Before we get started, thanks to everyone who volunteered to help out with the book. Once I’ve finished about a dozen more player writeups, the first draft will be complete. The plan is to get that done today or tomorrow, then read through everything on Sunday and Monday to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything really stupid. Then I’ll start sending stuff your way, probably Wednesday or so.
Speaking of the book, I’m having a lot of fun with the player dashboards. I love the fact that Cla Meredith and Chris Young pitch on the same staff, and when you see how they recorded their outs in 2007, I think you can understand why. There aren’t two more different types of pitchers in all of baseball:
Significance? Dude, it’s cool.
On to the links:
- My debut article at Baseball Digest Daily has been published: “Home Runs and the Power of Perception.” Much of this is review material for the regulars here, but I’ve tried to extend some of my findings so that they’ll be of interest to folks other than Padres fans.
- Our friend Corey Brock at Padres.com examines the Padres corner infielders. In the article, Kevin Towers touches on one of the things I absolutely loved about Kevin Kouzmanoff last year:
I never sensed a guy that was pressing, whereas most younger guys would press in that situation … wondering if they would get benched. But he played with confidence, even though he wasn’t getting his hits.
Yeah, dude was a rock.
- R.J. Anderson at Beyond the Boxscore interviews Paul DePodesta. Quoth DePo:
My definition of a “Moneyball” player is much different than the common usage. I don’t see it as having anything to do with walks or on-base percentage or really any statistic. To me that really misses the point. A “Moneyball” player is an undervalued player for any reason whatsoever.
I wonder how many times he’s had to repeat that sentiment over the years. My guess? Too many.
- The San Antonio Business Journal talks about the Missions’ new coaching staff. Ex-Padre Terry Kennedy will serve as hitting coach, while Bill Masse will manage. Love this bit on Masse:
Masse was a 7th round pick by the New York Yankees in the 1988 Amateur Draft out of Wake Forest University. He was also a member of the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal team in Seoul.
In 1999, Masse portrayed Mike Robinson in the Kevin Costner motion picture “For Love of the Game.”
I hear the movie kind of stunk, but that’s pretty cool.
- Tracy Ringolsby at FOX Sports gives a quick rundown of the NL West. From the Padres section:
Strength: Petco Park is a welcome sight for any pitcher, helping hide deficiencies.
Yep, a park that helps hide deficiencies will get you 89 wins these days; I had no idea. Ringolsby neglects to mention Coors Field in the section on Colorado, the team he covers. So, does this fall into the category of “fair”? Or is it better classified as “balanced”? I can’t decide.
- Gerry Fraley at the Sporting News ranks the NL rotations. According to Fraley, five of the top six are in the NL West.
- Bill at Detroit Tigers Weblog wonders whether San Diego native Alan Trammell’s defense gets unfairly dismissed because of the long grass at Tiger Stadium.
- Dave Studeman at Hardball Times discusses strategies for evaluating hitters, and uses Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, and Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn to illustrate his points.
- Also at THT, Sal Baxamusa tackles the issue of what it means to be “average” (hat tip to Didi in the comments).
- LynchMob reminds us that you can find pretty much anything on the Internet, including this video of Eugene Emeralds announcer Matt Keating repeatedly saying “Kellen Kulbacki,” among other things. One criticism: He should have said “boom goes the dynamite” when Kulbacki hit the home run. That would have been sweet.
- Joe Posnanski discusses the Hall of Fame at great length. Although I still haven’t made my way through the entire post, his rant about orange juice is epic:
I once went into a breakfast place in Jacksonville, and I ordered eggs and orange juice and the waitress said, “Oh, sorry, weâ€™re out of orange juice.”
Yeah. Out of orange juice. I want you to think about this for a moment.
- This was a BREAKFAST PLACE — one of those places that closes down at 11:30. It only served breakfast.
- This breakfast place was in Florida. You know. FLORIDA? Sunshine State?
- They were out of orange juice.
- If you still can’t get enough Hall of Fame coverage, Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus offers his thoughts (hat tip to LynchMob in the comments). Apparently a member of the BBWAA accused Rob Neyer of leading an anti-Jim Rice campaign? Ah, here’s something from Peter Gammons about Neyer being obsessed with “degrading Rice’s career.” Wow, bizarre. The thing is, Rice’s numbers do that without Neyer’s help. I guess there are certain sacred cows that cannot be tipped and Rice’s HOF candidacy has become one of them. Go figure.
- Speaking of Neyer, he’s thrown together a list of the 10 best individual seasons in MLB history (hat tip to Kevin in the comments).
- Nothing to do with baseball, but check out McCoy Tyner tearing it up on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” Uh, wow.
There it is. Happy Friday…