November 2015

hm, who does this remind me of
Posted by jemanji on 11/30/15
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. You know it's a dark day at the Think Tank when the Mariners are connected with an NPB player and ... Dr. D throws a tantrum, holds his breath until he turns blue, and passes out. . YOU TELL ME Okey doke.  Here is a 4.5 runs per game corner outfielder (erf) who's there for defense.  Except, John Dewan has him at -12 the last time he played right field and as a completely separate issue, the WAY he botched it was anti-Safeco.  Aoki was neutral on shallow fly balls and medium fly balls, and got royally :- ) torched on everything over his head.  Just like the 2015 Mariners. He is a mediocre... Read More
Let us assume, for a moment, a Great. Many. Things.
Posted by jemanji on 11/30/15
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. Let's assume for a moment that Robinson Cano would be willing, at the very beginning of spring training, to shift over to 1B for no other reason than that it would benefit the Seattle Mariners more than it would him.  Dr. D's mainframe gives this assumption a 25% chance of being accurate.  That's generous on the Marinframe's part.  Robinson Cano seems to be a good guy. Let's assume that a second baseman would play a blinkin' mean first base.  Especially compared to Mark Trumbo or Jesus Montero.  And let's assume that having four (yes, 4) second basemen on the infield would give you a... Read More
We report. You decide.
Posted by jemanji on 11/30/15
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. Question comes up whether Nate Karns might be able to throw some ninja Coltrops under the soft sandals of our 2016 bullpen.  Maybe Karns really is a 5-inning type, like Erik Bedard was?*  Okay, you know how objective Dr. D can be when you push one of his hot buttons.  Follows the exemplary "neutral point of view" post. .... Dr. D's visceral reaction to the "Five and Dive" charge is to reach for his antiemetics.  Five compazine tablets diving down the gullet, as in.  "Five and Dive" sounds so sweeeet coming off the tongue that it is 90% true before you even begin discussing it.  Problem-o is... Read More
DiPoto-speak, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/28/15
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. MR MAGIC CLOSER DiPoto sez, in the Times, . “Obviously Carson Smith is on our roster and he had some small level experience pitching the ninth and had an outstanding year as a set-up man,” Dipoto said. “Joaquin Benoit has had closing experience in the past on two different occasions. He’s done an excellent job when asked to do that. He’s also been an excellent set-up man. Between the two, I feel like we do have options in house. But like I said, there is a lot of offseason left to go. It’s TBD as to who will pitch the ninth inning on opening day.” . As you know, the Mainframe is equipped... Read More
Glove first or bat first?
Posted by jemanji on 11/27/15
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. Wily Mo Pena sat down!  :: crowd goes wild :: In case you just joined us, Wily Mo laid out the standard recipe for gaining followers off the sports rumor grapevine: ... for what it's worth, the origin of the MLB daily dish story appears to be this tweet from marlins beat writer clark spencer:  https://twitter.com/clarkspencer/status/669354792477589504 "And two pitchers the #Marlins could be looking at are LH Roenis Elias and RH Nate Karns, per sources. "   note the "could" there, which has become an "are" in the dish tweet to me this looks like the usual winter talking, e.g. 1) reports... Read More
you keep the Useful Pieces; Dr. D will keep the stars
Posted by jemanji on 11/25/15
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. ... of course we are discussing a Golden Principle.  Golden Principles are not absolutes.  They are compass headings.  Many times two or three Golden Principles are in play, and have to be weighed against each other.   It's a Golden Principle, in boxing, to protect your chin (the 'magic button' that concusses) and to go after his.  But what if his hands are head-high, he's standing straight up, and his solar plexus is the opening?  Then is the Golden Principle to take what he gives you? What if you decide that you will take $1.25 on the dollar, but you are receiving only a 50-cent piece and... Read More
Slide vs. Rotation
Posted by moethedog on 11/24/15
19 Comments

