Agent Scott Boras, talking to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com about representing the three free agents with draft pick compensation attached who remained unsigned in Kyle Lohse, Rafael Soriano, and Michael Bourn:
People call me all the time and say, “Man, your players aren’t signed yet.” Well, it doesn’t really matter what time dinner is when you’re the steak.
That’s a pretty great quote–I imagine a Gordon Gekko-like character saying it from behind a huge desk in a movie–but the notion that Kyle Lohse is “the steak” at this point is obviously laughable.
I won’t be surprised if Bourn finds a big multi-year deal, but Soriano finding a decent landing spot is looking very iffy and Lohse himself has talked publicly about his disappointment in how things have gone this offseason, with reports last week suggesting that he’s yet to even receive a single offer.
If you are old enough and lame enough as I am, you may have lurked around on sabermetic message boards in the 1990s. If you did, you may have heard of Sherri Nichols, who back in the day, was a significant contributor to the advancement of statistical analysis, particularly defensive analysis.
While it’s probably better that not everyone is as old and nerdy as me, the downside of it is that most people haven’t heard of Nichols and know nothing about her contributions. That changes today with Ben Lindbergh’s excellent analysis of Nichols and her work over at The Ringer, which I recommend that you all read.
The short version: Nichols is the one who planted the seed about on-base percentage being valuable in the mind of Baseball Prospectus Founder Gary Huckabay, back in the late 80s. She’s also the one most responsible for the rise of zone-based defensive metrics in the 1990s, such as Defensive Average, which she created and which served as the basis for other such metrics going forward. She also played a critical role in the development of RetroSheet, which collected almost all extant box score and play-by-play information going back to the turn of the 20th century, thereby making so much of the information available at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs possible. A key contribution there: making the information free and available to everyone, rather than closing the underlying data off as proprietary and either charging for access or keeping it in-house like some recent data collectors have chosen to do. Ahem.
A larger takeaway than all of Nichols’ contributions is just how loathe the baseball community was to listen to a woman back then. I mean, yeah, they’re still loathe to listen to women now, as indicated by the small number of women who hold jobs in baseball operations departments, but back then it was even worse, as evidenced by Lindbergh’s stories and Nichols’ anecdotes.
A great read and a great history lesson.