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Wednesday, May 02, 2012


I'm willing to give Harper a chance to show he's not really the douche he seems to have been in the past, but I've been noticing an effort by some (Klaw, for example) to blame it all on the media.

The "contingency plan" criticism loses some teeth with how effective Ty Wigginton has been - obviously he's not going to OPS .830 all year, but he could cool off quite a bit and still exceed backup 1B standards.

Re: Harper, he seems like a douche but I don't think a polarizing player is bad for baseball. I think anyone with his talent is good for baseball, no matter what kind of personality he has.

"... Murphy of Gelb? Yet when they say it, you don't crucify them."

DOm, that's not true. I am one of the few people here who will rip a stupid column by a lazy writer. Go check the archives.

I read that column, and if I gave enough of a crap to register at I would have disagreed with that column over there.

If I don't rip a column that I think is stupid or with which I disagree, it's because I don't think it's worth the time, or it's not quite stupid enough to bother.

As for one of your solutions, I believe you posted on more than one occasion that you felt it was worth overpaying Cuddyer, and touted his early season success on COL as "evidence" that they should have done so.

Well, here's the guy they brought in instead of Cuddyer:

Wigginton, .832 OPS, 127 OPS+, 70 PA

Now let's compare him to Cuddyer:

.842 OPS (at Coors), 116 OPS+, 89 PA

Hmmmmmm, I wonder if Colorado thinks they overpaid Cuddyer, considering that they traded Wiggy (a guy making $4MM) to the Phils "for player to be named or cash", and tossed in $2MM in order for the Phils to do the deal?

As it stands right now, the Rockies look foolish.

Bed's Beard: Well. I don't know what's to "blame" or not, but there is certainly a reason that some people on here already have a pretty strongly formed opinion about a 19-year old who has played a total of three games in the majors. It seems like the media has decided to push a certain narrative about the guy, deserved or not.

Like I said before, I bet he isn't a guy I would particularly like to hang out with, probably somewhat of a jerk. But a couple things: 1) if I were 19 years old, told I was the best in the world at something (and actually was pretty damn good), and worth millions of dollars, I'd be an ENORMOUS jerk; and 2) of everything that's been said about him, no one has ever doubted his hustle, competitiveness, or desire to win. I thought that's what people wanted to see in players.

DPat: No one crucifies them because they don't spend daily posts saying how Amaro should've done something else- ignoring what he did do- and citing anonymous sources as your "friends"

Seriously, get over yourself

I'd take Harper and his attitude over Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Andy Pettite, Albert Belle, Roberto Alomar, Ty Cobb, etc. etc. etc.

I'll re-evaluate if he ever spits in an umpire's face or puts on 30 lbs of muscle and 3 hat sizes in his late 30's.

I'd also be willing to tolerate a little extra doucheiness from Dom Brown if he'd learn how to field his position.

If you're already accepting that he's a big jerk, it's probably ok for people not to like him b/c he's a big jerk.

You know there are people in this world that are really succesful and talented and are humble too. Greatness and humility do not have to be, by definition, mutually exclusive. Even in the sports world.

Sosa despite roiding and leaving Chicago poorly, was a fan favourite and in many ways a breathe of fresh air during his prime years in Chicago. Him running out to right was awesome. Let's not entirely rewrite history hear.

More to the point, Harper plays for the Nats. I like the Phillies. I probably won't like Harper. If he has jerk tendencies all the better. More fodder for disliking him.

Robbie Alomar also knowlingly gave his girlfriend AIDS!!

gobaystars: Sosa cheated to re-write history, why shouldn't I rewrite history too? Just because he was an exuberant fun loving guy just like McGwire doesn't mean he wasn't a cheater and a thief.

I'd also take Harper over Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield, Dustin Pedroia, & Nick Swisher.

The latter two mostly because I don't like their faces... Then again Harper has a very Pedroia-ish face. . . .

A little exuberance on the baseball field isn't necessarily a terrible thing.

I wanted to take a look at Galvis' feilding stats over at fangraphs even though I knew a month of fielding is pretty useless.

I saw Galvis was credited with the 7th highest 'Fielding Value' in baseball and was excited. Then i looked at who was the best fielder in all of baseball by the same metric...and it was Alfonso Soriano.

So much for that.

