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  1. hvs's Avatar
    After some thought, I realized that I forgot a huge event that potentially explains both the gap in the late 70s as well as the concentration of dominant players in the 60s: Free Agency.

    In 1975, MLB players won the right to being free agents. Before this time, the reserve clause made them (essentially) indentured servants to a team. This is why players would tend to accumulate more career WAR with a single team and why there was a concentration of talent on the Twins before this time. After free agency, it became less likely that a player would spend his entire career with a single team, and would therefore accumulate career WAR across many teams, which isn't captured in this chart.

    Another item that should be noted is that prior to 1969, the playoffs were only one round: the World Series. Obviously this made it difficult to reach the postseason no matter how good your team was. Even from 1969, there were only two rounds until 1993. With "March Madness," the Stanley Cup Finals, and the NBA Finals, it's easy to forget that MLB only recently adopted the extended tournament-style of postseason. Whether that is a good or bad thing is a larger discussion, but I believe it is generally a good thing.
  2. gil4's Avatar
    I have enjoyed most of the tournament, but the Argentina-Netherlands game was extremely boring. It's not just that it went to PKs at 0-0, but there were so few decent scoring chances. At halftime I said it was going to PKs.

    I'd like to see them change it to 10 players and allow more subs. If not that, then maybe just take one player off for each OT session and keep playing until someone scores. (Maybe cut that off at 7 per side.
  3. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    Thank you Nick.
    These are good highlights.

    The Twins had won only 3 of their last 14 games until taking the last 3 from Seattle.

    The optimistic points you bring up are helpful to my heart.
  4. ericchri's Avatar
    Matt Batts, and he's a pitcher? Ah, the missed opportunities.
  5. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
    Like it: Vargas, Rosario and Hicks (YES HICKS!! Finally, don't stop man - earn your way back to the Bigs) are doing damage at Double-A. Always a great way to begin the day. Gives me hope. And this Kvasnicka guy is a bonus.
  6. naobermiller's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa
    Hopefully, Gibson can improve on these results as he continues to learn and grow. Heíll need to learn how to pitch when his best stuff just isnít with him Ė even Kevin Correia and Ricky Nolasco can turn in quality outings when their command is evading them.

    I wonder if last night wasn't part of that learning process.

    Len 3 tweeted:
    LaVelle E. Neal III @LaVelleNeal 20h

    Gibson was solid but not spectacular. Failure to throw strike one kept him from pitching deeper in game.

    So even though he apparently didn't have his best stuff, he perservered.

    Thanks for all the analysis. It'll be interesting to follow this the rest of the season.



    I agree with this 100%. Gibson was OK. worked out of some jams, and it's difficult to be disappointed when a guy goes six scoreless. But in a Low Leverage game like that, you'd hope for a little better.
  7. Deduno Abides's Avatar
    You mean the guy that belittled Scott Baker and Pat Neshek for not competing, before it was learned that they were injured, and kept pitching Nick Blackburn and Mike Pelfrey because they were "good guys" even though everyone could see they were ineffective pitchers, before it was learned that they too were injured, and wants players to be "old school," may be setting a culture that doesn't succeed in the post-Moneyball era?
  8. JB_Iowa's Avatar
    Hopefully, Gibson can improve on these results as he continues to learn and grow. Heíll need to learn how to pitch when his best stuff just isnít with him Ė even Kevin Correia and Ricky Nolasco can turn in quality outings when their command is evading them.

    I wonder if last night wasn't part of that learning process.

    Len 3 tweeted:
    LaVelle E. Neal III @LaVelleNeal 20h

    Gibson was solid but not spectacular. Failure to throw strike one kept him from pitching deeper in game.

    So even though he apparently didn't have his best stuff, he perservered.

    Thanks for all the analysis. It'll be interesting to follow this the rest of the season.



