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Baseball Roundup 5/29/2015

May 29, 2015

Kevin:

Bryce Harper now has 13 homeruns in the last 22 games.  Last name to do that?

A-ROD!! With the Rangers, the year he won the MVP (2003). He won the MVP on a 71 win team, joining Andre Dawson of the 1987 Cubs as the only players to win the award on a last place team,.
Perhaps this is when the hate for A-Rod first started.  It was the pinnacle of his career, and the start of the hatred; he won the MVP on a shit team, and then was traded to the Yankees.  That’s like the one two punch for how to make fans turn on you.
Also, those Bryce Harper pics…Is the dude roiding?? I’m more willing to consider alternatives like heavy working out for a really young guy..But at the same time….As far as I’m concerned I’m going to start giving players bonus points when they juice up.  It shows a commitment to winning above all else.  I want my gladiators juiced and primed to hit it out of the park. He leads the league in basically everything, and when guys ask him who’s better between he and Trout, he should call the clowns out,
Harper has 8 homeruns in 10 Scherzer starts.  Compared with 10 homeruns for the other 37 starts.  This goes back to the ‘non luck’ I referenced.Perhaps this is a budding bromance, and the result is the Harper really swings the bat for his bestie.
Good start for my pitchers betting strategy.
Chris Sale pulls of the win in the front end of the double header against the Orioles.  His manager sent him back out after 100+ pitches for another inning.  People were aghast everywhere.  When are we going to really dive in on the pitch count issue?  Is there any evidence at all that higher pitch counts lead to more injuries?  The Tommy John surgery rate is largely unchanged over the last couple of decades.  Guys aren’t getting hurt with any less frequency, we just worry about it more with inning counts, pitch counts, longer rest, etc.  It seems like the real solution will be found through sports technology, and I’m curious as to what is already out there and what is coming down the pipe. Google just announced their new virtual assistant, google ontap .  It is scary, and kind of awesome.  Can’t they invent an app to monitor wear and tear on a shoulder and prevent more injuries?  Can I get a patent on the idea of that app, even with absolutely no medical or scientific background to create it myself?
More importantly, the O’s stole the second of two.  What stood out here were the manager’s comments after the game…
“Let’s keep in mind why we’re playing these two games. It was self-inflicted,” Showalter said. “I think sometimes we lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing today.”
What the hell does he mean by this?  Is this is anger at the riots?  Is he trying (poorly) to remind us that the game of baseball is just a game?  It sure sounds like he’s griping because the baseball schedule got moved around because of the turmoil.  In which case, he’s a total asshole.  Is this message aimed at all Orioles fans.  “Thanks a lot..your silly protest caused us to have a double header.  We deserved it…” I’m oscillating between genuinely upset and confused about Buck’s quote here.  Thoughts?
Marcus Semien had his 18th error last night.  That’s brutal.  How bad?  He’s on pace for 60 errors.  This would be the most errors since 1941.  Since 1960, the worst number was 44 by Robin Yount.  Obviously Marcus on pace to blow that number out of the water.  He’s hitting .286 with 6 HR, but seems unlikely that offsets the terrible performance in the field.  Here’s another place where we haven’t fully captured stats.  I’d love to see the numbers for his pitchers after an error by him. I have to think there’s a real drop off.
Eduardo Rodriguez made his major league debut against Texas.  Threw 7 2/3, innings of shutout baseball, at only 22 years old, and on the road.  Hell of a start.  Will be watching him closely.  He really only got hit by…Hamilton.  He hit two big doubles.  Crowd goes wild.  Kind of cool to see.  I’m a sap and am partial to a comeback story,especially given his back story and presence on my fantasy team.  I’ll be rooting hard for Josh the rest of the season.
Indians are looking great so far with Kluber Lang.  His ‘off’ stuff now means 7 IP with 3 ER.  Tribe up 5-3 through 8.
My pitching studs betting plan was looking great.  Good game from Kluber, Sale, and Miller.  Miller gave up only 1 ER through 7, though they were still down.  Then the bullpen came in and got shelled to put ATL down 7-0.  I was reminded that Vegas is profitable for a reason, and that parlays are hard to hit on.  I’m gonna start keeping my own stats on these hypothetical gambles.
More thoughts tomorrow boys.  Figured I’d fire off the first email..give you some good news to wake up to tomorrow you French asshole…
Drew, jump in,.  This is too fun, and you know more about baseball then Tony and I combined
Tony:

Really like the idea of Harper and Scherzer having a bromance. Scherzer might be a little old for him though. Bryce gives some thoughts on his newfound patience (it’s not newfound) and why he likes pitches on the outside of the plate.

You really undersold Chris Sale’s day: 7.2 IP, 12 K, 0 BB, 0 ER, 4 H. That’s a monster outing. After allowing 13 total runs over 8 1/3 innings in back-to-back starts on April 30 and May 6, Sale has now allowed just six runs in his last 31 2/3 innings
Baltimore’s Mike Wright got the win in game 2, but didn’t pitch particularly well: 5 IP, 2 K, 2 HR, 3 ER, 6 H. Jimmy Paredes finally had a bad day. He was 1/8 with 5 strikeouts. Adam Jones could only muster 2 singles on the day.
I don’t know what Buck was getting at. He’s old and crabby…
Going back to your lack of memory… and the request for info on sports technology. I emailed you about a month ago about them Throw sleeve, which monitors wear and tear on pitchers’ ligaments. Swing trackers are the big area of baseball technology that’s growing right now, but there is other stuff on the horizon too.
Tribe ended up beating Seattle. Jason Kipnis was 2/4. Kyle Seager went 0/4 with 3 Ks against the Tribe. Kluber finished with 13 Ks in 7 innings. Eight of the final nine outs recorded by Kluber came via strikeout, including getting Nelson Cruz swinging for the final out of the seventh with a runner on. He threw 112 pitches, one off his season high of 113 when he struck out 18 against St. Louis.
Max Scherzer currently leads the league with 85 Ks. Kluber and Kershaw are tied for 2nd with 83. Chris Archer and James Shields are in third with 82 Ks.
Danny Salazar currently leads the bigs with his 12 K/9 rate.
Trevor Bauer pitches for the Tribe today. Over his last three starts, Bauer has a 1.21 ERA, but is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against Seattle.
You bring up the Texas game (they lost, 5 – 1). Rusney Castillo was back in the line-up for the Sox. He was his usual 1/4 but did earn his first MLB RBI. Nick Martinez wasn’t bad for Boston. His story is cool. He is also second in the MLB for hit batsmen. He has 6.
Where do you think Ryan Howardwill end up? St. Louis? Looks like they need a 1B now… Maybe the Phillies won’t trade him at all. You think he’s back to slugging some? Or is he just a mediocre player on a hot streak?
Matthew Trueblood is talking about enforcing foreign substance rules. He notes:

A three-foot break on an 88-mph Pineda slider is a farce. It’s fun to watch, but only if you’re able to utterly turn off the part of your brain that says, “This guy shouldn’t be able to do that.”

That’s exactly what I want to see and that’s exactly why I don’t want rules more stringently enforced, Matthew. Who doesn’t want to see that pitch!?
The Pirates beat the Padres 11 – 5. YA BOY AJ Burnett didn’t have a great day. Burnett allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked two. Jung Ho Kang hit a three-run homer and Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco also went deep off Ian Kennedy to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to their seventh straight victory. Andrew McCutchen collected 3 hits.
I think we should be talking about Starling Marte more. I’m a big fan. He now has 10 HR this season, after a really slow start. Guy has all 5 tools.
There was a lot of talk at the beginning of the season at how bad the Padres outfield would be defensively. Here is a really interested comparison between them and the Royals. The Pads have the worst outfield as measured by UZR in the majors right now, the Royals the best.
Cole Hamels and Mike Leake are the only starters in the top 10 of intentional walks. What do you think is the cause of that? Both have issued 3 free passes. The rest of the top 10 is populated by relievers.
Let’s go Drew. Give us some goods…
Kevin:

Okay…

Guilty as charged on Sale.  The man has been a beast, particularly lately.
Starling Marte has been incredible.  Giving McCutcheon a run for his money as far as best Pirates outfielder goes.  Also, his BABIP is 53 points below his career average, so perhaps he’s actually been unlucky so far this year??? Kind of a scary thought.
Indians keep getting great pitching from a young staff.  How many years will we be able to keep this team intact?
More Tribe stuff: you mentioned the other day that, thought the Indians have struggled, most teams do in free agency.  This seems to largely be the case, but they didn’t just miss, they got embarrassed.
Michael Bourn, who went to University of Houston, GO COUGS!, was signed for 48 mill/4 years.  Swisher was signed for 4 years 56 million.  This went down in the offseason before 2013.
Other free agents signed that offseason: Shane Victorino,  3 years/ 39 mill.  Angel Pagan 4 years/ 40 mill.  Zack Greinke, 6 years 147 million.  
For the amount the Indians spent, they could’ve had Victorino and Pagan, or just Greinke (same price per year, 2 more years).  These huge misses absolutely crush a small market team like the Indians.  Until Dan Gilbert buys them.  Is there any doubt that he would spend whatever it took to be a winner?  That’s what I want from my ownership; treat this like a toy, and do whatever it needs to be competitive.  There’s a reason the Yankees are solid every single year.
Interesting Ryan Howard suggestion: the Astros.  Christ Carter simply can’t get on base.  I’d be interested if I were them.  Howard’s 250ish average would be a massive upgrade of Carter.
Great point on foreign substances.  Love seeing a wicked, against nature 3 foot break.  Let me have it!
Finally, that Nick Martinez story is loco.  Only 26 innings pitched in college.  And not a high school pitcher?  He’s throwing 90 mph fastballs right through Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory.  Suck it Malcolm.
I’m out.  Gotta clean the classroom, set stuff up, and get out of Houston.
Peace
Tony
Bourn and Swisher is tough to swallow. That’s all I can say about that.

I don’t see the Astros going with Howard. I think they like Carter, and if they go another direction, it will probably be by giving Jon Singleton another look (even though he struck out more than Chris Carter when given the initial look. Scary).
TUNE IN THIS WEEKEND FOR OUR QUARTER SEASON, RED CARPET OSCAR AWARDS

The Baseball Roundup (5/28/15)

May 28, 2015

Tony:

Let’s start with the Nationals. They won 3 – 0 last night. Bryce Harper hit his 18th home run. Max Scherzer pitched 7 innings, allowed 6 base runners, and struck out 13 Cubs. His ERA on the season is 1.51 and his WHIP is .88. You know what’s crazier? It doesn’t even seem like he has had a particularly good year. He’s just this good.

