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(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)   Pirates move into first-place tie in NL Central Division. Accompanied by rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes...the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria   (post-gazette.com) divider line 57
    More: Unlikely, NL Central, Reds, Rod Barajas, Alcides Escobar, Andrew McCutchen, pirates, Eric Hosmer, Mitch Maier  
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373 clicks; posted to Sports » on 11 Jun 2012 at 12:18 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-11 12:20:42 PM
Happened last year too. Didn't last long then, won't last long now.
 
2012-06-11 12:20:55 PM
Pretty exciting stuff.
 
2012-06-11 12:22:08 PM
They were in first place on July 25 last year. Then Jerry Meals happened, and they went 19-43.
 
2012-06-11 12:22:45 PM
This is just the Pirates way of showcasing their talent to teams that will pay for it.
 
2012-06-11 12:27:44 PM
It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.
 
2012-06-11 12:31:28 PM
There have been a lot of zombie attacks lately.....
 
2012-06-11 12:31:35 PM
So uhhh yeah. Sick of this farking headline happening every week.
 
2012-06-11 12:31:43 PM
pretty strange season overall so far
before the season started, who would've called that in the second week of June:

-The Red Sox, Phillies and Tigers would all be under .500
-The Dodgers and Nationals would have the best records in baseball
-The Os are within a game of 1st in the AL East (after leading it most of the season thusfar)
-Melky Cabrera leads the game in hitting
 
2012-06-11 12:32:52 PM
Who would have thought Pittsburgh and Baltimore would be an interesting match up in a sport other than football?
 
2012-06-11 12:33:24 PM
Wake me up when September ends.
 
2012-06-11 12:34:40 PM

ricewater_stool: It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.


Yup. They've got a negative run differential...hard to see them staying in first with that being the case.

Likewise, the Orioles spent a few days last week in first despite being the only AL East team with a negative run differential. They're not in first anymore.

Weird stuff happens over the course of a season. Anyone who gets worked up over the standings this early is wasting their time.
 
2012-06-11 12:35:43 PM

ricewater_stool: It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.


well look at it this way: we're at the equivalent of what would be Week 6 in the NFL, so some things are still pretty surprising
 
2012-06-11 12:40:18 PM

The Bestest: ricewater_stool: It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.

well look at it this way: we're at the equivalent of what would be Week 6 in the NFL, so some things are still pretty surprising


Except in the NFL, not every team has between 2 and 4 wins in week 6.
 
2012-06-11 12:42:51 PM
This is it people, the End Times.

We're headed to an NLCS of Pirates vs. Nats and an ALCS of O's vs. Jays.
 
2012-06-11 12:42:51 PM

The Bestest: ricewater_stool: It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.

well look at it this way: we're at the equivalent of what would be Week 6 in the NFL, so some things are still pretty surprising


Like the Bills were 5 and 1 last year I think? Baseball is completely different though, considering trades. Trades only work in the NFL if you do it before the season starts. A midseason acquisition can change a team a lot in the MLB.
 
2012-06-11 12:44:49 PM
sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2012-06-11 12:45:53 PM

thecpt: So uhhh yeah. Sick of this farking headline happening every week.


did this happen last week?
 
2012-06-11 12:46:58 PM

DeWayne Mann: The Bestest: ricewater_stool: It's the second week of June. If this happened in September it might be interesting.

well look at it this way: we're at the equivalent of what would be Week 6 in the NFL, so some things are still pretty surprising

Except in the NFL, not every team has between 2 and 4 wins in week 6.


And in the NFL a team can't increase it's lead by 3 or 4 games in a week, and can't go from having a 4 game lead to be a game back in a week.
 
2012-06-11 12:51:59 PM

The Bestest: before the season started, who would've called that in the second week of June:


Anyone who tries to call ANYTHING in the second week of June needs help for their gambling addiction ;)


mikaloyd: thecpt: So uhhh yeah. Sick of this farking headline happening every week.

did this happen last week?


I think he means the "mass hysteria" thing. Should we change it to "amass his stereo?" I'm not sure what he wants.
 
2012-06-11 12:53:10 PM

mikaloyd: thecpt: So uhhh yeah. Sick of this farking headline happening every week.

did this happen last week?


Actually no. You're right. I was just sick of this joke from last year.
 
