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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Would replays in ball parks cause riots?

Ever notice how people, especially baseball people like fans, just make silly reasons to oppose ideas which they fear but cannot rationally oppose.

One of the reasons I hear to oppose my idea that the TV broadcast should be silently played on the big screen that each park contains is that fans will become so incensed about an umpire's decision with which they disagree that the fans will riot, break into uncontrolled violence.  The fact that here in the good old USA, despite our faults, we almost never seem to riot at our sporting events.  After all we freed ourselves from the British 231 years ago just we would not be tempted to riot at soccer games.

During an NFL exhibition game yesterday announcers mentioned that for the 2012 regular season  replays seen by officials during a review would be played on the big screen in the stadium so that attending fans would see what the officials see simultaneously.

Apparently, no fear of a riot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Melky v. ERA leaders.

Click link to see data.

For consideration by those who want to purge the 2012 stats of banned testosterone user Melky Cabrera.

If you click the link for Melky's name you can review how Melky did against all the pitchers he faced in 2012, including fellow banned Dominican Bartolo Colon against whom Melky was 3 for 3, including a double.

Let the steroid (testosterone) zealots ponder their logic in sanitizing the record book.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Qualifying for average leadership: more

See previous post.

I received this, which the sender assumes supports the idea that the criteria is based on 162 scheduled games:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2012/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf

Page 114.

However, the new two wild card tournament system schedules at least one extra regular season game in each conference and possibly more if there are ties.  Amazingly, clarification of this may be driven by the 50 game suspension of Melky Cabrera and to a lesser extent by the 50 game suspension of Bartolo Colon, a pitcher.

Colon has thrown 152 innings, just ten short of the requirement.  Colon's ERA is already too high to be among the conference leaders, but, hey, you never know.

The Major Baseball League (MBL) will likely do everything it can to prevent Cabrera from having the highest batting average (BA) in his conference for the 2012 regular season.  This could result in a perversion of the rule, since it appears that Commissioner Bud Selig, the Great White Father, gave this new tournament format as much thought as all his other decisions: not very much.

More issues for the knuckleheads calling for the records of Melky Cabrera to effectively be purged:

How did Cabrera's hits impact pitchers who might lead their conference in ERA, wins, strike outs (SO), etc.  Cabrera faced Clayton Kershaw and Clayton Richard the most, ten times each.  Kershaw currently leads the National Conference in innings and hits per nine innings, which is a rough pitching oriented approximation of BA.  The new intelligentsia prefers stuff like that to common sense.  Should Cabrera's numbers be expunged from the record of Kershaw?  And what if that costs Kershaw conference leadership?  Kershaw is only eight SO behind the conference leader Stephen Strasburg who did not face Cabrera.  Cabrera struck out four times against Kershaw.  Should Kershaw's SO be reduced by four?   Maybe Kershaw's SO be increased by four since Cabrera was bolstered by artificial testosterone.

Here's a better one.  Cabrera was 3 for 3 (two singles and a double) against Colon.  Parallel universes collide.  In knucklehead land what should be done?  Unfortunately, Colon did not face Andrew McCutchen who currently has the highest BA in the MBL: .349 to Cabrera's pre-play-in game(s) .346.  Cabrera's San Francisco Giants leads Los Angeles by three games ... unless the Giant wins are vacated as suggested a previous post.

Mike Trout of the Angels faced Colon seven times: 3 for 7, one home run but three SO.  Maybe we should reduce Trout's SO total by three.  What do you think?

I think the next time someone runs his mouth about re-writing history that person should be reminded that we don't do that in the good old USA.  Baseball people, fans and media, grow the heck up.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Qualifying for batting average: do extra games count?

Sunday, August 19, 2012 Melky Cabrera: should his stats be purged and his team's wins vacated?

Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games by the Major Baseball League (MBL) but there's unexpected good news: Melky is eligible to lead his conference in average categories including the granddaddy that still overly impresses traditionalists: batting average.  Currently, Andrew McCutchen leads with .356 to Melky's  .346 (159/460 = .34565217391 including one more AB to reach 502 PA) but thanks to his suspension Melky's batting average is frozen.

The 502 PA are derived from 3.1 PA for 162 games.  Starting in 1967 if a player has fewer PA than needed At Bats (AB) may be added to reach the required number of PA to determine if the player would still lead.  That actually happened with Tony Gwynn in 1996.

I began wondering.  If Melky's Giants play more than 162 games does that put Melky in further jeopardy?  Would another 3.1 AB be added for each additional game?

I checked some sources:

Baseball Reference:  What are the minimum requirements to lead a Rate Stat?

From 1957 to the present, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game.

Wikipedia: Qualifications for the batting title

1957 to the present – A player has needed 3.1 plate appearances per team game originally scheduled

See the issue?  Is it per game played or scheduled?  Before the Major Baseball League (MBL) began devaluing itself by insisting that all games be played to a conclusion despite weather conditions there were tie games, which could cause a team to play more than 162 games.  I attended a 19 inning 3-3 tie at Yankee Stadium Friday, August 23, 1968 against Detroit.  It was the second game of a twi-night doubleheader.

Play-in games can also add to the regular season.  If Melky's Giants are one of the two wild card teams, the Giants would play one more game.  And what if the Giants tie for a wild card?  The MBL wants to settle such ties on the field with yet another game.  That could be TWO more games played. Would that mean 2*3.1 = 6.2 more AB needed for Melky to qualify?  And you know that the MBL will use any excuse to disqualify Melky and save itself embarrassment among the tight ass traditionalists.

 Let's say that the MBL adds six more AB to Melky's total.  That's seven more make believe AB added all together.  159/466 = .34120171673.  That drops Melky FIVE points, down from .346.  Now we're talking about some serious damage to Melky's chances to lead the National Conference in batting average and cause much deserved embarrassment to the MBL establishment and its sycophantic media enablers.

Go Melky!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great White Father

Some things that happened yesterday:

1. Derek Jeter hit a home run for the third consecutive game in Chicago.
2. 38 year old Derek Jeter became the oldest shortstop to hit at least ten homers in a season, passing Pee Wee Reese who hit ten in 1955 for Brooklyn at age 36.
3. The Major Baseball League (MBL) suspended yet another player born in the Dominican Republic for 50 games: Bartolo Colon, a pitcher with Oakland.
4. It was announced that Roger Clemens will start a minor league game in a couple of days and there is legitimate speculation that the Houston Astros will sign Clemens to pitch at age 50.

Colon tested positive for testosterone, same as fellow Bay area Dominican San Francisco Giant  Melky Cabrera who was suspended for 50 games August 15, 2012.  So what's the box score on 50 game suspensions?  Something like 12 of 21 are Dominicans?

Wikipedia:

Of the 67 players suspended, 29 were from the United States, 20 from the Dominican Republic, 11 from Venezuela, three from Cuba, two each from Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and one each from Australia, Colombia, Japan, and Spain.

Including minor leaguers, only 43% are from the Unites States.

Radical Baseball: Born In The USA – 75%. May 23rd, 2012:

In 1960 MLB discovered the Dominican Republic ... (since) 1986 Dominican Republic has been second only to the USA in supplying players to MLB.

The MBL treats the Dominican Republic like a colony.  Why isn't there more concern about this arrangement, which culminates with Dominican players being discarded disproportionately?  Star players, especially those born in the USA, are pretty much immune from detection and even more so from punishment.  See:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 I ask again: Is Jeter Juiced?

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

Nolan Ryan, like Roger Clemens, is a good old boy from Texas.  Some members of the House of Representatives were fawning all over Clemens when he testified before a committee hearing on the use of performance enhancing stuff.  At that same hearing Sammy Sosa played the Dominican card to his advantage by suddenly losing his well demonstrated ability to speak English and hid behind an attorney.

By the way, Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin used according to Wikipedia:

Galvin was the first baseball player to be widely known for using performance-enhancing drugs. In 1889, over 100 years before the current steroid controversy in Major League Baseball, Galvin openly used the Brown-Séquard elixir, which contained monkey testosterone.

Any call for Galvin to be deducted from the Hall of Fame?  No?  Because it was not against the rules in 1889?  James Francis Galvin was born Christmas day 1856 in St. Louis, MO.

There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around but let's start with MBL commissioner Bud Selig, the Great White Father in this scenario.  Allan Huber Selig was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not in Altamira, Puerto Plata like Bartolo Colon.  Colon and Cabrera wandered off the reservation and Selig's organization punished them according to the peace treaty.  It's all according to the rules but there's something disturbing in all this, including the juvenile attitude about baseball, which is very different from our attitude toward football and basketball.  Maybe it confirms that baseball is in our culture much more deeply than we realize, even if the national pastime is past its time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Melky Cabrera: should his stats be purged and his team's wins vacated?

Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games by the Major Baseball League (MBL) for using performance enhancing drugs (PED) but there's unexpected good news: Melky is eligible to lead his conference in average categories including the granddaddy that still overly impresses traditionalists: batting average.  Currently, Andrew McCutchen leads with .356 to Melky's  .346 (159/460 = .34565217391 including one more AB to reach 502 PA) but thanks to his suspension Melky's batting average is frozen.

During yesterday's Yankee - Red Sox game on Fox former catcher Tim McCarver mentioned Melky's eligibility but insisted on saying something silly, that he did not think that someone in Melky's situation should be allowed to receive an award.  Timmy, it's not an award, it's a statistic.  The only way to prevent Melky from leading in a statistic would be too purge his stats.  Uh-oh.

Did Timmy's inability to articulate inadvertently suggest something that knuckleheads like Tony Kornheiser have advocated for a long time?  Don't count an offending player's numbers!  Off with his head and stats!

On September 24 1988 Canadian Ben Johnson won the Olympic 100 meter dash breaking his own world record with a time of 9.79 seconds only to be disqualified three days later because his urine samples were found to contain stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid also known as Winstrol.  Johnson's coach claimed that this was done to remain competitive with the competitors who were also using.

The record for 100 meters did not officially match Johnson's time until June 16, 1999 by American Maurice Green.  American Tim Montomery finally had a faster time of 9.78 September 14, 2002.  The current record was set August 16, 2009 by Usain Bolt of Jamaica with 9.58.

Removing Johnson from the group of eligible contenders in that 1988 Olympic race was easy and even made some sense because the sprint is a discrete activity in which the competitors do not interact with one another.  They remain in their lanes and cannot block, bump or interfere with each other.  Longer races such as 5,000 meters have very different dynamics and ignoring the existence of one or more athletes does not make for a clean result.

To purge the stats of an athlete in a team sport such as baseball presents many more complex issues all of which would need to be ignored by those who mindlessly advocate such action.  Here are a few as applied to Melky Cabrera playing for the San Fransisco Giants in 2012.

1. If Melky got a hit should that be changed to s strike out for the pitcher?
2. If Melky got a hit and the next Giant hit a home run should that teammate have his RBI total reduced by one?
3. If Melky got a hit and the next Giant grounded into a double play should that be deducted from the teammate's total of DP grounded into?

Blah, blah, blah.  You can see how absurd this could become.  But what will be the cry if the season ends with the banned Melky Cabrera having the highest batting average in the National Conference?  You can bet that the hypocrites and zealots will advocate that Melky somehow be stripped of this distinction.  Baseball fans will be faced with a Ben Johnson type of dilemma: pretending that something that happened did not happen.  It will get curiouser and curiouser.

But wait, there's more in Wonderland.  What about the record of Melky's team?  Without Melky the Giants would probably have won fewer games.  Shouldn't the Giants wins with Melky playing be vacated the way the NCAA does with rules violations in football?  And shouldn't the Giants be banned from the MBL tournament for a couple of seasons?

For the 2005 college football season playing for the University of Southern California (USC) Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy as the nation's top player.  However:

On June 10, 2010, the NCAA announced major sanctions against USC. The NCAA found that Bush had received lavish gifts ... As a result, USC was given four years of probation and forced to vacate its last two wins of the 2004 season – including the 2005 Orange Bowl – as well as all of its wins in the 2005 season. The Trojans were also banned from bowl games in 2010 and 2011 and will lose 30 scholarships over three years.

Last but not least: Melky was MVP in the 2012 All Star game, which though an exhibition, carries the weight of designating which conference champion receives home field advantage in game seven of the finals of the MBL tournament.  Shouldn't that result also be vacated and home field advantage awarded to the American Conference?

What a tangled web.  I'll be rooting for Melky to have the highest batting average in his conference just to see the hypocrites and zealots squirm.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Melky Cabrera: most recent punching bag for hypocrites.

Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games because he "tested positive for testosterone" according to espn.com.  Aren't mammals supposed to have testosterone?  webmd.com lists eight reasons for a testosterone test and none are for enhancing performance in sports.

After 2011 National Conference MVP Ryan Braun tested positive for testosterone following a Major Baseball League (MBL) tournament game in October 2011 he was excoriated even though he skated on a technicality.  How's Braun doing in 2012, presumably without performance enhancing stuff?  His OPS+ is down from 166 to 147 (145 career) but he leads the National Conference in home runs and isn't that the real concern, that batters will hit more home runs?

