Game 151: Tigers at Rangers

PREGAME: Can the Tigers snap a 6 game losing streak? That’s probably question number 2. Question number 1 is what kind of stuff will Freddy Garcia have? He makes his first start since June 8th, 2007 when he takes the hill for the Tigers. To make room for him on the roster, Joel Zumaya was moved to the 60 day DL.

The Rangers send out Dustin Nippert. I think he’s a real player.

DET @ TEX, Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

Game Time 8:10

120 Comments

  1. cib

    September 17, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Question number 3 – why am I going to sit and watch the game??

  2. Chief Monday

    September 17, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Q #4- why didn’t I take the blue pill?

  3. Coleman

    September 17, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I swear I just saw somebody intentionally walk the bases full to pitch to Thames…I don’t know if that’s such a great idea…

  4. Coleman

    September 17, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    OK for anybody who actually was watching, what really happened where I’m reading Inge was caught stealing from 3rd. I mean, he WASn’t was he??

  5. mcb

    September 17, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Coleman, it was an attempted double steal, Dusty Ryan to 2nd, Inge to home.

  6. Dave BW

    September 17, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I know this sounds crazy, but I’m actually feeling pretty good about our starting pitching right now! Garcia looks terrific, at least by our standards. Please pitch a complete game, Freddy, as I’m honestly not sure whether we can hold a ten run lead.

  7. Dave BW

    September 17, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Cabs just reached his season record for home runs (34) and broke his season record for RBI

  8. Andrew in Toronto

    September 17, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    As of right now…
    Pedroia’s at .326 and Ordonez is at .324. He has a chance after all.

    And Granderson… he’s so streaky. He either hits .500 or .100 in any given week. Feels like he’s been that way all season.

  9. Dave BW

    September 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    I admit it — I am legitimately nervous about our bullpen pitching three innings with a fifteen run lead.

    UPDATE: 13 run lead

  10. Dave BW

    September 17, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    UPDATE: 12 run lead.

    Roberston has turned into the 07 Cardinals version of Mike Maroth

  11. stephen

    September 17, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    And Freddy Garcia now has one more win than Dontrelle Willis.

  12. Dave BW

    September 17, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    A classic “2008 Tigers pummel an opponent into the ground” victory — something which there has been far too few of this year, but is always fun regardless

  13. RudeMood19

    September 18, 2008 at 12:23 am

    It’s funny because now they’re ‘expected’ win-loss record which is based on runs scored vs runs against is 75-76

  14. ron

    September 18, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Can they save some of these runs for that opener in Toronto next year. Their no good to us now.

  15. Coleman

    September 18, 2008 at 1:42 am

    McB: “Coleman, it was an attempted double steal, Dusty Ryan to 2nd, Inge to home.”

    That makes sense, I forgot that old rule of thumb, always try the double-steal when your two catchers are on the basepaths…

  16. Coleman

    September 18, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Remember my earlier prediction; the Tigers will score their 1,000 runs like everyone predicted, it just means they are going to be averaging 15-20 runs a game for the next couple of weeks.

    I definitely think the Tigers are alive for the triple crown still (Ordonez, BA, Cabrera, HR and RBI, as Morneau goes cold as the Twins get no playoff spot..)

  17. Chief Monday

    September 18, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Yeah, Miguel and Magglio deserve some recognition, but for some reason (losing, blowing it, breaking our hearts) I don’t think many people care anymore.

  18. Angie

    September 18, 2008 at 6:36 am

    So that was exactly the kind of game I thought we were all going to be watching all season. A starting pitcher came in and pitches well. The offense scores plenty of runs. The bullpen keeps the score relatively the same. It was a pleasant change.

  19. ron

    September 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

    They scored more runs last nite than the first seven games of the season. They’ll be fine.

  20. ron

    September 18, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Chief Monday, of course we care. We’re in it for the long haul. The question is, do the players care? They’ll be looooong gone and we’ll still be cheering on whomever year after year after year…….Go Tigers.

  21. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Rudemood: yup, that’s a sure sign of a lousy bullpen.

  22. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2008 at 10:43 am

    ha, even OUR bullpen can’t blow a 13-run lead.

  23. ron

    September 18, 2008 at 10:45 am

    It’s just Illitch and us. Everyone else is just a hired hand. They come and go, but we’re always here.

  24. Ryan

    September 18, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Anyone else sick of the ESPN “Dustin Pedroia is MVP” thing? If Dustin is the MVP, what is a guy with the same average, higher OBP, higher slugging, more HR, more walks, and better hair? Magglio for super MVP! And what about the NL? Ryan Howard? Carlos effin’ Delgado? If you are the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and your NL MVP race is not between Pujols, Berkman, Holliday, and Hanley, you’re doing it wrong.

  25. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I despise the Cardinals and I’m still for Pujols in the NL — I have no idea how such an incredible season by one of the most famous players in baseball has gone completely under the radar

  26. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I know Saberheads hate to hear it, as most are allergic to the concept that some things of value aren’t quantifiable statistically, but I love that Pedroia is finally getting some credit. He plays the game the right way. I’m sick of prima donna slackers getting idolized while the dirt bags like Pedroia give 100% all day everyday and never get the credit they deserve.

    Job well done Pedroia, baseball needs more people like you.

  27. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Ah, so the MVP should be awarded based on subjective and perceived effort rather than talent and/or performance. I knew my t-ball league was onto something in 1986

  28. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Dave – don’t be silly, EVERYTHING is subjective, including the absurd notion that everything of value is quantifiable statistically, and the notion that hustle, work ethic, dedication, etc. are meaningless, and that players all live in a vacuum and have absolutely no influence on any other players performance.

  29. chuck

    September 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    greg –

    Dave – don’t be silly, EVERYTHING is subjective, including the absurd notion that everything of value is quantifiable statistically, and the notion that hustle, work ethic, dedication, etc. are meaningless, and that players all live in a vacuum and have absolutely no influence on any other players performance.

