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Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Links on 6/29

These Friday links have gotten to be something of a habit but for some reason I don't catch up until Friday and there's always something interesting to pass along.

  • Racism? - This article over at MVN is titled "Believe it: Racism still in baseball". Unfortunately for the author he doesn't provide any evidence for his argument and instead talks about the fan reactions to Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds - two players who provoke a lot of reactions not primarily related to their race. However, I did find it interesting that the author, quoting Jayson Stark, noted that "37 percent of black fans think Bonds used steroids, compared to 76 percent of white fans". The implication is that this somehow shows that white fans are racist. Of course it's just as plausible (and perhaps more so since the white population is larger and therefore probably more varied in their views) that black fans on the whole are seeing the issue through racial lenses.

    In addition, it can be argued that his other major example of shrinking black participation in the sport is caused by a myriad of others factors (some of which he lists) and not implicit nor explicit racism. The issue of African Americans in leadership positions in baseball is perhaps the only one on which he has a leg to stand. Not having researched the issue I don't really have an opinion. That said, it seems to me that the idea that imposing a quota on interviewing minorities for specific positions is not really the answer.

    The main problem with the article is that the title appears to claim something for which the author shows little evidence and so it smacks of an attempt to grab some attention. It worked (I'm sure lots of people read it) but it's not very honest.

  • Chad Gaudin - In case you missed it, Marc Normadin did his regular player profile feature on A's starter Chad Gaudin. This is a self-serving link since I contributed a sidebar to the piece using the PITCHf/x data but still Marc's attention to detail is always outstanding and you never fail to learn when you read his work.

  • DePodesta - Interesting article at THT on the status of Paul DePodesta.

  • The Imbalance of Interleague - Dave Studeman calls for the demise of interleague play..well, almost with a recommendation for paring it down similar to what I threw out last January. John Perrato at BP also runs down the stats division by division as the AL took the 137-115 advantage. A far cry better than last year but still it shows the AL is the stronger of the two leagues in the same way the NL was the stronger in the mid 1960s.

  • Sammy Sosa Hits 600 - There were several articles like this one in the last couple weeks being less than generous to Sosa. It seems reasonable to me, as with Mark McGwire, to take a bit of a wait and see approach regarding Hall of Fame credentials and celebrating the accomplishments. Clearly (although I have to admit I'm a Cubs fan) there is less, actually bordering on zero, circumstantial or other evidence linking Sosa to steroid use and so in my mind he gets the benefit of the doubt for now. Interestingly, I received a copy of the this great set of DVDs the other day and it has the game where Sosa hit his 61st adn 62nd homeruns in 1998. Haven't watched it yet but it should be interesting.
  • 1 comment:

    azruavatar said...

    Kinda wild thought but could a pitching machine replicate a pitcher's repetoire after we've documented it to this level. That is if we know Gaudin throws these 4 pitches, could we build a mechanical arm that would replicate (accurately) the pitches, both movement and velocity, to the plate?

    It's not necessarily a practical idea (one pitching machine per pitcher? software that adapts a single pitching machine to each pitchers repertoire based on inputs?) but given how minute the details are on these pitches am I crazy to think that this would at least be possible.

    Imagine a team taking batting practice against a machine that actually THROWS like the opposing pitcher.