Categorized | Mark Timmons

Statistics and Bumblebees

The Yankees players typically have the best stats, the highest payroll, the best OPS, the best of everything, but they don’t win it all every year.  In fact, they have won the World Series twice since 2000 despite having many of the best players and being able to get any of the top statistical performers their little hearts and big checkbooks desire.

The Cardinals have won the series twice in that same period of time.  How does their payroll compare to the Yanks?  The Cards have spent approximately $1,051,000,000 on payroll since 2000, while the Yankees have spent $2,101,000,000 on payroll during that same period!   Everyone holds the Yankees in high regard, but if you outspend a competitor by a billion dollars, and yet don’t win any more World Series than they do, you are felony stupid!    The Yanks ought to be an example of how not to run a baseball team!

If you look at the road-map of the Cardinals to success, you will find that it includes players like Juan Rivera, Adam Kennedy, Chris Capuano and others whom most Dodger fans and fellow bloggers discredit.  When Jamey Carroll signed with the Dodgers, you could have made a river from all of the tears of complaining bloggers.  It’s always been that way in LA, as Dodger fans want the team to be like the Yankees and sign BIG EXPENSIVE free agents like Prince Fielder (he IS really big and expensive).

While I am not opposed to that, the big expensive free agent is not always the answer.  Does anybody remember a moron named Manny?  Sometimes the best road-map is a reclamation project (Lance Berkman) or an undervalued asset that you get on the cheap (Kyle Lohse), or a young player that seems to not be a prospect because they are in their late 20′s (Craig, Freeze).  Look at the Cardinals on both Wold Series teams and you will see that thread running through their plan.

Freeze and Craig?  Who knew they would be such a part of the Cards winning?  Kyle Lohse who was a big part of the Cardinals team has been around longer the Chris Capuano, but when I look at their career records, I see every bit as much opportunity in Capoano as I did in Lohse.

I have gotten to the point of where I can ALWAYS predict what the stat geeks will say about any signing or situation.   Juan Rivera, Adam Kennedy, Chris Capuano – they have all the stats and saber-metrics to prove what a bad deal these guys are getting.  What an outcry!   They hate it, hate it, hate it!  See, I happen to believe that you can’t use stats to prove everything – for instance, if you want to use statistics, aerodynamics and the laws of physics, you might conclude that it is impossible for a bumblebee to fly – it’s body is too big, it’s wings are too small, too fragile and it is not aerodynamic enough to fly.  The thing is:  the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it flies anyway.

That’s the power of the human spirit.  You can measure statistics – and there are new ones every year, but you can’t measure that “thing” that some have and some don’t.  For the record, I believe that for the Dodgers to win in 2012, it is going to take a team effort and guys like Uribe, Ethier and Loney who had difficult years last year HAVE to step up.  We can debate whether they will or not, but that’s what the Dodgers have to hope for.

Capuano is a nice piece as a #5 starter.   Adam Kennedy is a professional utilityman.  Juan Rivera is a journeyman outfielder.  The Dodgers have to rely on some of these role-players and youngsters stepping up, if they can be successful.  To those who worship stats:  tell me how many Cardinals would be on your fantasy team.  For the Cardinals, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.

The guy who held it all together was Albert Pujols.  Look at the Indianapolis Colts.  Peyton Manning held that team together and without him they are a disaster!  Matt Kemp is the glue that will hold the Dodgers together.  Andre Ethier can be Matt Holliday.  James Loney and Juan Rivera have to play solidly and JUan Uribe has to be himself.  I also believe that the guy who steps up and surprises everyone next season will be FED-EX!  That’s my story…

About Mark Timmons

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

13 Responses to “Statistics and Bumblebees”

  1. Jae says:

    That’s what I was thinking. ;)

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    So far, Ned is filling out the roster to make it through the 2012 season. No more, no less. Just to put a team on the field. Have a few nice players in AAA and AA for insurance.

    Mark, you have a lot of IFs on your post. IF Loney, If Rivera, If Uribe, If Ethier . . . and we could go on with the other players.