I've been intrigued by the Korean/Japanese hitters lately, Son and Kim included. I believe that I commented on their "pause/pose" at the top of their swing.  They wait......which makes all the difference on their weight.  As I've thought about it (and I have), I've begun to think that the difference is really that of lateral vs. rotational movement. The "modern" swing is the one we've seen in the Tom Emanski videos (which drive me batty).  This is a rotational move, with bat speed generated by the hips exploding open.  Lookie here, at our own Boomstick Baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=... Read More
Maybe this should go in the KK Presentiment article
Posted by jemanji on 11/24/15
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. ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY U.S.S. BAT571 First of all, if the Mariners worked any kind of deal involving Marcell Ozuna and Roenis Elias, it would be the greatest called shot in Seattle sports history, and possibly in the history of the Milky Way galaxy.   Chris Rose and Kevin Millar play this game nightly on MLB Network, trying to call specific players to specific teams.  They never do, but it's fun.  If one of them were to call an obscure player-for-player -- and this ain't a super obvious Cano/Ellsbury swap here -- then we viewers would never hear the end of it. I defy you to link me to any... Read More
thass a high front side you got there, Nathan
Posted by jemanji on 11/24/15
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. Q.  Why might Roenis Elias be the winning bid, when the Marlins apparently have a yelling crowd that is bidding on the courthouse steps? A.  Because Elias is really good. Show me another young ML-ready starter with these things: Quick fastball, loves to bust you IN with it Curve ball that is sometimes one notch short of Erik Bedard's Changeup that legitimately gets garbage swings from RH when it's on [That makes 3, not 2, strikeout pitches.  3 is a lot more than 2] Lefty Has been in the majors and done very nicely (passed that filter AND is closer to his leap) Club-controlled as far as the... Read More
we're rounnnndin' third, headin' for home...
Posted by jemanji on 11/23/15
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. Originally posted Nov. 13.  M's sign Iannetta ::CROWD GOES WILD::  And how the deuce did we get him on a 1-year "bridge" deal?!  Why would he go for that?  Well, perhaps a .188 batting average cuts into your millions even in the age of sabermetrics? This will be a mass-ly underrated DiPoto move. Here's a Times link. . For the 1983 season, 300-game winner Gaylerd Perry stopped by Seattle on his way out the baseball door.  At the time the M's had a young (and lousy) shortstop named Spike Owen.  Although the DH rule had been around for 10 years, Perry wanted to step into the batting cage for... Read More
point counterpoint, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/23/15
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. Anonymous, in the Shout Box, called our attention to the day's chatter.  From Bleacher Report (quoting better sources than, um, Bleacher Report): . Jim Bowden of ESPN, citing a source "directly involved in talks" between the Mariners and New York Yankees, reported there is "no truth" to any proposed deal involving Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury. While the Yankees make sense from a roster perspective, the fact remains that if New York wanted Cano badly enough, then it never would've let him leave in the first place. -and- According to John Harper of the New York Daily News, Cano is becoming... Read More
How I learned to slow down and hit .367, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/23/15
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. For all you brand-new readers ... welcome and two things you should know. 1.  If you join the conversation, we'll be delighted.  And we don't bite.  :- )  You don't have to be as expert (in any topic) as Rick in order to chat with us.  Also, you don't have to be as expert as my daughter.  If you ask "why do they go to the base when they get four balls?" that will actually lead to a fascinating conversation. So, 'ave at us mate. 2.  MoeDawg (Keith) brings the vaunted SSI "cross-training" element when he's talking about hitting, is 'cause he is a scratch golfer, and few things in sports are... Read More
Matt wanted to know: this guy? Or Ah-seop Son?
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/15
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. Q.  We don't even know whether Kivlehan can help.  How are we supposed to know whether a Korean star can help? A.  You play poker (for matchsticks, if you've got two brain cells to rub together), they have a saying:  "Put your enemy on a hand."  It's 7-Stud and he has two hole cards with a 6H and a 9H showing, but he bets low as if drawing you in?  Assume him to have at least one card in the hold that's a heart or a 7 or 8.  You're assuming a flush or a straight draw.  Secondary assumption trip nines. Now, THAT'S PROBABLY WRONG.  But when he draws an 8C next, your thoughts are organized. Dr... Read More
Not the easiest comp to match, eh hoser
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/15
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. There is a very good article at Fangraphs on The 2016 Free Agent Land Mines.  It's well-reasoned and moderate compared to previous years, even friendly to dissent.  But then, that will happen after you name Nelson Cruz a land mine at 3 x $45M.  :- )  Huge credit for owning the prophecies, though.  Chuck Knox used to laugh about predictions:  "Nobody goes back to look at them later."  ... it's a good read.  Check it out. It names Justin Upton as the #3 land mine out there, but does so without its heart really in it: . Upton is a weird player, a former elite prospect who is simultaneously... Read More
Dr. D laying 3:1 that this dude is in there and rotation FA is done
Posted by jemanji on 11/22/15
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. ... Karns holding his SP3 spot, that is, if not also over Zduriencik's twin 400mm cannons.  Free agency being done in the rotation, we fear.  Other than as a shell game for SP2. Commander Bat has us sailing along at 30 knots an hour, keeping us all alert to interesting possibilities at the fringes of the roster.  This comment from the Chen thread deserves extra consideration: . Right now, if the Ms re-sign 'Kuma or sign Wei-Yin Chen as the #2, Karns is the #5 guy. The question is whether the Ms sign another experienced starter, as most pundits predict, or they look for another Montgomery -... Read More
Replace WBC-san? you cannot be SERious
Posted by jemanji on 11/21/15
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. Just kinda byte sized.  You come to SSI for the bottom line.  Here y'go amig-O. . 7K, 1BB Dept. Show me a pitcher who walks 1+ a game, and still fans hitters, and I'll show you a man that Dr. D wants on his pitching staff.   Doug Fister was the first of these to hang around Seattle in quite some time, and the Think Tank was all over him from day one.  Shame he wasn't one of your best five going forward, Jack ... Hisashi Iwakuma, like Wei-Yin Chen, is a Pacific Rim pitcher.  They come from a culture that doesn't have our tolerance for mistakes.  From the time you're three, you have it... Read More
Call it the Mad Dog award
Posted by jemanji on 11/21/15
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. Strickly sabermetrics here.  Let's wander strip mall / food court that surrounds the baseball diamond at Safeco, and stop in for something exotic.  Like an Ichiroll. In James' latest article - still only $3 per month - he reasons that baseball could have (and probably should have) taken a 1980's turn into an Alternate Universe.  Three SP's rather than five. . DESCRIPTION You've got: Three (really good!) starters going 80-90 pitches.  Times 50-54 starts. Limit this super carefully.  You hit your 80-pitch limit with 4.2 IP gone and a 9-0 lead, tough luck Sally.  Shoulda thrown strikes.... Read More
we're wide open on this 'un
Posted by jemanji on 11/20/15
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. Certainly Bat571 is well capable; he's been calling for Elias-Ozuna for weeks.  He quotes the latest chatter, which reinforces Bat's own judgment on the situation: . "For months now there’s been speculation about the Marlins looking to trade 24-year-old outfielder Marcell Ozuna, whom they demoted to the minors and then kept there far longer than reasonable.""Crasnick says the Marlins are looking for a young, MLB-ready starting pitcher in exchange for Ozuna, who’s hit .265 with 36 homers and a .727 OPS through 346 career games as a big leaguer and crushed Triple-A during his demotion"."Ozuna... Read More
if you've seen one little switch hitting glove man, you've seen em all
Posted by jemanji on 11/20/15
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. Q.  Might he turn into a 4-WAR player during his 2016 option season? A.  No way no how, jack. M's emphasized that Luis Sardinas made two straight Top 100 lists.  And furthermore, he made them with the scouts (Baseball America) and the saberdogs (Baseball Prospectus). The funny thing is, he didn't make BaseballHQ's top 500 after 2014.  He wasn't in the top 15 shortstops, wasn't in the top 15 second basemen, wasn't in the top 15 for either Milwaukee or Texas.  He wasn't in the 500 players they decided to short-form.  Either BaseballHQ had a database error or they saw the problem. The word in... Read More
now we know that thou hast a demon, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/20/15
