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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:49 pm 
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I'm on record a number of times as to what I foresee with Andy LaRoche and the posts cannot be interpreted as positive in any way. However, I'm also very much of the belief that it is too early to throw in the towel on this guy. You have to keep running him out there - on a consistent basis and injury-free - before reaching a determination that he ain't going to cut it.

As we are all painfully aware, Bobby Hill never cut it in the bigs. I was a huge detractor of the decision to bring up Jose Castillo and not to allow Bobby Hill the opportunity to play day-in day-out. I'll go to my deathbed wondering if Hill's development was not hindered because of the lack of consistent playing time. Personally, I believe that the Bucs promoted Castillo too early (which IMO hindered his development) and gave up on Hill too early.

I'm not holding my breath on LaRoche but it is too early to throw in the towel. Give him a couple of months. If it remains ugly, react at that point.

As for the Dodgers' decision, I remember reading somewhere that the Dodgers were quite concerned that ML pitching would be able to exploit some holes in his hitting that AAA pitching couldn't exploit.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:23 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
As we are all painfully aware, Bobby Hill never cut it in the bigs. I was a huge detractor of the decision to bring up Jose Castillo and not to allow Bobby Hill the opportunity to play day-in day-out. I'll go to my deathbed wondering if Hill's development was not hindered because of the lack of consistent playing time. Personally, I believe that the Bucs promoted Castillo too early (which IMO hindered his development) and gave up on Hill too early.



You and I both. I couldn't have said it better myself. I believe it was a fatal flaw in the handling of both players.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:30 am 
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I do not believe LaRoche's struggles early in seasons to be character flaws, but I do believe the problems are psychological. I'm not sure if he'll be able to shake that trend or not, but as a Bucco fan I sure do hope so.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:56 am 
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Zane41 wrote:
I do not believe LaRoche's struggles early in seasons to be character flaws, but I do believe the problems are psychological. I'm not sure if he'll be able to shake that trend or not, but as a Bucco fan I sure do hope so.


I don't like how Adam Laroche handles the off season. He says as soon as the season ends he gets away from baseball for a couple months. Well maybe when you start every single season out bad you and you are making $7 million this season you should find time to fit some training into his busy hunting schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:46 am 
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.143, stranded 5 more runners last night and struck out twice.

Yippee.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:47 am 
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VanSlick wrote:
.143, stranded 5 more runners last night and struck out twice.

Who, McLouth? Why didn't you rag on Nate for his 0-8 start? Or Doumit for his?

You know why I did not? Because batters make outs. Every batter. Otherwise, we would still be following the top of the first, of the first baseball game ever played.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Because with McLouth and Doumit, it's not the same ole year in and year out tune.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:02 pm 
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VanSlick wrote:
Because with McLouth and Doumit, it's not the same ole year in and year out tune.


You dont know that...both are in their 2nd years as regular everyday players, no one knows what year in and year out tune they are tooting yet...

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Andy adds a strikeout to his tally this year.

.000

I say it takes him ten games before his first hit.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Andy adds a strikeout to his tally this year.

.000

I say it takes him ten games before his first hit.

At the rate JR is playing him, you may be right.

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:17 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
Are you suggesting that Jason Bay would have been a better hitter with better bats behind him?

The first column below lists Bay's OPS numbers for each full year he spent with the Pirates. The second column lists the average OPS for the guys who usually batted behind him that year, weighted for the number of games they followed him in the lineup.

.907 .715 Most common: Tike Redman, 44 games, .684 OPS.
.961 .741 Most common: Daryle Ward, 63 games, .723 OPS.
.928 .753 Most common: Jeromy Burnitz, 55 games, .711 OPS.
.746 .783 Most common: Xavier Nady, 41 games, .805 OPS.

Feel free to show me the correlation between Bay's hitting and the quality of the guy who was hitting behind him.


I know that you think it helps your argument to say that LaRoche batted 7th or 8th for the Braves, but it simply isn't true. Here is a list of what the percentage of his total at bats were for each batting order position for LaRoche with the Braves

1 0.1%
2 3.6%
3 3.5%
4 12.3%
5 33.7%
6 17.8%
7 23.2%
8 2.8%
9 2.8%

Bobby Cox wrote LaRoche's name into the number 5 spot more often than any other. In three season he had a grand total of 40 plate appearances in the number 8 spot. I'd say that hitting 5th, 6th or 7th for a pennant contender probably carries quite a bit more pressure than hitting 4th, 5th or 6th for a last place team.

And yes, the expectations for Chipper Jones were much higher than they were for Adam LaRoche. Most people do tend to expect more from future Hall of Famers than they do from a young, average first baseman.


I don't think we are on the same page with our "discussion". That is what I'm saying. Bay never had real decent hitters behind him in the order and that was one of the reasons they went out and got LaRoche. To give Bay some help in the middle of the order.

And LaRoche has done pretty much what should have been expected of him since coming here. If Littlefield thought he'd be getting the next Willie Stargell, he was delusional. And LaRoche cannot be held responsible for the fact that Littlefield overestimated his talent.

Quote:
You can't possibly be arguing that it doesn't help to have a decent bat behind you in the order? One, hopefully you see better pitches to hit, or two, if the pitcher avoids you there is someone behind you to make them pay. There is no correlation for Bay's numbers because all those guys, with the possible exception of Nady sucked.

Yes, Nady is the exception, but you fail to note that Bay's worst production came in the season when the hitters behind him had their best production (yes, i'm aware that Bay was playing hurt that year). I'm not saying that the guy hitting behind you has no impact at all. I'm saying that said impact is probably a tiny fraction of what most fans think it is, and I've never seen a study of the subject that indicates otherwise. When you're talking about a guy like Bay, who has excellent strike zone judgment, I'd be willing to bet that all of the impact comes through walks.

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And it doesn't always improve a players numbers but please don't argue that teams try to do this. Every manager in baseball tries to find ways to maximize their lineup. Attempting to find someone decent to hit behind Bay was a way to maximize the lineup. I can't believe I even have to defend that point. And for the record...what in the world was Tike Redman hitting behind Bay for? I don't remember but I assume Bay was hitting maybe 6th or 7th that year??? Yikes!

Yes, teams try to do this, I understand. All I'm saying is that the impact is very small.

That year Bay was usually hitting 5th or 6th, Redman 6th or 7th.

Quote:
And as for your second point...not necessarily. The games mean more for a contender, but some guys don't do well with being "the man"(sorry, I hate that term but it's late and couldn't think of anything else). In Atlanta hitting wherever(41% 6th or 7th) he was far from "the man". There were at least 2 or 3 other guys they had higher expectations for. He could kind of hide, so to speak, and do his thing without much fanfare. He seems like the kind of guy who prefers that.

And right there is where your argument falls apart. LaRoche's OPS+ numbers with the Braves were 108, 100, and 130. With the Pirates there have been 108 and 128. He's exactly the same player now has he was with the Braves. In fact, unless he completely falls apart this year, it's probably that his performance with the Bucs will outstrip what he did with the Braves.

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Far worse than Adam LaRoche not producing, AGAIN, is this:

ANDY LaRoche is .000 with THREE ERRORS so far. Andy LaRoche is playing because
our "Best Management Team in Baseball" salary dumped Jason Bay when they did not
have to, or need to. Then, in another stellar effort to spin it on the fans, insisted on
playing Andy LaRoche at third base, so that the public might think that our trade for
"quality depth" was a good and neccessary one.

Truth.

Wow, Andy LaRoche is 0 for 6. My god, what do we do? Surely he is the first third baseman in the history of baseball to go 0 for six with three errors. Waive the bastard!

You're right, the Pirates didn't have to trade Bay. They could have kept him and settle for getting 60-70 wins a season for another decade or so

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:24 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Except that for his fielding, it hasn't been two games.

