List as of April 17, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the introductory post of The Amazin' Avenue Rec-ord Book - The 150 Most Rec'd Amazin' Avenue Posts of All Time! (Title at subject line shortened for practicality.) As a member of the Amazin' Avenue community since September 2009, I have dedicated much of my time contributing to the community, as have many others. Through the times, many great posts have been recommended by a number of people, and it is a generally accepted axiom that the greater the post, the harder that post is rec'd. (Often times, because of a Dickey.) It's a shame, however, that as time passes by, many of these great posts are often forgotten, or for some of you newer members, never even seen - the Amazin' Avenue Rec-ord Book is dedicated to preserving the memory of these posts, and they will be (further) immortalized in this feature.
For several months now (at the time of writing), I have wanted to create a list of the 100 most rec'd posts of all time on this site. However, I have aspired even higher - through hours of searching, sifting, climbing ladders and defeating Bowsers, I have found not 100, but at least 150 posts with 12 or more recs; I consider these posts worthy enough to be honored and remembered in this piece.
For those of you wondering: if two or more posts accrue the same amount of recs, how do you rank them? Good question. I use a chronological tiebreaker, so that older posts receive priority. This is only fair, as the site had fewer members further back in time - therefore, there was less of a population available to rec those posts. Also, it would be quite messy (and quite a buzzkill) if there was a 27-way tie for the 111th greatest post of all time. Honestly, chronology is the only way the tiebreaker could be done - in fact, there were 3 tiebreakers within the top 150 list involving two posts with the same amount of recs, that were published on the same day. In one of those cases, one post beat out another post by 99 minutes! Such is life.
Without further ado, I present to you #150 - 141, after the jump...
Because I had to get in on it too.
John Hughes Presents: Dickey Alone
(version 2, slightly better, here)
I'll be honest, I didn't think Wright was standing THAT far off the plate until I saw this picture.
Does RA Dickey have to choke a bitch?!!!
A few years ago, I was sitting in a mostly empty classroom before our statistics class chatting with one of my classmates (and a Mets fan to boot!) about a metric that he was thinking about using to select which stocks he should use for his personal stock option investing. After listening to him describe the idea, I realized that he was talking about "dollar vols". Previous to grad school, I had traded stock and commodity options for about four years and I had heard of this idea before and even messed around it early in my career. Basically, it's a cute theoretical idea that has been around for a while although it doesn't really work. I explained how it looked great on paper but got derailed by real world concerns and concluded my argument with, "It's fun to look at, but it's a bad metric. It doesn't tell you anything." Meanwhile, my statistics professor, who had entered the hall while we were chatting, sharply corrected me by saying, "There are no bad metrics, just bad statisticians. The metric might not tell you what you thought it might, but if you calculated it properly, there is always value to that information. You just haven't found out what that value is yet."
And so we come to the RBI, the most misunderstood of all statistics currently appearing on most Jeff Francouer-approved scoreboards. In general, the shortcomings of the RBI as a talent evaluator have been well-documented here and we cling on to it only because it describes an event that we all understand. As much as advanced statistics have enhanced my enjoyment of baseball, I think I'd swallow my Big League Chew in disgust if I heard Gary Cohen say, "Ike Davis slightly improved his wOBA in the second inning with his double into the right-center gap. The fact that David Wright was standing on 1st base with two out and happened to score on the play was a complete coincidence and does not speak to Ike's credit." I just want to know Wright got on with two out and Ike punched him in with an RBI double because that's a huge play! I don't really care about the play's effect on talent discovery.. that's what post-game recaps on the internet are for. So just as I was ready to write the RBI off as merely a descriptive statistic instead of one that could be used to evaluate talent, I thought of a new cousin statistic to the RBI that could keep it's dorky friend popular with the cool kids much like Brendan Fraser did for Sean Astin in Encino Man. We are the cool kids in this analogy and Brendan Fraser will take the form of Sean Astin's new friend, the xRBI.
The idea is pretty simple. Consider the run expectancy tables that Tom Tango among many others have derived: http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html This table shows the expectancy of the number of runs an average team would score against average pitching in an inning given the number of outs and number and position of base runners. All we would need is a variation on this table that instead showed the RBI expectancy for an average hitter given the situation and create a counting statistic called the xRBI... the number of RBI's the league average hitter would be expected to get facing league average pitching (I'm assuming that league and park adjustments anything else hedging the run environment could also get factored in there if you like). So let's say that Ike Davis sees four AB's in a game with the four following run expectancies:
Runner on first, two out: .10
Bases empty, one out: .06
Runner on second, none out: .33
Runners on first and third, two out: .41
Ike would thus accumulate 0.90 xRBI. Assuming that the went 1-for-4 and only run he knocked in was with that double in his first at-bat, Ike would accumulate that one RBI. We could then measure the difference between the two (RBI - xRBI) to establish who the run producers are. Here, Ike would fall 0.10 to the positive since the fairly unlikely RBI in his first at-bat and his flubbing of the third and fourth at-bat's wash out to a meh performance for the day. The higher the difference, the better the ability to produce runs.
I tried to work in consideration of run environment and comparison against the league average, which seem to be desirable. Of course, this all contends on the production of a reliable RBI expectancy table, but given the existence of the run expectancy table and the tons of other things for which we have linear or matrix weights, it seems pretty doable. Any thoughts?
Grission doesn't take days off:
Inspired by Jason Bay's arrival, the U.S.-Canada hockey rivalry is in full force in the Mets clubhouse. Players are gathering this afternoon at a nearby establishment to watch. If Canada wins, Jeff Francoeur foots the bill. If the U.S. wins, Bay pays. And, if it's a tie after regulation, it's Alex Cora on the hook. There's only one other Canadian in the clubhouse, Shawn Bowman, and he's not in position to share responsibility for a Team Canada loss. "I'd have to call mom for a loan," Bowman said.
1st: 12:50 CAN: G-Jonathan Toews (Assist: Mike Richards)
Francoeur: AWWWWWWW SHOOT. AIN'T THAT SOME MONKEY FLIPPING BULLCRAP!
2nd: 7:13 CAN: G-Corey Perry (Assist: Ryan Getzlaf, Duncan Keith)
Bay: Nasty rebound, eh?
Francoeur: AWWWWWW CHICKEN NUGGETS! COME ON AMERICA!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT THERE???
2nd: 12:44 USA: G-Ryan Kesler (Assist: Patrick Kane)
Francoeur: YEEEEEE HAW!! BACK IN BUSINESS! THESE COLORS DON'T RUN.
3rd: 19:35 USA: G-Zach Parise - with extra attacker (Assist: Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrick Kane)
Francoeur: WOOOOOOOOO!!! WOOO!! THE BRAVES ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!
Cora: #$%&!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? HOCKEY IS THE WORST SPORT EVER. PUERTO RICO DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A RINK.
OT: 7:40 CAN: G-Sidney Crosby (Assist: Jarome Iginla)
Francoeur: Meh. Who cares about hockey anyway?
Jorge Cantu is a pretty good hitter. In 2009, he hit .289/.345/.443 for a .788 OPS. However, baseball does not require a pitcher to face Jorge Cantu every at-bat. They'll have to face some better players, and more often some worse players, for an overall average opposing batter much worse than Jorge Cantu. Why is this relevant? Because in 2009 Pedro Feliciano did face Jorge Cantu every time he pitched.
The "Omar Minaya only pursues Latino players" topic has appeared again this offseason and the propagators of this myth are out in full force. Perhaps it was brought on by the signings of Alex Cora, Henry Blanco and Elmer Dessens. Maybe embarrassing rubbish like this post is promoting it. Even the mainstream media has been involved, as Bill Madden of the Daily News,
deserving winner of this year's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for excellence in baseball journalism, wrote the following in a recent column, only to have the word "Latin" later removed:
Mets? Did somebody say the Mets? They won't spend the money for Holliday, Bay or Lackey and apparently, they're only interested in signing low-budget Latin players...