Craig Calcaterra

justin verlander getty

We need to get Justin Verlander back on the field. Immediately.

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source: Getty Images

Douglas Adams, from “The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

“It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in “It’s a nice day,” or “You’re very tall,” or “So this is it, we’re going to die.”

His first theory was that if human beings didn’t keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.

After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this–“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”

Justin Verlander is evidence that, if their arms stop working, their brains start working and then their lips start moving and, sometimes, that’s the worst possible thing:

Lie detectors are totally useless, by the way. But I think most of you knew that.

Justin, get well soon. We need you to be doing the things you’re good at, OK?

Baseball Prospectus has a new pitching metric. Meet DRA: “Deserved Run Average”

Pedro Martinez
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I will preface this by saying that I have not read this article yet. Once I read it, I’m sure it will take me longer to understand it than most of you guys because I’m a moron when it comes to stats and metrics and things. And once I understand it, I’ll be less comfortable applying it and talking about it than most of you too because, again: moron.

But I’ve been pretty big on the idea of knowing what one does not know, lately, and I’ve been trying to be as comfortable with that as I can. A corollary to that notion is to not reject what you don’t know as something not worth knowing. Which is a really damn common response when it comes to advanced baseball metrics.

What I do know, however, is that this new metric, DRA or “Deserved Run Average,” is getting a lot of buzz in sabermetric circles today. And the guys who came up with this new metric — Jonathan Judge, Harry Pavlidis and Dan Turkenkopf — are smart cookies.

So, consider this linked without comment for now: DRA, or Deserved Run Average. When Pouliot wakes up I’ll ask him if it’s something I should get excited about and eventually we’ll comment.

MLB is making the best out of a bad situation in Baltimore

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The empty-stadium game at Camden Yards today is going to be weird. And the Orioles being the “home” team in Tampa Bay this weekend is not ideal. But it’s rather difficult to see what else Major League Baseball could’ve done about all that is going on in Baltimore right now.

Nancy Armour of USA Today thinks differently. I don’t mean to single her out as, I’m sure, there are others who question what’s happening with these Orioles games. It’s fair to question it, as it’s just a weird situation all around and there are not truly satisfying answers. But a couple of the main points are worth talking about.

Her primary criticism is that baseball is “acting out of fear” and that baseball “assumes the worst of the people of Baltimore.” I’m sympathetic to that notion and feel like, if they had a normal game with fans allowed in and nothing bad happened, it would be a good thing that would go a long way toward combatting some of the worst stereotypes of the people of Baltimore since the unrest began. But I also don’t blame baseball for not taking that risk.

What if something does happen? What if riots or violence does interfere with fans going to and from the park? What if someone is injured? The injury would be bad for its own sake and the optics would be bad for both baseball and Baltimore, would they not? Less philosophically, Major League Baseball is a business. A business which has had teams incur liability in the recent past for being unable to ensure the safety of fans coming and going from the ballpark. It’s hard to blame that business for not knowingly taking such a risk in this situation, however much you’d like to see a game with fans pulled off in Baltimore today.

Armour’s other suggestions — moving the game to Washington or Philadelphia — aren’t realistic. She notes that business disputes between the Nats and Orioles prevents the former. Logistics make moving the games to a neutral location all the more difficult. Gearing up for a road trip to Tampa Bay is one thing. Moving stuff to a third location and figuring out the finances of that stuff is a lot more difficult. And who, really, would that serve? Not the people stuck in unrest in Baltimore right now. It might be nice for rich people in the suburbs who can take a road trip to see the O’s play in Washington or Philly, but they aren’t exactly the ones for whom we should be most concerned at the moment.

I agree with Armour and others that this is a less-than-ideal situation. But it seems to me that, between an unbalanced schedule which doesn’t have the White Sox coming back to Baltimore again this year and the risks and liabilities associated with putting a ballgame on in Baltimore at this very moment, it’s the best of many less-than-ideal options.

Why is Masahiro Tanaka even talking to doctors?

Masahiro Tanaka
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source:
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Masahiro Tanaka was put on the disabled list due to wrist tendonitis and soreness in his forearm. An MRI yesterday showed that there was no additional tear to his UCL over what came before. What does this all mean? For that, one could consult orthopedists and other doctors. Trained experts who have went to school for years and have mastered what is perhaps the most critical and difficult discipline among all of the professions.

Or maybe he and the Yankees should just have a couple of reporters and some ballplayers weigh in? Like John Harper:

This is why so many teams and pitchers opt for getting Tommy John surgery rather than trying to pitch once they have been diagnosed with a ligament tear. This is why the likes of Martinez and Curt Schilling said they thought Tanaka should have had the surgery.

Nevertheless, Cashman has said all along that the ballclub’s decision was guided by the advice of three orthopedists who recommended that Tanaka try to rehab and pitch with the tear.

That “nevertheless” is the most rich thing I’ve ever heard. Given what Haper has written on this subject before, that’s the equivalent of him saying “welp, you were dumb to listen to medical professionals before, so if you want to do it again, I can’t help you.”

How about Kevin Kernan?

From the moment Tanaka suffered a small tear in his elbow ligament last season, the Yankees and Tanaka have taken the conservative route, the route recommended by team doctors, the route Tanaka wanted to take.

The no-surgery route.

It’s time to change game plans. This is not working. He needs to have Tommy John surgery to have any chance of getting back to being the kind of pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they shelled out $175 million.

Will Masahiro Tanaka need Tommy John surgery? Maybe! I have no idea. It’s a distinct possibility! But his doctors said he didn’t need it before and, as yet, they have yet to say he needs it now. That appears to be good enough for the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka, who are wisely consulting with medical professionals and not the a couple of tabloid columnists who, apparently, have no idea that they aren’t actually qualified to make such assessments.

Of course, if and when Tanaka does go under the knife, I’m sure we’ll get a nice round of “told ya so’s” from these guys. “Told ya so’s” that are the medical equivalent of you or I telling the widow at the funeral that we knew her husband was gonna die one day. Eventually.

Great Moments in Priorities: fan loses beer, cell phone, dignity going after a foul ball

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You can buy an official Major League baseball at any number of sporting goods stores or at MLB.com. They don’t cost that much, all things considered. Arguably less than the cost in (a) spilled beer; (b) possibly broken cell phone; and (c) lost dignity that this dude incurred going after a foul ball.

A foul ball that no one else was going for, by the way. And which, as far as we know, didn’t have a map written to secret hidden treasure written on it. Watch: