Recent Comments

Welcome! You are invited to wander around and read all of the comments that have been posted here at Patton & Co., but as soon as you register you can see the bid limits that Alex, Peter and Mike propose for each player, and you can post your own comments. Registering is free, so please join us!
Here's a case where I don't quarrel with Peter's bid -- prices are stretched out in mixed leagues; to "overpay" for A-Rod you have to "underpay" for Markakis -- but I do quarrel with Mike's. What's not to like in 5x5? Markakis hit .320 in the second half. Knocked in 69 runs. Scored 55. It's true he didn't really get going until the middle of August, so you could say all he really did was have a six-week hot streak.

And you may prove to be right. But if you let somebody else have him in an AL-only league for $22, I'm quite sure you'll regret it.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 23 '07
Gary Bennett Los Angeles Dodgers
Admitting to the Washington Post that he took HGH:

"Quite frankly, I wasn't playing very well. I was horrible offensively. Defensively, it was a struggle to move around behind the plate. So I wrestled with it for about a month. And I finally decided, 'I'm going to try it.'"
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Yes, scratch the "very." I was getting a little carried away there. But for now I'm going to leave my bid limit at $6, because that's how much I like catchers who don't catch. Who are good hitters.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Carlos Pena Texas Rangers
Which is more shocking? That he had the third highest OPS in the first half (behind Alex Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez)? Or the SECOND highest in the second half (behind David Ortiz)?

Did the ALL CAPS give it away?

He always had plate discipline. He always had a quick and powerful swing. But like some other hitters (Jose Cruz comes to mind), he seemed to go into stretches where he simply couldn't read the pitches at all.

Amazingly, the computers at Baseball Info Solutions (aka The Bill James Handbook 2008) give Pena an xBA of .315 for last year; I don't know how they figure that.

He still K's (and backward K's) far too often. It won't be a shock if 2008 finds him right around his career batting average. But the long flies will keep on coming.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Magglio Ordonez Detroit Tigers
Hit .429 with runners in scoring position. A Rogers Hornsby number.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Felix Hernandez Baltimore Orioles
His average fastball was clocked at 95.6 mph, fastest in the majors (minimum 162 IP). But on the list of Highest % Fastballs (in the Bill James Handbook 2008) King Felix is nowhere to be found. He ranks eighth on the list of Highest % Sliders.

What do I know looking over stats in the middle of winter? But I suspect it's not the best way to handle a still very young pitcher.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Chris Young San Diego Padres
It's hard to imagine any first-place team trading Chris Young to a last-place team in the middle of the season last year. What could you possibly get in a fire sale that would be better than Chris Young?

It's kind of painful to think how many teams that were in first at the All Star break because of Chris Young fell out of first thanks to his second-half collapse.

But even after winning all of two games and compiling a 4.28 ERA in the second half, Young finished first in the league in Opposition OPS, edging out Jake Peavy.

It was quite a battle, with Young finishing ahead of Peavy in Opponent BA, second to Peavy in Opponent OBP and ahead of Peavy in Opponent SLG.

Young was the most extreme flyball pitcher in the National League last year, by a wide margin. GB/FB ratio 0.58, next 0.76 (Oliver Perez). Makes finishing first in Opponent SLG all the more of an accomplishment.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Greg Maddux Los Angeles Dodgers
In the back of the Bill James Handbook 2008 are dozens of great lists. They become even more fascinating when seemingly disparate lists -- or lists that would seem to have different membership -- are compared.

For example, if you had the fourth Slowest Average Fastball in the National League last year, how often would you actually throw it?

Greg Maddux threw his not-so-hot heater 69.9 percent of the time. Only Aaron Cook, Dontrelle Willis, Chris Young, Brandon Webb and Brad Penny threw a higher percentage of fastballs. Only Jamie Moyer, Livan Hernandez, Tom Glavine, Doug Davis and Barry Zito had slower average fastballs.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
John Smoltz Atlanta Braves
On further investigation...

Smoltz was fifth in the league in Lowest % Fastballs. Behind Jamie Moyer, Doug Davis, Josh Fogg and Bronson Arroyo. Ahead of Matt Morris and Tom Glavine.

Four of these other pitchers (Moyer, Davis, Morris and Glavine) ranked in the top 10 in Slowest Average Fastball. So for them discretion in the number of fastballs was the highest form of valor.

Smoltz, it seems, was a save-your-bullets type.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Fourth in the league in Fastest Average Fastball last year. Can you believe that?

Ahead of him: Brad Penny, Matt Cain, Rou Oswalt. Behind him (by decimals): Jake Peavy.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
I'm sure you're right. Are the DOBs off for other old-timers?
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Derek Lowe Texas Rangers
According to the Rating, Lowe didn't pitch quite as effectively last year, and sure enough, his ERA was a little higher. But in fewer IP he recorded more K's, which gets the attention not just in 5x5 leagues. He gave up fewer hits per IP. A few more fly balls became Big Flies, but -- who knows? -- maybe he had bad luck with the weather. For sure, when the league ERA is 4.43 and your ERA is more than half a run better, you don't deserve a losing record.

That's the main point I'm trying to make.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
I use Firefox, too.