    But then shouldn’t hustle and work ethic and dedication translate to measurable production? If they don’t then it isn’t that valuable.

  30. chuck

    September 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Back to the MVP question, I think it’s gotta be Cliff Lee and Albert Pujols.

  31. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Chuck, I disagree. You can only measure so much. Everyday games are decided by things that don’t show up in any of our statistics that we use to derive perceived value/talent.

  32. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Chuck – I question whether it will be Cliff Lee simply because, historically, the MVP award has been a hitters award, and the Cy Young the Pitchers Award. Right or wrong, it seems most voters don’t consider Pitchers as deserving of the MVP, since ‘they already have their own award.’

  33. ron

    September 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    You go Greg. The Prima Donnas can take their nos. and shove it. Give me a dirtbag with heart anytime. If Magglio could have taken this team on his back and taken us places in the last two years then maybe he would deserve MVP. Baseball has more than a few guys who can hit a baseball with their eyes closed but can hardly carry themselves up the dugout steps. With MVP goes responsibilities, not just stats.

  34. chuck

    September 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    But then how do you know Pedroia is hustling more than other guys? Who are the top hustle guys in the game?

  35. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    greg: I don’t understand your response at all. If one agrees that the scoring of runs is the point of the game, then stats that have been found to correlate with scoring runs are objectively a measure of performance.

    If, on the other hand, you find the purpose of baseball to be something other than the scoring of runs, then yes, stats are essentially useless to you and could be construed as only subjectively valuable.

  36. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I had to chime in to mention that at the game last night I was eating a ham sandwich (the Hambino – mmm…) when Renteria hit his RBI single. It was all very zen.

  37. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    My 9 Albert Pujols’ will beat 9 Dustin Pedroia’s brains in on the baseball diamond. All day, every day. This is because Albert is a better player.

    But is he more valuable? I say yes.

    The Cardinals were in the chase and pushing the Cubs for much of the season. The overall talent differentials finally caught up to them, but there’s no way they are even in that discussion without his bat in the lineup over a generic replacement

    Meanwhile, The Red Sox are still a Wild Card/Division leader if you replace his contributions (hustle, grit, and all the other “intangibles” as well as offense) with a generic player.

    Ergo, Pujols is more valuable to his team.

    This same logic works against Cliff Lee in my opinion. They were bad without him. It’s not his fault, but it just doesn’t make him valuable to the team, for this year anyway.

    My $0.02

  38. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Anyhoo, I’m also going to weigh in on the MVP discussion. If Pedroia wins it in the AL, I’d be impressed. Voters for that award typically love the “traditional” BA-HR-RBI trifecta. Of course, Pedroia may win the batting title but he’s not exactly wowing anyone with his counting stats. I think it would be an enlightened (for once) pick by the BBRAA to go with him.

  39. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    That being said about Pedroia, I’m thinking Morneau’s probably got the thing in the bag, especially if the Twins can sneak into the postseason. He’s having an even better season than ’06, when he actually won the award and there’s not exactly any no-brainer candidates in the AL this year. Pujols is a no-brainer in the NL, IMHO.

  40. Eric Cioe

    September 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Chris in Dallas said: If Pedroia wins it in the AL, I’d be impressed. Voters for that award typically love the “traditional” BA-HR-RBI trifecta. Of course, Pedroia may win the batting title but he’s not exactly wowing anyone with his counting stats. I think it would be an enlightened (for once) pick by the BBRAA to go with him.

    The voters love the BA-HR-RBI trifecta, but more than that I think they love white guys that look like them.

  41. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Dave – ultimately a LOT more goes into the production of a Run(and Run prevention) than the basic Statistical Metrics. All of the factors that contribute to Run scoring, and run prevention, its impossible for statistics to encompass all of these factors and assess fully all of the elements that lead to a run. Stats are a very useful tool, but not the only method of evaluation.

    People make presuppositions and assumptions about stats that aren’t necessarily correct, and stats themselves can be misleading and not tell the whole story.

    Let’s say a pitcher had an ERA of 4.73 ERA the first two months of the season. Then his buddy in the bullpen, who is a complete scrub statistically, noticed he’s tipping his pitchers, so the pitcher makes an adjustment and has a 1.08 ERA the rest of the year and is a key component of a successful playoff run.

    So the scrub in the bullpen had everything to do with the marginal success of the team that eventuated in a successful playoff run. Yet, this type of thing never goes into our statistical evaluations of players. Its disparaged as subjective and meaningless, and yet, those on the team all know it made all the difference in the world.

    There is also the problem of statistics being an indicator of what happens in an average situation, and yet, there are no average situations, only particular situations, and none of them are ever exactly the same, they are unique. Not all .300 hitters are created equal, they all face different pitchers in different situations, and even if they face the same pitchers, pitchers themselves are inconsistent, the same pitcher might serve up Cy Young stuff one day, and batting practice the next, and yet statistically, a HR is a HR, a hit is a hit, a walk is a walk.

    Stats are very useful, but they are not all encompassing and will never be able to, by themselves, fully evaluate the utility of a player.

  42. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    greg: You’re battling a straw man. Has anyone claimed that stats are a PERFECT predictor of future performance or indication of ability? Ever?

    Stats are just a description of what has occurred within certain variables. They’re not so scary, ron, honest.

  43. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Of course there are certain intangible things that go into baseball (or any other sport or really any other pursuit in life) that can’t be measured statistically. The stuff that “doesn’t show up in the box score”, as they say. The problem is that I think folks put too much weight behind those things. The thing about baseball is that there are so many games and at bats and pitches thrown and so much data in general that it lends itself to being able to measure and evaluate a player’s performance in many different ways with the numbers. That’s why you see witchcraft like VORP and WARP and EqA and OPS+ and Runs Created and so on. If you disregard all of that, you’re fighting a losing battle.

  44. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I forgot to add everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Mr. Eckstein. He’s a “gamer” and “gritty” and “knows how to win”. He also sucks at playing major league baseball.

