04-18-2012, 04:13 PM
I sympathise with the people being burned by various blackout rules. I had Extra Innings on Directv a few years ago and was continually frustrated when Yankees games still weren't available, often because of Fox's Saturday games.
But I'll admit, I'm amused by the idea of someone in Hawaii being upset because he can't watch Mariners games. Dude, you live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the Mariners' season ended months ago. :)
04-18-2012, 05:19 PM
Well see, when he watches the Mariners play and gets depressed over it. It just makes it that much better to take a stroll outside and enjoy the natural beauty. Luckily for me they didn't do the same thing with Alaska, it's only the Mariners that are blacked out here and we do get their games up here on Root Sports otherwise I would just be as angry if they blacked out the Giants.
04-18-2012, 07:04 PM
Those blackout rules for Hawaii are incomprehensible and I can understand being annoyed at paying for access and still not getting what you want. Somebody screwed up somewhere if both are blacking out the Mariners games.
04-18-2012, 09:07 PM
Interesting that we are both Yankees and Fins fans...
Originally Posted by sluggo
04-18-2012, 10:23 PM
So while some west coast MLB scribes are asking "What's wrong with Albert Pujols?" because #5 doesn't have any HR yet this season (49 AB), I think a far more telling statistic is this: why isn't Albert Pujols walking anymore?
Last season Albert walked 61 times in 651 plate appearances, which is a rate of walking once every 10.67 times at bat.
His rate in years previous to 2011:
2010: walked every 6.8 times
2009: walked every 6 times
2008: every 6.16 times
2007: every 6.86
2006: every 6.89
2005: every 7.12
What's obvious is this: up until 2011, Albert Pujols was a phenomenally selective hitter. His lack of strikeouts and high walk rate suggest the obvious: a Hall of Fame-like ability to judge the strike zone and mash pitches within it.
A quick visit to FanGraphs reinforces this. They track how often a guy swings at pitches outside the strike zone. That's abbreviated as O-Swing%, but is frequently referred to as "chase rate"--the rate at which a guy chases pitches out of the zone.
For a sizable portion of his career, Albert Pujols had a ridiculously low chase rate below 20%. In fact, from 2002 through the 2009 season, Albert's average chase rate covering all those seasons was below 20%. That's phenomenal.
In 2007 his O-Swing was 18.3%. In 2008 it jumped to 21.6%. In 2009 it went up again to 22.9%. No biggie. Those are still ridiculously low chase rates.
But they show a trend.
In 2010 Albert's o-swing% really jumped: 27.5%. That's almost mortal.
In 2011: 31.8%. That's...well, that's about what a lot of other great ballplayers put up--guys who don't have 10-year, $250m contracts.
So far in 2012, and again the sample size is small: 44.7% chase rate.
And so I'll say it again: Albert's swing when he was a younger man with better eyes and faster reflexes was a miracle of hand-eye coordination unlike anything we've ever seen. Now though, I think that Albert has to "cheat" a little on his swing, and starts it earlier than he used to, and the result is that he swings at more pitches out of the zone than ever before. Albert is still Albert. Even swinging at pitches outside the zone, he's still going to make contact with far more of them than anyone else out there...but less often is that contact going to be him squaring up a pitch.
I think the guy will hit .300-ish for the Angels, and I think he'll untrack the power and sock 30-35 HR for them. But I also am not sure I expect him to be able to do that 4 years from now, much less 6 or 10.
04-19-2012, 09:13 AM
Albert would phrase it as, "Trying to do too much," and pressing to impress his new team and city is probably part of the issue. I also wonder if living in Dan Lozano's house is a factor. Most of it, however, is probably age and reflexes.
We've all seen Albert go through some rough streaks, but then he'll have a 5-5 day with three home runs and a double, and perhaps go on a tear for a couple of weeks. That will happen again. But I am happier every day with the Cardinals' decision not to try and out-bid the Angels.
04-19-2012, 09:36 AM
I've been through customer support with DirecTV, ROOT Sports, and MLB. MLB just points me to their blackout rules and says they don't necessarily control what tv companies decide to blackout. So as far as I can tell, the problem is that MLB considers me part of the M's market while DirecTV and ROOT Sports don't, so I get completely screwed by both of them.
