Categorized | Mark Timmons

Maybe Bill James Is a Genius

Maybe Bill James Is a Genius

… and he probably is, because he is the KING of saying that past performance is an indicator or future performance. Here’s the thing though, just because a player had a bad year “last” year doesn’t mean he’ll have another bad season.  A better indicator (I believe) is to look at a player’s career average (for 162 games) and use that as an indicator of future performance.

Doing that, and assuming no surprises in spring training (i.e.,Tony Gwynn, Jr. winning the CF job, Ivan DeJesus, Jr. winning the 2B job or Trayvon Robinson or Xavier Paul winning a job), this will be your lineup (complete with 162 game averages for their careers):

  1. SS – Rafael Furcal – 32 doubles/8 triples/12 HR/59 RBI/34 SB/.286 BA/.351 OB%
  2. 1B – James Loney – 32 doubles/3 triples/14 HR/92 RBI/6 SB/.288 BA/.348 OB%
  3. CF – Matt Kemp – 28 doubles/6 triples/23 HR/86 RBI/27 SB/.285 BA/.336 OB%
  4. RF – Andre Ethier – 27 doubles/ 4 triples/22 HR/87 RBI/4 SB/.291 BA/.363 OB%
  5. 2B – Juan Uribe – 30 doubles/5 triples/19 HR/77 RBI/5 SB/.256 BA/.300 OB%
  6. 3B – Casey Blake - 34 doubles/2 triples/ 22 HR/80 RBI/5 SB/.264 BA/.336 OB%
  7. LF – Gibbons/Thames - 28 doubles/ 1 triple/28 HR/82 RBI/1 SB/ .254 BA/.312 OB%
  8. C- Navarro/Ellis/Barajas – 23 doubles/0 triples/10 HR/58 RBI/0 SB/.248 BA/.310 OB%

Assumptions:  I divided Thames and Gibbons and what I posted was their average season.  I did the same at Catcher with Ellis, Navarro and Barajas.

What?  Why not Loney at #2?  I mean, why not?  You got a better idea?

Now, nobody has an “average” year – it’s usually better or worse, but you get the picture.

OK – have at it!  What do you think?

Hey!  Wanna see something really scary?  I dis-like the guy, but I also feel sorry for him.  Turn away if you must:

Hey, didn’t you used to be Al Davis?

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

26 Responses to “Maybe Bill James Is a Genius”

  1. Bootz says:

    This looks to be a very slow team. Loney at number two is going to reduce a good amount of runs. Still, like you said, who else?

  2. Loose Moose says:

    Loney in the two hole? I like it. Well, actually, I would prefer someone with some speed but, there is nobody.

    The rest of that? Nicely done. You stepped out there and made some reasonable predictions.

    Just two questions…. how does Loney get 92 rbi’s from that two hole? And who on this team is going to play 162 games?

  3. DRomo says:

    Dude the picture of Al Davis just made me throw up a little. Holy crap!

  4. Bobby says:

    my hope/wish is that t-rob wins the cf job and bats 2nd.

    more realistically, i have no clue what will happen, aside from furcal leading off and navarro/ellis/barajas batting 8th.

    spring training starts in what, 3 weeks?

  5. ken says:

    Al Davis must be loving the Commerce Clause today.

    Mr. Double Play in the 2 hole. Ironic. Maybe if he hits second the presuure will be off to pull every pitch and hit HRs, and he will return to his old form.

    Mark you should use Monte Carlo Simulations for your predictions.

  6. Dusto says:

    I don’t know that I would use career averages, but maybe the trend over the last 3 years. It wouldn’t make a huge difference. Ethier might be better, and other players worse.

    But, unless this pitching staff goes lights out, this offense borders on mediocrity and the defense isn’t that good. We have 3 above average defenders (Furcal, Blake, Uribe), one average first baseman (who can barely hit himself out of a wet paper bag) and an outfield full of slow (ethier), ungrounded (Kemp), and aging (Thames/Gibbons) gloves that I presume will struggle all year to support out pitching staff.

    Call me a critic, but this team isn’t much more than a .500 team. They have a deep pitching staff, a weak offense, and a piss porr defense. I’ve said it before, in order for this team to make it to the playoffs, they are going to have to have career years (Not just good or average years either) from a number of players.

    That picture of Al Davis is proof that the dude is literally held together by tape.

  7. Mr. Ed says:

    50 home runs from LF and 3B.
    150 for the team.
    Start printing the tickets.

    You really shouldn’t make fun of old people, we all were children playing with toys one day.

  8. Loose Moose says:

    Al Davis is 81 years old guys. Show some respect.

    Here’s the thing most of you young guys don’t seem to realize …. you will be in the same boat some day. It happens to everyone – IF you are lucky enough to live that long. It happened to your grandpa, it is happening to any of your fathers that are still around and it will happen to you.

    “a weak offense, and a piss porr defense. I’ve said it before, in order for this team to make it to the playoffs, they are going to have to have career years (Not just good or average years either) from a number of players.”

    Dusto says what I have been saying for months, I just wonder who will jump in and call him negative. I doubt anyone does. That kind of talk is reserved for older posters.

  9. the truth hurts says:

    all year…

    1st inning
    furcal single
    loney roller to first dp
    kemp k

    2nd inning
    ethier double
    uribe line out
    blake k

    3rd inning
    platoon k
    catcher k
    pitcher k

    I am pretty excited about this year

  10. the truth hurts says:

    # uribe lines out into dp ;)

  11. RogerCraig says:

    Yep. They will never score a run. They are so horrible! You guys are just plain dumb!

  12. the truth hurts says:


    I wouldnt say dumb.

  13. Bill Russell says:

    Everyone in here is changing their names and full of excitement. I guess I’ll go kick rocks and if I have time hang myself.

  14. SpokaneBob says:

    Offense, Defense and Pitching. A team needs at least two out of three to be competitive. It seems there is general agreement here that we have pitching. If the offense is as bad as most of you are predicting it seems to me that providing a tight defense is mandatory.

    I disagree with Dusto’s assessment of Loney’s defense. I consider him an excellent defensive firstbaseman. what do you other guys think?

    According to Dusto, Uribe, Furcal and Blake are above average defenders. I think they are good enough to provide a solid infield defense.

    So that leaves the outfield. There is a world of difference defensively between Either, Gwynn and Kemp compared to Gibbons/Thames, Kemp and Ethier. It seems obvious to some of us here that we need the best defense possible and I think it is just as obvious to Ned. Not to mention the speed issue. Whether its Gwynn or T-rob, we need to add some speed to the offense. I cannot see Loney hitting second, but if we have the G/T platoon in left, there are no good options.

    So if the offense already sucks, I’ll take Gwynn in the two hole just for the defense and live with whatever offense he can provide.

    • Dusto says:

      Honestly Gwynn in the two-hole is a decent option, one the Dodgers wont be willing to take. But, Gwynn does have a patient eye, albeit with a weak bat. It would certainly improve the outfield defense enough that this team would have a legitimate chance at winning once in a while. Kemp is right and Ethier in left make this team better.

      Loney is not that good defensively. He has silky smooth hands and good instincts around the bag, but he is so slow and heavy footed that it basically negates what value he creates catching and throwing.

  15. Loose Moose says:

    Yeah, I just read the defensive stats on all our infielders and believe it or not, Loney has the lowest rating. None of them are all that great, but Blake and Uribe are at least decent. I was a little surprised at Furcal’s lower numbers, but, his back is bummed and he is a guy that throws the ball away on occasion. He has been re-habbing his back in Arizona this winter. Sure hope he is 90%. I don’t think we will see him at 100% again. Those who have had serious back issues know what I mean by that.

    the truth tells it as he sees it. I have no problem with that. He can say what he wants, First Amendment you know… unless he wants my address so he can send somebody over to shoot me I have no problem with his opinion. Fact is, I agree with most of what he syas.

