Now, Was That So Bad?

Moral: Whine to the press enough, and you’ll get a record-breaking contract? Well, probably not.

Jonathan Papelbon should be happy becoming the highest-paid reliever with two-plus years of service time ever after agreeing to terms for a 2008 contract.

The one-year deal is worth $775,000, according to a baseball source, breaking the $750,000 benchmark set by Mariano Rivera with the Yankees before the 1998 season.

The salary is the second-highest ever for a pitcher with two-plus years of experience. Ismael Valdez was signed by the Dodgers for $900,000 in 1997.

In fact, I’m not sure why this couldn’t have been done behind closed doors, between the Sox, Papelbon and his agents. No carping. No controversy. Sadly, my view of Papelbon has been altered by this ministorm — and not by this, per se, but by this and similar comments he made last offseason.

He deserves every penny of it — after all, he’s had a better first two seasons than Mariano Rivera did — and considering the deals the Sox have reached in the past with arb and pre-arb players, it seems we would have gotten here one way or the other.

So I guess I’m still mystified why Papelbon chose the bumpy road when the smooth one led to the same place.

46 comments… add one
  • What amazes me is that the Paps is going to consistently have the Sox by the collective nutsack each of the next four years and then heading into free agency. The kid is good, and he seems intent on being paid as such. The goodwill on the part of the team seems likely to go unnoticed. Still, they should have just bought out the next four or five years at something like 30 million. He’s going to get close to that in arbitration any ways. Sure, they’re probably worried about injuries (as the Yanks are with Wang, and before that Mo) but he’s so good I think you just swallow hard and pay up now rather than later.
    If I had more energy I’d disagree with your Paps-Mo comp. Hard to compare when Mo threw 50 innings more over those two years.

    A YF March 6, 2008, 6:07 pm
  • Here’s what happened with Mo’s arbitration years:
    1999 $4,250,000 (Mo lost)
    2000 $7,250,000 (Mo lost)
    2001 4 years/$39.99M (2001-04)
    I have to assume the Sox will do something similar, but Paps will get more than $5 million next year.

    A YF March 6, 2008, 6:26 pm
  • I wrote about this on my site, but in brief: The timing of Pap’s message was bad, but the message is perfectly fair. He knows he can get easy millions anywhere else and he’s within his rights to let the club know that they still have to pay him everything he’s worth.
    I could really go without his constant self-comparisons to Rivera, though. He’s got a few years to go before I can take that seriously.

    Kazz March 6, 2008, 6:32 pm
  • This one makes us all wince a bit. I don’t think Paps helped himself in the court of public opinion with the way he chose to handle it.
    I hope his odd ways in terms of what he says and how he says it don’t make him think he can say whatever he wants whenever he wants.

    I'mBillMcNeal March 6, 2008, 6:36 pm
  • Easy millions? In several years with other teams, maybe…

    Devine March 6, 2008, 6:39 pm
  • Yeah, Kazz, care to explain the easy millions comment?
    My only concern is the talking too. I’m worried that this will develop in to a pattern and his antics will stop being funny and start being a distraction. I realize it’s a little early to make that judgment, but I don’t like the direction the train is heading in.
    Of course, I’m paranoid by nature, so this all might be nothing.

    LocklandSF March 6, 2008, 6:46 pm
  • The salary stumping in public is mildly annoying to me, but probably blown out of proportion. That part that bugs me is (as Kazz said) all the Rivera self-comparisons. Oh, you’ve been great, kid. But you have a LOOOOOOOOONG way to go before you touch that guy.

    Devine March 6, 2008, 7:42 pm
  • “after all, he’s had a better first two seasons than Mariano Rivera did”
    I’d argue this, especially given Mariano’s spectacular 1996, but I don’t have the energy (too tired from a long day). Needless to say, I think they had comparable first two seasons. Anyway, it’s an interesting comparison. I don’t see a clear advantage either way, although Mariano’s 1996, again, was insane. Insane!

    Nick-YF March 6, 2008, 10:18 pm
  • It really wasn’t a record breaking contract if you look at the value of the dollar today vs the amount Paps got.
    Mo’s still #1 :)

    Marc from Portland March 6, 2008, 10:43 pm
  • Sorry, I meant the value from 1998.

