Link-O-Rama: Reynolds dislikes stats, paragraphs

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* Harold Reynolds used his MLB.com blog
for a lengthy, stream of consciousness-style rant about … well, it’s
a little unclear. The basic premise seems to be that stats are bad, but
I’m more intrigued by Reynolds a) thinking that OPS is a hardcore stat,
b) using the phrase “clogging the bases” without even a hint of irony,
c) touting Dave Kingman as an example of hitters with artificially high
on-base percentages when in fact he had a terrible .302 career OBP, and
d) apparently boycotting the use of paragraph breaks as a symbol of his
stat-fueled rage. Oh, and I’m even more amused by the always awesome
Joe Posnanski’s attempt to “translate Reynolds’ post in 15 steps.”

(Note: The preceding paragraph was brought to you without interruption in honor of Reynolds.)

* Both teams went homerless last night for the first time in the 35-game history of new Yankee Stadium.

* The owner’s suite at the Rangers’ ballpark is being renamed after George W. Bush, who was the team’s managing general partner from 1989-1994 before becoming governor of Texas.

* Here’s the shirt that all the guys at the SABR convention would wear if we weren’t too fat to fit in them.

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

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When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.