  45. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Dave wrote:

    You’re battling a straw man. Has anyone claimed that stats are a PERFECT predictor of future performance or indication of ability? Ever?

    Yes, you have, many times.

    ;-)

  46. chuck

    September 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    But who is leading the league in intangibles this year? If we’re talking about MVP presumably it is a player who is the best at something, be it stats or all the stuff that you can’t measure, you just have to know it when you see it.

    The thing is you have no idea because it would involve watching every single game every single day, which is impossible. It’s one of the reasons people use objective measures.

    Kenny Rogers was given credit for helping the staff tremendously in 2006. Did he stop helping them this year?

  47. Chris in Dallas

    September 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Speaking of intangibles….

    http://www.sportspickle.com/fe.....jeter.html

  48. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Chuck – there’s an element of truth in what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t go that far. We’ll never know everything, but its not hard to discern a number of intangibles, for instance its not hard to differentiate the hustle from Ryan Freel vs. Sheffield’s slow jog/walk to first base on a ground ball, over….and over….and over.

  49. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Okay, greg, show me where I even suggested that stats were a (this part is important!) perfect indication of ability. If you were hoping this debate would go in a different direction, I apologize for disappointing you.

    Stats measure what they’re trying to measure, and what they are trying to measure are things that correlate with run scoring to some degree. Hustle not only cannot be shown to correlate with anything, but it cannot even be defined in a consistent manner, making it quite unsuitable a criteria for determining value.

    But hey, if it spikes your punch to watch Eckstein sprint down to first on a pop-up foul, I by no means desire to take that joy away from you.

  50. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I believe Fire Joe Morgan puts it best:

    Lewin: David Eckstein jumps away from [an inside pitch]. He’s been kind of a World Series Good Luck Charm himself. He’s been there and made a difference with teams with red in their color scheme before, with the Angels and the Cardinals.

    Grace: It’s hard to win multiple rings, but Eckstein has done that.

    All by himself, is the insinuation.

    He’s just a…he’s a guy that just…everything he does just helps you win baseball games.

    Except for hitting and fielding.

    He’s not flashy. Just a tough, scrappy out.

    Lewin: A couple years ago, Sports Illustrated polled major leaguers, they asked, “Who gets the most out of the least?” And the runaway winner of that question — 62% of the players — said it’s this guy, David Eckstein.

    Grace: He just finds a way. He’s smart. And you don’t say that about too many ballplayers. [brief interlude, joking about how Mark Grace is a "genius."] But this is a smart ballplayer, he knows, he studies — he knows his opponent. Great work ethic.

    [wild pitch sends the runner to third with 2 down]

    Lewin: We talked about Eckstein, who is listed as being 5’8″.

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa. It’s my understanding that he is 5’7″, 165. This I know to be true in the same way that I know the sun rises in the East. Now you’re telling me that he’s 5’8″??????

    He cops to being 5’6″.

    [KT's brain melts]

    And Mike Scoscia has said “5’3″ of that is probably heart.”

    If this is true, it’s a serious medical condition, and he should not be exerting himself.

    Grace: And guts.

    Makes less sense than saying that it’s “heart.”

    [Eckstein strikes out swinging.]

    Fin.

    http://www.firejoemorgan.com/

  51. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Dave – I was being facetious, you never stated that. I was kidding.

    Dave wrote:

    Hustle not only cannot be shown to correlate with anything, but it cannot even be defined in a consistent manner, making it quite unsuitable a criteria for determining value.

    unquote

    I disagree. Honestly, I don’t think a day goes by in which hustle, or lack there of doesn’t effect/change the outcome of a game. I’m not sure how others don’t observe this. Watch Ryan Freel, Reed Johnson, Curtis Granderson, if you’ve watched them play the game more than a few minutes you know what hustle is. Lack of hustle? Watch Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, Gary Sheffield for any length of time and you’ll know EXACTLY what lack of hustle is. If you watch a few games of these players and still can’t differentiate the difference, then there probably is no hope for you(in the hustle discernment world).

    I firmly believe that teams saturated with slackers can EASILY add 10-20 games to their win total on hustle alone, and that’s probably an extremely conservative estimate. On the flip side, sucking the hustle out of a team can EASILY turn 20 wins into losses over a course of a season.

  52. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Yeah, the smiley should probably have been a clue. No harm done :)

  53. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Dave wrote:

    But hey, if it spikes your punch to watch Eckstein sprint down to first on a pop-up foul, I by no means desire to take that joy away from you.

    unquote

    I appreciate that he respects the fans enough to give a full effort. In fact I expect it. And while some flippantly dismiss hustle, I’ve seen games turnaround on such plays, when the runner hustles, not assuming the routine ball in play will be caught, happens every week, and I’ve seen seasons turn around on plays like that. On the other hand, I lose count, every year, how many times Griffey loses games because he’s too good to give an honest effort, unless he feels like it. I’ve lost count of doubles/triples turned into singles because he likes to stand and pose on every deep fly ball. Every year this costs them runs, and it costs them games, and his ‘play when I feel like it’ attitude infects some of the others in the clubhouse. Lost count of the GIDP’s he could have prevented if he didn’t casually jog to first.

  54. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    “Honestly, I don’t think a day goes by in which hustle, or lack there of doesn’t effect/change the outcome of a game.”

    But HOW does it effect the game? In what way? To what extent? Is Granderson a “better” hustler (ha!) than Pedroia? Pedroia than Erstad? If so, why? These are the kinds of questions one has to answer in order to compare players to one another, which is sort of the whole point of assigning awards like the MVP.

  55. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Ground Outs become infield hits. Ground Outs become Errors and a runner on first because the fielder felt rushed to get the throw off to beat a hustling runner. These extra base runners become runs, and these runs translate to W’s. A double play to end the inning becomes a fielders choice, the inning is extended, and the team goes on to score 5 more runs. An error on a wild throw that caused a runner to advance to 2nd, and subsequently score, and give the visiting team victory, well, the hustler that backed up the throw(instead of lollygagging over to back it up and not get there in time) he prevented the runner from advancing, so he didn’t score on the single, he merely advanced to third where he was stranded, later they won the game, w/o the hustle, they lose the game.

  56. marcy.. stuck in the lab

    September 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    looks like leyland is out for the cleveland series…

  57. Mark in Chicago

    September 18, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    The argument of Pedroia winning the MVP over, say, Carlos Quentin (who would have won it easily if he stayed healthy) is to argue that Pedroia’s stats + intangibles contributed MORE to his team’s success than the stats + intangibles of Quentin. This is impossible to measure once we get past the stats part, and as such, we have to accept something less abstract in order to determine a player’s value.

    Furthermore, how can we consider the intangibles of one MVP candidate but not mention the intangibles of others? I haven’t seen one mention anywhere about the “hustle” of Quentin. To say only that Pedroia hustles and brings intangibles implies (at the extreme) that Quentin does not. This is patently unfair to Quentin or any other candidate.

    I have a great appreciation for players who show their hustle and play the game hard every play. This makes them fun to watch and is an indication of character, but it alone does not make them good players, much less an MVP candidate.

    And Ryan, this is TOTALLY your fault for starting this conversation.

  58. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    greg. I understand those things. But how do you measure it over the course of the season in order to compare the performance of every player in the league? Can you MEASURE hustle in a manner that would allow voters to use it as a criteria?

    At this point we’re roughly one step away from walking in a circle.

  59. billfer

    September 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    So a player makes more outs or doesn’t get as many bases if he doesn’t hustle. Which if you look back to what chuck said, it translates to stats. So if we say value is talent+hustle, then couldn’t production be measured by stats?

  60. Coleman

    September 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    greg: I think what you are saying, is that you can have two guys with the same BA, HR, RBI, and yet you can say with confidence that a team will do better with guy A than guy B. While hustle and other intangibles ultimately produce more runs, as you explain above (all the end results you mention above, are things measured statistically by the way), the player isn’t “attached” to these benefits statistically. But I think that’s the whole point of some of the more esoteric statistics, to accomplish that sort of thing, by measuring “win shares” and such–because if a team does win more with a certain guy in the lineup, then why not try to measure that?

    Of course there aren’t things that can be measured–but why not measure the things that can?

    [a good example I think of an unmeasurable: Brandon Inge is worth more to a team than statistically similar players, because he can play so many positions. Therefore the Tigers can have an extra pitcher in the bullpen, etc, because they can "cheat" a bit on their roster by having the backup catcher, infielder, outfielder, be the same guy. Not that, in the case above, the extra guy would be any good or anything...]

  61. Ryan

    September 18, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Yeah. My fault. But hey, things baseball-y to talk about are always good, right?

    Dustin Pedroia is short and white. Therefore, he is scraphustlydirtgamer. He is also having a very good year in Boston and/or New York. Therefore, he will win the MVP. His offensive season is inferior to around 8 others in the AL. He probably plays better defense than any of the other top hitters. He may actually deserve the award. But it’s not by any means a runaway.

    But I don’t think his scraphustlydirtgamerness really matters. To me, one of the great beauties of baseball is that the numbers truly accurately reflect what has happened. On 98% of baseball plays, hustle/intangibles don’t matter. And on 98% of the other 2%, the hustle/intangibles show up in the box score as one more hit, or less hit, or whatever. David Eckstein is slugging under .350. All his hustle and paleness and being travel-sized is already factored in by the results. He is no better or worse a hitter than his stats show. Neither is anyone else. Baseball is by far the most individual of team sports.

    Hustle does matter. So do foot speed, bat speed, pitch recognition and judgement, and reaction time. All of these already show up, in aggregate form, in stats. Why do people deserve extra credit for hustle? Sheff doesn’t get a pass for sucking because he has great pitch recognition. And he shouldn’t.

    Greg: Stats certainly can’t measure the full utility of a player. But they do a very good job of telling you how much a player has helped win or lose games in the past. Compared to similar stats from the past, they also do a very good job of predicting how much a player will help or hurt in the future. And the whole ‘playing the game the right way’ thing seems to be overrated to me. Tell me the last time you saw Jermaine Dye or Shane Victorino or Ray Durham or Aramis Ramirez playing the wrong way. Most players hustle almost all of, if not all of, the time. If Dustin’s being short and white, or a Red Sockx, or a Sun Devil, or whatever, makes you relate to him and therefore like his style, that’s perfectly cool. Just please tell me the reason the Yankees fail is not Alex Rodriguez’s lack of clutchiness. I will sleep better.

    Sorry this was so long. But it’s an off day. What, I should be spending time with my wife?

  62. Smoking Loon

    September 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    61 posts in a game thread!? (When I started reading it.) Aha! I should have know that a chemistry (aka hustle, aka intangibles) discussion was afoot!

    Am I the only person who can see that Greg is right, and all the non-Gregs are also right, and yet it still ends up being a kind of double-rebuttal of positions the other side never even took?

    Here’s a twist: You could keep track of all hustle plays, every game, all season. Yes, there would be some subjectivity, but errors are subjective. For that matter, balls and called strikes are prone to subjectivity (to say the least). You could also keep track of the effect of hustle plays on game results.

    So.. you’d end up with Hustle Factor and Hustle Impact ratings, not so different in principle from advanced defensive metrics. Question: Would this “reduce” hustle to a number, to stats, and would there be further quibbles about how some “intangible hustling” went unnoticed?

    Further: Hustle, intangibles, et al. may not show up in stats all the time or even much of the time. So fans might overlook it, particularly fans who don’t watch a whole lot of games or (OR! Not implying they’re synonymous) have a rather superficial interest in/knowledge of baseball. But managers, coaches, scouts, and GMs are paid to see it, and I have no doubt they place no small stock in such things.

    Whenever I wonder why a guy is on the team or why the team acquired a certain player when I don’t see the logic, I take it on faith that someone sees/knows more than I do. Not that this is likely to keep me from complaining in most instances.

  63. Smoking Loon

    September 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I know the game was 100 years ago now, but I’m not missing out on saying something about a Tigers win at this point. No way.

    Garcia’s 59 pitches, 36 strikes doesn’t look so good, but hey, he got ‘er dun. Garcia in the rotation in 2009, maybe Willis, too – wow, that could be a nice Cinderella story.

    Nate Robertson in the pen? I hoped for this? I take it back. He threw more pitches than Garcia!

    Is Aquilino the closer du jour? Why not? Nice job.

    Offensive show. Everyone showed up for the party but Granderson. Sheffield drew 3 walks, something that hasn’t happened since, when, April? The Tigers drew 9 walks, but the 11 strikeouts kind of spoil that for me. Raburn with 3. Getting to be kind of a TTO guy, just without the walks and the HR.

    I’m all for the big numbers and titles for Cabrera and Ordonez. Still matters. Even so, it continues to puzzle and frustrate, how this team can explode for 17 once in a while and still make you nervous and pessimistic when they’re down by a couple after 6.

    Go Dusty Ryan!

  64. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    No one on earth is saying that “hustle” is irrelevant. The mocking arises when people, such as sports writers, act as if they would prefer guys that muscle their way from first to third on a single to a guy like Adam Dunn who breaks a .900 OPS almost every year. Sure, it’s great that Eckstein makes the best out of his limited skills — but it doesn’t really matter if said skills are SO limited that he gets on base about 33% of the time with nary an extra base hit to be found. I’m only explaining this because most of the time proponents of hustle act as if they have no idea where the other camp is coming from.

  65. Dave BW

    September 18, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    “Whenever I wonder why a guy is on the team or why the team acquired a certain player when I don’t see the logic, I take it on faith that someone sees/knows more than I do.”

    You’re probably giving said people way too much credit. You know what happens when people value intangibles over measurable skill? The Lions, that’s what :)

  66. greg

    September 18, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Billfer wrote:

    So a player makes more outs or doesn’t get as many bases if he doesn’t hustle. Which if you look back to what chuck said, it translates to stats. So if we say value is talent+hustle, then couldn’t production be measured by stats?

    unquote

    The short answer is that sometimes it will show up in stats, sometimes it won’t. When it does show up in stats, sometimes it will show up in ways that will benefit the hustler, sometimes it will show up in ways that will benefit other players and the hustler will get no credit.

  67. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Ryan – nice post except for the race card. The race card is sooooo overplayed and its disappointing to see it somehow seep into this discussion and identified with people who appreciate hustle. Hustle is not limited to a certain race. And i think its inappropriate to label Eckstein fans as racist.

    There are a ton of ballplayers that hustle, but there are a TON that don’t. On days that I watch baseball, I see slackers at some point more often than not.

    I like Smoking Loon’s idea about trying to quantify hustle plays that don’t already show up properly in stats. Yes it would be subjective, but as he pointed out, so are so many other stats.

    Should we expand it to include ‘Savvy’ plays? For example, the other night Jermaine Dye intentionally strayed off of 3rd base on a ground ball to lure Kenny Rogers away from the double play that would have ended the inning. He thus created an extra out, or opportunity, for the White Sox.

  68. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Coincidently, I came across this reading Baseball Prospectus tonight:

    Just good, smart baseball, period. That’s become the modus operandi not just here at Baseball Prospectus, but also among those teams that have tended to have the most success…………….the Red Sox willingness to trust an undersized, underscouted player such as Dustin Pedroia to be a critical cog in their everyday lineup.

  69. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 12:58 am

    “You’re probably giving said people way too much credit”

    True, Dave. I actually exaggerated a bit. A lot of other things come into play – contracts, options, all sorts of things that often seem to work against a best-team-on-the field-right-now approach.

    Still, I think we forget to give credit when guys like Clete Thomas and Armando Galarraga get a chance and shine.

  70. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Jeter is a MVP to his team every year. A Rod, never.

  71. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 5:19 am

    It’s a team game. Individual stats are meaningless, unless your into idol worship. The best teams usually win 93 to 96 games a year and the worse 60 games. That’s a 36 game swing or 22% of the season. So for 126 games, the dirt bags cancel out the prima donnas. As the season winds down and checking todays standings, it seems some of the dirt bags are doing very well for themselves. If you were to condense that 22% down to one game, it would be two innings, 6 outs. Would you rather have 6 hustling dirtbags for two innings or at the most two prima donnas, 1 dirtbag and 3 bags of crap because that is what you can afford after paying for 2 prima donnas?

  72. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 7:35 am

    @ron

    Jeter is a MVP to his team every year. A Rod, never.

    Don’t be a troll.

  73. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 7:50 am

    @greg

    The Red Sox should be commended for finding Pedroia. He’s a very good player, as reflected by both his offensive and defensive stats. I just can’t make him out to be better than what the stats show.

  74. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Which pitchers are dirtbags and hustle the most. The Tigers clearly need some more dirtbag hustling pitchers. Let’s scout some of those guys.

  75. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Ha! Ron, why do I feel like you’re just trying to project a persona sometimes? :)

  76. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 10:50 am

    What’s a troll?

  77. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Rogers was a dirtbag. We need 85 mph pitchers who paint the black with a little movement, not a prima donna 95 mpher who sneezes and loses control for 7 or 8 games in a row.

  78. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 11:11 am

    It’s not someone who can’t come up with any original ideas or suggestions or comments of their own and just makes snide and sarcastic remarks to other’s original ideas, suggestions,or comments, is it?

  79. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Silly ron. He means someone who states things to provoke a hostile reaction. Like posting that Cabrera sucks in every single thread for a month.

  80. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 11:26 am

    A troll is someone who makes ridiculous statements with the intent of provoking a reaction.

    Like Jeter being better than A-rod.

  81. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Rogers was a dirtbag. We need 85 mph pitchers who paint the black with a little movement, not a prima donna 95 mpher who sneezes and loses control for 7 or 8 games in a row.

