podsednik came out of something that was beyond obscurity, like limbo, or Tampa Bay. Sickles didn't even give Podsednik a token mention in this past season's minor league report. The 27 year old Texan plays a passable defense, can steal bases with impunity, and isn't afraid to take a walk (54 bb/534 ab). Unfortunatly for the Brew Crew (as an aside, you notice no one nationally calls it that anymore? That is a shame.), this is probably as good as Podsednik is gonna get.

3. Marlon Byrd PHI .302-7-45 9sb .366/.423/.789
Byrd was my pick to be the National League Rookie of the Year in April. Bill James made a mention in The New Historical Baseball Abstracts that the shortish stocky body type seems to be disproportionatly successful. The Kirby Puckett/Yogi Berra body type. His reasoning was that they really don't look much like athletes, so they are given less chances to fail. They have to be good ballplayers, and keep developing to make the majors. Guys that look like Gabe Kapler are a dime a dozen in MLB, with as many successes as failures. If this is true, it bodes well for Marlon Byrd. He's taller then Puckett, but he weighs more. Byrd is surprisingly nimble for a big guy, and, although he probably wont make the Hall of Fame, he should be a fixure in the Phillies outfield for a bunch of years.

AL Rookie of the Year
This job is easy, because there have been no rookie pitchers that have stood out in the Junior Curcuit this year. I will mention Jeremy Bonderman though, because of his talent, he was rushed to the majors, and was the 20 year old Christian to the AL lions. Just thinking about what Bonderman could become on a team that actually had some major league talent on it...

1. Jody Gerut CLE .281-22-75 .337/.500/.837
Although he can't hit lefties, whenever he swings the bat against a northpaw it has murderous intent. Another rookie this year that went largely unnoticed until he got called up and started to hit. He is already 26, though, and he lacks true plate discipline, so he might be deemed a spare part when Grady Sizemore is ready to jump to Cleveland. Gerut is as fun to watch as it is to say. Garrrrr-it.

2. Angel Berroa KCR .292-16-71 .341/.457/.798
Berroa was horrible in the minors last year, but before that, he was a decient player. The second spot was a toss up between Berroa and the third place winner, but I think that Berroa's defense is enough to push him over slightly. Actually, any of these three guys should/could win.

3. Mark Teixeira TEX .260-25-83 .334/.486/.820
Ta-sher-a. He has the potential to be a Lance Berkman clone at 3b, but with the emergence of Hank Blalock this year, his future might be across the diamond. Next year, the Rangers might have an infield of Teixeira-Young-Rodriguez-Blalock. Add in the hitters launching pad that is the Ballpark at Arlington, and some pitchers might start openly weeping on the mound. Unfortunatly, half of them will be Rangers pitchers. To be completely honest, Gerut and Teixeira won't get much support because of Rocco Baldelli's batting average, and Matui's RBI's. They are the writer's favorite toys, its better to keep going back to them then actually determine who might be the best players in their first year.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

This is getting ridiculous 

Rocco Baldelli was warming in center last week at Fenway Park. He was overthrown and went to go shag the ball. As he jogged into the triangle, he noticed a screen in the Red Sox bullpen. He told Lou Pinella and the umpires made the Red Sox pull the plug.

Having a monitor in the bullpens and dugouts are against MLB rules. Unless there is permission from the league, which I assume the Yankees have, since the Stadium bullpens have monitors, and the Red Sox say they had. Pinella said that the monitors gave the Boston relievers an unfair advantage because the arms would be able to notice the umpires strike zone better.

Seattle GM Pat Gillick feels that the Boston intentions are far more nefarious. He is saying to anyone who will listen that the Red Sox have been cheating all year, stealing signs. The evidence that Gillick sites is that the Red Sox hit much better at home then on the road. He also thinks that the Rangers are involved in sign theft. Gillick also mentions that everyone in the AL knows that they have been cheating all year.


Pat Gillick is a parody. He is a man so wrapped up in his own self interest, that what is good for Pat Gillick is good for everyone else. Hey, I can't or won't make a trade to better my teams disaster at third base? I want to make a rule that limits in-season trading. My team gets its collective asses kicked by two teams that have been hitting all year? It's because they are stealing signs. Apparently nothing in Pat Gillick's world is the fault of Pat Gillick.

Someone should mention to Stand Pat that the Mariners have collapsed for the second straight year. Someone should also clue him in on Park Affects. It bears mentioning that both Fenway and Arlington are hitters parks. The park factors are 1017 for Fenway, and 1139 for The Ballpark. In Safeco? 918. Yup, hard to see why teams hit better in hitter's parks.

For some comedy's sake, here is Steinbrenner lapdog Bill Madden's take.

On the baseball side of the ledger, I'm sorry about the lack of truly Red Sox information on this site lately. Dewey's House was built on analysis of the Red Sox games, not listening to a baseball blowhard spout off who he thinks should be the various award winners. Fortunately for you, loyal reader, my NESN will be returning soon enough. Unfortunately, it will be on September 29th. What can I say folks. I've only seen 3 Red Sox games since I've moved into Narragansett. I can't tell you anything you can't read in the boxscores yourself. I know Pedro Martinez spun a great game today, with 11 k's.

I know that tomorrow, Jason Johnson faces off against Jeff Suppan at Fenway Park. After that, I only know what I think I know. Tomorrow, I'll bring you the Rookies of the Year.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Awards - Silver Slugger 

I always liked the Silver Slugger awards, but then again, I like hitting. There is nothing worse in baseball to me then watching the number 8 guy in the NL single to lead off an inning then have the pitcher square to bunt before he's even in the box. Except maybe watching a pitcher weakly flail at pitches, striking out. Purists don't agree, but then again, Purists don't agree with much.

Some one I know said to me that the American League style of baseball is boring because there is no strategy. I told him that I would rather watch the players play, rather then the managers manage. And if the DH were gone, and fans didn't get to watch guys like Edgar Martinez hit, then baseball would lose something. I think he just like watching intentional walks, bunts, and botched hit and runs. But I digress.

