Links for Wednesday

The Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals with an avalanche of runs in the eighth inning. The Cardinal bullpen completely imploded, allowing nine runs in relief of Kyle McClellan. Meanwhile, Roy Halladay was excellent as usual, but was unable to pick up his tenth win. It was his shortest outing since Opening Day, however.

Not much exciting stuff going in on Phillies-land at the moment, so today’s post will just highlight some of the great stuff found around the Internets. If you haven’t already, check out the official Crashburn debut of Jeff Barnes as he tries to see what the future holds for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Another recent addition, Paul Boye, makes the case for Cole Hamels as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game.

You’ll want to check out this post, which links to a video of what I think is the funniest baseball-related video of all time. It’s probably not work-safe, so be warned.

Mandy Housenick and Marcus Hayes dropped stupid bombs on Daily News Live recently. @TonyIsDynamic did some great video splicing that you must see.

While Boye focused on Hamels’ All-Star hopes, I looked at Shane Victorino‘s. He has, surprisingly, been a tour de force in the Phillies’ offense.

Tune into Phillies 24/7 98.1 WOGL HD-4 with your HD radio today to catch the latest edition of “Stathead”, hosted by myself and Jeff Sotolanno. We talk about Victorino, All-Stars, right-handed bats to look for, and Jimmy Rollins.

If you’re the fantasy baseball type, I’ll be going over upwards of 10 starting pitchers you should be targeting. You can find that at Baseball Prospectus every Friday.

Finally, to end the self-promotion, I’ll be doing a live chat on Wednesday, June 29 with the guys at Fire Brand AL to discuss the Red Sox-Phillies series.

At Baseball Prospectus, Derek Carty crunched the numbers again to find out when various stats stabilize for both hitters and pitchers.

Tangotiger explains Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to the uninitiated. If you’d like to learn more about it, or if you’re skeptical of the stat, I highly recommend reading what Tango had to say.

At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron reviews Batting Average on Balls in Play. In another post, he arrived at a very shocking conclusion: Shane Victorino is better than Ryan Howard and has been over the past five-plus seasons. Would you have been behind a five-year, $125 million contract extension for the Flyin’ Hawaiian?

Colin Wyers, of Baseball Prospectus fame, has been one of the few that has been openly critical about the quality of data many of us use on a daily basis. This post from Lookout Landing is a prime example of Wyers’ complaint.

Drew Fairservice, a fellow ESPN SweetSpot blogger, analyzes the efficiency of the Phillies’ starting rotation for The Score’s Getting Blanked blog.

Zoo With Roy does the hard-hitting analysis, comparing Roy Halladay and Matt Holliday. I think we know who comes out on top.

At Beyond the Box Score, Bill Petti finds that Cole Hamels has been prettay, prettay, prettay good.

Eric Seidman of Brotherly Glove expects the Phillies’ bullpen to be young and cheap next year.

David Hale’s notes about the Phillies are always good, but I loved this bit:

Funny scene from the clubhouse today: Chase Utley was watching some game film and having a very in depth discussion with hitting instructor Greg Gross about his swing. Gross discussed the particulars of keeping his weight centered through his swing and a bunch of other technicalities I don’t understand. When they were through talking, Gross took about five steps to his left, where Domonic Brown was watching an episode of “Swamp People” on his iPad. Gross laughed and stopped to discuss the particulars of catching alligators, too. He’s a true Renaissance Man.

Phillies fan-favorite Logan Morrison of the Florida Marlins criticized Hanley Ramirez for being late to new manager Jack McKeon’s pre-game meeting.

At The Good Phight, Schmenkman allays concerns that the Phillies can only beat up on bad teams.

David Schoenfield claims that the American League is better than the National League. Given that the post has 2,316 comments, I’m guessing he caused quite a stir.

Phillies Nation got some nice pub at

Other stuff:

Crashburn writers on Twitter: @CrashburnAlley@Phrontiersman@Utley4God

Crashburn on Facebook

Centipedes are more of a threat than Iran and should be taken seriously.

The link dump will end with a couple of YouTubes. It’s the Internet, so how about a cat? I mean, a really awesome cat. If you’re not familiar with Maru, check out the plethora of videos on mugumogu’s channel.

Finally, let’s go with some music. I hadn’t been a fan of this type of music, but Parov Stelar is getting me into swing house.

If you liked that, other suggested tracks are Catgroove, Matilda, Let’s Roll, and Shine, all from his album Coco.