I forgot to mention yesterday that Bryce Harper hit a dinger on the 26th, making me winner of that board bed. So that’s back to back games with home runs for Harper after that uncharacteristic three game hiatus. Harper is now tied with Nelson Cruz for most home runs in the MLB.

Jon Lester was good last night too. He went seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits while matching a season-high 10 strikeouts. Lester also made history. He went 0 for 2 and dropped to 0 for 59 lifetime to move him into sole possession for the longest hitless streak to begin a career, moving past Joey Hamilton (0 for 57) to set the new mark.

The Braves beat the Dodgers 3 – 2. Juan Uribe wen’t 0/3 for the Braves and Alberto Callaspo left a runner on base during his only pinch hit opportunity. Starting at 3B, Jacob Turner was 1/3 and in LF Alex Guerrero was 1/4 with a home run for the Dodgers. Guerrero now has 3 home runs in the last 4 games. Talk about a streaky player.

I’m still trying to make sense of the Braves – Dodgers trade. It’s been called “the most unremarkable 6 player swap.” It seems people think this is about money. It’s just that the Dodgers have shown they don’t care about money. Uribe was also a huge clubhouse guy who could be valuable down the stretch. Ken Rosenthal brings up some potential reasons, but Like Jay Jaffe, I’m not sure I can make sense of it, other than that Donny Matt wants to go with the young talent at 3B. I would have kept him.

The Reds lost 6 – 4 last night to the Rockies. What a disaster of a season in Cinci. Dueling third basemen Nolan Arenado (10) and Todd Frazier (14) each hit home runs. Not surprisingly no one else hit for the Reds. No one in the lineup was hitting over .300 and 6 players in the starting lineup are hitting .250 or below…

Looking more and more like Cueto may join Hamels on the list of big time accusations at the all-star break. A reported 20 scouts were on hand to watch Cueto pitch against the Giants on May 14, including high-level officials from the Blue Jays and Padres. The Cubs and Cardinals would also figure to make sense, but a trade within the division seems far less likely.

Good news and bad news for the Tribe. Good news: they beat the Rangers 12 – 3. Jason Kipnis was 3/5, falling a home run short of the cycle. His batting average is up to .342. Lonnie Chisenhall, Carlos Santana, and Nick Swisher each homered. And Carlos Carrasco was lights out again. He pitched 8, allowed 7 baserunners, and struck out 8. Josh Hamilton was 1/4 and now sports a .091 batting average (granted, he only has 11 at bats since this was his first series). I wish you would have set that over/under at 100. I think that’s the right number (I know you set it at 90 due to the fact that 3 times he has played 89 or 90 games in a season). I think he will finish with 90 some games, so I’ll take the over. Put it on the board.

The bad news: that defense is still killing them. Matthew Kory broke it down:

The Indians have the seventh-worst ERA in baseball so you’d think their pitching would be less hot and more hot garbage, but look at their Fielding-Independent Pitching (FIP). If you take the fielding out of it, which is what FIP seeks to do, Cleveland’s pitching staff has been seventh-best in baseball. This gap between ERA and FIP is telling us Indians pitchers have done their job effectively while Indians fielders have resembled pinball flippers in both range and sure-handedness.

But maybe FIP isn’t your bag. In that case, let’s consider the two ways a team can get outs. The first is strikeouts. Indians pitchers have struck out 421 opposing hitters, tops in baseball. So it’s not that. The other way is to turn batted balls into outs and, as it turns out, the Indians are, technically speaking, awful at this. This season they’ve converted 67.5 percent of balls in play into outs. That’s worst in baseball. You never want to be worst in baseball in anything, let alone something important like, say, fielding the ball.

In fact, it’s even worse than that. The Indians are historically awful at fielding baseballs. Since 1950, only the 2007 Tampa Rays have been worse than the Indians’ current 67.5 percent mark. For context, the Royals are best this season at 73.6 percent. The difference between the Indians and Royals is like giving the other team two hits each game. Just giving them extra hits. Extra hits are going to lead to extra runs and (if you play it out to the end) extra sad Cleveland fans and goodness knows there are more than enough of those already.

The 2004 Red Sox famously traded franchise icon Nomar Garciaparra for two lesser hitters in Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz because Theo Epstein felt the team’s defense, with Garciaparra at shortstop, would prevent them from being able to win a championship. Cabrera and Mientkiewicz played important roles in strengthening Boston’s defense, which helped them win their first World Series win in 86 years. The Indians aren’t in the same position at the end of May that Boston was at the trade deadline, but coming into the season Cleveland was picked by many experts to reach the postseason. They might still make it despite their slow start, but unless their defense improves, this does seem awfully unlikely.

The good news is this isn’t a fatal flaw. Like any aspect of a club, it can be overcome provided the other aspects are good enough. Last season the Tigers were second to last in turning batted balls into outs but they still made the playoffs, while the Mariners were second best but didn’t make the playoffs. Still, it makes intuitive sense that it would be difficult to make the playoffs while consistently getting fewer outs on batted balls than your opponents. Doing so involves likely both an elite offense, and it helps if the pitching staff is particularly good at striking out opposing hitters. Of course, last year’s Tigers had both. The Indians have a nice start with their pitching staff, but their offense doesn’t yet measure up to the 2014 Tigers. The important point is defense is not destiny, just a component of it.

As for who specifically is at fault for Cleveland’s woeful defense … well, the list would be shorter if we ticked off who isn’t at fault. Going by UZR (available at FanGraphs.com!), the worst offenders to receive regular playing time are Michael Bourn, Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, and David Murphy. When you consider that only seven fielders back up the pitcher at any given time, having five very bad ones, even if they are not always playing at the same time, constitutes a lot.

The Indians are stuck with Carlos Santana at first base, unless they want to shift him to DH in place of Nick Swisher. At shortstop, they could call up super-prospect Francisco Lindor to replace Ramirez. We don’t have numbers for Lindor, but the scouting reports have been very good so it’s relatively safe to assume he would be better than Ramirez. However, unless Lindor can cover the entire outfield, too, the Indians’ problems will remain. Brantley is obviously too good a hitter to not play, and the team remains committed to Bourn, who’s signed for big money through next season. Unless there are some trades to be made for better defenders, the best the Indians can do might be improving from historically awful to just bad. The thing is, if the offense improves a bit and the pitching staff continues to perform as they have, that might be enough.

Today’s fielding stats can be unreliable, especially in small doses, but even so they’re more reliable than errors, assists, and fielding percentage. They should be considered and weighed with knowledge of the sample involved and, when possible, compared to what you see on the field yourself. With the Indians though, there shouldn’t be much of an argument. They simply don’t make enough outs when the ball’s put in play.

I brought this up a couple weeks ago, and it doesn’t seem like things are getting any better.

The Orioles beat the Astros last night. Jimmy “the Jet” Paredes went 2/4 and STOLE HOME. PAREDES STOLE HOME. I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY DIDN’T SEE HIM! Jimmy is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Adam Jones also went 2/4. Chris Davis‘s home run in the 8th won it for the O’s, who somehow avoided any Astros late inning heroics. GGGAAAAATTTTIIIISSSS hit his 10th dinger of the year for the Astros.

Rob Neyer notes that the Astros and the Blue James have the same run differential on the season. One of the major differences between the two teams? The Astros’ 11-5 record in one-run games is the best in the league, and the Blue Jays’ 2-10 record is the second-worst (the woeful A’s are 2-13).

Neyer also wrote a “remember when” piece about the Astros as a “mess.” He was looking at an Evan Drellich story about Astros management in the Houston Chronicle from last year. Best line from Drellich:

The Astros are firm in their belief that winning will fix everything, but that begets a question of how much buy-in by players and coaches is needed in advance, and how much perception and happiness matter.

What do we know, Kevin? Winning fixes everything (see: The Cavs).

Cliff Corcoran wondered if the Astros or Cardinals have a better shot at maintaining their fast start. While he brings up the 1 run games, he warns us not to dismiss it:

There is some actual performance behind the Astros’ success in one-run games. Buoyed by the additions of veteran free agents Luke Gregerson, who is now Houston’s closer, and Pat Neshek, Houston has the second-best bullpen ERA in baseball with a 2.10 mark, behind only the Royals’ 1.86. Good relief pitching is essential to success in close games, and while both the quality of a bullpen and a team’s success in one-run games can be difficult to sustain from year to year, it’s not uncommon for that combination to result in a surprise single-season performance. For proof, look at the Orioles in both 2012 and ’14.

Or at last year’s Royals? His take: the Astros are legitimate contenders. Some of that will depend, I think on the young guys. Will Jon Singleton (.277/.383/.614 with 14 homers in 44 games at Triple A), Lance McCullers, and Carlos Correa (Destroyed Double A.385/.459/.726 & seven home runs in 29 games and is hitting .283/.353/.500 in 68 plate appearances in Triple A) provide a boost?

Do we believe in being “hot?” If so, teams should trade for Cole Hamels now:

Hamels has produced a 1.53 ERA in his last four starts and shut down the Nationals and Rockies, two of the National League’s top offensive clubs, in his last two. What’s more, recent history suggests that once he gets on a roll, he doesn’t stop.

In 2013, Hamels had a 2.96 ERA in his final 21 starts. In ’14, he missed most of April due to left biceps tendinitis, struggled early, then had a 2.06 ERA in his final 27 starts.

Nick Cage Award is a good one. Also tough to figure out. Drew suggested Kip Wells, Jason Bergman, or Jason Marquis. My first thought was Livan Hernandez! 3189 innings pitched, 4.44 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 1.85 K/BB. Sindey Ponson also came to mind: 1760 innings pitched, 5.03 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 1.69 K/BB. But since longest mattered, I don’t think Ponson trumps Livan.

I tried to run a search on Baseball Reference for guys with over 3000 IP, and sorted by ERA. I don’t have a subscription, so I couldn’t see the top 10. But the highest ERA is 4.44, which has to be out boy Livan.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 12.41.58 PM

I don’t know if I could be any happier with myself. You could, of course, drop the innings minimum. 2000 is still a lot. But if we are naming this after Nick Cage… Player had to have been pretty prodigious, so I’m sticking by my guy. Who have you come up with?

If we are going to keep delving into odd and unusual records, I expect you to buy “The SABR Baseball List and Record Book: Baseball’s Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics.” I think it could be of great help.

The Mets beat the Phillies 7 – 0 last night. Thor was a god among men. Syndergaard pitched six-hit ball into the eighth inning and connected for his first major league home run. Thor is the first rookie in Mets history to strike out at least five batters in each of his first four starts. He also went 3 for 3 at the plate, tying a franchise record for hits in a game by a pitcher – matched by Jacob deGrom earlier this month.

The Mariners beat the Rays behind King Felix. Hernandez pitched a four-hitter to become the major’s first eight-game winner. His ERA now rests below 2.00, at 1.91. Nelson Cruz hit is 18th home run, keeping him even with Harper. Unfortunately it was MY BOY Brad Boxberger who gave up the game winning home run to Cruz. Chris Archer had been dazzling for the Rays. Archer tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and had stretches where he retired 12 and 11 batters in a row. Archer allowed just two runners, coming on a first-inning double by Seth Smith and Logan Morrison‘s single in the fifth. His ERA is 2.12 on the season.

It is still hard to pitch to Pujols in situations like that. They only did because it was better than pitching to Mike Trout. (Rock – Padres – Hard Place).

Scoring walk-offs is interesting… Here are the relevant rules, some linked videos of examples, a couple theoretical examples, and a summary:

Sec. 4.11(c) of MLB’s official rules states:

If the home team scores the winning run in its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored. EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate.

Official Baseball Rule 10.06(f):

Subject to the provisions of Rule 10.06(g), when a batter ends a game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the official scorer shall credit such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run.

Comment: The official scorer shall apply this rule even when the batter is theoretically entitled to more bases because of being awarded an “automatic” extra-base hit under various provisions of Rules 6.09 and 7.05.

So, a walk off home run is a home run… Unless of course the batter doesn’t run it out. Then you get Robin Ventura‘s “Grand Slam Single.” A walk off “ground rule double” where the batter gets mobbed before reaching second? Just a single.

If you’re not the runner who scored the winning run, you’re going to want to run everything out anyway, for fear of encountering “Merkle’s Boner.” Fred Merkle was on first base when Al Bidwell hit a game winning single into the outfield. When the fans rushed the field after the winning run was scored, Merkle turned around before reaching second and headed to the dugout. When the ball was tossed to second by Solly Hofman, Merkle was out, run does not score.

Basically, whatever the winning run got, you can get… Meaning with a guy on 1st, you can have a “walk off” triple. So, if there is a guy on 3rd, unless you hit a home run, you can only get a single.

So, let’s cover some situations to illustrate:

  • runner on 3rd; batter hits a line drive in the corner – no matter what base he gets to, he can only get a single.
  • runner on 2nd; batter hits a ball in the corner, runner scores and batter stops at 1st – batter only gets a single
  • runner on 2nd; batter hits a ball in the gap, runner scores and batter makes it to second before the runner scores- batter gets a double (see: Addison Russell two nights ago).

But, you can’t just go swipe a extra bag to pad stats (I know that’s what you were thinking). If a guy is on second, and you hit a single, but then advance on the throw home, still just a single.

Make sense?

Kevin:

Good info today Z.  Loved Drew’s additions on the worst pitcher list.  We could extend this trip down weird trivia lane by extending to worst hitter?  Nominations???

I was thinking Ponsoon myself.  One other that came to mind was….LIMA TIME!!!!

1994 21 DET AL 0 1 .000 13.50 3 1 1 0 0 0 6.2 11 10 10 2 3 1 7 0 0 1 34 38 6.28 2.100 14.9 2.7 4.1 9.5 2.33
1995 22 DET AL 3 9 .250 6.11 15 15 0 0 0 0 73.2 85 52 50 10 18 4 37 4 0 5 320 79 4.76 1.398 10.4 1.2 2.2 4.5 2.06
1996 23 DET AL 5 6 .455 5.70 39 4 15 0 0 3 72.2 87 48 46 13 22 4 59 5 0 3 329 90 4.99 1.500 10.8 1.6 2.7 7.3 2.68
1997 24 HOU NL 1 6 .143 5.28 52 1 15 0 0 2 75.0 79 45 44 9 16 2 63 5 0 2 321 76 3.83 1.267 9.5 1.1 1.9 7.6 3.94
1998 25 HOU NL 16 8 .667 3.70 33 33 0 3 1 0 233.1 229 100 96 34 32 1 169 7 0 4 950 111 4.09 1.119 8.8 1.3 1.2 6.5 5.28
1999 ★ 26 HOU NL 21 10 .677 3.58 35 35 0 3 0 0 246.1 256 108 98 30 44 2 187 2 0 8 1024 125 3.76 1.218 9.4 1.1 1.6 6.8 4.25 AS,CYA-4
2000 27 HOU NL 7 16 .304 6.65 33 33 0 0 0 0 196.1 251 152 145 48 68 3 124 2 0 3 895 75 6.12 1.625 11.5 2.2 3.1 5.7 1.82
2001 28 TOT MLB 6 12 .333 5.54 32 27 3 2 0 0 165.2 197 114 102 35 38 3 84 9 0 4 719 79 5.63 1.419 10.7 1.9 2.1 4.6 2.21
2001 28 HOU NL 1 2 .333 7.30 14 9 3 0 0 0 53.0 77 48 43 12 16 1 41 5 0 3 249 64 5.63 1.755 13.1 2.0 2.7 7.0 2.56
2001 28 DET AL 5 10 .333 4.71 18 18 0 2 0 0 112.2 120 66 59 23 22 2 43 4 0 1 470 91 5.63 1.260 9.6 1.8 1.8 3.4 1.95
2002 29 DET AL 4 6 .400 7.77 20 12 3 0 0 0 68.1 86 60 59 12 21 0 33 2 0 2 304 55 5.29 1.566 11.3 1.6 2.8 4.3 1.57
2003 30 KCR AL 8 3 .727 4.91 14 14 0 0 0 0 73.1 80 40 40 7 26 0 32 5 2 2 321 100 4.67 1.445 9.8 0.9 3.2 3.9 1.23
2004 31 LAD NL 13 5 .722 4.07 36 24 3 0 0 0 170.1 178 81 77 33 34 6 93 1 0 3 702 101 5.09 1.245 9.4 1.7 1.8 4.9 2.74
2005 32 KCR AL 5 16 .238 6.99 32 32 0 1 0 0 168.2 219 140 131 31 61 1 80 9 0 5 780 63 5.71 1.660 11.7 1.7 3.3 4.3 1.31
2006 33 NYM NL 0 4 .000 9.87 4 4 0 0 0 0 17.1 25 22 19 3 10 0 12 2 1 1 91 45 6.09 2.019 13.0 1.6 5.2 6.2 1.20
13 Yrs 89 102 .466 5.26 348 235 40 9 1 5 1567.2 1783 972 917 267 393 27 980 53 3 43 6790 85 4.91 1.388 10.2 1.5 2.3 5.6 2.49

We will have to give an unofficial vote on the winner of this year’s Nick Cage.  Any other hollywood based awards we should be giving out?  Love that as a potential awards theme.  We should keep it in mind for midseason awards (or perhaps quarter season awards extravaganza over the weekend?

You touched on a lot of subjects I was ready to get into.  Hamilton finally gets a hit.  What the hell happened there? The Angels basically paid a lot of money to have him leave.  Anything deeper beyond cocaine and booze?  Or was that simply enough to need him gone?  I’m tempted to keep linking the HR Derby every time we talk about Josh , because it was just that impressive.

Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado hit a 3 run homer.  He’s having a great year, batting .331 with 10 Homeruns.  Sadly, he’s only 5th in all star-voting. We should be talking more about this guy? His manager gave him the least enthusiastic plug ever:

“He’ll be in the All-Star Game, I believe — one way or another,” manager Walt Weiss said. “That’s my campaign speech.”

Given how close your name is to the world’s most famous Meth Maker, you’ve gotta come a lot harder.  Remember, you are the one that knocks!

Harper would’ve won you the bet, and I lost a million hypothetical dollars (you didn’t take this as a board wager).  More importantly, Lester still didn’t attempt a pickoff.  Since his last one in mid April where he airmailed a throw to first, he’s not tried it again.  At what point do runners just become brazen? They should be leading off halfway to second.  How is this not a bigger story???? He’s got the throw to first base yips! Free pass to second every time.  This is worth monitoring going forward.

Speaking of gambles, I’ve got a betting theory I want to try out.  What if you just parlayed 2-3 aces every day in a wager?

Today’s aces: Shelby Miller (+125), Corey Kluber(-117), Chris Sale (-130).

On a 100 dollar bet, this would win us 638 dollars.  Pretty good investment.

Gotta run today.  Trying to get the classroom cleaned so I can be ready for summer.  Excited to start getting some takes about the twins and their surprisingly  good start.  Get at it Drew!

Peace!

Tony: 

You have the worst memory every. Ben Lindbergh covered the Lester thing to death and I’ve linked to you already. He runs sims and such, so read away. In the end, he is a good pitcher, who doesn’t put a lot of guys on base, so there aren’t as many opportunities as you’d think. Especially when you consider how many of those guys can’t run at all. But, to your point, it becomes a big issue against quick, good teams, like the Royals and the Cardinals… (See: Lester in the playoffs… also covered in aforementioned article).

Lima was bad, but only for 1/2 the time of Livan. You need to propose an alternative innings minimum if you won’t concede this to me.

Nolan Arenado is good. But he isn’t as good as Todd Frazier or Josh Donaldson. So right in that second tier with Kyle Seager and Adrian Beltre? Is Jimmy Paredes in that second tier now!? Matt Carpenter is close. Maybe he and Jimmy constitute the 3rd tier? Where does Evan Langoria fit at this point? And what do you do with my boy Anthony Rendon. Shake off the injury and put him in the 1st? Worry about the injury and call him third? Split the difference?

Parlaying the aces isn’t a bad play. Especially depending on who they are facing… Should we put this into action? I’ll go 50/50 with you on any bets we agree on in the roundup.

I think they cut ties with Hamilton because it wasn’t working, no stats, drugs, etc. The idea being, perhaps, for some reason, he can only keep his sh*t together in Texas… But, I’m with you. They are trotting scrubs out there right now and still paying the bulk of Josh’s paycheck. Why not keep him and hope? Or at least keep him from helping the Rangers…

I started with Bryce Harper, let’s end with Bryce Harper.

First off, I didn’t realize how big he got over the offseason:

and…

Bryce

Which, I guess explains a lot…

These home runs look like something out of the Home Run Derby!

Sometimes, when he pops one up, it STILL goes out. TO THE OPPOSITE FIELD. Check out his reaction here:

Apparently he has also gotten patient at the plate absurdly quickly. You can read all about it (Once again, thank you Grantland.). So, while Mike Trout decided to start swinging at first pitches, Bryce took the opposite approach.

Article has a nice comparison between Bryce and Ted Williams too. Ted’s .406 year, they year that I still think is the best statistical, non-roid connected year in history, was when he was 22. Doesn’t look like Bryce will hit .406, but he has posted an OPS+ of 224 so far this year. Ted is the only other 22 year old every to post an OPS+ of over 200. His was 235 in 1941.

