Ignorance/The World Is Flat

I’m Fat

“Why the boring title Bobcat?”  I know I know. All my article titles are normally straight fire but today I’m sullen and downtrodden to say the least.  My precious Red Sox made two moves that seem boneheaded unless they make some waiver wire moves in August to remedy the situation.

So I’m writing this currently because I was recently in a discussion with someone who said they heard a bunch of people discussing the distinct possibility of Slosh Beckett being traded today.  Now this didn’t happen nor was it ever a real possibility.  Let’s just think about this for a second.

108.1 IP, 6.81 K/9 , 2.41 BB.9 , 0.75 HR/9 , .299 BABIP, 4.57 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 4.04 xFIP, 2.5 WAR

This guy is hardly even replacement level let alone worth 37.5 million bucks over the next few years.  No GM other then Steve Philips when he was with the Mets would take on this guy, his bloated contract, and his penchant for fried chicken and beer.

Leading me to the second half of my rant.  I get very persnickety with things like this.  Back in the day when people believed the world was flat, everyone took it as gospel.  When people started saying “Hey, you can’t fall off the edge you douchelords, the Earth is round” there was an uproar from traditionalists and mass hysteria.  The same thing is occurring within baseball as we speak.  Guys are coming out and saying “Yo there’s better ways to look at the business aspect of baseball then we have in the past, we have these new fangled statistics, sabermetrics if you will, they tell us all sorts of cool shit like how to truly value players and not just go off good ol’ hard nosed judgement from scouts like we’ve always done”.  The aforementioned traditionalists are freaking out and claiming we’re all nerds who sit behind computers and analyze stats and don’t actually watch the games.  Anyways, if these guys had taken a step back, taken a look at fangraphs.com and realized he’s hardly even replacement level, then I probably wouldn’t have to make them look stupid right now.So back to the discussion I was having.  After I dismissed the idea of being able to dump Becks as pure stupidity, the person said “Well the radio was saying it”.  Right, I’m sure the Boston papers were saying it too.  The only guy in the media who isn’t a total titnose is Peter Gammons.  Other than that I dismiss all those guys as speculators, or men who’s ideals and perceptions about how to run a baseball team are so elementary, they shouldn’t be allowed near the sports section let alone write for one.

Times are a changin.  People, get with the program please.  Educate yourselves, be informed baseball fans.  Just be informed people in general.

P.S. this same Boston media also has speculated that Jonny Lester would be traded for weeks.  Today it was revealed that teams were asking about him and Boston front office was “saying flatly no” to teams.  Real smart those reporters huh?

Im pissed,

RantCat Jeffries

EDIT 7:10 : I should note that it would not be absurd for anyone, no matter how gluttonous the contract, should the side trading that player be willing to throw in cash, in this case it would have to be millions of dollars.  It is well documented this season that the Red Sox are trying to cut costs due to the massive contracts of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzales and co. therefore that is why my stance is so strong on Josh Beckett never being a real trade candidate (atleast until the waiver wire opens up).

EDIT #2 7:31 PM: “Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said he didn’t ask  Josh Beckett if he’d waive his ten and five rights, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal ”  (If you’d like to read the non-paraphrased tweet click the link)

https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/230421547008012288

I don’t wanna be that guy, so this is the last update.  But what can I say? I win.


Does This Look Like The Face Of The Best Reliever In Baseball?

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No that’s not Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn’s mugshot.  That’s Aroldis Chapman.  He was recently pulled over for going 83 mph which is ironic because thats an easy 20 mph slower then he pitches.  Anyways, recently everyone is jumping on the Chapmania bandwagon, and I would say myself included but I’ve been a fan for awhile now.

Let’s take a look at Chapman’s stats for an appetizer.

2012 47.2 IP 16.99 K/9 2.64 BB/9 1.51 ERA 1.11 FIP 2.5 WAR

16.99 K/9 (if he keeps this up) will be the MLB record. Okay cool, not sold yet? Fine. Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs

“But it’s not just the number of strikeouts he’s recorded. It’s the lethal efficiency with which he’s dispensed with his adversaries. Chapman has struck out nearly half the batters he’s faced this season, posting a 49.7 strikeout rate through Wednesday. He’s faced 181 batters. He’s struck out 90 of them. In July alone, Chapman’s strikeout rate is at 65%. Forty batters faced. Twenty-six strikeouts. Oh, and he has a negative FIP for July.”

Uhhhhh yeah.  That’s incredible any way you put it.  Not even in my Franchise on MLB 2k12 does he have those stats.  Just in case you guys were wondering FIP is Fielding Independent Pitching.  Basically it judges pitchers by results it can control : strikeouts, walks, HBP, and home runs.  Here’s the scale

Rating FIP
Excellent 2.90
Great 3.25
Above Average 3.75
Average 4.00
Below Average 4.20
Poor 4.50
Awful 5.00

Chapman’s is 1.11. Unbelievable. Just for comparison, Stephen Strasburg’s FIP is 2.53.

