Friday, March 27, 2015

Manfred and Steinbrenner support Alex Rodriguez.

Welcome back.  So say both Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Rob Manfred and Yankee CEO Hal Steinbrenner.  Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, said about Alex Rodriguez: "baseball ought to welcome him back ...  He's played well.  Good for him."

Implicit in Manfred's statement, whether intentional or not, is that individual vigilante acts like that of the coward Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster are not appropriate.  In 2013 Red Sox fans applauded Dempster for making multiple attempts to hit A-Rod with fastballs and finally drilling, not plunking, him.  Then in 2014 those same Red Sox fans warmly and hypocritically greeted the farcical return of their most public user of performance enhancing drugs (PED), Manny Ramirez.

Hal Steinbrenner was asked about A-Rod yesterday on the Micheal Kay ESPN radio program.  Steinbrenner said that he was impressed with A-Rod's quality of play, including opposite field power.  Let bygones be bygones.  Let's not dwell on the past.  No mention of the Yankees suing A-Rod to void a separate contract that would pay Rodriguez $6 million for each player he passes in home runs, starting with the man just ahead of A-Rod, Willie Mays.  The Yankees claim that Rodriguez made the contract worthless by his being suspended for using PED.

See my previous post for more on the Steinbrenner interview:

Hal Steinbrenner turns down $6 billion for the Yankees.  Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hal Steinbrenner turns down $6 billion for the Yankees.

Not really.  This afternoon Hal Steinbrenner, who runs the New York Yankees, was interviewed on ESPN radio by Michael Kay and Don La Greca.  Kay also does Yankee play by play on the Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, which the Yankees formed a decade ago and sold a couple of years ago.  La Greca is Kay's sidekick on the radio show and a notorious Met fan.

Kay pointed out to Hal that Forbes magazine valued the Yankees at $3.2 billion.  Kay asked Hal if he would sell the team for bucks like that.  Hal protested that money was not a driving force in his life.  Hal did not mention his three adult siblings, the four of whom I refer to as the Steinbrenner Kids as in the Steinbrenner Kids should sell the Yankees because they are mismanaging the team into irrelevance.

La Greca then upped the ante by supposing that he had just inherited $6 billion and offered all of it to Hal for the Yankees.  Hal again declined.

Innocent enough except that the overall impression was one of Hal establishing a new standard for a twit.  Kay reminded Hal that his late father George had bought the Yankees in 1973 for $10 million.  One can only assume that George would be turning over in his grave at the thought of one of his children being so foolish.  George might take solace in his other three kids wrestling control of the team from Hal and cashing in or out, whichever is more appropriate.

Kay also asked Hal multiple times about the suggestion of some that he, Hal, did not measure up to his father.  Hal claimed that he did not think about that.

Just sell the damn team and stop retiring uniform numbers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yankee uniform numbers in hexadecimal: more that can be retired.

This is not completely original but it's fun.  Below are a few numbers converted to the base 16 number system: hexadecimal.  This allows for expansion of the New York Yankee plan to distract fans with trite and meaningless ceremonies.  Try a few numbers yourself with one of the converter sites.

Decimal to Hexadecimal Converter

Jorge Posada 20 is 14 in hex
Andy Pettitte 46 converts to 2E
Bernie Williams 51 is 33 in hex

Fortunately, 0 through 9 are the same in both systems, so the following Yankee legends are safe:
Babe Ruth 3
Lou Gehrig 4
Joe DiMaggio 5
Mickey Mantle 7
Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra 8

Whitey Ford is 16 in decimal and 10 in hex.

Phil Rizzuto is the dividing line: 10 in decimal, A in hex.

Got it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cheating and Lying: Pete Rose and Alex Rodriguez.

I am writing about this only because for some reason it was a subject in The Times.

Pete Rose’s Statistics: 4,256 Hits and a Big Error
By TYLER KEPNER MARCH 23, 2015  The New York Times

Pete Rose Sept. 1985
Mike Schmidt and Paul Molitor ... Hall of Famers disagree...

Pete Rose, the career hits leader, barred for life in 1989 for gambling on games played by the Cincinnati Reds, the team he was managing...

the agreement Rose had signed under Commissioner Bart Giamatti, who died of a heart attack eight days later...

Schmidt grew up in Dayton, Ohio ... Later, Schmidt and Rose were teammates on the Phillies. He (Schmidt) believes the purpose of the ban has been met...

Molitor, who now manages the Minnesota Twins. ... stopped short of endorsing Rose’s reinstatement.

“The one rule that is read in every clubhouse, every spring training, for I don’t know how many decades, has been made clear that if this is violated, this is the consequence,” Molitor said. “Now, if they decide to make a change in the stance that they’ve taken to this point, you are going to say that every time we read that, we really didn’t mean it.”  ...

The Hall of Fame passed a rule in 1991, just before Rose would have appeared on the writers’ ballot, that said anyone on the permanently ineligible list was also barred from the Hall. That rule could be reversed by the Hall of Fame’s board, but there has been no push to do so...

Rose was never accused of betting on the Reds to lose, but betting on them to win was dangerous enough to the game’s integrity. In theory, Rose might have managed differently if he had a lot of money riding on a game. And he might have tacitly sent a signal to bookmakers about his lack of confidence in the Reds in games on which he did not bet.
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Pete Rose hid his activities and when caught lied about them ... for 14 years.  Ten years ago Rose admitted that he had broken the rule against gambling and lied.  I apply my Pete Rose rule: for every day you lie, you must wait a day to even be considered for reinstatement, much less election to the Hall of Fame or other relief.

The only penalty that Pete Rose has suffered has been his exclusion from the Hall of Fame, which is supposed to honer former players and which has character as a basis for four of its six criteria for election.  It is very unlikely that Rose would have been offered another job as a major league manager.  Maybe he could have become a coach.

Rose has been hustling during all his years in exile.  Rose signs autographs for money in Las Vegas and in Cooperstown, NY, home of the Hall of Fame.

Rose was not precluded from doing the thing he cherished the most: playing major league baseball.  Alex Rodriguez received that most severe of punishments and served the longest suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) and the longest for pretty much any players except those seven Chicago White Sox players who took money from gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, plus Chicago teammate Buck Weaver who also received a lifetime ban for knowing about the conspiracy but failing to report it.

What happened to the Buck Weaver precedent: those with knowledge of wrong doing are also guilty?  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Buck Weaver precedent has been applied only that one time as far as I know.  It certainly has not been applied for use of PED.  Had it been then teammates of players such as Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa AND their managers such as Joe Torre and especially Tony La Russa, who managed McGuire in BOTH Oakland and St. Louis, would have also been punished and not been eligible for election to the Hall of Fame.  None of those players who are eligible (all but the active Rodriguez) have come close to election but the two managers, Torre and La Russa, were both elected in 2014 without a hint of the objections directed at the players.

To my knowledge I am the only one who called for the sentence imposed on Rodriguez to be commuted, especially after the 2014 All Star break, which is past the midway point of the regular season.  Commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig never indicated that such a thought had ever crossed his mind.  Selig has been on the Hall of Fame’s board since 1976.

So should the quality of mercy be extended to Rose when it was not considered for Rodriguez?  Too many baseball people and also fans do not understand the basic importance of baseball and the other team sports in avoiding even the impression that the games are not on the level.  Every game can be suspect.  Every game contains plays and calls by the umpires, which can be interpreted as being dishonest.  It's all in the frame of mind of the observer.

It's fixed.  The fix is in.  It's just too easy for fans to say and think that.  The first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, established an important principle.  The absolute rule against gambling on baseball games provided an essential foundation on which the game has been based since 1920.  Even as a kid I was aware that there was a notice posted in every clubhouse stating that policy.  Pete Rose may have gambled when he was a player.  It seems likely that he did given his apparent gambling addiction.  However, his offense was that he gambled when he was a player-manager and also later a non-player manager of the Cincinnati Reds, ages 43-48.  Rose was not a kid but a grown man who knew full well the consequences of his actions.

As a player Pete Rose was paid over $7 million dollars.  In his final season as player-manager of the Reds, 1986, when Rose was 45 years old, Rose was paid one million dollars.  Some may shriek that Rodriguez has been paid mush more but Rose was well paid and knew the rule.  Rose did not have the excuse of the 1919 White Sox, some of whom were plaid less than they might have been worth.

The worst thing a person in uniform can do is intentionally lose.  The next worst is to violate the prohibition against gambling, which is so closely associated with the worst offense.

Pete Rose should never be restored to any sort of condition of normalcy, much less honor.  Rose should have the good grace to suffer his rightful punishment away from the public spotlight that he cannot resist.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Analytics or Washoe the chimp?

"To be or not to be."  William Shakespeare

Washoe (c. September 1965 – October 30, 2007) was a female common chimpanzee who was the first non-human to learn to communicate using American Sign Language—to a limited degree—as part of a research experiment on animal language acquisition...

Washoe and her mates were able to combine the hundreds of signs that they learned into novel combinations (that they had never been taught, but rather created themselves) with different meanings...  However, whether or not Washoe's combinations constitute genuine inventive language is controversial, as Herbert S. Terrace contended by concluding that seeming sign combinations did not stand for a single item, but rather were three individual signs.

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Billy Beane, field managers should not be former players. Wake the heck up!  Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Terry Francona played in 708 big league games with 1,827 plate appearances over 10 years: 1981-1990. Francona has never been a general manager but has been a field manager for 14 years with Philadelphia, Boston (two championships) and currently Cleveland...

Today on WFAN radio in New York Fat Mike was interviewing Terry Francona.  They discussed the shift.  Francona said that Cleveland has data that shows they are saving runs by shifting against opposing batters.  Francona did not indicate how many runs or anything like that.  More importantly, neither Francona nor the interviewer addressed what should have been the obvious issue of whether Francona's team has achieved a net benefit from shifting against opponents but not having the basic common sense and fortitude to have their own batters combat the shift when it is deployed against Cleveland by hitting the other way or, preferably, bunting the other way.
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MIT SLOAN
SPORTS ANALYTICS CONFERENCE
FEBRUARY 27-28, 2015 BOSTON

Q&A: Travis Sawchik on ‘Big Data Baseball’ and the rise of the Pirates through analytics

The story of how the Pirates turned their whole profile around is about more than just improving the talent on the team and using analytic principles, it’s also about aligning an entire organization around a new approach.

Travis Sawchik covers the Pirates for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and is the author of the book “Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak.

They were not an early adopter...

Dan Fox, who was with Baseball Prospectus and had a computer science background.

they tried to accelerate that as much as they could, and they saw the urgency in building that department ...

Mike Fitzgerald, the MIT alum, ... a central character ...

the Pirates’ competitive edge comes in with analytics. This really starts with (manager) Clint Hurdle and Dan Fox and their relationship...  Hurdle was ... still sort of skeptical – Hurdle’s kind of an old-school guy ... data started to trickle onto the field in the second half of 2012 – we saw defensive shifts increase a little bit by the end of that season...

In 2012, Hurdle was meeting with Fox at the start of every series. But by 2013, they were meeting every day and on the road having a conference call...  they started to have Fitzgerald do some traveling, and Fitzgerald made most of the trips in 2014...

The coaches developed more of a confidence in Fox and Fitzgerald and started to want more information from them...

One aspect that Dan Fox liked about Fitzgerald was he was a true outsider that had never played at the professional level or been in a major league baseball front office. He thought there was value in adding a completely different perspective to the analytics staff...

