Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Very, Angry, Stupid, Boring, Statistical, Analytical, Don't-Even-Readal, Skip-Over-This-To-Other-More-Interesting-Thingsal Quickie

Richard Justice wrote an article explaining why the Yankees are still the third best team in the AL East (probably true). But I can't quite let things like this slide.....

Tampa Bay's outfield of Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and Joyce might just be the best in baseball.

That is just plain fucking batshit crazy. I mean, defensively, sure. But plain ol' best?

The Yankees? How does an outfield of Xavier Nady, Brett Gardner and Johnny Damon ring your chime?

Not impressed? Didn't think so. Boston's is also better: Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew.

You couldn't even go two paragraphs without naming a better outfield. But go ahead, you can keep Carl Crawford and his .318 OBP from last season (he's VERRRRRRRRRY overrated, folks!). And we don't have a clue what the fuck Matt Joyce is yet, but he's already part of the best outfield in baseball? Do you hear yourself talk?

It's also awesome to say things like this when guys like Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, and Manny Ramirez haven't even been placed on teams yet.

Yet we've learned the last few years that chemistry and grit are as important as pure talent.

This is why it's been so hard to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates down.

This is why grit superstars Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard can with the World Series while chemistry stud Jimmy Rollins single-handedly denounces the entire phucking Philadelphia phan base.

This is why the White Sox edged out the Twins, because of gritty performances by key grit guys like Paul Konerko, Ken Griffey Jr, and Jim Thome. The supreme talent of Minnesota's Nick Punto, Carlos Gomez, and Alexei Casilla was no match for good ol' fashioned "grit", a word that as far as I can tell just means "trying his or her hardest", which 97% of the league does. Shut the fuck up, Richard Justice.

The Rays and Red Sox have a clubhouse chemistry that is impossible to overestimate.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, for the first time in the history of the universe.....THE IMPOSSIBLE!

They've got managers — Maddon and Terry Francona — brilliant at making the pieces fit and keeping the club headed in the right direction.

Talent, of course, is important, too, but in this era of parity, it's tougher and tougher to buy a championship.

Right, talent is important, too. You know, kind of like an afterthought.

The Yankees have spent more on payroll than any other team for several years. They haven't gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since 2004, haven't been to the World Series since 2003, haven't won a championship since 2000.

They tried buying a championship with Jason Giambi, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, etc. Never mind that chemistry and toughness were a huge part of how they won four World Series under Joe Torre.

Look guys, now we're trying to show chemistry's triumph over talent by using Jaret Wright as an example of "talent"!

Oh yeah, and that Carl Pavano......he totally played baseball the entire time he was on the team! And he played it every 5th day, with the highest level of talent. But he was no match for the chemistry of the opposing (Carl Pavano never got injured) hitters!

Jaret Wright sucks.


Jarrett said...

You're just bitter because you don't have enough grit in your posts.

Now CHart - there's grit.

cb said...

What a fucking idiot. Let's see: The Yankees couldn't get out of the first round of the playoffs because their pitching sucked. Now that they've gone out and improved their pitching by adding expensive free agents (which is apparently OK for every other team to do, but not the Yankees), they're still in the wrong. Sorry to break Richard's heart and say that pitching plays a much bigger role in winning a championship than unmeasurables like chemistry and intangibles. Fuck off.

Tonus said...

Chemistry and grit, that has to be it. Not the second-fewest runs allowed in the AL, noway! Leading the AL in defensive efficiency? Please!!!! Second most walks in the AL? Base-clogger alert!

You know how we can tell that chemistry and grit and brilliant managing are the key? The fact that the LA Angels are your 2008 World Series champions!

CitizenX said...

"The Yankees haven't been in the World Series since 2003" is the kind of idiotic statement that I would expect from the NY Post. Do people have no idea what a ridiculous amount of variance is involved in fucking 5 game series'?

Also, Jason Bay, Overrated Ellboverated, and J.D. Drew can suck on Sabathia/Wang/Chamberlain/Lowe/Burnett.

Eat it, bitches.

blanco said...

"The Rays and Red Sox have a clubhouse chemistry that is impossible to overestimate."

I love this sentence. It's a fucking masterpiece. How often is a sentence written that specifically accomplishes the act it states is impossible to do?

Jeff said...

Blanco - I agree.

It's sort of like saying..."people who exaggerate are the biggest fucking morons in the entire world"

Pat said...

Carl Crawford is not really overrated. He's pretty awesome.

2008 was a down, injury plauged year; so yes, his 319 obp blew. So did his 400 slug. But, he's usually ~800 ops and the best lf in the game. Which is like being the tallest midget except that he would also be a good to great CF, but upton has that.

for lf he's first in UZR by approx. double over second place Holliday.

he's not an mvp. he's a borderline allstar, which I think is about how people view him.

pnoles said...

Pat - I think you've got him figured out pretty good, I'd agree with that assessment on all fronts. I think that defensive stats fluctuate a ton from year to year, so as far as him being the best defensive LF in baseball by a wide margin, I'm not sure. But it's very arguable that he's the best.

I guess the thing I was driving at is that Crawford is one of those guys who's a lot more exciting than he is productive. I bet you'd be shocked to hear that he's never EqA'ed .300, but it's true. His gradual rise in offensive performance over the 4 seasons prior to this one were pretty much a luck-based anomaly....his OBP's have been getting higher, but only due to a rise in batting average that was accompanied by a rise in strikeouts. That screams "good fortune". Crawford's a ton of fun to watch, but when you net out the production (and ignore injuries), he's about as valuable as Pat Burrell, The Man The World Never Stops Shitting On.

Chris W said...

Carl Crawford is not overrated...as long as you rate him as "a guy with a lot of potential".

If you rate him as "a great player as he stands" then no, sorry, he's overrated.

Anonymous said...

pnoles, what is Carl Crawford's VORP? More importantly, consider his value over short, Dominican/Cuban speedsters currently in medical school.

pnoles said...

VORP = 7.9 (seriously...7 point fucking 9? I know he played 2/3 of the year or whatever, but 7.9???)


Pat said...

pnoles - the first time I noticed his offensive numbers were mostly crap for a left fielder, you're right, I was surprised. His stick is weak.

yeah, he does get extra points for being exciting. he's fast! in a good way, actually. high percentage thief. but, I understand the point.

and, yes, his VORP will be low. not because he played 2/3rds of a year, but because he has a lot of value tied up in defense and baserunning. Neither of which is included in vorp calculations.

Pat said...

also- Pat Burrell rules! but, as noted over on Fangraphs this week, he will help you win more games by burning his glove. Which? oof. That's rough. I still love the guy, and if only he had gotten arb from philly so he could step in to replace thome next year.


back on crawford's babips: between 326 and 332 for 03->06, then spiked to 375, which means 07 was lucky and he's likely to not play that well in the future.

pnoles said...

What's embarrassing is that Philly actually found someone worse at playing left field to replace him.