I know there's a whole thread devoted to Nick Cafardo's abominable Baseball Notes column, but http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2009/01/18/deep_thoughts_on_players/"]this week's[/url] deserves its own thread by way of it just being abominably bad. The premise of the main body piece? That GMs don't think enough about potential playoff performance when evaluating players. Apparently Nick's one step ahead of the best GMs in the game, in that he sees past things like great in-season performance and looks for those players who "step up" in the playoffs. Then he seeks validation for his argument, which is where it gets to be high comedy: Mark Shapiro: That's as close as you get from a professional responding: "Um, no, that's stupid." How does he not see how circular his argument is: That's essentially saying, "The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and '07 because their players played well. If they had had players that didn't play well, they wouldn't have won." No shit. Here's Theo calling Nick dumb: But Nick is undaunted: What?!? Because (assuming I agree with Cafardo's logic) the Braves don't care about winning in the post season but those other teams do? What is he even talking about? The reason those teams haven't signed Ramirez and Lowe is because they're asking for absurd amounts of money. Only the Braves were desperate enough to sign Lowe at that number because they've been hammered this offseason. Finally, I'd love to know who this genius GM is: Love how he's anonymous. Could that be because he hasn't actually won anything and so his brilliant targeting plan hasn't worked? And how would this work anyway? Are there so many high-quality free agents on the market that you can pick and choose like, "Well, both of these guys had sub-4.00 ERAs and a 2-1 K/BB, but this second guy is a run better ERA in the playoffs, so I'm going with him?" Those choices just don't exist. And then there is the analysis of the payrolls, the theory being that big market team are cutting, while small market teams are adding. Here's his evidence: Wha? The Mariners, Blue Jays, and Pirates are now "big market?" Because three small-market teams are adding slightly (and trying to change that), I'm supposed to see a trend? This is classic cherry-picking and isn't remotely supported by the evidence he supplies. The intro should have been, "Here are some facts about payroll. I don't know what to make of it. But there's probably nothing to make of it, so there." Finally, anybody else notice that, in the Lugo bit, "20 pounds of muscle" was changed to "10 pounds of muscle" after everyone cried 'roids in the comments? Shady. Just a crappy, crappy article, even by his standards.