59 thoughts on “I’m really very confident”

  1. Its kinda gross. Here’s this offhanded quote:

    “Hudson says the media make too much out of Mazzone’s departure. At the big-league level, he says, there isn’t that much difference between coaches.”

    How can someone who worked with Rick Peterson, who uses “biomechanical research” as part of understanding pitching actually believe this stuff? Its a rhetorical question. They aren’t all the same and the comment offhandedly marginalizes Leo. So sad.


  2. Enough already! Isn’t there anything else to discuss? This Mazzone business is getting very tedious. He’s gone; good luck to him in Baltimore. The Braves have larger concerns than their ex-pitching coach’s virtues and vices.

    Pitchers and catchers report in a couple of days. Full camp opens in a week. Who are the Braves’ non-roster invitees with realistic chances to make the team? Are there any trade rumors out there? Isn’t that stuff more important (and fun)?

  3. DougM is the M for “Mazzone!?”

    Ha ha ha, just kidding!

    I hear that Leo is in Orlando and has taken over the Wide World of Sports complex!

  4. This is still very hush-hush, but I heard about the following 6-team trade rumor from Smitty’s butler’s nephew:

    BOS: Ryan Langerhans, Joey Devine, Dave Roberts, Vinny Castilla
    SD: Mike Lowell, Adam LaRoche, Cla Meredith
    ATL: Miguel Tejada, Andy Marte
    BAL: Bronson Arroyo, Ryan Klesko, Edgar Renteria
    CLE: Nick Markakis, Kevin Youkilis

    Boston gets outfield and infield help, and gets rid of another of its pesky prospects. San Diego gives up Vinny Castilla and Ryan Klesko and gets (marginally) younger with Lowell and LaRoche. Atlanta makes two families very happy: Miguel Tejada’s, and JC’s, by bringing Marte back home. Baltimore gets another crappy pitcher, two more players past their prime, and give up their best prospect in the process. Cleveland gives up on a prospect no one believes in and receives the best prospect in the Orioles’ system as well as one of the BoSox’s only untouchables.

  5. Doug, I covered the position players pretty much in depth, I think — unless there’s a trade, nobody is going to make the team because all the spots are set. And I’m not going to make any judgments on fringe pitchers until actual fake games start.

  6. Well, I think the WBC is going to be something of a farce, but I’ve got to say, I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m so baseball-starved that I get excited over any TV commercial that has even a glimpse of baseball in it, including that financial one about the timing of currency markets.

    And Alex, your “6-team” trade is actually 5 teams :-)

  7. After some extensive research (10 minutes on Google) I have been unable to come up with comprehensive stats for 2005. Anybody know where I can find (preferably free, but I know people gotta make a living) sortable information in excel format for last year? I want to prepare for a fantasy draft, but don’t want to spend too much time or break the bank…
    I had a BPro premium subscription, but it has lapsed & I haven’t felt like re-upping yet (plus I’m not sure I want to spend the money on them – they have some good stuff, but I feel like I’m paying for a lot of stuff I don’t use or care about)

  8. Alex,

    With your rumored trade, it appears Cleveland is attempting to corral all of the players of Greek ancestry.

  9. Jenny, I feel exactly the same way. Sometimes at work my mind wanders off, imagining itself in the right field seats at JFK (Turner field is too far for even my mind to wander). I got Roger Khan’s “Boys of Summer” for Christmas and I’m just waiting for Spring Training to start it (last year I kicked off ST with The Natural), but I almost caved and picked it up this morning.
    I just wish they’d start so I can stop wondering whether Renteria and Hudson are gonna be back to their old forms and whether Francoeur slips any out of the gate.

  10. Jonathan: if you just want projections (rather than historical stats), Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS are pretty good. Be wary of his projections for minor league pitchers, though.

  11. This question got buried in the other thread, so I’ll try again:
    Anybody know of any players released from the Braves’ minor league system? I know Cole Armstrong and Iker Franco were taken in the Rule 5 draft, as were others, but what abour releases? For example, I just can’t see Carlos Guzman back in Rome or Myrtle Beach, and he surely can’t go to Mississippi.

  12. I’m actually glad to hear the pitchers talking up the present situation. The past is the past. McDowell’s the coach and if they want to support him then all is well.
    I don’t think Leo is being dumped on. I actually think his biggest problem is finding where the pitchers are in Baltimore.

  13. I think Leo went to Baltimore to achive his dream of killing Bruce Chen.

    A few years ago when Chen was comming through the ranks of the Braves orgainization, he came across the pictures of Leo beating Bobby’s wife, shooting JKF and RFK, and inventing “new” Coke. Chen tried to uses these pictures of Leo like Keith Suckhard used the increminating pictures of Bobby, to make the team. Well, when he aproached Leo about the pictures, Leo being Leo, pulled out a Lugar (from his days in the SS) and put one in the wall above Bruce’s head.

    After hearing about this, JS traded Chen off, only to protect him. When word of the incident got out, Chen would be traded before Leo could get to the town to get ahold of the pictures. When Leo found out that there was a spot open in Baltimore, where Chen is, he had to take it to finally end Chen.

    At least this is what Billy Beane’s nephew’s wife’s car dealer’s cousin’s barber told me.

  14. That’s a little far-fetched, Smitty……Leo never would’ve fired a shot above Chen’s head; he would’ve gone down and away, right beside Bruce’s right foot.

  15. See Leo is from the Dick Cheney shooting school of, “When drunk, shoot towrds a person’s head.”

  16. Smitty, if my 5-team (thanks, Jenny) trade works out, Andy Marte will play first for the Braves. Although I just heard a different rumor that the Dodgers were willing to trade James Loney for a picture of the two Gold Club dancers that Andrew counted it with.

  17. no idea second bass.

    stu: dunno about pecota, although anecdotally i hear it’s much less optimistic about young pitchers than ZiPS is. ZiPS uses translated MLEs (minor league equivalencies) which a bunch of faulty assumptions that need to be explained before their problems become apparent. what they hey, here goes:

    generically speaking, MLEs allow you to translate a player’s performance at one level into performance at another level, in essence answering the question “how would Jarrod Saltalamacchia have done last year had he been playing in AA instead of A+?” Knowing relative difference between levels is essential to predicting major league performance from minor league numbers. The way they are usually done is by examining the set of players who played at more than one level and comparing their performance at both; one way is to take the mean difference in key indicators (home run rate, strikeout rate, walk rate), and weight by PA to get a relative factor for each indicator. E.g. take AA pitcher strikeout rate, multiply by .85. Once you have enough of these factors you can translate performance.

    One of the biggest problems with MLEs is the issue of selective sampling. Players generally play at a level where their management thinks they can succeed; they are not randomly moved between levels. Thus, if a player is moved from AA to AAA, it is because that someone who “knows better” thinks that this player is suited for AAA in ways that other players (the ones who weren’t promoted) were not. Therefore, it’s quite likely that someone who was not suited for AAA would do relatively worse than the person who was moved up, which would change the estimate of the translation means (strikeouts might actually decrease by 20% from AA to AAA for the average player rather than 15% for “suited to AAA” players ).

    Also, the only way to have a decent sample size for performing MLEs is by aggregating as much data as possible, so if you make many cuts in the data (all LHP in A+ to AA, for instance) you very quickly limit your sample size and thus the strength of your conclusions.

    These factors and more make MLEs unreliable. Minor league pitchers in Dan’s table thus come out looking very well, but they won’t do well (look at data to see how infrequently pitchers under 26 actually pitch decently – it is staggering – there are maybe 10-15 such players a year in both leagues, and that number includes all the young pitchers who were good major leaguers last year and are still under 26). So that’s why I say that.

    PECOTA _may_ be better, because it uses comparable players more rather than strict MLEs. Of course there isn’t much science behind using comparable players, but at least this gets around the selective sampling issue to some extent.

  18. Irrelevant story time: I came back to my dorm room from lunch today to find a laminated flyer on the back of my door. The title of the flyer? “Window Operating Instructions.”

    Yes, that’s right, people. The view of the average liberal arts college student has now sunk so low, apparently, that we require instruction sheets on how to open windows.

    This fabulous line at the end: “Closing windows is accomplished by reversing the order in which you opened them.”

    I have nothing else to say.

  19. I have 3 things to say:

    1) Maybe it was a joke. Although if it was laminated, that’s a pretty expensive joke.

    2) My childhood barber’s name was Roger Dorn.

    3) Valentine’s Day candy is 1/2 off!! I’m hooked on Dove dark chocolate hearts like there’s nicotine in ’em!! (Is there?!) Somebody stop me before I go biabetic!! Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow!! Waaa-Hoooo!! Why am I using so many exclamation points! I need to calm down!! I mean, calm down.

    4) Wait, I said only 3

    That was really random, but I’m telling you, there’s a lot of sugar in me.

  20. It definitely was not a joke. And I am not sure why they chose now to put these flyers up, as it never gets above 40 degrees and no sane people have had their windows open since last October.

    We also just received instructions on how to operate our heaters. Let me give you an idea of how complicated these things are: There is a switch that reads “On/Off” and a knob that reads “Warm/Cool.” That’s it.

    I don’t see how anyone who couldn’t figure out how to “operate” the windows and the climate control just by looking at them should even be in college, but maybe that’s just me.