Fitzgerald was free of any baseball bias entering the Pirates’ organization – as basketball had been his primary sport of interest...

there’s been this “scouts vs. stats” debate going on since Moneyball...

the trust level with Fox and Fitzgerald and Hurdle and the coaching staff increase in 2013 ... that explains a lot of their success the last two years...

Even though baseball has tremendous amount of data, it’s still a business that’s about people and personalities
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Analyst or chimp?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roger Clemens insurance company pays his accuser in PED suit.

Roger Clemens avoided admitting that he lied and/or used performance enhancing drugs (PED) but he agreed to let his insurance company settle the litigation between Clemens and his former personal trainer Brian McNamee.  I am not an attorney but to me this is an obvious loss for Clemens.  I do not see how anyone can spin this in his favor.

Roger Clemens Reaches Settlement in Ex-Trainer's Defamation Suit: Newspaper
By REUTERSMARCH 19, 2015, 2:22 A.M. E.D.T.

a former trainer (Brian McNamee) ... said he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs

Brian McNamee filed the civil suit in 2008, seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages from Clemens, with whom he trained during stints at the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees.

Clemens ... in June 2012 was acquitted of perjury charges over statements to the U.S. Congress denying that he used the drugs ... said in interviews that McNamee was "off the deep end" and trying to "shake (Clemens) down" with "totally false" statements.  McNamee said the claims ruined his life.

The settlement was reached during closed-door talks in Brooklyn federal court ...

The undisclosed settlement amount would be paid by AIG, the provider of Clemens' homeowners' insurance ...

Reuters could not independently verify the report.
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Roger Clemens June 27, 2007
by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
To a non-attorney like me the fact that the insurance company paid and not Clemens is a distinction without a difference.  McNamee got the money and Clemens side paid it to him.  Presumably insurance premiums paid by Clemens will increase a lot.  That's how it works, doesn't it?

Winner: McNamee
Loser: Clemens

It's pretty basic stuff.  The insurance company could see which way the wind was blowing and the bully blowhard Clemens was deemed to have even less credibility than a weasel character like McNamee, which is saying a lot.  Clemens and his insurance company had the deep pockets.  It's unclear whether McNamee had an insurance company on his side.  If he did, then the loss for Clemens is even more definitive because it would level the proverbial playing field.

I've long since lost track of which way the wind had blown the testimony of former pitcher Andy Pettitte who was a Clemens teammate on both the Yankees and Astros as well as a best workout buddy training with McNamee.  Pettitte initially reluctantly testified against Clemens.  Then Clemens testified that Pettitte misremembered.  I don't know if Pettitte misremembered again and, if so, how many times.  Clemens can be pretty intimidating.

It seems to me that Clemens reputation took another hit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pace of Game Committee: It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away.

"Pace of Game Committee wants to take measured steps as we address this industry goal to quicken the pace of our great game. It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away; it is more important to develop a culture of better habits and a structure with more exact timings for non-game action."  Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, the Chairman of Major League Baseball's Pace of Game and Instant Replay Committees

From post:

Baseball Think: keeping time without a clock: "one Mississippi, two Mississippi, ...".  Saturday, February 21, 2015

Say what?  They do not want to "achieve a dramatic time reduction right away".  What?  Do it so slowly that it will not be noticeable and therefore ineffective.  That's the objective?  To doom the effort?  ...

The problem is the DEAD time between the 300 pitches in each game.  They still don't understand that.  When there should be play, there is inaction that has nothing to do with the nature of the game.  Mindless dead time does not equate to time honored matching of wits between batter and pitcher.
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What happens when fast pace minor leaguers get to the majors?  Sunday, February 22, 2015

Radical change is needed and in this case radical also means swift.  We generally tend to think that gradual change is best.  But often what is needed is a JOLT!  You don't stimulate the economy with an extra $10 in people's paycheck starting at some indeterminate time in the future.  You don't wake up people with a refreshingly well paced baseball game by SLOWLY changing the mind numbing pace so gradually that people not only do not notice but cannot notice.

