Fact: two Major League Baseball teams gave Jim Bowden the keys to the entirety of their baseball operations. Just thought you should remember that when you read one of the ways in which he likes to evaluate players:
I get asked all the time which two or three common statistics I would pick to evaluate a team or players. My quick answer would be the following:
1. For a team: Run differential
2. For a hitter: OPS + RBIs, or OPSBIs
3. For a pitcher: ERA, WHIP, SO
Yeah, it’s number two that stands out. He says “OPS + RBIs gives me a general feel for the level of player.” Setting aside why, from a hardcore statistical point of view, combining those stats makes no sense (it’s beyond apples and oranges; it’s in the realm of apples and nickel-metal hydride batteries), I’m struggling to thing what such a metric would even tell Bowden. Yes, when you add up those numbers you get a list of good players. But there are a lot of numbers that will do that for you while telling yourself something else useful too, which this does not.
And, thinking more broadly, if a man with decades of player development experience needs some complicated number to give him “a general feel for the level of player,” than there are much bigger problems afoot.
Today Jonah Keri gives us a fantastic story about a crazy game.
The Dodgers played the Expos in Montreal 28 years ago today. The game went 22 innings. It was a 1-0 game. More notable than the 21 and a half innings of scoreless ball, however, was the fact that Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda got the Expos mascot — Youppi — ejected. The Dodgers and Expos didn’t score much that year overall, but when have you ever seen a mascot ejected?
Some good lunchtime reading for y’all, complete with silly GIFs and a video of the whole dang game if you hate yourself so much that you’d watch it all in its entirety.
Last night the Yankees pasted the Tigers in Detroit, but the hometown crowd did get something entertaining to send them on their way: an inside-the-park homer from Nicholas Castellanos.
At least that’s technically what it was. It would be a single and a three-base error if our official scoring made any sense.
Watch the play below. It’s all put in motion by Jacoby Ellsbury‘s decision to try to make a slide catch on the ball, misjudging it and allowing it to skip over 100 feet to the wall:
Since Ellsbury didn’t touch it it wasn’t called an error — errors are rarely if ever called on poor plays that don’t result in a fielder actually touching the ball — but it was certainly a mental error to not let the ball bounce and ensure that it didn’t get past him. Especially with such a big lead.
Oh well, that’s baseball for you.