NL Silver Sluggers
p - Woody Williams STL .262/.319/.400/.719
Are you friggen kidding me? ESPN's stats page doesn't even let you sort by pitchers. Must be important to the game then. I hate people afraid of change, especially when the game becomes better because of it. Anyway, Brooks Kieschnick would win this in a walk, but I didn't count him because he's a pitcher/outfielder. I gave it to Williams just 'cause I couldn't find anyone better.

c - Javy Lopez ATL .326/.377/.684/1.061
Strangely, Javy Lopez doesn't have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Javy needs 36 to qualify. Despite Greg Maddux hating him, Lopez is catching all of Maddux's starts in the playoffs. Lopez brings up an interesting question. How many catchers have been good, while catching, when they are 32? No one. Yogi Berra's body was breaking down. Johnny Bench's catching career was ending. Fisk wasn't as good. If the Braves don't, someone will overpay for Javy Lopez's comeback year. Keep that in mind when Jason Varitek turns 32 and is up for a new contract next year.

1b - Jim Thome PHI .268/.389/.561/.950
But Todd Helton has a .129 advantage in OPS!!! Coors Field, my brothers. Coors increases offence 36.6%, Vet's decreases it 13.6% . After you adjust for home park (and away parks, I know Helton has played more in San Francisco then Thome), Thome's OPS is 1.029, Helton's is .914. Helton has had a hell of a year, but Thome has been better, when you adjust for everything.

2b - Marcus Giles ATL .319/.395/.528/.923
Better then Kent at everything. Vidro and Loretta are having solid years too. Braves are still talking about moving him to OF if they lose Sheffield this winter, but that would be a mistake. Has his brother's knack for going unnoticed.

3b - Scott Rolen STL .288/.382/.536/.917
Leads the National League in all the rate stats. Mike Lowell might have passed him if not for his injury. Lowell has actually been better with the glove this year. Once you get past those two though, it is no contest.

ss - Edgar Renteria STL .333/.395/.486/.881
Laughable when you consider his American League counterparts. Renteria has decent gap power, can poke one, and isn't afraid to take a walk. Does a lot of things well, but nothing outstanding. That usually makes for a pretty good player.

lf - Barry Bonds SFG .340/.532/.750/1.282
Deepest position in baseball goes to the best hitter in baseball. Pujols, Giles, Gonzalez, Jones, Berkman, Jenkins all would be considered if one of them was on the other side of the outfield. I'll have more on this when I talk about the National League MVP in a few days.

cf - Jim Edmonds STL .271/.383/.604/.987
You would think with all these hitter, and a decent starting staff, the Cardinals would have more to show for themselves. You all know what I think. It's Tony LaRussa's fault!!!

rf - Gary Sheffield ATL .331/.423/.601/1.024
In the beginning of the year, Sheffield was the MVP. Now, he's not even the MVP of his team (Lopez is), though no fault of Big Sheff. He would probably be the big prize this offseason too, if not for Vlad Guerrero. The only reason (and I mean only) Vlad isn't the choice here is because Sheffield hasn't missed time. It's sad that Sheffield has always been overlooked, despite being one of the best hitters in baseball. His attitude probably has as much to do with that as his contemporaries.

AL Sliver Sluggers
dh - Frank Thomas CHW .258/.381/.545/.925
Other then 1st, 2nd, short, and center, there should be a Red Sox player at each position. Weakly, I'm picking Thomas because he is having a very good year, he hasn't really recieved his due when it comes to hitting, and he's DHed more then David Ortiz. Shit.

c - Jorge Posada NYY .280/.404/.514/.919
I was at a Yankee game at Fenway this year, and a Yankee fan near me said that Posada would be a Hall of Famer if he didn't leave the bat on his shoulder so much. I just smiled and nodded. Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada have always been linked together. It's too bad the only year Tek was better was in 1999.

1b - Carlos Delgado TOR .298/.426/.566/.992
Remember when he was an overpaid albitross? Bob Rogers said one of the stupidest things of the year when the Red Sox played the Blue Jays before the All Star Break. He said "Because of his salary, JP Ricchardi should trade Delgado to the Dodgers. The Dodgers need some punch and Toronto needs the money badly." Then Rogers repeated that over and over again during the broadcast. Delgado has said he doesn't want to play anywhere but Toronto, and Ricchardi seems content in building around him. That Kim strikeout of Delgado in July was a masterpiece by the way.

2b - Bret Boone SEA .289/.360/.529/.888
Isn't really an MVP candidate anymore, but the ride sure was fun. Reportedly pissed when "Stand" Pat Gillick didn't trade for his brother, despite the gapping hole at 3b the last few years. As an aside, Alfonso Soriano would be listed here for the next decade if he didn't have a pathalogical inability to tell the difference between a ball and a strike.

3b - Bill Mueller BOS .331/.402/.551/.953
Doesn't have Ortiz's flare, but probably the most popular addition to the Boston Red Sox this year. The man can just flat out hit. Jayson Stark said that he was one of the biggest wastes of offseason money before the year began. While I wouldn't go that far, I think its safe to say that Mueller is more then just a placeholder until Kevin Youkilis is ready.

ss - Alex Rodriguez TEX .296/.394/.594/.988
Yawn. I guess I'll give a little nod to Nomar and Jeter having good years. The only way ARod doesn't end up in the Hall of Fame is if he gets bored with being the best player east of PacBell.

lf - Manny Ramirez BOS .332/.424/.578/1.002
Probably the best right handed hitter in the American League. He's having a down year for him, and it's still better then most people's up years. If he was in the National League, then he would be 3rd or 4th for this award. Scary.

cf - Vernon Wells TOR .316/.357/.553/.910 AND Carlos Beltran KCR .305/.387/.513/.900
All the centerfielders hitting well this year are playing in extreme hitters parks. With a gun to my head, I would take home Carlos Beltran and away Mike Cameron. Wells is having a break out year, Beltran is slightly better though. I really couldn't decide.

rf - Trot Nixon BOS .309/.399/.573/.972 AND Magglio Ordonez .323/.388/.558/.945
Nixon is better, but his playing time has been much less simply because he can not hit a left handed pitcher. Magglio can rake. I couldn't decide between Ordonez's quantity, or Nixon's quality. It's a cop out, but I don't care. I'd take either of them.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Awards - Gold Gloves 

Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. Pitching and defense is how you build a winner.

What a crock of shit.

Defense is generally an afterthought, because it's so hard to measure. It is important, but there is no real way to measure it objectively. Bill James, Baseball Prospectus, Tom Tippett, and Pete Palmer have all done work on it, but there is still no metric that can acurately measure defensive value.

Doesn't stop us from awarding it though. With my picks, I am going by strict positional lines. You won't see 3 centerfielders in my outfield. Also, I'm judging by eye, and by number, so I really hope that I don't undervalue the people that I don't get to see everyday. Without further ado....

NL Gold Gloves
p - Greg Maddux ATL
Kind of getting into Kaatian territory here now, eh?

c - Brian Schneider MON
I haven't seen him play much, but I've been impressed by his foot work around the plate. From what I hear, he calls a good game and he has a strong arm. He really can't hit, but he's becoming one of my favorite players.

1b - Derrek Lee FLA
He's tall and make plays. He's very quick for a big guy, and everytime I see the Marlins play, he seems to make at least one nice scoop.

2b - Luis Castillo FLA
Little guy plays second like a shortstop. He makes a fair amount of errors, but errors are at the whimsy of the offical scorer. He just edges out Alex Cora, and Ray Durham.

3b - Sean Burroughs SDP
Scott Rolan will win because he has a strong arm, dives alot, and is appearently Harold Reynolds secret man-crush. Burroughs does all the things that Rolen does, except he has much more range. And his arm has been removed and fitted with a bazooka of some type. Although Burroughs has a very good arm, he might be moved to the outfield at the Pet in order to save the lives of those behind human civ Ryan Kelsko.

ss - Cesar Izturis LAD
There must be some reason he's in the line up. Slick with the glove, but Dal Maxville with the bat.

lf - Luis Gonzalez ARI
Nice arm in left, and he covers ground well for an old guy. Makes the plays Barry Bonds used to when he was 5 years younger. Gonzalez might be the best player our kids will never hear of. As an aside, 3 years ago, Gonzalez made a catch by jumping on the fence, and hanging there by his right armpit until the ball fell into his glove. It didn't win an ESPY. I think that will probably typify Gonzalez' career.

cf - Andruw Jones ATL

rf - Jose Cruz Jr. SFG
Better in right then most guys in left. Felipe would do well to forget that Grissom played center for him in Montreal and push Cruz in that spot. Might be Richard Hildago here if I didn't personally see him lose 3 balls in the Fenway sun on Father's Day.

AL Gold Gloves
p - Mike Mussina NYY
Holds runners well (he balks alot though if you watch him), and fields his position good enough. He also has a little glove icon next to his name in MVP Baseball.

c - Bengie Molina ANA
Right now, the American League West has two excellent defensive catchers, Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez. They both do everything equally well. Hernandez will play more innings, but Molina had a better year.

1b - Doug Mientkiewicz MIN
Absolute cat over at first. Might be the best right handed first baseman of the last 20 years. He overplays too much if he is on grass, but the turf at the Metrodome seems to fit his style. I still can't spell his name without looking it up.

2b - Orlando Hudson TOR
Only difference between Hudson and Castillo is the surface they play their home games on. Hudson could move to shortstop and the Blue Jays wouldn't miss a beat. If Eckstein can play a good short with a popgun arm, then so can Hudson.

3b - Cory Koskie MIN
Good goalie, better 3rd baseman. Makes the plays Scott Rolen gets credit for.

ss - Miguel Tejada OAK
Errors are only a reflection of the official scorer. Covers the ground very well around the keystone and spins a good deuce. ARod will probably win again, though, because he keeps his error numbers down.

lf - Randy Winn SEA
One half of...

cf - Carlos Beltran KCR
Might actually win this year due to a fantastic year with the glove. Covers ground between Raul Ibanez, and Tony Pena's Revolving Right Fielders. Not a strong arm, but very accurate. Think Johnny Damon with an arm.

rf - Ichiro Suzuki SEA
...the best corner outfielder tandem in baseball. Seattle is the first team in a long time to genuinely have three centerfielders on their squad. For what its worth, Cameron was the 2nd place finisher at center.

Awards - The Managers 

It's that time of year where people start having a feeling on where the baseball awards will fall. Except no one has the foggiest idea who will win anything at all. I'm having trouble myself defining who I think will/should win each award. Michael Silverman even asked the players what they thought, and they didn't know either.

In what is a truly futile exercise, coming off the heals of a wholly depressing loss last night, here are my ballots for the various awards, and why I picked who I picked. Leading off, the managers.

NL Manager of the Year

I've always had a soft spot for Jimy, even when his Boston days went in the shitter. Williams also got Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell to like him, something Larry Dierker could never do. They would do well to rename this the Bobby Cox award, since it is crazy to win the division 12 out of 13 years. What's more amazing, is in those 13 years, under the pre-1969 realignment, the Braves would have finished first 8 times. Not exactly Casey Stengal, but a absolutely incredible run. The award goes to Felipe Alou. He's dealt with an extreme amount of injuries to his lineup, as well as a tormented Barry Bonds. It's easy to win with the best player in the world, but it isn't easy to get the whole team to rally around him like the Giants have.

1. Felipe Alou
2. Bobby Cox
3. Jimy Williams

AL Manager of the Year

Third place should go to Ken Macha, since he has done a better job in Oakland then Torre, Little, Melvin or Gardenhire have done for their respective teams. All four guys have done awful from Torre and Little killing their bullpen, to Gardenhire waiting until June to use Johan Santana, to Melvin not really doing too much to help his team win. Quite simply, I would vote for Jerry Manuel here. He turned around a team that was sputtering all year, and made them a force to be reckoned with. Tony Pena has been a better story, but as Rob Neyer pointed out, Pena almost single handedly took his team out of playoff contention do to his Gradying of the bullpen.

1. Jerry Manuel
2. Tony Pena
3. Ken Macha

NL Worst Manager

These three guys have taken a good amount of talent and killed their team, or put the guys on the team at risk. The mangers here are probably worst then their AL counterparts, because of the amount of game decisions, and the greater parity in the National League. Tony LaRussa is a Managerial Jeenyus who wrote the script to winning in the 80's in Oakland and hasn't deviated since. Many of the strategies he uses are counterproductive and make a lot of sense by the book. I've always thought Dusty Baker was kind of a fraud. He is an arm butcher, and because of his track record, which is good, he has a certain power over the GM's of his team. Examples are guys who can actually hit, like Bobby Hill, Mark Bellhorn, and Hee Choi are exiled to places unknown (and Denver) for guys like Tony Womack, Tom Goodwin, and Mark Karros. Larry Bowa is a horror show. Here is an idea. Grab the spot light by saying you won't flip out, and then the next day flip out. Have one of the best pitching coaches in the game, and then take the pitcher's side when they don't want to adhere to his program. Have a solid offensive team and bat Jimmy Rollins and David Bell before the best heart of the order in the NL. Jeez.

1. Larry Bowa
2. Tony LaRussa
3. Dusty Baker

AL Worst Manager

I honestly think that the American League has a better crop of managers then the NL. This decision is hard simply because the teams that have the most talent are winning (with one exception). It doesn't make sense to put Torre here because his team has the best record in the AL. Nor Little, because he has one of the best offenses in baseball. Neither knows how to work a pitching staff. Gardenhire is an idiot. Carlos Tosca sometimes has Tony LaRussa disease, but he gets the best out of a less talented team. You can't fault Trammell for being on pace to lose 120 games, because he has an AA team with Dmitri Young on it. Eric Wedge isn't much better. Bob Melvin is in over his head, but his general manager refuses to make a substantial deal midseason. With all these guys having faults, I really don't know what to do. I guess I'll vote like this.

1. Ron Gardenhire
2. Bob Melvin
3. Grady Little (would have gone to Torre if the Red Sox were in first. Really a toss up between the two)

Sporadically through the next few days, I'll do the various other awards from MVP to Silver Slugger (remember those?)


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Contenda Bullpens - NL vs. Last night's game 

This is part two in the two part series on bullpens for playoff contenders. The AL was done yesterday.

For this sample, I chose Atlanta, Philly, Florida, Los Angeles, the Bear Cubs, San Francisco, Houston, and St. Louis. As of right now, the Cardnals and Dodgers are all but dead, meaning a miracle and a priest might help them force a playoff for a spot.

Here are the numbers:

ATL		g	ip	era	k/9	bb/9	hr/9	whip	rs sv

Smoltz 58 61.0 0.89 9.89 1.18 0.30 0.87 30.824
King 74 55.0 3.44 6.38 4.25 0.49 1.29 12.202
C'nane 14 15.3 1.17 8.22 2.93 0.00 0.85 7.256
G'ski 61 41.7 4.10 6.48 4.75 0.65 1.56 6.153
Holmes 43 37.3 4.10 10.61 2.41 1.21 1.31 5.537
H'dez 60 55.3 4.55 6.83 6.51 1.63 1.77 5.403
M'cker 12 11.7 1.54 3.86 4.63 0.77 1.46 5.043
Hodges 49 60.3 4.92 9.40 4.33 1.64 1.56 3.421
Bong 42 56.0 5.14 7.55 4.98 1.29 1.55 1.805
Wright 7 6.0 3.00 9.00 1.50 0.00 0.83 1.622
M'quis 16 25.3 7.11 4.26 3.20 0.36 1.54 -4.707
Dawley 5 7.0 18.00 10.29 3.86 3.86 2.57 -9.774
Total 441 432.0 4.08 7.85 3.96 0.98 1.41 64.785

CHC g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
B'wski 65 65.3 2.76 8.95 2.34 0.69 1.04 19.440
F'rth 74 72.7 3.47 11.02 4.33 0.74 1.21 15.867
R'nger 68 65.7 3.70 10.96 5.07 1.51 1.34 12.641
Guth 61 38.7 2.56 5.35 4.66 1.16 1.47 12.342
Benes 3 8.3 2.16 9.72 6.48 0.00 1.68 3.031
Veras 27 29.3 4.91 7.36 1.23 1.23 1.30 1.708
A'eca 56 62.3 5.34 6.93 3.61 0.87 1.49 0.629
Norton 4 3.3 5.40 0.00 8.10 0.00 1.50 0.012
S'hez 1 0.3 54.00 0.00 54.00 27.00 9.00 -1.799
W'yer 13 25.7 6.66 9.47 5.61 1.75 1.52 -3.506
Cruz 18 26.0 6.92 10.73 5.54 1.04 1.62 -4.305
Total 390 397.7 4.16 8.96 4.10 1.04 1.35 56.059

