Here's Friday's edition of Saber-Links:
Even though The Common Man hasn't invested a lot of emotion in the career of Johnny Damon, TCM finds himself grateful that Damon is faceplanting in 2012. Presumably, with the accompanying loss of playing time, and the increased difficulty of finding a job next year, Damon will fall short of the 3,000 hit plateau he's still 242 hits from reaching. That will save us a lot of discussion over whether we should really exclude someone from the Hall of Fame who has reached one of baseball's most significant arbitrary milestones.
TCM noted that Damon will soon be a member of a group of ballplayers that were very good or "nearly great". If you haven't heard, an entire book has been written about these not hall-worthy, but memorable players:
The Hall of Nearly Great eBook has been released to the early supporters of the project, and will be released to the general public on July 18th. What is fascinating for me about this book is that Sky Kalkman and Marc Normandin recruited the "Fraternity" (my apologies to Wendy Thurm, and any other female who may have written a chapter) of internet sabermetricians to work on the project. Almost every writer, whose work I read daily and have learned from worked on this project. Many of the writers who worked on the book have connections all over SB Nation, as well as, here at Beyond the Box Score. Our editor, Justin Bopp worked closely with the advertising and promotion of the eBook, if I'm not mistaken. When I think about how this book came to fruition, I like to think of Kalkman and Normandin as George Clooney and Brad PItt, in Ocean's Eleven rounding up the ol' crew for the greatest heist of all-time.
As the second half of the 2012 season begins, there is only one qualified hitter in all of baseball hitting below the Mendoza line. That man is Rickie Weeks, who is batting.199. The Mendoza line is a rather arbitrary cutoff point, but Weeks is struggling by any measurement.
Max Marchi combines his fascinating catcher defensive metrics with BP's useful offensive numbers to create an interesting top-10 catcher rankings, for this season. Baseball Prospectus | The Stats Go Marching In: Catching Up with Catcher Rankings
The figure used for evaluating the catchers’ bats is BRAA, which measures the number of runs produced relative to the average hitter, with parks taken into account. Performance on the basepaths is assessed with Base Running Runs (EqBRR), which you can find in our sortable stats: as you know, BRR quantifies all aspects of baserunning, from stealing bases to taking the extra base both on hits and on outs. My previous work on catcher defense is behind the third number, adding together evaluations of each backstop’s ability to field batted balls, control the running game, prevent passed balls and wild pitches, and practice the undervalued art of framing pitches.
Baseball is back folks! Enjoy the weekend, and don't forget to start your week on Monday, here at BtB with the next edition of Saber-Links.