Saturday, September 17, 2016

Is there a bias against knuckleballers within the baseball craft practitioners cult?

I always rant that RA Dickey (all knuckleballers) get short shifted in a MLB dominated by fast throwing pitchers - that knuckleballers get pulled before it is necessary based on a set of metrics in which they are by definition, outliers.

I did so again last night as Toronto Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons pulled Dickey after facing 2 batters in the bottom of the 6th in a 2-0 game.

My friend argued that Gibby takes him out not based on pitch count (or in other words - not based on metrics that can't be applied across the board to every sort of pitcher - and especially to knuckleballers) - but rather when he is no longer effective.

His point I think, was that in the 6th inning Dickey allowed 2 consecutive base hits ... so Gibby pulled him (and brought in Biagini - who bent but did not break):
Dickey gets pulled in favour of Biagini in the 6th inning - espn boxscore play-by-play TOR at LAA Sept 16 2016 -

My rejoinder was that great pitchers bend - but they do not break ... but with knuckleballers, managers always assume the light throwing pitchers are about to get slammed - so they replace them before they can prove that they can bend and not break.

My interlocutor responded that Gibby pulls him in high leverage situations with the game on the line because Dickey leads the leagues in Home Runs allowed - in other words - Gibby pulled Dickey because he was no longer effective in the specific situation last night.

Hmmm ... could he be right?

So I looked it up - and according to, my friend was correct (almost):

R.A. Dickey has allowed the 8th most Home Runs by a 2016 MLB Starting Pitcher. Dickey is 67th of 76 Starting Pitchers in Runs Allowed as of September 17, 2016.

Image via TeamRankings MLB 2016, Starting Pitchers, Home Runs Allowed - retrieved Sept 17, 2016 |

I'm still convinced there is a bias in the baseball craft practitioners cult against knuckleballers - but I'm going to have to refine my thinking on it ... because I have a baseball friend who constantly contradicts my 'knowledge' with deep reasoned arguments!

They killed Kenny! 

You Bastards!



Toronto Manager John Gibbons Trying Desperately to Hone a Team

As per my last post about how this team is not a team ... there is evidence the manager sees the same thing - not using the 40-man roster at all ... even when it would seem to be an obvious situation.

And tonight it worked...

Gibby leaves Russell Martin on the base paths after his double - to hobble around the base-paths for the insurance run ...

espn mlb Play-by-Play Sept 16 2016 Toronto Blue Jays at LA Angels -

.. despite having one of the fastest Triple-A runners in the league (Dalton Pompey) on the bench:

espn mlb Roster Sept 16 2016 Toronto Blue Jays at LA Angels -

But it all worked out ...

espn mlb Box Score Sept 16 2016 Toronto Blue Jays at LA Angels -

The dream continues.

That is all.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Carrera PH Pop Celebration Makes It Intensely Obvious - This Team Is *Trying* To Believe

The 'salsa' between Carrera and Encarnacion in the dugout tries to get joined by Michael Saunders and Ryan Goins - to bad effect.

This team is 7-3 in the last 10 games - we need more than a one-off to turn this around.

Luckily the Jay's have two more bad teams in front of them after this one:

..expect that 3-7 to turn around to 7-3.

If not you may check the wildcard standings and find that this team is out of it.

Also ...

The fact that the right fielder and the third basemen are not in the line-up, and that their defensive replacements late were more 2nd-teamers ... plus Mark Shapiro's statement last week that, "All the Free Agents will go to market"

... tells this sage old fan that this team is rebuilding; and will not take on old contractual agreements - in other words - another round of corporate governance saying to team management, "You have a 5-year budget - spend it any way you wish" - so Shapiro is going to Re-set - and win or lose on his terms ... another downside of letting the great Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos go.

So this team is not trying to win ... even though they are likely to go the playoff for the second year in a row.


Also ...

On the dust-up at the end (which I leave out of the pov above):

Souza Jr. on confrontation - 09/12/16 | 00:01:12



Liriano is great again in Jays' win against Rays

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitchers        IP       H       R      ER      BB      SO      HR      PC-ST   ERA
Liriano         6.1      3       2      2       1       6       2       72-51   4.06


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Jump Off The @BlueJays Bandwagon NOW!

I counted 8 'weird' plays tonight.

I have notes.
  1. LF Upton 1st
  2. C  Navarro 3rd
  3. 1B Encarnacion 3rd
  4. LF Upton 3rd
  5. C  Navaro 4th
  6. LF Upton 6th
  7. 2B Travis booted DP ball
  8. 1B Encanacion dropped ball

I'll leave it here.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Kansas City run into Blue Jays win - Martin makes Liriano 'Great Again'

'Make Liriano Great Again'

Update Sat, Aug 6, 2016: Video - Russel Martin on the battery working together again: -

Francisco Liriano finishes his first Blue Jays start with a 3.00 ERA. Liriano Comes out of the game at the end of the 6th having surrendered 3R (2 Earned) for a tie game at the time. Brett Cecil is the pitcher of record* when the winning run scores in the top of the 9th and thus sneaks the W. Thus the Martin / Liriano battery from their time together in Pittsburgh is re-birthed.

So it isn't true, 'You can never go home again' ... as long as it's a different home?

The future awaits.

Via espn boxscore -

Royals Run into Blue Jays Win

In the 9th the Royals have a runner at second with one out due to a two-base throwing error by 3rd baseman Darwin Barney (into the 1B camera bay).

Then Paulo Orlando tries to steal 3B - and gives Barney the chance to reverse his error - which he does by snagging a low skip-throw from Martin and kneeling on the bag to block the baserunner and applying the tag.

Two out.

Next batter gets a base hit to left-centre (might it have scored the Royals' centre-firlder from 2nd?).

Next batter strikes out.

Jays win.

* The Official Scorer can award the win to the 'correct' pitcher - if they have any idea what they're doing - none ever do take that chance these days (some millionaires' lawyer will likely come after them.)


List - Blue Jays' Six Man Pitching Rotation

I like lists and maps and graphics. The Blue Jays' Six Man Pitching Rotation needs to be listed - so here:

Blue Jays' 6-man rotation (ordered by Wins)

  1. Happ (15-3)
  2. Sanchez (11-1)
  3. Stroman (8-4)
  4. Dickey (8-12)
  5. Estrada (7-4)
  6. Liriano (6-11) 

The order in which they are pitching now: 

  • Liriano (6-11) (Starting tonight - Friday - at KC)
  • Sanchez (11-1) (Starting Saturday at KC)
  • Stroman (8-4) (Starting Sunday at KC)
  • Dickey (8-12) (Starting Monday vs Tampa Bay)
  • Estrada (7-4) (Starting Tuesday vs Tampa Bay)
  • Happ (15-3) (Starting Wednesday vs Tampa Bay)

"We like our Team, Barry."

So to sum-up: