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  1. I concur. Adam Dunn blew my mind away and taught me baseball on the surface seems mechanical but under the core, it is organic. As for Alex Rios, it is beyond me but one name pops up into my noggin, and that is Zack Grienke – maybe a sports psychologist can alleviate the inner problems and anxiety of EXPECTATIONS and PRESSURE.

    Comment by Edward — August 4, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  2. That’s funny. I see Alex Rios and a different name pops into my mind, Claudell Washington.

    Comment by Joe — August 4, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  3. I like articles that explain very nicely and completely what the naked eye perceives is actually correct. Well done (and in contrast to the annoying recent trend in FG comments, this is not sarcasm).

    Comment by TK — August 4, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  4. AL* Central.

    Comment by Ryan — August 4, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  5. Does this make Adam Dunn the Least Valuable Player in baseball?

    Comment by Steve — August 4, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  6. I see Alex Rios and it’s not a name that pops into my mind so much as a string of expletives.

    Comment by Eriq Jaffe — August 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  7. Yes… very straight forward.

    Comment by baty — August 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  8. Sadly, he’s not even the Least Valuable Player on the White Sox.

    Comment by Eriq Jaffe — August 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  9. Who is then?

    Comment by Jim Lahey — August 4, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  10. Hahaha enjoy paying Rios $10MM a year white sox fans…Kenny Ken Ken Williams really shit the bed on that one..

    Comment by Jaysfan — August 4, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  11. Randy hardly ever gets on base anymore. Too many cheeseburgers.

    Comment by GlennBraggsSwingAndMissBrokenBat — August 4, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  12. Veteran Blue Jay fans are not surprised by how poorly Alex Rios can play. He’s done it before and fans were shocked that the White Sox claimed him. It was a huge gift to Jays nation.

    Comment by siggian — August 4, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  13. Huge contract waiver claim is always a bad move. And Williams is the master.

    Comment by GlennBraggsSwingAndMissBrokenBat — August 4, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  14. Chone Figgins.

    Comment by San Dalman — August 4, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  15. I see Alex Rios and I see a player who simply doesn’t give a damn. To me his performance is not unexpected. Dunn, on the other hand, is a real head-scratcher.

    Comment by ecp — August 4, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  16. So fangraphs is experimenting with hiding all of the actual stats in footnotes now? I have a major writing problem in that I tend to put things in brackets, constantly (I blame my math background), but if I’m writing something important, I try to edit them out. If it’s important enough to write, it’s important enough to integrate into the paragraph (at least that’s my rule). Simmons/grantland use footnotes as a bit of a “house style”, please don’t adopt it here.

    To me, footnotes are for digressions and expansions on the larger text – if you write for fangraphs, and don’t want to put the numbers in the actual paragraphs, might I suggest overcoming this, rather than sticking everything in footnotes. The numbers are supporting and sometimes making the important points here, I shouldn’t have to search for them. And I have to think this makes it harder to read for those on mobile devices.

    Just some feedback, and yes, I’m sure others love this style and complaining about free articles and yadda yadda…if the authors didn’t want feedback, they could not have comment sections.

    Comment by test — August 4, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  17. Yeah, but Figgins isn’t costing his team a playoff spot, so by using the bizarro MVP logic that only playoff contenders can even have MVPs, the same actually applies to LVPs. At least that’s the joke I’m reading into this comment.

    Comment by test — August 4, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  18. Joe,

    Could you have the different numbers that link to the footnotes instead show the note on the page’s current location in a pup-up bubble if the mouse is held over them for a period greater than .5 second or so (and disappear once the mouse moves away)? That way you could fit all of the helpful information in the article without having the reader go back and forth. Definitely realize this might be easier said than done.

    Comment by COL Tye — August 4, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  19. test and COL Tye are right, the footnotes are unbelievably bad. We have to go back and forth 3 times in the first paragraph!
    Either get rid of the footnotes or put them somewhere that doesn’t require moving away from the text (as COL Tye suggests or as they are done in Grantland, on the right margin next to each footnote).

    Comment by JDB — August 4, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  20. However, much like Dunn and Peavy, he’ll be off the books after 3 more seasons. Every cloud…

    Comment by James — August 4, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  21. Love the footnotes. They allow the writer to put far more asides and stats in the article than would be otherwise possible without cluttering the writing.

    As long as they are used properly, the add to the article.

    Comment by Aaron — August 4, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  22. That being said: COL Tye’s idea is a good one.

    Comment by Aaron — August 4, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  23. Not only does Rios suck, but he’s a dick too. He’s a dick that sucks.

    Comment by ya — August 4, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  24. Your feedback is legitimate – it’s the “This article BLOWZZZ dude!!1!!1″ that offer nothing constructive that are truly worthless comments. You’re offering up constructive criticism and I think when offered up in a halfway-decent tone will actually get the writers’ attention.

    Comment by Jason B — August 4, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  25. The footnotes are terrible. They make the functional aspect of reading the article more difficult, while making the writer sound like a pompous windbag.

    Besides, I don’t want fangraphs to have to offer another apology to Bill Simmons.

    Comment by Josh — August 4, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  26. I have to think it’s partly a tip-of-the-cap to Posnanski and Simmons. They use footnotes frequently for (often lengthy) asides, and they’re both hugely popular and influential writers in the sports-scribe-sphere. That said, the footnotes work better for certain types of articles than others.

    Comment by Jason B — August 4, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  27. I hope that by “a useful pitcher” you didn’t mean Jackson! Just how useful he is was shown by his first outing with his new team: 7.0 IP, 14 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (118 pitches).

    Comment by Bill Thayer — August 4, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  28. Only 3 more? You say that like it is not more than 500 games (including this year). Mets only have Jason Bay locked up til 2013 (with a 2014 option), and that is way more than I can handle.

    Comment by astromets — August 4, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  29. I hate to ruin a good ode to small sample size but it was actually Jackson’s 2nd game w/ his new team.

    His first: 7 IP, 1 ER.

    Comment by chuckb — August 4, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  30. At least its not a three-player problem. That would be just chaotic…

    Comment by chris — August 4, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  31. I pointed out here a few days ago that Rios, Dunn and Pierre are making about $35M between them. If you say one FA WAR costs about $5M (that may even be a bit high) then you expect about 7 WAR from those three guys. Right now you have -3.4 WAR from them. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that 7 WAR total from those three was a perfectly reasonable espectation, you could even consider it underperforming . I also don’t think it is a stretch to say that if you had 7 WAR from them instead of the -5 they project to, the White Sox would be comfortably atop the division and considered a reasonable threat in the playoffs due to very good pitching and more than adequate hitting.

    Comment by MikeS — August 4, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  32. “They made quality personnel decisions and put together a quality team for 2011.”

    The Blue Jays released Rios at 28. He had 3353 MLB AB, with an OPS+ of 105 and average OF defense at best.

    Since coming to ChiSox, he’s had another 1172 AB and produced an OPS+ of 79, with average OF defense.

    Exactly how many AB will it take the ChiSox to figure out what the Jays knew 1172 AB ago??

    For team with pretensions of being a contender this is absolutely not a quality personnel decision.

    A successful year for Toronto is what, third in the east? And they gave up on Rios, 1172 AB ago. What are they thinking in Chicago?

    Release him, and bring up a kid who can do something…

    Comment by MichaelPat — August 4, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

  33. As someone who uses my phone as my computer 97% of the time, I must say I agree about the footnotes being a bit bulky. I either read the whole artticle and try to remember which #s I was interested in, or constantly scrolls up and down. I know Fangraphs is trying to cater to a ever growing following but I think there is nothing wrong with a statistics based site being number heavy in the body itself.

    And by the way I’m an old history/poli sci guy so back in college I loved writing 50 page papers where some pages only had 1/4 text and he rest as footnotes that were ancillary points I wanted to include.

    Comment by Hunter — August 4, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  34. It wasn’t his first start, as chuckb already noted, and Jackson, in any other circumstance, would have been pulled earlier because he clearly didn’t have it that night. However, the Cardinals are playing 20 straight games at the moment. The bullpen needed to be conserved, even if it costs more runs from Jackson.

    Comment by Taskmaster — August 4, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

  35. White Sox problem is Ozzie and his hitting coach. Dump them and the White Sox win the division.

    White Sox hitters did not walk a single time in their 4 games series against the White Sox (almost 130 AB). Players look like they don’t care or are miserable. Ozzies tough guy act may work when a team is winning, but he has not been a winner for awhile now. His act is old, and players may be underperforming because of the toxic environment in the clubhouse and dugout. God only knows what Ozzie is like on the charter flights/bus.

    Even if you think Ozzie is not the problem sometimes change for change sake pays off. A lot cheaper than spending 50 million every offseason for free agents, so give it a try. Might want to dump the GM while they are at it..

    Comment by pft — August 5, 2011 @ 12:01 am

  36. It’s a shame that MLB doesn’t go by WAR and force Rios, Dunn and Pierre to give back $17mil to the White Sox. That would lead to some interesting discussions.

    Comment by sc2gg — August 5, 2011 @ 1:59 am

  37. We could figure out the LVP by subtracting actual salary from WAR salary (@5mil / win), if you want value to indicate monetary value.

    Some examples:

    Bautista
    WAR 6.9*5 = 34.5
    SAL 8
    DIFF +26.5

    Pedroia
    WAR 6.8*5 = 34
    SAL 5.75
    DIFF +28.25

    Dunn
    WAR -1.8*5 = -9
    SAL 12
    DIFF -21

    Zito
    WAR -0.3*5 = -1.5
    SAL – 18.5
    DIFF -20

    Ryan Howard
    WAR 1.3*5 = 6.5
    SAL 20
    DIFF -13.5

    So, while I originally thought that -21 can’t possibly be the LVP, I can’t think of anyone else that might defeat that. ARod is only -12 for example. I thought for sure my man Zito would come through, and maybe he will by years end, but right now I can’t think of anyone else. By the way, Yunel Escobar is +18.1 mil. 100 games into the season, and he’s earned his salary for the next 4 yrs.

    Comment by sc2gg — August 5, 2011 @ 2:18 am

  38. Footnotes are great as long as the information in the footnotes is supplemental to the article rather than critical information.

    In other words: you should be able to read the entire article without looking at the footnotes if you choose, but the footnotes should expound upon tangential observations or give more detailed support than would be appropriate in the main body.

    And who cares what Bill Simmons thinks anyway? Besides, fangraphs shouldn’t use footnotes for their literary “creativity;” they should use them for their academic purpose.

    Comment by Aaron — August 5, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  39. Footnotes work better for Simmons and Posnanski because they’re off to the side of the article and you can glance over at them without having to scroll down to the bottom of the page. Even with the ability to click on the footnote to scroll down this is still kind of a pain.

    Comment by Ed — August 5, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  40. 100% agree with pft….. this past series with the Yankees, the Sox hitters looked like they had completely checked out…. as pointed out, no walks!!! they were up there just hacking away with no fight in them. Ozzie has to go and his entire coaching staff.. do they not scout the opposition and disect video? We made Nova look like Halladay out there…. a guy with a 5.6 K/9 and he punches out 10 in about 7 inn.

    Comment by Beto — August 5, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  41. like say, Soriano, Zambrano and Marmol?

    Comment by guincho — August 5, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  42. Nah, that’s not a problem, that’s a crowd.

    Comment by News of the Tautological — August 5, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  43. “White Sox hitters did not walk a single time in their 4 games series against the White Sox”

    I’m more interested in who won – was it the White Sox, or the White Sox?

    Comment by Jason B — August 5, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  44. I’m not sure that there is much Ozzie could have done to make the lineup significantly better. What realistic moves could you propose that would warrant drastic change and give this lineup a reasonable opportunity to make a positive enough difference? It’s maybe more an issue of player personnel. Yes, the White Sox have one of the most productive pitching staffs in the majors (so they can survive with limited offensive/defensive production), but the lineup isn’t just lacking, it’s nearly the least productive in baseball.

    Even just say in June, Ozzie swapped out Pierre for Vicedo, Rios for De Aza, and Dunn for, I don’t know… who’s left? When guys like Lillibridge are playing everyday, you’re still not making your lineup good enough. It might make them the 25th most productive lineup in baseball… Maybe a .500 ballclub with some luck? When, throughout the season, would it be reasonable for a manager to actually commit to “switching out” two very crucial pieces like Dunn and Rios… May? June? July? August? It’s even more complex a decision when you don’t have legitimate replacement options.

    The fact is that the White Sox can’t win without the production they expected from Dunn and Rios. That was the plan, and I think that’s the reason Ozzie continued. He wasn’t left with many alternatives, and the most realistic was to hope was to try to get these guys back to producing adequately as the season progressed.

    It’s easy to fault coaching… I for one do think that Greg Walker could be a problem. He certainly hasn’t been a solution. At the very least I wonder if just making a change for the sake of change would be a good idea. It can’t make things any worse, that’s for sure. A major concern of mine has been Beckham’s dramatic 3 year BB/K% deterioration. He’s becoming an all around worse hitter as time continues. Interestingly enough, the White Sox haven’t had much luck developing young/in house hitters for a long time. But, when it comes to coaching, there aren’t any visible White Sox trends present to say for sure whether the hitting issues have to do with player ability, upper minor league coaching, and/or MLB coaching.

    A. You have a recently acquired veteran hitter (Dunn) who’s produced consistently well in the past, and is suddenly historically awful.
    B. You have a top draft pick and prospect hitter (Beckham), that continues to get worse at the MLB level.
    C. You have a veteran hitter (Rios), that had a surprisingly successful career hitting year, and has followed that with an all around awful presence on the field.
    D. And your aged mainstay (Konerko), continues to stay a more productive hitter with age.

    It’s to weirdly schizophrenic a situation to even comprehend, but at this point, I think you have to at least switch hitting coaches as a first step to establish a starting point with a new variable and at least see what if anything does change. From a coaching standpoint, I would like to know what the difference is between what the White Sox demand and how these hitters respond. There is certainly some sort of learning disconnect taking place.

    Comment by baty — August 5, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  45. Well, technically 3 is better than 6. But looking at it as “only have to pay them for 3 more years” is nuttier than squirrel turds.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — August 5, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  46. Do you really have to remind us of this?

    Comment by Sox2727 — August 5, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  47. Does anyone know if there was validity to the rumors that the Sox claimed him to block the Tigers back in 2009?

    Comment by Sox2727 — August 5, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  48. At the end of the day Ozzie and Kenny Williams BOTH need to go for their own reasons.
    Ozzie needs to go for:
    the way he handles the bullpen, insisting on Mark Kotsay last year being the primary DH, playing Juan Pierre, hitting Adam Dunn 4th, bunting with Alexei allowing managers to intentionally walk PK to face Dunn, playing Alex Rios (and these are just reasons for the last 2 years)

    Kenny needs to go for:
    Claiming Alex Rios, trading for Peavy when he was already hurt and has a ballooning contract, trading Gio Gonzalez TWICE, getting the equivalent of a bag of balls for Nick Swisher, Trading Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg for E-Jack and thus getting rid of another cost-controlled player and a pitching prospect with some potential for an expensive middle-of-the-road journeyman, trading for Mark Teahen, then giving Mark Teahen an extension, the Juan Pierre experiment

    I know there’s a lot of bitching going on there, but I guess to sum it up the Sox problem isn’t a two PLAYER problem…it’s a two NON-PLAYER problem. How these two have still been allowed to keep their jobs just boggles my mind. I wish I could work for Jerry Reinsdorf because no level of mediocrity and under performing can cost you your job.

    Comment by Sox2727 — August 5, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  49. As for the Hudson/Holmberg for Jackson trade, last time I looked Hudson was batting .326. Just imagine how much better the Sox would have been if he had been DH the last two years!

    Comment by Jake in DC — August 7, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  50. Haha even more fuel for the fire

    Comment by Sox2727 — August 7, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  51. I can’t possibly read a comment that long that doesn’t have any footnotes. Please, footnotes.(1)

    ________________________________________________________
    (1) Attempt at humor via sarcasm.

    Comment by scottz — August 7, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

  52. I was looking up Adam Dunn’s numbers to see how many at-bats his proclivity for getting out had cost his teammates, and found myself instead looking at his 2010 walk rate, a career-low of 11.9%. Before 2010, he hadn’t even been as low as 15% since he was 21 years old. Could that have had predictive value? Adrian Gonzales this season is a different story. Gonzales doesn’t walk as much because his situation has changed – he’s in a better lineup, and is getting more good pitches to hit. But Dunn’s situation in 2010 was much the same as 2009 – yet he started walking less. At the time, I thought it was a strategic change to be more agressive, and thereby convert some walks to hits. Now I wonder if it may have been the beginning of a decline in some component of hitting ability: eyesight, strike zone judgment, quickness…

    Comment by Jon — August 8, 2011 @ 2:38 am

  53. - more aggressive -

    Comment by Jon — August 8, 2011 @ 2:40 am

  54. changed – he’s in a better lineup, and is getting more good pitches to hit. But Dunn’s situation in 2010 was much the same as 2009 – yet he started walking less. At the time, I thought it was a strategic change to be more agressive, and thereby convert some walks to hits. Now I wonder if it may have been the beginning of a decline in some

    Comment by mbt online — August 10, 2011 @ 9:19 am

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