A Notes Post

With no one subject grabbing me as worthy of a whole post, but a lot of minor interesting news items floating around today, let’s do a brief overview of those topics.

Royals extend Dayton Moore through 2014.

This is just a bizarre decision. Moore should have been closer to losing his job than getting more security, given some of the decisions he’s made over the last few years and how poor the Royals are yet again. A significant handful of his decisions are utterly indefensible – the Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth signings along with the trades for Mike Jacobs and Yuniesky Betancourt have been well covered, but quite simply, a GM should not get free passes for making four terrible decisions that close together. Especially given the Royals budget constraints, Moore simply couldn’t afford to waste the money he had available, yet he did.

You don’t have to be a total stathead to be a good GM, but Moore has done nothing to prove that he’s good enough at traditional player evaluation to also be ignorant of the statistical tools available that he’s actively ignoring. That the Royals willingly signed up for more of his management style should be enough to cause Kansas City fans to weep.

Giants signed Brad Penny.

Smart choice – he not only lands in the DH-free National League, but he also picks a team with quality defenders behind him as he looks to impress down the stretch before hitting free agency. The results for any pitcher can vary significantly over a month, so there’s no guarantee that Penny will turn his season around instantly, but given what we know about the difference in quality among the leagues and Penny’s decent performance in the AL East, it looks pretty likely that the Giants added a pretty good arm for the stretch drive.

Jarrod Washburn got torched again.

I actually feel bad for Tigers fans. I’ve seen Bad Jarrod Washburn pitch, and it’s not fun. That he’s been this bad since ending up in Detroit is pretty surprising, as we’re long past the point of this being regression to the mean. Right now, Washburn is regressing to Dontrelle Willis‘ mean. Coupled with the out-of-nowhere Barry Zito career renaissance, 2009 is shaping up to be a reminder that pitchers are just not to be counted on. What they did last year, last month, or even last week won’t necessarily manifest today. They’re the flakiest creatures in sports. Relying on a starting pitcher is like putting all of your money on a tech stock. Smart investors diversify – smart teams spend money on hitters.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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