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Pariah

The 2020 Baseball Thread

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

Pitchers and catchers start reporting today, so I figured this was as good a time as any for a new thread.

 

So, how about those Asstros...?

 

They're still my team but the Championship is tainted. It's like your parents telling you you were an accident or that grandma's delicious cookies had cat urine as a secret ingredient. You still enjoyed the moment but you can't cherish the memories.

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...and here we go.

 

Pitcher Mike Bolsinger says cheating Astros changed course of his career

 

tl;dr version: He's suing the Asstros for unfair business practices, negligence and intentional interference with contractual and economic relations.

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some of the mlb guys are predicting that the Astro players who were around back then, might not want to dig into the box to much when batting, just saying. Especially some of the old school pitcher guys.

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The Dodgers have gone from "complaining to MLB that the Astros and BoSox should have their recent championships stripped and awarded to them"

 

to

 

trading for Mookie Betts. 

 

If you can't beat em, trade for em?  Getting mixed signals here.

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My brother has felt for years that the dodgers are skirting the PED rule. Everyyear they have some phenom come up who hits 30+Hrs and over 300 first half of season, when rookies aren't being tested, then, after they time that they are allowed to start being tested, all of a sudden their numbers drop off dramatically. His list would start with Pedersen.

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7 hours ago, slikmar said:

My brother has felt for years that the dodgers are skirting the PED rule. Everyyear they have some phenom come up who hits 30+Hrs and over 300 first half of season, when rookies aren't being tested, then, after they time that they are allowed to start being tested, all of a sudden their numbers drop off dramatically. His list would start with Pedersen.

 

Ehh, rookies have always been known to susceptible to a slump, once they start going around the league a 2nd time.

 

And dating back to Jackie Robinson, the Dodgers have been known for picking up the rookie phenom.  Pretty sure they still have the most rookie of year winners by a decent amount.

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10 hours ago, Badger said:

SO, what plots will commissioner Rob Manfred hatch up in his crusade to singlehandedly finish off baseball?

Gutting the minor league system, which is essentially the apprenticeship almost all players go through to both prove and develop their capacity to be major leaguers.  Manfred has proposed shutting down teams and entire leagues, and threatened to cut ties with the minor league clubs entirely if he doesn't get what he wants.

 

The minors are the only chance a lot of fans have to see professional baseball in person (because they are far away from or priced out of the major league teams), although not as many people as would be preferred take advantage of it. Maybe it's a case of "enjoy it while you can" in 2020. It may be gone in 2021...

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I was thinking, I think one bad thing about sports today actually is analytics.  On the one side, it does help streamline a team into efficiency.   But, it has turned every team into largely a clone of each other, with money coming down to how well you can streamline.  Which, again, gives most of the advantage to the big teams.  It is in the big 3 sports, basketball has it's obsession with space and pace/3 pointers, and football with that magical RPO QB to run and pass along with more spread offense.  But, baseball has suffered the most I think.  Too obsessed with the 3 True Outcomes, don't you dare play small ball.

 

As a fan, who loved watching the 1980s Cardinals, it isn't fun for me.  could such a team compete in today's atmosphere?  The question is irrelevant as no team will try.  Not even a watered down version of it.  And while the sacrifice bunt might not be efficient over the long haul, no one seems to stop and think "But what about this very moment".   After that batter strikes out, is that a better outcome.  By no means, a call to go crazy with the bunt.  But, maybe in a sparingly few occasions it might be a good idea.

 

People have narrowed down Earl Weaver's philosophy to being that guy who loved the 3 run HR.   But, that wasn't all of that quote.  And we as big if not more so on that pitching and defense. Brooks Robinson-Mark Belanger-Bobby Grich-and someone at 1B who could catch a thrown ball might have been the best infield defensively of all time.  And for a guy who hated smallball. Mark Belanger did lead the league twice in sacrifice bunts (I imagine without looking at boxscores, that it was a good way to get value out of an all-world defensive player, who couldn't hit and keep his defense in the game.  (also in 1975, they essentially had the bottom 4 spots of the lineup consisting of 3 guys who couldn't hit .220, plus Belanger who barely did but with no power.  Though the catching platoon did produce 20 HRs despite the lack of batting average.  But Brooks, and Paul Blair, didn't produce power or an average above .220, and were done as regulars, giving way to youngsters Doug DeCinces and Al Bumbry)

 

Note: 1970s/1980s baseball is something I tend get historian about, so I tend to ramble.

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Especially in a competitive racket, some of the assumptions that the analytics were built on may stop being true.  When everyone is using the same set of metrics, the population of prospects everyone is drawing from starts getting biased, as prospects enter the system purely because they match that profile.  This can introduce a systematic bias which ultimately ends up reducing the predictive power of the model on which the analytics are based.  Baseball people are generally NOT selected for the ability to think like this, so I expect this weird sort of stagnation to progress until the next "genius" stumbles on the idea and tweaks their process to take advantage.

 

My brief foray in the private sector convinced me of the validity of the picture of everyone in an industry blindly stampeding after the latest hot new idea for a shortcut without being aware of why it worked, and more importantly how it was going to fail.  I worked for a property-casualty insurance company at a time when the bandwagon everyone was jumping into was using credit scores to set auto insurance rates.  Since you can buy FICO scores much more cheaply than keeping a stable of experienced underwriters, it looked like a way to cut your costs without losing return.  But ... a couple years in ... the numbers were showing clearly that underwriters did know something, and maybe just charging rich people less and poor people more didn't work as well as the CEO wanted to believe.  So, they started selling off units, laying off employees (exit Cancer at that point) and positioning the company to be acquired (which it was).  CEO got his buyout megabucks and turned into Mr DGAF and ran for the Senate (and lost), since the beautiful bandwagon idea that was his banner turned out to be Too Simple.

 

Baseball is much too inbred and clannish for exactly that scenario to play out among ownership, but GM types I think are just as lazy and looking to grab the shiny new toy that looks so easy.

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3 hours ago, Badger said:

I was thinking, I think one bad thing about sports today actually is analytics.  On the one side, it does help streamline a team into efficiency.   But, it has turned every team into largely a clone of each other, with money coming down to how well you can streamline.  Which, again, gives most of the advantage to the big teams.  It is in the big 3 sports, basketball has it's obsession with space and pace/3 pointers, and football with that magical RPO QB to run and pass along with more spread offense.  But, baseball has suffered the most I think.  Too obsessed with the 3 True Outcomes, don't you dare play small ball.

 

As a fan, who loved watching the 1980s Cardinals, it isn't fun for me.  could such a team compete in today's atmosphere?  The question is irrelevant as no team will try.  Not even a watered down version of it.  And while the sacrifice bunt might not be efficient over the long haul, no one seems to stop and think "But what about this very moment".   After that batter strikes out, is that a better outcome.  By no means, a call to go crazy with the bunt.  But, maybe in a sparingly few occasions it might be a good idea.

 

People have narrowed down Earl Weaver's philosophy to being that guy who loved the 3 run HR.   But, that wasn't all of that quote.  And we as big if not more so on that pitching and defense. Brooks Robinson-Mark Belanger-Bobby Grich-and someone at 1B who could catch a thrown ball might have been the best infield defensively of all time.  And for a guy who hated smallball. Mark Belanger did lead the league twice in sacrifice bunts (I imagine without looking at boxscores, that it was a good way to get value out of an all-world defensive player, who couldn't hit and keep his defense in the game.  (also in 1975, they essentially had the bottom 4 spots of the lineup consisting of 3 guys who couldn't hit .220, plus Belanger who barely did but with no power.  Though the catching platoon did produce 20 HRs despite the lack of batting average.  But Brooks, and Paul Blair, didn't produce power or an average above .220, and were done as regulars, giving way to youngsters Doug DeCinces and Al Bumbry)

 

Note: 1970s/1980s baseball is something I tend get historian about, so I tend to ramble.

MLB in one of the shows was talking about defensive runs saved. One of the guys mentioned that one first baseman had way more DRS then Paul Goldschmidt, because baseball really doesn't recognize when someone who can catch at first and undervalues their defense. He showed that in 2018 the cardinals infield was one of the worse for errors, 2019 one of the best. the difference, Paul Goldschmidt at first being able to catch the ball not thrown directly at him.

