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Monday, October 15, 2012

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Better access to PEDs down there.

Always hard to tell what you can really garner out of Winter League play. Certainly less so than you can out of the AFL. Winter League play tends to be a place where you a bad performance tells you more than a good one does.

I fondly recall Wilson Valdez batting something like .400 two years in a row in Winter Ball.

Good for Galvis & Gillies. May their success continue into the major leagues - especially if RAJ figures to add them to next season's roster.

* * *

I didn't see this late '60's Cardinals-Tigers WS, but they last faced off in the 2006 World Series. I was on a Paris trip for most of that WS and can't say whether it was a good one, but I think the Tigers fizzled. I know the Cards won it.

* * *

Haven't found the previous owner of hitless streak in one postseason answer yet.

There's this though:

The record over multiple postseasons belongs to Dan Wilson, who was hitless in 42 straight at-bats from 1995 to 2000.

Posted by: EastFallowfield

That is terrible!

I'll be curious to know the answer if you find it, EFF. Thanks for looking. I checked Ryan Howard's stats in the postseason just to make sure it wasn't he.

NEPP: That's true with Valdez. But recall that Valdez, when he hit a ton in Venezuela, wasn't even on the map and basically rode that to a regular job with the Phillies. Valdez had a nice ST 2010 - much more impressive than Castro.

Definitely JW. Overall, I'd be completely happy if Gillies stays healthy/productive in Winter Ball and if Galvis continues to build on a decent rookie effort while showing he's 100% recovered from back surgery.

I'm sure Roob is quite gleeful with the tidings from Venezuela. "I'm right! I'm right!"

One more quick thing about last night's game: I don't know if it is the new beard or the orange/black uniform, but Hunter Pence's face looks perpetually stoned in this series.

Would be great for Gillies to become even as much a factor as Aumont. Part of the problem though, like Ruf, is timing. Ruf and Gillies could really bit in the winter leagues and carry those bats into ST, but it's too small a sample to prevent the Phils from otherwise upgrading the OF (i.e., $$ on OF and CF).

Not that having these guys as contributors could ever be a bad thing.

With the straggly beard, Hunter Pence looks like an Amish boy who just joined the church. Nice to see him enjoying himself. As for the rest of the Giants, they can suck it.

How do you think the Phillies would've performed if they had made the playoffs? Think their pitching would've stifled some bats? Think their offense would've performed? Would've been interesting. Ah well....

Well, to be fair, there's a good chance that Dom Brown will completely flop next year too so that will leave an opening for Ruf or Gillies in the outfield.

I'm surprised the names Dernard Span and Ben Revere haven't come up as CF options. The Twins have depth and are desperate for starting pitching. One problem is they are both lefthanded hitters.

This might be a reach but if Gillies can win an outfield spot next year, I feel that he would pair well with signing BJ Upton. I Might be wrong but I feel that him and Angel Pagan would be similar hitters. And I wish Michael Martinez's name was Manure Martinez it would fit better.

More than anything else we need someone in third base who will be right handed hitter with high OBP.

Denard Span:

Rumors during the season and since have suggested the Twins want a Major League starting pitcher in any deal for Span.

He'll be 29 years old next year and hasn't seen the same offensive success he's seen since his rookie and second season when he posted OPSs above .800. He was below .700 the last two seasons before rebounding to a .738 this year (105 OPS+).

Thanks to his fielding (above average) and baserunning (roughly 20 steals a year), he's likely a 3-4 WAR player. He'll only make $4.75M in 2013 and $6.5M in 2014. There is a club option for $9M in 2015 with a $0.5M buyout.

Ben Revere:

First round draft pick in 2007 and Baseball America's 59th overall prospect going into the 2009 season. He was briefly mentioned as a potential trade piece to get Heath Bell from the Padres (in an effort to fill the Joe Nathan absence). He has not been prominent in trade rumors since.

Revere was a high average, high OBP, low slugging guy in the minors. He hasn't slugged above .370 since A ball at age 20 (he's just 24 now).

He's regarded as at least as good of a fielder as Span and he's more dangerous on the base paths (40 SB threat). He's been playing RF for the Twins. He's also years from arbitration.

