Monday, February 18, 2008

One more thing

Mariotti isn't the only to invoke this argument, but since he's an extraordinarily irritating individual who shouldn't have a job, I'm going to name him.

About Andy Pettitte, can we shut up about some "ball-players code"? That is absurd. It is laughable. IT IS NAUSEATING. Like him outing Clemens violated some kind of "code". He was under oath! He was under oath!

Should he go to prison to save Clemens' ass? We're not talking about if A-Rod had come forward and told us that Robinson Cano looks at gay porn. We're talking about Congress MAKING him talk, with a potential prison sentence on the line. C'mon!!!

Actually, during his press conference today, Pettitte said he didn't what on Earth "ballplayer code" meant. It's just another instance of some pathetic journalists over romanticizing something that is just a game. They are trying to live vicariously through the players they cover and act out some childhood fantasies of "clutch"ness and "ballplayer codes". It's a game. You try to hit the ball with the bat and run around all the bases; you want to keep the other team from running around all the bases. It really is that simple.

Just a game....I love watching it, but it's just a game.

Keyshawn Johnson is Burning?

Well let him.

So Keyshawn was doing a little guest host gig today for Jim Rome on that abomination of a show that Rome has. On the bright side, there was no noticeable drop off from the usual. Unfortunately, that's a bad thing.

So Keyshawn or whoever writes for the show referenced a study that found that Derek Jeter is THE worst fielding starting short stop (presumably with a minimum sample size) in the majors. This is sort of something that sabremetricians have been hinting at for a while, so it was quite exciting to hear it mentioned on ESPN. The study evidently goes on to say that the Yankees made a mistake by moving A-Rod to third and keeping Jeter at SS. Again, I totally agree. In all likelihood A-Rod would be a much better fielder if he were playing his natural position, and he would do a better job than Jeter.

Then Keyshawn says that the study is wrong because it fails to account for how "clutch" Jeter is and that Jeter should just laugh it off. Fine, I guess he should laugh it off, because he is making millions of dollars and probably doesn't care. However Keyshawn attempting to say that the study is actually wrong, by citing some voodoo "clutch" argument and Gold Gloves, is downright appalling. First of all, we all know that 99% of why people think Jeter is clutch is because he made that heads up play to flip to Posada in the ALCS years and years ago and nail a sluggish, roided up Giambi. The only sort of honorific that is affected MORE by some small sample size, pretty memories than the Gold Glove, would have to be the moniker "clutch". Neither one of them is an achievement in and of itself, they are both popularity contests that are loosely linked to some isolated achievements and not actual quality of play.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fred Dean on Who Made the Hall Of Fame

"Cris Carter and 4 other guys"

That's news to Mr. Carter. Congratulations! In fact, Chris Carter did not make the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Perhaps Mr. Dean knew that only one receiver had made it and he logically assumed that it was Carter:

Cris Carter : 234 games, 209 started / 130 TDs / 59.4 YPG
Art Monk : 224 games, 193 started / 68 TDs / 56.8 YPG

Not bad numbers for Monk or anything, but in like 1 additional season worth of starts Chris Carter has double the touchdowns. Plus, he had more yardage, even adjusting for games. Now I know Carter played for that one freakishly good Minnesota offense, but he also played for some pretty bad teams. Of course the biggest crime is that these two are not mutually exclusive. Just because they put in Monk doesn't mean they couldn't put in the other guy who is pretty obviously better.

So anyway, I was watching the AFC Pro Bowl team play the Cowboys + Adrian Peterson when I heard the quote that inspired this.

Friday, February 8, 2008

National Signing Day is Over

And the results are in.

Notre Dame's recruiting class ranks well, but some services like it more that others. More specifically, ESPN is being it's usual sourpuss self:

2nd - Rivals
2nd - Scout
2nd - CSTV
9th - ESPN

Well I'm shocked the Giants won it all

and after you see this quote by the Architect if their run, you will be too

"What difference does it make what we gave up?" Accorsi continued. "You better be right about the QB, but if you are, you can't overpay for a great QB and we think he's going to be a great QB. What would you give up for Elway? What would you give for Montana or Unitas? Just like you can't overpay a great player. Can you overpay for Mays or DiMaggio? That's all fodder."

