Thursday, February 02, 2006
Dayton Daily News Columnist Goes Pro-DePoDayton 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 PMRDavid 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:
- First Base: Darin Erstad remains among the class of this group, though he is no longer the headliner. (Paul Konerko is a couple slots beneath him, which surprises me.) Hee Seop Choi appears close to the middle, but Olmedo Saenz is a butcher with the glove. It's also interesting to note that all-glove 1B J.T. Snow is now a negative performer defensively. Too bad Casey Kotchman didn't get enough defensive innings to qualify.
- Second Base: Former Dodger Alex Cora's new fighting technique is nigh well unstoppable, Adam Kennedy is good but not great (Oakland 2B Mark Ellis is a few notches ahead of him), and Jeff Kent is a little worse than average. Chone Figgins was the second-worst fielding 2B in the game last year, behind little-hands-of-concrete Alfonso Soriano and Robinson Cano.
- Shortstop: Khalil Greene, Orlando Cabrera, Christian Guzman, and Cesar Izturis are all bunched in a group, and all are negative contributors with the glove. This group is just better than Derek Jeter.
- Third Base: Chone Figgins is among the elite, Troy Glaus is one of the five worst fielding 3B's in the game, and Adrian Beltre is in the top half but not the top quarter.
- Left Fielders: The Chronicler says there's no surprises in his list, but I disagree: sure, Garret Anderson's a defensive liability and will continue to be so for the remainder of his contract. But what is Brian Jordan doing in the top half of this list, and ahead, even, of Jayson Werth, and similarly-vintaged Reggie Sanders, who's well below the median here?
- Center Field: Both Chone Figgins and Milton Bradley were below the median here, while lightning rod Jim Edmonds is third overall. Griffey, Jr. is the worst, which is no surprise anymore.
- Right Field: Vlad is shockingly good on this list, which makes me wonder if there's some kind of flaw in their system. J.D. Drew's glove has almost no value, and is fairly close to Jeromy Burnitz, a guy whose career is one misstep away from ending.
Ken Rosenthal Hates Bill StonemanKen 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.Sounds like Rosenthal's upset at having to find offseason fodder from somewhere else than the Angels. Sorry to disappoint, dude.
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.
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.