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Ramon Ortiz – recently moved to the bullpen – didn’t take to his new role particularly well. He gave up three earned runs in just 1.1 innings of relief yesterday. Better him than some young kid, though, right? …

  • Carlos Zambrano says he felt good yesterday, in his first start off the disabled list (back pain). He didn’t pitch well, mind you. But he felt strong and without issue. So, I guess that’s good. Mike Quade said he wanted to see Zambrano get to “100 pitches and five innings.” Um, Mike? If a pitcher needs 100 pitches to get through five innings, he’s clearly not doing so well. Incidentally, Zambrano threw 94 pitches through 4.2 innings yesterday, so at least he was on Quade’s pace. (Yes, yes, I know Quade probably meant “at least” five innings and 100 pitches.)
  • Pitching coach Mark Riggins says the Cubs have been aware of Carlos Marmol’s mechanical issues for a while, and have been studying his delivery for a month. Now, they say, is the time to really try to impress upon Marmol some fixes. I can’t actually criticize the Cubs for taking that long – with Marmol’s funky delivery (from which he derives a great deal of his pitch movement), I imagine it’s not only difficult to isolate tweaks here and there, but also can be detrimental if done too hastily.
  • Mike Quade made sure to caution everyone that Marmol remains the long-term closer. “He’s a closer,” Quade said, before adding something you always like to hear as a justification for a player’s role. “He’s getting paid as a closer.” It’s good to see that that mentality has made its way to the manager. Think Quade will be eager to turn Alfonso Soriano into a bench bat? “He’s getting paid as a starting left fielder.”
  • Darwin Barney certainly belongs in the 8-hole in the lineup, but, as usual, Quade’s justification is just ridiculous. “I’m trying to figure out a way to help the bottom half be more productive,” Quade said. “[Barney’s] such a scrappy little guy. He has done very well down there.” Two pieces of ridiculosity in there: (1) Can we please, for the love of God, stop calling all small, white guys “scrappy”?, and (2) Darwin Barney is many things, a run producer is not one of them. His OPS stands at a weak .697.
  • As I noted in the comments yesterday, the Cubs sent Chris Carpenter back to AAA Iowa to make room for Zambrano. The Cubs still believe Carpenter has a future in a late-inning role, but they want him to get regular work in that capacity at AAA for now. ESPN Chicago put together a slightly bizarre piece about the possibility of trading Carlos Marmol to make room for Carpenter as the future closer – which seems wildly premature, given that no fewer than three pitchers would get a shot to be the closer before Carpenter if Marmol were gone (Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, Jeff Samardzija). Also, trading Marmol would have been a good idea a month ago. Now, it reeks of desperation, and the return would be crap.
  • Another suggestion that a Dan Vogelbach signing is close – though Phil Rogers may just be taking his information from Jim Callis, about which I told you on Friday.
  • Pat Gillick for the Cubs’ next president? Phil Rogers thinks maybe. He’s 74-years-0ld, and kind of old school, but he’s obviously had a ton of success.
  • Chris

    Marmol may have some mechanics issues due to his expanding boiler, but I think most of his issues are located between his ears.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Expanding boiler. Dig it.

  • Chris

    yes – I guess we can blame Marmol’s decline on the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  • philoe beddoe

    I really wanted to give Quade a fair shake, but man it looks like there was a reason he was a career minor league guy. Riggins is no good either, and Jaramillo was a huge waste of money.

    The amazing thing about the Cubs, other than for a brief stint under Lou in 2007, and maybe 1984…they always have guys who refuse to walk…I am 43 years old, and have followed every season closely since 1976…and it doesn’t change…right-handed hitters who don’t walk….

    It’s maddening…..

  • auggie1955

    Instead of moving Ortiz to the bullpen, the Cubs should have DFA’d him. That way Carpenter could have stayed up with the Cubs. For the most part Carpenter has pitched well and I would prefer the Cubs stick with young players rather than old retreads.