    Marc from Portland March 6, 2008, 10:45 pm
  • I would say that in terms of pure value, Rivera’s two seasons easily trump Papelbons. Most of that is due to the actual number of innings thrown, but hey – Rivera didn’t have shoulder concerns. That factors too.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 1:06 am
  • Needless to say, I think they had comparable first two seasons
    This is definitely the most accurate statement.
    Only two pitchers have ended a season with at least 160 career innings and a career ERA under 1.70 — Walter Johnson and Jonathan Papelbon. (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7184) Rivera had a fantastic first two seasons, and you would be right to argue his innings add value. But the one season as a middle reliever subtracts significantly from that value, even if he was lights-out in that role. Papelbon had a historically great season as a closer in 2006 and one could argue he was even better in 2007.

    Paul SF March 7, 2008, 2:05 am
  • “But the one season as a middle reliever subtracts significantly from that value, even if he was lights-out in that role.”
    I think this actually probably adds to his value. Because he was not cast as “closer”, Mariano was used by Torre in a flexible manner. My guess is in 1996, Mo was put in a greater proportion of high leverage situations than in a lot of his other seasons.

    Nick-YF March 7, 2008, 6:46 am
  • “I think this actually probably adds to his value. Because he was not cast as “closer”, Mariano was used by Torre in a flexible manner.”
    I agree with this statement 100%. He was more valuable because he transcended the “closer” role. Indeed, he had a role that I have yet to see anyone replicate in the time since. Including the post-season in 1996, Mo pitched over 120 innings of mostly high leverage situations. It’s exactly the role I’d like to see Joba fill this year – but only this year.
    It’s important to point out that in 1997 as he moved into a traditional closer role, Mo pitched more innings than Paps has ever pitched in a season. That said, I think Papelbon is a fantastic young pitcher. Besides the concerns about his health (which Mo had too at one point), he’s got a great future ahead of him.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 7:11 am
  • But the one season as a middle reliever subtracts significantly from that value, even if he was lights-out in that role.
    I must disagree with this. His ability to succeed as both a closer and in middle relief shows how flexible of a pitcher he is, which certainly adds value. A lot of closers struggled when they come in before the 9th or in a non-save situation because they need that adrenaline boost to give them a little-somethin extra. The ability of Mo to do well in both cases shows how great of a pitcher he is.
    Mo also gets more credit for pitching significantly more innings in his first few years. The nice thing is that the Red Sox have the best bullpen in baseball (or at least did last year), which means not needing to rely on Paps as much. Keeping your closer well rested is amazing come October.

    Atheose March 7, 2008, 8:49 am
  • You can/should also factor in inflation.. surely 1998 money != 2008 money, especially given the market on closers – I don’t remember back in the day, but no way do closers get 10+ mils back in the day.
    In any case, they should give every dollar Paps ask for. He’s worth it.
    It’ll be interesting to see the WPA that Mo got in 96 and 97. That would probably give some insight as to the average leverage. Seriously though, that 96 year was sick, closing or not..

    Lar March 7, 2008, 9:35 am
  • And ultimately, this will be the standard for which every closer from this point forward in history will be judged:
    The Great Mariano Rivera’s Postseason Career:
    117 IP, 76 G, 0.77 ERA, 10 ER, 72 H, 16 BB, 93 K
    Paps is well on his way (14 IP, 0.00 ERA, 7 H, 4 BB, 9 K) but he’s got a loooooooong way to go.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 10:26 am
  • Having experienced the Mo & Wet show in 1996 I always felt that Mariano was the difference. His ability to end the game or save a game at the 6th or 7th inning and do it day in and day out was amazing. That season is one of the reasons why there is so much debate about the value of Joba pitching in the bullpen and starting.

    DR March 7, 2008, 10:44 am
  • To be fair, I don’t think Paps is really comparing him self to Mo on a career basis, simply the last two years, which is a fair comparison. I could be wrong, but I haven’t read any quotes from him that go beyond what the two of them are doing now.

    LocklandSF March 7, 2008, 11:21 am
  • Joe Nathan AND Papelbon on the Yankees??? That would work…oh, throw in CC too!!!

    krueg March 7, 2008, 12:19 pm
  • re: yesterday’s easy millions comment.
    Papelbon has the most relief upside in baseball. Any team in the league would be stupid not to pay him whatever it took to secure him for a long time.
    He’s already making three-quarters of a million. I really don’t think $2 million is a stretch by next year, if he has yet another All-Star season.

