Category Archives: Monday Morning Shortstop

Monday Morning Shortstop


Comment of the week, from Nick:

Jon,
(Disclaimer: I made a comment along these lines Friday, but it’s never appeared on your blog. Don’t know what happened.) Anyway:
Bo Jackson would be a good Maranvillian. Some of the stuff he did was breathtaking. A homer I saw him hit off Oswaldo Peraza in 1988 is probably somewhere around Saturn by now.

Inspired choice. Bo knew strikeouts, he knew home runs, and he knew stolen bases. In 1989, he led the league with the highest Power/Speed number. A look at the yearly leaders shows some other guys mentioned here: Reggie Jackson, Mark Reynolds, Jackie Robinson, and Larry Walker to name a few. Versatility isn’t just for Meryl Streep. It may also be a good quality for Maranvillains, now that I think about it. How was he as a fielder? I seem to recall him as aggressive, but most of his career coincided with my Army days and I didn’t follow baseball much those years. It was hard to without a TV back then.

There was some sporting event last nite, and Brian Burke commented on the ballsiness of one coach.

A call for scoresheets.

Dave Allen has an idea for a new boxscore. To tie these last two together, Bill James had an idea in one of his Baseball Abstracts that involved a scoresheet style boxscore. I liked that and thought it was the most concise way to tell the story of a game.

One of my friends calls Joe Mauer a baseball robot, but this is a nice story about him; if you get ESPN Insider. If not, it’s in the latest “The Mag.”

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Monday Morning Shortstop


Comment of the week:

With regard to the Rabbit Maranville All-Stars and the lack of a catcher and second baseman, Nick said:

I dunno, maybe Jackie Robinson at 2B, although he played first in ’47. For catcher, maybe Johnny Bench.

I like Robinson. Stealing home during the World Series? That’s the type of thing I’m looking for.

A new bio of Willie Mays is coming out. A ham sandwich for the first person who can tell me who the Mets traded for him. (Don’t look it up.)

Brian Burke
asks if Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer. He shows some of his advanced stats but admits that that’s only part of the picture.

I celebrated SABR Day Saturday at a breakfast with some other Nutmeggers. One was a prof at Turk Wendell’s alma mater. Says that when Turk’s meal plan money ran out, he would hunt birds with rocks and eat them. Another once went to a Negro League game. Saw the Indianapolis Clowns. Goose Tatum played first.

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Monday Morning Shortstop


Comment of the week:

digamma on Doug Glanville:

Doug Glanville is the best baseball comedian of the last 20 years.

It’s not Strat-O-Matic or DMB, but Roger Maris had a baseball game.

Speaking of old-timey stuff, Stan “What’s” Opdyke looks at NYC baseball radio in 1953. Take it away, Stan.

Fangraphs looks at the Rob Deer Apathy Club.

Rich Lederer looked at two of the three true outcomes over the weekend.

And last but not least, NBC is looking to get back into the baseball broadcasting business. In line with their habit of providing coverage for programs that were once good but now irrelevant (like Jay Leno or Notre Dame), they will be carrying Pittsburgh Pirate games on Saturdays this year.

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Monday Morning Shortstop


Comment of the Week: Bill, responding to “This and That”

I just finished reading Billick’s book. I found it quite interesting; especially his perspective on how the league has changed even over a relatively short time.
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

It was the only comment of the week, but it did expand on the post.

Jonah Keri pines for the days of Roenicke and Lowenstein (and Ayala.) I’m not sure if platooning made the baseball of my teens more fun than the baseball of today. But trotting out faceless relievers inning after inning doesn’t make baseball more interesting. Maybe it’s because I had more time, but I used to be able to tell you pretty much who was on every roster when I was in high school. They added more teams, but what I think really diminished my ability to do that was that teams started devoting more roster spots to pitchers and pitchers break down more than position players. So there were more guys going on the DL and more guys getting called up from Iowa or Pawtucket to replace them. Made it more difficult to keep track of everyone. Guys were uni numbers in the 60s now. That’s lineman territory.

Still working on the bio for Tom Lynch right now. I have a really rough draft, but I’m finding enough conflicting info that it may take me a bit to sort it all out.

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Monday Morning Shortstop


A lot of stuff in the baseball blogosphere happens over the weekend or on holidays. If you’re a guy like me who mostly goes online at work you may miss some of the stuff, so I’ll recap some for you. Actually, this past weekend was relatively quiet, but I found a couple of things that touched upon a couple of my idiosyncratic interests.

Steve Lombardi reviews the advance copy of the upcoming Cardboard Gods book. Lombardi used to run a forum called Netshrine that I’d occasionally hang out at. A Yankee fan friend gave me tickets to an April 2008 game against the Jays so I trained down from
Connecticut with a friend. I thought of him when they showed Steve Lombardi answering a trivia question on the Diamondvision, but wasn’t sure how many Steve
Lombardis are out there. It turned out that it was him.

I’m not sure if I should like The Faster Times or hate it, but they had an article about Adrian Beltre last week. The author quotes (I think) his brother:

“Being able to enjoy watching the new Beltre/Cameron Red Sox will be a challenge. A lot of being a better defender is just getting to more balls, covering more space, being in the right place at the right time, in a way that could go unnoticed. We won’t notice all the flyballs Mike Cameron runs down that Jason Bay wouldn’t. We will notice when Cameron grounds out with 2 guys on in the 8th. So, new year’s resolution, growing a keener defensive eye, or this season won’t be that fun”

But then he contradicts himself by embedding a YouTube montage of exciting Adrian Beltre plays. To be honest, I think the Red Sox will be more fun to watch this year than they were in ’09. But some of that is addition by subtraction (Jason Bay.)

Finally, and not baseball, but here’s a MarketWatch piece on writing.

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Monday Morning Shortstop


A lot of stuff in the baseball blogosphere happens over the weekend or on holidays. If you’re a guy like me who usually goes online at work you may miss some of the stuff, so I’ll recap some for you. I don’t know if this will be a regular feature, though, so don’t hold your breath.

Joe Sheehan is leaving Baseball Prospectus.

Another Joe (Posnanski) wrote a lengthy retrospective of the KC Royals in the naughts.

It’s not a blog (but I heard about it at BTF), but Baseball America looks at the best baseball books of 2009.

A lot of Hall of Fame stuff. The election results will be announced Wednesday, but my friend Chris Jaffe is already calling the race. I wish that he’d invert his story and put the methodology at the end, but it’s a good piece.

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