January 2014

First batch of bullpenners
Posted by Spectator on 01/31/14
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Relief pitchers in the minors will have a tendency to drop down into categories like “The Watch List.”  In no small part because teams will try to use the best arms as starters as long as it seems possible.  Thus, the minor-league reliever will eventually face competition from not only his fellow bullpenners, but also from the starters who drop out of contention for the rotation. That being said, being used in relief in the minors doesn’t necessarily exile a guy to the bullpen forever.  Sometimes it’s all part of the development arc.  And there are only so many rotation spots available. Point... Read More
The last batch of position players
Posted by Spectator on 01/30/14
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One last set of position players for The Watch List.  Previously we covered the outfield and corner infielders + catchers. Those groups were populated by a fair number of holders-on whom we still like, but for whom MLB hopes are fading (Rich Poythress, Leon Landry).  The middle-infield group seems to have avoided that type of player. === Brock Hebert | 2014 age: 23 | RH Full article at Mariner Brainstorm: here.
And not too much < Ryan Dempster
Posted by jemanji on 01/29/14
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. Baker signs a minor-league deal with incentives.  :: crowd goes wild :: SSI profiled Baker on Jan. 19.  We reduced the issue to one question:  is he coming in to pitch in Joe Saunders' role?  Or in Jeremy Bonderman's role?  In Saunders' role he's a mild disappointment.  In Bonderman's role, he's like the greatest signing of all time. ... Baker's two-pitch stuff is very, VERY similar to Jeremy Bonderman's.  Bonderman is, of course, the Poster Boy for lack of pitchability, whereas Scott Baker brings that great slider arm action and tremendous pitchability.   The difference between the two men... Read More
Where have all the cowboys gone, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/29/14
10 Comments

. Sports-political post below.  And this one actually is controversial.  So please avert your eyes if applicable :- ) . I Change My Oil Every 50,000 Miles.  So What? Remember, as you read, that the debate over Sherman's trash talk is ON.  SSI did not start this debate!  SSI is offering one possible route through the ethical jungle.   That's all. Sherman's smack talk is being hotly debated.   But ... debated, based on what paradigm?  How do you establish right and wrong?   The company that built your house put the studs 16" apart, or something.  Based on what?  Based on a code established by... Read More
And a Brief Preview of the Stats I Use
Posted by Spectator on 01/29/14
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This will lead up to my rankings of the best hitters and pitchers of 2014, and how the Mariners compare. Phase I 1) Baseball is paradox. Swing hard … but don’t miss. Wait for your pitch … but don’t get caught looking. Throw strikes … but not meatballs. 2) The very best baseball players of all time were remarkably accomplished at consistently accomplishing self-contradictory feats.  How did Ted Williams “hit the ball on the screws” so consistently while hardly ever missing?  Well, that’s the issue, isn’t it? 3) Intuitively, baseball folk have tended to gravitate to three numbers: Batting... Read More
With SSI, every day is a no-brainer
Posted by jemanji on 01/28/14
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. Re-time-stamped from Jan. 28, then reverted.  - jeff . Q.  Why this POTD? A.  MLB Tonight, after Jon Heyman, just had five minutes on the Seattle Mariners and Fernando Rodney.  Supposed to be very possible, if not exactly imminent. . Q.  Any particular reasons it might have legs? A.  Here is a post to the effect that Rodney likes Lloyd McClendon.  Here's a second source from today, billowing smoke which might indicate an underlying fire. . Q.  Does Dr. D want Rodney? A.  Of course.  He is NOT the best closer in the game, and he's in the "white knuckle" category.  But he is a Legit Closer,... Read More
of xFIP's, Big Games, and SP Ferraris like Erikkkk
Posted by jemanji on 01/28/14
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. Just the Fa'ax, Ma'am . 1.  A.J. Burnett unretired and is a free agent. 2.  At age 37, he would be a "bridge" pitcher for the Mariners, and therefore a gorgeous fit in terms of the 5-year plan. 3.  He is one of the best starters in baseball.*  With a "Big Game" asterisk.  His xFIP last year was #3 in baseball in the second half, to Lee and Kershaw.   4.  He is a two-pitch righty.  SSI therefore loves him, since he is a walking refutation of baseball dogma. 5.  His grounder percentage, the last two years, is 56-57% ... much higher than Felix Hernandez' at 51%.  Only the famous scuffballer... Read More
Another batch of minor leaguers
Posted by Spectator on 01/27/14
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 == Mariner Brainstorm Top 100 Prospects continued == We are ranking 100 prospects this year: the Top 40; the 26intheMix; and 34 More (The Watch List).  The first six members of The Watch List were the outfielders, and you can find them here. This time we move on to corner infielders and catchers.  (The catchers had to go somewhere.) Corner Infielders Taylor Ard | 2014 Age: 24 | RH Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 2012 22 Everett NORW A- SEA 75 334 296 44 84 21 3 12 58 3 1 28 54 .284 .356 .497 .853 2013 23 Clinton MIDW A SEA 118 475 420 47 101 23 1 8... Read More
M's shun "Long Term Risk" trifectas
Posted by jemanji on 01/26/14
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. BPJ, in the shout box, sez bpj: What I learned from Z's comments was that they weren't signing Jimenez for as many years as he wants. No other team has either.. If the price drops to 3 years with an option, it may be a different story. ..... Hm.  This sounded strangely plausible, so we headed over to MLBTR, which said ... Eight teams, including the Rockies, Orioles, Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers, have interest in Ervin Santana, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish writes. (Earlier today, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik seemed to imply the Mariners would not be heavily involved on Santana.) Other... Read More
Payroll: We do the algebra so you don't have to
Posted by Spectator on 01/26/14
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Shannon Drayer’s position as the reporter for the Official Radio Station can be a double-edged sword.  True, she’s not going to be a swashbuckling investigative muckraker (but, frankly, most “beat” reporters aren’t that anyway).  On the other hand, her ability to judge the temperature inside the Front Office is very good.  (Which, of course, is not the same thing as saying she just parrots what she hears; you’ve still got to filter out what matters.) For example,when she started saying “watch for Kyle Seager to get a lot of time at third base” (at a time when he was pretty much viewed as “... Read More
See it, Feel it, Do it mantras
Posted by jemanji on 01/26/14
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. This is one of the greatest things I've ever heard in sports.   Courtesy of Field Gulls, natch. You remember in the 49'er game, that the Seahawks were behind 17-13 early in the 4th quarter.  It was 4th and 7 from the enemy 35-yard line. Initially, they decided on a field goal; they called a time out, changed their minds, and tried for the first down.  (If you don't watch much football, the problem with a punt is that any punt from just outside the 20, into the end zone, --- > puts the ball back on the 20, and so much of the time you've got the equivalent of a badly-shanked punt.) Steven... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 01/25/14
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. Grumpy points out this article by Tony Blengino, who gives Jimenez the nod as Best Free Agent Pitcher standing. Dr. D disagreed with Mr. Blengino on a few things, when Blengino spoke his mind about being pushed out of Seattle.  Dr. D also devours everything Blengino writes, with pico de gallo and extreme gusto.  Blengino is "state of the art" as it pertains to MLB(TM) sabermetrics.  Which means he's better than just about everybody out there, and only a few notches south of Seattle Sports Insider. More seriously, the philosophical approach used by Blengino is what fascinates.  Dr. D tore... Read More
Seven opinions, one Grand Truth
Posted by jemanji on 01/25/14
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. If you don't want to plow through this MLB(TM)-state-of-the-art analysis, here's the Ubaldo stuff run through the Juice Bullet.  As you know, we live to serve. In the article, he focuses on the comparison between Jimenez vis-a-vis Garza and Santana, and tabs Jimenez.  With gusto.  In THIS article we're juice-extracting the Ubaldo material for yer. ... Tony -- not Dr. D -- reasons that: . (Premise 1) When Ubaldo allows the hitter to make contact, everything is normal.  So, with him you can afford to just focus on his K:BB outcomes, and confidently project him based on K:BB. (P2) Jimenez' K's... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 01/25/14
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. Ron Shandler points out Ubaldo's tremendous run in late 2013. On July 22, Ubaldo lost to the Seattle Mariners (!) 2-1 in a tough game.  Afterward, he had an ERA of 4.49 and had looked like the same old Ubaldo Jimenez, just throwing the ball mindlessly albeit with a lot of talent.  But ...  On July 28, 2013, he blew away the Texas Rangers on a 2-hit shutout. The actual 8-game streak, in which Jimenez didn't walk anybody, was the last 8 games of the season. His pitch selection did indeed change:  in 2013 he went through two phases: Pre-2013 he was a fastball pitcher. 1H 2013, he mixed... Read More
I know, I know, a dirrrr-rrty word
Posted by jemanji on 01/24/14
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. At Bill James Online, you get (1) state-of-the-art sabermetrics, from a man literate in both external and internal MLB(TM) methods, (2) blended with an interest in the real world that exists beyond simple algebraic measurements, and (3) the hair-fine judgment of a man who has spent 40 years living and breathing baseball Americana.  For $3 a month. Right now he's got a 10-part (!) series going on "Big Game Pitching."  He set up a system to quantify which starting pitchers actually did pitch in a lot of Big Games, and which of those fared better/worse than average. Andy Pettitte leads... Read More
The knees and the Bone
Posted by Spectator on 01/24/14
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== Good to the Bone? == Knee bone connected to the ... Buhner Bone? Yes, it's possible that two (healthy) knees = one Bone. The knees in question, of course, belong to Corey Hart, who signed the proverbial "one-year, incentive-laden" deal with the Mariners in December. And the Bone in question is a major missing piece of the last decade or more of Mariner offenses: a bona fide right-handed basher (yes, OK, there were a couple of seasons of Richie Sexson in there, but, as is good practice, we try to apply selective amnesia to the Bavasi years). Rest of the article at Mariner Brainstorm: here.
No, not that kind of bat man
Posted by jemanji on 01/23/14
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. Kevin Mather = President Sez Spec, Kevin Mather to be named M's president. Has been VP for finance & ballpark operations. No need to state obvious about priorities. LaRussa snubbed. Follows on SABRMatt, adroitly, I have been convinced, actually, that it might be better for the Mariners' GM if the club made its Team President do primarily financial stuff. It could be that whoever replaces Zduriencik after this season gets a lot more room with Mather at the helm than with a guy like LaRussa. I still think Mather is a classic Seattle move...but there are silver linings to ever cloud. . Dr... Read More
John Benson, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/23/14
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. From an old Hey Bill: .... Michael Morse of the Nats seems to have really broken out this year. Before this year, he was mainly described as a "utility man." This year he's been a big slugger. But he's also going to be 30 years old next season. My understanding, from reading your old Abstracts, is that real stars are invariably big league studs by age 25, and often have their best seasons before age 29. At his age, is it likely that he's truly established a new level of play and might be worth a big long term contract or is it more likely that his break out year has come too late to really... Read More
The first batch
Posted by Spectator on 01/22/14
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Here commences our third annual prospect ranking of the Mariner system.  Since we’re at a new location now, we’re renaming it the “MB100″ and officially including “34 More” (the Watch List) in addition to the “Top 40″ and “26 in the Mix” (Spec66) from prior years.  Nice round numbers, and it rhymes. Last year’s Watch List ended up being pretty interesting.  Of course, there were a lot of guys who were non-factors, but Yoervis Medina and Jesus Sucre ended up on the MLB roster, and Jabari Blash ended up making a “splash” with his power display in the minors. Now, as it happens, this year’s... Read More
Or somebody like him...
Posted by jemanji on 01/22/14
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. 1.  Congrats to the Yankees. 2.  For $25M per year, times 7+ years, you can have any player you want. 3.  If I can have any player I want, Masahiro Tanaka is not the player I want.  Nor is he 10th on my list. Restated:  Masahiro Tanaka is a real cool pitcher, but once he costs just as much as Cliff Lee, you're nuts.  Tanaka was always a promising alternative to legitimate MLB superstars. In rotisserie, if you have Cliff Lee and the costs are equal, are you going to give up Lee to get Tanaka?! Shandler has Tanaka as worth $12 on draft day, and that's a compliment.  HQ has him about 15th-20th... Read More
Cheesy headlines and ...
Posted by Spectator on 01/22/14
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  The Buck Doesn’t Stop Can He Buck the Trend? Can’t Pass This Buck Brother, Can You Spare a Buck? Oh … maybe you were interested in what to expect from John Buck as a hitter? Well, it turns out that, despite 10 years and 4,000 plate appearances, that’s a pretty darn hard thing to figure out. Buck, you see, has flashed interesting pieces of being a valuable hitter, but he’s never really put them all together in the same year. Cases in point: 2007:  Buck had a very strong season at the plate, with 18 homers and a .207 ISO.  It takes a lot of slugging to get over .200 ISO.  He also walked at a... Read More
Not what we hoped but better than we feared?
