August 31, 2012
I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting over the next week or two – I have some non-interesting craziness added to my schedule, plus a trip to Texas that includes a drive (yes, a drive) back here – so why not start my potential absence with some links!
While this article is fantasy focused, it recommends picking up Ross Detwiler for some short term starter help, it gives some interesting insights as to why he’s been doing so well. It suggests his success is based primarily on keeping the ball on the ground and throwing two different types of fastballs.
This is an extremely interesting article by Jay Jaffe on the Juice Era – juiced baseballs, that is. Jaffe is a great writer who usually comes out with very good stuff, and this is no exception. He suggests much of the power surge may have come the baseball rather than the steroids – and he starts it out by talking about how the exact same thing happened in the 70s. This got me hooked early, and the article goes on to talk about the juiced baseballs of the steroid era. Read the rest of this entry »
October 4, 2011
I just thought this was an awesome graphic, explaining the physics of the knuckleball. It’s not new, but I just stumbled across it myself. Click the link to see the full sized version, originally from a New York Times article. It’s too small to read here, so you have to clink the link and go to their site to see it:
February 28, 2011
1) Who will lead the Nats in home runs in 2011?
2) Who will lead the Nats in RBI?
3) Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases?
September 17, 2010
Livan Hernandez pitched another great game this week. His WAR of 3.6 still stands at third all time for a Nationals pitcher. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s inching up on Esteban Loiza’s 3.8 in 2005 which would bring him into second place behind only John Patterson’s 4.9, also from 2005. Livan definitely has had more impact and meaning to this franchise, it would be nice to see him get it. It’s not out of the question, but he’d have to pitch really well in his last few starts.
I’ve heard some rumors that the team is contemplating moving Espinosa to SS and Desmond to 2B for next season, and just wanted to weigh in. I don’t really see the point, if you think it is more important to have a SS than a 2B (and I do) you put the better player there. Despite his errors, Desmond is, at this point, the better player. Desmond has hit in the majors, has a year and a half of numbers to show he can handle major league pitching, and has cut his errors in half from the first half of the season to the second. Espinosa hasn’t hit for average and has trouble taking walks – but has shown some power. If I was a betting man and could only pick one to stick, I’d go with Desmond. But as an optimist, I’m thinking both could end up being solid major leaguers. Read the rest of this entry »
August 25, 2010
Perhaps the greatest post I’ve ever seen on the specifics of what is important and what isn’t in the mind of modern baseball has been reposted in the Pinstriped Bible this week. Check it out here and be enlightened. The list of commandments is long, but I agree with 99% of what’s written here. I’ve listed them below, with some of my own comments on a few of my favorites. You’ll have to follow the link and give them the unique visitor or whatever to get the full text on each, but it’s definitely worth the read:
- It’s how often a player reaches base and how much power he has that’s important, not batting average, not RBIs.
- Remember league and position averages: numbers have meaning only in context.
- RBIs are opportunistic; RBIs are a team stat and are not indicative of a player’s ability.
- Stolen bases just don’t matter. I have a little bit of a tough time with the one, but I’m willing to admit they are extremely overvalued.
- The main function of the batting order is to distribute plate appearances.
- A strikeout is just another out. In fact, sometimes it’s better. With a runner on third with less than 2 outs, you’d rather have an out be a deep fly ball to CF, for sure. But in that same scenario with a guy on first and less than 2 outs, you’d much rather have a strikeout than a hard hit ball to an infielder. Guess which scenario comes up more often?
- Placing good bats on the right side of the defensive spectrum is one of the keys to winning. Yes, hopefully by now we’ve figured out that if Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina finish the season with a very similar OPS, Desmond was the much more valuable player.
- The 27 outs of a ballgame are precious. Managers should not give them away lightly.
- A player’s offensive and defensive contributions must be in balance.
- The difference between the best and worst defender is not as large as you think. How many games does a bad fielding Dunn lose compared to how many games his bat wins? It’s a question Rizzo needs to figure out.
- When formulating expectations for your team’s latest veteran acquisition, keep the aging curve in mind. Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2010
Today is the only day of the year, I do believe, where there isn’t an MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL game being played. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of sports coverage going on, but the major sports don’t play tonight.
Last nights All Star game was interesting in that it was low scoring, AL hitting didn’t demolish NL pitching, and the NL finally won. I don’t doubt that losing every game since 1996 was more coincidence than a proof of AL domination. Even the worst teams in baseball win over 35% of the time, so that drought was as much luck and coincidence than anything else, although the NL being worse probably did add something to it. It was fitting to see Matt Capps get the win, after only facing one batter. Not because he’s having a great season, but because a Nationals bullpen guy often gets the W when they’re victorious. It may have only been more fitting if Tyler Clippard was in there. He leads the team in wins, with Capps coming in tied for 4th with Stephen Strasburg.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 30, 2010
Sure it’s cheap, but the Nats didn’t have a game last night, and I did a TON of research for yesterday’s post. So everyone deserves a cheapy now and then…
Tim Kurkjian discusses the much-improved Nats bullpen, and he mentions some really interesting facts. Can you believe they had 10 saves on April 28th this year, and didn’t get there until June 17th last year? But, to me, he misses something. He credits the turnaround to Capps, who has a 0.68 ERA and is 10 for 10 in saves. Capps has had great results, despite a poor WHIP of 1.350 (it’s getting better), but Clippard has been unstoppable. Clippard has been the linchpin of this pen.
CBS released a list of the Top 200 Fantasy Baseball Team Names. Wait, “Guzmania” wasn’t on there?
Two Padres prospects acting like me and my friends when we were roommates. In other words, like idiots, but in an insanely awesome way.
The spreadsheet of a guy who plans to bet $20 on the Pirates losing.. for every single game. Reminds me again of my old roommates. One of them, a huge MD fan/Duke hater (like me), decided to bet on Duke over MD during the heart of their early 2000′s rivalry. The spread was only 3, and he figured either way he’d win. I believe Duke won by 2 points. Double Dagger.
February 23, 2010
I’m not going to go into a long diatribe about how our neck of the woods never gets any love, that we’re often ignored by national sports media, and the maybe sometimes good reasons for this. Just thought it was interesting to see ESPN.com, the granddaddy of national sports coverage, and their Washington area focus on Monday. This was their front page, not just their MLB page, but the front page, greeting viewers with an article on the Nats:
To add to the fun, here’s the college basketball front page:
Read the rest of this entry »
February 9, 2010
Despite poor attendance, and TV ratings that make people mock the team; despite poor records and a lowly farm system, there is a feel good story about the Nationals. The FANS have elected to have more coverage of the team, not less. They have shown that they believe it is important to have an objective independent view of the team, and they’ve done this by paying Mark Zuckerman’s way to Spring Training. And they did this by paying for it. Hopefully this will lead to a paying gig in some way for him, and continued coverage of the team. It’s nice to know the fans of the Nats, the people who read and write the blogs, were a big part in this. Congrats to Mark and congrats to the Nats fan base!
And if it doesn’t say it yet on the site, he’s already posted on Twitter that’s he’s met the $5000 goal. Not that it should stop you from helping him out, he’s hopefully gonna be here all year.
February 8, 2010
As I have mentioned here, the loss of the baseball coverage in the Washington Times is something of a sports tragedy. Sure, it’s not real-life tragedy, but it still sucks. And it doesn’t just hurt our ability to have better Nats coverage, it also has put a few people out of work. One such peoples was Mark Zuckerman, who covered the Nats for the Times for almost a decade. He’s got his own website now, Nats Insider, and he has joined the world of bloggers. Only, unlike me, that’s his real job. He is an actual journalist who doesn’t do this thing in his spare time and expects to make enough money off of this to feed himself and possible others. You know, the opposite of me.
With all that as background, it comes as no surprise that a real journalist covering the Nats is going to try to go to Spring Training. Only since the Times fired him and the rest of the sports staff, nobody is going to pay for him to go. That where you and I come in. He still wants to go to spring training to cover the Nats, and you should want him to go, too. Assuming he gets there, he’ll ensure more Nats coverage, more Nats news, and more Nats insight. He is trying to raise the money on his own to cover it, so if you want more complete coverage, go donate.
Go to Mark’s blog page to donate.