FIRE JOE MORGAN: Gallimaufry™ Time!™©


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Gallimaufry™ Time!™©

For some reason, Mark Zuckerman's inclusion of Adam Dunn on his all-overpaid list (see post sub) really set your collective teeth a-rattlin'. Let's go to the phones.

Mark sez:
As a Nats fan, just wanted to let you know that Zuckerman is not the only beat reporter in town that is wrong on Dunn. It's unfortunate since I don't like to read the Times for anything, but I think the Post beat writer made an even less defensible comment in his weekly chat a few weeks back. It went like this:

Chico Harlan:
My gut: Not the right guy for this team. He needs a small ballpark and a lineup where others don't strike out much.

That's concentrated insanity. It's a month old but I just wanted to point out both papers will be great sources of Dunn-related hilarity should he hit the mark.
Good. Just what we need.

Joshua sticks up for Carlos Beltran:
A) Beltran is not a "solid, at times really good outfielder." He is a very good outfielder with great range and a decent arm.

B) He *is* providing more than 12 HR and a .270 average, he's providing a .370 OBP despite having some poor luck with the bat this year (.289 BABIP well less than what you'd expect from his 20.3% line drive rate; everyone who's watched the Mets this year recognizes that he's had a disproportionate number of hard-hit balls go right at fielders).

C) And he's on pace for 40 doubles and 6 triples (both would be the highest he's had for the Mets) and ~110 RBI (for those who think RBI are a meaningful barometer of a player's performance).

D) And he steals bases at the highest success rate of anyone ever.

I mean... come on. For the past two seasons he's been the best fielding CF (Andruw Jones's range just isn't what it used to be) and the best hitting CF in the National League. Sorry, it's just that the constant Beltran-bashing is one of my pet peeves. Too many people are simply unwilling to forgive him for making the last out of the 2006 NLCS and nothing he does will ever be good enough for those people.
I think I remember reading that the rough expected BABIP is Line Drive% + 120 (someone verify?). So Beltran's should be more like .320, based on his LD%, which means it is very likely his average climbs in the next few months. Fantasy nerds, take note.

Here's a good addendum from Brint:
Not to belabor the point, but Captain Jeter is making 21.6 million this year for a whopping 96 OPS+. Beltran, at the least, is playing good defense, and has a 128 OPS+, good enough for 5th among all center fielders.
Succinct and damning. Ian's version of the same point reads thusly:
Lugo pretty much sucks, and is getting paid over $9 million to hit .269/.359/.338. That's pretty bad. However, down I-95 a bit is another SS getting paid over $21 million to hit .280/.340/.388. I think this guy (I don't have to mention his name, do I?) is a bit more overpaid than Lugo, don't you?
Leena sez:
I loathe when people demean Adam Dunn's power simply because he plays at GAB.

If you're curious, check out home run distances at Dunn has led all of baseball in "No Doubt" HR's the past 2 seasons. And averages nearly 410 feet per HR. Dunn would hit for power in any ballpark.
Yes. This is not a Derek Jeter opposite-field 320-foot pop fly HR situation. This is a dude who hits moonshots.

Barron digs in on another part of Zuckerman's article we didn't even touch:
Don't forget that the guy is bagging on Ray Durham for being "a shell of his former self and certainly doesn't fit in with the Giants' rebuilding mode."

Dude's OBP'ing .382 right now. His splits are .290/.382/.403, for an OPS+ of 109. The Giants are bereft of talent anywhere in their farm system, so he's not even blocking someone. Even if he [were], they could shift Durham to 1B and bench banjo-hitting Rich Aurilia.
Another possible 2B candidate, from the same division, is Jeff Kent, who is currently .257/.302/.406 (83 OPS+), and makes $1.5M more than Durham. Way to put the nose to the research grindstone, Zuck.
Moving off Zuckerman, here's Chad with an update from BBTN:
Fernando Vina, in the 'Bold Predictions' part of Baseball Tonight this evening, proposed that Brett Meyers will have the best ERA in the NL in the second half of the season, and be the most effective pitcher. That prediction is bad enough, but his reasons were:

1) Brett Meters was, at the ages of 10 and 12, a boxer. And because of this, would 'attack his problems'.

2) The Phillies need him.

Is boxing the next football in excusing bad/mediocre baseball players?
I hope so. I'd like to hear stories about David Eckstein wanting to be in the UFC when he was a kid.

Anthony keeps his ever-vigilant watch over the YES Network***:
Just caught a silly little moment during the top of the seventh of the Yankee game on YES. It went like this:

(Camera shows crowd doing the wave.)

Michael Kay (practically screaming): The Bleacher Creatures will not take part in such nonsense. Wait until it reaches them; they won't stand up. Watch.

(Bleacher Creatures do the wave.)

(Ten seconds of silence.)
Michael Kay: This'll be the ninth pitch of the at bat...
Nobody ever -- ever! -- admits being wrong. Being in baseball broadcasting means never having to say you're sorry.

Finally, here's a quick note from Bob.
Dusty does as much research as Joe Morgan:

"This guy is tough on lefties," Baker said. "[Adam] Dunn has been pretty good [against Maholm] and Griff hasn't. I'm just trying to find a way to get some right-handers in there. Griff will be back in there tomorrow. The guy tomorrow, [Zach Duke], has been tough on Dunn. Jerry [Hairston] and [Jeff] Keppinger are just getting their strokes together, and [so is] Edwin [Encarnacion]."

A closer look at the numbers, however, and that reasoning didn't add up. Dunn came in 3-for-22 (.136) lifetime against Maholm. Griffey was 5-for-18 (.278) with one home run. Against Duke, Dunn is 5-for-9 (.556) and Griffey is 1-for-6 (.167).

Once again, for those of you out there who own or operate or comment on baseball teams: you can't just say whatever you want and claim it's true. You need to look stuff up. This is the manager of a team! Just blindly asserting stuff! That isn't true! For the second time in a week!

Sorry, Reds fans. Genuinely sorry.

Labels: , ,

posted by Anonymous  # 1:08 PM
Lehigh Valley IronPig Brett Myers is going to box his way to the International League ERA Second Half ERA Title.
***I am now getting multiple reports that the Bleacher Creatures did not, in fact, do the wave. If true, I wholeheartedly apologize to Mr. Kay and everyone associated with the YES Network. Except Paul O'Neill, whom I just can't stand.
Also, I originally wrote "MMA" instead of "UFC." Chip got to me first with the correction.

I am, as always, a dummy.
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