One positive on Span: He has reverse splits for his career so the LHB thing isn't a concern.

Odds on Galvis getting kidnapped while he's playing in Venezuela? Not that I'm rooting for such a thing. Much.

I'd say 5-1 for Galvis...probably 3-1 for Gillies and 10-1 for Ruf.

Freddy Galvis at some point in 2013 will become the Phillies SS. JRoll will either get injured or suck so much he just gets released.
You can bet your house on it.

***JRoll will either get injured or suck so much he just gets released.***

Yeah, because Jimmy was so terrible this year with his pathetic 4.9 Win season.

Ben Revere is a contact hitter and had great BAs in the minors, which is why his OB was high. But he doesn't walk much.

That said, he'd be way cheaper(but not as good)than Span.

What are teh details on your house, Moondog?

Looking through the players, I was thinking (and hoping) that Mini-Mart pulled an Ocho Cinco and legally changed his first name to Manure.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Dangit, beaten to it. It seems that the blog doesn't update comments but every 10-15 minutes sometimes.

Moondog: Sorry to hear that your house is on the brink of foreclosure.

Galvis will play games at SS next year unless something incredibly wacky happens, but he won't be "the SS" (the starter for an extended period of time) unless something even more incredibly wacky happens.

In Re: OF help-- I saw where AZ plans to start Eaton in CF next yr making Chris Young available. I like Younk, but AZ also say they're unsure about their LF situation meaning either Kubel or Parra could be available. I'd be intersted in Parra as a CF. Just a matter of what AZ needs.

I'm going to assume that Moondog is just being provocative for the sake of it.

Because if even a part of him believes that J-Roll will 1) suck so bad that he'd be worthy of release and 2) believe that a team that has yet to release Michael f#cking Martinez would EVER release Jimmy Rollins for performance issues, he's obviously not worthy of a response.

This is pretty much how I feel about this postseason - the "always-there's":

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/15/pretty-much-everyone-hates-the-cardinals-right/

From Hardball Talk, about this postseason so far:

"So, what are we left with 10 days in? The AL’s best offensive team has a .650 OPS, a mark that would have rated the worst in the major leagues this season. NL starting pitchers are 4-8 with a 4.92 ERA, which is a worse ERA than every NL team besides the Rockies posted this year."

I dont like the Cards because they are considered a small-market club despite having a massive regional fanbase that covers a good chunk of the midwest. But because STL is a smaller city, they receive money via revenue sharing despite having 3 million+ in attendance and a brand new stadium.

Totally ridiculous.

If Verlander is on his game tomorrow, and the Yankees offensive struggles go on as they have, Verlander may pitch the fist sub-100 pitch perfect game in postseason history.

Fata, now that you said that, you know that the Yanks will explode for 10 runs in 4.3 innings off Verlander, don't you?

Edmundo, that's why I built those massive caveats in. :)

I don't like Hardball Talk. Craig Calcaterra is lazy and unprofessional. And the people who post are insipid. Not a whole lot of substance there.

Sophist - You make a good point with your 10:56 post. On this roster, timing is a problem. Roster slots are open and the Phils do not have the in house talent to fill them. The core is in decline and the Phils do not have the in house talent to backfill.

BUT, that is the job of the GM.
If I had to broadly describe a GM's top priority job responsibility in one sentence, it would be: "to build and execute a roster succession plan."

Rube has failed.

Admittedly, injuries can foil a plan. But, then again, injuries are a wild card factor for every team, and such contingencies must be a part of a good plan.

Rube has failed.

Galvis @ 3b Rollins @ SS Utley @ 2b Howard @ 1b Brown @ RF BJ Upton @ CF via signing Gerardo Parra @ LF via trade involving Vance Worley.Trevor May called up.Ruiz @ C.

Kratz,Ruf,Mayberry,Orr, and an infield FA signee


Halladay,Hamels,Lee,Kendrick,May

Stutes,Bastardo,Lindblom,Aumont, De Fratus,Horst,Papelbon

Unfortunately, and I'm just adding to it, Moondog has gotten his/her (bitch?) 15 nano-seconds of infamy.

To proffer that Rollins represents the nadir of the team in total decline is utterly ridiculous.

Galvis @ 3b Rollins @ SS Utley @ 2b Howard @ 1b Brown @ RF BJ Upton @ CF via signing Gerardo Parra @ LF via trade involving Vance Worley.Trevor May called up.Ruiz @ C.

Kratz,Ruf,Mayberry,Orr, and an infield FA signee


Halladay,Hamels,Lee,Kendrick,May

Stutes,Bastardo,Lindblom,Aumont, De Fratus,Horst,Papelbon


---------------------------


That's 26 men, I think the Phillies might keep Aumont/Lindblom/De Fratus in AAA and will sign at least 1 veteran bullpen arm.

To proffer that Rollins represents the nadir of the team in total decline is utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: mainerob | Monday, October 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM

So much great vocabulary in this sentence.

Bonehead: "If I had to broadly describe a GM's top priority job responsibility in one sentence, it would be: "to build and execute a roster succession plan."

Rube has failed."

I totally agree with your first statement, but don't we have to wait until it actually happens before we make your second statement?

Dick: I hope that's not your suggested lineup.

"I dont like the Cards because they are considered a small-market club despite having a massive regional fanbase that covers a good chunk of the midwest. But because STL is a smaller city, they receive money via revenue sharing despite having 3 million+ in attendance and a brand new stadium.

Totally ridiculous."

To be fair, the Phillies sort of followed this model for most of the 90s up through the mid-2000s, didn't they? If I recall correctly, the Phils were receiving revenue sharing up through 2006, while they were quite competitive, selling a lot of tickets at brand-new CBP, and building a roster that would dominate the National League for the next five seasons.

It isn't and also I believe our future starting CF could either be BJ Upton or Michael Bourne and I think that the Phillies just may actually trade for a starter capable LF man. Worley is a valuable asset to have. I would do Parra/Revere straight up for Worley or if at any way possible, package Worley and either Valle/Joseph for J-Upton, this guy was an MVP candidate a year ago!

Vance Worley for Parra or Revere STRAIGHT up?You're a little crazy Mr.Fitzwell.

***To be fair, the Phillies sort of followed this model for most of the 90s up through the mid-2000s, didn't they? If I recall correctly, the Phils were receiving revenue sharing up through 2006, while they were quite competitive, selling a lot of tickets at brand-new CBP, and building a roster that would dominate the National League for the next five seasons. ***

That was based on their actual profits, not pre-written into the CBA...and I was thinking more of the extra draft picks they get to "stay competitive" more than the money.

You know, because the Cardinals have such trouble staying competitive.

Ugh.

Everyone knows Moondog is homeless. Viking of Sixth Avenue, people.

clout - true enough. I guess that I am making a prognosis of the near future, and prematurely accusing Rube of failure.

Nevertheless, coming off an 81-81 season, here is how the 2013 season looks to me as I sit here on October 15:
- Hope for the return to health and the return to form for Howard, Utley, Doc, and Worley; with not too much of a visible contingency plan.
- Hope that Dom develops into a legit, productive corner OF
- Starting 3B, CF, OF openings that were foreseeable, but have not been adequately addressed
- I do, however, like the short term prospects for the young RP arms.

This offseason is make or break for Rube.
But, you're right, clout, I shouldn't be declaring Rube a failure just yet.

Despite having phoned in much of the season (April, May, July & August), J-Roll was very strong down the stretch & managed to post a few impressive numbers. Even I am capable of admitting as much.

WAR, however, proves nothing. I refuse to acknowledge any statistical measurement which (a) doesn't have an agreed upon standard of calculation, & (b) factors in notoriously unreliable defensive metrics.

Well, his OPS was his best mark since 2008 and his ISO was his best since 2007. If you only want to look at hard statistics.