2012-06-11 12:59:09 PM

thecpt: A midseason acquisition can change a team a lot in the MLB.


You got that almost completely backwards. Teams don't make midseason trades to influence their chances of contending; they assess their chances of contending before making midseason trades. Losing teams trade veterans for prospects to help rebuild; contending teams trade prospects for veterans to improve their chances during the playoffs. It's where they're at in the standings in the days leading up to the deadline that determine which way a team goes. Meaning, by then they've already made up their minds as to whether they're a contender or "rebuilding".
 
2012-06-11 01:02:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0

Awesome headline.Link


www.newsdrifter.com
Venkman Approves!
 
2012-06-11 01:11:38 PM

dragonchild: thecpt: A midseason acquisition can change a team a lot in the MLB.

You got that almost completely backwards. Teams don't make midseason trades to influence their chances of contending; they assess their chances of contending before making midseason trades. Losing teams trade veterans for prospects to help rebuild; contending teams trade prospects for veterans to improve their chances during the playoffs. It's where they're at in the standings in the days leading up to the deadline that determine which way a team goes. Meaning, by then they've already made up their minds as to whether they're a contender or "rebuilding".


I don't see how I have that backwards then, because that's exactly what I meant. A "good team" will improve their chances making themselves temporarily better and a "bad team" or a team that will lose the player at the end of the year, will make themselves temporarily worse. Temporarily meaning for the remainder of the season. If you're four games back come deadline, you are probably looking to improve.
 
2012-06-11 01:15:54 PM
Let's see where they are in September.
 
2012-06-11 01:18:33 PM
<b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7156387/77414608#c77414608" target="_blank">thecpt</a>:</b> <i>I don't see how I have that backwards then, because that's exactly what I meant. A "good team" will improve their chances making themselves temporarily better and a "bad team" or a team that will lose the player at the end of the year, will make themselves temporarily worse.</i>

Well, you said "change a team <i>a lot</i>". Trades don't do that. At the trade deadline the losing teams will continue to lose and the winning teams will continue to win, with some rare outliers (like the '01 Athletics) that have almost no correlation whatsoever with midseason trades. By design the trade is significant for a winning team's chances over a 7-game series or a losing team's 3-year outlook, but as far as the season itself is concerned it's the <i>opposite</i> of deterministic.

You probably just misspoke a bit, but whatever it was it changed the apparent meaning of your post.
 
2012-06-11 01:19:10 PM
Huh, that was weird. Fark sterilized the HTML it built itself.
 
2012-06-11 01:25:18 PM
All of these doors lead to mediocracy except one. One will take you through a three game series with the Royals, and will give you a taste of glory that has been denied to you for so many years. Choose wisely, oh crappy but not quite crappiest team.
 
2012-06-11 01:27:46 PM

dragonchild: Huh, that was weird. Fark sterilized the HTML it built itself.



Yeah, so we're on the same page. I meant "a lot" only for the qualifying teams being the winning teams and their likely hood of winning and team make-up being increased, especially in comparison to a in-season trade in the NFL. MLB trades can weed teams like the O's out of the standings as their likely not going to trade "up."
 
2012-06-11 01:31:17 PM

dragonchild: At the trade deadline the losing teams will continue to lose and the winning teams will continue to win, with some rare outliers (like the '01 Athletics) that have almost no correlation whatsoever with midseason trades.


'09 Tigers. Fairly easy to argue that one midseason trade cost them the playoffs.
 
2012-06-11 01:45:35 PM
As a Cubs fan, I'll be over in corner sobbing.
/Not worst team in MLB in my heart...
 
2012-06-11 01:56:16 PM

dougermouse: As a Cubs fan, I'll be over in corner sobbing.
/Not worst team in MLB in my heart...


playstationvitasony.com

/hotlinking straight from Sony like a boss
 
2012-06-11 02:00:35 PM
"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."
 
2012-06-11 02:03:06 PM

The Bestest: pretty strange season overall so far
before the season started, who would've called that in the second week of June:

-The Red Sox, Phillies and Tigers would all be under .500
-The Dodgers and Nationals would have the best records in baseball
-The Os are within a game of 1st in the AL East (after leading it most of the season thusfar)
-Melky Cabrera leads the game in hitting



It has to be Melky's contact year. That fat tub of goo couldn't have won an elementary school t-ball batting title when he was in Atlanta. He took loafing to an entirely new level that season.
 
