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J-Doug

  • joined May 10, 2010
  • last login Feb 23, 2014
  • posts 135
  • comments 695

A Fan Of...

  • MLB New York Yankees
  • NFL New York Giants
  • NCAAF Connecticut Huskies
  • NCAAB Connecticut Huskies
  • NHL Washington Capitals
  • General Washington Nationals, Maryland Terrapins, Albany Great Danes
  • MLS DC United
User Blog

Benefit of the Doubt: Pitchers Can and Do Expand the Zone

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When the pitcher consistently keeps pitches off but close to the plate, his chances of getting a preferenatial call on the next pitch increase. The opposite occurs when pitchers pound the zone

Wainwright Injury Cuts Cards October Chances by 14.5%

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So says Colin Wyers. With a full year of Wainwright, BPro's playoff odds tracker puts St. Louis at 58.3%, while a full year without the ace has them at 43.8%. But don't throw in the towel just yet, Cards fans: "...the loss of Wainwright is not the death knell that I think some commentators expected. The Cardinals still have the best player in baseball, after all, and the NL Central is nowhere near as top-heavy as the AL East. The Cardinals still have a very good chance of making the playoffs—they’ll just have to fight a bit harder to do it."

Hall of Fame should [not] lower voting threshold

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"But with so many deserving candidates on the ballot, it's clear that some players are going to slip through the cracks, especially at the rate that the BBWAA elects candidates (exactly 1.5 per year from 1966-2011). This is unacceptable. " I'd like to respond to this one with a big, resounding NO. It is not clear that anyone deserving is going to slip through the cracks due to the voting threshold. First of all, players stay on the ballot for fifteen years and have a shot at the veterans ballot long after that. That's plenty of time for the HOF-level greats of our era to win a trip to Cooperstown. Second of all, what ever happened to era-by-era comparison? If the run environment jumped during a specific era, then we should be discounting the accomplishments of the great run producers. We should treat pitchers in the opposite manner. Perhaps if it looks like there's a glut of players with Hall of Fame credentials, we should re-examine their credentials, not the voting process.

What does pitch location say about where a batter will hit the ball? Jeremy Greenhouse has the...

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Ichiro

What does pitch location say about where a batter will hit the ball? Jeremy Greenhouse has the answer, for Ichiro at least.

Players Unions and the Economics of Warfare

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Unlike the NFL, the possibility of a lockout looming large despite skyrocketing revenues and fan interest, the prospect of a 1994-style labor stoppage is almost unthinkable in baseball today.

"Is Pujols Worth $300 Million?" Is the Wrong Question

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This Neyer piece, which references a Dave Cameron piece, is one of many investigating how much Pujols is worth and how much his contract should/will be (and with whom). But I fear we're asking the wrong question. The right question is, "Can the St. Louis Cardinals get a better return on investment by spending $xxx million on Albert Pujols than on anything else over the term of the contract?" These questions are similar, but not the same. Not at all. Even if Albjert Pujols doesn't project to win $300 million worth of games over the next 8-10 years, that doesn't mean that there's something more productive that the Cardinals can spend that amount of money on over time. That said, assuming a $300/10 deal, is there a better way for the Cardinals to spend that much money over that period of time? If the answer is no, then they should make the deal.

Take La Russa's MLBPA Comments with a Pound of Salt

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A bit of self-promotion here, but it's an opinion piece I don't feel belongs on Beyond the Box Score proper. The jist: keep in mind La Russa's political affiliations when he's commenting on the MLBPA. Keep in mind both La Russa's and Weiner's institutional affiliations for the same reason.

More great work from Jason @ It's All About the Money. The chart above illustrates the disparity...

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Payroll-discrepancy-bt-min-max-1990-2010
More great work from Jason @ It's All About the Money. The chart above illustrates the disparity between the highest and lowest team payrolls for every year since 1990. And Jason should know: he runs a Yankees blog. Seriously though, note that 2002 is when things really start going nuts. Also note that 2002 is the first year of the current soft cap regime we have in today's MLB. This is what happens when you have a soft cap, revenue sharing, and no salary floor.

Stephen Strasburg has Started Throwing

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"For the first time since he felt a pop in his right elbow on Aug. 21, when he threw a 1-1 changeup to Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown, Strasburg is throwing again." Let me be among the first to say, "Woo Hoo!"

Benefit of the Doubt: Mo and the Wide Zone

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Mariano Rivera saves the Yankees more runs with his zone than any other pitcher does for any other team.

Excellent GIS approach to demographic trends among American born MLB players since 1884. Great work...

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Usbaseballplayers

Excellent GIS approach to demographic trends among American born MLB players since 1884. Great work by Dave Allen at Baseball Analysts.

Benefit of the Doubt: A Tale of Two Hernandezes

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When we apply run values to zone advantage, we gain a greater understanding about what effect strike zones have on the game. For instance, Livan's zone is big--so big that it saves over 20 runs...

Who was black baseball's best pitcher?

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"In the wake of "The Year of the Pitcher" and in a salute to Black History Month, MLB.com posed the following question to a panel of 19 of the most respected authorities on "black baseball," a term that encompasses baseball before Rube Foster founded the Negro Leagues in 1920: Who were the top five black pitchers prior to the integration of the Major Leagues? Based on a compilation of their rankings, the countdown toward No. 1 begins Tuesday. Today, we start with a preview of the series. "

Just Like That: Rob Neyer Leaving ESPN.com

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In a programming note on his SweetSpot blog, Rob Neyer announced he's leaving ESPN.com. This is quite a shock to me and, I imagine, the rest of the online baseball-loving community. Thanks for all your work, Rob. We hope to see you again real soon.

Strike Zone a Marginal Component of Home Field Advantage

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Strike zone bias is responsible for some degree of home field advantage in baseball, but home field advantage has practically no significant effect on the strike zone.

A Quick Word on Home Field Advantage and the Strike Zone

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A new book claims that most of MLB home field advantage is due to home plate officiating. Does this theory hold water? Stay tuned to find out.

Better With the Glove Than the Bat

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BR lists the best players who were better defenders than hitters and baserunners. The top 5: Cal Ripken, Jr., Brooks Robinson, Pudge Rodriguez, Pee Wee Reese, and Ozzie Smith.

Diagnosing Carl Pavano through PFX analysis, Dave Allen notes: You can see that he is getting his...

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Slider_loc
Diagnosing Carl Pavano through PFX analysis, Dave Allen notes: You can see that he is getting his slider low and away much more in 2010. This is where a pitcher wants his slider to end up, and a location that will induce lots of weak contact on the ground.

MLB Ballpark Seating Capacities 1920-2010

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Visualization of MLB Ballpark Seating Capacity 1920-2010. Park capacities grew steadily during the 20th Century as the game flourished. Capacities peaked in 1993, but have swiftly declined as...

I just discovered this blog: MLB Trade Trees. Reminds me of something that Slows posted here...

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Tumblr_lf881yek741qebwpwo1_1280

I just discovered this blog: MLB Trade Trees. Reminds me of something that Slows posted here earlier. Really neat visualizations of interesting trades in MLB history.

From my football-centric follow-up to this article at BTB, this chart compares stadium construction...

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Comparo

From my football-centric follow-up to this article at BTB, this chart compares stadium construction trends in pro football and baseball. Note that the trend in the AFL/NFL is more volatile, and that the average stadium is almost always newer.

Baseball: the Irish Pastime? Perhaps! Youth and adult clubs are springing up all over the Emerald...

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Cormac_eklof

Baseball: the Irish Pastime? Perhaps! Youth and adult clubs are springing up all over the Emerald Isle. "Ireland began its love affair with baseball at the 1996 European Championships. The inexperienced Irish were comically unsuccessful in their earliest games, but their national pride was unshaken." h/t Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk.

