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Friday, August 31, 2007


Great header. We couldn't have all those comebacks without our porous pitching a la Alfonseca, Gas Can, Joe Table, the long gone Z-man, and Flash.

Peter Gammons was talking about the team this morning on Mike & Mike. He said for a long time in this town fans have forgotten about the Phillies but this is a team that its hard not to like. He said if he could be a ballplayer this is the team he would want to be with becasue of guys like Utley, Rollins, Rowand, etc.

He also said Charlie Manuel is the perfect manager for them because he lets them be himself. He intimated that he knew for a fact some managers would not like Rollins because he is going 100mph from the time he gets to the park. Manuel just lets that roll.

He said this is the best team since the early 80's for them

I know this is bunk, but according to Baseball Prospectus, chances of Phils winning division/Wild Card/postseason appearance:

8/26 2%/11%/13% - lowest since 7/22
8/27 3%/13%/17%
8/28 6%/16%/22%
8/29 9%/19%/28%
8/30 12%/20%/32%
8/31 18%/21%/39% - highest all season

Win-loss last 30 games (posed by Clout in last thread):

Padres 18-12
Dbacks 18-12
Cards 18-12
Phils 17-13
Mets 16-14
Rockies 16-14
Braves 15-15

Thought this needed more discussion.

Well that's nice, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict no more than 14 wins for the Diamondbacks this September.

dbacks are due for a very, very bad stretch. negative run differntials should not lead their division.

Sunday is key...we NEED Hamels

The point worth taking from the list is you worry about the team that's ahead of you because there's so much parity among the WC contenders, it cancels out. And you can't count on the Phillies going on a long run with their pitching. With only a month to go, separation may not happen. If you had a choice to divide up the 6-4 homestand with any possible combination, my choice would have been four-game sweep of Mets and two against the Padres.

The Phils got a taste of what it's like to win in this town.

All they have to do is take the NL and they can be set in Phils history-that's how sparse our trophy case.

Those 50 Kids and 93 bunch are immortalized just for winning the pennant-the plus side to having few titles.

Yankees have to win multiple titles to get remembered-in Philadelphia all you need is to get close.

Let's do it.

Let me also include the Dodgers at 13-17 in that mix. What would be more interesting is the run differential all season versus those last 30 games.

That was a great & exhilirating series, and I don't want to be my usual pessimistic self (whenever I say this, it's always a prelude to a grim post).

Until the math says othewise, I think we should all resist using phrases like "team of destiny" or "this time feels different." Last year, the Phillies went on a 5-game win streak, ending on 9-24 -- exactly one week before the regular season ended. At that time, they were a game up in the WC standings and I know for a fact that I was telling myself, "I know they always choke, but this time really does feel different." I'm pretty sure I also felt the same way at some point in 2005, after they stormed back from a horrendous start to take over the WC lead in September.

So I think a little caution is in order. Like Clout says, most players wind up with numbers around their career norms. Well, the same goes for teams. And, unfortunately, the Phillies have a well-established career norm of charging into contention with some exhilirating September wins, then choking catastrophically.

Obviously, I hope it doesn't happen, but I am trying to ready myself for the moment that it does.

I hope you're right. I know the Padres have good pitching, but I cant figure out why they have such a good record. They just arent that impressive

This idiot will be taking questions from callers on WFAN 660 AM in about 15-20 minutes. Any NY-area Phillies fans out there might want to have some fun with him.

The Padres bats are heating up. Gonzalez got hot, but the big difference has been Bradley, who's got a 1.096 OPS since joining the team.

sifl: You made a pretty weird statement on the last thread I wanted to address here:
"If Burrell is a career .270 hitter, and he hits .201 for the first half of the year, we would expect him to hit .270 in the second half of the year."

Why? Are you telling me players don't have hot months and cold months? This is like saying, the average daily temperature in Philadelphia is 68-degrees so we should expect it to be 68 degrees every day.

I think people are misunderstanding my point: Most veteran players end up close to their career norms. That's it. Pretty simple. So if a career norm .270 player hits .201 in the first half, the odds are good he will hit ABOVE his career norm in the second half. Why? Because most vets revert to their career averages. Most, not all (see Andruw Jones). Small samples will vary widely. It's the cumulative total that counts.

