FanDuel - WFBC

August 15, 2012

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 15 comments

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has retired from soccer following his cardiac arrest on the pitch last season.

posted by rcade at 11:21 AM on August 15

Melky "Is that the same Melky Cabrera?", aka "Is there something in the water bottles in LF in SF?" Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for testosterone.

Cabrera is currently 2nd in the NL batting race, meaning everyone's hoping that Andrew McCutchen has a strong finish to his season.

posted by dfleming at 03:02 PM on August 15

Cabrera is currently 2nd in the NL batting race, meaning everyone's hoping that Andrew McCutchen has a strong finish to his season.

I was going to do some stat-fu and calculate Cabrera's season ending batting average if you add on all the hitless plate appearances he'll be given to reach the minimum 502 plate appearances to qualify for the batting title.

But he already has 501 plate appearances.

And when you add on that last hitless plate appearance, his average doesn't change. It goes from .346 (.346405 rounded down) to .346 (.345652 rounded up).

posted by grum@work at 03:13 PM on August 15

Wondering about a retraction here a retraction here. And let's not forget he was a part of winning the All-Star Game for the NL. Here's hoping the Series goes to seven games.

posted by yerfatma at 04:13 PM on August 15

Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) has tweeted:

"I stand by the apology column I wrote last month. Didn't have story nailed down, shouldn't have put it out there. ... (cont.)

... Now, if Melky Cabrera wants to apologize to me for lying when I asked him about it, that's another matter."

posted by grum@work at 04:20 PM on August 15

And when you add on that last hitless plate appearance, his average doesn't change. It goes from .346 (.346405 rounded down) to .346 (.345652 rounded up).

I had no idea they actually did this, but Tony Gwynn and Bill Madlock are the two players who finished short of the minimum PA requirement and won a title. Very neat and obscure treatment of that rule.

I was trying to think of a way you could do it for the ERA title too, but it's a lot harder without a binary hit/no hit option to accurately portray the worst possible scenario.

posted by dfleming at 04:25 PM on August 15

I had no idea they actually did this, but Tony Gwynn and Bill Madlock are the two players who finished short of the minimum PA requirement and won a title. Very neat and obscure treatment of that rule.

It wasn't always by plate appearances. It used to be by at-bats. Ted Williams got screwed because of it.

(from a fellow commenter on baseballthinkfactory.org)

In 1954, the standard was 400 AB. Williams had 386 (.345 BA) and 136 Walks. When adding in his 14 hitless AB's, his average "fell" to .332, below Bobby Avila at .341. But .332 was higher than 3rd place Minnie Minoso, so the 1954 leader board reads:

Avila .341
Williams .345**
Minoso .320

I was trying to think of a way you could do it for the ERA title too, but it's a lot harder without a binary hit/no hit option to accurately portray the worst possible scenario.

You can't do it for pitchers and ERA, as the "worst case scenario" is an infinite number of hits and runs without getting an out. That would simply set their "adjusted" ERA to "infinite", and they aren't going to win the ERA title that way...

The worst case scenario for batters and rate stats (AVG, OBP, SLG) is simply an at bat without getting on base at all.

posted by grum@work at 05:19 PM on August 15

A perfect game against the Rays again.

posted by bperk at 06:12 PM on August 15

Huh, grum. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about Williams' career, but I did not know that about the 1954 season! I'm also surprised they didn't retroactively fix that; they've certainly adjusted records before including those for scoring sac flies as plate appearances but not at-bats... but I guess in this case while they could say he "led the league in batting average" retroactively, he was not the winner of the "batting title" since the latter is an explicit award.

I also, in looking at the baseball-reference page, realized that in his 1957 season when he hit .388 at age 38... if he'd just gotten 5 more hits, he'd have hit .400 exactly. And the cantankerous sonuvabitch still had a 1.096 OPS in his final season, at age 41.

posted by hincandenza at 08:16 PM on August 15

The difference with the sac flies thing is that sac flies didn't exist (and were applied to correct the information), but the batting title requirements did exist (albeit different than before or later).

Of course, there is precedence to simply ignore the requirements and simply give the batting title to the person you want (Ty Cobb in 1914 was given the title even though he only had 98 games, and the hard-and-fast rule was 100 games. Cobb had a big lead in average, and the American League president Ban Johnson liked him.)

Yeah, looking at Williams' numbers is crazy. Only Babe Ruth has better career hitting numbers than him. I'd say he's the second greatest hitter in history.

posted by grum@work at 08:31 PM on August 15

Which then leads to more insanity: though Williams lost multiple seasons in his prime to WWII, even with those included, he probably wouldn't threaten Ruth as the best hitter.

posted by yerfatma at 08:46 PM on August 15

It may have just been a friendly, but the US has finally managed it's first-ever win in 25 tries at Estadio Azteca.

posted by bender at 10:42 PM on August 15

though Williams lost multiple seasons in his prime to WWII, even with those included, he probably wouldn't threaten Ruth as the best hitter.

On pure talent, I think Williams might be a better hitter.* I think the game progressed significantly beyond what Ruth was dominating in his time. Integration is a huge factor in this, and just the normal progression in training, population growth, and human advancement.

That said, NOBODY dominated the sport (during their time) like Ruth did. Only Gretzky and early Chamberlain can compare to how far ahead Ruth was compared to his contemporaries.

*Side note: I'm talking just hitting. When you start bringing in baserunning and fielding, then a couple of outfield Giants loom large...

posted by grum@work at 12:25 AM on August 16

Williams lost multiple seasons in his prime to WWII

...and the Korean War, where he often flew as John Glenn's wingman.

posted by Howard_T at 02:52 PM on August 16

That said, NOBODY dominated the sport (during their time) like Ruth did. Only Gretzky and early Chamberlain can compare to how far ahead Ruth was compared to his contemporaries

Ahem. Sir Donald Bradman.

posted by owlhouse at 09:48 PM on August 16

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