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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Golden God Wins Gold Glove
2007-11-06 13:32
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Congrats to Russell Martin!

Comments (180)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-06 13:35:39
1.   ToyCannon
Woo Hoo
At such a young age. Once you win, your in forever.
2007-11-06 13:37:17
2.   wireroom
That's my main man right there takign home the gold!
2007-11-06 13:37:24
3.   Eric Enders
Awesome. Let's hope it's the first of about twelve in a row.

Derrek Lee, enjoy your last Gold Glove. James Loney is coming.

2007-11-06 13:38:12
4.   wireroom
*taking
2007-11-06 13:39:59
5.   blue22
Has a player ever led the majors in errors at his position and still won the Gold Glove?
2007-11-06 13:41:34
6.   ToyCannon
210
Sorry Trainwreck, did not see your Woo Hoo from previous thread until now. Jon's headline sucked me in before I could get back to the number thread.
2007-11-06 13:42:33
7.   Eric Stephen
James Loney was robbed! He played in 65 more games this season than Rafael Palmeiro did during his 1999 Gold Glove season.
2007-11-06 13:42:42
8.   blue22
5 - I don't mean to be a party pooper with that comment, either. I'm extremely happy for him, but I just found that interesting.
2007-11-06 13:43:32
9.   gibsonhobbs88
5 - I'm not sure - but most of his errors were throwing errors due to the pitchers not holding the runners on very well. Russell does block the plate very well on balls in the dirt and is otherwise fundamentally sound. Congratulations Russell. I rarely protect catchers for my fantasy team but in Russell's case, I may make an exception. He's such a stud!!
2007-11-06 13:44:39
10.   Eric Enders
5 I'm sure it's happened plenty of times. Roberto Clemente, for one, did it four times. I'm glad to see the voters recognizing that a high error total is not incompatible with outstanding defense.
2007-11-06 13:44:50
11.   trainwreck
6
No need to apologize. No limitation on the number of Woo Hoos.
2007-11-06 13:45:00
12.   Improbable88
Wow! I felt a ridiculous amount of pride when I heard Rob Dibble announce the winners on the radio.

Before he read them, I knew Russell was our only chance for one this year, but I figured to hear some name like Brad Ausmus. But lo! The Golden God lives up to his name!!

So happy for the guy! And I agree with Eric: James and Russell should have a lock on the next 10 or 12 together.

When are the silver slugger awards announced? Russell is gonna need to purchase a (bigger?) house at this rate.

2007-11-06 13:45:30
13.   ToyCannon
7
Did you ever play any tournament softball at the Palm Springs "field of dreams"? If so, did you ever play with Jim Francisco?
2007-11-06 13:46:41
14.   blue22
10 - Yes, that's more of what I was feeling. Quite progressive of the voters to overlook a handful of bad throws in favor of overall excellence.
2007-11-06 13:47:05
15.   KG16
The thing that jumps out at me is that Maddux has won 17 of the last 18. That is simply unfathomable to me. A kid graduating high school this year has seen just two National League pitchers win a gold glove in his life time.
2007-11-06 13:47:16
16.   Robert Daeley
If I hadn't already chosen 14, 55 would be tempting. Wear it with pride SoSG Orel! ;)
2007-11-06 13:48:28
17.   Eric Stephen
13 I've only played there sparingly, as it was built after I moved away (1994). I still visit PS often, as I have family and friends there.

I have a friend that played at Field of Dreams quite a bit; I will ask him if he played with Jim Francisco.

The one thing I really liked about that park (despite the obvious "cool to have major league replicas") was that they had a display board near the entrance that listed the HR leaders for the current softball season.

I also liked that you could buy beer while watching a little league game! :)

2007-11-06 13:49:54
18.   Eric Enders
15 The thing about Maddux is, it's not just an Ozzie Smith situation where the voters give the award to a fossil just because they've gotten used to voting for a guy. Maddux is still a fantastic fielder and, I think, deserves every award he's gotten.
2007-11-06 13:49:57
19.   KG16
10 /14 - I think it depends on the nature of the errors. Throwing errors vs fielding errors, I couldn't imagine a Gold Glove going to a guy who watches a lot of balls bounce off his glove, or who boots routine grounders to center field.
2007-11-06 13:51:43
20.   Bob Timmermann
19

Most errors by catchers are throwing errors. Every now and then, they drop a throw at the plate or a foul popup.

The extra special ones get called for catcher's interference or pick up pitches with their mask.

2007-11-06 13:52:25
21.   Improbable88
Anyone know why the Dodger press release shows Martin's batting average at .288 as opposed to .293?

When I saw the last line of the article, I was suprised to see his average under the .290 mark, and sure enough, the stats page shows him at .293.

2007-11-06 13:53:23
22.   KG16
there is international beach soccer on ESPN2 right now. US vs Portugal. I think it's time to switch to Rome is Burning.
2007-11-06 13:53:50
23.   blue22
21 - His career average is .288. Maybe someone looked at the wrong line.
2007-11-06 13:53:55
24.   wireroom
Maybe voters consider how the pitching staff is handled in addition to errors when voting for catchers?
2007-11-06 13:56:14
25.   blue22
18 - The downside of that is I feel Livan Hernandez has been overlooked. Livan's pitching might be the worst of his 3 skills (of defense, hitting, pitching).
2007-11-06 13:57:18
26.   Penarol1916
22. Beach soccer is great, and it is never a good time to switch to Rome is Burning.
2007-11-06 13:57:47
27.   Bob Timmermann
24
That wouldn't explain why Pudge Rodriguez won all the time in Texas.
2007-11-06 13:57:50
28.   FirstMohican
The coolest thing about Russell Martin is you can pull up his bbref.com profile by searching "Coltrane".

The gold glove is cool too though. =)

2007-11-06 14:00:41
29.   Eric Enders
Has anyone ever tried searching BB-Ref for Roy Hobbs?
2007-11-06 14:03:13
30.   blue22
29 - No, but I bet they got about 37 simultaneous hits for him right now though.
2007-11-06 14:03:18
31.   Xeifrank
Interesting mlb dot com video on Cardinals stats guy. (SFW) http://tinyurl.com/yrsbnf
vr, Xei
2007-11-06 14:03:53
32.   Bob Timmermann
29
However, you can't search for Roger Dorn.
2007-11-06 14:07:25
33.   GoBears
22 I think it's time to switch to Rome is Burning.

It is never time for that. Not unless Dante's Inferno has stopped burning.

2007-11-06 14:08:17
34.   Robert Daeley
29 There was a real Crash Davis:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/daviscr01.shtml

2007-11-06 14:18:38
35.   Sushirabbit
I bet he's Grady's Godfather.
2007-11-06 14:19:53
36.   dzzrtRatt
Does Martin know his nickname is Golden God?

I don't know for sure, but my guess is he expected to go through life with a little less ostentatious moniker. Maynard, maybe, or Yardbird.

Anyway, by any name, he's great to have on our side.

I was looking at rosters yesterday to see how quickly certain players from the last golden era got into the lineup. I didn't make notes, but it seems like there was about four or five years of trial and error before "the infield" came together, and that the tinkering with the outfield and pitching staff never really stopped.

Just some perspective. Good as they are now, our most promising players are years away from their prime seasons. And the positions they play in the field now won't necessarily the positions they'll play when they hit their primes.

A lot rides on whether Schmidt comes back next season as a factor or not. Stepping back from the A-Rod frenzy, the biggest question Ned really has to resolve is whether we have enough starting pitching and, if not, what do we do about it? This is not just another opportunity for Ned to screw up. It's a genuine dilemma with risk on every side. If he gets third base wrong, that can be overcome. If he gets the starting rotation wrong, that will be decisive.

2007-11-06 14:22:45
37.   Bob Timmermann
36
Did the "package" arrive?
2007-11-06 14:23:03
38.   MC Safety
Ouch. Someone would have to put a switchblade to my throat and forcefully make me watch Jim Rome talk about sports.

On a side note fwiw my favorite ESPN2 random world championship is The World Obstacle Course world championship. Its sorta like American Gladiators without all the roided up bad guys.

2007-11-06 14:25:33
39.   MC Safety
38- oops... roided up bad guys/girls*
2007-11-06 14:27:39
40.   trainwreck
Let the Mets buy A-Rod, so they will have problems going after the free agent pitchers next year.
2007-11-06 14:29:21
41.   kinbote
36 if we are going to bolster our rotation, as appears likely, i'd just assume re-up wolf for another one-year deal. i don't really care for any of the other free agent starters out there, and trades scare me.
2007-11-06 14:34:10
42.   Bluebleeder87
It is so freaking fun seeing a guy develop into a great catcher before our eyes, I still remember watching him play (Jax.tv.) a few years ago knowing he was something special.
2007-11-06 14:34:30
43.   Paul Scott
Rome sucks, but early in his career he did bring us the "Chris" Evrett moment.
2007-11-06 14:35:56
44.   dzzrtRatt
Sporting News says a lot of teams are saying No to A-Rod. But the Angels and Giants are exploring.

This guy's credibility fell, however, when he repeated the Plaschkeite line about the Angels needing to do something big "to counter Joe Torre."

http://tinyurl.com/2ol85t

Also: I did not know that Instant Replay is coming to baseball. So far, only to adjudicate home runs vs. foul balls, fan interference and painted lines. I wasn't following that story.

2007-11-06 14:42:38
45.   ToyCannon
44
Sure, spend 12 Million on Carlos Silva but don't spend 30 Million on someone who will actually contribute.

It seems very strange to see Rob Neyer and others say that anyone who signs Arod at his asking price is going to regret it like the Rangers. Weren't these the same guys who kept showing us study after study that the Arod/Ranger contract was not the problem with the Rangers?

2007-11-06 14:43:43
46.   Bluebleeder87
Also: I did not know that Instant Replay is coming to baseball. So far, only to adjudicate home runs vs. foul balls, fan interference and painted lines. I wasn't following that story.

I read about that too a few days ago, I kind of doubt anything will unfold in that department other than just talk.

2007-11-06 14:47:19
47.   Jacob Burch
random trivia on the event: if the golden god wins (as should be expected) the silver slugger probably sometime tomorrow, he would be complete the rare event to win both in the same year as a catcher. who was the last to do it in the NL (you can all probably guess AL rather quickly)?
2007-11-06 14:49:32
48.   Jacob Burch
and no, i didn't wait specifically to post that on my newly-given uniform number. the luck of the russ, i suppose.
2007-11-06 14:50:40
49.   blue22
46 - The GM's have recommended it, by a 25-5 vote. I believe it goes to Selig's office now, but he's said he'll go with whatever the teams want to do.
2007-11-06 14:51:48
50.   wireroom
So does the manager throw a little red flag out onto the field to ask for replay next year?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-06 14:53:23
51.   Bob Timmermann
47
Why the Gold Glove/Silver Slugger combo for NL catchers hasn't happened since well nigh one year ago.
2007-11-06 14:54:28
52.   Bob Timmermann
51
Oh, wait wrong league... Never mind. I get things mixed up when I talk like Jasper.
2007-11-06 14:55:45
53.   Bob Timmermann
It ain't happened since well nigh one score minus three years ago.
2007-11-06 14:56:04
54.   Eric Stephen
45 I'm pretty sure that at least for the first two years of A-Rod's contract, the Rangers' payroll without A-Rod was still the highest in the division.
2007-11-06 14:56:34
55.   Jacob Burch
51/52 - That's a paddlin' (i actually first thought mccann may have won both, but that sneaky ausmus has to throw things into a mix)
2007-11-06 15:05:58
56.   Bluebleeder87
Kent's bat makes up for his really bad range, but think about it if we had Abreau (sp) & or La Roche manning that position & if Ned Colletti would get A. Jones our up the middle D would be pretty freaking solid.
2007-11-06 15:06:19
57.   D4P
Does this mean it will be more expensive (and thus more difficult) to keep him when he's a free agent...?
2007-11-06 15:09:50
58.   D4P
BTW: It seems kinda strange to me that GMs would be the ones voting on the instant replay thing. I would think either owners or field managers would be more appropriate.
2007-11-06 15:11:49
59.   Bluebleeder87
I'm more shocked that 25-5 voted for it!! wow.
2007-11-06 15:17:50
60.   Bob Timmermann
58
Ultimately, the players and owners have to approve any rules changes.
2007-11-06 15:25:20
61.   Gr-ool
Hooray for Martin! He deserves the Gold Glove.

Now, about the other "golden" nickname one sees now and then, I wouldn't saddle him with that at all. Great player. And ours.

2007-11-06 15:25:20
62.   D4P
60
Owners makes sense, but players sounds kinda like letting the inmates run the asylum.
2007-11-06 15:28:44
63.   Bob Timmermann
62
It's part of the CBA. The theory is that changing the rules could have an effect on working conditions and salaries.
2007-11-06 15:36:22
64.   Jon Weisman
The numerical roster in the last thread has been updated. Everyone who chose #28 who isn't El Lay Dave needs to re-pick.
2007-11-06 15:41:18
65.   tjshere
No one took #49. What do you guys have against knuckleballers?
2007-11-06 15:50:38
66.   blue22
65 - The Niedenfuer factor.
2007-11-06 16:01:07
67.   BlueCrew Bruin
65 , 66 {sigh} Just call me Mr. Cellophane. I actually took 49 because of the Niedenfuer factor. :)
2007-11-06 16:18:58
68.   blue22
Ha ha, the Giants are giving Vizquel $5.5M for next year.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7416086

2007-11-06 16:20:05
69.   blue22
67 - Take my comment with a grain of salt; I am of the age that I only view Niedenfuer in a negative light. But he apparently did have his good moments in Blue.
2007-11-06 16:24:48
70.   BlueCrew Bruin
69 We might be around the same age. I pretty much have the same view as you. My first real Dodger memory is Niedenfuer throwing that gopher ball.
2007-11-06 16:26:37
71.   Eric Enders
I give up. I have a plane to catch, so I can't plow through the thread again for all the untaken numbers. I'll just do as Jackie Robinson and Russell Martin did, and accept whatever number the clubhouse manager wishes to assign me.
2007-11-06 16:28:03
72.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I hate to be the wet blanket, but does anyone else think that the Gold Glove is the lamest award in baseball?

It's great when our guy wins it, but I feel like if I celebrate this award for Martin I am than obligated to recognize Jeter as a great fielder.

2007-11-06 16:29:22
73.   MikeB
While playing for the Atlanta Braves, Andy Messersmith wore No. 17 with "CHANNEL" instead of his last name, for Channel 17, Ted Turner's television station. MLB quickly nixed the free advertising, however.
2007-11-06 16:33:50
74.   Kevin Lewis
OT:

Funny junk email story. One of my coworkers received a Viagra ad, and the email address was from Julio Lugo.

2007-11-06 16:40:53
75.   gpellamjr
74 That is hardly off topic!
2007-11-06 16:44:04
76.   El Lay Dave
Congratulations Russell Martin!

Per Josh Rawitch's ItD blog:

Joe Torre, "In My Own Words," will air tonight following Lakers Live postgame.

It will also air on FSN West on Thursday 11/8 at 10 p.m. and Saturday, 11/10 at 10:30 p.m. It will re-air on FSN Prime Ticket tomorrow, 11/7 at 10 p.m., Friday, 11/9 at 10:30 p.m., Sunday, 11/11 at 10 p.m., Monday, 11/12 at 4 p.m., Tuesday, 11/13 at 10 p.m. and Friday, 11/16 at 10:30 p.m.

...Charley Steiner and Joe sat for 30 minutes at the end of the press conference yesterday to allow you to get an idea of his thoughts on his first day as Dodger manager.

2007-11-06 16:54:00
77.   Bluebleeder87
reading a couple of the comments, I gotta do my research on who wore #45 I hope I didn't pick a bad Dodger #, I'll be back.
2007-11-06 17:01:30
78.   Bluebleeder87
Scott Proctor occupies the number right now & remembering he had a clutch 3 inning game during the season for us I'll were it proudly.
2007-11-06 17:10:48
79.   RIYank
I see that Steve Phillips has explained just what acquisitions the Dodgers have to make in Hot Stove:

A-Rod or Miggy Cabrera;
Johan Santana;
Andruw or Torii.

"If they make those deals, they're going to the World Series."

How could the Mets have allowed this genius to get away???

2007-11-06 17:15:58
80.   D4P
72
Lord knows I don't like to rain on a parade, but it's true: most rational posters around here recognize the Golden Glove award for the arbitrary and meaningless award that it is.

What is it about one of "our guys" winning that makes it less arbitrary or more meaningful?

2007-11-06 17:17:27
81.   El Lay Dave
79 That was well-ripped at FJM. (Here, too). Greg Brock pointed out here that Kenny Mayne followed up that segment with something like, Steve Phillips predicting an unlimited payroll.
2007-11-06 17:17:44
82.   Jon Weisman
80 - It doesn't make it more meaningful, just more enjoyable. For me.
2007-11-06 17:17:48
83.   Bob Timmermann
80
I thought I was in charge of raining on parades. You were in charge of anarchy and cynicism.

Was there some sort of job switch that I wasn't informed of?

2007-11-06 17:19:20
84.   D4P
83
You were gone for most of the day, so I tried to fill your shoes (which were predictably too big). I don't even bother with the Wabash Cannonball.
2007-11-06 17:22:06
85.   D4P
Speaking of FJM, it looks like Ken T. is a Patriots fan. Too bad.
2007-11-06 17:24:30
86.   Humma Kavula
80 Don't tell us not to fly -- we've simply got to
When Russell Martin wins, that is our cue
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on our parade!

March to his drum,
And drink his chowder,
And if you don't dig,
Your turn at bat, sir
He'll make you come alive
Russ, sir, number fifty-five!

No one! Bettah! Raaaaain! oooooon! Our!... Puh-huh-raaaaaaade!!

2007-11-06 17:25:01
87.   trainwreck
85
Or he is just pointing out how dumb Shula's comments were.

I am so tired of all this asterisk talk.

2007-11-06 17:26:22
88.   El Lay Dave
80 While the Gold Glove is subjective - we're all aware of the challenge of statistical analysis for fielding - the voters are MLB managers and coaches, so it is, (at least on the surface) an informed, professional judgment, so it's nice to see that Martin is recognized for his skills.

That said, Palmiero's 1999 GG (as noted in 7 ) is still inexplicable.

2007-11-06 17:26:45
89.   Jon Weisman
85 - Doesn't he root for Boston across the spectrum?
2007-11-06 17:28:07
90.   D4P
87
I think only a Patriots fan would call Shula an "unbelievable turd" for suggesting that the Patriots's unbeaten record is tainted.

It's obviously tainted, and to suggest otherwise is silly. And I don't see how fining the Patriots is an appropriate punishment. Cheating hurt other teams at least as much as it hurt the league. Yet the other teams aren't compensated in any way. All that happened was the league got a little richer and the Patriots got a little poorer.

Where is the justice?

2007-11-06 17:28:55
91.   Bob Timmermann
I would love for the Patriots to go undefeated just to shut up Shula, Csonka, Griese, and the rest of that Dolphins team that was the first sports team that taught me to hate.
2007-11-06 17:29:29
92.   D4P
89
Apparently so. I knew about the Red Sox, but I am just now learning about the Patriots.

He's so likable otherwise. Oh well, I guess no one's perfect.

2007-11-06 17:30:25
93.   D4P
91
Would you at least chip in with me to purchase the gameball from the Pats's 16th game so we can draw an asterisk on it before it goes to the HOF?
2007-11-06 17:32:16
94.   trainwreck
I hate pretty much everything about the Patriots, but the only reasons Shula cares is for his own selfish reasons.

And there should not be asterisks on anything in sports. No more asterisks.

2007-11-06 17:33:52
95.   D4P
the only reasons Shula cares is for his own selfish reasons

Is that like saying that the only reason Hank Aaron cares about steroids and Barry Bonds and the HR record is for his own selfish reasons?

2007-11-06 17:36:52
96.   DodgerfaninNY
For some reason, I don't think Bernie Miklasz St.Louis Post Dispatch feels the GG award is meaningless-

Steal on Molina? Only his Gold Glove.

Martin beat out the Cardinals' Yadier Molina.
Views: This is incomprehensible.
This is one of the dumbest results in the history of Gold Glove voting, and it makes you wonder if managers and coaches actually pay attention to the games they're involved in.

"I was floored," said Joe Sheehan of The Baseball Prospectus, who was a guest Tuesday on our 1380-AM radio show. "We can nitpick some of the other Gold Glove choices, but this one isn't even a debate. Yadier Molina is the best defensive catcher in Major League Baseball."
Among NL catchers, Martin had the most errors (14). According to STATS LLC, Martin threw out only 28.7 percent of those who attempted to steal bases against him. That was only the fourth-best rate in the NL, and ninth-best rate in MLB among full-time catchers.
As for Molina: he led all MLB catchers in nailing base stealers, throwing out 23 of the 46 who challenged him (50 percent). He also led NL catchers in putouts per nine innings.
That only 46 steals were attempted on Molina tells us everything we need to know. Teams fear Molina's arm. They're very reluctant to run on him.
When Molina wasn't catching for the Cardinals in 2007, teams ripped off 30 steals in 35 attempts. That demonstrates, in a profound way, the difference that Molina makes defensively.
Fear of getting caught isn't in play with Martin. Teams tried to steal on him 115 times in 2007 – though I should point out that Martin caught 1,254 innings compared to Molina's 861. But Molina caught enough to qualify for all defensive ratings. And when teams succeed at stealing 71.3 percent of the time against a catcher, as they did versus Martin in 2007, shouldn't that count heavily against him?
Here's what's particularly crazy about this: if managers and coaches are afraid to run on Molina, then why don't they vote for him? If you respect a catcher so much that you shut down your running game because of him, then doesn't he deserve your vote? It makes no sense. Molina also got screwed out of the Gold Glove in 2006, when it went to Houston's Brad Ausmus – even though Ausmus threw out only 12 of 72 base stealers

2007-11-06 17:38:20
97.   Eric Stephen
Can I take #46, or should I post this in the previous thread?

I really should have been paying more attention today rather than working. I have to settle for Kevin Gross.

Or, I suppose it could be double Kirk Gibson!

2007-11-06 17:42:57
98.   trainwreck
95
Yeah, probably.
2007-11-06 17:45:50
99.   D4P
I guess I'm just bitter that the Patriots cheating scandal received such little publicity. The league pretty much acted like it wasn't a big deal and swept it under the rug. Course, they don't have much incentive to police themselves, as long as they're making money. And the Patriots are obviously the darling of the league these days, so they can do pretty much whatever they want.

But where's Congress? Don't they care about cheating in football too?

2007-11-06 17:47:43
100.   trainwreck
99
The problems are it opens up a huge PR nightmare for the league if their top team has serious cheating issues or if it leads to the revelation that a lot of teams are cheating.

Why did no one care when Shawne Merriman tested positive for steroids? He is still on national television ad campaigns.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-11-06 17:49:43
101.   D4P
100
There's an obvious double standard at work. I think spying on another team is a huge deal, not just something to be brushed off.

In other news, ESPN is trying to tell me that Kobe's "mileage" is really high for someone his age because he's been in the league so long. But it's not as if players who started their NBA careers later were just sitting around beforehand. Weren't they playing in college, and doesn't that mileage count as well?

2007-11-06 17:54:36
102.   D4P
Whatever we do, we can't let this story fade into bolivian.

That's what The Man wants.

2007-11-06 17:56:52
103.   Bob Timmermann
102
The people of Bolivia don't care too much about the New England Patriots.
2007-11-06 17:57:52
104.   D4P
103
But they love Mike Tyson
2007-11-06 17:58:26
105.   RIYank
Whoa.
I'm a NY fan. But "spying on another team" is a pretty misleading way to put this crime. They were videotaping something that it would have been perfectly legal to look at through binoculars, perfectly legal to watch and take notes about. Sure, it was against the rules, but don't go overboard.
2007-11-06 17:59:22
106.   Andrew Shimmin
I didn't realize I was Bolivian. Or is the transitive property of not caring about the NE Patriots not operative?
2007-11-06 18:04:52
107.   El Lay Dave
96 I can't say authoritatively, but I don't think throwing out baserunners is the most important defensive attribute for a catcher.

"He also led NL catchers in putouts per nine innings." Big deal. Catchers get a putout for every stikeout where they don't drop the third strike and have to throw to first. I'll bet Ellie Rodriguez or someone of that ilk led the AL in the Ryan/Tanana heyday of the Angels.

2007-11-06 18:09:35
108.   El Lay Dave
105 I agree. What New England did is an infraction, but hardly an earthshattering advantage.

When another NFL team goes undefeated, it is the '72 Dolphins who should get an asterisk for doing it in a shorter season.

94 Blame Ford Frick for opening the can of asterisk worms.

2007-11-06 18:11:32
109.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Someone used the phrase earlier "statistically minded," or something like that, presumably in reference to analysis that goes beyond traditional metrics such as RBI, Avg, etc.

For all the talk about these more sophisticated metrics, I get the feeling that nobody (or at least, the people who cite them) understands what they mean. It seems like we should talk about the distributions of these stats, which would enable us to talk about confidence intervals, and hence allow for more informed interpretation.

2007-11-06 18:14:45
110.   D4P
It seems like we should talk about the distributions of these stats, which would enable us to talk about confidence intervals, and hence allow for more informed interpretation

Aren't confidence intervals only relevant if (1) you're estimating an effect in a sample that you want to (2) generalize to a population?

Most of the stats people talk about around here don't meet those criteria. We count stuff that happened, and sometimes compute averages and such. We generally have no need for confidence intervals.

2007-11-06 18:15:07
111.   Bob Timmermann
Why Ellie Rodriguez did indeed lead the AL in putouts by a catcher for one season. It was 1974. He got into 137 games.

Usually the Angels didn't have a catcher who led because the Angels catchers in the early 1970s were all awful.

2007-11-06 18:16:48
112.   El Lay Dave
101 College teams play 30+ games of 40 minutes duration, with the tournament adding a maximum of five games for the finalists.

The NBA has an 82 game season (about 2 1/2 times longer) and the games are 48 minutes, 20% longer. The playoffs can add a lot of games. Kobe, for example, has played 131 playoff games in 11 seasons, or an average of about 1/2 a season of college ball every year.

So, yes, a player accumulates a lot more mileage in the NBA if he plays, and Kobe did play.

2007-11-06 18:17:51
113.   Jon Weisman
96 - In the name of Rafael Palmeiro, was it really one of the dumbest choices in GG history?
2007-11-06 18:17:53
114.   D4P
112
I guess you're right.
2007-11-06 18:18:07
115.   Andrew Shimmin
110- Chicken Spock. You want to claim the mantle of statistical-mindedness, but you're unwilling to put in the time to present a simple confidence interval.
2007-11-06 18:19:36
116.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I guess when I see things like VORP, Winshares, etc., I wonder about how sure we can be that player A really is better than player B, given that player A generated more win shares.

Obviously, the difference between most players is such that you don't need fancy metrics to tell which is better.

2007-11-06 18:21:45
117.   El Lay Dave
111 Wow, that was off the top of my head; I had no idea it was actually true.

Might is be hard to grip the bat after catching Ryan (and Tanana) fastballs day after day? ;)

2007-11-06 18:26:31
118.   D4P
116
What you seem to be getting at is not so much confidence intervals per se, but whether or not fancy stats like VORP, Winshares, etc. measure what we want them to. In research design parlance, this is referred to as "construct validity".

From what I can tell, most of these fancy stats are just combinations of tried and true stats that people have thrown together and looked to see which do the best job of "predicting" important outcomes, such as scoring runs, preventing runs, etc.

2007-11-06 18:27:38
119.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I would think anytime you want to talk about "stat X is more correlated with runs, winning, etc. than stat Y" you would want to tests to see whether the relationships are significant. Maybe you would not use confidence intervals, but certainly P-values. But again (and I could be completely wrong about this), I think you would need to make assumptions about distributions to be able to do that kind of analysis.

Any stats majors who could give insight on this?

2007-11-06 18:28:24
120.   Bob Timmermann
112
Well, to be nitpicky, the NCAA basketball champion and runnerup play six games. Of course, the team that wins the opening game could make a run for the Final Four too and then a team could play SEVEN games.
2007-11-06 18:29:12
121.   Bob Timmermann
117
I don't think the players hands hurt. I think there was only so much you could expect out of the likes of Art Kusyner and Tom Egan.
2007-11-06 18:29:39
122.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Construct validity is another issue that has been bothering me. I don't know how VORP is calculated, but the stat used in Bill James' article about good young players seemed pretty arbitrary to me.

Come to think of it, adding OPS to Slugging seems a bit arbitrary as well.

2007-11-06 18:31:51
123.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
Rather, adding OBP to slugging (to get OPS).
2007-11-06 18:33:47
124.   Bluebleeder87
96

I'm sure you know I'm biased towards our Golden Boy Russell that said I'm sure Yadier Molina makes a compelling if not down right great case for him self as the GG winner.

2007-11-06 18:34:30
125.   D4P
119
Yes, under that scenario, confidence intervals (or more commonly, P values) are useful. I don't know whether the baseball stats people have looked at distributions or used diagnostic tools or not, but I would bet they have. They're smart people who seem to know what they're dong.

And yes, adding OBP to SLG doesn't really make sense because the two stats are not in the same units.

2007-11-06 18:37:52
126.   Bluebleeder87
Just the fact that there's a BUZZ around Russell Martin gets me all pumped up inside. I really hope James Loney or Matt Kemp has a break out year like Russell Martin did.
2007-11-06 18:39:28
127.   Bluebleeder87
125

mmmm, Ding-Dongs!

2007-11-06 18:40:12
128.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
125

I'm sure baseball people have looked at those things, but I guess my point is that the writers who use those stats don't give the impression that they understand the stats they use. At the very least, I don't understand those stats, so I have a hard time interpreting comparisons of players using "sophisticated" statistics.

2007-11-06 18:46:26
129.   Bob Timmermann
D4P's goal tonight is to be the foremost distributor of Ding Dongs in Bolivia.
2007-11-06 18:55:42
130.   El Lay Dave
Re: 96
The statement that Molina "also led NL catchers in putouts per nine innings." is false.
Molina: 582 PO, 861.3 Innings = 6.08 PO/9 innings (.136 if you remove strikeouts)
Martin: 1065 PO, 1254 Innings = 7.64 PO/9 innings (.244 if you remove strikeouts)

For what little it's worth, Molina also had 7 PBs compared to Martin's 5.

2007-11-06 18:57:51
131.   El Lay Dave
The article quoted in 96 can be found here:
http://tinyurl.com/2fxdut
2007-11-06 19:02:46
132.   Vishal
nicest dodger news of the offseason so far. i hope it's but the first of many for sir russell!
2007-11-06 19:06:28
133.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder why the St. Louis press isn't as upset that Pujols lost the Gold Glove to Lee.

Pujols dominates most of the defensive metrics at that position doesn't he?

2007-11-06 19:07:08
134.   MC Safety
Any thoughts on the Lake show tonight?
2007-11-06 19:11:25
135.   El Lay Dave
129 I shudder to think what the ingredients might be in a Bolivian Ding Dong.
2007-11-06 19:13:40
136.   El Lay Dave
133 from the comments in the link in 131 :

Pujols: 1,325 innings, 124 assists, 8 errors, 132 double plays, .995 fielding %, 9.85 range factor, .912 zone rating
Lee: 1,274, 87 assists, 7 errors, 99 double plays, .994 fielding %, 8.84 range factor, .842 zone rating

Source: ESPN.com

Lee had 1 less error, but that's about it.

Comment by Kevin — November 6, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

----------------------------------------

What is LaRussa's standing with the other managers and coaches in the league? Is there an anti-LaRussa bias?

2007-11-06 19:16:34
137.   StolenMonkey86
96 - ESPN says Martin caught 33% of baserunning attempts. Does STATS count other stuff, or did the guy just get his numbers wrong?
2007-11-06 19:18:49
138.   StolenMonkey86
137 - see also

http://tinyurl.com/2pcd32

2007-11-06 19:21:27
139.   dzzrtRatt
Confidential to Bob Timmermann:

"Yes."

And thank you.

2007-11-06 19:30:58
140.   El Lay Dave
137 In the fine print of the ESPN stats page you linked:

Data Source: STATS, Inc. Copyright 2007 STATS, Inc. Commercial distribution without the express written consent of STATS is prohibited.

I think he just got his stats wrong, for Molina as well.

2007-11-06 19:44:48
141.   regfairfield
107 Most works I've seen on the issue say that it's really all that matters, and that makes sense to me. There's only so far that a person can move in .3 seconds relative to someone else, and even if they do miss the ball there has to be someone on base for it to even matter. Case in point, the most exhaustive study I've seen about catcher defense said Mike Piazza was the best defensive catcher ever in terms of blocking balls, but he's still one of the worst ever overall thanks to his arm.

As much as I love Russ, not giving the award to Yadier was pretty bad.

2007-11-06 19:47:18
142.   regfairfield
133 Yep, that was also pretty bad. Pujols was the best defender in baseball this year according to Dewan at +37, and only behind Adam Everrett the last three years. Lee didn't make the list, so he was somewhere between -9 and +1.
2007-11-06 19:52:16
143.   Bob Timmermann
139
Enjoy watching the French horn players empty their spit valves.
2007-11-06 19:55:09
144.   Marty
What, no one's glued to the local county election web sites? That's what I'm doing all night.
2007-11-06 20:12:22
145.   El Lay Dave
141 In the fielding bible poll, Molina and Martin finished 1-2. Is the slight that bad?
http://www.billjamesonline.net/fieldingbible/charts/voting3.gif

I suppose that since a CS nets a valuable out, it would be a heavy factor statistically, but I wonder what Greg Maddux would consider the most important thing. I'm guessing a catcher that "frames the ball" well and shifts his stance as late as possible? Are there things that catchers do for pitchers, defensively, that are important but hard to measure? If Russ Martin does something that helps pitchers every pitch that some other catchers don't - and we know pitching is a huge factor overall - could that possibly outweigh whether he threw out 40 or 60 baserunners (the approximate difference between 1/3 and 1/2 this season - for Martin that's about 1 extra out every 7 games) trying to steal?

2007-11-06 20:15:44
146.   KG16
Watching the Lakers muddle through the first half of their game tonight and Joel Myers introduces Charlie Stiener as "the voice of the Dodgers on both radio and television".

Luckily Charlie was smart enough to have the first thing out of his mouth be, "Vin is the voice of the Dodgers, I am just a distant echo".

2007-11-06 20:27:46
147.   FirstMohican
Charlie Steiner just kinda made a fool of himself by telling a pretty drawn out and seemingly neverending story into a commercial then saying "I wish I could've finished the story!"
2007-11-06 20:29:07
148.   KG16
Kobe is channeling Kareem with his shot blocking of late.
2007-11-06 20:29:56
149.   Eric Enders
I think in all the discussion regarding throwing out baserunners, what gets lost is the value of a catcher's mobility. Martin is the fastest, most mobile catcher we've seen in MLB in quite some time, and that has value not only in blocking pitches, but also in the plays he makes on bunts and dribblers. Molina, on the other hand, is the slowest catcher in MLB except for maybe one or two of his brothers. If you're asking me who I want as my catcher, I'll take the guy who's twice as fast and throws out runners at a slightly worse percentage.

Another thing: Martin allowed 49 more steals than Molina but also threw out 15 more runners. That extra 49-for-63 equals a 77 percent SB rate. Given that the break-even rate (below which you are actually hurting your team by stealing) is 70 percent, the break-even amount in 63 attempts would be 45 steals. Anything fewer than 45 and you're doing your opponent a favor by attempting. So we're basically talking about 4 extra stolen bases -- that's the entire difference between Martin and Molina's value, throwing-wise. How many extra runs, exactly, does four stolen bases lead to? One run, at most?

2007-11-06 20:45:14
150.   das411
Man oh man I have a lot of DT to catch up on, after visiting my bro in Wash DC by way of DELAWARE yesterday + today. Is it too late for me to claim 411 as a number??
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-11-06 21:00:36
151.   Kevin Lewis
I was in Vegas this past weekend and didn't get back until yesterday. It took me about all day to catch up on all the posts and comments. It was well worth it.
2007-11-06 21:07:30
152.   Dodgers49
Bidding War for Rodriguez Needs 2 Teams

>> The more Boras talks the more he sounds like he thinks he erred by orchestrating the opt-out clause with Rodriguez. <<

## Ned Colletti of the Dodgers said: "We'll have to wait and see. I haven't heard from Scott. I don't know if they have interest in being there or not. If they have interest we'll see where we go. It'll take a long time to play out, I'm sure." ##

http://tinyurl.com/29rk7o

2007-11-06 21:10:14
153.   CanuckDodger
How many more games did Martin play than Molina? The answer to that question: a lot. So Martin had to fight fatigue to do what he did. And does anybody remember that Navarro couldn't throw out a base runner to save his life as a Dodger, and how that problem disappeared as soon as he went to another team? That says a lot about how bad the Dodger pitchers are at containing the running game. Base runners do not run on Martin, they run on our pitchers, and Martin's success in throwing out as many runners as he does is more impressive than Molina's base-stealers-caught "percentage." Statistics can reveal NOTHING about that disparity in context. But scouts and managers and just plain old fans can SEE it.
2007-11-06 21:19:18
154.   Dodgers49
Life After Rodriguez May Include Cabrera

>> The Florida Marlins are dangling Miguel Cabrera, who is expected to be awarded about $12 million in salary arbitration for 2008, and the Yankees' new manager, Joe Girardi, is a big fan of Cabrera. <<

## Executives from other teams say the Marlins would demand a center fielder and one or two premier young pitchers in return for Cabrera. ##

http://tinyurl.com/2grax2

2007-11-06 21:34:25
155.   Fallout
154 Dodgers49

The Dodgers could start their offer with Pierre and 25M.

2007-11-06 21:43:57
156.   regfairfield
153 I thought scouts agreed that Yadier was the best catcher in baseball defensively? That's what I've always heard.
2007-11-06 21:46:09
157.   KG16
154 - yeah, but would the Marlins actually take Pierre back? They traded him figuring that he'd be getting a big contract.

If we can work that part out, I'm sure there's a couple of farm hands we can send them.

2007-11-06 21:48:54
158.   regfairfield
I'm pretty sure that center fielder would be Kemp, not Pierre. Bidding would probably start with Kemp, Kershaw and McDonald, Meloan or Broxton.
2007-11-06 21:55:29
159.   trainwreck
I bet Ned would do the trade if he just had to give up one of Kemp and Kershaw. I am not sure he would give up both. At least, I hope not.
2007-11-06 21:58:17
160.   CanuckDodger
156 -- Molina is very good defensively, no question, but I have never heard him called the "best" (which is not to say you haven't heard that). And we are comparing what Martin and Molina did in 2007. I only saw Molina in a game or two this past season, but the NL managers who voted got to see Martin and Molina more or less equally, and they made their call.
2007-11-06 22:01:27
161.   Greg Brock
Oh, man. My Cabrera love is well documented, but Kemp and The Minotaur for two years of Miggy would be tough. I honestly don't know.

Tell me what to think!

2007-11-06 22:04:17
162.   Daniel Zappala
161 Just say no. You can't trade for a player that doesn't exist. Resist the call of the sirens.
2007-11-06 22:07:52
163.   Fallout
I pugged in 25M in jest because the Marlins are so cheap. But, lets say the Dodgers did cough in 16M and got Cabrera to sign a 4 yr contact for say an average of 15M per. That would essentially be 19M/yr to the Dodgers. Compare that to what Alex Rodriguez wants and it looks more reasonable.
2007-11-06 22:33:55
164.   dzzrtRatt
152 The problem identified in that article was obvious from the moment A-Rod opted out. Boras has been successful because he's been able to leverage the Yankees' alleged interest to get more out of the team that really wants one of his clients. He's been accused of fabricating Yankee interest in some cases, just to ensure the fattest possible bid.

A bidding war among the Angels, Dodgers and Giants? The Dodgers could steal him. I don't think either SF or LAA will go above $25 million, if they even got that serious.

Shorter version:
Getting A-Rod: $20-something million
Humiliating Boras: Priceless.

2007-11-06 22:41:31
165.   Greg Brock
164 But Rodriguez had 3 years, 81 million dollars left on his contract.

Even if his per-year dollars are lower (which I doubt), if he had stayed in his contract, and torn his labrum, he'd never see another long-term huge payday. No matter what, he's going to end up with more years, and more than 81 million dollars.

People can spin it however they like...A-Rod, and Boras, will be the winners. The margin of victory is the only question.

2007-11-07 04:18:17
166.   D4P
The latest at FJM, from a Q and A with new Pirates GM Neal Huntington.

Q: The Pirates upper management has widely ignored OBP (on base percentage) in the past. How important will OBP be in player evaluation under your leadership?

A: We are going to utilize several objective measures of player performance to evaluate and develop players. We'll rely on the more traditional objective evaluations: OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) , WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), Runs Created, ERC (Component ERA), GB/FB (ground ball to fly ball ratio), K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings), K/BB (strikeouts to walks ratio), BB%, etc., but we'll also look to rely on some of the more recent variations: VORP (value over replacement player), Relative Performance, EqAve (equivalent average), EqOBP (equivalent on base percentage), EqSLG (equivalent slugging percentage), BIP% (balls put into play percentage), wOBA (weighted on base average), Range Factor, PMR (probabilistic model of range) and Zone Rating.

2007-11-07 05:03:38
167.   Ken Noe
From Fox Sports: "Red Sox officials continue to work on trades for younger corner infielders such as Dodgers third baseman Andy LaRoche." Who would nedCo want from the Sawx?

155 I like JP to the Marlins, but I note the Braves want a short term CF too.

2007-11-07 05:26:05
168.   D4P
Who would nedCo want from the Sawx?

1. Coco Crisp
2. Alex Cora
3. Tim Wakefield
4. Julian Tavarez

2007-11-07 06:26:11
169.   D4P
Interesting interview with Michelle Borth of "Tell Me You Love Me" fame. You can download an MP3 file, which is over a half-hour long.

http://www.mrmedia.com/2007/09/michelle-borth-tell-me-you-love-me.html

2007-11-07 06:45:18
170.   uke
Hope this isn't old news, but a new book on Lasorda, writen by (da da dum) Plaschke...

http://tinyurl.com/2ttn33

2007-11-07 06:55:17
171.   Izzy
170. I was just reading that article. I guess it should be no surprise that Lasorda has heaping helpings of great stories to pass out. I will probably end up buying it.
2007-11-07 06:55:58
172.   Gen3Blue
164 yes--Priceless

165 A-rod may win on any extension, but if the annual figure doesn't get pushed up, Boras will see and feel it as a loss.

At which point he probably starts screaming "collusion"!

2007-11-07 06:58:28
173.   uke
171 - I was thinking the same thing. Will probably be a lot of fluff and feel good, but might be entertaining.
2007-11-07 07:08:32
174.   Sam DC
Does it have movie reviews?

(runs)
(hides)

2007-11-07 07:08:47
175.   Sam DC
And meanwhile, I had no idea: http://tinyurl.com/3x9od8
2007-11-07 07:25:10
176.   Xeifrank
175. For those of us that get fired if we click on an X-Rated site, what the heck is it? vr, Xei
2007-11-07 07:29:19
177.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2007-11-07 07:29:52
178.   Jon Weisman
175 - No relation.

176 - SFW

2007-11-07 07:32:06
179.   uke
177 - NPUT? DKWTI...
2007-11-07 08:51:44
180.   dzzrtRatt
175 I'll say it down here 'cuz no one will read it:

Frank Gehry is becoming a cliche.

Like, a really, really bad one. Like a leisure-suit level cliche.

In 10 years, people will be desperate to knock most of his building down and replace them with something that doesn't look so dated.

Disney Hall is an exception.

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