    If you go check out the stats, and all the projections, including the way mover does his, what you come up with is an average looking team. And that is where the current MLB Power Rankings have this team…. 15th. The gints are 3rd. Why not? They earned it. The Rockies are 10th.

    Now it’s up to our guys to go out and prove the stat heads wrong.

  16. SpokaneBob says:

    I was thinking about this while on the treadmill and I believe this is the best possible line up with the players we currently have. It has balance, puts the speed we have at the top of the line up and what power we have in the middle of the order.

    Furcal S

    Gwynn L

    Kemp R

    Ethier L

    Uribe R

    Loney L

    Blake R


    Kemp is more likly to see fastballs if either Furcal or Gwynn can manage to get on and it works the same for Ethier if Kemp gets on.

    Is it ideal? No but it makes the best use of what we have. And if we open the season with this line up (that means that Gwynn has done well enough this spring to win the job) I will bet Badger 50 push ups against 100 of his that the Dodgers finish ahead of the giants.

  17. ken says:

    BR – LOL
    Spokane Bob – Amen

    Maybe Ned is a Genius. Maybe he finally hired the right manager for these kids. Maybe if the kids rebound then Ned will grow the means to say last year was Torre’s fault. Maybe if the kids do not rebound then the kids will admit that they are at fault and aribration salaries will not be a big issue. Maybe all of the kids just need meds for ADD.

    No news must mean no money. Even Dodgers MLB has had the same picture of Kuo as the headline for a week.


  18. Loose Moose says:

    All right Bob! Showing some juevos…. I’ll take that bet and hope like hell I lose. And notta to worry, I do 50 everyday so I will do 50 extra if you win that one.

    I would like to endorse that lineup…. so I will! Why not? I don’t think Gwynn wins a starting spot in ST, he just doesn’t hit well enough, but if he does, that lineup has some possibilities.

    Of those names, I see three #8 hitters… Gwynn (he gets on now and then and has speed when he does) Blake (he doesn’t get on all that much, but in the 8 hole, if disciplined, he might get pitched around) and the catcher spot (for obvious reasons) So, with that in mind, I stick with my original plan that some of you may have actually read:







    everyone else hits 8th.

  19. Bobby says:

    my prediction (which means zero) is:

    barajas/ellis/navarro/scioscia/yeager/whoever is our catcher

  20. the truth hurts says:

    hey guys, i am trying to figure out which dodger jersey to buy……

    i made my wife buy kemps already last year and she has asked for her money back everyday since (can’t blame her) so I might as well choose someone in our starting lineup (i already have loney and i have randomly taken out furcal and ethier)……lets see……i will name at least six or so, out of SIX guys in our (projected starting) lineup, i can surely come up with someone worth spending $180 for a jersey (right ned?), here my choices:


    these guys have world series written all over them, I HAVE SO MANY REASONS TO BE THE MOST HOPEFUL DODGER FAN ALIVE!!!!!!!

  21. Willie Mays says:

    I’d take Uribe over all of them combined.

  22. Bobby says:

    buy kershaw

  23. Mark Timmons says:

    Let’s see:

    Potential Cy Young Winner?

    Yes, Maybe!


  24. Bill Russell says:

    Just thinking about Gwynn on the back of a Dodger jersey seems weird to me. Go with Furcal, Kershaw or Ethier. Although Ethier is what all the women buy. When asked why they purchased a Ethier jersey, most common answer given is “He’s dreamy”. If Kemp doesn’t screw his head on straight this year, he may be traded, so that could be a bad purchase. Prediction, Furcal has an injury free Allstar type season. (Contract year).

  25. Loose Moose says:

    I think the truth is pulling our lanyards.

    Have your own name put on a jersey. That’s what I did.


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