The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Whit Merrifield Kansas City Royals
Monday, May 18Read in Browser.
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Stathead Spotlight: Luis Gonzalez

Players since 1999 with 30-game hitting streaks

Whit Merrifield2018‑09‑102019‑04‑1031KCR
Freddie Freeman2016‑08‑242016‑09‑2830ATL
Dan Uggla2011‑07‑052011‑08‑1333ATL
Andre Ethier2011‑04‑022011‑05‑0630LAD
Ryan Zimmerman2009‑04‑082009‑05‑1230WSN
Moises Alou2007‑08‑232007‑09‑2630NYM
Willy Taveras2006‑07‑272006‑08‑2730HOU
Chase Utley2006‑06‑232006‑08‑0335PHI
Jimmy Rollins2005‑08‑232006‑04‑0538PHI
Albert Pujols2003‑07‑122003‑08‑1630STL
Luis Castillo2002‑05‑082002‑06‑2135FLA
Vladimir Guerrero1999‑07‑271999‑08‑2631MON
Luis Gonzalez1999‑04‑111999‑05‑1830ARI

See the full list at's Batting Streak Finder

Alex Patton Alex
May 18

Other Notable May 18 Events

1912: In protest of Ty Cobb's suspension over attacking a heckler, The Detroit Tigers field a team of replacement players in a 24-2 loss to the Philadelphia Athletics. Future priest Allan Travers was Detroit's lone pitcher in this game.

See other May 18 events at Baseball-Reference's Bullpen

Ten of the 24 runs were unearned.  

Alex Patton Alex
May 18
Randy Johnson San Francisco Giants

Stathead Spotlight: Randy Johnson

Oldest pitchers to record a perfect game

Randy Johnson40.251 2004‑05‑18ARI
Dennis Martinez37.075 1991‑07‑28MON
Cy Young37.037 1904‑05‑05BOS
David Cone36.197 1999‑07‑18NYY
David Wells34.362 1998‑05‑17NYY

See the full list at's Pitching Game Finder

Alex Patton Alex
May 18
Justin Verlander Houston Astros

Mark McGwireLarry HerndonMike BlowersRandy JohnsonStan Williams

May 18 All-Time Top Performers


Randy Johnson* (ARI, 2004): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 13 K, 100 GmSc

Stan Williams* (CLE, 1968): 10.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 100 GmSc

Jason Schmidt (SFG, 2004): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 13 K, 97 GmSc

Justin Verlander (DET, 2012): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 95 GmSc

George Pipgras (NYY, 1929): 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 92 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
May 18
Mark McGwire San Diego Padres

Mark McGwireLarry HerndonMike BlowersRandy JohnsonStan Williams

May 18 All-Time Top Performers


Mark McGwire* (STL, 2000): 3-4, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R

Larry Herndon* (DET, 1982): 3-4, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R

Mike Blowers* (OAK, 1998): 4-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, cycle

Dale Murphy (ATL, 1979): 3-3, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R

Edgar Martinez (SEA, 1999): 3-5, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R

Willie Mays (NYG, 1957): 3-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 4 SB

Alex Gordon (KCR, 2014): 4-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R

John Mabry (STL, 1996): 4-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, cycle

Andy Allanson (CAL, 1995): 4-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R

Mickey Mantle (NYY, 1956): 4-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
May 18
Matt Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter (3B) STL - May. 17

Carpenter presents as a potentially ideal designated hitter candidate if the position is instituted universally for the abbreviated 2020 regular season, Will Laws of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Laws makes a case for one DH candidate for every National League team, and Carpenter gets his nod on the Cardinals for a couple of reasons. One is the fact that slotting in the veteran at DH would allow him to solely focus on fixing the offensive side of his game after he slumped to a .226/.334/.392 line across 492 plate appearances in 2019. Another is that removing Carpenter from the defensive equation would allow Tommy Edman to potentially slot in at third base on an everyday basis, which would in turn possibly lead to more outfield playing time for a promising prospect like Lane Thomas. Last season notwithstanding, Carpenter's past body of work lends credence to the notion he could thrive in a DH capacity, as he racked up a career-best 78 extra-base hits (42 doubles, 36 home runs) and .523 slugging percentage in 2018.

Alex Patton Alex
May 18
Dustin Hermanson Chicago White Sox

The best pitcher, according to Alex's estimates/formulae, not taken in the 1999 XFL draft ... Alex's earnings say $5 for the Ws + $3 for the ERA and WHIP + $8 for the Ks.