FLA g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
Looper 70 78.0 3.46 6.35 2.88 0.35 1.32 17.086
Urbina 26 31.3 1.15 9.19 3.16 0.29 1.02 14.915
Phelps 20 29.7 2.12 5.76 4.55 0.30 1.42 10.909
Tejera 38 48.3 3.72 5.77 3.35 0.37 1.34 9.177
S'ger 33 42.0 4.07 6.86 2.36 0.21 0.90 6.354
Bump 29 33.0 3.82 4.09 4.91 0.55 1.36 5.921
H'ng 7 11.3 0.79 5.56 3.18 0.79 1.15 5.842
Fox 14 17.7 2.55 10.70 5.09 0.00 1.19 5.665
L'ault 19 28.0 3.86 6.75 4.82 0.96 1.89 4.903
B'and 7 9.7 1.86 3.72 7.45 0.00 1.14 3.835
Al'ez 9 11.7 3.09 4.63 6.17 1.54 1.37 3.043
B'ett 1 1.0 0.00 9.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.604
Pavano 1 2.0 4.50 0.00 4.50 0.00 2.50 0.207
A'aza 51 50.3 6.08 8.76 4.47 1.79 1.67 -3.615
Neal 18 21.0 8.14 4.29 3.86 0.86 2.24 -6.323
Olsen 5 9.7 15.83 6.52 3.72 1.86 2.79 -11.165
Nunez 14 10.7 16.03 8.44 5.91 5.91 2.63 -12.561
Total 362 435.3 4.30 6.62 3.91 0.76 1.45 54.797

HOU g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
Wagner 73 80.3 1.57 11.43 2.24 0.67 0.83 34.495
Dotel 71 79.0 2.73 9.91 3.08 1.03 0.99 23.690
Stone 59 78.3 3.33 4.94 3.22 1.15 1.23 18.287
Lidge 72 79.7 3.50 10.39 4.29 0.56 1.14 17.092
Munro 38 48.7 3.33 4.44 4.25 0.92 1.48 11.379
S'loos 29 35.0 3.09 6.43 3.09 0.51 1.34 9.128
Miceli 18 23.0 1.96 5.09 1.57 0.39 0.96 8.884
Gallo 27 26.0 3.46 4.15 2.77 1.04 1.27 5.695
White 11 13.7 3.95 7.24 3.95 0.66 1.46 2.250
F'dez 3 3.0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.33 1.811
Puffer 13 21.0 5.14 4.29 6.86 0.86 1.90 0.677
J'son 1 1.0 0.00 0.00 9.00 0.00 3.00 0.604
B'nger 4 3.0 6.00 3.00 0.00 3.00 1.00 -0.189
L'rink 3 2.7 6.75 6.75 3.38 3.38 2.25 -0.390
R'ing 1 1.0 9.00 0.00 9.00 0.00 2.00 -0.396
Bland 22 20.3 5.75 7.97 5.31 1.33 1.67 -0.725
Chen 11 12.0 6.00 6.00 6.00 1.50 1.83 -0.756
R'son 1 1.7 10.80 5.40 16.20 0.00 4.20 -0.994
Total 457 491.7 3.46 8.22 3.81 0.93 1.31 107.804

LAD g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
Mota 68 96.7 1.40 8.38 2.14 0.37 0.95 43.355
Gagne 72 76.0 1.30 15.28 2.13 0.24 0.67 34.879
Q'rill 81 71.3 1.77 5.17 1.77 0.25 1.01 29.062
Shuey 57 64.3 2.94 7.83 4.48 0.84 1.17 17.836
Al'rez 9 24.3 1.48 9.62 1.85 0.74 0.82 10.689
Martin 73 46.7 3.86 9.06 3.86 1.16 1.18 8.171
Colyer 9 13.7 2.63 5.93 3.95 0.00 1.54 4.250
Ashby 9 12.7 2.84 6.39 1.42 0.71 1.11 3.646
B'hawn 12 11.7 3.86 10.03 3.09 1.54 1.20 2.043
Meyers 2 2.0 18.00 4.50 9.00 4.50 2.50 -2.793
A'rez 5 5.7 12.71 4.76 9.53 1.59 2.65 -4.579
Total 397 425.0 2.33 8.98 2.80 0.57 1.02 146.560

PHI g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
C'mier 61 78.7 1.83 7.32 2.75 0.46 0.97 31.489
Adams 66 68.0 2.65 6.75 3.04 0.13 1.34 21.050
W'dell 50 58.3 3.55 3.55 4.01 0.93 1.27 12.214
Silva 58 80.7 4.35 4.57 3.68 0.67 1.48 9.696
Plesac 52 30.0 2.70 9.00 3.00 0.60 1.17 9.110
Junge 6 7.7 3.52 5.87 1.17 1.17 0.78 1.628
Roa 3 7.3 3.68 6.14 1.23 1.23 1.50 1.427
D'rth 3 4.0 4.50 11.25 0.00 4.50 0.75 0.415
Geary 2 2.0 4.50 9.00 9.00 0.00 2.50 0.207
W'ams 23 21.0 5.57 6.86 7.29 0.00 1.67 -0.323
H'cock 1 1.0 9.00 9.00 0.00 0.00 2.00 -0.396
M'ado 13 18.7 5.79 7.23 5.79 2.41 1.61 -0.732
DLS 4 3.0 9.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 2.00 -1.189
Mesa 59 56.0 6.27 7.07 4.82 1.13 1.73 -5.195
Total 401 436.3 3.80 6.27 3.71 0.72 1.35 79.401

STL g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
I'sen 34 35.7 2.02 8.83 3.79 0.25 1.09 13.531
Eldred 57 62.3 3.90 9.39 4.33 1.30 1.41 10.629
Kline 72 59.0 3.97 4.12 4.58 0.76 1.37 9.616
Calero 25 33.3 2.97 11.34 4.86 1.35 1.32 9.122
S'cchi 26 37.0 3.89 4.86 1.70 0.49 1.51 6.336
C'dale 13 11.3 2.38 4.76 9.53 0.79 2.03 3.842
H'cock 2 6.0 1.50 3.00 4.50 0.00 1.17 2.622
Ohme 2 4.3 0.00 4.15 2.08 0.00 0.92 2.616
S'son 5 9.0 3.00 6.00 2.00 1.00 1.11 2.433
DeJean 12 12.3 4.38 4.38 6.57 0.00 1.62 1.445
Pearce 5 7.0 3.86 3.86 1.29 0.00 1.71 1.226
J'nell 5 7.7 4.70 7.04 10.57 0.00 2.09 0.628
H'son 23 29.7 5.46 3.64 4.25 1.21 1.65 -0.091
P'nter 22 18.0 5.50 5.50 3.50 1.50 1.33 -0.134
W'ams 1 0.7 13.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.00 -0.598
Molina 3 2.7 13.50 3.38 3.38 3.38 2.25 -2.390
Yan 39 43.3 6.02 5.82 3.32 1.66 1.59 -2.841
Tomko 1 5.3 15.19 3.38 5.06 6.75 2.81 -5.780
P'rson 2 1.0 63.00 9.00 27.00 9.00 7.00 -6.396
S'ger 15 15.7 9.19 5.74 3.45 4.60 1.53 -6.543
Borbon 7 4.0 20.25 0.00 4.50 4.50 4.00 -6.585
F'aro 53 45.7 6.90 5.91 3.74 2.17 1.77 -7.432
Total 424 451.0 4.93 6.29 4.15 1.32 1.54 25.255

SFG g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip rs sv
W'ell 72 72.7 2.60 7.43 3.22 0.62 1.29 22.867
Nathan 74 75.0 3.12 9.36 3.84 0.84 1.08 19.275
R'guez 63 56.3 3.20 7.03 4.31 0.80 1.49 14.007
Eyre 69 54.0 3.50 5.50 4.00 0.67 1.52 11.598
Brower 44 70.7 4.08 5.99 3.82 1.02 1.29 10.659
Herges 23 29.7 2.73 7.28 2.73 0.30 1.15 8.909
Zerbe 29 41.7 4.97 2.81 2.16 0.65 1.46 2.153
C'reia 3 5.0 1.80 7.20 3.60 0.00 1.40 2.018
H'son 3 5.7 3.18 7.94 0.00 0.00 0.88 1.421
Jensen 4 6.0 4.50 0.00 4.50 0.00 1.50 0.622
Lowry 1 1.0 0.00 9.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.604
C'sen 36 22.3 5.24 7.25 4.43 0.81 1.52 0.482
Aybar 3 3.0 6.00 6.00 9.00 3.00 2.33 -0.189
F'part 2 3.0 6.00 9.00 6.00 0.00 1.67 -0.189
Moss 1 1.7 16.20 5.40 5.40 0.00 2.40 -1.994
Total 427 448 3.58 6.69 3.62 0.72 1.34 92.243

Now, I got a most curious e-mail last night, that asked why people should use my rankings ect. over those of respected columnist Jayson Stark, or over respected statistical guru's Baseball Prospectus. The best answer I can give you is that there is more then one way to solve, and look at a problem.

Now, for the record, runs saved is adjusted for league, but no park. The reasoning behind that is park adjustments are too flakey in season. You'll get the updated look at the end of the season, adjusted for park and league.

As for the most striking thing up there...it has to be Guillermo Mota. Not only has he pitched as well as Gagne, according to this method of analysis, but he's pitched better (due to the more innings thrown). Now, he hasn't been as dominant as Gagne (that isn't a misprint, he really does strike out 15+ per 9), but hes more prolific at keeping runs off the board. It's too bad the only writer I've seen notice is Peter Gammons.

Managerial Jenyus Tony LaRussa should stop out thinking himself and actually put guys in the game that can get people out. Jeff Fassero???

Jayson Stark's rank:
1. Los Angeles
2. Houston
3. San Francisco
4. Atlanta
5. Florida
6. Chicago
7. Philadelphia
8. St. Louis

Statistical rank:
1. Los Angeles
2. Houston
3. San Francisco
4. Philadelphia
5. Atlanta
6. Chicago
7. Florida
8. St Louis

Depth rank (closers are removed. Ranks setup men and middle men):
1. Los Angeles
2. Philadelphia
3. Houston
4. San Francisco
5. Florida
6. Chicago
7. Atlanta
8. St. Louis

And now for something completely different...

Last night Pedro Martinez pitched a complete game 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The game was won when Ortiz singled in Nomar from third, and then Bill Mueller hit a sacrifice fly to knock in pinch runner Adrian Brown in the bottom of the 8th.

Now, I haven't been too critical of Grady Little on this site in some time, but he did something that was pretty stupid in my book. He left Pedro in the game with a 3-1 lead in the 9th against a last place team. With 105 pitches. I can't really think of any reason to leave him in, other then it was a good "baseball decision" or Grady has Pedro on his fantasy team and wanted the complete game points.

I would have brought in Williamson or Kim. It's good to have a rested bullpen, but they still need to be sharp. They get sharp with work.

Otherwise, it was a great game despite the unneeded drama in the 9th.

We have Victor Zambrano vs. Jeff Suppan at 7:05 in Boston. As for the fading Mariners, they have Jamie Moyer vs. Ryan Drese at 8:05 in Arlington.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Contenda Bullpens - AL 

This is part one in the two part series on bullpens for playoff contenders.

It's been trendy lately to compare the bullpens of the teams that are in contention for a play off spot. For the American League, that list includes the Yankees, A's, Mariners, Twins, Red Sox, White Sox, and even though they have almost no chance to win, the Royals.

