1. Interesting article here at Baseball Prospectus (subscription required), contending that Eric Chavez isn’t even worth what the A’s have just agreed to pay him. Particularly interesting is a section on Chavez’ performance against lefties, which is truly abysmal. Joe Sheehan, in the article, contends that Chavez, without improvement, really doesn’t deserve to play against such lefties, that at current levels he’s really a platoon player. It’s a radical thought, that a player conventionally accepted to be a star on the rise, an $11m per year player at that, wouldn’t be qualified to play full-time.
2. I was thinking about my impression of switch-hitters. I have, in my head, this image of a player (I think it might be Carl Everett, which may explain where I am going with this) who can hit pretty solidly from one side of the plate, but really really stinks from the other. I have historically wondered why that player doesn’t stick to one side of the plate, and just get better, say, at hitting lefties while hitting lefty. Heck, if they can hit .300 against righties when batting lefty but turn around to bat righty against lefty but only barely crack .250 then why not work in the cage, in the offseason, on the lefty/lefty matchup? But then I started looking at last year’s switch hitters in the AL and NL, and noticed that almost all of them are remarkably consistent. From Posada to Chipper Jones to Carlos Beltran (and even Carl Everett!) the differential from one side of the plate to the other was much smaller than I thought it would be. My bias against the weak-from-one-side switch hitter, at least last year, was unfounded. More statistical searching to come, as I want to know why I have this bias.
3. John Stirling is a mediocrity, really, not a good announcer at all. Lucky him, he’s got a big-time radio voice to make up for what he lacks in baseball smarts.
4. Jerry Remy is a highly underrated announcer. Problem is, he’s got a brain for a national TV audience but the voice for local cable.
5. Saw the Yankees landed safely in Tokyo. Another birthday wish down the toilet.
6. Yearly predictions tomorrow – time to make an even bigger ass of myself!