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. A Lookout Landing article quoted Jerry DiPoto, to the effect that signing big-ticket FA's is a slower way to disembowel yourself with a katana: . [LL] "... it's easy to say that now is the time for risk, with the contention window tied to Felix Hernandez, Robinson Canó and Nelson Cruz quickly closing. The Mariners are supposedly backed into a corner here. That was actually the exact point a fan made to Jerry Dipoto at a season ticket holder Q&A session shortly after the GM was hired. Dipoto opened with, among other things, his preference for trades to free agency, and an open statement... Read More
well, at least there are no Karim Benzema scandals here
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/15
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. ONE.  THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER STARTING PITCHERS Amigos ask, "What would Dr. D do?"  As you know he starts with Stars & Scrubs.  This is true whether you're talking about his vast array of Yoo-Hoo fantasy baseball showers, or whether you're talking about the Yankee$' 27 world championships. And his Stars & Scrubs variation starts with the rotation.  Give him half a chance to shed Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, and ? to pay Jordan Zimmerman, and he's interested.  But that's fantasyland.  Give us three Game Seven starters, let's say Randy Johnson, Jeff Fassero, and Jamie Moyer, and we're glad... Read More
:: crowd goes wild ::
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/15
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. Hillary vs Trump You have got to admit, this is a PAY-PER-VIEW grade boxing match.  Both of these candidates are considered, by the other side, to be unthinkably extreme caricatures of the parties they represent.  This isn’t Edgar Martinez batting against Jamie Moyer; it’s Jose Canseco batting against Armando Benitez.  It’s going to be a whale of an entertaining year. I’m not saying I’d vote Trump.  I got bored with American politics about fifteen years ago. The thing is, you already “get” Hillary.  You don’t “get” Donald Trump. It’s not about talking you into voting for him; I couldn’t... Read More
Zen, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/19/15
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JUST ASK the FOURTH GRADERS Recently the Seahawks played a wild-and-woolly bare knuckle bash.  They lost it in the fourth quarter on a stunning “run for your freedom” scamper down the sideline.  We’ll leave it to you to figure out which of the 9games we’re talking about.  But we’ll give you a second hint.  In this game, there was a play in which the receiver: Got two hands on a forward pass Took two steps WHILE pivoting away from his quarterback to head toward the enemy end zone Was hit by a tackler, just a fraction of a second after he took the second step, while he was shifting the ball to... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/15
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. I hadn't seen this article from the M's own site.  Had you?  Or are we trying to use baseball cleats on hardpan here?  The wild guess is that these quotes are new to 60%, 70% of denizens and guests.  That could be off in 40% either direction, though ... You DID say you want to know what Dr. D would do.  Two things he would do, as you've been nagged to the point of wanting to blow your own head off, is pencil Ketel Marte and Tony Zych into the 25-man for Opening Day.  Both of them would have to do plenty, in March, to lose their seats. But who knew that Jerry DiPoto would be so FAST to... Read More
Let's summarize the WAR, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/15
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. Bear in mind that a noted Tweeter told us to "buckle up" for the rest of this week.  But here's the offseason as it stands.  You think Jerry DiPoto ain't glad to be out from under Sosh and Arte? . IF THEY RE-SIGN IWAKUMA they have nicely upgraded their rotation.  So here are the deltas.  The runs column is not mathematically sound.  (Of course, neither is Dr. D's mind.)  This is a white board with a seated Brad Pitt lobbing name-plate magnets at it, from a distance of 7 feet. . POS NEW OLD REMARK runs C Iannetta? Zunino would "legitimize" the ballclub +30 offensively.  Defensively ... 1B (... Read More
popular topic of discussion, in the Mighty Klat Shout Box
Posted by jemanji on 11/18/15
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. Seems that Gerardo Parra might have learned to hit at age 28.  Well, such as a guy like him might learn it.  In 2015, he seems to have transmogrified from a 90 OPS+ guy to a 105 OPS+ guy.   Alex Chamberlain did a very linkable read on the ML hitters who have recently begun to take the ball to left field (if they're LH hitting) with authority.  Parra, all of a sudden, was #4 in the majors for balls hit hard the other way.  That drives a high BABIP, when a lefty is stinging outside pitches through the left side.  Alex found a .50 to .55 correlation between doing that and having a higher BABIP... Read More
the best worst pitcher you've seen in years
