Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mike and Mike get served

Mark Reynolds: your jersey is on it's way in the mail. You are the man.

Reynolds struck out for his 206th time last night, breaking his own record last year of 204. His reaction? "So what." A logical and calm reaction from a dude who is pretty damn good at hitting a baseball.

But Mike and Mike -- purveyors of certain things in the "morning" -- well they think he sucks. Maybe they don't think he sucks. But they think he's garbage.

After making a bunch of "so what" pantomimes -- including "You hit 40 home runs. So what?" -- they needed some confirmation that Reynolds was indeed a horrible, awful human being for striking out.

But then a certain Keith Law (fuuuuuck, a person who knows what he's talking about!) came on. And well, you probably can guess what happened.

"Most teams don't care about strikeouts. They aren't very much worse than any other out."

Reynolds line:

That's 24 steals (tenth in the NL!) from a dude who hit 43 (and counting) bombs. He's fourth in the NL in slugging, second in homers and has a 131 OPS+. He is good at baseball. You know who else strikes out a ton? Ryan Howard. But he's on the Phillies! He's in the home run derby!

Leave Mark Reynolds alone and let him hit bombs and steal bases while striking out a lot. And let Keith Law host every baseball show on ESPN.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Joe's still got it

"Announcing" tonight's Yankees/Red Sox game re: the Texas Rangers.

"No team in baseball hustles more than they do. They just play the game the right way."

Fuck off Joe Morgan.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I love Mark Reynolds

"I don't understand why the strikeout is such a bad stat," Reynolds says. "I know when you have a man on third and less than two outs and you punch out, it's not good. But if there's a man on first and one out and you hit a weak ground ball to second base and it's a double play, what good does that do? If I strike out, at least the guy on deck still has a chance."

That is all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

57 percent of Trib readers actually agree with this

But to be fair, they are paying for their news (sorry papers!). There actually isn't too much stupidity in the text of this article by Phil Rodgers -- who looks a lot like a young Roger Ebert -- but the assertion should be grounds for termination.

Perfect time for Cubs to waive bye-bye to Carlos Zambrano

Really guys, if you want to make me work you can't just slap together "awesome player should be cut! Cut, I say!" It's far too easy to dismantle, mainly because it is fucking dumb.

Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and the $62.75 million left on his contract, which runs through 2012, immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer.

I am wondering if you attended any sort of formal schooling beyond middle school.

Some team will claim him because they will get three-and-a-half seasons of 127 ERA+, 15-9 W/L, 200+ IP, 2:1 K:BB ratio and 3.5 ERA (162-game average). Yeah, it's like 20 mil/season, but aces aren't generally available on the waiver wire.

So other than the recent beanball fest -- which, to me is understandable because it's the White Sox -- here's the great evidence Rodgers produces:

The Cubs are 0-5 in Zambrano's starts in the playoffs, being outscored 31-15. We'll dismiss the 2003 NL Championship Series as old news and blame Piniella for lifting him when he was in a 1-1 game against Brandon Webb in the 2007 playoff opener, but his pitching had as much to do with the ugly Game 2 loss to Los Angeles last year as did the four infield errors.

I've written this before when it comes to Big Z, but please give the man a break.

His lines in those five starts:

5.2/3 R/4:0
6.0/6 R/3:1
5.0/2 R/5:4
6.0/1 R/8:1
6.1/3 R/7:2

He had ONE BAD FUCKING START and this guy wants him dropped. How do they let you write this? How about dropping every hitter for not scoring runs in the playoffs.

Trade him or bench him or something, but advocating cutting him is stupid. The guy is a good pitcher. Yeah, he's crazy and smashes shit sometimes, but is he any worse than Papelbon or Chamberlain or K-Rod or a host of other pitchers? Possibly, but he's 28 and better than "a bag of balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer."

And he hits home runs. Which is awesome.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Is Harold Reynolds the new Joe Morgan? We should all be so lucky

I love Joe Morgan. Not the ball player and especially not the analyst. But I love the man for spawning the funniest web site ever. Do I need to say it?