Benefit of the Doubt: Fuzzy Corners

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Umpires tend to position themselves over the inside part of the plate… putting them at a disadvantage when calling outside pitches. We witness the same effect when it comes to the height of the...

Worst Bunts of 2010 at FanGraphs

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"Without pitchers, 756 of 2161 bunts (about 35%) resulted in a positive WPA." Managers might want to reconsider that sac play in most situations...

Selig: No expansion of playoffs, replay this year

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This is not really all that surprising, especially when it comes to playoff expansion. While modification of the playoff format doesn't require union input, per se, the decision would impact the distribution of postseason revenues which is determined by the CBA. And while we all hoped instant replay might expand, all indications were that it would not. That notwithstanding, this statement from the Commissioner's office reeks of BS: "Though both issues are being discussed at the committee level, there is insufficient time to implement any changes prior to the March 31 start of the regular season." First of all, there's no reason instant replay changes need to be implemented by 3/31. The implementation of boundary review was completed mid-season, well in time for the playoffs. Second, the head honchos in NYC have had plenty of time to consider expanding replay. Shouldn't they have been working on this the moment Jim Joyce blew the perfect game? Basically, Selig's message is this: we've dragged our heels too long on this, and so the only solution is to continue dragging them. Ridiculous? Disappointing? Bewildering? Take your pick.

Best Bunts of 2010 at Fangraphs

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Interesting tidbit from Fangraphs, describing the most successful bunt attempts of the 2010 season. Matt Klassen notes, "Keep in mind that these were the most successful bunts of the season, and that five plays doesn’t tell us anything of general significance about bunting as a strategy. Still, it is interesting to note that four of the plays involved errors, and two of them involved the bunter noticing the infields playing back." Oh, but it does tell us something about strategy. As Tango, Lichtman and Dolphin demonstrated in The Book, the sacrifice attempt is, on average, a terrible play unless you account for the possibility of reaching first or earning extra bases. I bet a table of the worst bunts in 2010 would be a long list of two-hitters who sacrificed the leadoff man to 2nd with no outs in the first inning.

Visualization of HOF voting for multiple candidates by Dave Allen at Baseball Analysts. "First off...

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Bagwell_hofgraph
Visualization of HOF voting for multiple candidates by Dave Allen at Baseball Analysts. "First off we have Jeff Bagwell who was on 41.7% of the ballots. Here are the BBWAA votes histories for other players who received between 46.7% and 36.7% of the votes their first year...There are a total of seven players, four of whom were elected to the HoF by the BBWAA sometime between the fifth and ninth ballot. Lee Smith is still on the ballot, but it is doesn't look too good for him."

The Willie Mays Hall of Fame

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Delicious send up of HOF voters by Joe Posnanski. This is easily my favorite non-sabermetric article in the last year or so. "Al Kaline's No. 1 comp? Harold Baines. Gone. ... Carl Yastrzemski's No. 1 comp? Dave Winfield. Didn't we just eliminate Dave Winfield? Yaz gone. And take Cal Ripken with you since his No. 1 comp is also Dave Winfield. ... Joe Morgan, I stayed with you as long as I could. I really wanted you in there. But your No. 1 comp? Lou Whitaker? Do you know what Lou Whitaker did on his one Hall of Fame ballot? Sorry. Gone. ..."

Benefit of the Doubt: The Cruel Umpire

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Contrary to expectations, the umpire actually becomes *less* forgiving as the run value of the base-out state increases.

Jason Rosenberg (of whom I'm a big fan) at It's All About the Money has a great graphic depicting...

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Era_-leader-by-decade

Jason Rosenberg (of whom I'm a big fan) at It's All About the Money has a great graphic depicting the best pitchers (by ERA+) in rolling ten-year increments from 1980-2010. Definitely worth a look, as is his similar chart depicting pitcher wins.

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