Pretty incredible stuff from the man who most thought that he would never have any control of his wild 105 mph fastball.

Oh and that’s not his only pitch, he occasionally throws in a decent changeup, or this little unhittable cheese

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Aroldis Chapman is only 24 years old.  As long as his body can hold up, then the league will be fearing this man-beast for a very long time to come.  Be afraid.

Oh and Craig Kimbrel is a close second to Chapmania in my book, for those wondering about good ol’ Craig.

Supple is, as supple does,

Bobcat


Grizzly Adams Did Have A Beard

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I want to introduce you to the star of that short lived Caveman sitcom that ran on ABC for all of one month.  Only joking of course, this is Andrew Miller.  I’m not just writing about him because he’s on my precious Red Sox and I’m a complete homer, but because he’s one of the most effective relievers in the league this year.

Why am I wasting your time with this? Because look at his career stats (Let’s keep it relatively simple)

7.42 K/9, 5.23 BB/9, .89 HR/9, 17.6K%, 12.4 BB%, 78 ERA+, 1.705 WHIP

and now for 2012

10.57 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, .78 HR/9, 30.3 K%, 7.9 BB%, 161 ERA+, 1.00 WHIP

Those are drastically different numbers to say the least.  One of the most incredible turn arounds in recent memory.     Now how has he managed to strikeout more, walk less, and keep the ball in the yard more? Well thanks to one of my favorite websites FanGraphs, I can dig a little deeper to figure it out.

At first glance batter’s are swinging at about 6% more pitches then they have in the past.  They’re making contact with said pitches about 15% less then last year. So he’s throwing better pitches that batters aren’t hitting… How is this happening? Once again let’s dig further.

It seems that he’s throwing his fastball about 11% less then his career average, throwing his Changeup 6% less and most drastically throwing his slider over 20% more often then his career average.

That’s odd. His slider must be filthy or something. See for yourselves, click the GIF’s to see one of the nastiest pitches of 2012.

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Yeah homie. You just got taken off your feet looking at a nasty junkball.  This ain’t no high cheese big dog.

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That’s not even getting gassed up.  That’s getting embarrassed.

This is why Andrew Miller fascinates me.  It brings me to one thing Sabermetrics can’t tell me.  What did Andrew Miller do to finally make things “click”?  I guess that’s between him and Mac (Sox pitching coach Bob McClure-possibly the only success he’s had with the pitching staff all year).  All I know is this tall drink of water figured out that his changeup was mediocre, his fastball was decent, and his slider is stupid filthy.

As always kids, keep reading and supporting,

Bobcat


I Feel Bad For Using Twitter as Blog Fodder

But this needed to be said, and I couldn’t deal with arguing this in continuos 240 characters or less conversations so I figured I’d take to the good ol’ blog and then send this dude the link just to flaunt a little.

Here’s the conversation

upthehill12 Ryan Braun or melky Cabrera?

MikeyGuns22 Braun. It’s not even a question.Melky isn’t having a breakout year, he’s having one fluke year. As great as it is, it wont last

 upthehill12 you cant lead the majors in base hits and it be a fluke… plus melky has better stats
First things first. Twitter fucking blows when someone tweets something like this and I get tingles and jingles throughout my balls body to tear this question to pieces with analysis and stats.  Lets start from the beginning
2012
Braun
26 HR, 65 RsBI, .326 BaBIP, .394 OBP, 162 RC+, 4.9 WAR
Melky
10 HR, 49 RsBi, .390 BaBIP, .399 OBP, 153 RC+, 4.1 WAR
So at first glance Braun is pretty obviously the better player.  Not to mention that Melky has a BaBIP higher then fuck so we can expect some very serious 2nd half regression in his stats. (Remember via Twitter when I said this was a fluke year? This is exactly what I meant.  No one can sustain a .390 BaBIP).
I’m don’t care about fielding all that much but just so fielding fiends are happy (and they both play OF)
Braun- 3.4 UZR
Melky- -.1 UZR
Just for reference
0-2 – average starter
3-5 -All Star
5+ – Gold Glover
Hm. So Braun absolutely demolishes Melky as far as fielding goes this year, and in hitting stats too.  I’m having a hard time figuring out where Cabrera is even in the same league as Juice Man Braun.
Just for a final moment of douchebaggery
Career WAR
Braun- 30.1
Melky- 10.8
PS- Me and Henry are boys, don’t get the wrong idea. That’s why I felt very compelled to school him in such a way.  If this was a rando via Twitter I would have gone Christian Bale in American Psycho on them
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I’m not sure if this pic is from American Psycho or Ryan Braun on the juice (is he still? did we ever even find out?)

