Protecting the Shields -- The Nick Cafardo Thread

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shaggydog2000

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The rankings themselves are utterly meaningless. It is an impossible thing to quantify anyway, and he has never stated any criteria or guidelines to measure against. That's the point of the mockery--it is an inane and meaningless "list" with contradictory, idiotic, and confusing commentary accompanying it.
The only way he could improve the rankings would be to assign every manager a rating with two decimal places, without giving a methodology, and with the numbers not correlating with the rankings.

1. Alex Cora - 4.28
2. Bob Melvin - 5.01
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11 Aaron Boone - Q
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joe dokes

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The Rays were a 90-win team a year ago. They added two major character players in catcher Mike Zunino and veteran righthander Charlie Morton. The analytically-driven Rays likely didn’t consider the character aspect of the two acquisitions,
Right, Nick. Character? Not at all. None.
In fact, they first went after Charlie Manson, but the few remaining scouts forced them to back off when their computers told them that dead guys suck at baseball.
 

JohntheBaptist

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"This team over here signed character guys that are good at baseball for their character more than their baseball skill so good for them but these nerd computer-havers over there hired character guys but it totally wasn't for their character."

The guy is fucking braindead.

(I also love that it seems not a single baseball writer has discovered a synonym for "analytics" yet).
 

E5 Yaz

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Added to the insanity, Nick's knock on not considering character comes directly after he quotes Cash as saying:

“This is a special group of players. There’s so much positive energy that these guys exhibit on a daily basis. We had that last year and you can see we have it again this year."

Meanwhile,

2. If you’re a player 32 or older, don’t expect much of a contract. You don’t score very high on team algorithm models. It’s a good thing that the Red Sox didn’t feel this way about 35-year-old Steve Pearce, the 2018 World Series MVP. Older players do great things. They also provide leadership and chemistry, intangibles lost in those models.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I’m going to ask Nick for $10,000 so I can invest it for him. I don’t know much about the stock market but I have pluck. That’s an intangible, right?

Maybe he’ll let me do his inevitable open heart surgery. Again, I’m not a doctor but I used to channel surf past ER on Thursday nights.

I’m glad he’s nowhere near running my favorite team.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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8. James Shields, RHP, free agent — Shields should find work soon as teams start to round out their pitching staffs. He’s a veteran who teams can tack on as a fifth starter or a depth guy. He’d be especially important for a young staff given his reputation as a leader. Shields is 37, but on a one-year deal he could help a staff such as the Braves or Reds.
Scouts tell me that he chews tobacco, once gave his bullpen coach a hotfoot, and left a bubblegum bubble on the button of an unsuspecting David Price’s hat. Analytics can’t put a value on this, and his stories lift the spirits of teammates during rain delays.

It’s mystifying how he remains unsigned, and this is Exhibit A about how baseball’s system is broken.
 

scottyno

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Shields clearly did wonders for the White Sox young staff last year. Also hasn't been an above average pitcher in 5 years, which I hear is something most teams are looking for when they sign a guy to actually throw a ball.
 

Humphrey

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I should make a chart of the number of times in 2019 he mentions Shields, Joey Batts and a few other washed up veterans.
 

Van Everyman

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Drink every time Nick says “analytics”:

Maybe it is a necessary step in speeding up the game, but the thought of a clock in baseball makes me ill. Maybe I’m lost in a different generation. Maybe I don’t mind three-hour games. With newspaper deadlines, you’d think I would, but I don’t.

Baseball has a natural flow and beauty to it. What’s made games longer are analytics and not-so-instant replay. Analytics have put more thought into every pitch and every at-bat. Pitchers need time to process things between pitches. While there are pitchers such as Wade Miley who get the ball and throw it, most are like Price, needing that extra time to process what they’re about to do with the hitter.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2019/02/18/the-clock-ticking-for-pitchers-and-there-are-concerns/iEqtAJw7IaDZ6WXLkE69QL/story.html
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Wait. He doesn't mind three-hour games, but he minds that baseball is too long? Does he even bother to give his stuff a cursory reread before he turns it in? Do his editors give a shit?

This is the fucking bullshit that I can't stand with this guy. And it's not like it happens once a month or even once a week, it's every time he publishes an article. There is no consistency in thoughts other than, "James Shields can really help some team out!" (he can't) and "MLB is losing scouts hand over fist and it's a huge emergency" (they're not).

Fuck this dude. Jesus.
 

joe dokes

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Wait. He doesn't mind three-hour games, but he minds that baseball is too long? Does he even bother to give his stuff a cursory reread before he turns it in? Do his editors give a shit?
I *think* he's saying, "I don't mind 3-hour games. But for those of you who do, the answer is not adding a clock, it's doing away with Cyberdyne wasting valuable seconds telling pitchers what to throw."

