Tuesday, September 25, 2007

unaware the NL west even existed, several baseball "experts" are asked to evaluate it

this will end badly. from jon weisman's "fungoes" blog on si.com- NL West- Rockies in the Discussion. now let me just clarify- i have no problem with weisman himself. the blog itself looks pretty good overall. rather, i have several large problems with all of the people he interviewed for the piece. seven different "smart baseball people" were asked the same question. how many different ways they can be wrong/tragically oversimplistic in answering it? (sorry, this ends up being pretty long... if you don't care about the NL playoff picture, you might want to skip it. but i have no regrets about writing it. three quarters of the analysis in here is absolute baloneyshit. i had to do what i had to do.)

Flying around the bend like Franz Klammer at Innsbruck '76, the Colorado Rockies, with an eight-game winning streak capped by a three-game sweep at San Diego this past weekend, are still vying for a medal with one week remaining in the regular season.

when's the last time you saw a baseball team compared to an olympic skier? just saying.

If the Rockies can get over the hump, do they become the worst nightmare for their potential NL Central and NL East playoff opponents? Or do Arizona and San Diego still offer the biggest challenge? Sunday, I asked several online baseball writers for their thoughts:

and it would seem none of them did any research whatsoever before offering their answers.

Rich Lederer, Baseball Analysts: Arizona has the best record in the National League since the All-Star break, yet it has been well-documented that the Diamondbacks sport a negative run differential. San Diego has allowed the fewest runs in the majors, although skeptics say that is in large part due to the fact that the Padres play their home games at spacious Petco Park. Colorado has the longest current winning streak in baseball, but is still four games back in the West.

ok... good start. where are you going with this?

Hey, it's the playoffs. Throw out the analysis and logic, and bring on the Ouija board.

is that how you got your job?

Anything can happen come October.

thank you for the epic cliche. you must work for FOX's self-promotion department. i can just hear joe buck saying this in his douche-iest "playoff voice."

My hunch is that Colorado would do the best in the postseason, but the Rockies have to get there first.

a hunch. good. again, how did you get your job? however, i do have to give this guy some credit. he clearly doesn't know anything about the NL west; but he more or less admits to it. wait until you see how some of these other clowns try to fake their way through the fact that they have no idea about any of these three teams.

(side note- can you imagine anyone offering analysis like this about one of baseball's more loved-by-the-media divisions? it would sound ridiculous. "who's the favorite in the AL east? the yankees have been really good since may, but the red sox are really good too! let's throw out the analysis and logic and say... shoot, the yankees, i guess. no! wait. red sox. yeah, i'm going with the red sox. on a strong hunch." sigh. welcome to baseball in the year 2007.)

David Pinto, Baseball Musings: Which would I least like to face? The Arizona and Padres offenses just don't produce. They're both around 4.45 runs per game, near the bottom of the league. Adjusting for parks, however, gives San Diego an edge. San Diego's lineup sends good hitters to the plate, where that's not true for the Diamondbacks.

san diego-
team OPS: .727
team OPS+: 98
top 3 individual OPSes on the team: 1.004 (m. bradley, in limited action), .824 (a. gonzalez), .792 (k. kouzmanoff)
number of regulars with an OPS+ of 100 or greater: 6 (including bradley and mike cameron, both injured)


arizona-
team OPS: .735
team OPS+: 89
top 3 individual OPSes on the team: .859 (m. reynolds), .826 (e. byrnes), .819 (c. jackson)
number of regulars with an OPS+ 100 or greater: 5 (including the injured orlando hudson and chad tracy)

san diego has the edge in OPS+ despite having a lower raw OPS because they play half their games at petco park. other than that, the sole big difference is bradley, who is now out for the year. to give pinto the benefit of the doubt, i'll assume he gave his answer before bradley got hurt. but his answer is tragically simple anyways. "san diego has good hitters, arizona does not." use your brain buddy. reynolds and byrnes (whose SBs add an extra dimension of offense) aren't good hitters, but gonzalez and kouzmanoff are? look at the numbers, moron.

[Jake] Peavy and [Chris] Young make a terrific 1-2 punch in the rotation, but Young hasn't pitched well since returning from his injury.

young since his return, including a disastrous outing last night- 48 IP, 34 ER, 6.33 ERA. yeah- i'm gonna go ahead and say he's not really pulling his weight in the "1-2 punch" combo. sadly, the rest of david's analysis is pretty inoffensive, although still extremely oversimplified. but let's skip it and get to the real idiots.


