Friday, February 14, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 14, 2020 -- "Get Down, Loogy Oogy Oogy"

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.

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"I used to complain about the way modern bullpen usage cut down on the number of roles for pitchers. I don’t expect to see 1980s-style, anything-goes usage again, but I can remember a guy like Chuck McElroy throwing 101 innings in 71 appearances just before matchup ball really took over. There used to be room for multi-inning lefties, or even complete-inning lefties, and then for a generation MLB lefty relievers either had to be closers or LOOGYs. If this rule change means that baseball teams stop trying to develop LOOGYs, and instead let their left-handed relievers grow into wider roles, that should make for a better game. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 13, 2020 -- "Potpourri"

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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"My solution remains eliminating two teams, going back to four sevens and division winners only to the playoffs. The Division Series round, while producing some memorable moments, has chipped away at the importance of the regular season, denied us great pennant races, and has never truly found a broadcast home. While I don’t expect to win this argument, I’ll keep making it, because from where we are right now, making the playoffs more exclusive and shorter is far better than making them less exclusive and longer."

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 11, 2020 -- "Hunter Pence and the Giants"

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.

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"The Giants are what a bad team looked like before tanking showed us just where the floor could be. The Giants lost 98 games in 2017, but leveled off at 89 and 85 defeats the last two years, and will probably be in that range again. It makes for a marginally better experience if you live and die with the team each day, but with a middling -- though improving -- farm system, eventually the Giants are going to have to bottom out. The 2021-23 stretch looms as a tough run for this team."

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 5, 2020 -- "The Mookie Betts Trade"

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.

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 "Just for 2020, this trade doesn’t make the Red Sox a lot worse. It makes them a little worse, albeit in a range where the marginal wins they’re giving up affect their wild-card chances. It caps their ceiling while saving them perhaps $60 million in salary and tax payments, as well as resetting their penalty structure in future years. The Red Sox only traded 2020 Mookie Betts; they didn’t have the 2021-2028 version. Evaluating this trade as if they did, as if employing that version was simply a matter of choice, is an error."

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, February 4, 2020 -- "Hard LABR"

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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--

"Tonight I’ll be returning to the draft table as part of LABR, specifically the 15-team mixed-league draft I took part in a year ago. That team started well but finished [redacted], despite picks as successful as Stephen Strasburg (4.7), Jeff McNeil (18.7) and Mike Soroka (21.9). I had injury issues, but not as bad as many other teams did. I did make a couple of costly in-season mistakes that tied my hands and led to a slow fade in the second half."

Friday, January 31, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 31, 2020 -- "Kris Bryant"

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 larger conversation, though, has shifted to give equal treatment, even primacy, to the player's best interests. What’s missing from the above is whether the Cubs’ decision is fair to Bryant, in part because it’s obvious that it isn’t. It’s good now that there are voices that are more vocal in pointing out just how unfair it is. I don’t think those voices are representative of most baseball fans -- fans root for teams, and then players, and at that only if the players are productive and not overly expensive and don’t act in their own self-interest -- but they’re certainly a larger minority than they were five years ago."

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 28, 2020 -- "Starling Marte and the Diamondbacks"

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 Diamondbacks have bled as much talent as any team in baseball of late, yet they still put competitive, watchable teams on the field. In a different context, one without a minor dynasty in their way, we’d be talking about them as a sleeper for 2020. As is, they’re going to be one of the most interesting teams in baseball, and if they can improve the bullpen -- a concern throughout this run of theirs -- they can even give the Dodgers a small scare."

Friday, January 24, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 24, 2020 -- "Marcell Ozuna and the Braves"

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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--

"This is what you can do when you have a homegrown core that makes almost nothing. Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña, Jr., Mike Soroka, Ozzie Albies, and Dansby Swanson combined for 21 bWAR and less than $24 million in salary last year. The latter number will jump to about $28 million this year. Throw in Max Fried and, come 2021, the outfielders, and the Braves are going to have a young, inexpensive core for some time to come. If signing Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon is a bridge too far for Liberty, picking off good players on one-year deals is a pretty good backup plan."

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 22, 2020 -- "The Leftovers"

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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--

"If we get through next December, though, all that waits a year after that is...Alex Rodriguez, whose 'anonymous' positive drug test led to a witch hunt by one commissioner, and David Ortiz, whose 'anonymous' positive drug test was handwaved away by the next commissioner. We’re headed for a 2022 voting cycle that features Omar Vizquel and the Four Horsemen of the PEDocalypse. The meteor has 23 months to get here."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 21, 2020 -- "The Honorees"

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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--

"Derek Jeter became a Hall of Famer on March 30, 2004, when he walked to the plate to open the Yankees’ two-game series in Tokyo against the Rays. His routine grounder to shortstop gave him ten seasons played in the majors, the last hurdle he needed to clear to assure his eventual induction. Walking up to face Victor Zambrano that evening in Japan, Jeter had a .317 career batting average, 127 homers, a Rookie of the Year award, four top-ten MVP finishes, and four championship rings. The 40 bWAR he’d accumulated would fall short if judged over a full career, but had Jeter hung them up that day, he’d have walked into the Hall five years later."

