Lunch Money, Yes, Let’s Have That.

From the “Pen is mightier than the Saber” department…

Did writers bully other writers? Does math+baseball=bandwagon?  I don’t know the pressures faced by a writer at a newspaper, but I do know that the great thing about math is that it is an open-door party with no velvet ropes.  Come on in and have a seat, or a pulpit.  No rope.  There is a caveat: you have to accept that a lot of people do a lot of work to bring you those numbers.  It’s the same barrier you accept when you start writing analyses of games you aren’t playing (or watching) in the first place.  It is physically impossible for any one person to watch every pitch of every game played.  It can’t be done.  Instead, we have lots of people that put results together and use math to try to make those numbers relevant.  What are you going to do with this bounty?

Take note of the use of the word “trendy”, in Phil Rogers’ quote, as if some day this “trend” of open, peer-reviewed statistical analysis and inclusive debate about the evaluation of talent will abate. I pine for those days as a young baseball fan when I eagerly awaited for the Times-Union final edition because the morning paper didn’t have the west coast games’ box scores.  I assumed that there was a network of trust regarding reporting and that “top people” were delivering this information via the papers. That’s the only way that until the invention of cable, games west of Chicago were not considered a complete fabrication.  Gimme some more of that, and less information, and less conversation. And turn off the lights at Wrigley.

And every time someone links to Murray Chass’ not-a-blog, a kitten gets eaten by a weasel.

28 comments… add one

  • Biggest dicks ever? Mathletes.

    SF November 23, 2010, 11:06 am
  • Hamilton wins the MVP. Cabrera gets #2, and Cano finishes at #3.

    Atheose - SF November 23, 2010, 2:06 pm
  • MVP gets it right, more or less.
    And, the Sox no longer have a DH at catcher.

    Brad November 23, 2010, 4:12 pm
  • Except Josh missed a bunch of games and the Rags kept on winning without him. I read Cano played 160 of 162 and certainly was more “valuable” to the Yankees than Josh was to the Rags. It’s all good though…Cano will win a few, and probably a few more rings.
    PS I hate all the new-fangled stat stuff…I just like to watch the games. I’ll stick with the classics like HR’S AND WINS!!! :)

    krueg November 23, 2010, 4:59 pm
  • …oh, and the dreaded RBI’s!

    krueg November 23, 2010, 5:00 pm
  • …and the those DREADED RBI’s!!!

    krueg November 23, 2010, 5:01 pm
  • sorry for the Cano…(double)

    krueg November 23, 2010, 5:01 pm
  • Congrats to Hamilton. I hope he keeps his head on straight, stays away from his demons, and has the luck to avoid random injury. It’s a good story.

