Archive for April 2010

John measures the strike zone and learns about the nature of umpires.

Twenty-five years ago Bill James predicted that baseball would wise up and figure out what kind of player should bat leadoff. Was he right?

Wherein we learn about Ruth’s difficulties hitting the long ball in Boston and Ott’s easy time at the Polo Grounds, with some bonus material on The Splinter and The Clipper.

Mantle and Robinson meet in the 1952 World Series. I think.

The second half of John’s investigations of batsmen grounding into double plays, including the best and worst rally-killers of the last half century.

Should Mets fans be hopeful or worried about the upcoming season?

A look at something that OPS overlooks. Or, why Miguel Tejada is not Grady Sizemore.

John gives his annual report on outfield arms. We find some new names at the top of the list and some familiar ones at the bottom.

Wherein we continue our comparison of two Red Sox greats: Carl Yastrzemski and Manny Ramirez. Will Carl’s defense overcome Manny’s superior bat?

Wherein we examine the relative claims to second-best Red Sox left fielder ever, taking into account hitting, baserunning, catching the ball and throwing the same.

How much control does a pitcher really have? Perhaps not as much as we’re led to believe.

John answers questions from all over.

Conventional wisdom has it that the changeup should never be thrown inside. John has a look to see if there is any wisdom in the conventional wisdom.

Keith Hernandez, in his 1993 book Pure Baseball, has some very good stuff on pitching.

The supposed art of place hitting.

Which is the better pitch: an 87-mph fastball on the outside corner or 96 down the middle? John has a look using (of course) PITCHf/x.

You can already feel your shoulders slump.

Can the Mets live up to expectations in 2008?

Who throws the best pitch in baseball?

Can the average Joe be a successful scout of major league talent? Yes!