    Kazz March 7, 2008, 12:57 pm
  • Isn’t Paps arb-eligible next year? Seems he’d get at least 5 million there.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 1:46 pm
  • An iffy performance from Buchholz today. Back-to-back homers for three runs in the first, then an easy second and third… Tavarez had a good first two innings, then melted down in the third… Papelbon, in relief of Buchholz, gives up two runs.
    *sigh* It doesn’t matter too much, but it sure would be nice to have, you know, good results.

    Paul SF March 7, 2008, 2:34 pm
  • Gardner showing his great speed with a stand-up triple. He can’t hit the ball very far, but he gets the most out of it.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 2:39 pm
  • I really dig Gardner’s game – OBP, SB, and very good OF range. I know I’d rather they take him over Ensberg or Lane (who do the same things as Duncan) or Woodward/Green (since Betemit is fine as the utility guy). But that’s only if they take 11 pitchers.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 2:55 pm
  • Nah, Ensberg has historically killed lefties, and can play both 1B and 3B. Duncan is another lefty-killer off the bench and can play 1B and an OF corner in a pinch. Power off the bench always > speed off the bench. Root for Gardner to do well in AAA so if there’s an OF injury the Yanks don’t bring up Lane.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • andrew- not to nit pick but, morgan has played one game in his career at first. sure, he had 7 putouts in that game, but i’m not sure it’s so simple to say “he can play both first and third”. posada has more experience at first than ensberg. my guess is that neither ensberg or lane make it out of spring.

    sf rod March 7, 2008, 4:17 pm
  • I’m with you, sf. Ensberg is completely redundant, esp since Betemit can play 3B. I think Lane and Ensberg had a shot if Duncan struggled (because he has options remaining). If not 12 pitchers, then I’m hhoping for the speedster. In a tight game could run for Giambi, Jorge, and Matsui. An NL would certainly have room for him.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 5:27 pm
  • A-Rod had played a net total of zero games at 3B, then the Yankees moved him there from SS. How could they know A-Rod would be able to handle it??? Carlos Guillen has made the transition from SS to 1B. Any infielder can play first base. Maybe won’t be a gold glove, but it’s one of the least specialized positions in the ballpark. Ensberg has huge amounts of upside, especially if he continues to have good at bats in ST, and he’s a lefty-masher off the bench, something the Yankees have sorely, sorely needed. Sacrificing him for a pinch-runner or a shitty Cairo-type like Woodward or Green is…retarded. There isn’t a better word for it. I’ll reiterate – over the course of a season, 10 extra base pinch hits are always, always, always better than 10 pinch-running stolen bases. They’re better than 20 pinch-running stolen bases. Power is better than speed. Always. ALWAYS.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 5:45 pm
  • a-rod playing third has nothing to do with the yankees feeling the transition would be easy. it had everything to do with jeters fragile ego.
    ensberg = hinske (- the ability to play the OF). there’s just not enough AB’s to go around. the yanks need to address the fact that their outfield consists of older players surrounding a questionable center fielder. it’s really not a question of speed vs. power off the bench, as much as it is a matter of “what will we do when damon, matsui, and abreu spend time on the DL”.

    sf rod March 7, 2008, 6:49 pm
  • That’s funny, because the Yankees have 5 outfielders already with Duncan, and have 1 (one) guy who can play 3rd, 2nd or SS (in a pinch) with Betemit. Having another guy who can cover 3rd makes the Yankees that much more flexible, especially in the hell of April where Girardi is on record saying how he will be giving players more time off.
    And Ensberg is most certainly not Eric Hinske. He has more power, and significantly more on-base percentage. Not that Eric Hinske has been awful (just last year), but Ensberg is a much better player. But let’s not go down the road of comparing rival players to our own crappy versions. The Yankees have much more need for Morgan Ensberg than they do Brett Gardner, and most of that has to do with the fact that Ensberg can actually provide value, whereas Gardner will be a 6th outfielder and pinch-runner off the bench, much like the extremely worthless Bubba Crosby.
    Yes, you can predict doomsday scenarios where three Yankee outfielders go down at exactly the same time, but it’s not a very strong, or smart, argument. The fact remains that the Yankees are very well covered in the outfield. Damon and Matsui may have worrisome health issues, but then that’s why the Yankees have Abreu, Melky and Duncan, who have little or zero health issues on their roster. And okay, if many outfielders go on the DL, you can always call up Gardner. Won’t be able to do that with Ensberg after you cut him. Actually, I would argue that the Yankees have one of the deepest bunch of outfielders in the AL. Brett Gardner, at this stage of the game, would likely provide negative value to the major league club. Ensberg, as long as he continues to put up a good show in ST, is the obvious answer.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 9:02 pm
  • “I’ll reiterate – over the course of a season, 10 extra base pinch hits are always, always, always better than 10 pinch-running stolen bases. They’re better than 20 pinch-running stolen bases. Power is better than speed. Always. ALWAYS.”
    I simply don’t agree with this logic. If any thing it tends to underemphasize what a guy like Gardner gives a team. A walk and a SB is equivalent to a double. Even better, Gardner scores from second on a single up the middle whereas Ensberg doesn’t. Furthermore, Gardner would cover more ground in the out field than any of the team’s current fielders out there. The bottom line is that Ensberg is completely redundant with what they already have. Worse, for your case, the Yankees haven’t been losing in the post-season from a lack of power. They’ve been losing because of the inability to push runs across the board and without any strategy or players to do so.

    A YF March 7, 2008, 9:55 pm
  • “Worse, for your case, the Yankees haven’t been losing in the post-season from a lack of power. They’ve been losing because of the inability to push runs across the board and without any strategy or players to do so.”
    So you would rather have Gardner at the plate than Derek Jeter, or Jorge Posada? The big ‘chokers’ on the hitting side in the postseason last year? This is, in essence, what you are saying here, and it’s pretty silly.
    Your point boils down to: Gardner can score on a short-field single from second, and sometimes, if Gardner gets on base (god forbid he ever starts a game over any of the other choices), he can steal second, making that equivalent to a double. Meanwhile, Ensberg gets on base, hits doubles, and hits homeruns, and he can actually start in a lineup without being an embarrassment or taking at bats away from more deserving candidates. This is precisely why power and little speed is always better than speed and no power. The stolen base is one of the most overrated and overemphasized statistics in baseball today, tied with batting average and behind the ‘save’, which doesn’t even make sense as a statistic.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think Gardner can be valuable to the Yankees in the future. I think the gap between him and sure-fire superstar Ellsbury is not so large. But he is not major league ready yet. By putting him on the roster, the Yankees are effectively ending his development. This is part of another reason why Gardner over Ensberg for the Opening Day roster makes absolutely zero sense. The other part is that Gardner has three years where he can be shuttled back and forth to the minors. The Yankees won’t be able to keep Ensberg in AAA as a depth option, especially if he has a strong ST: the man has too much of a good track record. Any hint that he can be what he was, even in 2006 where he was actually quite valuable, and a more desperate team than the Yankees will snap him up in an instant.

    AndrewYF March 7, 2008, 10:18 pm
  • Speaking of pinch-running stolen bases, just perused the catalog for my son’s elementary school auction fundraiser and they had a Dave Roberts signed baseball. Now the catch is, it’s a SF Giants ball – but it’s still Dave Roberts, a name that will bring a smile to my face for the rest of my days…

    rootbeerfloat March 8, 2008, 12:16 am
  • “he can actually start in a lineup without being an embarrassment or taking at bats away from more deserving candidates.”
    if you’re gonna really give duncan some AB’s this year (he’ll be 29, it’s now or never) you can’t have morgan clogging up the bench. you gotta give duncan more of a chance than josh phelps ever got. we’ve been told that johnny, jorge, wilson, shelly, and jason can all “play” 1st base if need be.
    this idea of ensberg being a “lefty masher” is a bit overblown. his .486 slugging against lefties puts him squarely between carl crawford and brendan harris in the AL.
    “comparing rival players to our own crappy versions.”
    my comparison was based on the lack of available AB’s. ensberg is to me as aardsma is to you on the rivalry scale. i’m not sure how long you’re gonna be able to overlook that .235 BA over the last two years before you decide morgan is a “crappy version” of his former self. even though he kills lefties at .257 clip.
    i agree betemit is the answer to all of your infield depth questions, but there’s no way your gonna sell me on duncan being a viable 5th outfielder. if you could find a guy that can play all three OF positions and bring some speed off the bench, he’s of more value than a sixth 1st baseman (who’s sometimes a third 3rd baseman).

