Friday Night Open Thread


Sorry for the tardiness, but here’s your open thread for the evening. The Devils, Islanders, and Nets are all in action, plus you can come hang out with me at MLBTR. Anything goes, so have fun.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Salty Buggah says:

    I was looking at some movies on Hulu yesterday (8 AM History class FTL!) and found “The Pride of the Yankees” there. I have heard of that movie before but never really seen it. I’ll be doing that next time in history class.

    • anon says:

      One of the best baseball movies ever. Still holds up.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

      Pride of the Yankees is a classic, as is 61. I’m completely spoiled by Ken Burns’s Baseball. I know it’s an old documentary, but it really is wonderful.

    • ColoYank says:

      Just don’t look for any kind of a Gehrig-esque swing from Gary Cooper. That always seemed lame to me. Sorry. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but that’s what has stayed with me.

      How come they weren’t showing cool movies in MY history classes, I want to know!

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Great movie, horribly depressing ending. Not that it wasn’t true. Still depressing.

      61 is also great. In fact, I liked it more.

  2. JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

    I know I shouldn’t semi-secretly be rooting for them, but if Chaphombre were to sign with an organization, I’d like it to be the Jays. Alex GreekGMolopolous would be moving his franchise in a good direction from the state of purgatory Riccardi left them. He’s already cleared a good amount of payroll and infused the system with some excellent young talent. If he could somehow get Wells off their books, he deserves GM of the year (unless it’s for Zito+Igawa+Bobby Bonilla).

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      It would surely make the division a 3-4 team race eventually, then factor in the O’s if they could get some decent pitching to go with their offense, and anyone could run away with the division. Think how cool it would be for fans of the O’s for them to make the playoffs and have Cal Ripken Jr throw out the first pitch of the playoffs.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

        O’s have some serious pitching prospects in Matusz, Arrietta, Tillman, along with Markakis, Jones, Wieters and Reimold already established. They’re a little light on good IF talent, but the guy they got in the Sherrill trade with the Dodgers, Mike Bell, could be pretty solid, though his star has faded a bit. Mychael Givens, their 2009 2nd round pick, has some good tools at SS.

        Overall, impressive young core. Even the two doormats of the AL East have really good-looking young talent.

    • Tom Zig says:

      if the Jays and O’s suddenly become competitive, could we see MLB splitting the AL East into two divisions?

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

        That would be an interesting thing. How would that be aligned? I’m sure no one wants to be in the same division as the RS/Yanks. You’d have to split the Sox and Yanks divisionally, right?

        • whozat says:

          No. The Red Sox and Yankees would have their own division, and would have a supremely unbalanced schedule. They would play only each other, over and over again. On off-days, they have to send their B-squads to face off against the other AL teams while their starting nines face off in an all-out MMA tournament.

  3. Salty Buggah says:

    A “@J_MacMullan” said this on Twitter earlier today: “Hearing Gonzalez for Buchholz, Ellsbury, Kelly, Reddick.”

    First of all, that’s not enough for A-Gonz IMO. Second of all, this tweet and the account was gone several minutes later.

    BTW, that was the account of Boston Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan.

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      Boston Media has to get off A-Gonz’ dick, they’re even worse than Sox fans with A-Gonz rumors.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

      What would be enough in your opinion? I’m thinking…Bucholz, Ellsbury, Kelly, Westmoreland, Pimentel and maybe more, like substituting Anderson if they aren’t impressed by one of them?

      • Salty Buggah says:

        I like your package but I think it just needs a little more. Maybe Bard and another good prospect (or 2) would make it enough. I’m not that familiar with the 2nd and 3rd tier prospects of the Sox system though so I cant recommend someone.

        • Zack says:

          That’s alot, you’re asking for 6-7 prospects?

          Question: Since Ellsbury is arb-eligible next year and if he’s not a CF, does he have value for SD? Or you would rather take him out and replace him with another prospecT?

          • Zack says:

            Especially when 3 of those guys are currently on the ML roster. And when 1 is part of a rotation that 4 out of their top 6 guys always have health concerns, 1 is part of a bullpen that the closer is going to walk in 2 years, and one if the starting LF

            • Salty Buggah says:

              I guess I’m looking at that deal from SD’s point of view. Buchholz is more valuable to the BoSox than he is to the Padres because of the Sox’s injury concerns. I don’t think SD cares about that. They care only about his overall talent.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

              Hmmm…to revise: Kelly, Westmoreland, Bucholz, Anderson.

              The thing about Ellsbury’s defense is that it should, in theory, be totally correctable. He has top-notch speed and can cover a lot of ground. If there’s a solid coaching staff that figures out why he misreads balls and takes poor angles, he could be a very, very good defensive CFer. If I’m the Sox I’d still advertise him as a CF, even though Cameron is currently there. Regarding the Salty proposal and your question on their ML roster—you’re right, Boston can’t really afford to send Bard, Bucholz. They can afford to send Reddick. Hermida can easily replace him if they’re not getting rid of Ellsbury, which is the corollary.

              Because of arbitration, yeah, he’s probably not in there. They have no reason to pay when they’re dumping a guy who’s pretty cheap (A-Gonz).

              If they’re dealing for Gonzales, there’s no way they don’t lose Bucholz and one of Kelly/Westmoreland, more likely both of them. Young, cheap, extremely talented, have time to develop. Padres won’t take on salary and would have to really improve overall top talent for this deal to be worth it.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            But it’s not like they’re all great prospects. Only Westmoreland, Buchholz, and Kelly are highly rated. The rest are solid but not great. And Ellsbury is basically like a filler to me in that specific deal because he’s arb-aligible and really isn’t all that good. If it was for like one year of a Halladay-esque player, who doesn’t have a low salary, those 3 would be enough, maybe even more. But this is a super cheap (10:$4.75M, 11:$5.5M club option (no buyout)) star player signed for 2 more years, it requires a lot of prospects (or at least 3-4 stud prospects, which the Sox don’t have) to be more IMO.

            • Zack says:

              Yeah not an expert on the RS system, just know their ML roster + Kelly; so cant really say who they could substitute who for- I just think 6-7 players for 1 player is a lot, and if its just quantity over quality then i doubt Hoyer would do it. And when you add taking 3 guys off their ML roster, that hurts too.

    • Zack says:

      Was it ever a verified account?

    • Tom Zig says:

      Is that not enough? I mean I guess since Jed Hoyer knows all about the players, it may not be. But I thought that would be a pretty sweet haul for the Padres.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        A-Gonz: Great on offense and defense. Young. Cheap. Has some control left. San Diego born fan favorite/ticket and merchandise seller.


        Buchholz: Good, but not the ace he was supposed to be (at least not yet)


        Kelly: Great potential but kinda far away.


        Ellsbury: Meh on both offense and defense


        Reddick: Solid regular (IMO)

        Seems to me that SD won’t be getting that one or two big studs in the deal. And there is a bit too much risk involved. Add in a couple more prospects and its a good deal.

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

          If we were to compare that to our system, it would have looked something like:

          Hughes + ManBan + Ajax (I know he’s gone) + Gardner but not as impressive. The comparison doesn’t fit since we don’t really have any young outfielders projected to be a Reddick-like “solid regular.”

          • Salty Buggah says:

            And would that be enough for Gonzalez? I don’t think so and those prospects don’t even have the hype factor that Ellsbury, Kelly, Buchholz, and to some point Reddick have (though to me, Reddick’s hype has gone down a bit over the past year).

            • That’s a hell of a package. A starting CF and potential front-end starter for your 1B, and some high upside farmhands to boot. I’d make that deal if I was San Diego. For anyone who thinks “its not enough” that’s the wrong way to look at it. If you’re committed to dealing him, it’s the best offer on the table and you think the offers will only go down the longer you keep him, then it’s enough.

              The reality is they have Kyle Blanks ready to step in at 1B the minute Gonzo leaves. They’re a better team the day after they make that trade, and should improve annually as the young players mature.

              • Salty Buggah says:

                If you’re committed to dealing him, it’s the best offer on the table and you think the offers will only go down the longer you keep him, then it’s enough.

                You’re right there. And I don’t think anyone will offer a better package than Kelly + Buchholz + Wesrmoreland + some more.

              • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

                Here’s the thing—there’s no reason for them to be committed to dealing him, thus, the package must be greater.

              • Zack says:

                But he’s not a CF? He’s now a LF who will be arb-elig next year, that’s less appealing to SD

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  But he’s only in LF because they have one of the top 4 defensive CFs. For right or wrong, they could still market Ellsbury as a CF.

                • Zack says:

                  But Hoyer isnt Moore or Kenny Williams. He was working with Theo, Theo isnt going to market him and trick him.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

              No way that’s enough. Any deal for Gonzales starts with Joba/Hughes + Montero. Just like any deal with Boston starts with Bucholz + Kelly/Westmoreland. It’s the other pieces that determine the deal. The first two are virtual locks.

  4. donttradecano says:

    Ok so im in a playoff pool where you assign every team a number, and every game that team wins you get that many points. (ex chargers 12, chargers get 12 pts per win) Heres my picks tell me what you guys think.

    Chargers 12

    Packers 11

    Cowboys 10

    Colts 9

    Ravens 8

    Jets 7

    Vikings 6

    Saints 5

    NE 4

    Philly 3

    Cardinals 2

    Bengals 1

    Im thinking of switching the vikings and cowboys. Suggestions?

  5. So for various reasons I had a no good terrible bad awful day yesterday and took my stress out by playing Super Mario for N 64.

    I now have 13 Power Stars.

    I am the worse Nintendo player, ever. It’s pretty bad.

  6. Tom Zig says:

    What is there a difference between XBox LIVE and XBox LIVE Gold?

  7. ColoYank says:

    So, anybody know if K. Towers is a stronger talent evaluator or an administrative guy? He gives the Yanks’ front office “deep depth” as Yogi would say.

    I get the feeling he’ll be happy working with Cashman, and be able to feel around for his next GM gig.

    • Everything I’ve heard is that he’s a top notch talent evaluator.

      • Right, and he’s looking forward to getting out from behind a desk and going around scouting pitchers. That should answer ColoYanks question.

        I think Gene Michael is more of an expert on position players, so Kevin Towers could be the Yanks ‘Gene Michael’ for pitchers. The last scout who all the info would filter up to, and he would get the final look at the player in question, and make the final recommendation to Brian.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      He’s a pretty good pitching evaluator I hear.

  8. Someone explain to me why (on days when they’re both playing) that Gardner isn’t your CF and Granderson in Left. Why wouldn’t you play your best defender in the premium defensive position?

    • Zack says:

      Well is Gardner better than Granderson in CF?

      • By far. Brett’s a +27.6 in CF over the past two seasons while Grandy’s a 4.9 for his career.The UZR info is pretty limited with Brett since he hasn’t played much, but you don’t even need it to know who covers more ground and makes more plays.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Don’t go with the “by the eyes”. That can be deceiving. Ellsbury “by the eyes” is excellent. Except he’s not.

          I’m not convinced by Gardy’s limited playing time that his UZR is THAT good.

        • Jose says:

          Careful with flashing that small sample around. I agree that Gardner is better defensively, but that UZR/150 is based on only 789.1 innings for Gardner.

        • Zack says:

          Alright, then my next question is do you want to try to teach Granderson a new positon, after being a ML CF for the last 5 years, in basically a month of ST?
          Especially when Klong is going to be working with his swing, new position in the batting order, and his approach v LHP, plus the transition to NY?

          Not saying what is the right or wrong choice, but there are things to consider. Like we always say, you just cant switch guy’s position like a video game, if Granderson were to switch to LF i’d prefer for them to have him have all winter to work on it with winter baseball games and then more ST games.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            Not saying I agree with you but to add on, Cash also has to look at if he wants to move Grandy to LF only to perhaps move him back to CF a year later if he sign a legit LFer.

