That’s Kevin Youkilis’ career in the post season. Those moneyball detractors (and by that, I mean objectivity detractors) who haven’t read the book (and by that, I mean most of them) should know that Billy Beane was obsessed with Youkilis.
“Youkilis?” says Billy, as if he’s only just heard of the guy and very nearly forgot his name. “Just a fat kid in Double-A. Look at your reports. He’s a ‘no’ for you. He’s a ‘maybe’ for me. From our standpoint, he’s just a guy we like because he gets on base”
Classic. Now trust me, I’m not the kind of guy who touts the merits of a handful of postseason PAs. But by the transitive property or something, that also means I’m not the guy who goes batty anytime a bad series happens in the small sample size shitshow of the post season.
Fun fact: Alex Rodriguez’s postseason line is .279 / .361 / .483.
I think it’s human nature to to look for evidence that agrees with your conclusion instead of creating a conclusion based on evidence. In our case, people don’t want to believe those who think differently can change the face of our past time.
Instead, they pull a tighter grip around a belief set slowly let loose by those around them. It’s difficult to see this in ourselves because it’s who we are, but it’s there.
edit: Thanks to commenter Joe Morgan my editor will be fired. .459 OBP?! Nutso!
Mike Cameron is suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for stimulants.
“The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids,” Cameron told AM 1090, the Padres’ flagship radio station. “I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more.”
“After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted,” he said ‘Unfortunately, the actual supplement is gone, and therefore cannot be tested. Without the actual supplement in hand, the rules are clear, and I must accept the suspension.”
It’s hard to say what this means so early in the happenings. Maybe I’m just a softy, but I think that I believe Cameron. He’s done nothing in his time here to lose the trust of the fans so I don’t think this necessarily changes that.
I had been on the fence about bringing him back, but now it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. We could probably get him on a short term deal and he sucks in April anyway (.508 OPS this year, .500 OPS last year). Then again, we’re might be missing Giles at the beginning of the year as well. Hopefully SuperBlum can play the outfield.
Personally, I watched about 9 innings total. I always intended to watch but something always came up. Tonight, I started watching and in between innings, I flipped around to see what else was on when I came upon “Smokin’ Aces” on Cinemax. I ended up watching that instead. I don’t even like that movie but I watched it instead. Luckily, it ended before the game did, so I was able to see Jonathan “wassup baby!?” Papelbon.
This is the fourth World Series in a row to not see a game 6. Aside from that fact, I’m not really sure what these four have in common. Off the top, I thought that it was the difference between a 4 game and a 7 game CS. The Rockies were red hot this year, then sat down for a week and got demolished. Last year, the Tigers were red hot, then sat down for a week and got demolished. In 2005, the Astros went to 6 games with the Cardinals while the White Sox only went to 5. And in 2004, both the Red Sox and the Cardinals both went to 7. For what it’s worth, both the Yankees and Marlins went 7 in 03.
So why is this happening? I don’t know. All I know is that for the past four years, the World Series has meant one thing to me: We’re only 4-7 games away from the Hot Stove Season. And that’s kind of sad.
I mean, I know what the deal is. Why do they do it? Does Manny’s bulge need to cover my entire TV screen to create drama?
Before the delivery, I guess I can understand it. The determined sneer in a pitcher’s eyes before he rockets a fastball home is good TV. And MLB needs all the ratings they can get.
What about defense? Is there any storyline to be followed when Troy Tulowitzki reacts to his left and throws Pedroia out at first? Then why won’t you show me his range?
In the final game of the ALCS, Kenny Lofton was rounding third while a batted ball landed just fair. It ricocheted off a wall in foul territory toward no man’s land in shallow left. Lofton held at third, which followed with a flood of “what he should’ves” colorfully delivered from Tim McCarver.
Apparently Lofton should have continued past third base and would have scored easily. I have no idea why, because all I saw was a deadpan zoom on the privates of Manny Ramirez in left and Mike Lowell at third. Not a single replay angle saw the runner rounding third and the fielded ball at the same time. So what’s the point?