Here are the numbers:
BOS		g	ip	era	k/9	bb/9	hr/9	whip	runs saved

Timlin 67 79.7 3.73 7.00 0.90 1.24 1.04 18.695
Lyon 44 54.0 3.83 7.67 2.83 1.00 1.39 12.040
Embree 62 53.3 4.05 7.59 2.70 0.84 1.14 10.607
Kim 37 44.0 3.68 10.02 1.84 0.61 1.11 10.551
Shiell 17 23.3 4.63 8.87 6.56 1.54 1.71 3.141
Arroyo 2 6.3 1.42 5.68 1.42 0.00 0.63 3.110
Burk 1 6.0 1.50 6.00 1.50 0.00 1.50 2.893
Fox 17 18.0 4.50 9.50 8.50 1.00 2.00 2.680
W'son 19 16.3 4.41 8.27 3.86 0.55 1.35 2.599
Suppan 1 3.7 0.00 4.91 7.36 0.00 1.36 2.379
Wake 2 3.0 0.00 3.00 3.00 0.00 1.00 1.947
W'ard 7 17.7 5.09 6.11 2.55 1.53 1.58 1.464
Chen 3 3.3 2.70 18.90 0.00 0.00 0.90 1.163
Fossum 5 9.0 5.00 8.00 6.00 3.00 1.44 0.840
Jones 22 25.7 5.96 9.12 4.21 0.35 1.56 -0.345
Seanez 9 8.7 6.23 9.35 6.23 2.08 1.96 -0.376
Tolar 6 4.0 9.00 6.75 6.75 2.25 2.00 -1.404
S'beck 20 11.7 6.94 8.49 9.26 0.77 2.23 -1.430
Al'te 7 7.7 8.22 7.04 8.22 1.17 2.09 -2.025
Person 7 11.7 7.71 7.71 6.17 0.00 1.63 -2.430
Howry 4 4.3 12.46 8.31 2.08 2.08 2.77 -3.188
Rupe 3 4.0 13.50 6.75 6.75 6.75 2.00 -3.404
M'doza 30 40.3 6.92 4.46 2.90 1.12 1.93 -4.828
White 3 3.7 27.00 0.00 7.36 2.45 3.55 -8.621
Total 395 459.3 4.94 7.62 3.45 1.06 1.45 46.056

CWS g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
Marte 64 72.7 1.61 10.28 3.34 0.37 1.02 34.153
Gordon 62 69.3 3.25 10.90 3.89 0.39 1.23 19.990
Wunsch 39 34.3 1.83 7.60 5.24 0.00 0.99 15.279
Glover 24 35.7 4.54 5.80 3.53 0.76 1.60 5.144
Wright 5 16.7 3.24 2.70 2.70 1.08 1.08 4.815
S'van 9 8.3 4.32 9.72 5.40 1.08 1.32 1.407
Koch 53 50.3 5.72 6.97 5.01 1.79 1.63 0.661
S'weis 16 17.7 6.11 8.15 3.57 0.51 1.64 -0.536
S'ders 20 22.0 6.14 5.73 4.50 2.05 1.64 -0.724
Adkins 2 2.3 15.43 3.86 11.57 3.86 3.00 -2.486
Ginter 3 3.3 13.50 0.00 2.70 2.70 0.90 -2.837
P'gua 1 0.3 108.00 0.00 27.00 0.00 12.00 -3.784
White 34 47.7 6.61 6.99 2.45 2.08 1.45 -4.070
332 380.7 4.26 8.04 3.90 0.97 1.34 67.010

KCR g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
C'sco 46 70.0 3.73 6.30 2.96 0.77 1.27 16.422
MacD 64 60.0 4.35 8.10 4.65 0.60 1.57 9.933
L'anic 23 22.0 2.05 8.18 4.09 0.41 1.18 9.276
A'dt 15 25.7 3.16 10.87 2.45 1.05 1.05 7.655
Wilson 22 46.3 4.47 6.22 2.33 0.97 1.49 7.065
G'sley 73 71.7 5.02 6.91 4.40 0.63 1.65 6.504
Levine 15 17.3 2.60 2.60 5.19 0.52 1.62 6.247
Field 16 19.0 3.79 8.53 5.68 1.42 1.53 4.329
May 3 5.7 0.00 12.71 4.76 0.00 0.88 3.677
Hill 1 1.0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.649
Lowe 28 44.7 6.25 5.64 4.23 1.41 1.70 -2.016
Abbott 2 5.0 10.80 5.40 3.60 3.60 2.00 -2.756
Voyles 6 12.3 8.03 5.11 5.11 1.46 2.11 -2.997
Gil'an 13 16.3 7.71 6.61 5.51 1.65 1.96 -3.401
DeHart 4 4.0 13.50 2.25 4.50 2.25 2.50 -3.404
W'ond 7 8.0 10.13 6.75 7.88 2.25 2.25 -3.809
B'vich 9 10.3 9.58 6.97 7.84 1.74 2.03 -4.295
Mullen 2 4.3 16.62 6.23 10.38 4.15 3.69 -5.188
Lloyd 13 9.7 11.17 6.52 5.59 0.00 2.90 -5.727
Lopez 15 22.7 12.71 5.96 6.75 2.78 2.56 -17.292
377 476.0 5.45 6.84 4.33 1.06 1.64 20.871

MIN g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
H'kins 69 72.0 1.88 9.13 1.75 0.38 1.14 31.720
Rincon 53 82.0 3.51 6.70 3.95 0.44 1.28 21.209
G'dado 60 60.0 2.85 7.95 1.80 1.05 0.93 19.933
S'ana 27 48.0 3.56 11.25 3.75 0.56 1.33 12.147
Romero 66 58.0 4.81 7.29 5.90 1.09 1.67 6.636
Pulido 4 9.3 0.00 4.82 0.96 0.00 0.64 6.056
B'four 11 19.0 3.32 9.47 3.32 1.42 1.05 5.329
Mays 10 19.7 3.66 2.29 2.29 0.92 1.53 4.761
F'ters 5 6.0 0.00 1.50 1.50 0.00 0.50 3.893
Orosco 4 3.0 0.00 3.00 9.00 0.00 2.00 1.947
Fiore 21 36.0 5.50 5.75 5.25 1.25 1.47 1.360
B'win 10 15.0 5.40 4.20 2.40 3.60 1.67 0.733
Reed 4 6.7 5.40 2.70 1.35 4.05 1.35 0.326
J'son 1 1.0 9.00 0.00 9.00 0.00 3.00 -0.351
Thomas 1 1.0 18.00 18.00 9.00 0.00 3.00 -1.351
N'mura 12 12.7 7.82 9.95 1.42 2.84 1.74 -2.781
358 449.3 3.61 7.49 3.34 0.94 1.30 111.567