            • Zack says:

              Yes- similar to moving a SP to the bullpen for a year, but then needing him to be in the rotation the next year. Yes moving to the bullpen helps the team this year, but going forward does it hurt the team?

          • If they go with Grandy in CF and Gardner in LF, I suspect your explanation will be the reason. I’m simply saying from a pure Baseball standpoint it’s the wrong move. But I’ll be the first to admit these guys aren’t robots, they aren’t just digits on a spreadsheet. They’re people who have to be managed as individuals to get the most out of them. So you may very well have nailed it.

    • Jose says:

      I agree. Have the Yankees actually confirmed the defensive arrangement come opening day? I know they said they traded for Granderson to be the CFer, but is it truly set in stone at this point?

      • I know people are against Gardner, I get that. But if he’s playing anyway, why not put your best defensive team on the field? Playing him in LF makes no sense to me.

        • Zack says:

          Being against Gardner has nothing to do where he is going to play; you use UZR/150 for that 27.6 number right? I think everyone can agree that UZR/150 for 120 games in CF isnt solid evidence of what a player is; just like BA/OBP for 400 ABs doesnt tell you what a players BA/OBP will be for 650 AB.

          (I am actually a supporter of Gardner getting a chance to player, but I also want Reed Johnson for plan B)

          • No, what I was referring to has nothing to do with his defense. The people who are against Gardner generally are because they only look at the offensive side of things, and don’t factor in Fielding and it’s value.

          • Jose says:

            Your point stands, but his number of innings is equivalent to around 87 games in CF. (789.1/9) UZR/150 would represent an estimated level of defense for Brett Gardner in 1350 innings. That is way too much extrapolation for the sample size.

        • Jose says:

          My theory: People seem to have this obsession with putting the better offensive player at a more premium position, without full evaluation. People view Granderson as a good defensive CFer and Gardner as a good defensive CFer. Instead of fully quantifying how much better Gardner is in CF for defense, the big bat player with “good” defense goes to the more premium position.

          • It’s a big edge IF (big if) he can field his position competently. Having a big bat in a premium defensive position is a luxury that most teams don’t enjoy. But if they give up extra bases on balls that they should be tracking down or fielding, then you give back much of what you gained.

            • Jose says:

              Gardner Defense in CF >> Grandy Defense in CF
              Gardner Defense in LF > Grandy Defense in LF
              Gardner Offense < Grandy CF + Gardner LF
              (When factoring in Offense and Defense)

              Does this sum up your feelings? That is how I feel about the situation.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Because Gardner is a horseshit player who’s barely fit to be a pinch runner?

  9. Ivan says:

    I gotta say PS3>XBOX360. Not to say 360 is terrible or anything because it is not but PS3 is so damn cool lol.

  10. (Just posted comment over at TYU)

    BxBomber says:
    January 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I can’t believe any serious Yankee or for that matter baseball fan would want Brett Gardner/any combination of the mentioned players above over Johnny Damon up to bat in a key situation in the ALCS/WS. I don’t care what WAR/UZR or any other stat says.

    I’m still astounded we couldn’t find a way to keep Godzilla for 6.5 mil a year yet somehow think Nick Johnson is a decent replacement for 500K less. That’s another case where I can’t take you seriously if you would prefer Nick up at bat in the ALCS/WS vs Hideki.

    The problem with these stats is that they are heavily weighted towards the regular season. We’re making the playoffs pretty much guaranteed, either as a division champ or WC. We should be making sure our roster is built for the postseason, not for a July game against the Orioles.

    Jon . . Jon Heyman? Is that YOU?!?

    Where’s TSJC when I need him?

    • I’m not even going to bother responding to that one. It’s definitely not worth the time nor the effort.

      • That is the best way to deal with these things.

        What’s the old line…”Never argue with an idiot. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      That guy has convinced me of one thing: I’ll start my solitary drinking, touching myself earlier than I’d planned.

      Here’s to you, BxBomber!