    You do know that Rogers has more walks than anyone on the team than Verlander? He’s also allowed more hits than anyone on the team.

  82. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Ron is an MVP to this blog every year. Dave BW, never. OK, I just thought I’d try being a troll.

    Shake hands, you two. Hug, even. :)

  83. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 11:44 am

    And Coleman is a bust.

    Who’s going to be the manager while Leyland serves his supension? I’m assuming he’s going to serve it this season and soon.

  84. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

    It’s a balance. There are guys that play at such a high level that they don’t need to “hustle” as much. You may think that Dunn is slacking, however since 2004 he’s averaged 100 runs / 40 hr / 100 rbi / 100 bb / and a near .900 ops. Now take my all time favorite “hustle” guy, Inge. I don’t think i need to research his stats to make this point work.

    I don’t know if anyone saw Adam Corolla’s “The Hammer”, but there’s a great line where his boxing coach chides him about being the 95% guy that never gives everything he has, to which Corolla replies, “actually coach i’m the 75% guy, who’s giving you an extra 20%.”

    Point is that sometimes “hustle” only counts for so much, and natural ability weighs heavier towards winning. I’ve seen Cabrera take longer to get to 2B from 1B, with a lead, than the guy that was getting walked took to get to 1B from home…but i’ll take his +30 hr / +120 rbi anyday.

  85. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 11:56 am

    plus, with guys like Dunn (and Thames…whose like a mini-Dunn) you get to hear announcers say things like “country-strong”, which to me always sounds like what they really wanted to say was “retard-strength”. man, i really wish they would say that. just once.

  86. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    “always sounds like what they really wanted to say was “retard-strength””

    Funny, Dre. I can see it. “Big and dumb as a man can come, but he’s stronger than a country hoss.”

    Seriously, I don’t think the country strong guys tend to be any less bright – as in articulate bright – than baseball players in general. I’ve heard/read enough of them (baseball players) talk to see this. If I’d been able to hit a baseball 450 feet and had all that BP hanging around me from at least the time I went pro, I think I might have skipped some of the reading myself.

  87. Ryan

    September 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Greg – It’s impossible not to bring race into it. It can’t be a coincidence that every hustly gamer except for Torii Hunter is white and short. People like and identify with people who look most like themselves. That’s just the way it is. It is easier to understand the facial expressions and body language of those that are most like you. So it makes sense that David Eckstein looks like he hustles in a way that, say, Miguel Tejada never will. Is that racist? A little. But everyone’s a little racist. Just part of the human condition. Nothing wrong with it. Just pay attention to guys like Akinori Iwamura and Orlando Cabrera and Carlos Beltran and I think you’ll see all the hustle you’d ever want.

  88. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    “”I’m sure he’ll [Garcia] pitch in the big leagues again for somebody,” Leyland said.”

    Leyland said something similar before Garcia’s start. After the start, it doesn’t sound so good. I know it was only 5 innings, but still. Couldn’t JL have left out the “for somebody,” at least? In fact, I’m wondering if this AP report just took that prior-to-the-game quote and slapped it on the game article. Garcia is, after all, already pitching in the big leagues again for somebody.

    I should really stop reading those wire reports. I always find something stupid.

  89. Smoking Loon

    September 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Curtis Granderson is a hustly gamer, isn’t he? He even looks a bit like me. Ha! In his dreams.

  90. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Ryan -

    I “kind-of” see what you’re saying (in a psych theoretical way), but I don’t think its a stretch for most people to look at just the Tigers and note that Granderson and Polanco immediately come to mind as “hustlers”. Also, for all the grief I see Sheffield taking for jogging out the “surer” outs he plays into, he also does everything he can once on base to help the team (check out his steals). I’m white and immediate recognize all these guys for their hustle. Also, plenty of people list Dunn as a none hustler…so I don’t really think race has all that much to do with it.

    Except for those Mexicans…who are truly lazy and can’t hit in cold weather.

  91. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    What is so ridiculous about Jeter being a better baseball player than A Rod? Isn’t that what this discussion is all about, being a complete player and not just a stat leader. As far as Rogers goes, he did become crap but I always considered him to be a dirtbag because he used his wiles and his fielding to get players out (even some dirt). And I think he was a team leader too. Sometimes a player of Jeter’s background and accomplishments can inspire teammates to play better even when his own career is waning and sometimes guys like A Rod with all his stats can be a detriment to a team whereas a Brosius or Boone would be a better fit.

  92. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    “Ron is an MVP to this blog every year. Dave BW, never.”

    Isn’t that the truth.

  93. ron

    September 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Ted Williams said that the Yankees would never had won all their championships in the 50′s without Phil Rizutto as their shortstop, the same Rizutto whom was told by Stengel to find another line of work when Phil was 18. A dirt bag who made the Prima Donnas play better.

  94. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Ron -

    Or you could say that despite all the leadership in the clubhouse, the only thing that got the Yanks to the postseason last year was A-Rod having an MVP year…stat-wise. If you swap Jeter’s numbers (something that we can quantify) with an average SS, the Yanks are likely still making the playoffs…maybe they’re even better because Jeter has below average range. You probably can’t make the same argument for swapping A-Rod for an average 3B.

    Role-players are important, the problem with high-rating hustle is that there’s no way to distinguish if hustle is helping your team (pedroia) or if it doesn’t matter (erstad). Maybe Jeter did contribute to motivating the Yanks to play better and make the playoffs next year, but he needed the raw material there to begin with. If Inge is playing 3B for the Yankees last year, there’s no amount of leadership that has him hitting A-rod numbers.

    I think you only crave scrappiness in your players when the team isn’t performing up to expectations. There have been nones of times that a team picked a “club-house” over a “production” when all other things were equal. Role-players exist because there are very few situation where you can field an entire side of MVPs…because if winning is the object, you would do the latter if you could.

  95. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    “A dirt bag who made the Prima Donnas play better.”

