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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Pickoff Moves

Dayton Daily News Columnist Goes Pro-DePo

Dayton Daily News sports columnist Paul Schaffer agitates for Paul DePodesta as General Manager of the Reds (hat tip: Baseball Musings):
With his approach, Beane consistently keeps his team in playoff contention with a small payroll.

In 2004, DePodesta tried to bring these ideas to the Dodgers, but he got ripped in the L.A. media, especially when he dared to trade catcher Paul Lo Duca, a fan favorite. He ended up fired at the end of 2005, when the injury-ravaged Dodgers finished with a 71-91 record after making the playoffs in 2004.

The unfathomable aspect of baseball is why the Moneyball model for success isn't more popular. The National Football League is noted for being a copycat league. Teams often embrace new strategies in their efforts to stay competitive.

Logically, other teams should try to emulate Beane's blueprint. Instead, the baseball establishment is so resistant to change that Beane is called "lucky" and his brethren are vilified as "statheads."

Well, here's one stathead who wants a DePodesta, or at least a Krivsky, for the Reds. I don't want the produce man to hand us a lemon.

Chronicles On Run-Denominated PMR

David Pinto has been publishing his Probablistic Model of Range numbers for all major leaguers, and Chronicles has dutifully converted those numbers back to runs. A few comments:

Ken Rosenthal Hates Bill Stoneman

Ken Rosenthal's latest body slam against the Seraphs looks to be maybe a bit schizophrenic. On the one hand, he praises Stoneman for his "patience", yet he's just a bit miffed that the Halos haven't provided him much to write about this offseason:
The plan will work; the Angels' farm system is perhaps the best in baseball. But so far, Stoneman has played it too safe for 2006, making only three low-impact moves — trading for third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and left-handed reliever J.C. Romero and signing free-agent right-hander Hector Carrasco — after barely missing on free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko.

Stoneman could have traded from strength — the Angels' system is especially deep in middle infielders - and still been well-positioned for the future. But the G.M. deemed Konerko the only free agent worthy of a major investment and declined to get sucked into prospect trades for expensive hitters like Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez and Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada. Free-agent catcher Mike Piazza seemed an obvious fit at D.H., but Stoneman thinks that he can get comparable production from internal candidates, and he's probably right.

The Angels, remember, were very active in free agency the previous two off-seasons, first signing right fielder Vladimir Guerrero and right-handers Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, then shortstop Orlando Cabrera, right-hander Paul Byrd and outfielder Steve Finley. They'd be imprudent to just keep buying players — and losing draft picks — when they're developing future stars of their own.

Sounds like Rosenthal's upset at having to find offseason fodder from somewhere else than the Angels. Sorry to disappoint, dude.

Comments:
I'm still not convinced that there is any statistical tool that is better at evaluating defense than one's own eyes. Some of your comments echo this sentiment.

I've watched Orlando Cabrera play SS, and he's good. Ditto for AK at 2B. Anyone who doesn't believe that O-Cab was a contributing factor to the success of the Angels' staff last year wasn't watching. Worse than average? Sorry, not buying it. Especially since I've also watched Derek Jeter. Cabrera is a better fielder every day, and twice on Sundays.
 
Most of the young g.m.'s that have been hired recently are strongly sabr-inclined, so it seems to me that Beane's ideas are being adopted, slowly but surely, throughout the league.
 
I'd love to see Depo hired by a struggling small market team in dire need of fresh thinking. Cincinnati would be perfect.
 
Hey, look at that. Choi is an average first baseman. Go figure.
 
I love how stats went from supposedly resolving everything to creating the same arguments all over again.

And while Rosnthal thrashes the Angels for sitting still, last week he thrashed boston for too much chaos tarnishing the continuity by bringing in so many new players.

Which is it???
 

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