$43. HR $4, RBI $6, SB $32, BA $1.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Dec 22 '07
Wasn't Babe Ruth born in 1895?
Mike Gianella MikeG
Dec 22 '07
Hanley Ramirez Cleveland Indians
Rick Wilton, the injury guru at BaseballHQ.com, writes: "The Marlins do not believe Ramirez will be close to 100% in spring training."

Some sort of nonsense about "surgery after the season to repair damage to his non-throwing shoulder."

Hanley, Hanley... non-throwing shoulder? Must be some meds you can legally take, starting right now.

Rotoman and I have him in the 15-team mixed-league XFL. That's a tall pyramid to climb and you can't do it without at least one Hanley Ramirez going at full-tilt.


Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners
According to the Baseball Forecaster, Ichiro's "expected batting average" was a mere .286.

But don't panic, Ichiro owners, his xBA in 2006 was .285.

You'll certainly be satisfied if he hits .322 this year. Won't you?

Answer: Yep. Especially if he steals 45 bases.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
F.P. Santangelo Oakland Athletics
The Mitchell Report: "Santangelo wrote a $1,400 check to Radomski for human growth hormone in 2000. Radomski says he also recalled selling Deca-Durabolin and testosterone to Santangelo once or twice in 2001."

Santangelo: "I did growth hormones. I was at a point in my career when I took it -- twice -- because I panicked. I didn't want my career to end."
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
Dan Naulty New York Yankees
Excerpts from an article in USA Today Sports Weekly in December, quoting Naulty, who was picked in the 14th-round out of Cal State Fullerton in 1992:

"I was ready to do anything to get to the big leagues," he says. "I knew I had to gain weight. I already ate like a horse, but I only weighed 185 pounds (on a 6-6 frame). So I went to the gym, went over to the biggest gym rat/muscle head guy I could find and said, 'I need to get big.' He said drugs were the way and I said, 'Where do I sign?' "

By spring training, Naulty was 25 pounds heavier, and his velocity was improving. By the time he'd reached the big leagues his fastball was up from 87 mph to the mid-90s.

"I'd effectively gained 8-10 mph and made myself an anabolic prospect," he says. "I went from an A-ball pitcher to a major league prospect in a matter of two years."

As he ballooned, eventually to 245 pounds, Naulty said baseball looked the other way.

"Management, players — nobody came to me and said, 'Hey, Dan, you've gained 60 pounds. Is there something here we should know or be concerned about?' It was just part of the program. Getting to the big leagues was all anyone cared about."

Between 1992-98 Naulty says that several Orange County body builders advised him on diet and his drug intake, which included five kinds of steroids... Naulty tried HGH at the end of 1998 after his groin tendon tore away from his pelvis. He still feels the effects of that injury as well as the triceps that tore out of its socket. He still bears the scar from surgery to take a rib from his neck, necessary to create space because his veins and arteries were pressing into each other.

"Your weight, your size, your muscle mass all increase on steroids," he says. "You're alert. Your attention span is through the roof. Your energy level is through the roof. But, internally, you're a ticking time bomb."

... The million-or-so dollars Naulty made during his professional career is long gone... Now a pastor at a non-denominational church and living in Littleton, Colo., Naulty is working toward his Ph.D in theology and feels the need to touch another baseball audience: players in the organizations he played for that were affected by his cheating.

He cites Mike Trombley, who played parts of 11 seasons in the major leagues. But in 1996, Trombley was the final player cut by the Twins when Naulty made the roster.

"But there was no way I was making that team if I wasn't drug-induced," Naulty said. "So the domino effect begins. He gets sent down, somebody else gets sent down a level and, eventually, somebody gets released. I stole jobs from people."

... Naulty said he'll attempt to compile a list of players he believed his use of performance enhancing drugs adversely impacted.

Naulty said he'll attempt to compile a list of players he believed his use of performance enhancing drugs adversely impacted.

"I want to apologize to as many as I can," he said. "... You reap what you sow and I might very well reap a lot of what I sowed."

Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07
While recognizing the point about ratio (Peter held onto the same symmetry argument in the magazine), more people seem to be more comfortable with WHIP. (Maybe the ratio people have come to terms with it and can convert it in their heads more easily?)

I like rating, just for those instances when it is different than WHIP, which to me is another argument for using WHIP -- the ease of seeing that difference. Unless you want to multiply the rating by nine . . . no, I really didn't say that.
mike fenger mike
Dec 22 '07
I'm looking at the WHIPs and Ratings. Have to admit there isn't much difference. Difference, such as it is, being when Volquez gives up too many bombs, the Rating is higher than the Whip, when he keeps the ball in the park the rating is lower.

Mike G. says he pays no attention to the Rating. Should both Ratio and Rating be jettisoned?

My own preference is to show Ratio, because it's on the same footing as ERA, and Rating, because it is a good measurement of a pitcher's effectiveness that often is at odds with ERA. And ditch WHIP. Nevertheless, if readers want WHIP and don't want Rating -- I won't say they're right, but they are the customers.
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 22 '07

Click on the name of a player (or thread) to go directly to that page and see the comment in context with the other comments.