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:


    • Tank the Frank says:

      I can’t believe any serious Yankee or for that matter baseball fan would want Brett Gardner/any combination of the mentioned players above over Johnny Damon up to bat in a key situation in the ALCS/WS.

      The rest of the post is trash. But it’s pretty hard to disagree with this.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        Well, yeah. But who would you want fielding the hard hit line drive to the left of that player in LF?

        This could go both ways.

      • Factor in Johnny’s abysmal fielding and get back to me. You might be surprised how low his WAR was in one of his best offensive seasons last year. Below 2 IIRC.

      • Zack says:

        Think its safe to guarantee that if the Yankees lost the ALCS/WS it wont be because of Brett Gardner. Not when you have Jeter, Johnson, Tex, Arod, Swisher, Posada, Cano + CC, AJ, Andy, Vazquez, Joba, Hughes and Mo.

        And not when Damon has ridiculous demands.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Sure, but that’s not the argument. This only if he’s affordable. If we have only $5 million left and Damon won’t sign for that, it doesn’t matter if you want him up in a key situation or not. Not for nothing, but do people ever really want to see a #9 hitter up in a key situation of a playoff game? Of course not, but this isn’t a video game—there are disadvantages to every team. Brett Gardner + one of the above listed options is probably one of the best deficiencies in baseball. No team is perfect. He’s creating a strawman right before your eyes.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        I see what you all are saying, but I still agree with the above statement. It doesn’t outline a defensive situation, it asks who you would rather have up to bat in a “key situation,” whatever we take that to mean.

        The ALCS or WS may not be won or lost by Johnny Damon/Brett Gardner, but this is misleading. Playoff games and series can change during the course of one at-bat. We saw a few examples of that during the last postseason.

        I, for one, would most certainly want Damon up to bat rather than Gardner; all other things being equal.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Of course that’s hwho we’d want at bat. But there are other factors to consider when we decide who we want playing for the team, like fielding.

        • whozat says:

          “Playoff games and series can change during the course of one at-bat. We saw a few examples of that during the last postseason.”

          Sure, but it can also be one opponents’ at-bat that ends in an out instead of a double in the gap.

  11. Evan says:

    Have any of you read “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract”? For those that have, any thoughts on his ideas on speeding up the game?

    • Jose says:

      Any chance of a quick summary of his ideas?

      • Evan says:

        James advocates things like penalizing pitchers for excessive unsuccessful throws to first (a ball after two throws), more stringent enforcement of batters staying inside the batter’s box, shortening the time between innings, gradually increasing the minimum circumference of bat barrels and distance batters stand from home plate, and to limit mid-inning pitching changes. Also, he’d advocate a slight deadening of the ball.

        What he doesn’t want is something like making the strike zone bigger or raising the mound as that would only compound the issues he’s trying to combat and would be a case of overkill essentially.

        • Jose says:

          Thanks for that summary.

          I really only like the more stringent batter’s box enforcement and shortening the time between innings. The batter’s box issue has gotten out of hand as the pitcher and batter have gotten into cat and mouse situations. The time between innings has to do mostly with advertising.

          The other ideas seem to be too game-changing to me. I enjoy the length of the games. No need to change such fundamental features.

        • Zack says:

          “penalizing pitchers for excessive unsuccessful throws to first (a ball after two throws)”
          -dumb, pick off throws take 15 seconds max, if there are 50 a game that means an extra 12.5 minutes, there are never 50 a game. So 25 a game would be 6.25 minutes, we really want to change the game to save 6 fucking minutes?

          “limit mid-inning pitching changes”
          -leaving in a crappy pitcher who is getting beat up will shorten a game?

          “shortening the time between innings”
          -commercials = money = wont happen

  12. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    I realize UZR says Tacoboy Pillsbury is a terrible defensive CFer, but this is largely due to him misreading the ball off the bat and taking poor routes to the ball. One would assume with good coaching, this would be correctable. So, Tacoboy could be a good defensive CFer if he were to improve such correctable things, considering the range he has, right?! We are, after all, basing his defense on a sample of 235 games, or roughly less than two seasons at the position.

