Been a few bullet-less days, so here's some roughage for your Tuesday morn.
Fire Joe Morgan tears Mets.com beat writer Marty Noble a new one, pointing out the absurdity of Noble's favorite toy, RBI per 100 at-bats, a flimsy, context-less number that is only slightly more revelatory than RBI itself. Take it away, Mr. Tremendous (Noble in bold):
Runs and RBI totals provide insufficient information because neither tells us how many opportunities a player has had to produce. And in the case of catchers, who are unlikely to play every day, the number of opportunities helps us understand how they produce.You can read Noble's original article at Mets.com. I don't have a problem with Noble using RBI/100AB as a measure of run production. It's stupid and it is greatly skewed towards batters who hit with many men on base, have good hitters in front of them, play on good offensive teams, et cetera. Noble does a fine job reporting the facts and the feelings from within the Mets' clubhouse. Beat reporting is a very hard gig from what I can imagine, and reporters like Noble hardly get the credit they deserve for slogging through the sweaty trenches amidst the throng of half-naked, athletically-supported man-beasts.
What's amazing is that he acknowledges a problem with RBI here. He even goes so far as to say that the problem is that RBI as a raw stat doesn't work because it ignores RBI as a percentage of RBI opportunities. Then explains his method of using RBI, which does little or nothing to fix the problem. It's like saying, "Throwing money into your toilet is bad, because if you throw money in your toilet, you won't be able to use it to buy food, or furniture. Instead, you should set it on fire, and toss the ashes into the toilet. That way, the toilet won't clog."
That said, statistical analysis isn't Noble's strength and he should probably avoid expounding on the topic in the future. I know surprisingly little about cold fusion, and as a result you won't find much about it in the archives here.
- Tim Marchman has three offseason questions for the Mets. The most poignant comment:
This Mets team isn't faced this year with their last chance to win; the men who run them, though, may be. This is a potentially toxic dynamic.Problematic, indeed. The Mets have enough outstanding young talent and the financial wherewithal to make a sustained run at the postseason for a number of years, but if they outspend everyone in the National League next year and still fall shy of the playoffs, Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph may not be around to see 2009. The result is a dangerous conflict of interests: the short-term interests of Minaya et al and the long-term ones of the franchise. Fear of his own ousting could lead the Mets' GM to rob from the Mets' future to pay down his present-day debt, and that plan would surely end badly for everyone involved.
- Paul Lo Duca allegedly hurt his knee "training" and will now require arthroscopic surgery that could set him back six weeks or more. Capitol Punishment intercepted some correspondence between Lo Duca and some of his associates in the wake of his recent announcement. Cue: hilarity.
- In a special to SI.com, Cliff Corcoran ponders the seven likeliest destinations for Barry Bonds in 2008. Corcoran ranks the Mets as the sixth-most-fitting residence for Bonds and his humongous gourd, but the Mets have neither the balls nor the media-immunity to attempt such a move. Bottom line: don't hold your breath waiting for this one to happen (if you even want it to happen in the first place).
- Rich Lederer continues his public debate with Buster Olney over the merits of Jim Rice's HoF candidacy. As always, Lederer is respectful and on-point, refuting the inappropriate deification of Rice the hitter by many members of the BBWAA's panel of voters, among others.
- Erik Bedard was traded to the Mariners for Adam Jones and others. Or maybe not.
- The Phillies signed Pedro Feliz for two years and $8.5 million. Feliz may be the best fielding third baseman in the National League, but he's basically an out machine with little plate discipline. He has a bit of power, and that should come in handy at the CBP, but it's hard to imagine this being an upgrade over Wes Helms when all is said and done.