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  1. Park factor, sure, but he’s only hit one HR on the road. And he does get to play some games in Citizen’s Bank Park, which has a nice right field porch.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — June 15, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  2. Could the optics of having moved to a bigger park (with an unwarranted reputation for suppressing home runs) have affected his swing? I’d imagine, mentally, that the Green Monster is an appealing target for right handed pull hitters. He could be overcompensating for the idea that he needs to swing harder or try to pull more, and consequently making weaker contact.

    Comment by JR — June 15, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  3. I wonder how much of it could be just hitting in a weaker lineup and/or trying to do too much to justify the contract.

    What else is different between bay’s 2009 and 2010. Just saying that he has hit fewer home runs is quite simply just stating the problem. Analysis is far more than just stating the problem.

    I like the graphic, but again, it’s just a fancy way of stating the problem.

    We should be discussing why, and whether it is likely to continue (what other players have changed teams/leagues and had decrease HR totals through June, and did this trend continue for the season/career?)

    Comment by CircleChange11 — June 15, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  4. I think the thing that’s often left out of the Citi Field discussion is the height of the left wall. Not only is a deep park in left, that wall is 16′ tall in some areas.

    Why would the Mets build a big park with a wall that high? I’ve often thought it was a way to maximize Advertising space on the field of play.

    The Mets are a very odd team. Why would you build a park like that when one of the best players the franchise ever developed (David Wright) is right handed? And to compound things you build that stupid “Mo Zone” to take away from his opposite field power. And then why would you go out and spend 66 million for four years on a 31 year old Jason Bay who seems to be the anti-Citi Field type player?

    Citi Field seems to be the kind of park where you get a lot of Denard Span type players, high on-base percentage low slugging percentage types.

    Comment by John Q — June 15, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  5. I called this before the season, and Mets fans bristled at me. I didn’t expect it to be this extreme, certainly, but is it really that much of a surprise that Bay is hitting significantly less homers at Citi Field than he was at Fenway?

    Worst contract of the offseason by FAR.

    Comment by OremLK — June 15, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  6. “He hit 36 in 2009, and 31 in 2009” – what?

    Comment by gnomez — June 15, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  7. Oh yeah, except if you consider the whole he hit more HRs on the road thing (21-15) last year

    Bay hasn’t been great this year, but it’s a lie to suggest he couldn’t hit outside of Fenway.

    And considering the deal Holliday got, it isn’t even close to the worst contract of the offseason

    Comment by Josh — June 15, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  8. …and most road parks are much more homer-friendly (especially to RHB) than Citi, which is probably the worst park in baseball for a hitter like Bay.

    And Holliday? Bad contract, but at least he can play defense.

    Comment by OremLK — June 15, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

  9. “And considering the deal Holliday got, it isn’t even close to the worst contract of the offseason”

    When Bay’s option vests, his contract will be 5 years, $80M. Holliday got 7/$120M.

    Do a 5-3-1 projection on their 2007-9 WARs for 2010 and figure a 0.5 WAR decline each year:

    Holliday 5.2, 4.7, 4.2, 3.7, 3.2, 2.7, 2.2 = 26.4 WAR = $4.5M/WAR
    Bay 3.2, 2.7, 2.2, 1.7, 1.2 = 11.0 WAR = $7.3M/WAR

    So, it’s really hard to say that Holliday’s deal was worse than Bay’s — and if you project out their 2010s based on their first 60-ish games, each is pretty much on target for the above 2010 projection [Holliday 5.1, Bay 3.1] so it’s not even like either one of them is doing much different than what even a quick and dirty projection would have guessed…

    Comment by Eric R — June 15, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  10. Is it really so hard to click on his name and see that the author meant 31 HRs in 2008?

    Comment by Toffer Peak — June 15, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  11. If he’s only got 6 extra base hits to left, he’s not bouncing a lot of balls off the wall either.

    Of course that’s got nothing to do with why they’d build a park that way. I don’t really have an answer to that, besides the fact that the park will greatly outlast any of the current players’ careers anyway.

    Comment by don — June 15, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  12. Were those projections from before or after Fangraphs adjusted it’s fielding statistics earlier this year?

    Comment by Josh — June 15, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  13. actually the author meant supermodels.

    Comment by Trent — June 15, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  14. It is because he is moving from a weak division to a stronger one!!! Obviously the AL is just a Rec league softball league with soft tossers just serving up meatballs Bay is readjusting to going to the NL. If he was in the AL east he would be putting up the same silly numbers that Bautista and Gonzalez have in Toronto

    Comment by The Tom — June 15, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  15. I was worried for a second there that you were serious, but as parody this is pretty good.

    Comment by joser — June 15, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  16. Nobody wants to conside the ball. Sigh. HR’s jumped in the AL 13% over 2009 (no such jump in the NL). In August, there was an explosion in HR’s that has not been seen in the AL (in August) in the 20 years I had checked.
    The Red Sox set an all time team record for HR’s in a month.

    Maybe the Red Sox understood the nature of Bays HR explosion, and undertood the balls would be produced to the run prevention spec for 2010, so did not pursue Bay. LOL.

