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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My major posts about steroids:

Radical Baseball Feb 20, 2008

It's not steroids. It's the fences. Baseball is the only American team
sport in which the playing area is not uniform. Imagine a National
Basketball Association (NBA) game played at Madison Square Garden. The three-point line is drawn ...

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MLB should allow performance enhancing stuff.  May 09, 2009
It would be much safer to take things like steroids under the care of a doctor. That would greatly reduce the chances that someone would drive to Mexico and buy a steroid of unknown quality. The doctor could instruct the patient on ...

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Black Sox: some thoughts.  Jun 10, 2009
There are clear paralells between the old gambling scandal and the
current steroids scandal with one exception: the gamblers played to
LOSE, the steroid users played to WIN. The two things that they have in common: ...

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McGwire and irrational thought. Jan 18, 2010


Last week Mark McGwire announced that he had used steroids and human growth hormones, mostly late in his career. Of course, the baseball media and some incredibly old fart fans became irrational about this. Ho hum. ...

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Steroids are only an issue for home runs. Feb 10, 2010


Those people who care about performance enhancing stuff, steroids for short, are almost exclusively concerned about baseball and,
specifically, home runs. That's it. Since 2000 the NFL record for
touch downs scored in a season has been ...

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More on possible steroid use by Nolan Ryan. Aug 31, 2010


He played long enough to have used steroids. His longevity is
suspicious. Jose Canseco has admitted using steroids during his MVP season of 1988. Ryan played from 1966 through 1993 (age 46). Ryan and Canseco were even teammates in Texas ...

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Those 1973 Atlanta Braves: was there something in the water?
August 31, 2010

The great Hank Aaron hit 40 homers in 1973 in only 392 at bats at age 39. 1973 was Aaron's personal best in AB/HR: 9.8. Second best: age 37, 10.5 AB per HR. Aaron entered the 1973 season with 713 career home runs, one short of Babe ...
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Steroid Stars: Bonds, Clemens, Ryan FEBRUARY 14, 2011

So when will someone other than me finally catch on that strike out king Nolan Ryan was probably as into performance enhancing stuff as Bonds and Clemens?

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Does Barry Bonds pay Greg Anderson not to testify? Mar 24, 2011


In 2005 Anderson plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and to money laundering. On October 18, 2005, he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Susan ...

MLB needs a behavior rule like the NBA.

For the 2010-2011 NBA season players were forbidden many acts of bad behavior that had become common in recent seasons, such as arguing.  Compare that to MLB where players, coaches and managers may and do argue about everything for as long as they want. Sure, they get ejected occasionally but it's not automatic as it has been this season in the NBA.  NBA players modified their conduct.  Before the season the conventional wisdom among NBA pundits was that the new rule would not last long and that the players would be unable to control their emotions because of the fast pace of the action.

MLB has no issue of fast paced action but lacks the imagination and will to even consider this.  MLB media and fans are no better.  They are all stuck in Leo Durocher mode from about 1950.

As an example of how stupid MLB can be: when limited instant replay was finally introduced for home run calls I saw a call go against the Philadelphia Phillies after all four umpires reviewed the play.  Phillies manager Charlie Manuel still came out and argued.  What could Manuel have possibly expected the umpires to do?  Why in the world would the umpires allow Manuel to argue after their review?  MLB had the worst of both worlds: delay for review AND delay for argument.  That's entertainment?

MLB does not have the common sense to come in from the rain, which is, unfortunately, all too true when it actually does rain.

Outlaw arguing and general bad behavior as the NBA has done and enforced.  Come on, MLB, show some common sense.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Parity between batters and pitchers: .500 batting average.

Since 1903 for batters with at least 30 at bats for a season only three batters have had a batting average of at least .500:

Rudy Pemberton .512 1996 41 AB
Cameron Maybin .500  2008 32 AB
Gil Coan .500 1947 42 AB

So how come virtually every baseball fan has been brain washed into thinking that batters are getting all the breaks?  Wouldn't a .500 batting average be a common sense measure of parity between batters and pitchers?

The last batter to qualify for leading the league in batting average to have a batting average of at least .400 was Ted Williams in 1941: .406.  1941.  69 years ago.  And Williams failed 59.4% of the time.  Even he didn't break even with the pitchers.

