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ashbury last won the day on December 17 2021

ashbury had the most liked content!


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  • Location:
    : Lake Tahoe, Nevada
  • Biography
    Retired software developer and product manager
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    Day hiking and trail building, baseball biographer

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  1. No minor league signing is going to move the needle. Needle-movers get major league contract offers, usually multiple offers from teams wanting their needle moved. And yet, every organization sign minor leaguers every year. Every organization. Every year. This guy, at least, is still a bit young and could be a decent substitute if he starts out hot and a roster vacancy occurs. He's 25 and may be just a later bloomer. He's not some 30-year old with no remaining upside.
  2. Check your numbers again. What you mentioned for his SS defense was across 73 innings in Philly, ignoring 573 innings in Baltimore. Looking at the best possible sample size is even more key for defense than for offense. For 2021 as a whole his SS Rtot/y on bb-ref.com is -4, statistically indistinguishable from average. I'll stand by my previous characterization, which amounts to damning with faint praise. "Nearly average." As in, not even. Yet better overall than who we ran out there in 2021, and may end up with again.
  3. I was lazy on my last post and left it to visualize the current teams. Here I've blotted out 30 locations. The remainder stands out. Nashville or Memphis wouldn't be crazy, and New Orleans has the population but never really has supported baseball. Apart from the US south, Montreal could be given another go. (Not sure what the diffused blob of light in west-central Canuckistan is - Regina isn't that large - maybe NASA picked up some kind of fire raging at the time?)
  4. By coincidence I ran across this old NASA map. It is quite (*ahem*) illuminating. Visualize where MLB teams are scattered, and decide what population centers are not currently well served. Las Vegas for instance looks about as large as other low-end cities, but where are the outlying areas they can draw from? I think the Carolinas look more promising in this (*ahem*) light.
  5. I haven't seen Brooklyn mentioned as a possible expansion location, and I think it makes a lot of sense. The NYC market is more capable of supporting a third team than a lot of the AAAA cities being mentioned. And they already have a ballpark, for the minor league Cyclones, which has a footprint for additional seating.
  6. A salary floor disincentivizes the practice of accepting very low revenue (bad attendance, reduced jersey sales and concessions, Nielsen ratings of 0, etc) while tanking. Since I view low fan interest as bad for the game, I'm in favor of the floor. Teams should work constantly to build their fan base, not simply "ride out" waves of apathy W-L records may be a zero-sum game among the teams, but interest in the sport is not. Teams today should be routinely drawing 3 million attendees a year when they're winning, and not drop off by more than a few hundred thousand when they're down. A decades long view should be taken, to market their players and the beauty of the game, and not simply the prospect of a World Series crown during a short window of contention. So much of the discussion here reminds me of the old saying about a miser who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
  7. Salary is fine, but to me service time is a dilemma. For some 25-year old at AAA, it's no big deal, but think back to the case of Jorge Polanco, who was added to the 40-man of necessity when he was only 20, I think, playing at high-A most of the season, and wasn't ready to face major league competition on anything but an emergency basis until he was 23 - which is reasonably rapid in terms of prospect development, but pretty harmful for a team trying to win on a budget. (Actually the whole approach MLB has toward handling youngsters from the Caribbean needs revamping IMO.)
  8. Is it? Twins went outside the organization to hire David Popkins from the Dodgers in October. Borgschulte then left for a major league job in November. I hope Popkins really is that much better, because all else being equal there's a lot to be said for promoting from within. On the pitching side, the Twins promoted Luis Ramirez from AA, jumping over McCarthy at AAA who now makes a lateral move to a new organization. Again, I hope the difference is a lot, because you might have been able to keep both by promoting sequentially . BTW I think both the guys who left were FalVine hires, so it's not a matter of clearing out dead wood from the past administration. How easy will this make it to attract new coaching talent for the low minors? It would be interesting to see an interview with either of the guys who left, and try to read between the lines. Oh, and FalVine aren't idiots, so I'm sure there was a lot of thought that went into these decisions.
