May 9, 2012

Live Through This

A Different Way To Look At Batting Average
Nathaniel Stoltz / May 7, 2012
First off, it should be stated that batting average, like all the other stats sabermetricians love to hate (W-L, RBI, SV, even ERA), does not mean nothing. If you hit for a high average, chances are you're a good hitter, and if you hit for a low average, chances are you’re a poor hitter. Likewise, there is no doubt a positive correlation between wins for starting pitchers and their underlying performance (FIP, SIERA, or whatever else you care to use).

The rub, of course, comes from the fact that we simply have better numbers to look at.
The Sacrifice Bunt: The Real Rally Killer
Dave Cameron / May 9, 2012
We don't live in 1953 anymore. We have access to more and better information than ever before. Teams are spending large amounts of resources to make better decisions to get improvements on the margins that may end up winning them one or two games over the course of the season. And yet, at the end of the day, most of these teams are still entrusting their in-game strategy to people who simply don't understand the basic probabilities of the sport.
Why Youkilis Has To Go
Gordon Edes / May 9, 2012
The idea of trading Kevin Youkilis to make way for top prospect Will Middlebrooks gained early traction back in April, when Youkilis got off to a slow start and Middlebrooks was tearing it up for Pawtucket, hitting nine home runs and driving in 27 runs in his first 24 games.

That was premature. ... Now, however, that conversation is no longer just fan chatter.
Live With It
Matthew Kory / May 9, 2012
Some Red Sox fans, apparently so upset by the team's 12-17 start and undoubtedly still furious over the way last season ended, have proposed blowing up the team. They're bad, so the thinking goes, so the organization should sell off the best players, accept some losing years, and hopefully look to be successful again in 2015 or whatever.

Moronic. ...

[T]he season is just a crappy 29 games old. You can't blow up the team and the organization over 29 games when there are 133 more to go. So how do you handle it?

Nobody likes the way the season has started. ... Waiting for injured players to return isn't sexy. Waiting for under-performing players to stop sucking and play better isn't headline-grabbing. But it's what we have right now.

Live with it, or do something else. It's your choice.


FenFan said...

Middlebrooks have given us such a small sample size (five games) but you cannot argue with the results and the fact that Youkilis has missed significant time due to injury over the past three seasons and is again on the DL as we speak.

Rather than trading Youk, it would be better to release Punto and have WMB and Youk platoon the rest of the season (once Youk is back from the DL). Punto has -- how do you say it? -- not impressed me.

FenFan said...

Live With It:

What's unfortunate is that the Sox are in a portion of their schedule where they should be playing better than .500 ball. Yet, in the past week, they've lost five-of-six at home against OAK and BAL and have split the first two in KC.

I've learned to live with it but I am frustrated with the lack of results, and most of the blame right now should fall on Valetine's shoulders.

Amy said...

I am trying hard to live with it, but I find that it really makes me blue when the Sox lose. And lose again and again. I will never give up on them and never stop caring, but sometimes I do have to withdraw and care a little less in order not to let it get to me.

FenFan, your point about Punto is an interesting suggestion, but I assume that Edes(and others) believe that getting something for Youk is worth more than letting him platoon with Middlebrooks. That makes sense to me, though it would be sad to see another "old timer" leave the team.

At this point, if Youk left, there would be hardly anyone on the non-pitching roster who dates back to before the 2011 season.

Mark said...

Yet more bad news, Beckett was playing golf on his injured muscle;

And worse news;
Carl Beane killed in car accident;!/NECN/status/200315307636690944

allan said...

Reading the papers, it sounds like Yook will get the 3B job back when he returns. Middlebrooks has played only four full games, remember; pitchers will adjust to him quickly, then we'll see where he is.

Whether Yook gets traded by the deadline will probably depend on how he is hitting and where the team is. If they are really out of it, then I assume he goes if they can get something. (But who will want to pay him $13 million next year if he is injury-prone?)

