Why I Love week: True Grit

By BillThis week, TCM and I are ignoring all the horrible things we could be complaining about these days and trying to keep things light and positive. Here’s the first installment, here’s the second.“Gritty,” thanks largely to the brilliant Fire Joe Morgan, is probably the most hated word in the English language to people like […]

Why I Love week: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

By BillSo it’s been pretty gloomy around here lately. On the same day a bit over a week ago, Bill and TCM wrote posts whose titles began with “Why I Hate” — first the new playoff format, then the new draft rules. Last week came the announcement of the new CBA, the magnum opus capping […]

How Pitchers Can Be as Valuable as Hitters

By BillAs you may remember, I don’t think pitchers should be eligible for the MVP award. And were I voting today, when the rules explicitly state that they are eligible, I wouldn’t vote for one. It’s funny to me that there are people who think voters are bound to consider pitchers because the instructions say […]

Why I hate the new postseason plan

By BillWe’ve known it was coming for a while now, but yesterday it was made more or less official, with the approval of the sale of the Astros to Jim Crane: the Astros will be moving to the AL West, most likely in 2013, giving each division five teams. And it seems a foregone conclusion that […]

The pitcher who hit two grand slams

By BillI’ve written about this once before (I won’t link to it, because why?), but only in passing, and it deserves more than that. Entering the 1966 season, the newly-moved-to-Atlanta Braves’ Tony Cloninger was a promising young pitcher. He was 26. He’d been in the league for five years, and had seen a steady increase […]

Happy Birthday…

Curt Schilling! Schilling is 45 today. It’s a bit hard to believe, but he threw his last pitch four years and twenty days ago. I think Schilling makes the Hall of Fame eventually, but it probably takes a while. It’s a shame, because he’s pretty comfortably deserving. Ignoring his postseason heroics (and I think those […]

Spare a thought for the poor, neglected third baseman

By BillOne of Bill James’ books — I think it was one of the Historical Baseball Abstracts, but I’m not positive — talks about a sudden shift in the way baseball people perceived the third base position. In the game’s early-ish days, third base was looked at as a defense-first position, a lot more like […]

Baseball’s Best Dodgeball Players

By BillIn 10,876 plate appearances, Craig Biggio was able to take first base 285 times after being hit by a pitch (2.6% of his plate appearances). Hughie Jennings came up just 5,639 times, but was hit a record 287 times (5.1%). I think of Luis Castillo as a similar type of player, if not quite […]

The Eight Worst World Series Winners in History

By BillIt’s kind of easy to forget, considering how well they’ve played through the playoffs, about that whole amazing run that got the Cardinals to where they are right now, two home wins away from winning the World Series. For most of the year, the Cards were just about an average team (and in a […]

An Interview with Ralph Branca

By BillEvery now and then, as co-proprietors of a blog that a few people sometimes deign to read, we get emails from publishers or publicists (most accurately, publicists for publishers, but there’s no non-goofy way to say that) offering advance copies of baseball or other sports books. Most of them, frankly, aren’t that exciting (we’re […]

What’s a Comeback Player, Really?

By BillCraig made what I thought was a good point yesterday, first on Twitter and then on the blog. Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman, winners of the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year Awards, both had very good years, both coming off of what, for very different reasons, was a ruined 2010. But on the […]

Can the Cubs Fans Stay Realistic About Theo?

By BillI love Theo Epstein, which I’m sure isn’t terribly surprising. Always have. I probably wouldn’t have given John Lackey either five years or $82.5 million, but otherwise, I think pretty much everything he’s done has been great. I also like the Cubs, God save me, and so I’m pretty excited that apparently, my favorite […]

How Much Is a GM Worth?

  I still can’t believe the Marlins gave up real, live human beings forOzzie Guillen. Nothing about that situation makes any sense whatsoever. TheMarlins have repeatedly shown they have no idea how to handle public relationsor get their employees to handle public relations in an appropriate manner, andOzzie is the Pandora’s box of public relations […]

Friday Forum: Our Postseason Picks

I (this is Bill, hi!) used to really hate postseason predictions. They’re pretty pointless, really. Even the “worst” playoff team has a pretty decent chance of beating the best, especially in a five-game series, and that people spend so much time analyzing these things and declaring what the key factors are and all that just seems […]

Let’s make this a thing: “No Tomkos”

By BillGrant Brisbee is one of the many excellent writers who tosses stuff up a couple times a day over on Baseball Nation on SBN (in addition to his usual McCovey Chronicles duties). Yesterday, he wrote a typically high-quality, but stylistically pretty standard, piece on the Red Sox’s rumored attempts to acquire a starter for game […]