    I’m sure that aside from the years where he was concerned with Rizutto’s opinion of him, Williams was an underachiever.

    Players that reach the MLB level to begin with are so far above the norm in terms of ability and drive that to think that the least talented of them drive the most is pretty hard to demonstrate. A-Rod probably doesn’t give a hoot what Jeter thinks of him, especially when fans boo him but support Jeter regardless. Nobody cares about Jeter’s night life because he has the reputation of a “leader”. I think this is a case of people’s actions being judge by their reputations and not vice versa. Apparently almost single-handedly carrying the team to the playoffs doesn’t fall under the “leading by example” category.

  96. Mark in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Ted Williams said that the Yankees would never had won all their championships in the 50’s without Phil Rizutto as their shortstop

    Ted Williams is a fantastic baseball player, and entitled to his own opinion. But him saying this does not make it true, and it is simply unproveable one way or the other. This is not diminish Rizzuto’s contributions as a player, but he wasn’t even the best player on his own team in 1950 (that would be DiMaggio), let alone the MVP that year. Williams himself was a better player in 2/3 the games.

  97. Mark in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    ron,

    Nobody questions that Pedroia is a good player and brings a lot to his team in both statistics and intangibles. However, you are the one asserting that Pedroias intangibles make him worthy of an MVP even though his stats fall short. Thus the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate, with specific evidence, HOW those intangibles translated to team success. Us stat geeks can point clearly and compare things like OPS, HR, VORP, Win Shares, etc. to demonstrate how a player has helped his team and how one guy is more worthy than another for MVP. You can talk in abstract about how hustling and leadership help teams win, but until it can be concretely demonstrated how that occurs, I remain unconvinced.

  98. Chris in Dallas

    September 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Ryan: I was with you until you called Carlos Beltran a “hustle” guy. I’ll let JoPo get into that…

    http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlo.....1/beltran/

  99. Chris in Dallas

    September 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t know why we’re talking about Pedroia’s intangibles, anyway. He’s got some pretty good tangibles, along the lines of .326/.377/.495, 17 SB vs. 1 CS, 17 HR, 50 2B and a 1:1 K/BB ratio. All while playing an important defensive position very well. That’s a pretty compelling case for MVP without discussing his GF (grit factor). There’s not that one knock your socks off MVP candidate in the AL this year (especially since Quentin went down), so I think Pedroia certainly needs to be in the discussion. And I LOATHE the Red Sox.

  100. Chris in Dallas

    September 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    One final $.02 on this subject. I think a lot of the reason why this particular topic gets debated so passionately is that a vast majority of fans would *love* to be able to do what these guys do for a living, so when they see a guy who is perceived as “dogging it” they take offense to it. But when it comes to winning baseball games, I’ll take the guy producing at .390/.480/.720 (MannyB with the Dodgers) over putting up the .278/.311/.358 line (Darin Erstad).

  101. Mark in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Yeah Chris, Pedroia absolutely has some good numbers, but half his games are played in a park where routine fly balls become doubles for right-handed pull hitters.

    Home: 340/393/520
    Away: 314/362/472

    His road numbers are still good, but an 834 OPS puts him in Brian Roberts/Melvin Mora territory.

    There is no clear-cut winner on the AL since Quentin got hurt (he may still win it, I can’t really argue. They’ve struggled scoring runs without him), but I wouldn’t put Pedroia on my ballot. I’d have:

    Quentin
    Morneau
    ARod

  102. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Mark Wrote:

    Ted Williams is a fantastic baseball player, and entitled to his own opinion. But him saying this does not make it true, and it is simply unproveable one way or the other.

    unquote.

    True its unprovable, but at the same time NOTHING is provable. Yes it is an opinion, an opinion of someone who saw first hand dozens of things that Rizutto did everyday that everyone else is unaware of(except for his teammates). So his opinion should hold 10 times the weight, maybe 100 times the weight, of someone far removed from the situation. First, why would Ted Williams make that up? He might have, but until I see evidence why he’d lie, or evidence that he’s stupid when it comes to baseball, I’d have to think he’s more credible than a million statistical models, and all of the machinations some statisticians will go through to try to support what they’ve already concluded. Stats can really be made to say whatever you want(you know the saying, there are lies, damned lies, then there are statistics).

    FWIW, I never posited Pedroia should be the MVP. I’m just glad he entered that conversation. As the dirtbags rarely get the credit they deserve. And the countless faults of the Dunn’s and Griffey’s of the world get ignored as people bow before the alter of Bill James, OBP and OPS, oblivious to, or in denial of, the numerous crucial elements that will never be completely captured by statistics.

    (again, not ripping most here, as others have have acknowledged that intangibles have value)

    For the record, I don’t think Eckstein is very good. But I respect his style of play, and I do acknowledge that he was a key cog to the Cardinals playoff run back in ’06.

    sorry for the length

  103. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Crimeny, greg, did you have a particularly vindictive/petty stats professor at some point in your life or something? I don’t even know where to start with that first paragraph of yours.

    Are you really claiming that people that observe things have between ten and one hundred times the accuracy of those that analyze said things afterwards? If that’s your statement, fine, just so long as you realize that it would contradict the findings of pretty much every field over the last fifty years or so.

    It’s apparent we’re not getting anywhere, so my last comment on the subject is that the “dirtbags” indeed get enormous amounts of credit (which, of course, is exactly what provoked the statheads in the first place). Sports broadcasters love championing that stuff.

  104. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Ryan wrote:

    Greg – It’s impossible not to bring race into it. It can’t be a coincidence that every hustly gamer except for Torii Hunter is white and short. People like and identify with people who look most like themselves. That’s just the way it is.

    unquote.

    Rubbish.

    So when someone observes Sheffield go from slow jog to walk before he’s thrown out on a ground ball, and they say he’s dogging it, are they having hallucinations created by racial bias? And when they observe Reed Johnson or Aaron Roward crash into a wall without any regard to their well being…..all that is an optical illusion created by the fact that they’re white? Did the non-caucasians see a routine fly ball instead? What about the countless individuals who are of a different race than Eckstein, Pedroia, that have complimented them?

