April 18, 2019

Mookie Betts: An Interview From the Vault

April 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had much go right with their team this year; leaving fans seeking positivity anywhere they can find it. Young prospects can be one source of optimism, especially when they turn into stars for the teams who draft, sign and cultivate them No better example of this exists then reigning 2018 […]

The Age of Ruth and Landis: A Review

April 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball entered a new era in the 1920s. The home run was popularized the emergence of irascible slugger Babe Ruth and for better or for worse the game was cleaned up in the wake of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox World Series scandal by the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the game’s first […]

Woody Williams: Pitcher Beat Expectations Along the Way to Excellent 15-Year Major League Career

March 31, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball players drafted in the lower rounds face an upward battle when working towards their dream of reaching the major leagues. They don’t have the same name recognition of more highly-regarded prospects and because not as much money and resources have been invested in them, may not always have the same opportunities. A small percentage […]

But What Have You Done for Me Lately?

March 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In the wake of Boston’s 12-4 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on March 28 in the former’s first game of the 2019 season, I was curious to see which defending champions throughout history followed their World Series title with a dud to open the next season. Contrary to popular belief, no Red […]

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

March 23, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s season, has a problem with fielding.   And the problem is not so much with the player’s defensive WAR score – but rather with trying to COMBINE this score with the offensive WAR.   A very good or very poor fielding score […]

Daniel Moskos: Pitcher Recalls Journey from High Draft Pick to Lengthy Professional Career

March 10, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

There are no guarantees in baseball. Literally none. Professional players must fight and earn everything they achieve without exceptions. This includes former top draft picks like pitcher Daniel Moskos, who had a 12-year professional career and reached the majors leagues, but had nothing given to him along the way. The left-handed Moskos was highly coveted while […]

Adam Hyzdu: The Former Boston Red Sox Outfielder’s Hard Road to Success

March 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

When Adam Hyzdu came out of high school he was a hot shot prospect, selected in the first round of the 1990 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants. The future looked promising for the slugging outfielder as he started his professional career. Few people, including Hyzdu, would have guessed that it would take him 10 years […]

The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have […]

How Has Bryce Harper’s Contract Impacted Mookie Betts’ Quest for a New Deal?

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent signing of free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million contract by the Philadelphia Phillies sent shock waves across baseball. Although the star slugger will continue making his home in the National League, the deal may have a surprising impact on the Boston Red Sox—specifically in their pursuit to retain their […]

Examining Bryce Harper’s Free-Agent Contract With the Philadelphia Phillies

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

A major source of lingering drama in Major League Baseball has been resolved with the news that star free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper has agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. With Spring Training already in full swing, the announcement sets the sport on its ear, as a major domino has fallen and changed the power […]

ESTIMATING PARK FACTORS FOR THE NEGRO LEAGUES

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Most serious baseball fans understand that ballparks can have a large impact on statistical performance. However, trying to measure that exact impact often proves difficult. In work we’ve done on Major League ballparks at Seamheads.com, it takes about three full years of data, regressed by about one additional season worth of games, to get a […]

How a Runaway Taxi Temporarily Saved Casey Stengel’s Managing Job

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Before he became the legendary skipper of the New York Yankees, winning 10 pennants and seven World Series, Casey Stengel was a pretty good outfielder for 14 big league seasons and a second division manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves. So uninspiring was his leadership of the Braves, that in 1943 he missed more than […]

WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2) seemed to indicate that he had the third best season of any major leaguer – behind only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Of course, any serious fan looking at the numbers would know that this assertion is not believable. There […]

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

February 20, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie Banks’ Mr. Cub image being so great is that sometimes it obscures exactly how good of a player he was in his prime, before bad knees forced a move to first base. The present generation may not realize how he […]

Is the MLBPA Losing Sight of its Mission?

February 19, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

When Marvin Miller worked with a committed corps of Major League players to create the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the players both individually and collectively were truly a disadvantaged group. A few well-known players got big paydays, but almost every player held an off-season job to […]

A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

February 17, 2019 by · 3 Comments 

My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best seasons—and the best careers.  That is why (since the publication of WIN SHARES in 2002) I have used win shares as the basis for my system of evaluating a player’s career (CAWS Career Gauge). As a mathematician, it is difficult for me […]

Jalal Leach: A Giant Testament to Perseverance

February 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

When baseball players sign their first professional contract they have stars in their eyes and no doubts in their mind as they are certain they will play in the major leagues. Unfortunately, the majority of these young men see their careers end short of their goal. However, a small number make it, which is a […]

The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

February 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created by the CAWS Career Gauge to help establish whether a pitcher posted HOF numbers during his career.  As a result of that post, I have been asked to list all of the benchmarks for pitchers. (CAWS  =  career assessment/win shares). […]

The “technically …not” Hall of Fame

February 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

In 2006, a Baseball Hall of Fame Special Committee on Negro Leagues, made up primarily of expert blackball scholars, elected 17 Negro Leaguers to the Hall of Fame, almost doubling the total number of players and executives whose careers were primarily in the Negro Leagues from 18 to 35. If we use Sol White and […]

Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

February 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won the Cy Young Award three times Won the ERA title five times Was an All Star seven times Was voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) Sandy Koufax did all of these things in twelve seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.   And, of […]

“A Million Dollar Deal”

