I'll be gone for about a week, then light blogging due to a job change. I'm leaving public accounting for the private sector. Wish me luck!
Remember, you can believe in the Phils! Here, have some Kool-Aid.
A look at the world of Philadelphia Phillies Sports, with a little bit of other sports stuff on occasion.
Over at BP, they've taken the chess concept of ELO rating and applied it to baseball. Read all about it (sub req'd) here.
Here's the text of Myers' non-apology:
"On the day of my arrest, I consulted with my attorney by phone, who advised me to make no comments about this matter. While I followed his advice at the time, I have felt the need to make some comments about this situation and I do so now.
"First, while I dispute that the facts are as alleged, I recognize that my behavior was inappropriate and for that I apologize.
"Second, I recognize that the incident created an embarrassing situation for many people, including my wife and family, my teammates, the Phillies organization, and fans, and I am very sorry for that.
"Third, my wife and children are very important to me and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to address any problems that might harm our marriage. I have asked the Phillies for some time off so that I can concentrate on this matter and make plans for whatever assistance is appropriate.
"At this time, I do not intend to make any further public comments about this matter."
In Baseball Prospectus (subscription required). Here's the pertinent quote:
The assembly of a baseball team and that team’s approach to the game have no moral element. All that matters are runs, scoring them and preventing them in sufficient quantities to win, and the paths to doing so are well-trod: get guys on base and hit for power, and prevent the other team from doing so.
Baseball had to at last acknowledge some of the sheer randomness of the game. The fact that, if player X has a one in three chance of getting a hit in inning one with the score tied, he will have a one in three chance of getting a hit in inning nine down by one with two outs and men on second and third. There is nothing that player can do to improve his ninth inning abilities over his first inning abilities. No moral reason why he may get a hit in one situation and not in another.
I'll be on vacation next week, in preparation for changing jobs. I expect that my postings will be somewhat sparse for a while, but I hope to substitute quality for quantity.
Brett Myers seems to have done something which is still considered a taboo in this country. It looks pretty bad for him, and although I'll reserve final judgement until all the facts are out, the facts that are out are pretty damning.
As everyone knows, defense is the hardest thing to measure in baseball. I've been thinking about it, and I think the problem boils down to this: When the majority of major re-thinking was done on how to measure baseball performance (Bill James in the 80s, everyone else in the 90s), the tools at their disposal were not sufficient to properly analyze defensive performance. I believe that may be changing.
While watching a little bit of the game last night, I heard the following from that baseball sage, Chris Wheeler:
From Baseball Prospectus, which doesn't see a lot to get excited about in our minor league system. Excerpt:
High Class A Clearwater (5-5; 30-36)
Another bad offense, as nearly 25-year-old minor league veteran Brian Burgamy (.276/.387/.443) is the only starter with an OPS over .756 as 2005 top pick Mike Costanzo (.257/.340/.378) and Australian shortstop Brad Harman (.232/.320/.307) represent major slides. The good news is that Costanzo is hitting .340 in June--the bad news is that he hasn't homered since May 28 and has struck out once every 3.23 at-bats. Lefty J.A. Happ struck out a season-high 10 on June 6 and seems ready for Double-A, which is a test he'll need to see him pass before we can trust his fringy stuff.
By Bill Simmons. I like Bill, I like his writing style, I like his irreverent take on sports icons, and his hyperbolic ravings about whatever he's excited about. He's a very ironic writer, and certainly will be remembered as the best and likely the most influential sportswriter of his generation. I do not say these things lightly.
Yes, the most cutthroat athlete of his generation loves to gamble, and even more than that, he loves to win. Should you be surprised? The qualities that once made MJ transcendent on the court -- his legendary hypercompetitiveness,
superhuman stamina, larger-than-life swagger and unwavering confidence -- make the gambling crossover an obvious choice.
And if your franchise guy didn't gamble, didn't need that feeling -- wouldn't you be worried?
Quite fun. Here's a little of it...
But Things Would Get Worse - The Phillies were a bad team overall, but they improved a bit in 1937 (to 61-92, seventh place)...
But Things Would Get Worse - In May of 1939, Passeau was dealt, though this time not for cash...
But Things Would Get Worse - In November of 1940, Higbe was sent to the Dodgers, for three mediocrities and $100,000 cash...
