December 9, 2013
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All-Star Game Articles
Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category All-Star Game .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/09/2013: Leverage Index by inningby Dave Studeman
12/09/2013: How far are the Mariners from relevancy?by Brad Johnson
12/09/2013: Prince Halby Chris Jaffe
12/09/2013: Three underrated acquisitionsby Pat Andriola
12/06/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: Ed Charles and 42by Bruce Markusen
12/06/2013: The Athletics get busyby Brad Johnson
12/06/2013: Getting to know Ryan Haniganby Chad Dotson
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/17/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Baileyby Bruce Markusen
10/18/2013: The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WARby James Gentile
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July 15, 2013
Another year, another Home Run DerbyAnother year, another Home Run Derby. One of baseball’s oldest exhibitions isolates, singles out and puts on display one of the most entertaining aspects of the game: the long ball.
In the “post” steroid era, home runs league wide have not been as prodigious as they were 15 years ago. The 40-home run hitter is not a common thing these days. Let us not forget that Barry Bonds led the major leagues only twice in total home runs in a single season during his 21-year career (1986-2007) despite owning eight seasons of 40 or more home runs.
However, the first half of 2013 has seen a renaissance of sorts in home runs. This year, 2,804 home runs were hit in the first “half” of the season. Last year, that number was 2,592. In 2011 it was 2,428, and in 2010 it was 2,500. The number of first half home runs in 2013 is 12 percent higher than it was between 2010 and 2012.
Heading into the break, 14 players have 20 or more home runs. Two have 30 or more, and four have 25 or more. Last year, 12 players crossed the 20 home run threshold by the All-Star break. None had 30. (Josh Hamilton came the closest, with 27.) In 2011, there were even fewer 20 home run hitters at the All-Star break—only 10. One, Jose Bautista, had 30 or more (31 to be exact). In 2010, the year Bautista hit 54 home runs, nobody had even 25 at the All-Star break. Only 11 had 20 or more homers in the first half that year.
So 2013 is not quite a return to the glory days—in 2000, there were 3,311 first half home runs and as recently as 2009 there were 2,707— but it is nice to see an uptick in four baggers in the renewed “era” (pun intended) of the pitcher—the “post-Jermaine Dye era,” if you will.
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Posted by: Jeffrey Gross
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
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