DLD 5/27/08: Never trust anyone over 29


Happy Birthday to Frank Thomas, born May 27, 1968.Bighurt2_medium


There is an interview with Billy Beane on the front page.  Read part 1, part 2, and (eventually) part 3.

Some USSM readers see almost every Beane comment as a personal attack on their own front office:

I mean, he didn’t reference the M’s FO by name, but wow, could he at least be a bit more subtle when insulting the M’s.


This was a sad photo.


Your 2008 Oakland Athletics - A Visual History


John Sickels of minorleagueball has a Top 50 Hitters Status Report.


It's still early, but these four teams

Rays 31-20 $44m (29)
Marlins 30-20 $22m (30)
D-backs 30-21 $66m (23)
A's 28-23 $48m (28)

are playing better than these four teams:

Yankees 25-26 $209m (1)
Mets 23-26 $138m (2)
Tigers 21-30 $138m (3)
Mariners 18-34 $118m (9)


Ichiro made a great catch yesterday:



Lookout Landing:

Yeah, that's a called strike three on a pitch well off the plate. Giambi obviously didn't think much of it, but then, this isn't a new phenomenon - umpires just have a crazy different strike zone for left-handed hitters. Check out this article by John Walsh, and, if you want to skip the meat, scroll down to the bottom. Hello, outside strikes. I don't know how or why this is the way it is, but a smart pitcher - that is, someone who's aware of PITCHf/x - that is, Brian Bannister - - should absolutely be using this to his advantage. Unfair or not, that's the reality, and it would be silly not to exploit it.



More Pitch f/x:

Preliminary Aging Curve for Fastball Speed


It appears that until pitchers reach 28 or 29, they increase the speed on their fastball by about 1.5 mph. After 29, there is a rather sharp decline in fastball speed.

During the next five years, pitchers lose just over four mph.


Another article on Pitch f/x:

Baseball's nerd machine

While nobody is sure what this means for baseball, it is generating a great deal of talk. Earlier this month in San Francisco, Sportvision Inc., the sports-entertainment technology company that helped develop the system, hosted a Pitch f/x "summit." By the end, the stats wonks, engineers and nine team representatives in attendance could barely contain themselves. "It's tremendously exciting for people like me," said Mat Olkin, a Kansas City Royals consultant.

Keith Woolner, the manager of research and analysis for the Cleveland Indians, said the ability to capture such detailed measurements is "the next step" in baseball knowledge and strategy.


The scene at the Pitch f/x summit was symbolic of baseball's increasing wonkiness. The 52 attendees — some of them college professors — met to discuss how to improve the system and how to interpret its results. Participants swapped theories about determining the coefficient of drag and made jokes about the difficulty analyzing Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. Nine major-league clubs sent representatives to the summit, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


5/29/08 DLD


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