Posted by jemanji on 11/17/15
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. Q.  I'm one of your legions of new readers.  What could the above chart possibly mean? A.  From the catcher's perspective, that's how much Bass' pitches "move" (deflect) in the air.  As opposed to, if Bass were throwing the ball in a vacuum, they would all hit the crosshairs in the middle. Purple = Slider Green = Cutter Blue = "No spin" fastball Teal = "Extra spin" fastball Red = Splitfinger The only thing interesting here is that Bass can throw a really hard "cut" fastball.  ("Cut" means you spin it like a football spiral, and it gets too far in to LH batters for them to do much with it.  ... Read More
Well, burden of proof's on you, to get more player for less $
Posted by jemanji on 11/17/15
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. Ah-seop Son being a pure Korean (KBO) outfielder/leadoff hitter being sold long by Mo' Dawg as our next starting RF.   Son's posting process began yesterday and will proceed through Nov. 20th.  Here is an MLB Trade Rumors primer on the timeline. . If Dr. D were you, he would start with this highlight film put together by Son's agents.  Mucho enjoyable.  Son does indeed look like an Ichiro Lite at the plate, capable of a high finish yet while staying on top of the ball, even the opposite way.  His approach at the plate looks highly translatable, don' it? . Here are Son's batting lines from... Read More
You're Adam? I'm the designated athlete. Hey bro, howzit.
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/15
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. If you want the "primers" on Leonys Martin, see the Tacoma News Tribune and Lookout Landing. They've got good stuff.  If you want the bottom line, check SSI.  As you know, we live to serve. . Q.  Is Leonys Martin going to be a Mike Zunino-bad hitter in 2016? A.  I would peg him at 3.0 or 3.5 runs per 27 outs, which is about where you would put James Jones given a fair chance next year.  The Rangers probably feel like that, too, that Jones is a wash for Martin.  Not that this would be where we're going with this POTD. Zunino?, you say.  He just mucked through a 2.1 runs per game season.  ... Read More
Give it up, Jason. I'm better 'n you.
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/15
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. SABRMatt Shoutz:  Fun question...would you rather trade two very low end prospects for an 8 million dollar relief ace who is good but not a true master and who you only control for one season. ..or two of your top four and four of your top 30 prospects for a 12 mil per year true relief ace that you have for three seasons at that price?  and Mo' Dawg didn’t hesitate:  Is his name M. Rivera? Otherwise, unlikely. .... Fun question indeed, especially for the M’s.  Matty, you're on a roll, even if the Sox may not be ... Not only did the Sox give up 2 of THEIR top 4 spects, they gave up 2 of the... Read More
Makes at least one guy a big winner
Posted by jemanji on 11/16/15
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As closed and guarded as Jack Zduriencik was -- about -95 on the -100 to +100 scale -- Jerry DiPoto is correspondingly open and glib.  The last word in this Lookout Landing take is important:  Jerry Dipoto has a plan and he’s sticking to it. Whether or not the plan leads to success, the fact that he’s been able to articulate it so clearly has been refreshing. Just so!  And, we might add, this kind of candor and forthrightness is the mark of a sincere and confident man.  There was never anybody more candid or forthright than Bobby Fischer … he knew that he was #1 on the planet, that there was... Read More
Mad Bums and Mad Skillz, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/15/15
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. So here is a Freeman Dyson-level math problem for you.  Ready?  :: reader’s brow furrows, bites lip ::  You are playing poker and you have 1,000 chips.  Now I have a secret buzzer system set up, Joe Pesci will never find out about it, and I can help you in one of two ways.  Your pick.  First way:  I can win you a +150 chip pot.  Second way:  I can keep you out of a pot where you would lose -150 chips. If you can’t quite get this one, dial 1-800-FREEMAN.  That, or read any of Bill James’ Abstracts from 1903-2014.  The answer, like the voodoo chicken bones on the trash can in Predator II, is... Read More
I see it, but I don't believe it
Posted by jemanji on 11/15/15
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. Dr. D zapped Igor in the armpit with a quick 20,000 to blow off a little frustration.  Then he went ahead and googled a very-carefully-thought-out phrase.  “Do pitching teams win more?”  INSTANTLY he was buried in a mountain of old, crumpled Dixie cup articles proving, yes, of course pitching teams win more.  Just chew on this, for instance:  3% of World Series winners had below-average pitching staffs.  But 33% of them had below-average offenses.  And we got a lotsa mo where that came from. .... A prelude:  Dr. D, and probably you, had ALWAYS argued that “the history of the World Series is... Read More
... and how far should we go to get it?
