Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 14, 2006
BASEBALL: Baseball Blog Quick Links 2/14/06

Well, as long as I'm busy with work and shoveling snow, you should check out what's hot around the rest of the baseball blog world. Here's a sampling:

*Rich Lederer looks at the correlation between pitchers getting a lot of groundballs and giving up a lot of unearned runs.

*A quickie Dodger spring traing preview from Jon Weisman

*A USS Mariner roundtable on Yuniesky Betancourt.

*Detroit Tigers Weblog looks at Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections for the Tigers pitchers. And Blez at Athletics Nation discusses this Baseball Prospectus story on how the A's have transformed themselves into a defense-first team. And Rob Glowacki at The Cub Reporter does still more data-mining at the Prospectus and comes up with some fun stuff.

*Geoff Young on "The Petagine Principle."

*Mac Thomason on the Braves bad-mouthing Leo Mazzone. We may see an example this year of what Bill James called "Burt Shotton syndrome" with the Braves pitchers - i.e., they will respond well to replacing the higher-pressure Mazzone with the low-key Roger McDowell (which Braves pitcher will get the first hotfoot?). But long term, the competitive advantage the Braves got from the Mazzone half of the Cox-Mazzone duo will erode, and that could eventually, in our lifetimes, lead to the Braves finishing somewhere other than first place.

*Aaron Gleeman reprints an email report from a fan in the Dominican on Tony Batista's struggles there.

*A commenter at David Pinto's site sums up the meaning of Sammy Sosa's claim to be "humiliated" by the lack of interest in him: "I *am* too proud to beg, but I ain't too proud to claim that I ain't too proud to beg"? Mike Carminati has more detailed thoughts on Sosa's future, and not much sympathy ("Did Sammy watch Sammy play last year?")

*Dan Holmes marks the February 27 date for the next Negro League Hall of Fame election and gives a brief bio of Sol White. This year's Negro League ballot is here. I continue to believe that they should sit down once and for all and elect any remaining Negro League players - and, for that matter, any remaining pre-World War II major leaguers - while there are still a few of them left to appreciate it, and be done with it. Then just lay down a mandate for the future: the Veterans' Committee should only elect players that at least one member of the Committee is old enough to have played against.

*Also on the subject of baseball's racial progress, Bruce Markusen discusses the 1971 Pirates' all-black lineup (does the race of the players matter, he asks? To which the obvious answer is, "it mattered quite a bit in 1971, and that's why it's worth noting." It would probably be a footnote if another team did it today, and properly so). Markusen also discusses a brewing controversy in the Clemente family's effort to get Roberto Clemente's number retired baseball-wide like Jackie Robinson's. Like the people who want to put Ronald Reagan on the $10 bill and Mount Rushmore, the Clemente family seems to have no sense of proportion and no limits to how much honor Roberto Clemente should receive. Clemente was a milestone for Latin players, but there were Latin players before him, and Juan Marichal was as big a star at the same time. There was only one Jackie Robinson, and no other baseball player changed not only the game but the nation the way he did. His honor should remain singular.

*Hey look! Tommy Lasorda and a panda! Tommy also gives a tip of the cap to the U.S. Army Reserve's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, which he spoke to upon their return from Iraq.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:06 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Clemente family may need a sense of proportion, but can you blame them for wanting their most famous family member honored as much as they do? And in the name of political correctness, many people (translation, sportswriters) are afraid to tell the truth. I bet even Dick Young would not. Tel them that even the Babe does not have #3 retired baseball wide, go home, and toast someone who was, at best, in the top ten at right field--I don't care how Bill James ranked them, Kaline was a better player.

As to Mazzone. Let's see, he was tough, yet somehow, with Cox, managed to produce what was probably the greatest pitching staff, top to bottom and mostly injury free, for a decade and a half. Bad mouth him all you want, if a coach ever deserved a plaque, it's Mazzone. However, I have no illusions about his making Baltimore into another Braves outpost. Andruw Jones (and now Furcal--boy were they wrong letting him go)had a lot to do with those pitchers being good. Shuerholtz, Cox and Mazzone were a great team.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 14, 2006 12:35 PM

("Did Sammy watch Sammy play last year?")

Lucky for him , he didn't.....but I did....Hey, I thought the Sammy Sosa deal last year was a risk worth taking but unless he's hawking a couple of cases of beer, I have no interest in seeing Sammy back at Camden Yards this year at any price

Posted by: Maryland Conservatarian at February 15, 2006 1:06 AM
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