Posted by Spectator on 01/22/14
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  First we thought he might be George Brett, a No. 3 hitter with power (.182 ISO), tough to strike out (7.8% K-rate), and drawing walks (9.4% BB-rate) while stinging the ball around the yard. Then we thought of another Dustin (Pedroia, that is), a No. 2 hitter with less power (.151 ISO), tough to strike out (8.9% K-rate), and drawing walks (9.3% BB-rate) while stinging the ball around the yard. Then we thought maybe Rod Carew, a leadoff hitter with even less power (.101 ISO), tough to strike out (9.7% K-rate), and drawing walks (9.7% BB-rate) while dinging a bit more than stinging the ball.... Read More
Mix of majors and minors
Posted by Spectator on 01/22/14
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  After testing the waters with a new blog focused on prospects and minor-league coverage, it became clear that the audience for that coverage is not big enough to support such a venture. So, pursuant to the law of supply and demand, we attempt to locate a product with more demand.  The new site: Mariner Brainstorm. It will contain major-league and minor-league topics, with the mix in favor of major leaguers.  I hope to have everything geared up by the beginning of spring training. Rather than re-inventing the wheel or supplanting what Jeff and Lonnie have been doing, I am just hoping to... Read More
The next Mathewson ... a hundred years on :- )
Posted by jemanji on 01/20/14
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. IceX points out this Chris Cotillo article, on Lookout Landing, which claims the Mariners are "heavily involved" in the talks.   One agent said that the Yankees, Dodgers and Blue Jays were involved when asked what he had heard about Tanaka. Although reports from Toronto made the Jays seem like an unlikely destination, the agent said that the "Jays are in for sure". He also mentioned that there is talk around the game of the Mariners being heavily involved in the talks. (I don't know anything about Mr. Cotillo, nothing at all, and the article seems to claim that he talked to an agent who... Read More
Aaaaaaaghhhh, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/18/14
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. Q.  Scott Baker?!  Is he still alive? A.  Ron Shandler sez, "Perennial elbow issues shelved him back in summer 2011; he finally returned, to start a few games down the stretch.  When healthy, he can be counted on for fine CMD (that's walk rate - Jeff) and lots of fly balls. "xERA history says an ERA around 4.00 is about right.  If you feel like gambling, he makes an intriguing STASH (meaning, stow him deep on your roster IN CASE he goes on a run - Jeff) but beware the extreme risk. "$4" . Q.  He used to be really good, right? A.  He used to be really good, wrong.   For a while he used to... Read More
City of Entrepreneurs, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/18/14
16 Comments

. This from MLB Trade Rumors: The Cubs are the "lead team" for Tanaka, a source tells Levine (via Twitter). The Cubs have made a "real offer" to Tanaka, tweets 670TheScore.com's Bruce Levine, who also notes that one key factor for Tanaka and his wife will be the presence of a Japanese community in his new city. On Thursday, we heard that the Cubs were "pushing hard" for Tanaka, and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the "sales pitch" the Cubs made to Tanaka last week. The operative phrase being, --- > "and his wife."   Probably some of you amigos is married.  :- ) If... Read More
Well wishing is great … here's how to HELP :- )
Posted by jemanji on 01/16/14

. Kevin Schumacher (Kevin Ess at MC) had a tooth abscess develop into a dire infection of his heart and lungs.  Lonnie Mathis of Mariner Central advised us of Kevin's situation in this Mariner Central thread.  Dr. Grumpy and others have called our attention to it on this site. Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider has set up a convenient fundraiser page right here.  You grab a debit or credit card, fill out three or four data fields, and you're done.  At the time of this writing, there was $900 raised on the first day, at this particular donation source.  The target is $10,000, a target that... Read More
Little train that could, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/15/14
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. My fave NFL Street trash line.  It scores if delivered with just the right, friendly, quizzical tone.  "Are you sure you're a starter?" . Yes, Zduriencik's Sure ​... moethedog, in the shout Box: From MLBTR and Brewers GM Doug Melvin: In also noting that the trade market for first baseman was thin, Melvin acknowledged he had at least had discussions with the Rangers and Mariners. "There just aren't available guys. Texas, at this point, is not willing to talk about [Mitch] Moreland. Seattle is not interested in moving their guys. So, there aren't a lot of choices." Really....We're not... Read More
Um, speaking
Posted by jemanji on 01/15/14