Originally Posted by Sarkus
But, as the posters above mentioned, I'm in Hawaii, so fuck MLB. I can find other things to do with my time.
04-19-2012, 09:41 PM
Its one thing to hear about great a player is, in any sport, its another thing to watch him and see why he gets the praise, money, and nicknames. I stayed up late to watch my Indians play the Mariners and "King" Felix Hernadez. That guy is an absolute beast. In 7 innings he gave up 2 hits, 1 walk, with I think 10 strikeouts and no runs. However, the manager kept him in for the 8th inning, even though his pitch count was over 100, and it showed. He loads the bases, but gets away with it and leaves the bases loaded. 8 scoreless innings, 12 strikeouts, and 129 pitches.
However, Indians 4th starter in the rotation, Josh Tomlin, almost matched him pitch for pitch. 7 strikeouts, no walks, 5 hits, and only 1 run in 8 innings. So, going into the 9th its a 0-1 game. Seattle's closer, whose name I don't remember how to spell, does not do his job and blows the save, Indians go ahead 2-1. Indians closer Chris Perez does his job and has a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth. Still, a very impressive performance by Felix.
04-20-2012, 12:40 AM
It's basically why "wins" shouldn't matter when it comes to Cy Young voting. Brandon League has cost Felix* god only knows how many wins. Not that Brandon League is that awful, at least relative to the offense. Josh Tomlin shouldn't be able to match Felix in anything, but Mariners!
*not to mention poor Doug Fister last year. There was an extra-innings Nats game...I feel sick just thinking about it.
Last edited by Diddums; 04-20-2012 at 12:46 AM.
04-20-2012, 08:15 AM
Marlins, classy as ever, unsuccessfully negotiate with the guy who catches the first HR in the new park.
When he refuses their terms, they refuse to authenticate the ball for him, saying "It could have been from BP".
Last edited by Lloyd Heilbrunn; 04-20-2012 at 08:24 AM.
04-20-2012, 10:30 AM
Fun baseball fact for April 20, 2012:
David Wright has an OBP of .550
The Pittsburgh Pirates have an OPS of .540.
04-20-2012, 11:43 AM
So right now, the Red Sox and Yankees are getting ready for an early game, where they're celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. For the opening ceremonies (currently being broadcast on MLBN and I assume the local stations), the Red Sox have reportedly brought back every living Red Sox player, walking out to the field one at a time, to the position they played on the field.
Buckner came out, and it was one of the warmer welcomes anyone got. Nice moment.
You could argue this is a little overdone, but it's still cool to see all these great players nonetheless. Yaz, Rice, Fisk, etc. Even as a Yankees fan, you can't help but appreciate these guys if you're a baseball fan.
Edit: and for reasons I'm unsure about, they have John Williams on the field conducting a small symphony, playing ... I have no idea what song this is, as all the players leave their positions and kind of congregate and shake hands and say hi to each other in the middle of the field. It's kinda surreal.
Edit 2: Apparently the song they're playing is "Fanfare for Fenway," which I have no idea is some Fenway tradition or something Williams composed three days ago.
04-20-2012, 12:14 PM
A stat I saw today said that Felix has gone 7 or more innings and given up 2 or fewer runs 38 times in his career and ended up with either the loss or a no decision. He still has an 86-68 career record. That's how bad the Mariners offense has been during his career.
Originally Posted by Diddums
04-20-2012, 02:10 PM
Dude's still the conductor emeritus of the Boston Pops, man.
Originally Posted by sluggo
04-20-2012, 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by Sarkus
04-20-2012, 02:19 PM
What kind of contract is Felix on? Perhaps its Cleveland's Bedouin front office rubbing off on me, but I see a great trade commodity who isn't doing the Mariners much good right now with their stilted offense. They could probably get a legitimate power starting hitter for him, plus a bevy of prospects while cutting payroll.
04-20-2012, 02:55 PM
He's signed through 2014, making about $20m/year. But they are trying to build around him and Ichiro is the only other huge contract on the payroll and he's in the last year of his deal. So there is no real financial reason for them to move him. Plus they just traded Pineda for a bat.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
The current regime has been very consistent in denying any interest in trading Felix. Maybe next year or 2014 if the rebuild has clearly failed, but not anything we're going to see this year.
