Things just keep on happening to me.Marv Throneberry, 1962
Wins Per Payroll Dollar
Using Spotrac numbers the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club began the season with a payroll of $344 MM. That’s a lot of money. But it’s interesting to note that the three highest MLB payrolls (Mets, Yankees Padres) are all below 0.500. That doesn’t exonerate the Mets, of course, who will surely have the highest payroll-to-win ratio in history by the time this season is over. The Braves will be somewhere in the vicinity of $2 million per win when the season is over. If the Mets had gone undefeated, they still would have spent over $2 million per win.
Of course, that payroll is irrelevant to the team on the field now. The current Mets 26-man is being paid a fairly modest $140 MM. And they are now 6-4 in their last 10 going into tonight. Coincidence? There are no coincidences.
tfloyd, in his last recap, reminisced about the days of listening to games on transistor radios. Well, I have run afoul of MLB.TV’s blackout rules for tonight’s game. YouTube TV, my streaming supplier, no longer gets SNY, the Mets’ RSN, which relegated me to radio-only. (MLB should be IT-proud that my attempts to get a VPN working failed miserably.) So I got to sample the Ingram-Simpson Show. Of course, if it were really the mid-60’s, I’d have been listening to Milo Hamilton. But Milo passed away in 2015, and play-by-play broadcasting still requires one to be at least living, although Chip proved for years that you can do the job while brain-dead.
I don’t have a lot to say about this broadcast team. Ingram is sonorous and Joe Simpson is slightly better than when he was paired with Chip. Did it bring me back to 1967? It did not. But then I no longer have a transistor radio wand was listening through laptop speakers. Maybe that was the problem. Plus, the game sucked.
There is a famous Supreme Court case in which the case of Foster Winans remade insider trading law. Winans wrote the “Heard on the Street” column in the Wall Street Journal. Stuff he wrote sometimes moved the price of particular stocks. Winans, on several occasions, traded on the knowledge that would be published in the WSJ on the next day. This turns out to be against the US securities laws, though the decision upholding his market manipulation was upheld bu a 4-4 vote. Before this year, he’s the only person I ever heard of with the surname “Winans.”
Allan Winans has never traded on inside information so far as I know, but he doesn’t seem to have an inside track on a starting position with the Atlanta Braves, either. He surrendered 3 runs in two homers in the 2nd, and another four runs on a series of singles followed by a safety squeeze off his replacement, Brad Hand, in the fifth. I would say Winans is a pitcher in the grand tradition that gave us Yonny Chirinos. It’s one of those traditions I could do with a little less of. Brad Hand surrendered another three of his own in the sixth on a Lindor homer and the game was pretty much over.
Y’all have been withering about starts given to Yonny Chirinos and Allan Winans and the like. But in this great Braves season, even the chumps we sent out there as cannon fodder in August are better than the chumps we sent out there in days of yore. Better Winans and Chirinos than Aaron Blair or Tommy Milone or Bartolo Colon or Robbie Erlin, or so I assert. (OK… Chirinos hasn’t been much better than those guys.) And a great side effect of this game was 3 1/3 innings pitched by Collin McHugh. He’ll now be unavailable for a while.
Unfortunately, that was all they managed. Rather than “never say die” they said “requiescat in pace.”
After listening for several years Anglo commentators strangling themselves while pronouncing the name “Ehire,” I can report that they all seem to relish the name “Arauz.” This stuff all evens up in the end.
What a difference a week makes, The Hammers were a 6 percent shot to lead the league in both Runs Scored and fewest Runs Against, but a few shutouts have greatly improved the odds. Current best guess for the end of season: 939 runs scored. Chances of finishing ahead of the Dodgers (and everyone else): 89%. And while the Braves have now given up fewer runs than San Diego, they have two more games to play than the Padres. Plus, there are other teams that might edge out both teams. Current Odds: Padres 54%, Atlanta 34%, Brewers 6%, Giants 4%, Phillies 2%, with the Marlins, Dodgers and Cubs combining for under half a percent. Atlanta probability of winning both: .89 x .34 = 30%… five times more likely than last week.
Giving up 10 runs tonight will lower this number, but I’m not going to rerun the numbers until next week.
It’s still over a week before September and RAJ has achieved a level of steals, hits and homers never before seen in MLB history. If we takes hits off the table and switch to either RBI (74) or runs scored (112) we return to Rickey Henderson‘s 1986 and 1990 seasons. But both of those are about to fall, with either another RBI or another homer.
Many have commented that if Ronald can reach 30-60, he’s the only member. But there are only two members of the 30-50 Club, and Ronald’s 2 homers away. Barry Bonds was 33-52 in 1990. Eric Davis was 37-50 in 1987.
Fangraphs (Steamer Update) currently projects RAJ to 70 SB, 97 RBI. The 70 SB-100 RBI club has only 11 members, with only one person to join after 1900 and only one player to do it twice: Ty Cobb in 1909 and 1911. Ty Cobb’s 1909 age 22 season was really remarkable, and he would have been MVP if there had been an MVP back then. 76 stolen bases, 107 RBI, and he led the majors with 9 homers. His 1911 season was even better: 87 stolen bases and 127 RBI with a .419 batting average. But his power was cut back to 8 homers. If you think of RAJ as a Ty Cobb with a lot more power and a lower batting average. you’re talking MVP.
Get ‘Em Tomorrow
Elder vs. McGill.