 

The Baseball Roundup (5/27/15)

May 27, 2015

Kevin:

Jimmy Hits. Damn it.

Texas back at it.

What is the longest losing streak by a World Series Champion?

Tony:

OK, I’m assuming the Jimmy Hits comment meant: “Damn it. What a cool nickname.” He did have a good day yesterday too, going 3/4 with 5 RBIs. The Blue Jays beat the White Sox 10 – 9. The game was clinched when Josh Donaldson hit a game winning 3 run homer in the 9th of David Robertson. It was Donaldson’s second homer of the game. He finished 4/5 . Jose Abreau had 4 RBIs and a home run (his 8th) for the White Sox.

Donaldson was the guy I hoped Cleveland could land in the offseason Athletics fire sale. I don’t think the package Oakland got from Toronto was beyond the Tribe. Graveman and Nolin were both seen as almost ready MLB pitchers, but were not top prospects. Damn near anything the Tribe gave up outside of their current MLB starters and Francisco Lindor would have been fine with me. Honestly, probably would have been OK with Lindor going…

Texas back at it is a little cryptic. I’m assuming you mean the Rangers beating the Tribe 4 – 3. That’s their 7th win in a row and the are now .500 again. All-Fat-Team Prince Fielder was 3/5 with a HR – his 10th. Jason Kipnis also homered. It was his 5th time this year. Danny Salazar wasn’t great, but he wasn’t bad either: 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Ks. Nick Hagadone gave up the go ahead home run to Mitch Moreland in the 8th. I can’t believe Ryan Raburn hit clean-up for the Tribe.

My initial thought when reading Texas was… THE ASTROS! They beat the Orioles 4 – 1 to become the first team in the MLB with 30 wins. What a turnaround. Scott Feldman pitched well, giving up one run and four hits in six innings against his former team and Luke Gregorson earned his 13th save. Jimmy Paredes had three of Baltimore’s five hits. For the first time this season, rookie LF Preston Tucker started in the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Tucker went 0 for 3 with a walk. Adam Jones went 0 for 3 and is stuck in a 3-for-25 slump. He entered the month batting .400 and is now at .310.

The resurgence of the Astros got me thinking. What was the biggest seasonal turnaround in baseball history? Who had the most wins after a monumentally bad record? Tough to find that info, but maybe you will fare better than me. If you look at worst team to win the World Series the next year (so not total record), then the 2012 – 2013 Red Sox take the cake. In 2012 the sox went 69 – 93 (.426). Turns out, teams haven’t done very well the year before winning the World Series since 2000:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.35.25 AMPeople also forget that the Astros too big steps last year. This isn’t totally coming out of nowhere. After 3 years of win totals in the low 50s, the Astros won 70 games last year. That’s only good for a .432 winning percentage, but that’s a lot better than .315 the year before…

Bryce Harper says Mike Trout is still the best player in baseball. Harper certainly has better numbers than Trout this season, but noted:

Baseball is always, ‘What have you done for me lately?'” he told ESPN. “That’s just how the game works. I still believe Trout is the best player in the game, hands down. It’s not about taking a backseat to anybody. I love seeing Stanton hit homers or Kris Bryant do the things he does. I love watching Matt Harvey or Gerrit Cole or Noah Syndergaard come up and throw 100 mph. I cheer for guys. I’ve always been that way.

Bryce Harper likes to watch all the same guys we do! That makes me happy.

Speaking of nicknames, I hope they call Gerrit Cole “Rust.” If that’s the case, the guys Harper mentioned are: “Silk,” “Batman,” “Rust,” and “Thor”!?! Too cool.

Dodgers beat the Braves 8 – 0. Kershaw (3-3) allowed four hits, struck out 10 and walked none while lowering his ERA to 3.86.

”He didn’t look like a guy who had a 4-plus ERA coming in,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ”Maybe he’s starting to get back on track a little bit.” OR MAYBE HE WAS USING A FOREIGN SUBSTANCE, FREDI. YOU TATTLING…

Adrian Gonzalez became the 12th active player with 1,000 RBIs, when he hit his 10th homer of the season. After the game he said “Career wise I’d like to see 1,500.”

Turns out the Braves and Dodgers also swapped middling infielders. Alberto Callaspo will go to LA and Juan Uribe will go to Atlanta, freeing up Third Base for Jacob Turner or Alex Guerrero. Apparently it’s a big trade – 6 players. Braves pitchers Trevor Cahill and Eric Stults are likely candidates to be involved in the deal, according to Fox Sports.

Since I mentioned Fredi… Joe Girardi said pitchers should have a substance to use for grip. On Sunday, Red Sox manager John Farrell shared similar thoughts, saying, “I would like to see an approved substance that pitchers can use, because, when we take a manufactured baseball, and rub it with dirt, it’s going to create a slippery feeling to it.”

As for losing streaks…

The longest losing streak by a team that went on to win the World Series was nine by the 1953 Yankees. If you were asking about losing streaks the year AFTER a team won the World Series. I’m not sure, but I think I know… In 1998 The Florida Marlins lost 11 games in a row. TWICE! The two losing streaks came one year after the franchise’s first World Series championship in 1997.

The Cleveland Spiders somehow don’t have the record for longest losing streak (24 games in 1899). The Louisville Colonels lost 26 games 10 years before. Almost all of the longest streaks are from the 19th century, or at least the early years of the 20th. More recent streaks? Phillies lost 23 straight in 1961, Orioles lost 21 straight in 1988, and the Royals lost 19 straight in 2005.

Ruban Amaro, GM for the Phillies, is sick of impatient fans. He said “fans don’t understand the game.” He claims Philly has a plan to rebuild and are sticking to it. Yesterday he apologized for the comments and admitted he was late on a rebuild. Rube, BE A MAN! Don’t apologize. Fans would have ripped you had you dismantled that team one season too early. You did fine. Stick to the plan. Fans DON’T understand the game. Need proof? My boy Kevin was calling for Billy Bean‘s head yesterday!

The Reds beat the Rockies 2 – 1. Aroldis Chapman came away with the win. He struck out the side in his 1 inning of work. Jumbo Diaz pitched another scoreless inning. And, apparently Sean Marshall of the Reds experienced a “near miracle.” I know we sensationalize in sports coverage, but… near miracle? What’s your take on that…

Last game I want to touch on before going to breakfast: Seattle beat Tampa Bay 7 – 6. MY BOY Kyle Seager had 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. Not just any home runs: the first was a grand slam in the 8th and the second was a game winner in the 10th. Over the last 14 days he has 5 home runs, 10 RBI, and a .375 AVG. The guy is HOT.

Apparently Clay Buccholz has a new change-up and Troy Tulowitzki is being more aggressive at the plate (and less productive).

Finally, Grantland has a piece about how great Matt Holliday has been over his career. He is for sure a guy fans forget about. He’s been so good for a long time, and every year is supposed to be his last. I bring this up because it strikes me that he is one of the few recent free agent signings that paid off! Dude has done everything to earn every cent of his 100 million dollar contract. Can you think of other, recent, super consistently good guys that may not put up the flashiest of numbers, but are always a top 50 player? None come to mind for me.

If you don’t pick over/under on Paredes yesterday and get an official board up, I’m revoking that bet. You’re just leaching more time and stats over there to base your decision on… I don’t like it.

Kevin: 

Hmmm.  Needless to say as I sit here proctoring a final, I am getting further and further into a Baseball Reference wormhole. Specifically, let’s take a look at losing streaks.

Last year’s playoff teams, longest losing streak in parentheses

Kansas City (5), San Fran (6), Baltimore (4), St. Louis (4), Detroit (5), Angels (4), Dodgers (3). Washington (4),Oakland (5), Pittsburgh (7)

So, we see some quick patterns.  First: most playoff teams don’t lose a ton of games in a row.  Second, HOW THE FUCK DID THE DODGERS NEVER LOSE MORE  THAN THREE GAMES IN A ROW!!!!

So far this season, 23 teams have losing streaks of 4 games or more.  And we are only 40 games in!

This actually seems like a completely incredible statistic.  It also seems like I could waste hours exploring how rare it is, and that’s exactly what I will do later today/tomorrow.  I’ll keep you posted.

Moving on, you’re right, I was referencing the Rangers. Bummed to see the tribe go down, fascinated to see Prince still mashing, and curious to see if Josh Hamilton turns it around.  I will be sending you the board later, but over under Hamilton 90 games played this season?

On to Sean Marshall… I think a near miracle is a great description.  However, this should simply be deemed a nearacle. I’m actually going to en register this phrase.  “Holy shit, the pizza place is still open, even though it says it closed 5 minutes ago…What a nearacle!!!” Also, the onion has some great miracle takes.

I guess I have to talk about the Astros…I keep staying away from them assuming Swags will jump in.  Then I wake up to further disappointment.  They are currently on pace to win 103 games.  They won 70 last year.  This 35 game improvement look like it would be…2nd all time.  The Arizona Diamondbacks went from 65 wins to 100 wins.  So for the Astros to match, they need to win 105 games.  Not impossible given their record and the way they’re playing.  But it would certainly be nearaculous. What would you set the over under at for them on victories?

Other interesting statistical queries I’ve begun looking into while getting sent through baseball’s outerspace: who is the worst pitcher of all time.  By that I mean, some combination of longevity and shittiness.  What would you call this pitcher?  Perhaps they receive the Kevin James lifetime achievement award?  Given to a pitcher that keeps showing up and getting paid, but constantly puts out nothing.  Or is it the Nick Cage? What’re your suggestions?

This gives way to a whole class of Hollywood based awards.  More on this tomorrow or another day.

Other impressive notes: the Marlins lose again.  They fired their third base coach.  This has me really curious.  Do they think this is the move that gets them winning??? Does the GM turned M know better than everyone in the organization?  This is like when a nation struggles to educate their children and rather than blame it ongoing systemic violence, racism, and poverty they isolate the teachers…  Seriously though, what is going to happen with this Miami team?  I remember there being high expectations. Their season is making The Leftovers look like a Disney movie. (Also, that’s the catchiest song ever right????)

The Angels still have reasons to be optimistic this season. Things were looking down last night,when, speaking of Nearacles…this happened.  But, seriously, Pujols hit a walkoff single. He’s up to 12 in his career, 2nd only to Big Papi.  That’s a good list to be on.  Even as Pujuls cools off, are you still scared throwing to him in this type of situation?  Also, another walk-off question: are you given the base you get to as the hitter?  Or anticipated base?  For instance, Pujols got a walk off single, does it matter if he could’ve gotten to second?  What about walk off doubles?  Not really important, but I’m certainly curious.

I’ll  get back to some more of this later.  Hit me back, get in on some of this, let me know your thoughts.  Finally, CAVS!

 

 

 

The Baseball Roundup (5/26/15)

May 26, 2015

Tony:

I don’t have a ton of time this morning, but I’ll get us started.

The Tribe’s little streak is over. They lost 10 – 8 to the Rangers. All fat-team’s Prince Fielder was 3/5 with a dinger – that’s his 4th home run in 4 games. Potential future hall of famer Adrian Beltre was 2/4 with a homer. And Josh Hamilton returned to go 0/3. Carlos Santana hit a homer for the Tribe, as did Roberto Perez, who went 3/3. My boy Jason Kipnis was only 1/4.

This game as all about pitching. Neither starter finished 3 full innings. Cleveland’s Shaun Marcum pitched 2.2 and surrendered 7 earned runs. Phil Klein, for Texas, pitched 2.0 innings, giving up 6 earned runs. Both starters surrendered two home runs each.

That’s Texas’s 6th win in a row.

Our boy Aroldis Chapman got the loss last night after giving up a sacrifice fly to Nolan Arenado. Arenado went 3/4 with a HR and 3 RBIs, leading the Rockies offense. Zack Cozart was 0/3, which makes me pleased. Jay Bruce is on a bit of a hot streak. Since May 16th he has raised his batting average 50 points, from .173 to .223. He has 15 multi-hit games over that span. Your boy Jumbo Diaz pitched 1 inning for the Reds, striking out the side and Todd Frazier hit his 13th home run.

The Reds finally placed Devin Mesaraco on the disabled list. He HAS NOT CAUGHT A GAME THIS SEASON. Concerns me that if it took them this long to shut him down, doctors may be ready to amputate. I cut him weeks ago…

St. Louis and Arizona went to extra innings, with Jhonny Peralta hitting a game winning home run in the 10th for the Cards. Mark Trumbo also went yard in this game. Paul Goldschmidt was 2/4 and is batting .338 on the season. Should we be talking about Goldschmidt? It seems like we should…

The Cardinals had 15  hits in the game, but stranded 23 runners on base. Kolton Wong up to .323, Matt Carpenter at .325, Matt Holliday at .317, lead off that Cardinals line up. Young Carlos Martinez started the game for the Cards. He blanked the Diamondbacks through 7, striking out 8.

Your BOY Albert Pujols beat my Padres with a game winning single in the 9th (4 – 3). I don’t have much else to talk about here. Justin Upton was 2/4, Matt Kemp 0/4.

Washington has now won 8 of their last 9. They beat Chicago yesterday 2 – 1 as Tyler Roark returned to the Nationals rotation. Roark won 15 games last season, but was shifted to the bullpen when Washington signed free agent Max Scherzer. We had our eyes on this game for the pair of big named sluggers.

Kris Bryant went deep in the first and also had an infield single. He reached in the ninth when a replay review showed he was hit by a pitch, but Drew Storen retired the next three batters. That’s Bryant’s 5th home run, since we ARE counting. Bryce Harper did NOT homer. That’s 3 games in a row. I’m hoping he homers next game to prove me right.

OF Jayson Werth (bruised left wrist) will rejoin the Nationals in Chicago on Tuesday but isn’t expected to play.

Nice nickname fodder from Harper: ”When we were younger, we use to call (Bryant) `silk,”’ Harper said. ”He was so smooth with everything he did.”

Noted.

You’re up champ. Give me a pick up today and kick start this thing.

Kevin: 

As usual, lets start with the Tribe.  Rough game for them, as reclamation project Shawn Marcum got roughed up.  I picked up Josh Hamilton for my fantasy team, and he happily occupies the Disabled List spot till next week.  While he’s had a rough start, he is the man that put us all in awe at the 2008 Home Run Derby.  Shouldn’t there be some sort of hall of fame for that?  Or at least official record book?  Basically, a record of how  frequently a guy gives us a ‘I love sports’ moments.  This is a post for another day: Guys who gave us the most sports movie moments, who have no shot at the normal H.O.F.

I was reminded yesterday of how we got Kluber Lang.  Jake freaking Westbrook.  Hell of a deal for the Indians.  Seems like (while not poring over them) the Indians have typically done well on these trades?  Agree?  In fact, it seems like if the Indians hit on free agent signings the way they did on these trades, they’d be incredible every year.  Want to give a look at top Tribe free agent signings over, say, the past 10 years?  I suspect it would be horrific.

Sad to see Aroldis.  Anytime he pitches I’m reminded how supernatural he is:

“The great Hal McCoy, of the Dayton Daily News, passes along this tidbit from Louisville Slugger: A 104 mph fastball reaches home plate in only 0.39 seconds — or, if you factor in a 5-foot stride, just 0.36 seconds. That’s faster than it takes the average human to blink an eye and open it again. So my advice to those hitters out there: Don’t blink. Also, at that rate, if it kept up that speed for a full second, the baseball would travel 152 feet — in a second.”

That’s 9 in a row for the Reds.  They just keep finding ways to lose. This is a very Brownsian dynamic that is constant in sports: Bad teams just find ways to lose.  End of game, early game, bad luck, good luck, rain cancellation….Some teams simply can’t put it together. Could that be the Reds this year?  Sure makes for some exciting trade markets.

I know that’s frequently thrown around but, DAMN.  Literally, don’t blink.

Really interested in the Yankees Royals game.  Yankees got back on track by crushing the Royals 14-1.  This game had a number of statistical oddities.  First, Jeremy Guthrie got absolutely lit up:

1 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 4 HR.  This is the man who started game 7 of the World Series.  I don’t have the fortitude to find out, but this has to be in the running for worst start by a World Series starter ever.  Especially since it’s up there for worst starts of all time.  Check out this break down of some of the worst starts, and other incredible information.  Worth discussing from here: look how many of those old time pitchers were just sent back out.  Guy would get pounded, giving up 20+ runs over 7+ innings.  I’m legitimately curious as to which hurts the team more.  I’m inclined to think you’re better off sucking it up and getting demolished, but saving the bullpen.  Getting yanked in less than 3 innings seems like it could have long term harm.  Someone smarter than me with better data analysis tools should check this out.  Other gems they reference: Fr. Allan Travers, the only Catholic priest to pitch in the majors.  OF COURSE he was a Jesuit.

Also of note: the Mets win again…important mainly because of FAT BART!  He got another win, tied for the Major League lead. He’s currently sitting at 7 wins.  I’d put the over under at 14.5 and would take the under.  Thoughts?

Glad you brought up Goldschmidt.  He’s legit. Best first baseman in baseball right now?  More WAR the rest of the season, Paulie or Miggy?  It also got me to looking: he does notably worse, both in his career and this year, against the slider. Obviously this is not ground breaking news…But how do they use this in baseball circles?  Has anyone brought up any theories of how you should pick ideal outcomes in complicated, multiplayer interactions?  Of course.  The Nash Equilibrium.  Great piece by Nate Silver and Co. discussing John Nash and his theory, specifically how it relates to sports.  Ironically, he brings up how it is ‘practiced’ in sports, but I wonder how often teams actually do it.

Love the ‘Silk’ moniker.  It’s incredible.  Top ten baseball nicknames going right now?  Silk just vaulted to the top of my list.

Last one for right now by me: A’s pull off a win against the Tigers, and Cespedes.  Is Cespedes the only player of his kind to be dealt?  I mean a young star, in his prime, with notable time left on his contract.  Will the A’s come to regret that?  Also, have people started souring on Billy ‘Moneyball’ Beane yet?  How long of a leash does he get?  Do you think the movie gave him more job stability?  And has most of his decline come as a result of analytics sweeping the sports world?  Curious to hear what you think…

Get back at me today, want to hear your thoughts on this stuff.  Also, we got crazy stormy last night and I had my first Texas ‘snow day’ today.  After almost a foot of rain, the entire city was submerged, and I’ve been lounging around reading about baseball and watching Survivor.  Texas is great.

Tony: 

Let’s get at some of this.

I like the “Real Sports Movie Moments” hall of fame election. Do you get in for one moment? Or, is the idea that you need to be someone that has a lot? For example, the Aaron Boone home run is burned into the mind of millions, but it was his only moment. Then there are guys like Jeter who were made for “moments:” the dive into the stands, the play at home plate, etc. I think you need multiple. How many though? Minimum of 3?

You are correct about the Tribe. Since 2000, they have hit on an absurd percentage of trades. Unfortunately, they used up all of their golden FA additions in the 1990s. Atrocious.

You can see the entire list of transactions here. Let me shoot some names at you though: Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, David Dellucci, Brett MyersMasahide Kobayashi, Jason Giambi, Kerry Wood, Juan Gonzalez, Ryan Raburn, Ellis Burks. 

Of course mixed in there was bringing Thome back home, Rafael Perez, Rafael Bettancourt, etc. One of the reasons its hard for me to fault them too much is, in the 21st century, doesn’t it seem like teams really embraced locking up young talent early? How many “good” free agent acquisitions have there been in total? And ones that look “good” cost over 200 million dollars…

 

Time for the historical time capsule. One of my favorite Indians signings? Seinfeld’s Keith Hernandez (1989): The five-time All-Star and 1979 NL MVP was 36. The Tribe signed him to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. He hit .200 with one home run in his first year in Cleveland, then spent the entire second year on the disabled list.

I’m trying to look into your Catholic priest trivia. I believe this old guy, Fr. George [insert Polish last name here] who lived at Little Sisters of the Poor and boys with my grandfather got some MLB time. Tracking down a name via pops and grandma to run the necessary background check. Could have been exaggerating for a little boy, but I remember a baseball card…

I’ll take the over on Fat Bart. Can you please put together a board? I’m already losing track of these.

The Paulie – Miggy bet is a toss up. Also super hard to track the way you have it. I think probably just bet on more WAR by end of season? I’ll take Paulie, you can have Mig. Add it to the board.

Yes, Paul sees plenty of sliders and it’s his worst pitch, but it’s not as if he can’t hit it. He’s about even on it, it’s just notably worse than other pitches cause he mashes. Slider is also tricky. You have to keep it down in the zone and nibble with it, which means it’s going to miss a lot, so you can’t just throw him sliders in any situation when you are worried about walking him. More, ala the Nash Equilibrium, you have to mix up the pitches. He will start crushing sliders if he knows that’s all he will see. Teams scout guys hard: pitchers know what zones and pitches guys struggle with and game plans are build around that. Maddox was notorious about scouting players and creating game plans. It’s also why new batters have hot starts and then get crushed. As soon as the league finds the weaknesses, they hit ’em hard.