February 7, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

In 1965 the Cincinnati Reds dealt Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles.  Here’s an article I wrote almost 12 years ago that examines that historic trade. May you forever rest in peace, Mr. Robinson.  December 9, 1965: Reds right fielder Frank Robinson to the Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson. When Cincinnati […]

THE BALLPARK CHRONICLES

February 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Soon a new version of the classic ballpark book “Green Cathedrals” will be issued by SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). After having researched over 400 specific Blackball parks for the updated book, here are a few interesting ballpark facts I discovered. Philadelphia Mysteries Pencoyd Park was the home of the 1928 Philadelphia Tigers of […]

Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Peculiarities of the Past

February 3, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election results were recently announced, with Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez all receiving the requisite number of votes. In particular, Rivera gained national headlines by becoming the first person to be named on 100 percent of the ballots that were cast. While he was a wonderful pitcher and completely deserving of the honor it […]

Braves (5) Go the Distance Again Before Sending Rockies (4) Packing in Round 2

January 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following are game accounts from a holiday tournament I’m participating in using Action! PC Baseball from Dave Koch Sports Inc. We’re using 2018 rosters, teams are seeded based on their record, and I’m representing the Atlanta Braves (the Red Sox were already taken by the time it was my turn to pick). Information about the […]

Ryan Westmoreland: Former Boston Red Sox Top Prospect Talks Playing Career and New Focus

January 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

For serious fans of the Boston Red Sox, Harry Agganis and Tony Conigliaro are familiar names. Both were top young players who saw their promising careers curtailed by tragedy and unforeseen circumstance (Conigliaro was severely injured by a beanball and Agganis died as the result of a pulmonary embolism). Another top prospect for the team was outfielder Ryan Westmoreland, who […]

Dbacks (7) “Ex-Zach-T” Victory Over Phightins (10) in 4 Games

January 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following are game accounts courtesy of Andy Sexton from a holiday tournament I’m participating in using Action! PC Baseball from Dave Koch Sports Inc. We’re using 2018 rosters, teams are seeded based on their record, and I’m representing the Atlanta Braves (the Red Sox were already taken by the time it was my turn to […]

Seesaw Series Between Cards (6) and Mets (11) Won by St. Louis in Epic Game 5

January 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following are game accounts from a holiday tournament I’m participating in using Action! PC Baseball from Dave Koch Sports Inc. We’re using 2018 rosters, teams are seeded based on their record, and I’m representing the Atlanta Braves (the Red Sox were already taken by the time it was my turn to pick). Information about the […]

Braves (5) Overcome 0-2 Deficit, Win Three Straight Against Giants (12) to Advance

January 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following are game accounts from a holiday tournament I’m participating in using Action! PC Baseball from Dave Koch Sports Inc. We’re using 2018 rosters, teams are seeded based on their record, and I’m representing the Atlanta Braves (the Red Sox were already taken by the time it was my turn to pick). Information about the […]

Nats (8) Sweep Bucs (9)–Turner’s Inside-the-Parker Wins Game 2

January 4, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following is a game account courtesy of Jim Clouser from a holiday tournament I’m participating in using Action! PC Baseball from Dave Koch Sports Inc. We’re using 2018 rosters, teams are seeded based on their record, and I’m representing the Atlanta Braves (the Red Sox were already taken by the time it was my turn […]

This Con is On Us

December 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Craig Calcaterra, who is NBC Sports’ lead baseball writer, wears his journalistic principles on his sleeve. Like a badge of honor, Calcaterra’s Twitter profile notes that “journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.” Calcaterra’s website points out he worked for such Columbus firms as Thompson Hine, L.L.P and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. […]

Negro League DB Update: 1927 Eastern Colored League

December 23, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Having brought our coverage of Negro league statistics forward to 1948, we are now going back to fill in the missing seasons from the late 1920s and early 1930s. First up is the 1927 Eastern Colored League, along with the Negro League World Series that year. The 1927 ECL opened with the same seven teams […]

“Rooftop Ruppert” Jones and His 12-Year Ride in Major League Baseball

December 11, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

Ruppert Jones has one of the coolest nicknames in baseball history; “Rooftop Ruppert.” This was due to his proclivity in hitting tape measure home runs in Tiger Stadium during his lone season with the Detroit Tigers in 1984. However, this is just one part of a greater 12-year major league career enjoyed by the former outfielder. […]

“Field of Dreams” Changed Dwier Brown’s Life

December 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

As iconic moments go, it’s hard to beat the scene from Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner turns to Dwier Brown and, with the late James Horner’s Oscar-nominated score supplying the appropriately tearful mood, asks, “Hey Dad, you wanna have a catch?” “I didn’t understand the profundity of it,” recalls Brown, who served as the keynote speaker this past […]

The Baseball Hall of Fame Case for Fred McGriff

December 5, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Voting for the 2019 class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame is due shortly. As always, there will be much debate over who should and shouldn’t get in, and a wheelbarrow load of whys. Contributing to this muck and mire is the following discussion of a player who is sure to get some votes, […]

Negro Leagues Database Update: East-West All-Star Games Added

November 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We have now added 22 new games to the Negro Leagues Database – the 16 East-West All-Star games played annually at Comiskey Park in Chicago from 1933 through 1948, plus 6 ‘second all-star games’ that were played at various eastern ballparks (two at the Polo Grounds, two at Yankee Stadium, one at Griffith Stadium and […]

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