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Thread: MLB 2018

  1. #726

  2. #727
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    The 150th anniversary of the original Redlegs.

  3. #728
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Certainly something to celebrate. There are signs that they may become relevant again.

    WaPo reports that Boras and Harper have turned down 10 years/300 million from the Nationals. I almost always think that danielmak is too old school in his analysis, but if the Giants are going to have to beat that significantly, I’m glad that they now have a MIT grad with a PhD in Econ from Berkeley to run the numbers.

  4. #729
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    UA I'm a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. I can see how the Astros thrive by using a variety of new school approaches. But what really helped was they learned that striking out is not good. They knew they had to start making contact and when that happened, the team jumped dramatically. Of course, adding Verlander and using tandem starters helped as well. And I don't know if predicting that the Yankees would fall out because it's all home run or nothing is old school or new school, but it's not a strategy I like.

    For me analytics aren't useful if you can't put the defense under pressure and the best way to do that is to hit and to run. Make the defense make plays. Now, I am only referencing one analytic (three true outcomes) when there are a host of other new approaches to viewing hitting, pitching, and defense. But some of what is new is basically old. The Dodgers platoons are devised by the front office brain trust. And those platoons are part of what cost the Dodgers in the WS this year. Those same platoons were used with Billy Ashley (all or nothing hitter) and Todd Hollandsworth (much more promise and a rookie of the year, if I remember correctly). But the platoon meant Holllandsworth never developed enough to hit lefties and righties. Sometimes you just have to let guys play and after you have enough sample size, then platoon.

    Anyway, most reporters think the leak of the Nats offer was meant to protect themselves: they can tell the fans they made a huge offer (nobody has ever turned down 300 million) and they have some wiggle room (keep the figure but add an opt-out since this deal supposedly had no opt out). I have a hard time thinking about many 36 year old players worth 30 million. Signing Harper for 10 years seems great now but won't be in 10 years. I would never do the deal. I would go higher AAV but not more than 5 years. Boras would never go 5, so I would move on. Think what you can get for 300 million--probably 2 starting pitchers and multiple relievers and a decent bat.

    I don't know if that analysis is old school or new school. Haha.
    Last edited by danielmak; 08-11-2018 at 07:24.

  5. #730
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    I love analytics, but hate Strikeout McRelieverball, which is a contradiction of sorts.

  6. #731
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    No veteran free agent is ever worth the AAV of his contract in the last year.

    Long term contracts are structured so that players are underpaid in the early years of the contract and overpaid in the later years.

    Flynnie, I think that it is the Max Effort Mindset that offends our sensibilities. I loved watching Marichal, Gibson and Koufax strike guys out and recall thinking that Sandy could get 400 one year if things broke just right. But they weren't going all out on every pitch much more than Christy Mathewson did. All power all the time is boring, especially if it comes via a platoon of guys with similar skill sets.

  7. #732
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    Sounds like Bill James was on one last night:

    https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2018/11/07...e-replaceable/

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/2...-mlbpa-players

    One the one hand, statistical analysis and going deep into ways of quantifying performance could lead you to really marvel at how special some players are. On the other hand, I guess you could take that approach and decide that the humans don't actually matter and that anyone could be replaced by the right interchangable parts.

  8. #733
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    In a world where so many have so little, nobody should be getting $30m a year to do anything.

    I don’t think that was Bill James’ point, though.

    I’m not really sure what his point was but it is a bit concerning that somebody who works, at least part time, for management thinks the ability of the players doesn’t matter.

  9. #734
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    A segment of MLB Now was dedicated to the James quote and the responses by MLBPA and the Red Sox. I don't know what inspired James to tweet this but the general feeling seemed to be that he was saying that the game itself is bigger than any single player. Maybe he was responding to some discussion of current free agents. It makes no sense to me. But I would agree that the game is really about a mix of experiences and any one player or any group of players at one time is no better or worse than what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. But that's basically true for anything in life. Taxi drivers retire or do another job and taxi driving still exists. Musicians die and bands still exist. The same is true for anything. But, again, I don't know what inspired James in this specific moment. The good thing for him relative to his Red Sox paycheck is that it will all be forgotten tomorrow since some other tweet by some other person will have sports fans' attention.

  10. #735
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    He’s also said - and I completely agree - that baseball is worse than it could be because of the way the minor leagues work. Almost all of high level baseball is built around serving the interests of the 30 teams at the top of the pyramid and MLB and MLBPA have conspired to ensure is a disproportionate amount of its income goes to the top veteran players.