    World Series: lets go back to 1995 (17 years) and look at the teams in the post season in baseball — That is when they started the 8 teams in the post season

    Yankees 16
    Atlanta 12
    Cardinals 9
    Red Sox 9
    Cleveland 7

    Houston 6
    Angels 6
    Twins 6
    Dodgers 6

    Giants 5
    Phillies 5
    Arizona 5
    Oakland 5
    Rangers 5

    Cubs 4
    San Diego 4
    Seattle 4

    Mets 3
    White Sox 3
    Rockies 3
    Tampa Bay 3

    Baltimore 2
    Detroit 2
    Florida 2
    Brewers 2
    Reds 2

    Not making the post season, even once, were:

    Kansas City
    Washington (Montreal)

    That says many things are working. Tougher to make it through the entire post season, drafts paying off with some of the traditionally weaker and newer teams rising up. But the rich Yankees are there, big time. But also, a team like Florida with more unknown players were there twice and won it all twice.

    Ned is filling out the roster for the season, not the post season at this point. Still, too many IFs.

  3. Sixer says:

    Mark, I thoroughly enjoyed your comments again. I believe you are right. There is more to baseball that saber-metrics. What looks one way on paper doesn’t always prove itself out on the field. We can be so critical that it actually takes us away from the joy of playing a …game.

  4. RogerCraig says:

    The Cardinals didn’t look so good on paper last year. Jay, Freeze, Craig, Wainright out for the season, Schumacher, Ryan Freaking Theriot, Kyle Lohse – boy did the Cards have a lot of IFS!

  5. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I agree that the little guys, the, “ifs”, are needed, and significant. Witness the 1988 Dodgers. I just wonder if we are better this year with our “ifs”. Although we never know that until the season plays out, it just seems we didn’t upgrade very significantly with our moves thus far.

    Do Rivera, Kennedy, Capuano, Treanor, Ellis trump Rivera(a constant), Carroll, Miles, Kuroda, Barajas?

    Our season depends on Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Gordon, Sands, Bills, Kershaw and a core of young relievers. I hope our acquired support group is better than the group we shed. It’s not a question of need or not need. It’s a question of whether we picked up better pieces to the puzzle.

  6. Roger Dodger says:

    Just saw that as many as 9 teams are interested in Casey Blake — and the Dodgers kicked him out of the door. I am sure if he signs with someone, he will sign for a lot less that what the Dodgers would have to had paid him.

    But I also saw in the story, when the Dodgers traded him for Carlos Santana. Looked up his record with Cleveland for the last two seasons

    Played 135 games as catcher, and 66 games at first base. Also, 6 games as the DH.

    Last season he had 27 HRs and 79 RBIs. Those would have looked good in Dodger blue. But he did strike out 133 times (Kemp territory). Oh, he also had 27 doubles last season.

    • DodgerDude says:

      He also plays in Jacobs Field which is a hitters’ ballpark. Howver, I think he will get better, but like Mark has said, I don’t think he is a catcher. I’ve seen him a few times and he’s a 1B I think.

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    At some point, you have to trust your players to acheive their potential. Matt Kemp was as good as Albert Pujols last year. Why can\’t Andre Ethier be as good as Lance Berkman this year? Could James Loney hit 22 HR and drive in 79 while hitting .297 this year like Matt Holliday did last year? Some people may think it\’s a stretch but I don\’t. The potential is there. Uribe and Ellis just need to have thier average years.

    Every team has question marks, as well as potential. The second half of the season, the Dodgers were one of the best teams in the league. James Loney came to life. Ted Lilly was awesome in Septemeber. That means they can do it. The question is: will they?

    That\’s the question EVERY team has.

  8. Bill Russell says:

    Well Magic Johnson wants to buy the Dodgers. He can teach them pointers on passing and running the fast break. There are plenty of buyers lining up from what I can see.

    When is the sale going to take place? We just need to get McCord behind us so we can consider Prince Fielder type players in the future. I still think we are only a few good players away from being a pretty good team. Maybe the sale will take place before the trading deadline and we can pickup a few key players after the Allstar break. I still believe………………………..

  9. RogerCraig says:


  10. RogerCraig says:

    Until March… at the earliest!


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