2015 opening day games should seem radically different from those that concluded the reign of boredom that too long commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig caused to replace any semblance of the game we once knew.  But they won't seem radically different because Selig's bag man replacement Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, has little stomach for it and not much more imagination than his benefactor Selig.  Manfred will be the typical company man even as the company rots.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Do overs should be allowed in these silly exhibition games.

Why not?  In recent posts I have recommended that the regular season start at the spring training sites, preferably with no exhibition games between teams, just intrasquad games.  But if they insist on playing exhibition games between teams, why not loosen the rules?  A specific loosening that would enhance the training aspect of these games would be to allow mutually agreed upon do overs.

For instance, a big deal pitcher is pitching to a big deal batter and the batter accidentally hits the first pitch back to the pitcher and is thrown out at first.  Neither got any real practice.  Both managers might want to have a do over, right?  So do it already.  Why stick to regular season rules in exhibition games?  They have one difference.  If a game goes into extra innings the managers can agree to stop playing and let the game end in a tie.  Why not?  It's just a dopey exhibition game.

Do overs.  Yes!

Monday, March 16, 2015

March Madness: spring training games! Start the damn regular season already!

Am I the only one who cannot stand another meaningless exhibition game from Florida or Arizona?  Maybe it's worse with MLB Network showing one after another.  I'm not actually watching.  When I dial around I can't help but spot some form of baseball activity on screen.  Batters continue to step out of the box, while both the plate umpire and pitcher just stand there like doofuses.  Throw the damn ball and call it a strike!  And if we must watch this, make the games count.

Start the regular season at the spring training sites.  Saturday, March 14, 2015

Start the regular season in the warm weather locations ...

increasingly the big revenue source is television ...

The spring parks could easily have their capacity expanded and many more fans would consider escaping the cold winter to attend REAL games where the temperature is much more comfortable.

We all know that spring training is way too long.  Continue to start it at the beginning of February but limit, or better yet, eliminate exhibition games between teams.  The regular season could start by March 15 at the latest with room to start earlier if needed.  Then move north as weather permits, not necessarily on a fixed date.
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Desecration of a green cathedral: soccer at Yankee Stadium.

Yesterday's post:

Start the regular season at the spring training sites.

As I write this a professional soccer game is being played at Yankee Stadium.  Yankee Stadium!

One point mentioned on talk radio this afternoon was that the current Yankee ownership and management (Steinbrenner Kids and Randy Levine) will make non-baseball money this summer by allowing many soccer games to be played on the sacred turf during the baseball season.  Clearly this means the Yankee spring training site will be in better playing condition than Yankee Stadium.  Supposedly the Yankees claim that the baseball worthiness of the field will be maintained by careful grounds keeping and scheduling these soccer games no closer than three days before any Yankee game.

I have long thought that the doomsday weapon and last and final act of the international Communist conspiracy would be replacing baseball with soccer in the United States of America.  This dastardly plot has reached a new low.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Start the regular season at the spring training sites.

Last night I monitored the Yankee exhibition game at the Red Sox spring training park.

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/spring_training/ballpark.jsp?c_id=bos

JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the Spring Training ballpark and adjoining Player Development Complex for the Boston Red Sox in Lee County, Florida.

A number of the characteristics of the ballpark are taken from Fenway Park, including a "Green Monster" ...


Dimensions:

Left Field: 310 feet
Left-Center Field: 379 feet
Center Field: 420 feet
Right Field Bullpen: 380 feet
Right Field Pole: 302 feet

Seating diagram

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It's a replica of Fenway Park in Boston. Having the 37 foot wall in left for home spring training games should help Hanley Ramirez, the shortstop who signed a multi-year contract with Boston and is being shifted to left field.

