BASEBALL. It. Is. Here. Well, sort of. For many teams, pitchers and catchers report to spring training today. Though that doesn't really change anything for us, it is a sign of the beginning of spring training, which is a sign of the beginning of spring training games, which is a sign of real-life, actual baseball.
On to the links:
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
Lee Trocinski reminds everyone about that second baseman on the Phillies that is really really good: Don't Forget About Chase Utley | Beyond the Box Score
Here are all the players who had at least a 110 wRC+, +2 UZR, and +2 Baserunning total each of the last two seasons, minimum 200 PA: Chase Utley ... and that's it.
Around the Sabersphere
There's this guy around here that we sorta like. His name is Adam Darowski. When he writes something, it's a sure bet that you should read it. Adam's piece on Rick Reuschel is no exception: Beyond ERA+: Why Rick Reuschel Had Hall of Fame Value | High Heat Stats
He played in front of some horrendous defenses. Phil Niekro must sympathize with him. If you think about how bad his defenses were and how many unearned runs they must have led to, you realize that the actual number of unearned runs Reuschel allowed was probably unbelievably low.
Continuing with the theme of shamelessly, albeit justifiably, promoting BtB's own, why don't you check out James Gentile's great work on a baserunning event that is often underappreciated: A brief history of running first to third | The Hardball Times
There is so much suspense and drama packed into that tiny instant when the casual trot of the runner rounding first suddenly transforms into furious sprint, and the crowd's anticipation of the fielder's throw suddenly becomes deafening.
Anyone that can play major league baseball is a great athlete. Anyone that can play professional football is also a great athlete. But anyone that can play both professional football and major league baseball is just a freak of nature. Bo Jackson did this. John Sickels looks back at Jackson's promising career that was unfortunately cut short: Prospect Retrospective: Bo Jackson | Minor League Ball
Bo Jackson was well-known to scouts as an outstanding athlete growing up in high school in Alabama. Drafted in the second round in 1982 by the Yankees, he didn't sign and went to Auburn to play football and baseball.
Finally, Connor Jennings does some really awesome and interesting work on projecting Nippon Professional Baseball players coming to the MLB. This piece, and his entire website, is really worth a thorough read: Notable Past Player Projections | NOM Projections
If you'd like to submit something to Sabersphere and become famous and have all of your dreams, hopes and wishes come true, literally all you have to do is email Sabersphere@gmail.com.
Outside the Sabersphere
In case you missed it, Mumford and Sons, the best band in the history of the world and God's gift to mankind, deservedly won the Best Album Grammy last night for their second album, 'Babel'. If you disagree with any part of that sentence, you can go ahead and just leave now AND NEVER COME BACK.*
*Please don't actually do this. We like you, I promise.
For those of you who remain, instead of watching the same old boring Little Lion Man and I Will Wait videos, watch this amazing rendition of Amazing Grace from Bonnaroo a few years back:
Finally, today's GIF of the day is one that many of you have probably be seen, but it's so good that it literally cannot be seen too many times.
That's it for today, folks. Have a good Monday.