Saturday, March 2, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, March 2, 2024 -- "Matt Chapman Signs"

 

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.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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In the bigger picture, though, this is just exacerbating the Giants’ bigger problem. They keep missing out on the best players in free agency, which isn’t entirely their fault, but then they spend a lot of money on these average, maybe average-plus players to fill in the gaps. Last year, it was Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto and Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling. This year, it’s Chapman and Jordan Hicks and Jorge Soler, plus a trade for Robbie Ray. To repeat a phrase, it’s movement, but is it action?
 
 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, March 1, 2024 -- "The New Rules, Reprised: Epilogue"

 

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.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"When you evaluate the rules changes from a marketing perspective, they were wildly successful, with 90% of that being the pitch clock. Fans liked it, the media liked it, the players mostly signed on to it, and we didn’t have any nightmares, any playoff games decided on clock violation with a 3-2 count and two outs in the ninth inning."

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, February 29, 2024 -- "The New Rules, Reprised: Basestealing"

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.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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We can see the impact of these changes in one small table:

         SB    CS  
2022   2486   811
2023   3503   866

Diff  +1017   +55


The new rules helped add more than a thousand steals at a 96% success rate. Those aren’t really stolen bases, those are buy-one-get-one-free bases. 

 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, February 27, 2024 -- "The New Rules, Reprised: The Pitch Clock"

 

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.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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Why did it work? I was wrong about the players. I expected far more resistance from the players to the new rule set, to being rushed, and it never happened. Oh, there were occasional complaints, but by and large, the players, and especially the pitchers, just...played faster. Why they couldn’t have done it without the clock remains a mystery, but there is little question that putting them on the clock sped them up in a way that shaved close to a half-hour off game times.
 
The pitch clock worked. The games were shorter and fans were happy about it. The players accepted the change, and the ones who objected were...handled. I was wrong. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, February 26, 2024 -- "The New Rules, Reprised: Defensive Positioning"

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.

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The shift is an effect, not a cause. The cause is pitchers are witches, and everything about the modern game begins with that point. Mandating that teams play bad defense because you don’t want to address the pitcher issue is an embarrassment to the game’s leadership and a disservice to the fans.

 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, February 25, 2024 -- "Cody Bellinger Signs"

 

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.

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Just noodling on one potential lineup...

Ian Happ LF
Christopher Morel DH
Cody Bellinger CF
Seiya Suzuki RF
Michael Busch 1B
Dansby Swanson SS
Nico Hoerner 2B
Yan Gomes C
Nick Madrigal 3B


That puts Tauchman on the bench, and likely PCA and Davis in Triple-A. You can season to taste, but that looks like the nine men who will start for the Cubs on Opening Day. Throw in the homegrown pitching depth that will lengthen the staff, and the Cubs look like the NL Central favorite.