Friday Links (6 Aug 10)

Before we get to the rest of the links, you have to see Chris Denorfia’s inside-the-park home run from Thursday night’s victory over the Dodgers. It’s ridiculous; he actually bounced the ball off the dirt in front of home plate. It went over the head of third baseman Casey Blake, who was playing in to guard against the bunt, and bounced into foul territory. New Dodgers left fielder Scott Podsednik let the ball skip past him, all the way to the left field wall, by which time Denorfia was racing around third. He slid in well ahead of the throw home, which sailed past the catcher anyway. Seriously, that first hop was maybe 10 feet in front of the plate.

Baseball continues to surprise in its ability to continue to surprise…

  • Baseball Heals All Wounds (A Tale of Joey Cora, My Mom & Me) (Friars on Cardboard). Here’s a fun story.
  • High School Draft Picks: Statistics and Data (The Winning Mind in Baseball). I mentioned Geoff Miller’s work a while back and he’s added more info since then. This is essentially a repository of all the data he collected in the course of his research.
  • POLL: Larry Walker and the Hall of Fame (Baseball-Reference). Walker will be an interesting case for voters because of the Coors factor. He was good enough that it shouldn’t matter, but I’m not confident that the voters will understand this.
  • What’s In Store for the Texas Rangers Auction (FanGraphs). I sure am glad the Padres ownership situation is settled.
  • Friars a force to be reckoned with ( Matthew Leach thinks the Padres are legit. Bonus points for referencing Baseball Prospectus’ not-so-secret “Secret Sauce” metric. [h/t reader timoteo, w/assist to reader LynchMob]
  • Elias Rankings Update (MLB Trade Rumors). Miguel Tejada is projected to be a Type A free agent… I smell draft picks. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Jon Garland the Padre (FanGraphs). Feel the love.
  • Acquiring Tejada and Ludwick (It Might Be Dangerous… You Go First). DePo weighs in on the Padres’ deadline acquisitions: “While the more obvious solution would have been to acquire LHH’s, both Tejada and Ludwick have had much success against RHP, and they have the added benefit of providing our lineup a little more balance. This should make it tougher to match up against us and make us less vulnerable to any particular starting pitcher.” Always good to hear the thought process behind the decision…
  • The Least Popular Man in LA (Hardball Times). Speaking of which, here’s an oldie but goodie from Vinay Kumar. Have I mentioned lately that I’m glad DePo is on our side? (To say nothing of Vinay.)
  • Oakland Goes Hollywood With Brad Pitt’s ‘Moneyball’ Production (FanHouse). And because you can’t have too much DePo, Jeff Fletcher gives us the latest on the Moneyball movie. I didn’t love the book (it was okay, just not worthy of the hype), but there are some talented folks involved in this project (even if DePo’s character has been… changed). Brad Pitt gets the attention, and deservedly so, but to me, what makes this potentially watchable is Aaron Sorkin’s involvement. Sorkin is most famous perhaps for TV’s West Wing, but before that, he created one of the best shows ever, the short-lived Sports Night. Stay tuned. [h/t BBTF]
  • Prior signs independent league contract ( Mark Prior will be pitching for the Golden Baseball League’s Orange County Flyers. They play their home games in Fullerton, just a short drive up the I-5 if you’re interested in seeing the former USDHS star up close and personal.
  • How do we know we’re right? (Hardball Times). This is geared toward fantasy baseball, which doesn’t interest me as much as it would have 10 or 20 years ago, but anything that references Malcolm Gladwell and confirmation bias is worth perusing.
  • Morgan Ensberg asks… (The Book). Tom Tango responds to questions posed by Ensberg.
  • Leaders in kwERA (Hardball Times). This is a fun stat that I would like even more if Edward Mujica didn’t appear among the leaders.
  • 25 for 25: Padres (Gaslamp Ball). From the article: “…over the past few months I’ve been working on a roster for each franchise in the National League, composed of players over the last 25 years.” Cool idea.
  • The Butchermasters: The Top 10 Worst Fielding Seasons in Giants History (Bay City Ball). This is aweseome. One of these years I’ll have to run numbers for the Padres. Actually, the worst defensive season in San Diego by this measure belongs to… Chris Gomez (1997)? Hmmm, on further review, Gomez had one of the all-time worst defensive seasons that year, “beaten” only by Dante Bichette (1999), Ryan Braun (2007), and Brad Hawpe (2008). Joe Carter’s 1990 campaign ranks among the 10 worst fielding seasons in MLB history.
  • Most runs scored, no earned runs (Baseball-Reference). Speaking of horrible defense, here’s a fun list. At the top is a contest between the Astros and Mets on July 27, 1985. All 16 runs allowed by Houston pitchers were unearned in that one. Amazing.
  • Does Pedigree Matter? (Baseball Analysts). Jeremy Greenhouse asks an interesting question.

There, that should get you up to date. Happy Friday, and let’s take the series in Phoenix this weekend.

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7 Responses »

  1. So … how is Denorfia’s hit a HR rather than E-7???

    re: Tejada … ah, I love the smell of draft picks! But … to get ‘em the Padres have to offer arbitration … which is always risky …

    re: Moneyball, the movie … Royce Clayton playing Tejada? :-( Also, here’s some more movie/DePo info … I’m sure I’ll go to the movie as I *loved* the book.

    re: Ensberg … more Morgan is good … thanks!

  2. Re: Denorfia’s hit, I don’t think Podsednik ever touched the ball.

  3. I’ve never understood why the definition of “error” starts with “touched the ball” … that was an E7 if I’ve ever seen one!!!

  4. Upon further review, it doesn’t. According to Rule 10.12(a)(1):

    If a ground ball goes through a fielder’s legs or a fly ball falls untouched and, in the scorer’s judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the official scorer shall charge such fielder with an error.

    Podsednik could have been charged with an error on the play even though he didn’t touch the ball. However, the key phrases here are “judgment” and “ordinary effort.” In the eyes of the official scorer, the ball must have behaved (i.e., caromed off the wall along the third base foul line) in such a way as to elude Podsednik, given ordinary effort on his part.