Sunday, August 29, 2004
Hello, and welcome to the Fourth Outfielder Baseball Blog. You have probably been directed here by a generous link in another blog, and I thank you for trying that link. I had no particular reason for picking "Fourth Outfielder" as a title; I thought it was catchy enough and didn't want to go for any of the "Above Average," "Above Replacement," or "VORP"-related puns that I had thought of. I'm a college student (at least, that's what I'm called-- I don't catch myself studying anything related to my classes too often) at UC Berkeley, and I hail from various Northern California locations. I'm a Dodgers fan, although I have loyalty to the A's as well. Both of those allegiances long predate the Beane and DePodesta eras, but each GM has substantially increased my enthusiasm. My current favorite Fourth Outfielder is, predictably, Jayson Werth, although it's sometimes hard not to channel my anger at Hee Seop Choi being left out of the Dodgers' lineup against RHP at Werth. My favorite blogger is probably Aarong Gleeman, and I hope my "Free Hee Seop Choi!" feelings will yield as much eventual success as his "Free Johan Santana!" feelings have. I have thought about starting my own blog for a long time, and very nearly did back in March. At the time, I was planning on calling it "Adrian Beltre Wins MVP!" or something along those lines to reflect five years of Adrian Beltre frustration that could never quite quell my enthusiasm for him. At the beginning of the year, I thought he could breakout to be a .290/.340/.520 hitter or so, but thought it more likely that he's hit .245/.285/.440 in the first half and then .290/.330/.480 in the second half, making the decision to bring him back even more frustrating. Now that the player I've had the most emotional attachment to as a fan has gone from chronic frustration to one of the top 5 players in the league (in terms of performance this season, anyway), I'm stuck sweating out the contract negotiations that surely will not Bore Us (and if you get that joke, you've come to the right place, though you might be regretting doing so) while poring through the career stats of Ron Santo of Mike Schmidt and wondering if I can actually believe what Buster Olney wrote about Tim Wallach working on Beltre's approach. Oh, that and wondering how Win Shares can value Rolen's offense at 24% more than Beltre's offense when VORP has them equal (post on this hopefully forthcoming). Oh, and did I mention that I don't live in the LA area, don't have DirecTV or a connection fast enough for MLB.tv? That's right, I've been a huge Dodger fan for twelve years, the majority of my life, and only get to watch them play the Giants and Braves and the occasional ESPN or Saturday afternoon game. It wasn't until the past year that I've heard Vin Scully call a game. So I hope this first entry provides a nice snapshot of what kind of perspective you can get from this blog, and hopefully you'll check back in a few times. And you can email me at meagher at berkeley dot edu with comments or suggestions or bizarre research assignments.