From 2003-2006, his prime seasons, Freel hit .274 with a .368 OBP–he walked in almost 11 percent of his plate appearances, and he was hit by 33 pitches. Over that span, he averaged 46 steals and 90 runs scored per 162 games. Of course, he never came close to playing 162 games in a season, both because he was a supersub and because he couldn’t stay healthy. The most Ryan Freel season was 2005, when he suffered day-to-day back soreness in May, left foot inflammation that disabled him in June, and his second knee surgery in as many seasons in August. Despite that, he was worth nearly three wins in 103 games and 431 plate appearances, posting a TAv just below league average and more than doubling the totals of his closest teammates in both Baserunning Runs (5.7) and Fielding Runs Above Average (10.7).
We haven’t come up with a perfect way to quantify the value of positional flexibility, which saves roster spots and allows GMs greater freedom in constructing their teams. But it usually takes more than one player to do what Freel did, and even when one player wears as many hats as he did, he rarely wears them all so well. “Flexibility in the field,” as we wrote about Willie Bloomquist in last year’s annual book, often “boils down to an ability to be bad at a multitude of positions.” Look at a list of last year’s utility players. You won’t find any Freels.
I had the opportunity to watch Freel for the better part of four seasons. It was always a joy.
Detroit has real people who work hard for their money and cherish their jobs. Detroit loves hockey. Detroit loves to buy American. Detroiters like their boats and their beers. You do not ask to see the wine list in the bars around Comerica Park. Pabst Blue Ribbon, please. Tall boys.
Awesome. Conservatives are happy to let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, but they have no shame in talking about how Detroit is where real Americans live. Conservatives want to outsource every American job to China, but they love American-buying Detroit residents. And tall boys, well hell, we all know that’s a metaphor for Detroit residents having large penises.
This is also great:
After all, the Auto union member and the hippie/feminist/gay rights activist (take your pick) would kill one another — if they ever met.
Oh right. You mean the last UAW members who you conservatives have tried to destroy? Does that include, say, the friends of Michael Moore? Do they want to beat up feminists and hippies? Or is Lewis stereotyping unions? I’m sure he’s a big fan of Walter Reuther and the social/racial justice programs of the UAW in its heyday so I’m sure we all know the answer…..
In the end, the Bryce Harper piece is actually worse than this. But this is pretty bad.
Pete Rose is a self-admitted big fan of Derek Jeter, but the all-time hits leader has done some math and says the New York Yankees shortstop will not touch his record.
Rose told the website Sports on Earth this week that not only is time not on Jeter’s side — he’s 38 years old and 952 hits shy of tying Rose — but the Yankees also don’t have the flexibility to move him to another position should Jeter remain productive at the plate.
“I don’t think he will break the record,” Rose said. “First of all, I don’t think he wants to leave the Yankees. And the Yankees, they’re about winning. Jeter had a great year this year, but he’s what? Thirty-eight years old? And he’s a shortstop? How many 40-year-old shortstops you see walking around? Not too many, right?
“And they can’t put him at third because A-Rod’s there. They can’t put him at second ’cause [Robinson] Cano’s there. He don’t help them in left field — he’s got to be in the center of things, you know what I mean? What are they going to do? Put him at first base?”
To be sure, I did think that the Reds would win the NL Central, and I’m not surprised that they won it going away. I had much more confidence in the rotation than did Scott (although Arroyo’s season has been remarkable), and higher expectations for Cueto than seemed common at the time. I absolutely could not have imagined that they’d miss Votto for 48 games and go 31-17. We’ll see how things work out moving forward; with Cueto and Latos they have a pair of outstanding playoff starters, plus an excellent bullpen. Perhaps most importantly, there is no longer a temptation to start Edison Volquez in the first game of the division series…
The key to the hilarity of this clip lies between points 2 and 3. When you watch the GIF, you can appreciate why Matt Downs takes what appears to be a flying leap towards the ball. But then you see the still capturing Downs in mid-air and, if you’re like me, you just can’t stop laughing.
He turned professional, big-time, in 1913, signing with the New York Giants baseball team, the Yankees of their day. After a rocky few years playing the one sport that did not come easy to him, by 1919 he was hitting as well as Ty Cobb and Joe Jackson.
Ty Cobb 1919 oWAR (offensive wins above replacement): 5.3
Joe Jackson 1919 oWAR: 5.6
Jim Thorpe 1919 oWAR: 1.0
Even relying on basic stats Thorpe comes us short; he hit an empty .327 in 1919. Jackson hit .351 and Cobb hit .384, both with power and walks. For his career, Thorpe was .4 wins below replacement. Jim Thorpe was indeed a fabulous, extraordinary athlete, and it’s not likely that many Olympic decathletes could turn in a baseball career that came anywhere near replacement level. This is rather a different thing than suggesting that Jim Thorpe was a good baseball player. FWIW, both Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were considerably better baseball players than Thorpe.