Monday, March 12, 2018

Second Shoe?

I completely concur with our Peerless (Duque) and Dauntless (Alphonso) Leaders here, in bemoaning the signing of Walker, he who is now fully recovered from his bad back, of course.

"A back? What's a back? How hard can that be to heal?" say Kevin Youkilis, David Wright, and every man over the age of 50, ever.

It's depressing—unless, of course, the Yankees are lying through their teeth to us, and Tyler Wade's wrist is in reality the size of a cantaloupe and three different shades of purple.

"Lie? When do we ever lie?" say Randy Levine and the entire Steinbrenner family.

But what I worry about more is the potential of the deadly Second Shoe.

That is, Coops Cashman deciding that, hey, now that he has all these wonderful mediocre infielders stacked up like aged 747s over La Guardia, he can trade the kids.

Maybe trade them for a bunch of future dead arms to be, as he did with Mike Lowell.

But much, much worse, maybe pick up on another of the awful, dreadful, very bad ideas offered by those whiskey-soaked Knights of the Press Box, and use one or more of the kids to get someone to take Jacoby Ellsbury, o-bleak and all, off his hands.

I hesitate to even offer this suggestion aloud, and do it only to try to preventively ward off those deities of the JuJu.

Oh, and with March Madness, no soccer, no Yankees, no fear, no pain, no hate, no broken hearts.

We remain:  Soccer 38, Yanks 19.


13bit said...

This was the worst news in weeks. Of COURSE he was going to do this: use up the last cash in his pocket, commit soul murder on the kids, block up the 25-man roster, baste a rotten old bird with drippings and stick him in the oven, stick his shlong in the glory hole of garbage trades. Do you want me to go on? I didn't think so. We ALL are on the same page here. Oh well. Another bad move. AND YES, Hoss, the second shoe scares the shit out of me. Sigh.

Mustang said...

It's also very bad that Kenny Singleton is retiring. That can only mean more Michael Kay.

JM said...

Fuck no! Singletons is retiring? When? Jesus, that's as bad as losing Matt, maybe worse.

I think the kids are ok. I think these lugnuts are going to patch things over for a bit but not hang past this year, if that. Cash is stupid sometimes, but he knows he has a potential all-star infield for 5 to 10 years. I think.

JM said...

Losing Katt. And one Singleton.

Fucking phone spell fuckwad.

Mustang said...

John M, Kenny's retiring at the end of the season. He's doing tonight's game.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The one positive SO FAR is that nothing has been surrendered, beyond Jabari "The Name" Blash.

But that could change...

Anonymous said...

Genius John M.--You do NOT develop prospects by keeping them stranded at AAA. You promote them and let them grow at the major league level. It's not as though if you leave them at Scranton long enough they magically sprout into full-fledge major leagues without having spent a day on the big club. So the only question is this: Who is dumber? You or Cashman? Close call.

Anonymous said...

No matter how shitty-to-mediocre a player is, in Cashman's eyes that dung shines like gold BECAUSE HE WAS ON SOME OTHER MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM. Now Gregorius has worked out well--but he put up mostly crappy numbers with Atlanta. If one of Brian's own prospects had come up and put up those numbers, he would have been buried forever, coaching Little League in some tacky suburb while selling insurance. BUT . . . DIDI was from ATLANTA, so Brian couldn't resist. In that case he got lucky--mostly this just results in a leaden roster and a demoralized minor-league talent pool. Cashman IS A MORON.

Trebor said...

Guys, he is a career .270 batter who can field. We are getting him for 5 million when he made 17 last year. And he can play third, second and first. We soon need to talk about the real problem: Bird’s avg might soon be back down to .042

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I must have missed when Sir Didi was on the Braves.

Could have been a flashback to Jerry and the boys in SF.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I agree.

Losing Singleton at the end of the season sucks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry--misremembered--it was Arizona. Point still holds. Just make the necessary substitutions in the equation and it still works.

Yankee Shamus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yankee Shamus said...


Carl J. Weitz said...

I look at the Walker signing as a plus. The guy is a good hitter, with power, when healthy. He's getting 4 million with a ceiling of 4.5 with bonuses. He is an upgrade (right now) over Gleyber and Wade. They were going to send Torres back for maybe 6 weeks anyway. Perhaps this will push those kids a bit more and they can get some more at-bats at Scranton.While Wade was hitting about.300 here, don't forget it is against 75% AA and AAA pitchers.

I don't see this as a long-term set back to the kids. At the very least, they now have a deeper bench. And should anything happen to those two kids, look at it as cheap insurance.
I just don't see a real downside the Walker signing. This isn't a forever change and some team at the trade deadline looking to shed a big-name pitcher might be enticed by a 4 million dollar Walker as part of an acceptable package.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that Walker is an upgrade over Wade IF YOU DON'T GIVE WADE A SIGNIFICANT MLB SAMPLE IN WHICH TO PROVE HIMSELF? ARE YOU CLAIRVOYANT? OR JUST BIGOTED AGAINST PROSPECTS, LIKE CASHMAN? Wade's speed and defensive skills are far superior to those of Walker, who is one of those mediocre treadmill major leaguers who never sticks with anyone because he basically SUCKS. Just Cashman's cuppa.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Uh-oh: is Anonymous Buck back?

But I have to say, I largely agree with him about this (though much more politely).

Carl Weitz, you raise some good points. But I think the key words are, "when healthy."

Projected over a full, 162-game season, Walker isn't a superstar, but he's pretty good: 20 homers, 31 doubles, .272/341/.437.

How many times has he played a full season? Twice, in his 8 years as an MLB regular. On average, he misses 32 games a year.

We already have two outfielders like this. If Ellsbury played a full year, he'd be running up 52 extra-base hits and 45 stolen bases. For Gardner, it would be 51 and 32, respectively, and they'd both be scoring nearly a 100 runs a year.

But they don't, because they can't stay on the field. Players don't get more durable as they age.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Or put it this way:

The problem with Coops is the same problem with using WAR as they be-all and end-all of MLB stats.

As Anonymous Churlish notes, Cashman prizes anyone who has been in the majors over anyone who has not.

So does WAR, which is why any warm body this side of Kung-Fu Panda has a positive WAR.

Except that, many of the high, positive WARs, came UP from the minors during the season. Meaning that, for the most part, WAR is an exact measurement of exactly nothing. It shows how much better you are than the average minor leaguer...who frequently comes up and does better than you.

It's the Cash philosophy. In 1951, he would have assumed that Cliff Mapes and Billy Johnson were better than Mickey Mantle and Gil McDougald, who hadn't. Both Mapes and Johnson went to St. Louis. The rest, as they say, is history.

Anonymous said...

WAR does not measure value over a minor leaguer. It measures value over an average MAJOR LEAGUER. WAR does not value anyone who has been in the majors over anyone who does not. There are minor league WAR values, too, which are statistically adjusted to give a projection of the player's likely major league WAR. Do you homework, HC66. But you're right about the likelihood that Cashman would have cashiered Mantle . . . and Barry Bonds, who batted about .220 in his major league debut without much pop. He's a dunce.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sorry, but I did do my homework. And if it's an "average major leaguer"...well, how is it that nearly every AL starting third baseman last year had a positive WAR? And I mean really positive.

It's like Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

Baffled by this, I looked at the WAR explanation for baseballreference, at least, and they say it's compared to a replacement from a minor league or foreign league.

So there.

13bit said...

Go Hoss...

Anonymous said...

According to Baseball Reference, batters similar to Walker are:

John Valentin (938.1)
Ian Desmond (930.6)
Mike Lansing (913.1)
Kyle Seager (912.0)
Jason Kipnis (909.6)
Pablo Sandoval (909.5)
Brian Dozier (904.3)
Corey Koskie (902.0)
Odell Hale (901.2)


Anonymous said...

