A conversation about MLB, on the field, off the field.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

From the Basement Feb 03 07

Watched a bit of the 18 inning Dominican Republic vs Venezuala game last night on my PC, some random thoughts while watching.

Miguel Tejeda looks overweight. I have read speculation that the O's weren't too happy with his conditioning last year. He still made a really good throw from the hole though.

Randall Simon is playing for the Venezuala team. He could be in Ottawa this season, he is a Phillies NRI. The guy has had a long career bouncing around pro ball but his #1 claim to fame is that he is widely believed to be the "fat monkey" that John Rocker referred to in the infamous SI interview that was the beginning of the end of Rocker's career.

Luis Polonia is playing for the Dominican squad. Wow what a flashback! Looked him up, he is 43 now. What a career, 12 seasons in the bigs. Unfortunately in this era of Arena Baseball he is the type of outfielder, speed guy, who is disappearing from the game.

Tony Batista is playing for the Dominican. In 99 playing shortstop for the Blue Jays he hit 27 homers, setting the club record for that position. The following season he hit 41 for the Jays playing 3rd base, setting the club record for that position as well. In 2004 playing 3rd for the Expos he hit 32 homers setting the club record for the position. Is he still the holder of those Blue Jay records? His Expo record, well unfortunately that will never be broken.

Anderson Hernandez playing 2nd base for the Dominican, made a great play behind the bag in the 15th to throw out a runner at first. Last season, playing 2nd base for Norfolk, he made maybe the best play I saw all year in a game at Lynx Stadium.

I was bored between half innings watching the bit of the game I saw last night, which led me to glance at Rob Neyer's most recent column. It reminded me of why I don't read Rob Neyer. The subject of the piece was VORP. I have seen this acronymn on some of the seamhead sites but hadn't paid any attention. I now know that VORP is "Value over Replacement Player". Get out of your parents basement and get a life! Ok, I'm in my basement, but I'm one of the parents. Is there anything left for the SABR community to reveal? I think as far as measuring offence, no, it's been scrutinized to absurd lengths. Don't get me wrong, I think the stat geeks did convince the baseball establishment that they were wrong about some established thinking. I.E. Batting average was overvalued, ERA, particulary with relievers was overvalued, fielding percentage was overvalued etc. What remains to be seen is if the stat analysis community can come to a consensus on measuring defense. I am skeptical, there are too many variables, but don't underestimate the geekdom. I think you have to trust your eyes when it comes to defense. Do you know that the stat geeks think that Jeter is shit in the field? I think they have concluded that his range is subpar. What am I missing? I have seen Jeter play a LOT and I think he is outstanding. If I start blogging about PECOTA, please someone come to my basement and smash my PC and force me outdoors.

Edmonton Cracker Cats - Northern League. Evidently they are trying to persuade Hoser Baseball legend, Stuby Clapp, to return for another year. Jonathan Huntington at the Edmonton Sun reports that they paid him $8,000 per month last year. That dollar figure surprised me, but good for Mr. Clapp. Huntington also reports that the Cracker Cats are losing a lot of money. Out of Left Field, the Naete Sager site, also reported a while ago that both the Calgary and Edmonton Northern League teams are struggling at the gate. On a positive note, Winnipeg loves the Goldeyes!

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