Posted by jemanji on 11/15/15
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So, we learn that pitching HAS won championships.  Thass’ the fact. :: zaps Igor with a quick 10,000 :: :: taps chin, tousles own hair :: WHY would that be the case? . . . . . . . . . . You feel me?  It’s fine to say that human beings ARE conscious.  A 3-year-old can get that.  He really can.  It’s just that it's harder to explain WHY humans are conscious.  So here we are:  pitching HAS won.  But the cause-and-effect?  Do tell. I mean, why?  Why should good pitching beat good hitting? . One possibility:  In the postseason, you can concentrate your pitching into the top 50%, 60% of the staff... Read More
Mayday, mayday Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/15
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. The new sheriff in town has a favorite word: . sta·bi·lize [ˈstābəˌlīz] VERB make or become unlikely to give way or overturn:  "the craft was stabilized by throwing out the remaining ballast" make or become unlikely to change, fail, or decline:  "an emergency program designed to stabilize the economy" ·  . I don't know if I'd want to be in a helicopter when its "stabilizer" failed, but I have a good sense of what it would feel like.  I watched the 2015 M's play.  And here's a related term, a fave of Dr. D's: . equanimity  "evenness of mind especially under stress" . As... Read More
Benoit eyes more glory with WBC pals in Mariner clubhouse
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/15
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. The only differ'nce tween Rodney and Benoit being, so far as Dr. D can tell, is (1) a slider and (2) that it took Jack Zduriencik until Feb. 13th to decide on a wipeout relief pitcher for an $8M salary.  Jerry DiPoto's decision came rather more decisively.  You get a picture of Noah Bennett throwing elbows and knees to plow through a crowd at 15 MPH, save the cheerleader, and save the world.  Left hand keeping a longslide 10MM half-hidden behind his hip, naturally. One of Dr. D's earliest childhood memories, circa 1964, was of a blue-and-yellow soft plastic biplane he got for Christmas as a... Read More
Glad the 'pen is fixed. Let's fix it again
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/15
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. Or it's fixed, at least according to what JeDi has put up on the marquee.   The MLB Network team went over the 2015 Mariners apologetically, going way overboard in fact with their zeal to own up to the pre-2015 predictions.  Scene after scene replayed the predictions "FIRST WORLD SERIES FOR THE MARINERS!" ... well, one scene, anyway.  Then scene after scene showed 2015 Mariners RBI men striking out, 2015 Mariners catchers trying to throw out runners at second and braining fans in the 3B fans instead, 2015 Mariners relievergetting taken 500  feet out of the stadium ... Jack Zduriencik... Read More
"Typical" spin deflection? Nada
Posted by jemanji on 11/13/15
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. You haven't seen baseball pitches lately.  Dr. D will hand-pick some vids for you.  As you know, he lives to serve. Here's a jam pitch, 95 on the hands, with a Iwakuma-slow motion despite the save situation.   Here's a two-plane slider, starting in the zone and Nintendo'ing out of it, to spray the C02 all over a chemical fire.  Like they say, never get beat with your worst pitch. Here's the vaunted change.  Apparently, with a parachute like that, it doesn't much matter where you land it.  The third pitch is also a Killer Cambio; in between them you get an ump's-eye view of the Jeff Nelson... Read More
But if Dr. D ain't "a" zoid, he don' know who is
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/15
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. There is an archived Bill James article in which he smiles at "quadrangular" players.  Who do you know?  who has the SAME amount of: Walks Strikeouts RBI Runs Scored You don't know anybody like that, is 'cause the saberdogs (thanks Matty!) have forbidden you from thinking about runs in baseball.  Created runs that are calculated by an algebraic formula, sure -- but actual runs like RBI, Runs, ERA, runs anything -- those are out of bounds.  Anyway, James does think about runs in baseball.   If you have a guy with 70 BB and 70 K, we already knew that we loved that.  But had it occurred to you... Read More