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. If you crack open a can of Pitcher Leaderboards, groundball sorted, you find that few of the frontrunners miss bats while hitting the bottoms of the bats also. There's a simple reason.  Major League hitters miss fastballs underneath - almost always.  Of the next 20 fastballs you see a hitter swing through, either 19 or 20 of them will pass over the top side of the bat.  Taijuan is a natural -- he likes to pitch up, he's got the heat to make it work, and he's going to fan a boatload of hitters. ?!  How, though, do you DELIBERATELY make a pitch go OVER the bat sometimes, and UNDER it... Read More
Can't buy love, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 01/15/14
18 Comments

. Sez Dr. Grumpy, I've changed my mind some regards to steroids, especially when used to combat injury, particularly career threatening injury (Morse for example). I'd rather see an evidence based, official medical treatment program reserving 'roids for that type of situation. That could potentially result in spin off advances in non-sports medicine (recovery from other types of injuries/surgery/etc. Lots of medical therapies we use are potentially dangerous; I don't think that there's anything uniquely dangerous about steroids, if used under a strict medically supervised program. . Point A... Read More
Let's send virtual flowers
Posted by jemanji on 01/14/14
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. From MLB Trade Rumors: ... FRIDAY: Rangers starter Derek Holland is out until midseason after a left knee injury that took place Tuesday, according to a team release. Holland suffered the injury in a fall at home, and he had arthroscopic surgery today to fix torn cartilage. TUESDAY: Holland actually underwent microfracture surgery, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. That procedure comes with a longer rehabilitation time, says Fraley, who notes that Scott Feldman did not return to action until July 22, 2011 after undergoing the surgery in November of 2010. ... You might still... Read More
Land Shark!
Posted by jemanji on 01/14/14
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. SSI is way into family-friendly tone.  You know that when you're on SSI you're Safe For Work.  :- )  And we don't want to cause a proliferation of debatable language.  But ... ... there is no good synonym for "badass." The Venezuelan slang for that is "Cartelua," stitched onto Felix' glove, of course.  Felix is, in fact, a cartelua, and that with a capital C.   The idea is that of (1) extreme toughness but (2) without advertising, and (3) without any INTEREST whatsoever in advertising.  Dirty Harry is B.A.; James Bond really isn't.  Robert DeNiro is B.A.; Sylvester Stallone is a poser,... Read More
Keep the bullpen seat open for 'im
Posted by jemanji on 01/14/14
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. In November, Greg Johns gave us this prognosis on Stephen Pryor: ... Pryor ... had triceps surgery in August after a season-long struggle with his arm and latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder. Zduriencik said the young reliever is expected to begin throwing in January and should be able to participate to some degree in Spring Training, though it's premature to say whether he has a chance yet to be ready by Opening Day. ... SSI chooses to read that as:  normally, you'd expect Pryor to be fine for March, but it's been a series of muscle tears, so we're not taking anything for... Read More
260 lbs. of hacky goodness
Posted by jemanji on 01/14/14
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. Tsunami of Bench Strength Well, a very pleasant lapping of saltwater around our ankles, at least.  John Buick is a legitimate starting catcher in the major leagues, and here we are deploying him as our 30-game backup scrubeenie. A little perspective ... here are the WAR totals for various Mariner catchers, last FOUR (4) years aggregate.  Following those are Buick's totals: Catcher WAR 1. Jaso, 2010-2013 2.6 2. Shoppach, 2010-13 0.4 3. Quintero, 2010-13 0.3 4. Gimenez, 2010-13 0.2 5. Olivo, 2010-13 (830 PA's) 0.1 6. Rob Johnson, 2010-13 0.0 7-10. Four guys incl. Zunino, 2010-13 0.0 each 11.... Read More
Now we're cookin with peanut oil
Posted by jemanji on 01/14/14
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. You know what we need, is --- > those Green Highlight fields that allow us all to "rec" a great shout.  It'll add that much more to the best chat room in baseball, putting extra wind into the sails of great 'puts and stirring competition for ever- and ever-increasingly brilliant shouts that spiral off into their own universe... Alternatively, it will add some green to the area. Already we have an Editor's Choice feature, but all it does is checkmark a shout.  In the meantime, Dr. D loves the idea of singling out the juiciest tidbits, so what would you think of posts that grab a few... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 01/11/14

Posted by jemanji on 01/11/14