And all hail the new thread title....
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I *think* he's saying, "I don't mind 3-hour games. But for those of you who do, the answer is not adding a clock, it's doing away with Cyberdyne wasting valuable seconds telling pitchers what to throw."

And all hail the new thread title....
Rereading those two paragraphs, that's one interpretation. And I don't think that you're necessarily wrong. But knowing what we know about Wilbur's dislike of analytics, I'm not sure if that's the case. If he was for longer games (like he claims he is) wouldn't he want pitchers to spend more time and concentrate on the next pitch that they're going to throw, rather than get on the hill and huck the ball?

And BTW, this is the first time that I've read anyone anwhere make the argument that having Wade fucking Miley on your team is better than having David Price. "Well, he'll lose a lot more and give up more hits, walk a ton more and strike out far fewer ... but he'll do it quicker!"
 

Dick Pole Upside

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tims4wins

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I clicked on the first page of this thread, for fun. The timeframe was early 2009, so 10 years ago. And we were literally writing the same things then as today. It's hilarious.
 

joe dokes

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I clicked on the first page of this thread, for fun. The timeframe was early 2009, so 10 years ago. And we were literally writing the same things then as today. It's hilarious.
So was Nick.

James Shields: 25.4 seconds between pitches; 7th slowest in the major leagues in 2018 (courtesy of Fangraphs)
https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=22&season=2018&month=0&season1=2018&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=11,d&page=1_30
Nick: I love him because he doesn't THINK between pitches. He just stands there... it's all flow and beauty... shell-shocked. Ain't no analytics in his head!
And now Nick can blame the analyticists and their fancy clock when Shields doesn't get picked up.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I clicked on the first page of this thread, for fun. The timeframe was early 2009, so 10 years ago. And we were literally writing the same things then as today. It's hilarious.
I have become what I hate, I've been writing the exact same thing for ten years. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that I haven't had an aneurysm.
 

joe dokes

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Someone check me here. I know the default is that Nick is an idiot, but....Cora said this in the context of no Kimbrel:

We’ll have our plan and we’ll stick to it. If you start looking at numbers on Barnes and Craig, if you do your homework and compare the two — the way we used Barnes and situations, tie game, up one or up two, with the bases loaded, facing 3-4-5 hitters — look at OPS of hitters Matt faced and the OPS of batters Craig faced.”
Then Nick wrote this:
The OPS against Barnes was .624. Against Kimbrel, it was .565
Cora's point just flew right passed him, didn't it? He was trying to point out that Barnes faced at least the same quality of hitters that Kimbrel did.

(I can't figure out how to get the numbers that Cora was actually talking about).
 
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joe dokes

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He's gone 'round the bend. I wonder if he's been offered the buyout, given his age-rantings of late...
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2019/02/20/steve-pearce-breaks-analytics-mold-flourishing-age/KEo3vrV2ob9pvbcgwm5qXK/story.html?event=event12

Steve Pearce has become the hero for players over 32.
That seems to be the magic age now, when the analytics departments feel you’re over the hill. Pearce is a big “take that!” after performing so well in the 2018 postseason and earning World Series MVP honors (though some thought they should have at least been shared with David Price).
Pearce signed a one-year deal in November to come back to the Red Sox, but he could have gone elsewhere on a multiyear deal, he knows. Three years was going to be a stretch because of his age; no modern-minded organization would ever do it, even though he has broken the analytics mold.
He wanted to stay in Boston and defend the World Series title. So he accepted the same salary — $6.25 million — that he had made the previous year.
OK, that’s still a lot of money, but it could have been more. World Series MVPs usually cash in. Because of his age, however, he probably wouldn’t have gotten much more elsewhere.
It’s because he’s always been labeled a “platoon player,” better against lefties than righties. That’s what the analytics said. It has been a source of major frustration for Pearce throughout his career. Alex Cora knows that Pearce can hit righties well too.
(Career OPS 743/852. And he has 1500 PA's vs RHPs and 900 vs LHP's, so about that label -- Non-existent? Accurate? Both?
St. Buck of Showalter said “He killed lefthanded pitching" and never gave him more than 383 PA's)

There are guys like Pearce’s former Orioles teammates Adam Jones (33) and Matt Wieters (32) looking to hook on. There’s a two-time All-Star in Josh Harrison (31) and a very good player in Logan Forsythe (32) still looking for work. Could Jose Bautista (38) still hit home runs for someone? Probably. Jose Reyes (35) has always been a good hitter for an infielder, except for last season with the Mets (.189).
The older players bring intangibles such as leadership and clubhouse karma, and become extra coaches who are able to school younger players on how to play the game right. Their role is invaluable. Mark DeRosa was kept around because teams knew they were getting a good clubhouse guy. Sometimes you sacrifice a little ability to get those intangibles that can make a world of difference.
It’s a good thing the Red Sox weren’t into age discrimination, or Pearce would have been out of luck.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Someone check me here. I know the default is that Nick is an idiot, but....Cora said this in the context of no Kimbrel:



Then Nick wrote this:


Cora's point just flew right passed him, didn't it? He was trying to point out that Barnes faced at least the same quality of hitters that Kimbrel did.

