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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Here and there

*Interesting listen yesterday on the Padres broadcast. Was cruising home from Blacksburg and I tuned in the first few innings. They were having some fun with the Nationals' game notes, trying to poke holes in the arguments being made for Ryan Zimmerman and a gold glove. They weren't too harsh but one of their guys said "this does get confusing in places." They were, of course, stumping for their own guy Kevin Kouzmanoff. Zimmerman's 15 errors were mocked compared to Kouz's three. Keep in mind, though, that fewer errors do not necessarily make for a better fielder. Range is a large part of it. A guy with more range is going to get to more balls and probably make more errors. But he'll create more outs, too. Zimmerman ought to get credit for having an easier last name to spell, too. Kouz is getting better. He had 22 errors two years ago, 11 last year and the three thus far this year.

*There's a stat in there called "range factor," too. What the heck? Where do they come up with some of this stuff? Baseball used to be such a simple game. Zim's RF is a whopping 3.06. At least I think that's whopping. Kouz is at 2.41. Hey, ballgame over! Unless this is a golf-style stat and lower is better. Range factor? The invention of the calculator took the fun out of baseball. Now you have to know about VORP or ORP and BAPIP and junk like that.

*Overall, I'll take Charlie and Dave. That's my bias showing, obviously, but I haven't found many combinations I enjoy listening to more. Too many teams seem to employ a solid play-by-play person and Homer Homerism as the color person. I must say, though, that I have yet to hear any clapping out of a radio booth. Or hear a color guy on a major league broadcast yell BOOT as a ground ball was headed toward an opposing fielder.

*We're an optimistic bunch. In my latest poll, 28 think the future is so bright we almost need shades and 21 think the recent run of good news is just window dressing. I was trying to be optimistic here but I voted before the Nats reverted to being the Nats. Remember when this team was 11-4 in August and the first winning month was all but assured? It finished 14-15 and simple math (no calculator necessary) says that's a 3-11 finish. That's not a good range factor.

*For some reason, the most memorable crop of September call ups to me was two years ago when Jonathan Abracadabra (that's what I called him) was in the group. Had never heard of him. Liked him. Then he was gone. That is how the Nats got Tyler Clippard, right? OK, I'll take that trade.

*Watching with interest this Strasburg and the media situation that appears to be brewing. If he thinks the attention is heavy now, just wait. You sign the biggest deal in draft history, you throw that spotlight squarely over your head. Wait until he makes his first major league appearance. I hope the Nats are able to provide him with some good guidance in this area. Intense scrutiny is part of the deal now, like it or not. It's not just a couple of newspaper types anymore - cable TV, the Internet, us pesky bloggers, thousands in the stadium "tweeting" every move. This guy won't be able to go to the can without someone knowing.

*An update after today's joke of a game: I've always kind of liked Pete Orr - but fifth? I hope Washington doesn't plan on trotting out that lineup in D.C. and charging big-league money to see it. I understand working guys in now and then. All in the same game?

*Further update: Depressing news in the latest Nationals Journal. Elbow soreness for Stammen. We saw how that worked out the last time there was a discussion of elbow soreness. I don't have a good feeling about this. I suspect we'll hear of a visit to Dr. Andrews within a week. Ugh.


An Briosca Mor said...

The Texas Rangers ought to lead the majors in Range Factor every year. If they don't, then there's something wrong with that "statistic."

Anonymous said...

Zimm also had had about a 100 more chances then Kouz. Unfortunately, there are several other 3B out there with just as many chances as Zimm and a better fielding percentage. From what I can remember, Zimm has had only 3 errors with his glove. The other 12 came fom throwing. Most, if not all, the other 3B had glove errors.

Dave P.

Schruender said...

Sadly the two biggest factors in gold glove voting are:

1. Player popularity.
2. Fielding percentage.

It tells nothing of range I know, but that's the voters for you.

MikeHarris said...

Who votes? Players or managers? Or media (I don't think they vote for this one).
I should know this and I'm ashamed to admit I do not.