Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

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The Mark Buehrle Rule

March 8, 2010

Do you ever read one of Ken Rosenthal‘s foxsports articles just to get a glimpse into the mind of a madman? Insane? Maybe. But fun? Definitely. Don’t you enjoy concocting crackpot scenarios in which the Yankees end up with Bonds and Griffey, and we wouldn’t have to give up that much? Do you pop in MLB The Show or Baseball Mogul and take pride in the ability to swindle the Giants out of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain with a package of 5 star low A relievers?

Now, the differences are obvious. Ken Rosenthal works for a national sports company. He is on TV. He writes for a major website. So maybe it is strange when he suggests realigning baseball with little logic or reason (the last one is my favorite, move the A’s into the Yankees and Red Sox division in a format that groups teams by payroll, then plunk them in New Jersey). These are the kind of ideas I expect to hear from my friends after a fine afternoon spent huffing paint and watching PTI. This is not what I expect from a national sports writer. But maybe that is a good thing. If Ken Rosenthal can do it, so can I! So I hereby grant myself license to both make up news and write about inane ideas. The best part is that unlike Mr. Rosenthal I can’t have my articles pulled by the big bosses, as so frequently happens to him.

Here is what I propose as my grand change to baseball: speed up the games!

Groundbreaking, eh? I guess perhaps I am not as creative as my fellow writer, but I really don’t see the need or benefits of realignment, of eliminating or standardizing the DH, of changing the mound height, or of putting a salary cap in place. Baseball is great because of the oddities and differences between the leagues and between teams.

Every team operates with a different strategy. Depending on your league, your home field, your budget and your personnel your team will develop an independent persona. The cap seems unnecessary because in spite of the issues of “unfairness” any team can be competitive with competent management. I’ll save any further arguing against a cap for another day, because it will inevitably come up as a national topic at some point during the summer and I will turn to this screen to rage against the man on TV.

But back to my wholly unoriginal but entirely important idea. I see no issues with the mechanics of the game, so the efforts should be turned to streamlining it. Faster games would mean several things: You can watch more of them (hooray for mlb.tv), the playoffs won’t end so late on the east coast, and casual fans will be more inclined to watch something with a less boring pace.

The Hardball Times has a list (from 2008, mind you) of the fastest and slowest paced pitchers in baseball, and if you’ve seen him pitch (especially during his perfect game) you’ll probably see just the man you expect to be at the top of the list: Mark Buehrle. Another article from the same site mentions baseball’s rulebook, which states that the ball must be delivered within 12 seconds, with timing beginning when the pitcher has the ball and the batter is in the box ready to bat, and ending when the ball is released. Not only is that not the norm, but it is pretty rare to see the ball delivered that quickly.

So it seems to cure for this issue isn’t to change a rule, but to simply enforce a rule that is already in place. Even extending the rule to 15 seconds would work, and would allow for pitcher to move briskly without being rushed. Small fines (such as the fines handed out to Jonathan Papelbon last year) won’t cut it. On field penalties are the only way to make sure the rule is followed, and the rulebook itself calls for a ball to be added to the count whenever there is a violation. It would be simple for the umpire to enforce, it can be counted off the same way several violations are counted off in basketball, or they could use a watch/scoreboard clock.

Barring putting the Mark Buehrle rule in place I suggest something a little more… extensive.

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I Discovered This Awesome Thing

March 6, 2010

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with this “Twitter” but I just became a part of it. Maybe it will catch on now that I have joined!

@Hey_Brian

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Like a Cheetah With a Rocket Launcher on It’s Back

September 2, 2009

I’m not the only one who thinks the best part about Mike Vick being back on the field is he is playable in Madden again, right?

If I were a prosecuting attorney, judge, or Roger Goodell I am pretty sure this would factor into my decision.

“Those dogs he killed were innocent and helpless.”

“Yeah. But he’s got like 90 speed in Madden.”

“He electrocuted them. He’s a murderer.”

“93 throwing power.”

“Fine. One month.”

He certainly did his time and perhaps it’s just me being naive but he actually does seem sorry. Either way, it would be amusing if the terms of his reinstatement were that whenever his team lost a game or he throws an interception he got waterboarded and electro-shocked.

And whenever Dante Stallworth drops a pass he gets hit by a car.

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Disco Hayes Doesn’t Advertise

August 31, 2009

I’m apparently on a kick of linking minor league blogs that have been passed on to me this week, but here is another: Disco Hayes, submarining right handed reliever for the Royals AAA affiliate. This is probably the most entertaining and fun blog I’ve ever seen from a ballplayer, and if the Royals ever wise up and give him a major league chance I will buy one of his jerseys.

Artist's conception of the origins of Disco.

Artist's conception of the origins of Disco.

Although the way things are run in KC we may have to wait it out, as Disco seems to be getting the Chad Bradford treatment. No one trusts a guy who can’t crack 90 mph on his fastball, regardless of the results. Plus this is the same team who are keeping Kila Kaaihue banished in AAA while they run out Mike Jacobs to patrol first base with an OBP around .300. Oh and as a reward for the brilliant trade to bring in Jacobs, as well as the terrific signings of Kyle Farnsworth (2 years, $9.25 million, 5.40 ERA) and Jose Guillen (in year 2 of a 3 year, $36 million contract; .688 OPS), Royals GM Dayton Moore is about to receive an extension through 2014. Royals Baseball, catch the fever*!

*May be lethal.
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Exceliraptors

August 30, 2009

Tonight I have a sort of dual purpose project. My first reason for getting into it is that I am trying to learn Excel basics. The second is that I was curious at to how well runs scored by MLB teams correlated with runs created. Runs created is a sort of simple catch all offensive term. It includes power numbers, on base skills, and speed as well. Caught stealing takes away from the on base portion, because obviously you have wiped away the appearance on base. Stolen bases contribute to the base advancing half, which also includes total bases to encompass doubles, triples and homers. That wiki link explains it better than I do in any case, and while it is far less advanced than wOBA and other new metrics it is still a surprisingly accurate formula for the expected runs an offense will output.

Also note that there are several versions of runs created. I am using a semi-basic one that still includes SB and CS:

rc

Now if anyone would like to check out the excel workbook it can be seen here. On to the nerdery!

The first describes the total number of runs scored (blue) against runs created by the team (red). The teams are ordered from least prolific offense to most, with the league and MLB averages at the top. Click for a more readable size.

rc v rs

It’s impressive how accurate these formulas are. The team outperforming their expected runs the most are the A’s. The Yankees are actually underperforming. They should realistically have even more runs than they currently have scored. I’m not about to go into any deeper calculations today to figure out the exact cause, but reasons for a difference in actual runs and runs created can be double plays hit into, running into outs on the bases, or simple failure in clutch situations. That last one is a possibility for the Yankees, as they hit 12 points lower with runners in scoring position than they do overall.

The second graph levels out team totals, since every team has not played the same number of games. It compares runs per game (red) with runs created per game (blue).

rg v rcg

Same idea as the last graph, just slightly more accurate. In all likelihood the two values will get closer to each other as the season goes on. The larger the sample size the lower the probability of an outlier (such as the Yankees bad luck, which is astounding to see being that they are second in MLB in runs per game).

I have a few other projects of varying depth I’ll be messing around with, but I shall try and keep everything on here updated with new info. Stay tuned!

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Brains and Brawn

August 28, 2009
At 6'8" he's as tall as he looks.

At 6'8" he's as tall as he looks.

Phillies prospect Michael Schwimer posted an awesome article detailing the thought process he puts into pitching. He links video of his two-inning save and goes through a pitch by pitch analysis of how he tries to get batters out, telling you what worked and didn’t work both physically and mentally.

He’s currently in A+ Clearwater and has 83 strikeouts against 19 walks with an ERA of 2.90 in 59 innings. He obviously puts a lot of effort into his work (both his pitching and his write up), so good luck to him!

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Sports! News! Dinosaurs!

May 21, 2009

The frequency of my posts has apparently dipped over the past 2 or 3 weeks. I would like to use the excuse that I have a life outside of this blog and the internet, but I won’t try and fool you. Anyway, I am currently working on a few other projects, new, exciting and terrifying things! And on top of that I am moving the DNE headquarters from California to New York and my car refuses to drive as fast as a plane can fly so it is going to take awhile. Covering the Yankees will be oh so much easier when I am back home where I can get the insight and top notch writing of the Daily News and the Post.

Updates will be more regular once again, though I still post in here at least once a week so I don’t know what you plebs expect. I can’t handle this kind of pressure, I’m starting to feel like Hulk Hogan in Suburban Commando.

I think I should conclude every post with a Hulk Hogan clip. Leaves it off on a positive note, wouldn’t you say?