Friday Links (11 Jan 2008)

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:

How batters fared against Cla Meredith and Chris Young in 2007

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 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, we’re out of orange juice.”

    Yeah. Out of orange juice. I want you to think about this for a moment.

    1. This was a BREAKFAST PLACE — one of those places that closes down at 11:30. It only served breakfast.
    2. This breakfast place was in Florida. You know. FLORIDA? Sunshine State?
    3. They were out of orange juice.

    I’m thinking he might be a fan of Lewis Black (hat tip to Didi in the comments).

  • 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…

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71 Responses »

  1. 50 I just feel that if they wanted Matt to play center why waste a year putting him at 2nd i would have liked to see what he could do in the bigs and if they felt he was overmatched than sent him to AAA

  2. Right now, Antonelli must be in the starting lineup at the big league level otherwise he needs reps at AAA. Reps at what position though? Should we take away from his growth at second base in lieu of now suddenly putting him in the outfield ? The Pads would be close to crazy not to bring another vet in here to anchor down the outfield. Why wouldn’t they get a Luis Gonzalez or Kenny Lofton in here ? They cannot honestly be thinking that a Chip Ambres or Drew Macias is an adequate option for 80-90 starts do they ?

  3. And suddenly the list of viable outfield free agents dwindles and dwindles……I don’t like the idea of the Padres ‘bottom feeding” for a cheaper deal this time. Lets get a decent anchor in here. Davanon,Ambres, P-Mac, and Macias (along with two kids who now suddenly are being shifted to entirely new positions) doesn’t sit right with me.

  4. 47: What firm do you work for? The firm I interned with (and am joining in the fall) doesn’t do Pie Charts either. Seems like a good ol’ stacked bar chart will do the trick anytime a pie-chart seems warranted…

    Oh, I’m joining Bain this fall.

  5. 45: Geoff, you’re the best. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said. Love everything you put together!

  6. If the Orioles are about to acquire Adam Jones for Erik Bedrard, maybe there’s a chance for us to trade Headley for Jones. We’d probably have to add a little more to this deal, but it would be nice to get the centerfielder of the future (and he’s a local kid, too).

  7. Any of the Brewer outfielders the Padres should look into acquiring?

    Cameron, when he’s back off his suspension, will man CF so that move Bill Hall to 3B and Ryan Braun to LF.
    Who’s in RF? Hart, Gross, and so on for the Brewers?

    56: That’s a good idea but an interesting move on the Orioles. I’d imagine there’s more to the trade than a straight swap.
    Not sure what the Orioles are looking for their team.

  8. Marsh what office? I am a Bainie…

  9. 58: Awesome! Boston. You?

  10. I am in the SF office

  11. Re: 56 I would imagine it would take Headley and Bell to get jones form the O’s.

  12. I know there’s not a ton of Chargers fans here, but for those that are – the time has come to get the job done.

  13. I would rather acquire Bedard.

  14. 63: Me too but the Padres probably don’t have what the Orioles want if Adam Jones is an indication.

    What happened to Jeremy Reed?

  15. 62: How bout dem apples!

  16. 63: Bedrard’s not an option. We’d have to gut the team to acquire him. Jones fills a hole for us and Headley fills a need for the O’s.

  17. If Headley fills a need for the Orioles, then why couldn’t the Padres try it?

    The Padres need Bedard more than Jones.

  18. 66: How so? I don’t see the Padres trading Headley to start and I don’t see the Orioles to be interested in any players that the Padres have.
    I don’t see how the price of acquiring Jones would be any cheaper than getting Bedard if those two are trading for each other.

  19. The Orioles are rumored to be giving up Jones, Jeff Clement (a 5-star catching prospect), and another top pitching prospect or young SS prospect to get Bedrard. The second two prospects would both rank above anyone other than Headley in the Padres organization.

    That’s why Bedrard’s not an option.

  20. 61: I doubt that it would take Bell as well, but I do think that we’d have to add something to the deal.

  21. Hey, Geoff, Coltrane is from my hometown — High Point, N.C.

    And of course, Philip Rivers, from my alma mater, is a god.