04-20-2012, 03:14 PM
You say that as if it makes having an orchestra on the field for a baseball game make more sense. :)
Originally Posted by Omniscia
04-20-2012, 04:26 PM
An interesting note today is that MLB and players have agreed (post CBA even) that going forward player contracts can no longer include personal service deals and milestone bonuses. It seems both sides agreed that milestone bonus provisions are a way teams can get around the luxury tax (they are not guaranteed and thus don't count towards payroll) and that the current CBA does not allow any post-career obligations be included in contracts.
So Pujols and Zimmerman will be among the last group to get this kind of stuff.
04-20-2012, 05:16 PM
The Reds got their 10,000th win today, joining the Giants, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs and Dodgers. Only Reds games from 1882 and the forming of the American Association are counted in that total, none from 1866-1881.
04-20-2012, 06:00 PM
The Phillies way in the back of the existing original 8 NL teams. The Yankees are over 500 wins ahead despite Philly's 18 year head start.
04-20-2012, 11:43 PM
A photo essay of the Chris "Pure Rage" Perez Closer experience: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/4/18/29...?ref=fangraphs
I thought it was funny. Does anyone else grow fearful when their closer takes the mound in a close game?
04-21-2012, 12:23 AM
He kinda looks like Kenny Powers...
04-21-2012, 12:46 AM
Love Perez. He'll figure it out.
Originally Posted by Greatatlantic
I watch his career with interest. In the summer of 2009, the Cardinals had both Perez and Jason Motte, both basically rookies in their bullpen. Both guys were touted as being future closers. Meanwhile, the Cardinals were desperate to find someone to play 3b after Troy Glaus was lost for most of the year. They targeted Mark DeRosa, who was having a fine season in Cleveland up to that point (no really; through June he'd hit 13 HR and driven in 50 runs). Cleveland desperately needed bullpen help, and expressed interest in both Cardinal relievers.
Originally, the Tribe asked for Jason Motte. The Cardinals were ready to pull the trigger, and someone in their front office said "NO!" I believe that person was probably their Vice President of Player Development, Jeff Luhnow, who is now the GM of the Astros. For whatever reason, Luhnow told GM John Mozeliak to offer Chris Perez instead of Motte. Perez is three years younger than Motte, and had 3 pitches to Motte's one. The Indians took that deal.
(It turned out to be a bust for the Redbirds. In his third game as a Cardinal, DeRosa tried to check his swing against Randy Johnson and grabbed his wrist in agony. He'd torn the tendon sheath in his wrist, much like the injury that ended a season for Rickie Weeks in 2009. In DeRo's case, he elected not to have surgery until after the season, and he's never been the same hitter since...he's with the Nats, and is likely to get DFA'd soon.)
It's been interesting to watch their career trajectories since that trade. Perez had the most early success, but also has had arm trouble. Motte struggled in late-inning roles throughout 2010 and even early 2011 before finally mastering a 2nd pitch--a slider, and a third--a cut fastball. Now Motte throws three pitches for strikes and he's turned into a lights out guy (knock wood). Perez is struggling with his command a bit, but he's also getting over the arm troubles that had him all through 2011 too.
04-21-2012, 10:55 AM
Rangers put up 8 against the Tigers and Rick Porcello in the first inning of a double-header today, but Beltre goes out in the 2nd inning after legging a double and looks like yet another hammy issue. Not a horrific time to get have an issue I suppose (though we are seeing Verlander tonight) but still...
04-21-2012, 12:33 PM
Yankees shut down Pineda's throwing session after 15 pitches. Felt it in the back of his shoulder, apparently, and seeing a doctor next week.
This may not be very good.
04-21-2012, 03:29 PM
04-21-2012, 03:30 PM
So Phil Humbert of the White Sox threw a perfect game today!
Because of the silly blackout rules that FOX forces on MLB, only two cities in the country got to see it: Seattle and Chicago.
04-21-2012, 03:56 PM
Also, 2nd Perfecto AJ Pierzynski has caught (he was the catcher for Buehrle's perfect game a few years ago.)
04-21-2012, 04:15 PM
Actually AJ had the day off that day. It was Ramon Castro that caught Buehrle's pefect game.