Mark Geoffriau says:
March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm
A comment about ambiguous language:
“Would that starting five be better than any current starting rotation in the majors?”
That could mean a couple different things. It could mean (as I believe it was intended):
“Would that starting five be better than at least one current starting rotation in the majors?”
However, it just as easily (and more naturally) reads as this:
“Would that starting five be better than all of the current starting rotations in the majors?”
March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm
She wrote better than *any* not better than *every other*. I didn’t think twice about her intentions on that one.
Mark Geoffriau says:
March 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm
If I wrote the following:
“Is Albert Pujols better than any current starting 1B in the major leages?”
Would you assume I was asking if Pujols the best 1B, or merely if he’s better than the worst starting major league 1B?
March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm
the unmentioned AJ will win the cy young of course
March 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm
The sentence is certainly ambiguous, because of the word *any*, not in spite of it. If I answered using the same wording as the question, it would read:
“Yes, that starting five would be better than any current starting rotation in the majors.”
March 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm
This sounds a lot like that Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade movie . . . without the promise of seeing Salma Hayek’s breasts.
March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm
Mark, if you wrote that sentence I would assume you were asking if he was the best 1B, because the grammatically correct meaning of the sentence wouldn’t make sense (he’s obviously better than the worst 1B).
In Wendy’s case, she used the proper word and only one of the scenarios makes sense – obviously that rotation wouldn’t be better than Philly’s rotation. It seems like you’re calling her out for being grammatically correct.
March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Don’t forget Moyer! He’s still older than all of them!
March 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm
I must admit, I had to reread that sentence, but I think the only reasonable interpretation is your first suggestion.
March 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm
I dont like the premise of these sorts of articles. Essentially what you did was state that, in your opinion, the old guys would be better than some current rotations. There is no data. There is no analysis. You just made up the numbers you ascribed to the old guys.
An important part of a data driven analysis is accepting when there is no data to address the question you are asking. You don’t get to just make the data up and then treat it as if it is meaningful.
March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm
as a Pirates fan, I don’t know whether to feel insulted that the author omitted AJ Burnett and Erik Bedard, or grateful that JoJo Reyes wasn’t mentioned in the article.
March 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm
I thought her meaning from the headline was that they would be better than every rotation. I didn’t figure out that was wrong until reading her conclusion.
March 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm
This reminds me of the line in the Ty Cobb movie where he is asked what he thinks he would hit against the pitchers today, and he says about .270. The guys says really, are they that good these days and Cobb says no, I’m 70 years old. As an old guy myself, I really think I’m a lot better baseball player than I am in reality. I suspect Andy Pettitte will find out the same thing. The rest of those guys are toast.
March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm
When reading this article, I thought she meant that a rotation of those old guys would be better than every other rotation.
Wendy Thurm says:
March 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm
I changed the language to make it clear that I was asking if the rotation of retirees would be better than any one rotation of the thirty current ones.
March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Agreed, this article really had nothing to do with sabremetrics. Intellectually it was quite shallow. I expect more from you guys because you gals and guys are better than this. It feels more like one of those boring slide shows about nothing on Fox Sports.
March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm
If you are really buying the projection that no Pirate pitcher will go more than 130IP you are nuts. Last year all 5 Pirate starters were over 150 IP with 25+ starts and Maholm is replaced by the durable AJ Burnett (who is already throwing). I’ll take the Bucs rotation in the NL central over the O’s, A’s, Indians, Royals, Rockies, Astros, or Mets.
March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm
I miss Kenny Lofton and Frank Thomas.
March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm
the numbers for the old guys come from the projection systems. wendy didn’t make them up.
March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm
From the article:
“We don’t have ZIPS projections for Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina or Greg Maddux but Marcel did provide projections for Johnson and Martinez, who pitched as recently as 2009. For Johnson, who would be in his age-48 season in 2012, Marcel projected 52 innings with a 4.36 FIP. For Martinez, who would be in his age-40 season in 2012, 60 innings pitched and a 4.13 FIP.”
“ZIPS projections come from a secret Szymborski family recipe. I don’t pretend to know what’s in the special sauce sauce. But let’s take the Marcel numbers we do have for Johnson and Martinez, and the data we have for them, Maddux and Mussina from the last three seasons they pitched, and make some very, very conservative estimates about what they could do for a full season in 2012.”
Translation: She made them up.
March 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Ah the question is do you think they would make for better leadoff and cleanup hitters respectively than at least one of the current 30 teams combined production from those two spots in the order. Seattle Mariners, Maybe. I could see a mid forties version of each out producing modern day Chone (shoulda stayed in LA) Figgins and Justin (no poke) Smoak.
March 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm
this is a fckin joke of an article and this website is usually above it
Graham Womack says:
March 21, 2012 at 12:54 am
Great article, Wendy. You took what could have been glib subject matter and offered a thoughtful, detailed approach. The Marcel Projections and mention of ZiPS are nice touches (I don’t know how Dan Szymborski derived the latter metric either.)
Very nice work, as always.
March 21, 2012 at 1:50 am
He’s not retired! In camp with the Rockies.
March 21, 2012 at 2:28 am
March 21, 2012 at 9:09 am
That assumed Pirates rotation is incorrect. Bedard should be inserted and Lincoln removed. Also, once Burnett returns, someone else will be heading to the pen.
March 21, 2012 at 9:38 am
You’re right! This article is completely irrelevant and has no present-day context.
March 21, 2012 at 10:39 am
Agreed. Pettitte and Mussina might manage to stay at the back end of a bad rotation, but the other guys are toast. And I would say the “projections” are not conservative at all for any of them, but really really optimistic. If Martinez and Johnson were able to combine for 100 innings total, ignoring quality, I’d be shocked. I’m sure the quality of their few innings would be awful, too.
March 21, 2012 at 11:12 am
I nominate Billy Wagner for closer.
March 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm
Even Mussina was working with smoke and mirrors that last year when he won 20 games at age 39. Now after missing 3 seasons, I’m guessing he has very little to offer at the age of 43. 140 innings, 4.50 FIP that seems unlikely to me. Truthfully those are the kind of stats I would expect from Pettitte at this point. Pettitte would be the best bet obviously at this point but I do wonder what Martinez could provide even today in a small sample size. He would never last the whole season but I could still see him dominating for a couple or handfull of games if he got in shape and had the desire.
March 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm
It really is bad, I mean not only no present day context, Just no context at all. No predicative value whatsoever. I wonder if this quintet could even make the Toledo Mudhens better. Is someone screwing the editor because I don’t see how else this got through. I’m gonna take heat for saying that but I doubt I’m the only one whose mind considered that.
March 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm
Thing is that might even be realistic. He missed last year but was maybe the most dominant closer two years ago at 38. Billy Wagner’s 2010 stats. 7-2, 275 ERA+, 37 saves, 70 innings, 38 hits allowed, .865 whip, 13.5 K’s per 9, 0.6 HR/9, 3 BB/9. 2.7 rWAR, 2.2 fangraphsWAR. I’m sure their are some bullpens who would give him a shot at the age of 40.
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