Beer

timlacy

  • joined Mar 17, 2008
  • last login Aug 29, 2014
  • posts 117
  • comments 3196

I'm basically an optimistic fan. I only partially enjoy the statistical analysis of sports, preferring instead qualitative assessments that encompass a range of factors. I don't pretend (a) that my critiques cover the full range of possibilities or (b) to know every factor behind management's moves. That said, I love the Royals, the Cubs, the Chiefs, the Bears, and Mizzou sports. - TL

User Blog

Off-Topic: Creed---Yes the band Creed---Sang for the Marlins' Home Opener

17

That's the best Marlins' management could do? Wow. Why not just show a rerun of dancing-hot-girls-with-mariachi-band video from Telemundo? At least they'd be getting closer to south Florida culture that way. - TL

Excellent KCStar Article On Maier By Mellinger

36

So, ST fuels the fire for the Ankiel doubters and Maier supporters. But I'm thinking, based on the end of the article, that Hillman and the KC Brain Trust (don't laugh) are thinking of giving Maier a shot. Hillman likes to talk about the little things, and Maier is apparently doing all the little things it takes to impress the manager. - TL

The Chemistry Experiment

5

This story paints the upcoming season for the Cubs as a grand experiment in valuing clubhouse chemistry over paint-by-numbers talent. The team is essentially the same sans a poor-performing Milton Bradley. Silva has performed much better than expected this spring, and is healthy. Of course that complicates my "chemistry experiment" line of thought, somewhat. If Silva performs as an even slightly-better-than-average 5th starter, that outweighs the contributions of what was subtracted. Then again, his addition to the team would've decreased any win projections for the club because his recent history indicates a worse addition than the subtraction of Bradley. Projections aside, the players quoted in this article cite clubhouse energy/enthusiasm as an important factor---players pulling for each other as a vector for increased on-the-field performance. I'm thinking that any chemical addition-by-subtraction argument might only be made in terms of offense since Byrd probably projects as a wash with even an average Bradley. But if the team's offensive numbers improve, then maybe there's something to this whole "chemistry thing." - TL

Slightly Off-Topic: So Much For The Genius Of Jack Zduriencik

31

Phil Rogers reflects on just how bad M. Bradley is affecting the Mariners' spring. - TL

Chicago Tribune Profiles Chris "Disco" Hayes

11

Since he's a Northwestern grad, this is almost obligatory for a Chicago newspaper. But there are some fun, nice lines in the piece: 1. Essentially pitching underhand, he starts his throws down around his shoetops, and they flutter toward home plate to heckles of "This ain't bowling!" Fans call him " Disco," because his pitch speed is always in the 70s. I don't think I knew his pitch speed was ~always~ in the 70s. 2. The journey has helped turn the computer science major and self-described "poster boy for nerdiness" into the most popular blogger among minor-league baseball players. In the blog, he uses statistical analysis to argue that he can make the leap from Triple AAA to the majors, despite what your eyes might tell you. I didn't know he kept a blog. 3. His blog (discohayes.mlblogs.com) is the sixth-most popular in Major League Baseball's entire network. It mixes baseball analysis with endearing tangents, such as when Hayes was caught without a plunger as he did battle with a "toilet of doom" as a houseguest on the road. Hayes knew the blog's audience had gotten big when, days later, a fan in the stands held up a plunger and asked him to autograph it. "I'd like to think I've signed more plungers than anybody," Hayes said. I guess we'll be seeing a lot plungers in the stands next year. I suspect they'll outnumber brooms in the near future. 4. "At any given time, there are going to be 10 fans in the stands who can throw harder than him," said Rany Jazayerli, a baseball writer from Naperville who co-founded Baseball Prospectus. "Chris Hayes is not just living the dream. He is living my dream, your dream. He is living the dream of every baseball fan." Nice to quote Rany. 5. Northwestern coach Paul Stevens said Hayes was one of the best bunters he ever coached. Good to know. - TL

FanPost
83

The Value of Outfield Coaching

This KC Star story outlines some details on DeJesus's shift to right field.  The title doesn't instill confidence ("OK"), but the article talks about how the change was broached, DeJesus's attitude...

Why Chemistry Matters

66

In this article Lou Piniella reflects on the situation with the Cubs last year---i.e. chemistry problems---and why this year will be better. Here are some quotes from the article:: 1. How important is it to new teammates that Byrd is a good clubhouse guy? [as opposed to Milton Bradley] ''As opposed to what? Who are you implying?'' pitcher Jeff Samardzija said, smiling. ''You hear a lot about the clubhouse growing up as a kid, but you never really know going into it. But after being here for a couple years and understanding the dynamics of it, it means a lot.'' 2. When asked about Byrd's intangibles Wednesday, even Piniella said, ''There's no substitute for having hard workers on the team and having good chemistry in the clubhouse." There's more in the article. When you add this to comments made by other players late last season after Bradley's suspension from the Cubs, you get a reasonably powerful statement/argument about the importance of chemistry. But what does this mean for the Royals? First, I really believe that this team will not progress so long as Guillen is hanging around. Second, having guys like Kendall (and maybe Pods) does mean something aside from the hotness of their wives. [I say that not knowing if Kendall's wife is hot. I imagine her in a corset and some kind of 1880s/90s dress based on my view of Kendall's true baseball era.] Thoughts? - TL

What if we had signed Vlad?

63

Since it appears to be my lot in life to shake up the boring consensus at Royals Review, I ask: What would the analysis here have been if we'd signed Guerrero? Does the risk-reward scenario change? Or is he just another guy keeping fill-in-the-blank outfielder in AAA or on the bench? Or does his history---contrary to Pods' history---make the deal seem better? - TL

FanPost
129

Is Jerry Crasnick An Idiot?

After reading this story, I suspect that many Royals Review readers will think so.  Follow me after the jump to look at Crasnick's litany of errors.

This Is What Stand-up GMs Do When They Make Bad Deals

59

So Jim Hendry made a mistake. Does he blame the fanbase for not helping him make the deal work? No, he works his @$$ off in the off-season---doing nothing else---until he rectifies the mistake. Has he hurt the Cubs somewhat this off-season by being so single minded? Perhaps. But has he earned the respect of Cubs fans and his ownership? You betcha. The moral for GMDM? Be like JimH in relation to JoseG fiasco. - TL

Sam Mellinger Posts A REASONABLE Evaluation of Kendall Acquisition

59

Once again, Mellinger gets it right. The negative uproar is as unnecessary as the overpraising of some potentially great pick-up would be (e.g. pulling off a trade for, say, Geovany Soto, would've been). On traditionally built teams, a weak bat at catcher would be tolerated if the traditional power positions were producing. The problem is the traditional positions, to which Mellinger alludes. In his words: "The Royals have much bigger issues." - TL

Jaramillo and Tampering?

21

Like everyone else I'm delighted by the hiring of Jaramillo, but this line caught my attention: "I knew this team wasn't going to have a hitting coach at the end of the season, and that's why things worked out," Jaramillo said That has the aura of tampering, to me. Have there been any other stories that have raised the tampering question? - TL

Walks Aren't Everything, But...

8
What the Angels do not do is walk very much. The addition of the former Yankee Bobby Abreu has made their lineup more patient, willing to take more pitches instead of looking to hack. But the Angels still drew fewer walks than the average team, while the Yankees led the majors in that category. The Angels (.285) and the Yankees (.283) ranked first and second in the majors in batting average, meaning they tend to make contact. That helps the Angels use their speed and put the game in motion, taking chances on the bases. It's too bad the Royals can't even fall back on the sometimes good excuse (used properly) that they make solid contact and don't strike out often. Then again, the Royals were 18th and the Angels 21st in offensive strikeouts (higher meaning worse, of course). But the Mets had the fewest at 928 and that didn't take them far. So *the answer* isn't walks. That leaves us with OBP. The Yanks came in at #1 (.362) and the Angels #3 (.350). KC? #27 at .318. So walks aren't everything, but.... - TL

Posnanski Relaying Theo Epstein's View Of A Winning Organizational Philosophy

15

This is a first-rate Posnanski post. Here was my comment: "I’ve been a baseball fan for a l-o-n-g time. I’ve given a lot of thought to the question: "What makes a winner?" There’s no one answer to that question. But of course I’ve known for a long time that HRs and RBIs, even for a great many players on one team during the same season, won’t make a winning team. All you have to do is look at decade’s worth of those Rangers clubs, and even the Tigers during the late 80s and early 90s, to know those stats alone won’t make a winning team. As a KC fan you need look no further than the 2000 team. But, related to this post and the interview, I’ve never heard anyone articulate as well as Epstein the larger picture behind looking at OBP. Of course I reviled Dusty Baker’s ignorant "base-clogging" line about walks, but I’ve never quite understood how prioritizing OBP, plus OPS (despite the comment from Ryan above) as an organizational philosophy works toward a winning team until I saw the phrase: "not make outs." What an excellent, succinct, and powerful way of phrasing the goal. Those three words cover a large range of productive baseball activities both inside and outside the batter’s box: HBP, walk, hits (of course), stealing bases well, running well, not getting picked off, and perhaps sacrifice bunts and flys (which are a borderline activity per Epstein’s interview–get out, but maintain high OBP). Thanks for forwarding this, Joe. This interview should make an appearance at every non-Boston baseball website within the next week. – TL"

Posnanski Relaying Theo Epstein's View Of A Winning Organizational Philosophy

4

This is a first-rate Posnanski post. Here was my comment: "I’ve been a baseball fan for a l-o-n-g time. I’ve given a lot of thought to the question: "What makes a winner?" There’s no one answer to that question. But of course I’ve known for a long time that HRs and RBIs, even for a great many players on one team during the same season, won’t make a winning team. All you have to do is look at decade’s worth of those Rangers clubs, and even the Tigers during the late 80s and early 90s, to know those stats alone won’t make a winning team. As a KC fan you need look no further than the 2000 team. But, related to this post and the interview, I’ve never heard anyone articulate as well as Epstein the larger picture behind looking at OBP. Of course I reviled Dusty Baker’s ignorant "base-clogging" line about walks, but I’ve never quite understood how prioritizing OBP, plus OPS (despite the comment from Ryan above) as an organizational philosophy works toward a winning team until I saw the phrase: "not make outs." What an excellent, succinct, and powerful way of phrasing the goal. Those three words cover a large range of productive baseball activities both inside and outside the batter’s box: HBP, walk, hits (of course), stealing bases well, running well, not getting picked off, and perhaps sacrifice bunts and flys (which are a borderline activity per Epstein’s interview–get out, but maintain high OBP). Thanks for forwarding this, Joe. This interview should make an appearance at every non-Boston baseball website within the next week. – TL"

Milton Bradley to Royals? Musings.

24

I know this topic has been discussed here before, but the link above presents a potential swap from the Cubs perspective. I'm no Paul Sullivan fan (article's author), but I do see some sense in this. Bradley's a multi-dimensional player who could help KC. I'm sure this will strike some as a Guillen-esque deal. Bradley's way more talented than Guillen. Bradley has a greater career OBP, hits for a higher average, and plays above average defense in right. He might even be less hot-headed than Guillen, believe it or not. ...So long as Bradley avoids our radio and tv announcers, everything could go smoothly. ;) My concern is this: Who do we give up? - TL

Highlight From Today's Win (8/30/09)

3

I loved seeing this: The Royals' Zack Greinke followed up a 15-strikeout start with a complete game one-hitter on Sunday. He is just the fourth pitcher to do that since 1900. The other three: • Pedro Martinez -- Sept. 4, 1999 (15 Ks) and Sept. 10, 1999 (1-hitter, 17 Ks). • Randy Johnson -- July 11, 1998 (15 Ks) and July 16, 1998 (1-hitter, 11 Ks). • Vida Blue -- July 9, 1971 (17 Ks) and July 16, 1971 (1-hitter, 9 Ks). Whenever you're on a list with Vida Blue, Pedro, and Randy Johnson, something's going right. I'm getting the feeling that "third-place Cy Young voting run" is underestimating things. - TL

BrewCrew Mentioned As Potential Trade Destination For Brian Bannister

17

I had heard this via a FB post from a Milw area friend this morning. The BrewCrew have an abundance of position players, and Bannister certainly has value after recovering this season from his horrific 08 campaign. Of course Milw was a rumored trade partner last year and the year before (e.g. Greinke for P. Fielder---aren't we glad that blew over). - TL

Yeah, We Better Move Him To The Rotation

42

"Late in the game here," DeJesus said, "you can always feel that Red Sox aura. But once we got Soria in the game, we feel confident that he’s going to do the job. And he did the job as usual." And this is why they're called stoppers and get paid the big bucks and are occasionally invaluable. - TL

FanPost
23

An Intellectual History Of Grit (For Real)

A favorite topic of some RR members, always brought up ironically, of course, has attracted the attention of a highly respected member of academia.  Intellectual historian Wilfred M. McClay has...

