Well, they were the inspiration for Billy Beane who, in turn, inspired the book and movie. At least that’s what Beane says. Here’s Beane talking at Villanova Law School the other night:
“I was right here in Philadelphia watching the World Series [which the Phils lost to Toronto],” said Beane, who was part of a panel discussing “Moneyball’s Impact on Business and Sports.” “Those ’93 Phillies took a ton of pitches, walked a ton, and scored a ton of runs. That’s when it hit me.”
Which should be awesome because some of the most ardent anti-sabermetrics dudes on this blog are Phillies fans. This is your doing, Chris! Look what your Phillies hath wrought!
But really, the 1993 Phillies were probably not that important in this. Beane would have read Bill James eventually anyway. Or, you know, he could have just listened to his mentor and predecessor Sandy Alderson, who was on to the whole OBP=good thing before 1993. So it’s all good.
(thanks to Jonny 5 for the heads up)
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.