[This is a Rant]
For quite a while, I have heard that the Dodgers wouldn’t spend any money. That they were broke. That McCourt was too cheap to pony up for any free agents. Then, he has Ned go out and get some Free Agents (more than any other team to date) and now we hear that Ned has overpaid. We went from won’t pay to overpay in seconds! And the stat geeks (I’m going to start calling them robots) are the worst of the bunch.
They actually think that Ned just paid Barajas $3.25 million for the heck of it! I have read that they believe no other team would have paid him that. When I read stuff like that, they lose all credibility with me. Robots who write stuff like that have probably never managed any more than their comic book or baseball card collection. They have no clue what reality is. They just pour over all the statistics and pine away for the guy with the best OPS.
Stats are important. Every baseball fan knows that. That’s why we consider them, but I would advise you not to “bow down” to them. Stats are not them end-all, be-all. Let me give you an example:
Player A: Goes 2-4 in a game with a HR and two RBI which his team loses 13-4. He hits a 3-run homer with the score 13-1. He has a batting average of .500 with 3 RBI. No bad.
Player B: Goes 1-4 in a game with a 2-run home which wins the same in the bottom of the 9th inning. He has a .250 batting average with 2 RBI.
Which player do you want? The stat geeks, ‘er robots, would take Player A – look at his OPS! But, Player B made a difference. Player A just padded his stats by hitting a HR when the game was out of reach and there was no pressure on him, whatsoever! Player B won the game, but his stats are not as good. Consider the stats, but also your your eyes… and your gut!
Do you really think Ned gave Barajas $3.25 mil when he didn’t have to? You are insane!
Ned wanted Barajas for several reasons:
- He is a HR hitter who can change the game in one swing;
- He is a solid catcher (forget his CS% last year);
- He is an excellent “clubhouse guy” for a team that needs more of those guys;
- He has been-there, done-that; and
- He wants to be in LA!
I think we will find out soon enough that the Dodgers were just matching the Red Sox offer to Barajas. I think he can catch 80-100 games and hit 15-20 HR’s and stabilize the catching position. I think AJ Ellis will not be as exposed if Barajas is on the team. I also think there is a good chance that Russ Martin re-signs for about $4 mil plus incentives.
If you looked at the stats, you would have said that Tony Hsieh should have sold LinkShare for the $1 mil he was offered in 1994. It wasn’t worth that. Instead, less than 3 years later he sold it for $265 million. The same Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay), as the CEO of Zappos, sold all of his personal property and put it into a failing company that sold shoes. SHOES! Anybody can sell shoes! The stat geeks would have railed against him (no valve, they are bankrupt, no chance). In 2000, Zappos did $1.6 million in sales. In 2008, they did $1 billion in sales AND in 2009, Amazon bought them for $1.2 billion dollars! No statistic could have predicted that.
I read the stats, but I am really weary of them and the guys who cite them ad nauseam. Most like have never really ran anything, or been anything. They are simply critics, who come to the battlefield after the battle and shoot the wounded.
See, what the Robots don’t understand is that 25 men with passion can defeat a great army of trained soldiers. There is no stat for passion, desire, “want-to” or “can-do.” Ted Lilly, Juan Uribe, Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda and Rod Barajas wanted to be in LA for various reasons. They had a passion to play in 2011 for the Dodgers – never minimize that! Give me some guys who want to play together, who have a passion for being where they are and for the game and I’ll deliver you a winner!
“It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best, knows in the end the trimph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, at least falls while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt