2011 Orioles Fan Fest

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

The football season isn't fully over yet*, but things are already starting to gear up for the 2011 baseball season - starting with the Orioles' Fan Fest being held this upcoming Saturday (more info, including ticket and autograph voucher purchasing**, here). I'll be there at the Blogger Forum** (mainstage from 5:25 to 5:55) if anyone wants to come say hey or ask questions or whatnot. Should be fun.

* Had the Packers going all the way. Still looking good there.

** I know some fans are mad about the vouchers, as well as the increased ticket prices to the games once the season starts. The former seems misplaced given the justification presented by the time (shorter wait lines/times; proceeds going to charity; and free in the kids area). The latter just seems like a tone-deaf move from the team on a PR level, but I don't know that it's a terrible business decision. Not sure how many people won't go now that would have due to the extra couple bucks (and if that'll more than cancel out the additional revenue from people still going). And I believe O's tickets are still below average in price, and haven't gone up in a while.
*** Actually, I'll be there all day. Not looking to get autographs or photos or anything - just nice to be around baseball stuff in the middle of the winter.

Cliff Pennington: AL's Best Shortstop?

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

Given the title it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out, but guess who led the AL in brWAR last year? That would be Oakland's Cliff Pennington, with 3.2. He also came in second in fWAR with 3.7 (just behind Alexei Ramirez's 3.8). Could the 26 year-old really be the best shortstop in a league once dominated by Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, and Miguel Tejada? I looked at the possibility over at Beyond the Box Score; check it out.

2011 Orioles Projections: Derrek Lee

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

The initial team projections are posted here. A more thorough walkthrough of how I put the individual ones together is in the Matt Wieters post here. The components I'm looking for are playing time (plate appearances), batting (BA/OBP/SLG), and fielding.

Today we're looking at the team's new first-baseman, Derrek Lee.

Playing Time:

Lee has accumulated over 600 plate appearances in 9 of his last 10 seasons, getting to only 204 in 2006 due to a wrist injury. He dealt with a thumb problem during the 2010 season - for which he had surgery a couple months ago - but he's expected to be ready for Spring Training. Still, he's 35 years old. I went back and forth between 550 and 525 plate appearances for Lee for 2011, and decided to split the difference (rounded up) and go with 540.


2011 Orioles Projections: Matt Wieters

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

Last week I posted an early run at projecting the Orioles for 2011. It looked reasonable enough overall - 76 wins or so - but going player by player is more fun. Starting the trip around the diamond will be catcher Matt Wieters.

The components I'm looking for are playing time (plate appearances), batting (BA/OBP/SLG), and fielding,

Playing Time:

Wieters accumulated 502 PA in 2010 and 548 in 2009 (combined between Triple-A and the big leagues). The average number of plate appearances for the top 15 catchers in baseball last year was 494 and the year before it was 525. The latter doesn't seem crazy, but I'll go with a slightly more conservative 500 PA. Wieters is a big guy crouching behind the plate for 150+ pitches a night, which will result in some wear and tear.


BtB Mailbag: Chase Utley vs. Robinson Cano

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

This week's question for the Beyond the Box Score mailbag came from a Met fan trying to defend a Phillie in a quarrel (Chase Utley vs. Robinson Cano) with a Yankee fan - an excellent argument to get in the middle of. Check it out.

Early 2011 Orioles Projections

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

There's still a long way to go before the season, but with the Orioles' starting line-up seeming mostly set, I though I'd throw out some early projections for the team. Very preliminary, but in the ballpark I think.

That 29 WAR translates into around a 76 win club, which doesn't seem unreasonable. The pitching here is a little worse than last year's crew actually, which probably won't be the case upon further run-throughs. The offense is improved by ~20 points of OBP and ~40 points of SLG, which isn't crazy given that they'll be going from 1-2 holes in the line-up to practically zero. There's a very real chance for every starter to be at least league average next year. That would be a very good base from which to make a run at .500.

Stats: WAR

The Steroids Issue

Written by Daniel Moroz on .

Someone in the comments of the Hall of Fame post mentioned their disappointment that I'd support for cheaters (I assume this means McGwire and Palmeiro). I threw a quick comment up there, but I thought this post written almost two years ago (and two blogs ago) more or less covers things. There are a few additional notes on the Hall of Fame aspect at the end.

From USA Today

"Asked if he would consider reinstating Henry Aaron as baseball's home-run king and adding an asterisk or some other notation to the statistics of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and others involved in baseball's steroid controversy, Selig said that he might. "Once you start tinkering, you can create more problems," he said. "But I'm not dismissing it. I'm concerned. I'd like to get some more evidence.""

Enacting this kind of thing (with consistency) requires going through a number of steps:

(1) Having evidence that a player used steroids
(2) Having evidence that using steroids increases a player's stats
(3) Providing justification why said effects invalidate player's stats
(4) Removing/making notation about player's stats
(5) Profit?

Let's use Barry Bonds as an example.