Around the SaberSphere 11/9: The rise of stolen bases, executive of the year, Scott Feldman

Michael Chang

Friday's edition of Beyond the Box Score's daily link dump includes the rise in stolen bases, an award most people don't care about, and a poor man's Brandon McCarthy...

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus discusses the surprising rise in stolen base percentage throughout baseball: Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: Why Nobody Gets Caught Stealing

have complete caught stealing data for both leagues back through 1951. Sixty years ago, would-be basestealers succeeded about 55 percent of the time. Estimated caught stealing stats for the years when we don’t have official ones suggest that the success rate was even lower three decades before that. These days, basestealing attempts succeed almost three quarters of the time. That’s not as dramatic an increase as the rise in strikeout rate,* which has nearly doubled over the same span, and it hasn’t had equivalent impact on the game. But it’s still a significant shift.

Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation wonders why we don't care about Billy Beane winning executive of the year: Billy Beane and the award we didn't bicker about - Baseball Nation

He turned Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez into close to a dozen players who will help the A's for the next five years. He signed a Cuban enigma to a deal that looks like a stunning bargain right now. He took a team that was supposed to finish last, and he toppled the reigning American League Champions.

Dave Cameron of FanGraphs makes the argument that one of my favorite players, Brandon McCarthy can be had for cheap, in the form of Scott Feldman: Scott Feldman: The Poor Man’s Brandon McCarthy | FanGraphs Baseball

A better walk rate with the same strikeout and same groundball rate makes McCarthy a better pitcher, but we also have to keep each pitcher’s environment in mind. McCarthy spent the last two years in pitcher-friendly Oakland, knowing that he could get away with catching too much of the plate and the park might bail him out. Feldman, on the other hand, had to deal with the heat and humidity in Texas, where the ball absolutely flies in the summer months.

In quite possibly the most hilarious baseball piece penned this year, Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus explains the ripple effect of Jason Bay not signing in New York: Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: 17 Teams That Would Have Won the World Series if Not for Jason Bay

"Left fielder Jason Bay will not test the open waters of free agency after accepting the Boston Red Sox's initial contract offer, according to an SI.com report. The offer from the Red Sox to Bay is believed to be in the range of four years and $60 million, which gosh when you think about it is probably more than he's worth so it makes sense he accepted it."

Joe Sheperd writing for ESPN explains why Adam Dunn's contract is probably not going to work out for Chicago: How done is Adam Dunn? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

It appears that the White Sox will be spending a total of $30 million for the next two years on someone who at best will hold his own at designated hitter. Paying a premium for this level of production is likely not what the team had in mind when they signed him.

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