    Hustle an illusion created by racial bias……. ooooooooook.

  105. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Dave wrote:

    If that’s your statement, fine, just so long as you realize that it would contradict the findings of pretty much every field over the last fifty years or so.

    Huh? Findings of every field? What Field? The Quantum Field?

    Are you saying that someone who never saw Ted Williams play and just went over stats is aware of more events in and around the Red Sox than Ted Williams and his teammates?

    So if you wanted to get an account of what happened during a live event, you wouldn’t ask someone who was there and observed first hand? Who saw everything before, during, and after? Would you ask someone who met a guy, who knew someone, who read a book that analyzed a fraction of what transpired?

    Sounds like you’re saying its an advantage to be unaware of things that Ted Williams was aware of, to base your conclusions on less knowledge rather than more, but that doesn’t make sense, so you must mean something else.

  106. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Watching any “webgems” segment often yields a fairly diverse “racial” compilation of players hustling. Except of course for their “Best of Whitey” segments.

    Also, its a little known fact that Rizutto’s quick thinking and application of the Heimlich maneuver on Ted Williams during a team dinner was to thank for all those Yankee’s championships. It is thus Williams life-debt to Rizutto that explains his praise of an otherwise forgettable player.

  107. Dr Dre in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    “So if you wanted to get an account of what happened during a live event, you wouldn’t ask someone who was there and observed first hand?”

    Not necessarily, I’m pretty tanked at most baseball games :)

  108. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    btw, sorry for the rant. Too verbose.

    Go Tigers! Let’s just fill the roster with dirtbags with high OBP and OPS.

    Kudos to Dr. Dre for the humor.

  109. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    greg: first hand accounts are notoriously unreliable in law-enforcement, most famously. In my own field of history, any undergraduate could tell you how foolish it is to rely on a single primary source. People simply have their memories corrupted by other factors in order for eyewitness account to be taken as gospel. Reliable accounts of events are best assembled through a compilation of sources, and/or audio/video/forensic evidence. This certainly is off-topic, but no more so than pulling numbers (ten to 100 times!) half-hazardly out of the sky as you did.

    So:

    “Are you saying that someone who never saw Ted Williams play and just went over stats is aware of more events in and around the Red Sox than Ted Williams and his teammates?”

    If those events concerned the manner in which a baseball game progressed and how each player performed in the course of it, then yes, that is what I’m saying. Listen to Joe Morgan try to explain what happened in a game thirty years ago off the top of his head sometime — he routinely screws up dates, players, teams, and even years.

  110. Coleman

    September 19, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Smoking Loon: “And Coleman is a bust.”
    Better the bust than the derriere, Puff Loony.

    Dr Dre: “Except of course for their “Best of Whitey” segments.”
    Maybe if they had one of those in basketball we’d finally get to see the Darko highlights we deserve!

  111. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    For the record, greg, it’s entirely possible I’m attributing beliefs to you that you don’t even possess at this point. I’ve just read SO much atrocious sports journalism on this topic that it’s kind of hard to even discriminate as to who said what anymore — check out firejoemorgan.com for endless examples of what I’m talking about.

  112. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Dave – another history major eh? In my opinion, all else being equal, 1st hand info is better than second hand info, third hand info, etc. Certainly not gospel, but better than any other alternative. Obviously, on a case by case basis you’d have to consider personal bias of the account, but you have to do that with EVERY account and I’ve found the biases often get MUCH worse the further you get from the source. A council, large group isn’t necessarily any better because they all have their agendas/issues. Not to mention groupthink brainwashing etc. I have a degree in history and for the most part, that’s what my colegues and professors all preached(not necessarily practiced). 1st source is most reliable(all else being equal) Any and all problems you mentioned only get worse the further from the source you get. The same biases and memory issues only get worse the further away you get.

    I never came across anyone with a such a…..unique take on such things.

  113. greg

    September 19, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    firejoemorgan – I totally agree. Of course, he’s more of a blogger than a journalist. That guy…..actually, I hesitate to say anything negative about him because that guy scares me.

  114. Mark in Chicago

    September 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    the guys at firejoemorgan do a terrific job of deconstructing and ridiculing the nonsense that sports journalists typically churn out. I am no columnist, and I’m sure it’s hard to keep coming up with ideas 3-4 times a week, but that doesn’t excuse the absolutely preposterous arguments, ideas, and “analysis” that appear on a daily basis.

    In my opinion, the guys at FJM are true American heroes and deserve a Nobel Prize in addition to the Pulitzer.

    (yeah greg, they scare me too….)

  115. Dave BW

    September 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    greg: yeah, I’m working on my master’s at the moment. Good times!

  116. billfer

    September 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Rodriguez and Jeter both hit for average and get on base, but Rodriguez laps Jeter when it comes to power. He’s also the superior fielder which really calls into question Jeter’s leadership.

    He’s such the leader that he selfishly refuses to move off of shortstop so the better player can play there. Instead he continues to undermine the pitching staff with his sub-Renteria range.

    But yeah, Jeter is one of those dirtbags who date super models and appear in GQ and make $20 million a season. No prima donna in him at all.

  117. greg

    September 20, 2008 at 3:09 am

    Yes Billfer, but he’s clutch!

    :-)

  118. ron

    September 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Nothing wrong with a pd being a db. They’re the best. The stat guys will always win the argument. But thank God for people like Greg. And that is all I have to say on that. And I’m not trolling. Ted Williams was a troller.

  119. ron

    September 20, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    This is a troll. The dirtbags shall inherit the earth.

  120. Lee Panas

    September 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I think Ted Williams was probably right about Rizzutto being a vital cog to some World Championships. Not because he was a tough hustling clutch competitor with awesome intangibles but because he was an outstanding fielder at a key defensive position. There were some tight pennant races in those years and a strong case can be made that they would not have won as many championships with an average or below average defensive shortstop