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1 hour ago, Cancer said:

Especially in a competitive racket, some of the assumptions that the analytics were built on may stop being true.  When everyone is using the same set of metrics, the population of prospects everyone is drawing from starts getting biased, as prospects enter the system purely because they match that profile.  This can introduce a systematic bias which ultimately ends up reducing the predictive power of the model on which the analytics are based.  Baseball people are generally NOT selected for the ability to think like this, so I expect this weird sort of stagnation to progress until the next "genius" stumbles on the idea and tweaks their process to take advantage.

 

My brief foray in the private sector convinced me of the validity of the picture of everyone in an industry blindly stampeding after the latest hot new idea for a shortcut without being aware of why it worked, and more importantly how it was going to fail.  I worked for a property-casualty insurance company at a time when the bandwagon everyone was jumping into was using credit scores to set auto insurance rates.  Since you can buy FICO scores much more cheaply than keeping a stable of experienced underwriters, it looked like a way to cut your costs without losing return.  But ... a couple years in ... the numbers were showing clearly that underwriters did know something, and maybe just charging rich people less and poor people more didn't work as well as the CEO wanted to believe.  So, they started selling off units, laying off employees (exit Cancer at that point) and positioning the company to be acquired (which it was).  CEO got his buyout megabucks and turned into Mr DGAF and ran for the Senate (and lost), since the beautiful bandwagon idea that was his banner turned out to be Too Simple.

 

Baseball is much too inbred and clannish for exactly that scenario to play out among ownership, but GM types I think are just as lazy and looking to grab the shiny new toy that looks so easy.

 

Managers too, for that matter.  I always thought you could run the so-called NL-style offense, even better in the AL (the pitcher spot puts a cramp on runner movement at the bottom of the order where honestly a lot of the fastest baserunners really belong, if they cant get on base enough).   But, managers are risk-adverse, pretty much doing what the so-called book decrees.   Which is a big reason I like the DH.  The pitcher creates more strategic moves, but more quantity over quality.  As far as Ph for the pitcher, double switch, etc.  I can guess along 98%  of the time.  Not to insult the people who actually like the pitcher hitting, it just is what it is.  Really the only thinking a manager does is in bullpen juggling, and the powers that be is putting a leash on that.*

 

*The number of times a pitcher faces one batter, at least I think in 2017 was 39 times per team on average and dropping by the year.  Every body mentions that one time Bruce Bochy needed 3 pitcher to get 1-2-3 6th inning with a 3 run lead.  But, generally it'll happen 7th/8th inning with a 1-2 run difference in score.  When you need to make decisions per batter.   As for 3 pitchers in an inning, also should be asked, did the 1st pitcher pitch in the previous and was asked to get one more out, will the last pitcher go out in the next inning.

 

Note: of course, also affected will be 2-batter outing for pitchers, which there hasn't been much counting on the frequency, I've found.  Still, we're changing a large fabric of strategy to save a couple minutes a game, in the end.   Manfred might well be the worst commissioner ever in baseball.  And that is saying something if you know how I feel about Selig, and 1970s Bowie Kuhn.

 

 

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Retaliation? In baseball? Perish the thought.

 

Astros manager Dusty Baker hopes MLB stops 'premeditated retaliation' from Houston's opponents

 

To be clear, I don't believe that opposing teams should take out their frustrations by throwing at Asstros players. I think they should take out their frustrations by pulling the fire alarm at the Asstros' hotel at 4:15 AM, leaving dead rats in their locker room, turning off the hot water 7 minutes after the game, playing Liberace when they come up to bat, that kind of thing. At least try to be more creative in revenge than Houston was in cheating.

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What is interesting is Dusty comes from the era that would have been beaning guys left and right for this stuff.

 

And Ryu deserves to bean as many Astros as he wants that were part of the team that lit him up.

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whoa, I really hope that umpire was taken to task and the player was apologized too. Also, video doesn't show, but how the coach did not come out and lose his **** after what is probably one of his best hitters is thrown out for that I do not know. had earl weaver or a billy martin had been coaching, their would have been parents covering under age kids ears in the stands.

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