Did You Know … ?


Moe Dawg's recent golf/baseball analysis has been among the best he's ever done.  We just haven't had a chance to follow on yet (and still don't).  Personally, I've had about four "aha" experiences off his golf instruction.

At age 51, let's say we were all in school, the K-12 system.  You'd be in grade 17, but Mo and Dr. D would be in like grade 45.  Think about it.  ;- )

Not often that Dr. D gets a Zen insight -- totally basic, fundamental, and to which he was completely oblivious.  For him it is one of the joys of baseball.


Mo' talked about "trapping" the ball on a sand shot, for example, which I think of as "huddling over" it, smothering it, or whatever.  In aikido it's very simple:  extend your "ki" down the centerline to infinity.  In baseball they do talk about "staying through the ball."  But we suspect that Moe is thinking about more than that, when he talks about a sand shot.  Maybe we need to get to a course :- )

This idea about "mis-hitting" balls, even if you clock the same velocity off the clubhead?!  Moe sez it's the difference between 290 and 265 yards off the tee, and that it is the difference between Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison.  He's got our attention.


I always thought that when you hit the golf ball right -- and you can't even feel the ball on the club -- it was simple acceleration at moment of impact.  But that's wrong:  Robinson Cano often hits curves by decelerating his "club," and the ball just whistles down the RF line.

Or go back and watch the 1995 M's:  Ken Griffey Jr., and Tino, and sometimes even  Edgar, they would adjust to offspeed by dragging the bat through the zone very slowly.  Bill James also campaigns for less emphasis on batspeed.


Did you know that Felix has 4.5 WAR, in less than half a season?  How much is a playoff spot decided by?


Did you know that Kyle Seager has 20% more WAR than Robinson Cano?

For a while there, it seemed a very real threat that Seager had been "booked."  He had like 8? straight months of struggles.  What a relief, eh?


Were you aware that Fernando Rodney had an epic career season in 2012, an absolute flier, and the belief that 2012 was an outlier was the main reason he was so cheap?  And that his stats are pretty well replicating that season?  He's back to 2012, more or less.

Not quite:  what you are seeing, is that he is going "here it is, hit it" early in the count, and that's got his BB's back under control.


Were you aware that James Jones is 14-for-15 in stolen bases, and that nothing* (*g'head, Spec, LOL) he did in the minors suggested his current SB rampage?

He visually looks like he could steal 51-for-57, like Ichiro.  He starts that headfirst slide about halfway to the base, and doesn't even need a jump.  But, oddly, Fangraphs gives him very little credit for speed on the bases, and it calls him a replacement level player.  If so, I'll take about ten RLP's.


Did you know who the 3rd-best Mariner is, after Seager and Cano?  Per WAR?

Mike Zunino, by a good ways (and WAR doesn't capture his total defense).  Zunino is age 23.  At 25, Jason Varitek was hitting .197 in AAA.**  At age 25, Jarrod Saltalamacchia was bouncing between AAA and MLB; he didn't get rolling until age 26, at which point he became a virtually identical hitter to what Zunino is now, at 23.


Did you know that Clay Buchholz is the most-talented 7-ERA starter in the history of baseball, basketball, or football?  Well, sorta.  Tonight he returns to the Sox rotation.

Sabermetricians generally took the superficial view of Buchholz:  that he'd been lucky early in his career, and the bad luck "caught up" to him this year.  (The dice don't know what they rolled last time, babe.)

Bill James, of course, is on the same team, watches Buchholz constantly, and here was James' quickie scouting report in 2011:


When looking at Clay Buchholz's ERA vs. his home runs allowed, strikeouts, and walks it seems he overachieved last year. Does he have anything special that makes you think he could have a repeat performance of last year? He does seem to get a lot of weak ground balls.
Asked by: Izzy
Answered: 1/13/2011

Well.  . . he allowed only 9 home runs all year, so I'm not sure why you mentioned that.   But his ERA (2.33) was much better than his component ERA (2.88), and component ERA does predict future ERA better than actual ERA predicts itself. 

Buchholz is a very interesting pitcher, in that he has about four "A" pitches, so that you can't predict his mix the way you normally can. . .you just never know what he will be working with.  You don't know what he will throw on any count.  Sometimes in the past this may have caused problems for him, that, when things weren't going his way, it was hard to say what he should go back to.     Whether it will make him a pitcher who consistently out-performs his component ERA. ...I couldn't guess. 


Dr. D does wonder about Buchholz' makeup, like he does about Brandon Morrow's makeup .... that's just noodling.

My own guesstimate on Buchholz:  he's a Grade A starter, this season has just been "one of those things," because starters fluctuate wildly from one season to the next.  Check Steve Carlton's 1972 and 1973.  John Benson called this the Cy Young rule:  the starter who won the Cy Young will often have a terrible year the next.

As for tonight, let's just hope Buchholz isn't sharp, is all.


Dr D




I think we need to get to a course :- )




I'm in a deep keeper fantasy league with 10 AL only teams and 10 NL only teams. Incredibly, his owner this year released him (in a KEEPER league!) when he got blown up in May and then hit the DL. I gobbled that up like a goose eating your garbage. OMNOMNOM.
Without any confirmation...he is right in my rotation. Today. And I'm expecting big things in the second half. :)
Let's just hope he's only OK today since he's rusty. Mwahaha.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.