If the 2015 finals reach a seventh and deciding game, that game may be played on November 1. That's nuts. It's unlikely that the people running the Major Baseball League (MBL) will shorten the regular season but they may add games to the tournament. That would push the most important games further into November, which would be even more nuts.

Consider that before you simply dismiss my suggestion as nuts.

Start the regular season in the warm weather locations of teams that are based in cold weather outdoor ballparks. Arizona, Los Angeles, Tampa, Houston, etc. can simply play in their normal parks. Boston, the Chicago teams, the New York teams, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. should simply play in their spring training parks.

The Red Sox park in Florida holds about 25,000 fewer fans than the Boston park. That would be less revenue at the gate. But increasingly the big revenue source is television and Red Sox fans in Boston watching on TV would be seeing what looks a lot like what they now expect during the regular season.

The spring parks could easily have their capacity expanded and many more fans would consider escaping the cold winter to attend REAL games where the temperature is much more comfortable.

We all know that spring training is way too long. Continue to start it at the beginning of February but limit, or better yet, eliminate exhibition games between teams. The regular season could start by March 15 at the latest with room to start earlier if needed. Then move north as weather permits, not necessarily on a fixed date.

Friday, March 13, 2015

FIP v. ERA+

FIP

Statistic Description: Fielding Independent Pitching this stat measures a pitcher's effectiveness at preventing HR, BB, HBP and causing SO (13*HR + 3*(BB+HBP) - 2*SO)/IP + Constantlg The constant is set so that each season MLB average FIP is the same as the MLB avg ERA

Minimum of 1000 IP, 3000 PA, 500 games (fielding, 500 IP for Ps), 200 stolen base attempts (catchers) or 80 stolen base attempts (baserunners only since 1951) or 100 decisions for career and active leaderboards for rate statistics.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/fip_career.shtml

244. Greg Maddux 3.262

246. Whitey Ford 3.264


​I don't like this stat and Maddux and Ford may illustrate why.​

ERA+

Statistic Description: ERA+ 100*[lgERA/ERA] Adjusted to the player’s ballpark(s).

Minimum of 1000 IP, 3000 PA, 500 games (fielding, 500 IP for Ps), 200 stolen base attempts (catchers) or 80 stolen base attempts (baserunners only since 1951) or 100 decisions for career and active leaderboards for rate statistics.


26. Whitey Ford 133

29. Greg Maddux 132

Blackout

Business opportunity: beat the sports blackouts.  FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015

Here's what can make money for someone:
- address specific U.S. sports: NCAA basketball tournament, NBA, MLB.
- let the user specify his (it's going to be guys almost exclusively) home market.

For instance, here in New York Major League Baseball (MLB) with it's mlb.tv streaming video package will blackout the Yankees and Mets.
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Some cross pollination from another of my blogs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A-Rod went BOOM! Is he juiced?

Alex Rodriguez hit a booming home run today in an exhibition game.  What are we to make of that?  Is he using again/still?  Is he just so good that even at the age of 39 A-Rod does not need performance enhancing drugs (PED)?

Or is it just inexplicable?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A-Rod has not broken down yet.

Two more hits yesterday and playing consecutive days, including one at third base and Alex Rodriguez is looking great and playing better each game.  He even got a bit frisky while on first base, faking a steal, which I'm guessing he would do in a regular season game.  No sign of his being but a shadow of his former performance enhancing drug (PED) self, much to the consternation of some.

So far A-Rod looks at least as good as his replacement, Chase Headley.  Time will tell.

Yesterday on ESPN radio in New York some lifelong Yankee fan called in and said that he wanted A-Rod to strike out every time.  With fans like that, who needs enemies?

Go, A-Rod.  Make them choke on their hypocritical words.  Maybe you look the same because that Miami crook Tony Bosch was selling you expensive placebos.