  • ry

    no shit, thank god we held on to ortiz, he has done so much for us despite crushing carps ego. jesus, every decision the cubs make is wrong. never seen such a cluster f*ck of decision makers in my life. the cubs motto: that which can go wrong will always go wrong. how many more days til this miserable trainwreck is over for this year???

  • Toosh

    74, assuming they don’t make the postseason.

  • Vince

    Are there any more broken down has been pitchers out there that Hendry can dig up?

    • Toosh

      I’m sure there are.

  • philoe beddoe

    blow up Wrigley Field, darken the blue in the uniform, get rid of the guest conductors, keep the ball when another team hits a homer, change EVERYTHING…Dallas Green had the right idea in 1981 with his “Building a New Tradition”…and three years later we were Home field advantage away from World Series…and look, 80’s farm system produced Maddux, Moyer, Palmeiro, Grace, Girardi…now I realize Dallas is probably about 90 now…so I am not asking for him to come back…but the Ricketts family really F#%^ed up a good opportunity…too much status quo…CHANGE the culture…it is not working!!!!
    oh yeah and quit playing “Go Cubs Go”….

  • die hard

    Steve Stone may be the answer at GM

  • Derek

    Quade is a joke and we will not go anywhere under him. As far as out pitching coach he is a complete joke we wait until our guys walk the bases loaded to go out there and say something then we usually bring in the same ol righty to do the same ol thing give up a two run base hit. I would like to say f*ck you to the coaching staff except for Rudy who at least has us respectable in the batting average department. Look at our line up i really think if we had a manger who at least a lick of common since we could be in third. Adjust the batting order and watch our pitchers. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see when a guy is loseing it. Everyone watching the game knows when it is happening except for our clueless manager. Thank You Quade for ruining the season i just hope we fire him before he really does damage

  • Jim

    After reading the Vogelbach bit in Roger’s article, if the Cubs are counting on him to be the next Prince, do you think that signals that the Cubs will not be participating in the FA derby for
    Fielder?

    • Ace

      Nah. That part was kind of hacky by Rogers. Vogelbach is 18. He’s not the next anything except a good prospect who is four years away from being relevant in the bigs at the earliest. If anything, he’d be Fielder’s replacement. But that’s a long, long way down the road.

    • RoughRiider

      Vogelbach is just out of high school. Assuming the Cubs do sign him, at the very best he wont be with the Cubs until 2014 and is more likely to be at least 3 to 5 years away from the major leagues. Having Volegbach would not be a determining factor in any possible attempt to sign Fielder.

  • Brett

    Whoops. “Ace” sighting.

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      Holy CRAP! Now I’m *really* confused.

  • Jim

    That’s kind of what I figured too but you never know with Cubs management.

  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

    Marmol is “getting paid as a closer”, which must mean that Mike Quade is the backup catcher, because he and Koyie Hill have similar salaries.

    Soriano makes as much in ~8 games as Quade does in a season.

  • awesome

    how many times has P. Rogers been right about anything?

  • awesome

    74? I’d go for a young/good GM the team can grow with, no 5 year plan. they should give football like contracts from GM to player with option to fire without paying remainder of contract.

    the Cubs are not only a bad judge of talent in all areas from front office to player personal but, seem to go older, past their day, out of work people.

    who would hire Hendry (as GM) if he was fired? there is a reason no one hired Quade (manager) after 18 years in the minors, Texas wouldn’t over pay the great Rudy, and who was knocking down the door for Baker, Louie, and Soriano? who keeps a one handed catcher, can’t hit, is not johnny Bench, trade an up and coming real good SS, etc, etc.

    Peavy for Soriano. maybe a change for the 2 would help, Sox need a DH, Cubs, well, it wouldn’t hurt.

  • awesome

    Stone knows pitching, player talent, may be a good GM, Brenly knows fundamentals, takes no BS, makes good decisions, would make good manager, i believe this past off season Maddux said he’d like to be a pitching coach someday, Sandberg is a teacher and of course knows the game, could be good coach who would move to manager some day.