How about Cabrera?  Melky was the All Star game MVP and his OPS+ is 158 up from 121 in 2011 (101 career) and he leads in runs and hits with a .346 BA.  Oops.  Looks like Melky went to see the  cousin of Alex Rodriguez, the one who helped A-Rod get juiced in his days as a Texas Ranger.

The media reaction has been predictably critical.  During his Yankee years 2005-2009, Melky never mastered the English language like his fellow countryman and buddy Robinson Cano.  Melky always seemed a little out of place and I thought has was banished after the Yankees 2009 championship to send a message to Cano that he had better develop better habits than Melky had.

That may explain why Melky is getting criticized while David Ortiz, who was implicated years ago, has still not been treated nearly as harshly.

Melky Cabrera is the latest MBL player to fall to the temptation of a huge pay day.  According to baseball-reference.com Melky is getting $6,000,000 for 2012.  His previous three seasons:
2009 Yankees $1,400,000
2010 Atlanta Braves $3,100,000
2011 Kansas City Royals $1,250,000

He signed a one year deal for 2012 following his best season: OPS+ in 2011 in his one season with Kansas City following his one disastrous season with Atlanta.  It looked like he had finally found himself and a baseball home in San Francisco in 2012.  Now he is out.

But does Melky's foolishness merit such disdain?  Since I watched last night's Yankee game with my fast forward DVR technique I might have missed comments about Melky but I heard none when listening.  While waiting to start the recording because of a rain delay of 105 minutes, I turned on the Mets game.  I didn't stay long because both the play by play guy and Ron Darling, the former Mets pitcher (1983-1991), were killing Melky, especially Darling who played with Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Darrel Strawberry, all of whom used illegal performance reducing drugs during baseball seasons.  What a hypocrite!  And Darling described Melky as a guy who had "come off the bench" for the Yankees.  Melky was a regular for the Yankees in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 when he was the starting center fielder on that championship team.  Darling did not even know that much about Melky yet he saw fit to ridicule him, kick him when he was down.

People need to grow the heck up.  Players are not supermen but we expect super human performances from them.  If a player on the San Francisco 49ers NFL team had been suspended for a comparable violation, how much criticism would there be?  I'm guessing much less, probably not much of a blip on the media radar.

One lesson driven home is that performance enhancement is not all about hitting home runs.  Melky has 11 in 459 at bats.  Which means that any player could be using.  To the steroid zealots who cast the first stone: sweet dreams.  Your favorite player could be next.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ichiro Suzuki:his power is very isolated.

Ichiro Suzuki: is he the most overrated player this millennium?  Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ichiro Suzuki ... the guy does not walk and does not hit home runs

That post received this comment:

Not only doesn't he hit home runs, he hardly hits doubles or triples, either. Career isolated power under .100.
_______________________________

Isolated Power
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Isolated Power or ISO is a sabermetrics baseball statistic which measures a batter's raw power. The formula is Slugging Percentage minus Batting Average, which removes all the singles that are included in SLG%. The final result measures how many extra bases a player averages per at bat.

I ran a query at baseball-reference.com for batters 1901-2012 with at least 5,000 AB and ISO at least .095 to include Suzuki whose ISO is currently .096.  666 batters were found, led by Babe Ruth at .348.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Trout v. Ortiz: home runs or home trots?

Sunday, May 24, 2009 Home Runs must be inside the park!
How about declaring any ball batted into the stands out of play?  No, not just fouls, fair balls, too.  Yes, home runs or what we now consider home runs.  They are balls that fielders cannot play.  This would negate much of the problem of non uniform playing areas.

We could consider any fair ball batted into the stands a double.

Friday, May 14, 2010 Home run as victory lap.
The over the fence home run is a team sport oddity. It is the only example in which a play is essentially over but the player is required to perform what can only be described as a victory lap. Why? The most cherished event in baseball is devoid of action once it has been defined. As I have written previously, all home runs should be inside the park.

Mike Trout v. David Ortiz: what would you prefer, a powerful fast athlete running out a home run or a fatso lazily jogging around the bases after lofting another fly ball over the left filed wall in Fenway Parking lot?

Mike Trout: Mickey Mantle 1952?

