Tag Archives: orioles

Strikeout King

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Motherfuckin’ Reynolds!

Today is my happiest day ever as an O’s fan.  Mark Reynolds is my favorite player and now he plays for my favorite team.  But that is only half of why I am so happy.  The other reason is that I know I will have plenty of opportunities to call people idiots for putting WAY too much stock in useless “old guy baseball” stats.  People are all worried that Reynolds is going to strike out 500 times this season, and my response is the same as his:  “So what.”

Reynolds is a masher who strikes out a ton and walks a whole lot as well, he may be the definition of a true three outcome player.  Why is this a bad thing?  Old school baseball guys see his sub .200 batting average and 200 plus strikeout totals and immediately write him off as a bad player.  Well, old school baseball guys are stupid and I will attempt to tell you why.

The majority of the offensive game (especially on the Orioles over the last decade) is played without runners in scoring position.  And when there are no runners in scoring position, an out is an out.  Whether it is a strikeout, a flyout or a groundout.  The only time one kind of out is worse than any other kind is when you ground into a double play, which is impossible to do if you strikeout.  What is the difference in striking out 200 times and grounding out 200 times?

Next useless old guy baseball stat, batting average.  Mark Reynolds hit .198 last season and will never sniff .300 in that category.  So, what does this tell us?  I’m not really sure but I do know that he walks a ton and his career low for on base percentage is .320 which tells us that he is still on base more often than the average MLBer and all but 5 Orioles regulars (including Brian Roberts) last season.  The point of getting a hit is to get on base, so why is it more important to old guys that you get on base by getting a hit rather than taking a walk?  Does anyone have an answer for me?  If you are going to bring up that it matters when there are runners in scoring position then you should probably check some stats first.  I totally agree with you that a hit is a better outcome than a walk with RISP but even still a walk is not a negative outcome in that situation.  Oh yeah, Reynolds also hit a respectable .276 with RISP last year and also had an OPS of 1.033 in that same situation.  So that means that in the small percentage of plate appearances where a hit is clearly a better outcome than a walk he understands that and is able to raise his batting average significantly.  So now everyone wants to know why he can’t do that in all situations.  Truth is, he probably could but not without it causing a drop in his power numbers.  And despite what old guys and Ichiro lovers will have you believe, a homerun is ALWAYS better than a single.  If you ask Joe Morgan, a homerun is a rally killer.  But if you seek wisdom from Joe Morgan on anything you aren’t very smart anyway.

While I am on a rant about worthless baseball statistics let me tell you how I feel about some not related to Reynolds. First, RBI.  Maybe the most worthless because to be a “good” RBI guy you need to be incredibly lucky and rely on the guys ahead of you in the order to get on base.  Why do we put any stock into a statistic that is least dependent on your individual performance to measure your worth?  That makes no sense to me at all, but old guys eat that shit up.  Kind of like they do with starting pitchers and wins.  Case and point, Felix Hernandez.  By far the best pitcher in the American League  this year yet there was some doubt as to whether he would win the Cy Young because he didn’t have enough wins.  What?  All of his wins were more impressive than anyone else because he had to be nearly perfect to have a chance at winning any games this year.  Thankfully the voters got it right this and weren’t swayed by idiots like Roy Halladay saying you have to find a way to win.  Really, Roy?  You just had one of the best seasons of your career and instead of congratulating a fellow Cy winner you are going to say he didn’t deserve the award because of wins?  He needs to find a way to win?  The guy had 10 losses this season.  His COMBINED run support in those 10 games?  12.  Twelve.  1.2 runs per game.  Shut up Roy, you dick.  You had an ERA of 2.44.  You know that means?  You would have lost a lot of games with run support of 1.2.  In fact, you would have lost all but 9 starts, sooooo how about you think about things before you open your stupid mouth next time.  Also, you should have found a way win in the playoffs if you really wanted to go to the World Series, guess it wasn’t that important to you guys.

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We’re a bunch of cool guys!

In some recent, exciting news, we were (we think) anonymously complimented in our “Merch” section yesterday by someone using the name Jim Palmer.

“What a bunch of cool guys you are! Fags.”

Now, we don’t think it was Jim himself because his comment made no mention of Jim Palmer as much of his commentary does.  So, either this guy has the same name as an Oriole great, which would be awesome, or he is a coward and hiding behind a fake name. Who would do that? But, let’s take a closer look at his actual comment and break it down a bit to get into the mind of this upstanding citizen.

“What a bunch of cool guys you are!”

Guilty as charged, my man. Guilty as charged.  And, I love the excitement!  It’s not often that we get such glaring comments from anyone but our mothers, so it was refreshing and made my heart beat a little faster.  I got to the end of that exclamatory sentence and was feeling great about myself.  But, wait!  There is more to come?  I can’t wait to read what is next as the lovefest continues.

“Fags.”

Oh no!  Why did you have to go there?  It makes me think that you really didn’t mean the first part of your comment.  Please tell me that isn’t true.  My self esteem can’t take it.  I don’t know what to think anymore.  I thought you were a super-intelligent, awesome bro that loved to read our blog.  Now, I think you’re an idiot.  You must be, if you don’t like us. (Right, Mom?)  But, then you threw in the last word there, which also makes me think that you think gay people are really awesome too, or you are just an idiot again.

I don’t know who you are, but I am sure we could have been great friends.  Here is my list of suspects:

Jim Palmer. There is nothing that man can say that will make me dislike him.

Shane Falco. He truly is the wild card, like Charlie.

Roch Kubatko. His initial threat before crushing us all in his biceps.

Jealous Internet Troll. Your typical, no sense of humor, inflated sense of self-worth troll.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

As you can see, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and neither should you.

See you at the yard.

~Jjaks Clayton

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Game On.

Yesterday’s game was quite the disappointment.  Pitching was poor.  Bergeson gave up a handful of runs in 4 2/3 an inning (not completely his fault considering Jones should have caught that deep fly that gave up 2 in the first), however the O’s still managed to get 1 more than the Jays with the hot bat of, reigning MASN ‘Player of the Game,’ Michael Tejada.  Time to close shop.  But, on par with his first few outings…

However, ESH are not prepared to boo him…yet.  Not everyone can be dominant right off the bat (no pun intended, but count it!).  I think Gonzalez will find his groove and finish his innings like he’s been starting them.  Two K’s, then loading the bases was a bit extreme in our only win.

Anywho, a few of the Hooligans will be attending the game tonight.  We were out of our element yesterday, having to sit in our designated spots, but tonight will most likely be different.  And, by different I mean back to the usual “cheap ticket, pick your seat” deal we’re all so fond of.  Looking to be in Section 4ish on the right field line.  Come join the party.

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Prediction season is upon us…

As players are getting into mid-spring training season form it is often time that the pundits and experts make their predictions as to how the season will shape up.  These predictions are based on nothing and serve to further over hype marginal free agent signings and over achievers from the years before.  I’m convinced there is no actual thought that goes into these things so to prove it I asked the rest of the Hooligans to come up with their own predictions and submit them to me.  Now, since everyone comes to us as the utmost authority on all things baseball I have decided to post these.  We all picked our own version of the AL East standings as well as division, league and World Series winners.  Also we picked MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year winners for each league.  I put them into a sweet easy to read chart for you guys complete with a comments section at the bottom.  I suggest that you print this out and take it with you to Vegas, don’t forget to send us our share of the winnings though. (Eutaw Street Hooligans and their representatives, especially Jjaks Clayton, in every way condone gambling however disavow any type of  negative responsibility [financial, personal, or romantic] that these picks may cause you.)

Yes, I realize that is small and hard to read but if you click it then it will zoom in.  Get off my back.

As you can see, this is groundbreaking stuff.  We all took it very seriously and it is interesting to see that many of us came up with similar picks.  Probably because we all watched the same thing on MLB network.  We will see how things shape up and probably revisit these with revised lists mid season.  Very disappointed in the picks by Kevin Lomax though.  A little douche carpet baggery there.  He actually sent along one other item of interest.  Enjoy, and as always…Let’s Go O’s!

~ Jjaks Clayton

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Fantasy Draft Recap

If you are reading this, then you probably already know that earlier this week we had our first ever Eutaw Street Hooligans Fantasy Baseball Draft. If you aren’t reading this, then you were not one of the 16 participants in the draft because we pretty much had every reader of our site participate. It was a crazy night, and there is plenty to recap like why Pedroia sucks, Kevin Lomax becoming number one on Camden Chat’s shit list and the dangers of “Autodraft.”

