Is the year gaining speed, or am I slowing down? Anyway, here’s what I got from Saturday through Thursday, Aug. 14 — going backwards:
This week’s piece at USA Today Sports Weekly mercifully wrapped up my series on the effectiveness of bunting. In the comments of past bunt-related screeds I’ve shared in this space, mosc has suggested that I look at this year’s bunting data through the lens of RE24, rather than WPA. I did so for USA Today, and I’ll share an edited version below.
Your narrator was overtaken by events, so here’s some scattered jottings. With apologies for any split infinitives…
@Mariners 4, Bravos 2 (Tues.) — Two M’s scored when Tommy La Stella dropped a two-out popup in the 4th, and one more right afterward, as Atlanta fell to King Felix and their cliff-dive reached seven games. But don’t you think Jason Heyward should have called him off? J-Hey was playing deep, but he closed quickly and was there in time. It’s one thing if the infielder is camped under it, but La Stella was weaving the whole way — a fact on which the A.P. story whiffed badly.
This post is for voting and discussion in the 67th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1917. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
Ted Williams’ transcendent performance as a hitter allowed him to lead this talent-laden ballot’s vote count from beginning to end. Ted becomes the 66th inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. The voting concluded with the Splendid Splinter having appeared on 69 ballots, breaking Greg Maddux’s record of 68 votes in a single COG round. More on Ted and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
One to chew on, then back to the series format:
Angels 5, @Rays 3 (Fri.) — An interesting exchange as the MLB Tonight crew watched Tampa load the bases with no outs in the 9th:
- Greg Amsinger, with a doubtful tone on Huston Street: “In the postseason, strikeout stuff plays.“
- Harold Reynolds countered: “Strikeout stuff plays when they’re in a jam. But usually, they’re not in a jam.“
Dave Dombrowski’s deal for David Price is getting good reviews. As a Tigers fan, I have mixed feelings. I think Price boosts our October chances for this year and next, compared to what they were the day before. But since the trade amounts to going “all-in” for those two years, I can’t help reflecting on how we got to this point — namely, these four Dombrowski decisions:
Another go-round with the recent format … rushed to press so we can get to chewing on the deadline deals.
This post is for voting and discussion in the 66th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1918, a group that includes some guys who were pretty good at baseball. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
The most important single figure in American sports history was also one of the greatest ever at playing the game of baseball. “Faster than you can say Jack Robinson” (a phrase dating back to the 18th century), Jackie Robinson becomes the 65th inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Robinson and the voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry