Thank You, and Winter Plans

So, now what? Before we get to that, I’d like to thank everyone for visiting, participating, and otherwise being a part of Ducksnorts again throughout the 2007 season. We laughed, we cried, we debated the great issues of our time.

Or something like that.

There are far too many folks to thank individually, so I’ll keep the list short. Thanks to Peter Friberg, who did a great job covering prospects for us this year. Thanks also to my unbelievably accommodating wife for believing in this crazy dream of mine. Words can’t begin to express my gratitude.

The rest of you know who you are. If I listed all your names and contributions, we’d never be done, so you get one giant pat on the back.

* * *

This is going to be a busy winter — for the Padres and for me. Sure, the season is over but we’ve got plenty more to cover over the next several months. We’ll want to figure out how the Padres can shore up some holes (second base, left and center field, back end of the rotation), keep track of guys in winter ball, and other stuff I’m forgetting. I may not have original material up every day, but we’ll always have something to discuss.

Also, I’ve got a book to write. I’m working on the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual (I’ll be sharing a rough outline with you soon) and that has me pumped.

Speaking of which, I’ve been sneaking off to the downtown library and poring over microfilm versions of the San Diego Union from 1969. Hey, where else are you going to learn that Ollie Brown hit seven homers in spring training? Or that Al Ferrara played piano at Carnegie Hall when he was 10 years old?

I’m still thinking about player dashboards. I’m still thinking about a lot of things…

* * *

I’ll also be posting daily at Knuckle Curve throughout the postseason and beyond. Who knows what else. Right now I’ve got a radio segment up at Outsider Radio and an article at Hardball Times (yeah, I wrote the Rockies playoff preview). You may or may not want to listen/read. Personally I find that ignoring stuff doesn’t make it go away, but that’s me.

Anywho. Second straight day I have no flow. I am off my game, need some R&R.

Finally, because folks ask, you may help support the Ducksnorts cause (via PayPal) if you are so inclined by clicking the button below. Always an invitation, never an obligation. Thanks again for everything. Rock on…


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179 Responses »

  1. #148: I don’t know why the groups don’t always accommodate each other. As I said back in #46, the disconnect puzzles me.

  2. Re: 150 I watched monday nights game in HD

  3. 136 & 137: thank you

  4. 149: Your probably right. Its the internet and its hard to judge how people really feel. I guess it “sounded” like people are upset to ever have to address the subject of human emotion in playing baseball.

  5. 152: Who is your provider?

  6. 156: This bugs, youd think with the Angels in the playoffs Cox would at least make an effort

  7. So now that the Padre season is over anyone paying more attention to the Rugby world cup?

  8. Re: 158 I guess not

  9. 158: Go New Zealand All Blacks.

  10. 160 … who don’t wear “all black” any more (at least according to uniwatch) …

  11. Re: 160 GO WALLABIES

    161 No there pretty much all black for the WC

  12. 163: Those were “alternates” haha

  13. RE: 163 Bleh what were they thinking!

  14. #151,#154 Human emotion v stats – the debate raged all year and it is a healthy one. I enjoyed reading the work provided by the numbers wonks all year. No doubt, I am a pretty radical emotionalist who was frustrated w/the bean counters at times this year (ig-the Branyan debate and his high OPS as justification for a roster spot) -but was beneficial as it forced me to see the game in a more holistic way.

  15. 126: Really?

    Yes, there are a million other elements, none of which can be accurately measured, and most of the theories on things like leadership, etc. are illogical, so why trot them out.

    But I love the million other elements. My favorite players are Kirk Gibson, Joaquin Andujar, Mark Fidrych, Bill Lee. Not exactly Hall of Famers or “stat guys.” But they are great characters.

    However, we were discussing items today that can be backed up with facts, not what players make the game magical or something.

    Bill James never considered himself a statistics guy. He just saw people saying stuff that was patently wrong and easy to disprove, so he did. He said if you are going to say something and trot out statistics, you might as well do it right.

    re: Linebrink

    When he had his good season, he did have a statistic equally as useless as saves. It’s called holds. His hold percentage was very good. Just like Meredith last year and Bell this season. But Linebrink and Meredith didn’t lose their composure. They just haven’t pitched as well.

  16. 166: Interesting.

    I just puzzled by those who are anti-stats, especially the new ones. Why wouldn’t those folks want more info.

    The stats freaks agree that intangibles exist, but by definition, intangibles can’t be measured.

  17. 108: I think we basically agree.

  18. 44 … re: record from 90% to 0% … does anybody have a link to those “in game win %” graphs? It seems possible to me that the Padres were 90% likely to win the game after the top of the 13th … which means that the record for going from 90% to 0% might be how ever long it took for Hoffy to throw 19 pitches … just sayin’ …

  19. Looks like we were at 90.3% to make the playoffs at the start of the bottom of the 13th. Here’s the fangraphs play by play with win expectancy.

  20. 171 … ya, that’s what I’m talking about …thanks, BenB …

  21. 138: Sorry I dropped out, my wireless went down.

    Bay didn’t have less chances. When a team wins more games, the Win Shares will typically be divided among more players. When you’re one of the only good players on a team, you earn a larger share. It’s possible to have a 30 win share season, MVP-caliber, on a team that only wins 60 games and thus only 180 win shares, if you really were a dominant player.

    There are two main reasons Giles caught and passed Bay in Win Shares.

    1. Bay was hurt in 2004 and this year, which knocked down his games played. No win shares on the DL. It’s a measure of production, not a rate stat.

    2. Giles was a hell of a lot better in 2003 (Padre portion) and 2005 than people think. A 900+ OPS in Petco is big. His 2004 wasn’t bad either.

  22. 173: Worth noting that Giles has also been injured, or he’d be out pacing Bay by more than he is.

  23. MGL has some of his UZR data on his blog. He has top three and bottom three in both leagues for every non-catcher position. No Padres is in the bottom three, and NOG and Cameron make the top three at their positions. That’s very good news on Cameron, because he had a bad defensive first half according to UZR, so he rebounded nicely. Also notable: the worst three NL third basemen were Cabrera, Atkins, and Bautista, so Kouz was at least better than -12 runs in this system.

  24. Another defensive system, based on the zone rating stats of the hardball times.

    Results of this:
    Gonzalez: +4.2, bad in zone, good out of zone
    M. Giles: -1.5, great in zone, bad out of zone
    Kouzmanoff: -.1, slighty better than average in zone, slightly worse out of zone
    Greene: +9.2 (8th overall), great in zone, about average out
    Hairston: +9.1 (combined AZ and SD, he would rank 6th combined), average in zone, good out of zone
    Bradley: 5.1, good in and out of zone
    Sledge: -5.3, below average in and out of zone
    Cameron: -0.2, above average in zone, below out
    B. Giles: +9.3, below average in zone, great out of zone

    Looks like we can thank Khalil and the corner outfielders for the above average team defense this year. And encouragingly, neither of these metrics have Kouzmanoff as particularly horrible.


    I like Wojciechowski’s point of view here. Why not use technology to help the umpires? The time spent reviewing a couple plays a game might even wash against time spent on a manager/player tirade. Even if it didn’t, wouldn’t you want the best chance for the call to be correct?

  26. Re: 117 the umps ego will never let it happen

  27. 178: The umpire’s union was badly cracked the last time they went against MLB. Unlike players, they don’t have a constituency. It could be done, especially if you started doing it in the minors to train the next generation.