Joe Sheehan, Baseball Prospectus: San Diego by just a little bit, mainly for the edge Jake Peavy has on Brandon Webb, and their having the best offense of the three teams.

that's all joe offers. that's it. peavy is better than webb (true, but how significant is that really? san diego's ace is probably the best SP in the league, and arizona's ace is like the 5th best... what a difference maker.) and san diego has the best offense of the three. before we take that as fact and move forward, let's just make sure it's true.

runs/game:
colorado 5.21
san diego 4.44
arizona 4.42


batting average:
colorado .278
san diego .248
arizona .250


OBP:
colorado .353
san diego .320
arizona .320


SLG %:
colorado .434
san diego .407
arizona .415


oooooooooooooooooooook. thanks for the analysis, joel. baseball prospectus is held is incredibly high regard by so many dedicated baseball fans (read: intense SABR people, who love numbers more than anything when it comes to proving a point). and this is the kind of guy they employ? almost makes me want to side with the joe morgans and jerry crasnicks of the sports journalism world.


D.J. Short, MetsBlog.com: I feel that the Diamondbacks are the biggest threat, simply because of Brandon Webb, who had a 42-inning scoreless streak earlier this year. Something tells me that he could be Orel Hershiser of 1988 revisited.

d.j. and joe from baseball prospectus should have compared answers before submitting. so webb is the singular reason he favors the d'backs. besides the fact that liking a team more than another based on one SP is pretty dumb (even when it comes to the postseason), what about the fact that peavy has a better ERA and WHIP this year? i guess because he didn't have a long scoreless inning streak, his season long dominance isn't worth as much.

(again, just like with the guy who picked the rockies on a hunch, can you imagine this kind of analysis being applied to one of baseball's more media friendly divisions by a so called baseball expert? "yankees or red sox? i'm going yankees, for one reason and one reason alone- i think chien-ming wang is slightly better than josh beckett." that would NEVER happen. welcome to the NL west.)

Led by a scrappy Eric Byrnes, the D'backs show a lot of fight and are more of an offensive force than the Padres.

review those numbers i just gave in response to joe from baseball prospectus, and tell me how this is true. well, the "offensive force" part anyways. the scrappiness part? i gotta admit- eric byrnes is scrappy as hell. he's like a version of david eckstein that actually plays above average baseball and even spends time in the sun occasionally. have you ever seen the way he somersaults on his followthrough every single time he's trying to throw out a baserunner from left field? plus, his jersey always has dirt on it. always. i think he practices his headfirst slide during pregame warmups. what a jackass. what a scrappy, gritty, gutty, hustlerific jackass.

The Mets have dominated the D'backs at Bank One Ballpark in recent seasons, including taking three of four there in May, but all the stats in the world mean nothing once the playoffs begin.

this wasn't asked, but thanks for telling us about how the mets have fared against them. also... the rockies... not really part of the question, then? ok.

Dave Studeman, The Hardball Times: I'd pick San Diego and Arizona over Colorado, because their pitching staffs are built for the postseason: ace starter, good No. 2 and 3 starters, deep bullpen.

the san diego and arizona bullpens are definitely awesome. and they both have an ace. however- let's look at these allegedly sweet no. 2 and no. 3 starters.

san diego
no. 2- chris young, who i've already discussed (6.33 ERA since august 1)
no. 3- greg maddux, 4.10 ERA, 1.24 WHIP (very solid), 6.29 september ERA in 5 starts (not solid), only a 101 ERA+ because of petco (shockingly unsolid)

arizona
i'm not as familiar with the d'backs rotation, so i'll just list the credentials of their next 3 best pitchers after webb, and we'll try to figure out who no. 2 and no. 3 are.
doug davis- 4.27 ERA (ok...), 110 ERA+ (ok...), 142 Ks in 187 IP (pretty good...) 1.60 WHIP (that is awful, for a potential #2 or even #3 guy)
livan hernandez- 4.85 ERA (that kind of sucks), 97 ERA+ (nope), 1.56 WHIP (not even close), 87 Ks in 200 innings (wow)
micah owings- 4.49 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 102 Ks in 146 IP (and a grand slam!)

so i guess owings is probably the #2, and davis is #3... i guess. are those the kind of guys you expect to carry you through the playoffs? i guess, as that one idiot said, "anything can happen in october!" and look at how good jeff weaver, jeff suppan, and anthony reyes were last year for the cardinals. still... neither of these top 3s are even close to elite as far as the whole league goes. although they've fallen out of the playoff picture, the dodgers have a much better 1-2-3 (penny, lowe, billingsley). the braves have an edge with smoltz, a rejuvenated tim hudson, and chuck james. the mets are comparable to both with perez, maine, and glavine. hell, i'll even take what the cubs have to offer with zambrano, lilly, and hill over what the d'backs are running out there. and all that's only in the NL. i mean, this whole argument only exists because chris young and maddux are hurt. were they healthy, the padres would be way better than all these teams in this department. but both have been hurt and performing poorly for a signficant amount of time, and these "experts" should know that.