2012-06-11 02:14:00 PM

The_Great_Hambino:
It has to be Melky's contact year. That fat tub of goo couldn't have won an elementary school t-ball batting title when he was in Atlanta. He took loafing to an entirely new level that season.


Along with 10 Stolen bases and 44 runs on a team not known for offence. I don't know what it is with players leaving the Braves. When the Jays got Yunel, I was less than thrilled but he has proven to be a pretty good pick up considering we would have to payed through the nose to keep Gonzales. They kept saying Yunel was in your managers doghouse or something stupid.
 
2012-06-11 02:19:51 PM

thecpt: The_Great_Hambino:
It has to be Melky's contact year. That fat tub of goo couldn't have won an elementary school t-ball batting title when he was in Atlanta. He took loafing to an entirely new level that season.

Along with 10 Stolen bases and 44 runs on a team not known for offence. I don't know what it is with players leaving the Braves. When the Jays got Yunel, I was less than thrilled but he has proven to be a pretty good pick up considering we would have to payed through the nose to keep Gonzales. They kept saying Yunel was in your managers doghouse or something stupid.



Escobar really needed a change of scenery. He was certainly in Cox's doghouse, but the rumblings were that most people in the clubhouse hated him. He is immensely talented, but he was also really immature when he was in Atlanta. He had clearly worn out his welcome well before he was traded to Toronto.

There were a few times that Bobby Cox wouldn't play someone, and he ended up being really good after he was traded. (Ryan Klesko immediately comes to mind.) I blame Cox for most of those decisions, but I do not blame him for Escobar. I'm really glad that he's doing well, but I'm thrilled that he's out of Atlanta.
 
2012-06-11 02:26:51 PM

The_Great_Hambino:
Escobar really needed a change of scenery. He was certainly in Cox's doghouse, but the rumblings were that most people in the clubhouse hated him. He is immensely talented, but he was also really immature when he was in Atlanta. He had clearly worn out his welcome well before he was traded to Toronto.

There were a few times that Bobby Cox wouldn't play someone, and he ended up being really good after he was traded. (Ryan Klesko immediately comes to mind.) I blame Cox for most of those decisions, but I do not blame him for Escobar. I'm really glad that he's doing well, but I'm thrilled that he's out of Atlanta.


I do like it when trades work out for everybody. Yunel hasn't had those problems, hell I didn't even know he had an attitude other than arguing a ball vs a strike once in a blue moon. I think Bautista stays on him like a mentor, which is just another reason to love joey.

/anyways I always thought melky was an a hole. he curtain called DURING a Halladay pitch.
 
2012-06-11 02:56:10 PM

The Bestest: pretty strange season overall so far
before the season started, who would've called that in the second week of June:

-The Red Sox, Phillies and Tigers would all be under .500
-The Dodgers and Nationals would have the best records in baseball
-The Os are within a game of 1st in the AL East (after leading it most of the season thusfar)
-Melky Cabrera leads the game in hitting


I called one thing right. The Cubs blow. Admittedly this is not a difficult call to make most years.

/Cubs fan
 
2012-06-11 03:34:37 PM
They're no Tim Tebow.
 
2012-06-11 03:54:25 PM

DeWayne Mann: dragonchild: At the trade deadline the losing teams will continue to lose and the winning teams will continue to win, with some rare outliers (like the '01 Athletics) that have almost no correlation whatsoever with midseason trades.

'09 Tigers. Fairly easy to argue that one midseason trade cost them the playoffs.


Why do you have to bring this up? I had almost forgot about it.
 
2012-06-11 04:01:45 PM
The pirates would be amazing team if they scored runs at the rate of an average team. They do not, they don't even come close and therefore they will regress back to a .500ish season.
 
2012-06-11 04:10:59 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: Why do you have to bring this up? I had almost forgot about it.


Because that was one of the best trainwrecks I've ever seen. It was obvious that Washburn's ERA was way, way, WAY too low...and it was equally obvious that SOME team would trade for him solely based on ERA. It was great fun trying to figure out who it would be.

And then Washburn managed to pitch even WORSE after the trade than before.

As someone who utterly despises ERA as a way of evaluating pitchers...that trade alone makes my case better than I ever could.
 