    sf rod March 8, 2008, 3:27 am
  • “So you would rather have Gardner at the plate than Derek Jeter, or Jorge Posada?”
    Don’t be absurd. I would rather Jorge hits and Gardner is on the bench than Jorge hits and Ensberg is on the bench (if it’s an either/or – and with Duncan, you have power and speed on the bench).
    “god forbid he ever starts a game over any of the other choices”
    I don’t see that negativity. If his minor league stats are any guide, he’s getting on base 38% of the time. On last year’s team, that’s better than six of the starters.
    “This is precisely why power and little speed is always better than speed and no power. The stolen base is one of the most overrated and overemphasized statistics in baseball today, tied with batting average and behind the ‘save’, which doesn’t even make sense as a statistic.”
    What? A stolen base is an extra base. Plain and simple. Do the math. In 20 ab’s would you rather a guy that gives you 5 hits (2 singles, 2 doubles, 1 HR) and 2 walks but no stolen bases or the guy that gives you 5 hits (4 singles and 1 double), 2 walks, and 4 stolen bases?
    Well, the former has a SLG of .500
    The latter also has a SLG of .500, if you include the extra bases of the stolen base.
    SLG is simply Total bases divided by ABs.
    See, the stolen base is actually undervalued in today’s game because folks, like you, look at a high SLG and conclude it means more. But the problem is the “extra” bases given by a stolen base are never factored in. So a guy like Vince Coleman looks awful to most (career OPS+ of 83).
    Take his 1985 season – .289 AVG .363 OBP .358 SLG with 109 SB with 22 CS = 91 OPS+
    Add that net 87 SB to his total bases and his SLG suddenly becomes .482. That’s a huge difference and totally legit. He added 87 bases net to the team’s chances. Why shouldn’t he get credit?
    Now the big problem with speed is how quickly it vanishes. It’s not a tool that gets better with age, like with power. So that’s why you should never pay for speed on the free agent market unless it comes with a very good bat. Take Juan Pierre. He absolutely killed the Yanks in the 2003 series. Now he’s lost his best skill just five years later (but got a great contract in the process).
    But that’s why you value a guy like Garnder while you have him cheaply. The bottom line is he’ll help much more than the traditional stats give credit for. And on the soft single to right I’d much rather he’s the one standing on second than Ensberg. :)
    sf rod, I agree with everything you say.

    A YF March 8, 2008, 5:11 am
  • A YF, You’ve fallen into the trap of equating speed with extra bases, upon which your entire point lies. The fact that renders your point moot is this: the other part of power is that it doesn’t just move you up more bases, it moves ALL runners up more than one base. A double with a average speedster on first scores him. A single moves him up to second. Power is better than speed. Please continue to say that to yourself so that you understand. Please realize why Juan Pierre is so horrendously worthless. Please realize that with Gardner on the bench, this year anyway, he would be Bubba Crosby. Bubba Crosby was useless. Players who exist solely for pinch-running are nearly useless.
    If you were the GM, you would open with Gardner, and release Morgan Ensberg. With me, Gardner would continue to develop in AAA and the Yankees would still have Ensberg. I mean, I don’t actually have to say anything other than that. I probably should have just stopped there, but the choice was so obvious, and you weren’t getting it, that I had to go on. More players at the Yankees disposal = better. Less players at the Yankees disposal = worse.
    And sfrod, the simple fact that you are using batting average to determine a players’ value (even after I provided the information that batting average is one of the most useless statistics in baseball today) tells me all I need to know. I’ll leave you with this: a player with a line of .300/.400/.500 is in fact LESS valuable than a guy with a line of .250/.400/.500. If you really want me to go into why batting average is wholly useless when statistics like on-base percentage exist, well, go read Fire Joe Morgan. There’s a reason why OPS+, a pretty good statistic for measuring a players’ hitting prowess, has nothing to do with batting average whatsoever.

    AndrewYF March 8, 2008, 12:34 pm
  • “I’ll leave you with this: a player with a line of .300/.400/.500 is in fact LESS valuable than a guy with a line of .250/.400/.500.”
    I’m confused or maybe there’s a typo? If the only difference is the 50 points in batting average, then give me the guy with the more hits? No?
    Anyway, I agree with you that I’d keep Enserg on the opening day roster over Gardner for the simple fact that it gives the Yanks more options in the long run.

    Nick-YF March 8, 2008, 12:40 pm
  • “The fact that renders your point moot is this: the other part of power is that it doesn’t just move you up more bases, it moves ALL runners up more than one base.”
    That’s only true when they actually get a hit. For Ensberg, lately, that’s 23% of the time.
    You’ve fallen into the trap to say speed equals *only* extra bases. It does not. Gardner on-base means something far different to a pitcher than Ensberg on-base. We saw it with Pierre in 2003. Roberts in 2004. And we will with Ellsbury this year.
    Pierre in 2003 wasn’t horrendously worthless. And now, it’s not because of his speed but because of his OBP. You’re confusing the two where it isn’t true for Gardner.
    “A double with a average speedster on first scores him.”
    Not on the current Yankees squad. Maybe only half the lineup does. Besides, Gardner has double (and triple) power. He just isn’t going to hit HR’s for you.
    “More players at the Yankees disposal = better. Less players at the Yankees disposal = worse.”
    You’re falling here into the old Torre veteran trap. I’d rather a balanced roster, with multiple skills, that a decent manager can make use of. Ensberg provides absolutely nothing that they don’t already have. Guys like Ensberg are a dime a dozen. Indeed the Yanks have another two other guys in camp just like him!
    Here’s a very real scenario: Tie game in late innings, one of:
    Giambi
    Jorge
    Matsui
    Duncan
    Walk to start their half of the inning. You can either:
    a) Do nothing; or
    b) Send in Gardner to pinch run
    With (a) None of those guys will typically score from first with a double or from second with a single. That means it’s likely going to take either two hits in the inning to get them in (apart from a HR) or a productive out (which the Yanks have tended to suck at lately) and a hit.
    With (b), you either send him or bunt him over. Then it takes one hit to score him.
    See, I can think of exactly zero scenarios (apart from injuries) where Ensberg adds to the chances of winning where Duncan or Betemit do not. That, to me, means he’s useless. Indeed, having him around (more so with Torre) would actually hurt the development of guys like Duncan and Betemit – they’d get even fewer MLB chances. That’s exactly the Torre trap the Yankees fell into with Womack, Cairo, Long etc.
    Besides, nothing says Ensberg wouldn’t accept a minor league assignment. It’s not like he had a ton of offers this Spring.
    I also don’t see what you’re getting at regarding AVG.

    A YF March 8, 2008, 1:13 pm
  • Ensberg has value to this team. He absolutely should make this team when camp breaks. Send Gardner down, let him play everyday. Keeping him up to pinch run and spot start is not going to help his development. He needs to play everyday, staying up will not help him develop into a productive ML’r.
    That said with this being Girardi’s 1st season in NY, I would expect the unexpected. Who knows who comes north.

    John - YF March 8, 2008, 2:16 pm
  • andrew- so why is an OPS+ of 88 last year a good thing? i’m new to this whole stat thingy. i’m so silly i still think SB’s are valuable.
    meanwhile, i’ll be over at battingaverageandteamspeedareuseless.com trying to get to your level of understanding.
    i had no idea every other GM in baseball reads FireJoeMorgan.com.

    sf rod March 8, 2008, 2:16 pm
  • I’m confused or maybe there’s a typo? If the only difference is the 50 points in batting average, then give me the guy with the more hits? No?
    Well, he has less hits, but since the slugging is the same, each of the hits he does have are more valuable on average. Since the OBP is the same, the singles are replaced by walks. Now, walks are less valuable than singles, but extra-base hits are more valuable than singles, such that the gap is greater from an extra-base hit and a single, than a single and a walk. Maybe I can illustrate this point:
    Walk < Single Single << Extra-base hit Anyway. David Price is pitching for Tampa, and just hurled a 98 mph fastball. This guy is going to be great.

    AndrewYF March 8, 2008, 3:40 pm
  • where does HBP enter into your equation?
    maybe the yanks should find a big fat 6th first baseman who barely fits in the batters box…….and then have gardner pinch run for him.

    sf rod March 8, 2008, 5:11 pm
  • HBP? Is that supposed to factor? Unless you’re named A-Rod or Jeter, and/or squat over the batters box so that you’re pretty much in the strike zone, you’re not going to get hit enough for it to matter.

    AndrewYF March 8, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • AndrewYF, ah, now I see. Truly I didn’t understand before.

    Nick-YF March 8, 2008, 10:03 pm
  • Also, HBP is factored into OBP..

    Lar March 9, 2008, 2:54 pm

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