Friday, November 28, 2008

Dayn Perry: Insufferable Douche

Gee golly guys, Dayn Perry sure disapproves of signing any free agent pitchers ever, doesn't he?

The Hot Stove season isn't notable for its certainties, but here's one bankable assumption: teams are going to overpay for pitching.

Well yeah, that's pretty safe. Some teams probably will overpay. Some will get about the right price. And few might even make off with a solid steal.

It happens every year, like paying taxes or the swallows returning to Capistrano. Teams, frantic for help, cough up contracts that can best be described as "galactically stupid."

Agreed. That probably happens too often.

Consider some of the grim boondoggles of the past ... Darren Dreifort (five years, $55 million), Kevin Brown (seven years, $105 million), Carl Pavano (four years, $39.95 million), Russ Ortiz (four years, $33 million), Chan Ho Park (five years, $65 million), Mike Hampton (eight years, $121 million), Denny Neagle (five years, $51.5 million), Barry Zito (seven years, $126 million), Carlos Perez (three years, $15.6 million), and Carlos Silva (four years, $48 million).

And there's a nice glob of evidence to support that.

Lots of belly-itchers in there, and that's but a sampling. Sure, not every winter brings us Dreifortian/Hamptonian levels of irrationality. But you can bet teams are always
(emphasis his) going to cough up more than they should for pitching help.



Never, in recent history, has any team given a reasonable contract to any pitcher?

There's an economic argument to be made that there's no such thing as an overpaid player — if the market dictates a given contract then that player is, by definition, worth that amount of money. That's true, to an extent. Contracts aren't acts of charity: they cost as much and run as long as it takes to get the player signed. However, as we all know, whether that player provides value on the dollar is another matter altogether. This is especially the case with pitchers.

Ignoring Dayn's insane need to climb on down from his pedestal way up there, this is all pretty true.

Pitching is a destructive art. The human body simply isn't designed to throw overhanded and at such speeds — it's unnatural and, done often enough, it almost always results in injury. As well, pitching entails much randomness and a level of precision foreign to other elements of the game.

Care for some more tea, crumpets, or caviar there Dayn?

(I have no idea what a "crumpet" is.)

Moving, on, your "almost always results in an injury" claim is pretty darn unfounded. There's plenty of guys in the majors who go in year-in and year out and don't have large injury risks associated with them. And you can go ahead and take your "pitching entails much randomness and a level of precision foreign to other elements of the game" argument right on over to Albert Pujols, mmmkay? Ask him, "Hey don't need to be precise or anything with regards to where you swing the bat, right? You can just hit any old part of the ball and it just flies right out of the park, I'm assuming...."

And randomness? The only "randomness" in pitching is the luck of where a ball in play lands. You might also notice, Dayn, that this "randomness" applies to the hitter, the person who hit said ball. So in re: there's some kind of mystical randomness to pitching unbeknownstative to other parts of the game, go fuck yourself.

All of these factors conspire to render all but the most elite pitchers wildly unpredictable.

Did anyone else vomit in their mouth when Dayn Perry wrote the phrase "conspire to render?"

Anyone here see why the word "make" had to be replaced by "conspire to render"?

Did you get a vocab list or something that you needed to incorporate into this article?

Because that's the shit that goes on in high school, Dayn.

High school.

CC Sabathia at some point this winter will sign the richest contract ever for a pitcher. At age 28 and with a fairly positive health history, it's conceivable he'll be worth it. But it's not likely. In fact, it's overwhelmingly unlikely.

Some evidence would be nice. After all, you wrote this article to convince me that guys like Sabathia will be making too much money.

What's that? Too much to ask? Ok.....

Derek Lowe might sign a contract that takes him to age 40.

And isn't it possible that there's an amount of money that makes said contract worth it?

Andy Pettitte reportedly wants at least $16 million to pitch in 2009.

Absolutely does not mean he'll get it.

Oliver Perez, according to the impartial and rigorously scientific estimations of his agent Scott Boras, is one of the top-five lefties in baseball and should be paid accordingly.

That is truly frightening, if true. Quite a thing to say about a pitcher who didn't finish in the top 100 pitchers by VORP last season.