  9. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn
    No villains here, IMO. The discomfort a pitcher goes through isn't as simple as Go No-Go. I'd prefer to give Nolasco the benefit of the doubt for courage to try to pitch through a period of time where he didn't know for sure where the end of the tunnel really is. New team and not being "that guy" and all that, it rings true. And from the other side, manager and coach treating a new and veteran guy with dignity and respect, not peppering him with questions that will sound like second guessing over a bad stretch of results, also rings true to me. It's part of an equilibrium that, in the big picture, works.
    Thanks for the comment. I was using Nolasco's situation as part of the larger point. For sure, though, no one situation has any bearing necessarily on another. I do think Gardy's comments -- which he made with general applicability -- were illuminating.
  10. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    No villains here, IMO. The discomfort a pitcher goes through isn't as simple as Go No-Go. I'd prefer to give Nolasco the benefit of the doubt for courage to try to pitch through a period of time where he didn't know for sure where the end of the tunnel really is. New team and not being "that guy" and all that, it rings true. And from the other side, manager and coach treating a new and veteran guy with dignity and respect, not peppering him with questions that will sound like second guessing over a bad stretch of results, also rings true to me. It's part of an equilibrium that, in the big picture, works.
  11. h2oface's Avatar
    Gardy should have been fired in 2007. I am happy for another passionate post. I hope it helps.
  12. TKGuy's Avatar
    Gardy really protected Johan before the Mets used him like a rented mule. I have always thought Gardy protected his pitchers more than most managers.
  13. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Here, here. Fantastic post.
  14. jay's Avatar
    mike, which tier begins to qualify as "good to great"? Tier 5? 6?
  15. mike wants wins's Avatar
    some teams accept that the last 2-3 years are the price you pay for the first few years, and are probably not counting on value in those last few years. You can decide to be fine with that or not.

    $/WAR is a great measure, if you are willing to live with low WAR, you can have a low budget, but then, you'll lose more, right? If it costs $6MM for 1 WAR, and you only spend $12MM, you get 2 wins.....or, if you pay more, you get more wins. If you pay for bad pitchers, you will generally get bad pitchers. Me? I'd rather pay for good to great pitchers, and not waste money on 1-2 WAR pitchers.
  16. pierre75275's Avatar
    I understand your points, I really do, and I enjoyed reading the article....BUT....I think what Gardy was trying to say was that pitchers arms always have soreness. It is expected and it is routine. He doesn't want to know about that. What he wants to know is if the soreness is not normal and it affects performance. Throwing a baseball is not what arms are built to do, its why they are sore. The last 3 years I played ball my arm hurt all the time. I played outfield. I wasn't winging it 90mph. I don't blame Gardy on this. He said he wants to know when aches and pains and grinds are not normal. Nolascco clearly knew he was not normal when he told Mike B that he "didn't want to be that guy". But he never told anybody.
  17. Sconnie's Avatar
    Fantastic work. Great indicator of value in risk/reward, especially the tiered data sets.
  18. jay's Avatar
    Thanks. I'd have to agree with every bit of both your comments. If anything, the data here shows how rarely you can rely on these guys over the length of the contract. To see such a wide range in current results from our four free agents really shouldn't be all that surprising.

    I've made a few edits: changed the table to show seasons of the contract instead of date signed, corrected Lackey's contract info and updated the conclusion. I'm happy to upload the data to a public Google doc if anyone wants it.
    Updated 07-08-2014 at 09:29 PM by jay
  19. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Thanks for the good work.

    I hoping the a Twins stay away from decline phase pitchers until they have a foundation. There aren't many guys like a Hughes that hit free agency so young, but having the upside of age is critical to a team that needs to tear down and rebuild.
  20. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    Tremendous study. I'll likely have to spend some more time on it.

    But to answer the blog's question... I honestly don't expect a lot out of free agents. My belief, and I've stated this before, is that the biggest free agents rarely are worth the money, especially pitchers. The reality is players' primes are generally through age 31, maybe 32... and that's generally when they become free agents. So, in theory, most are beyond their best years.
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