Bits and Pieces XI

Ty Cobb is a spinning in his grave.

Stolen bases:

1987    3585

1997    3308

2007    2918

2017    2527

That’s from a post by Buster Olney at ESPN.

He lists 7 reasons and the stat heads have a hand in most of them.

  1.  It’s beer league home run derby time without the beer. Oh what fun. Watch 10 guys strike out or walk and then watch a moon shot. Then watch another 10 guys strike out or… The stat heads might be right that you win with the long ball, but which would you rather watch a middle infielder making a spinning mid air throw to nab a blazing down the line runner with the help of a stretch by the first baseman or a 300 pounder hitting about 220 finally catch up to one and ooh ooh see ball go far. This is baseball not the NBA
  2. The players know that if they miss a chunk of games or don’t hit quite as wells as they normally do for a while if they jam a finger sliding into second base the stat heads will point this out and it might indirectly cost them a few million bucks.
  3. You can’t get away with coming off the base anymore because of the multiple camera angels 1081 dpi instant reply. That changes the odds. Okay, stat heads we won’t blame you for that one.
  4. This one is all stat head. Since the metric of runs produced seems to be the most likely determinant of whether a team tastes champagne in November or not, it is decreed that a base stealing success rate of less than 80% is a net negative because the make ball go far opportunities lost out weighs the benefit of the bases stolen.
  5. & 6 The pitchers pick off moves, slide steps and all that are getting better and better. No direct stat head involvement but it probably involves the close study of video and we all know who inspired stat cast land
  6. See above. Goddamn this auto formatting.
  7. The catchers today can really wing the thing down there. Gabby Harnett might not measure up in today’s game.

I accept that I have to put up with my smarter than me phone, but baseball too?


The Angels plan on using a six man rotation, the Rangers are talking about it and Cole Hamels is pissed

The Angels plan on doing it apparently mostly because that’s what they do in Japan and they got Ohtani now. Sounds like the Rangers are talking about it because the stat heads say, the sports medicine experts say… And they’re probably telling other teams the same thing. Starting pitchers are now expensive drag cars which must be carefully protected.

Cole Hamels says I pride myself in giving my team 200 plus innings a year and I ain’t dead yet.

Poor Cole, doesn’t he know that he is multi million dollar investment and asset belonging to his team and that his WAR value must be closely guarded.

Multiple snow bombs forecast to hit here starting tonight and tomorrow. Will you sing this to me?

8 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces XI

  1. I’d like to see a team go for a full on 6 man rotation, but man today’s bullpens just can’t really handle the extra carry. Managers have to yank a guy out after 12 pitches, then he can’t throw for three days. What happens if the starter gets in trouble in inning three? You are screwed for a month. We’ve seen it tried a few times before, and it always falters pretty quickly. It would be pretty game changing if a team could figure a way to make it work however.


  2. In my lifetime the four man rotation was standard. I think you can try the six man. But someone already made this point. How many teams have six quality starters they want to trot out? Are you ready for “bombs away” – and you are essentially out before you start – two games out of every six, instead of one every five? Unless they expand the roster and the talent pool gets deeper, I just don’t see them doing that.

    Besides, I don’t think we have good data on optimal rest for a pitcher. Six days might be too long, what with all the loosening up and stuff needed.


    1. The rotation of my 1968 Tigers was Denny McClain, Mickey Lolich and Earl Wilson. If memory serves right the four man rotation was first tried by the power pitching Tom Seaver Mets sometime in the seventies. Tony Larussa (I forget which team he was managing at the time) seriously considered splitting his pitching staff into at team A and team B of 5 or 6 pitchers each, which would be responsible for pitching the game on alternate days, each pitcher going 1 to 3 innings.

      Vrroom Vrroom.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. How could I be so wrong? Now that you mention his name I can remember watching Joe Sparma pitch. He was the third of the Tiger’s celebrated young trio of McClain, Lolich, Sparma starting in about 66. Although he showed great promise he didn’t achieve the career of the other two.

          I suppose when I think I remember something I should double check it with the universal mind.

          Liked by 1 person

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