May 26, 2013
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All-Star Game Articles
Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category All-Star Game .
05/25/2013: Closer watchby Karl de Vries
05/25/2013: Joey Votto’s bid for historyby Chris Jaffe
05/24/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/24/2013: Roster Doctor (er, consultant) is inby Jonah Birenbaum
05/24/2013: Rick Anderson and pitching to contactby Scott Strandberg
05/24/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 8, Vol. IIIby Karl de Vries
05/23/2013: It is inexcusable to release Jon Rauchby Pat Andriola
05/23/2013: The daily grind: 5-23-13by Brad Johnson
05/23/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/23/2013: Strength of schedule: Adjusting pitcher valuesby Moe Koltun
05/23/2013: Visualization: Handedness through historyby Dan Lependorf
05/23/2013: The Roto Grotto: targeted z-scoresby Scott Spratt
05/22/2013: The daily grind: 5-22-13by Brad Johnson
05/22/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/22/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 8, Vol. IIby Jack Weiland
05/22/2013: The hardest thingby Derek Ambrosino
05/22/2013: 20th anniversary: Blue Jays mascot ejectedby Chris Jaffe
05/22/2013: Currently historic: A plethora of new stuffby Jason Linden
05/22/2013: BOB: Owners’ meeting updateby Brian Borawski
05/21/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/21/2013: The daily grind: 5-21-13by Brad Johnson
05/21/2013: 50th anniversary: Jim Maloney: a star is bornby Chris Jaffe
05/21/2013: Diamonds in the rough: starting pitchersby Noah Woodward
05/21/2013: Profar could be on a Cingrani-esque scheduleby Jeff Moore
05/21/2013: Is 5/125 the new 5/55?by Greg Simons
05/21/2013: The Verdict: keep your trade secrets to yourselfby Michael Stein
05/21/2013: THT Awardsby John Barten
05/20/2013: The daily grind: 5-20-13by Brad Johnson
05/20/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/20/2013: The Hot Seatby Scott Strandberg
05/20/2013: AL Central: state of the divisionby Chris Jaffe
05/20/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 8, Vol. 1by Karl de Vries
05/20/2013: Louisville slugging in 2013by Frank Jackson
05/20/2013: 5,000 days since Eric Milton’s no-hitterby Chris Jaffe
05/17/2013: The daily grind: 5-17-13by Brad Johnson
05/17/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/17/2013: Gems without whiffsby James Gentile
05/17/2013: 40th anniversary: Bobby Valentine breaks his legby Chris Jaffe
05/17/2013: Strength of schedule: Adjusting hitter valuesby Moe Koltun
05/17/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. IIIby Jack Weiland
05/17/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Mike Andrewsby Bruce Markusen
05/16/2013: The daily grind: 5-16-13by Brad Johnson
05/16/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/16/2013: How Scott Kazmir got his groove backby Kyle Boddy
05/16/2013: Three more for eternityby Don Malcolm
05/16/2013: Not exactly definitiveby Don Malcolm
05/16/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘40sby Richard Barbieri
05/16/2013: Of Uggs and Ugglaby Derek Ambrosino
05/15/2013: The daily grind: 5-15-13by Brad Johnson
05/15/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/15/2013: Running hot and coldby Shane Tourtellotte
05/15/2013: The Phillies should retool but not rebootby Brad Johnson
05/15/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. IIby Karl de Vries
05/15/2013: Currently historic: 300 strikeouts?by Jason Linden
05/15/2013: Mike Moustakas’ holeby Noah Woodward
05/15/2013: BOB: How bad is the Marlins’ attendance?by Brian Borawski
05/14/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/14/2013: The daily grind: 5-14-13by Brad Johnson
05/14/2013: How much do hot/cold starts matter?by Greg Simons
05/14/2013: 25th anniversary: The Jose Oquendo Gameby Chris Jaffe
05/14/2013: Jonathan Schoop and the value of role playersby Jeff Moore
05/14/2013: THT Awardsby John Barten
05/13/2013: The daily grind: 5-13-13by Brad Johnson
05/13/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/13/2013: 30th anniversary: Reggie’s 2,000th Kby Chris Jaffe
05/13/2013: NL Central division update: May editionby Jason Linden
05/13/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 7, Vol. Iby Jack Weiland
05/13/2013: Last remaining teammatesby Chris Jaffe
05/13/2013: The Hot Seatby Scott Strandberg
05/12/2013: The curious case of Vernon Wellsby Matt Filippi
05/12/2013: 60th anniversary: Whitey Ford’s near no-hitterby Chris Jaffe
05/10/2013: The daily grind: 5-10-13by Brad Johnson
05/10/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/10/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: What really happened with Fritz Ostermueller and Jackie Robinsonby Bruce Markusen
05/10/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. IIIby Karl de Vries
05/10/2013: Still life, after allby Azure Texan
05/09/2013: Oh Dustyby Pat Andriola
05/09/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/09/2013: 40th anniversary: back-to-back first homersby Chris Jaffe
05/09/2013: The Roto Grotto: rates versus opportunitiesby Scott Spratt
05/09/2013: Swing rates: the John Farrell effectby Moe Koltun
05/09/2013: Winning, TWTW, and the purpose of baseballby Matt Hunter
05/08/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/08/2013: The daily grind: 5-8-13by Brad Johnson
05/08/2013: Fantasy Waiver Wire: Week 6, Vol. IIby Jack Weiland
05/08/2013: What nobody is talking aboutby Greg Simons
05/08/2013: Currently historic: A truly rare achievementby Jason Linden
05/08/2013: Craig Anderson’s greatest dayby Frank Jackson
05/08/2013: BOB: Stadium updatesby Brian Borawski
05/07/2013: And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
05/07/2013: The daily grind: 5-7-13by Brad Johnson
05/07/2013: Fun with minor league leader boardsby Jeff Moore
05/07/2013: 90th anniversary: Casey Stengel goes bonkersby Chris Jaffe
05/07/2013: THT Awardsby John Barten
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January 20, 2013
The greatest Cardinal is goneFor Cardinals fans of the past 15 years, the greatest player they've ever witnessed wearing the birds-on-a-bat jersey obviously is Albert Pujols. For fans such as me who grew up watching Whitey Herzog's runnin' Redbirds, it was Ozzie Smith. A generation before that, it was Bob Gibson or Lou Brock.
But the greatest St. Louis Cardinal of all time undoubtedly was Stan "The Man" Musial, who passed away Saturday at the age of 92.
Musial was the definition of what it means to be a Cardinal, the epitome of striving for success in that classic Midwestern manner. For the Simons family, our Cardinals fandom goes back at least to the beginning of Musial's career, as it and my father's early life matched up quite nicely.
Dad was born in the spring of 1940, and the next season Musial made his major league debut. At that time, no one knew what to expect from either of them, my dad because he was just learning to walk, Musial because he was fresh-faced, 20-year-old kid with all of 239 plate appearances in Double-A.
By the time my father turned nine years old, "The Man" had earned three Most Valuable Player awards and a trio of batting titles. While Musial would win another four batting championships, he could muster "only" four more second-place finishes among his 18 seasons of receiving MVP votes.
Dad was too young to appreciate the three World Series titles the Cardinals brought home by the time he'd started first grade, but he had another 17 seasons to follow the greatness of Musial. Consistently, relentlessly, Musial portrayed excellence year after year, batting well over .300, walking a bunch, striking out very little, and clobbering plenty of pitches over the walls of Sportsman's Park.
When Musial's career was complete, he had compiled a .331/.417/.559 BA/OBP/SLG line with 3,630 hits (an NL record at the time), 475 homers, 1,951 RBI, 1,949 runs scored and 24 All-Star Game appearances (thanks to a stretch of seasons with two games a year). His strikeout-to-walk numbers were an astounding 696-to-1,599, his OPS was 976 (13th best all-time), and his OPS+ stood at 159 (15th best all-time).
When Musial's career was complete, my dad's childhood had officially ended, as he married my mom in the summer of 1963, Musial's final campaign. I don't think she knew it at the time, but my mom was being indoctrinated into the Simons family Cardinals fan club. Lucky her.
One of the greatest attributes of Musial's career was his balance, his consistently. See those RBI and runs scored totals up above—1,951 and 1,949, respectively? Put those on a scale, and it will hardly sway one way or another. And then there's his home and away hit totals of exactly 1,815 each. Recalling those near-perfect pairings reminded me again of my parents, matched together so well that they'll be celebrating 50 years of marriage this summer.
