Thursday, December 15, 2005
Who is Nomar Garciaparra?
Let's look at the most recent five seasons.
G: 21, 156, 156, 81, 62
H: 24, 197, 198, 99, 65
2B: 3, 56, 37, 21, 12
HR: 4, 24, 28, 9, 9
BA: .289, .310, .301, .308, .283
OBP: .352, .352, .345, .365, .320
SLG: .470, .528, .524, .477, .452
Looking at those batting average numbers, I think it seems pretty likely that Nomar, healthy or not, will bat .300. And his onbase percentage, while it has declined as well, has held pretty steady, too. The evidence, though, suggests a pretty big drop in power. He lost 47 points of slugging from 2003 to 2004, and 25 more from 2004 to 2005. In a 600 at bat season, those 72 points translate to 43 bases -- let's call it 10 runs. And there's no real reason to believe that he'll increase to his former levels. He'll be 32 this season, and players get worse after they pass 28, not better. I think there's a pretty good chance that he declines another 25 points in slugging, which means .425 SLG to match that .320 OBP from last year.
What players in their early 30s had a .750 OPS last year? I poked around the stats a little to find a good match, and that's pretty similar to what Aubrey Huff did last year -- .321 OBP and .428 slugging. He played a full season, with 575 at bats, 150 hits, 22 homers. And Hardball Times translated those numbers to 13 batting win shares. If you got to the bottom of this list, you'll see players who had about production or better.
Nomar, even if healthy, will probably be overpaid. And he probably won't be healthy.
Thanks for the memories, No. 5.
Great moments from Bayside High
Most live albums are terrible
I'm taking nominations for other great live versions of songs in the comments section.
Quote of the day
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Please Christmas, don't be late
Nationals should sign Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The DC Libraries stink
No, not because it is inadequately staffed.
No, not because books are often not on the shelf where promised.
No, not because the book budget isn't big enough.
The DC Library stinks because they don't know how to manage their book collection. They buy multiple copies of the same book and then put them in places where they are difficult to find intuitively.
Take, for example, Richard Pryor's Pryor convictions, and other life sentences. MLK Library (downtown) has nine copies of this book. Seven of them are reference copies. Seven.
This is not a matter of their budget, which is too small. It is a matter of management, which is too dumb.
Great headline I never shared
Oct. 27, 2005
'I am not an easy man to work for. While directing "Hats off to Channukah," I reduced more than one cast member to tears. Did I expect too much from fourth-graders? The review, [holds up a school newspaper] "Play enjoyed by all," speaks for itself.'
-- from "A Streetcar Named Marge"
Top Four Loads of Laundry
- Matching all those socks is hard work.
- Often, you have to put them back in the dryer because the sheets get all tangled and twisted. On the plus side, nothing is easier to fold than a pillow case.
- There's a number of big items in there, so the folding doesn't take that long. And anyone who has ever seen me fold T-shirts knows the giddy thrill I get from a job well done.
- Fewest number of items, easiest folding.
Monday, December 12, 2005
War on Objectivity
What's the point of having a blog?
Great moments in laundry
This has been another in a series of "Great Moments In Laundry."
Friday, December 09, 2005
This can't be good news
... But Soriano also said the Nationals will be hard-pressed to convince him to play the outfield, if that is their intention.
"I have the same position [on moving] as I always had when I was with Texas," Soriano said. "I said that I'm not going to change from second base."
Goodbye Billy Mueller, Yankee Killer
Thank you thread on the Sons of Sam Horn choked me up. Another one of the 25 is gone, the one who got the hit after the stolen base in the game that changed everything.
Bill Mueller is the kind of player that Jim Bowden will never ever ever ever sign. Mueller was a free agent having come off a season in which he had an OBP of .350 and a slugging percentage of .393. The year before that, his OBP was .403 and he slugged .448. Those are really good numbers, and they are the numbers that matter when judging talent. The Red Sox signed him for about $2 million a year, the same amount Alfonzo Soriano will earn every 30 games to make outs for the Nationals.
Jim Murray: The Autobiography
"Edgar, we hardly booed ye."
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Our Dumb General Manager
Unlike basketball, hockey, soccer, football, volleyball, waterpolo, swimming, diving, track, field, biathalon, tennis, boxing, poker, figure skating, ice dancing, ski jump, archery, badmitton, rings, floor, balance beam, vault, pole vault, hurdles, high hurdels, handball, and table tennis, the arenas in which baseball games take place differ from each other.
This matters a great deal, as anyone who has ever attended a game can attest. It is thus my theory that Jim Bowden, general manager of the Washington Nationals, has never attended a baseball game.
Ameriquest Field in Arlington has higher scoring games than most ballparks. Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington has lower scoring games than in most ballparks. They do math now, and have proven this. In fact, Bill James wrote about this. In 1988. "Of all the studies I have done over the last 12 years, what have I learned? What is the relevance of sabermetric knowledge to the decision making process of a team? If I were employed by a major-league team, what are the basic things that I know from the research I have done which would be of use to me in helping that team? No. 3: What a player hits in one ballpark may be radically different from what he would hit in another. "
If only there were a way to test this theory. Let's take a random player. We'll call him A. Soriano. No, that's too obvious. Alfonzo S.
Alfonzo S., playing in Texas, hit 25 home runs last year. When he wasn't in Texas, he hit 11. Alfonzo S., playing in Texas, had 27 doubles. When he wasn't in Texas, he hit 16. In fact, if we could add up all of his plate appearances, we'd see that he had splits of .315/.355/.656 in Texas and .224/.265/.374 when not in Texas.
Is Alfonzo S. going to be playing Texas next year? No, he's going to be in Not Texas.
Let's take another random player. We'll call him B. Wilkerson. No, Brad W.
Brad W., playing in Washington, had 61 hits last year. When he wasn't in Washington, he had 79 hits. Brad W., playing in Washington, had 17 doubles last year. When he wasn't in Washington, he had 25. His splits were .236/.367/.395 in Washington and .257/.337/.414 when he wasn't in Washington.
Is Brad W. going to be in Washington next year? No, he's going to be in Texas. See, I did something a little tricky there -- Brad Wilkerson was traded for Alfonzo Soriano. I know, I know. It's a little hard to believe.
But if we compare their numbers, we can see that Wilkerson hit .257/.337/.414 on the road and Soriano hit .224/.265/.374 on the road. You may notice that this is worse than Wilkerson's numbers. If only Jim Bowden had access to this classified information, maybe he wouldn't have made this trade.
Crappy, Vacuous Service
Your Prescriptions, On Time When We Promise Them
How dumb is our general manager? (A continuing series)
Let's start with three baseball facts:
1. Younger is better than older.
2. Less money is better than more money.
3. Better is better than not better.
How do these apply to yesterday's trade?
1. Alfonzo Soriano was born on January 7, 1976. Brad Wilkerson was born on June 1, 1977.
2. Alfonzo Soriano made $7,500,000 last year. Brad Wilkerson made $3,050,000 last year. Each will make more money this year, but I promise you that Brad Wilkerson will not make more than Soriano.
3. Will be dicussed later.