Baseball-Reference actually tracks nicknames. But they are not yet sortable (i.e, active players). I think “Silk” kills Brantley‘s “Dr. Smooth.” “Kung Fu Panda” needs to be really high on that list. “Big Papi” is really classic. I’m fond of Lance Berkman‘s “the Big Puma.” Is he still playing? We’ve referenced “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” in the Rundown before but I don’t think people actually call him that… Nor do I think anyone has called Ryan Braun “The Hebrew Hammer” for practical reason. “Joey Bats” for Jose Bautista is great and I think used. Very Goodfellas. Chris Perez‘s “Pure Rage” was kind of great for a closer. He still pitching? I got to assume “Pronk” is finally done, right?

Billy Beane has security because he is excellent at that job. They made the playoffs each of the last three years. That was after 5 years of not (rebuilding phase). From 2000 – 2006 they made the playoffs 5 times, never had a losing season, and were never worse than 2nd in the division. So in 14 years in the 2000s, the A’s have made the playoffs 8 times, and only finished under .500 4 times, and worse than second in the division 4 times. It seems like they stink a lot, but they really don’t. Dude rebuilds efficiently. I’d want him.

Plus, some of that 5 year rebuilding phase has to be on Bob Geren, he is the only A’s manager that has not made the playoffs or had a winning record in the 21st century.

To your point, for fans, tough to lose Donaldson, Moss, and Cespedes. But I think Billy is the man, and as far as I can tell, the analytics haven’t made his way any less successful (see: last three years). If your point is “no WS,” I would say “luck.” You and I have talked a lot about how much people discount how random and lucky a championship run can be. I think that’s especially true for a team like Oakland who can’t pay to keep their vets around.

Brandon Moss is another Tribe FA addition! Book still open on that one.

Fun Rundown today.

 

 

 

 

The Baseball Roundup (5/25/15)

May 25, 2015

This is going to be overshadowed by the “Survivor Spectacular,” but its a daily roundup, so there are no days off…

Tony:

I’ll start again today, though don’t expect much. I’m in a foul mood after a 9 category Sunday swing in the fantasy league yesterday. Brutal.

Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak and clubbed another home run yesterday as the Mariners fell to the Blue Jays 8 – 2. Edwin Encarnacion hit his 12 homer of the season and Seattle’s Taijuan Walker now sports a 7.33 ERA. Rookie blues or was this kid overhyped?

The Cards beat the Royals 6 – 1, ending a . Kolton Wong went 2/4, Matt Carpenter, who has been really hot, hit a dinger, fat Jhonny Peralta went 2/4, and so did Matt Adams. Michael Wacha didn’t K many batters, but he did go 7, allowing only 6 baserunners, and not surrendering an earned run. He is now 7-0. Yordano Ventura really wasn’t bad for the Royals, though he did give up 4 runs. If he can keep his head straight I think he could be a stud. I love his means streak.

The Pirates beat the Mets 9 – 1 yesterday. Francsisco Liriano had 12 Ks (blast from the past!). That adds to a string of big strikeout numbers for Pirate pitchers (Cole and Burnett each posted 10 in the 2 previous games). Not since 1969 had three straight Pittsburgh starters fanned at least 10. Bob Veale struck out 12 vs. St. Louis, then Bob Moose got 10 and Dock Ellis had 11 in a doubleheader against the Mets. Pirates starters combined to limit the Mets to two runs in 21 1-3 innings over the weekend series. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte homered for Pittsburgh. Jon Niese had a really rough start for the Mets.

The Padres won 11 – 3. This is the second time in his career Shields has started a season 6 – 0. He is the first Padres starter to win his first six decisions since 1985, when Andy Hawkins began 11-0. Justin Upton hit a grand slam and finished with 6 RBIs.

The Dodger‘s Carlos Frias got smoked by the Padres. The 25-year-old rookie right-hander put himself in the Dodgers’ record book alongside Brad Penny, Tom Candiotti, Chan Ho Park, Carlos Perez and Odalis Perez as the only starting pitchers to give up as many as 10 runs in a start since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. That is an INCREDIBLE list of names.

Mike Napoli is hot. He hit another home run to push the Red Sox over the Angels 6 – 1. Rusney Castillo was 1/4 again. Over 3 games it appears obvious he will hit .250 on the season.

Bryce Harper drove in two runs, Gio Gonzalez outpitched Aaron Harang and the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Sunday for their eighth straight series win. Harang wasn’t bad at all, but he didn’t get any run support. It was the first time in three starts that he allowed an earned run. Harang has also gone at least 6 innings in each of his 10 starts this year.

Looks like former Indian and current Tampa Bay star Chris Archer could be among the greats. Buying the data? The analysis?

The Indians beat the Reds 5 -2, increasing their winning streak to 6 games. The Reds have a longer streak: they have lost the last 8 in a row. The Tribe was lucky, Johnny Cueto had soreness in his right arm, so they faced Raisel Iglesias. The Tribe had “The Jedi,” Trevor Bauer on the mound. He pitched 7 2/3 innings giving up only 1 run after, on a Marlon Byrd dinger, after carrying a shutout into the 7th. Yan Gomes was hitless in his return, and the Reds had some trouble in the field: Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto each had errors. Jason Kipnis was only 1/4. I’m sure his batting average plummeted.

The Braves beat the Brewers 2 – 1. Jimmy Nelson took another loss thanks to the lack of run support. He has a 3.67 ERA but is 2 and 5 on the year. I  bet he keeps his ERA under 4 this year, has double digit losses, and single digit wins. Take that one? I like the kid a lot. Only issue I have had with his year so far is the lack of control. He has 47 Ks to 23 BBs, thats not going to cut it.

Paul Swyden talks about the “spitball,” references Band of Brothers, and calls Fredi’s antics chickenshit. Love it.

I’ll end with the Astros today, since I have no faith our little friend will chime in. They beat the Tigers 10 – 8 in dramatic fashion. Preston Tucker hit a 3 run home run in the 6th, as a pitch hitter, to tie the game. It was Tucker’s second game-tying homer of the series. He hit one as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning Thursday, although the Astros ended up losing. Those are his only two home runs since being called up to the majors earlier this month. They are enough to ensure that he, not Jake Marisnick, is going to stay in the Astros lineup.

This narrative plays right into the this idea that the Astros are better late, which Patrick brought up last week. I finally have some info for us on that. The Astros have 81 runs scored in the seventh inning or later this year, which is the best in the Majors. The next closest team is Oakland with 70 runs.

Tucker wasn’t the only Astro to homer. GAAAATTTTTIIIISSSSS hit his 9th dinger of the year.

OUR BOY, Roberto Hernandez pitched for the Astros. Hernandez allowed seven runs and nine hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.

This won’t surprise you, but the stat is hilarious: The Astros struck out 15 times. From the start of the fourth inning through the second out of the seventh, all 11 of Houston’s outs were strikeouts.

In a non-baseball related note: I woke up early this morning worried I had pissed myself… Not the case, the crotch was dry, but my legs were soaked because it had started raining, and I sleep under skylight window that I like to keep open. Close call. If I started sober pissing myself at 28, there would be a lot of self-reflection in my future.

Whaddaya got for me?

Kevin: 

I am soft.

Tony:

Correct. Guess that’s enough for today.

 

Survivor Spectacular

May 25, 2015

So, in the middle of the 5/24 Roundup email chain, this happened. CBS needs to see it. I think it could be a wonderful thing…

Tony: 

I watched the last Survivor season 30 finale. Love when it comes down to making fire! I hope you have several flints waiting at the apartment for when I get back to Houston…

Brings me to the question I have been meaning to ask: if you are picking a cast of Survivor season 31: Athletes, who is making the list? Also, who are your favorites to win it all?

Survivor 31’s cast has been announced. The fan voting was great for a season 30 surprise ending. When Mike and Carolyn were both on the list, I assumed neither won because the winner couldn’t come back. I was losing my mind that Will would win… Glad Mike won, he far and away deserved it. The Shirin dead fish speech was classic. Also, loved Jenn Brown’s pitch to the jury on behalf of Mike. I kind of love Jenn Brown in general for her interviews/takes.

Only two names I’m sad to not see coming back are Tryozan and Brad Culpepper. Both were fun and would be even better in round 2. Also weirded out that Shirin got picked over Carolyn.

So jacked next season is in Cambodia. Almost as excited as I am to hear your thoughts on this…

Kevin: 

1. I’m going to go with the 4 tribe format.  Basketball, football, baseball, and other. 5 contestants within each, and one coach.  This gives us a slightly larger cast than usual, but worth it.
2. We are going with all men for this to start, because that is where I can adequately pick contestants
3. Trying to avoid big name stars that still have money, because they would be unlikely candidates to ever accept
4. Only retired players are eligible
5. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS HAPPEN!!
6. Where should it take place? Open for debate

Basketball Tribe:

1. Allen Iverson– Confrontational personality, but fierce and fearless.  He would be a threat in all challenges as his slight figure would make him great at balance and agility challenges.  Also, nobody would fuck with him around camp.  I would love to see him win advantage that gave him time on the course to ‘practice.’
2. Antoine Walker– Great candidate.  He’s retired, loves gambling, and is broke as hell.  He’s also employee number eight, and he makes baskets.  He would be selfish at camp, eating whatever he wanted.  During challenges, he would avoid easy wins, instead pushing for more challenging paths to victory.
3. Christian Laettner– The man is so hated they made a documentary about it.  Also, good to have a Dukie on there.  We may have to get Dickie V in to call challenges with Jeff.  OHHHHH!!! THE DUUUKKKIIIEEE!! HE WINS REWARD BABY!!!  He’d use his highfalutin Duke intellect to try to outwit everyone else in the tribe.  He also might get his ass kicked at some point.  He might get kept around a long time because everyone knows he’s universally hated, not a threat in individual challenges, and unlikely to receive jury votes from absolutely anyone.
4. SHAQ!- He’s shown he’s willing to sell out for publicity (see Kazaam, the Kobe Rap, and a little shake, a little tingle)  He would be damn near unmovable during physical challenges.  He may get hurt by his lack of foot speed, and his height would be detrimental during some of the agility challenges.  He’s hilarious, so people would want to keep him around camp, and he’s a license law official, so he would put an end to any bullshit by other contestants.
5. Metta World Peace– I don’t know if this even needs an explanation.  He’s certainly hard, and undeterred by scary circumstances.  His buddy got stabbed and died from a chair leg!  He’s a total wild card, and would have some great interactions with others around tribes.  He’s shown a proclivity for actual fighting, and has also shown, when zoned in, he’s an unstoppable physical force.  He would shut down opponents in any interactive challenges, and would have to be kept around for pure hilarity.
Coach: Mike Brown– This is the sadistic side of me…He would get eaten alive.  He would get voted off early, and be constantly abused by this group.  His inability to run plays or lead men would hurt the team in challenges, and he’d end up getting his ass kicked by somebody.  I wish Popovich weren’t active, because I would pay money to watch Jeff Probst try to get information out of him:

Jeff: Pop I see you nodding over there…Want to tell us what happened in today’s challenge today?
Pop: We got outplayed.
Jeff: What could you have done differently?
Pop: We could’be played better.
Jeff: I’ve finally met my match…

Football Tribe:
1. JaMarcus Russel– Hell of an arm.  Physical beast.  He’s got enough extra weight to dick around for a while and just shed extra pounds.  He’s kind soft, so he would also be a strong candidate to simply quit. He’s also broke, so that certainly is a plus for his attainability.
2. TIM TEBOW! He would play the game as a Christian.  He would never back stab, never break an alliance, and only ally with people he felt were good men,  During his interviews, he would speak of how he was using Survivor as a time to bear witness to his faith.  He would reference Jesus’s 40 days in the desert, and remind everyone that 39 days on an island with slightly limited food is nothing.  His team would also win every single challenge.  When he won individual immunity, he would give it away, because that’s the right thing to do.
3. Terrell Owens- He’s done reality TV before.  He’s also a physical specimen.  No one can forget him bench pressing in his front lawn among eager reporters.  He would kind of be the Anti-Tebow.  A real yin-yang situation.  He would keep track of all his stats in the immunity challenges, and not really care how the team did.
4. Bill Grammatica- He hurt himself celebrating (announcers call him by the wrong name).  Having a kicker on here would also just be genuinely hilarious.  He would be a sneaky final four pick, because he would get brought along in the vein of the guy that has no chance of winning and everyone inherently hates.
5. Eddie George- He could get a heads up on the game because his wife was on it.  He’s a strong man, and loves being on television.  He’s also always stayed out of trouble, and his ‘nice guy’ label could really help him win favor from his teammates.
Coach: Dennis Green. Explosive personalities are great for reality television.  He is who we thought he is.

Baseball Tribe:
1. Jim Thome- Everyone loves him.  Great athlete.  He would be a real threat. Also, a proven team leader.
2. Jose Canseco- Loves the limelight.  Still in great shape.  And everyone would hate him so much going in, that fireworks might start before they get to their camp.  He’s also a good bet to do something outrageous.
3. Craig Biggio- The little guy!  Another fan favorite.  His slight stature would give him an edge in some of these challenges, particularly with agility involved.  His commitment to only one franchise would cement his ability to stay true in any alliance.
4. Derek Jeter– The baseball equivalent of Tebow.  His whole team would love him.  He would keep his team competitive in any challenge.  And he might be sick of sitting on his ass enough that he’d give it a go.
5. Rickey Henderson- Another speedster.  He would swipe bases along with immunity idols.  He would give the baseball team a real shot at any challenge that involved things other than simply brute strength.  He’s also kind of hilarious, and regardless of when he got voted off, it would qualify as a blindside, because of his extreme confidence in everything he does.
Coach: Charlie Manuel.  He’s a country boy, and would be surprisingly helpful around camp because of his down home sensibilities.  He’s also hilarious, which is a big plus for reality television.

Other Tribe:
1. Martin McSorley (hockey)-played 17 years.  Known as Gretzky’s enforcer, so he would seemingly be viciously loyal in the right alliance. He also didthis.  Luckily, very few people watch hockey, or remember names.  There’s a chance no one would no who he was.  That kind of explosiveness, like this seasons’ Rodney, but angry and hard, typically makes for entertaining television.
2. Lance Armstrong (cycling)- We’ve got enough other juicers on here, that it would make a lot of sense for Lance to have a chance at redemption.  He would be so damn earnest that his tribe would have to believe him.  He also seems to have the personality that would lend itself very well to the long con.  Early on, he would announce that he was devoting his winning to Cancer research, so anyone that votes him off becomes a dick.
3. Floyd Mayweather (boxing)- Nothing to say here.  A real entertainer.  Loves money.  Loves publicity.  Loves demeaning people.  It seems like he would be absolutely incredible during all challenges.  He might just tell the rest of the team to sit out and let him win solo.  He’s never actually been hit in his sport, so we would have to see if he could handle some heat during physical challenges.
4. Michael Phelps- again, great time to rekindle some publicity.  He would be the youngest contestant.  He also is only semi-retired so I might be cheating.  Obviously would dominate any water challenges.  Very unclear how he’d do in any of the physical confrontation challenges; he’s jacked, but not necessarily used to that style of physical battle.
5. Kimbo Slice- He was a former MMA fighter, but really just known for putting people down.  He’s got a great story, as he made it to success largely through youtube fame.  This has actually been a survivor story before (Will this season).  His penchant for putting fools down seems like a hilarious trait for challenges.  He might just lose it and knock someone out.  Because of his great story, he may be a sneaky dark horse to go far in this game.
Coach:BOBBY KNIGHT!!! (COLLEGE BBALL) I used a backdoor trick to get Bob in.  He didn’t ever coach professional basketball. He’s a great interview, kind of a dick, and 100% over the top.  Talk about great Survivor viewing,  Seems likely either Kimbo or Martin kicks his ass, maybe leading to his early exit from the show.  Luckily, Lance would be there to talk everyone down, reminding them of greater causes.

What’s your breakdown on these tribes?  Who wins more challenges?  Who wins the game overall?  Any additions or subtractions?

Tony:

Man, I love what you’ve done here. It would be the best and biggest Survivor ever played. I wan’t to expand it one more time though to add a twist…

A tribe of returners!
Coach: Jimmy Johnson – Survivor: Nicaragua Season 21
1. Cliff Robinson – Survivor: Cagayan Season 28
2. Jeff Kent – Survivor: Phillipines Season 25
3. Jon Rocker – Survivor: San Juan Del Sur Season 29
4. Brad Culpepper – Survivor: Blood vs. Water Season 27
5. Gary Hogeboom – Survivor: Guatemala Season 11

Tyson Apostal was a professional cyclist, is a three time contestant (Survivor: Tocantis Season 18, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Season 20, Survivor: Blood vs. Water Season 27), and won. So he might be fun to throw on there. He was also hilarious on camera and would already know Brad…

I may even be down to throw Crystal Cox on that team. She would be the only female, but I think she could handle it. She was on Survivor: Gabon Season 17, is a former Olympic Gold Medalist (4×100 relay) and was pretty damn entertaining to watch. All the challenges negated her speed, so she was actually atrocious at them, but who cares.

Last one, and it’s going to blow your mind. Tyler Fredrickson, MY BOY from Survivor: Worlds Apart Season 30, who you HATED, not only worked for a talent agency, BUT WAS A PROFESSIONAL KICKER. Well, he played some pre-season ball and then kicked in the arena league. Close enough. I wouldn’t hate him coming back at all…

We actually have so many returners, representing each of your 3 major sports, that we could put one of each on each team, instead of having a 5th tribe, kind of like veteran leadership (Survivor does this regularly – that’s how Boston Rob finally got a win). But I think I much prefer having the 5th tribe…

Couple fun storylines to go with my returning players: Brad’s wife, Monica, won Survivor. Cliff was voted out because he was black. Jeff Kent wasn’t bad, but his knee gave out. Jon Rocker was fireworks – imagine him against hard athletes. And Gary Hogeboom was actually good. I believe he even found an idol without a clue.

I really like the guys you picked. Here are some other possibilities…
1. Many Ramirez would be a lot of fun to watch
2. Charlie Manuel works, Bobby Cox would get fired up though
3. I know he had some time in the limelight, but Chad Ochocinco got it for a reason, and I sure would love to watch him on Survivor.
4. Karl Malone is an adult, who loves guns, and being in the wild. He would be a fun addition.
5. Albert Belle is unstable.
6. Michael Jordan. Duh. Would be the Russell Hanz of this season. Insatiable competitive spirit.
7. Dennis Rodman. Duh. Plus, has reality TV experience (Celebrity Mole: Yucatan)
8. Bruce Bowen – only one Survivor has ever been eliminated from a challenge (Ben Browning in Survivor:Samoa Season 19), Bruce might push a challenge too far.
9. Love Bobby Knight. Bobby Bowden would be really cool too.
10. Hubie Brown! Might figure out a whole new way to play the game! If you don’t include him, maybe he should commentate with Probst?

Don’t forget, Canseco already has some reality TV experience (The Surreal Life). As does Evander Holyfield (Dancing with the Stars), who could be cool, Jesse Palmer (The Bachelor) who might shit his pants, and Emmitt Smith (Dancing with the Stars) who I think is too vanilla.

Also, it’s too bad we don’t have some East Asians or Dominicans on that baseball team, but I don’t know who you drop… Maybe we wait for Puig and Ichiro retire. I think both have serious survivor potential. Add Vlad Guerrero and whatever throwing competition you cooked up would break the internet.

As for my predictions…
1. I bet “the other tribe” would win a lot of early team challenges due to their strength of swimming. Basketball and football would get destroyed…
2. I think the baseball guys would dominate individual immunity challenges, which tend to require lots of hand-eye coordination.
3. I don’t think Tebow, Floyd, Mike Brown, JaMarcus, or Shaq would make it to the merge. In fact, I think the basketball team would get beaten so badly that Probst would have to figure out a way to merge them before “the merge” or to force other teams to vote out players just to keep things even. Maybe he would just find a way to give them immunity even though they lost the challenge.
4. Laettner would be the first person voted out after the merge.
5. Coaches other than Mike Brown would make it pretty far, but guys would be scrambling to take them out before the final 3.
6. Charlie Manuel would have to leave for health reasons.
7. Thome would make it to the final 3 thanks to his alliance with Biggio.
8. Biggio and Thome would ally themselves with McSorley after the merge.
9. Eddie George would also make it to the final 3, even though Biggio and Thome wanted him gone. He would beat out McSorley for the final immunity, forcing Jimmy and Craig to vote out their boy.
10. Craig Biggio would win.
And your bonus prediction: Jeter would pull off a ridiculous string of immunity challenges that kept him in the game against all odds, until Biggio finally beat him in the second to last immunity challenge because the Captain took a nose dive over an obstacle, into a wooden pole, that gave him a concussion, which he played through, but that limited him so severely that he couldn’t complete the final task of throwing rocks to smash hanging ceramic panels.

Clearly I’m down on basketball. I think that team would be a nightmare socially, and I don’t think that their superior athleticism would translate perfectly to survivor, plus I think a lot of it would be lost with age – those guys aren’t peak anymore.

