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More info on Keon Stowers (not as much as I'd hoped)

Offer list included KU, ISU, Louisville, Troy, South Alabama. Keon went 144-3 in the Discus at Region 3-4A (of South Carolina), placing first. Coming out of HS in 2010, ESPN had him at 6'2'', 237...

Coaches By The Numbers: Kansas Chooses Charlie Weis to Turn Program Around


I just came across this site, but it is amazingly in depth. Do they know what they're talking about? Not sure. They have at least done a ton of legwork. From 2001-Present, the Kansas Jayhawks have played an average strength of schedule of 29.25 (1 being the hardest and 120 being the easiest). From 2005-2009 during Weis tenure, Notre Dame played an average strength of schedule of 28.60. From 2005-2009, Charlie Weis had an averaged recruiting class of 13.60 and won 56.45% of his overall games. Over the last decade, Kansas has had an average recruiting ranking of 59.00. If you haven’t connected the dots yet, we are trying to point out that with a whole lot better talent and a very comparable schedule, Charlie Weis was barely winning more games than he was losing at Notre Dame, a school with virtually every resource you need to be successful. In fact, Weis only coached seven games (11.29% of his total games) at Notre Dame with inferior talent. Since 2004, Kansas coaches have coached 56.67% of their games with inferior talent. The past doesn’t predict the future, and we can hope along with the Jayhawk nation that Coach Weis has learned what he needed to learn at Notre Dame to be a more successful head coach the second time around. However, the past does help us plan for the future, and By The Numbers, we are having a hard time planning for success with this hire.

Ivan Maisel's take


Some skepticism, but he seems to generally approve: Weis blustered his way beneath the Golden Dome, discussing the "decided schematic advantage" he would bring to the Irish. When Notre Dame won 19 games in his first two seasons, he appeared correct. When they won 16 games over the next three seasons, he appeared on the unemployment line. Notre Dame, for all of its resources, is a familial place. After his fast start, Weis's ego veered toward imperialism. He burned bridges that he needed when his 2007 team fell to 3-9. He left South Bend a wiser man. .... In the bigger picture, Weis is who Kansas needs. .... Weis will bring Kansas a profile it didn't have under Turner Gill or his predecessor, Mark Mangino. Weis is good in the living room. His favorite verbal weapon is the needle, which is the Official State Figure of Speech of his native New Jersey. But his players play hard for him.


Unless you are a cynical, fun-hating bastard like me, do not read this

As noted by Gopher86, the Bill Callahan similarity is striking. Not cool. Sorry for the negativity. I just want our expectations to be in the right place.


OT: Weis to KU - ND'ers, what say you?

Is this a good hire? I've got all the KU insight I need over at RCT, but what do the Notre Dame fans think about this?.... Was Weis really that bad, or was it too lofty expectations? Also: WEIRD....

Football players speak out about Gill By Mike Vernon Sunday, November 27, 2011 "We all know he...

Football players speak out about Gill By Mike Vernon Sunday, November 27, 2011 "We all know he loves us like he’s our own father, we’re his sons." -Jordan Webb "I think it’s unfair. Got to give him an equal opportunity. Everybody out here loves coach Gill. I’m kind of speechless about everything that’s going on right now. He let us know that he cares, that he loves us, to keep our heads high, and keep fighting. I’m sure he thinks the same thing, two years, you only have so much time to rebuild off something. That’s clearly not enough time, I don’t think at all." -Greg Brown "He comes to a school that’s struggling and in two years, they get rid of him. I don’t really feel like he got an opportunity to prove what he’s capable of and I think it really speaks on the university as a whole. A team doesn’t go 5-19 because of one person, but because he’s the head man, he’s going to take the blame for it. While it is looked at as coach Gill’s fault being the head coach, it’s really a reflection on us as players and the failures that we had and just not being able to succeed. I really take that to the heart." -Toben Opurum "Now you don’t know who you’re playing for. I guess that’s part of life and part of business." -Kale Pick "He’ll watch what you’re doing in the classroom, ask you about your social life, but then, when you got on the football field, he would critique you there." -Steven Johnson "At the end of the day, we can’t lose each other. We lost a great coach, but in our minds, we’ve got to stick together." -Darius Willis UDK article

