The Twins knew about Poulson from his recent season with Academy of Art University, where he had an 8.38 ERA for the San Francisco school.
Poulson went 0-0 with a high ERA in 14 appearances and 19 1-3 innings for Academy of Art this season. He struck out 24, walked 24 and opponents hit .189 against him.
In all seriousness, I hope it works out for him; he sounds like a physical specimen, and if they teach him to increase his accuracy by taking a few mph off the ball, he could make it; and who wouldn't root for a story about a young guy from nowhere making it to the bigs?
posted by hincandenza at 05:51 PM on July 30
Over the next couple of seasons? I... honestly don't know if there is or not. How... how did you know that?!?
Seriously, though, when someone says "unwritten rules", whatever follows is just hot air. And as noted by DrJohnEvans, a shift is a risk that assumes a hitter can't reliably put it in a different location than their trend data suggests- so if you're wrong, then they reach first. Plus, 5th inning of a 2-0 game? Shit, I think bunting in a no-hitter with two outs in the 9th of a 9-0 laugher is totally legit, much less the 5th inning of a 2-0 game!
But the real worry for Texas is that when people start resorting to rules lawyering, it means they've completely beaten themselves already. Which would probably play some part in explaining why Texas has the worst record in the league.
posted by hincandenza at 11:56 PM on July 20
Hey, how about that Clayton Kershaw, eh?
posted by hincandenza at 07:45 PM on June 20
Wow, that's pretty damned blatant. And the original tag, I see nothing wrong with it; he fell because he was off-balance and backpedaling (out of the baseline, no less), not because Donaldson gave him some extra-forceful, unwarranted tag. That looked like a good, clean, no doubt and get the out type tag.
That Machado would then apparently milk that anger for three games is... wow. Unsurprising that Showalter would have Donaldson thrown at, but that's one of those B.S. "unwritten rules" that the old fogies love to wax poetically about, I guess.
Is there video of his hitting the catcher out there? Seems like that would be reason to get tossed/suspended right there. I found only this one, which has only the second swing in replay. He was smirking, but the swing itself... I can't say from that one replay (other than making an assumption that if it happened two pitches in a row, it has to be on purpose) that it looked definitely intentional... at least not to my eyes.
I disagree with the announcers in that mlb.com video clip you posted grum; I don't think the pitcher was thrown for the pitch before, but because in Machado's slim defense, the pitch where he threw his bat was also being thrown way inside, which sure looks like Abad was trying to hit him twice. Still doesn't excuse the bat tossing at all, but does make it more clear why the umpires tossed Machado and Abad (the pitcher). It's pretty long-standing that if the ump sees you throw two fairly blatant attempts to hit a batter in a row, they'll likely toss you.
But yeah, the histrionics from Machado, the flung bat (which not only was a punk move... he was way off the freakin' mark, given that it appears to be intentional for the reasons grum mentioned- eye focus, late timing, etc- and yet he was staring down the pitcher, not Donaldson), these alone ought to get him a hefty suspension of ~5 games I'd hope.
posted by hincandenza at 10:08 PM on June 08
More Jon Bois' EA Sports "journalism" goodness (via Metafilter), on the impending death of basketball .
posted by hincandenza at 04:04 PM on June 03
This local man learned this one weird trick to stay young. Vampires hate him!
posted by hincandenza at 01:12 PM on May 09
Well, yeah, but... Albert Pujols being a great hitter wasn't exactly a hotly debated topic on this site. :)
posted by hincandenza at 05:28 AM on April 24
Heh, yeah it was a given that would come up. :)
posted by hincandenza at 06:49 PM on April 19
There already is one. It's shaped like Chris Resop.
posted by hincandenza at 01:57 PM on April 18
ah, that's a really good point, deflated. I've long thought that analysis of pitch motion etc- even during warmups- would tell you when a pitcher is more likely to be lit up, and an adventurous team would a) do last minute rotation adjustments when their intel says a pitcher will suck, and b) start looking for patterns to correlate success and failure. Temperature? Diet? Humidity? Sleep cycles? Stress? Something leads a pitcher to be more or less effective night over night. It was more obvious for knucklers, when temperature differences or indoor/outdoor stadiums could reliably predict success, but it still applies for all other pitchers, who are not consciously aware why today their splitter is not dropping as much.
