October 2014

Why two equally matched teams can have a consistent winner and loser.
Posted by mojician on 10/31/14
Posted to blog
8 Comments

Doc asks why I called the Giants to win the World Series, when they were clearly second tier behind the Dodgers, Nats, Tigers and Angels in terms of on paper formidableness. Here's my answer:  I used to wrestle in high school, and was highly successful at it.  My repertoire included about three good judo throws, a few illegal strangulation and joint manipulation techniques, tightrope balance and a dedicated mean streak.  During my senior year, I was the fourth seed in the state tournament.  I dispatched the first feeb with an exclamation point, and left my quarterfinals opponent with a... Read More
More on the "HOW's" of sustained success
Posted by jemanji on 10/31/14
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. By the way, there are "short and intense" dynasties and "longer, milder" dynasties in James' paradigm.  Makes sense if you think about it.  The Miami Heat under LeBron James were the former; the San Antonio Spurs under Tim Duncan, the latter.  Kewl?   If you ask me, 5 trophies in 15 years, and you're lethal every one of the 15 years, I'm willing to call it the Duncan Dynasty.  It's a cohesive story down there, too. That in mind, were you aware that (by James' points sytem) the St. Louis Cardinals, 2000-present (!!), are the 12th-greatest dynasty ever? Check out their b-ref franchise history... Read More
Well, the #1 SP is no issue
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/14
Posted to blog
11 Comments

. No particularly deep planning here.  Just a 10-meter platform, to sprint and sail off into the wild blue of the comments thread, if you've looked at it more closely than Dr. D has... . The 2010 Giants - 92-70, two 'lucky' wins in the NL, a 4-0 sweep over Detroit Who were their key players?  ... SP's Cain, Linecum, then Bumgarner late, like Paxton; Brian Wilson with the beard and the fans doing the Lincecum/Wilson imitations.  Buster Posey.   Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell had big years, 135 OPS+ type years.  That would be exactly like Kendrys Morales hitting .300/.400/.500 next year, his best... Read More
Handing the golden scepter to the man after you, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/14
Posted to blog

. John Clayton says that an NFL franchise gets to hang a DYNASTY!! pennant when --- > it has 3 Super Bowls in 6 years.  Dr. D will buy that. Bill James takes this question to a more fine-grain level.  To absolutely everybody's surprise and amazment, he came up with a "points system" to grade Dynasties.  You know what his main reason was, this time?  To get himself an objective grade for the Red Sox he'd been a part of.  :- )  Hey, how about a M's blog Tomorrow's News Today points system.  Fire me up, Matty. Mojo sez, mojician: I'd like the record to reflect that I called a Giants World... Read More
Ya hit what ya aim at, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/30/14
Posted to blog

. Q.  How important is this idea of a "Dynasty"?  Should we even argue about it? A.  In one sense, it's the only thing that Dr. D thinks about, when he thinks about sports. I don't especially care* whether the Mariners get Royals-lucky next year and win a World Series.  My vision, the thing I hope for, is to become the Tom Brady Patriots or the Tim Duncan Spurs.  You've got a couple rings already, and next year you're one of the 3-4 teams that nobody wants to play, and let's see where we're going in history. For me, it's not about riding one little wave until it hits the beach.  It's about... Read More
Best of all possible worlds… for the Dodgers, that is
Posted by jemanji on 10/27/14
Posted to blog
15 Comments

. Q.  How, in the name of all that is decent and holy in Safeco, can this RH Bluto template be so popular with Seattle sabermets? A.  I've got no idea.  . Q.  You have an opinion about everything.  Why not about a 160 OPS+ hitter. A.  I don't mean it as hyperbole.  I mean it literally.  I got no idea why people like Scott Van Slyke so much.  Everybody does.  It's awesome.  You haven't lived until you take your teenage daughter to a Killers concert and watch her adulate them like they were the Who. Back in college, our garage band consisted of three lifelong buds and a drummer we met at a... Read More
Stars & Scrubs, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/26/14
Posted to blog
10 Comments

