Monday, August 30, 2010

There they go again

Yankees take 3:25 to play 2-1, nine inning game against White Sox.

I think the Yanks must think they're playing cricket.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So that explains it!

Dr. Boli tells us why the Bucs really, really suck:

Under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pittsburgh Pirates are required to hire players who are really bad at baseball.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mark Reynolds not quite on pace to break his own K record

Reynolds still strikes out at an ungodly rate, to be sure. But his 161 whiffs in the Diamondbacks' first 119 games translates to "just" 219 for the season, falling just short of his record 223 of last year. It's not exactly Maris and Mantle in '61, but I'll want to keep an eye on the "race". (Yes, I'm pitiful).

In his Historical Baseball Abstract of 2000 or so, Bill James wondered why no one had yet broken Bobby Bonds' 1970 record for K's, considering the steady trend towards more strikeouts.  The obvious answer was that when guys got close, managers would start playing them less.

Now, there is little stigma attached to whiffing, which may be fine for someone like Reynolds, who is 5th in the NL in homers (26), and seventh in walks (61). But when rotten hitters strike out a ton, a common occurrence with so many teams having 3, 4, 5 100-K men, a little stigma might be order.

And of course, today's preponderance of aggressive swinging and missing probably accounts for the current rash of no-hitters, a trend we can expect to accelerate.

UPDATE: I haven't looked up anybody else, but Reynolds must be leading, or nearly leading MLB in Three True Outcomes-his 162 K, 62 BB, and 26 jacks in 467 PA amounts to a TTO rate of .535 (through 8/17).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tony the whiner

Redleg Nation on Tony LaRussa and the recent unpleasantness between the Reds and Cards:

I love this,  from ESPN’s story on the brawl: “La Russa wasn’t happy with Phillips’ comment and mentioned it to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, who worked with him in St. Louis.”

Let me translate that for you: “LaRussa wasn’t happy with being called a whiner, so he went and whined to Walt Jocketty.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Three hours, 33 minutes to play a 2-1, nine inning game?

Yep, last night the Yanks and Red Sox managed to dawdle their way to a 3 and a half hour plus, low-scoring, nine inning game.

I've always been of the opinion that game lengths aren't really all that important-if you don't like baseball, it won't much matter to you whether games go three hours or two and a half-it will seem tedious either way.

But a line has to be drawn somewhere. It really shouldn't take that long to score three runs in a game with only twelve hits and eight walks. Bud Selig likes to say what matters is not game length so much, but the pace of the game-there couldn't have been much "pace" last night in New York. I'm sure the Yankees were happy to have the crowd of 49,000 plus on hand as long as possible to buy concessions and guzzle beer, but this is ridiculous. And it does seem to be a Yankees-Red Sox thing-the Astros and Braves, for example, played a 14 run,  8 1/2 inning job last night (Houston won, 10-4) in 2:53.

I don't have any answers, other than saying nobody should be allowed to call time when the pitcher's already in his motion. Plus there should be only one mound conference per pitcher per half inning, regardless of who initiates said meeting. Plus limiting replay to so-called boundary calls.

Plus the Yankees and Red Sox should be limited to seven innings, like high school games. Maybe they'll be able to keep things under three hours then. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

My NL East predictions, vindicated

My March 2010 NL East calls (see sidebar) are looking remarkably prescient, no?

Mind you, the Braves are still in first, and, by Baseball Prospectus' lights, have about twice the chance of making (86.8%, v. 46.3%) the October Show, compared with the Phillies. But right now, pretty much everybody looks to be within six games or so of what I projected.

My calls/BP's current projections:

Phillies 91 wins/90

Braves 88/93

Marlins 83/81

Mets 79/81

Nats 68/74