Happy 23rd Birthday, Addison Russell

In Uncategorized by myles243 Comments

Last year, I wrote about Addison Russell in pretty glowing terms. The last paragraph from that post:

This team is so incredibly deep, that you can imagine a scenario in which Russell puts up 4 WAR this year and gets absolutely no attention from a national outlet. Don't make that mistake. 

bWAR: 4.3
fWAR: 3.9
WARP: 3.9

Seriously, the exact scenario happened. Of course, a lot of that is due to the fact that the Cubs won the World Series in 7 games, but despite the fact that Cubs won the World Series in 7 games (and Bryant won the MVP), Addison Russell sort of sneakily took the leap that you'd expect of a 22-year old destined for greatness

Offense

Russell had 75 more PA than last year. He added 13 walks, subtracted 6 SO, added 9 HBP (!), added 8 HR, and lost 47 points of BABIP. That last one is what I want to key on; it is the sole reason people haven't caught on to the fact that Russell is well above-average with the bat already. It isn't like Russell is slower than he used to be. He lost 5 points of medium contact and split it bewteen soft and hard contact, but his LD% actually went up 3 percent. He was simply unlucky last year; despite that, his wRC+ improved 4 points, his walks went up, his strikeouts went down, his power went up, as did his OBP. There really isn't that much more you can ask for in an age-22 season. Among qualified SS last year, Russell had the 3rd highest walk rate and the 7th highest power rate. He needs to cut his strikeouts a little and not have such a low BABIP (things that variance and age should provide). I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the year that Russell gets a 110 wRC+ or higher.

Defense

It's hard to really say definitively if Russell is a great defender or not, given the large sample sizes required and the spurious nature of defensive statistics. If we are taking the eye test, he's very good, even great. Using Inside Edge, he's even better. In the "Remote" category of plays (1-10% chance of success), he was 6th in the majors (3rd among SS) with a 21.4% conversion rate. He was middle of the road for the difficult ones (28.6%), and well above-average in the toss-ups (55.6%, though the sample size is small). Where he really shined was his ability to convert the fairly routine. Among plays that had a 60-90% conversion rate, Russell converted 85.0% of his playes. That's 3rd among SS, and only Lindor and Cabrera were better. The routine plays are where Russell was merely average.

Russell doesn't have to be the best defensive SS in the game to be valuable. A league-average defensive SS with a league-average MLB bat is a very valuable player. Last year, however, Russell was a well above-average defensive SS with a slightly below-average MLB bat, and that produced 4 wins above replacement (close to an all-star level performance – though Russell made the ASG this year, he was slightly undeserving). Russell has shown every reason to believe he'll instead be a well above-average defensive SS with an above-average (maybe even well above-average) MLB bat, which is around 6 WAR a year. Russell is under team control until (get this) 2022. 

Not a bad return for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

For my present to Addison Russell, I want to get dangerously optimistic and misleading here (not quite alternative facts, but close). Russell just completed his age-22 season, and he ended the season with 7.6 bWAR. The list of hall-of-fame shortstops had a median bWAR of 6.9 career WAR through their age-22 season. Put another way, Russell is just ahead of the pace of an average HOF shortstop's career.

Happy freaking birthday.

 

 

Share this Post

Comments

  1. Smokestack Lightning

    myles,

    That was a grand slam that helped fuel an unbelievable comeback down 3-1 in the World Series that resulted in the first championship in 108 years for the most wretched of sports organizations in recorded history that I recently enjoyed.

      Quote  Reply

  2. Mark DeRosa

    Ryno: I like that grand slam he hit one time.

    They're pretty good at boosting your R+RBI numbers, I'll give it that. Would rather have seen a squeeze than kill that rally though.

      Quote  Reply

  3. dmick89

    cerulean: Kyle Hendricks really is just like Greg Maddux.

    I think the two are similar, but Maddux kept the ball on the ground a lot more than Hendricks does and Hendricks is really good at it. Maddux was one of the best. Maddux had better control, but he didn’t strike as many guys out as Hendricks. More than anything, Maddux is an anomaly. So is Hendricks. I’d rather the Cubs don’t get all crazy and start thinking that guys that throw in the mid 80s are the new market inefficiency. I don’t want them to ignore those players either, but velocity definitely matters. So does location. Maddux made a hall of fame career out of almost never missing his spots. Hendricks has done that so far, but a betting man would expect him to start missing more.

    Maddux also had the ability to pitch deeper in games than Hendricks has either shown or the team has been willing to allow.

      Quote  Reply

  4. dmick89

    Edwin,

    I’d actually say it’s the ability to locate followed by changing speeds. Velocity is very important. It allows a pitcher without pinpoint control to excel. It allows one without much ability to vary speeds to also excel. That said, you can still be very good at the MLB level with below average velocity if you can locate and change speeds. A guy with a great fastball probably won’t be that good if he can’t locate or change speeds.

      Quote  Reply

  5. cerulean

    dmick89,

    The relevant article.

    In low release point and small tunnel (variation of all pitch locations 24 ft from home plate) despite a large repertoire and three inches of movement after the tunnel, Hendricks is like Maddux. And this strategy was so successful for Maddux that even with the second lowest movement after the tunnel in his final year—the first year of data—he was a league average pitcher. (I am guessing his spin rates declined leading to less variation in movement at a given speed.)

    I do think it’s worthwhile to try to encourage this style of pitching because it attacks a physiological blindspot. We are talking about limitations of the human brain and senses.

      Quote  Reply

  6. SK

    Oh fuck I just remembered OV has its fair share of scientists, academics and public sector types. Hope you’ve set up your alt twitter and OV accounts.

      Quote  Reply

  7. Perkins

    SK:
    Oh fuck I just remembered OV has its fair share of scientists, academics and public sector types. Hope you’ve set up your alt twitter and OV accounts.

    The events of the past 18 months have made me very glad to be out of the Army. I can’t imagine serving in the executive branch right now. It is figuratively impossible for me to say anything other than contemptuous things about the chickenhawk-in-chief. Possibly literally impossible as well…I certainly haven’t tried.

      Quote  Reply

  8. berselius

    Perkins,

    I’ve always had the vague idea that if the right job popped up in the Madison or Chicago area I would jump on it. I may or may not be more actively looking for said job these days.

      Quote  Reply

  9. Perkins

    berselius,

    I’m just hoping when the big assbag says he wants to “get the feds involved” in Chicago’s violent crime, he’s not referring to troops or martial law as some seem to believe. Then again, violating posse comitatus is the kind of thing that can get impeachment proceedings going in a hurry.

      Quote  Reply

  10. SK

    Perkins,

    I would have thought being a corrupt candidate, saying you’re going to be a corrupt president, and then being a corrupt president would be the kind of thing that can get impeachment proceeding going, but that’s just me.

      Quote  Reply

  11. SK

    berselius,

    On Monday, when all hiring was frozen, you should not have thought about a new job. Today, when 5,000 new border cop jobs were created, is the day you want to update the CV.

      Quote  Reply

  12. Berselius

    SK,

    At least we are technically contractors here and the freeze doesn’t apply. And I think we are enoug under the national security umbrella to meet that exception anyway. I’m more screwed by my now former boss bolting to a university.

      Quote  Reply

  13. cerulean

    I am judging by the comments that our Man-Baby in Chief has done another reprehensible thing. Has he started lynching scientists already? I would’ve thought the journalists would be first, but this short-fingered vulgarian is nothing if not predictably unpredictable.

      Quote  Reply

  14. Rice Cube

    I think out of all the atrocities I’ve read about, I’m most angry about the fact that Trump is essentially declaring war against the Lorax as well as everyone else.

      Quote  Reply

  15. SK

    cerulean,

    All hiring in fed gov frozen (except rentacops).
    Scientific grants in EPA, NASA, CDC – frozen
    Climate data and research funded by taxpayers – deleted.
    National parks (!) – silenced.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting a few others

    But after the crackdown on the park service twitter, all the fed agency people have set up unofficial feeds to get the facts out. Shit is fucked up

      Quote  Reply

  16. Edwin

    dmick89:
    Edwin,

    I’d actually say it’s the ability to locate followed by changing speeds. Velocity is very important. It allows a pitcher without pinpoint control to excel. It allows one without much ability to vary speeds to also excel. That said, you can still be very good at the MLB level with below average velocity if you can locate and change speeds. A guy with a great fastball probably won’t be that good if he can’t locate or change speeds.

    That’s probably a better way to put it. I think Effective Velocity and Pitch Tunneling is pretty interesting stuff, but I also think it takes a pitcher with pretty incredible control and the ability to change speeds effectively to really make use of it.

      Quote  Reply

  17. berselius

    SK,

    I have a lot of friends in NPS, including my mother who retired a few years back after decades in the org, and they are pretty furious at these twitter morons. NPS is incredibly vulnerable to political whims and has been quietly fighting against the whole ‘run government like a business’ ethos that is entirely antithetical to their mission for a long time. Public-private “partnership” boondoggles abound and they’ve been trying to replace their professionals with incompetent, higher priced, short term contractors for years. When I left for college we already had “transportation interpreters” sponsored by Ford. WTF.

    Very brave of fucking Badlands to be the place to take an extremely public shot at the administration and put a target on their back, I hope they enjoy seeing the new oil well next to their visitor center, sponsored by Exxon Mobil and the department of state.

      Quote  Reply

  18. SK

    berselius,

    OK, but somehow I don’t think keeping a low profile is going to stop those things from happening. Isn’t there already proposed legislation in Congress to allow selling public land? That didn’t happen after the (re)tweet showing the inauguration crowd.

      Quote  Reply

  19. berselius

    berselius,

    Then again, they’ve been so chronically underfunded (billion dollar deferred maintenance backlog) for so long that maybe they figure they have nothing to lose.

      Quote  Reply

  20. berselius

    SK,

    BLM was the target of that stuff, it’s a separate department within Interior. That’s more stuff like forestry, fish and game, etc.

      Quote  Reply

  21. BVS

    Edwin,

    I listened to the podcast. To me the command stuff is really just quantifying a pitcher who can recognize the umpire’s zone, rather than the real zone. Hence the Glavine pitching to Eric Gregg story.

    The tunneling thing was pretty interesting and seems like a really good way for pitchers who can be very consistent in their body control to excel, even if their stuff is meh. I suspect it never would have worked for Zambrano. (dying laughing)

      Quote  Reply

  22. BVS

    SK,
    Berselius,

    OV Con announces their first non-Wrigley event, sometime in the spring in DC the middle of a larger crowd of bespectacled folks with bow ties and lab coats. I’ll be there. Bow tie optional.

      Quote  Reply

  23. cerulean

    Edwin,

    While I would love to have an ingot of platinum, I would gladly take an ingot of silver.

    Considering this defense, if the Cubs have guys who can generate weak contact despite their “stuff”—as now explained by tunneling—I’ll take it. Results, not velocity, are what really matters.

      Quote  Reply

  24. Ryno

    I’m bored, so here’s a quick 4-round Bears mock draft via first-pick.com:

    Carolina Round 1 Pick 3 (3) – Round 1 Pick 8 (8) + Round 2 Pick 8 (40)

    Round 1 Pick 8 (CAR): Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
    Round 2 Pick 4: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
    Round 2 Pick 8 (CAR): Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
    Round 3 Pick 3: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
    Round 4 Pick 4: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
    Round 4 Pick 10: Devonte Fields, OLB/DE, Louisville

      Quote  Reply

  25. Ryno

    Jesus,

    Anything for Jesus.

    Round 1 Pick 29: Carl Lawson, DE/OLB, Auburn
    Round 2 Pick 29: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
    Round 3 Pick 29: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
    Round 4 Pick 28: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky

    I didn’t really like any of these picks as I made them, but I think that would be a pretty good first two days for Green Bay.

      Quote  Reply

  26. cerulean

    Edwin,

    One of the best movie experiences I ever had was seeing Cast Away in Argentina. I never heard of the movie. I had no idea what it would be about. Even the title was obscured by obscurity.

    Being blindsided by a well-executed bit of entertainment almost always results in a better experience.

    However, if you are remotely contrarian—and you’re not—prove me wrong—being told something is great may prime your mind to look for the imperfections. And the very act of looking for seams may lessen your enjoyment and esteem of the movie. Expectations matter. Maybe.

      Quote  Reply

  27. EnricoPallazzo

    cerulean,

    i went to the movie theater to see “castaway”. once i got up to the ticket counter, i called an audible to see something called “dude where’s my car”. my friends all went to see “castaway” and we met in the lobby afterwards. they all seemed to think i made a terrible choice. i stand by my decision.

      Quote  Reply

  28. berselius

    Real funky pay structure on the Brett Anderson deal:

    $3.5m base salary
    $0.5m bonus for making his 11th start
    $0.75m bonus each for making his 14th and 17th starts
    $1m bonus each for making starts 20, 23, and 26
    $1.5m bonus for making 29 starts

    for a total of $10m if he makes it through the whole year

      Quote  Reply

  29. Rice Cube

    Rice Cube,

    And now that I think about it, since Anderson got QO before, if he wasn’t grandfathered or exempted, the new CBA says he can’t get another QO anyway. So moot.

      Quote  Reply

  30. Ryno

    John Lynch is the new 49ers GM?

    Ozzie Newsome went from player to GM after working in the team’s front office for 12 years.

    John Elway was co-owner of an Arena League team for seven years before he took over in Denver.

    John Lynch’s credentials include calling and saying he wanted to be the GM.

      Quote  Reply

  31. Ryno

    If they’re easing Lynch in like Denver did with Elway, it could be an OK hire (especially if the rumored candidates weren’t going to take the job). But that depends more on the people they put around Lynch.

      Quote  Reply

  32. Ryno

    I’m hearing #49ers GM John Lynch will give assistant GM Tom Gamble chance through the draft to prove he should remain with the organization.
    — Matt Maiocco @MaioccoCSN

    “We’re not sure if you should be a part of my staff. Let’s use our most important draft as a test run.”

    Seems smart.

      Quote  Reply

  33. berselius

    Ryno: “We’re not sure if you should be a part of my staff. Let’s use our most important draft as a test run.”

    Seems smart.

    I mean, it’s not like telling your GM that he is going to be canned but having him stick around for the draft anyway.

      Quote  Reply

  34. Ryno

    berselius,

    True, but that could happen if the draft doesn’t go well.

    If they pick a QB early in this draft and he doesn’t pan out, there’s a good chance Lynch won’t last long either, tbh.

      Quote  Reply

  35. berselius

    Ryno:
    berselius,

    True, but that could happen if the draft doesn’t go well.

    If they pick a QB early in this draft and he doesn’t pan out, there’s a good chance Lynch won’t last long either, tbh.

    I was pretty surprised that it was a six year deal, then I remembered that this is the NFL. I wonder if they’re signing GMs to non-guaranteed contracts now. Lynch is a former player so he’s probably used to it (dying laughing).

      Quote  Reply

  36. Myles

    Cardinals have been punished with giving their first two picks this year to HOU along with $2MM. Picks are 56 and 75, and not sure if the pools are changed to match (99% sure they will be).

      Quote  Reply

  37. Myles

    As soon as I said that Robothal confirmed pool space is changing hands (and it’s about $2 MM, which makes sense). The Cardinals are giving them the picks AND the pool money to fund them.

      Quote  Reply

  38. berselius

    Myles:
    As soon as I said that Robothal confirmed pool space is changing hands (and it’s about $2 MM, which makes sense). The Cardinals are giving them the picks AND the pool money to fund them.

    I wonder if the Cardinals had this in mind when they signed Fowler and lost their first rounder. Too bad MLB didn’t spread this out, though I guess the Cards could just do the same thing next year.

      Quote  Reply

  39. EnricoPallazzo

    berselius: I wonder if the Cardinals had this in mind when they signed Fowler and lost their first rounder. Too bad MLB didn’t spread this out, though I guess the Cards could just do the same thing next year.

    my thoughts exactly. i would bet good money that they would not have received the same punishment if they hadn’t already lost their first-round pick. this is a really light punishment.

      Quote  Reply

  40. BVS

    Ryno: We’re not sure if you should be a part of my staff. Let’s use our most important draft as a test run.”

    Seems smart.

    Isn’t that how we choose executive leadership these days?

      Quote  Reply

  41. Myles

    I think we should probably delay as a nation the confirmation of a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court until the american people have a say via the next presidential election.

      Quote  Reply

  42. BVS

    Myles,

    One thing I’ll do this year is put my money where my mouth is, but not sure if that would be to individual candidates or advocacy groups (ACLU, HRC, etc)

      Quote  Reply

  43. Perkins

    BVS:
    Myles,

    One thing I’ll do this year is put my money where my mouth is, but not sure if that would be to individual candidates or advocacy groups (ACLU, HRC, etc)

    My wife and I have setup monthly donations to ACLU, SPLC, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL. I get the feeling that all of those will have need of resources for the foreseeable future, or at least until articles of impeachment are successful.

      Quote  Reply

  44. SK

    It would appear that US Marshals are refusing to enforce federal court orders in LA to make the customs and border patrol stop detaining/deporting people. As with the acting AG getting removed for “betrayal” (i.e., acting according to the Constitution), this is the Regime dictating shit in actual dictator style. The judicial branch is over — which makes the SCOTUS announcement especially ironic since the Regime isn’t taking orders from no court. Legislative branch –GOD HELP US — is the last hope.

      Quote  Reply

  45. JonKneeV

    Eddie Butler —–> Cubs

    Butler might be a familiar name. He’s a former top 25 MiLB prospect in the Rockies organization. He’s been bad the last two years trying to break into the MLB.

    Seems like Theo is trying to find a new Arrieta reclamation project.

      Quote  Reply

  46. dmick89

    Myles,

    I could do it in 3 minutes. All you’d have to do is spend the first two minutes talking shit about The Apprentice and making fun of Arnold. Then you could convince him of anything in that third minute. I’d probably not waste the opportunity though. I’d convince him to step down as President and take over The Apprentice. Only problem is that Mike Pence scares me more than Trump.

      Quote  Reply

  47. SK

    BVS,

    Depends if he gets rid of Bannon though.

    If so, then Pence = disaster for America.

    But Trump/Bannon = disaster for world.

    Isn’t Congress pretty much enacting the Pence agenda anyway? They just made it safe for mentally unstable people to buy guns again. Way things are going, Trump/Pence/Congress are going to require kindergarteners to have guns. They’ll need them, what with the wars against Iran and China starting sometime soon.

      Quote  Reply

  48. Myles

    BVS: THIS

    I stridently disagree. It’s a difference in kind, not a difference in degree. Pence presents an existential threat to the freedoms of our citizenry. Trump presents an existential threat to THE EXISTENCE OF MANKIND. We are literally closer to an apocalypse with Trump than we would be with Pence (and this is coming from someone who has lived in Indiana his entire life). Pence is a very bad person, but he ISN’T stupid (even if he holds some abhorrent views). Trump is a very bad person who IS stupid, who inflames even our allies.

      Quote  Reply

  49. SK

    Myles: I stridently disagree. It’s a difference in kind, not a difference in degree. Pence presents an existential threat to the freedoms of our citizenry. Trump presents an existential threat to THE EXISTENCE OF MANKIND. We are literally closer to an apocalypse with Trump than we would be with Pence (and this is coming from someone who has lived in Indiana his entire life). Pence is a very bad person, but he ISN’T stupid (even if he holds some abhorrent views). Trump is a very bad person who IS stupid, who inflames even our allies.

    Poor fuckin’ Addison Russell. I hope he had a nice birthday.

      Quote  Reply

  50. Ryno

    Myles: Pence presents an existential threat to the freedoms of our citizenry. Trump presents an existential threat to THE EXISTENCE OF MANKIND. Pence is a very bad person, but he ISN’T stupid (even if he holds some abhorrent views). Trump is a very bad person who IS stupid, who inflames even our allies.

    Have either of them asked anyone if they’re tired, though?

      Quote  Reply

  51. Perkins

    Myles: I stridently disagree. It’s a difference in kind, not a difference in degree. Pence presents an existential threat to the freedoms of our citizenry. Trump presents an existential threat to THE EXISTENCE OF MANKIND. We are literally closer to an apocalypse with Trump than we would be with Pence (and this is coming from someone who has lived in Indiana his entire life). Pence is a very bad person, but he ISN’T stupid (even if he holds some abhorrent views). Trump is a very bad person who IS stupid, who inflames even our allies.

    Agree with all of this. Best case scenario, 45 is a stupid, 70 year old, authoritarian toddler who is bumbling his way through the job while isolating us from our allies. And that’s the best case. It’s entirely possible that he’s listening to his Goebbels (Bannon) and all of this is misdirection to tire people out and test the loyalty of executive branch agencies. Given his unpredictable nature (except that he’ll be compelled to respond to any criticism), it’s relatively difficult to organize a strong defense against him. His overall strategy (if there is one) is somewhat muddied by the seemingly random and vindictive chaos.

    Pence is a shitty person. But he’s more traditionally shitty. You know he doesn’t like women’s reproductive rights or the LGBT community, and you can focus resources on organizations that support those groups. He also bears more scrutiny from a religious standpoint, as he’s likely to dance close to the boundaries of the Establishment Clause. He’s not openly hostile to free speech; he’s not likely to shit on our allies or start a trade war; Putin doesn’t seem to have leverage on him; and he’s probably not going to use nukes or military force just because it seems like the thing to do.

    I’m wondering what the “red line” is where the cabinet and Congress will support either removal under the 25th amendment or articles of impeachment. I’d have hoped they already passed it, but I suppose two weeks into an administration (even one as unpopular as 45’s) is jumping the gun a bit. They make a move like that, they have to succeed the first time.

      Quote  Reply

  52. Edwin

    Perkins,

    Republicans won’t impeach Trump because by working with Trump they’ll get a lot of what they want. Tax breaks for the wealthy and business owner’s? Check. De-regulation? Check. A justice system which heavily favors businesses and the wealthy/powerful? Check. The only real obstacle they face, agenda-wise, is Trump’s infrastructure spending clashing with their “fiscal responsiblness”. However, to pay for it they’ll probably try and cut social programs which they’ll label “wasteful spending”, which lets them try and shrink government. As long as they don’t get too close to Trump to get caught in his backlash, they’ll do fine.

    Meanwhile, Democrats will struggle to make the Republicans pay any price whatsoever for Mitch McConnell’s political bullshit moves. If they’re lucky, they’ll break even in the 2018 mid terms, if they can stay disciplined and keep the anti-trump feelings going.

      Quote  Reply

  53. berselius

    Edwin,

    They won’t impeach Trump because they’ve been hoist by their own petard as far as gerrymandering goes. If they move on him they definitely get the shit primaried out of them because their safe districts are safe no longer. They’re just going to keep their heads down and hope for the best.

      Quote  Reply

  54. BVS

    You guys have way more faith in the patience of the GOP to keep Trump than I do. 18 mo is my over under.

    Agree that Trump instability is a huge issue. But Mattis and even Tillerson have gotten him to back down on some things already. As soon as Trump does something really nuts he’ll be gone and Ryan and Pence will do what they want.

    Trump can make lots of exec orders, but I have little faith he can actually get as much done as Pence.

      Quote  Reply

  55. berselius

    Ryno:
    It’s the 49ers’ new head coach’s fault ATL lost.

    Yeah, some brutal play calls. And that Falcons defense was running on fumes of fumes too.

      Quote  Reply

  56. Ryno

    berselius,

    Being on the field 93 plays will do that.

    If ATL kneels twice instead of the sack-holding sequence with 4 minutes left, they’re attempting a field goal to make New England’s comeback much more difficult.

    As much as it’s criticized, I really appreciate the atypical approach by ATL. Settling for the FG is a lot like playing prevent defense. ATL went for the jugular and it backfired.

      Quote  Reply

  57. berselius

    Ryno: As much as it’s criticized, I really appreciate the atypical approach by ATL. Settling for the FG is a lot like playing prevent defense. ATL went for the jugular and it backfired.

    Same here, the more I think about it. It would also have the bonus of keeping their gassed defense off the field.

    I remember remarking sometime in the third quarter that I was doubly pleased – the Pats were getting crushed but White was having a great game, in what feels like a first for a Wisconsin running back of any recentish vintage. Too bad he didn’t win the game MVP, he deserved it.

      Quote  Reply

  58. cerulean

    ÉnricoPallazzo:
    ÉnricoPallazzo,

    I’m still not sure why this got downvoted

    Because you’re an immigrant wop. Go back to your olive groves and vineyards.

    #makeAmericaHateAgain

    Also, androids aren’t welcome here, and browsing androids sounds like something someone who hates both God and America would do.

      Quote  Reply

  59. cerulean

    Guys…also girls…it’s fittin’ to be a long couple of couple of years. But I suppose the bright side is that the yutes are starting to realize that leaving politics in the hands of the reprehensible leads to reprehensible politics.

    What’s a yute?

      Quote  Reply

  60. Edwin

    The opinion of this so-called blog, which essentially takes fandom away from our Cubs Nation, is ridiculous and will be discredited!

      Quote  Reply

  61. Ryno

    berselius: Same here, the more I think about it. It would also have the bonus of keeping their gassed defense off the field.

    True. Also, NE had to score two TDs and two 2-pt conversions just to tie. I think being aggressive on offense makes more sense for ATL when you consider how much had to go right just for NE to tie.

    My only real issues are Matt Ryan taking an inexcusable sack and snapping the ball with too much time on the play clock.

    berselius: Too bad he didn’t win the game MVP, he deserved it.

    He should have. Brady was really good on three drives and pretty trash the rest of the game. White set the record for Super Bowl receptions and basically willed himself into the endzone on the game winner.

      Quote  Reply

  62. SK

    Edwin:
    The opinion of this so-called blog, which essentially takes fandom away from our Cubs Nation, is ridiculous and will be discredited!

    The failing Obstructed View was forced to apologize to its commenters for the poor posting it did on my WS win. Now they are worse!

      Quote  Reply

  63. Rizzo the Rat

    It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch.

    Counterpoint: yes it is.

      Quote  Reply

  64. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    I’d like to see them continue to play the 10th and 11th innings the same as they currently do, but beginning in the 12th inning a baserunner starts the inning on 2nd. Once you get to the 12th, they’ve got to figure out a way to get the game over as soon as possible.

    Is it fun to see a utility player pitch? Sure, sometimes it’s entertaining. Would I rather see someone who, you know, is paid a lot of money and spends all his time practicing pitching pitch? Yes, absolutely. Same reason the league needs the DH. You should rarely, if ever, see someone do something they spend next to no time working on. In other words, no pitching for those who don’t practice it and no hitting for those who don’t practice it.

      Quote  Reply

  65. Myles

    Honestly, after the 12th inning they should just have a fucking home run derby. It would make the outcome of the 12th inning exciting no matter what. 5 pitches per hitter, if it’s a tie you get a new hitter, so on and so forth.

      Quote  Reply

  66. Myles

    If a game is tied after 3 hours and 30 minutes, it’s home run derby time. I love baseball and don’t want to watch any one game for more than 4 hours. I’d prefer 3 hours, but I’m willing to sit through 4 before I lose all attention.

      Quote  Reply

  67. Ryno

    Not sure how to feel about the extra innings thing. When that’s the case, I head to BCB, find what Alvin thinks and then think the opposite. So…

    That’s another really dumb idea.

    I mean, if you’re going to do this why not just play 12 innings and if you’re still tied, have a home run derby?
    (NOTE THIS IS NOT A SERIOUS SUGGESTION)
    Posted by Al Yellon on Feb 8, 2017 | 6:48 PM

    So I guess my opinion is that it’s a really smart idea, but I’d also seriously suggest having a home run derby

      Quote  Reply

  68. Ryno

    I haven’t decided yet.
    [Sammy Sosa] certainly deserves some recognition for the great years, great entertainment, he provided us. But he left with such a taint. I’m not sure I can get past that.
    — Alvin

    I’m trying to decide how to feel about Sammy’s recognition, but I’m not sure why Alvin is opposed. Which is it?

    a. Sammy and his magnificent taint left the team, depriving Alvin.
    b. Sammy was accompanied from the team/city by someone with “such a taint.”

      Quote  Reply

  69. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    I know a lot of folks around here have that opinion, but I disagree. Most of baseball is watching players do what they do best, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I think the game benefits from having weird shit happen occasionally, whether that means Travis Wood in the outfield or Bartolo Colon at bat.

    It’s a reasonable disagreement for us to have, but I tend to remember the unusual as much as I do the spectacular, and I think it would be a shame to lose those things.

      Quote  Reply

  70. Rice in limbo

    I think the auto-IBB and extra innings gimmicks are more conducive to HS & college games where they don’t have OF lights and are at the mercy of the sun. At that point you have no choice but to speed things up. At MLB those things shouldn’t matter, especially now that the Cubs have lights.

    At the same time, getting rid of super slow pitchers and maybe limiting non-coacg mound conferences helps keep the action going.

      Quote  Reply

  71. dmick89

    Rice in limbo: At MLB those things shouldn’t matter, especially now that the Cubs have lights.

    I disagree. If half the fans that paid to get into the game have already left before it’s over, you’ve got a problem in my opinion. Those tie games are the best games a fan could see and they’re leaving. That tells me that something isn’t right and it needs to be addressed.

      Quote  Reply

  72. dmick89

    Can someone tell me how PECOTA has the Dodgers being 7 games better than the Cubs in 2017? I don’t think the Cubs are the best team in baseball anymore, but they aren’t 7 games worse than the Dodgers on paper. I know it would have been next to impossible for the Cubs to improve on last year’s team, but I’m also not entirely sure I understand the reasoning why they were so insistent on getting worse. Montgomery over Hammel? I’m hoping Heyward in CF and Zobrist in RF, but I’ll be surprised if that happens.

      Quote  Reply

  73. Rice in limbo

    dmick89,

    This happens with blowout games in regulation and even games that go excessively long due to pitching changes etc. They just need to improve the pace and frequency of balls in play IMO, not to force in weird rules.

      Quote  Reply

  74. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89:
    Can someone tell me how PECOTA has the Dodgers being 7 games better than the Cubs in 2017? I don’t think the Cubs are the best team in baseball anymore, but they aren’t 7 games worse than the Dodgers on paper. I know it would have been next to impossible for the Cubs to improve on last year’s team, but I’m also not entirely sure I understand the reasoning why they were so insistent on getting worse. Montgomery over Hammel? I’m hoping Heyward in CF and Zobrist in RF, but I’ll be surprised if that happens.

    you’re doing it all wrong. you’re only supposed to pay attention to news sources that tell you what you want to believe. the cubs are actually 7 games better than the dodgers. leave pecota to dodgers_in_5.

      Quote  Reply

  75. Smokestack Lightning

    EnricoPallazzo: leave pecota to dodgers_in_5.

    (dying laughing)

    Maybe, given his crack computer skills demonstrated here during the NLCS, Di5 successfully hacked it.

    EnricoPallazzo: you’re only supposed to pay attention to news sources that tell you what you want to believe.

    Or, even better, simply take what you like and ditch the rest. For me: PECOTA is full of shit on the Cubs projection. Totally 100% right about the Cardinals. Prove me wrong.

      Quote  Reply

  76. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    Rice in limbo,

    I for one am happy to see a lot less of him next season.

    I dunno. On the one hand, I get your argument and find it rather compelling. On the other, we will now largely miss out on the joy of seeing his talent continue to diminish until he is unceremoniously DFA’d followed by a quiet retirement announcement a year and a half later to almost no press at all outside of a one sentence MLBTR post and 2 comments, one which will be: “I thought he retired years ago,” with the other being a bot telling us all how to make 40K a month at home on the internet.

      Quote  Reply

  77. Ryno

    Smokestack Lightning,

    So the Giants regret not winning their playoff series? The reporter missed a graf, though. something along the lines of…

    “Officials with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians did not comment on whether they wish they would have eliminated the Cubs.”

      Quote  Reply

  78. Ryno

    Back to football…

    To continue the DB discussion, Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore is one of the three best CB prospects I’ve ever seen.

    And don’t listen to people talking about this year’s QB crop. Deshone Kizer and Pat Mahomes are better than anyone in last year’s draft. Between them, Watson, Trubisky (a little) and Tyrod Taylor, there will be some good answers for QB-needy teams.

      Quote  Reply

  79. Ryno

    With the 49ers hiring JAX’s LB coach and switching to a 4-3, it seems like a good time to bring up the point about how little of an issue scheme is.

    From 2011-2013, the SF 3-4 defensive front looked like this:

    Willis Bowman
    ASmith JSmith NT McDonald Brooks

    If you put those players into the new 4-3U front they’ll run next year, the front would look like this:

    Willis Bowman
    ASmith JSmith NT McDonald Brooks

    The difference in those schemes are as follows:

      Quote  Reply

  80. Smokestack Lightning

    Alex Reyes ———————–> elbow discomfort

    Word is he’ll need a special procedure performed on the ailing limb, pioneered in the 70s by orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe on one Thomas Edward John Jr, who apparently threw baseballs back then, and hurt himself while doing so.

      Quote  Reply

  81. SK

    Never been more proud than to see *multiple* fake Yellon accounts on TWTR using “Alvin”.

    Why, you may ask? While it may go unacknowledged, I am the dick who doxxed Al’s full name back in the day by finding his letters to SI and Superman comics.

      Quote  Reply

  82. Myles

    SK:
    Never been more proud than to see *multiple* fake Yellon accounts on TWTR using “Alvin”.

    Why, you may ask?While it may go unacknowledged, I am the dick who doxxed Al’s full name back in the day by finding his letters to SI and Superman comics.

    Where these at?

      Quote  Reply

  83. SK

    In June 1970
    Action Comics
    # 389 published a letter from the fourteen year old Alvin
    Yellon of Highland Park, Illinois complaining that the letters column was “monopolized” byVartanoff and others because the editor had a bias for “intellectual” letters. In her letter in
    Action #393 October 1970 Vartanoff took Yellon to task for this assertion. She informed him,and the collective readership, that her and other letters were chose because:

    “We work on them. We take the time to be legible, coherent, polite, humorous, and, hopefully, intelligent. All that isn’t enough, though. Plenty of “intellectual” letters never make the columns. If someone else happens to write a more thought-provoking letter that month, ours are rejected with the same indifference, as would be a smudgily penciled, unsigned ‘I hate yourmag’ card. Those are the breaks.”

    What Yellon may have thought of this take down is unknown since he never seems to havewritten to a comic again rather shifting his attention to Sports Illustrated where he had aletter published on May 20, 1974 (Yellon 1974). But the exchange led to further letters andshowed something of the letter writers awareness of each other and their engagement withthe letters column that I think is fair to call a discursive community. In Action #395 December 1970 Arelene Lo dedicated a poem to Yellon and his ilk
    who she suggested if “not a master of the written word, or a great literary critic who can point out obscure parallels or do detailed character analysis” then they might try some doggerel verse such as her that began:

    A pox on Martin Pasko
    A plague on Irene V.
    And fie to all the other fans
    More fortunate than me

    http://www.academia.edu/2451310/Writing_to_Superman_Towards_an_Understanding_of_the_Social_Networks_of_Comic-Book_Fans

      Quote  Reply

  84. SK

    Nice to see how OV merch is programmed to self-destruct after five years and nine months or when their slogans become false (see crack on left of mug).

      Quote  Reply

  85. BVS

    Hockey/Soccer Shootout = Dumbest thing in sports.

    If the game is still tied after overtime, then take more players off the ice/field and it’ll get resolved soon enough. Make OT shorter and keep taking players off the field. Watching some line of guys smacking the puck/kicking the ball at the goalie isn’t watching hockey/soccer, it’s watching practice. Who cares? It’s only one skill set.

    Home Run Derby to decide extra innings = Hockey/Soccer Shootout
    Just because the equivalent is used in minor sports, doesn’t mean MLB should adopt it. Would the NBA resolve OT basketball with HORSE?

    If you want to screw with rules in extra innings, you could make any ball that hits the OF wall (on fly or on ground) a home run. You could take one of the middle infielders off the field. You could make a 3-ball walk. These are pretty dumb ideas too, but you could do a lot of things. I obviously don’t like the HR derby option. Also I don’t like the start with a man on 2b idea (somewhere I saw that referred to as the Randy Choate rule, (dying laughing)). I agree with Uncle Dave that the rules should stay pretty true to the way the game is really played.

    One of my best non-Cub baseball memories is 14 innings in Arizona. Schilling vs Millwood as starters when Millwood was good. Then lots of tension for extras.

      Quote  Reply

  86. GW

    dmick89:
    Can someone tell me how PECOTA has the Dodgers being 7 games better than the Cubs in 2017? I don’t think the Cubs are the best team in baseball anymore, but they aren’t 7 games worse than the Dodgers on paper. I know it would have been next to impossible for the Cubs to improve on last year’s team, but I’m also not entirely sure I understand the reasoning why they were so insistent on getting worse. Montgomery over Hammel? I’m hoping Heyward in CF and Zobrist in RF, but I’ll be surprised if that happens.

    I think there are a couple of mundane explanations and at least one interesting meta-one. The mundane:

    1. Depth. I haven’t looked at PECOTA, but all projection systems tend to be generally the same. Per Steamer, the Dodgers have 9 hitters projected to hit league average or better in at least a part time role (>150 at-bats), the Cubs have six. Move the cutoff to 90 wRC+ or better, the Dodgers have 13 to the Cubs’ 8. For pitchers, the Dodgers have 8 projected to be >1.5 WAR, the Cubs have 5.

    2. Defense. The Cubs led the league by something like 30 points of babip last year. They had the best raw numbers in decades, and I think I remember reading that adjusting for league performance, it was the best since the 19th century (too lazy to run the numbers myself, and google seems to get less effective every year). Any computer brain worth its silicon is going to regress that pretty heavily.

