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  1. I like this thought experiment.

    If I may suggest another, what if every teams worst player – either lowest WAR or some other definition of worst regular, were replaced by a replacement player, a league average player, or even the best player at that position in baseball. That would look at every teams opportunity for improvement where as this looks at their fragility.

    Comment by MikeS — August 13, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  2. Is that called the Brent Morel Experiment?

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — August 13, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  3. Hmm…seems as though this isn’t a real parallel universe. You didn’t adjust things back to .500 so now we have 1590-1849 for the league wide record.

    Comment by odditie — August 13, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  4. While I also like the idea of looking at the impact of a teams worst player, or qualifying player, I think it is of little use because a player is only allowed to be horrible for so long before they are replaced. In a lot of cases the replacement is not much better, however, that is not always the case. It might be better to look at the teams worst position and the opportunity for improvement by a replacement level player on that position.

    Comment by RJD81 — August 13, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  5. Perhaps it is actually a chaotic dystopia, then.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — August 13, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  6. Are you, koan master odditie, suggesting that data, stats, and philosophical baseball nonsense was discussed just 98 years post Columbus’ arrival in North America? I don’t want this to turn into a re-imagining of the series finale of Lost. Fuck it. We’re trying to combine science-fiction with baseball, and that’s gonna sell a whole-lotta-t-shirts.

    Comment by CurtisStarkeyFan4LIFE!!!!!!! — August 13, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  7. Yes, we need to use WASP* here.

    *Wins Above Star Player

    Comment by Aaron (UK) — August 13, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  8. Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen are single-handedly generating playoff races.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 13, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  9. Was wondering about Wieters for the Orioles. Could you post that info?

    Comment by Deam — August 13, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  10. @RJD81, unless of course you are Ron Washington and insist on playing the worst player in the game in Michael Young…I would love to see if you replaced the worst player with a better replacement on the Rangers. It wouldn’t be too hard, you could take any other player in baseball and plug him into Young’s spot and they are an instant upgrade.

    Comment by RangersAplogist — August 13, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  11. or the Michael Young Hypothesis

    Comment by Adam D — August 13, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  12. I don’t see why this is an issue. I fully expect the Cubs and the Astros to both lose today’s game. They just might play each other a lot more in this dystopia.

    Comment by Jack — August 13, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  13. As if I would need any more proof that Jeff Francouer needs to be replaced by Wil Myers ASAP.

    Comment by KCDaveInLA — August 13, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  14. Mike Trout is good.

    Comment by Brazen Reader — August 13, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  15. Why you gotta insult the man? Good? That’s like calling Annie Savoy cute! Baby ducks are cute!

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — August 13, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  16. Los Angeles without Mike Trout is Cleveland.
    Which works on a lot of levels.

    Comment by joser — August 13, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  17. You know me so well.

    Comment by MikeS — August 13, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  18. I just can’t come to terms with a universe where the Pirates could lose the value of their best player and STILL be projected over .500!! what a world! what a world!

    Comment by Nate — August 13, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  19. Those extra lost wins are carried over to next year’s perpendicular universe – when every team’s worst player will disappear into the ether. Now if the Gods can somehow make sure the Cubs lose their two worst players, then we’re talking World Series for them.

    Comment by jfree — August 13, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  20. I’d rather see this with the players replaced by their actual backups, rather than replacement-level players.

    Comment by byron — August 13, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  21. I still don’t understand the world where Young plays almost every day while Gentry continues to sit on the bench given their respective years.

    Comment by Eric — August 13, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  22. There are a number of observations one can make from the above pair of tables — including, for example, how, if the Nationals didn’t have Gio Gonzalez, how the Reds would have the best record in the majors.

    Isn’t that assuming that if he wasn’t there he would be replaced with a replacement level pitcher? Thats pretty presumptuous. If they had never traded for Gonzalez they would have John Lannon, Brad Peacock, and (I don’t know if you have heard of this guy) Tommy Milone. If they had a 1.8 WAR Tommy Milone in the rotation right now you would have to assume that they would have the exact same record as the Reds.

    Also, if they had never made that trade, they would have had Derek Norris to fall back when Ramos got hurt on instead of the replacement level Jesus Flores. Or, heaven forbid, Kurt Suzuki.

    Comment by Jeff Mathis does Steroids — August 13, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

  23. The exercise wasn’t “what if the specific transaction in which a team acquired its best player were reversed?” but “what would happen if the best player on each team suddenly disappeared?” As I said above, I do wish he had looked at actual backups (Lannan, in your example).

    Comment by byron — August 13, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  24. So if the Astros added M Trout, R Cano, D Wright, C Ruiz, J Hamilton, CarGo and C Kershaw they would be 72-44 right now… a half game ahead of Washington for best record..??? Can’t decide if I am more surprised in how bad Houston is or how good Washington is??

    Comment by Jenkins — August 13, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  25. Wow.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 13, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  26. That is an incredible statistic.

    Comment by CJ — August 13, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  27. Jon Miller on the radio, after Adam LaRoche’s flyout in the 4th inning: “it’s been that kind of a night for the Giants.”

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 13, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  28. Isn’t this missing:

    1. Value subtracted be scaled by Team WAR? [Nats Team WAR may not be equal to team win %]

    2. Correlation affect between players?

    Comment by Michael — August 14, 2012 @ 8:04 am

  29. I thought I heard the Brent Morel Experiment at some music festival outside Schenectady a couple years back…

    They started stronger than everyone expected, then played much worse as the set went on…

    Comment by Jason B — August 14, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  30. I thought David Price had a higher WAR than Zobrist.

    Comment by MJ — August 16, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

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