    attackgerbil November 23, 2010, 5:49 pm
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    Lillysypry November 24, 2010, 1:19 am
  • Krueg,
    I’m not going to get into it over this, but if you think Cano was more valuable to the Yankees than Hamilton was to the Rangers, over the course of an entire season, you’re really wearing the blinders on this one, man. I mean, Cano wasn’t as good as Cabrerra in any way shape or form, much less Hamilton.
    I look at it like this: If Cano was on the Rangers, would they be better than they are with Hamilton? I say absolutely not. But, if you put Hamilton on the Yankees were they better? Absolutely.
    Each hitter in discussion is a product of his lineup to some extent (just as papi was with Manny), and can’t be used as a crutch/favor for either player, but has to be considered when you talk about things like wins and team record and such.
    Ignoring that is blatantly disrespecting the other player. Is it Hamilton’s fault there isn’t a all star at nearly every position on his team? Is it Hamilton’s fault that he spent 75% of the year hitting bad pitches because nobody wanted to come near him, or he didn’t actually get a good pitcher to rely on until July? Nope, and it’s not Cano’s fault that he didn’t have those issues for the most part…but neither issue can be ignored.
    In all honesty, what do you think Hamilton would do if he were hitting between Tex and ARod for 80+ games in YS2? Come on, man.
    To any extent, YFs shoulud be proud of Cano..he finally put together what he could only show glimpses of for years past..he never had that month of hitting .160, and he didn’t have those mental mistakes he was making. He’s maturing quite nicely for them at this point, and should be considered their best player moving forward. It should be an interesting battle between Cano and Ped next year for that positions royalty in this division. Both have had their MVP runs now, they’re both a year older, and both are playing excellent baseball.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 8:53 am
  • In an actually debatable topic, what do you guys think of Cashman’s quotes re: Jeter?
    I say: good for Cashman.
    Why should he be held hostage by what a player used to be? I know you guys love your intangible king, but even the most die hard YF can’t honestly want NY to give him that fift or sixth year at 18-20M?
    I can totally see Jeter’s beef, but even he has to realize that those other players around him are not closing in on 40 years old…
    What do you guys think? Personally, I think the groundswell is enough for NY to cave and give him what he wants.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 9:00 am
  • “I’m not going to get into it over this, but if you think Cano was more valuable to the Yankees than Hamilton was to the Rangers, over the course of an entire season, you’re really wearing the blinders on this one,”
    Notice I didn’t say he was better than Josh, just that he was more valuable. Which he was. The Rags had a great September without Hamilton, did they not? I don’t know how many Yankee games you actually watch, but Cano carried us offensively. Fact.
    “what do you think Hamilton would do if he were hitting between Tex and ARod for 80+ games in YS2? Come on, man.”
    I’m sure he would light it up. Of course, we don’t know what Cano would do in that spot seeing as he hits 5th…after Tex and ARod. I’m sure you know that and just misspoke there…
    Look, Hamilton is a great player and his numbers were ridiculous. I’m not saying Cano is better necessarily, I just think he is more valuable to the Yankees in the context of the 2010 regular season.
    But like I said earlier, it’s all good. I didn’t think he would win. But of course you never know…hell, Ratatouille won a MVP! ;)

    krueg November 24, 2010, 10:11 am
  • I’m sure he would light it up. Of course, we don’t know what Cano would do in that spot seeing as he hits 5th…after Tex and ARod. I’m sure you know that and just misspoke there…
    You’re right, I did. That being said, you’re right again, the argument is one that has too many real life factors to judge for this guy.
    Of course he did, he’s a better player. :)

    Brad November 24, 2010, 10:37 am
  • Brad, I am much less bothered by Cashman’s comments (esp his reaction to Casey Close’s “baffling” comment about the Yankees’ negotiation approach). I think for him to say that he was very direct with Jeter and Close, he told them exactly how he arrived at the number we did, he values what Jeter has done for the Yankees and he factored that into the offer but he also has to assess what he thinks Jeter’s on-field performance is likely to be based on his past few years’ performance, and then he also factored in the major league SS market-rates, etc, etc. All of that is very legit and appropriate in my view, particularly in response to a player’s agent mischaracterizing the team’s approach in the media.
    What I don’t like is hearing Hal predict that something “could get messy” or Randy Levine saying much of anything publically (Levine always seems to be Mr. hardline-bottom-line, which is all great and necessary within an organization but not in the PR department).
    As for the Yankees’ caving, I don’t see any groundswell of support urging them to cave frankly. If anything, in the middle of the worst recession in most people’s lifetimes, and in the context of Jeter having been made an offer that clearly values him at more than what he is expected to produce on the field alone (and more than I expect anyone else will offer), I don’t see the Yankees having to do much of anything.
    The onus seems to be on Jeter now – take the deal or test the market. Maybe to help save some face and end things on a positive spin-note the Yankees will up the deal marginally, maybe they’ll even accede to a 4th year, but they have all of the leverage right now and the one potential leverage point Jeter might be able to generate (the popular groundswell you note) I just don’t think is there. I just don’t think many Yankee fans feel like Jeter is getting screwed. I love the guy. He is an icon. But the icon-premium seems to already have been factored into the team’s offer to him. And I hope he takes it.

    IronHorse (YF) November 24, 2010, 10:37 am
  • Wow…want to talk about an indefensible position…Pedroia is better than Cano???? Just stop it dude! ;)
    Yep IH, it seems that the fans are not really siding with Jeter here. I like the fact that we all know he’s coming back and now with this perceived slight, Jeter is going to KILL IT this offseason and probably hit about .330 next year and .400 in the playoffs to grab one for the thumb!!!
    OK, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
    I’m still waiting for the breaking news that we signed Lee. Not to mention Mo seems to be lost is all this Jeter-madness. It goes to show you who is most important. I don’t hear any YF’s getting on Mo for wanting 2 years/$36 million. He’s worth every penny.

    krueg November 24, 2010, 10:46 am
  • Well said, IH. I think Jeter is clearly in the wrong here, and kudos to the FO for recognizing the fact that they’re already giving him more than a fair market would even consider, and if he wants to let his agent spout off at the mouth, then so be it.
    Hank actually said it best when he said “we have made these players rich beyond their wildest dreams, and don’t owe anything to anyone monetarily”.
    Absolutely. Let him test the FA market, and he’ll soon recognize he’s a 5-7M dollar a yeare player to any other team in baseball.
    Kudos, yankees.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 10:46 am
  • want to talk about an indefensible position..
    What’s so indefensible? Am I missing something? Because Cano hits more HR? Because other than that, the pros and cons of each player is so indefensible is hardly the word I’d choose. But to each his own.
    Regardless, the lifetimes:
    Ped:
    BA – .305
    OBP – .367
    SLG – .460
    OPS – 830
    OPS+ – 113
    184K/2470PA
    3 All stars, one silver slugger, and one MVP, one ROY, and 2 WS Championships.
    Cano:
    BA – .309
    OBP – .347
    SLG – .489
    OPS – 836
    OPS+ – 117
    412K/3732PA
    2 All stars, 2 silver slugger, and one MVP third place, one ROY, and 1 WS Championships.
    Mind you, taking all that into account, they’re both excellent players with Cano’s best year by far and away coming with Pedroia on the DL for half of it.
    Indefensible is hardly a word I’d use to argue one over the other.
    It’s probably a better argument for three years from now, but as it stands, nobody is going wrong with either one.
    Also, if you’re really wanting to talk MVP issues, Beltre deserved more recognition than he got at all. I mean, he played half the year with 6 replacement players on his team, and still put up as good numbers as anyone, and could be argued to be more valuable to his teams results this year than any player in the game.
    Just sayin.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 11:08 am
  • What do you guys think of V-Mart’s deal in Detroit? I think the Sox are taking a risk behind the dish, but I think it was a better move than overpaying for him…especially if NY doesn’t land Lee and has Crawford and Gardner on the team. Someone has to be at least a threat of throwing guys out.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 11:18 am
  • I was joking dude…jeez. Didn’t the ;) give it away? They are both great players.
    Martinez was an enigma…much like Posada. Great bat, no D. I don’t think the Sox will miss him THAT much, will they? I don’t watch your games brad so I’m not sure…

    krueg November 24, 2010, 11:50 am
  • I was going to ask you Brad re: Martinez. I’m curious what SFs are thinking. My sense is that noone is too concerned about his departure but neither do SFs seems all that confident about Saltalaverbaldiarrhea and whoever comes with him.
    Catcher is such an extraordinarily important position and it’s interesting to say the least that both the Sox and Yanks have rather large question marks at that spot going into next season. The Yanks appear to me to be in a marginally better spot because the position at which they are probably best equipped in the minors is at catcher, but having to rely on minor leaguers to step up into full-time catching is pretty dicey too. If you’re trying to combine experience, strong defense, and a credible bat, neither team can feel all that steady right now.
    A marginal side-note on the V-Mart move, I liked it because it also kept him from Texas, where the Rangers were making noises about landing him as an additional inducement to keep Lee (who won a Cy Young while throwing to V-Mart in Cleveland) as compared to the NYY, where he’d likely be throwing to a rookie next season. Now I don’t really think that would have made that huge a deal to Lee, but anything that weakens Texas’ hand in the Lee sweepstakes is welcome to me.