    For somebody who really loves the game itself the way he does, it must be very frustrating to see youth baseball participation numbers continue to decline while Harper and Scott Boras gets $30m/year to play in a big market where he won’t really “matter.”

    It all feels like we’ve got our priorities exactly backwards and yet there’s nothing that can be done but just shrug and say “we’ll, that’s just capitalism.”

  11. #736

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynnie View Post
    I feel bad for Kim Ng, who is a bridesmaid (didn't mean that in a gendered way) YET AGAIN, but Zaidi's record is excellent.

    There is a chance she might be the GM under Zaidi, which at least would break some new ground and probably set her up as a president of baseball ops in the future.

    Edit: also I'm pretty sure the Orioles haven't picked a GM/President yet, and Ng has interviewed for that. Ursus can back this up, Ng interviewing for jobs she didn't get was a sad joke on Baseball Think Factory in the 2000s.
    I don't think she has-she;s been mentioned in the "also possible" parts of the stories. The warehouse doesn't seem to have decided which they hire first, the president or GM, and are just interviewing everybody they can think of one at a time. The names that keep popping up are Ned Colletti and Ben Cherington.

  12. #737
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefe View Post
    I don't think she has-she;s been mentioned in the "also possible" parts of the stories. The warehouse doesn't seem to have decided which they hire first, the president or GM, and are just interviewing everybody they can think of one at a time. The names that keep popping up are Ned Colletti and Ben Cherington.
    I think Colletti had ruled himself out but that was before Farhan took the job. I get why Ned was shuffled around when the Dodgers hired Freeman (Ned's first moves were to take on tons of money from the Red Sox salary dump) but a lot of the kids in the system who are appearing now were also part of Ned's scouting department. I don't know how much Freeman is using Ned but he should be kept around.

  13. #738
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    Quote Originally Posted by ursus arctos View Post
    No veteran free agent is ever worth the AAV of his contract in the last year.

    Long term contracts are structured so that players are underpaid in the early years of the contract and overpaid in the later years.

    Flynnie, I think that it is the Max Effort Mindset that offends our sensibilities. I loved watching Marichal, Gibson and Koufax strike guys out and recall thinking that Sandy could get 400 one year if things broke just right. But they weren't going all out on every pitch much more than Christy Mathewson did. All power all the time is boring, especially if it comes via a platoon of guys with similar skill sets.
    It's half Max Effort, half this ludicrous reasoning that no one should ever go more than 6 innings because third time through the order yada yada pitching injuries yada yada. Injuries are as high as ever (in part because of Max Effort) and getting through a lineup a third or even fourth time is about your repertoire and endurance as much as anything.

  14. #739
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    New Era is closing its plant in Derby, New York and moving most production overseas.

    They'd probably move all of it overseas if it wasn't for a clause in their contract with MLB (which runs until 2030) requiring MLB on-field caps to be made in the United States. So they're moving that to a nonunion factory in Miami.

    The most damning part of this article:

    To understand New Era’s shift from hatmaker to tastemaker, consider this scene from nearly two years ago in the company’s headquarters: Lindsey Koch, the wife of CEO Chris Koch, sat with her small staff in a conference room. It was a January afternoon, a couple of weeks before the Super Bowl.

    Koch, the self-described “New Era first lady,” and her team were strategizing on how to get actor Will Smith to show up at the company’s Friday night “Planet New Era” bash.

    Strategy one: Hire his son, Trey Smith, to deejay the party. “We obviously have his son because we want Will Smith,” Koch said. “Will usually goes and sees him. We also know that when he usually goes and sees him, he brings other people with him.”

    A similar strategy worked one year earlier, when New Era booked model Hailey Baldwin for a party, suspecting – successfully – that her beau Justin Bieber would show up, too. (It didn't work with Will Smith, though.)
    Fuck that company. As someone who owns, conservatively, probably fifty hats from them, I'm gonna pick up a few Made in the USA's to round out my collection and then I'm done.

  15. #740
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynnie View Post
    New Era is closing its plant in Derby, New York and moving most production overseas.

    They'd probably move all of it overseas if it wasn't for a clause in their contract with MLB (which runs until 2030) requiring MLB on-field caps to be made in the United States. So they're moving that to a nonunion factory in Miami.

