The Dodgers traded for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto today, taking on over 200 million in salary for the next five years on Gonzalez and Crawford alone. The Dodgers team now only vaguely resembles the team that jumped out to the best record in baseball through the first two months of the 2012 season, and while it is unquestionably better, it comes with a price. We just don’t know what that price will be yet. Continue reading
Melky Cabrera was suspended not long ago for 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance, depriving the Giants of their second best hitter this season for the stretch run. How big a blow is this? Cabrera’s splits – .346/.390/.516 (all career highs) are astounding, and are one of the bright spots for the Giants in an otherwise supremely bland offense. Continue reading
If you haven’t been following the Nationals this year, you’ve missed one of the best teams in baseball and the running storyline of their young ace Stephen Strasburg. Washington General Manager Mike Rizzo decided to sit Strasburg for the rest of the season once he reached approximately 160 innings pitched in order to protect Strasburg’s arm. This is really only an issue because the Nationals are rolling towards the postseason, and if the idea of shelving perhaps your best player during a pennant chase for no obvious reason seems bizarre, then feel free to join in the Rizzo bashing. Continue reading
The NL Cy Young race is exceptionally close this season. There are about 15 pitchers in the National League that are in position to win the award, one of whom is Aroldis Chapman. The case for Chapman was laid out by Jayson Stark in this piece – http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8265725/the-case-aroldis-chapman-winning-national-league-cy-young-award.
The central argument is that Chapman, a reliever, is the dominant pitcher of the year, more so than any other starter. But is he even the best relief pitcher in the NL?
Tim Tebow is a terrible NFL quarterback whose value at that position comes from his size and strength, which allows him to run short-yardage situations with some success. He completed a pathetic 46% of his passes for a league worst 124 yards per game in 2011. His incredibly popularity, wildly disproportionate to his skills on the field, is based largely on his public profession of faith and the fascination the public has with someone who appears so different from the typical American professional football player (think Ray Lewis).
Perhaps it’s a dramatic oversimplification of his place in the spotlight, but Tebow is generally regarded as a good guy, and there are many puff pieces like this that can’t stop gushing over what a good guy he is – puffiness incarnate. Yeah, he’s not that good of a guy.
It’s impossible to watch baseball without an eye towards the romantic, but analyzing baseball is all about the math. A player’s value on the field has nothing to do with how they play the game, and everything to do with their production. Here’s a link to a puff piece on ESPN that fails miserably in assessing new Dodger left-fielder Shane Victorino.
The most entertaining excerpts, with my thoughts in bold:
“Shane Victorino is the kind of guy you want on your team…”. This is true if you like players who maintain the league average for OBP and OPS. As a Dodger he is below average in both categories.
The Dodgers designated Bobby Abreu for assignment today to make room for Shane Victorino, recently acquired in a deadline trade with the Phillies. The Dodgers gave up two relievers, Lindblom and Martin, for Victorino, and dump Abreu from the team so Victorino can play left and bat leadoff. Is this a good decision? Continue reading