    Just sayin’.

    • Yep, he could definitely improve.

      • He could, but he’s been in the league 2+ full seasons. Its normal to have some issues learning the league and it’s various ballparks, but he should be past that point now.

        Another explanation could be he was just banged up a bit last year, and the Sox didn’t want anyone to know so they would still think he was a base stealing threat. Any sort of leg problems could really cut into his range.

        • Zack says:

          he stole 70 bases last year, that throws the leg problem excuse out the window

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

          Well, in limited sample, he posted a positive UZR in 2008 (6.9), so we’re going on really one year to determine that he’s a really, really, really bad defensive CF. Too many mitigating factors and variables to make such a judgment, in my opinion.

          I’d say it was probably due to injury, as you noted.

          • Zack says:

            How can you say he was injured when he stole 70 bases?

            • Jose says:

              He only hurt the defensive part of his leg, not the offensive.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

              I didn’t say he was injured, necessarily. I think it’s probable he had some form of injury or he really was just that bad at reading balls. Stealing a base involves him sprinting for a few seconds. Perhaps (and it’s clear I’m not a doctor) a possible injury would still enable him to sprint full speed for a few seconds, but would still take a toll on his legs over the course of the game.

              • Zack says:

                Sorry, you cant convince me that he had a possible injury that hampered him in the field but allowed him to steal 70 bases.

                If I could find his SB by inning that would help, cant find it though.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Maybe not. I don’t know if he was injured but his performance suggests something was wrong. A guy with blazing speed in CF should not be that bad, especially when scouting reports have him rated highly.

                  Maybe it was just the jumps/reads or a combination. I have no idea, but it’s hard to logically see Pillsbury as actually being the worst defensive CF in the league and there not being something wrong.

          • Zack says:

            and his 2008 inning total in CF was only 41.9% of this year.

            That’s like taking 251 ABs and saying that’s a better example of his talent than 600 ABs he had.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

              No, it’s saying that one year is inconclusive.

              • Zack says:

                Ok, but a samle size of 1300 inings of data tells more about a player than 530 innings.

                But obviously neither of us can be proven “right” until 3-4 years down the road, but for 2009 he sucked in CF. It’s all about how you value stuff, UZR isnt perfect, neither are scouts.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Totally agree with you. I’m not looking to be “proven” right or wrong. I just saw the Gardy SSS daily discussion above and mixed it with our chat about a theoretical A-Gonz trade, and sort of blended the two based on hearing how bad a CF Tacoboy is. The point being, a 1300 inning sample may tell us more, but it certainly doesn’t tell us enough. If we only have 30% of the jigsaw puzzle filled, yeah, it’s better than 15%, but not nearly filled out to give us a good view of the completed puzzle. That’s all.

                  I wouldn’t be at all shocked if he became an excellent defensive CF or a poor one.

                • Zack says:

                  I see your point.
                  And I didnt make it sound like who is right/wrong, just saying time will eventually tell.

    • Zack says:

      That makes it too simple IMO.

      It’s like saying Cano doesnt walk a lot because he is unable to pick up on the rotation of the ball, with some coaching he should be able to walk much better in the future.
      Coaching is important, but it can only do so much, and no guarantee that coaching fixes the problem

      • pat says:

        I think getting reads and jumps is mostly instinctive. Coaching can help, but only to a point.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Agreed on your points about coaching, but if we always note the SSS issues for our own players, we should be realistic here. Using Cano as an example is slightly misleading, I think because Cano has always had that reputation, has done nothing to dispel it, whereas Tacoboy was reputed to be an excellent defensive CF in the minors, did well in a limited sample in ’08 (6.9 UZR), but struggled in ’09. So he’s struggled (albeit, tremendously) in ONE SEASON. Hardly seems fair or consistent.

        • Zack says:

          And he was only above average in 41.9% of a full season.