It might seem odd that a player's passing immediately brings to my mind thoughts of my family, but the Cardinals are ingrained in us, part of the ebb and flow of our everyday lives. A large majority of the conversations my dad and I have touch on the Redbirds at least briefly. I was granted full membership in the club before I was even born, and I'm forever grateful for it.
My family has loved the Cardinals for over seven decades, and Stan Musial was the ideal representation of a Cardinals player all that time. There is no one to take his place, but we all have the memories to cherish.
I called home last night to ask my dad if he ever saw Musial play in person, but he was asleep, so I'll have to check again today. I did speak to my mom, and she told me they did see Musial in spring training a few years ago, and he was ambling around the field, chatting with players and waving to the fans. Another great memory, another delighted fan.
The enduring images of Stan Musial are of him rapping a solid hit, playing his harmonica, thanking the fans. Whatever mental picture you have when Stan "The Man" Musial comes to mind, it's almost certainly a pleasant one.
For "baseball's perfect warrior ... baseball's perfect knight," his enduring legacy will be one of consistently bringing unwavering commitment to the field and joy to the fans, day after day after day. That's true for my parents, many other family members, and millions of Cardinals fans everywhere.
Thanks for the memories, Stan Musial. You are, and always will be, "The Man."
Posted by: Greg Simons
July 12, 2011
Quiz results: All-Star GameWith mere hours to go before first pitch in the 2011 All-Star Game, the polls are closed (well, not really—you can vote, but it's too late to be counted in the "official" tally).
Here are the most up-to-date results of the question that asked about tonight's game:
Who are you rooting for? Percentage AL 46.9% NL 53.1%Unlike the last Pop Quiz, which asked what to do with the DH, where the NL-style pitcher batting dominated the voting, this poll was quite close. However, in the end, the National League gets the slight edge. (And, no, I didn't stuff the ballot box.)
Regardless, I think we can all hope for a good, tight game—and no tie!
Posted by: Greg Simons
July 11, 2011
Oh boy, the home run derby is hereRight up front, I don't enjoy the Home Run Derby. I find it rather boring, lacking a certain level of competitiveness that I associate with baseball.
But to be honest, just because I don't like it does not make it a bad thing.* There is a buzz around it. A noticeable buzz. While surprising to me, one has to appreciate when something creates a buzz for baseball, right?
*Yes, unlike some folks that like to jibber-jabber about baseball, my personal preference about something does not specifically mean it is bad.
But I want to like the Home Run Derby. So, here are two thoughts of mine of what to change:
I will talked about, until I can't talk any more, the need for Duane Kuiper and Steve Stone to do the announcing. There is a fun bit of irony there that lets people know baseball doesn't always have to take itself so seriously. Kuiper is a good announcer in his own right, and Stone is going to be better than just about anybody ESPN would put behind the microphone.
But a Kuiper/Stone combo would have a limited appeal, I understand that. It is easy to fix though. Invite radio and TV announcers from different teams to take a turn calling parts of the derby. Sprinkle in a few ex-players who are currently in announcing to provide color commentary and let them talk about famous home runs they hit or gave up. There are enough announcers to make this a rotational setup and keep things fresh.
Spread the field out a little more by including prospects. Why not have a minor leaguer battling the boys in the bigs? This would allow many fans more of an opportunity to see some of the talent in the pipeline than the Futures Game. It would also spark some competitiveness.
Why not make it a three team competition, including the retired players that might want to take part? The Future, The Present, The Past. Imagine a final round of David Ortiz, Bryce Harper, and Ken Griffey, Jr.
Even if you have only two teams, make each have to include a minor league player and a retired one. There will be a added sense of excitement.
Posted by: Mat Kovach
July 15, 2010
Were the All Stars really throwing that hard?If you watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, you may have noticed a lot high-nineties fastballs zipping from pitcher to catcher. At one point Fox put up a graphic listing the fastest fastballs of the night:
Pitcher Speed (mph) Price 100 Verlander 99 Johnson 99Some people wondered, particularly with David Price, whose average fastball speed this year is 95 mph, whether the Fox speed gun was "hot". I believe that Fox was actually getting its pitch speed data from PITCHf/x rather than a radar gun since the speeds that Fox reported match up very well with the speeds in the PITCHf/x data for the game.
Rather than looking at peak speeds, let's look at the average fastball speed for every pitcher who threw in the game.
