Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Foggy Morning Links

Mornin' Fackers. Are you a little hazy from having burnt the "midnight oil" like Thor last night? Hopefully this small batch of heady links will rouse you from your herbally-induced malaise.
Curtis Granderson wrote about adapting to New York City living - off the field - over at Big League Stew. That's him at Target on the right. Any man who has ever shopped for bedding at a big box retailer has sported the same look on their face.

The Wezen-Ball Tater Trot Tracker has gone mainstream. It got linked by the excellent non-sports blog The Awl, has its own website and is now selling t-shirts whereby you can espouse your personal home run trot philosophy. I'm more of a "swing hard, run hard" kind of a guy.

Mike Fast at the Hardball Times looked at the difference in velocity between pitchers throwing from the windup and the stretch and found that there almost isn't one. Tango thinks that although the velocity might be comparable, pitching from the stretch could be an more inherently stressful motion. Over the winter, we wondered if Javy Vazquez might lose a little something from the stretch since he pitches poorly with runners on base. When I get some time, I will try to look at the data and see if I can find anything of interest.

Jonah Keri made his second appearance on the BS Report with Bill Simmons. I haven't listened to it yet, but it's going to be hard to top the first one wherein he singlehandedly converted Simmons to sabermetrics (only a slight exaggeration).

More podcasting: a new version of FanGraphs audio is up.

"Pardon my language, but f**k the Yankees."

Unlike every member of the Boston media, Patrick Sullivan took a look at the state of the Red Sox from a rational perspective. It's not all doom and gloom, but it ain't exactly cupcakes and ponies, either. Whether or not their first 14 games are indicative of how good they are or not, they've dug themselves a significant hole.

Further proof that Johnny Damon is a 6 year old boy in a 36 year old man's body: he's growing a mohawk.

Craig Calcaterra, who was at the forefront of the "NL Pitcher tests positive for PEDs" fracus yesterday notes that 10 of the last 16 PED suspensions have been handed down to pitchers and wonders while it's still the sluggers who are the primary targets of public shame.

You probably saw this yesterday somewhere else, but it's still worth noting that CC Sabathia stopped by his hometown and attended a Little League game at a field he helped renovate.

The first batch of UZR ratings are in. Proceed with small sample size freak outs... ZOMG Johnny Damon is now the greatest left fielder EVAR!
It might be a little slow around here today, but check back this later afternoon. If nothing else, we'll have the game preview for you this evening.


  1. Jason from The Heartland4/21/10, 11:15 AM

    I have always liked the "Linkaround" aspect of FY, Jay, but have come to like it even more.

    On C.C., this is why some players deserve a lot of credit. The Big Guy doesn't have to do any of this stuff by a long shot, yet goes back to his hometown and gives back-- A LOT. That little league park is gorgeous, and would be a real privilege for kids to use. This reminds me of what he did last year, going back to his elementary school and giving away a backpack stuffed with school supplies to every kid in the school when the Yankees visited the Bay Area. Both he and his wife deserve a lot of credit for their time, effort, money, and thoughtfulness in giving back so much to The Big Guy's hometown. There should be more like him, and it makes me all the more thankful that we get to see and enjoy C.C. in pinstripes. He's solid.

    Calcaterra makes a good point about pitchers, and for all its warts in form, biases, and lack of enforcement, The Mitchell Report also showed how pitchers frequently use PEDs. It really should cause a considerable shift in how we assess the so-called steroids era. In good part, the long-standing characterization of it being a sluggers' era is because it is easier to trace hitters' productivity to PED use, especially with power stats. Less certain but no less worthy of exploration is how PEDs affect pitching--velocity, torque for breaking pitches, durability, et cetera. That is, there is a need to assess short-term and long-term stats for pitchers vis-a-vis PEDs, with complications coming from "benefits" being over a longer period of time, and from the dynamics of the game changing--more relief pitchers used, fewer innings from that and pitch counts, and more. It might be easier to trace PED use/benefits for pitchers in previous eras with higher pitch/innings counts.

  2. Lol, Johnny is a defensive magician (ELITE)!!! I couldn't help it. I threw up a poll on my personal blog if anyone wants to join a running wager on how long that lasts...

    In other news...Vernon wells is on pace to hit 75 homeruns. *eyeroll*

    Amusing posts, Jay.

  3. Jason - Thanks a bunch. Sometimes I feel like it's a bit of a cop out to do the linkarounds mostly because it's sort of easy to do, but hopefully I can point people towards things they might be interested in.

    Matt - I can't imagine it's going to last more than a week because UZR is pretty unstable, but we shall see. My second choice would be "Forever".