Wednesday Link Dump

There’s nothing in the blog queue for today unless Paul or Jeff want to whip something up on the fly, so I’m just going to direct you to great stuff from around the Internets. Let’s start with some self-promotion.

You can follow the Crashburn crew on Twitter. @CrashburnAlley is Bill, @Phrontiersman is Paul, and @Utley4God is Jeff. Although I’ve been absent during the last couple games, I’m usually on Twitter during games giving my immediate reactions and often wagering large sums of money to will the Phillies to victory. If you’re not a Tweeter — and why wouldn’t you be — you can get updates on new posts by liking Crashburn Alley on Facebook.

I co-host the Phillies and Sabermetrics-focused show “Stathead” with Jeff Sottolano on Phillies 24/7 HD radio, 98.1 WOGL HD-4. The show airs every Tuesday at 3 PM ET and re-airs on Wednesdays at 2 PM ET. If you missed yesterday’s show, you can still grab your HD radio to hear what we had to say about Vance Worley, Ryan Howard, and some trade deadline targets. We also discussed the Bill Conlin article that was dissected here recently.

If you’re into fantasy baseball, I cover starting pitchers every Friday at Baseball Prospectus, looking for undervalued pitchers that are likely available in your leagues.

In case you happened to miss all of the blog action over the last few days, here’s a quick recap:

  • Jeff Barnes argues that the Phillies should do nothing as the July 31 trading deadline fast approaches. [Link]
  • I looked at Ryan Howard’s stats and didn’t find much room for optimism. [Link]
  • Continuing my role as Debbie Downer, I also called for lowered expectations with Vance Worley. [Link]
  • Jose Bautista continues to be the target of PED suspicion, so I compared his rise to stardom to that of Roy Halladay. [Link]

Phillies stuff elsewhere on the Internet…

At Brotherly Glove, Eric Seidman (@EricSeidman) looks at the impact J.J. Hardy’s recently-signed contract will have on Jimmy Rollins. [Link]

Also at BG, Eric points out that a third baseman may be as important to the Phillies as a corner outfielder or reliever. [Link]

At Zoo With Roy, @Cranekicker delves into Shane Victorino’s mind after he hit what he thought was a home run. [Link]

Chris Jones (@LONG_DRIVE) from The Fightins looks over the players the Phillies could be acquiring before the trading deadline. [Link]

The Good Phight’s Taco Pal thinks Hunter Pence’s career year is unsustainable and isn’t the best player for the Phillies to target. [Link]

Fire Eric Bruntlett looked at the potentially historic seasons from the Phillies’ three aces. [Link]

David Murphy (@HighCheese) reports that Roy Halladay will make his next start after failing to get through the fifth inning on Monday. [Link]

David Hale (@Philled_In) has some nice quotes from Scott Proefrock that indicate the Phillies may be passive leading up to the deadline with quite a few players on their way back from the disabled list. [Link]

Matt Gelb (@magelb) has the latest updates on Roy Oswalt — good news. The hope is an early August return. [Link]

This is an old article from The Good Phight, but I’ve seen the “Team Record when Player X Scores a Run” stat thrown around lately, so I think it’s worth another read. [Link]

General baseball stuff on the Interwebs…

Matt Swartz (@Matt_Swa) is now writing for FanGraphs and he brought SIERA along with him. His debut at FanGraphs features a five-part series explaining SIERA and the recent changes made to the great statistic. Parts one and two have been posted; three should be up sometime today as well.

I’m always amazed at the quality of work Mike Fast (@fastballs) does at Baseball Prospectus. In his latest article, he shows the production of players based on the amount of pitches they see within the strike zone. [Link]

David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) looks at RBI production from the clean-up spot over the past decade. [Link]

At SB Nation, Jeff Sullivan (@LookoutLanding) concludes that Roy Halladay’s latest outing in Chicago confirms, not denies, that he is not human. [Link]

Due to Halladay’s bad start in Chicago, his streak of 50 consecutive road games with six or more innings pitched was broken. Baseball Reference lists the 50 longest such streaks. [Link]

Matt Klaassen (@devil_fingers) posted the updated catcher defense ratings at Beyond the Box Score. Do a Ctrl+F for Carlos Ruiz. [Link]

By the way, if you haven’t read Gary Smith’s article on Chooch at Sports Illustrated, do yourself a favor and click on this link. –> [Link]

Ben Duronio (@Ben_Duronio) of Capitol Avenue Club points out the real reasons why the Atlanta Braves could trade Derek Lowe. [Link]

Completely random stuff from the Internet…

As a video game enthusiast, when this guy set the record for lowest score without dying in a game of Super Mario Bros. 1, he became my idol:

Anyone have any theories as to how Mathieu Bich pulled off this magic trick?

