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The other day I wrote a post at Walkoff Walk about fielding being the new darling of Moneyball - underpriced and undervalued. The Mariners were my example of a team that shored up their defense at low cost. Turns out they're taking this whole run prevention thing seriously and hired the right manager. New boss Don Wakamatsu noticed poor results for groundball machine Roy Corcoran and wants to fix it (via U.S.S Mariner):
I look at Corcoran, and opposing hitters averaged .283 against him," Wakamatsu said. "But he had a four-to-one ratio of ground balls (to fly balls). Did they find every hole?Impressive talk from a manager, not the kind of thing I'd expect to hear out of Cito's mouth. Could it be that JP realized this years ago, thus assembling one of the best defensive squads in baseball? Nah, we wouldn't want to give him that kind of credit.
"The fact is that we have to catch more ground balls. I want to bring these kinds of statistics to the coaches and players. It's a way to get better. Maybe it just means we need to shade the middle more, or maybe we need to focus more on what specific hitters do against each of our specific pitchers.
Speaking of defense, Raul Ibanez's comments regarding defensive stats are certainly interesting, if a little misguided. He offers the "I'm hitting it RIGHT AT people" rebuttal to his poor showing in each and every defensive metric. Sorry Raul, you come off intelligent and informed here, but slightly defensive. Ar Ar.
Weekend Links to Kill Some Time
- My boy David Chalk is counting down the 25 greatest Rays of all time. Rocco ranked 6th, which even I can't argue with. He also re-imagined my Divinity of Rocco Baldelli with a Christmas theme. He's much better with Photoshop than I am with Paint.
- I'm trying to put the Ghostrunner on First facebook page to some use. I wrote something completely unrelated to baseball and put it up. Become a friend and check it out!
- Noted badass Dock Ellis died this week. He had cirrhosis of the liver, pitched a no-hitter on acid and called Vida Blue his soul-brother. It's a shame that a man like him is doubly rare in today's game: an honest and politically engaged athlete that also happens to be a black pitcher. We need more of both.
- The Southpaw is moving on up and joined the MVN network. Good for them. Check out their fancy new space. Congrats to all those fine gentlemen.