Why is it acceptable for every batter since 1941 to fail at least 60% of the time?  How is that balanced?

Drive small market teams out of MLB. Contraction by fans!

Boycott small market teams.  MLB will never eliminate them.  The big teams will never have the imagination or nerve to secede from MLB and form the Super League that I described.  So, we fans need to force this.

Drive Pittsburgh, Kansas City, etc. the heck out of MLB  If they want to stay in business let them form a AAAA minor league.  Eliminate from MLB all the teams that whine about big market teams and take revenue sharing money from big market fans.

Not only do not attend their home games, do not attend their road games, especially in big market cities.

Do not buy their merchandise.

Do not buy products of their TV and radio sponsors and inform the sponsors of your position.

Do not watch them of TV.

Contraction by fans!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

BA/OBP

I'm not sure what to do with this but it's interesting.  It shows the percentage of On Base Percentage (OBP) taken by Batting Average (BA).

Here are some examples:

Eddie Yost: .254/.394 64.7%

Ted Williams: .344/.482 71.4%

Joe DiMaggio: .325/.398 81.7%

Ichiro Suzuki: .331/.376 88%

Players with a reputation for not getting many walks should have higher percentages.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mitch Williams: MLB network embarrassment.

TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011  Former MLB players as TV analysts: mostly suck!

The MLB analysts don't just suck.  They're morons, especially Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams, both a wealth of misinformation.

Recently Mitch Williams was trying to explain why he thought Derek Jeter of the Yankees was as good as ever.  Williams stated that in 2010 Jeter scored 111 runs and Jeter's career average per season was 112.

Jeter has played 15 full seasons and scored 1,685 runs.  Let's subtract the five runs he scored in 15 games in 1995.  That's 1,680 runs divided by 15.  It does equal 112.  Williams was correct.

It does include 2003 when Jeter played 119 games and scored 87 so the 112 is lower than his real full season average.  Let's get the average for the other 14 seasons.

(1,680-87)/14=113.8

114 is pretty close.  However, who evaluates a player that way?  If Williams is trying to show Jeter's value in reaching base why doesn't he simply look at on base percentage?  Jeter's three lowest OBP seasons:

2008 .363
2004 .352
2010 .340

Career .385

Looks like Jeter is slipping.  Two of his last three seasons are among his three worst and Jeter will be 37 June 26.

How many runs would Jeter have scored in 2010 if his OBP had equaled his career average?  Probably more than 111.

Jeter scores runs because he gets on base and runs the bases well and because his teammates drive him in.  How many more RBI would they have had in 2010 if Jeter had been on base more often?

Mitch Williams is a moron.  MLB network should be embarrassed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Does Barry Bonds pay Greg Anderson not to testify against him?

It's my non-attorney understanding that it is legal to pay someone not to testify but it is not legal to pay someone to lie under oath, i.e., commit perjury.

Does anyone think that Barry Bonds is not paying Greg Anderson not to testify against him, Bonds?

Anderson is a childhood friend of Bonds but come on.  Who the heck goes to jail repeatedly for refusing to testify?  What makes more sense is that each day Anderson holds out, Bonds deposits money into a Swiss bank account for Anderson.  How about one million to start plus $10,000 a day?  That would keep a lot of people quiet.

In 2005 Anderson pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and to money laundering.  On October 18, 2005, he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston to three months in prison and three months home confinement.  In addition for refusing to testify against Bonds, Anderson has been sent to jail:

July 5, 2006 - July 20, 2006

August 28, 2006 - November 15, 2007

March 22, 2011 - duration of Bonds perjury trial.

I ask again: Does anyone think that Barry Bonds is not paying Greg Anderson not to testify against him?

I stumbled onto an article in today's Boston Globe, which makes this same point using The Godfather part II as metaphor.  So how come none of the rest of the mainstream media, including those TV attorney annalists, NEVER mention the obvious?  Are they afraid of being sued for libel?  Are the TV pundits (see Jim Rome and puffed up guests as an example) using too much energy denying any interest in the Bonds trial?  Are they just too cool to admit that if the trial were on TV that they would be all over it?  Trials in federal court are not televised.

