Monday, November 26, 2007


Yo. It's me Aaron Rowand. I used to play center field for the Philadelphia Phillies, but I'm now unemployed. I doubt I'll be out of a job for long, but apparently I had to wait for some dude named Torii (what kinda name is that?) to get signed so everyone could figure out how much they were willing to pay me. They say I'm going to get paid less; not a whole lot, maybe 10 percent less overall. OK, that's cool, considering dude just got signed for $18 milly a year to play in that place by Disney Land. Heh. I like the tea cups ride.

Anyways, my only question is: Why is this Torii guy going to get paid more than me, exactly? Don't get me wrong, he seems like a cool guy and everything, and I've seen him on Sports Center robbing dudes of home runs and stuff, which is cool. But, hey, you might have noticed me on Sports Center a couple of times to, face-planting into fences. Alls I'm saying is that it's not like he's got a monopoly on highlight catches. He may jump, but is he willing to look like a fucking hockey player for the rest of his career? Yeah, I didn't think so. If he only knew how much the broads dug steri-strips.

So, if it's not the highlight catches, then what is it? As far as I can tell, I'm as good as the dude. Maybe better. My boy Diesel got me some numbers on this shit, and told me to paste 'em on here.

Aaron Rowand career OPS+: 106
Torii Hunter career OPS+: 104

Aaron Rowand WARP3, 2005-2007: 19.1
Torii Hunter WARP3, 2005-2007: 19.0

Aaron Rowand Age: 29
Torii Hunter Age: 31

Also, on defense, Diesel told me it's basically a wash. Hunter has a slightly higher "range factor" and "zone rating," I got a higher "fielding runs above replacement" figure, and we got the same fielding percentage.

Yeah, I'm like you: I don't have a motherfucking clue what WARP3 is, either (Diesel also said something about my VORP being higher than Torii's last season, but I told his geek ass to shut it already), but I think it's pretty cool that the stats are saying I'm better than the other guy who's gonna get paid more than me.

Hold on, that's not cool at all. That's actually really fucked up.


Pat said...

Dearest Diesel-
I was shocked when I first read your comments, namely because I never expected you to take the side of a player who is labeled "gutty," and is, well, white.
But I believe I'm a better player than Rowand.
Consider this, true outcome boy:
- In the past four years, I have hit more home runs than Mr. Rowand three times.
– In the past four years, I have struck out more than Mr. Rowand twice.
— Despite being one of the most notorious swingers in baseball, I have walked more than Mr. Rowand three times in the last four years. Do you realize that, in 2006, Rowand walked 18 times in 405 at-bats?
All of this is made more criminal by the fact that Mr. Rowand has played his entire career at either US Cellular Field or Citizen's Bank Park — which, last I checked, were two of the top 12 hitters parks in the country (if you believe's ballpark ratings for last year).
Do you know where I played, a-hole? Yup, the Metrodome — No. 28 on that list.
That's the worst hitter's park not named Petco or Oakland Alameda Stadium, or whatever the hell that shithole is called now.
Oh, and how about this? In the last four years, I've averaged about 17 more RBIs per season than Rowand.
I've stolen a combined 74 bases during that span; Rowand has 49.
Now I will grant you that, because of the launching pads he's played in, maybe Mr. Rowand hasn't been asked to steal as much. And given his nagging injuries for being so gutty and white, maybe his legs haven't been so good.
But I'll also ask you this — as a GM, would you spend $90M on a guy like Rowand, who had career seasons in 2004 and 2007, but failed to top 13 homers or 69 RBIs in either 2005 or 2006?
Are you confident in a player who has been surrounded by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell the last two years — and who was surrounded by White Sox stars in the World Series year -- and might be getting better pitches because of it?
Hey, I had Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, but there was a time when I was THE MAN on my team. Rowand's never been one of the best three offensive players on his own team!
Finally, I have no idea what WARP3 is, but I do have a VORP question — playing in a bandbox, is his VORP conceivably higher, or does VORP take ballparks into account?
If VORP does not, I find it easy to imagine a situation where Rowand is better than your average player, but not so much better if you factor in that his replacement gets to play on a freaking NCAA softball field.
Hey, I'm not saying I'm worth $90M -- I even said the other day that all baseball players are grossly overpaid. And maybe Rowand has more of a chance to grow, being that he's two years younger.
But the world is not made up of retards because I'm gettin' paid, baby boy. And just because you dig up slight disparities in OPS+, WARP and age doesn't mean he's the better player. I mean, you're ignoring like 20 other statistical categories, most of which I'm better in.
You're just being racist. There, I said it.