But Things Would Get Worse - In 1942, the Phillies fielded the very worst of the terrible teams they’d been featuring over the previous several years...
How Bad Were Things? - Oh, things were very bad indeed...
That Is Bad - The 1942 Phillies lost their first four games of the season, by scores of 2-1, 6-2, 2-1, and 7-1. With the third of those losses, they were alone in last place, and would remain so for the rest of the season.
Update: Whoops! Here's the link.
Currently the month is June, and the Phillies are in second place in the NL East, and reeling like a cheap fishing rod. So why can I posit that the Phillies will win the World Series? Easy.
Beer, pizza are the newfound wonderdrugs to prevent cancer!
An ingredient in beer seems to help prevent prostate cancer, at least in lab experiments.
...lycopene, an ingredient in tomatoes, and thus also in tomato sauce, has previously been linked to prostate cancer prevention.
Inspired by this post, I have a few things to say about Bobby Abreu.
Have we lost our catcher for the year? Considering how much better Lieby is than the alternates, this is very bad news. The only position we're more shallow is second base.
A hip problem for a catcher is about as bad as it gets. The Phillies are getting to see what next year looks like, when they’ll almost assuredly begin life without Mike
Lieberthal. The team is without a de facto #1, mixing and matching a series of backup catchers in and getting some production. Lieberthal is headed for an MRI to see exactly what’s going on inside his damaged left hip. The injury is more severe than the strain that the team has acknowledged, leading some to question if it could be career-threatening. This injury is clearly related to the leg and knee problems that have plagued Lieberthal this season (and hindered him over most of his career). Like the Phillies, fantasy teams relying on Lieberthal need to be looking at other options.
Basically, they're impressed with the first two picks, and with the upside of the draftees in general.
Best pick after these five: Eighth-round pick T.J. Warren is built like a right-handed Darryl Strawberry, and he nearly has the tools to boot, but he's as raw as tonight's special nigri at your favorite sushi bar.
PrOPS is a tool used by The Hardball Times for "predicting what a player's OPS is likely to be in the future based on his batted balls, strikeouts, home runs and walks."
Reprinted with his permission:
Thanks for your comments. I really enjoyed the post (and the blog) as well although definitions of postmodernism that I've read(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism) don't seem to really capture the differences you mention. It seems to me it is more a scientific mindset ala Richard Dawkins in his book "Unweaving the Rainbow" (brought to my attention by another reader) where he quotes physicist Richard Feynman, responding to a claim that scientists miss the beauty of a flower by studying it:'
The beauty that is there for you is also available for me, too. But I see a deeper beauty that isn't so readily available to others. I can seethe complicated interactions of the flower. The color of the flower is red. Does the fact that the plant has color mean that it evolved to attract insects? This adds a further question. Can insects see color? Do they have an aesthetic sense? And so on. I don't see how studying a flower ever detracts from its beauty. It only adds.'
Anyway, you're probably right that it is indeed a different and perhaps incompatible way of looking at things. Take care.
One player who has been living up to expectations is Woodlands (Texas) HS righty Kyle Drabek, the son of 1990 Cy Young Award winner Doug. Drabek, an excellent athlete who would go in the first three rounds of the draft as a shortstop, has added a tick of velocity this year, sitting at 92-94 mph with his fastball while touching 96-97; he also features not one, but two breaking balls--a big spike curve and darting slider--which both have been graded as plus. "His stuff has just been absolutely outstanding," said a scouting director. Most see him as the top high school player out there, but some questions about his makeup are starting to crop up, a surprising development for a player with Drabek's pedigree.
which has had the most value this season for the Phils? If you said "The Relief Corps" you obviously are either very astute, read Phlogs regularly, or don't get any of your information from the Philly news media. Maybe all three.
Welcome back to the Phillies of the Month! Also, we'll check in on last month's winners.
I was going to post this under my previous entry, but it ran a little long, so it became an entry itself. Rick made several good points in responding to the idea that "clutch" might not exist. Excerpt:
To deny it [clutch] exists is to deny that psychology itself exists, and that there are differences in the psyches of individual players. Some players absolutely have
an ability to concentrate, to maintain clarity and confidence in big situations, and some either get too anxious or simply go up there hoping not to fail. Some are affected negatively by pressure and some can respond to it favorably.
Or, why Joe Morgan hates Bill James.