Sox Are Worried: Greinke's Inside Their Heads

4

The Facts: Exhibit A: "Nine of the 29 batters Greinke has hit in his career have been Sox hitters." Exhibit B: "Greinke has hit four Oakland Athletics -- second most but still five fewer than the White Sox." Exhibit C: "There also have been some near-misses, such as fastballs that buzzed the heads of Carlos Quentin on April 8 and Alexei Ramirez on May 3." Quotes from 1. Dye: "He knows he has to keep us honest and pitch in. " 2. Guillen: "[Greinke] is a great pitcher and I don't think he's going to hit people just because he wants to hit people." Conclusion He's inside their heads. They're more worried about him than hitting the ball. Prediction: The Royals win 3-1. The Sox's only run comes from a Dye homerun

Why Baseball Folks Keep Chasing The Farnsworth Dream

7

I realize this link might seem like unnecessary piling on after all that's been posted here in the last 24 hours. But this piece helps explain why managers and GMs keep Tightpants employed. - TL

Expectations of Jacobs on the Rise

29

This is great news. I mean, what's the incentive to raise expectations on the guy if he's really not doing well. This should cheer all of us. I'm most pleased by the OBP for ST. But let the ripping begin. - TL

Wild Dream: Pujols to KC?

7

If only he'd come home. ...Sigh. - TL

Say What You Want About Bradley, But You Have To Admire This

9

From the piece (bolds mine):: After playing for six teams in the previous eight seasons, Bradley said he was tired of being a "rent-a-player" and felt like Wrigley Field was the perfect landing spot. "As much as we courted him, I've never seen a player court us like he did," Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney told fans at the Cubs Convention. "He was scouting us in the third game of the division series , sitting in Los Angeles trying to figure out where he would play in our lineup, and he left himself, basically, with no escape clause. "He was negotiating with us and really didn't have a safety net. This is a guy who chose Chicago and the pressure and the limelight. I don't think he expects to fail. He wants to be a Cub." This is just fantastic. I might be a sucker, but things like this make me want a Bradley jersey for the season. I hope he succeeds beyond his---and our---wildest dreams. - TL

Loved This Bit From The Onion's ARod Edition

4

Maybe we can add Gload to the top-10 good players from the non-steroid team? Or maybe Matt Stairs? - TL

FanPost
36

The Real Problem With The Current ARod Revelations

Doug Glanville hits the nail on the head with another insightful NYT column---this time on the ARod revelations.  Here's the excerpt I found most intriguing: There is a lot of outrage out there...

This Is A Great Suggestion

38

Mellinger is on the right track here. I concur with his observation that McClure might be the guy to help. I mean, this is the kind of stuff Dave Duncan and the Cards take advantage of. Normally the Cubs take advantage with Rothschild being their pitching guru. But one man's guru is another man's bad fit. What's the downside for KC? - TL

FanPost
37

18 Thoughts On Will McDonald's "Around The Majors" Discussion

1.  Why the gratuitous opening swipe, by the hosts, at Dayton Moore via Michael Young?  BS.  Moore's not been shown to give big contracts for one or two good seasons.  In fact, the criticism is...

Thinking About OBP: Another Perspective

11

In thinking about OBP and current or prospective Royals players, perhaps we should think more about the virtues of near-HOFer Andre Dawson. Perhaps having a few Dawsons is what Dayton Moore sees when he pursues a line-up of mixed OBP guys? Here's an interesting quote from Rosenthal: Among more recently elected Hall of Famers, Eddie Murray was at .359, Reggie Jackson .356 and Dave Winfield .353 — OBPs that would not rank them among the top 50 active players. Meanwhile, Ryne Sandberg was at .344, Robin Yount .342, Cal Ripken .340 and Gary Carter .335 — not that much better than Dawson. - TL

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