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. New column!  Fortune 500 Forum :- )   :: crowd goes wild :: :: buried in crumpled Dixie Cups :: . Ahem.  :: taps microphone :: . A Tale of Two Engines, Dept. In the late 80's and early 90's, Boeing launched a critical new program, the one that produced the 777 jumbo jet.  Only two engines, but transatlantic.  Quality Assurance was critical, because the FAA wasn't going to sign off on two-engine ocean flights unless ... well, you get the idea. With programs like this, there is just a leeeeetle bit more at stake than a 71-91 won-loss record.  It isn't like Boeing execs have less pressure on... Read More
a Corporate Recruiting HR … 487 feet and takes out a light
Posted by jemanji on 01/06/14
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. Was bangin' out a little office work the other day.  Needed some 'Net Muzak, as it were.  We checked the 710 Hot Stove pool filter and saw a Dec. 13 Zduriencik radio show trapped in there.  Which you won't want to miss. 710 homeys asked whether Zduriencik got the tinglies meeting Jay-Z.  Quite the oppo:  Jay-Z and entourage were starry-eyed at being in an MLB locker room.  (?!) Zduriencik, obviously bemused, describes how the entire conference was in a holding pattern, waiting for Jay-Z to finish a concert in LA and fly up.  Zduriencik gives some detail as to the bright-lights welcome that... Read More
.469 / .514 / .789
Posted by jemanji on 01/06/14
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. "Suspect what it is?  How can it not know what it IS?!" - Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, after interviewing a Replicant ... Once the ESPN New York Network began to fear that Cano might actually leave ... one of the talking heads said something that stopped me short.  It suddenly seemed possible. Verducci, was it?  In a resigned, somber tone, he admitted that when he watched Robinson Cano at the WBC --- > "I saw a completely different player there."  Cano didn't say much about it, but he (evidently) disliked being in Derek Jeter's shadow, disliked being an afterthought with the Yankees.  I... Read More
Robinson Cano vs Evan Longoria
Posted by jemanji on 01/06/14
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. Another fascinating idea that JZ threw out during the Hot Stove broadcast ... that Tampa deploys one real HOF position player, and finds young players to put around him. This isn't an idea that you'll find on a pure-sabr site, which is limited to the "simple WAR accumulation" paradigm.  But it's an idea that you'll consistently find when talking to great baseball architects.   For example, Whitey Herzog used George Brett in KC, and Jack Clark in St. Louis, to anchor ballclubs that he built around pitching.  In The White Rat, Whitey revealed that "our entire offense was built around the idea... Read More
SkyBet Transfer Market
Posted by jemanji on 01/02/14
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. In Euro football, it's an industry, their wagering on the destinations of popular "free agents."  Right now my Gunners are odds-on to land Dimitar Berbatov.  If SkyBet had a Tanaka listing, I'm guessing it would look something like the one on Luke Shaw (which see).  The M's being at 3:1. ... If you missed it, here's a Jan. 2 MLBTR shouting out the Seattle Mariners as front-runners, moshing off Jayson Stark as well as a separate ESPN Insider column: The market's most intriguing name, Masahiro Tanaka, will undoubtedly continue to generate ample speculation, rumors, and discussion until he... Read More
Ever check the stats on 1989 Randy Johnson?
Posted by jemanji on 01/02/14
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Spec says, ...... Why I'm the K-Pax skeptic: And when I say skeptic, I mean I think he's much more likely to have a Bedard career than a Kershaw career.  That's still something of value, of course. 1) Paxton is 25.  It's not not like we don't have a pretty good idea of what he is. 2) He gives up lots of baserunners, consistently and not just sometimes.  Kentucky: 1.42 WHIP. Clinton: 1.34. Jackson 1.31. Tacoma 1.48.  3) To make up for the walks and hits, he has to be extremely difficult to hit hard.  Can he sustain a low HR% and low ISO-against so as to survive his high WHIP?  Possbily.  And I... Read More
… or is it "vs Matt Garza"
Posted by jemanji on 01/01/14
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. A Fangraphs article insists that Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley and quite a few other AAA prospects are comparable in value to Masahiro Tanaka.  The conclusion is that teams should be much more careful about trading prospects for stars, which is a position the author has maintained for many years. The Exec Sum of his argument is as follows: Tanaka is going to be paid $120-150M Darvish was, appropriately, considered a #4'ish prospect ... Therefore he (and Tanaka) are roughly equivalent to (say) Taijuan, who is a #4'ish prospect Therefore the best AAA pitchers are worth a minimum of $100M,... Read More