A-Rod looks great, plays OK.  Monday, March 9, 2015

Chase Headley money to spite Alex Rodriguez could have landed Cuban Yoan Moncada.  Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Alex Rodriguez: why do people think A-Rod will break down in spring training? PED voodoo? Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

A-Rod looks great, plays OK.

Alex Rodriguez started at third base in yesterday's Yankee exhibition game.  A-Rod got a bloop double and made the long throw from third to first after backhanding a bouncer.  Nothing earth shattering but A-Rod has shown no sign of breaking down as was predicted by many a few weeks ago.

Alex Rodriguez looks the same, not a mini version as catcher Ivan Rodriguez did after he showed up in spring training one year after the league had started cracking down on the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED).

We still have no idea how well A-Rod can play but he seems to be intact physically and mentally, much to the chagrin of the Puritanical baseball people who wanted A-Rod to pay for his sins in this life.

Alex Rodriguez: why do people think A-Rod will break down in spring training? PED voodoo?  Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I've heard multiple people on MBL Network and YES Network say that, including former pitcher Ron Darling and writer Bob Klapisch.  Why would they think that? ...

Maybe the VooDoo proponents are correct.  Maybe they will fulfill their own prophecy ... by sticking needles into little A-Rod VooDoo dolls.  Maybe Manfred, the A-Rod slayer, will be doing that too.  Along with Yankee president Randy Levine.  And the Steinbrenner Kids.  Maybe.
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Strike Out pitchers during the Babe Ruth era, 1915-1934.

This is a follow up to the previous post.  Babe Ruth's first and last years are omitted.

Would Aroldis Chapman make Babe Ruth faint?  Sunday, March 8, 2015

The fastest pitch recorded by the system is 105.1 miles per hour. It was thrown by Cincinnati Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman on Sept. 24, 2010 ...

In 2014 Aroldis Chapman had 17.4 SO9: 106 in 54 innings.  There were few relief aces back in Ruth's time, certainly no one who would blow away batters...

Dazzy Vance ... led the old National League in SO 1922-1928.  In 1924 Vance had more SO than the next two pitchers combined ...


NL SO leaders in 1924 other than Vance were averaging fewer than 4 SO9.  Chapman was over 17 SO9 in 2014.
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1915 to 1934, (requiring SOp9>=6 and At least 50 Innings Pitched), sorted by greatest Strikeouts per 9 IP

