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Welcome! You are invited to wander around and read all of the comments that have been posted here at Patton & Co., but as soon as you register you can see the bid limits that Alex, Peter and Mike propose for each player, and you can post your own comments. Registering is free, so please join us!
Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
Baseball Prospectus actually ran an article back during Bonds' peak that isolated Bonds' non walk AB from the rest of his AB and concluded that it was better to walk Bonds than to pitch to him, albeit only barely.

That thing from McEnroe is great, Rotoman. And I would agree that is does sum it up pretty nicely. We're more likely to call post season heroics by a Scott Brosius clutch and post season mediocrity by an Alex Rodriguez disappointing because their talent makes us expect the opposite outcomes from both.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 10 '08
I think you make a great point, Alex. Bonds is clutch because teams are so afraid of him. By walking him they create a more dangerous situation for themselves, albeit against a far less dangerous hitter.

There's a piece at the website The Root that suggests Bonds could redeem his public image and get a chance to play this year by offering himself to the Pirates for the minimum.

http://www.theroot.com/id/45052

The writer doesn't ask the Pirates if they'd take him. It sure would be interesting.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/24/sports/baseball/24score.html?pagewanted=print&position=

We'll see how that link comes through. It leads to a David Leonhardt story in the NY Times a few years back about James' recantation of his previous assertion that there was no evidence of this thing called Clutch Hitting. That was in a story called Underestimating the Fog, which I think is available at sabr.org.

I think Leonhardt gets right the basic weakness of what James gets right, which is that the numbers we use for much of this thing called Sabermetrics represent far too small samples to rely upon conclusively. James is right about that, but it doesn't mean that there is such a thing as clutch hitting. Maybe, maybe not. It would be nice to see some evidence of it.

There is a nice piece on the Kansas City Royals in the 1982 Baseball Abstract, about the games in which the team was or wasn't clutch. The way James determined this was by running the Runs Created score on the individual games lines for all Royals games that year. In 21 of them KC and their opponents had a different outcome than RC suggested they would. BJ called these games Clutch.

Talk about small sample size. Still, by isolating those games he could see how the individual Royals hitters performed in the losses versus the wins and determine that the Royals lose such games when George Brett doesn't hit in the clutch and win them when he does.

Not exactly eye-opening, but one step toward measuring over time whether Brett is good or bad in the clutch. And isn't that what we want to know?

I once worked with John McEnroe on a video (about tennis of all things), and one of the questions that came up was about being clutch. The question? How did you become such a good clutch performer? His answer: No one is clutch. The best players perform better in tough situations because they're the best players.

That sounds right to me.



Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
Joe Crede Minnesota Twins
From Rototimes this morning:

Joe Crede may in fact remain with the White Sox this season despite many trade rumors, according to the Chicago Sun Times. GM Kenny Williams stated that the team received two real offers for Crede but they did not favor the White Sox and Williams added that Crede has one year left on his contract. He also stated, "The most difficult thing in all of this would be if I have to have that conversation with Josh Fields because he has done everything we've asked, and he's played well enough where he deserves to be on a big-league roster". Crede had a tough 2007 season due to injuries but he was a big part of the White Sox magical 2005 season and was a strong candidate for World Series MVP.

I'm sure Williams is bluffing. If he isn't, though, it sure sounds like Fields might start the year in AAA.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 10 '08
Julio Lugo Baltimore Orioles
I'm thinking the latter but won't necessarily bet on it. However, with Corey Patterson, Coco Crisp, Reggie Willits, Jerry Owens, and Kenny Lofton either not on the scene or possibly seeing reduced playing time, the SB pool in the A.L. looks particularly watery this year. If Brian Roberts gets shipped out, it only gets thinner. Lugo's 30 SB potential means that someone is going to crack $20 on him.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 10 '08
Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
The Baseball Prospectus statheads have vigorously argued against the possibility of 'clutch hitting' for years. Which I don't buy, but can't define any better than James.
John Brand JohnB
Mar 10 '08
Julio Lugo Baltimore Orioles
Hit in horrible luck in the first half; picked it up after the break. Did he fall off the map once he saw Hollywood or is he a potential .800 OPS/35 steal player in a great offense? I'm betting the latter.
Mark Bond booond
Mar 10 '08
David Bush Texas Rangers
Are there any players named Obama in the pipeline?
jeff merk jeffamerk
Mar 10 '08
Johnny Cueto San Francisco Giants
Agree with you Mike that Cueto will be overbid. The other concern is the heavy usage from last season combined with Dusty "What's a Pitch Count" Baker as manager. I have him on a reserve list from last season; I'm taking offers.
Mark Bond booond
Mar 10 '08
I bring your attention to this link only because it ranks as one of the most irritatingly pretentious posts I've ever seen. And I'm generally a fan of pretension. Yikes!

http://cbs.sportsline.com/mcc/messages/thread/5842084

I found the link looking for references to Headley's bad defense, which don't seem to be out there. As Mike says, the Padres are thinking of moving Headley rather than Kouz because he's more athletic.

I'm pretty sure I never make a mistake, so maybe I'll someday I find the evidence that impugns Headley's defense. But for now, his biggest problem is hitting in a park that doesn't help hitters, if he makes the big league team.


Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
John Maine Florida Marlins
I don't think $14 gets him in Tout Wars, which is crazy conservative on pitching. If it does I'll own him. Heck, if he goes for $18 I'll own him. I start to waver at $20. He doesn't look to me like he should miss so many bats, and if that stops he's going to take a hit for all the walks.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
Matt Garza Milwaukee Brewers
If Kazmir doesn't fall apart (reports are a little too optimistic for comfort) this should be the year the Rays top .500. Some will credit the dropping of the word Devils. Who knows, they may be right. I suspect I'll give credit to Upton and Pena and an emerging staff. I hope it's fun to watch.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
Whoa, Peter, you're going in so many directions I don't know where to follow.

I don't know why Bill doesn't define "clutch" a little more rigorously -- perhaps he does, somehwere -- but there's still the main point sticking out like a sore thumb: When it counted last year, when the game was on the line or close to on the line, Barry Bonds as often as not was issued a free pass. Could the same be said of any other hitter in baseball?

He's done in the same way that Shoeless Joe Jackson was done. If he gets the chance, he'll produce a whole bunch of Runs Above Replacement. Not as many as Shoeless Joe would have in the rest of his career, but in the next year as many and maybe more.
Alex Patton Alex
Mar 10 '08
Coco Crisp Oakland Athletics
The Boston Globe sensibly shot down the Crisp for Fuld/Marquis rumor.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 10 '08
Johnny Cueto San Francisco Giants
The problem with a guy like Cueto is that if he does make the big club he'll surely crack double digits in most leagues, since all the pub on him will be extremely positive coming out of camp. Like everyone else, I like him a lot long-term, but don't want to spend $11-15 a guy with 22 years of AAA experience.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 10 '08
Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
Does everything Bill James touches now, except the Red Sox, kind of suck? I thought Win Shares was magnificent. Not totally together but the best sort of cobbling and thoroughly ambitious. There were things to quibble about, things to argue against, but the James version does what it set out to do, even it hasn't become the gold standard of evaluative stats.

But the Bill James since has gotten an industry job and seemingly quite suddenly the intellectual rigor has softened.

Maybe he's too happy. Maybe in the old days he was fierce with anger. Maybe he's too practical, and not only is the money good and the recognition great, but why mess it up when you're getting up there and you're riding a Goldmine?

I don't know, but this stuff about clutch hitting is ridiculous. The whole point of the exercise is to come up with the best definition of clutch hitting you can and then test it and see what happens.

Murphy and Horner proved to me, via Bill James, that lineup protection was a myth. Clutch bit the dust at some other point I can't summon right now. I think there's room to revisit and add nuance. But to bail on the whole exercise is really weak.

Bonds is done because the things he brings (he can still hit and is still feared) aren't worth what it will cost to bring them (lots of moolah, he can't run, and a ton of on and off field uncertainty).
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
Nomar Garciaparra Oakland Athletics
As best I can tell, I also had Nomar at $15 last year in my final preseason bids.
Alex Patton Alex
Mar 10 '08
James Loney Atlanta Braves
He's on the cover of the Guide as Pick to Hit, which gives credence to MikeG's comment. I don't think anyone thinks he'll hit .300 again, and that will hit his price significantly. I paid $8 for him in Tout Wars last year because I believed and despite starting the year in the minors (and hurt) he paid off nicely. It would be too much to expect more this year. I wish it was a keeper league.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
Johnny Cueto San Francisco Giants
The ballpark, the team, his youth, all argue against him this year, but the drums sound (to me) like he might break camp with the big team. He throws hard and has had good control. No matter how the Reds handle their roster (and there are plenty of fine reasons for him to start the year in Triple-A) he should be on everyone's shortlist.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 10 '08
From Rotoworld minutes ago:

Jimmy Gobble had a cactus thorn removed from one of his big toes on Sunday morning.

Gobble got the thorn stuck in his foot after accidentally kicking a cactus while playing golf early in spring training. Gobble apparently felt the pain, but continued with normal spring activities. "They said it was almost an inch, three-quarters of an inch long," pitching coach Bob McClure said Sunday. "How he was pitching with that, I'll never know." Gobble had a 3.02 ERA in 53 2/3 innings last year out of the bullpen and he will act as the Royals' primary left-handed specialist this season. Source: Royals.mlb.com Mar. 9 - 9:46 pm et
Alex Patton Alex
Mar 10 '08

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