I'd rather have Punto go when Yook returns than Middlebrooks to AAA, but we'll see if the team wants WMB to sit on the bench semi-regularly. He's clearly our 3B next season and going forward, but they may want him playing every day this year. Which means Pawtucket. (I think. Man, who knows what will happen .....)

Mark said...

Have to wonder if the game will go on tonight..

allan said...

Holy shit!

Carl Beane, the public address announcer at Fenway Park, was killed in a single-car accident in Sturbridge, Mass., according to New England Cable News.

allan said...

Posted my comments before checking moderation! What a shock to go to EB for the lineups and see that.

The Sox are on the road, so I don't see why they would not play.

allan said...


SoSHer: "Gary Tanguay on with Felger now says Beckett during the last home stand refused to do the work he was supposed to with the rest of the pitchers, said he didn't feel like it, refused to listen to the strength coach. Went into the clubhouse instead."


I guess this story is, as they say, developing ......

Mark said...

I wonder if tomorrow's home game vs the Spiders will be affected though.

Mark said...

I wonder if Eck and Orsillo are going to be able to keep it together on the air :(

Maxwell Horse said...

On the WEEI "The Big Show" interview today, it was striking just how "out of the loop" Valentine sounds about the goings on in his own team. I don't just mean not knowing that Beckett went golfing. (I think it's understandable he wouldn't be privy to that.) But when asked other questions, like what starters warmed up on what day (making them potentially unavailable to help in the 17-inning game), he sounded completely clueless.

I could just be responding to something very superficial. It's possible that Francona wouldn't know such things either, but because he spoke with more confidence, it didn't quite sound so doddering. I'd be curious if other poeple have simliar reactions. I'm sure the WEEI site will post the interview.

Jere said...

Horse: First, good call on V not having to know what his pitchers do on their off-days. I don't think fans should get to know that either. (But note how they asked him about it "if it's true"--that way they can fish some damning statements out of him anyway to cause strife, then mock the team for having strife, and on and on.)

As for V's memory--he's like that in the postgame too, where they'll ask him about something from earlier in the game, and he's forgotten, and doesn't want to seem stupid by saying "what play do you mean again"? And I think that's pretty normal--I have a GREAT memory, but even I don't remember half the shit that went on in the game that just happened, let alone last week. I think if he were looking at the boxscore and felt confident in saying, Hold on, let me get to that point... then it'd be a different story, and he could tell you exactly what he was thinking, what was going on, etc. Some people don't handle being "on the spot" well. Like you said, Tito was incredible with that. Bobby's a weird man, but I don't think that means he doesn't know exactly what's going on at every moment of the game. You don't get called a "great baseball man" for not knowing what's going on.

tl;dr: he's too focused on the present to remember the past on the spot

Jere said...

Mark: It's a terrible tragedy that Beane was killed. I can't believe the voice of Fenway is gone in a snap. I assure you no games will be affected though.

allan said...

In one press conference I saw before the season began, BV spoke much less fluidly than I had expected. He stammered and re-started sentences and kind of wandered around before getting to his point. But maybe that is not what you meant.

Maxwell Horse said...

Yeah, I wasn't just talking about the non-commanding way he spoke. (I just mentioned that because it's possible it's making him being perceived as more out of the loop than he is.) But it seemed like so many of his answers were variations of "I don't know." Stuff like what days different pitchers do their between-start bullpen sessions.

Maybe he's simply not as smooth as someone like Francona. I actually never listened to sports radio until recently. Maybe Francona indicated that he didn't know the answer to a lot of stuff, but did so in a way that didn't sound as helpless. The way the Valentine interviews go, it almost makes one wonder if there's any value in conducting them at all.

Jere said...

A little surprised NESN didn't lead off the pre-game with the Beane news. But then they said it after a few minutes after the baseball stuff, allowing them to do that "go to break in silence" thing. So I think that was the right way to do it.