This means more than runners advancing. One of the most important aspects of judging defensive abilities is the beginning context of a play. Where is the fielder positioned? How quickly does he react? Does he take an efficient path to the ball? How is his footwork? How far does he go to make the play?
Very few of these questions can be answered by watching a game the way it is broadcast. I think this is the main reason Khalil Greene is overrated. His sports center dives are incredible to watch, but they don’t give a complete picture.
The World Series starts in less than 24 hours, with the Colorado Rockies and Jesus Christ taking on the Boston Red Sox, who are on their own. As fate would have it, both of these teams faced off against OUR San Diego Padres this season, which gives us a common denominator to compare these two teams with. Let’s break it down, position-by-position.
Yorvit Torrealba vs. Jason Varitek
Against the Padres this season, Torrealba put up a line of .138/.153/.224 with an OPS of .377. That’s really bad. On the flipside, Varitek put up a line of .500/.625/1.333 with an OPS of 1.958. That’s really good.
Add to the equation that Varitek is a grizzled vet with a C on his uniform and this one is very clear.
Todd Helton vs. Kevin Youkilis
aka “You look like a goat,Murray”
Usually, I judge players based on their facial hair. Varitek’s sexy beard, for example, is way better than what Torreabla’s sporting, but I can’t do that in this case. Both Helton and Youkilis are 100% mountain, so I guess I’ll go to the numbers.
Helton: .819 OPS
Youkilis: .500 OPS
Helton it is. I’d imagine it’s not too late for Youk to turn that glorious goatee into a beard, so I’ll get back to you if/when he does.
The Padres’ Zips Projections for 2008 are available. For some reason they’re all jumbly in my browser, so I copied the data to a monospace text editor (gedit) for easy viewing.
The first thing that jumps out at me is the team OBP, that would be awesome: .351, .345, .370, .375, .366, .350. Those are the numbers projected for Adrian, Kevin, Morgan Ensberg, Brian Giles, Josh Bard, Chase Headley. If that happens next year (it won’t) I’ll buy Tony LaRussa’s book.
Never mind Khalil Green looking at a .300 OBP. We’ll save that discussion for another post.
This gets me thinking: Kouz in left, Headley / Ensberg at third leaves money for a centerfielder and starting pitcher right? Git er done KT.
Jake Peavy pitches every five days, but that doesn’t diminish his value when he’s the best guy in baseball every five days. When he does play, he dominates the opposition’s ability to score runs. That gets the Padres offense off the hook.
This year Jake was the best pitcher in the world. That makes him MVP of his team.
There’s a lot of talk about Khalil or Peavy being the MVP of the team this season, but it’s very easily Adrian. Since it would take too long to list the categories that he led the team in, I’ll just list the categories that he didn’t lead in:
OBP: Giles .361 (Adrian .347)
3B: Cameron 6 (Adrian 3)
BB: Cameron 67 (Adrian 65)
SB: Cameron 18 (Adrian 0)
HBP: Kouzmanoff 10 (Adrian 3)
I got a feeling about next year and that HBP crown.
What really jumps out at me about Adrian is that he was 4th in the league in Win Shares for first basemen, behind only The Albert Pujols, the alien inhabiting Carlos Pena’s body, and Prince Fielder.
The Rockies destroyed Arizona, just like they destroyed Philadelphia. Just like they’ll probably destroy Cleveland (or Boston, I suppose). And, really, the Diamondbacks have no one to blame but themselves.
Before I get to that, Byrnes really shit the bed, didn’t he? It was only appropriate that he would come up as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of ninth in game four, and it’s poetic that he would ground out to short on a check swing. He didn’t even get a full swing in.
But that situation should never have happened because the Colorado Rockies should never have made the playoffs. Arizona had them against the ropes at the end of the season and they let them slide, as Melvin put in the second string and let the Rockies force their way into a one-game playoff with OUR San Diego Padres. The rest, of course, is history. And since those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it, Black and co. need to learn one important lesson:
Always go for the kill.
Compassion is for the weak. If it’s April and Matt Holliday is up with a bum leg, put a fastball right on his kneecap. You’ll feel real stupid if you don’t and he bashes another 25 home runs next September.
Congratulations to the Rockies, though. That was a dismantling.