Diesel said...

Dearest Torii (Can I call you Pat?),

Yes, I understand that you feel you're better than Aaron Rowand, Hell, you may — may — even have a case.

But the bottom line is that if you are better than Rowand, it's by a slim margin. You're assuredly not 10 percent better than Rowand, nor are you younger. Nor are you deserving of either $90 million or a five-year deal. I doubt, highly, that Rowand is going to get that kind of contract length, even though he's got a better chance of being a CF in five years than you do, mainly because the odds of you being a CF in five years are roughly 50:1. And that longshot only comes through if the Angels' staff doesn't mutiny.

And I know you didn't just bring up RsBI. How quaint.

The point is that you're vastly overpaid and over-contracted, and the lame "all baseball players are overpaid" stuff just doesn't play. You're still overpaid by baseball's standards.

As for your questions:
- There is zero evidence that "protection" in a lineup has any correlation to an individual's offensive statistics. Refer to the book Baseball Between the Numbers for the study that proves this (not available on the web, unfortunately, but it's a really good read).
- No, VORP isn't adjusted for ballpark factors, but WARP3 is because its component parts are ballpark adjusted. Further, OPS+ is ballpark adjusted.
- The "20 other statistical categories" you cite all feed into the metrics I cite. Believe it or not, you make outs at such a rate that it marginalizes your advantages in those categories. Mr. Rowand may not walk all that much, but his OBP is still higher.

As for the speed thing, check your own SB success rate. You're so far below the threshold you need to attain for your swipes to be considered helpful that your willingness to steal is actually a point against you, not for you.

You're just being defensive because you're an overrated out machine. There, I said it.

Sweet Dreams,

Pepe said...

Dear Torii:

Could we please not discuss the role unbaseballworthy ballparks play in getting average players ridiculous contracts by inflating their statistical worth? Please?

Scott Linebrink

P.S. -- Oakland Alameda McAfee Stadium Coliseum is a baseball palace!

P.S.S. -- VORP does, however, account for altitude differences, individual chakras, and phases of the moon!

Pat said...

I know!
How dare I suggest homers, walks, strikeouts and the oh-so-quaint RBIs as indicators of good baseball performance! How dare I not cite alphabet soup statistical formulas, and absoultely write off everything else? Wow, am I ignorant.
And for everybody but Diesel, Baseball America defines WARP-3 as "WARP-2, expanded to 162 games to compensate for shortened seasons."
Which is good, because I was worried about codifying stats for the 1897 Philadelphia Bean Eaters.
FYI, Baseball America says "Ross Barnes' 6.2 wins in 1873, a 55 game season, only gets extended to 12.8 WARP, instead of a straight-line adjustment of 18.3."
6.2 wins? People got two-thirds of a win in the 1800s? Wooooooooow.
Also, Ste., I do like me some Linebrink, but wouldn't compare him to, say, one of the best 10 relievers in baseball.
Actually, I wouldn't declare that affairs are "really fucked up" because no one else agreed with me.

Diesel said...

I love — LOVE — that you think that the "alphabet soup" stats bear no relation to things like HR or SB. I get it: these are things that are made up by geeks and have nothing to do with real baseball games, where RsBI are the only thing that's important.

But, really, is it that hard to grasp that if it weren't for HRs, Torii Hunter would be Reggie Fucking Abercrombie?