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SaberSphere 6/19: Unexpected WAR, Cole & San Jose

Which players are exceeding their projected WAR the most? Where are Gerrit Cole's strikeouts? San Jose has sued the MLB for refusing to the let the Athletics move but will anything come of it? All this and more in Wednesday's SaberSphere!


There are a ton of projection systems to guess how well players will perform in the upcoming season. Countless players exceed and fall short of these projections but who has had the most unexpected performance? Gerrit Cole has the talent, control and velocity but where are all the strikeouts? The city of San Jose has sued the MLB for refusing to let the Athletics move from Oakland. Does their lawsuit actually have any standing?

Previously on Beyond the Box Score

Around the Sabersphere

  • Tracking R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball by Drew Sheppard | FanGraphs Baseball
    Drew Sheppard investigates R.A. Dickey's different knuckleball trajectories with some awesome StroMotion GIFs from this year and 2012. Apparently, the reigning NL Cy Young winner has been playing through a back injury which has caused him to abandon his faster knuckleball. The change in speed and harsher bite to the pitch likely was a prime factor for Dickey's dominance in 2012 and it's missing this year. If he can get healthy and start throwing both knuckleballs effectively, he's bound to seriously improve upon his 4.90 ERA/4.88 FIP.

  • San Jose Sues MLB To Get A’s, Charges Teams Conspire To Maintain Monopoly Power In Their Markets by Wendy Thurm | FanGraphs Baseball
    The city of San Jose has sued Bud Selig and the MLB for refusing to let the Athletics move out of Oakland, arguing that lawsuit that the MLB has violated antitrust laws of California. Wendy, as always, puts together an excellent article examining all of the facts and background information that revolves around the impending lawsuit.

Around SB Nation

  • On the Decline of Western Civilization... by Grant Brisbee | Baseball Nation
    The Mets hit a walk off homerun against the Cubs a couple days ago and as every team does, they crowded home plate and celebrated. Bob Costas apparently isn't a fan of this, calling a team that was more than a handful games under .500 and exuberantly celebrating an example of the continuing "decline of western civilization." Actually, those clutch walk off homers, especially when down two runs, are extremely rare. Grant concludes: settle down Bob Costas, have a day Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

  • Suing Commissioner Bud by Rob Neyer | Baseball Nation
    As mentioned before, San Jose has sued the MLB for violating California antitrust laws and refusing to let the A's move out of Oakland. Well, the MLB has had an antitrust exemption for nearly 100 years. Rob suggests the city of San Jose doesn't really have much of a standing in the case, making it seem more like a PR move than anything.

Outside the Sabersphere

  • Listen to Arctic Monkeys’ new single, "Do I Wanna Know?" | Consequence of Sound
    Kanye West's Yeezus has been out for a couple days and unsurprisingly, I haven't been able to put it down. J. Cole's Born Sinner was released too and people have been raving that it's a return to form a la Friday Night Lights and The Warm Up after the disappointing Cole World: The Sideline Story. Yet I still haven't wavered from Yeezus. Until today, when one of my favorite bands, Arctic Monkeys, debuted a studio version of their slow burning new track called "Do I Wanna Know?" With a pretty cool animated video, it's yet another welcomed addition to Alex Turner's impressive songwriting collection. Fingers crossed for a late summer/early fall album release!