December 8, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
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Thursday, August 02, 2012
My article from this week, discussed each team's most valuable player, in terms of percentage of total WAR. One of the commenters, brought up an interesting question, and I'd like to supply the answer.
I’d love to see the same type of analysis done on each team’s highest paid player—who is contributing the least among the biggest paid players?For those who missed the article, what the commenter meant by the "same type of analysis" is:
I used Baseball Prospectus' Compensation tables to find the percentage of team payroll for each player with the highest WAR on his team. I then subtracted the payroll percentages from the production (WAR) percentages to create a chart that showed the surplus (or negative) value that each star has brought to his team thus far in 2012I ran the numbers and this chart is the reflection of each team's highest-paid player production, in comparison to their salary:
Every team, but one has received lower production than percentage of overall payroll from their best player. Interestingly enough, that team, the Miami Marlins' highest-paid player at the start of the season was Hanley Ramirez, but after he was traded to the Dodgers, Josh Johnson became their highest-paid player. Johnson's production is only 0.21 percent higher than the percentage that his salary takes up of Miami's total payroll.
The team who has received the least production from their highest-paid player is the Houston Astros, with Carlos Lee. Lee, of course, is no longer with the Astros, but given the fact that Miami is paying less than $250k for his services, he still makes the most, by far, of anyone in Houston's organization.
Names, such as, Jayson Werth, Vernon Wells and Barry Zito being close to the bottom should be a surprise to no one, at this point.
Only three teams' highest-paid players currently lead their team in WAR. Matt Holliday, Felix Hernandez and surprisingly, Alfonso Soriano have been paid the most, while producing the most for their teams, this season.
This result leads me to believe that baseball's front offices are overspending on their superstar players, give the fact that 29 of the 30 teams are receiving a lower percentage of production than their highest-paid player takes up of their payroll.
Rangers 11, Angels 10: Holy schnikes! The Angels jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the fans were booing Yu Darvish and the local nine. Then the comeback. Make that the comebacks. Four runs in the fifth and then single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras. Then, down by three in the tenth, they put up four, capped by a Nelson Cruz homer and Elvis Andrus' walkoff two-run single. Two homers for Albert Pujols, but in a losing effort. Just when the Angels think they have Texas' number -- bam!
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: The sweep. Patrick Corbin was called up and allowed two hits and goose eggs for six innings. Mere days after the Dodgers drubbed the Giants 19-3 in a three game series, the Dbacks drop a 19-4 on the Dodgers. The NL West is gonna be exciting for the next two months.
Yankees 12, Orioles 3: The Yanks avoid a sweep by beating the O's to a pulp with a seven-run third inning. And Joba Chamberlain came back. Which is freaky, because last I checked he had died from trampoline poisoning or something. And my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Joba pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I had thought it was pretty serious, but guess not.
Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches during a five-run fifth inning. The Tigers avoid the sweep. Now a day off for Detroit. And a day on which I travel up to my ancestral homeland of Detroit, Michigan to take in all three games against the Indians in what will be my first ever trip to Comerica Park. Crazy, I know. I suppose more than a decade-old grudge against them for tearing down Tiger Stadium is enough. Oh, and about that ancestral homeland stuff: don't anybody tell my extended family up there that I'm coming. They're all still mad that I went to Ohio State and drive a Japanese car. All of which goes into why, despite my roots, I tell everyone I'm from West Virginia. It's just easier that way.
Pirates 8, Cubs 4: The Pirates were leading 2-1 going into the eighth and then put up a five spot on seven straight hits. Two of three from the Cubbies and now a weekend series against the first place Reds.
Rays 4, Athletics 1: The Rays have allowed 0 or 1 run in four of their last five games. They're only one and a half back of Oakland now for the second wild card.
Brewers 13, Astros 4: Ryan Braun hit his 29th and the Astros threw the ball all over the field for their 28th loss in 31 games. The Brewers scored 31 runs in the three-game series.
White Sox 3, Twins 2: Danks is down and Sale has a dead arm but Peavy keeps humming: 8 IP, 5 H 1 ER, 8K.
Marlins 4, Braves 2: Ben Sheets had the longest outing on his comeback so far, but also his least effective. He gave up 11 hits in six and two-thirds. How only four runs scored is a mystery, but four was enough. Carlos Zambrano got the win in relief. Which is weird.
Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick was 3 for 4 with four driven in. Marshall, Broxton and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. That's the pattern Dusty is gonna try to ride all the way through October. A friend of mine was at this game and she moved from upper deck seats to seats behind the dugout early in the game. With kids in tow, while photographing it and posting it to Facebook. Pretty ninja stuff right there.
Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins and one for newbie Nate Schierholtz, who is probably gonna like playing away from AT&T Park a lot.
Royals 5, Indians 2: Luis Mendoza with seven and a third innings of 2-run ball. I mentioned that my kids watched Tuesday's game in this series. Thinking about it now, I'm sorta wondering if anyone else was. And if so, why.
Mets 2, Giants 1: Jon Niese gave up one run over seven. Hunter Pence in his Giants debut: 0 for 4 and two strikeouts.
Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Matt Holliday has another huge night: 3 for 5, two homers and five driven in.
Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3: That's seven wins in a row for Seattle. And 13 of 17. They have a positive run differential on the year too and are closer to first place than the Brewers, Phillies and Marlins are.
I have a system I debuted last year that ranks how exciting a game is. There’s no point getting into a full account of how it works (methodology given a the end of this article if you're curious), other than to say it gives points for the things that makes games exciting and/or memorable: lead changes and comebacks, late inning drama, extra innings, walk-off wins, how close the final score was, and outstanding performances by pitchers and sluggers.
Well, I’ve been tracking the games played so far throughout the 2012. season, and based on that system, here are the five most exciting games played in July:
Click for more...