Rk Player SO9 IP Year Age Tm Lg G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV H R ER BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ HR BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pit Str
1 Dazzy Vance 7.65 308.1 1924 33 BRO NL 35 34 30 3 1 28 6 .824 0 238 89 74 77 262 2.16 2.64 174 11 1221 9 0 4
2 Dazzy Vance 7.50 265.1 1925 34 BRO NL 31 31 26 4 0 22 9 .710 0 247 115 104 66 221 3.53 2.70 118 8 1089 10 0 3
3 Dazzy Vance 7.46 169.0 1926 35 BRO NL 24 22 12 0 2 9 10 .474 1 172 80 73 58 140 3.89 2.84 98 7 713 1 1 1
4 Whit Wyatt 7.14 85.2 1930 22 DET AL 21 7 2 0 12 4 5 .444 2 76 41 34 35 68 3.57 4.15 135 6 363 3 0 2
5 Johnny Allen 6.78 71.2 1934 29 NYY AL 13 10 4 0 2 5 2 .714 0 62 30 23 32 54 2.89 3.58 142 3 309 2 0 5
6 Lefty Grove 6.77 258.0 1926 26 PHA AL 45 33 20 1 9 13 13 .500 6 227 97 72 101 194 2.51 2.96 165 6 1072 6 0 5
7 Bill Hallahan 6.71 237.1 1930 27 STL NL 35 32 13 2 3 15 9 .625 2 233 135 123 126 177 4.66 4.42 109 15 1045 0 0 11
8 Jumbo Brown 6.69 74.0 1933 26 NYY AL 21 8 1 0 8 7 5 .583 0 78 48 43 52 55 5.23 3.95 75 3 349 0 0 2
9 George Earnshaw 6.65 158.1 1928 28 PHA AL 26 22 7 3 4 7 7 .500 1 143 81 67 100 117 3.81 3.92 105 7 713 1 0 7
10 Red Ruffing 6.60 259.0 1932 27 NYY AL 35 29 22 3 6 18 7 .720 2 219 102 89 115 190 3.09 3.72 132 16 1098 3 0 5
11 Lefty Grove 6.46 291.0 1930 30 PHA AL 50 32 22 2 17 28 5 .848 9 273 101 82 60 209 2.54 3.09 185 8 1191 5 0 2
12 Dazzy Vance 6.42 280.1 1928 37 BRO NL 38 32 24 4 5 22 10 .688 2 226 79 65 72 200 2.09 2.83 190 11 1126 7 0 1
13 Dazzy Vance 6.32 280.1 1923 32 BRO NL 37 35 21 3 2 18 15 .545 0 263 127 109 100 197 3.50 3.18 111 10 1187 11 0 5
14 Lefty Grove 6.29 261.2 1928 28 PHA AL 39 31 24 4 6 24 8 .750 3 228 93 75 64 183 2.58 2.75 155 10 1064 1 0 4
15 Lefty Gomez 6.25 234.2 1933 24 NYY AL 35 30 14 4 3 16 10 .615 2 218 108 83 106 163 3.18 3.65 123 16 1027 0 0 6
16 Bump Hadley 6.21 179.2 1931 26 WSH AL 55 11 2 1 28 11 10 .524 7 145 81 61 92 124 3.06 3.57 141 4 768 1 0 4
17 Dazzy Vance 6.17 218.2 1931 40 BRO NL 30 29 12 2 1 11 13 .458 0 221 99 82 53 150 3.38 3.18 114 12 918 0 0 1
18 Walter Beall 6.17 81.2 1926 26 NYY AL 20 9 1 0 6 2 4 .333 1 71 46 32 68 56 3.53 4.58 110 2 384 6 3 7
19 Dizzy Dean 6.11 293.0 1933 23 STL NL 48 34 26 3 12 20 18 .526 5 279 113 99 64 199 3.04 2.63 114 11 1202 5 0 2
20 Dazzy Vance 6.09 99.0 1933 42 STL NL 28 11 2 0 7 6 2 .750 3 105 42 39 28 67 3.55 2.72 98 3 427 1 0 3
21 Dazzy Vance 6.06 273.1 1927 36 BRO NL 34 32 25 2 2 16 15 .516 1 242 98 82 69 184 2.70 3.07 147 12 1123 6 0 2
22 Dazzy Vance 6.02 258.2 1930 39 BRO NL 35 31 20 4 3 17 15 .531 1 241 97 75 55 173 2.61 3.61 189 15 1061 5 1 4
23 Dizzy Dean 6.01 286.0 1932 22 STL NL 46 33 16 4 10 18 15 .545 2 280 122 105 102 191 3.30 3.44 120 14 1203 5 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/8/2015.

23 seasons starting the year after Babe Ruth's rookie season in the American League, 1914, which had a disproportionate number of occurrences

Dazzy Vance dominates with 9 of the 23 seasons, not to be confused with Dizzy Dean who had 2 of the 23.  Whit Wyatt had the fewest starts: 7 in 1930  in 85 innings.  Jumbo Brown had the fewest innings: 74 in 1933.  In only two other seasons did one of these seasons have fewer than 100 innings, including Vance with 99 innings in 1933 at age 42.

In 14 of 23 the pitcher led his league in SO.  Dizzy Dean is the only one to lead his league in innings: 286 in 1932.  Bump Hadley appeared in the most games of the 23 seasons: 55 (11 starts) in 1931, 179 innings.



Dazzy Vance 1922 via Wikimedia Commons