Kentucky's Kids Grow Up Against Kansas -- Grantland


Mostly about the UK youngsters, but some bits about how KU played: For most of the game, Kansas players with grown-man strength outmuscled [freshman Anthony Davis]. Thomas Robinson, a refrigerator-shaped forward, left him flailing on a predictable spin move, fifteen feet from the basket. On another play, Jeff Withey, the Jayhawks center, flicked Davis aside for an easy put-back dunk.

draysbay: What the Sanchez trade says about [Wade] Davis


Some more insight into Melky and Sanchez, and their comparative values. The Davis comparison doesn't even make that much sense b/c he has several years of team control left.

The Braves and Royals have already discussed a Jurrjens trade, and the Braves have an interest in...


The Braves and Royals have already discussed a Jurrjens trade, and the Braves have an interest in minor league outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Wil Myers, amongst several other prospects in K.C.'s deep farm system. The Royals are known to be targeting veteran starting pitching on the trade market this winter so the two sides would seem like a fit as trading partners. As Bowman notes, Cain could be seen by the Braves as a future center field option if Michael Bourn isn't signed to an extension.


Slightly OT - The inside/outside view of forecasting


We see this all the time when evaluating players and teams, but here's a Nobel Laureate discussing it in a non-baseball setting: After meeting every Friday afternoon for about a year, we had constructed a detailed outline of the syllabus, written a couple of chapters, and run a few sample lessons. We all felt we had made good progress. Then, as we were discussing procedures for estimating uncertain quantities, an exercise occurred to me. I asked everyone to write down their estimate of how long it would take us to submit a finished draft of the textbook to the Ministry of Education. I was following a procedure that we already planned to incorporate into our curriculum: the proper way to elicit information from a group is not by starting with a public discussion, but by confidentially collecting each person’s judgment. I collected the estimates and jotted the results on the blackboard. They were narrowly centered around two years: the low end was one and a half, the high end two and a half years. .... Then I turned to Seymour, our curriculum expert, and asked whether he could think of other teams similar to ours that had developed a curriculum from scratch. Seymour said he could think of quite a few, and it turned out that he was familiar with the details of several. I asked him to think of these teams when they were at the same point in the process as we were. How much longer did it take them to finish their textbook projects? "You know, I never realized this before, but in fact not all the teams at a stage comparable to ours ever did even complete their task. A substantial fraction of the teams ended up failing to finish the job." This was worrisome; we had never considered the possibility that we might fail. My anxiety rising, I asked how large he estimated that fraction was. "About 40 percent," he said. "Those who finished, how long did it take them?" "I cannot think of any group that finished in less than seven years," Seymour said, "nor any that took more than ten." .... This embarrassing episode remains one of the most instructive experiences of my professional life. I had stumbled onto a distinction between two profoundly different approaches to forecasting.... The inside view is the one that all of us, including Seymour, spontaneously adopted to assess the future of our project. We focused on our specific circumstances and searched for evidence in our own experiences. We had a sketchy plan: we knew how many chapters we were going to write, and we had an idea of how long it had taken us to write the two that we had already done. The more cautious among us probably added a few months as a margin of error. But extrapolating was a mistake. We were forecasting based on the information in front of us, but the chapters we wrote first were easier than others and our commitment to the project was probably at its peak....The argument for the outside view should be made on general grounds: if the reference class is properly chosen, the outside view will give an indication of where the ballpark is. It may suggest, as it did in our case, that the inside-view forecasts are not even close.

