BREAKING: MIKE TROUT HAS A FLAW

Angry baseballWith arbitration hearings and Spring Training on the docket this month, we’re close. Oh, so close. But in the meantime, here are a few links to blog posts I’ve enjoyed these last few days.

The headliner is something I thought was taboo…criticism of Mike Trout. But, fear not, his excellence is mentioned repeatedly and the fact that this is news, given Trout’s other-worldly exploits, is the backdrop for the findings on this shortcoming.

MIKE TROUT: FOUR-TOOL PLAYER? by Nick Ashbourne of BeyondTheBoxscore.com. A look at some stats on Trout’s defense.

KEMP WON’T RUSH REHAB PROCESS by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Not a very optimistic look on the one-time MVP candidate’s return to elite status, in my view. The bad news is that his ankle injury looks pretty serious, while the good news is that Kemp, very early into his huge contract, is still only 29.

JUST WHAT IS ONE GETTING IN UBALDO JIMENEZ by Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs.com is an excellent look at the mercurial nature of this free agent. Ubaldo has been dominant and he has struggled, but whatever he does, he usually does it in spectacular fashion.  I got a great first-hand look at all that Jimenez has to offer all in one game this year in Oakland.

THE HARDBALL TIMES got a makeover this past week and it’s thumbs-up from here. When I dove into the statistical analysis angle of baseball, many of the leading sites were bland on their surfaces while the brilliance was in the content. That’s a good formula in my view, as you can see here on my forum. The look isn’t that great, but I’m trying to put the work into the content. The magic of the numbers and analysis is what drives me. But THT did well in sprucing things up. Nice look, same great content.

INSIDETHEZONA.COM got onto my list of daily reads this past week. I saw a link on MLBTradeRumors.com in the Baseball Blogs Weigh In section a couple of weeks ago and I followed it, now I’m onboard. Good stuff on one of my teams of interest out here in the west.

I follow baseball daily, on numerous levels, and enjoy every second of it. I also follow the NFL, the NBA, boxing and college football and baseball. I’ve recently drifted away from college basketball and NASCAR while getting into the NHL, though I am only familiar with a few of the hockey teams out west.

Baseball offers up the most insightful and interesting reading I have found on any sport. The NFL is clearly the big dog in the sports world, and as such, it attracts some pretty mindless mainstream coverage.

Boxing is a never-ending sport that I love and am passionate about, and one of its endearing qualities is that it has no off season. This sport, while castigated by many in all forms of media, has extremely learned voices who speak eloquently on the intricacies of this sport, which happens to be much more sophisticated than it would appear to the passing viewer. Kevin Iole, Al Bernstien, Graham Houston, et al, are knowledgeable voices that rise above the narrative of lesser commentary that can’t help but be influenced by emotion on some level.

Baseball is a million years old, has a huge statistical database and has a growing number of knowledgeable observers writing about it. I’m one of those observers. My blog is more from the fan’s view than from the Bill James analytical view, but I delve into statistical analysis regularly to make my points.

The sites listed above are just a few of the many out there crunching the numbers, stating their cases and, most importantly, giving their opinions. How many Chicago Cubs blogs are out there? I don’t know. But if you’re a Cubbies fan, go look. Your hero growing up was Rod Carew? Or Ralph Kiner? Or Chipper Jones? You search, it’s there.

That’s where I believe baseball is at the head of the class. I went to a double-header at the Oakland Coliseum between the A’s and the Kansas City Royals on June 22, 1975. My dad probably leveraged the house to buy the tickets for our big family. We all went. The whole thing is a dreamy memory for me now, but, thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, I can see what took place that gorgeous summer day. Harmon Killebrew DH’d for Kansas City? Vida Blue went 8 1/3 and got a no-decision in an extra-innings game? Dick Bosman pitched a CG win for the A’s? The second game only took 2 hours and 18 minutes?

Wow!

That’s the beauty of baseball as it is covered on the internet. Passionate folks capture everything that is going on today and discuss it in minute detail. But enough care has been given to the rich history of this game to have the happenings of the past recorded. And quantified. And analyzed. And critiqued. And…

The info is all out there. Go get it!

 

 

 

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