. Earlier, we did SABRMatt's "bumper stickers" on the infield.  He wanted a smackdown between himself and Bob Dutton.  Dr. D is happy to don the zebra shirt and throw all the yellow flags at one side.  He thinks he's got the hang of it, based on a half-season's worth of "NFL Parity" syndrome. The first line below is SABRMatt's take on each player.  He says that it was re:  Free Agents that he (in real life) provided these to the Steinbrenners and their ilk.  If so, we'll assume that he did it in his below 30 words, not the 8 we requested.  Soooo ...no grumbling from Dr. D this time about... Read More
May the best team win … or not
Posted by jemanji on 10/26/14
Posted to blog

. Jeff Sullivan with a funny article that predicts the winner of the World Series. Dr. D has always argued that --- > although a championship trophy cup is a different accomplishment than "being the best team," it is still pretty much worth putting on your mantle.   When you say, "Jack Nicklaus won 16 majors," you know what that means.  It may not even be that relevant, whether he was the Objectively Best Player in all, or any, of those years.  A championship is a different statement, one that says "in this time and in this place, I defeated all rivals." For example, what if the 49ers set... Read More
Whooooooo do you trrruuuuuust, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/24/14
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. Mighty fine article rat cheer by the erstwhile Royals reporter Bob Dutton.  (Dr. D does not know what an erstwhile is, but he thinks it was a bass player.  Or maybe an agent for Alan Rickman ... who gave up on Rickman after 20 years, just before Die Hard.) Dutton relays several things about the way things are going inside the Mariners' heads: Yes, the tentative rotation is Felix-LittleBear-KPax-Elias-Taijuan They want 3 candidates for #6 They'll likely do that by searching for next year's Wolf / Young /Scott Baker Hultzen will be pitching for that #6 spot.  Fine, since he'll have limited IP... Read More
Challenge Bill's ideas? He'll reason with you, not mock you
Posted by jemanji on 10/24/14
91 Comments

. The 'Science Set Free' thread was wrapped up, when LR came across it and wanted to unwrap.  As y'know, we believe in free idea exchange.  - Jeff . LR says, After reading through this entire thread, I feel the imperative to be csiems cut-man. Just a few simple points that I think he was making but I didn't feel were fully digested by a few in here. -Scientific consensus doesn't mean you go around and take a poll on which scientists prefer vanilla ice cream over chocolate, and then if 85% prefer vanilla then vanilla is considered better than chocolate. This whole fervor over "consensus" is... Read More
And it's kinda fun getting ahold of this many shoe salesmen
Posted by jemanji on 10/21/14
Posted to blog
26 Comments

. The 2014 Oakland A's traded a 115 OPS+ hitter, Yoenis Cespedes, for a playoff ace, Jon Lester.  They also traded for Jeff Samardzija, pushing all their poker chips into the rotation pot. You might have noticed that this didn't work.  It might very well have been the most extreme case, in all of baseball history, for the failure of this particular strategy. But!  Let's hand the mike to Aristotle at Hey Bill: ... Hey Bill--Mattingly is going to bring back Kershaw tonight on short rest in a must-win game rather than start Dan Haren. Haren is a good pitcher in his own right, he has pitched... Read More
Of slackers and inquisitors
Posted by jemanji on 10/21/14
Posted to blog
43 Comments

. Social commentary follows.  Nothing mild about this one.  :- )  As usual, we did make sure you also had pure baseball, one cubicle left.  You're welcome.  - Jeff . Misterjonez sez, Agreed regarding Hitchens' sophist tendencies. Too many times you see people construct self-defending arguments, and he was one of the worst at that. But there were times when he was discussing subjects relatively dispassionately (basically anything that was three steps removed from religion/theology) and he could produce thought gems at an impressive pace when doing so. When he got to rambling about his anti-... Read More
Hey, a WAR is a WAR is a WAR, right ….
Posted by jemanji on 10/21/14
Posted to blog
15 Comments

