Comments on: Loney Snaps Homerless Streak: 45 Games, 161 At-Bats This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Fireworks Tue, 31 May 2011 13:32:50 +0000 @ John Autin

I have/had Morales, Utley, Lidge, Cruz, Zimmerman, and Longoria, among others. So I had no options at 1B but was hoping for something solid from Loney. That's what I get for missing the draft and ending up with a guy that, until he proves otherwise in the future, has ruined his career celebrating a walk-off homer (hyperbole, I know). Anyway, my pitching wasn't too terrible and I've made good moves there (Colon!) but my offense is just terrible. My goal is just to get out of the second division.

By: John Autin Mon, 30 May 2011 19:47:09 +0000 @23, Duke -- Thoughtful comment. My take:

I'm no big fan of collisions at home plate or anywhere else. If a rule could be written that would minimize such collisions, without fundamentally changing the nature of tag plays, I would be in favor of it. I'm just not sure exactly what the rule would be.

I presume the rule would have to start with a goal of preventing the catcher from blocking the plate. OK, that's admirable; but then, exactly where should he position himself so that he can make the tag? And what happens in those bang-bang plays when the throw arrives at the same moment as the runner -- and what if the catcher can't field the throw without crossing in front of the plate, blocking the runner's path? This last factor seems like a big problem in coming up with a rule that restricts the catcher's movement on tag plays.

As for the runner's responsibility under a new rule, I presume the goal would be to prevent him from slamming into the catcher, as long as he can touch the plate without doing so. But the exact language for that would also be tricky. As we saw with the Posey play, it all happens so fast, and the catcher is often moving towards the plate when the player has to decide on his approach; the runner has to make up his mind before the catcher has necessarily reached his final position. I think most people who've seen the replay would say that the runner could have slid to the outside of the plate, to avoid the body contact. But what if he slides and Posey manages to get his body in front of the plate, or (in particular) his shin-guarded leg? That's a dangerous situation for the runner, too.

I can't see a way to write a rule that doesn't place a tremendous burden of judgment on the home plate umpire, who already has a tough job of finding a position that lets him see simultaneously the catcher's tag and the runner's contact with home plate. Is it fair or wise to give him the added responsibility of judging whether both parties have complied with a new set of restrictions?

And if that burden is not placed on the umpire, what then? -- would the enforcement be handled post facto by the league reviewing videotape? If so, is it fair to judge the players' actions during a split-second of decision and execution, by reviewing a videotape in super-slow-motion? And what might the penalties be? And how to prevent the judgment from being affected by whether or not either party got injured on the play?

It's a big fat can of worms. The only way I can think of to change the rule without unleashing a nightmare of detail is to make all plays at the plate force plays. I can't tell yet what I think of that wild notion.

By: Dukeofflatbush Mon, 30 May 2011 17:12:17 +0000 @ JA

I can't think of the season, but it was during their Buffalo Bill's-esque run, after a Brave was hit in the top of an inning, Terry Pendleton, just past his prime, stormed off the field after the Braves pitcher did not retaliate.
I watch a lot of baseball, but have never seen the likes of that.
Pendleton didn't even have that much to say after the game and wasn't chastised by Brave brass. Odd all the way around.
I remember at the time thinking that Pendleton was old school, and I had quite a bit of admiration for him for standing up for his teammates and sticking with the culture of the game that he believed in. But, lately especially after the Buster Posey incident, and the aforementioned Estrada/Erstad collision, plus a recent beaning, that resulted in facial fractures, I wonder how much of that 'culture' really belongs in the game today.
I realize that it is a man's game and there is emotions on the field, but to ruin a career or even ruin a season, especially someone as important to a club as Posey is to the Giants, does not seem right.
I remember the Jeter play of a few years ago, when he tried to take an extra base on an uncovered third, and the Blue Jay catcher hustled up the line to cover third and collided with a sliding Jeter and dislocated his shoulder. That was a play that seemed completely accidental and sportsmanlike, just with unfortunate consequences. Thank god Jeter took his time rehabbing and did not rush back and ruin his career.
I just think the Posey play could of been avoided. The player bore down on Posey and lowered his shoulder on the first base side, causing maximum impact. I though he could of slid more effectively and less dangerously.
Just curious on your take on the whole contact side of the sport and the current rules.

By: John Autin Mon, 30 May 2011 14:50:17 +0000 @21, Dukeofflatbush -- "And the Braves acted as if they were looking for retribution, but never got a chance."

That's the most concise analysis of the 1991-2005 Braves I've ever read! 🙂

By: Dukeofflatbush Mon, 30 May 2011 00:43:08 +0000 @ John Autin,

Great to have you blogging.
About Erstad, I think I remember reading that he had found out his wife was 'seeing someone' while he was on the road. Obviously not fun to hear about for anyone, but Erstad took it very badly. The Angels were very protective of him, but I think it took an emotional toll he never recovered from.
He also was involved with a supposedly 'dirty play' - that is somewhat topical. I believe during an inter-league game, he plowed into the Braves catcher, Johnny Estrada, when he clearly conceded the plate, plus there was no throw.
Estrada never fully recovered after being highly touted by the Braves. And the Braves acted as if they were looking for retribution, but never got a chance.

By: John Autin Sun, 29 May 2011 14:46:08 +0000 @19, Duke -- Good points about Erstad's defensive prowess in the OF. Makes it all the more puzzling that he spent so much time at 1B. I can understand that the Angels had a full OF when he came up, with Edmonds in CF. But after Erstad had 4 strong OF seasons in a row (2000-03), averaging 2.4 dWAR, he shifted back to 1B exclusively for 2004-05, though he was only 30 at the time. Did he have a leg injury or something? I forget.

By: Dukeofflatbush Sun, 29 May 2011 02:13:37 +0000 Seeing Darin Erstad on this list is sort of strange.
He only played 78 games at 1st that season, but pulled off a 3.2 dWAR with only a −1.4 oWAR. Then in '00, puts together an offensive season for the ages, with 240 hits and 25 HRs, while getting a gold glove for left field, and 2.9 dWAR.
BTW, he is the only guy to have 3 seasons of > 2.9 dWAR seasons.

By: Hartvig Sat, 28 May 2011 22:34:32 +0000 @ 17

The Twins are already out of contention for the season. They're a small market team on the hook for Morneau to the tune of $14 million dollars for this year and the following two seasons. Unless there's a medically justifiable reason (post-concussion syndrome?) to put him on the long-term DL (where maybe they have insurance for his contract- I don't know) I would imagine that they not only give Morneau ample opportunity for the remainder of this season but for a good portion of the next to bounce back & justify that contract.

By: Neil L. Sat, 28 May 2011 21:21:05 +0000 @15
Carl, thanks for the post.

Are you saying the Twins will continue to put Justin Morneau in the starting lineup despite his lack of productivity?

By: Timmy P Sat, 28 May 2011 20:22:45 +0000 Seeing Adam LaRosche's name up there reminds me that there is a lack of quality French ballplayers in MLB.