"People need to realize that players do get paid" - Collin Carrol, C for VTech and part-time columnist

Giving players more money won’t solve the insubordination. We already have more money than we know what to do with. Scholarship football players received a check for $4,143 at the beginning of the season to cover room and board for the semester. Add to that a training camp check for $150, a Thanksgiving check for $150, a $400 meal enhancement check, $600 at the bowl game, and $15 in spending money after every home game. You’re looking at $5,533 in cash during the fall semester — not including the possibility of qualifying for a $2,775 Pell Grant. .... When we finish playing football, we leave with a degree from Tech — valued at $5,254 per semester for in-state tuition. Tutors are at our disposal and paid for by the athletic department. In one semester, the benefits total $14,551 per player. The NCAA limits the work week to 19 hours for student-athletes, which includes practice, meetings and weight-lifting. Over a 20-week season, we put in a total of 380 hours, at an hourly wage of $38.29. While I understand we don’t have the luxury of allocating that $14,551 however we’d like, what else would we spend it on, other than food, clothes, toys and tuition? Even when we look solely at the cash, we’re in abundance. A nice apartment in Blacksburg will cost roughly $450 per month, or $2,250 per semester. Purchase a Mega Flex meal plan for $1,459, and your meals are covered. With $5,533 in cash during the fall, this leaves athletes with $1,824 in extra spending money per semester, $364 per month, $81 per week or $12 per day. If someone can’t survive on $12 per day, when food and rent are taken care of, I question the admission process. Interesting take on the lack of necessity for NCAA player stipends. My view is that players are being exploited without due compensation, but $38/hour makes it sound less unfair.

Thoughts on lefty-stacked lineup used by the Rays last night?

Facing right-handed Lewis, the Rays batted 3 RHH then 6 consecutive LHH, bucking convention. I've wondered for a while whether alternating L/R in the lineup causes more harm than good: scoring runs...

On August 18th, the Red Sox were 75-48 (.610), while the Rays were 66-56 (.541). Let's assume those...


On August 18th, the Red Sox were 75-48 (.610), while the Rays were 66-56 (.541). Let's assume those records reflected the true talent levels for both teams. Over their last 37 games, the Red Sox have gone 14-23. The probability of a .610 club winning less than or equal to 14 out of 37 games is .3%. The Rays have gone 23-15 over their last 38 games. The probability of a .540 team winning greater than or equal to 23 out of 38 games is 26%.

from beyondtheboxscore

Sickels - Prospect Of The Day: Kelvin Herrera


I had forgotten about the elbow problems - the reason he is confined to the pen - but his numbers were impressive: starter-quality stuff pitching in relief.

2nd-basemen on the market - BtBS


Is Kelly Johnson a good fit for GMDM's Process? Former Brave, veteran presence, fields relatively well (also a left-handed bat, something the system is short on). Maybe he's going to have several suitors, but maybe not. Not that I'm giving up on Giavotella, but this article is a good list of potential 2B candidates - the "Sleepers" section has some interesting possibilities. And also Beckham is an intriguing reclamation project - risky but certainly viewed as a talented player, and Seitzer would have his work cut out for him.

Slightly OT: Fan's reaction to Irish loss


"I cried like an a**hole....... by guilfordnd (2011-09-11 00:32:33) "......for `15 minutes in the bathroom. and i[''m still drunk. I wanted to be as positive as I could the entire game until the pass. I crumpled up after that and cried and cried like I lost a good friend or some s--- after that pass. Tonight I let the small bluegill and two other panfish that were in my aquirium into the creek down the street. I figured I can't have anymore pussies in my man cave. I will catch some fish that will be a f---ing asshole ( like a bass) where every time I feed it it will dominate, and then s--- out the remains. call me wierd but I got nothing left. I don't know what else to do. I look forward to the fall but the gets harder and harder each year." (Via This Week In Schadenfreude, one of my favorite weekly reads, as further example of unpleasant reactions to one's school's failings at college football.)

Report: Texas, Oklahoma officials meet


"Texas President William Powers Jr., athletic director DeLoss Dodds and women's athletic director Chris Plonsky were among a group of Texas officials who went to Oklahoma on Sunday....Oklahoma president David Boren was present at the meeting. "In the meeting, Texas expressed its desire to keep the Big 12 together, while OU made it clear it plans to pursue membership in the Pac-12. But according to an OU athletic department source, Sooner officials agreed to wait as Texas works through its next move. It's OU's preference to go to the Pac-12 with the Longhorns, the source said, and OU is willing to wait for a short period of time while that remains a possibility before acting on its own."

