One by one, Hit F/X and Pitch F/X are going to take over each aspect of performance analysis. Next up will be defense. At Hardball Times, Colin Wyers adds spin and Magnus forces to his analysis and finds that they actually can add up to 100 50 ft to the distance a ball travels. Even more surprisingly, balls that travel 400 ft are converted to outs 35.3% of the time, which strikes me as rather high.
Wyers is optimistic:
We may not have a defensive metric that uses HITf/x yet, but we're very close, and I'm confident we will soon.
This weekend is Sportsvision's Pitch F/X summit, so I expect lots of goodies once the attendees return.
As we near the All-Star Break, we can start watching full season accomplishments. Will Albert Pujols earn the first Triple Crown since Yaz did it in 1967? There's a fairly good chance, now that Hanley Ramirez is flirting with the disabled list.
What about Joe Mauer batting .400? He's at .388 through yesterday's games, but B-Ref's blog says don't bet on it. Using a series of graphs to show 162-game and 54-game moving averages, they show that Mauer has never had 162-game batting average above .355. Nevertheless, after missing nearly 25 games due to injury, Mauer's task isn't quite so tough as hitting .400 over 162 games.
Burning up the blogosphere and talk radio across the country are rumors that the Blue Jays are entertaining offers for Roy Halladay. But what would it take? Dave Cameron says J.P. Ricciardi shouldn't settle for less than $40 million in value:
What does $40 million in value look like? Something like three terrific prospects who are not that far from the majors. No one’s giving up players from the Matt Wieters/David Price mold, but it’s going to take several players from that second prospect tier, the top 25-50 type guys.
We've had a lot of debate about umpires on BtB recently, but it's interesting to understand the umpire's experience. NPR's Talk of the Nation recently did a feature with Bruce Weber, author of As They See 'Em. They discuss the "culture of umpires," how umpires practice their out calls (including call-ins from plenty of umpires who offer up their own calls), women umpires, and how umpires avoid bias on the field.
Another topic discussed recently at BtB is the identity of the best lefty pitcher of all time. Tom Tango looks at Mark's/Dan's conclusions and decides that Lefty Grove just doesn't pass the smell test:
Today’s players are simply bigger, stronger and faster. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the older players are their equals or better, because they made up for it with more heart and better fundamentals.
It’s Randy Johnson, and I don’t think it’s particularly close either.
Did you think the Home Run Derby couldn't possibly become more of a ridiculous spectacle? Well, you obviously don't work for ESPN. They've decided to bring the Doppler Effect to bear on the contest to predict which balls will leave the park. Presumably, this is to spare us the terrible agony of waiting the six or seven seconds to find out ourselves.
Where in the world is Bartolo Colon? He went missing yesterday, and still hasn't been found today, despite Ozzie Guillen's reassurances that he would make his scheduled Triple-A start this evening. Quick, what can we blame it on that sounds totally insane?
"I worry about Colon because Colon was a big-time Michael Jackson fan," Guillen told reporters.
That's the ticket. Let's just hope he hasn't wandered near the Pit of Carkoon...