          I cant really go by reputation because well it’s reputation, just like his reputation now is that he is a defensive player of the year award winning

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          You have a point, but was it scouts who said he was good defensively in the minors, or UZR? Because if it was scouts we could more or less throw it out the window. As we all know, appearances are deceiving.

          • A.D. says:

            I don’t thing there is such a thing as minor league UZR

          • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

            It was scouts, so it’s possible that he really hasn’t been very good. Unfortunately, no hard data appears to be available (in UZR), so I’m just going on that.

            The concluding point is we don’t have enough data, so I don’t think it’s fair some have already made final judgment on his defensive ability, which is largely based on one full season.

          • Evilest Empire says:

            Ok, I feel like saying that you can throw what a scout says out the window is a little ridiculous.

            I’m all about UZR and advanced metrics, but scouting plays a vital role in all organizations – it certainly has its place and its value. Teams should utilize both metrics and flesh-and-blood evaluations to get a true opinion of a player, especially when it comes to defense. UZR is the best we’ve got, but its far from perfect.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

              Of course. But scouting has far more flaws and I’ve seen it just be flat out wrong so many times that I’ve lost faith in it.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                You know what though, maybe it’s not ridiculous anyway. If you can’t get me hard evidence, you can get me nothing. Baseball defense is the only aspect of the sport where people’s eyesight is valued over objective analysis.

                • Zack says:

                  His BA is .250, yeah but my EYS tell me he’s batting .350!

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Basically what do you value more, a man’s opinion on a player’s defense, or the hard evidence that tells me how he’s been playing?

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  But UZR is not the be-all end-all of defensive statistics. Those metrics have not been devised yet, and everyone admits its far from perfect.

                  We have a TON of offensive numbers to look at and slice up and play with. It gives us a clear look at player performance, we don’t need scouts for offense anymore. Defense isn’t there yet. When it is, scouts might very well be, in theory, useless.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  There are other defensive stats out there. If you want to you could look at them too and compare. I’m not just because UZR is clearly the best one.

                  Scouts can be useful, but in a very limited way. If statistics contradict him, he’s useless. Since there are no statistics of the minor leagues we’re forced to rely on scouts. This is a flawed system, and any assessment of minor league defense should IMO be taken with a grain of salt.

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  Agreed on MiLB defense evaluations.

                  Honestly, I’m not smart enough to lecture about the proper methods of player evaluation or anything of that nature. But I do read alot of baseball stuff from people who are. And just about everyone I’ve read – on blogs, fangraphs, KLaw chats, whatever – say that defensive metrics just aren’t totally there yet. They cannot be fully trusted. UZR IS the best thing we have, I totally believe that, but we’re not to the point yet where scouting is useless, and in some cases like in the minors, its the *only* thing we have. So I maintain that you cannot completely dismiss scouting, especially regarding defense. You take it into consideration right along with UZR and form your own conclusions.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  When you are forced to use scouting on it’s own and not simply as another tool for analysis it is all but useless. They need minor league defensive metrics.

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  They have TotalZone ratings at minorleaguesplits.com. That’s by far the best defensive metric we have for minor leaguers at the moment.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Thanks. Well there ya go.

                • Evilest Empire says:

                  I like the vision Tom Tango painted to whatshisface, y’know, Shithead McIgnorant. Mike Silva.

                  PITCHf/x, HITf/x, and FIELDf/x in every high school, college, independent league, and of course the minors.

                  Once you get all that stuff cooking, and all the infinite possibilities that data holds, you won’t need scouting for player evaluations. Shit, if things get real fancy, you might not even need baseball agents. Coaches and trainers will always be needed, but you could possibly start getting a truer gauge on the impact they make.

                  Craziness. Lets hope some eccentric billionaire decides to hook up all the fields of America with that technology instead of do something stupid like donate money to charity.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  Decrease the surprlus population! Social Darwinsim FTW.

              • Evilest Empire says:

                Sure, that can make sense. Not all scouts are created equal, and I’m sure each scout has different things they value more or less than the next guy, or have different standards for, say, what ranks as “50″ power on the 20-80 scale. Some of them might have longer memories than others – we’ve already started to hear that Matt Holliday is only a decent outfielder since his playoff dropsie, for example.

