Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Award Winners

Excerpted from the latest newsletter:

AL MVP: Mike Trout
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber
AL Rookie of the Year: Jose Abreu
AL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter

NL MVP: Clayton Kershaw
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
NL Rookie of the Year: Billy Hamilton
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Excerpt: "Sputtering to the End"

"As we know, there's no relationship between how a team ends the regular season and how it plays in the playoffs. Let's hope that there's also no relationship between how a league ends the regular season and how it performs in the playoffs."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Excerpt: "Derek Jeter"

"Jeter may not have always made the best decisions in pursuit of winning, but in that moment last night you saw that the fundamental unit of success, the team win, is still what lights him up."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Excerpt: "Felix Hernandez and Sadness"

"For Hernandez, last night was the closest he's ever gotten to that kind of moment. It's sad for him, it's sad for Mariners fans, and it's sad for baseball."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Excerpt: "Bruce Bochy's Best Work Yet?"

"Bochy, though, has them in position to steal the division from the Dodgers this weekend. How much credit to assign to Bochy is an open question, but we know that he didn't let sentiment get in the way of wins."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Excerpt: "Major League IV - Fountains of Youth"

"We may have reached the point the Kansas City Royals' 2014 reason where a movie producer would be rejecting their tale as unsuitable for production. Last night in Kansas City, the Royals stole a game they desperately needed in a manner that called to mind a movie classic."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Excerpt: "Waiting"

"We have to get better about waiting. Any individual baseball story might be interesting, but when you chase all of them, those stories just become noise. There's always some team that's won nine of ten. There's always some pitcher with a 7.44 ERA in four starts. There's always some player who made a mechanical change and started hitting better, because players are always, always making mechanical changes."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Excerpt: "Incentives"

"There are QO free agents that can help these teams, but if the cost is the #11 or #12 pick in the draft, plus the draft budget attached to that pick, there's a massive disincentive to sign one. Forcing a rebuilding team to choose between the draft and free agency is terrible industry policy. Drawing a bright line that says a .468 team has to make that choice and a .463 team doesn't is just unconscionable."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Excerpt: "Ron Washington"

"Focusing just on the baseball aspects, I think this ends up being a very good outcome for the Texas Rangers. They can give Tim Bogar a spin now and spend a lot of time vetting Bogar and other candidates for the job, choosing a new manager well before having to deal with what will be a complicated offseason. Losing Washington will not be the significant loss it is perceived to be, not just because they'll be better off between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., but because Washington's oft-praised clubhouse skills may not have been universal, but rather specific to a certain set of players."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Excerpt: "The Royals"

"The funny thing about that profile is that if the Royals can win the division, they will be a dangerous postseason team. I've written a lot about batting contact rate as a leading indicator; in what we'll call the Strikeout Era, dating to 2009, the team with the higher batting contact rate is 26-9 in postseason series. Those teams were 4-3 last year, with all three series losses to the eventual champion Red Sox. That 4-3 is the worst this indicator has performed, tied with 2010, in five seasons. It also correctly forecast the 2012 Giants, no one's pick heading into October, as World Series champs. In fact, those 2012 Giants look a bit like these Royals: a core of young veterans, a dominant young lefty starter, a lights-out bullpen, and that great contact rate."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Excerpt: "Juan Lagares and Defensive Statistics"

"Lagares' defensive numbers at baseball-reference are absolutely insane. Per b-r, he's saved 60 runs with his glove so far in his career, better than one every three innings in the field. That's more than twice as good as Andruw Jones was in his career. At Jones's defensive peak, he was saving 30 runs a season while playing 1400 innings a year. Lagares is matching that in 60% of the playing time. Lagares' performance is six times better on a per-inning basis than Willie Mays's, far better than Mays at his peak. Per b-r, Lagares has had two of the top ten defensive seasons of all-time by a center fielder, and he hasn't played a thousand defensive innings in either of them."