Monday, December 20, 2004

Brad Penny In The Higher League

I tried to resist, but to the anonymous poster who talked about Brad Penny having pitched in the higher league, here were his numbers in the 2003 postseason:

22 IP, 5.73 ERA, 9 BB, 13 K, 3 HR

I don't think that means Penny is some sort of postseason failure, because I don't believe that very small sizes of data and selectively-sampled subjective observation can determine a player's worth in important circumstances. I'm willing to believe all sorts of theories about ballplayers, but in analysis and decisionmaking I'll side with Rick Peterson's adage: "In God we trust. All others must have data."

Comments:
Tom,

Surely there must be a way to factor in the Higher League air that Penny's lungs ingested during the 2003 playoff run. If a pitcher breathes Higher League octane for 10 innings, shouldn't that be worth about a run knocked off of his ERA?
 
Told you I was old and tired, and still y'kicked around my carcus (and I deserved some of that, and got an extra kick out of it). As I recall, he was shaky early in playoffs, strong late. And y'can make the assertion he was a champion key, coming down the stretch, and, ultimately in the playoffs. Y'can only make that assertion about Javier negatively, which I predicted to my Yank friends at the beginning of 2004. I thought the Yanks' best hope for post-season excellence was Jon Lieber, and though he was respectable, he wasn't dominant when needed. So I turned out to be prophetic about Yankee pitching in
post-season, but if Clark's ball doesn't take such a fateful bounce, it's all eyewash...
Tom M: Sorry, I don't read Yank stuff. I'll use Occam's Razor here. I don't need to go any deeper on Javier than my previous witness of his work; he did
what I thought he would do. No matter where he ends,
I hope he does well, and it wouldn't be the all-time
surprise if he does better with a different coach and cast. His talent is genuine. But so is his baseball soul.....
Good luck on your finals.
Save the very good stuff you're writing now; read it every decade or so....sanity claus
 
Tom M,
Out of respect for your effort, read a few of the citations about Mel/Javier (not all of them, don't have time). Found the speculation interesting and thoroughly unpersuasive (mahnke and jordan, in particular).
Jordan's assertion that all these problems are solely "physical" or "mechanical" is as much a misunderstanding of the human dynamic as that displayed by the folks over at Dodger Thoughts when they urge "fanatics" not to be emotional or sentimental about the loss of certain players. It's a failure to understand and respect the complexity of the puzzle.
About "trying too hard" and Jordan's dismissal of it:
please explain to me why so many revered power hitters fail in home run contests....
This may be good news for you - my attendance at these
fascinatin' blogs is very hit and miss. I'll be missin' for a while. Enjoy the holidays sanity claus
 
Icaros,
Let me try to clarify, ruts my mind travels to ruts
yours:
In playoffs, after big contris in amazing stretch run,
Penny stinks as starter vs Giants in Game 2, Marlins rescue him. OK as reliever thereafter.
Stinks as starter in Game 2 vs. Cubs. Mop-up in loss
Game 4, key shutout inning in 4th Game 7, down 5-3.
THE BIG STAGE!!!! Young, amazing-journey Marlins in Game 1, Yankee Stadium, vs decling but still big/bad
Yankees: Five nerve-wracking, workmanlike innings to
help Upstarts win against Wells, 3-2, in PIVOTAL first game (ask the Cardinals). Game 5, tied 2-2. Again,
PIVOTAL??!!! Seven strong innings, 2 runs, 1 earned,
leaves leading 6-2, and two of those six are driven in by him, with a sac to boot.
It's about the journey. He made significant contris all along the way. He was up and down, good and not very good at all, but he is a key part of championship
trek. Best work at summit. Legit World Champ.
Before 2004. Vazquez toiling in the It-Doesn't-Count-Nearly-As-Much league. In 2004, having graduated to the Real Bigs, he flunks.
Having said that, Penny was not nearly the Marlins'
most impressive money guy in 2003. That's why, along with troubling medical records folder, suspect work habits and body type, I don't look to trade for him.
High probability he'll be hurt again, and long-term high-level effectiveness highly questionable. That's
the take of a GM with a sense and feel as well as
important innovative data. Paul needs to find his baseball soul.....
 
Sanity Claus,

I understand your point, but if you talk about souls much more I'm going to mistake you for someone who comes to my door offering a Bible.
 
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