Question ... the last place team ERA was 4.04 ... should Dustin's 4.20 ERA be worth $3?  Seems like it should be worth negative ... right?  So that's an adjustment to your ERA$ formula that I'd recommend, Alex.  I'm probably forgetting some masochist basics ... but I think an argument could be made that any pitcher's ERA above 3.66 (which was good for 6th place, 7 points) is worth "negative $"?

Howard Lynch LynchMob
May 17

I did bite off more than I could chew, but thanks for the op to chew on it a while.  I've sent you a reply with a few data manipulations that might be a source of insight for you.

(edited: i found a major excel boo-boo in my pitching$ manipulations)

Two thoughts that I did come up with are ... 

1. Given your list of $ values for 276 players, I think that means that each
place in that ranking means that’s how much the pick “costs” … so then pair
that up with what the actual picked earned … and you have a Profit & Lost
value for each pick … for example, the 3
rd pick in the 14th
round corresponds to a player who should be worth 19, and the actual pick was
Olerud who earned 19.8, for a 0.8 profit … and very few 1Bmen actually were
picked at a profit … but Fred
could have done even better with that pick by taking Mark Grace, who earned
20.4 (and was taken with the 9th pick of the 14th round).

2. The league "bought" $3440 worth of hitting and $2512 worth of pitching ... what's that tell you?

If I had more time ... the thought that Larry Walker is overvalued is consistent with my gut feel that Alex overvalues BA ... so maybe I'd tweek Alex's formula for BA$ and see if the result is $earned/team that is a better correlation to the final standings?

And if I still had time, I'd mock up a simulation whereby each team takes the best-player-available and see what the results are ... I'd hope the standings would be much tighter ...

Question ... does anyone who has participated in these have a feel for best/preferred draft position?  Is it better to go #1+#24 or #12+#13?  One theory I'd study (again, if I had time) is that #12+#13 might have an advantage in that it's more likely that they can capitalize on a mistake by a previous owner ... ie. the team with the #1 pick can only make a mistake, but the team with the #12 pick might be able to get the 11th best player ... might even be able to get the #1 player (if all other 11 owners make the same mistake) ... so ... in reality ... the best draft position is right after the owner who is most likely to make mistakes :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
May 17

The owners are playing fast and loose with the numbers.  Losing $4B likely means compared to a full season of play and with the players receiving full season salaries.  It's not actually losing that much, it's the comparison to what they would have made under normal circumstances.  That lying is why there can't be a deal on this subject.  But, it's even more true that they can't revamp the entire salary structure of the game in a month's time when normal pay negotiations take six months to a year.  It's crap shock doctrine stuff.  

Here's how my brother consolidated my two twitter threads on the subject.