How This Mexican Napoleon Dynamite Wannabe Changed Baseball

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Let me kick this off by stating the more I look at this pic, the more I think he’s a combination of that black kid in the wheelchair from Malcolm In the Middle who could never breath, like Stevie or some shit (minus the black part, he mostly looks like he just cant breathe properly), and a Mexican Napoleon Dynamite.

Anyways, so this legend is a man named Mario Mendoza.  If you’re a baseball fan you’ve probably heard the term “Mendoza Line” in context that goes something like this:

John Kruk: “Hey Joe, I’m really fat, by the way Adam Dunn is batting below the Mendoza line!”

Joe Morgan: “You’re right John, you are fat. And Adam Dunn is batting below .215 so you’re correct! His stellar OBP doesn’t matter and his 25 huge fucking bombs don’t matter! Just his BML (below Mendoza Line) batting average!”

Anyways so Mario Mendoza played a career 686 games over parts of 9 seasons with 3 different clubs.  His career slash line looks like this

.215/.245/.262 (for non baseball fans it goes batting average/on base %/ slugging %)

Hence why when a player is batting below the Mendoza Line, he’s probably likely to be replaced soon enough.  And this leads me to the big picture.  Mendoza has helped shape sabermetrics in a plethora of ways.  One of my favorite stats VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) is based off of him.  Mendoza is the replacement player.  So if Matt Kemp has a 21.2 VORP this year (which he does…impressive given he’s been injured a ton) that means thus far, he has been worth 21.2 runs more then a replacement player.  Which we now know is Mendoza.  So Kemp’s .355/.444/.719 (and 12 dingers) is essentially worth roughly 21 runs more then .215/.245/.262 would have been over the same time period.

Now using this (I’ll spare the mathematics) we can standardize batters to see how much they are truly worth over the course of X games.  We can now do it with pitchers too.  All of this because of Mexican Napoleon Dynamite and Black Stevie’s love child!

I would love to go more in depth about this but I’ll keep it short and sweet for you assholes.  But I do want to throw in another picture of this guy because he’s fucking hilarious to point and laugh atImage

I must say, fresh goggles my dude, but maybe you should have gotten the ones with the sports strap on them so you could’ve played better.  Oh and can someone please get this guy those Breath Right strips? He’s on the struggle bus in every picture.

And WAIT. Do I spy a little lip caterpillar there? Oh my I do! A niiice little stache’ for the ladies.  I just hope he gave the people what they wanted and gave out mustache rides daily.

P.S. Less baseball-ish blogs will keep coming, and ones like this (a little more analysis) will keep coming.  So have no fear young ones, I plan on appealing to all tastes that my supple readers may posses.

Shit just got weird,

Bobcat


B-Ham The Runnin’ Man

Clever title right?

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Let’s chat about Billy Hamilton for a second.  This dude is unbelievable and apparently he’s all the rage around town right now.  Just creating hub bub wherever he goes.  This dude has 103 stolen bases right now through 80 games in AA. Wait, what?

That’s correct. Homie steals bases like it’s his job  nobody’s business.  I recently read an article that claims if him and Usain Bolt raced over the distance of a stolen base (about 67 feet after a nice lead) that Hamilton would actually be faster.  

One trick pony you ask? No way.  He is an OBP monster getting on base with a niiice little .413 notch.  149 RC+ makes this dude pretty damn unreal.  People are questioning whether or not he is the Reds SS of the future or if he’ll move to the outfield.  I propose this.  Why not prep him to take over Brandon Phillips at 2nd? Phillips has seen a solid drop off in production as he’s entering the end of his prime.  B-Ham is the man for the job.

This guy is no fluke.  He has seen a steady increase in production each year in the pro’s and has begun dominating every level it seems.  If you baseball-reference this dude, another famous base stealer comes up also named Billy Hamilton.  Except this Billy Hamilton is white…and played for the Boston Beaneaters from 1896-1901.  He also has a career 909 SB’s…coincidence? Not a chance, this is some conspiracy by Young Billy Hamilton’s parents, they knew from the moment he popped out the womb that this Young Buck was destined to swipe bases at an alarming rate.  Base Thievery is in his genes.

As a sabermetrician, this guy goes against most Sabermetric principles.  See, most of “us” don’t believe in the stolen base.  In my hybrid system though, I believe in the right situation and given a base thief has a history of better then 75% succes in base swipin’, then the risk is worth it.  Although with most guys I only believe in stealing bases if the game is tied.  Never play smallball from behind (he he he).  But that’s for another post.

I’m gonna cut myself off here because my boner for this guy is getting out of control.  New man crush? Image

As always kids, more posts to follow today

-Larry

 

EDIT: Sweet, just pulled up the Yahoo homepage and guess who’s on the front? Hey just remember, you heard it here first.  I didn’t plagiarize no shit.  They plagiarized me. Get it straight fools.


ESPN’s Midseason Awards Disaster

As promised, a piece of shit brilliant article by Jayson Stark of ESPN on his picks for the midseason awards. Oh yipee! Let’s get into it.

The All-Star break of another mesmerizing baseball season is upon us. And once again, I know what you’re thinking:

How come nobody has thrown a no-hitter in the past 10 minutes?

Has Aaron Hill done enough cycling lately to qualify for the Tour de France? ?

And, of course, is it true that wacky home run colossus in Miami also eats spiders, repels hurricanes and once had to be forcibly restrained from trying to sneak over to LeBron’s house?

OK, so it’s possible you weren’t thinking about any of those important questions. But whatever. It’s time again for my annual Midseason Awards Extravaganza.

ha. ha. ha. You are simply too much of a comedian for this gig Mr. Stark. Bravo.

NL MVP OF THE HALF-YEAR

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

I can’t believe I’m not casting this vote for Joey Votto — a man with a shot to become the first NL player in the past 10 years not named Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols to have an 1.100 OPS 

Hard to argue with McCutchen…IF there wasn’t a man name Joey Votto in the way. Oh what’s that? You even mentioned that YOU CANT BELIEVE A MAN WHO HAS A 1.100 OPS is not your vote. Let’s get real here…

McCutchen

.411 OBP, .605 SLG, 8.3 BB%, 18.3 K%, 4.2 WAR, .404 BABIP

Votto

.459 OBP, .620 SLG, 17.9 BB%, 17.9 K%, 4.9 WAR, .407 BABIP

It’s pretty obvious that while McCutchen has been nothing short of outstanding, Votto is the better player. I mean we’re talking about the man here who has NEVER even pulled a ball foul.  He has hit two infield pop ups in his career..but hasn’t had one since his second season in the league. 2008. Joey Votto is some sort of Sabermetrician’s wet dream. A player who is some sort of man beast. This man hits bombs, he gets on base almost half of his at bat’s, and he is a pretty darn good fielder.  

AL MVP OF THE HALF-YEAR

Mike Trout, Angels

In almost every way, this MVP race is a dead heat between Trout and Josh Hamilton. It’s Hamilton who leads the league in slugging, OPS, runs created and offensive winning percentage, not to mention your old-fashioned departments like home run ratio and RBIs. But it’s Trout who has been 2012’s biggest franchise-changer.

Not only did you just make my argument for me, but you even backed it up for me as well. Thanks! With relevant statistics too. You, Jayson Stark, are making my job terribly easy. Also can anyone tell me the Stat for “Franchise changer?” I think its something like (Heart+Hustle)/ (BA X Grit). Anyone help me out?

NL CY YOUNG OF THE HALF-YEAR

R.A. Dickey, Mets

Pretty hard to argue with a man who threw two 1 hitters in a row. good choice. It’s a crapshoot between Dickey, Cain, Mcdonald and maybe even Kershaw.

Cain- 2.7 WAR

Dickey- 3.2 WAR

McDonald-2.7

Kershaw-2.6

AL CY YOUNG OF THE HALF-YEAR

Justin Verlander, Tigers

Not a bad choice, also consider Peavy, Weaver, Chris Sale, and maybe King Felix

Verlander- 3.8

Peavy- 2.9

Weaver-2.6

Sale-3.5

Hernandez-3.0

NL ROOKIE OF THE HALF-YEAR

Bryce Harper, Nationals

Ummmm Wilin Rosario has been solid, Wade Miley is pretty hard to argue with, and I can definitely see Anthony Rizzo coming up big soon enough, he’s already off to a hot start. Harper will probably win based off reputation alone though.

 

AL ROOKIE OF THE HALF-YEAR

Mike Trout, Angels

HUGE SHOCKER HERE. Oh wait kidding. Trout is unbelievable.Look for Middlebrooks, Coespedes, and Yu Darvish to be top contenders as well.

 

MANAGERS OF THE HALF-YEAR

Clint Hurdle, Pirates, and Buck Showalter, Orioles

Clint Hurdle seems to be a decent enough choice but Buck Showalter isn’t exactly the AL manager of the year. His Orioles had a great start but in typical fashion have cooled off as of late.  How about Ron Washington? The Rangers are unbelievable this year.

 

Anyways there is a ton of more useless awards this guy gave out.  I’m getting bored of his half assed research.  Maybe one day I’ll make it through an article without vomiting due to the unprofessional research don by these guys. Who hires them anyways? The same guys who hired Anthony Federico, the infamous Chink in the Chain article writer? or maybe the guys who hired Sarah Phillips, the fake journalist who was cheating her way up the ESPN ladder?  Oh right, ESPN hired all of these people. great.

 

America

 

Bobcat Jeffries