(I can't figure out how to get the numbers that Cora was actually talking about).
https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=2572665

Barnes faced opposing batters averaging .247/.316/.405, True Average of .258. Kimbrel's opponents averaged .248/.320/.415, True Average of .262. So, Kimbrel's was marginally higher, but both were within spitting distance of average opponents.

On the Red Sox, the pitchers facing the toughest true average:
  1. Poyner .267
  2. Eovaldi .265
  3. Pomeranz .264
  4. Cuevas .264
  5. Kelly .264
  6. Porcello .264
Weakest:
  1. Walden .250
  2. Beeks .255
  3. ERod .257
  4. Barnes .258
  5. Scott .258
  6. Sale .258
 

Kliq

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He's gone 'round the bend. I wonder if he's been offered the buyout, given his age-rantings of late...
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2019/02/20/steve-pearce-breaks-analytics-mold-flourishing-age/KEo3vrV2ob9pvbcgwm5qXK/story.html?event=event12









(Career OPS 743/852. And he has 1500 PA's vs RHPs and 900 vs LHP's, so about that label -- Non-existent? Accurate? Both?
St. Buck of Showalter said “He killed lefthanded pitching" and never gave him more than 383 PA's)
Is believing a guy hits RHP or LHP better really "analytics" anyway? According to Bill James, subbing a guy in and out depending on the handiness of the pitcher has been taking place since the 1800s, and Casey Stengel popularized the term "platoon" in the 1940s. To me a hitter being a specialist is a traditional baseball strategy, same as the hit-and-run and sacrifice bunt.

Also I don't think Nick has ever realized that not every single player over the age of 30 is an amazing teammate who provided leadership and unparalleled insight into the game of baseball. Some of them are assholes, tolerated because they could play at a high level and once they became mediocre or below-average players they were no longer being offered a contract.

The Jose Reyes bit is classic Cafardo, contradicting his own argument by providing the only piece of factual information in his statement. Jose Reyes used to be really good, except for last season when he was terrible, fell off a cliff and hit .189 with no power, but he was once very good and if it wasn't for analytics, he'd be inking a big contract.
 
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joe dokes

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https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=2572665

Barnes faced opposing batters averaging .247/.316/.405, True Average of .258. Kimbrel's opponents averaged .248/.320/.415, True Average of .262. So, Kimbrel's was marginally higher, but both were within spitting distance of average opponents.

On the Red Sox, the pitchers facing the toughest true average:
  1. Poyner .267
  2. Eovaldi .265
  3. Pomeranz .264
  4. Cuevas .264
  5. Kelly .264
  6. Porcello .264
Weakest:
  1. Walden .250
  2. Beeks .255
  3. ERod .257
  4. Barnes .258
  5. Scott .258
  6. Sale .258

Thanks for doing the legwork.
So Kimbrel faced slightly tougher hitters and was a bit more successful. Demonstrating something that few dispute, and answering a question no one is asking: Kimbrel was a better pitcher than Barnes. Thanks Nick.
 

joe dokes

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Also I don't think Nick has ever realized that not every single player over the age of 30 is an amazing teammate who provided leadership and unparalleled insight into the game of baseball.
Silly you. Only the ones who aren't that good at baseball anymore can do that.
 

shaggydog2000

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Is believing a guy hits RHP or LHP better really "analytics" anyway? According to Bill James, subbing a guy in and out depending on the handiness of the pitcher has been taking place since the 1800s, and Casey Stengel popularized the term "platoon" in the 1940s. To me a hitter being a specialist is a traditional baseball strategy, same as the hit-and-run and sacrifice bunt.

Also I don't think Nick has ever realized that not every single player over the age of 30 is an amazing teammate who provided leadership and unparalleled insight into the game of baseball. Some of them are assholes, tolerated because they could play at a high level and once they became mediocre or below-average players they were no longer being offered a contract.

The Jose Reyes bit is classic Cafardo, contradicting his own argument by providing the only piece of factual information in his statement. Jose Reyes used to be really good, except for last season when he was terrible, fell off a cliff and hit .189 with no power, but he was once very good and if it wasn't for analytics, he'd be inking a big contract.
Cafardo is like the guy in your fantasy sports team that hasn't paid attention to the sport in 5 years and drafts every washed up guy who used to be good.

"How did Jose Reyes last this long?"
 
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