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Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Links

A few things from this week:

  • Datacaster - A little article on MLBAM datacaster on Chris Johnson who scores for the Dodgers and Angels.

  • State of the BABIP - A great overview and state of the research on batting average on balls in play by Derek Jacques.

  • Changing Course - Joe Sheehan takes a look at the practice of firing managers midseason. I wrote a little about this awhile back in wondering why midseason changes have declined in recent years.

    Be that as it may, thirteen times beginning with the 1932 Cubs, teams have changed managers and gone on to post season play. The last time being the 2004 Astros who replaced Jimmy Williams as team stodd at 44-44. Under Phil Garner they went 48-26 the rest of the way. For Williams it was the second time he had been replaced as the skipper of an eventual postseason team. The first, and the largest difference in terms of winning percentage, was the 1989 Blue Jays. After enduring a 12-24 (.333) start under Jimmy Williams, General Manager Pat Gillick hired Cito Gaston on May 31st as the interim manager. That interim title was quickly forgotten as the Jays reeled off a 77-49 (.611) record with the help of acquisitions Lee Mazzilli and Mookie Wilson from the Mets leading to a 20-9 August that saw them pull into a first place tie with the surprising Orioles as the month closed. After holding a slim lead most of the month of September, the Jays hooked up with the Orioles in a three game series at the new Sky Dome on the season's final weekend with the Orioles one game back. The Blue Jays took the first two games of the series 2-1 and 4-3 to seal the deal.
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