And as the article on the new system hints, we might be entering a golden age of defensive metrics, picking up things like average distance to a ball in play (the positioning instincts) along with speed, efficiency of motion, etc, all to lead to better defensive judgment than the "pasta diving Jeter" gut reactions of the past.
posted by hincandenza at 01:54 AM on March 19
Right, although for all we know part of that $500,000 is the software/contract for expertise in running the system. A typical MLB team is going to have an IT department... but probably not one that has any real expertise in creating, configuring, and running distributed clusters on commodity hardware, or running ML algorithms.
I mean, I figure I could- after quite a few months- build just such a system, having at least some familiarity with Hadoop et al and some open source ML packages. But there'd be a ton of work to customize it to baseball and baseball stats, then test it with the data inputs (even if just cleaning and inputting several years of pitchFX data). I'd go slower working alone, and if I brought in a couple of dev friends to help out, that $500K goes quickly in terms of salary + hardware.
For a deep-pocketed team, getting something that's a turnkey solution for barely more than a single league-minimum salary is still a good deal, and in this case, as with business computing purchases, the CYA and outsourced expertise is worth the extra money spent, compared to hoping you can find someone to bring in-house to do the work for you.
Maybe they're paying for something turnkey enough that their existing IT staff can then just dump in new pitchFX data regularly, as well as learn how to construct certain types of queries that they can then extend to common analysis operations. On the hopefully rare occasions that things go completely cockeyed beyond the existing maintenance contract, you pay Cray a relative pittance for support.
All that aside, I think it's fantastic to see a team (I wouldn't be surprised if it's the Red Sox, as they've been in the statistical and technological forefront for a decade) go to this next level. Which means we'll see other teams get there soon enough, although MLB may still have some restrictions on technology allowed in the dugout. If this provides a huge advantage, we might instead see a rule passed by the owners disallowing real-time analysis and feedback directly to the players (via signals).
posted by hincandenza at 09:57 PM on March 18
I'm kind of surprised the supercomputer-for-real-time-analysis thing hasn't occurred earlier; I've been pretty vocal around here (and elsewhere) in the past, wondering when a tech savvy team would basically start doing analysis in-game, even for things like detecting patterns in a pitcher/catcher batter that they could signal to their hitters for.
An aside: I'm not super familiar with all the conceits of ML, but in general it is the case that we behave much more predictably than we imagine. If I recall, the rochambeau simulator that was the MF post I linked in the last paragraph was frighteningly good: it's hard not to imagine that if fed a huge historical set of data- even the last few years- of pitchFX pitches and outcomes, it could find trends that could be hugely impactful. Especially as things go south; the pitcher would get frazzled and shake off the catcher, the catcher and pitcher would try to fool you- but in the process be even more predictable (like in RPS when you keep throwing out one option, because you'd never do paper 4 times in a row!).
You glance over, the manager gives you a set of signals that basically say "It's a 2-1 count, and there's an 82% chance the next pitch is a fastball lower in; sit dead red on that, and try to inside-out it the other way". Maybe it's a curve or slider this time, but over the course of a game/season each player could see meaningful- say even 3-5%- benefit in their batting average/OBP. Which... if a team BA goes up 30 points, they'd basically worst-to-first their entire offense.
posted by hincandenza at 02:33 PM on March 18
If they chose to bench him, I'm pretty sure there's mutual clauses et al that let a player become a free agent- I'd be shocked if neither the most recent bargaining agreement nor ARods contract gave him an out of some kind if the Yankees did that; I seem to recall hearing about a former All-Star player exercise that right when he was benched by his team (maybe Mo Vaughn?). At worst, I'd imagine the rules say he'd be free to find another team to play for where the Yankees would be on the hook for the difference in pay for the new team.
They did the same thing to Bonds: he offered to play at league minimum and then donate that salary to local charities, and STILL had zero calls (hence collusion being suspected). ARod has already shown a willingness to sue where Bonds didn't, and I'd think if no team picked up a player of hia caliber, he'd sue MLB in a heartbeat.
No matter what, the Yankees have to pay ARod $60M for those last two years, so why not play him if he's at least mediocre?
posted by hincandenza at 04:48 PM on February 28
Actually, the Yankees almost certainly won't have the choice; most of these contracts- and the player's union, which would surely back even ARod on this- have clauses that would prevent a team from benching or sending him to AAA if he's healthy and producing at the plate (which for all the flack he gets, even in the current day he's a well above average player).
posted by hincandenza at 04:31 PM on February 28
Yeah, exactly- the Yankees would love to dump him, but even they can't engineer another threadbare excuse to keep him off the roster. If he only has to sit one year, I think he's very capable- and very willing- to come back and play at least that one more season where he should easily rack up 61 hits, 31 RBI, and 7 HR in maybe half a season, even at his new plateau. Heck, with A-Rod and his age, who knows if taking a year off of rest and lighter maintenance exercise helps his body heal up more than it has been able to in two decades, he comes back feeling a few years' younger.
One nitpick: there are three guys with 2000+ RBI already, Cap Anson being the third place RBI guy at 2075, and Bonds just shy at 1,996 (and Gehrig at 1,992). That nearness to similar milestones is another reason the almost-surely-illegal collusion that led to the railroading of Bonds was such a loss for the game and its history. Le sigh...
posted by hincandenza at 01:51 PM on February 28
I'd probably have picked Kam Chancellor, honestly. He also had an interception, as well as stifling defense which was the story of the game.
posted by hincandenza at 12:12 AM on February 03
Dammit, looks like bender just edged me for the Costanza. I can't even throw the round correctly, how does that not make me the ultimate Costanza?!?
posted by hincandenza at 11:41 PM on February 02
Good lord, TD on the 2nd half kickoff?!? This is getting ugly. A good kind of ugly if you're from seattle...
posted by hincandenza at 08:33 PM on February 02
Jesus, no one was predicting a blowout; Denver make some huge adjustments at half time.
posted by hincandenza at 07:39 PM on February 02
Well, that's an auspicious beginning...
posted by hincandenza at 06:34 PM on February 02
grum: I know you are trying to lose, but the total points = 3 guess isn't so terrible if the wind/weather gets really freaky.
To definitely lose, you should have chosen 1 point.
To definitely lose, you should have chosen 1 point.
I mean, if it's a 3-0 game, I figure it'll be on a last-second 65-yard FG by surprise kicker John Youboty, named as Super Bowl MVP- in which case, I'm so winning this thing cuz ain't NONE of you picked that. :)
posted by hincandenza at 05:30 PM on February 02
1. Winner of the game (and spread): Denver, by 100 points
2. Player with the most receiving yards: Peyton Manning, Denver
3. Player with the most rushing yards: Ryan Clady, Denver
4. First player to score a touchdown: Dan Koppen, Denver
5. Player chosen as the game's MVP: John Youboty, Denver
6. One defensive player who will get an interception: Hall Davis, Denver
7. One defensive player who will get a sack (or partial sack): John Boyett, Denver
8. The brand/company that will win the USA Today Ad-Meter: NAMBLA
9. For tiebreaker purposes, the total points scored in the game (if two entrants are still tied after this tiebreaker, the entry submitted earlier wins): 3 points
I kinda wish I could make more likely picks, but I kinda want to win the Costanza in a laugher at this point.
posted by hincandenza at 05:49 PM on February 01
That's great news... but Jesus, are those comments depressing.
posted by hincandenza at 11:59 AM on January 28
I'm left with only one choice: go for the Costanza, 100%. I don't imagine I'll pick a single healthy, active roster player for the Super Bowl pick' em. :)
And how about dyams, whose pick consistency has not only netted him the lead, but makes him look like the downstairs neighbor of the Beast.
posted by hincandenza at 03:41 PM on January 20
I agree, for example that fumble that wasn't at the 1 yard line for Seattle (which quickly proved irrelevent) being a prime example.
They should just institute booth-based instant replay, on ALL plays. A team up in a booth watches multiple feeds in real time, just like fans at home but with a better setup, and can hit a panic button at any time for "booth review", signalling a pause in play to potentially prevent another snap, and a formal review. They then review the feeds in slo-mo, and have the ability to oveeturn the call on the field.
People croak about this, imaging games taking 4+ hours... and all new replay rules are a big to-do in the off-season. But really, they'd likely only use it a few times a game, and it'd be happening at the same time as viewers at home were watching replays already at home, so it wouldn't really add much if any time at all.
I don't know why all the major sports have such a hard-on for traditionalism and this idea of the infallible ref. No human can be all places at all times, so use technology to insure the right call is made at all times, and it's absurd to me that even before the teams line up for the next step, Joe Six Pack at home already jnows the last call was BS.
posted by hincandenza at 12:16 AM on January 20
Cue the Kanye memes: "Yo, Richard Sherman, I'm real happy for you, and imma let you finish, but Beyonce was the best corner of all time. Of all time!"
posted by hincandenza at 10:53 PM on January 19
That interception was infuckingcredible!!! In a house full of Seahawks fans here in Seattle, and it went nuts- as did most every home and sports bar in Seattle, I'm sure...
posted by hincandenza at 10:00 PM on January 19
I do so hope Hugh Janus is able to get his picks in on time. While he's out of the running for the Pick 'em Trophy as well as the fabled Costanza, the last I checked he was at 90 degrees from reality and thus lapping the pack for the mythical "Leary Trophy".
posted by hincandenza at 01:08 PM on January 18
Patriots by 10
Seahawks by 10 +1
Manning, passing yards +1
Edelman, receiving yards
Lynch, rushing yards
Sherman, int/fumble recovery
posted by hincandenza at 11:39 PM on January 17
Well... actually, Gisele wears the pants in the family; she's made twice as much money as Brady has. So maybe his security detail is what happens when you marry one of the world's richest supermodels. :)
posted by hincandenza at 01:21 PM on January 17
But in MJ's defense, Kershaw is still only 25, already has 2 Cy Youngs, and no hint of off-field issues. While pitchers are risky, the big contracts are typically risky because of the timing: players don't usually get that big payday until they're cresting 30, which- like Cano, Pujols, and Hamilton- means they've already started their downward slope. For those guys, a 10 year deal where the back 4 are wasted money while the front 5/6 are a team discount, can hurt a team by them losing a top player who is effectively replaced a marginal copy of themselves while still costing top dollar. But a 7 year deal, with the last two as player options? Barring injury- and thats what insurance is for- Kershaw should still be worth it in the last couple of years. And if Kershaw is still good then, he'll hopefully recall how the Dodgers treated him and keep them as first choice on any new deals.
This is the kind of move the Angels should make with Trout: pay him now, sign him through his early 30s, and don't get stuck with fan pressure to overpay him when he's fading.
posted by hincandenza at 04:04 PM on January 16
Yeah, but Sandy Koufax was a confirmed steroid user, who was only able to play at a major league level because of his rampant PED use. He should have been blacklisted from the game, not allowed to pitch and eventually make it to the Hall of Fame. Keyshawn, as far as I know, is completely clean.
posted by hincandenza at 12:05 PM on January 16
I completely agree with phaedon; ARod is a choad and all, but justice is supposed to be blind. At least from what I've read, MLB acted in ways that a truly impartial arbiter would have pounced on, including not having Bud Selig testify as to why, exactly, ARod deserved an especially harsh sentence and not the smae 50 days as everyone else.
The truth is, we know why: so MLB could toss up ARod as a sacrificial lamb like they did with Bonds before, and so the Yankees would not have to pay his salary, thus freeing it up for other playees. Which is something an impartial arbiter would, again, pounce on.
And the dutiful lapdogs in the media will spin their propaganda, including telling us that ARod should just shut up and go away because it would be "better" for him/the league/the sport, with whatever hamfisted appeals to honor or unwritten code.
You can see this trend in every HoF ballot that listed no Bonds or Clemens. MLB is setting ARod up to be run out of the sport so they dont have to pay him, and will use his poor showing in the HoF voting as retroactive justification for his being run out of baseball.
posted by hincandenza at 07:06 PM on January 13
Uh, look I know you're high off your 7 point dominance in week 2 of the pick 'em, but there are teams in Denver and New England who might dispute that claim.
posted by hincandenza at 11:39 PM on January 12
Not to mention if the Seahawks and Patriots face off in the Superbowl, it's basically a Pete Carroll reunion party (given how loved he was back in his New England days...).
On the other hand, a Seahawks/Broncos match could- what with the legalization of recreational marijuana by the two states involved- lead to Super Bowl XLIX being unofficial dubbed the "Bud Bowl"... or maybe just the Smoka Bowl.
posted by hincandenza at 11:38 PM on January 12
Whoa. I have never seen a team punt from the 26 before; did they not do the FG just for some bullshit "don't run up the score" reason?
I wanna see another Blount TD, and tie/set records of 5 and 7 for the team. Especially because we'll have a weird stat of "The Patriots have never lost a playoff game where Tom Brady threw 0 touchdowns."
posted by hincandenza at 11:23 PM on January 11
Wish they'd given it to Blount to tie the record there, but the Pats are clearly looking to spread some love and carry over into next week. Maybe Blount will get one more later.
posted by hincandenza at 11:00 PM on January 11
No, they're all salaried.
Edit: Jesus, have yourself a game Le Garrette Blount!!!
posted by hincandenza at 10:44 PM on January 11
Gostkowski is doing a pretty great job as the punter here.
posted by hincandenza at 10:36 PM on January 11
Wait, it's gotta be based on the actual margin, not each persons pick, right? From your rules last week:
You get one point for picking the winner, one extra point for picking the spread within 30% of the spread (rounded down), and another extra point for picking the exact spread.
posted by hincandenza at 10:16 PM on January 11
Oh shit, Belichick has his hoodie off- shit's getting real!
NE looks awful so far in the third, but great work on holding them to a FG.
posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on January 11
Oh, sorry- to clarify, fall on the ball in the end zone, give them the two, then punt them to the 50/40 and give the defence the chance? What he was doing could easily have become a TD.
Although I'm wondering if he was going for a lateral/incomplete "pass" so the ball would be turned over on downs at the 50 or so.
Still, I can be happy with 21-12, better than the alternative.
posted by hincandenza at 09:48 PM on January 11
That was a bush league snap if there ever was one. Not sure what the punter was hoping to do; don't you fall on the ball, and give the defense at least a chance to hold them to a FG?
Oof, and then the Pats muffed what looked to be an easy INT by stepping on each other's toes. Not a great few minutes for New England.
posted by hincandenza at 09:29 PM on January 11
I saw last week's game so I'm not banking on anything even with a healthy 21-7 lead... but I gotta figure Belichick won't let this team leave anything in the tank until the final play.
Also, three TDs for Blount with 10:00+ left in the first half? Hes gotta be at or nearing some kind of record.
posted by hincandenza at 09:07 PM on January 11
Ahem... I believe this calls for a w0o+!
posted by hincandenza at 08:30 PM on January 11
grum@work: I'm not sure if my 11 point spread gets me the extra point.
posted by hincandenza at 08:27 PM on January 11
rcade: I wonder if anyone will beat Grum's 7 from last week. Totes a-mah-zing.
