FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Your penance?

    Host a chat during the Nationals/Cardinals game

    Comment by filihok — October 7, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  2. I eagerly await the new SAT stats section.

    Comment by junker23 — October 7, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  3. See, I see the Orioles as slight favorites only because I’m a Yankee fan and I’ve seen this team get burned way too many times by inferior teams in the playoffs, and seen the offense completely disappear against anonymous pitchers (I’m talking about you, Jeremy Bonderman) way too many times to have any warm and fuzzies about any playoff series.

    I’m hoping for the Yankees to win not just because I’m a Yankee fan, but more importantly because Ichiro is one of the greatest players of my lifetime (in my 30+ years of being a baseball fan, the only non-Yankee position player I ever more enjoyed watching was Frank Thomas), and after toiling his entire career away in obscurity in the middle of nowhere, it would be great for him to finally get a championship.

    Comment by Jim — October 7, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  4. Camden Yards > Yankee Stadium.

    Comment by Slats — October 7, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  5. Thing is, the games are played on the field, not in a statistician’s toolbox. If this were not the case, the Orioles would have been 81-81 or possibly 82-80 this year.

    Comment by Boss61 — October 7, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  6. On the coast, we prefer the edge of nowhere.

    Comment by The City of Seattle — October 7, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

  7. A couple of thoughts on this pretty neat topic:

    I’d say answer two (about betting odds favoring the Yankees) is predicated more on how people are betting than on how good the teams are, and that those bets are predicated more on answer one (about historical precedent) than you’re letting on.

    I’d also say people are rooting for the Orioles not only because they’re perceived as an underdog, but because they’ve won so much less in the last 15 years (independently of how that affects expectations in this series), and because many fewer of people’s favorite teams have been eliminated by the Orioles, both in the last 15 years and ever.

    Comment by Jon L. — October 7, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

  8. I see Chris Tillman getting the ball in Game 4, not Joe Saunders. Buck hasn’t announced it yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s going with Tillman.

    Comment by Kevin — October 7, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  9. I need a championship just as bad as Ichiro.

    Comment by JimThome — October 7, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  10. Agreed. If there is a game four it will be Tillman.

    Comment by Tito Landrum — October 7, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  11. this!

    Comment by jeff2 — October 7, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  12. Statistician’s toolbox?

    That’s an awfully sexy way to say “laptop case.”

    Comment by Nom Chompsky — October 7, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

  13. Bonderman was a 6 win player that year. You may think of him as some random scrub, but he was turning into a legitimate ace until injuries ruined his career.

    Comment by JG — October 7, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

  14. That quiz is a reliable measure of psychopathy. I would know, I’m a psychologist ™

    Comment by JG — October 7, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  15. If they don’t play for an AL East team, they’re nameless scrubs. That’s how it works.

    Comment by gnomez — October 7, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  16. Everything about this comment is why people hate the Yankees and Yankee fans.

    Comment by Steve — October 7, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  17. I am seriously wondering if this post was meant as a mockery of Yankees fans or if it really was just a Yankees fan.

    Comment by Colin — October 7, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

  18. If you can think of a better definition of “toiling in obscurity” than missing the playoffs for 11 straight years (longer than any AL teams other than Toronto and K.C.), I’m all ears. Name me another HoF’er in the wild card era who went a decade between playoff appearances.

    Comment by JimNYC — October 8, 2012 @ 12:36 am

  19. Yeah, dude. I’m sure Ichiro loved being on a terrible team for 11 years. It’s only stupid, entitled Yankees fans who think that the reason he requested a trade and accepted a highly diminished role was to have a shot at winning something for a change.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — October 8, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  20. I think it’s more that Jim Thome’s at least been on relevant teams in the past 10 years, (even if he was never on the #6org). This is only the second time in Ichiro’s CAREER that he’s made the playoffs.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — October 8, 2012 @ 1:08 am

  21. Or maybe we should just realize that baseball is a sport where a single player can’t influence the outcome, and that if Ted Williams and Barry Bonds never won a series it shouldn’t diminish the career of a player as great as Ichiro or Thome.

