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02:43 PM on 08/12/11 
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bigmike
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Exactly. A is Felix (2010), B is Brandon Webb (2008), and C is Barry Zito (2008)...A and C received Cy Young Awards.

Zito never put up those stats.

He meant it's Tim Lincecum and in 2009, not 2008.
06:17 PM on 08/12/11 
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bigmike
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5 HR's off CC tonight for Tampa.
10:54 PM on 08/12/11 
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I wish one of those five homers would've hit DooDooBird in the fucking skull. Numerous times.
12:33 PM on 08/14/11 
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LOL. Constanza over Heyward. hahahahahahaha.
01:53 PM on 08/15/11 
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bigmike
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Dump the divisions, play a balanced schedule, take the top 8 teams for the postseason.
02:02 PM on 08/15/11 
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I would recommend "The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascinations With Statistics" as a book that is a must read. It doesn't go in-depth into what certain stats do, but traces the statistics back to before the civil war when Henry Chadwick was trying to quantify the sport.

For instance, ERA was invented by Chadwick not as a way to estimate a pitchers effectiveness, but as a measure of how poorly the defense was behind the pitcher. A defense-independent stat, if you will.

Great read, well written and goes from the invention of ERA up through linear weights in the 1970's and then Bill James and the very beginning of what became PITCHf/x (the stuff used in MLB.com's gameday) being pitched to major league baseball by a desperate and almost bankrupt company (which is now thriving).
12:12 AM on 08/16/11 
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bigmike
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What do you say to: what about the rivalries?

Does Boston-new York get any less diminished if they don't play 18 times a year? Not doing something for 2 or 3 ACTUAL rivals is not a valid reason. List the number of good rivalries.

Boston-new York
Philly-atlanta
Chicago-st. Louis
Dodgers-giants.

The end. Every other one is a b-rate rivalry. Don't go with the mets-Yankees or cubs-white sox. They're all inter-league and forced rivalries. If everyone wants to keep rivalries, then we need to contract teams, if anything. And that's not happening. So give shitty teams like Pittsburgh a chance to host Boston for three games and maybe sell out the stadium a few series a year.
12:29 PM on 08/17/11 
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I am very surprised you included Philly-Atlanta... while the Braves make my blood boil, 90% of the phillies fans (especially younger fans, 25 and below) if asked about a rivalry would immediately assume you were talking about the Mets. Honestly, I never sense too much bad blood between the general population of Philly fans and Atlanta fans year to year.

Just saw the highlights of the Brewers-Dodgers game... shocking number of defensive plays for the brewers in the highlights.

New York/Philly is much more bitter of a rivalry than Philly/Atlanta. If the Mets are on the right track like I think they are, those games are about to get real good again. Maybe it's just because I live in New York, I'm a Mets fan and a good portion of my friends at school are Philly fans (going to school in central NJ means tons of south NJ Philly fans) but the animosity is so strong between the two sides and it's actual an explosive rivalry between the fans.

My bad, Mets is a much better fit there.
12:31 PM on 08/17/11 
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bigmike
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Nice write up about Jim Thome and the arbitrary nature of "milestone" numbers. Scott, this is also essentially why I don't care about things like Dan Uggla's hitting streak. I don't care about Thome's 600th homer at all (really, it's his 617th when you include the postseason. Why do we leave those out when we laud people for their postseason accomplishments?).
12:20 PM on 08/18/11 
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I agree that they're meaningless, but there is great entertainment and drama value. these milestones really doesn't measure merit, but they matter tremendously to the players and baseball lore.
Which I understand. None of that really appeals to me, though. I have no idea why. Though, nothing about Uggla's streak added dramatic value to me during Braves games. I'm odd, obviously, haha.
Are there any sites where I can see what a certain players stats would be if they had a full seasons amount of ABs? I.E. Chase Utley since he was injured for the start of the season.
Baseball reference. Just hover over 'splits' and pick a year. Then in blue text it'll say "View splits to 162 games or 650 PA's." The lin
12:24 PM on 08/18/11 
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No problem.
12:50 PM on 08/19/11 
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Please list young shortstops that struggle defensively and get better as they approach their prime, because defense peaks earlier than hitting for most players.
12:57 PM on 08/19/11 
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The cubs have like $50-60 million coming off the books next year. Why wouldn't they spend money again?
01:11 PM on 08/19/11 
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Hanley has gotten better. I can't comment on Renteria because I was like 10-12 years old when he was in Florida so I wasn't paying attention to his defense.

My overriding point here is two things:

1) Defense peaks before most other skills (for most players), which mean it's declining when other portions of a players skill set are ascending.
2) Most teams find out quickly whether young kids are good or bad at SS defensively, and they are moved pretty quickly. Not a lot of young SS's get to the majors young and the ones that do don't stick (IMO) at SS if they aren't good defensively. The ones that do are Hanley-types.
03:19 PM on 08/20/11 
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maybe they should've waited until he's had one full above average season before extending him? seems reactionary to me.

When you have a low budget you need to identify and sign players like this early. It's not like he got a Jason Kendall type contract. Considering he left his former agent because they didnt want him to sign this deal, Id say its a positive risk forvthe team

Tabata's been an above-average hitter the last two years in two different ways. He's done it with a decently high BABIP leading to a batting average-driven line and he's doing it this year by drawing a lot of walks. Obviously, he's just 700 PA's into his MLB career, but he's likely and above-average defender which will help. If McCutchen wasn't there, he'd likely be the CFer, no (which would increase his value).
 



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