Perhaps to cover basketball’s implosion, first there would be a merge where the four teams merge into 2 teams to compete, and then they would merge into 1 later… If you included my 5th group (we should), I don’t know how they could work it. Also, my predictions would change.

The game should take place in the Caribbean. I know you wanted me to say Patagonia or Siberia or the Yukon or something, but that’s a different season of Survivor. I wanna see these guys play, not survive. We can send some normal folk to those places to see how the hell they cope.

Only think I’m worried about is that there are no women in bathing suits to look at… I don’t know how to fix that though.

This was too much fun. People should “share” the shit out of it on the off chance that:
1) CBS sees it and makes it, or some version of it, happen
2) CBS sees it and brings on Kevin and I as a “Survivor Think Tank” to keep the game fresh going forward
3) CBS sees it and realizes one or both of us would be fantastic contestants

Dave: 

Basketball
-As much as I like Iverson I’m not sure he would be good for it. Im thinking more along the lines of Gary Payton. Brings all the same attributes of AI with an actual team player mentality.
-Def not on board with Antoine. I’m sure they could get him to do it but I don’t think the viewing public could get behind his riches to rags story plus he’s probably more out of shape than Shawn kemp. He’d loose the first challenge.
-big shot Bob could keep the NBA team afloat. When all the chips are down he would pull off miracle.
-Rick fox is good looking and still in shape, I think he’d be a favorite with the ladies.
-Rodman for obvious reasons plus he wouldn’t mind only eating rice. He’s become accustomed with all his Korean ventures.
-Hubie Brown would be great for a post-show wrap up. Intricately breaking down the competition. He’s a real smart guy so I’m sure he’d come up with some new strategy.

Baseball
-first and foremost Jeter wouldn’t do it. No chicks – no Jeter.
-as much as I like him thome I don’t see him doing that well in comparison to the rest being that the others seem like superior athletes.
-bobby valentine would be a great manager.
-I’m not interested in seeing Manny.
-Brian Wilson’s beard would be a fan favorite.
-Just a random list of interesting characters due to physique: billy Wagner, Brian Jordan (drafted in the NFL), Julio Franco (100 years old but would still kill it), pudge, Gabe kapler, Frank Thomas, randy Johnson
-he’s still playing but Pablo Sandoval would be a good watch.

Football
-tebow isn’t retired and would sacrifice himself when someone who ‘deserves a second chance’ is voted off.
-Brett Favre because, well, Brett Favre
-I like the ochocinco idea
-mike golic (obvious reasons)

Other
-mayweather would never do it nor would I want to watch him. Also, all the black players would suddenly turn into his entourage and protect him till the end.
-lance Armstrong is hated so I’m not sure if America could get behind watching him unless you could set it up for one of the events to involve him getting laid out by Bill Goldberg (ex NFL and wwe) or kimbo who I absolutely love.
-WWE would be a good talent pool to pull from. Stone cold would be a great fit.
-chuck Liddell still carries some pr juice
-Bruce Jenner would be an interesting play. Do they censor out his boobs?

The Baseball Roundup (5/24/15)

May 25, 2015

This got up yesterday. There are tweets with the link to prove it. I don’t know what happened to it. Won’t have all the formatting, but here is what we got up…

Tony: 

Braves beat Brewers 3 – 2. Every Brave in the starting line-up had a hit. Shelby Miller had a nice start, but no win.

Royals beat Cardinals 3 – 2. Edinson Volquez with the win.

Mariners beat Blue Jays 3 – 2.

Catching my drift?

Astros beat Tigers 3 – 2.

And the Indians beat the Reds… 2 – 1. Kluber with a gem! 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks.

Other highlights from those performances: Kipnis with another multi-hit game (2/4), Kyle Seager hit a home run, and Luke Gregorson earned a save.

Rusney Castillo wen’t 1 – 4 again and the Red Sox beat the Angels 8 – 1. Mike Napoli had 2 home runs. He is still hitting .193.

Jimmy Paredes wen’t 2-6, but the Orioles lost to the Marlins 1 – 0. I’m bringing up Paredes until this ends. So we are going to hear about him all season or we won’t. Can we get a Paredes board bet up? How about – will he be in the top 125 in the Yahoo! player rater?

Baltimore’s Brian Matusz ejected for a foreign substance! What is suddenly going on!?

Dee Gordon had another stolen base in that game. And, my boy Mike Wright threw 7 innings of no-run ball.

My boy Chris Sale went 8 and struck out 10 but got the loss. Minnesota beat Chicago 4 – 3. Cracks me up that Glen Perkins has 16 saves…

Batman got beat-up! He gave up 7 in 4 innings and the Pirates beat the Mets 8 – 2. Andrew McCutchen is such a stud. He homered. Which brings me to AJ Burnett. Long career, lots of ups and downs. He just putting together a nice season? Or, do I have to read an article on Grantland about his dad limited the stress on his arm when he was a kid? AJ has a 1.37 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

David Wright to remain on the disabled list indefinitely. Dude was a comet – one of the best players in baseball for a couple years. Then nothing but serviceable at best.

Dodgers beat the Padres 2 – 0 yesterday. Mike Bolsinger was throwing smoke. He retired 23 straight batters after giving up a leadoff single in the first. I picked him up today in fantasy. He is 3 – 0 in 25.1 innings pitched, 22 Ks, .71 ERA, and a .79 WHIP. Heck of a start to the year.

Padres now on a 4 game skid. The Padres have scored only three runs during their four-game losing streak and are 0-22 this season when trailing after eight innings. No late inning heroics in SoCal.

James Shields starts today for the Pads. He is 5-0 on the season.

Even with the recent skid. I love what the Pads did in the off-season. Justin Upton is a heck of a talent and having a heck of a year, and I like Kemp as well. I hope they can put it together.

The Will Myers injury looking semi-serious. He is eligible to come off the DL this week, but he hasn’t resumed swinging yet… I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this.

Anthony Rendon starting simulated games. Suggestion is that he will be back early June. I’m excited. Nationals shouldn’t rush him though. No reason to – they are already in 1st. More important that when he’s back, he’s back.

Piggy-backing on yesterday’s movie bonanza: Tarantino’s visual references in 3 minutes is great.

Kevin: 

First, anytime we are even going to mention Indians baseball, shouldn’t we be making people’s day better? BURN ON!  Fire this up, watch it at least once, and listen to it in the background anytime you read the updates.  I’m going to find an excuse to link this everyday.

I get it.  Lots of 3-2 games yesterday.  Not that we should be surprised. 3-2 is the most common score in baseball history.  I’d love to look through the data myself.  Specifically, we seem to always get some close high scoring games…8-7, 10-9, etc.  Does the spread of numbers for the other team change when one team scores a lot?  This would make intuitive sense, as the winning team perhaps relaxes.  By that logic, not surprising 6-5 is so high on the list.

I’ll leave the Astros to Swags later today. He has promised a full breakdown of the Stros series later today.

>Kluber seems really back at it.  He’s reminding us that he is the Klubot.

Inline image 1

Teams should be scared.  Quick side note: Better nickname, Klubot (already all over the interweb) or, my entry, Kluber Lang?  An ace like that, if we can get our shit together and make the playoffs, would be intimidating as hell.  Another solid hitter back, as Yan Gomes is back for the tribe.  Things are coming up roses for the Indians.  By winning their last two against Cincinnati, they were guaranteed of holding the all time series record against the interstate ‘rivals?’  Had we lost both, we would’ve given up the crown.  They call it the Battle of Ohio. Since 2008, they have started giving, “The Ohio Cup,” again as a prize.  We can do better than that.  Colleges have figured out how to give out Trolls, Axes, and more.  Taking nominations now…What should the winner of the Battle of Ohio get?

I’ll take the Paredes bet.  We will need a link to our updated betting board.  So we can have a visual representation of my sports knowledge superiority.

Matusz ejected! Little did I know that we would be getting back to our foreign substance debate so soon. According to you, the only rule is: Don’t be obvious, and don’t tell.  What’re we gonna do if managers keep violating the second half of that rule???  Doesn’t it seem like we should just legalize a certain substance and have a vat of it by the pitcher?  On baseball tonight they referenced pitchers that used chewing tobacco to get a better grip.  We should just have every pitcher out on the mound with big sacks of long cut tobacco.  Requirement: must put a dip in. to use this advantage.  Hell, let’s get back to baseball players fully endorsing tobacco products!

Mariners got another victory as you mentioned.  You forgot to point out that James Paxton, pitching a great game, still saw his 20 inning scoreless streak come to an end.  You boy Seagler is up to a 9 game hitting streak.  Only 50 or so more to go.  We’ll check back in on this streak in two months.

Dee Gordon continues to be awesome.  And swipe bases.  Made me wonder, what are the numbers on stolen bases?  Thank god for FanGraphs.  Great break down of ‘break even’ points.  As one of the commenters notes, this would be better if broken up situationally.  I loved that the author kind of implied speedsters should be stealing home more often. I’d love to see more of this.

San Diego does continue to struggle.  That being said, possible value bet? Here is the link of current World Series Odds.  Pads at 25/1 could interest me.

Burnett has had a sudden resurgence.  We’ve seen middle aged guys suddenly get good in the past.  ROID ALERT!

Tony:

I can’t believe I forgot to link this: JD Martinez as an analogy in favor of the potential lasting success for Jimmy Parades. I do like that he was working out with Nelson Cruz and Robinson Canoe. Still worried about the K/BB rate, but if he could be the next JD Martinez, that would be a huge win for the O’s.

Earlier we were taking about what Cole Hamels and this year’s trade deadline. SB Nation thinks the market should heat up as Hamels has “turned it on” after a bit of a rocky start. Here is some fun speculation about what the Reds could get if they packaged Aroldis Chapman and Cueto. Seems like this is a bad year for this deal, but it would make sense for Cinci to try and pull it off.

By the way, Neil Weinberg thinks Zack Cozart has gotten better at the plat. Look out Brandon Crawford.

Paul Sporer takes a stab at “The Marisnik Mirage.” He’s torn about Jake, I’m bot. Preston Tucker played again last night. Colby Rasmus sat so Jake could play to. I don’t see that happening in the future as Jake lingers in the 9-hole, striking out and drawing precious few walks.

Nice Mariners stats.

Klubber Lang is great.

Clubber

What’s your Paredes bet, over or under 125? I will take either, I think I set the mark at the right spot.

Swags lets us down again.

I got to think on your “Ohio Cup” ideas. Let me get back to you.

Can’t wait for the “Survivor Spectacular,” publishing at 11am 5/25…

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