In case you missed it, he said:

"What difference does it make what we gave up?"



The article goes on to agree with Accorsi and attribute great foresight to him just because what is by all accounts a terrible move did not cause them to not win the Superbowl. Of course forgetting that Eli's not even mediocore regular season did rather little to get them there, and that within such a small sample size as ONE GAME, fluke plays tend to have more of an effect on outcomes (flukes such as a renowned special teamer jumping 3 feet off the ground and catching a football, in coverage, with his helmet.)

Just a reminder, this is a former GM. He made a career of being the man paid large sums of money to care about what they do and do not give up. You might say that it was his "job". As you might have noticed, he goes onto say "you can't overpay for a good player". Mike Ditka approves! Notice that I'm not blaming Ricky Williams for the Saints making the playoffs once in his three years, and going 3-13 in his first year, and Ditka getting fired. I'm just saying that trading your entire 53-man roster for somebody is bad. I don't care if he's the love child of John Elway and Barry Sanders, coached/trained by Dick Butkus and Joe Montana. Vincent "Buddy" Elway-Sanders couldn't play every position on the field could he? YOU HAVE A SALARY CAP AND A LIMITED SUPPLY OF GOOD PLAYERS. You have a budget constraint. You can not give up everything for one player.

More importantly, you might have noticed that Eli isn't that good. He's actually been kind of bad, if you just look at the numbers. His career QB rating is 73.4, which would be good for 26th this season, right behind--you guessed it--Eli Manning. His career completion percentage, 54.7 puts him squarely between Grossman and Cleo Lemon, at 31 for quarterbacks qualifying this year.

Now, I know this isn't the be-all end-all of statistical analyses, but surely if you could have say Philip Rivers, an assload of draft picks and his 86.6 career rating and 60.8%, you'd at least have to think about it. Obviously, Rivers has a better offense, and anything could happen in the future. Plus, he looks weird when he throws. HOWEVER, he is by all indicators available to us, a better quarterback, and a better quarterback that came with an absolute assload of draft picks mind you.

I mean for heaven's sake, one such draft pick ended up being Shawne Merriman. Granted evaluating the acquisition of a draft PICK ex post facto ignores that there is some uncertainty involved in the actual picking. However, this is Shawne Merriman. He was a high 1st round pick. He was the very same roid-addled giganteur that won Rookie of the Year. How's that for instant impact? An almost certainly better quarterback, a freakishly good defender, and two more draft picks for Eli Manning. If that's not over paying, then I don't know what is.

[Edited to fix author's complete ignorance of Ernie Accorsi.]

Who should starts for the Browns next year?

NFL Live, February 8, 2007.

Mark Schlereth debates the Browns' QB situation. I'm paraphrasing here:

We don't know what Brady Quinn can be in this league. We KNOW that Derek Anderson is a 'playa'.

They bounce the conversation back to Michael Smith, who agrees with Scheleth, and then right before the segment ends, they go back to Schlereth:

You can't fix it if it is not broken!

Or something of the sort...

Anyway, lets check out what's wrong with this logic:

#1) It's circular. If the reason for not starting your first round pick from 2007 is because he hasn't played yet...then he's in for a pretty long career.

#2) It's ignorant. Derek Anderson looks like a decent QB. But to say that a guy who led the Browns to a 10-6 record and not-quite-the-playoffs has proved to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's the only QB of the Cleveland Browns going forward--that's pretty ignorant.

Presumably, Schlereth would want the Browns to commit financially to Derek Anderson, play him until he flames out...and then move to Quinn if he's still on the roster.

Some plan.

Maybe you can trade the guy to a desperate team while his value is high, get as many picks as you can, and let the Quinn era begin.

That might make too much sense.