Of the two, I'd give a slight edge to the Padres because their offense seems just a bit better, and I think a visiting team might have a hard time adjusting to their ballpark.

might have a hard time adjusting how? is the batter's eye covered with pictures of baseballs? is the outfield made out of trampolines? pathetic. and again, imagine this kind of analysis being offered re: the yankees and red sox. it's sad to realize the depth of information offered about certain teams just dwarfs that offered about other very talented and "significant" (as in, playoff worthy) teams.

Bob Timmermann, The Griddle: A question as puzzling as this requires a nap. And after thinking about the topic, I started napping. But once awake, the answer became no clearer.

unfunny. get to your answer.

Each team, if viewed objectively, looks like it should not be able to make the playoffs.

this is nonsense. what is the difference between objectively and subjectively viewing a baseball team's chances at making the playoffs? any act of trying to predict the future is inherently subjective.

I would have originally tabbed the Padres because of their pitching, but I'm just not sold on it.

although you probably don't know why, you are right. i've got $5 that says bob doesn't know young and maddux have been hurt recently.

I would have to go with Arizona because they actually have a manager (Bob Melvin) who seems to best be able to wring out the most from the talent he has available. The Padres are reminding me a lot of the 2004 Dodgers -- in a bad way.

thank you for that great piece of non-analysis. the rockies weren't picked to finish above .500 or 4th in the division by anyone during before the season started, but the fact they're going to do both has nothing to do with clint hurdle. bud black? terrible manager. couldn't wring water out of a wet sponge. (sarcastic joke does not apply to the fact that black just tackled his best hitter on the field, tearing the guy's ACL)

And I think the Rockies are not as formidable once Matt Holliday (who missed games Saturday and Sunday with a strained left oblique muscle, but will try to return Tuesday in Los Angeles) is subtracted from the lineup.

the rockies are not as good when their MVP candidate doesn't play. who'd have thunk? so he missed 3 games, all of which the rockies won, and now he's supposed to be back. and... this works into your answer.... how?

Ken Tremendous, Fire Joe Morgan: I think it's unquestionably the Padres. Although Young hasn't been quite as good since the injury,

young, pre-injury: 20 starts, 1.82 ERA, 0.99 WHIP
young, post-injury: 9 starts, 6.33 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

slight discrepency there.

he still has a WHIP of 1.06 for the season,

not relevant, since he's obviously not the same pitcher since he's been injured.

and he and Peavy are easily the best 1-2 combo in the division.

when healthy, yes. now, no.

No one on the entire team can hit, but no one on the Diamondbacks can hit either, and they only have one good pitcher.

at least all of that is vaguely correct.

Assuming the Pads make the playoffs, I wouldn't be shocked if they went to the World Series.

considering this is baseball, where even the best teams only win 2/3 of their games, and you only need 7 wins to get through the LDS and LCS, i wouldn't be shocked if any of the eight teams that make the playoffs go to the world series. also... the rockies? part of the question? i guess not.

so, finally, let's summarize: weisman asked seven baseball experts whether the padres, diamondbacks, or rockies present the biggest playoff challenge to teams from the NL east and NL central in the postseason.

-2 want to choose based soley on either peavy or webb, 1 of whom picked the padres because peavy is better than webb
-3 think chris young is helping the padres win games right now
-1 thinks the padres have the best offense out of all three teams
-3 fail to mention the rockies at all, despite the fact that they're a single game behind the padres for the wild card
-6 of them fail to mention arizona or san diego's bullpens, both of which are amazing
-1 thinks the diamondbacks don't send good hitters to the plate, but the padres do
-1 made their choice on "a hunch" after "throwing out analysis and logic"
-1 wants to remind us that all the stats in the world don't mean anything once the postseason begins
-1 required a nap before coming up with his answer

ah, online sports journalism. you've gotta love it.

15 comments:

eriz said...

hahaha this blod is turning into wahwhydonttherockiesgetanyrepect.blogspot.com

eriz said...

also, since the all star break, the rockies have the lowest team ERA in the national league (and they play half of their games at coors field).

