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Around the SaberSphere 10/25: Panda's monster night, Barry Zito's Value, David Ortiz

Today's edition of sabermetric links includes the unlikelihood of Panda's night, Barry Zito's value, David Ortiz's return to Boston and more...

Doug Pensinger

Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation discusses the unlikelihood of Pablo Sandoval's historic Game One performance: Why Pablo Sandoval's 3 home runs were even more impressive than you know - Baseball Nation

That's an even dozen home runs, and arguably one off a legitimately great pitcher: Alexander, who would later be elected to the Hall of Fame. But while Alexander was still a fine pitcher in 1928, he was 41 years old and far from the peak of his powers. You might reasonably argue that none of those dozen home runs were hit against a truly outstanding pitcher. Justin Verlander, on the other hand, is perhaps our most outstanding pitcher. And Pablo Sandoval hit two home runs off him.

Also at BN, Marc Normandin writes about how the Giants GM, Brian Sabean is underrated: Brian Sabean, underrated GM - Baseball Nation

What's amazing about the 2012 squad is that it doesn't look anything like the 2010 one. Sure, the rotation is similar -- swap Vogelsong in for the departed Jonathan Sanchez -- but otherwise, there's little here that resembles the previous champs. Pablo Sandoval (signed as an amateur free agent back in 2003) and Posey remain in the lineup, but otherwise, who are these people? Just 11 Giants on this year's World Series roster were on the team from two years ago, and then there's also Barry Zito, who wasn't on the playoff roster last time out, and is now starting Game 1.

Eno Sarris of FanGraphs does everything he can to make Barry Zito's time with the Giants look as valuable as possible: Barry Zito’s Cumulative Value After Those Gems | FanGraphs Baseball

We’ve been as nice as we could to a fine guy who’s pitched two gems in this postseason, and we can’t quite push this boulder all the way up the hill. But if you do give him credit for almost all of his team’s runs allowed while he was pitching, and then partial credit for the extra postseason games that his work permitted, and then use the most favorable dollars-per-win numbers, you can squint and see almost $65 million in value, against $99 million in salary.

Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated makes a case for why David Ortiz should return to Boston: David Ortiz's return to Boston Red Sox makes sense, despite Bobby Valentine's comments | Hit and Run

Instead, they’re said to be nearing a two-year deal in the neighborhood of $25 million, which would equal the annual value of his 2011 salary. To be worth that, Ortiz only has to average about 2.0 WARP a year; he has averaged 2.3 per year since 2008, a span that included a two-year downturn (2008-2009) that looked as though it might be the beginning of the end.

Jason Wojciechowski of Baseball Prospectus writes about just how wacky the 2012 season was: Baseball Prospectus | In A Pickle: Sweep Out The Ashes in the Morning

Here you have an article which goes into some aspects of the surreal and, hopefully, inevitable. The year is over. There is no more year. It's all a figment of some maniac imagination.

We love graphics here at BtB, and this is an incredible graphic depiction of Alex Rodriguez' career from Craig Robinson of Getting Blanked: Flip Flop Fly Ball: Alex Rodriguez – A Very Fine Baseball Player | Getting Blanked | Blogs |