Now FOD and a few others are twisting what I said into the notion that I expected Burrell to hit like he's been hitting the past month. Not at all. But what I DID expect, and I said so back in May, was that he will end up pretty close to his career norm: .260, 28-30 HR, .850 OPS. Which meant I expected him to get hot at some point and I didn't think he was washed up at age 30. The Burrell haters have their panties in a twist because of his bounceback, but it's not rocket science guys.

I said the same thing about Abreu then, too. How's he been doing?

If you want to get less shocked, grab about a dozen everyday players at random and look at their month to month numbers.

I also heard that Gammons words about the phils. music to my ears if you ask me, he was saying some great stuff.
about the contending teams records over the last 30 games, i can't really make out anything significant. just that (as i've mentioned before), Arizona and, to a certain extent, San Diego has been playing way over their head and will inevitably begin to decline in my opinion. Also, i'm waiting for Philadelphia Public Enemy #1 (Milton Bradley) to start stirring some $hit in San Diego, thereby causing their demise.
it bears repeating that players of his caliber don't bounce around to FIVE different teams in seven years all that often unless they're carrying around some serious baggage

clout, don't take this the wrong way, but, seriously, what's your background in statistics?

The thing about the phillies and their current situation is this:

This sweep of the Mets was exilirating. The team has fortitude and the will to win. But...they dug themselves a hole by losing 6 of their previous 9 games, 4 of them against direct competitors. Now they have climbed a long way out of the hole, but they still have to keep winning. Chasing and climbing out of a hole expends a lot of energy. The Mets, while flawed, are still a good team despite being swept. The Phils are in a position of having to outscore their pitching most nights. What I'm saying is it's still a tough road to hoe for them.

That being said, assuming Hamels pitches OK sunday and then is healthy, who gets dropped from the rotation?

And how close is Bourne to coming back?

Any surprises on the postseason roster?

Re: My formula/last thread:

"malcolm - your rating is totally dependent on what you judge to be a strong player. For instance, what's the multiplier for SB and how did you come up with it? Moreover, you can't compare the numbers for AL players like ARod or Maggs to NL players - their numbers will be a lot higher if you use the same multipliers.
And why are SB multiplied, but RBI and R's not multiplied?"

I took the 5-tool categories as my backbone. I debated using OPS, but R and RBI make up for that.

I didn't multiply R and RBI because the typically strong benchmarks for those numbers are 100 each, which is what I based my multipliers on. SB is multipled by 3 because a storng SB benchmark number is 30.

And how would A-Rod and Maggs be a lot higher than NL players? Their numbers are based on the same things. The only changing variable is the lack of a DH, which while it does bring numbers up a tad, it also adds games for most position players who qualify.

And re person who said CBP numbers shouldn't be normalized (Alby I think?):

Howard, for example, has better road numbers than home. Look it up at BR. More HR, RBI, better AVG.

Tonight I'll do the entire team's numbers to show you a full sampling of each player.

I still haven't come down from yesterday's win ... unbelievable grit and fight (or phight) ... I love it.

Still, I don't want to pretend like we didn't walk 5 batters in the 8th inning. Because, you know, that happened. 'Pen had a great series until then, and sometimes you just get beat, but you cannot. ever. walk five batters in an inning. ever.

Scott Mathieson and Ryan Madson, get well soon.

Malcom - Is your formula supposed to determine who should win the MVP or who will win the MVP?

If it's based on who will win, it might be interesting to look at past years & see how your formula matches up with the actual results.

I know that a few years ago, Bill James & Rob Neyer put together a formula based on historical Cy Young results to try & predict the winner based on what had gotten votes in the past.

Oops - That should say Malcolm.

I don't know clout. There's a lot of variation in players' numbers from season to season. Is Rowand ever going to revert to his career norms this season? Is Rollins going to finish the season anywhere close to his career .438 slugging percentage? The odds were good that Burrell was going to hit better, the odds were good that Howard was going to get out of his August slump, but the odds weren't good that Burrell was suddenly going to become the hottest hitter in baseball. The odds were never good that he would finish with as many walks as strikeouts, surpass his career norms, and end up as one of the league leaders in OBP.

As for the Padres, they're a really good team. They have two aces in Peavy and Young, the rest of their rotation is pretty strong, they have a very good bullpen, and their offense is underrated. If you look at Giles's road numbers, Gonzalez's road numbers, Bradley's, Cameron's, they can really hit away from home. Their offense is just depressed by PETCO. If you adjust for park factors, that offense is a lot better than the Dodgers's or Arizona's.

And agreed on the parity point, JW. But there are honestly four teams in contention for the WC - Arizona, SD, NY, and the Phils.

bathtubhippo: What's yours? If you doubt my premise, I suggest getting a hold of some Bill James who has actually done the statistics work to support it. It's certainly not an original idea on my part and I'm shocked so many here seem unaware of it.

tray: Again, the notion that veteran players revert to career norms is not a new one. perhaps people are interpreting this to mean "exact career numbers." That, of course, is silly.

Mike H: Depending on how you define contention, wouldn't you have to add LA, ATL and COL?

That's a good idea, hawk. I'll run the formula through the top-5 finishers for NL MVP the last five years, see what I get.

It really would examine who "SHOULD" get the award, because who WILL depends merely on the opinion of baseball writers, many in whom probably don't take statistics and formulas greatly into account.

clout: you make a lot of bold, confident statements, so i was curious if you had a background in stats beyond bill james, that's all. my background? couple college classes in stats, nothing significant. but the example given in the last thread seems pretty relevant--and salient. if you flip a coin 10 times and get 9 heads, that's pretty unlikely. and you can't expect to try 10 more times and get 9 tails just to revert to the mean. just because someone hits .100 it does not make it likely that he'll hit .400 to get back to his career norm.

That's true, the odds are he'll hit .250 (assuming .250 was the career norm in that example). Say the player hits .100 in April but his career average is .250, the odds are he'll hit .250 the next five months and end up with an average of .225. Not that he'll overperform to get right back to .250.

Back to the pitching:

It's weak, but the weakest of the weak has to be Geary and Mesa at this point. They pick up this Mateo guy from Seattle, he's in Reading, has not allowed a run in the last 11 innings or something. He was an average reliever for Seattle. I would think he's a lock to be added to the roster. I'm pretty down on Geary. The only benefit there is he's conditioned to go more than an inning. Meaningless if he's hit like yesterday. So Ennis would be another addition I'd make.

Any rumored deals to report?

now, that said, he could hit .290 and slowly churn back upwards. that would be much less unusual and, arguably, predicatable. but i think people are taking issue with the "i told you so" stance you are taking, as if you absolutely knew it in june that pat burrell was going to become one of the best hitters in baseball post-all star break.

Gary Knotts just pitched 7 innings of 2 hit ball in the first game of 2 yesterday for Ottawa.

Do we know for sure Madson isn't coming back this season? Did I miss that?

Donellon wrote about Lohse to the bullpen as the 7th inning RH bridge. Makes sense. He seems like the type that can give you a solid 2 without much WHIP damage.

I'd play caution with Alfonseca, using him only when you need the K. Mateo needs to be with the club and plugged into a 6th/7th inning role. Romero is gold at LOOGY (sans yesterday, probably because of overuse). Mesa and Geary should be relegated to 5th/6th inning stave jobs and extra inning last resorts.

Still weary about Gordon, but I'd trust him to dial it up instead of Mesa or Geary, or even Alfy.

Tray: "Say the player hits .100 in April but his career average is .250, the odds are he'll hit .250 the next five months and end up with an average of .225. Not that he'll overperform to get right back to .250."
Huh???? If the "odds are" a player will hit his career norm every month, how is it possible the overwhleming majority of major league players have wide variations month to month? That doesn't make sense.

In reality, the odds are AGAINST a player hitting his career norm every month just as they are AGAINST it being 68 degrees every day in Philadelphia.

also, based on your logic, can you predict an awesome september for our bullpen? it would be sweet if gas can and flash could give us a truly lights-out month as they revert to their career norms, too.

The Phils need to take the PR hit and bring Mateo up. Hey may not be a "savior", but I'm sure he can be helpful out there.

So, has Fuentes cleared waivers or not?

bathtubhippo: When someone hits .100, it doesn't make it more likely he'll hit .400. But MOST players, whether they have months of .100 or .400, end the season around their career norms.

hippo: I should've said veteran position players in my orginal post. Obviously, because of their small sample size, relief pitcher stats are all over the map from year to year. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with this concept.

