I hate writing the intros to these things. The pressure to say something witty is enormous and I always fall short. Then again, in so doing, I remove my own burden. I feel better already…
- September surges can portend future success (MLB.com). I’m quoted in this article by Sunil Joshi, as are a few famous people (Heath Bell, Dan Plesac, Ed Wade). My bit focuses on the surprising depth of the Padres’ rotation and how some of the experience gained by the likes of Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, and Wade LeBlanc toward the end of 2009 may have contributed to their success this year. It’s a fun little piece that, in my biased opinion, is worth reading.
- Tejada can swing the stick, sure, but it’s his glove that’s valuable (U-T). From Tim Sullivan’s article: “Shortly after Tejada’s acquisition was announced, A-Gon said concerns about his diminished range were overstated because the ability of Padres’ pitchers to hit their spots created a premium on positioning as opposed to lateral movement.”
- Crystal Ball: Mat Latos (Minor League Ball). John Sickels peers into the future and sees… 21 wins in 2014? 40 saves in 2021? Fascinating… [h/t reader Didi]
- Making the comparison (Hardball Times). Jeff Moore takes a sensible approach to discussing prospects in relation to established big-league players: “…instead of individual comparisons, I like to make ‘window’ comps. What is the window, or range, that this player will likely fall into? What player represents his ultimate ceiling? What player represents the worst realistic case he could possibly be? And who is in the middle, which is where most prospects will fall?”
- Cuba may allow baseball stars to become free agents (Dominican Today). Wouldn’t that be nice? [h/t BBTF]
- Visiting Cooperstown [Part 3] (Baseball-Reference). Part 4 is here. Four parts? I’m pretty sure Steve is just rubbing it in at this point. Seriously, though, great stuff…
- Oh my! Enberg continues to embrace Padre time (LA Daily News). Quoth Enberg: “I guess I’m trying to sort out what I want to do when I grow up. And at my age, it’s a very strong possibility that it’ll just be as a baseball broadcaster.” [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
- Where are all the fans? (North County Times). Quoth Tom Garfinkel: “It’s a process. We continue to work hard to listen to fans, to build trust, and to build back that attendance over time.” We are not a trusting bunch.
- Padres’ ticket options a hit with fans (Padres.com). The subheading on this one is “Hands-on approach, winning club results in attendance boost”… I guess the take-home is that, depending on which data you examine and how you choose to spin it, you can either wonder where everyone is or marvel that they’re all returning to the ballpark.
- Tampa Bay Rays stars call low attendance at home ‘embarrassing’ (Big League Stew). Some Padres registered similar complaints earlier this season. They’re right, of course, although it’s not politically savvy to say such things in public. [h/t BBTF]
- Inside the Numbers: How MLB Postseason Gate Revenues Are Split (Biz of Baseball). Maury Brown gives us the details: “If the Padres and Yankees make the World Series, the Padres get the same cut as the Yankees, even if for some reason the Padres weren’t to pull in the same amount of revenues as the Yankees were to.” Hey, I’m down with whatever as long as Richie Garcia isn’t involved. [h/t BBTF]
- Reintroducing PECOTA (Baseball Prospectus). From Dave Pease’s article: “Behind the scenes, the PECOTA process has always been like Von Hayes: large, complex, and full of creaky interactions and pinch points.” If you like projections, and even if you don’t, this could be fun. Also, I heart Von Hayes.
- The Giant Dipper (Sacrifice Bunt). Ray provides a slick graph showing just how erratic the Padres’ playoff chances have been and continue to be.
- The Human Element (IIATMS). Mark Smith notes, among other things, that “sabermetrics does not exist to eliminate the actual play of baseball… The purpose of sabermetrics is to rethink orthodoxy in baseball when there is a logical disconnect between the original statistic/strategy/theory and what actually happens.” Whoa, enough with the common sense there. [h/t Platoon Advantage]
- The Sabermetric Project and the “Science of Words” (FanGraphs). Carson Cistulli touches on more of the same issues, which I’m glad to see because I think they are important ones to consider. My name shows up here, as do those of Bill James, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and many others. And no, it’s not one of those, “Geoff Young is no James or Coleridge” type deals. Just go read it.
- Impactful Midseason Managerial Changes (Baseball Reference). Check out Jack McKeon and the ’88 Padres.
- Matt Cain’s Pitch Selection by Count (FanGraphs). Albert Lyu examines the young right-hander’s repertoire and offers this advice: “For the Padres’ lineup to be successful against Cain, the right-handed hitters could either sit on the fastball or anticipate the breaking ball with two strikes, while the left-handed hitters can expect a timely changeup deep in the at-bat.”
- Who are the Favorites for the Fielding Bible and Gold Glove Awards? (ACTA Sports). Chase Headley earns more rave reviews at third base. [h/t BBTF]
- Ten reasons the Padres are in contention (Padres.com). If Chris Denorfia is the new Jody Gerut, then what is Yorvit Torrealba?
- Texas Rangers to receive $3 billion in new 20-year TV deal (USA Today). One of those… I want one of those. [h/t BBTF]
- Prospectus Q&A: Ken Burns (Baseball Prospectus). David Laurila chats with the filmmaker. [h/t reader Didi]
I should say something in closing. Okay, something in closing…
You know what bugs me about Will Carroll in that particular piece? The way he tries to place himself outside the sabremetric community, as if he’s the cool jock making fun of the nerds. He became a part of Baseball Prospectus when BP was, in broad terms, more relentlessly arrogant and self-aggrandizing than they are now. If he’s doling out fault for why sabremetrics hasn’t caught on (and badly overstating the case), he needs to look in the mirror while he delivers the lecture, and make sure his buddy Joe Sheehan is standing beside him.
Tom Tango, as he usually does, cuts to the heart of things.
I hate to say it but the Padres are done. The team is not doing all the things that got them the wins in the earlier part of the season – having good ABs, playing solid defense, timely hitting – things that led to good things.
Seriously, when Stairs is manning LF for 2 night in a row with Ludwick the Meek at RF, the CF is just busy as heck. Yesterday it was Gwynn Jr.’s turn to be the pawn and tonight it’s Denorfia’s. It’s not like the two other OF are good with their bats either. Sheesh!
Going to be lucky at 3-3 the rest of the way and that won’t be good enough to contend for the post-season.
Dirk Hayhurst interview: