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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dodgers Take Step Backward

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Dodgers fire general manager DePodesta

Good. It's always nice to see teams in the division do things to hurt themselves.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Long Time Coming

The ChiSox' sweep of the Houston Astros in the 2005 World Series only serves to further convince me that the Chicago Cubs will never again win the World Series.

Since I have no logic or data to support that ridiculous assertion (an assertion I believe, nonetheless), I'll congratulate the White Sox and their long-suffering fans.

I was wrong about your team in spring training, and I was wrong about them during their early enfuego stretch.

I was wrong about the Sox when Cleveland was chasing them from behind, and I was wrong about them when they were brushing aside all comers in the post-season.

And now they're World Champions.

Good for them.

What I wouldn't give to share a similar experience with my fellow Padre fans.

Richard: I don't care for the White Sox. That being said, there is still a silver lining. Cub fans have to be quite unhappy. Good enough for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A'sNation Book Club

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There's a highly interesting post over at Athletics Nation that I recommend taking the time to read. Even most of the comments are good. I think mdl covered that aspect pretty well with his own comment:
As I read Baseball Girl's post, I have to marvel at what an amazing abundance of intelligent and articulate posters we have here at AN.

Then as I read some of the rebuttals in the comments explaining about clutch hitting, I sense some regression to the mean.

Ah well, if AN's population is a hitter's season stats, we're still batting somewhere around .370, and that's damn good.

by mdl on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:31:03 AM PST

Klesko for Finley...

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Question from Padres.com:
Is there any credence to the rumors that the Padres may take Steve Finley back to finish his career? If Ryan Klesko leaves, we could have a hole in the outfield that Finley would fill nicely. -- Julie J., San Diego

According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Klesko is due $10.0M in '06 and Finley is due $7.0M. Saving $3.0M would be nice, but what about the difference in production?

Looking at this past year using a method borrowed from Joe Giovannetti:Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Klesko, despite pulling down $2.0M more was overpaid by $1.702M less.

Looking at them based only on their numbers from last season (adjusted for all-time):Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Klesko was productive. Finley was not. The difference in salary does not make up for the difference in production.

Not Entirely Worthless

All the cool blogs are doin' it, so we'll follow suit.

It would appear that "Friar Faithful" is worth $6,209.94, at least if this is to be believed.

I'm just sayin' that if anybody wants to make an offer, we're listening.

My blog is worth $6,209.94.
How much is your blog worth?

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Work in Progress...

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Geoff Young has sparked a bit of a discussion about Xavier Nady with his Review of the Padres' First Base situation. I have a number of opinions on the subject, but feel they are not based on much. I can't allow that to continue, so I'll be adding statistics and commentary on the topic over the next couple of days.

First off, X's Beyond The Boxscore Player Card:

Only NRAA & NRAA/GP are park or season adjusted in any manner. Also, the NL average of mOPS (2.2*OBP+ISO) is .872. That means that .884 playing half your games in the park with the greatest negative factor is pretty decent.

BA is exactly league average playing in a park that lowers BABIP. His OBP is .006 points below league average. His SLG & ISO are .025 above. Nady's EQA of .269 (which is park and league adjusted) is .009 above the Major League average of .260.

Other stats from The Hardball Times:Image hosted by Photobucket.com

In case they're unfamiliar, those are Runs Created, Runs Created per Game, Gross Production Average ((OBP*1.8+SLG)/4) which is ballpark adjusted, Pitches per Plate Appearance, Line Drive Percentage, Batting Average on Balls in Play, Groundball to Flyball ratio, percentage of flyballs that are infield flies and Home Runs per Flyball.

RC is a counting stat and tells us less than RC/G. 4.9 isn't terribly low, but it's behind Giles, Sweeney, Roberts, Klesko & Fick who all play the position(s) Nady does. Nady's GPA is good for 10th on the club, though it is a bit above league average. He was 25th among Padres in P/PA which is just ugly. His LD% is lower than that of Burroughs (by 0.4). The BA/BIP is also on the low side. He was around the middle in G/F and IF/F. His HR/F was encouraging, though as it ranked behind only Ben Johnson, Jesse Garcia & Miguel Olivo who had fewer PA by a wide margin. THT's PrOPS stat also seemed to like Nady. PrOPS is based on "batted ball types, walk rate, HBP rate, strikeout rate, home run rate, speed scores, and home park of the player."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Potential Free Agent Center Fielders

Some more Fielding stats:

I tried to keep the list to only players who played a reasonable number of games in Center this year, but let slide those who had a Rate in line with their career average.

Lance: Damn... these guys are all hopeless with the bat, or unable to really play CF, or throw like a girl (see Damon, Johnny). Sigh....

If the Padres plan to look to the free agent market for a Center Fielder, I hope they try to sign Lofton.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Padre News from ESPN.com

It's important to remember when reviewing the Padres' 2005 season...

"When a team improves sharply one season they will almost always decline in the next."

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From ESPN:
San Diego Padres: First base coach Davey Lopes and third base coach Rob Picciolo won't be back next season. The Padres will not renew the contracts of Lopes, Picciolo and advance scout Jeff Gardner.

Change is good, but this isn't terribly interesting.

Next GM?

From the Boston Globe:
David Forst, the former captain of the Harvard baseball team and current assistant GM with the Oakland A's, is said to be in line to become Sandy Alderson's first choice in San Diego if Kevin Towers leaves and goes to Arizona, a widely reported rumor.

We could certainly do worse.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Off-Season Noise

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Riverside Press Enterprise: "The biggest question is what the Padres intend to do with Hoffman. The closer is an icon in San Diego and still has the stuff to get the job done in the ninth. He is closing in on the all-time save mark, but he wants to be paid like the Yankees' Mariano Rivera, which means $10 million."

Hoffman was worth roughly three million dollars this past season and there's no reason to believe he's going to be three times more valuable next year.

Next Year's Roster

Just some quick lists...

Arbitration Eligible Players (5): Adam Eaton, Dave Roberts, Sean Burroughs, Miguel Olivo, David Ross.

Adam Eaton will probably win more in arbitration than he's worth. The same can likely be said of Dave Roberts. Burroughs and Olivo shouldn't be able to get much and are worth keeping. David Ross is without worth.

Free Agent Players (12): Brian Giles, Ramon Hernandez, Trevor Hoffman, Joe Randa, Pedro Astacio, Chris Hammond, Rudy Seanez, Mark Sweeney, Robert Fick, Damian jackson, Eric Young ($850,000 Team Option), Manny Alexander.

Giles is easily the most important player to re-sign. If you need that explained to you, go away. Others worth keeping around are Hernandez, Hoffman, Astacio, Seanez, Sweeney, Fick, Jackson, Young. Hernandez and Hoffman will likely demand more than they're worth, so I favor letting them walk. The rest shouldn't be able to get much more than they did this season and the club ought to attempt to retain their services.

Players Signed through (at least) 2006 with known (by me) salaries (7): Ryan Klesko, Mark Loretta, Jake Peavy, Scott Linebrink, Chan Ho Park, Woody Williams ($500,000 buyout), Brian Lawrence.

Woody Williams could get paid $7,030,000 according to the Union Tribune. I'd rather he only get the $500,000. Peavy and Linebrink are both bargains. Chan Ho Park has to be the highest paid low leverage middle relief pitcher in the Majors.

Player Salary Percentage
Ryan Klesko 10,500,000 16.9
Chan Ho Park 10,000,000 16.1
Brian Lawrence 4,050,000 6.5
Mark Loretta 3,250,000 5.2
Jake Peavy 2,500,000 4
Scott Linebrink 1,365,000 2.2
Eric Young 850,000 1.4
Woody Williams 500,000 0.8

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ed Graney Makes Bochy Look Stupid

Unfortunately for Graney, that's a pretty big step up for Boch. His article can be found here.

Break up the Padres.

I fear he's peaked rather early.

No. Really. Please.

In Graney's mind, that's clever.

[snip some idiocy] It sounded nice for a few days, all that feel-good banter about the record not mattering and clean slates and how strange things sometimes occur in a short series. Nice and utterly ridiculous.

I agree. Having the odds stacked against you 3:2 like the Padres did is impossible to overcome.

[snip some more idiocy] [Kevin Towers] no longer must spend inning after inning praying for a Padres bat to mistakenly run into a pitch or closing his eyes when any fly ball ventures into left field.

The Padres were fifth of 16 in EQA in the NL. Also, Klesko had a Rate of 99, which is within one run over 100 games of average. If Graney wanted to pick on fielder, he probably should have started with Dave Roberts who happened to be awful in the field this year.

[snip some idiocy, a quote from KT, and a little more idiocy]It's about time base runners around here didn't resemble your parents during the church picnic's three-legged race. It's about time there are better athletes in the home team's outfield than the beer line. It's about time the offense does something more productive than walk.

I'll agree with Graney's general opinion with regard to the poor base-running. Some of that is the fault of the coaching staff as well as the players. Graney is correct that the team needs better outfielders (see Roberts, Dave). Something more productive than walk... What is it with the idiots in this town and their disgust with drawing walks? Any time you didn't make an out, you succeeded. Somebody explain how baseball works to Graney.

[snip a couple useless lines]There are three untouchable players on the roster – pitchers Jake Peavy and Scott Linebrink and shortstop Khalil Greene. After that, no one should be considering refinancing the mortgage.

I wouldn't want to get rid of them either, but the only one I would classify untouchable is Peavy. Linebrink has been outstanding, but if the right deal came along.... Khalil is still a below average player and despite his upside, he shouldn't be considered untouchable.

[snip some more useless crap, a couple quotes from Towers and Graney's predictions on who will be re-signed]Do the Padres take the $8 million or $9 million they would offer Giles and instead split it among a few players such as Minnesota's Jacque Jones and Florida's Juan Encarnacion? Do they again try to trade for Mike Cameron of the Mets or perhaps Juan Pierre of the Marlins?