MLB Trade Rumors reported that the Phils inquired about Bob Wickman, but are not expected to consummate a deal.

clout: put like you did in your last comment, you're absolutely right. my point is simply that characterizing burrell's hot streak as predictable or simply 'reverting to the mean' is really inappropriate given how extraordinarily great he's been. it's not as if he's just hitting .280 to slowly bring up his stats.

as for the RP comments, i was just busting your chops. i think we're all on the gordon is washed up boat anyway, so he wouldn't really apply to your line of argument regardless of sample size.

if you think that i'm having a hard time with the concept, though, you really should look up the term "standard deviation" because a few of your comments earlier belied a lack of comprehension to *that* concept. by the way, comments after your points asserting things like 'everyone knows that' or 'its not original', etc. do not help your case: any intelligent person will see through those sort of lines as a weakness in your argument. and the cheap little digs...come on. you make more good points on here than almost everyone...why waste your breath with weak debate tactics and cheap shots? just back up your claims with evidence instead, that's what makes for great reading and debate.

Since when did this become the chat board for amateur mathematicians?

crazy jon....what else are we supposed to be doing right now? working?

You guys are making me feel like I'm back in probs and stats classes.

I think the Phillies should gamble with a 6 man rotation in Spetember. Yes it would mean Hamels gets one or two less starts but considering he said he is only going to be pitching at 85-90 percent it might be needed.

Look I want them to win and get in the playoffs as much as anyone but not at the expense of Hamels arm. We need him far beyond this season and this is getting similar to the Liriano situation - at least far too close for my likes.

I'm guessing we get like Castro or Brito, Ennis, and Knotts called up from Ottawa and maybe Mateo from Reading to round out the pen.

Regardless of all of this reverting to the career average discussion, I think it is imperative to keep Burrell next year. If this sudden surge is due to the fact that he is finally healthy, this could be the Burrell we dreamed about when he was drafted. We certainly can't expect his July numbers on a regular basis, but I would take his August numbers in a second.

What about position players for September callups? Obviously Barajas, anyone else?

"When someone hits .100, it doesn't make it more likely he'll hit .400. But MOST players, whether they have months of .100 or .400, end the season around their career norms."

Going into this year, Burrell had career averages of .258/.362/.479.

As of June 30th of this year, he was at .203/.367/.368.

So you'd expect him to get closer to his career numbers, which would be reasonable. Assuming that he was halfway through the season at that point (and that sounds approximately right), he'd need to hit .313/.357/.590 to get back to those numbers.

But since then, he's hit an amazing .355/.464/.711, to the point where he's now above his career average in all three numbers (which are now at .259/.367/.483).

So then based on your position, if we should expect a player to end the year close to their career numbers, does this mean that we should expect an extended slump? If there's still 1/6th of the year left (again, just taking an approx. number), should we expect somewhere around .198/.337/.459, to get the 2007 numbers close to the career norms?

I don't think its right to use the coin-flipping analogy. I'm sure someone over at Baseball Prospectus has done research on it, but as they say, baseball is a game of streaks. That is to say, each event (in this case, an AB) is not independent of previous outcomes like a coin flip is.

"So, has Fuentes cleared waivers or not?"

According to Gammons, he has.

Wickman is NOT the answer. He is a junk baller, who is running on fumes. We already have enough 88 MPH right-handers in our pen. Think about it....Atlanta is right in the hunt, and they dumped him. That should tell you all you need to know about him.

I still think Cincy is the team to keep an eye on for a potential trade (which better happen before tomorrow, BTW, for the guy to be elgible for the post-season). They now have 5 (five) left handers in their pen (Guardado, Stanton, Bray, Gosling and Coutlangus). Just keep an eye on them.

I think the Mets will be more desperate now for bullpen help than Philly will be. Their pen is in shambles and they probably need 2 more guys, not just 1 like the Phils do. Yes, they have Pedro coming back, but that still doesn't solve their main problem. Having 6 inning pitchers, with a shaky bullpen, is not a good combo. The Phils have found that out.

I think Mathieson (if he is ready) should come up today. They can DFA Mesa (they don't want to use him anyway unless they are forced to; and certainly wouldn't keep him on a post-season roster). If Mathieson can give them anything as a 6th or 7th inning guy, they need him now. He would have the potential of doing something that only Myers can do in that pen on a regular basis: Blow the fastball by someone. 97 MPH is 97 MPH.

"Since when did this become the chat board for amateur mathematicians?"

Hey, I was a math major in college.

Sadly, there were no real-world applications for imaginary numbers, so at this point, I've forgotten just about everything I learned in those classes.

