Monthly Archives: November 2012

Because There Are Not Enough Big Long Rants About BBWAA Sermonizing Over The Hall Of Fame

To get a vote for the Baseball Hall Of Fame? One must cover baseball for ten consecutive years. But then one can stop covering baseball, watch literally no baseball, and retain membership in the BBWAA and a vote for the Hall of Fame. It’s like being a drug addict, I guess: once you’re a drug addict, you’re always one. Nothing can change it.

That policy of inclusion, though, speaks to something incredibly bizarre. It takes a while for the door to open, and then once a new member has stepped through that door, he can slam it closed, locking himself in.

An example of why this is an outdated and inefficient way to determine voter eligibility is Philip Hersh of the Tribune company. Hersh covered baseball for 10 or more years and acquired a HOF vote. But since 1987 he has exclusively covered the Olympics and other international sports for the Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Hersh has not covered baseball for as long as some people who read this have been alive, but he retains a vote. Phil Hersh did not cover most or all of the following careers: Barry Bonds, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Barry Larkin, Rafael Palmerio, Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens. All of whom are at present on the Hall Of Fame Ballot or were recently inducted. (Also Kevin Brown, who was criminally–criminally I say–excluded from future voting when he received only 2.1% of the vote in 2011.)

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A Brief Thing About Tim Raines and The Hall Of Fame for BBWAA Voters

Let’s call this an open letter to the members of the BBWAA who did not, last year, vote for Tim Raines on their Hall Of Fame ballots. It’s easy–too easy–for some sabermetrically-slanted bloggers, writers and fans to cast a stone and make accusations about intelligence when it comes to stuff like this. This is not going to be an assertion of superior intelligence, or the value of sabermetrics entirely over the value of traditional stats. It’s going to, I hope, appeal to BBWAA members and statheads alike without alienating either, and if just one BBWAA voter reads this, and considers Raines a little closer when he’s filling out his or her HOF ballot, I’ll consider that the best thing I’ve done on this blog outside of having a dumb contest to rename my buddy’s Ottoneu team.

While the “open letter” genre is typically a sarcastic and arrogant piece of mockery full of faux-sincerity best left in the realm of McSweeney’s and hipster kids’ tumblrs, this one is going to be sincere and heartfelt. I certainly hope at least one BBWAA writer–and I apologize for the onslaught of Twitter mentions to draw you here in advance–will have a look and give it some thought.

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Re-Name Garett’s Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Team Round of 16

Round of 16

Bracketology! Kinda! Because I can’t make a functional bracket! Exclamation points!!

Instead of posting matchups daily (and having to explain puns on “Medlen” like four more times) I’ve generated an online survey for the round of sixteen. The matchups are in. To vote on this round, please click here and vote on the eight matchups. I’ll leave this open through Tuesday of next week or so, then post the next round.

The Rays Extend Evan Longoria, In A Win For All Sides

Let’s go first with what we know.

The Rays are, in terms of MLB franchises, poor. They’re your cousin who’s having a second baby and living in your aunt’s basement in, yes, Florida.

Per their payroll peaked at just under $72 million in 2012. This year it was $63 million. Last year it was $41 million. In 2003 the Rays entire MLB roster was paid $3 million less than Alex Rodriguez. They’re poor.

They don’t make a lot of money at the gate. Over the past three years Tampa Bay has fewer wins than only the Yankees and the Phillies, yet their turnstiles don’t turn. They were last in the AL in attendance this year despite winning 90 games. They were next-to-last in AL attendance in 2011 despite winning 91 games. That season was following a 96-win season. The Twins won 129 in the last two seasons combined. The Rays won 181, for 40% more wins. The Twins drew just under 6 million fans in those two years. The Rays drew less than 3.1. A bad team in a good ballpark drew almost twice the fans as an excellent team in bad and poorly-located ballpark.

What we can infer from what we know above is this: the Rays hands are tied, financially. They can be as good a team as you get in Major League Baseball, and their situation in Tampa St. Petersburg isn’t going to allow for a big jump in attendance.

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Re-Name Garett’s Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Team Game Day 16

Game Day 16

Bobby Cox Memorial Region

#1 Seed “Nava Had Sexual Relations” v #8 Seed “Joe Blanton”

The final day of the first round.

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Re-Name Garett’s Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Team Game Day 15

Game Day 15

Prospects Region

#1 Seed “Garett Gerrit Garret” vs. #8 Seed “Which Correa Is The Good One?”

The final first-round matchup in the Prospects Region, and next-to-last overall first-round matchup.

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Re-Name Garett’s Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Team Game Day 14

Game Day 14

Braves Region

#1 Seed “Hey! Ho! Kles-Ko!” v #8 Seed “Sheena Is A John Rocker”

Probably the biggest disappointment in this goofy tournament is that replacementblogger came up with “Hey! Ho! Kles-Ko!”, a riff on a Ramones line, while the best I could do to set up a Ramones on Ramones matchup was “Sheena Is A John Rocker,” which makes zero sense and is stupid and you should not vote for.

You know those steampunk kids who work at the fancy coffee shops where they charge you $8 for a coffee that takes them a meticulous 12 minutes to make? (I love those coffee places, this is not a knock.) Ryan Klesko is like those steampunk kids, with their uncomfortable fixed gear bikes and their skinny suspenders and their all-grayt-errthing sense of style. He was born at the wrong time.

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There Is No Such Thing As There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect

Gary Huckabay, before he founded Baseball Prospectus, coined the phrase “TINSTAAPP”–there is no such thing as a pitching prospect. I like Huckabay’s work generally speaking, and I like Baseball Prospectus, but how much stock should we put in his idea of pitching prospects?

Let’s start with WAR leaders in the draft era. 1965 was the first year of the MLB draft, so I will sort by career fWAR from 1966 to the present, with a note of when the player was selected in the draft.

Roger Clemens 145.5 (1st round)
Greg Maddux 120.6 (2nd round)
Randy Johnson 114.7 (2nd round)
Bert Blyleven 110.0 (3rd round)
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The Age Of The Pitcher is Largely The Age Of Less Greenies, Though No One Is Soapboxing That One

Over the past several years, hitting has declined in Major League Baseball. Since 2006, the league average wOBA has gone:

2006 – .332

2007 – .331

2008 – .328

2009 – .329

2010 – .321

2011 – .316

2012 – .315

The average MLB player in 2006 hit like the 2012 version of Asdrubal Cabrera (.270/.338/.423,) and the average MLB player in 2012 hit like the 2012 version of Jason Kipnis (.257/.335/.379.)  What happened?

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Re-Name Garett’s Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Team Game Day 13

Game Day 13

Medlen Region

#1 Seed “Medlen With My Mind” v #8 Seed “Kris With A K”

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