You can never say never to the possibility of the Mets letting Wright walk. The Mets let Reyes walk they signed Bay whom they thought was a superstar.The Mets hold a 16 million dollar option on Wright for the next upcoming season with a 1 million dollar buy-out.Knowing these facts and knowing how greedy the Met owners are, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wright walk and at that time the bidding war begins for an elite A.S. 3rd Baseman, Phillies should be ALL over that should it become a reality.

Not greedy so much as "completely destitute and broke due to their Madoff scheming".

If Wright broke loose, Rube should drive the Brinks truck up to his mansion personally.

As far as bullpen arms, the free agent class isn't very strong at all.The big names are Soriano from the Yankees Mike Adams from the Rangers and Brandon Lyon of the Jays and Grant Balfour of the A's.If the Phillies can somehow by some tiny miracle pry Soriano or Adams from their respective teams I would give them an A plus for pitching acquisitions for the year and let the rest of the bullpen be filled up with the kiddies.

GTown: The proper way to use WAR is to apply it to a mediocre hitting, good fielding player. The ever-changing subjective WAR formula should not dissuade you, because a player like that will come out above an offense-first player every time.

Now, if you are arguing on behalf of an offense-first player, then you'll want to use OPS+.

Some numbers to consider re: Rollins

Career/2012

wRC+: 97/101
SB/yr: 33.33/30
SB%: 82.9%/85.7%
ISO: .162/.177
BB%: 7.6%/8.9%
K%: 11.6%/13.7%
H/yr: 167.25/158
XBH/yr: 59.78/61
R/yr: 98/102

Most important statistic: 699 PA, which led the team by TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY!

Jimmy Rollins exceeded nearly every one of his career marks at 33 years old. He had a FANTASTIC year.

I thought that the prevailing wisdom was that the Mets were actually looking to extend Wright, well beyond even the option year? Seems almost a no-brainer (if they want him, and it seems they really do, they don't want to play the same "is he staying/going?" game all next year, too).

I put the odds of the Mets letting Wright walk this off season at roughly 99-1. Slightly better 75-1 odds that he walks after next season.

So you're telling me there's a chance

I doubt Wright will become available, but if he does, he is exactly what the Phillies need.

I like WAR, but despite clout's claim to the contrary, I understand its limitations.

Where I think WAR is good for baseball is in that it at least opens the conversation to the notion that we ought to consider defense when evaluating a player's value. I know most people would agree with this in theory, but in practice, most people don't care one bit about defense. They look at the back-of-the-baseball-card numbers, and if those aren't good, the player can't be good, or if those are the best in the game, the player must be the best in the game. Position on the diamond and defensive skill are valuable, and we ought to account for them when evaluating/comparing players.

WAR may not be perfect, but it's pushing in the right direction. Because looking at two players, and claiming that because Player A has a better OPS+ than player B, he's a better player is naive.

"I refuse to acknowledge any statistical measurement which (a) doesn't have an agreed upon standard of calculation, & (b) factors in notoriously unreliable defensive metrics."

I agree with both of those assertions, but my problem with WAR is a little broader. I just take issue with the entire premise that any collection of measurables can be neatly translated into a specific number of wins, as compared to this hypothetical replacement player who may or may not even exist in the real world. I mean, it's patently ludicrous to claim that these things can be pinpointed in that way -- let alone pinpointed beyond whole numbers and into decimal spots.

That said, I've finally made my peace with WAR, as a useful (though by no means, definitive) overall snapshot of the player's value. It's like those "miles" they give you on your credit cards. For the longest time, I wanted to sue the credit card company because I had to accumulate like 20,000 miles just to earn a free 400-mile trip from Oakland to Los Angeles. But, after suffering through many hours of consternation over this injustice, I eventually came to accept that, just because they call them "miles" does not mean they actually translate to miles in the air. And so it is with WAR and its claim that Such-and-such player is worth X number of extra wins in a particular season. Once you accept that it's just a calculation of a bunch of statistics, and doesn't really represent the number of wins a particular player is worth, it's actually a fairly useful stat.

Who do you give up for a guy like Justin Upton?

- 25 years of age
- .278 career hitter
- 18 home runs a year averagely
- Will bag 15-20 bases a year
- .357 OBP .475 SLG
- Mediocre defense
- A 51 million dollar contract thru 2015.

Fatalotti, all everyone looks at is his .250 BA for 2012 and they call him Pop-up Rollins. What can ya do.

BAP: Good explanation. I agree. At its heart, WAR is a totally subjective stat. That doesn't make it worthless, but needs to be remembered by all the posters here who use WAR as a debate-ender.

BAP, I don't think anyone would ever claim that WAR was representative of actual wins in games. In that case, Ibanez would have garnered one WAR in the game against the Orioles in the ALDS.

WAR is a value stat. It's hope is to sift through all the statistics and give a sort of gain/loss analysis. This is one of the primary aspects of why SABR people take issues with the primacy of the RBI stat. RBIs are great, and no one would deny this, but when you only look at RBIs, you are implicitly committing confirmation bias, because you're acting like everything else the player did didn't matter. If a high RBI player is a statue on the basepaths, and a miserable defender at a poor position, and doesn't get on base at a very high level, that necessarily subtracts from his value.

Now, gain/loss analyses don't mean anything unless compared against a baseline, and that's where the "replacement player" comes in.

None of it's perfect (and not even a Fangraphs writer would claim it is), but it's definitely a tool worth using and revising.

I don't understand the rooting against Galvis. We should be praying that he (a) fully recovers and (b) develops into a hitter who can consistently sniff the .700 mark, because if he does, it represents a major value proposition and makes the work of building the team up as Rollins declines and departs much easier. He can afford to develop at a leisurely pace; the timing of Rollins's contract is just about perfect for Galvis to, in an ideal world, work his way into the utility role and then take over as the starting SS.

Obviously you can make predictive arguments about why he can never be a .700 hitter, but wanting him to fail at that goal is silly if you're rooting for a sustainably good Phillies team.

A fear that he will hit over his talent level for a while and "fool" Rube into playing him also seems misguided. He's not a candidate for a starting job. Bringing him up as a utility/sub guy expected to get just a few hundred PA would be a braindead decision from the point of view of his development. If Rollins or Utley goes down for an extended period, it's bad news, but the problem there is that, in the absence of an acquisition, you're playing a generic utility infielder in place of a former All-Star; that's on Rube to plan for and prevent. It's an open question whether Galvis is necessarily a steep falloff from a generic utility infielder anyway.

Don't let Perfect be the enemy of Good.

***but needs to be remembered by all the posters here who use WAR as a debate-ender.
***

I dont think that has ever happened in the history of Beerleaguer but okay then...

It's nice that WAR makes us think about defense, but is it really useful to just pretend that noisy, subjective, unreliable statistics aren't noisy, subjective, and unreliable? Here's how the fielding component of bWAR is calculated, from this page: http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml

-Fielding Range Plus/Minus Runs Saved based on BIS-trained scorer observations and batted ball timing to determine the velocity of each batted ball.
-Outfield arm runs saved based on exact counts of baserunner advancements and kills and the velocity of the hit ball.
-Infielder double plays based on opportunities and rates they were turned based also on batted ball velocity.
-Good play-bad play values which include 28 positive play types like HR-saving catches, backing up a play, blocking a pitch in the dirt and 54 misplays like missing the cutoff man, failing to anticipate the wall and allowing extra bases, not covering a base, pulling a foot off the bag, etc.
-Bunt Fielding
-Catcher SB/CS data (which is tweaked by the pitchers caught)
-Pitcher SB/CS data (which is tweaked by the catchers behind the plate)
-Catcher handling of the pitching staff via things like pitch framing and pitch calling

You're basically talking about a glorified version of the Looked Good stat. And if you check out defensive WAR values, you notice a ridiculous amount of fluctuation from year to year. Michael Bourn, for example, was worth 3.5 defensive WAR in 2010 and -0.4 in 2011. I'd much rather accept that we can't measure fielding yet and explicitly allow stats-based analysis to remain heavily biased the offensive side of the game until that changes. That doesn't mean we shouldn't evaluate players' defense as thoroughly as possible, just that we should accept the cloud of epistemological blankness that hovers over the subject and not pretend that the various formulas that pretend to take fielding into account are meaningful because they make for easy comparisons.