Let’s start with a fantasy draft warning for everyone. For obvious reasons I made it clear as the draft was about to begin that anyone who attempted to draft “Him Who We Shall Not Speak Of” (or for those who don’t know what I am talking about, the first baseman for the New York Yankees) would be officially dead to me. Well as it turns out, Johnny Eutaw himself was unable to make our little draft and was therefore subject to the whims of Yahoo’s pre-ranking system. “And with the 8th pick in this years draft It’s Business Time selects first baseman M&%# F’ing T&%$@#!*. Let this be a warning to all fantasy participants, if you must autodraft, please put this man on your “do not draft” list or it could happen to you. As they should

Speaking of enemies. Our friend, Russ Smith, tried telling us that Dustin Pedroia in 2008 had a better season than ANY Oriole in the past 10 years! Wow, that’s a bold statement, especially since it is false. Not only has an Oriole in the last 10 years had a better season, but an Oriole of the same position has had a better season. Let’s take a look at a comparison of Dustin Pedroia’s 2008 season and Brian Roberts’ 2005 season. First Dustin Pedroia, in 2008 he had a batting average of .326 but only put up 50 walks in 726 plate appearances for an on base percentage of .376 and had 54 doubles to help him slug .493 to put up a respectable .869 OPS. He also grounded into 17 double plays and stole 20 bases. Apparently an MVP season. However, let’s now look at Brian Roberts in 2005. He had a batting average of .314 but put up 67 walks in 86 less plate appearances than Pedroia’s 2008 season giving Brian an on base percentage of .387 which is higher than that of Pedroia. Brian only hit 45 doubles in his 640 plate appearances but it still helped him put up a .515 slugging percentage and a .903 OPS. Roberts also stole 27 bases and only grounded into 6 double plays. So let’s review (math isn’t my best subject so bear with me)… If Player B got on base at a higher rate than Player A while also getting further along the base paths during that time as well as stealing more bases and making less double plays then how is Player A the superior player? Nevermind, I was never any good at word problems either.

I could recap the whole draft for you, but I won’t cause that is a lot of reading. I will offer analysis of some type for you so you aren’t in the dark. So without further adieu, here is my official analysis of Round 18 out of 23: It didn’t really stand out, other than for some reason Alex Charlie Conway drafted Jim Johnson. I think he was still upset because he had a spelling test the next day and I had been telling him all night I was going to “Gordon Bombay” his mother. This is also the round where Kevin Lomax became #1 onCamden Chat‘s Shit List. It’s better said in her own words, so hopefully Stacey doesn’t mind that I lifted this from their site:

Oh, and one more thing. Do y’all know the Eutaw Street Hooligans? Nice boys (or so I thought). They invited me to take part in their bloggers fantasy baseball league and the draft was last night. I’d been telling them from the get go that I’d be drafting Felix Pie. You know, sort of as my mascot. The last pick is always a throw away. Now, I thought we had a gentleman’s agreement over the whole thing (can you have a gentleman’s agreement if one of you is a lady?) and then, in I think the 21st round, that scoundral Kevin Lomax took Felix! Can you believe it? I’m not at liberty to tell you what I said when it happened due to this being the front page, but I’m sure you can all imagine. Because of this I declare Kevin Lomax to be Camden Chat Public Enemy #1.

Stacey, we’re not all bad. Just most of us.

Well that’s it, the recap of our fantasy draft. Until we can post official analysis of everyone’s team I will just leave you knowing that my team is by far the class of the league because I stuck to my solid game plan of not drafting anyone who plays in New York or Boston.

Until next time, Go O’s!

~ Jjaks Clayton

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Exciting Times

After a long vacation and off season I, Jjaks Clayton, return to blogging. If you don’t mind it would be appreciated if you hold your applause until the end of the show.

Spring training is under way and that means a lot of exciting times around the baseball universe. Aside from all the real baseball news happening we here at ESH have some things going on as well. You already know we will have a representative in Sarasota for spring training stretching his lungs for battle, but that’s not all…

Tom Ludlow and I will be reliving the joy of the 1977 Orioles season via a Strat-O-Matic reenactment as part of a blog called Play That Funky Baseball where they replay the games of the 1977 season “managed” by various baseball writers and bloggers around the country.  Since none of us were even born back then, we were logical choices to head up the squad for the Orioles.  Anyway, Jeff Polman runs the site and he obviously gets us.  He sent this along to help motivate us, and it worked…big time.  Go check it out and make sure to visit the sites of all the other bloggers/writers and let them know why we are better.

Now that you’ve had time to take that in, I’ll let you in on a couple other things going on.  Some of us here in the ESH house have a “Who’s Your Boy?” board.  It helps us keep track of who our boys are and also ensure no one else tries to take credit for one of your boys doing something great, like striking out 4 times in one game or hitting a game winning grand slam.  I’ll explain why this is important in a separate post but until then let your imaginations run wild.

Also, spring training means that fantasy baseball season is almost upon us.  We will help you out with all your fantasy needs, and we do mean ALL.  We’ll have our own Eutaw Street Hooligans league (maybe we let a few readers in on the fun?) and make the results public with weekly blogs.  Also we will answer any questions or problems you face in your own leagues, so send in your questions and be ready to be amazed by our baseball knowledge.

It’s good to be back.

–Jjaks Clayton

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Luuuuukkkke

Luke Scott made a potentially troubling appearance on the Home Plate station on XM radio last night. I have stated before that I believe the current roster construction is going to leave a few players quite unhappy with their role.  Luke Scott had never been shy about voicing his opinions, and he appears to be the first one speaking out. Luke first spoke about the recent restriction on firearms in the locker room. I think this picture will explain his stance:

Luke has never been shy on his thoughts on firearms, or about his faith. We don’t cover these sort of topics on here because they aren’t baseball related and they aren’t THAT funny. Luke’s comments about the Orioles were much more concerning. Luke made it known once again that he is not happy at all as a primary DH. Luke made similar comments before the start of last season, but this year he seemed much more adamant. Luke also says that last year the Orioles promised him that he would still get half of his at bats as an outfielder. That obviously did not happen and he did not seem very happy about it. Luke wants to play the outfield and doesn’t see himself as a defensive liability. Well Luke, that’s because you aren’t.

Advanced defensive metrics such as UZR will tell you that Luke is an average to slightly above average defensive corner outfielder for his career. The Orioles have a cluttered outfield situation right now and it is going to be next to impossible to get him much playing time in the outfield without injuries. He appears to be 5th on the depth chart as it currently stands with Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis slated to get the lions share of the playing time. The Orioles had a very brief experiment of playing Luke at first base last season where he did not embarrass himself in my opinion. It seemed worth a longer tryout to me as it seemed that could be the best way to solve this situation. Luke has played first base before in his college days and briefly in the minor leagues, it is not a completely foreign position to him and let’s also not pretend it is an extremely difficult position to play in general. I think with a little experience there it would have been very likely that Luke could have been a more valuable first baseman than Garrett Atkins will be, by a good margin. Atkins defensive ability there is certainly not established and while he used to be able to hit, he has real potential to be a 4.5 million dollar disaster at the plate.

For me, the ideal situation would have been to go into the season with Luke as the starting first baseman with Brandon Snyder waiting for the call if he falters. With Scott at first, that would free up left field for more playing time for Felix Pie who proved he deserved in the second half of  ’09. This would put our best defensive outfielder (Pie) on the field and relegate our worst defensive outfielder (Reimold) to the DH role. Everyone wins in this situation, our best players are on the field and Luke is happy playing defense (He did say he was open to playing first regularly). As it currently stands, Luke will probably be treated a lot like he was last year, DH vs right handers and a lot of sitting vs lefties. Luke was also our best hitter vs left handed pitching last year despite his platoon reputation and he splits aren’t as drastic as you would think for his career. Sure, he is streaky and he isn’t a superstar, but Luke is a solid corner outfielder and probably deserves a better fate than the Orioles have planned for him. At this point, it seems obvious they intend to let him try to establish some value with a good start and then move him somewhere where he has a better opportunity, and I hope for his sake that is the plan.

This is not a problem that will be uncommon for this years team with reasonable health. There doesn’t seem to be adequate playing time for Scott, Wigginton, or Pie in what appears to be the teams roster/lineup plans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more events like this occurring in the near future, stay tuned for more pissed off O’s…

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