Friday, June 06, 2003

Yesterday, a topic came up on netshrine that basically asked, "Do you see something that's never happened before in every single game?"

My response was this:

Just today, with the Major league Extra Innings Package, I've seen:

Mike Hampton walk Donnie Sadler with a player on first

CC Sabathia fall off the mound, without throwing a pitch

Preston Wilson get picked off first by the catcher, with the bases loaded

Eric Young lose a grounder in the sun

Great game, baseball.

I could also now add Tom Glavine retiring the first two players of the game on 5 pitches, and then needing 46 more pitches to get the third out. But really, every game you're bound to see something that's never happened before, if for no other reason than at some point in the game, I would think that you would see a batter face a particular pitcher for the first time.


Every time you set up a system, there needs to be adjustments (you'll all see this big time with the ENC, coming in August). The Paul DePodesta Medal of Honor was created to give credit to guys who reached base safely in each of their at bats. But then I realized that many guys reach base, only to get thrown out on the bases, so I put in the rule that you couldn't get thrown out on the bases. But then I realized that not every time that you get thrown out is the same. For instance, if you are thrown out at the plate, that's just as much, if not more so, the third base coach's fault. Now the rule is, you're eliminated if you get thrown out attempting something on your own, like trying to steal a base, or trying to stretch a double into a triple.

Then, yesterday, Albert Pujols gives me a new problem. In the first inning, he hits a deep drive to right field with a runner on third that allows the first run of the game to score. In the third, he leads off the inning with a double. In the fourth inning with no outs and a man on first, he singles to center. Then, in Albert's last at bat, he homers to left. So Pujols finishes with a line that looks like this:

3 AB 2 runs 3 hits 2 rbi

Now, he did not reach base safely in every at bat. But I think its clear that Albert's first at bat provided an offensive contribution.

This is one thing I hate about all of the new baseball stats, that they completely ignore who is actually scoring the runs, and driving them in. It seems obvious that there are times when a player's MAIN GOAL at the plate is to drive in that run, so why aren't we trying to measure that? I did see on some baseball game yesterday where they were showing player's batting average with runner's in scoring position. This is a very useful stat, but its not easy to find. Even on ESPN, which is great for all kinds of stats, they don't have it.

Having said all of that, we're now amending the rules of the PDMOH to read:

"goes to any player who makes an offensive contribution with each at bat, without making any negative contributions.

This means that THE PDMOH now has its first two-time in winner in Albert Pujols! Al, we know you were thinking "I'm gonna give this ball a ride out there, and if it goes it goes, but at least I'll bring the run home". Or something like that.

Baseball-Reference.com does great statistical comparisons for players, among other things. Albert is 23 years old. Do you know who the most comparable player in history as a 21 year-old is to Albert? Joe DiMaggio! Do you know who the most comparable player in history is to Albert as a 22 year-old? JOE DIMAGGIO! For those long time readers, you might remember that Albert was also a member of last week's Bill & Ted's All-Star team. He also currently leads all players in OPS. Way to go Albert!


Don't watch basketball much anymore, but I bet $58 to win 20 on the Spurs beating the Nets. Looks good so far.

Oh, and if there's anyone out there, please email!

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