Friday, September 03, 2010

Random Babeball

“Restore the spitter?” asked Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese. “When did they stop throwing it?”

  • My Cardinals lead the NL Central most of the year but have been on a terrible slide. I think they've lost 15 of their last 16. They have lost 3 series in a row to sub-500 teams. Before this stretch I thought we might be competing for the wild card. Now, I don't even know if I believe that. I think this says it all
    The Cardinals have five players currently on their roster who have at least 350 plate appearances this year and an OPS below 700. That's the most of any National League team and tied with the A's for the most in baseball. Aside from the Cards, in the National League, only the Padres even have more than two such players.

  • I've had a general observation this year that sportswriters and sportscasters are putting on a push for instant replay in baseball. I understand the frustration when a perfect game was lost to a blown call. All the same I just don't believe it should be part of baseball. In fact, I don't want it in any sport. Sports are human endeavors judged by human beings. You want computer like accuracy, start being a fan of video games.

  • Sweet Lou has retired from baseball. He has a been a staple of baseball my entire life. He lead the mediocre Reds to a World Series in 1990. He lead the talent ridden Mariners to a 116 win season in 2001. Sweet Lou was a very good manager and was very good for hitters. Still, I have to agree with Joe Posnanski, Lou's not really Cooperstown material:
    He’s like 100 games over .500 in his career — and that 2001 Mariners team was 70 of those games. He won that awesome World Series in Cincinnati — fabulous there — and he managed Seattle to that cool 116 win season and playoff heartbreak, he managed Chicago to a couple of playoff heartbreaks … and that’s really about it. The Yankee years weren’t much, the Tampa Bay years were pretty disastrous, he leaves the Cubs a mess and before the season’s even out. I’m not saying he’s a bad manager — he’s good — but he doesn’t seem to me to be THAT good.

  • NPR's Frank Deford rightly praises Ichiro Suzuki.
    If he isn't injured, he will easily reach 200 hits again this season. Only Pete Rose did that 10 times, and it took him 17 years. Ichiro will be 10 for 10.

    He has 2,200 hits in our major leagues. He made 1,400 hits in the Japanese majors. In case you want to suggest that he feasted on weak pitching over there, well, Ichiro actually averages more hits per game here than he did in Japan.

  • The White Sox claimed slugger Manny Ramirez off waivers this week. Tribune reporter David Haugh is on a crusade to berate him before he plays a game. Here and
    . The second column starts, "How ironic that a day after celebrating one of the purest right-handed power hitters in baseball history the White Sox welcomed one of the dirtiest." My emphasis.

    And that's the heart of it, isn't it. Manny used steroids which ruined baseball forevah! No one ever, ever cheated prior to steroids. No one ever used illegal drugs before steroids.

    Hell, steroids doesn't even count as cheating if it is defined as getting an unfair advantage. I'm just damn tired of the whole steroid Puritanism of the sports press. Steroids did little to nothing to change the game. In fact, over all power statistics, when normalized for changes in the baseball, show power has been steadily decreasing since 1962!
    So, if we want to see what player power results look like, we need to "splice out" the spurious jumps from ball juicing, so that we are dealing with the actual trends in player power rather than external effects from changes in the ball.
    . . .
    If we look at those intra-era average movements, something has to jump forcefully out at anyone: from 1962 on, true power has been declining. (Here, "true power" means simply power exclusive of the artificial boosts from those isolated, big-jump changes in the baseball itself.)

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