  • Jason

    Ok seeing through posts lately the only guys I can see traded are as follows ( John Grabow, Carlos Pena, Kosuke Fukodome,Kerry Wood , Koyle Hill and possibly Aramis Ramirez )

    Guys they should listen to if they get a very good offer are Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto ,

    Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano Hendry would like to trade but no team wants that salary so we are stuck with them.

    Guys I wouldn’t trade are of course Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and any of the young kids who can be a part of the future.

    Cubs have to look in getting some young pitching when Hendry pulls the trigger on trades

  • Caleb

    Flipped t he game on just in time to hear pat say “and the Cubs will play from behind again today.”. Crap

  • philoe beddoe

    the trade to make with the White Sox would be Soriano for Dunn…contracts are almost a wash 18 to 15…Dunn’s career at Wrigley is unreal…switch back to NL and LF could make him somewhat valuble again…either way it’s crap for crap, where we would get the younger crap…of course David Kaplan swears the Cubs are ready to buy out Soriano after this season….57 million?….no flipping way…Soriano cannot be on this team next year, neither can Aramis, or Zambrano…..they are too big apart of chemistry and make-up of the team and they are all not winners….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’d do that deal, assuming (1) Dunn can play passably at 1B (which I’m not sure he can – 16 games there this year, 60 DH appearances), and (2) the Cubs go after a big-time bat for LF (which I’m not sure is available).

    • http://Bleachernation.com Bric

      It’s obvious that Soriano’s days are numbered with the Cubs. His contract should serve as a warning to all teams thinking about Pujols (but probably won’t). Anyway, if he isn’t traded I can see some type of buyout, maybe 30 mil paid out over the next three years just to be rid of him. He doesn’t like spring training, doesn’t give a shit about the team, and doesn’t look like he really cares about playing anymore. Another ring is meaningless to him and I can see him taking a buyout just so he can retire. And 10 mil a year seems like a lot but Ricketts took the bullet with Silva so it’s been done before.

  • VanSlaw

    Just another illustration of how the creation of the “closer” role does more harm than good in most instances. It’s the most inflammatory role in baseball.

  • RoughRiider

    Just wondering. Be honest. How many of you actually were glad that the Cubs signed Soriano when he was signed? I have to say I had mixed emotions about the length. Other than that, I thought it was a good thing. I was wrong.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I felt the same way then that I’d feel now if the Cubs signed Jose Reyes: he’ll improve the team in the near-term, but I’d much rather some other team sign him.

    • Jeff

      I loved it when he signed, but I guess it was because I was naive. I thought it was a sign that the team was finally going to spend to win, and keep spending. Instead, the organization has been using the Soriano contract as an excuse since they signed it. He was definitely overpaid, but his role wasn’t supposed to be a guy to carry the lineup, he was a complementary player to DLee and Ramirez. The problem for me really hasn’t totally been Soriano or his production, every team has under achievers. The problem is, every time I see him, I have been reminded that the Cubs won’t be bringing in any top free agents. Thus, we watch as CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Mark Tiexiera and company don’t even get a sniff from the Cubs, and the reason is always “we don’t have the money, we gave it all to Soriano.” I know that’s not really the excuses, it just seems that they have been crying poor since then, for whatever reason they come up with every offseason.

  • ry

    wow another shitty first inning by wells go figure, another shitty performance by wood go figure another get shut down performance of our bats again after we score a few runs, this team is so worthless and irrelevant. cannot wait to see the empty seat in august and september.

    • Ron

      I can’t wait for a manager that has passed baseball 101.

  • Ron

    What can Quade possibly be thinking? My pitcher throws a wild pitch, hits a batter, walks a batter, gives up an infield single, hmmm bases loaded two out tie game…..hmmmm well the Marlins have two left handed hitters coming up, my right handed pitcher is having some issues (.263 batting average against lefties, .236 right) Grabow is getting loose (.213 batting average against lefties, .306 right) hmmmmmm. I think I am going to save Grabow for the rightie=another cub loss.

  • Kyle N

    Brett,

    “Scrappy” eh?
    Well allow me to retort! :)

    I live in Minneapolis, so in addition to dealing with the Cubs playing terrible, I was also subject to the same bad baseball from the local team. Baseball is not fun to enjoy if EVERYONE you talk to is angry about how bad their team is doing. It was depressing, almost like the last drops of water in my baseball canteen dripping onto a desert of heartbreaking losses and DL stints.

    The Twins were bad. Flat-out awful. Couldn’t pitch, couldn’t hit, and tons of star players were hurt.
    Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, and Jason Kubel had spent major portions of the season on the disabled list.

    Then June happened and the Twins caught fire. They were twenty games under .500 and 16 1/2 games back in the division on June 1st. Now they are six games under and only six games back.

    This is with call-ups and utility guys getting the bulk of the playing time:

    Ben Revere (.274/.310/.316 in 202 PA)
    Luke Hughes (.243/.299/.329 in 189 PA)
    Rene Tosoni (.205/.256./.301 in 78 PA)
    Trevor Plouffe, (.217/.329/.420 in 82 PA)
    Jason Repko (.247/.293/.269 in 102 PA)
    Drew Butera (.185/.210/.289 in 143 PA, proof that Koyie Hill isn’t the worst statistical backup catcher out there)

    Look at those numbers again, I’ll wait. . . .

    Yikes.

    I was watching the Twins game a couple of nights ago (to get the horrible taste of a Marmol four-walk meltdown combo with cheese out of my mouth) when I saw Revere hit a pitch into the corner and turn on the afterburners.
    Watch this video and tell me you weren’t A) doubled over in laughter and B) impressed at the flat-out hustle.

    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16925903

    Ben Revere (who for the record is black) is a guy who has been called “scrappy,” “a hard-worker,” “a player who never takes a second off”, much like the Ryan Freels, David Ecksteins, and yes. . . Darwin Barneys of the world. Revere has solid speed, (a significant base-stealing threat, but not overwhelming success), is a plus-defender in CF, and has a whimpy bat. But here he is on the Twins busting his butt to beat out infield singles, breaking up double plays and making great plays in the outfield. At this point in the season, his .626 OPS and 0.9 WAR mean that AT BEST, he is a below-average starting major league player and is being overrated by everyone out there. But the truth is, the crowd absolutely loves him, the commentators and analysts love him, and his teammates love him. So what does it mean?

    And thus begins my “devil’s advocate” argument to the whole “scrappy” moniker:

    Imagine this scenario:
    Player A (our so-called “scrappy” player) has gone 0 for 3 in the game so far, but made an awesome catch in the outfield to save a potential run from scoring last inning. It’s a tie game in the bottom of the 8th with a man on first, two outs and the home crowd is giving him a loud cheer when he comes up to bat. He hits a slow chopper to the shortstop (who can only throw to first) and hauls ass down the line, beating the throw by a step. The crowd erupts and Player B (a higher paid star player) steps up to bat.

    What is the statistical effect (if any) on Player B who, with his home crowd roaring, gets a chance to drive in a potential game-winning run instead of leading off the ninth inning with nobody on?
    What is the statistical effect on the opposing pitcher (if any), knowing he could have gotten out of the inning but instead has to face Player B?
    What is the defensive statistical effect for the next inning (if any) on his teammates if Player B knocks in the run to give them the lead?
    How do we statistically quantify the psychological impact of a particular player’s personality in the clubhouse? Does Ben Revere’s never-say die attitude and hustle have a positive effect on his teammates? Did Sammy Sosa’s selfish ego and boombox blasting latin music 24/7 impact his teammates negatively on the field?

    John Lackey is getting smacked around like a JUGGS pitching machine all while dealing with his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. You think that could be part of the reason he is pitching so poorly?

    The answer to those questions? WE. DON’T. KNOW. This is the 10-20% of baseball that you can’t explain, and in my opinion, is the part that makes it uniquely exciting, frustrating, and unpredictable.