Although I should also note that prob/stat were my worst classes. And yes, I'm sure that some of my posts back that up.

not to belabor the topic and at the risk of being redundant, I'm posting this response I typed before I saw hippo's latest post. as hippo is hinting at, you're both saying essentially the same thing. Clout says that the odds are in favor for a player to have numbers around his career "norms" at the end of the season. This makes sense, because, simply put, they are "norms" for a reason. But it's the same to say that the odds are most in favor for a player to have numbers around his "norms" in any given span - a day, a month, a season, whatever. Of course, as clout says, the ups and downs over the course of the season can vary greatly - that doesn't mean that the odds aren't still in favor of a player performing to his "norms" over any given time span - as in, you can't say there's more of a chance that he will either overperform or underperform his "norms". The fact that there's volatility is indicative of a high standard deviation. However the best statistical indicator of performance has to be the mean - in this case the players' "norms". Trivial point really but as hippo said as well, the alternative is actually working.

"What about position players for September callups? Obviously Barajas, anyone else?"

I think Jaramillo comes up. That would give Cholly the late inning option of using Ruiz or Coste as a righty pinch-hitter, when the one of them isn't catching. Plus, he has had a very solid year.

Roberson will be back, for pinch-running duties. Branyan will likely find his way back, after clearing waivers. Bourn will be activated, but won't be ready for a couple of weeks. I'd love to see Burnham get a shot. He has put up great numbers on a dreadful team at AAA. They won't do it, but I think he has earned a shot.

Pitching-wise, I think Happ or Castro (preferably Happ) gets recalled, for long-man work in the pen. Mateo should be promoted, with the way he is pitching at Reading. Mathieson will be up. Hopefully, another reliever is traded for soon.

That's probably it.

@davex: i agree with're right that the coin flip analogy is a stretch when you think a little deeper about it, as there are so many other factors involved in ABs. but in a basic way it did serve to illustrate that burrell's performance has been extraordinary since the all-star break. in any case, interesting discussion.

position player call-ups....are there any worthy? i guess we'll see roberson again.

Cincy is 10 games over since managerial change = they still think that they have a shot to win the Central - I don't see a trade possibility there.
As for Burrell, sell in the off-season while his value is at a peak and use the extra $14 million to get an additional starter and a few relievers (in addition to the other acquisitions that would be made with the ~$30 million coming off the books after this season with the departures of Garcia, Lieber, Rowand, Barajas, Nunez, etc.). Who knows, the Phils may even get a usable part back in that deal.

Burrell's not going to get traded. He's been fantastic lately but he's still not a $14 million dollar man AND he obviously loves being in Philly and won't wave his no-trade, especially if they make the playoffs.

Crazy Jon - Just as a warning, expect to get the 'Who replaces the .900 OPS' or 'What pitcher would you get for that money' question.

The odds are against someone having a career-normal month in a given month, but it's the most likely outcome. If the average temperature on a given day in history in Philadelphia has been 68, the odds are against its being 68 that day on the nose, but the odds are greater that it'll be 68 than any other number.

I really want to get excited for this team, but their are so many games left everyone really needs to keep their hopes down. I love the phils, but they are so good at breaking your heart at the end, that its impossible for any fan to be completely comfortable with them in a playoff race. The only way I will be completely confident in the team is when we have a 4 game lead with 3 games left. There are a lot of trap games left. Those 7 games against the Nats scare me the most, especially in RFK.

Tony Gwynn Career BA By Year:
1982 .284
1983 .309
1984 .381
1985 .317
1986 .329
1987 .370
1988 .313
1989 .336
1990 .309
1991 .317
1992 .317
1993 .318
1994 .394
1995 .368
1996 .353
1997 .372
1998 .321
1999 .338
2000 .323
2001 .324

Lifetime BA .338

Bottom line is that yes, if someone is underperforming for a period of time, BA, HR etc. - it is "likely" that "at some point" they will overacheive with respect to their averages to bring their numbers more in line with historical performance.

This is pretty worthless in trying to predict anything as when these hot and cold spells will come and go is impossible to predict - as is how long they will last and how much they will surpass or fall below their averages.

Given Tony Gwynn's career statistics - is it ironic that he only hit his career average in one season (1999) of .338 in a given year?

Wouldn't it be true if this theory was iron clad that in any of the seasons Tony hit above .338 he would hit below it the following season? Well that only happened 3 times out of 11 opportunities, and tied it once.

Shouldn't Gwynn have hit below his career average after each season that he hit above it? Well that only happened 4 out of 8 times.

Due to the nature of the game, length of the season etc. yes statistics will tend to even out over time .... it just doesn't help you predict with any great accuracy whether Pat Burrell is going to go yard against Billy Wagner in the 8th inning of a two-run game to breathe life back into the team ....

Likewise, it is bad strategy for the team to go out and sign every relief pitcher coming off a down year expecting them to improve the next - or trade for a player who hit .225 in the first half of the season hoping for a .350 second half to reach their lifetime average of .286 ....

Baseball just isn't that neat.

something we all can agree on after watching werth kick off the werth-less moniker and seeing even no-hit help win a game with his glove: we're still waiting for wes helms to justify his existence.

Burrell would waive his FNTC if the right opportunity were presented to him.
Honestly, if your work offered a position in Baltimore or Minnesota, would you jump at the chance to take it? Probably not - so I don't fully blame Burrell for squashing those deals.
But if a decent team out west were interested in him, or another contending team that had either made the playoffs or been close, I could see him waiving the FNTC.
As for replacing Burrell, I have no issue turning this into a track team and putting Bourn out there, nor do I have an issue attempting to re-sign Werth for 1-2 years as a stopgap to Golson.
The Phils' overall problem isn't offense - they will still score lots of runs without Burrell's .900 OPS - see their performance in mid-May through June, when he was the worst player on the planet offensively.
As for the pitching, I'm not fully sure who's going to be available in the offseason, but with ~$44 million total to spend overall if Burrell is moved (the ~$30 million already leaving plus Burrell's $14 million), I've got to think that they can bring in a few ground-ball pitchers = they already have one in Lohse, for example, and there's enough decent relief pitching in this FA class to be had.

"something we all can agree on after watching werth kick off the werth-less moniker and seeing even no-hit help win a game with his glove: we're still waiting for wes helms to justify his existence."

Wes Helms, signed as a free agent to play third base, is having the worst year of his career since becoming a full-time player, in his first year in Philly.

Abraham Nunez, signed as a free agent to play third base, had the worst year of his career since becoming a full-time player, in his first year in Philly.

David Bell, signed as a free agent to play third base, had the worst year of his career since becoming a full-time player, in his first year in Philly.

I guess to really have this argument you'd have to define the terms of the argument - like what exactly does clout mean by "reverting to career norms"? Reverting to within plus or minus 25 points of OPS? 50?

3B for the to success.

We do better with home-grown talent at 3B - Schmidt, Rolen, Charlie Hayes for examples.

Hopefully, at some point, you can add Costanzo and/or Mattair to that list, crazy jon.

stjoehawk: Really? Pat Burrell now has to hit .198/.337/.459 the rest of the way to get close to his career norm? I don't think so. Look at the numbers.

I'm more inclined to sign Dobbs for another 1-2 years to play 3B as a stopgap to Costanzo.

I know this link was on an earlier thread, but for everyone who hasn't read that NY Post article that came out 5 days ago claiming the division had already been won should read it ASAP. it's GREAT stuff:

haze: Excellent job of explaining what I've been trying to say. I got to admit I never thought the concept would be this controversial.

Tray: I'll refer you to Bill James work if you really want to dig deep into this concept.

Crazy Jon: Do you know something about Golson I don't?

I got tied up in a meeting... Someone's got to work, I guess...

I define contention based on a 10% minimum playoff odds for the WC spot on all four predictive models available to the public. These are the three at Baseball Prospectus and Coolstandings. Ten percent weeds out the pretenders on September 1. Then I slide the 10 figure up by 2% a game from here on out.

i want Fuentes as much as the next guy, if not just to have another lefty in the pen. but has everyone stopped and thought for a sec why Colorado would have placed him on waivers? the common rationale is that the Braves dropped wickman, and since they are in the thick of a pennant race and dropped him, he must be totally worthless. but last time i checked Colorado is alive and kicking in both the WC and divisional race, so i dont know why there's a double standard. one would think Colorado wouldn't just waive a guy who could potentially help them make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
oh, and who would we have to trade for fuentes??

That's a cop-out. My point would be that, if you define reverting to career norms loosely enough, which you should since, as jmarr showed with the gwynn example, people don't tend to perform right around their career averages from season to season, but vary from them within a certain range, Burrell getting this hot isn't predictable at all. And even if you define reverting to career norms as reverting exactly to career norms, it still isn't predictable because he's actually exceeded his career norms by quite a bit.