Gobay brings up a couple of good points. First off the Phillies division has great natural rivalries for us. There is much to dislike about all of the other competition. And the Mets too. Secondly, Robbie Alomar also knowlingly gave his girlfriend AIDS!!

In defense of Joey Belle, nobody like trick-or-treaters.
Also, Andy was just bullied into steroid use by big tough Roger Clemens. Any was a sheltered young Jewish kid from the Lower East Side and Roger pulled him down into the sordid world of PEDs.
As for McGwire, have you seen Canseco's twitter account? He can be very convincing. He obviously tricked Big Mac into roiding up.
I can't defend the other guys.

It doesn't bother me in the least if Harper is a douche or an @sshole. But to act like him throwing his helmet off while rounding 1st base is the only piece of evidence to that effect is naive. Not only has he had that reputation for a while, but even in his debut game highlight, the most egregious thing I saw was definitely NOT taking his helmet off.

It was in his second AB, when he hit a lazy fly ball to left field. After he runs through first base, and sees that the ball was caught, he turns and walks back to the dugout. On his way back, with plenty of time to react and change directions, he completely walks right through the !B umpire. I don't mean he kind of bumped into him. It simply looks like he just walked right through him. Now it made me laugh, and i certainly wasn't "morally outraged" or anything, but the kid has a-hole written all over him.

Hopefully he matures, because he looks like an amazing talent, and I'd hate for his personality to ever take away from what he brings to the game (even he does it for the Nat'ls).

wait wait wait... fangraphs consistentlty thinks Soriano is a great left fielder?! Am i way off base from seeing him play just a handful of games and assuming he is awful?

lorecore, from ESPN today, Galvis wins 3rd place in this silly (small samples) contest:

"If there was an award for Defensive Rookie of the Month, Galvis would edge out Kirk Nieuwenhuis of the Mets for top honors."

Also, outfielders get fewer chances and are even more susceptible to wild swings in the defensive stats.

Alfonso Soriano?
In 2006 I went to a Phills Nats game. I think it was a 14 inning win late in the season. Anyway, a few Nats fans were heckling Soriano by calling him "Magellan". When I asked why, they explained that "he circumnavigates the outfield looking for the ball." So obviously he is not a good defender. Fangraphs can eat it.

***NEPP: O/U Kratz PA in the next 15 games?

I'll throw out... 12.5***

I'll go with 5.

***Jack: Your comment on Harper and his helmet is absurd. He threw it off because it wasn't fitting right and he wanted to run faster. Anyone who has played baseball knows that you can run faster without the helmet on, especially if it's wobbling around. ****

Bullcrap...did you see the play? It was a total showboating move and its something he's been notorious for in the minors so far. Though I'm not surprised that you would aggresively defend a player from another NL East team given your track record.

So is Kratz the next Chris Coste?

"a few Nats fans were heckling Soriano by calling him "Magellan". When I asked why, they explained that "he circumnavigates the outfield looking for the ball.""

It's not all that clever or funny but it does show a level of general knowledge that, I confess, I would not expect from your garden variety heckler.

It would have been funnier/more accurate if Soriano was killed 3/4 of the way through his outfield circuit.

Otherwise, it would have been better to call him Francis Drake.

lorecore, I wouldn't say great, but FG has rated Soriano above average, which I'm also surprised at.

2011: 45th in UZR/150 out of 141 qualifiers
2010: 36th out of 137
2009: 93rd out of 145

I don't know -- maybe his speed helps?

Question: Does UZR compare you to some mythical baseline or does the calculation change from year to year for what is considered a 0.0 UZR level? IE: If say it was a really poor year for defense in LF overall, would that make a guy look better individually?

I figure Kratz gets 2, possibly 3, PAs & remains firmly anchored to the bench otherwise. He might as well not even bring the catching gear w/ him, as there's roughly zero chance he'll have an opportunity to use it. So much friggin' angst about Thome when people ought to be irate at the abomination who remains the Phillies' backup catcher.

David Hales posted this abour Bastardo this morning on his blog:

"Bastardo topped out at 93.3 with his fastball, according to PitchFX, which is about the best he’s thrown all season in terms of velocity. More importantly, nine of the 14 pitches he threw went for strikes — a big upgrade from Monday when five of his six pitches were outside the zone."

Link on right.

Bastardo looked almost as good as he did last year. It was nice to see and hopefully he builds on that.