Pitcher Speed (mph) Verlander 99 Price 98 Wilson 98 Johnson 98 Thornton 97 Broxton 97 Jimenez 97 Valverde 96 Wainwright 95 Kuo 95 Hughes 95 Bailey 95 Capps 94 Lester 94 Bell 94 Halladay 93 Soriano 93 Lee 92 Pettitte 91That's a lot of mid and upper-nineties fastballs! Of the 272 pitches thrown, 190, or 70 percent, were fastballs. The average fastball speed in the game was 96 mph. Wow.
Was the PITCHf/x system reporting pitch speeds accurately in the All-Star Game? The simple answer is, as far as I can tell, yes.
Many of the pitchers were definitely recording faster speeds than they had throughout the season. In addition to the aforementioned Price, Justin Verlander, Josh Johnson, and Adam Wainwright were each measured as bringing their heat two to three mph faster than during the season. The average fastball for all pitchers in the game was measured at one mph faster than the same pitchers threw during the season.
The initial inclination would be to say that the PITCHf/x camera system in Angel Stadium was out of calibration such that it was measuring pitch speeds about one mph too fast. That sort of error is not unheard of. However, we should also not be surprised if starting pitchers threw their fastballs harder than usual in short one or two inning stints or if the emotion of the confrontation with All-Star batters on a national TV stage was enough to give well-rested pitchers a little extra zip.
I don't know a simple way to determine whether either of those things are true, although we do see that the pitchers with the biggest boosts to their fastball speed were all starting pitchers. The average fastball speed boost relative to the regular season was 1.5 mph for starters and 0.4 mph for relievers.
Moreover, there are a couple things that I usually check when making adjustments to pitchers' fastball speed data in PITCHf/x. The first is the drag coefficient calculated from the PITCHf/x data. This is a physical constant that is dependent on things like the physical characteristics of the baseball but independent of a lot of other things, like the ballpark. The drag coefficient measured by the PITCHf/x system on Tuesday night was very close to the average expected value of 0.36.
The other thing I check is the average fastball speed of pitchers in a given game relative to their season average. But instead of simply doing it for a single game, as reported above, I do it for multiple games and look for trends. The average fastball speed recorded by PITCHf/x in Angel Stadium this year has actually been 0.8 mph less than the average fastball speed for the same set of pitchers pitching in other ballparks.
So, if anything, the "gun" in Angel Stadium has been a little cold in 2010. (I don't know whether the PITCHf/x system was recalibrated immediately prior to the All-Star Game, such that any bias in the data from earlier in the season would be irrelevant to the data collected Tuesday. We'll know more about that after we get data from the Angels' first homestand after the break.)
Fastball speed data is interesting, but we don't always know how accurate it is. In this case, although I can't give an official Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, I don't see any convincing reason to believe that the speeds that Fox (and PITCHf/x) reported were juiced.
Posted by: Mike Fast
June 25, 2010
Could all this Strasburg noise be for nothing?Today, Dave Cameron weighed in on the whole "Should Stephen Strasburg go to the All Star Game" debate. That got me thinking, if Strasburg is elected, will he even play? Here's what I had to say in the comments over at Fangraphs.
Are we sure Strasburg would even pitch if elected? The Nats are holding a considerable cash cow in Strasburg and he happens to be on a pretty strict innings/pitches cap. I would think the Nats will try very hard to persuade him not to alter his routine so he can pitch the 5th inning of a game he’ll be going to for the foreseeable future.
Most importantly, Strasburg is already lined up to start somewhere between July 9th and 11th depending on how the Nationals juggle the rotation. The All Star Game is the 13th. It's hard to imagine Strasburg climbing the mound in Anaheim on short rest after how carefully the Nationals have nurtured him. Perhaps the Nats would embrace the opportunity to get their money maker in front of the national audience and skip/shorten his last start.
So what do you guys think? Will Strasburg be available to pitch? Will the Nationals attempt to convince him not to pitch? Will he play regardless of his team's wishes?
To me, this is a much more interesting question to pursue. I think that people get caught up in these notions of what the All Star Game is and isn't. I'd have to guess that if it's about anything, it's the league showing appreciation to the fans by putting the most interesting and exciting players from each league on display. Right now, Stephen Strasburg is probably the most interesting and exciting player in baseball. He makes my cut.
Posted by: Brad Johnson
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