"Really? Pat Burrell now has to hit .198/.337/.459 the rest of the way to get close to his career norm? I don't think so. Look at the numbers."

Your right. I used the wrong numbers for the OBP & SLG.

He'd need to hit .198/.127/.279.

Wow, his OBP is really above his career average this year.

(I got those numbers by assuming that Pat's season was 5/6 of the way done, so I took his career numbers going into this year and multiplied by 6. I then took his numbers so far for this year, multiplied by 5, and found the difference. It's a crude approximation, but if anyone was curious, that's what I did.)

This is an odd one:
Cubs acquired RHP Steve Trachsel from the Orioles for infielder Scott Moore and RHP Rocky Cherry.

Trachsel is just awful and Moore has nice pop, no glove but at 23 is a solid DH prospect. Cherry is a middle reliever-type.

"I'll refer you to Bill James work if you really want to dig deep into this concept."

It would be helpful if you could be a bit more specific. Bill James has produced a lot of work.

stjoehawk: You're struggling with the word "close" aren't you?

clout's going to have to start posting under different names soon just to find someone who agrees with him

stjoehawk: "Wow, his OBP is really above his career average this year."

In fact, it's 11% higher. His BA of .270 is 4% higher than career and his SLG is 7% higher. Are those huge deviations to you or are they, in fact, pretty close to his career norm?

FOD: I guess you missed the post by haze.

Leave it to clout to attempt to blow up a lengthy argument with a condescending one-liner.

I would take a flier on Fuentes. He is a lefty, and we cant continuie to rely on Romero and Matheison is a crapshoot.

I would stay the hell away from Wickman. But after watching the game yesterday, knowing the Phillies are 2 games out of first, Pat Gillick owes it to the team, the manager, and the fans to add an arm in the bullpen. Actually, that has been true for a long time now.

Cubs overpaid on that deal.

Tray: In fact he HASN'T exceeded his career norms by "quite a bit" unless you think a few pct. is "quite a bit." If anything over 10% is "quite a bit" to you then I guess you and stjoehawk can say his OB is up "quite a bit."

i didn't miss haze's comment. It wasn't exactly a defense of you.

why am i fod?

I can't wait until game time. All of this math homework is giving me a headache. What ever happened to trade rumors and manager bashing. I hate it when a win streak brings out the worst in us.

FOD: Because you answer to it.

clout has a pet name for me. its kind of cute

Do people want me to talk about trading Howard again so we can change the subject from Clout trying to lecture all of us on how stats work?

Come on guys.

A Mean, is the center of a normalized bell shaped curve.

Over any period of time, a player will perform within that curve, at a distance of 1 sigma out, you will see 85% of performances, at 2, you will see 98%.

because there are so many stat points, a batters career is almost normalized.

Marcus Hayes called Vic "perhaps the best rightfielder in the game" in today's paper.
I guess he's never heard of Vladimir Guerrero.

crazy jon-
or magglio ordonez, for that matter...
hayes is off his rocker - vic's not even the best rightfielder on this team right now

"Marcus Hayes called Vic "perhaps the best rightfielder in the game" in today's paper.
I guess he's never heard of Vladimir Guerrero."

Marcus would have to stay up too late to watch Vlad play ....

"We do better with home-grown talent at 3B - Schmidt, Rolen, Charlie Hayes for examples."

Hmmm...I wonder how long it would take Schmidt to get in shape...

Rick Shu looked like he was in pretty good shape the other night when I saw him on the bench ...

"Are those huge deviations to you or are they, in fact, pretty close to his career norm?"

Looks like every year, there are around 5-10 guys who have an OBP (with at least 500 AB) that is at least 10% above their career average (only looking at players with over 3500 career ABs). Of course, this is using stats as of the end of the 2006 season, so performances in 2007 might have changed career OBP numbers, and therefore, changed my population.

Anyway, I'd say that's fairly impressive & worthy of note.

A pity Scotty Moore could be had that cheaply. I've been lobbying that the Phillies get him for a year. Is Costanzo really the third baseman of the future? And even if so, we know that future isn't next year. Gillick's going to have do a far better job of solving the 3B quandary than he did last time around.

Agreed with BAP on remaining cautious and not waving jingoistic 'team of destiny' mantras around. I made that mistake last year, and I will not do it again.

Fortunately, Jimmy Rollins went out of his way to make the same point. Just so long as they're level-headed in the clubhouse.

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EST. 2005

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