But with that beautiful site gone, Joe has gone unscathed as of late. But fear not, cause HR's got your back.

It's been real interesting in the last couple years as I've watched how the importance of statistics has taken over how to analyze a baseball game. I used to play for an old time manager named Dick Williams who used to tell me, the situation will dictate what happens." He used to call me to his office and say, "I should never have to give you a sign. You should know this is a bunt situation, you should know this is a situation where you need to take a trike, you should know the situation calls for getting the man over. I should never have to give you a sign, the situation dictates what happens."

There's nothing awful here, just a stupid anecdote confirming HR was really good at stinking at baseball.

But this thing is getting the full copy/pasta treatment.

But what I've been witnessing while I've been a broadcaster is everyone using these stats to try and explain the game of baseball.

"These stats." Props to the editor for cutting out "new fangled" in between.

Not all statistics work. Some do, some don't.

Someone tell HR stats aren't kitchen appliances. They neither do or do not "work," they can tell us things, and those things may be more informative than other things, but they don't need to be taken to repair men or greased up every 2,000 miles or whatever one does with cars. I'm a nerd, I don't know.

And one of the stats that has become real popular is OPS. On-base plus slugging. All of a sudden, it's this stat that defines whether a guy is a good ball player or not.

And praise be to Allah OPS is featured on major networks. It is a really simple stat (X + Y), and yes, it is flawed, but it is light years better than BA.

And the fact of the matter is, if you're a power hitter then the situation will dictate what a pitcher does with you - either walk you or pitch you real careful. So more than likely you're going to end up on base and therefore your on-base percentage goes up.

Well he may not like it, but he understands getting on base = on-base going up.

This in my mind has become the stat the everyone thinks is the be all and end all.

Harold's thinks this is the stat everyone thinks is the be all, end all. He thinks.

It is not.

I thought you thought everyone thought it was.

If you have a ball club that's a great offensive team then that changes everything. But if you have a guy like Adrian Gonzalez, for example, his OPS is going to be high - he's got a lot of home runs and walks a lot...because you're not going to pitch to him.

Do you know why people don't pitch to him? Because he is awesome and will hit home runs. And do you know why people pitch to sub .700 OPS players like you? Because you will most likely make an out or hit a single or bunt.

Power guys like Giambi and Dunn have always had high OPS because no one wants to pitch to them. But it takes two hits to score them from first.

And here is the crux of the argument: speed is >>>>>>>>> homers/walks.

This is how the game has changed. Dick Williams is pulling his hair out.

So you could say he's pulling his Dick hair out.

Yeah, I went there.

This is not something people have reinvented in the game. You can go all the way back to Dave Kingman. When Kingman was hot, you didn't pitch to him. If he wasn't hot, you pitched to him. Big power hitters swing and miss and strikeout. Or they hit home runs and walk.

Or they hit doubles. Or singles. Sounds like a good trade-off to me.

And at the end of the year their OBP is always going to be higher than most of the other guys on the team because they clog the bases.

Emphasis motherfucking mine. [Sidenote: is Blogging the Bases an awesome blog name or what?]

OK, their OBP is going to be higher because they clog the bases. Let that soak in for a moment. Pretend you're washing your hair.


A player's OBP is not high because he clogs the bases. I think Harold meant players who clog the bases have high OBP (which is wrong, Pujols, Dunn and the like are pretty good baserunners. Maybe not fast, but they don't have two left feet.). At least, I hope he meant that. Because if not, motherfucker, that shit makes no sense.

A few years ago this stat grabbed my ear when someone said that Ichiro doesn't walk enough. So I said, "What do you mean?" And they said his OBP could be so much higher if he walked more.


The guy gets 200 hits a season! And he scores over 100 runs. I think that speaks for itself.

Also true. Still doesn't take away from the fact that more walks = higher on-base.

So as the old, wise Dick Williams used to tell me, "I should never have to give you a sign. The situation dictates what happens."

The situation being that you should never, ever be allowed to type again.