These lists are where we came in, circa 1977
Posted by jemanji on 11/11/15
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. In the same 2014 article we just led off with, James makes three separate Mariners references.  Just for fun, you understand, he asks the question "Who was 90% of Henry Aaron?  Who was 80%?  Who was 60% of Henry Aaron?"  (Bill White, 1962.)  That's a fun question because one Henry Aaron season is interchangeable/replaceable with every other season.  And James puts it in perspective for us:  it turns out that "60% of Henry Aaron is still a whale of a player." Then he sets ARod as a standard, namely, his 2007 season with 54 homers, 156 RBI, 143 runs, 95 walks, etc.  Guess who's on the list as... Read More
As opposed to Linkage, of course
Posted by jemanji on 11/10/15
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. If it's in this article, it's a good read.  Trust us on this.  Just 'cause Dr. D ping-pongs against the playback table, with every blinkin' one of 'em, don't mean we can't be friends.  Actually, it probably does mean that, but we are Way. Too. Old. to care. :- )  Read thusly: . Lookout Landing on Nate Karns.  Yep, LL did a great job in identifying Karns as juicy, Reifenhauser as vigorish and Powell as intriguing. Ping-pong back at this, however:  Karns would be more interesting if he weren't 28?  Dr. D thinks if you took that and reversed it, you'd have something.  Just last week he read a... Read More
Seattle = way too darling to resist
Posted by jemanji on 11/10/15
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. That's "resign with" a la Felix Hernandez, not "resign from" a la Kazuhiro Sasaki.  For those of you who have chess on the brain.  Which is, at this time of the SSI day, everyone. And, no, the title isn't clickbait.  Not ONLY.  It's more of a necessary inference from Fangraphs' 2015 Crowdsourcing.  Prior to that article, Dr. Detecto had not yet congealed the foggiest sentiment as to whether Iwakuma would: Accept the M's 1-year, $15.8M qualifying offer Accept an impending 6-year, $150M offer from the Yankees (Iwakuma being as good as Cueto and Zimmerman) Smile hugely, as he is wont to do,... Read More
In this case, the 10% is well worth it
Posted by jemanji on 11/09/15
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. Was watching TV with my daughter, who is 25 years old and who has been around, when she floored me with this question.  "What's a BOOKIE?"   Picking himself up off the carpet next to the couch, and reaching into a bag of tart responses ... Dr. D reminded himself, there are worse questions you'd rather hear from your daughter.  Trust him on that one. Seattle Sports Insider takes it as a given that the Farquhar-Riefenhauser component to the deal was the "vigorish," the premium paid to get to the rest of it: . vig·or·ish [ˈviɡəriSH] NOUN US     informal an excessive rate of... Read More
Best chances to ruin Thanksgiving, ranked 1-17
Posted by jemanji on 11/09/15
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Lampoon wrote a VERY good reply to Mojician's KK on Green Tech: . the precautionary principle                I hope it is not too late to throw another log on the embers of this discussion, but I ran across a paper that offers an interesting framework for evaluating a policy that may cause severe harm to the public domain. The paper is entitled “The Precautionary Principle” (or “PP” for short) and a pdf is available here.  http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/pp2.pdf                PP states that if the risk of an action includes severe or unrecoverable global harm (or as the authors put... Read More
Posted by moethedog on 11/07/15
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Herschel Mack (Boog) Powell doesn't hit for power; let's be clear about that.  He hit 3 homers in 444 AA/AAA AB's last year.  Heck, in '14 he had 61 California League AB's and hit zero homers.  Most guys have 9 or 10 in 61 Cali/desert/launching pad AB's (OK, I jest a bit).  But he's not a maroon with the bat, by any means.  In the '14 AFL he had two homers and a line of .300-.402-.429 against the hot-shot prospects.  Over his 1361 professional PA's, to this point, he's walked in just about 13% of them.  I remind you that that is pretty good.  He has 175 BB's and just 185 K's.  I'll remind you... Read More
