Links of the Day:
- Bill James answers reader submitted questions at Freakonomics and has a ton of memorable lines, including saying political commentators make the least prepared baseball television analyst look like Socrates. Amongst the more interesting exchanges is something that Marc and myself have discussed at length lately:
Q: On average, how many runs does Manny Ramirez’s defense cost the Red Sox? Is there some special adjustment that must be made to evaluate left fielder defensive stats in Fenway?
A: Defensive stats for a left fielder in Fenway are misleading, yes. The small area always makes our left fielder’s range appear more limited than it is.
Sure, having Carl Crawford trapped in Fenway's left field is a waste of range, but at the same time Manny's defense is pretty decent at Fenway because he plays bounces off of the wall well. I don't think having less area to cover hurts Manny either, but when it comes down to it his bat makes up for his defensive miscues in the 81 road games.
- File this one under "What the hell is he thinking?": Joe Torre starting Juan Pierre instead of Matt Kemp based on a "better matchup". You know what's a good matchup? Starting your best players instead of letting a handful of at-bats dictate that Juan Pierre is better than Matt Kemp in any situation minus pinch running. The best (maybe not) part about this whole story? The actual idea that Pierre's .272 (3-11) batting average against Matt Cain is somehow that much better than Kemp's 0-3. Is this how Torre's going to handle Pierre/Kemp/Ethier all season? Bench Kemp because he had one bad game? Shame on Torre for letting Pierre's contract interfere with his team's chances of winning. Oh, and Pierre went 0-2 against Cain before Kemp pinch hit for him in the 7th.
- Some guy named Normandin looks at previous stars first starts with the Mets, although no mention of Seaver's return, opening day 1983 six innings, five strikeouts, one walk, and three hits in a win against the Phillies.
- GoVeg.com Field? That's what PETA wants to name the Nationals' new park. The world would surely explode when Aaron Cook faced Dmitri Young at "GoVeg.com" Field.
Pic Vid of the Day:
Best Pitching Matchup: Dustin McGowan v. Phil Hughes