    The more interesting explanation is that, relatively-speaking, the Dodgers are a more stat-friendly organization than the Cubs. Larry Schechter, writing about fantasy baseball, said that every team in a league should win their draft. In real baseball, this is not true, of course, because turning over your roster is much more difficult. But there is a general point there about trusting your own numbers and acting accordingly. IIRC, Friedman-led teams have always looked great on a spreadsheet . Looking at acquisitions on the margins, the Friedman Dodgers have picked up projection favorites Kazmir, McCarthy, Rich Hill, Logan Forsythe, and Franklin Gutierrez. They have so far kept Puig and Ethier, despite wide expectations that they would be gone. Plenty of Cubs acquisitions could be placed in the same bucket, but guys like Montgomery, Butler, and Arrieta were not particularly spreadsheet-friendly when acquired. And they have kept guys like Baez and Almora, who scouts tended to favor despite underwhelming numbers.

      Quote  Reply

  87. Ryno

    With the 49ers switch to a Seattley 4-3, I think Ohio State S Malik Hooker is in play at No. 2 overall. Which means you Bears fans would have your choice of QBs at No. 3.

      Quote  Reply

  88. Ryno

    And because I know you’re all concerned about the QB market, here’s my ranking of available signal callers (with only a first pass on the college kids) for teams looking for a long-term solution:

    1. Ryan Tannehill, MIA – The 28-year-old has shown flashes of elite play, but lacks consistency.
    2. DeShone Kizer, ND – My favorite QB prospect since Luck. Elite tools and has shown many NFL traits.
    3. Pat Mahomes, Texas Tech – Favre-ian. Big arm and supremely confident.
    4. Tyrod Taylor, BUF – I don’t know what the Bills are thinking if they let him go.
    5. DeShaun Watson, Clemson – I hate the “winner” label, but he seems to will his team to victory at times.
    6. Colin Kaepernick, SF – A 29-year-old version of Tannehill, but with higher highs and lower lows.
    7. Mitch Trubisky, UNC – Good in many areas, but no elite traits. Won’t create offense.
    8. Kirk Cousins, WAS – Overrated due to scheme.
    9. Jimmy Garoppolo, NE – Looked good in limited action, but why is NE willing to let him go?
    10. Nathan Peterman, Pitt/Jerod Evans, Va. Tech – Draftable guys with NFL traits.

      Quote  Reply

  89. Smokestack Lightning

    GW: The more interesting explanation is that, relatively-speaking, the Dodgers are a more stat-friendly organization than the Cubs. Larry Schechter, writing about fantasy baseball, said that every team in a league should win their draft. In real baseball, this is not true, of course, because turning over your roster is much more difficult. But there is a general point there about trusting your own numbers and acting accordingly. IIRC, Friedman-led teams have always looked great on a spreadsheet . Looking at acquisitions on the margins, the Friedman Dodgers have picked up projection favorites Kazmir, McCarthy, Rich Hill, Logan Forsythe, and Franklin Gutierrez. They have so far kept Puig and Ethier, despite wide expectations that they would be gone. Plenty of Cubs acquisitions could be placed in the same bucket, but guys like Montgomery, Butler, and Arrieta were not particularly spreadsheet-friendly when acquired. And they have kept guys like Baez and Almora, who scouts tended to favor despite underwhelming numbers.

    #FireTheo

      Quote  Reply

  90. Ryno

    The more I go back and relive the WS, the more the Kris Bryant Game 5 HR becomes a top moment for me. It was so huge, as they were innings away from elimination and I love the fact that it came right after Smoltz said they needed a boost.

      Quote  Reply

  91. Ryno

    I agree with Dan Jeremiah and Josh Norris on the QBs. Basically, 2015 Kizer is the best QB in this class, but his play deteriorated in 2016. Trubisky was the best in 2016.

    My addition is that Watson offers the experience and repetition to be the “most likely to succeed” and Mahomes offers an unmatched skillset and upside.

      Quote  Reply

  92. Ryno

    Berselius,

    It’s hard to tell what Shanahan wants in a QB, but my guess is he’ll want one that works within his system so he’ll have to be intelligent enough to understand the whole offense and make the right reads. Shanahan has also talked about “arm talent” and its importance.

    That’s kind of where I am with those rankings, which is why I have guys like Kizer and Mahomes ahead of Trubisky and Watson.

    I think SF will try to trade back a bit and target an elite defender like Foster, Hooker, Adams or Lattimore and then try to move back into the first for a QB that drops so they have the 5th year option.

      Quote  Reply

  93. Ryno

    Berselius,

    I think Kizer is the best fit in SF under Shanahan. Kizer is comfortable in the pocket to a fault and his eyes are always downfield, even on the move. And his arm talent is top notch. Strong and with a quick released.

      Quote  Reply

  94. Ryno

    I swear I didn’t read this until after I made the last post (dying laughing)

    Shanahan said: “Anytime you have a guy who is just a pure, natural thrower [and] born to do that and who is definitely smart enough to handle it all and to keep his eyes downfield and a guy who is tough and hangs in the pocket and is really fearless…”

    That’s Kizer.

      Quote  Reply

  95. Smokestack Lightning

    Wenningtons Gorilla Cock:
    Sammy: put Chicago on the map, is like Jesus

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18732954/sammy-sosa-maintains-was-clean-open-return-chicago-cubs

    I more or less agree with these sentiments and think it’s well past time for bygones to be bygones. Being World Champs should absolve just about every ex-Cub considered wayward. Time to being him back, appreciate what he did, which was to make baseball watchable again.

      Quote  Reply

Leave a Comment