"First, please disregard the sports writers who are shilling for the owners by saying the players "need to do x for the good of the game."
Let us explore this subject from a labor law perspective. MLB and the MLBPA agreed to pro-rated salaries as part of an agreement to postpone the season. The agreement has the same weight as a term CBA. The subject is foreclosed from bargaining unless mutually reopened. Why would the players reopen? The shills have argued that in return the players would have the opportunity to opt not to play if they have an underlying medical condition. But, if games were going on the pressure to participate would be extreme. And, they already have that right under the ADA - but that's a wholly different issue. What about the negotiation over the schedule changes & locations of games. Those are already mandatory subjects of bargaining. The owners have to negotiate those. And, what about health & safety of players who do play & sequester from their families. Again, mandatory subjects. The owners have to negotiate over those things.
On flip side the bargaining obligation over pay has been completed. The players don't have to negotiate that again, absent mutual consent to reopen. There is no compelling reason to revisit the prorated contracts. Sure, the owners want more of the pie. They are engaging in shock doctrine. It's a crisis, lets try to implement the thing we've always wanted under the guise of this crisis. But, revenue sharing like the NFL and NBA only benefits the owners. The answer should be no, it's covered in the CBA & MOU already. The owners want to mitigate potential losses. Not the players' problem. The players don't reopen the CBA to get more money when the owners find a new, profitable revenue stream, they wait until the next term CBA. Plus, these are privately held businesses with no public disclosure. It's not something that can be resolved quickly.
For the "good of the game" the owners should eat their losses this year. It's what every other business is doing to stay afloat in the pandemic. There are legitimate concerns to be negotiated, but salary is not one of them. That's done.
Let me add a new thread about the negotiations over restarting baseball. My old thread is here:…What MLB is proposing is similar to the revenue sharing plan that the NFL and NBA have had for decades. It's what the owners have proposed several times in MLB. Split the revenue between owners and players at x percent for one and y perfect for the other. So simple right? Nope. It's a complete overhaul of the salary system baseball and not something that can be agreed to overnight. That doesn't even get to whether the players actually would want it. (Hint: they don't).
First, in baseball most revenues are local revenues - tickets, tv contracts, radio deals, concessions, parking, etc. Nobody knows what those revenues are except for each individual team. They share some local revenues but mostly don't. This is significantly different than the NFL where the vast majority of the revenue is brought into through league and divided evenly. Baseball owners have always held everything close and kept their revenue sources secret and proprietary. They already hide it from each other, why would they share the data with the players. But, that said, what if they were all above board and showed all of their income?
Having a revenue split necessitates a cap and a floor, two things that the players have repeatedly rejected. Each puts considerable pressure on salaries at the top to be reduced in order to pay those at the bottom. It almost necessitates an individual player maximum, another thing that the MLBPA won't agree to. It only creates cleavages between the players because every dollar one receives takes it from another player in the Union. That's an anti-solidarity agreement, putting players in competition for a finite amount of dollars.
Having no individual cap and no team cap (I recognize the salary tax system serves as a de facto cap) allows players to receive without being in direct competition for the same exact dollars. It's not a zero sum game. But, what's disturbing more than the proposal itself or the media shills saying the players have to accept it for the good of the game, is that this is merely shock doctrine. It's a crisis, so the owners are trying to force the issue when they couldn't achieve it in CBA negotiations in the past or future.
Very complicated issue that should take months to negotiate in the best of times. The answer is no. Let's talk about it in two years and follow our prorated contract MOU that we negotiated in response to this very situation for this situation."

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
May 17

Jeff Passan had me persuaded five days ago (persuaded is a little strong, but I was impressed by his "back of the napkin math") that the players should accept the owners' offer to split revenue 50-50. All that gets blown to hell by the owners' back of the napkin math.

In this accounting, the players don't get paid anything -- they have to chip in!

I think that's what EBITDA means. Playing 82 games, the Tigers would lose $84 million. And they are getting off light. The Yankees lose $312 million.

My back of the napkin math says Gerrit Cole would have to chip in somewhere around $5 million.

As Passan figured it, a 50-50 split of revenue would give the players roughly as much money as they get in the March 26 agreement. As the owners see it, paying the players what they agreed to pay on March 26 would mean an 89/11 split. In favor of the players.

If the players do accept a 50-50 split, in addition to losing half of their salaries this year, because half of the season won't be played, they lose almost 40 percent of what they are owed for the remaining half season.

That's my math. If you tell me it's wrong, I won't be surprised.

The fact remains, if the owners' numbers are even close to accurate, Blake Snell is right.

Alex Patton Alex
May 17
Sean Newcomb Atlanta Braves

Fear not, Big Train. Few visitors to this clubhouse right now.

Sean Newcomb (P) ATL - May. 16

Newcomb, Mike Foltynewicz and Mike Soroka were all able to pitch against live hitters this week, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: In an interview with Foltynewicz, the right-hander indicated the trio has been getting together regularly to play catch and keep arms loose at a high school near the players' homes in the Atlanta area, but Tuesday they were joined by Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies and Charlie Culberson. Each pitcher tossed three simulated innings of about 15 pitches against his teammates, a step up in intensity from the twice-a-week bullpens each has been throwing. Foltynewicz estimated he and the other pitchers in the group are 75-80 percent stretched out and would need about two weeks of a second training camp to be ready for the regular season, whenever it might begin. Newcomb, who was locked in a battle with Felix Hernandez for the No. 5 starter spot when spring training was suspended, would likely be a key part of the Atlanta staff in a compacted schedule even if he isn't getting a regular turn in the rotation. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 17
Charlie Culberson Atlanta Braves

I suspect few people are hoping harder than Charlie that a half season -- hell, a quarter season -- gets played this year.