You're An Internet Baseball Fan, And The Royals Make You Look Stupid


(BtBS linked to this) I am skeptical of many parts of this, and on several levels, but decide for yourself. One excerpt: And so when I think "Internet baseball fan," I think likemindedness. This isn't a criticism. This is just the way it is. A lot of Internet baseball fans have a lot of the same opinions. That is an unavoidable consequence of so many people looking at the same information.


Can someone explain the benefit of a 16-team conference?

Sure, there's more overall revenue, and I suppose more "power" with more member institutions. But all I see is that each team's relevance gets watered down - the bigger the pond, the smaller the...

Looking at Allowed wOBA vs. Expected - BtBS


"We're looking at how all batters faced have performed against a pitcher's handedness over the course of the season, and compare that to how well the pitcher actually did against these batters. An example...the set of batters that have faced CC Sabathia have hit for a collective weighted wOBA of .327 against all lefties, while the Cy Young favorite has actually allowed a wOBA of .280. " Looks at individual pitchers as well as by-division and by-team. I suppose I don't need to tell you which team performed the worst compared to the expectations.

Recruiting stars of 1st Round NFL picks, 2011

  1. 5 Star - 7
  2. 4 Star - 11
  3. 3 Star - 9
  4. 2 Star - 2
  5. From NFP.com, via SBN's Mocking The Draft site

SI's Staples writes about Big 12 strife (in case you hadn't heard enough already)


"By the same token, what right do Texas A&M, Oklahoma and the rest have to complain? They signed on for the new Big 12 last year knowing full well that Texas intended to launch its own network. Why should Texas be limited because its conference counterparts misjudged the scope and breadth of The Longhorn Network? It's almost as if they are saying, "We knew Texas was powerful, but we didn't realize it was this powerful." There was a reason we pundits called the conference Texas and the Nine Dwarves after the league was salvaged. It was obvious to us. Why wasn't it obvious to you?"

Sickels - **The Royals finally promoted Jake Odorizzi to Double-A Northwest Arkansas last week. In...


Sickels - **The Royals finally promoted Jake Odorizzi to Double-A Northwest Arkansas last week. In May, a Royals official joked with me that they were waiting for his K/BB ratio to get to "100 to 15" before promoting him from Wilmington. At least, I thought this was a joke: his K/BB in the Carolina League ended up at 103/22 in 78 innings with 68 hits allowed and a 2.87 ERA. His first start for Northwest Arkansas wasn't bad: five innings, six hits, two runs, two walks, four strikeouts. Odorizzi's statistical indicators are all positive. He's a strong fly ball pitcher but hasn't given up many homers at the lower levels; we'll see if that remains true but I'm optimistic. He has an impressive 90-95 MPH fastball/plus changeup combination, and the Royals are reportedly happy with the progress he's made with his curveball. The former high school shortstop is also a fine athlete, and his mound presence drew raves in the Carolina League. With injuries and inconsistency plaguing their collection of young arms this year, the Royals are reminded that you can never have too many pitching prospects, and should be quite happy that they were able to pick Odorizzi up in the Greinke deal with the Brewers.

Minor League Notes, July 12, 2011

What Happenend To Kyle Davies: from 4th round pick, to B+ prospect, to ML dud

The question of the day seems to be "Why has Dayton Moore stuck with Kyle Davies so long?" especially considering Davies's consistently poor major league results? "Tools" is often the answer, but...

A real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on...

A real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on OBP vs SLG as a measure of value for a hitter. Regardless of the cause, a real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on OBP vs SLG as a measure of value for a hitter. As was noted in "Moneyball," in the high octane ‘90s and ’00s, OBP was generally more valuable than SLG, with the thinking that the out is valuable, and they should not be sacrificed for runs due to the fact this will limit your scoring in any given inning, and over the long haul it’s better not to give up outs (I know I’m simplifying here). However when a run environment changes, the relative value of outs and runs change, too. To illustrate, imagine a slow pitch softball game vs. a fast pitch one. In a slow pitch game, people routinely hit .600, and given the extremely high chance that the man behind you will get on base, getting a single is almost as valuable as getting a double, and therefore risking an out by hitting the ball hard is less rewarding than taking a safe soft swing. In this high scoring format, outs are far more valuable than bases. On the other extreme, a fast pitch game routinely ends in 1-0. In this atmosphere, the difference between a single and a double is high, as it greatly increases the odds that you will get one run that inning, which will often prove to be the winning one. The value of a HR is way more than 4 times a single for the same reason. Here, it’s well worth it to swing as hard as possible, and bunt, and generate productive outs, than in slow pitch, where such strategies all yield to the importance of not getting an out. Comment by NJBammer at BtBS Are Pitchers Getting Better, or Hitters Getting Worse?