    The most damning part of this article:



    Fuck that company. As someone who owns, conservatively, probably fifty hats from them, I'm gonna pick up a few Made in the USA's to round out my collection and then I'm done.
    This is fortuitous timing for me, because just this week, I gave a whole lot of my hats - along with a lot of shoes and a bunch of clothes that are now too big for me - to the St Vincent de Paul thrift store. I kept the ones I actually wear often (there's a rotation of about five) and many of the ones that were given to me as gifts because I just couldn't bear to give away something given in love, but a lot of the ones I unloaded were NewEra ones that I bought and, frankly, a bit expensive. But there's no use in worrying about sunk costs.

    Since I got off the meds and am paying attention to reality, I decided I no longer want to "collect" anything - sports or otherwise - but especially not sports stuff. I don't actually care that much about sports. Why have I spent so much money and time pretending that I do? (rhetorical question) And getting rid of a bunch of the hats - minor league teams I've never seen play but liked the hat, MLB teams that no longer exist, all the extraneous W&M and Penn State hats - will help me break that dumb habit.

    I have to remember that souvenir comes from the French for memory, but I find that having all this shit doesn't actually do much to enhance my memory of anything, nor do I want to live in the past. I want to live in the now. This is a massive shift for me. Five or ten years ago, I was very into festooning my home and person with shit to make it feel like mine. Now I don't care about any of that.

    I'll keep some of the stuff I've already amassed - pennants, hockey pucks, etc. - simply because I don't have anywhere else for it to go and getting rid of it would leave a big nail hole in the wall and it wouldn't fetch that much on ebay anyway. But I never found a good way to store all the hats. They were just always in the way, and there are lots of people who could really use a hat, so I hope they visit St Vincent de Paul.

    There's a lot of other stuff in my house I'd be happy to be rid of, but I don't know how to dispose of constructively, so I'll just hang onto it for now rather than put it in a landfill. For now. If I die unexpectedly, let it be known that all I care about is my dog and, I suppose, my grandma's artwork. The rest can go wherever.

    Sorry, that's all off-topic, but it's top-of-mind right now and I suppose it is relevant given how much money baseball is making off of merch and how many of the dumb uniforms the players wear is dedicated to pushing more merch. Whatever baseball may need to keep it alive and thriving in 100 years, I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with merch.
    Last edited by Hot Pepsi; Yesterday at 18:03.

  16. #741
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    I like baseball tchotckes, Reed. It makes me happy. Especially if it's a throwback something.

    There will be something perverse in one of the hats I'm looking to round out my collection with being a Pawtucket Red Sox hat. A team that won't exist due to capitalism encapsulated in a hat that won't exist due to capitalism. We'll ignore the cognitive dissonance of capitalism vis a vis minor league ball.



    (The other hats are the 1975 Red Sox, and a 1969 Mets hat - darker navy blue...and my current Mets hat is a piece of junk, Chinese-made New Era hats have a poor reputation).

  17. #742
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    I certainly understand the appeal, but I have so many more of them then I could ever need or look at more than rarely, and I've had some financial problems so spending $35 on a hat doesn't make sense any more, if it ever did.

    Are the PawSox definitely moving? And if they move, won't it be to Providence? So they can keep that hat, I'd think.

  18. #743

  19. #744
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    Oh, I hadn’t seen that. I thought Providence was a sure thing.

    Worcester makes sense too, but that’s sad for Pawtucket. No doubt somebody in some league will move to Rhode Island sooner or later. They should be called the Providence Grays.

  20. #745
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    I prefer '47 clean-up caps myself. The New Era Diamond Era caps which are Chinese made are not just a horrible polyester but often not the size it says on the sticker so getting friends or relatives to bring back for me is an expensive gamble.

  21. #746
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    The sizing does vary even for caps of the same model. It’s madness.

  22. #747
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    I probably have about 20 ballcaps.

    The only “current” one is a Cubs World Series model, which commemorates an event I honestly believed would not occur in my lifetime.

    Most all of the others are from Ebbets Field Flannels.

  23. #748
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    Quote Originally Posted by ursus arctos View Post
    I probably have about 20 ballcaps.

    The only “current” one is a Cubs World Series model, which commemorates an event I honestly believed would not occur in my lifetime.

    Most all of the others are from Ebbets Field Flannels.
    The only Ebbets one I still have is the New York Knights.

    There stuff is nice, but spendy.

  24. #749
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Buy 2, get the 3rd for a dollar every day, or wait for their frequent sales.

  25. #750
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    That is a good deal. But I don't need any of them, let alone 3.

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