                Scouting is only good en masse IMHO. Many scouts looking at many different players throughout extend amounts of time. Form a collective consensus from several professionals. Throw that evaluation in with the numbers.

                And I do agree with JMK, that Tacoby could very well end up being an above average defender. He’s definitely vastly overrated for sure, but he’s got the potential.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  He COULD become good, but right now he’s not and I don’t think he’ll ever be better than average, and probably a bit below average.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      It could be corrected, but everybody thinks his defense is great, so why would he correct it? Also, reading balls off the bat and taking good routes may not be something that can be fixed just like that. Like fielding itself, it may be something that you can improve at if you work but that some people will always be better at than others.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      By all accounts and scouting reports he was supposed to be a terrific CFer in the minors. Being completely objective, he’s made some impressive plays in Fenway and I’m pretty sure he’ll improve his ZR once he gains more experience and improves his routes to the ball; as you mentioned.

      • Zack says:

        “Being completely objective, he’s made some impressive plays in Fenway”

        Absolutely, and he’s also let many balls drop infront of him.

  13. Here are two pitchers 162 game averages. Guess which one’s considered a borderline candidate and which is considered a slam dunk for the HOF. They pitched just about the same time period.

    Pitcher 1 (1987-2008):
    220 IP, 214 H, 75 BB, 130 K, 3.54 ERA, 118 ERA+, 1.314 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 5.3 K/9, 1.74 K/BB, 3.95 FIP

    Pitcher 2 (1991-2008):
    226 IP, 219 H, 50 BB, 178 K, 3.68 ERA, 123 ERA+, 1.192 WHIP, 8.7 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.0 BB/9, 7.1 K/9, 3.58 K/BB, 3.57 FIP

  14. I’m willing to bet a lot of cash that if Yanks don’t sign Chapman it has more to do with makeup than money.


  15. If we sign Xavier Nady as I suspect we will, won’t all this Gardner talk become moot? If Nady’s healthy, you’ll play him over Gardner most days. Which means that Brett’s the 4th OF, like so many people think he should be, and we have an OF of Swisher/Granderson/Nady. Which may not exactly be Keller/Dimaggio/Henrich, but it’s not bad either.

  16. The moral of the story is that when you’re paying a guy close to what he’s worth, you’re not going to get back much in a trade, even if he’s quite good.


    I seriously want to frame this and put it on my wall or something. 100% accurate, concise and written in simple, plain English that anyone can understand.

  17. DP says:

    My friends and I are planning a trip down to Florida for Spring Training. For anyone who has been there, do tickets sell out quickly?

    • whozat says:

      The close seats do, but then again…it’s not like any of the seats are that far away.

      Also, look at other nearby teams. they’re cheaper and easier to get tix to.

  18. Jets 24 – Bengals 17
    Cowboys 27 – Eagles 24
    Ravens 23 – Patriots 20 (OT)
    Packers 31 – Cardinals 13

  19. Outfield OPS+



    Projected 2010 WAR (CHONE)

  20. Just a reminder everyone, today is the last day of Melmas. 40 days from tomorrow, pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training. For my Mel-Lint, I will be giving up rosin bags and chewing gum.

  21. Hey guys, just bought my first Mac laptop, any tips?

  22. Link says:

    I just wanted to say hello. I haven’t commented in forever, no one probably even knows who I am.

  23. Mike Pop says:

    Random but man KRS-One is amazing.

  24. Meat Loaf says:

    I got a 52 inch Sharp Aquos for $539. I can’t wait for baseball season.

  25. pat says:


    Haha he talks about regression, swish and cano coming off career years, and to solve it sign damon who’s 36 and coming off a “career year”

    • Zack says:

      Ha, yeah i love how every’s answer to improving a team they call old and injury prone is to add damon lol.

      Swish will haven an even better 2010 because he’ll actually hit at home. 35+ HRs :)

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