. Justin is an Orioles fan and the oldest Detect-O-Vision denizen who still comments (except when Silentpadna does).  He's always had a very fine feel for AL roster moves, especially over toward where he lives in Baltimore. Can't miss a chance to poach his stuff for a freebie URL: .... No comment on the Royals. Too soon, lol. Martinez and Detroit seem to be very high on each other, but not sure where he fits in with their other priorities. Scherzer about to become a free agent and possibly gone. Price a free agent after next season. Their bullpen completely failed them in the playoffs. They... Read More
Cut-and-paste, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/20/14
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. Matt axed us to compare his quick-sums to those of Dutton.  And Dr. D is quot-a-fied.  Harmonic convergence at its best.   The first line below is SABRMatt's take.  The fact that Matty might have been asked to provide these bumper stickers to the Steinbrenners, that keeps this fly ball definitely inside the foul pole. I love these kindsa bumper stickers, by the way.  Remember when USA Today's preseason roto magazine used to do them, post-draft, for everybody in the bigs?  Like in FOUR words. The infield: ....... C MIKE ZUNINO - Would see AAA time in 2015 if not for defensive game -... Read More
Dr. D's SR shtick gets one-up'ped
Posted by jemanji on 10/19/14
Posted to blog
15 Comments

. Want an "awesome opinion" on Dustin Ackley .... in 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 words?  No problems there, mate.  You and I can play ping-pong as much as we feel like, running up and down the sideline, cataloguing the good and the bad. The problem comes when somebody asks us to commit to a position, short and sweet.  Where are you on Dustin Ackley?  You think he's going to become a star, or do you not?  Dr. D runs screaming into the night.  Lack 'a commitment, that's why nobody goes to his website, either that or the fact that insecure LrKr's never LnK us-all here at DoV. That syndrome, the... Read More
Best buds, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/19/14
Posted to blog
25 Comments

. This one contains nothing but off-baseball, family stuff.  Once every 3,000 posts we do an About the Author page, whether we need to or not.  If the shtick is a little too cheerful, wait until you've had your second cup.  I do.   - Jeff. ........ Time for a bit of whimsy.  If you've been assuming that Dr. D and Son are photogenic enough for the ESPN studios?  Yer half right. John was a defensive lineman in high school, not one of the Cullens, as you probably figured from the teeth and eyes, the complexion and the 8x10-a-bility.  He does have crazy incisors, and a row of shark teeth behind... Read More
… or not
Posted by jemanji on 10/18/14
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. BJOL is still a piddling $3 per month.  If we cite him, we link his site and his paywall offer, since that's fair and since if you're gonna spend $3 on anything baseball, there y'go amigo. The last couple of months, they've been discussing the ideas that: More bullpen usage is objectively better in principle, an actual evolution in quality of play, but It's lousy to watch, in the same sense that it would be lousy to watch 4 actors swap out a lead role, so Rules should be passed against so many switches I find this line of thinking to be pretty legit.  (Note that the Royals and Mariners were... Read More
When you least expect it … expect it
Posted by jemanji on 10/18/14
Posted to blog
1 Comments

Mild social commentary follows.  - Jeff .... Jeff Goldblum, in Jurassic Park, warned Laura Dern about chaos theory.  He poured a few drops of water over her hand and pointed out that the imperfections in her hand (WHAAAT?) made it impossible to predict the movement of water.  "Something is going to go wrong with this dinosaur park," he told her in essence.  "Just because I don't know what it is, won't prevent it from happening." That's a big part of my philosophy of life, derived also from the Sermon on the Mount which sets high priorities even within NT context.  "Do not worry about tomorrow... Read More
Thass a long row to hoe, steppin' in front of Taylor and Miller
Posted by jemanji on 10/16/14
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. M's fans are runnin' a little hot blooded on Ketel Marte, a 20-year-old shortstop who hit .300 at both AA and AAA this season.  Dr. D took five minutes to google "who or what is a ketel marte?," which were five minutes running either (1) ten minutes in USSM years, or (2) a colossal waste of time.  Depending on your point of view. One stop was at the TNT, which quoted Baseball America, which quoted itself thusly: ...... Baseball America also identified Mariners infielder Ketel Marte as the No. 15 prospect in the Southern League. Marte, 21, batted .302 with two homers and 46 RBIs in 109 games... Read More
Yer wouldn't like Patrick when he's angry
Posted by jemanji on 10/16/14
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. Doesn't bother to use his thumbs for the swat. That's funny raht there. .... Another ballgame Thursday nite, another tater for Rutgers legend Patrick Kivlehan.  He tossed in a double and walk for good measure.  Here's a link to a pretty cool little report. Kivlehan is at .292/.414/.750.  That's in six games, so yeah.  But there's a punch line:  Kivelehan's EYE ratio is the best in the AFL, except for one other guy's.  Imminent Superduperstar BB K EYE Patrick Kivlehan 4 2 2.0 D.J. Peterson 7 2 3.5 Corey Seager 4 10 0.4 That's as funny as the Thing's arms blowing back in the wind.  The one... Read More
Eyes slideways, kiddies
Posted by jemanji on 10/14/14
Posted to blog
17 Comments

. If you're not super gung-ho about the minors, you might not be familiar with Patrick Kivlehan's story: Age Remark Slash Line 18, 19, 20, 21 Football player only   22 Tried out for NCAA team .390/.480/.700 23 Class A+ minors ball (High Desert) .320/.380/.530 24 AA high minor leagues ("nearly" MLB) .300/.380/.485 . I don't even know how to comment on the above situation.   Here is an article about his "tryout" with Rutgers baseball.  They thought Kivlehan could help with pinch-running, because of his football speed -- exactly as if the Mariners brought on Ricardo Lockette.  Kivlehan's walk-on... Read More
vs …. cashin' in
Posted by jemanji on 10/13/14
Posted to blog
43 Comments

. "When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the 3rd choice - to not choose."  - Jarod Kintz "And when you don't know what to do, wait for your opponent to get an idea - it's sure to be wrong." - Bobby Fischer "But a broken clock is right twice a day.  One time out of ten, letting the players choose makes you look pretty smart." - Dr. D . Word is, these days, that the Mariners' offseason plan is to reel in One Big Bat.  This looks peachy keen from the Stars & Scrubs camera angle.  Imagine a +100 runs differential, and add a 5-WAR (+50 runs) player on offense.  Deee-... Read More
95 losses per year vs 116 wins, easy squeezee :- )
Posted by jemanji on 10/12/14
Posted to blog
7 Comments

. Once again, for those who just joined us :- )  consider the following rental house: Sale Value + $300,000 Debt (mortgage) - $200,000 Original purchase price 200,000 Monthly rent incoming + $1,500 Monthly debt service (mortgage) - $1,200 Monthly cashflow ("profit") + 300 . Looks pretty simple?  The newspapers report my "profit" as $300 per month, or $3,600. Actually my "profit" was $50,000, amigo.  I bought the house 2 years ago for $200k and now can sell it for $300k.  The appreciation is what you care about. Now you want me to show that I'm losing money on this dream rental house?... Read More
hey, I got nothing against info download either
Posted by jemanji on 10/12/14
Posted to blog
10 Comments

Diderot sez, I try to tell my kids to differentiate between three things: 'well educated', 'intelligent', and 'smart'. Which I think is the distinction you're making here. 'Well-educated' is just a measure of attainment, codified by a piece of paper. It means the paper-holder had access to intellectual stimulation, which that person may or may not have taken advantage of. 'Intelligent', in fundamental terms, is measured by IQ. An imperfect measure, to be sure, but in broad strokes should indicate one person's ability to learn things versus another. But 'smart' is a different animal entirely... Read More
Next-Gen Ballplayers
Posted by jemanji on 10/11/14
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. You know one way to tell that high school baseball is lower-quality than the National League?  I mean, besides just watching the games?  By using James' indicators that compare league quality. Many years ago, James put a framework into place to triangulate this problem.  He drew a loose triangle with his "points system," but the triangle did contain the answer inside it.  Compared to the American League, high school baseball has: More fielding errors Better-hitting pitchers Fewer double plays More .400 hitters etc ... on to 16 James indicators For example, take the "better-hitting pitchers... Read More
point counterpoint, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 10/11/14
Posted to blog
7 Comments

. There is a conversation in the Cruz/Hart thread that we thought we'd bump to the front page, for others' feedback. Are you all familiar with this LL article and the series following?  It names 6 dedicated analysts as members of a larger analytics department inside the Mariners infrastructure: Jesse Smith Wesley Battle Anthony Aliosi Jordan Bley Kenny Wade Caleb Peiffer   You know that if you walk into an F-500 company and there are 6-12 first level analysts in a department, then that company has built a very robust organization that serves this one area.  The rest of the LL series confirms... Read More
Would you rather your child be smart, or be a good person?
Posted by jemanji on 10/10/14
5 Comments

. Stuff is found below that relates to actual life.  For some readers, that's their favorite part of SSI shtick.  For others, this blog should be about baseball, light and breezy.   You been warned :- ) ...... HOT NEWS ITEM:  M's had a 1/$8M deal with Cruz, and ownership backed away. TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY:  You've gotten it all year.  ;- ) We've insisted, long past even SSI's usual infuriating repetition level, that the M's had essentially decided against Cruz-at-a-big-bargain.   OH WELL:  "We got Rodney instead of Cruz." GIMME A BREAK:  Was it truly either/or?  If Clayton Kershaw will join... Read More
food fight! food fight!
Posted by jemanji on 10/09/14
Posted to blog
26 Comments