***Michael Bourn, for example, was worth 3.5 defensive WAR in 2010 and -0.4 in 2011.***

Sample size, sample size, sample size.


Player A sucked offensively in April but was great in May...same concept.

WAR defines whether or not a player is a gamechanging player, simple as that.

It'd be interesting to see what the Fielding/fx data shows if/when they ever start releasing it to the public. Pitch fx transformed pitching statistics...seeing what it says for fielders would be fascinating....and probably far more accurate than the current WAR calculations (either bWAR or fWAR)

Dusty Baker received a 2-year contract extension? I guess the Reds are OK w/ the idea of never winning the World Series.

fumphis, fluctuations don't prove that a stat is flawed.

First player that came to mind (I'm sure there are better examples):

2010 OPS+: 138
2011 OPS+: 54
2012 OPS+: 112

These are the OPS+ figures for Adam Dunn. Does that crazy fluctuation tell us anything about the reliability of the stat?

I agree that defensive stats are still filled with some noise and have a quite a bit of subjectivity to them, but your painting of them as if they are no better than random numbers thrown against the wall is equally as incorrect as assuming their infallibility.

Do you expect that if we didn't have any defensive metrics that someone would eventually just come out of a laboratory with a perfect defensive metric and solve all these problems? We have to have these in play to see where there failures lie and where they are successful, so that refinement is easier to make in the future.

You also assume that offensive stats are devoid of any failings. They certainly are, which is why OPS+ and wRC+ exist, to account for differences in park factors, which are by no means an exact science. it's all limited, but I'd rather not completely discount defense entirely until a perfect statistic is available. I'd rather we use our brains and sift through the data and make reasonable arguments based on several factors, including what scouts say, what our eyes tell us, what other players say, and yes, the stats.

***Dusty Baker received a 2-year contract extension? I guess the Reds are OK w/ the idea of never winning the World Series.***

Its as if all the starting pitchers in Cincinnati cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

NEPP, absolutely can't wait until fielding/fx is in every park and in full use (and hopefully releases data to the public).

There are actually plenty of chances to measure defensive aptitude. Not like there are only 50-60 chances a fielder gets a year. We just don't have the necessary data yet.

***Dusty Baker received a 2-year contract extension? I guess the Reds are OK w/ the idea of never winning the World Series.***

Field f/x will change that...assuming they can find a way to crunch the numbers on the literally terabytes of raw data per game that are generated by the system.

Bourn had 388 chances this year. 376 in 2011. Sample size limitations have little to do with measurement stability.

Terabytes? I'm thinking zettabyes.

NEPP - That won't be an issue. Not with how cheap it is to rent space and calculating power on as an need basis.

***Terabytes? I'm thinking zettabyes.***

Supposedly, from what I've read, its something like 2 terabytes of data per game of information.

MG, just off the top of my head, I think sample size limitations might be more to do with the amount of chances that separate a bad fielder from a good fielder. For example, on a mile high fly ball, even Ryan Howard could take care of that in centerfield.

I think when you remove "routine" plays from the mix, you might be dealing with some sample size issues.

Also, if those 388 chances were instead plate appearances, we could still claim that be a, not small sample, but not large enough to make definitive predictions.

NEPP, I didn't know that. Even still, I just wanted to use "zettabytes" in a post here.

Just be lucky I didn't pull out "yottabyte" :)

Phils hire Wally Joyner as assistant hitting coach.

"Do you expect that if we didn't have any defensive metrics that someone would eventually just come out of a laboratory with a perfect defensive metric and solve all these problems? We have to have these in play to see where there failures lie and where they are successful, so that refinement is easier to make in the future."

That may be true, but it doesn't affect how fans or analysts treat WAR and its defensive components. When it gets cited, it gets cited as a stat, not a pilot study. Sure, that's the fault of those who overcite it and not of the stat itself, but it's still true. Saying that WAR is a flawed metric that nonetheless represents a valuable step on the way to better ones is fine and undoubtedly true, but it doesn't address the question of how we should allow the stat to influence our understanding of the game in the period of time before its salutary effects on future metrics is felt.