It was all last year, and all this spring, and now two games.

These aren't hard plays folks, he dropped a pop up, and his footwork has been just terrible on the groundballs.

This has nothing to do with any hand injury.

ZM

See the quote from Perry Hill in today's Post-Gazette:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09099/961627-63.stm

"LaRoche's primary issue, as seen by Hill, was that he was flipping his glove, meaning it was closed when the batter made contact, then flipped open to try to catch the ball. That motion, and its inherent delay, can cause any infielder trouble."

"It wasn't something we saw from him at all in spring training, but there it was," Hill said. "I'm not worried about it. The rest is good. His footwork is good. I like his confidence. He'll be fine."


So, is the most respected infield coach in baseball incompetent, or just a liar?

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:37 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
So, is the most respected infield coach in baseball incompetent, or just a liar?

Pirate Coach Perry Hill is shown here with his pants aflame:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
So, is the most respected infield coach in baseball incompetent, or just a liar?

Pirate Coach Perry Hill is shown here with his pants aflame:

Image


Buuuuuuuuurn!
:twisted:
I've been waiting along time for something i could use that face on!


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:12 pm 
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Rod Serling wrote:
Andy adds a strikeout to his tally this year.

.000

I say it takes him ten games before his first hit.


Pretty sad, he's got three more errors than hits. He even has one more error than the combined hit total of the brothers LaRoche!


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:18 pm 
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TRUCK wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
Andy adds a strikeout to his tally this year.

.000

I say it takes him ten games before his first hit.


Pretty sad, he's got three more errors than hits. He even has one more error than the combined hit total of the brothers LaRoche!

That's the funny thing about small sample sizes: they can produce all kinds of crazy results. That's why small sample sizes can be fun to analyze, but ultimately they tell you very little.

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Willton wrote:
That's the funny thing about small sample sizes: they can produce all kinds of crazy results. That's why small sample sizes can be fun to analyze, but ultimately they tell you very little.

Quick example:

I asked three people if I was funny. Two said yes.* According to my survey, 66.6% of people think I am funny! :D

*The third was not on my payroll, so her vote does not count.


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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:10 am 
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sisyphus wrote:

So, is the most respected infield coach in baseball incompetent, or just a liar?


I'll give you the same answer YOU give when the myriad of your points are contridicted by GM statements.

I know better.

See, its easy to be as arrogant as you.

Now, realistically, Hill could be just fine with his footwork, or he could simply be covering for LaRoche, like the Pirates did all last season. What? After a trade deadline flop and a couple games, they are going to admit to you that they failed?

I'm sure Hill still believes he can fix LaRoche.

And, if you had bothered to watch the game, you would have seen LaRoche downright trip over his own feet on the second groundball error... before he opened his closed glove.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: This Just In...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:59 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
Rod Serling wrote:
Far worse than Adam LaRoche not producing, AGAIN, is this:

ANDY LaRoche is .000 with THREE ERRORS so far. Andy LaRoche is playing because
our "Best Management Team in Baseball" salary dumped Jason Bay when they did not
have to, or need to. Then, in another stellar effort to spin it on the fans, insisted on
playing Andy LaRoche at third base, so that the public might think that our trade for
"quality depth" was a good and neccessary one.

Truth.

Wow, Andy LaRoche is 0 for 6. My god, what do we do? Surely he is the first third baseman in the history of baseball to go 0 for six with three errors. Waive the bastard!

You're right, the Pirates didn't have to trade Bay. They could have kept him and settle for getting 60-70 wins a season for another decade or so


I WILL say this, and in NO WAY am I saying it's better to have Morgan in left than Bay,

HOWEVER,

It sure was nice to see Nyjer Morgan track down a foul ball and make a great catch on a ball that Bay would have slowly jogged over on and watched harmlessly as it bounced off the Busch Stadium wall in foul territory.


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