Cuthbert in Sickels's MiLB notes


(We've talked about this a bit around here, but Sickels had a note about Cuthbert's progress:) **Kansas City Royals third base prospect Cheslor Cuthbert is holding his own in the Midwest League. An 18-year-old Nicaraguan signed in 2009, Cuthbert is hitting .289/.350/.467 in 24 games for Kane County, with nine walks and 14 strikeouts in 90 at-bats. The Midwest League OPS is just .686, so his .818 OPS indicates that he's well ahead of his competition in performance despite his age. Cuthbert's plate discipline isn't great but has taken a step forward this year, and scouts remained enamored with his bat speed, power potential, and solid ability to make contact. He's also made a dramatic improvement with the glove this year: he had an .891 fielding percentage and seven errors in 28 games of rookie ball last season, but has made just one error in 22 games this year. He still needs work with his footwork and just more experience in general, but it's a definite start.


Mock draft update for MM twins and Selby

Jonathan Givony, of DraftExpress.com, has updated his mock (on 6/16/11), with snippets about each of the 1st round picks. 10 Milwaukee Bucks Marcus Morris PF 21 years old; 6’9"; 230 lbs...

From BtBS article "2010 Rule 5 Drafted Pitchers in the Majors: Pitch Analysis": Nathan Adcock was...

From BtBS article "2010 Rule 5 Drafted Pitchers in the Majors: Pitch Analysis": Nathan Adcock was taken by the Royals with the 5th pick in the Rule 5 Draft and has been used as a long reliever in the Royals' super young bullpen, though he has made two short starts (one okay, one short disaster). His numbers have been less than impressive: he's put up a 4.55ERA/5.18FIP/4.13xFIP line, though some of that is due to really bad luck on Home Runs. Now these pitches are more impressive than Paterson's and show some potential. Adcock's primary offering, the two-seamer, gets pretty damn good sink and still manages to average above 90MPH. And as such, it does indeed have good GB numbers against both types of batters. Adcock's change-up has similar movement to the two-seamer (with a slight bit more sink), but a 4-5 MPH gap from the two-seam fastball. He also seems to throw the pitch to both righties and lefties, and in a really small sample size has been somewhat successful with this infrequently used pitch. Adcock's other pitches are more hit or miss: the four-seam fastball doesn't have great movement; it's basically average (as John Sickels described above). His Slider has pretty good velocity, but really doesn't have a huge amount of horizontal movement, though its horizontal movement relative to the fastballs could make it potentially a really good pitch. The Curveball is more of a slurve (there's little drop, and all horizontal movement), and really all it has going for it is velocity. Regardless, Adcock is one to keep an eye out for. He has a starter's repertoire, a main pitch that has some pretty good properties, and good velocity on his secondary stuff to make up for less impressive movement. BtBS

One of the underlying themes of sabermetrics is the human struggle separate our emotions from our...


One of the underlying themes of sabermetrics is the human struggle separate our emotions from our perception of reality. A player dropping a key pop-up that costs your team the game does not automatically make him a bad defender, no matter how angry you may be with him. A player coming through with a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam doesn't mean he has some inherent clutch ability, no matter how elated you may be with him.

Economics of Baseball: Billy Beane's two step

Slightly OT: Accuracy of crowdsourcing falls when others' estimates are learned

"In a new study of crowd wisdom — the statistical phenomenon by which individual biases cancel each other out, distilling hundreds or thousands of individual guesses into uncannily accurate average answers — researchers told test participants about their peers’ guesses. As a result, their group insight went awry. Although groups are initially ‘wise,’ knowledge about estimates of others narrows the diversity of opinions to such an extent that it undermines collective wisdom, wrote researchers...." So by my count we're making each other dumber by commenting about our Royals expectations.
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