Every year when I see the date 5:15, I think of the song from The Who's greatest album, Quadrophenia. Hopefully, a bunch of other people think of that too. There's been a ton of great articles written about baseball over the past couple days here at Beyond the Box Score and around the web. Today's SaberSphere looks at A.J. Burnett's re-emergence, Travis Wood's month long dominance and MLB blackouts.
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
Changing the Way We Look At Offense, Part Six: Summary and Future Implications by Ken Woolums | Beyond the Box Score
Ken finishes his "Changing the Way We Look At Offense" series with a synopsis of the WHB theory and how we can apply it to the future.
A.J. Burnett's Age-36 Re-emergence by Blake Murphy | Beyond the Box Score
Awesome with the Marlins, pretty good with the Blue Jays and mediocre to awful with the Yankees, A.J. Burnett is a great pitcher once again with the Pirates. Fighting against an aging curve and renovating his pitch selection, Burnett's re-emergence is pretty awe-inspiring.
Carl Crawford, Possible Role Model For B.J. Upton by Lee Trocinski | Beyond the Box Score
With B.J. Upton's major struggles so far this season, there is hope for Braves fans out west. Can Carl Crawford ease some of the concerns about the Braves CF?
Around the Sabersphere
Travis Wood may or not be for real by David Schoenfield | ESPN Sweetspot
The Chicago Cubs acquired Travis Wood two offseasons ago as a part of the Sean Marshall trade with Cincinnati. Last year, he had a 4.27 ERA in 156 innings but so far in 2013 he has posted a 2.03 ERA in 56 innings. With a batting average against sitting at .169 and BABIP at .189, he's a prime candidate for regression, but for how much?
The Absurdities of Batter/Pitcher Match-Up Numbers by Dave Cameron | FanGraphs Baseball
Dave Cameron examines the wrong way of using batter/pitcher match-up numbers with the example of the Mariners starting left handed hitting Raul Ibanez against lefty slayer CC Sabathia. Of course, Ibanez went 2 for 3 with a homer off Sabathia after this great article. There a ton of stats in baseball, but these specific batter/pitcher match-up numbers are an example of junk.
McCain Introduces Bill To Ban NFL Blackouts, MLB Blackouts Untouched by Wendy Thurm | FanGraphs Baseball
Senator John McCain introduced the Television Consumer Fairness Act of 2013 to ban NFL blackouts but without any provisions to fix the MLB's. The bill would help unbundle the programming packages offered by cable providers, making it possible for consumers to pick and choose which networks they'd like to subscribe to.
Around SB Nation
MLB 2013 draft prospect outhomering most Division I teams by Marc Normandin | SBNation.com
Kris Bryant has 80 power. With 28 homers, he's outhomering 228 of the 296 Division I teams. Baseball America has him pegged as the third best prospect in this year's draft. It's truly rare to see 80 grade scores. The only 80 I can think of off the top of my head is Ryan Potter's want.
Diamondbacking your way into your best lineup by Grant Brisbee | Baseball Nation
So Gerardo Parra is pretty good but seems to be behind Cody Ross and Jason Kubel on the Diamondbacks depth chart for some reason. So far this season he's leading their outfield in at-bats but it wasn't really planned to be that way. Adam Eaton is due to come back soon which might move Parra to the bench but given Arizona's outfielders' history of injuries, somehow he'll still be getting plate appearances.
Bryce Harper's all-out style could make him another Pete Reiser by Mike Bates | SBNation.com
Pete Reiser was incredible in his early twenties and played with a very all out style in the early 1940s but after crashing into a concrete wall and suffering a concussion, he was never quite the same. This isn't to say that Bryce Harper will end up like Reiser, being reduced to a part time player due to constant unnecessary collisions with the wall. But at this pace, Harper needs to get a better gauge on which plays are necessary.
Outside the Sabersphere
Au Revoir, Stefon: Bill Hader Is Leaving Saturday Night Live by Amos Barshad | Hollywood Prospectus Blog - Grantland
I've been raised to watch Saturday Night Live whenever I'm not out and about on the weekends. And if I miss an episode, I wake up the next day and usually watch it. One of my favorite regulars of the show over the past couple years has been Bill Hader and this Saturday is his last episode as a cast member. Some of my favorite sketches are usually involving his impersonations of Al Pacino or James Carville. But he's also had some serious success with his own characters, especially with Stefon. Hopefully, Ben Affleck, Kanye West and the cast can send off Bill Hader with an excellent episode.