In fact, looking over this Seahawks game was pretty lopsided in our picks; 20 of 21 people picked Seattle (except poor holden and of course, Hugh Janus), of which 12 had their spread in the 6-10 range.
posted by hincandenza at 07:54 PM on January 11
I'm happy for it- I could have sworn Sherman got that 2nd quarter fumble, but other than that I had a good start to the weekend Pick 'Em with two points on the game, just covering the spread when I shifted my pick a little before the game due to the heavy rain.
posted by hincandenza at 07:51 PM on January 11
Really hoping the Saints score here, it'll close the gap on the spread and get me another point in the Pick 'Em!
posted by hincandenza at 07:35 PM on January 11
Wilson is really starting to heat up here... should have left my spread call in the pick 'em higher.
posted by hincandenza at 05:44 PM on January 11
The spread can be partly explained because, but for that holding call on the Turbin run, they'd be up 20-0 in the 2nd.
posted by hincandenza at 05:32 PM on January 11
The rain has let up here, but I figure leaving seattle and new england each at 10 over is better than gambling on the blowout for both.
posted by hincandenza at 03:46 PM on January 11
It is pouring down in Seattle right now in absolute buckets- as hard as I've ever seen it rain in my life. Gonna revise my spread to Seattle by 10.
Gonna be an interesting game...
posted by hincandenza at 02:58 PM on January 11
I'm pretty sure Hugh Janus locked up the Costanza with those... unique predictions. :) I expect the Neutrinos to tear through any team they face this post-season.
1. Seahawks over Saints, 10 +2
2. Patriots over Colts, 10 +1
3. Panthers over 49ers, 7
4. Broncos over Chargers, 14 +1
5. Demaryius Thomas, recv YDs
6. Demaryius Thomas, recv TDs
7. Richard Sherman, int/fumble recovery
posted by hincandenza at 09:19 PM on January 10
I can't recall the defender, but one of the GB defense had- and dropped- a gimme interception on that last SF drive at around the 4:30 mark. Poor bastard will be thinking of that play for months.
I got absolutely creamed on the Pick 'Em this week; chose my teams and spreads based on a simple formula of weighting the home team, as well as the team with the better point differential and record. Net result, 3 of 4 Away teams won this weekend... and the one home team that won did so through an improbable, historic comeback.
posted by hincandenza at 09:42 PM on January 05
Oh look, Jamaal Charles is knocked out of the game early with a concussion, and then the Colts stage one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history.
Guess I'll start clearing a space off on my mantel for the fabled Costanza...
posted by hincandenza at 08:44 PM on January 04
1. Chiefs over Colts, by 10
2. Saints over Eagles, by 10, +1
3. Bengals over Chargers, by 14
4. Packers over 49ers, by 10
5. Drew Brees Rivers, most TDs
6. Jamaal Charles, most rushing yards
7. Cameron Jordan, record a sack, +1
Thanks for doing this, rcade!
posted by hincandenza at 03:38 AM on January 04
I'd like to see a pick 'em for the playoffs this year, although I'm open to using some off-site solution if its easy (ie, I don't need to create an account). If someone steps us, please post about it on the main site, because I never check the locker room.
posted by hincandenza at 12:20 AM on January 03
Thanks, Howard! Wishing the same right back to you.
posted by hincandenza at 10:14 PM on December 26
It's funny how unsurprising it is that even after all this time, and with all the tools to normalize comparisons across generations... whenever someone- like grum here- does those "best of all time" lists, the stats always come back to the same three names of Ruth, Williams, and Bonds. Although the name Trout could be pretty prevalent by the time he's done playing, seing how similar his age 20 and 21 seasons were to Williams (and if he hits .400 next year, I'll take back everything negative I ever said about Trout re: the mismeasure of WAR).
posted by hincandenza at 04:34 PM on December 19
Copyright © 2014 SportsFilterAll posts and comments are © their original authors.