NYY g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
Rivera 59 65.7 1.78 7.81 1.37 0.41 1.04 29.610
H'ond 59 60.0 2.85 6.30 1.35 0.60 1.18 19.933
Osuna 45 47.0 4.02 8.23 3.45 0.57 1.60 9.498
Reyes 13 17.0 3.18 4.76 4.76 0.53 1.29 5.031
H'dia 8 10.0 1.80 1.80 4.50 0.90 1.60 4.489
B'tez 9 9.3 1.93 9.64 5.79 0.00 1.50 4.056
Wells 1 5.7 1.59 3.18 0.00 0.00 0.53 2.677
An'son 22 20.7 4.79 3.92 6.10 1.31 1.79 2.410
DeP'la 3 5.0 1.80 1.80 0.00 1.80 0.40 2.244
White 9 9.3 3.86 5.79 1.93 1.93 0.86 2.056
H'cock 26 43.7 5.56 6.80 3.71 0.82 1.60 1.335
Nelson 19 14.3 5.02 11.93 5.02 0.63 1.60 1.301
Miceli 7 4.7 5.79 1.93 5.79 3.86 1.50 0.028
Choate 5 3.7 7.36 0.00 2.45 0.00 2.18 -0.621
Orosco 15 4.3 10.38 8.31 12.46 0.00 2.31 -2.188
Prinz 2 2.0 18.00 9.00 13.50 4.50 4.50 -2.702
Weaver 6 10.7 8.44 7.59 2.53 3.38 1.97 -3.079
C'ras 8 11.3 8.74 11.12 7.94 0.00 2.12 -3.646
Ac'edo 25 25.7 7.71 6.66 3.51 1.75 1.71 -5.345
Total 341 370 4.21 6.86 3.28 0.85 1.44 67.089

OAK g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
Foulke 69 82.7 2.07 9.36 2.18 0.98 0.88 34.641
B'ord 66 71.7 2.89 7.16 3.39 0.88 1.26 23.504
Rincon 60 51.3 3.51 6.66 5.08 0.70 1.38 13.310
Halama 20 39.7 2.95 3.63 2.04 1.82 1.13 12.739
Neu 31 41.0 3.29 4.17 5.49 0.44 1.59 11.604
Mecir 37 34.3 4.72 8.91 3.41 0.52 1.40 4.279
H'ille 17 18.0 4.50 8.00 6.50 1.00 1.67 2.680
Harang 1 4.0 0.00 4.50 4.50 0.00 0.75 2.596
Fikac 12 14.7 4.91 4.91 6.14 2.45 1.57 1.517
Lilly 1 1.0 0.00 9.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.649
Wood 5 8.0 6.75 10.13 5.63 0.00 1.63 -0.809
Sparks 7 14.0 6.43 2.57 1.29 1.29 1.14 -0.916
Bowie 6 8.3 7.56 4.32 2.16 1.08 1.80 -1.593
Total 319 388.7 3.03 6.62 3.54 0.88 1.19 117.315

SEA g ip era k/9 bb/9 hr/9 whip runs saved
H'gawa 59 69.7 1.29 3.88 2.07 0.52 1.05 35.206
Mateo 45 75.0 2.88 7.92 1.44 1.56 0.92 24.667
S'ano 34 46.0 1.76 11.54 1.76 0.39 0.76 20.849
Nelson 46 37.7 3.35 11.23 3.35 0.72 1.27 10.441
Rhodes 63 51.0 4.41 7.59 3.18 0.71 1.35 8.093
Sasaki 31 29.7 3.94 8.19 3.64 0.30 1.31 6.250
B'tiz 12 11.3 3.18 9.53 6.35 0.79 1.50 3.354
S'ney 2 5.3 3.38 3.38 1.69 0.00 1.13 1.461
Putz 1 1.7 0.00 5.40 5.40 0.00 1.20 1.081
Looper 3 4.3 6.23 10.38 2.08 2.08 1.15 -0.188
White 3 2.0 13.50 0.00 9.00 9.00 2.50 -1.702
C'ara 23 29.0 6.83 4.03 4.34 1.86 1.86 -3.182
Taylor 10 12.7 8.53 6.39 4.26 0.00 1.82 -3.781
Total 332 375.3 3.38 7.53 2.73 0.89 1.19 98.796

RS SV is the Runs Saved metric I came up with comparing the expected amount of runs that a reliever should have given up given the league minimum of compitencey. In otherwords, blah blah blah blah, machoum!!!

As you can see, the Red Sox bullpen is pretty putrid in comparison to the other squads (I actually included the Royals so the Sox wouldn't rank last. I'm a naughty boy, eh).

For all the talk of its bullpen, Seattle's isn't even the best in the West (actually, they are 3rd behind Anaheim [148.978 RS] and Oakland [117.315]). The Mariner's undoing might be the overwork of their bullpen, which has pitched significantly worse the last few weeks then for the first 5 months of the season.

Jason Stark's rank:
1. Oakland
2. Seattle
3. Minnesota
4. New York
5. Chicago
6. Boston
7. Kansas City

Statistical rank:
1. Oakland
2. Minnesota
3. Seattle
4. New York and Chicago (the difference is statisically insignificant)
6. Boston
7. Kansas City

Depth rank (closers are removed. Ranks setup men and middle men):
1. Minnesota
2. Oakland
3. Seattle
4. New York
5. Boston
6. Chicago
7. Kansas City

National League to come soon.

Jeremi Gonzalez vs. Pedro Martinez today at 7:05 at Fenway. Sox 1-0 on the "Beat up the Patsies" part of the schedule.