My friend Russ Smith, late of the Mugger column in the New York Press and currently the proprietor of Splice Today, is a big baseball fan. A fairly traditional one, however, as he doesn’t get too hung up on stats and sabermetrics and stuff. His teenage son, however and it has led to some communications problems between father and son.
Given that I’m a little older and a little more liberal arts-inclined than most Internet baseball writers, Russ asked me my thoughts on stats and stuff. So I gave them to him, blockquoted near the bottom. If you care about such things — and based on some pointed comments in recent weeks, some of you do — it’s probably the closest I’ve ever come to explaining how stats and I get along.
The BBWAA hands out its own Manager of the Year Awards in November, and they tend to be the better-recognized awards, but The Sporting News has been handing out its Manager of the Year awards since 1936, so we figure they’re worth mentioning too. This year The Sporting News’ panel of 29 major league managers has named Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Terry Francona its Managers of the Year.
Roberts took over a somewhat fractured Dodgers clubhouse and overcame an historic number of player injuries — requiring the use of 55 different players on the 25-man roster — to lead L.A. to yet another National League West title and an appearance in the NLCS. Francona, meanwhile, took a team that was thought to be more of a Wild Card contender to 94 wins and the AL Central title, besting theTigers by eight games and the defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals by thirteen.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says thatClayton Kershaw is unlikely to need back surgery for the herniated disk that sidelined him for more than two months during the season.
Friedman says that Kershaw feels good and that he doesn’t anticipate surgery. It was unclear if that would be the case because, even as Kershaw came back in September and pitched deep into the playoffs, often on short rest, everyone was fairly tight-lipped about how Kershaw was feeling.
For what it’s worth, Kershaw looked sound mechanically, even if was up and down at times in October.