links for 2008-01-11


  1. Rings

    January 11, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Awesome piece by Brattain! While he’s correct that Evans doesn’t really have a case, it’s ridiculous how the others are shortchanged and overlooked.

  2. EZ

    January 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Eddie makes some real mistakes in his “research”… He treats Bonderman as if Bondo was the #1 pitcher all season. This wasn’t the case. After the all-star break Bondo had faded and Verlander had pitched sterlingly. Remember the No-No?

    Leyland had reslotted Verlander up to the #1 by the end of July. The proof is as follows: From July 31 until September 2 (a space of just 34 days) Verlander faced Dan Harren 3 times and Mike Mussina 2 times. His other starts during that time were against Paul Byrd and Edwin Jackson (Tampa).

    While Eddie Baby’s (Monty Python reference for you) research makes it look like Verlander faced #1 from the #3 slot, in actuality it was a #1 facing a #1. Eddie needs to look at who is #1 at different times of the season. Pitchers do get reslotted, yet the slots still match up far more often than his “research” indicates. Put 5 more #1’s facing each other and the percentages drastically change.

    Managers want their best pitchers pitching as often as possible, and will reslot to accomodate this wisdom. Verlander was the our best and was throwing lights out during that time. It is no wonder he was matched up against Harren and Mussina so often… #1’s don’t always go head to head, but they do more than Eddie’s research indicates.

  3. billfer

    January 11, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with his research. Even in the example you site, Haren was the only #1 he faced. Mussina was hardly the #1 for the Yankees and I believe he lost his rotation spot during that time span. So of the 7 starts he faced a #1 3 times, and people who weren’t even #3’s in the other 4. It seems to corroborate what he’s saying.

    Yeah, mangers do juggle but the oppotunities to do so are generally limited. Leyland doesn’t like to pitch guys on short rest, so short of rain outs and multiple days off and the All Star break, there is little opportunity to play the match-up game. And if they do they are more likely to try and line up their starters for a big series than a specific match-up.

  4. EZ

    January 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm


    If managers do line up for a big series as you write, then you are apt to see #1’s face off more often than “roll of the dice” that Eddie advocates are the chances of #1’s meeting.

    3 of 7 is still a 42% rate of #1’s meeting. A much higher rate than Eddie states. Though, I grant you a “sample” size retort on that point. Yet, at the very least those 3 ought to be added to the #1 slot, not the #3. I picked this sample because I remember Verlander facing Harren all those times in such a short span…

    You seem to grant the Verlander was #1 during August. At least you did not refute it. If this is so, then Eddie’s research is flawed. Bonderman was not the #1 pitcher the whole season. Therefore the quoted percentages are for Bonderman, not the #1 slot… Bilfer, as a stat/math guy surely you must see this? I am not trying to antogonize, rather I am wondering if you see my point clearly?

    I am not trying to rekindle one of our raging “Inge” debates… This is not all that important. I think #1’s are more likely to face one another over a season, though grant there is a fair amount of “randomness” that transpires. Therefore I place more importance on slotting (and thereby creating matchups) than I suppose you do. No big deal either way.

  5. billfer

    January 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    But 3 of 7 means that he’s just as likely to not face #1. I guess I just don’t see why the label on Verlander really matters. Call him what you want, it doesn’t change your argument about who he faces. I guess I just don’t see the signifcance of worrying about the label.

    Eddie also acknowledged that the order of the rotation doesn’t necessarily reflect who the best pitcher is.

    I’m not saying that you’re wrong, I just don’t think that this reslotting happens as much as you think it does. Most managers aren’t going to pitch guys on short rest which means they won’t usually compress the time between starts. And they also want their better pitchers pitching more frequently (as you stated) so they typically won’t push their number 1’s back a day or two to match-up with another #1.

    Plus, managers like to sequence guys in certain ways, like putting a soft tossing lefty between 2 hard throwing righties, further limiting the opportunity to do this.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, just that it isn’t very common. I will say that it probably happens more the more difference there is between the best and worst pitchers on a staff.

  6. jason

    January 11, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    While I think John Brattain meant well, and I agree several of those guys should be in the Hall, I think the general theme of his arguement was horrible.

    He kept comparing the Tigers to a guy (Rice) that isn’t even in the Hall. And they didn’t even play the same positions. In my opinion, just matching up the two hitters stats like that made the Tigers look worse. He should have been matching up the former Tigers stats to players of their own positions.

    I am likely biased, but Tram, Lou, Jack, and Lance should all be in the Hall. Evans is debatable, but considering others that are already in, I would give him the nod. … I know, wishful thinking.

  7. Rings

    January 12, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Jason…Brattian’s sentiments were to my/our liking, but his point was that these Tigers guys, while they may or may not ultimately be HOF’ers, certainly deserved more consideration and debate than the rather rude dismissal that all but Tram and Morris have received.
    His point in comparing Rice, is that the Boston leftfielder is the current highest vote-getter not in the Hall (and will likely make it next year, his final shot), which means he IS getting consideration, while these Tiger greats are not.
    As has been discussed, Trammell compares VERY favorably to ANY Hall of Fame shortstop, particularly his contemporary, Ozzie Smith, who only bests him in All Star and Gold Glove awards, among the “traditional” criteria. Whittaker compares very favorably to ANY Hall of Fame second baseman (Mazorsoki???), particularly contemporary peer Ryne Sandberg. Parrish compares favorably to MOST Hall of Fame catchers, including Gary Carter.
    What is the difference? Oz, Ryno and Carter were media friendly, fan popular, and in large baseball-market cities. The Tiger legends were not, but they may have been equal or better players. The media voters, however, don’t even bother to do the research necessary to discover this. They just cast their vote all too often on their “feeling,” a players reputation among his peers, or what they’ve heard.