HC66--sorry, you just don't get it. The benchmark isn't a statistical average of current MLB third basemen. Why don't you just read up on the subject? I'm not your private tutor. You have no idea what you're talking about. Go to fangraphs and/or baseball-reference and read their explanations of WAR--or Wikipedia. The replacment player is NOT based on some abstract "minor leaguer." Where did you get that idea?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Asshole Anonymous,

Can you fucking read?

Are you a fucking asshole? Where'd I get that idea? From your posts. Go back to Sons of Sam Horn with all your racist townie asshole friends.

13bit said...

It probably is too difficult or too much of a hassle for Duque to implement, but a case could be made for registration and needing an identity affiliated with an email address before one can post. I agree with you, Rufus, it's easy to be an asshole when you're anonymous.


HoraceClarke66 said...

Ah, my Churlish Anon, while the baseballreference full explanation and history of WAR is somewhat longer than Gibbons' "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," they have helpfully left the following description at the top of their page listing the all-time WAR leaders.

I quote:

"Statistic Description: Wins Above Replacement: A single number that presents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player (think AAA or AAAA) would add. Scale for a single-season: 8+ MVP Quality, 5+ All-Star Quality, 2+ Starter, 0-2 Reserve, < 0 Replacement Level Developed by Sean Smith of"

I think the key phrase here is, "think AAA or AAAA." In other words, just what I said it was.

To quote Casey Stengel, you could look it up.

Now, I do think WAR should be something else. Say, "Wins above what the average player at a position will give you."

But if that's the case, then it cannot be that almost everybody who, say, played 3B in the AL last year had a positive WAR. They can't all be above—and usually well-above—average.

Any meaningful comparative statistic must have a clear baseline. WAR, at least as baseballreference is defining it—and don't get me wrong, I love B.R. with the white hot passion of a thousand suns—don't got it.

I repeat my "So there," and add one Bronx cheer and two "Nyahs!" with full tongue extension.

Anonymous said...

HC66--They do not mean literally a minor-league player. They are using the concepts of AAA/AAAA AS A AN ANALOGY OR FIGURE OF SPEECH to capture the kind of player being talked about. It says "THINK AAA or AAAA," not LITERALLY AAA or AAAA--the tipoff is that in there is literally no such thing as AAAA--these are simply mental benchmarks to clarify the kind of player in question. As the Wikipedia article on this subject puts it, "A player's WAR value is claimed to be the number of additional wins his team has achieved above the number of expected team wins if that player were substituted with a replacement-level player: a player who may be added to the team for minimal cost and effort." OK--get it now? If not, I suggest a remedial course in reading-comprehension. You can Google them on-line. At this point, just think of yourself as having replacement-level cognitive skills pending further tutoring.

Anonymous said...

HC66--See the Baseball Prospectus essay on the meaning of replacement player at the link below. They use the example of finding a replacement for Mike Trout should he suddenly go down with an injury: "Replacement level is a mathematical abstraction in that no such "replacement player" actually exists—you can’t point to Larry over there and say that he is the gold standard of replacement level. But really, a replacement player is just the per plate appearance (or per inning) mathematical (weighted) average performance of all backup center fielders, multiplied by the number of plate appearances (or innings) that Trout (or any other player whose value we want to assess) played."

Notice that the benchmark is not ALL centerfielders, as you ineptly and mistakenly assume--all BACKUP centerfielders--which will include some already in the majors and some not. It's an empirical melange that is in reality, as the essay states, a statistical abstraction or benchmark, but not an arbitrary one--one rooted in certain empirical tendencies of actual performance of a certain class of players. Is the mist clearing from your eyes now?

Anonymous said...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Asshole Anonymous,

You can't even keep Arizona and Atlanta straight when they are in different divisions in different leagues, but you bitch and whine about WAR when you don't even fucking read the original post?

You are a no balls, limp dick fucking asshole. Go back home

And jerk off to your Brett Pedroia poster.

Anonymous said...

RTF--I made ONE factual error--misremembered which team a guy was on before the Yankees. And that's your argument about the meaning of WAR? What kind of incoherent, slavering, demented piece of shit are you? You don't understand anything about the whole apparatus of analysis that is used by EVERY GM in baseball now. You just sputter gutter invective like a likely school shooter in a straight jacket. You're subhuman. Get help, moron, before you damage yourself or another human being--and I use the term "human being" advisedly in your case.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, Raging Anon: when somebody tells me, "think AAA or AAAA," that's what I think. I'm weirdly literal that way.

Now, I understand, of course, that all Sabremetrics were invented by Albert Einstein in his Berlin study with Max Planck and Enrico Fermi at his elbow, but this is beginning to sound more like Abbott and Costello:

Costello: Okay, so you say this guy's got a great WAR.

Abbott: Right.

Costello: What's WAR?

Abbott: Wins Above Replacement.

Costello: Who's the Replacement?

Abbott: Think, a AAA or AAAA player.

Costello: Oh, a minor league or foreign league player!

Abbott: No, no, you got this all wrong. No real replacement player actually exists.

Costello: He doesn't?

Abbott: No.

Costello: Then who replaces him?

Abbott: Nobody.

Costello: Nobody?!! How can NOBODY replace him???

Abbott: Nobody literal, just a weighted mathematical construction of all backup centerfielders multiplied by the number of times the player in question batted.

Costello: Then how come most of the backups have positive numbers, too?

Abbott: Well, they're all above the replacement.

Costello: Then who's the replacement?

Abbott: I told you. There is no replacement.

Costello: (running hands madly over his head, steam coming from his ears) Then how can you assign a positive value to EVERYONE? Doesn't somebody have to be 0.0? Or negative?

Abbott: No. Just the weighted mathematical construction.


Anonymous said...

And, RTF--hoist by your own petard! Arizona and Atlanta are in different leagues? HA! Eat shit, moron. Buy a baseball primer and learn which teams are in which leagues before you launch your next round of deranged invective (Hint: One league name begins with an "A," and one begins with an "N," and both Atlanta and Arizona are in the same league . . . IMBECILE.

Anonymous said...

HC66--you can try to cover your ineptitude with a wash of Abbott and Costello, but the only hilarity here is your serial botching of the concept of a replacement player . . . and your assumption that you are somehow smarter than the people who devised this measurment. That's the most hilarious thing of all.

Anonymous said...

HC66--Here's the proof that you're kinda dumb: Someone writes, "Think AAA or AAAA," intending it as an illustrative, analogical reference point, intentionally using as one of the reference points SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T EXIST IN THE REAL WORLD, and you take it literally. It's as though someone wrote, "Think unicorns," and you started seeing through your window, gamboling on your lawn. THAT's how stupid you are. Give it a rest already.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The point is, my prickly friend, that what you're talking is mush. A mathematical formulation in which, somehow, everybody is still plus.

Any kind of meaningful scale has to have people at 0 or negative. It can't be that virtually EVERYONE improves your value.

And sorry, but there's no "mathematical construction" in the world that can tell you what a combination of possible back-up outfielders, minor leaguers, Japanese imports, and others can do—ESPECIALLY when minor leaguers regularly come up and run up big plus numbers.

That's just mush, any way you dress it up.

Anonymous said...

HC66--You say it's mush without having looked into the equations and formulas that make it up. There doesn't have to be a zero, literally--just a baseline formula. That's all it is.

13bit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoraceClarke66 said...

I still say MUSH, sir! Mush, mush, mush! And drivel!

There is no such thing as a scale that does not have a zero, as our Arab friends could have told us 1,500 years ago! And there is no such thing as a several-page-long, mathematical formula that can tell us anything worthwhile about baseball!

EVERYBODY cannot be above average! That defeats the idea of average! Or below average, for that matter!

This is not a statistic, sir! It is an anti-statistic!

And I WILL look more deeply into the "equations and formulas" that make it up, just as soon as I have finished reading Marcel Proust's "A la recherche de temps perdue" in French" (have to learn enough French, first), and come up with my own formulas for calculating the numbers of grains of sand on Jones Beach, and the number of pigeons in my neighborhood.

No zero! Harrumph!

JM said...

I'm glad I backtracked to see what was going on here. Can we call this the "WAR war?"

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it! Or, "The War on WAR."