. Dr. D sez, It is amusing that Michael Saunders had exactly 50% of Kyle Seager's K's and BB's, in almost exactly 50% of the games played: Player G K BB OPS+ Seager 159 52 118 127 Saunders 78 26 59 128 . Granted, Saunders' plate appearances were 40% of Seager's, not 50%.  That's because Saunders was frequently used as a bench player / defensive substitute.  But when you have EYE ratios this similar, there may be other similarites, and ... check it out. Player G K BB OPS+ AVG OBP SLG Remark Seager 159 52 118 127 .268 .334 .454 infielder Saunders 78 26 59 128 .273 .341 .450 fast on bases . Yes... Read More
What say we do ceremonies in every city?
Posted by jemanji on 10/08/14
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. In 1986, the Seattle Seahawks were really good.  They were in the middle of 4 playoff appearances in 6 years, this in a very tough division.  Curt Warner ran for 1,481 yards that year.  Steve Largent caught his usual 70 passes; he'd led the NFL in receiving yardage the year before.  The Kingdome was, long before 1986, the forerunner of today's CLink / 12th Man.  The NFL passed a rule against crowd noise because of the Seahawks in that era. QB Ken O'Brien brought the Jets into town, with the Seahawks favored by 4 points.  O'Brien did something never seen before or since:  he threw for a... Read More
Send More Martinezes to DH. The First One Played Perfect
Posted by jemanji on 10/07/14
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. Sez Rick the Biology Mag Editor,  rick82: Drayer seriously doubts the M's will go after Tomas, but thinks they'll be serious after VMart .... Sez Aristotle, for only $3 per month ... there are like 200 of these Q-and-A mini-essays in the Hey Bill section alone, remember ... Aristotle was like the guy who invented logic or something.  :: crickets ::   Nobody ever gets me. .... So Victor Martinez ended up with 70 walks and 42 strikeouts. His HRs (32) were also in the ballpark of his strikeouts. You've pointed out how rare it is these days for hitters to have low strikeout totals,... Read More
We all like shiny things. Can I interest you in a holograph?
Posted by jemanji on 10/07/14
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. There's a whale of a lot of interesting shtick in the Shout Box on the Trumbinator.  There's a whale of a lot of extremely "retro" shtick coming from Dave Stewart about said Trumbinator.   Now, it takes a whale of a lot to get Dr. D to call baloney on Good Ole Boyz Shtick for no other reason than that it's Good Ole Boyz, but .... :- )  Dave Stewart is one of the elite few who can do so.  At will.  Force Dr. D to call baloney, that is.   Stewart is wayyyyy hardcore, you unnerstan', and interprets absolutely everything in known civilization through this prism.  In every interview we've ever... Read More
… with no one harmed? Sign me up :- )
Posted by jemanji on 10/06/14
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. We’ve mentioned, a time or three, that sports are useful because they --- > feed a human hunger that is at the same time: Primal Noble Is that possible?  That the same food should nourish both our frontal lobes, and our hindbrains? Can a microprocessor digest the same material as does a reptile? ….. There was a period, during that Seahawks-Redskins game, that you had a sinking feeling of re-watching Super Bowl 40.  (Let’s call every other Super Bowl by its Roman numeral.)  Was it the third time that they called back a Percy touchdown?   Later, you were able to shake off the feeling that... Read More
Before the days of poly waistbands
Posted by jemanji on 10/05/14
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. By a remarkable coink-y-dink, Dr. D was just now talking Detroit Tigers with a transplanted 70-something fan.  Just this last weekend.  What a joy it was. He talked about seeing Al Kaline's debut game - Al hit the ground running, had every blinkin' inch an Edgar Martinez slash line at age 20 (!).   He talked about seeing Teddy Ballgame's walkoff homer on the Game of the Week.  Not a walkoff of that game; a walkoff of his career.  He later wrote that he coulda been mayor of Boston if he'd broken his rule about never giving the fans in Boston a tip of the cap, and "going around 3B, I almost... Read More
All things must breathe and exhale. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine
Posted by jemanji on 10/05/14
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. All Apologies, Dept. Dr. D, were he with us in dimensions non-astral, would extend his regrets about the lack of shtick over the last week or so.  Good, and not-so-good, reasons for this hiatus might include: The M's self-fulfilling prophecy (that the game was "rigged against them" in July) A 10cm breach in his abdominal incision, brought on by a mild sneeze (comparable in quality-of-life impact to, say, watching a Mariner swing at an 0-0 slider off the plate) The Orcs deciding, at precisely the wrong moment, to compete (note list descends in Agony Factor) Continued echoes of the idea of... Read More
Bakersfield, Hultzen & the Big Train
Posted by Spectator on 10/03/14
Posted to blog
2 Comments

  It's alive. By way of explanation for the lack of "MarinerBrainstorm.com" for awhile, let’s go back to several months ago when I was laid off here as a paid contributor.  I decided to continue at WordPress while figuring out how to make things work, and one of the things I found right away was that providing minor-league coverage only was not going to produce sufficient traffic.  So I knew I had to expand to more major-league analysis … kind of on the fly. At that point I had my “Spectometer” tools, which were designed to project which minor-leaguers had a good shot at major-league success... Read More
… the 2014 season was lost. Anybody wanna count 'em?
Posted by jemanji on 10/02/14
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. The PRVB column, on SSI's stats page (which see), ratios four (4) other measurements.  PRVB gives us a single number -- like the WAR statistic -- that captures an enormous amount of information within a tiny collection of alphanumerics.   PRVB itself derives from four component metrics: VERAC - the proportion of any number that is in accordance with fact or reality AXM - the degree to which any number can be generalized to a large number of situations PITH - the briefness with which such critical info can be delivered, especially with respect to shock emotional impact MAXM - the simplicity... Read More