2012-06-11 04:25:18 PM

DeWayne Mann: You're the jerk... jerk: Why do you have to bring this up? I had almost forgot about it.

Because that was one of the best trainwrecks I've ever seen. It was obvious that Washburn's ERA was way, way, WAY too low...and it was equally obvious that SOME team would trade for him solely based on ERA. It was great fun trying to figure out who it would be.

And then Washburn managed to pitch even WORSE after the trade than before.

As someone who utterly despises ERA as a way of evaluating pitchers...that trade alone makes my case better than I ever could.


xFIP>FIP>WHIP>ERA>W
I could throw in more but I think that is pretty good way to understand relative value of the metrics I use for evaluating pitcher performance.
 
2012-06-11 04:29:35 PM

DeWayne Mann: You're the jerk... jerk: Why do you have to bring this up? I had almost forgot about it.

Because that was one of the best trainwrecks I've ever seen. It was obvious that Washburn's ERA was way, way, WAY too low...and it was equally obvious that SOME team would trade for him solely based on ERA. It was great fun trying to figure out who it would be.

And then Washburn managed to pitch even WORSE after the trade than before.

As someone who utterly despises ERA as a way of evaluating pitchers...that trade alone makes my case better than I ever could.



He was injured in 2009 and somehow this apparently wasn't detected by the Tigers medical staff before the trade. He hasn't pitched in the majors since. The Tigers also gave up nothing of value.
 
2012-06-11 04:52:37 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: xFIP>FIP


Ehhhh, not too sure about that. I really think it depends on the player, and the situation.

In the case of Washburn '09, xFIP was clearly better: His HR rate was fun lower than the rest of his career, partially (mostly?) because he was pitching for Seattle. When a guy's HR rate is clearly too high or low, xFIP is really good at pointing out what he'll probably do going forward.

But take a guy like Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has always had a lower than average HR rate. He's let up more than his career this year, but it's still below average. According to xFIP, he's gotten "Lucky" on HRs...according to his body of work, he's gotten "unlucky." Which is true?

The problem is, if xFIP is "right", it means some serious, serious issues for what it means to be a pitcher. If xFIP is right, the absolute worst thing a pitcher can do is issue a walk. Let's pretend you own a team in this xFIP governed world, and no one else has figured out this aspect of pitching. You could find 5 batting practice pitchers and make a rotation out of them. As long as every pitch is in the zone, they'll be, AT WORST, league average pitchers (according to xFIP, at least...which we already said was "right"). Doesn't matter what they throw; just needs to be a strike.

All in all, the "truth" lies somewhere between FIP and xFIP. FIP essentially assigns on blame on HRs to the pitchers; xFIP assigns none of the HR blame to them. Neither makes a lot of sense. SIERA is a good attempt at splitting the difference, but it needs some work.
 
2012-06-11 05:01:16 PM

DeWayne Mann: All in all, the "truth" lies somewhere between FIP and xFIP. FIP essentially assigns on blame on HRs to the pitchers; xFIP assigns none of the HR blame to them. Neither makes a lot of sense. SIERA is a good attempt at splitting the difference, but it needs some work.


Stats are a tool. They're nothing without context. For example, in Washburn's case it should've been bloody obvious his ERA was deceptively improved due to pitching in Seattle.

There's something to be said for sabermatricians, to the extent that every scout, coach, manager and GM who ignored them were made fools of. But anyone who thinks you can perfectly evaluate pitchers based on a single metric is an idiot.
 
2012-06-11 05:03:10 PM

ricewater_stool: He was injured in 2009 and somehow this apparently wasn't detected by the Tigers medical staff before the trade.


Congrats: you believed Detroit's propaganda. 'Course, it fails to explain why he was "good" before the trade and bad immediately after, but, hey, don't want to read into these things too closely.

Let's pretend for a second that ERA isn't a terrible stat. In the 5 starts prior to the trade, he threw 36.2 innings with a 0.74 ERA. In the 5 starts after the trade, he threw 31.1 IP with a 5.74 ERA.

I can explain the discrepancy with my fancy stats & such. Can your injury story do the same?

ricewater_stool: He hasn't pitched in the majors since.


...Because he was exposed as a bad pitcher, yet he was insisting on a major league deal. He was offered some minor league contracts, but refused them. It's very similar to Jermaine Dye.

ricewater_stool: The Tigers also gave up nothing of value.