Newsletter Excerpt, January 21, 2020 -- "Ben Cherington and the Pirates"

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 class of teams like the Pirates, with a reasonable core and some surrounding talent who could improve on sub-.500 seasons, has largely chosen to try to get better this winter. The Padres, the White Sox, the Blue Jays, the Rangers...these teams have gone into the market for talent and made trades to bolster their roster. The Pirates have stood still, and so a team that could have at least sold itself as a wild-card contender, with watchable young talent, has done nothing to bring fans back this winter."

Friday, January 17, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 17, 2020 -- "Jose Martinez and the Rays"

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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--

"Extra outfielders, though, aren’t going to move the needle. The 2020 Rays are a good team in search of that one superstar. They surely can afford it, although that player wasn’t out there on the market. If there’s a team that should be dealing for Mookie Betts or Francisco Lindor, though, it’s the Rays, who have to meet the incredibly high standards of the AL East. They won’t, of course, and they’ll win 90-odd games anyway, finish second, and have to win one more game just to get into the brackets."

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 15, 2020 -- "Three Things"

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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--

"Mariners under 67.5. The Mariners won 68 games last year thanks to a fluky 13-2 start to the season. They bring back that team, mostly untouched, and will almost certainly move anyone who performs well in the first half. As I mentioned in their writeup, their pitching staff has a chance to be truly awful. The Mariners are easily the worst team in an improved division, and they play a tough interleague slate with the NL East and the Padres."

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 14, 2020 -- "The Astros Ruling"

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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--

"By stopping there, though, because going further would be 'difficult' and 'impractical,' Manfred loses the thread completely. To punish Hinch and Luhnow alongside the players who executed the scheme, as detailed in this report, would be fair. To punish management while letting every player involved go completely free of consequences, free in fact from being named at all (but for the now-retired Carlos Beltran), is an affront to any concept of fairness. You can’t write a report that cites 68 witnesses and tens of thousands of electronic communications, suspend two people for a season, and then not touch the guys who did the actual cheating. Monthlong suspensions for the players involved are the minimum you would expect in this context."

Monday, January 13, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 13, 2020 -- "Matthew Liberatore and the Cardinals"

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.

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"A package of Liberatore and Gorman might make Cards fans wince, but it would convert future risk into current performance; given the age of the Cards’ roster, adding a prime-age star would go a long way towards cashing in the investments the team has made in this team."

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 9, 2020 -- "Random (Sorta) Player Comments, 1/9/20"

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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"Baseball has become very hard for older players. There were just five hitters 34 and older worth at least three wins last year. That number was four in 2018, and it hasn’t been above five since 2015. Donaldson is a player I would like to have in 2020. After that, his age-related risk is significant."

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 8, 2020 -- "(Non-) Trader Jerry and the Mariners"

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.

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"Dipoto can’t do anything yet. In six months, though, he may be able to walk into the trade deadline with enough moveable talent to finish the job he started when he traded Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, and James Paxton last winter."

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 7, 2020 -- "Corey Dickerson and the Marlins"

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 Marlins aren’t going to be any more relevant in 2020 than they’ve been since 2003. Take a step back, though, and you see some signs that maybe the franchise is moving away from being a laughingstock and towards, if nothing else, being a run-of-the-mill bad team. Maybe even one that can sell a million tickets."

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 5, 2020 -- "Josh Donaldson (maybe!) and the Twins"

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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"They’re still connected to the last high-end free agent, Josh Donaldson, who would sharply improve the infield defense by moving Miguel Sano to first base. Should the Twins fail to get Donaldson, it’s likely their 2020 payroll will be down from 2019, a tough thing to explain after a season in which tickets sold at Target Field jumped by 15%, the second-highest jump in MLB."

Friday, January 3, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, January 3, 2020 -- "Shogo Akiyama and the Reds"

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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"Akiyama, 32, reminds me loosely of Kosuke Fukudome, who came over at 31 as an NPB superstar and was a 1-2 win player for four years in the U.S. Akiyama doesn’t have Fukudome’s power, and one report from Japan indicates that his days as a center fielder might be numbered. If his defense is slipping, the Reds are back to the problem of playing three corner outfielders in the pasture. Still, Akiyama’s on-base skills deepen a lineup that could open with five .350 OBPs. Mike Moustakas, feel free to lead the league in RBIs."

Newsletter Excerpt, December 31, 2019 -- "A Tough Lesson"

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.

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--

"The teams know more than we do now. There’s a victory in that, for sure, the triumph of the fact-centric, data-centric thinking that was the fundamental idea behind BP, and behind my work since then. There’s a loss, though, too, an inability to confidently look at a given choice and be sure it is the right or wrong one."