Monday, April 30, 2012

N.Y. Mets Clowning Out West

Fans of the New York Metropolitans haven't had much to celebrate in recent seasons. Their last winning record was 89-73 in 2008, after Jerry Manuel took over for Willie Randolph midseason. Compared to the doom and gloom many predicted for the Mets, the start of this young season has been a pleasant surprise for fans from Flushing.

The Mets are three games over .500, trailing the Braves by 1, the Nationals by 2, and currently setting the pace for the 2nd NL Wild Card. They've won 5 of their last 6, after sweeping the Marlins at home and taking 2 of 3 in Colorado.

As they prepared to leave Colorado for a series in Houston, R.A. Dickey and his teammates got into the spirit of the Old West, and shared photos on Twitter.

In what looks to be the visitors clubhouse of Coors Field, R.A. is clowning around with catcher Mike Nickeas.

Dickey: "My first capture. The outlaw mike Nickeas."

Even better is the smile on Johan Santana's face in this photo:

Dickey: "The outlaw johanicus wales"

Enjoy this time, Mets fans! Before you know it, you could be hoping for nothing more than a aspiring prospects in return for trading bullpen arms to contenders.

Update: for more photos of Mets dressed as Cowboys, including Ike Davis, Josh Thole, and Lucas Duda, check out this post by Eric Simon of Amazin' Avenue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pujols Knows Futility

It's been well documented that Albert Pujols is struggling to adapt to the American League. Most of us know he has yet to hit a homerun. After a base on balls in the 8th inning of tonight's game, he's currently in an 0-19 slump - the worst hitless streak of his career. His current batting average (.222) is lower than the millions of dollars on his contract ($240,000,000).

Small sample size and all that, but Fangraphs shows Albert Pujols has also been the worst base runner in the game this year:

Being a worse base runner
than El Caballo ain't easy.
Albert Pujols -2.5 BsR
Carlos Lee -1.9 BsR
David Ortiz -1.8 BsR
Jason Kubel -1.6 BsR
Nick Hundley -1.4 BsR
Nick Swisher -1.4 BsR
Jaime Garcia -1.1 BsR
Ramon Hernandez -1.1 BsR
Buster Posey -1.0 BsR
Justin Smoak -1.0 BsR

Albert Pujols is too talented to struggle this mightily for long. He'll probably hit 10 homeruns in May, and still hit over 30 on the year. After adjusting to the league, he will most certainly have a better 2013 season. As a Cubs fan, subjected to rooting for the proverbial doormats of the National League, the only thing that would make Pujols's struggles more gratifying is if he were still on the Cardinals.

Now batting: Albert Pujololololols

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MLB Facts and Opinions

Statistical observations of this young season should all be accompanied with a small sample size warning, and this exercise is no different. Today, we're checking the pulse of Major League Baseball, in power rankings form. For brevity's sake, we will include one fact and one opinion for each club.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 MLB Predictions

Spring is the time of rebirth and hope. This is the most hopeful time of year. Baseball is Spring. Hope is in the air, unless you're a realistic fan of teams from Houston, Oakland, Chicago, or Baltimore.

In towns all over the U.S., baseball fans are cling to hope. We've talked about hope here a few times before. Since 1909, there's not much more that Cubs fans have been able to hold dear other than blissful, optimistic hope.

On the other side of the docket, fans of "good" teams have high expectations. With those expectations comes pressure. Professionals should separate pressure from their realities. Don't ever get too high or too low. Baseball will humble the best players in the world - constantly.

The world of making baseball predictions is as fraught with mistakes as hitting Major League pitching. Unlike the NBA, no-one can predict with confidence most of the teams that'll make the postseason. Very few things are clear, except that less than 50% of our predictions will probably ring true. Heck, predicting the postseason is virtually futile on the last day of the regular season, let alone the first. Yet, here we are, doing our best because predictions should be fun. Anything is possible; everything is possible.

Let's do this.