I don’t know why, but metal seems to translate to the piano well. I’ve heard quite a few metal covers done on piano and none of them have been bad. I’d have preferred if this one wasn’t passed through a computer program, but it’s great nonetheless.

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  1. Ned

    July 20, 2011 08:23 AM

    cant find your email anywhere (admittedly didnt look too hard) but had a question for you.

    I was wondering if you’d done any research into the reliability and predictability of WHIP as a statistic. It is one of my favorite statistics to measure the success of a pitcher, but dont really know how much it varies over a career.

  2. Bill Baer

    July 20, 2011 08:28 AM

    My email is listed in the “about” page.

    WHIP isn’t that reliable because of hits. In a single season, or a group of several seasons, pitchers don’t have a whole lot of control over the rate at which batted balls are converted into outs (BABIP). You can find quite a few studies on that, the earliest of which was done by Voros McCracken. Since then, Matt Swartz has done some great research on the topic as well.

    Pitchers do have a lot of control over walks, but I would just look at BB% or BB/9 and try to avoid WHIP entirely. It’s descriptive, not predictive.

  3. Jay

    July 20, 2011 08:54 AM

    It’s not a trick, it’s an illooosion

  4. Crud Muffin

    July 20, 2011 09:01 AM

    Tricks are what whores do for money.

  5. JB Allen

    July 20, 2011 09:12 AM

    Say, has there been any discussion about Aramis Ramirez? He’s a RH hitter and a third baseman. OK, he goes out and stands near third base. But he does hit.

  6. Bill Baer

    July 20, 2011 09:19 AM

    Ramirez has 10-and-5 rights which means he can refuse to be traded. He said he wants to finish his career as a Cub, but maybe he’ll change his mind at some point.

  7. Cosx

    July 20, 2011 10:03 AM

    Between the Buried and Me made my morning.

  8. Bill Baer

    July 20, 2011 10:11 AM

    They make my every day. Colors is in my top-three greatest albums of all time.

    Here’s the original song for anyone interested. (Warning: metal vocals)

  9. Eric

    July 20, 2011 11:49 AM

    It’s funny “Eric” is arguing for a righty 3rd baseman when I said that in the comments here a few weeks back.

    We “Erics” think alike. 🙂

  10. LTG

    July 20, 2011 12:04 PM

    I’m guessing the band’s name is not a reference to the Counting Crow’s lyric from Ghost Train…

  11. LTG

    July 20, 2011 03:34 PM

    I’m astonished and impressed!

  12. Phillie697

    July 20, 2011 11:13 PM

    OMG the SMB video was epic!!! I wanna try it now lol.

  13. MikeD.

    July 21, 2011 08:02 AM

    The guy is obviously very good at manipulating his deck, and constructs the words from preconfigured blocks of primitive shapes. A single card may have up to 3 different primitives leaving one edge for the blank reveal at the start of the illusion. The illusion would be simpler with multiple decks but apparently still possible with just the one.
    It’s a hell of a trick and must require some incredible mental work, not to mention slight of hand. Penn and Teller likely came to a similar conclusion but the complexity of the illusion was so great they thought it must have been facilitated with multiple decks.

    Here is a link to where you can buy this trick for just $49:

    Here is a link to Mathieu basically explaining how you can make any configuration:

  14. Phillie697

    July 21, 2011 01:24 PM

    Has anyone noticed how JRoll is quietly on pace for a 5 WAR season??? Here is hoping he’ll give us a hometown discount to re-sign him…

  15. Dan

    July 21, 2011 07:50 PM

    Darn. I was hoping I would be the first one to comment about how the trick is done. I’m curious, MikeD, did you figure it out on your own like I did or did you read/watch a video about it? It doesn’t really matter, I just felt good about myself for figuring it out so quickly on my own, haha.

  16. Andrew Chrzanowski

    July 21, 2011 10:46 PM

    You posted about my favorite band, BTBAM. I didn’t think i could love this baseballnerdblog more, but i do.

  17. David

    July 23, 2011 10:06 AM

    That Super Mario Bros. clip was incredible.

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