Do you know what player under the age of 24 years, 4 months has the most XBH prior to May 17th in an even numbered calendar year while playing exactly 53% of his games at an infield position?
No, you don’t. Nor should you. That’s just a slightly exaggerated example of how ridiculously arbitrary and overly granular statistics are now, and I despise it.
Meaningless, crafted stats are the worst thing I’ve seen on a baseball broadcast since the introduction of infographics back in 47 B.C.
Trivia question: Which Roman gladiator born outside the Roman empire went 17-0 on rainy days and Mondays prior to his defeat at the hands of Russell Crowe?
Answer: Idiot Maximus (great grandfather to Tim McCarver)
Honestly, this stuff just streams through my noggin as stupid tweets slowly drain the life force from my body. It’s the only way to cope with irrational, ill-informed, and intentionally inflammatory crap spewed forth 280 characters at a time. To combat the darkness seeking to invade my personal bubble of safety, I often rip through “anger tweets” that I later deem too stupid to tweet, and those end up in my drafts.
Deletion would probably be a smarter choice, but I’m not all about making smart choices, and I keep them. Perhaps they were destined to appear in a blog post to be read by 3-4 people instead of sent out as knee-jerk reactions on the Twitter machine. So, completely triggered by ideas about why the Cardinals should dump Greg Holland, trade Matt Carpenter, and consider Dexter Fowler the worst player in the history of baseball, here’s a raw data dump of what I almost tweeted.
- An outright dumping of Greg Holland 15 appearances into his career as a Cardinal makes sense, if you truly don’t believe he’ll get even close to his career 2.71 ERA / 2.57 FIP. People who would dump a $14M investment just 1/4 of the way into the season would make lousy hedge fund managers.
- I want to believe in Jordan Hicks‘ ability to continue to defy expectations, but his walk and strikeout rates seem misaligned with his ERA. Mathematically speaking, he’s an elongated aberration. He also skipped AA and AAA, and I’m comfortable betting at least $1 that he ends up in the minors before long to continue development.
- Dexter Fowler isn’t the worst player ever, and it probably doesn’t matter how you define “worst player”. If we go with “least productive”, then he’s still not the worst. Tossing crap like this against a wall is how you get thousands of followers who enjoy low hanging fruit and imitating sheep.
- I believe Matt Carpenter will hit. I’m just not pleased with how long of a leash he’s been given to start hitting. Sure, some believable statistical indicators tell us that he should be hitting or should hit eventually, but nobody knows when, and it isn’t a 100% certainty. Few things are.
- Maybe my view of Carp seems hypocritical given my view of Holland, but we’re talking about Laurels and Yanny’s here. Carp can sit a couple games here and there, and come in as a sub. Holland basically has to pitch.
- Pick a damn lane on Carson Kelly and Francisco Pena. It’s plausible that neither can really hit at the big league level, but it’s really hard to tell when it’s a coin flip to see who starts.
- Pump the brakes on Andrew Knizner a bit, please. He’s hitting well for Springfield, but a lot of guys do that. He looks to be a year or more away, and the last thing the team needs is another catcher on the 40-man.
- With all respect due Tommy Pham, my 1/4 season #stlcards MVP is Paul DeJong. He’s backing up an impressive rookie year with an even better sophomore season. He’s a top 10 SS and a top 10 defender at SS right now.
- I want Mabry gone, if only because he’s so close with Matheny that Mike telling John how amazingly handsome he is may be the closest the two get to brutal honesty. No, I don’t have an idea on who should replace him.
- I just know that I don’t want Jim Edmonds or anyone else who was a star, because the drooling on FSMW broadcasts is bad enough as it is. At this point, I’d be happy with anyone who had a solid career as a hitter but also went through serious slumps and hung out on the fringe at times.
- Why don’t teams carry a hitting coach for left-handed hitters and one for right-handed hitters? The same could be said for pitching coaches. Just a thought.