    Seriously, Bay is a streaky hitter. Last year from June 2 to August 1 he had 4 HR in 215 PA. From August 5 he hit 16 HR over his next 158 PA.

    Also, never discount the magic of a contract year. I have to imagine Jason Bay was a bit distracted in the off season, and disappointed in the outcome and perhaps did not come to the Mets in the best shape physically or mentally. Call it a let down if you will. I tend to discount the 1st 1/2 year for players changing teams after signing a big contract.

    Comment by pft — June 15, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  17. Looking at his stats …

    Strikeouts % – down
    Doubles – Up
    Triple – Up
    Walks – Down
    Stolen bases – Up
    BABIP – Up
    LD% – Up
    GB% – Up
    FB% – Down
    IFFB% – Down

    Simple, he’s turning into a spedster (bad joke).

    OSwing% – Up
    OContact% – Up

    This seems to be the crux … he’s not as p[atient and walking. He’s swinging at more pitches outside of the zone and making more contact on them. Perhaps these are pitches he does not drive as well, resulting in a higher average, and doubles and triples, but far fewer homers.

    It would also be nice to see a spray chart of Bay’s fly balls (and hits). His power is pretty much dead pull, so if he is spraying the ball more (intentionally or not), that could be the culprit.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — June 15, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

  18. Looked up his spray chart …

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_hitting_chart.jsp?c_id=nym&playerID=424726&statType=1

    When he pulls the ball, he is hitting singles to LF, instead of homers. Not sure if it’s due to hitting more line drives or rolling over on the ball (or both).

    His doubles are deep to the LF/CF gap.

    Safe to say, he’s not pulling the ball to LF with authority (for whatever reason). I don;t know whether he’s taken a more “hit top the gaps” approach (since he’s no longer in BOS), or if his bat speed has declined, or if he is being pitched outside more often (or swinging at outside pitches more often), all of which could/would result in liners to LF instead of deep flies to LF.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — June 15, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  19. well if you discount the first 1 1/2 of the Bay contract, all you are left with is an albatross..

    Comment by Chet — June 15, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  20. As the Red Sox currently stand to score 881 runs at this pace, I kick back and say “wow, I’m sure happy Theo Epstein is my team’s GM and not Dan Shaughnessy”.

    Comment by Joe R — June 16, 2010 @ 1:18 am

  21. It is only kind of parody, the whole weaker league thing annoys me. The fact that pitchers hit doesn’t mean that an NL hitter will have a tougher time with AL pitching. The DH/pitcher argument only goes so far. IMO outside of the big three in the east the AL teams would likely struggle to win a division title in the NL.

    Comment by The Tom — June 16, 2010 @ 2:40 am

  22. Yeah, Bay ended up w/ a positive UZR after all adjustments were made.

    Ellsbury’s CF defense was also less damned (though still bad). It’s weird to see how off the number was on some guys. That being said, even with Bay having a 5 WAR season, that contract, in that market, was nutso.

    Comment by Joe R — June 18, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

  23. How are we condeming or praising any contract after 60+ games? I understand it’s all we have to go on so far, but it’s still premature. Can we let the guy get through July/August before we write him off as a bust? Same goes for Holliday, give the guy a chance.

    Bay’s defense hasn’t been nearly as bad as some of you seem to make it out. He’s made no major gaffs and quite a few sparkling plays. Does he get to EVERY ball, of course not, but measuring him against his UZR and UZR/150 after 60+ games is just folly. Doesn’t that stat take like three years of data to truly be acurate? After watching visiting LF’s at Citifield I can say that Bay has actually been quite good. Any one catch Boesch’s (sp?) butcher job last night?

    Bay hasn’t been great. As a jaded Met fan, he’s performed about as well as I expected. Going into the offseason, what other options did the Met’s have. No one thought Pagan could be an everday player, we knew Beltran wasn’t going to start the season on the active roster. That left what? Francoeur? F-Mart? Did we really want Mike Cameron back? Bay’s contract is exactly what a player of his caliber is worth in today’s market. He’s still under performing, but there is still 100 games to go.

    Comment by XZPUMAZX — June 23, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  24. Garrett Atkins? Pedro Feliz?

    Comment by Nicky C — June 23, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  25. I like the graph but it is a bit inaccurate since it does not factor in the crazy height of the outfield walls in citi field and Bay may have hit balls of the top of the wall which resulted in triples and doubles instead of home runs.

    Comment by matt — June 23, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  26. Exactly. Bay is probably the streakiest batter I’ve ever seen. A guy who has shown he could go 0 for 2 months, then throw up these ridiculous numbers for the next 2 months (this is why I was happy he left, btw). No, he will never be worth that contract, but yes, he will hit again. Give him time.

    He’s gonna end this year with approximately the same numbers as his proceeding 2 years. Whatever Citi takes, the junior circuit will give back.

    Comment by Dirty Water — June 23, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  27. “How are we condeming or praising any contract after 60+ games?”

    The massive resources committed to baseball by the media, give stupid people the confidence to express opinions. Additionally, we are now arming these stupid people with more numbers with fancy acronyms, thus further increasing the potential for misinterpretation.

    Comment by this guy — July 7, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  28. Lackey?

    Comment by Dale Sams — July 24, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

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