Charlie Culberson (OF) ATL - May. 16

Culberson, Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies were able to take at-bats against live pitching this week, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: The trio of hitters joined Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka and Sean Newcomb at a high school in the Atlanta area for some more intense reps than the players had been getting in their respective batting cages and bullpen sessions, as each pitcher tossed three simulated innings of about 15 pitches against his teammates. Culberson may have been on the outside looking in at a roster spot when spring training was suspended, but the likelihood of expanded rosters to accommodate a compacted schedule could ensure the 31-year-old finds a home once again on the Atlanta bench, even if only in a pinch-hitting role. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 17
Marcus Semien Oakland Athletics

Marcus Semien (SS) OAK - May. 16

Semien, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, may find it difficult to maximize his earnings with the Athletics or another team due to the depressed financial climate expected from an abbreviated or canceled 2020 campaign, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Semien is already guaranteed to receive a full year of service time for 2020 under any circumstance as part of an agreement reached between MLB and MLBPA in late March. However, his original $13 million salary for the delayed regular season will be significantly depleted due to the reduction in games expected, and Semien's ability to begin making up for lost income with his next contract could also be compromised. Slusser reports the veteran shortstop is already a longshot to re-sign with the Athletics on a multi-year deal due to the organization's goal of retaining at least one of Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, but she adds that they could even struggle to extend him a qualifying offer that is still likely to be in the $18 million range due to financial hardship. 

Alex Patton Alex
May 17
Larry Walker Colorado Rockies

Here's Larry Walker's 1999.

Gene may be right. $37 may be too much. In 1999. In the just-finished season we would kill for stats like that. Or I would.

The formula I'm using is very crude. I'm just trying to get players in the right order for drafting purposes, and I can change the order by messing with the denominators or changing the hitter/pitcher money allocation, depending on the strategy I want to pursue (which I'm still thinking about).

But three years later, Walker earned $34 with substantially lesser stats. And this formula is year-specific and auction-centric. Which seems to suggest there was less hitting in 2002 (I don't remember and haven't checked).

Alex Patton Alex
May 16

Larry Walker looks overvalued to me. The .379 is lovely but only 166 hits, and he's 23rd in RBI and 32nd in Runs.

Gene McCaffrey GeneM
May 16

If there's ever a retrospective AL auction, I'd be interested.  Can't do drafts or mixed or NL.  My skills aren't particularly transferrable.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
May 16

Careful what you ask for Howard. I just sent you the spreadsheet

There's a link in this thread somewhere to Todd Zola's Google doc.

Have fun!

Alex Patton Alex
May 16
Jay Groome Boston Red Sox

Chad Jennings at The Athletic, pondering who will be on the Red Sox 50-man roster when/if the season starts.

One wrinkle: Does the 40-man roster really matter? An easy way to approach a 50-man roster would be to tell teams they can use anyone from their 40-man roster, plus an additional 10 players. But maybe that won’t be the case. If players from the 40-man don’t have to be on the 50-man, then an inexperienced guy like Aybar shouldn’t make the cut. Perhaps not Wilson, either. He’s had only about a half-season of success in Double A and he’s never played in Triple A. Maybe his spot would be better used on an outfielder with experience and upper-level success?

And another: How are teams going to handle their prospects in this environment? If there’s no real minor-league season, the 50-man roster might be the only way to give guys like Downs and Duran meaningful at-bats, which might make them more likely to make the cut. What about a boom-or-bust guy like Durbin Feltman? Not out of the question he could have pitched his way to the majors this season. More complicated would be a young player like Jay Groome, who’s back from Tommy John surgery and presumably needs 40-man roster protection this offseason. Is there going to be a different way to give him meaningful innings, or will it be worth sacrificing a 50-man roster spot for pure player development reasons?

Alex Patton Alex
May 16

An exercise proposal ... distribute those $ to the teams that drafted the players ... does the winning team draft the most $?  Or better ... I assume your $ split up into $/category ... do sums of those $/category align with the points/category in the final standings?  Send me your data/formula, and I'll answer the questions :-)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
May 16

To get people interested (or not), here's the first round of the 1999 draft on Wednesday with what my rough formulas show the players' stats were worth.

1. Pedro Martinez $71

2. Randy Johnson $71

3. Derek Jeter $35

4. Ivan Rodriguez $37

5. Larry Walker $37

6. Jeff Bagwell $37

7. Sammy Sosa $35

8. Manny Rodriguez $36

9. Roberto Alomar $34

10. Kevin Millwood $56

11. Kevin Brown $54

12. Chipper Jones $37

Some first-round opportunities here unless my formulas are completely missing the picture. 

Or pitcher.

Alex Patton Alex
May 16

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