- I have no numbers to back this up, but I think I’d rather see #stlcards starters going deeper into games at the expense of an extra run given up here or there versus extra innings going to a shaky bullpen.
- Leaving a pitcher in to try and qualify them for a win or a quality start is an emotional decision, and it doesn’t matter how often it ends well. It just shouldn’t be a thing. If winning the game as a team isn’t first and foremost, then the Leader of Men should get buried underneath all the unsold copies of his manifesto.
- One start at Peoria for Alex Reyes probably isn’t enough to earn him the annual “like trading for an All-Star” title, but that won’t stop people from handing it to him. I once won $20 playing poker in Vegas, but that didn’t mean I was ready for the final table in a World Series of Poker event. Patience, padowans.
- Ballpark proposals are dumb and unoriginal, but I still think we should track divorce rates for them.
- The #stlcards have a $158M+ payroll. Wainwright $19.5M, Molina $20M, Martinez $11.7M are on the DL. Fowler $16.5, Carpenter $13.75M, Holland $14M, and Gregerson $5M are under-performing. Gyorko at $9M is the highest paid, healthy player who is producing, and he doesn’t even play every day.
- Based on those salary numbers and even future committed salaries, the #stlcards could actually afford a Machado or a Harper. I can’t see a reality in which they go for either, but they can’t blame lack of salary capacity or player retention costs.
- Matt Bowman has no real place on the team, even if you do believe he can sustain a 10+ strikeouts per 9 rate (I don’t). The rule-5 draft implications are non-factors, so he has reverted to normal status and has options.
- It’s a shame that John Brebbia is a frequent flyer on the MEM-STL shuttle when Matt Bowman is busy being 2018 Matt Bowman.
- On the other hand, Greg Holland looks prime for a mystery “injury” that lands him on the 10-day DL. I’ll take “strained lat” on that particular BINGO card.
- The umpire’s union is literally First Order strong. That’s the only thing that can explain why umpires are so generally terrible at calling balls and strikes without fear of reprisal. They need term limits, mandatory retirement, or something to cull the worst ones each year.
- Henceforth shall refer to Angel Hernandez as “He who is most enamored with smug incompetence”.
- I feel strongly that Molina will be allowed to return when he’s around 85-90%, and then his performance will suffer, and Mo/Girsch will simply insist that he’s grinding and that 90% of Molina is better than 150% of Kelly or Pena. While that may be true, it certainly isn’t better than 100% of Molina.
- I get that some are hesitant to declare Bader the starter over Fowler, but point to Fowler’s 157 PA and .567 OPS and try to convince me that this is a performance-based business.
- Can someone take Kolten Wong to left field, place a ball on the ground, and then explain to him that he could be the guy putting that ball there? I get that Carpenter should probably rely on being a pull hitter, but I don’t think that’s true of Wong.
- Carpenter does need to hit to left field just enough to keep defenses honest and make them think of that potentially easy 150′ double down the line, but that’s probably not his bread-and-butter.
- The #stlcards as a team shouldn’t attempt another stolen base this decade. The bit on tv about Dave McKay keeping proprietary data used for evaluating stolen base situations on an iPad? Pure gold. I bet Oliver Marmol doesn’t do that. Bet he doesn’t give 70-grade back rubs either.
- Kolten Wong is the best defensive 2B in baseball right now. He’s at or near the top of every defensive leaderboard for qualifying 2B that you’ll find on Fangraphs.
- I never again want to discuss trade ideas with a “massive baseball and lifelong Cardinal fan” who doesn’t understand anything about option years, waivers, DFA, and 25/40-man roster concepts.
- I’m sorry I can’t listen to all the podcasts and read all the blogs out there, because I’m sure some are good. Actually, I’m like 50% sure that 15% are good. Make that 40% sure. I’m also roughly 105% sure that less than 10% of what I write is good. Maybe less than 5%. Mathing are hard.