Thanks for the stat box Fox Sports Rocky Mountain

Jeff said...

I like DJ Short of metsblog.com. Brandon Webb had a 42 inning scoreless streak. Orel Hershiser had a 59 inning scoreless streak and that lead to a World Series victory - therefore - I pick the D'Backs!

No recognition to the fact that Orel's streak finished off the season for the Dodgers....he had a 0.00 ERA in the regular season after 9/1 (probably earlier, but I'm lazy) - whereas Webb has a 4.2 ERA in September - he's good, but he's not inhumanly perfect anymore.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of notes.

1) "use your brain buddy. reynolds and byrnes (whose SBs add an extra dimension of offense) aren't good hitters, but gonzalez and kouzmanoff are? look at the numbers, moron."

Well, you kind of did that for him. A difference of 98 vs 89 OPS+ across the season is a pretty significant one. Considering the similarity between AZ's and SD's top hitters, perhaps the claim of sending 'good hitters' (note the plural) to the plate might be aimed at the bottom parts of the lineup? Where, again noting the top-end similarity, the fairly significant Padre advantage is probably generated.

2) "peavy is better than webb (true, but how significant is that really? san diego's ace is probably the best SP in the league, and arizona's ace is like the 5th best... what a difference maker.) and san diego has the best offense of the three. before we take that as fact and move forward, let's just make sure it's true."

The advantage of Peavy over Webb is magnified in the playoffs, with the differing rest schedules and magnified importance of single games. Peavy's the closest thing to a guaranteed win as you'll find in the NL's playoff teams, while Webb has been moderately hittable for the majority of the season outside his one scoreless streak.

And Colorado's OPS+ this year is only 103. It's still better, and Sheehan's still (obviously wrong) for saying the Rox don't have the best offense of the 3, but using non-park factor stats to refute him is meaningless when comparing two teams that have Petco and Coors as their home stadiums.

3) "again, just like with the guy who picked the rockies on a hunch, can you imagine this kind of analysis being applied to one of baseball's more media friendly divisions by a so called baseball expert? "yankees or red sox? i'm going yankees, for one reason and one reason alone- i think chien-ming wang is slightly better than josh beckett." that would NEVER happen."

... Are you kidding here? I can't quite tell - I suppose maybe I don't read the blog enough. But this sounds EXACTLY like what a 'so called expert' would say about the Sox/Yanks - I can actually hear Krukie in the back of my mind right now! I'm not defending the statement at all, just noting that being media friendly tends to attract MORE idiocy, not less.

4) "although they've fallen out of the playoff picture, the dodgers have a much better 1-2-3 (penny, lowe, billingsley). the braves have an edge with smoltz, a rejuvenated tim hudson, and chuck james. the mets are comparable to both with perez, maine, and glavine. hell, i'll even take what the cubs have to offer with zambrano, lilly, and hill over what the d'backs are running out there."

Didn't you -just- get on D.J. Short's case for talking about the Mets? This is comparing SD, AZ, and the Rockies (pretty much the only NL 'contender' you didn't mention), and noting that the former two have better rotations than the latter. I'd actually say that could be up for debate, but you really didn't get to that, now, did you?

6) "although you probably don't know why, you are right. i've got $5 that says bob doesn't know young and maddux have been hurt recently."

Have you ever actually even SEEN The Griddle? There's almost nothing else there but errata, random stats, and data points from around the MLB. Timmermann probably knew Young and Maddux were hurt before they did.

7) "when healthy, yes. now, no." Who is better, exactly? I'd take Peavy and Young over any other NL West top 2, considering Lowe has been nearly as much of a train wreck as Young since Lowe's own injury (which you decided not to mention when supporting LA's top 3 as better, I noticed): 9 starts, 5.26 ERA, 1.33 WHIP - though arguments that Penny/Billingsley (generally thought of, erroneously or not, as LA's #3) are better than Peavy/Young can be made.

... Just saying.

larry b said...

anonymous, let's go point by point-

#1- he explicitly said the diamondback "do not" send good hitters to the plate. if he meant they don't send good hitters to the plate at the bottom of their order, he should have said so. you're twisting his words for him and it's a real stretch. i'm not buying it.

#2- the difference is magnified, but it's still not THAT significant compared to other things you could pick when comparing the two teams. in a 5 game LDS series, you're only getting 2 starts and maybe 14-16 innings out of a particular SP. in a 7 game LCS or world series, you're getting 3 starts and maybe 20-25 innings. that leaves a whole lot of innings to, you know, the other pitchers on the team (to say nothing of offense). my point was not that webb is equivalent to peavy; he's not. my point is that it's really really dumb to pick one of the two teams based on a single SP. i don't care if peavy is the closest thing you can get to a guaranteed win; the analysis still stinks. give me something else to go on; baseball is a complicated sport.

as for the use of non park-adjusted stats for the offensive comparison, my bad. i'm still right. the point remains: that guy from BP is an idiot for saying what he said.

#3- yeah, you've sort of got it. i was trying to be sarcastic and serious at the same time. i mean, krukie or steve phillips would definitely say something like that. but at the same time, i was being serious in the sense that analysis of the yankees and red sox in this imaginary situation would be much more in depth and would cover more topics than just 2 SPs. they'd look at bullpens, lineups, defense, managers, etc. the analysis would still suck, but it would be a little more comprehensive than "padres or d-backs? i've got the former, because: peavy." you're definitely right, frequent idiotic analysis is part of being media-friendly. but as a fan of one of these 3 teams (d-backs/padres/rockies... i bet you can guess which) it still sounds better than being left behind and forgotten even when you're having a good season.

#4- you missed the point. this was not about comparing SD and zona's rotations to colorado's, but rather about the writer's statement that SD and zona's rotations were "built for the postseason" and "have good no. 2 and 3 starters." presumably rotations "built for the postseason" will be among the best in the league. therefore it's more than fair for me to browse around some of the other rotations in the league to try to prove that point. no one asked me a specific question constrained to just these three teams, as weisman did to these interviewees.

and i don't need to "get to" colorado's rotation because it definitely doesn't stack up to SD's (even with the injuries) and barely competes with zona's.

peavy and webb >> francis (although francis is pretty underrated)

young and owings > jimenez/morales

maddux and davis > morales/jimenez

unless you want to count josh fogg as one of colorado's top 3, which you should not. and aaron cook's been out for the season for a while now.

#5- you didn't have a number 5.

#6- i haven't seen "the griddle" but i'm going to go waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy out on a limb and assume you write for/maintain it. fair enough, i'll check you out as soon as i'm done writing this. but let me fill you in: on this blog we occasionally use hyperbole and sometimes say things that definitely aren't true in order to make our writing more bombastic and ridiculous. that's supposed to increase our readership. (learned that trick from ESPN.) this thing about the guy not knowing about the injuries was one such ridiculous statement. i wholeheartedly believe that "the griddle" was aware of young and maddux's injuries, but i threw that comment into my posting because it worked well with the (very real, and not overly exaggerated by myself) fact that many of the other interviewees' answers were uninformed.

#7- fair enough. i should have been more careful about touting lowe. still, young is definitely terrible right now, and many of these interviewees seem to be unaware of this fact.

just saying. thanks for reading.

larry b said...

furthermore, tell your buddies on "dodger thoughts" that not capitalizing is all the rage these days. it's how the kids type these days, and you know how the kids are always on the cutting edge of technology. if you don't take someone seriously just because their computer has 2 broken shift keys, you'll miss out on a lot of very decent writing. (not necessarily here, but somewhere else, at some point in your life.)

pnoles said...

Rockies vs Padres offensive stats are megaweighted by park factors.

Either way though, I don't think it would make enough of the difference to cover the gap between the two teams. Point: Larry

Anonymous said...

The crusade continues (I'm just bored and have way too much free time).

Responses to your responses:

1) I think it's fair to attempt to read into what somebody's trying to say. If a statement is up for multiple interpretations, that means it has been written poorly, but not necessarily that it's incorrect.

2) "it's still not THAT significant compared to other things you could pick when comparing the two teams..."

Actually, I kind of think it is. AZ and SD are pretty similar in that they have stellar bullpens, good starting pitching that has fallen off late in the year, and relatively weak lineups. In your response to Pinto you go out of your way to show how their line-ups are similar. The bullpens are both quite good. All that's left is the starting rotation, and when your 1-2-3 are going to be doing the majority of the starting work in the postseason it can be a good way to compare teams that look fairly similar at first glance.

That having been said, I'll again agree that it's really odd to say the Pads have a better offense than the Rox. I was just noting the ol' "lies, damn lies, statistics" point of view.

3) Gotcha. Though I could swear that fairly recently I heard one of the ESPN talking heads say something to the effect of "I'll take Team A because: -insert SP name here-. Period." I hate EEEEEEEEESPN.