Bowman Gum via
Wikimedia Commons
Mickey Mantle was my boyhood baseball hero but I did not become a fan until 1958 at age ten.  The Mick was a 19 year old rookie in 1951 and became a star in 1952.  Mantle's three most plate appearances (PA) in the Yankee batting order in 1952:

- 5th 241
- 3rd 192
- 1st 106

In the 1952 World Series Mantle batted third and played center field, having replaced the great Joe DiMaggio who retired after his worst season, 1951.  In game seven in Brooklyn Mantle went 2 for 5 including a home run as the Yankees won 4-2, their fourth of five consecutive World Series championships.  Mantle's OPS for the seven game series: 1.061.  He turned 21 October 20, 1952.

Mantle led AL with 111 SO and .924 OPS, something that was probably not known at the time.  Mantle was third in AL MVP voting behind pitchers Bobby Shantz (24-7) and teammate Allie Reynolds.  Mickey Mantle was the best player in the American League in 1952.

Mike Trout turned 21 yesterday.  Trout had 135 PA in 2011 and is considered a rookie in 2012.  Trout has a chance to pull a Fred Lynn: win both Rookie of the Year and MVP.  Trout leads AL in Runs, SB, OPS+, BA (.348).  Mike Trout may be the best player in the American Conference in 2012, 60 years after The Mick.

Trout and Mantle share a general physical resemblance: white, blond.  They exude Superman attributes: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.  Dynamic athletes who seem capable of anything on a baseball field.

So this is what it was like to see The Mick burst into greatness 60 years ago.  Cool.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Derek Jeter set another Yankee record: how come it wasn't mentioned?

Recently Derek Jeter set the Yankee record for career strike outs.  Jeter now has 1,714.  He broke the record of 1,710 long held by Mickey Mantle.

Since I have been watching recent games by recording and fast forwarding between pitches I may have missed it but I did not notice the Yankee announcers on the YES network mention this.  Did they?  If not, why not?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ban coaching during games.

People who coach tennis players may not communicate with the players during tennis matches.  Baseball could benefit from that.

1. As I have advocated previously, those absurd baseball coaches on the field near first and third base during play should be eliminated.  See Wednesday, July 8, 2009 Get the coaches off the field!
2. Coaches should be banned from entering the field all together.
3. Coaches should be banned from the dugouts and bullpens.

However would baseball function without coaches you ask?  Faster and better.

Several years ago a friend mentioned the absurdity of adults making fools of themselves with their coaching antics during college basketball and football games.  He said if coaches were teachers, then the games were the exams and why the heck were the teachers tutoring during the exam?  Leadership during a game should come from among the players or from a student who functions as a coach.  The adults should not be involved during the games.

Professional sports are different but the concept should be considered along with that from tennis, both pro and amateur.

Banning coaches during baseball games would also spare them the humiliation of wearing the team uniform long after they look like athletes.  And, of course, there would be no coaching from the stands, like tennis.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jerking around between pitches: should there be a pecking order?

Jerking around between pitches is bad enough but should the better players get more of a privilege?  You know, sort of like how much grandstanding a player may do after hitting a home run.

Among Yankee batters Robinson Cano jerks around the longest between pitches.  Derek Jeter is probably next.  But Cano is the Yankees' best player and Jeter is the iconic captain.  So even though jerking around is totally unacceptable in a civilized society, some players may be entitled to some slack.

However, the backup Yankee catcher, Chris Stewart, jerks around about as much as Jeter.  What the heck?  And during a recent series in Seattle, Mariner batters with averages below .200 were jerking around like they were Derek Jeter.

The Major Baseball League (MBL) seems oblivious to this problem, which is an integral part of the entire jerking around problem that plagues the MBL.  Boring does not even begin to describe what passes for the current MBL product.  Entertaining it is not, no matter how much the MBL sycophants try to pretend that the MBL emperor is still clothed.

Baseball is a great game. So why does it suck?

Thursday, July 12, 2012 What sucks the life out of games? Dead time between pitches.

Why do we put up with it?  Are we stupid?  Why watch the great game slowed so much that only the fast forwarding of the DVR can keep it entertaining?

I've been watching recent games exclusively by recording and then moving through them at a pace that is reasonable.  Virtually no dead time between pitches.  You can even watch this way while the game is in progress.  Wait at least one hour after the game actually starts, skipping the pre-game babbling.  Then start watching while the DVR continues to record.  But be careful.  Games are so filled with dead time that a one hour lead may not be enough for the game to complete in real time while you are fast forwarding past the dead spots.

This means that attending games is absurd.  Does the Major Baseball League (MBL) realize this?  It will when attendance plummets.

The nature of the game is slow anyway.  But slowing down an already slow game is really dumb.