    IronHorse (YF) November 24, 2010, 12:11 pm
  • I go both ways with the V-Mart thing.
    On one hand, he was an excellent bat, and a nice piece of power in the middle of the lineup, but even those numbers were down the past couple years. This side of his game will be missed.
    On the other hand, if I see a game where five or six bases are stolen, or guys are running at will, I look directly at the catcher as the issue. Every pitcher is pretty bad at this, sans a few, but the catcher has to be able to reach second base, and V-Mart couldn’t. Also, with Vmart, the pitching staff was decidedly worse as a whole, and he never ever seemed on the same page as Papelbon (as if anyone really is).
    The 4/50 figure is entirely too much – especially when you’re paying for a DH at this point, and I’m happy the Red Sox didn’t do it. If they’re going to spend some outrageous figure on a player, at least let him be a two way player, so when the bat is slumping at least he’s still productive on the defensive side.
    As far as the catcher situation goes, I don’t feel as either organization has the edge here really. Tek and Posada are the same guys defensively, and Posada is probably bringing a better bat at this point. Salty and Montero are basically each other. Two years ago, Salty was the Montero of the Texas organization. It’s hard to predict. Both guys could do well, and either one could crush under the weight. They’re both talented, young players who should bring a little excitement to the position. They can both hit, for sure.
    FWIW, I’d rather the Red Sox move for a guy like Konerko to replace the power loss (still a very, very good bat), and like about 25 teams in baseball, concentrate on catching the ball behind the dish and guarding the basepaths.
    VMart was a good player, but not one that will be missed by this fan. And, like most often is the case with NY or Boston, if it doesn’t have a huge name attached to it, or if it isn’t an all-star, everyone wants to shit on it or have some fear of getting the job done.
    I think both guys will be fine provided they do what they’ve always done and stay healthy – which is Salts biggest issue at this point (though not really a baseball injury with him).

    Brad November 24, 2010, 3:03 pm
  • Personally I didn’t think VMart was worth the money, so I’m glad the Sox didn’t overpay. His bat would have been nice, but I have zero problems seeing the Sox go in another direction.

    Atheose - SF November 24, 2010, 3:43 pm
  • I disagree with that sentiment, Ath. I do think VMart is worth the money if you’re doing the deal for a backup catcher and dh. But if you need a catcher, it’s not the right deal to make. The 50M is a fair number for him, but not to be a catcher because what he lacks takes away from what he actually can do.
    The tigers are happy with their catching situation, and are basically paying him to be a full time dh, which I think Boston is trying to a)get away from and b) already have. There is no need for that money to be spent by them.
    They can spend 50M on Konerko or another player and actually have a guy who can play a position better than Vmart plays his.
    It wasn’t so much the money, but rather the need.

    Brad November 24, 2010, 4:17 pm
  • My sentiment on Martinez is “meh”. I never took a huge liking to him (sentimentally or athletically) while he was with the Sox, though he is certainly a fine offensive player. They’ll miss his bat, maybe. The offseason isn’t over, of course.
    As I have gotten older I have tended to care less about how much these players make, whether there is “overpaying” or not, but in this case it seems like the Sox would have had to exceed their own in-house MAX estimate (if we are to believe the newspapers) of what Martinez was worth, by at least another 20-25%. That seems like a reasonable thing not to jump on, for a front office.
    I will resist judgment until we get to the end of the offseason, see what the FO has done.

    SF November 25, 2010, 8:49 am
  • > Hank .. said “we have made these players rich beyond their wildest dreams, and don’t owe anything to anyone monetarily”.
    I didn’t see that quote. What an asshole.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2010, 2:25 pm
  • He’s kinda right though…isn’t he?

    krueg November 26, 2010, 2:34 pm
  • “these players have made us rich beyond our wildest dreams” is also true.

    attackgerbil November 26, 2010, 2:48 pm
  • True…but his statement was also true.
    This whole situation is very strange.

    krueg November 26, 2010, 5:34 pm

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