Leave a Reply



  1. Richard

    June 22, 2011 08:01 AM

    Dude, that centipede thing creeped me out.

    But, back to baseball. I’d missed most of Sunday’s game, so looking at that Lookout Landing post, how in the hell did Martinez not catch that pop-up (“line drive”)? Really, really, really bad.

  2. Matty

    June 22, 2011 08:39 AM

    Great informative post. I just spent over an hour and a half reading the posts you linked here.

  3. hk

    June 22, 2011 09:02 AM


    Great links as usual. I do have a question about WAR and Cameron’s piece. Is WAR meant to show how good a player is or how valuable? When Cameron says that Victorino has been better than Howard over the last 5 years because he has produced a higher WAR, which is in part dependent upon a position adjustment, isn’t he really saying that Ryan is a better baseball player than Shane, but Shane has been more valuable since he plays a position where the production is harder to replace? This may or may not be a matter of semantics, but to me, the title of his article is inconsistent with his WAR findings.

  4. Bill Baer

    June 22, 2011 09:10 AM

    That’s a great distinction to make, actually. Yeah, WAR adjusts for position, so Howard is penalized while Victorino is not.

    Here’s the breakdown of their 2006-11 WAR in terms of runs, via FanGraphs…

    – Batting: 185
    – Base Running: -21.4
    – Fielding: -21.1
    – TOTAL: 142.5

    – Batting: 55.4
    – Base Running: 15.2
    – Fielding: 34.1
    – TOTAL: 104.7

    Then if you look at replacement level, Howard gets a bit more of a break there than Victorino, but Shane rocks the positional adjustment runs.

    – Replacement: 123.2
    – Positional: -63.7
    – TOTAL: 59.5

    – Replacement: 106.6
    – Positional: 2.1
    – TOTAL: 108.7

    Grand Total:
    – Howard: 202
    – Victorino: 213.4

  5. Jay

    June 22, 2011 01:48 PM

    I do not understand the positional adjustment to calculate Wins Above Replacement. Why does a position adjustment have to be made? You wouldn’t replace Howard with a center fielder, the replacement would be a first baseman. Shouldn’t the formula only consider a player’s fielding performance relative to that of a replacement player at his position?
    You could even say the same thing about hitting relative to a replacement hitter at the same position given the different body types required to play center and first.

  6. Matt in NYC

    June 22, 2011 02:07 PM


    The reason for the positional adjustment is, as @hk says above, all about who’s more valuable, not who’s better. If Shane and Ryan both got hurt tomorrow, the average 1B you could (essentially freely) replace Howard with (think Ross Gload, Russell Branyan, Chris Davis) would most likely be a much better hitter than the average CF (or any OF) you could replace Victorino with (think John Mayberry, Scott Podsednik, Wily Mo Pena).

    Also, while nobody can know how well Shane would play 1B, I think most would assume (as the defensive spectrum does) that he would do far better there than Howard would in the OF, especially if you gave both time to learn the position. It’s just an athleticism thing.

  7. Matt in NYC

    June 22, 2011 02:09 PM

    *Sorry for all the parentheses. They receive a negative adjustment when calculating Value Over Replacement Writing Technique.

  8. JB Allen

    June 22, 2011 05:20 PM

    Bill, I know you were joking, but if I had to give out a five-year extension, I would rather it go to Victorino. I’m guessing his skill set will decline more slowly than Howard’s will.

  9. SJHaack

    June 23, 2011 11:09 AM


    Matt in NYC is correct. Essentially you find the player’s value by first comparing them to replacement level within that position. But, WAR is attempting to show relative value across the entire diamond, so it adds that adjustment to handicap the difficulty of playing that position at a replacement level as best we can measure.

    The replacement level hitter for 1B is actually an above league average hitter overall, but then again a replacement level shortstop is above average defensively compared to the rest of the diamonds.

  10. SJHaack

    June 23, 2011 11:12 AM


    Whoops, two posts. Bill the description of TangoTiger’s article is a bit misleading. He doesn’t really explain much about WAR or how it works, he just points out where the guy is doing it “wrong”. Tango’s a great analyst but he’s kind of a pedant.

  11. Jim Z.

    June 23, 2011 02:05 PM

    Hm. Maybe if Domonic Brown spent less time watching TV shows on his Ipad and more time analyzing game film with Greg Gross, he’d be hitting better than .220.

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