Archive for February, 2008

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Peter Angelos is a Terrible Man

February 7, 2008

So we’re getting Erik Bedard.  Well, Erik Bedard is totally awesome, so I’ve gotten over the loss of Adam Jones.  But for goodness’ sake, when will we actually get Erik Bedard and lose Adam Jones?  This saga has dragged out over a month and has gone from terrifying to exciting to boring to downright hilarious.

Erik Bedard is in Seattle today.  Wait no, he’s still in Canada.  Oh hey, another source is confirming him in Seattle.  But Andy McPhail doesn’t know what’s going on.  Kind of strange for a GM of a baseball team not to know what’s going on with his team, but I’ll just pretend that makes sense and take it.  Hey, Tillman’s been notified he’s in the trade.  Wait a minute, nevermind, this source says he’s unaware he’s been traded, but he has been asked to stop working out in Peoria.

It’s just a big basket full of ridiculous, a basket that needs to be emptied.  Adam Jones and George Sherrill took their phyiscals days ago now.  It should take hours to review physical results, not days.  Peter Angelos has a reputation for looking over physical results with far too much scrutiny, but this is insane; this is simply illogical.  If Angelos has not given the go-ahead to Bedard to take a flight to Seattle, then Seattle ought to just start weakening the package.  This is, after all, a business and timeliness does matter.  You’re wasting time we could be spending looking for a new bench bat?  Fine, take your time, but we’re taking Mickolio out if Bedard isn’t here in Seattle tonight.  Tell Angelos that and I bet you Erik Bedard is arriving at Sea-Tac before the end of the night.

Angelos ego and hubris have cost him before.  He vetoed Aaron Sele’s contract due to what he deemed to be an important medical issue before Sele signed with the Mariners and went on to be a key part of some good Mariner teams.  If Angelos doesn’t sign off on this deal he’ll have to deal with watching Adam Jones become an All-Star and at least one of the three pitching prospects make some sort of contribution to the big league roster in the next few years.  Not to mention, he’ll have to watch an elite setup man dominate hitters at the same time.  So I’m fine with Angelos not signing off on the deal.  I’m fine with Angelos putting this deal through.  The only thing I’m not fine with him doing is what he’s doing now–stalling, waiting, laboring to make a decision.

Angelos may be a great lawyer, but he’s a terrible baseball man.  He has no idea how to run a team or how to let his general manager and medical staff do their jobs.  You’re an idiot, Mr. Angelos.  No one in the game respects you, and no one is going to remember you after you kick the bucket for being anything but a greedy, foolish old man who didn’t have the mental capacity to realize he’s been hurting his baseball team for years.  You’re a fool, Peter.  So please, for the sake of all of us, sign off on this deal and do us all a favor and sell the franchise.  There’s a nursing home calling your name.

May the Mariners never do business with your terrible organization ever again.

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Epic Fail

February 4, 2008

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More on Wilkerson

February 2, 2008

by Brett

Here’s a few notes on some things I didn’t consider on the first post. Here’s some changes I made to my methodology and some new methods I used that will create a more accurate representation on what we can expect our new Right Fielder to do.
–Many people contest that if I removed Wilkerson’s .200 BABIP month of June that I also have to remove his .424 BABIP month of August. Even with that, his season long BABIP is .274, about 16 points lower than you’d expect given his line drive rate. His average should rise to .240 or so even without my adjustment.

–I took the liberty of removing Wilkerson’s really hot .424 BABIP month like many people were saying I should do. He still manages an OPS over .800 with a .230/.327/.475 line. It’s not as prolific as the one if you just take out his worst month, but it’s still an above average corner outfield bat.

–Wilkerson had 3 “unlucky” BABIP months (.250 or below) one “normal” month (.300) one “below average” (.273) and one really lucky month (.424) So on the whole, he spent more time last year being kind of unlucky. .274 is not the BABIP you’d expect from a guy who hits an average amount of line drives like Wilkerson.

–A more mathematical approach finds that including June and August, his outlier months, he is still unlucky. To find the amount of balls in play he had you his AB’s-K-HR (balls that can’t be fielded) and you’re left with how many balls he put in play. From there, you just change a few outs into hits to regularize for the luck until his BABIP is about .290, where you’d expect based on how hard he hits the ball. That’s good for a .242/.324/.479 line. By adding just 3 hits that he should’ve had. (Note: Graham helped me out here, once again)

So really, my overall point here is that you can’t complain that I’m leaving certain pieces of data out. I heard those complaints and did the rest of the research to see what would happen if I took more time to find more accurate results. Of the three ways you can analyze Wilkerson’s luck (take out the bad month, take out both the bad and good month, or just leave them all there and regress based on balls-in-play data) he still checks out as a better hitter than his stat line showed last year by about 10-20 OPS points, and that was my overall point from the beginning.

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Brad Wilkerson: Better Than Advertised?

February 1, 2008

By Brett

I originally created a diary at Lookout Landing about this, but figured it applied here as well.

As we all know now, the Mariners signed OF/1B Brad Wilkerson to a 1-year, $3 million deal with $2 million in performance incentives on Thursday. Many Mariner fans have groaned about this signing, saying we’ve downgraded Right Field from 2007. I don’t think this is the case. Brad Wilkerson has a good chance to both out-hit Guillen, and is just short of a lock to out-produce him defensively. Wilkerson is a good player and that shouldn’t go overlooked.

Now let me first set the record straight here. I like this deal, and I like Wilkerson the player. What I don’t like is that this deal essentially means Adam Jones HAS been traded to the Orioles for Erik Bedard. We didn’t downgrade right field from how it was in 2007, but we did downgrade it from how it was going to be in 2008. That being said, Brad Wilkerson is still an overall improvement over Jose Guillen.

Think Wilkerson’s .234/.319/.467 line is disappointing? Well, it is–despite it adding up to an above average OPS+–but let’s take some time to research how Wilkerson got to that final line.

What does the research reveal? Why nothing but good news, friends! I looked at his splits by month and found that in June he hit an abysmal .179/.286/.373 which is good for a terrible .659 OPS. Why is this seemingly awful piece of information considered good news? Because his BABIP was an extremely unlucky .200. His BABIP was only over .300 one month out of this year. The league average is around .300 for hitters with an average Line-drive percentage. Wilkerson’s was 17% last year which is average, or maybe just a touch below. So you could infer that his expected BABIP should be about .290

I took the liberty of removing his .659 OPS month from his overall stats (basically to regularize for the unsually fluky bad luck he suffered that month–I’ll admit that not smart enough to do an actual mathematical regression) and found a very encouraging stat line. .247/.331/.491….good for an .822 OPS. Now, despite him being a pull hitter you’ve gotta regress for Safeco Field effecting some of his power, but I now believe it’s entirely within the realm of possiblity that Wilkerson manages to put up an .800 OPS, or at least something close to it.

Also, he had 46.2% of his hits go for extra bases (taking out the fluky June month).

So I’m not saying he’s absolutely incredible, but it’s likely he’s a lot better than we’re giving him credit for.

(Thanks to Baseball-Referece.com , Graham MacAree, and FanGraphs.com for the information used in my research)