    Comment by Preston — October 8, 2012 @ 1:22 am

  22. Preston — a player certainly can influence the outcome. The reserve clause is long gone. Great players can always decide to leave for a team with a better chance. Thome’s a different story, because he’s almost always been on good teams that just couldn’t quite put together perfect Octobers.

    Comment by JimNYC — October 8, 2012 @ 2:03 am

  23. Reading the intro my first thought was “Fangraphs has an editor?”

    Comment by David G — October 8, 2012 @ 2:07 am

  24. I always bet who has the fewest ex-cubs on the roster.

    Comment by shthar — October 8, 2012 @ 2:17 am

  25. Ken Griffey Jr.

    Comment by ben — October 8, 2012 @ 3:30 am

  26. I don’t doubt more people are rooting for the Orioles, but it has more to do with EVERYONE hating the Yankees. Even people in, say, Pittsburgh, towns with nothing to do with the Yankees hate them. They don’t like their ridiculous payroll and tendency to buy free agents, their association with known steroid users, and probably most of all their annoying bandwagon fans. You know the kind: trash talking kids and 20-somethings, most of whom have never even seen New York City, who own that stupid ’27 Championships’ hat (and need to let you know about all 27 of them, even though they can’t name anyone who was on any of those teams prior to 1996). In fact I can think of only three groups of people rooting for the Yankees: bettors, those Yankee band-wagoners, and native New Yorkers.

    Comment by Ralph — October 8, 2012 @ 4:30 am

  27. I’m pretty sure even the bandwagon fans know who Babe Ruth is.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — October 8, 2012 @ 5:56 am

  28. Jim, this illustration comes to mind after reading your post.

    Comment by Colin — October 8, 2012 @ 8:08 am

  29. @Ben: Huh, you’re right on Ken Griffey Jr. I guess I was so focused on all the injury disappointment he had in Cincinnati that I never realized they didn’t make the playoffs at all while he was there.

    @Colin: That’s not a Yankee fan trait; that’s a New Yorker trait. New Yorkers believe that their city is the only thing in the U.S. that matters, and the rest of the country just exists as a place to grow food and make things to ship to New York, a kind of 50 state support-structure for New York City. I’ve been to 39 states, and I’ve yet to see anything to disabuse me of that notion.

    Comment by Jim — October 8, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  30. Good year for the Os unfortunately it will come to an end now that they are forced to play the pay-2-win team. 200$M payroll what a joke.

    Comment by ucanthandlethetruth — October 8, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  31. This is a trick question.

    The Yankees actually are the Baltimore Orioles.

    Therefore the Orioles are a lock.

    Comment by samuelraphael — October 8, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  32. Hasn’t anybody here learned that the 2012 Orioles can’t be quantified? It’s illogical. Either Showalter has figured out something that fangraphs hasn’t and isn’t telling anybody, or the stars have perfectly aligned. Watch them be outscored by the Yankees and still win the series….

    Comment by Dave in GB — October 8, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  33. Uugh. This is why people hate Yankees fans. Wow.

    Comment by Dan — October 8, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  34. They’ll lose in 3 games and still advance to the ALCS.

    Comment by AndrewYF — October 8, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  35. They are off to a great start being outscored by the Yankees….

    Comment by Jason H. — October 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  36. People are so sensitive. I can’t find anything obnoxious or offensive in Jim’s post. He just sounds like a baseball fan to me. If Jim embodies everything people hate about the Yankees and Yankees fans, it is not the Yankees fans with the problem….

    Comment by Jason H. — October 8, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  37. In answer to the question, it is Baltimore that are the underdogs. The last two months are not a great representation of the talent of the Yankees, as many key Yankees were hurt during that time. Pettitite, Teixiera, Nova, Sabathia, etc. The Yankees are largely healthy and are currently the superior team.

    Comment by Jason H. — October 8, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  38. Also, Gonzalez is pitching game 2, Chen in game 3.

    Comment by Tripp — October 8, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  39. His first year in the majors he was on one of the best regular-season teams in history. The team the year after that was pretty good as well. A big chunk of his career was also spent with good teams in Japan, which is also not “the middle of nowhere” (especially to him).

    Comment by joser — October 8, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  40. Good baseball statisticians have more in their toolbox than Pythagoras.

    Comment by joser — October 8, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  41. Interesting approach. How has that worked out for you?

    Comment by joser — October 8, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  42. Actually, from what I can tell you’ve exactly described virtually all the members of “Red Sox nation” I’ve met since 2004. But now that the wheels have come off that bandwagon (and then it caught fire and exploded, smelling vaguely like fried chicken) they’re probably starting to cast about for a new banner to hoist. Had the Rangers made it (or won it all in previous years) they might have been a candidate, but no more. Yes, the Yankees are the easy choice, but woe to any team that creates any kind of legacy of winning, because this is your curse. The Nationals may have been smart to forgo starting Strasburg.

    Comment by joser — October 8, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  43. Are you kidding, Jason? Go back and read the entire first paragraph. Ignore the second for these purposes, because the second paragraph is fine.

    “See, I see the Orioles as slight favorites only because I’m a Yankee fan and I’ve seen this team get burned way too many times by inferior teams in the playoffs…”

    Poor, suffering Yankees fan! This team has been burned by inferior teams in the playoffs? Sure it has. It’s been burned a normal number of times, but I guess this isn’t good enough for a Yankees fan because “too many times” means “ever”.

    “…and seen the offense completely disappear against anonymous pitchers (I’m talking about you, Jeremy Bonderman) way too many times to have any warm and fuzzies about any playoff series.”

    Bonderman’s career didn’t work out, of course, and that happens. In 2006, however, he was an emerging talent that had been a very highly regarded prospect. He put up a very nice season, and he used his devastating slider to punch out over 200 batters against only 60-some walks. It was a good season, and I was at that game, sitting about 25 rows up, behind the plate. The Yankees didn’t choke in this game, as is implied here. They got beat by a pitcher with good stuff. To all unintentionally obnoxious Yankees fans out there: THAT HAPPENS.

    About those warm and fuzzies. Really, you don’t have any? That’s similar to Tom Brady not having any warm and fuzzies about waking up next to Gisele Bundchen every morning, except he earned it on some level, as opposed to merely being born into it. Seriously, take some time to enjoy the warm and fuzzies. How many pennants make a warm, anyway, and how many titles make a fuzzy? The Yankees have appeared in more than 1/3 of the 110 or so World Series in baseball’s modern history, and they’ve won the majority of them. I am not saying that Yankees fans aren’t real fans. They are, but they need to learn how to complain about bad breaks in a reasonable way. You think this is a double standard? It is. It’s a completely acceptable, logical double standard, so don’t pretend you’re part of the rest of the long-suffering baseball world.

    I am a Tigers fan, in case you hadn’t guessed, and I happen to live in Oakland. I was at a crowded bar yesterday, with my Tigers hat on (but not a shirt or a jersey, as I think that’s probably going a bit too far, though reasonable people can disagree), I watched Coco Crisp and the Oakland A’s blow it, and I left with my warm and fuzzies quietly, because you kind of don’t want to rub it in the face of fans whose perennial underdog team has a roster that barely costs a third of what my badly assembled team is paid. If the Tigers lost, which they probably should have, I sure as heck wouldn’t have gone around the bar complaining about losing to inferior pitchers like Tommy Millone. I am not trying to toot my own horn here. I’m only trying to say that I am not the unselfconscious whiner that almost every Yankees fan I meet is.

    Be quiet and enjoy it. It works out for you more often than it does for other “inferior” teams.

    Comment by Dan — October 8, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

  44. No, it’s Chen in Game 2 and Gonzalez in Game 3

    Comment by Mike — October 8, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

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