Monday, February 25, 2008

More from the files of bonifacemundane69

Here's some more comments from my favorite ESPN member, bonifacemundane69"

Here's some more for you as to a rationale as to why Law feels the need to pound Pyth records regarding the M's and is so dismissive of the Rockies, but tends to ignore the D'Backs (see his reaction to Haren vs. Bedard trades):

Law's 2007 predictions:
M's 65-97
Col 75-87
Ariz 90-72

If you hit one team dead on and was COMPLETELY off on the other two. Wouldn't you feel a need to justify why you were so wrong? Oh, I forgot. Pyth, according to Law, is a perfect predictor!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Great Comments

There were some great comments the other day by a user with the name of bonifacemundane69 on Keith Laws blog. Here they are:

"Sean (Seattle): I keep hearing the M's weren't an 88 win team last year, but the only record I can find is 88-74. Isn't it possible that a bad stretch with a LOT of blowout wins (Weaver and HoRam starts) can mess with the run differential. They also had an outstanding bullpen, leading to many close wins.
Keith Law: People love to try to explain away divergences between Pyth records and actual W-L records. It doesn't work.
Jacob (Amherst): How come no one is talking about the Rockies in 2008? They lead the league in almost every batting category and were 1st in ERA in the 2nd half. I don't know if I've ever seen a defending champ get so little love.
Keith Law: They were 76-72 with two weeks to go in their season, and of course they played some (not all) of those remaining games against teams with nothing to play for. I think quality-wise they were closer to a .500 club than a true 90-win club, and people realize that."
So... on one hand, The M's were much closer to a .500 team due to the Pyth and any explanation by examination of incongruent data in the sub-set "doesn't work". Yet, on the other hand, the Rockies who fell exactly in line with their Pyth (90-73 v. 91-72) were also closer to .500 because of circumstances that caused incongruent data in both their W-L records AND their Pyth W-L? So, then the Pyth can be wrong as well, if there is a 3rd (undefined) parameter that "explains away" convergence in W-L and Pyth? Yikes!

Now 76-72 is an interesting place to pick-up the Rockies. That would be after Sept 15th, when they were coming off 3 losses dropping them from 76-69 to a much closer to .500 team. And it's very interesting that they played "some" teams that had "nothing to play for". Of course, those 15 games being against: (7)LAD, (4)SDP, (3)ARZ, (1)FLA. The Rockies were in 4th behind the Dodgers by 1 G ( (79-71 v. 78-72)when they played the 1st of those 7 games, LA had just as much to play for as COL. The Rockies won all 3 of a series against SDP. If the Padres had won 1, there never would've been a play-in game. The D'backs did win one, and it won them West by 1 game. Seems those were all pretty important games for all those teams. The Rockies were in no better or more advantageous position playing against teams "that had nothing to play for". If anything, they were playing 3 teams with everything to play for and 1 game against FLA. Nevermind the other NL WC contenders. The Mets played 13G against WAS & FLA in their last 15 and went 5-8. Maybe it's not so easy to just beat teams that have nothing to play for!
Nevermind the total subsequent dismissal of run differential in the sub-set. The Rockies in Sept went 20-8 and outscored opponents +63. Makes sense. However, in Aug, they outscored opponents +36 and only went 15-14. So, despite a +36 run differential, a .517 record was actually more representative of the Rockies "quality" than the Pyth? And that "works"?

He thinks the M's gave up to much


Law needs to get a clue.

"In acquiring Erik Bedard, the Mariners get one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, but was it worth the cost?"

I'm pretty sure that anytime you get "one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball", it was worth the cost......

"Bedard posted one of the greatest strikeout seasons ever in 2007, fanning over 30 percent of the batters he faced, the seventh-best mark in American League history. His out pitch is an 11-to-5 curveball that is poison to both left- and right-handed hitters, and he sets it up well with good command of his 91-94 mph four-seamer and a cutter he's been using more often of late to keep hitters from sitting on the fastball. His control has been steadily improving as he gets older and further away from 2002 Tommy John surgery. "

I sure don't want that pitcher on my team. Especially when he's moving from the AL East to the AL West.

"The main issue with Bedard to date has been health; he missed all of 2003 after getting the zipper on his elbow, his 2007 season ended early due to an oblique strain, and he has never thrown 200 innings in a single season. He was both effective and strong until mid-August last year, when the oblique strain really affected his performance, so there's some reason to expect him to cross the 200-inning chasm this year. "

If your going to say he's injury prone based on 2 injuries in 5 years, then I'm pretty sure 75% of the majors is injury prone and a health issue.

"But for Seattle, it's two steps forward and one back."

2-1=1. That's one step forward there Keith.

"To acquire Bedard, the M's give up a budding superstar in Adam Jones, who still has a ways to go to reach his ceiling, but is going to have significant value in 2008."

