Things, Part 2


Tape Measure


Duct Tape

Things, Part 1


Battery


Pepper

Replay Helped and Hurt the Orioles in 2014

Over at Camden Chat, I used Baseball Prospectus’s 2014 run expectancy data and Baseball Savant’s replay database to determine how many runs the Orioles gained on replay challenges vs. how many runs they lost.

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2014 Season Review: Nick Markakis

Over at Camden Chat, I reviewed the 2014 season of Nick Markakis, the once-hyped prospect who turned into a basically-average major leaguer.

In the lead-in I talk about last year:

With his walk year looming, Markakis bottomed out in 2013 with 0 fWAR. Many loyal Orioles fans stuck by him, noting his valuable OBP and his tenure with the team. He also played through some injuries and was sidelined by others, most notably a broken thumb towards the end of 2012. But he started drawing more and more criticism for his outfield play and his offensive output relative to expectations in 2009. As more offensive and defensive data became available and sabermetric thinking began to permeate baseball analysis, talk began of how foolish the Orioles would be to pay him $17.5 million in 2015.

 

 

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2014 season review: Kevin Gausman

Over at Camden Chat, I wrote about Goose’s 2014. I focused mostly on how hitters’ reactions to his split-fingered fastball changed.

One thing we can say about Gausman’s 2014 is that, superficially at least, it was better than his 2013. His ERA dropped from 5.66 to 3.57 and his FIP also dropped from 3.99 to 3.41. Not to mention, Goose got his first taste of the playoffs and did extremely well, striking out seven of the 27 batters he faced while walking just two and getting a ton of ground balls. However the devil’s in the details, and these particular devils show that Goose was actually a tiny bit worse in the regular season than he was in 2013.

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Nelson Cruz 2014 Season Review

Over at Camden Chat, I reviewed the 2014 season of — you guessed it — Nelson Cruz.

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A Meditation on Fandom

Over at Camden Chat, I wrote about what it meant to me to attend an Orioles home game for the first time in two years.

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Processing some Lessons Learned

I recently posted an article on Jonathan Schoop’s poor season at the plate and got ripped a new one in the comments. I stand by the overall information presented in the article; I don’t think my analysis was inaccurate or unfair. But I was disappointed by the negative tone of most of the feedback. And to make matters worse, Schoop hit a game-tying home run that night against Dellin Betances. Okay, that made matters better :-)

I tried to calm down and think things through. I think I made a few mistakes:

  • I hadn’t written an analytical piece in a few months (owing to other time commitments) so I was itching to write something and get it out there ASAP.
  • I started the article with the intent to explore why Schoop was surprisingly low on the RE24 leaderboards, I think at the time he was second-to-last among players with at least 300 PA. He’s not doing well at the plate, but I originally wanted to focus just on his context-dependent numbers and explore those a bit, while making it clear that I’m not judging him overall on those.But I got lazy and, when I noticed that his overall numbers were pretty bad, ended up making the piece focus on Schoop’s overall line, which ended up seeming like a hatchet job instead of an exploration of why his RE24 numbers are so low. The RE24/WPA part ended up being a small paragraph in a sea of words.

    It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part but, like I said above, I was in a hurry to write an article after a minor hiatus.

  • I didn’t give enough weight, in terms of word count, to the idea that I understand why the Orioles are playing Schoop (they have no significantly better alternatives, and he is a prospect so he’s got to get some playing time).
  • I realized I was using the word “bad” a lot and so searched for synonyms so I wasn’t repeating myself. I ended up using adjectives like “pitiful”, “awful”, and “terrible” which probably made the article sound more nasty than I intended.
  • I compared his batting line to two pitchers. That was unfair :-)
  • I didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that the season isn’t over yet and he’ll have a chance to boost his numbers, particularly his fWAR.
  • I finished up the article in a tired state, after I’d been up late a few nights in a row, and when I had a bad case of “computer vision syndrome” and really just wanted to go to bed. It was in this state that I touched up a few sentences and added the closing paragraph or two.
  • I posted the article the day after Manny sprained his knee. Adding more negativity to a frustrating time was probably not a good idea.

Overall the whole thing came off as “Schoop is awful” when in reality I wanted it to be “Schoop has hurt the team more than you’d expect for someone with even his batting line, but we shouldn’t judge him on the context stats.” That’s a more nuanced point that required more research; I didn’t put in the effort to do either.

Just a drop in the bucket in terms of life importance, but it helps me to think through these things.

A few SABR 44 pics

Jimmy Wynn and other Houston Colt .45 members signing autographs after their panel.

Bob Aspromonte signing a baseball.

Hornsby chapter members posing for a quick photo.

Mike Vance, Banks-Bragan chapter chair C. Paul Rogers, (unidentified), and Dierker chapter chair Bob Dorrill.

Hornsby chapter member Eric Robinson giving a talk on the brief history of the Houston Eagles.

Hornsby+1, who placed second in the team trivia contest. From L to R: Bill Gilbert, Jan Larson, David Kaiser, and Tom Thayer.