God knows we really need him to come around as our bullpen is ridiculously thin.

Junior Seau dead?

Ive got to find ways to work the word circumnavigate into more conversations. Though with my circle of friends and acquaintances they will probably think I'm a mohel.

Alfonso Soriano?
In 2006 I went to a Phills Nats game. I think it was a 14 inning win late in the season. Anyway, a few Nats fans were heckling Soriano by calling him "Magellan". When I asked why, they explained that "he circumnavigates the outfield looking for the ball." So obviously he is not a good defender. Fangraphs can eat it.

Posted by: gobaystars! | Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM

While I agree with you that Soriano is not a good fielder, your critera for him "obviously" not being a good fielder is the opinion of a bunch of (probably drunk) heckling fans from his playing days 6 years ago.

Still, that being said, UZR and UZR/150 have consistently rated Soriano as an above average defensive LF since 2006. Maybe the stat is absolutely terrible and shouldn't be trusted, and yes, his 2012 UZR/150 is ridiculously high, even for the best of LFers (but it's early in the season, so anomolies are expected). But that stat and TZ have basically rated him as average to above average since 2006.

So maybe it's not so obvious that he's a poor LFer, the opinions of heckling fans to the contrary.

Brian Schneider: evil incarnate

Soriano was terrible defensively when he first switched to LF but he's gotten much better over the years with a bunch of reps. Apparently a bunch of reps at a position will help players not named Domonic Brown.

Did anyone else mention this yet...

I figure Kratz is here to be the "never get off the bench back up catcher" while Schneider replaces Thome's lefty bat off the bench.

Yes, I agree, sounds like an awful idea all the way around, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

Has it been mentioned that epic bust ... er, Phillies savior Dom Brown is injured, too? "Day-to-day" w/ hamstring tightness. You'd think Dom would be nice & limber what w/ all of the flopping about he does attempting to catch routine fly balls, but I guess not.

Guys sitting in the upper deck of a crumbling ballpark watching a 100 loss team in September are the best judges of baseball talent. If you don't know this, I just don't know what to say.

Brian Schneider: Nah more like simply Washed Up. He's had a nice career and was a good catcher at one point. Those days are gone though.

I do wonder if MLB is going to release Field f/x data as they have the Pitch f/x data on a granular level even though the data files would be incredibly large.

Wonder how Sportsvision feels about that. Currently have an opening for a Software Eng in Mountain View & I imagine they are looking for someone to develop applications for their broadcast services for the Field f/x data as they have done already with Pitch f/x.

Sorry, 91 loss. My mistake.

schmenkman: "lorecore, I wouldn't say great, but FG has rated Soriano above average"

Soriano has the 3rd highest "Feilding Wins" in all of baseball since he moved to the outfield. Thats a huge sample size and it says that he is the 3rd best defender in all of baseball.

Dom Brown: at 23 (an age when Utley was in AAA, Pence in AA, and Howard in A+), hit as well as the average MLB left fielder... er I mean, Dom Brown: epic bust.

Seriously, reports on his defense sound encouraging for the most part:

It'd be nice to see him resume his raking, though.

Brown either needs a change of scenery, or he just needs to be stuck in left field at CBP and left alone for 75 games.

If the Nats can't boost attendance in a fairly new park, after a significant investment in payroll, with a new marquee player joining the team while they're in first place, I'd go so far as to say there's nothing that's going to improve interest in baseball in D.C. Sounds like Atlanta north.

Rollins (SS), Polanco (3B), Victorino (CF), Pence (RF), Wigginton (1B), Nix (LF), Ruiz (C), Galvis (2B), Halladay (P).

Somehow Kratz didn't manage to crack tonight's starting lineup. I know, I'm shocked, too.'s definition of "circumnavigate:"

1. to sail or fly around; make the circuit of by navigation;

2. to go or maneuver around.

Over the next 10 days, Cholly will repeatedly circumnavigate Erik Kratz's name when it comes to filling out his lineup cards.

new thread, yo.

WP:That's my take as well. They won't survive down there. Just like the other two times. Just hate to see so much public money wasted because some know it all thinks he knows better than Calvin Griffith et al.

Baseball will be back in Montreal within my lifetime!

The superior bass along with the exceptional isolation technologies make SOLO HD more outstanding.

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