First off, nobody knows how good Jones will be. He's had pretty good stats in the minors, but that's also the minors. In 73 career games, he's only had 3 HRs, and his AVG is .230. That sounds like a budding star to me, and someone with significant value in '08.

"Jones is a very good defensive center fielder with great range and a 70 arm, not surprising since he threw in the low 90s as a pitcher in high school."

Note to Keith: Pitching speed does not translate to arm strength.

"He would have played right field for Seattle, giving them one of the best defensive outfields in the game."

Yeah and with only 1 decent starter to throw to that defense, it really wouldn't matter.

"At the plate, Jones has a quick bat and already has above-average power, with more to come."

.353 SLG percentage in 73 games. Impressive.

"His downfall at the plate is plate discipline, and he struggles to lay off better breaking balls, but he's also been playing at levels above his age for much of his pro career, reaching AA at 19 and AAA at 20."

So that's going to change when he's playing at the highest level possible as a 22 year old?

"He's also an above-average runner, although he's never been a base stealer in the minors. He can step in right now and be the third- or fourth-best hitter in Baltimore's lineup,"

He must be good to be the Orioles 3rd or 4th best hitter.

"and losing him cuts Seattle's gain from the Bedard acquisition by half. "

The Mariners got an ace. And it's not like Brad Wilkerson, who will most likely replace Johnson, is a bum by any standards.

"Baltimore also nabs another major prospect in right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman, one of the last cuts from the top 100 prospect ranking and someone very likely to move on to the list next year."

Nobody cares about where he ranks on your list. You don't do any research for your lists, and it's obvious to most fans that you don't know who the top prospects are in their own organization, let alone in the majors. As for Tillman, he has never played above A ball, and yet that makes a trade for a legit Ace bad?

"At 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, he still has a fair amount of projection left, and already has a solid-average fastball at 90-93 mph. His best secondary pitch is a tight curveball with a deep two-plane break, and he throws a promising splitter, but the Mariners had him shelve that last pitch in favor of a straight change, which he has struggled to learn. His command and control remain below-average, but he won't turn 20 until April, and there's no mechanical reason why he won't improve in both areas."

He's in A ball. Keep kidding yourself that he's going to produce even close to what Bedard will. There's a chance, but then there's also a chance he's out of baseball by 25. You never know. You do know, though, that Bedard will give you good stats.

"His arm is quick and works well, although I'd like to see him move forward more quickly through his delivery, since he's a bit too "tall and fall" right now."

Keith Law: Minor league scout, writer, and now a Pitching Coach?? Is this the second coming of god?

"The remaining pitchers add bulk to the deal but not a ton of long-term value. George Sherrill goes directly into Baltimore's pen; he's a lefty specialist who was quite successful against righties in 2007, but in the long run I expect him to go back to being death on lefties but struggling against righties."

And your basing this on what? Sherill had a sub 1 WHIP last year and a 2.36 ERA, and there's a good chance he'll be the Orioles closer. I would rather you make this argument saying Sherill was too much to give up than a minor leaguer who has never played AA ball.

"Tony Butler is a 6-7 lefty who was 90-93 with a sharp two-plane-breaking curve out of high school, but he battled a sore back through all of 2007 and his velocity and numbers took a step back. Should he return to full health in 2008, he's worth a revisit, as he was a legitimate third-round pick in 2006 who still has upside."

Are you that afraid of taking any people who have had an injury before in their career?

"Kameron Mickolio is close to big-league ready with a solid-average fastball and slider; his ceiling is as a capable 11th or 12th man in the big leagues. "

I just wanted to section the next comment off. No comment here, but I like how you get to decide a players ceiling.

"The deal makes the Mariners better in 2008, even with the losses of Jones and Sherrill, and directly addresses Seattle's greatest weakness, its rotation."

First thing I've agreed with in this article.....

"Giving up six years of Jones for two of Bedard when Jones is already ready to contribute to a big-league club, however, is a poor deal for Seattle."

Is ready to contribute a .620 career OPS?

It's also a sign that the Mariners don't realize they were not an 88-win team in 2007, at least not when one considers their negative run differential (minus-19)."

Let me check that: Yes, the Mariners did in fact have 88 wins last year. Keith, if you didn't know this, you win when you have more runs than the other team just for that night; it isn't if you have more runs for the whole year.

"The Mariners are more like a .500 team, and getting Bedard puts them comfortably better than .500 -- 19 games apiece against Oakland and Texas help --"

And so do 19 games against the Royals, White Sox, Devil Rays, Orioles, Marlins, Nationals, Pirates, Reds, and the Giants.

"but nowhere close to the Angels, who remain the most likely team in baseball to win its division."

Most likely does not equal guaranteed. The Mariners are putting themselves in a position to win. That's why they play the games.

"Trading future value for present value makes sense when it puts a team into contention or vaults them over a competitor or two, but the Mariners aren't doing that unless the Angels come all the way back to them in the standings."

Keith Law: minor league scout, writer, pitching coach AND psycic. Now I know he's a god.