Why is this so? Why can't GMs resist these annual calls to madness? Perhaps the old chestnut that baseball is x% pitching (where x >>>>>> 50) is still believed by too many people within the game. Perhaps it's the notion that good pitching is too scarce these days.

Theory: If you don't do it, you're going to take a serious hit against teams that do. Sometimes, it's smart to "overpay" for that extra guy who's going to get you over the hump and into the playoffs, a feat that nets that team plenty of extra money in revenue. I mean I don't know, I don't write for a prestigious website like, so maybe I'm just clueless.

Whatever the reasons, it happens every time. In reality, unless you're a team of near limitless resources like the Yankees or Red Sox, you should take no part in helping along these sordid valuations.

There's another solid word for the vocab list. "Sordid." And unless I've missed my guess, it's pretty out of place there (check me on that one, dan-bob).

Also, our friend Dayn doesn't seem to understand that if you have no intention of signing a pitcher, you have every reason in the world to want to help along the "sordid valuations."

Hell, for almost every team in baseball, disinterring the four-man rotation would make more sense than throwing $80 million A.J. Burnett's way.

"Disinterring." Nice one. How many more you have left to check off?

Funny. You don't think throwing $80M at Burnett is smart, because he's injury-prone, and that's bad. A proposed "better" solution is to move to a dangerously exhausting 4-man rotation for 162 games.

Huh. And you don't see any contradiction in there at all.

In a sense, the ideal path to strong pitching is the same as it is with hitting: develop your own talent, identify the keepers, lock them up early.

And anyone without 5 solid homegrown starters locked up should just stop being competitive, sit around, complain all day, and become the Baltimore Orioles.

But given the going rates for free-agent hurlers, doing things the right way is even more critical. Otherwise, you end up throwing money — lots of it — at the problem. The historical imperative is that it almost never works. Now watch as teams far and wide ignore that history. Again and again.

Yeah. The Boston Red Sox are REALLY kicking themselves for paying $51M to talk to Dice-K and $52 more to sign him for 6-years. Kicking themselves right square in the face. The Dodgers just vomited money when they threw $36M at Derek Lowe over 4 years. All free agent pitcher signings are terrible, teams are stupid, everyone else is wrong, I'm Dayn Perry, and you can all go fuck yourselves.


Anonymous said...

Nine years ago Randy Johnson signed a four-year, $53 million contract. In those four years (1999-2002), the Big Unit won 80+ games, had a 2.48 ERA, 1400+ K's in 1030 IP, helped bring a WS title to Phoenix, and he won the Cy Young award...





Fred Trigger said...

I think your example of Gil Meche as a reasonable contract is a bit of a stretch. It looks good now, but at the time everybody thought Dayton Moore had lost his mind.

pnoles said...

Just as his Carl Pavano and Russ Ortiz examples were very reasonable at the time, yet they turned out to be busts. He's arguing using hindsight, so I can too.

If you think about Meche at the time of that signing for the Royals, it wasn't that bad a call at all to sign a decent pitcher who just came off his best season at age 27, a year in which he dramatically improved his strikeout rate (and he has maintained that improvement). $11M a year for a guy coming into his prime who struck out 7.52/9 the year before, in that offseason's pitching market was not that bad. We're talking about the same season as Barry Zito's big signing, after all. I'd say that contract was a gamble, but a sensible one.

Chris W said...

Well, if you're gonna look at the Kevin Brown and Russ Ortiz deals in retrospect (the only way that you can claim they were bad deal) then it's only fair to look at the Meche deal in retrospect.

Also, the LENGTH of the brown deal might have been suspect, but probably not. Between 1999-2005 Brown was pretty generally excellent, posting the following ERA+'s:

143, 169, 160, 79, 169, 110, 65.

That means for all but 2 years of that deal he was better than average and for 3 years of that deal he was MORE THAN 1.5 TIMES AS GOOD AS THE AVERAGE PITCHER.

Chris W said...

me and pnoles said the exact same thing, eh

pnoles said...

It's eerie, isn't it?

dan-bob said...

o hai