Do we live in the era of the Great Convergence? The age-old battle between scouts and stat-heads seems to be subsiding, little by little. The latest evidence of the shrinking divide are Ned Colletti's comments on a sports radio station:
I think the sabermetrics gets you interested. I think it gives you a chance to seek more information on somebody. But I’d have a hard time trading for a player or drafting a player that I really didn’t know what was inside his head and inside his heart and how he thought and how his priorities were set up and if he aspired for greatness and was willing to sacrifice. I’m not sure you’re going to get that off a stat sheet. But the numbers do tell part of the story.
Ok, perhaps I've spoken too soon. But maybe we're getting closer.
BEES! Yesterday's Astros-Padres game was a bit out of the ordinary, as the game was suspended a full 52 minutes because of bees in the outfield (am I the only one who thinks that sounds like a great movie pitch?). Alyson Footer has the details as well as pictures of the incident. Apparently, the Padres keep a guy with a bee suit on a call for exactly this sort of situation. Now that's preparedness. But when it comes to bees, I follow the advice of Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.
What is it like to throw a near no-hitter in the minor leagues? Ryan Tatusko should know, and he wrote about the experience, inning by inning, for the Newberg Report. According to Tatusko, during the sixth,
Yes, I am thinking about it at this point. I mean the scoreboard is huge and in left field and when I look to see the batting average of our hitters, that 0 in the opponents’ hit column stares right back at me.
He lost it with one out in the ninth inning.
How good are teams and GMs at drafting? It's a tough question to answer, in part because it requires such a long timeframe and plenty of patience. But in a three part series at the Baseball Analysts, Sky Andrecheck has attempted to answer just that question. Part three focuses specifically on GMs, and he finds that, with an average of .28 WAR per pick over average per slot, Billy Beane has fared the best. His database seems limited mostly to the first round. If someone could compile a comprehensive draft database, I'm sure it would reveal even more interesting information.
Who do you think of when you think of a designated hitter? Edgar Martinez? David Ortiz? Sean McAdam argues that the paradigm of slugging DHs is changing. These days, hitters like Jason Kubel are proving the DH can be more about hitting for average than hitting for power. However, he admits that "this change could be merely cyclical." DHs don't seem as feared as they once did, and perhaps this is part of the reason why.
And finally, in case you haven't heard already, in the span of 24 hours, Rany Jazayerli was banned and unbanned by the Royals. After making public comments critical of longtime Royals trainer Nick Swartz, Rany wrote that he had lost what access he had previously. After the Twitter-uproar that ensued, the Royals eventually relented, but Rany's final comment is very telling of what it's like to be a fan of a hopeless, poorly run team:
And to the Royals: it will take a lot more than this to break my fandom. I wish I knew how to quit you. But I don’t.
Well, he's got it bad.