McClendon's report card
Posted by jemanji on 11/05/15
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. It isn't a perfect report card, but it is the best report card for managers that Dr. D is currently aware of.  Label the constants here, "Pitcher pure wins" (strikeouts) and "Hitter pure wins" (walks).  Now the question is, once those are a given, how "crisply" is a manager's team playing around this "talent"? Of course, a manager has something to say about whether a hitter gets a garbage swing on 3-2 and wuffs, or whether he juuuuust holds up and takes his base.  But still.  This is a great way, over time, to see who the Earls and Bobby Coxes and Tony LaRussas and Casey Stengels of the... Read More
Royals Revolution, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/15
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. Dave Fleming just lobbed in a bright little post on the Royals' dynasty.  He leads off with this mortar, sailing over our heads and into our back yards: . At the start of the 2015 season, ESPN asked eighty-eight of their staffers to pick who would win the AL Central. Here’s who they picked: Cleveland – 43 Detroit – 25 Chicago – 17 Kansas City – 3   For every one writer who picked the Royals to win the Central Division in 2015, fourteen picked Cleveland to win the division. For every one writer who picked KC, five picked the White Sox.  How about FanGraphs? FanGraphs asked thirty-eight... Read More
OK, just go poach a "Weaver On Strategy" off eBay why don'cha
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/15
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. James published his original theory in December 2014.  That's another way to say "Right after the Royals won their first pennant."  He told us that the theory is true, just like the Pythagorean Theorem is generally true, but then ...  . OK, we have established that it is generally true that good teams have good Strike Zone Winning percentages and bad teams have bad Strike Zone Winning Percentages, and we have established also that discrepancies between the strike zone and overall winning percentages, where they occur, are real phenomena rather than statistical mirages.   At this point we... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 11/04/15
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. So let's just say that you wanted to model the 2016 M's after the Kansas City Royals.  Which DiPoto has kinda done.  He knows the inner circle of baseball value is K, BB, and HR, though he hasn't stated that exactly.  He believes the second circle of baseball value is defense and speed, and he has stated that exactly.   He emphasizes that the third circle is winning all the other battles, as we grok from DiPoto's two-handed powerflush of Lloyd McClendon.  Scott Servais will not be crumpling DiPoto's pregame techie reports and playing "21" with them in his office wastebasket. To look at it... Read More
Coin and The Ferment Principle
Posted by DaddyO on 11/04/15
10 Comments

While researching my latest Foster and Brooks-published book on quantum mechanics, I stumbled across something quite remarkable. In a rural village just south of Nullepart in France toils a man whose profound ponderings rival those of the greatest thinkers of our time. An erstwhile highly placed official from the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, this aging man can longer exercise the rigorous life of regal politics, so for several years now he instead exercises his mind. Well, some may call it exercising, others might call it drinking. But in any event he has moved well beyond such mundane musings as... Read More
The elephant in the room regarding green technology
Posted by mojician on 11/02/15
23 Comments

"Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled."  Deuteronomy 22:9 (NIV). If you have ever eaten a grapefruit, you are eating a hybrid.  A grapefruit is a cross between an orange and a Pomelo.  According to Wikipedia, it was discovered in 1750.  A naturally occuring grapefruit hybrid has pink flesh.  The grapefruit you buy in the grocery store does not.  About 90 years ago, farmers began genetically modifying crops by zapping them with x-rays.  Plants, after being scrambled by x-rays, produce... Read More