Today at THT

Deep thought: come July, Jim Rice won’t even be the best guy to ever have played left field for the Red Sox to be inducted that day.

  • Though I appreciate and respect the work of hardcore analysts, I’m not an analysis guy and often don’t understand how a given analyst has gotten from A to B. This dynamic often results in me parroting things that a given analyst says because it seems so damn persuasive, even if I can’t say why. Other times, however, I am skeptical — again for no concrete reason — and I quickly assume a contrary note. The common denominator here is that I rarely know what the hell I’m talking about, and like 95% of the population, I’m just trying to seem smart.

    Example: several years ago I was introduced to the concept of the compensatory pick and how that all plays into free agency and arbitration offers. Soon after, I would find myself in random conversations talking about the manifest value of the draft picks. Which is fine, except for the fact that I am certain that at some point over the years I began to drastically overstate this value, and believe that others have too. Really, when you’re advocating that a given team let its entire starting nine, its manager, its broadcasters, and 2/3 of its fan base walk, the response of “hey, they’re getting picks” just doesn’t seem all that satisfactory. If I knew a single thing about how to value these picks, I wouldn’t have been flopping around in this land of dogma, hunches, and ultimately uncertainty for long, but I didn’t, so here I am.

    Thankfully, folks are working on this stuff, including Victor Wang who has built on the work of other analysts and has a nice piece on it today.

  • Josh Kalk studies the Anatomy of Trevor Hoffman. I can’t imagine that Mrs. Hoffman is all that thrilled with him doing that.
  • Treder continues his BL, TR series, this time focusing on catchers. Warning: this entry requires that nice things be said about Tim McCarver, and Steve says them, so if you’re the type that gets upset when you have trouble sustaining rage over a given subject, you may want to move along to the next thing.
  • Finally, over at Fantasy Focus, Paul Singman tries to figure out if some hitters are more reliant on BABIP than others. Also, Marco Fujimoto warns us how the recency effect could negatively impact our drafts. I take issue with this: my awful drafting is a function of overvaluing things I observed years ago while ignoring all recent evidence to the contrary. Which is why Eric Gagne and Javy Lopez will have honored spots on my 2009 roster.

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