    People are weird. If someone can cheat a system in life by finding a loophole and not getting caught, even if it means lying, stealing, or doing something immoral, they will often continue to do it and possibly influence others to do the same. At the same time, we are more inclined to donate time, money, and energy to a positive cause if we witness someone else do it, especially if they are personally connected to us.
    Teammates who see another player hustling down the line all the time while drawing cheers from the crowd will influence them to work harder. Seeing a player half-ass it can have similar consequences the other way.

    Every Twins player on the list above had at least one significant hit to key a game-winning rally, or a walk-off hit to win the game. And it was a different player each time. So was it simply luck that a .600 OPS player got a hit in a key situation? Or was the great environment of the roaring home stadium, the good clubhouse and the winning streak causing those players to raise their game?

    Yes, I definitely believe you that “scrappy” players are mistakenly overrated and used incorrectly by managers. I just think that their value can be just as underrated by stat-obsessed people who fail to realize that there are some things we can’t quantify. Baseball players are people, not soulless statistical automatons taken directly from Bill James’ computer and plugged into a lineup.

    Last thing on Barney and then I’ll drop the matter. :) I agree that if he can’t build on the rest of this year, then he might be destined to be a utility player. I’m in his corner, and if he proves me wrong by sucking, so be it. I’ll bet on his minor league consistency and his prime years coming up to at least hold the fort until a proven infield option comes along. All in all Quade probably has more pressing things on his mind, like “How am I going to remember the names of all of these young September callups?” or “Should I even go to work today if I know Dempster, Zambrano, or Garza are going to be on the bench?.”

    *NOTE TO ALL* I know we all can’t afford John Lackey, but if you need a real JUGGS pitching machine, I’m sure Brett can point you in the right direction. :)

    • Ron

      I was scrappy……..Great post

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I love the effort you put into these tomes, Kyle, and I hope you don’t begrudge my shorter responses. I also hope you don’t begrudge my disagreement…

      Frequently, folks who aren’t crazy about advanced stats or who love a player whom the “stats” say isn’t very good, will offer an argument that goes something like this:

      Step one: I’m not crazy about stats and I don’t really use them.

      Step two: People who are crazy about stats don’t understand intangibles.

      Step three: Here, the intangibles are what really matters.

      Step four: QED.

      I’ll grant that there are some aspects of performance that cannot be quantified in statistics. Defense, for example, is something I still believe cannot adequately be quantified. I don’t think anything I’ve said runs counter that – and, if you watch closely, I’m far from a stat-head.

      But I can’t be sold on a bunch of hypotheticals – maybe this guy’s hustle made his teammates extra excited, maybe this guy’s effort made his teammates work harder, etc. I can do the hypothetical dance, too (“maybe the center fielder didn’t run as hard to that popup as he otherwise would of because everyone *knows* that the second baseman is a scrappy go-getter who runs extra hard at everything, and so the pop up fell, leading the winning run to score, and knocking the team out of the playoffs”). I don’t hate hypotheticals – but I prefer when they’re used as a supplement to statistical discussions and that which I can see with my eyes. And even in the latter case, isolated anecdotes don’t do much for me. The season is 162 games long – we can all find anecdotes to support our various hypotheses *somewhere* in the season. That doesn’t make us right. The season is long. So, too, much be the proof.

      • Kyle N

        Brett,

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with your responses. In fact, I really enjoy hearing what you (and anyone else) has to say, regardless of length and whether you agree or not. I could happily debate this stuff for hours. :) Trust me, TL;DR, pops into my head all of the time when I post, but I just want to make sure I support things and not sound like a rambling lunatic. (Okay, bad example. . . )

        I have always been into statistics, (baseball-reference.com is the second page I visit each day after Bleachernation) but wouldn’t call myself stat-obsessed either.
        Statistical analysis was introduced, gained popularity, and now everyone is an armchair GM. I think the next step in the evolution of statistics is trying to make sense of the ebb and flow of certain “hypotheticals” and see if any conclusions can be drawn, dead end or otherwise.

        You are absolutely right, relying on a player’s “intangibles” to defend their performance is a very poor argument when the statistics clearly show everything. Do they have power? Patience? How has it translated over their career? It’s all there in black and white. You’re also dead-on about cherry-picking your hypotheticals to match your argument, as there are too many situations that can be chalked up to the random intricacies of the each game.

