In God we trust. Everybody else needs data. - Rick Peterson

Saturday, August 28, 2004


The Sound of Swat

On Bucky's home run in the 4th inning, you could clearly hear the THWACK of the bat before Niehaus' call. I knew right away Jacobsen had connected and the ball was gone if it was fair and had air. I don't recall ever hearing the sound of bat hitting ball that clearly and sharply on a radiocast.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


20 Years' Experience or 20 Years of Experience?

The table below shows Ron Villone's monthly splits for this season along with his season to date and career to date numbers.
Period  ERA     BAA     WHIP    K/9     K/BB

------ ---- ----- ---- ---- ----
April 4.80 0.241 1.53 6.00 1.11
May 2.55 0.186 1.10 5.76 1.38
June 2.57 0.200 1.29 7.07 1.38
July 2.13 0.213 1.31 6.45 1.38
August 9.95 0.325 2.16 5.68 0.86
2004 4.35 0.238 1.47 6.13 1.19
Total 4.85 0.256 1.50 6.84 1.43
As the table shows, Villone had a rather typical April, followed by superficially good performance in May, June, and July. Villone's performance in those months wasn't supported by his peripheral stats - he simply was luckier in those months. The luster left his pumpkin in August, and his year to date record does not differ greatly from his career stats. During his lucky streak, the Mariners FO became enamored of Villone, and announced they had started negotiating a contract extension.

This is bad news for anyone who was hoping the Mariners front office might have absorbed a few lessons from this season of disaster. This season has manifestly shown the stupidity of rewarding veteran players for a short period of playing above their demonstrated norms. The season also illustrates the importance of ensuring that superficial performance indicators are consistent with important peripheral stats.

In various blogs and fan forums, I've seen fans discussing whether Villone's performance in August has caused the Mariners front office to rethink the wisdom of offering Villone an extension.

I think these people are missing the central issue. The stupidity occurred when the Mariners even considered signing Villone to an extension.

For the Mariners to have even considered offering Villone a contract extension shows that the Mariners did not learn anything from this year. It shows they still do not grasp what happened this year. It also means that the Mariners staff charged with rebuilding this team still don't know why the Mariners imploded in 2004.

There is a big difference between a person who has 20 years' experience and a person who has repeats the same experience 20 years. Do the Mariners know the difference?

BTW - my guess is that, even with his performance in August, Villone will still get his contract extension unless he continues to implode the rest of this season.

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