But why not even mention the obvious?  Is it the same reason that they neglected the steroid story while it was happening?  Maybe all these cool iconoclasts are really much more conventional than their on screen personas would suggest.  Maybe they're simply hacks, just like their maligned predecessors in the daily tabloids decades ago.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do MLB general managers take kick backs?

It just occurred to me when considering several bad signings by a recently fired high profile GM.  Maybe the guy was not incompetent.  Maybe he was just a crook.

In fact, why wouldn't this have been going on all along?  GM gives player more than player deserves and player pays off GM.  Of course, player could stiff GM.. GM has no recourse.  Might be cheaper for player than paying an agent.  Players might even have suggested it.

I wonder ...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Players should own the teams.

This applies not just to MLB.  It applies to NFL and NBA.  It applies to all companies.  Workers should own companies.  Workers should own at least part of the companies that employ them.  Wisconsin school teachers, take note.

An ownership stake changes the dynamics.  Players know who is jaking it.  Players know who is valuable.  Plus, as owners, players would know the economics of their team and industry.

OK, in professional sports players are not employees, they're the product, but the concept still applies.

The NFL and soon the NBA face serious labor issues.  Isn't it amazing that the last thing the players ask for is ownership?  Is that because players cannot afford to own the teams or is it because players do not want the responsibility?

All games should count.

Is there anything more boring than spring training games?  Maybe they seem charming, if you haven't paid an arm and a leg to see Yankees-Red Sox in person and the regulars have played more than four innings.  That warm weather during winter obscures a lot.  Otherwise, spring training games make you really crave regular season games and we know how boring they are, especially after the anticipation.  It's really the increasingly warm weather of spring that underlies the attractiveness of opening day.

What follows applies to all leagues and all sports.  ALL games should count.  Otherwise, just perform drills.  If two teams are involved and score is being kept, count the games.

Sure regular season games can be played in Florida and Arizona.  Why not?  Practice games should be played between teammates, not between teams.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Former MLB players as TV analysts: mostly suck!

During yesterday's spring training game Yankee play by play announcer Micheal Kay mentioned that two Yankee TV analysts, both former players, had been nominated for a local  New York sports Emmy award.  They are John Flaherty and Paul O'Neill. They suck!

Note: that Emmy should go to New York Knick basketball analyst Walt "Clyde" Frazier.

Flaherty speaks almost exclusively in an annoying sing song rhythm.  He's not insightful.  He's not funny.  He adds nothing except empty noise.

O'Neill is worse.  O'Neill's voice is even more annoying than Flaherty's and is so high pitched that you think it must be his sister Molly who wrote food reviews for The New York Times.  Until the end of last season O'Neill seemed to be challenging the late Dandy Don Meredith, original analyst on Monday night football, for the analyst who does the least to prepare and pretty much boast about it.  I dread when O'Neill is doing a game.  I don't need to hear 100 times a season how little O'Neill knows about computers and how much he depends on his wife and kids to use them for him.

Fortunately, the Yankees rotate their many analysts, so instead of Flaherty and O'Neill we might get Al Leiter, who also sucks.

Yesterday I was flipping between MLB network and NBA network.  The NBA players are pretty good.  They know what they are talking about and are prepared.  The MLB analysts don't just suck.  They're morons, especially Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams, both a wealth of misinformation.  No baseball cliche escapes them no matter how outdated.  They are proud of how little they know about modern evaluation criteria like On Base Plus Slugging (OPS).  Their motto must be: give me batting average or give me death.  Pitch count?  We don't need no stinkin' pitch count.

Recently Reynolds was demonstrating how new Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would benefit by batting in Boston's Fenway Park.  Reynolds did this by showing replays of Gonzalez in San Diego hitting 250 foot fly balls and claiming that they would hit the left field wall (green monster) in Fenway.  I'm watching this, thinking this guy is a moron and none of the other morons sitting there said a word.

Plus, Harold Reynold can barely speak.  They need to alert air traffic controllers when he might be approaching the English language.  Reynold sounds like he's eleven years old.  Harold Reynolds, you suck!

Al Leiter, Billy Ripken, ... except for Barry Larkin, who is not on much, they all suck.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Additional criteria in judging performance: who was the opponent?

What's the most impressive no-hitter in MLB history?  The easy answer is Don Larsen's perfect game against arch rival Brooklyn in pivotal game five of the 1956 World Series.  The aging Dodgers still had a potent lineup with 4.7 runs scored per game in the regular season, second only in the NL to Cincinnati's 5.0.