        But there are a bunch of questions that remain. Is it worth it to have a playoff team start the less-costly, albeit less-productive player if there were able to use the extra money to sign another player (or players) who would better the team? If a season is 162 games long, why are teams with a losing record in April statistically screwed when it comes to getting to the playoffs? Ditto if you are X games out of the division lead by the end of May? A playoff-caliber team is going to lose between 60-75 games a year, so why should it matter WHEN they do it? What, if anything, can be taken away from different historical teams who have gone on long winning streaks? Long losing streaks?

        Maybe it is because the Twins have gone on a tear, everyone here in Minneapolis is going nuts, and now I want to know the reason.

        Mauer has been hurt during the first half, just came back, has zero power and currently sports a .618 OPS. Morneau’s body seems to be breaking down all over (.619 OPS, on DL until August) and there is worry that another concussion (however slight) could end his career. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, their opening-day starting second-baseman, broke his leg at the beginning of the season, switched to shortstop and since coming back is playing like a Diet Ichiro with no defense. (.224/.297/.262) Kubel and Span (the only two doing well before their injuries) have been out for a considerable length of time and are currently rehabbing in AAA. They have one . . . ONE! ! healthy guy with 200 PAs and an OPS+ over 100, their lone All-Star Michael Cuddyer. Their next highest? Their second baseman Alexi Casilla with an 87. (.677, worse than Darwin Barney)

        So why are the Twins winning?
        You can’t say that their hitters are making a return to their career averages, because the opening day starters and superstars are still playing poorly or weren’t even playing at all when this winning streak started. All of the replacement players (in my above post) clearly stink. Their pitching (most notably their starting pitching)has improved, but still ranks near the very bottom of the AL. Their bullpen is below average and their closer lost his job after he blew his seventh save.
        So what’s the answer if they come back and win the division? They are going to point to this stretch of games in June and July as the turning point. Are they a statistical outlier and just lucky? Maybe the Keith Law types at ESPN going to shrug their shoulders and just say, “F&*# it, I have absolutely no idea how they did it. . .”

        Oh, and they won another one-run game today, cutting their deficit in the AL Central to five games.

        Most importantly, why aren’t the Cubs capable of doing the same? Maybe I’m just crazy and years of being a Cub fan have left me with delusions of grandeur. They haven’t won three games in a row, so is this sort of “Wait Till Next Year” predestination playing into their peforman. . . you know, I’m going to just stop right there. :)

        Good talk.
        Maybe a couple of “Go Cubs Go!” or, “Awww shucks, maybe next time” posts are in order next time.

        Bart: Go, Dad, go!
        Lisa: “How doth the hero strong and brave,
        A celestial path in the heavens pave.”
        Everyone: Huh?
        Lisa: [quiet] Go, Dad, go. . .

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          More good stuff, and another short, crappy response:

          Ultimately, to win games, you have to score more runs than the other team. Over the course of a large enough set of games, that shows up in the numbers. It is not mathematically possible to, as a team, hit .240/.280/.300, and, as a team, have a 5.50 ERA, and win 100 games, right? Something has to give. From that given, we can extrapolate the same principle to individual players. That’s all I’m saying, and I think you’d agree.

          All of these things are generalities. Exceptions exist, and are probably more fun to discuss.

          • Kyle N

            I very much agree. I also believe that the exceptions are pretty much what the analysts get paid the big bucks to discuss. And some of those exceptions can be worth a lot of money if it leads to certain player personnel moves, an unexpected playoff berth or World Series title. Just look at Pittsburgh’s run this year and their attendance number, a huge improvement from last year.

            It makes me wonder just how much organizations actually cared about the number of championships they won 50-100 years ago, unless they were truly in competition with a true rival. (like a Boston – New York)

            Were the fans this particular back then?