And yet they still lost the trade. Wash was worth -.5 WAR with the Tigers. 'Course, French was worth -.3 with the Mariners, but that's still a net negative for the Tigers.
 
2012-06-11 05:05:50 PM

dragonchild: But anyone who thinks you can perfectly evaluate pitchers based on a single metric is an idiot.


Obviously. But in trying to make a perfect stat (even if it's impossible), we figure out a lot, lot more about the game.
 
2012-06-11 05:19:17 PM

DeWayne Mann: You're the jerk... jerk: xFIP>FIP

Ehhhh, not too sure about that. I really think it depends on the player, and the situation.

In the case of Washburn '09, xFIP was clearly better: His HR rate was fun lower than the rest of his career, partially (mostly?) because he was pitching for Seattle. When a guy's HR rate is clearly too high or low, xFIP is really good at pointing out what he'll probably do going forward.

But take a guy like Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has always had a lower than average HR rate. He's let up more than his career this year, but it's still below average. According to xFIP, he's gotten "Lucky" on HRs...according to his body of work, he's gotten "unlucky." Which is true?

The problem is, if xFIP is "right", it means some serious, serious issues for what it means to be a pitcher. If xFIP is right, the absolute worst thing a pitcher can do is issue a walk. Let's pretend you own a team in this xFIP governed world, and no one else has figured out this aspect of pitching. You could find 5 batting practice pitchers and make a rotation out of them. As long as every pitch is in the zone, they'll be, AT WORST, league average pitchers (according to xFIP, at least...which we already said was "right"). Doesn't matter what they throw; just needs to be a strike.

All in all, the "truth" lies somewhere between FIP and xFIP. FIP essentially assigns on blame on HRs to the pitchers; xFIP assigns none of the HR blame to them. Neither makes a lot of sense. SIERA is a good attempt at splitting the difference, but it needs some work.


SIERA is better than xFIP but not at the top of fangraphs so it didn't make my list.

xFIP is better at predicting future performance than FIP and is therefore better overall. This may not apply in all cases. And in your example xFIP would only be true if these batting practice pitchers did not have a high fly ball %. If you found me 5 pitchers who never walked anyone, never struck anyone out and did not give up fly balls, I would gladly build my team around that.
 
2012-06-11 05:24:01 PM

DeWayne Mann: dragonchild: But anyone who thinks you can perfectly evaluate pitchers based on a single metric is an idiot.

Obviously. But in trying to make a perfect stat (even if it's impossible), we figure out a lot, lot more about the game.


Let me elaborate, based solely on ERA -> FIP

For over a hundred years, it was essentially assumed that when runs scored, it was the fault of the pitcher. Sometimes, his defense deserved some of the blame: this is why we have errors and unearned runs. But it was essentially "known" that pitchers had some major control over where balls went after being struck. Let up a bunch of doubles into the gap? You should pitch better.

So the major stat for figuring out how many runs a pitcher is responsible for was ERA. It's a simple ratio of runs vs outs, with some constants involved.

But ERA is weird. It's prone to some major jumps with no obvious reason. And it's somewhat obvious that a bad defense doesn't necessarily mean a lot of errors, so the unearned run "solution" is rather unhelpful as well.

So, in an attempt to make a better stat for evaluating pitchers (for fantasy baseball, actually), Voros McCracken invented DIPS-ERA, which is essentially FIP. FIP clearly does a better job of evaluating pitchers. This suggests that there must be some underlying truth behind what FIP "means." Indeed, we now understand that pitchers have almost no control over where balls in play go, which is nothing at all like the previous belief.

There is almost no way we'd know that fact if not for DIPS-ERA. And it all came because Voros wanted a better fantasy stat.

Similar things have gone on with hitting (BA -> OBP -> OPS, for instance) and fielding (Team Field% -> DeffEff).
 
2012-06-11 05:37:26 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: SIERA is better than xFIP but not at the top of fangraphs so it didn't make my list.


Hahahaha, I'm almost embarrassed to say that's part of the reason I don't use it much as well.

You're the jerk... jerk: xFIP is better at predicting future performance than FIP and is therefore better overall.


Well...kinda. It sort of depends on what is meant by future performance. Generally, what is meant is that xFIP predicts future ERA better than FIP. But if ERA is a bad stat to measure performance....
 
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