However, a better way to judge how difficult those Dodgers were to keep off base would be to look at the cumulative on base percentage (OBP) of the batters in the game weighted by the number of plate appearances (PA).  Better yet would be to include reaching base on errors.

Brooklyn led the NL in OBP with .342.  Brooklyn was only fourth in batting average (BA) with .258; St. Louis led in BA with .268. and was third in OBP with .333.

In my previous post about Duke Snider I concluded that Snider was a very well protected left handed home run hitter in a powerful Brooklyn Dodger lineup dominated by right handed batters who intimidated opposing managers into pitching left handed pitchers against the Dodgers only about 10.5 % of the time for seasons 1953-1957 while for MLB overall left handed pitchers worked to 27% of batters.  This was an advantage for Snider who in 1953-1957 hit 95.65% of his homers off righties and had much better AB/HR ratios against righties.  However, it was a disadvantage for his right handed batting teammates, including Robinson, Campanella, Reese, Hodges and Furillo.

Shouldn't that be factored into the stats of those players, diminishing Snider but enhancing the others?  Borderline Hall of Famer Gil Hodges would especially benefit, possibly getting him elected.

This concept should be applied elsewhere.  For instance, win shares (WS) applied to relief specialists, especially closers, seems silly on its face in giving the closer more credit for his performance in the 9th inning than he would receive in the 1st inning.  Compounding that is the fact that none of the performance is weighted by the stats of the batters actually faced as alluded to in the opening of this post.  The closer gets as much credit for facing the bottom of the order as for facing the top of the order, as much credit for facing St. Louis SS Brendan Ryan (OPS+ 57) as for facing his teammate Albert Pujols (OPS+ 173) .  OPS: On Base Plus Slugging, adjusted for year and park.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Duke Snider: Brooklyn v. LA

See previous post and supporting data.

Part of what happened to Snider playing in LA 1958 through 1961 was that he was much less protected as a left handed batter than he had been during his days in Brooklyn.  Neither Jackie Robinson nor Roy Campanella, both Hall of Famers, played in LA at all.

Percentages against right handed pitchers 1953-1957 v. 1958-1961:

Snider's at bats (AB):
Brooklyn 89.36%
LA 95.43%

Snider's HR:
Brooklyn 95.65%
LA 97.06%

Dodgers at bats (AB):
Brooklyn 89.42%
LA 79.60%

Pct against righties:

   Dodger AB  MLB Pct PA
1953 84.33% 69.81%
1954 87.32% 71.97%
1955 91.99% 71.27%
1956 89.23% 73.33%
1957 94.39% 77.13%
Ave          89.42%    72.70%


   Dodger AB  MLB Pct PA
1958 85.89% 76.08%
1959 81.22% 76.81%
1960 77.86% 73.79%
1961 74.06% 71.62%
Ave         79.60% 74.58%

The Dodgers dropped almost ten percent in LA, while MLB increased almost two percent.  The gap closed between the Dodgers and MLB:

Brooklyn 89.42 - 72.70 = 16.72
LA 79.60 - 74.58 = 5.02

The Duke had lost his mojo, not just to failing knees but to the change in venue and loss of two Hall of Fame right handed batters (Robinson and Campanella), who while they may not have always batted behind Snider in the batting order, they, along with borderline Hall of Famer Gil Hodges and Carl Furillo (regular only in 1958), helped to intimidate opposing managers into using right handed pitchers far more often than against other teams.

The LA Coliseum had been designed for football and was used by the Dodgers during Snider's seasons in LA.  It had a very short left filed and a very long right field, which had a negative impact on Snider's ability to hit home runs.

Snider's HR ratio (AB/HR) home v. road:

Brooklyn 1953-1957:
home: 11.69
road: 15.49
difference: 3.80

LA:
home: 16.55
road: 17.87
difference: 1.31

Snider was a whopping minus 10.9 in 1958 but was plus at home in 1959, 1960 and 1961. Snider's home run hitting ratio was down both at home and on the road during his LA seasons.

home: 16.55 - 11.69 = 4.86
road: 17.87 - 15.49 = 2.38

The LA Coliseum hurt Snider but not as much as some had thought.