            “I say good man, I saw Three-Finger Brown pitch in yesterday’s match and believe his curving ball to be the best in the National Baseball League. Quite unhittable.”
            “I wholeheartedly agree. It is also quite clear that Frank Chance has grown stronger this year and can hit the baseball with much authority. His increased consumption of cooked steaks and O’Hagen’s Revitalizing Tonic have clearly helped increase his physique.”

            That’s it.
            Maybe we should all just go back to wool uniforms, have players grow handlebar mustaches, mutton chops and sport other ridiculous hairstyles, all while drinking whiskey in the dugouts.

            • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

              “Maybe we should all just go back to wool uniforms, have players grow handlebar mustaches, mutton chops and sport other ridiculous hairstyles, all while drinking whiskey in the dugouts.”

              If you can’t get the players to do this, I volunteer my services. ‘Cept for the wool. That shit’s itchy.

            • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

              “Effort you put into these tomes…” LoLz

              “Ultimately you have to score more runs than the other team…” Swear to God, I heard Ronnie offer that as a serious statistical analysis years ago. Laughed my ass off.

              Great arguments, Kyle. I’m a little concerned about your growing Twins knowledge, but I’ll chalk that up as part of the research for your “tome.”

              In baseball, stats aren’t only useful in helping to predict the odds of a particular outcome, they’re also a lot of fun. We watch the game and intuitively know when a player is great, yet we often can’t put our finger on “why” and look to numbers and analysis for help. Who doesn’t remember looking at the back of their baseball cards to compare the home runs of their favorite players?

              “Intangibles” are a big favorite of mine. For the most part, I think the word often means “we don’t have a stat for this yet.” Give me a stat for plays that took extra skill and hustle that made a decisive difference in a game. Show me a stat that gives the impact from one player on a particular teammate. Show me a stat that measures the increased value of a hitter with exceptional bat control. I could list you a dozen such wishes, but that point is that a player’s value is often hard to exactly determine. And while I don’t have a problem with using the stats we currently do have to get a good gauge on a player, I think that it’s best when we look at a number of stats simultaneously rather than a single stat or two.

              Hence, Brett, why I disagree with your near-fanatical devotion to the OPS stat. I don’t hate the stat itself, but I feel you give it undue importance when evaluating a player’s offensive production. For instance, OPS puts Darwin Barney as a lifetime utility player. But, he has a lot of RBIs for a hitter who isn’t slotted to be a massive run producer, he has a near league-leading batting average, a low error rate, and is actually leading the entire team in clutch hitting. OPS be damned, that guy can start at second base on my team, anyday.

              You know, until I find a guy that’s better anyway.

              Great discussion, guys. And great posting, Kyle. Awesome points and good research to back it up!

              But I swear, if I start hearing you say “you know, the Twins are actually a pretty good team…” and other such not-loving-the-cubs nonsense, I will beat you to death with a tire iron.

              • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                I like the Twins a lot, entirely because their caps have the initials TC on them. Now if I could only get them to stick a W on there, I might need to get me one.

                American League… HA! Fools.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                “Near-fanatical devotion to the OPS stat.” :)

                I just like how simple OPS is. It’s easy, and I’m weary (lazy?).

                • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

                  It is a good one. I’m not against it! But when you use it to argue that Barney isn’t a starter (simplifying your argument a bit, I know) I have to jump in.

                  Also, Pat Hughes (my hero btw- long story), added his voice to the Barney-is-good camp last week and said that due to his greatness (he listed things- just not his OPS) he will be a valuable and high-quality starting player for many years.

                  Caleb, Kyle N, Len Kasper, and now Pat Hughes vote AYE

                  Brett, NAY

                  The “ayes” have it!

                  Concede defeat!!!

                  PS I love you

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    You make me smile, Caleb.

                    …even when you’re so painfully wrong… :)

  • Al

    STEVE STONE>>>???REALLY HA i hope youre joking I hate that little self absorbed SOB hes nothing never proved anything cept he can blow alot of hot air..he changes his mind on issues more than he changes his underwear…F&$K stone…he sucks

  • BT

    I completely disagree. I think it’s actually “reeks of desperation”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Maybe I meant to say wreaks havoc.

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