  21. Really, I seriously doubt it’s a joke. We’ve all received 2 e-mails about this (!) already from Maintenance, and this “joke” you speak of would require actually breaking into my room, because the flyer was on the inside of a locked door that requires a master key to open. Pretty elaborate for a stupid prank.

  22. Today being Ugi’s birthday, Hardball Times ran his career stats. Is there any way to get the jail break pulled off? Maybe Ted Turner could help the Braves one last time by using his leftist connections in Venezuela to get that property rights pig Urbina out. Looks like a great opportunity.

  23. Re: The USA Today Story

    Alright, I’ll finally take the bait & agree: It does seem like the players are piling on Leo. It ain’t the writers, folks, it’s the players.

    I love Huddy & I’m sure a Major League pitcher with one of the highest winning percentages in history certainly knows plenty about pitching, but quotes like, “we don’t need to work all the time,” are fired in one direction.

    I hope Huddy’s comfort level results in better health, more wins & a better post-season effort.

    And, yes, I’m all about the 50-percent-off candy today. By the end of the week, I’m gonna look like Shane MacGowan…


  24. Ububba, unless you start drinking a gallon of whiskey and smoking 10 packs of cigarettes each day for the next twenty years, I think you’ll be able to keep yourself from looking like Shane MacGowan.

  25. Jenny,

    You’ve been had by Leo who, when he is not busy attempting to kill Bruce Chen, or actually killing Horacio Ramirez’s poor dog, Sparky, or wining and dining but not calling Ryan’s mom, often plays pranks on college students in Minnesota (and assorted other northern territories) by insinuating that they are functionally morons (after all, who but a moron would need directions for opening windows in Winter?)…

  26. AAR,

    Actually, I was just referring to Shane’s legendary teethnubs…

    But it’s been a while since I’ve guzzled Long Island Iced Teas by the pint glass — which, from what I hear, is one of Shane’s pleasures.

  27. It’s official: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN picked the (ho, hum) Mets to finish first in the NL East.

    When was the last time ESPN picked the Braves to finish first in their division? 1996?

  28. Maybe you’ve already seen this, but today ESPN listed the Vegas odds on the top 6 teams to win the World Series this year. Only 2 of the top 6 were NL teams, and #6 was none other than the Amazin’ Mets.

  29. WHen will the Mets fall apart? I think we should do a thing liek we did with Marte last year, pick a date.

    I say around June 15 when Pedro goes down for the season.

  30. Wow. I can’t find the link on ESPN, but I believe you, and that’s just… wow.

    I feel like if I knew anything about gambling, I could become extremely wealthy by exploiting the fact that Vegas apparently doesn’t realize the Mets are the METS, for Chrissakes.

    (And remember, kiddies, I’m a Mets fan.)

  31. I’d say the Mets will fall apart right around August 3, when Carlos Beltran–somehow–runs into Carlos Delgado.

  32. It’s quite possible for Beltran to run into Delgado. All we have to do is have Marcus give them lessons.

  33. There is no comparison between Leo Mazzone(old) and Roger Mcdowell(new). I won’t mind even if don’t get this thread because Mazzone’s history is judged to be a great success. Even so, be sure not to underestimate Mcdowell’s abilities. He hasn’t started yet. We still don’t know the specifics as yet. Afterwards, the fans are going to do him right. Hey, this is an annotated textbook. I go into my dance.-_-;;

  34. From the mlb.com fantasy rundown of Chipper:

    [quote]Jones may not be headed for the Hall of Fame, but he’s a great player who can still get it done.[/quote]


  35. Thanks, JoeyT and Kyle for the information. And to the other folks who post here to help like-minded baseball fans get through the cold winter months. Baseball is around the corner!!

  36. Regular season bullpen stats (Or why we need a reliever as pitching coach)

    Kolb 11 saves in 18 svo, Reitsma 15 saves 24 svo, Grybosk 0 saves 2 svo, Bernero no saves 1 svo, Foster 1 save 2 svo, Brower 1 save 3 svo
    Total 28 saves 50 svo, Farnsworth 10 saves 10 svo

  37. Leo bashing part 17

    “I’d like to sit and talk to him between innings when I’m pitching,” veteran starter John Thomson said. “It keeps my mind off the game a little. Most of the time, I like to talk not about the game, but something else. The last couple years it was a little hard because Leo wasn’t like that. He’s really into the game. So I’d talk to whoever sat next to me. We’d talk about anything.”

    “If you can own the down-and-away strike, it’s a huge advantage for you. But if you have trouble owning that, it can almost work against you,” starter Horacio Ramirez said. “Roger is, I think, a little more, uh, what’s the word I’m looking for? I guess liberal.”


  38. So wait, Horacio has such horrible control that he can’t even throw a fastball down and away?

    No wonder Leo hated him.

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