Len Kasper in a guest post for Baseball Prospectus: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball ProGUESTus: Bringing Sabermetrics to the Broadcast Booth:
But here is where it really crystallizes for me. Recently, two long-time New York sportswriters took personal and unnecessary shots at us "geeks." Murray Chass called Bill James a "self-professed expert" and wore as a badge of honor the fact that he had no clue what Baseball Think Factory was. And Bill Madden wrote that WAR is ludicrous and that all the smarty-smarts have somehow disparaged guys like Miguel Cabrera and R.A. Dickey (which, by the way, is totally false in both cases).
But guess what? These horribly out-of-date, the-earth-is-flat diatribes were received by the Twitter universe and the blogosphere just how you’d expect them to be taken: with a chuckle and a figurative wave of the hand. You just can’t get away with writing uninformed stuff like this anymore in an arena in which the audience has gotten so smart.*
Also at BP, Matthew Kory makes an interesting proposal for a trade of Alex Rodriguez: Baseball Prospectus | Out of Left Field: Trading A-Rod: How, Where, and Why:
I think a three-year deal from an American League club (so he could DH) wouldn’t be out of line. The market for corner infielders this offseason isn’t a strong one, so Rodriguez could potentially take advantage of that. So, let’s say he’d get three years, $30 million. He is Alex Rodriguez, after all. That might be over-shooting a bit, but go with me for the sake of argument.
That would mean the Yankees would have to include $96 million in a deal to make A-Rod tradable. Which is, wow.
To see if everyone thought I’m crazy (for this, not other things), I took a quick and informal poll of BPers. I simply asked, "What do you think the Yankees would have to pay to get rid of A-Rod?" I got nine responses. Well, 10, but I’m not counting Colin Wyers, who eloquently stated, "I have no earthly idea." The responses ranged from $56 million on the low end, to $100 million at the top. The average of the responses was $76.25 million. That would leave A-Rod’s new team on the hook for about $10 million a year over the life of his deal. That’s would mean the Yankees would absorb considerably less than my figure, though still an awful lot of money.
Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation pens a fantastic piece about Nick Swisher's lack of postseason success and makes an interesting point about aspects of the game that are impossible to quantify: The downward spiral of Nick Swisher - Baseball Nation:
The biggest mystery to baseball-minded folk, though, will always be the inner workings of the human noggin and how it relates to on-field performance. You can look at UZR and DRS for a third baseman for hours, but you'll never be prepared for a young Gary Sheffield, winging balls into the stands on purpose because he wants to be traded. You'll never be prepared for a pitcher with Steve Blass Disease, or a catcher with the yips.
Bill Petti of FanGraphs takes a look into who did the best job of pitching inside this season: Pitching Inside: The Best of 2012 | FanGraphs Baseball:
But it isn’t easy to pitch inside. Pitchers who lack the ability to get away with throwing inside tend to stay away from that part of the plate for fear that hitters will drive those pitches for extra-base hits. This can lead to hitters cheating on outside pitches and can force pitchers to throw fatter pitches as a result of throwing behind in the count. So who were this year’s best pitchers when it came to throwing inside? I dove into our PITCHf/x data and found out.
Doug Wachter of the Hardball Times addresses the draft and the two NLCS teams: NLCS roster strategies--THT:
While the draft has played a very different role in St. Louis and San Francisco’s roads to the NLCS, one thing is clear. For any team that hopes to play deep into October, effective drafting and the use of young and cost-controlled talent must be part of any winning strategy. Whether the draft is seen as a source of stars, bulk talent, or both, teams that can effectively fill positions on their big-league roster through the draft give themselves the flexibility to put the finishing touches on their roster that can make the team successful when October rolls around.