4) I just feel that Studeman's answer is valid, because the question Weisman asked was specific to the three remaining NL west teams. Of those three, SD and AZ do indeed have better 1-2-3 punches (though I think you're selling the Rockies a bit short; for example, I think Morales/Jiminez might be better than Maddux - again, park factors wheeee!, see Morales's 6.23/1.27 home/away split in ERA, with accompanying small sample size warnings).

5) There is no such thing as the number 5.

6) I actually have no association with the Griddle (you're free to believe me or not). But I -do- in fact hang around Dodger Thoughts, and Bob's there all the time. Also, the Griddle is hosted on the same network (baseballtoaster). I understand the hyperbole point - I just thought it was kind of ironic considering the guy at which it was directed, and thought I'd point it out.

7) True.

I actually hadn't really seen any of your guys' work here, been going through the archives and enjoying myself. Still, when you have as much free time as I do, a bit of anal-retentive arguing can be fun. I guess.

Thanks for the responses.

Chris W said...

anonymous:

certainly the different b/t a great starting pitcher and a mediocre starting pitcher in the playoffs is a HUGE difference, but the difference between the best (give or take) starting pitcher in the NL and ONE of the best starting pitchers in the NL (and one who's shown he's capable of long stretches of dominance) is not nearly as big a deal as you're making out here.

larry b said...

anonymous-

hey, we're cut from the same cloth. i'm a big fan of this kind of thing. and i also have way too much time on my hands. thanks for the responses to the responses, here are the responses to those.

#1- agree to disagree. it was definitely poorly written at best. i'm picturing the guy thinking "let's see. padres or d-backs. i like adrian gonzalez... kouzmanoff is good... heck, even kahlil green has a lot of pop. meanwhile, hmmm... byrnes- SUCKS. reynolds- who the hell is that? phoenix is so hot in the summer anyways. screw it, i'm coming to the conclusion that san diego has good hitters and arizona does not."

#2- lies, damn lies, and statistics indeed. fair point. the rockies' park adjusted OPS+ is still 103, keeping them well ahead of the padres.

as for the pitcher stuff, i'll defer to my colleague chris w. webb has been more hittable than peavy this year, but he's still damn good. rotation depth means more than just a minor difference at the top of the rotation, which was the point in question.

#3- i hate them too. which is why i still watch hours and hours and hours of their programming each and every week. sigh. can't fox or somebody make an equivalent cable all sports network to compete? i mean, they wouldn't have phillips, krukie, or orestes estrade... but i think they'd be able to find some roughly equivalent talking heads.

#4- agree to disagree again. studeman explicitly said both teams have rotations "built for the postseason." that's obviously a very subjective description, of course, but i'd say if the rotations in question are not among the top 4 in their league... then you're on shaky ground. i was trying to establish that.

#5- wait... what? why did i type that meaningless character just now?

#6- fair enough. i am impressed with your game threads over there- quite a bit of participation. and i checked out the griddle, as well, and was similarly impressed.

#7- true indeed. i really feel like the padres are in trouble; they have peavy tonight and sunday afternoon in milwaukee... but who else is going to win a game for them? and it's not like their offense is legendary (as long as bruce bochy isn't managing against them).

like i already said, i'm all about this kind of thing, so i appreciate your style. thanks for coming back and re-checking things out. feel free to tell your friends! we're not perfect here, but we're not 100% dumb either. thanks again and take it easy.

Anonymous said...

Larry (and Chris and pnoles, too) - Yeah, I'll definitely be stopping by in the future to read more of your guys' stuff. Thanks for all the interesting points.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one last thing, totally off-topic but worth mention:

dan-bob, on August 13th: "The Mariners have an average team and are outperforming their expected wins thanks to an absurdly lucky hitting in the late innings and a strong bullpen. Since generally players' close-and-late performance doesn't greatly exceed their usual production, the M's late-luck hitting will come back to earth and they will probably finish 5 games over .500, and not make the playoffs."

Though they're still getting pretty darn lucky (7 wins above Pythag), they're now on track to finish with 85 or so wins. Gold star for that call.

pnoles said...

firekentremendous.blogspot.com?

larry b said...

yeah, seriously, tremendous absolutely whiffed with that one. probably because the question wasn't about the red sox, yankees, scott podsednik, erstad, eckstein, or juan pierre.

Chris W said...

TREMENDOUS!

SI columnist ken tremendous, you mean? for shame larry b and pnoles!