Tagged: Craig Calcaterra

Craig Calcaterra: Some Answers and a List

Craig Calcaterra is one of my favorite baseball writers.  I read his “Shysterball” blogspace at The Hardball Times regularly, and I was pleased that he found himself a home as a full-time baseball blogger at “Hardball Talk”.  

Today, he answers some questions about why he writes at FanGraphs, and it is worth a read.
Also, in addition to his normal prodigious output at “Hardball Talk” he also has posted his new weekly Major League Power Rankings.
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Again With the Contraction Talk?

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests a way of boosting attendance at A’s & Rays game: contract the Royals and the Pirates and move the A’s back to KC and the Rays to Pittsburgh.

Craig Calcaterra pointed me towards Rosenthal’s article, and manages to impart a rather amusing and skeptical spin to the whole matter:
I’m not going to slam Rosenthal over all of this because on the most basic level I don’t think he’s serious about it. He makes the points that must be made about the state of the Rays’ franchise, but the contraction plan is kinda nuts and I’ll bet he’d freely admit that. He just wants to get people talking, and I have no problem with that.  In this way it’s much like his realignment proposal from back in February. It’s much like a lot of what I write too.

But apart from their audaciousness, Rosenthal’s posts have something else in common: they’re solutions in search of a problem.  Or at least in search of a problem large enough that it calls for such radical solutions (though it should be noted, Rosenthal obviously thinks otherwise).

Yes, the Rays have trouble drawing, and yes, that makes it harder for them, but (a) as Rosenthal himself notes, their TV ratings are improving (and TV ratings are where the real money is); and (b) it’s obviously not impacting how they’re doing on the field.  

Teams Scouting Umps

Here’s a great post about how Pitch F/x data is being used to scout umpire tendencies on ball/strike calls…graphical fun included!

I think it would be a good idea for Major League Baseball to do this as well, particularly after seeing home plate ump Dale Scott call strike 3 on David Ortiz in a crucial situation yesterday in the bottom of ninth.  I was watching the end of that game (thank goodness for MLB TV), and I have rarely never seen Francona that angry.  He got tossed, but he said a lot, none of it complimentary.  
The always awesome Craig Calcaterra of “Hardball Talk” provides graphical evidence (look at that graphic as if you were the catcher or umpire)–as well as providing the link I used of Francona’s ejection in the previous paragraph.
My only problem with the video is that you can hear Red Sox color man Jerry Remy say that Scott’s call is “borderline ridiculous.”  There’s no borderline about the ridiculousness of that call. Nope, none at all.