The Baseball Exchange


What Was I Even Whining About? by 27yankees

Yesterday, I made a post about how silly some of the voters for the AL MVP award were.

Today, we learned that Jimmy Rollins won, and the complaints of yesterday quickly faded away to a new set of complaints.

For example: Jimmy Rollins? He had a great season, sure, but really. His numbers were inflated by Citizen’s Bank Park. His team just barely beat the Mets. David Wright’s play was just as deserving of an MVP award as Jimmy Rollins. You could justify it by saying that the Phillies got into the playoffs, but it’s not Wright’s fault that the Mets didn’t get into the playoffs. According to VORP, Wright was second in the NL behind Hanley Ramirez, who’s team clearly was not close to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, J-Roll was ninth in the NL in VORP. Heck, even teammate Chase Utley had a higher VORP than him.

Both J-Roll and Wright play excellent defense, though J-Roll does it at a more difficult position. However, though they had similar numbers, Wright made nearly 100 less outs in a similar number of at-bats, and his OBP was far higher than that of J-Roll.

However, this year the writers were looking for a good story. What’s surprising is that they found it in J-Roll, when there was such an obvious feel-good story in Matt Holliday. He was fourth in the NL in VORP. His numbers may have been inflated by the Coors effect, but he was clutch and was a key to the Rockies getting to the playoffs. I fully expected him to get all the votes; he was far more deserving than J-Roll.

Thankfully, Holliday got second place by a very close margin, so most of the writers agreed with me, but it’s still disappointing to see him fall second. He may never have another season like this again.


In other news, the Brewers traded Johnny Estrada to the Mets for Guillermo Mota. And boy, did Omar Minaya screw the Brewers over and get exactly what he wanted. Find a catcher? Check. Make sure it’s a short commitment? Check (Estrada is under contract for one season). Lose Guillermo Mota? Check.Omar Minaya, for any faults he might have when it comes to getting prospects into his system, is a shrewd GM. He made a great move here.

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The Writers Screwed Up by 27yankees

The punchline here is that they didn’t screw up. The AL MVP was Alex Rodriguez, and he more than deserve it. In fact, he deserved to win unanimously. Did he? No. Why? Because the sportswriters out of Detroit are major homers.

The Detroit Tigers were several games out of a playoff spot. The Yankees barely scraped a playoff spot. In fact, considering how much A-Rod contributed, had he not been on the Yankees in 2007, replaced by an average third baseman, the Yankees would not have made the playoffs. That’s a lot of value that he provides.

There is no excuse for not voting for A-Rod. He did it all – excellent defense; consistent performance; excellent hitting out of an important defensive position, hitting in the clutch. Magglio had a great year; in a typical year he should have won. But A-Rod did not have a typical year; in fact, A-Rod had a historical year. There is a very legitimate argument that A-Rod had won of the ten greatest seasons of all time in 2007, and even an argument that, after Barry Bonds’ 2001 season, it is the second most valuable season by a hitter of all time. A year as historically amazing as A-Rod’s is just a class above Magglio’s year.

There were some other interesting things to note about MVP voting.  Mike Lowell… fifth? I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. According to VORP, there were fifteen more valuable hitters in the AL than Lowell. That’s a lot of people.

Jorge Posada ended up sixth behind Lowell. Despite the fact that Posada had the fourth highest VORP in the AL. I mean, catchers who can post and OPS+ of 154 with average defense just grow on trees, right?

In addition, Carlos Pena’s voting sadly disappointed me.  The fifth most valuable VORP-adjusted hitter in the AL got ninth place in voting.

Also surprising was Bobby Abreu receiving a seventh place vote. In perhaps his worst season ever, where he barely scrape a 114 OPS+.

Hopefully, the writers will learn. But until then, they make good blog fodder.

TwentySeven



A Comment on BABIP by 27yankees

I’d just like to make a comment on BABIP. BABIP, or batting average on balls in play, is a measure that was discovered a few years ago by a writer on Baseball Prospectus. He discovered with a bit of research that BABIP varies a lot for all pitchers, great ones, or not so great ones. The difference he discovered between the great pitchers and the not-as-great pitchers was that the great ones struck out more batters, walked less batters, and gave up less home runs. Good pitchers are able to compensate for a high BABIP, or some bad luck, by striking out more batters, walking less batters, and giving up less homers. That’s what made Pedro Martinez so good. In addition to coining the term BABIP, he coined the term “peripheral stats”, which are stats like K/9, BB/9, and HR/9, which indicate how well a pitcher should be able to compensate for BABIP. This lead to the creation of peripheral ERA, or ERAp. This was a stat that indicated how well we should have expected a pitcher to perform given an average BABIP. Continue reading



Pedroia’s rise from a .182 AVG credit to a heart of a champion? by red
November 12, 2007, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Red Sox Suck | Tags: , ,

Is Dustin Pedroia’s rise from a .182 AVG early in the season credit to a heart of a champion just like Ian Browne of mlb.com says?

…Or maybe it’s just because he had a ridiculously unfair BABIP in early ’07?

graph3.png

(Graph from fangraphs.com – thank you.)

You gotta love stats.

Red



They got ONE award right… by red

Let’s just say there’s been worse years for the MLB awards. Granted, they got approximately… one or zero of the gold glove awards right, but then they never get those right, and this season has been helped by some clear frontrunners in the races. A-Rod was flat-out historically amazing – I would be surprised if he didn’t get a unanimous MVP – and Holliday was probably the thin front runner, as he deserved to be, and that one game playoff probably sealed it up for him. They’ll probably get the Cy Youngs wrong, or at least the AL, but unless there’s a clear, defenite front runner, they usually get those wrong too. But, give them credit — they were completely right on the Rookie of the Year. Continue reading



Phils sign Romero for 3/12 by red

The Phillies have resigned J.C. Romero in a 3-year, 12 million dollar deal. After being traded from Boston to the Phils, he had been lights out with a 1.24 ERA in 35 innings, and gave the Phils some much-needed bullpen help down the stretch. It’s pretty obvious with this and the Lidge deal, they’re trying to stock their bullpen with good arms so they won’t have to rely on Antonio Alfonseco anymore.

Still, there are some risks in this. Romero is 31 years old, and Romero hasn’t been nearly as effective as he had been in 2007 since 2002. The signing of Romero is logical, and by no means a bad move, though undoubtedly not without its risks. Lidge is also getting older, but seriously – it’s Brad Lidge. He has been proven to be effective and is much less of a question mark for the Phils. Odds are, he’s not going to have another 2006. Also, there’s the question of Tom Gordon – whether he or Romero will become the set-up man, whether they’ll share the role, or whether he will be traded this offseaon. Might he even retire? It will be interesting to see how things turn out.

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In other news: Yet another idiotic article brought to you by the NY Times, this one by Murray Chass, another stickler for hustle and grit and one whose hatred for “stat-mongers” and all things statistical is widely known. You might recall a remark a couple of years back about his hatred of statistical “new-age nonsense,” like VORP. (See bottom of the page, the last section of the article.) Perhaps the reason he’s so suspicious of the Pirates’ new front office is because Neal Huntington is quickly acquiring a reputation as one of the most statistically-based GMs in the game?

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If you’re wondering why I always seem to grab articles from the Times, it’s because that’s just usually the first thing I read in the morning. I see something stupid there, and I have to write about how idiotic it is.

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I stopped reading this article at the first sentence.

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Can someone explain to me the reason Scott Boras always wears those ridiculously ugly turtlenecks?

Red



Little Piece of Brain Leaves With Sportwriter by red

Possibly one of the most idiotic articles I’ve ever seen in the New York Times, this dandy was written by William Rodhen, called “Little Piece of Yankees leaves with Legends.” You know by the title it’s going to be bad.

This is from the same man who, after pointing out that absolutely no one wants to see the legend that is Joe Torre go, that those who do are, well, idiots, and explained that the proper way to rate a manager was by the number of world series he won flat-out, he suggested the Yankee hire Dusty Basker. DUSTY BAKER. Then promptly insinuated not only that all loyal Yankee fans are white, but insulted everyone who isn’t African-American and a Yankee fan by saying this:

Would loyal Yankees fans accept a manager of color? Loyal Yankees fans want to get back to the World Series, and that is not going to happen with the team as it is currently configured.

Thankfully, he said that they would accept “a manager of color,” but only because there is no other option with the team “as it is configured.” Seriously, why the hell did he even bring this up?

Now, he’s written this unappetizing column all about that “Little Piece” of the entire Yankee soul that has left, leaving the Yankees a disgusting, disrespectful, classless, ugly, godless organization. Yeah, that’s it. Now let’s break it down:

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. – A line began forming outside the Yogi Berra Museum at 11:30 yesterday morning. By noon, despite the rain and chill, the line had expanded to more than 100. By 2:30, nearly 1,000 fans had lined up and passed through the museum to have Don Mattingly sign copies of his new book, “Hitting Is Simple.” There were toddlers in strollers, teenagers, young adults, and men and women who had been Yankee fans for decades. They wanted to say hello and goodbye to a favorite son, the beloved Donnie Baseball.

OK, I can see that. Like everyone else, it’s amazing to meet a legend like Mattingly, looks like he’s got a good book even if the title is an oxymoron, it all sounds like a good time.

The overcast skies and somber receiving line gave the event the feel of a wake,

Uh-oh. Continue reading