  9. Well, things were bound to change had the acquisition not occurred. Change is the one constant in much of life.
  10. Outstanding article about some outstanding players who had outstanding seasons near the close of their outstanding careers. Looking just at the headline, though, I felt that Jack Morris was left outstanding in the cold by the article.
  11. Literally the same, no, as others have said. I want to strike a more optimistic note and say that the Times seems like a good home for it and probably they will not fundamentally alter the basic journalistic independence of the contributors. I wouldn't feel that way if it had been acquired by, well, just about anyone else. Hopefully the Times sees synergies they can provide, and minimally adjust parts of the business model that consume too many resources for the revenue that is brought in.
  12. ... or to insult any pins, in the process.
  13. Article on ex-Timberwolf Andrew Wiggins. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/32994009/perfect-fit-us-golden-state-warriors-reclamation-former-no-1-pick-andrew-wiggins Naturally, he's meeting expectations for Golden State. He's such an emblem for the entire star-crossed Minnesota franchise.
  14. First, thanks for understanding that my "No" answer to an "or" question was part of the social fabric here. And you deserve a more serious answer than that. Next, I have literally zero interest in Happ or Shoemaker or Gant. Zero. There was a reason Happ signed for the low, low bargain prices of $8M - no team with pennant aspirations bid up his price- and the other two are even less valuable assets. I want to see our vaunted pipeline of pitching prospects come through. You pretty much anticipated the things I would have said - "not ready yet," the risk of harming development if a push to the majors proved premature. If force-feeding the best prospects is a good idea, then why doesn't every first-round draft pick start at AAA and stay there until his numbers demonstrate he should be called up? (Unless you're the Orioles or Pirates, in which case just let them start in the majors since you're not worried about pennant chances.) Where we mainly disagree is your apparent view that bringing up young players is all a crapshoot with no possible guidance as to who is ready and who is not. But they keep stats on minor league games, and while those games aren't of the same quality as in the majors, they are played against opponents who also are trying, and thus you can gain some notion of success. When Joe Ryan got the call to the majors, he had put together a partial season at AAA with an OPS-against of .559 in 66 innings. It's fair to ask what more he could be asked to demonstrate - he was 25 years old to boot, so bring him up, let's have a look. Ditto for Bailey Ober to a lesser degree - an OPS-against in the low .600s at AAA in only 4 games, and he was about to turn 26 years old, so he was about as ready as he'll ever be, probably - give him a shot. It worked out well for both. But neither was on an opening-day big league roster. The situation for the 3 prospects you named is not hopeless, but not the same as those two. Duran is the one I'd be most willing to try. In 2021 his OPS-against at AAA was .742. That's not terrible, but it also doesn't suggest dominance. I use a very rough rule of thumb of .100 points in OPS for each level of promotion (AAA to majors, AA to AAA), and if he had been brought up and pitched to a .842 OPS-against, that might have turned into an ERA in the high 5s. That's not going to draw fans back for second and third looks as the season wears on. I'd like him to pitch some more at AAA and get those numbers even lower. Balazovic and SWR pitched at AA last year, and had .698 and .737 for OPS-against. Not terrible, but not dominant, and at a level of competition one notch lower than for the other player comps. Tack on .200 instead of .100 for jumping 2 levels to the majors, and again we are looking at ERAs that could run in the 6s or worse. One of Bill James's seminal contribution to baseball analytics was to demonstrate that minor league numbers could indeed translate to major league equivalency - individual players will always vary but the overall numbers were pretty coherent. I'm hoping each of these guys tears it up in AAA, and earns a promotion to see whether the skills will play at the major league level. But, when you ask me whether I want the major league retreads you named, on opening day,, or three of these rookies, I ask, isn't there some third and better option? Thus my answer of 'no' was only partly tongue in cheek.
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