I think WAR is an okay stat, by the way, and I'm no anti-Sabrist. It's just misused and provides an unjustifiedly high level of confidence when it comes to measuring fielding.

NEPP: Clearly you either don't read posts other than your own, or you're being willfully ignorant. It is used that way ALL THE TIME.

Bonehead: In this case it's the Perfect being the enemy of the below-average.

fumphis: "You're basically talking about a glorified version of the Looked Good stat."

And if the SABR people weren't so full of themselves, they would have called it "Looked Good."

I actually do think that the verbiage does serve for some of the controversy. WAR, by declaring some arbitrary Win total attributable to a player, makes it sound very hard and fast.

As BAP alluded to, it's even an ever shifting baseline.

Perhaps, if it were called "Statistical Index Relative to Baseline of Nonexistent and Nondescript Replacement Player Measure?" Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, though.

fumphis, I agree with you. Still, let's not forget that other stats have some of the same problems as WAR, but are not berated nearly as much.

As a quick example, is a .230 BA player a good hitter? You'd be tempted to say no, but what if he has a .400 OBP (which means he walks A TON). Would that change our perception? .230 BA screams "BAD HITTER", while .400 OBP screams "GREAT HITTER". Well, which is it? Next question: how much value do those walks have instead of hits? Would you rather have a .230/.400 guy or a .295/.360 guy? Who provides more value? These are the kinds of things that advanced metrics try to figure out, and I think it's awesome.

Very few stats tell the whole story (some don't even tell you what they're supposed to). To be reasonable in our analysis, we must consider the limitations of any statistic, and consider the entire body of figures and reports we have on players.

WP, SIRBoNaNRPM doesn't roll off the tongue?

Somebody tell me whether hiring Wally Joyner as asst. hitting coach is exciting or not. I saw from Gelb that he was SD's hitting coach in '07-08, which doesn't make me stand up and cheer.

I was hoping for Stairs or Sweeney, though, because I already like them. The press got my hopes up by reporting that the Phillies were interested in hiring one of them.

"I actually do think that the verbiage does serve for some of the controversy. WAR, by declaring some arbitrary Win total attributable to a player, makes it sound very hard and fast."

Agree. It is completely off-putting to me and, I readily admit, is part of the reason why I don't like the stat.

I would also say this. I know how to calculate batting average, slugging pct., ISO, OBP, OPS, and even OPS+. I have no earthly idea how f-WAR or b-WAR are calculated and neither, I suspect, does anyone else who cites it. I remember I looked it up once, but the formula lost me when it started multiplying by all these coefficients which, for all I know, could have been plucked from thin air. And don't even bother to waste your time committing the formula to memory because they then turn around and change the coefficient from year to year.

If I can't actually calculate the number myself, then I'm essentially just taking it on pure faith that the guy who calculated this number knows what he's talking about. I'm not ready to make that leap -- and even less so when the statistic is so audacious as to claim to tell me how many wins a particular player is worth.

GBF, not sure it's anything to be excited about. Not that he's not good at his job (frankly, I have no idea). More so that with Charlie at the helm, the hitting coach himself is probably only of minor input to any hitting coaching going on. I can't even imagine how mundane Assistant Hitting Coaching duties are on this team. Sounds like a great gig if you can get it!

With Wally Joyner being added I will guarantee that we now sign a player from Italy, Brazil, or the Netherlands. Since that is who he most recently worked with.

"If I can't actually calculate the number myself, then I'm essentially just taking it on pure faith that the guy who calculated this number knows what he's talking about. I'm not ready to make that leap"

I get what you're saying, but this seems silly as a logical matter. Do you not trust, say, macroeconomic data produced by the government because you yourself can't calculate it?

Actually, on second thought, I don't think I want to open that can of worms.

"Do you not trust, say, macroeconomic data produced by the government because you yourself can't calculate it?"

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

I can calculate Quarterback Rating. Doesn't mean it's not a BS statistic. :)

Got a feeling that the Giants are going to snap this recent string of wins by the visiting team.

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EST. 2005

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