Sunday, October 25, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 25, 2020 -- "Game Four"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The game found him. It needed three trades and two postseason roster moves and a two-out single that pushed his manager to pinch-run and another bloop single in the ninth that brought him to the plate, but it found him. Baseball sifted through 20,000 guys, tapped Brett Phillips on the shoulder, and said, 'you’re up.'"
 
 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 23, 2020 -- "Game Three Pregame"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"This Series could use a pitchers’ duel, a game in which two highly-skilled starters throw strikes and get outs and pitch deep into the game. There’s been one game this postseason in which both starters went seven innings -- it was the first one in the NL, between the Reds and Braves. There were three last year, all of which involved a Cardinals team that couldn’t hit. There was one in 2018, none in 2017, two in 2016. That’s seven in five years, even as the postseason is as large as it has ever been. It’s not that postseason pitchers’ duels are some ideal brand of baseball. It’s that they are a particular type of game, one with a rich history, that has gone almost extinct."

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 22, 2020 -- "Game Two"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"It was no fluke; Lowe has a lot of Jeff Kent to him, an offensive second baseman who is better defensively than he’ll get credit for. Kent didn’t reach the majors until he was 24 and he never had a bad year once he got there; his one season with an OPS+ below average was his final one, when he hit .280/.327/.418 (96 OPS+) for the Dodgers. Projecting Lowe to a 55-WAR career and a Hall of Fame case is asking a lot, but he profiles as an 875 OPS hitter at a key defensive position."
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 21, 2020 -- "Game One"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"The thing is, I was wrong. Starting the inning with Glasnow is fine. Once he walked Betts and Seager, though, the latter stymieing three two-strike deliveries in drawing an eight-pitch walk, the jig is up. You have to bring in one of your one...two...five right-handed relief pitchers to face Turner, Muncy, and Smith, and have a lefty available if the inning continues past there. Cash will have to be a bit unfair to his relievers this week, getting them up more on spec and living with an increased possibility of warming them up without using them. Once taking out the starter is on his radar, he may need to have a couple of guys ready to go at almost all times."

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 20, 2020 -- "World Series Preview"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"The Dodgers led NL teams in runs scored even while hitting for the eighth-highest average in the league. They hit more homers than anyone else, and they drew an above-average number of walks. Related to the latter, they got ahead in the count more than almost any other team. Just four teams had more plate appearances get to 1-0 than did the Dodgers. Just three teams -- one of them the Rays -- hit better once getting to 1-0. The Rays deny walks as well as anyone, with a 7.6% walk rate bettered only by the Indians and Dodgers. They also had the sixth-fewest PAs in MLB that started 1-0, and even when they fell behind, only the Indians and Dodgers held their opponents to a lower relative OPS+."

Monday, October 19, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, October 19, 2020 -- "One Great Baseball Game"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.


Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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We’ll have time to dig into this matchup between the two best teams in baseball, the kind of matchup we don’t often get anymore in the Series. At the other end of this World Series, though, there’s going to be a conversation, and I want to get out ahead of it today.

F**k your asterisks.

The 2020 season included just 60 games due to a pandemic, one that has taken millions of lives and that we don’t, nine months on, have a handle on. Whether MLB should have put on any season at all was a point of contention, and that they did so without known incident is a credit to the people involved, to a willingness to treat the 2020 season as sui generis, and to dumb luck. it’s the shortest baseball season since “season” was a more fluid concept, and the shortest modern one ever, shorter still when you consider that the games themselves were often foreshortened.

All 30 teams played that shortened season. MLB elected to expand the playoffs to make up for some of the revenue they lost this year, which created a chaos agent that, fortuitously, has been neutralized. The 2020 champion will be one of the teams that, on February 15, would have been considered one of the best in the game. Neither is a fluke borne of a shortened season that didn’t expose its weaknesses, or of a schedule larded with shortened games, or of an expanded playoff format. The 60-game season is no longer a consideration.

In fact, those expanded playoffs mean that the champion we crown will have run the hardest gan...route...in playoff history. The 2014 Giants won 12 playoff games in winning the World Series. Next week’s winner will have won 13. They will have done it with just two playoff games at home, spending the final three-plus weeks of the year living in a hotel and playing at neutral sites. They will have done it against a backdrop of a global pandemic.

There are adjustments we have to make for 2020, analytically, historically, even economically as we look to 2021. What we don’t have to do is consider the winner of this World Series as anything less than the ones who came before, or the ones who will come after. The two best teams in baseball are playing for a championship, having come through the hardest playoff bracket ever. Do not, for a second, consider the winner of this World Series as anything less than a champion.