It's worth noting that Jones and Encarnacion together aren't going to replace the production of Giles by himself. Look, here's a table:

Brian Giles 0.44 158 0.326 99 380 49.8 30.52 0.305 RF
Jacque Jones 0.332 142 0.27 111 408 6.96 15.9 0.159 RF
Ryan Klesko 0.369 137 0.281 100 372 13.74 10.03 0.1 LF
Mike Cameron 0.341 76 0.285 94 215 9.56 6.58 0.066 RF
Juan Encarnacion 0.358 141 0.28 95 389 13.65 4.68 0.047 RF
Dave Roberts 0.374 115 0.284 88 310 13.2 -0.52 -0.005 CF
Juan Pierre 0.335 162 0.257 97 463 -2.28 -4.41 -0.044 CF

It'd be nice to have Jacque Jones in right, Giles in left and somebody not in that table in center.

Do they convince a team such as the Angels that Ryan Klesko could actually be productive as a designated hitter and then convince Klesko to take his pleasant demeanor, diminishing skills, no-trade clause and $10 million salary up the freeway in exchange for Steve Finley?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yeah, that'd be a hell of a deal. Good thinking, Graney.

There is so much to do, so much to fix. Eighth among National League teams in average with runners in scoring position. Sixth in on-base percentage. Twelfth in batting average. Thirteenth in runs and home runs. Fifteenth in slugging percentage.

Has this guy never heard of negative park factors and small sample sizes, or is he just too stupid to understand the concepts?

[snip the rest of his crappy article]

Where does the UT find a guy like Graney? I'm guessing under a bridge.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pettis > Pierre

Lance Richardson said...
Juan Pierre is Gary Pettis, without the Gold Glove defense.
Why don't we just get it over with, and coax Mickey Rivers outta retirement?!?

Richard B. Wade said...
From the age of 25 to that of 27, Pettis was 37.20 Net Runs Above Average better than Pierre.

Lance Richardson said...
Pettis was BETTER than Pierre!?!?
I guess I should heve used a different comp. Maybe Shawn Abner?

Richard B. Wade said...
From the age of 22 to that of 26, Abner was roughly one net run above average per 100 games worse than Pierre, but because he played less, his total NRAA was higher over that period.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


From David Pinto's "Baseball Musings:"

"This is very bad news for the Padres playoff hopes. Jake Peavy broke two ribs during today's game.
Initial X-rays were negative, but the Padres sent Peavy to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for an MRI, which revealed the fractured rib. A team spokesman said Peavy might have also broken his ninth rib, and that additional tests were being done.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy said the team didn't know when Peavy suffered the injury.
He could break them twisting on a play, or even coughing. Even if the Padres manage to get by St. Louis, I don't give them much chance of going past that without their ace.
Update: The Fox pre-game show just reported that Peavy broke his rib in the Padres celebration after they clinched. Those player piles are funny until someone loses the opening game of the LDS. :-)"

Nothing like a dog-pile celebration inspired by an 82-80 season. Next to Katrina and Rita, this is the worst thing to happen this fall. I think I'll go find a brick wall to bang my head on.

Padres Lose Game 1 & Peavy

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The Padre defense handed the St. Louis Cardinals roughly three extra runs today. Compare that to the less than half a run the Cardinals handed back. The Padres have suffered from lousy fielding all year. Part of the problem is that our better fielders are either perceived as less effective hitters and/or are less effective hitters. Sweeney, Loretta, Randa, Klesko and Roberts are for the most part better hitters than their would-be replacements, but have not fared as well in the field. There isn't any clear cut solution and that may actually be more frustrating than if there were.

Juan Pierre?

I caught the Werndl Wire this afternoon and he was mentioning that some team or another is talking to the Marlins about Juan Pierre. He went on to say that the Padres should be talking to the Marlins about Juan Pierre. Maybe someone should point out that Juan Pierre isn't very good. He's a below average player. A quick look at his career NRAA numbers:

2000 149 0.208 51 -10.98 101 -20.53 -0.205 -33.26 -10.47
2001 447 0.257 156 -2.2 99 -2.41 -0.024 -3.91 -3.76
2002 442 0.234 152 -17.64 103 -8.61 -0.086 -13.94 -13.08
2003 502 0.272 162 10.33 91 -2.62 -0.026 -4.25 -4.25
2004 498 0.276 162 13.82 93 1.53 0.015 2.48 2.48
2005 492 0.256 162 -3.22 97 -4.99 -0.05 -8.08 -8.08
Career 2530 0.258 845 -8.34 97 -3.99 -0.04 -6.46 -33.69

If all the negative numbers (average is exactly zero) aren't good enough, take into account that not even being .140 runs below average per game in the field was enough to tip the scales in Pierre's favor when comparing him to Dave Roberts this year. That's how lousy Pierre is when it comes to producing offensively. Juan Pierre is 27, has played six seasons and has only managed to crack the "average barrier" one time. What the hell do we need that for?